Angling Times (UK) - - WHERE TO FISH EXTRA -

be told what peg to go on – just know­ing which stretch to tar­get is a good start. If I’m trav­el­ling, say, 100 miles and I have two or three days’ fish­ing I want to give my­self the best pos­si­ble chance.

Q: What does it take to be a suc­cess­ful spe­cial­ist an­gler? Do you need to be one of a kind? A: You need to be very ded­i­cated and sin­gle-minded, as does a per­son want­ing to suc­ceed in any sphere. If you don’t give it 100 per cent, you won’t get re­sults!

Hav­ing said that, one of the main in­gre­di­ents you need is luck. I’ve had a fair few fish­ing part­ners who have been as good as I am, or even bet­ter, but when I’ve been with them I’ve al­ways caught the big fish.

Lots of an­glers have bags of abil­ity, but just don’t get that rub of the green. I’d also say the fi­nal el­e­ment re­quired is water­craft.

Q: Can you re­mem­ber catch­ing your first-ever bar­bel?

A: Yes, it was about 5lb from the River Thames in the early 1970s. In the Coven­try Spec­i­men Group we’d go all over the place look­ing for bar­bel – they were very hard to find and just catch­ing one was an achieve­ment. That first fish was prob­a­bly the equiv­a­lent of a 15-pounder in to­day’s terms.

Q: Re­al­is­ti­cally, how many more dif­fer­ent rivers can you achieve a dou­ble from? And which are next on the agenda?

A: I think I can get to 30, whether I do it this year or the next. I’m look­ing at the River Rib­ble and the River Frome – I’ve al­ready had sev­eral fish to 9lb from the Rib­ble. After that there are a few more pos­si­bil­i­ties in the North, such as the York­shire Ouse or the Don.

Q: What’s your best bait and time of year for a large whisker?

A: Bait­wise, it’s prob­a­bly a 10mm 15mm boilie, and my favourite types are Pan­demics, The Crave and The Source. The best time is Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber, es­pe­cially at the start of a flood.

Also, look for any in­creases in tem­per­a­ture after a pe­riod of cold weather. That usu­ally sparks the fish into feed­ing.

There’s no real se­cret to big bar­bel be­cause they don’t sud­denly be­come hard to catch once they reach a cer­tain size.

Just set out to catch them, and if you’re for­tu­nate enough some of them might be dou­bles!

“Some­times I’ve had a dou­ble straight away on a new river”

5 Up North, and a 12lb 2oz fish from the Swale.

4 A 10lb 9oz bar­bel from Sur­rey’s River Mole.

6 Made it – a 10lb 2oz from the Ken­net.

3 An 11lb 10oz whisker from the Sev­ern.

1 A 16lb 12oz Der­byshire Der­went fish.

2 The Dove gave up this 10lb 13oz spec­i­men.

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