Thursday, 26 November 2015


        Brian Hull was a name i used to see on occasions mentioned in the Leicester Mercury and other angling periodicals as i pursued my fishing certainly in the 70/80's on the Rothley / Sileby /Cossington Soar with Greenhill AC before i ventured out onto the commercials with Makins and Whiteacres festivals and leagues (mistake in hindsight)
Since my return from Sweden after a 13 year stint i have come to see him on some 20 times a year as a ever present organiser of fishing on the Soar valley. Incredibly he holds several posts with the LSAS and i just wonder when he finds time for himself ?
        One thing i do know he works tirelessly to balance his clubs needs against the matchman's wishes  and he has found a balance that satisfies everyone . He is also a mighty fine angler himself and i believe he has won the Soar Champs on a few occasions but he is also well known to all match anglers for his devotion to sometimes a thankless task for his monumental efforts to keep the name of natural river angling prominent in the county of Leicestershire.
         Recently Brian joined my fishing club the Greenhill AC and truly remarkbly he appeared on one of the clubs weed party weekends and started helping ! What a bloke , who else could do that ? He is organising one of the largest clubs in the county (LASAS)  and still finds time to help us !? .......That is the magnitude of this man , tireless and always thinking about helping others.

Here is a picture from this year in July when he just turned up and started cutting the weed . Completely unannounced he came , he cut , he enjoyed and he was liked immensely by all on the committee .......people like Brian are Gold dust !

He even taught everyone a trick or two with his fishing skills and took a 1st in section in the 70's to qualify for the Sensas Soar masters final this year.

He even fished a few matches with us at the Greenhill AC as he was warmly received by one and all , he is certainly welcome again next season , his membership for that season has been already payed for !

Brian Hull finishes organising the Winter League this coming Sunday on the 29th November . It is not the end of the man but probably the beginning of him fishing a lot more and enjoying his fishing and socialising more and taking a few pints of the black stuff post match.

If any of you have time then it would be appropriate to drop a few presents and Xmas cards of to Brian at the Draw this coming Sunday. This in recognition of a Legend organiser for the good of natural fishing in Leicestershire and the UK !

        Please show the man with the biggest fishing heart in Leicestershire that we care what he has done , it unquestionable , it is with out doubt something very hard for others to follow. What ever your views and thoughts then please praise the man who has given most !

Monday, 23 November 2015


Okay there is Bad news and good news

First the good news .......

The bad news was the Brinks , peg 19 . I really fancied and felt confident because of a earlier win on peg 14 but that was a good day and mild with a little water on.

Long walk to the peg ........ it was like being on a commercial fishery !

The fence and pegs 20 , 22 , 23 and 24

To my right up to peg 13 , started at peg 14 for the section.

The match is always over quickly when the fishing is at its least  and i tried so many different methods and nothing came to fruition even when fining the tackle down to 22's / 0.06 line and 0.4 float , it was awful . In the end i scraped together 15-20 fish dominated by minnows with a few small roach , a chublet , Gudgeon and a Perch. If i would have fished Minnow all match i might have scrapped 100 bits and just beaten 4th place 0-14 oz .

Weigh in was best at the far end and Brad Titmus weighed in over 6-13 lb of peg 24.

MAS team sheet and to be fair considering we have been improving and finished 4th on the last round our pegs were not the best on the day. Only Vince and Clive had any respectable weights.

The section of ounces .........shame as i really love this stretch of river.

Well done Wigston from 7th on the last round to 1st on the 5th ......great result .

Top Ponds ......great section with lowest weight of 6-1 !!!!

Oh dear .........Sutton has taken a dive when i expected it to show some weights on this section at least

1860 with consistent weights as usual

Normanton still consistent also

The days better Sutton section

Kegworth still very good

Suttons middles sections fished well - ish !

Section of death on the Sutton.....4 dry nets ......what is wrong at this end of the stretch ?

         Dear SANTA can MAS have a better draw on WL 6 ?     :)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

2015 - Bleak fishing can be a powerful string to your bow.

       In recent years i have worked in Sweden and fished extensively with my Stockholm club the MATCH ANGLERS UNITED all over Sweden's huge water system of lakes , canals and rivers. During the course of a season we would encounter bleak especially in the late summer and early autumn period and they would shoal by the tens of thousands , the shoals were so dense you could actually fish of your net using a top two out of a whip. However in spring and summer the bleak would be more spread out and tougher to get a decent weight from.
       Over those years i fished with some very good match anglers who were expert at whip fishing and their prowess at this art is probably born out from their very popular 'Traditional mete ' which is fishing with a single bait and not being allowed to feed any freebies or ground bait . They also did not use keep nets but just brake the fishes neck and stuff them in a bag or in their seat box hole ready for weighing at the end of the match. This is still a very big event/s in Sweden but they are not anglers that are looking to spend a lot on their bait and equipments so basically they are not sitting on boxes but wandering from peg to peg catching and snapping. Its a very old set of people fishing this way and the kids look bored when participate . Thankfully many good anglers converted to 'Modern Mete' which is our form of angling today.
       Anyway back to Bleaking , as i said the breaking interest really got to me when in Sweden and by the time i had finished a 13 years stint i has accumulated some 18 whips ! But in that time i had seen some very good whip anglers who if there was a International on this method i believe Sweden would be in the TOP-3 !

Recent weights on the Wye:

       In England the art of whip fishing in recent years has seen this method almost disappear. Currently the River Wye is throwing up weights of 30-45lb of the silver sardines with potential for a 50lb weight in a 5 hour competition.Its apparent that the river Wye's shoals are immense and you are looking to catch 4/5 fish every minute that equates to some 300 bleak/hr x 5 hours that is a 1500 fish !! , if they are not disturbed. That is some serious unhooking and feeding along with keeping the action simple and hopefully just fishing with a 1/1.5/2 metre whips. If you are fortunate to gain 1500 fish and based on current River Wye weights then a close to 50 lb catch is feasible but imagine staying in one position either standing in the river or sitting on the box , for 5 hours !? Recent matches a weight of 43lb 4oz was attained also a reported catch of 1450 bleak (either good mental arithmetic or a counter was used)

Below is some of the bleak whips and rigs and also a catch return of a district match with another Stockholm team.

Triana Whips 

MILO Texiers

Tamas Walter


A selection of my favourite swords

Weapons of choice

Preferred proximity of shot to hook

Preferred method of connection to whip

Shotting perfect

Rigged and ready

In action

two colour mix

After a days match the wear and tear on the unhooking hand

TEAM MILO IM1 whips were superb

Bait delivery by post

My wagon

team meeting

Many a winters evening 'getting riggy with it '

Bleak ground bait of choice

District match

7.3 kilos 

8 kilos

7 kilos

11 kilos

12 kilos

13 kilos

13.7 kilos for the master Lars Boden in .........a 4 hour standard swedish time match !!

         In some of the competitions in Sweden i seen the use of a net either placed on top of the existing keep net and tucked into the top ring . These nets were quite wide and some would be shaped around the waist of the angler . This was to minimise the loss of fish as they were hurled towards the anglers eager hand of chest so it was likely the fish would be released from the hook . I did see one angler placing a polythene sheet on his peg with his box on top and after the match he would pick up the bleak that had fell off (but i presume all of the were dead ).
        There was a few different surface ground baits on the market produced by SENSAS 'Surface' and MONDIAL 'Rapide' there was others from Triana and Colmic and even Trapper. However the best mixes were made with milk and the addition of red/ yellow SENSAS Pastoncino . Choice of bait on the hook was the maggot preferably an old one with a tough skin from being kept in sand . This would be thread up the hook . Other methods of not seeing the maggot move up the line was to leave a piece of line pointing up the shark of the hook towards the bend and that would stop the maggot from travelling . Hooks of choice were the Tubertini range which were long shank with a twist so a good connection existed in the bleak mouth. Line for me tended to be 0.16 line as it would take the wear and tear of constant unhooking.

Bleaking on the Soar

      Since my return to England i have encountered the bleak and they don't exist in the same quantities as Scandanavia in fact the recent River Wye matches have certainly yielded larger weights of Bleak i have ever seen here before. In two years of my return and back to the Soar i have only seen a few 3-5 lb weights of bleak and they have invariably been mixed with Minnows, chublettes , see through roach and bottle top skimmers and the odd Smelt ! The best exponent of catching these has been Darran Bickerton who stuck at fishing for Bleak when others dare not .His target bleak tended to move constantly so Darran was prepared to 'chase' them with different lengths of whips and at variable depths. Last year i also saw Dan Ashingon ping hemp at 10 metres for 3 hours long lining on single maggot then fishing the hemp for the last two hours and going a good supporting weight of roach. Another exponent of bleaking i have seen was Bryan Hawkes who fished a short 4 foot rig and hooked and threw the pole back constantly not breaking down the pole but swinging the fish in from the end of the top 2 . Quite a lot of arm aching shipping in and out however it gained a few pound when everywhere was struggling.
     It could take the Soar a few years before the bleak can be in huge shoals but since all the fish in the river are fighting a constant battle for survival with a huge population of pike then a good day on the Bleak for Soar standard would be about 2-4 lb for a 5 hour match in the summer and possibly up to 5-6 lb in the autumn . They will never be a winning a top 5 in a match but they certainly play their part in weight boosting and scraping through on tough sections.