Sea of plenty…


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Young Tales has just had the time of his life swimming in warm seas and being able to be within arms length of a multitude of fish, no rod needed but a snorkel and mask a necessity.

Having returned to a rather cold and wet UK only a couple of days ago it is good to reflect on our week away in Cyprus. Not only did we have the opportunity to sample the freshest seafood on a plate but also to swim with bream, wrasse and snapper in less than 6ft depth of water on the northern shores of this Island, where crystal clear water was the norm for this time of year.

A morning was spent on the boat owned by Elias a local Paphos fisherman who took us into deep water where we caught fish on nearly every cast. Most fish caught were sea perch but the odd rainbow wrasse, bream and snapper fell for the thin slithers of squid offered on small hooks. Unlike our own shores where fish seem scarce this year, the sea around Cyprus seemed to hold a plentiful supply of fish for the intrepid angler.





A far flung cast…

The Tales household has packed its bags and gone fishing to a far land where the sun rises in the East, olives and lemons grow under the heat of the sun and handkerchiefs flutter in the breeze beneath the bows of a tree.

Our fishing forays to date this summer have not seen the line tighten as in years past, the mackerel are few and far between, the gilt head bream have danced away and the bass are still in deep water. With overcast skies and a predicted drop in temperature we have decided to head to warmer climes if nothing more than to recharge the batteries and watch a float bob on glistening waters.

The next month will be busy preparing vintage tackle and home wares for sale as it’s time to have a clear out so I hope you will drop by to see what’s on offer before we head to Chiswick Town Hall Auction and the Redditch Vintage Tackle Fair for the autumn.

As the evenings get shorter and the dew settles in the hollows it will be time to cast a long line for trout amongst the falling leaves on the indigo and ochre coloured waters, a reflection of the fabulous backdrop of trees as we near the close of the season at Robins Wood. For sure this season has passed all too quickly, have we been more discerning about our fishing, I’m not entirely sure, however we have fished better, travelled further, fishing small streams which have challenged us. We’ve not caught as much – it’s not just about catching fish, it’s the experiences, acquaintances, trial and error that makes it more enjoyable, we’ve learned a lot and met some great people along the way. We’ve changed some of our tackle, acquired smaller and lighter rods and reels, opting for some timeless classics by Abu, Farlow and Hardy and for young Tales.

So summer is not quite over, maybe a far flung cast is what it takes…

Been buying again…


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Oh dear, I have to admit when I see a bargain I go for it, not just once but several times in a day. Fishing is a decease, It’s not the fishing, it the collecting of reels, rods and the accompanying paraphernalia.

I recently purchased some Hardy rods for young Tales, then I purchased some reels to match the rods, now I need to buy some lines ….where will it end …. a reel case or two to match.

I guess I do need some therapy, if having the bug to go fishing wasn’t enough the desire to collect more tackle is as great.

In case you were wondering the recent finds were a Hardy 8’6″ #6 Fiberlite, a Hardy 9′ #9 Fiberlite sea trout rod, a Farlows Ambassador 9/10 Salmon Reel and a more contemporary Hardy Uniqua 9/10 light salmon reel, oh yes and a 150th Anniversary Farlows reel case to put the reel in…will it stop, no!

Cruising the Thames


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Having only just stepped off the train from Barnes Bridge Station and crossed the road to walk along the tow path home momentarily glancing down the river to see that the tide was heading out. Close by the concrete wall I noticed the distictive colours of a water sodden Ensign still attached to the mahogany pole that it once flew from and with all ropes attached. I swiftly made my way down to the foreshore to find a fine hand stitched Ensign bearing a red disc symbol with a white anchor, this I knew as The Cruising Association flag.

The flag was covered in silt and other unsavoury sedimant but I knew would clean up well making a welcome addition to the increasing collection of washed up parts of boats that fill my garden shed, sooner or later I will end up with a complete boat as I have oars, rudders, row locks, seats and now a fine flag and flag pole.


Bouncing Betty…


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Contained in a vintage plastic lure box that had a U.S. Patent No. A selection of wooden and metal Devon Minnow lures with traces and a single ‘ Bouncing Betty’. Why these lead controller weights are called Bouncing Betty’s slightly baffles me as the term was usually aligned with land mines . The use of a ‘ Bouncing Betty’ can be highly effective when spinning for salmon as it allows you to locate a lure in a swim or pool and let the current spin the lure allowing slow and effective coverage of a holding pool.




Back to the beginning…


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Looking out across the the water to what is known as the Deep End it is difficult to work out where some six years has gone for it is here young Tales got his first introduction to sea fishing.

We return here to Seaford most years to fish from the beach for bass, flat fish and in the summer months smoothound. I have to say we have caught little from this renound Sussex beach, you can count on one hand our success however that is not a fair summary of the productiveness of this long shingle beach.

Our day actually started by fishing the West arm of the Marina in Brighton but that soon came to an abrupt end when the waves started crashing over the concrete wall soaking us. Young Tales enthusiasm took a turn and he asked to drive over to Seaford. Upon arriving we saw several rods dotted along the beach, all close to known hot spots that fish well. In fact most sea angling comps are held between The Buckle and Tide Mills so no prizes as for guessing why.

We set up our rods just in front of the Martello Tower, here the sea is deep enough at high tide to get amongst feeding fish as the waves crash onto the beach. Unfortunately nothing was interested in our rag worm offering. We also fished Beach Comber Gully but I couldn’t get my rig out the the 80-100 yard mark for it to be productive.

As the sun started to drop away we took up fishing a favourite mark but it can be a graveyard for terminal tackle and yesterday was no exception when we lost several rigs and weights to the submerged pipe that runs out to sea.

On reflection it didn’t matter that we blanked, there were certainly fish there as a couple of guys had takes from bass, for us it was just a sheer delight to be able to spend time together hoping of catching that PB and recall the years spent fishing at this gem of a Sussex resort. For here at Seaford is where it all began.






Getting ready…


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As the brown Jiffy bag landed on the floor I knew exactly what it contained, three lures and an aluminium container that held within it four small screw top  acrylic tubes each containing different terminal tackle, small trebles, swivels, fly connectors and an assortment of hooks.

With only a couple of days left before young Tales breaks up for his summer holidays thoughts now turn as to how to entertain him. Kicking a football in the park, playing tennis, swimming, karting, cycling along the river, camping and fishing, but with nearly five and a half weeks of holiday ahead of us I’m already exhausted at the thought.

We have planned a trip to the coast next week to fish for bass and bream so I have been adding to the range of surface lures we have for bass and purchasing some well made bream traces, all very important when planning an expedition to the East Sussex Coast. I found some Yo-Zuri lures on line that were keenly priced, in fact I got three for a little more than the normal RRP for one. The selection offered also caught my eye so hopefully they will do the same for a scavenging bass.

Earlier in the year a fishing trip to Brighton Marina ended rather abruptly when the tip of young Tales’s Ron Thompson Tyran spinning rod snapped when casting a 20gms Savage Gear sand eel. The rod was more than capable of casting this weight but something caused a 40mm section of the tip to break clean off. My suspicion was that braid line had possibly wrapped over the top eye and the unforgiving nature of the braid when being cast put too much pressure on the tip. The Ron Thompson Tyran rods are well made and elegant, however the very fine tips to the blanks are so fine they will not withstand much abuse. Having purchased the rod from Farlows of Pall Mall there was a no quibble exchange for a replacement rod, and with experience on our side we decided to increase the length and casting weight if casting 15-30gms lures for bass was going to be required.

There will be a trip to the Lizard in Cornwall in August, last year we purchased a great value Rovex spinning rod which is possibly better suited to young Tales than the more delicate Ron Thompson which had been my choice for working small sand eels in the gullies of the rock of the South Cornwall coastline around Falmouth.

I think we are pretty well set up for most fishing conditions for the summer so hopefully it will be a memorable summer for young Tales. 


Patience is a virtue….

Not sure where the time went but the weekend passed all too quickly. 

We attended our village Fayre with a Medieval theme on Saturday where the whole community turns out to browse the many stalls selling all manner of things from bric-a-brac, cakes, plants, vintage clothing , recycled sail cloth bags, cakes, juice stalls and promote local clubs and societies.

What I did find on my travels around Barnes Pond was a stall selling French collectables, in a canvas holdal similar to the Efgeeco rod bag I found the previous week was a collection of French cane rods, few of the canes matched up so I asked if I could just buy the rod bag, a bit of haggling took place and after a 25% discount was offered I became the bags new owner. From another stall I purchased a cobweb ridden Brady game bag, once dusted down it was in fine condition with all leather straps intact, pleased with my £10 spend before the masses descended I headed home in order to collect young Tales for a day of fun in the park in the bright warm July sun.

Having agreed with young Tales that we would go fishing on Sunday the weather had changed overnight, for Sunday morning it was overcast with heavy cloud, a fine mist of drizzle filled the air and on reading the Tackle Box blog report both walls were closed at Brighton Marina the chosen venue for a days fishing by his Lordship. As new plans had to be drawn up we decided to head South to fish the Itchen on a stretch were we know it can be productive. After an hours drive we arrived at the River Itchen, dizzel still fell from the sky and dotted along the bank were several fishermen.

We first opted to set up with a fly rod but soon realised that if we were to catch anything we would need to rely on a float or ledger set up with maggots, which was fine except we didn’t have any maggots. Improvisation is something we are use to so the other option was to seek out some worms from beneath fallen branches however a young lad was fishing close by and we asked if we could buy a handful of maggots as we tend not to over bait the water and fish sparingly with just a float and a couple of maggots suspended beneath or a small weight with a maggot on a 10-12inch trace. At this stage things were looking up as we’d witnessed several other anglers catch chub, perch and lampreys. Unfortunately for us we decided to fish the opposite bank and within 20 minutes of setting our swim was to be bombed by a young lad to ran from behind us and jumped fully clothed into the river. The next annoyance was a dog owner who decided to throw a stick into the rive infront of us followed closely afterwards by a black Labrador ….if that wasn’t enough 5 canoeists turned up and paddled straight over the submerged line, you could see the frustration on the face of young Tales however he was patient enough to continue for a while longer hoping that the fish would come back, sadly they didn’t.

There is a fine balance on sharing the water with others, however it would be nice if members of the general public had a little more respect for anglers, surely common sense would prevail but seemingly not to be the case.



Edgar Thurston of Twickenham


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Whilst discussing the state of the tidal Thames with local piscator Brian and tactics of how to fish it successfully,  he showed me his recent tackle acquisition a Shimano 4000D BTR, what was interesting was the 60’s vintage olive green Edgar Thurston & Co reel case in pristine condition. Edgar Thurston of East Twickenham was run by Dave Steuart a well respected tackle dealer and fisherman.





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It’s not only cane rods, bank sticks and landing nets that use bamboo but in far flung places they use bamboo to construct their home from and other homewares.

Featured here is a handmade float tube or safe as sometimes referred to.




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