Til­ery – sum­mer 1987


Back in those days 20-pounders were some­thing spe­cial and I knew my lo­cal wa­ters were never go­ing to pro­duce one for some time. I was des­per­ate to catch one and thank­fully Kevin Clif­ford didn’t put any ob­jec­tions in the way of my­self, Eric Hod­son and Andy Bram­ley ob­tain­ing a per­mit for the Hull & DAA Til­ery wa­ter in 1987. I’d read so much about it from Tim Pais­ley’s writ­ings and al­though my ex­ams would stop me fish­ing there im­me­di­ately, I felt pretty good about tack­ling it. Sure it was big, at 27-acres, com­pared to the 12-acres of Drax, but I had re­searched the wa­ter like I’d never done be­fore. I had a bait I had be­lief in, rigs I was con­fi­dent with and brand new Rod Hutchin­son Hori­zon rods... what could go wrong? I still hadn’t got a car but I made nu­mer­ous close-sea­son trips with Andy and Eric and it looked very promis­ing. It was flat calm most evenings and lots of carp show­ing on the main bar off the East Bank.

Tim as­sured me that was the bank to be on and all I needed to do was get the ex­ams out of the way and get fish­ing. Self­ishly, I was dat­ing a girl with a car so the trans­port was sorted if dad was oth­er­wise en­gaged. As I said ear­lier, what could pos­si­bly go wrong?

With my ex­ams over, the first trip fell on a Fri­day in mid-june. I could hardly wait. It had been warm and hu­mid all week but come Fri­day the heav­ens opened, the wind got up, and it felt more like March than June. Lug­ging all the gear to the east bank was hell and what should have taken two trips took three in the ad­verse con­di­tions. There were no proper bar­rows in those days peo­ple – you ei­ther car­ried it, or left it! My con­fi­dence was evap­o­rat­ing by the minute and it took all my strength to get the bivvy up in the head­wind, which was blow­ing di­rectly from the Road Bank into my face. With the main bar over 90 yards out my puny rods, small reels and two ounce leads were sim­ply pa­thetic. Frankly, I was to­tally out of my depth, in more ways than one. I was wet, fed up and all out of con­fi­dence. So I did what we all do from time to time, chucked them in the edge and hoped for the best.

Sadly, best was not good enough that week­end and when Su­san came to pick me up on Sun­day I was al­ready in the car park ready for home. Time to get real and ac­cept I needed to up my game – again!

Postscript. I took a week away from the wa­ter, got bet­ter reels and de­cided to fol­low my own thoughts and not fol­low the ad­vice of oth­ers who were not fish­ing it when I was. It took me a full sum­mer to get to grips with the wa­ter but by au­tumn some new gear, a new bait and a new ap­proach had worked won­ders for me.

Join me next month when I cover my first trips to Mo­tor­way Pond, Mess­ing­ham Sands, Juras­sic Park, Straw­fields and Lake­wood.



BE­LOW MID­DLE BE­LOW BOT­TOM Tim’s pic­tures of Til­ery in­spired me no end

LEFT Once I up­graded my tackle it started to hap­pen. Big­ger reels made a lot of dif­fer­ence

BE­LOW TOP The cap­tor re­turns

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