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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Kid's Go Fishing With The Army

For several years PC Mark Hyde now retired from the Lancashire police force, Col Sgt Tam Miller of the British Army recruiting office in Burnley Lancashire and I have ensured youngsters were given the chance to go fishing for the first time. From the small beginnings was born, The Pendle Buddies. Apart from the Kingfisher courses where the pupils attend a one course, ending with a written and practical test, if they pass they are awarded a Kingfisher Certificate. The boys and girls then often got invited to attend a two days fishing expeditions where they compete for the British Army shield for the best catch. These awards are presented at a social evening where local celebrities, Army personal, Police officers parents and friends attend.

The latest two day fishing trip was at Tewitfield Lake near Carnforth, apart from one boy 11 year old Josh Taylor of Grindleton primary school near Clitheroe, the other boys had fished before. The boys then had to erect their tents, before being paired off by Col Sgt Tam Miller. Everyone was offered poles or rods and reels to fish with. Most chose the rod and reel outfit. Putting together rod and reel, they set up a waggler float outfit, before plumbing the depth. They were then shown how to feed the swim little and often with a few gentles or sweet corn. More importantly they were told to keep quiet and not leave litter. After a walking around the lake where Mark and I showed them the better spots, explaining why other spots can be barren. As Mark got the experienced boys started, I took young Josh under my wing explaining what fishing was all about. After thirty minutes of casting tuition he was able to bait the hook, cast and soon catching small rudd, perch and roach.

Soon it was BBQ time which Col Sgt Miller had been setting up. As they sat down to sausages, beef, pork, beans, bread rolls etc, as I made the tea while Mark sorted out the deserts. An hour later 6 boys were ready to go fishing again. Continuing until 9-30pm when we called a halt. It was time for teeth cleaning, washing then bed. They got a great surprise when Col Sgt Miller caught a lovely rudd of 1-12-0 fishing a pole and sweet corn bait.

Day two was a competition, breakfast was sausages bacon eggs and beans then it was off fishing, while most boys except 1 fished fished a dozen spots catching small roach rudd and perch, Young Josh Taylor stayed put fishing two rods lengths out from a weed bed with three or five gentles on a size 12 hook feeding some bait every cast and catching fish including some nice roach and rudd averaging 6-8 ounces We were amazed at how quickly he picked up the sport. Suddenly one of the boys called out "Josh has a big one" The rod was well bent, picking up the landing net, I dashed along the bank, telling Josh how to play the fish. After several minutes it was netted as a big cheer went up. A tench of 2-8-0. In the next couple of hours Josh had two more tench, a fish of 3-8-9 and another of 2lbs his three fish weighed in at 8-1-0. Apart from these three tench all the other caught were small roach rudd and perch Pic attached Josh with his best tench at 3-8-0 Incidentally the best ever fish caught since the scheme started

Martin James Fishing
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