The Compleat Angler Store

Mugs and Stuff for Anglers and Fishing Tales For Everyone


Hello U.K. Fishing Nuts! It Has Been A While…..


I joined the Army in 1975 as a 16 year old. I left in 1988 after almost 14 years of service. During that time I had many memorable coarse fishing sessions in Germany and the UK. I was always a fishing nut but when I left the army it felt right to start a new life abroad and my wife and I moved to Belize, her country of birth.

We’re back now. 27 years away and fishing in the U.K. has changed so much. Boilies, Pole Elastics, Method Feeders, Pellets, Commercial Fisheries and so much more is new.  I’m only just beginning to understand some of them, especially the new baits. And everyone seems to have a Carp Fetish! Is it the smooth skin, the full lips, the rounded figure of the carp which makes them so alluring? Or is it because they’re greedy buggers and great fun to catch? When I left the UK in 1988 the big thing was fishing holidays to Ireland where you could catch 150lbs of bream in one sitting. That was considered exotic fishing at its best. Now 100lb or more of carp and bream at fishery-hosted matches or on pleasure sessions in the U.K. are common and accessible to everyone. (Not that I’ve succeeded, though!).  I still love the Silvers of Yore, though. There’s nothing quite like catching wild roach, dace, chub, perch, bream and barbel on rivers, natural lakes and canals.

When it comes to the new hi-tech bait frenzy I’m still in the early stages. I’m slowly learning to catch fish on them but it’s not easy because there’s a lot of information to take in and this is not helped by the fact I’m a bit thick. For me there’s always the humble maggot to fall back on. I love maggots, they’re a cast iron guarantee against the dreaded “Blank” fishing day out. I wish to apologise unreservedly to the thousands of maggots which have perished by drowning or being consumed by fish during my fishing career. You didn’t deserve your watery deaths and I salute you.

As much as I feel for all of the maggots I have exterminated I’m not Ghandi. 1 pint of red, 1 pint of bronze, 1 pint of mixed and a pint of pinkies, please. I’m going fishing.

I’ll be adding loads of new blogs mainly because I fish a lot and every trip is different. Winter is coming to the U.K. and I’m looking forward to loads of frostbitten days on the water where the dip of the float means instant warmth and excitement. Tight lines to all of you, may you never blank again!