Sunday, November 17, 2013

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 3 - 17th November 2013

The day didn't get off to a good start when I overslept, I rushed around and got to the pub and everybody was waiting for me outside! I paid my pools and I didn't even have time for my usual coffee before it was time to draw. Rob had put us all down Isle Brewers and I fancied 126 or 124a where Pete had lost five chub a few matches back. Steve Parker pulled out 126, Bruce had 128 and wasn't impressed as he said he'd never done any good off it and I opened my hand to reveal 124a, that'll do me! Rob had 125 which used to be THE peg but hasn't produced for a couple of years, Fieldy was above me on 124 and Dave Gudgeon was on 123 which is a peg I really don't like.

On getting to my peg I could see quite a bit of the far bank cover where Pete had hooked those chub had been washed away in the high water but there was still enough for it to look chubby. It took me a while to get comfy and I set up a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo (yes Old Faithful was back!) to fish in the flow and a 1 gram bodied float to fish across to the cover. Both rigs had 0.12mm bottoms and size 18 Kamasan B611's. There was just enough time for a coffee to wake me up and we were off, I started in the flow with a single caster on the hook and feeding casters, maggots and hemp.

I started getting indications and had the usual minnow before catching a small roach and then had a 6oz chublet and thought I could be in for a busy day. A couple more minnows followed before I hooked the bottom and lost the hooklength and the rig came back in a bit of a mess. I chucked that rig up the bank and got the lighter rig before adding another section and holding back just past the main flow. I had a run of three or four small roach but a pike also made it's presence known, having a go at a couple of them.

I was having to chase the fish around a bit and the pike was obviously unsettling them, after an hour I had about eight fish for about a pound. I could see Fieldy catching small fish but it looked like Rob was struggling. Holding the float back in the flow I was getting odd roach and quite a few gudgeon but wasn't really putting much in the net. I added another section and went tight across to the cover, I missed a few minnow bites before the float buried and loads of white hydro came streaming out, I threw the pole back and using the pulla bung I soon had the chub under control and it was a good one that had to be pushing 3lb, that's more like it!

Not long after I've hooked another good fish and thought it must be another chub of similar size but turned out to be about a pound but when I netted it, the fish had teeth marks along it's flank and that poxy pike must have grabbed it when I hooked it. Still with only an hour and a half gone, I had over 4lb and fancied I could do a good weight. Dave Gudgeon came for a walk and he'd had a 6lb pike first chuck on a lobbie but after releasing it a few swims up, could only catch minnows. I had a couple of gudgeon and a roach while he was there before he walked down to see how the others were getting on.

There was quite a bit of swearing coming from Rob's peg and it sounded like he was having pike trouble too! I kept trying across to the cover with double caster and half a lobbie but only had knocks from minnows. A bank walker turned up and said his mate had caught four chub out of my swim yesterday - great! With that in mind I wasn't sure they'd feed again so kept trying across for ten minutes before going back in the flow for the odd gudgeon and roach. It looked like Fieldy was still catching small fish and I wanted to make sure I stayed ahead of him.

The bank walker came back from below the bridge and said Bruce was catching one a bung and Steve was getting a few as well and I felt I needed another couple of chub. Despite my best efforts I never hooked another chub across and had to keep going down the peg in the flow to get bites, the pike took another roach and I had it on for ages and thought I might get it out but it spat out the roach and the poor thing hardly had any scales left! With about half an hour to go I've hooked a nice roach of 4-5oz and the pike hit it straight away but again spat it out. I managed one more roach before the all out to finish with 38 fish plus a few minnows and I thought I had about 5lb or so.

I packed up and took my kit back to the car to collect the scales (yes I had them again!) and stopped to ask Rob how he'd got on, I was expecting him to say he'd struggled but he said he'd done okay but had lost more than he'd caught with Mr Pike taking a few fish and he'd lost a couple of better chub too. Young Dave had an early bath and then Fieldy was admitting to 3-4lb but we were both surprised when the needle settled on 1lb 5oz and he reckoned he might have a hole in his net. We got to me and out of interest I weighed the chub and it was 2lb 14oz and it helped my total to 6lb 8oz, Rob pulled his net out and I thought he'd done me but it was close at 5lb 11oz and I had at least secured a section win for the league.

Me with my 6lb 8oz
Rob wasn't far behind with 5lb 11oz
As we walked back, the others had weighed and Bruce had caught just under 200 fish, mainly roach, for a brilliant 19lb 4oz and I bet he doesn't moan about that peg again! Steve had also done well weighing 8lb 9oz from Barney's bend to push me down into third place. I picked up £13 to help pay for the days fishing and another section win means that even with missing the next match I should still be top although I can't afford any slip ups in the league now.
 
Bruce had a cracking day (sorry for the poor photo, get a better camera phone Steve!)
 
A close up of Bruce's 19lb 4oz
In the league, I'm leading with two points (dropping a two) followed by Rob, Bruce and Steve on four points.

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 19lb 4oz
2 - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 8lb 9oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 6lb 8oz

So that's it for two weeks until I come back from Thailand, so look out for a blog then and my next match will be Ilminster's Xmas Fayre on the 8th December.

Next up - Gillhams Resort, Thailand :)

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - Feedback from my Pete Clapperton interview (below)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Next Interview

My first interview with Pete Clapperton (which can be found here - link) was a resounding success and I've had some great feedback from it, I've put just a few of the comments I've received below,

“Great stuff mate” - Tony Curd

“Cracking, really enjoyable read” - Tim Ford

"Told you over many a pint you missed your vocation great stuff can’t be long before you’re writing for an angling mag” - Andy Langdon

“As an aside to your fishing exploits these interviews will be a sure fire winner. Great stuff Jamie, looking forward to the next one” - Paul Homewood

“Superbly written with some really good questions. Can’t wait to read the next one” - Robin Cox

“That was a very enjoyable read, well done!” - Allan B


I also had a Bait Tech angler from Romania contact me to ask if he could translate it and put it on his website, when he does I'll try and put a link on here. Note - the interview is now live on his site and can be found here http://dependentdefeeder.ro/stiri/evenimente-si-noutati/omul-din-spatele-bait-tech it's a really interesting website with some great articles and you can translate them into English using Google.

My next interview will be with river legend Dave Harrell and I can't wait, I'll aim to get it on here in early December so if any of you have a question you would like to ask Dave, send it to me via the contact form which can be found on the right hand side of the blog and I'll ask him the best ones. Can you please send them to me by Saturday 16th November as I'm off on holiday next week (not sure if I mentioned that at all!)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 3 - 10th November 2013

As I've said many times, this is a league I'd love to win and I'd gotten off to a good start with a section win and a section second but as I'll miss one round due to being on holiday (did I mention I was off to Thailand!), I really needed a good result today. I was also looking forward to getting back on the river as we hadn't fished it for two weeks. We'd had quite a bit of rain so hopefully there should be some colour in it as well.

I got to the pub for the draw and it was nice to see Bruce back and raring to go after his operation, Rob had pegged the top end and I quite fancied peg 27 today. The golden peg was drawn and it was peg 17 and I really didn't fancy that today. I stuck my hand in the hat and blow me if I didn't draw peg 27, just the job! Justin drew 28 and I thought he'd do well off there today, there was another new peg in, number 19 and Pete drew that one so it would be interesting to see how it fared.

On arriving at the river it looked lovely with a nice bit of colour to it and my peg looked awesome with a lovely back eddy across and I really fancied I'd be in for a good day. I asked Justin if he wanted a side bet but he declined. I only had time to set up a 1 gram bodied float and couldn't wait to get started. 10:00 arrived and I shipped across into the eddy with a single caster and started loose feeding casters, maggots and hemp. I expected to catch straight away and when this didn't happen I knew I wasn't going to bag up. I had a couple of minnows on maggots to avoid the blank and then went back to caster.

The river was nice and coloured
After ten minutes I hadn't had a proper bite and was starting to get worried, I went to move the rig and there was a fish on and I breathed a sigh of relief when I slipped the net under a small trout. I tried tight across to the far side and had a couple more minnows before catching a nice dace and when I had another smaller one I thought they had arrived. How wrong could I be and after two and half hours I just had the three fish plus a few minnows to show for my efforts. I grabbed my flask and walked down to see how Justin was doing.

His swim looked a dream as well but he said he was struggling and had caught a few chublets and dace, while I was with him he missed a couple of bites and landed a small trout so I went back to give it another go. I tried half a lobbie and had a few knocks which I suspected were minnows before trying double caster, the float sailed away and I had my second trout but again it proved to be false dawn. I shortened the rig and went 14.5 metres towards the tail of the swim but never had a bite and was soon back across in the eddy.

A short while later Justin wandered up and reported he'd just had one more dace, he soon got bored watching me catch bugger all and left me to it. With an hour to go I was all out of ideas, I kept trying further down the swim where the flow came back on itself by the far bank and out of the blue the float buried and I hooked a decent fish which was either a trout of a good dace. I will never know for sure though, as the poxy hook pulled out! Time was running out and I just couldn't believe I was struggling as the river was perfect and my swim looked a dream.

I did manage another trout from the eddy but that was it apart from a few minnows. While I was packing up, Justin arrived and I went and got the scales from the car and we weighed me first, I had a lowly 1lb 10oz and I think the league has gone for me now. Justin had 2lb 8oz and both of us couldn't believe how hard it had fished (although I bet he wished he'd taken that offer of a side bet now!). The top end had fished slightly better with Pete Lonton winning with 6lb 6oz from the new peg (well the first time it's been in for years) with some nice trout and he also had a decent chub (so they haven't all been had by the otters), he lost several as well.

Justin had 2lb 8oz and should have taken that side bet!
Neil Dring was second from 15 with 4lb 2oz which cheered him up as his beloved Spurs lost, Bruce was third with 3lb 7oz from peg 23, he was going to set up a waggler and got his rod out of his bag, only to realise he didn't have any reels with him and to think he's an angling coach too! Poor old Steve Parkers luck hasn't changed as he got to fancied peg 14, only to find a tree had blown down in the swim making it unfishable. He fished another peg but lost several rigs and had an early bath, next week will be better mate.

With two in his section framing and Steve not weighing, Rob won the top section with 9oz! and Fieldy won the bottom section with 2lb 14oz. I ended up last in my section and 4 points means I need to win my section in the last three matches to stand any chance in the league. What was strange today was that trout made up the bulk of catches and the dace and chublets just didn't show, was it down to cold water entering the river? Lets hope next Sunday is better.

Pete Lonton was top weight on the day
1 - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 6lb 6oz
2 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 4lb 2oz
3 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 3lb 7oz

Sections
A - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 9oz
B - Graham Field (Taunton) - 2lb 14oz

After three matches and dropping the worst result there are a trio of anglers on 3 points, me, Pete and Fieldy followed by Rob and Justin who are a point behind. As I said earlier, I miss the next match which will put me on 7 points.

Next up - River Isle

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My interview with Pete Clapperton (below)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pete Clapperton Interview

In a first for this blog and something new which I hope you will find interesting, I have managed to secure an interview with Bait Tech supremo, Pete Clapperton. I have to say a massive thank you to Hayley for setting this up and hopefully I'll have some more interviews in the near future with some top anglers, people in the tackle trade and fishery owners to name but a few. Exciting times? I think so.
Bait Tech boss, Pete Clapperton

Against Men and Fish - Hi Pete, I realise you are an extremely busy man, so thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, let’s start with some easy ones;

Being so busy do you still find time to go fishing? And if so, do you fish competitively?

Pete Clapperton - I love fishing but do not have much time to go, as I seem to be so busy these days. However, it is a passion that has never left me, I have taken my grandson a couple of times and although he is a little young still, I find it very enjoyable.

What’s your favourite style of fishing?
One that gets me the most bites!

Where is your favourite venue?
I really don’t have a favourite venue as they are all different and interesting and every venue is different on every day. Generally, however I would choose a natural venue over a commercial one.

Have you any angling heroes or anyone who has inspired you?
Izzac Walton this guy who wrote about groundbait in the 17th century!!

Wayne Swinscoe, Marcel Van Den Eynde, Kim Milson and Ivan Marks – I don’t have enough time to say why I’ve chosen these guys…..perhaps in another interview!

What’s your biggest fish in the UK? And abroad?
30lb common in the UK

Biggest fish was off the Florida coast – can’t remember the weight but was a lot of fun.

Before Bait Tech, you were probably best known for creating the Essex County Superteam which won everything worth winning. With team fishing in decline can you ever envisage team fishing hitting the highs of the ‘Essex’ era again?
No, I really can’t, not in that format. Things change all the time and the Essex team were all very good anglers and it all came together at the right place at the right time. It was a brilliant time, I have many fond memories and I am glad and proud to say that most of them are using and are confident in Bait-Tech products.

A lot of people say commercial fisheries have been the saviour of match fishing, especially with the decline of the rivers but more recently there seems to have been a swing away from carp back towards silver fish matches and of course, rivers with the Bait Tech sponsored Angling Trust Riverfest for example, where do you think the future of fishing lies?
Good question and if only I knew the answer to that! It will probably be a mixture of both with one trending over the other as trends come and go.

When I started fishing in the 80’s and 90’s, Sensas and Van Den Eynde had the monopoly in the groundbait market, now the consumer has a massive choice, how does Bait Tech ensure it stays at the forefront of bait technology?
It’s about having ideas, being innovative, taking risks and believing in what you are doing – we don’t get everything right so are always learning.

Do you get involved personally with the development of new products or do you have a team dedicated with coming up with new ideas?
Yes, without question I personally get involved with every product. I have always been creative and filled with ideas, partner this with my fascination of how fish feed and my years spent learning, testing and experimenting has given me experience and knowledge and it all comes together.

I worked very closely with Marcel for many years and helped develop many of the VDE groundbaits. Marcel was an inspiration and time with him was time well spent…..and misspent!
Our sponsored anglers come up with ideas that go in the ThinkTank and we have members of the public sharing their bait experiments with us, which is humbling, but also ideas can come from anywhere – you just need to be looking.

I was the first person to develop soft hook pellets and get those to market for example, and first one to do canned meat and hemp and also the hemp & particles in pouches….and I have a few more firsts bubbling under the surface!
I am very proud of the products I have put on the market and delighted that people like using them.

http://www.bait-tech.com/

Who comes up with the ideas for new products and can you give us some idea of the process from the initial concept, through to the product hitting the shelves of the tackle shops?
It’s a far bigger process than people can imagine and there is real investment of time and money to get a product on the shelves of the tackle shop.

So if talking about a new groundbait, I devise a recipe which includes a mix of the functional items, which a groundbait must have and then add specific ingredients to make it unique. This gets tested and tested and tested and tweaked and tweaked until I am happy and until my anglers are happy.
Our Big Carp Method Mix Sweet Coconut took 19 different recipes before the team was happy.

Then you have to think about the packaging. We have access to a brilliant designer and again, the designs go back and forth until the team are happy. Once approved, the artwork can take 8 weeks before arriving in the factory to be used.
Then once it’s bagged and packed…..you have to think about the marketing and distribution - that’s a whole other interview!

Match fishing has been steadily becoming more professional with anglers smartening up their appearance, big money televised events and more and more sponsored anglers but there are still only a handful of full time anglers, do you think there will ever be a time when match angling can become a viable career, like say professional footballers?
Probably not in it’s current format as there just isn’t enough money in the UK for the sport - only for the ones that get TV programmes will make their money.

It’s different in America though as they have high earning superstars – you should check out Bass fishing out there, it’s huge, it’s exciting and there is a lot of money involved.

Having achieved so much already, what other ambitions do you have?
I am very proud of my achievements within the fishing industry, not only being a top angler in my day but my involvement with VDE and the Essex County Team, the European SuperCup, Suffolk Water Park, getting Bait-Tech to it’s current position…Bait-Tech has been the fastest growing bait company ever – since the launch in October 2006 at Tackle & Guns we are now one of the biggest in the country – in that amount of time, it is phenomenal.

I also have a very wonderful golf course outside of Sudbury which I have developed over the last 20 years. I love playing on a Saturday morning and my handicap is pretty low. My best round ever was 2 weeks ago with a round of 6 birdies, 5 bogies and 7 pars and it was 1 under par for the course.
I’ve always been involved with many businesses and I still have 100s of ideas I wish to pursue – I have too many ambitions to mention.

Well thank you for giving up your time but before I let you go, here’s a few more quick-fire questions,
What’s your favourite drink?

Expensive fine wine
Favourite meal?

Mediterranean style fish
Do you support a football team?

Spurs
Favourite film?

Historically accurate films
TV show?

MOTD
What music do you listen to?

Massive range – opera to Coldplay

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Lunch at the Ritz with a blonde while a plane waits for me to take me to the South of France. I go sailing in the fabulous schooner Elena for the afternoon and then spend my evening at my friend’s Chateau in Provence with good friends and family..….and the blonde, or maybe a different one.

Many thanks again Pete, from Against Men and Fish

So there you have it, Against Men and Fish's first interview, I hope you enjoyed it and in the coming weeks I'll be interviewing some top anglers so if you have any questions you would like me to ask, send them to me via the contact form and I'll ask the best ones.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Summerhayes - Open - 3rd November 2013

With no club match on this week, I phoned Pete and booked in for the match on Sellicks. Driving to Bridgwater I was hoping we would all be on the one pond and not split with Lily and on arriving, Heardy confirmed we were all on Sellicks - phew! After a coffee Pete announced the draw and I went in after about half the field had drawn and pulled out peg 5 which was spot on. It's a great carp peg but also very good for silvers as well. Heardy pulled out peg 20 and moaned like hell about it! Adie drew 17 which is also a good silvers peg and he seems to have turned to the dark side in recent matches with several silvers wins. I had young Reece on peg 4 and he wanted a side bet on the silvers, which I accepted.

Peg 5 on Sellicks
It was pretty windy and it looked like we'd have some rain through the day and winter is well and truly here (if only I had a holiday to somewhere warm to look forward to...). I set up two Malman Pencils, a 0.6  and a 0.4 gram, both had 0.12mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808's (just for a change!). I plumbed up three lines at 10 metres plus another at 5 metres and I also plumbed up at 11.5 metres to give me somewhere to go if I was struggling. For bait I had Bait Tech 4mm expanders, micros plus some dead maggots and Dominic Sullivan let me have some worms which was very kind, cheers mate. Dom was in peg 2 and was fancied to do well yet again.

Dom was on peg 2
On the whistle I cupped in small amounts of micros on my three lines at 10 metres, to my right, straight out and to the left plus the same amount at 5 metres. I started on the right hand line with an expander and had to wait five minutes for my first bite which turned out to be a carp, I switched to the middle line and had another carp and this wasn't the start I had hoped for. Reece had a couple of small skimmers and so did Digger on peg 7 and I could see Ray Wickham past him getting odd silvers as well. After my second carp I switched to the left hand line but never had a bite there.

Back to the right and I had my first decent skimmer followed by a small one and I missed a couple of bites. Reece had landed a decent skimmer and also had a nice perch so he was just ahead at this early stage. As the second hour started I had a couple more blades on the longer lines but still no bites from the left hand line. I added another carp and decided to try the 5 metre line for the first time. No indications after five minutes and I was just about to give up on it when the red float tip disappeared and I struck and a good skimmer came flying out of the water. I then had a smaller one before catching carp number four and it was time to switch lines again.

After two hours I had four carp, two decent skimmers plus half a dozen blades and was doing better then the people I could see. I rotated my lines again and had a few more blades from the longer lines (still nothing from the left hand one though!) and then came back to five metres and had two more proper skimmers and I was starting to pull away from Reece who had two decent skimmers plus that perch and some blades. That seemed to set the pattern and I would get blades and the odd carp from two of the longer lines (I binned the left hand line after three hours as I never had a bite there) before going over the shorter line and catching the odd decent skimmer along with occasional blades and carp.

We had odd rain showers and the rain was really cold and I was glad I'd worn an extra layer today. Reece was now struggling although Digger seemed to be catching carp and skimmers quite well and I could see Ray still catching roach and blades. With two hours to go I was on eight proper skimmers, ten or eleven blades plus six carp. All but one of my better skimmers had come from the five metre line. I had another carp at 10 metres but the longer lines seemed to be dying so I came back to the shorter line and had another good skimmer and there was still an hour to go and I fancied I'd get a few more.

The last hour was a bit of an anti-climax and I never had another bite on the shorter line and just had one more small skimmer from ten metres to finish with 9 proper skimmers, 12 blades plus 7 carp and thought I had about 7lb of silvers which I didn't think would be enough today. With Pete not fishing today the scales were soon at Dom's peg and I was surprised when he only weighed 12lb 13oz as I thought he'd caught a lot more than that, Reece had 17lb 3oz of carp and 4lb 9oz of silvers and he paid me his pound before I'd weighed! My carp went 17lb 5oz and then my silvers went 11lb 9oz which was a lot more than I thought. Digger didn't weigh and Ray had packed up early so I was still in with a chance of the silvers with one side of the pond still to be weighed.

I finished packing up and caught up with the scales as they weighed the last few pegs, Heardy had moaned 49lb 3oz onto his hook for another win and a chap called Zac was second with 43lb 12oz and his mate Steve H was third with 40lb 13oz so another really tight frame. As for the silvers I was top weight (just) as Adie had 10lb 15oz and I picked up £26 plus Reece's nugget! I was quite chuffed with my match as I didn't lose or bump any fish although I did miss a few bites.

Another nice little envelope!
1 - Martin Heard (Summerhayes) - 49lb 3oz
2 - Zac (Summerhayes) - 43lb 12oz
3 - Steve H (Summerhayes) - 40lb 13oz

Silvers
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 11lb 9oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 10lb 15oz

Another tight frame
So another decent day (that's five pick ups in five weeks!) with the only down side, Chelsea losing to Newcastle yesterday. On the plus side did I mention I'm off to Gillhams in Thailand in a couple of weeks!

Next week is round three of the V.E.S. but with this weather will we be on the river? Come back next week to find out.

Next up - River Isle

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest Hit Parade (below)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Fishing Abroad

Todays post was supposed to be about how I went fishing with Russell Hilton on the Taunton canal and caught a new pb pike but he had to cancel in the week. So instead here's a 'Hit Parade' of sorts, with another trip to Gillhams in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd take a look back at my trips fishing abroad.

Up until 2009 my fishing had been confined to the UK but when Scotty suggested a trip to Spain after catfish, I jumped at the chance to hopefully catch a monster, well things didn't actually go to plan but more of that later! I still love my match fishing but it really does make a refreshing change to get away to somewhere more exotic and try styles of fishing that are totally alien to me.

As I type this it's windy and looks set to rain at any minute so let me take you away to sunnier climes where only shorts and flip flops are required and weird and wonderful species of fish give you the battle of a lifetime.

5 - The River Ebro in Spain 2009

This was my first fishing trip abroad and me, Scotty and Ash were all set to do battle with monster catfish. To be honest it was a bit of an anti-climax but we all managed to catch a few fish and it was on this trip that the seeds were sown for our first trip to Thailand.

http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/river-ebro-spain-26th-april-to-2nd-may.html

4 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2010

During the Ebro trip we were shown a brochure for Gillhams Resort in Thailand and Scott was well up for going, me and Ash didn't take much persuading and before we knew it we were 6000 miles away. Well it was an amazing trip, the resort was stunning, everyone we met were lovely and we were looked after so well. As for the fishing it was out of this world and we caught loads of different species and all three of us caught fish over the magical 100lb mark topped off by a stunning 340lb arapaima caught by Ash.

http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/gillhams-resort-thailand-22nd-september.html

3 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2011

After that first trip to the Land Of Smiles, I was hooked (if you'll excuse the pun) and the following year me and Scotty booked up again. The fishing was awesome once again and we caught a lot of fish with Scott catching 64 fish of 9 species and I had 31 of 12 species with the best fish being a 160lb arapaima which was a new pb for me. We met some lovely people including Jeremy Wade and Terry Eustace (Poppa). To finish the trip off, Stuart came to Bangkok with us to show us the sights.

http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/thailand-september-2011.html

2 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2012

I was desperate to go back the next year but Scott couldn't make this trip and I was a little apprehensive about going on my own but there was no need to worry as Stuart and everybody looked after me so well and it was fantastic. I caught 27 fish of 9 species and upped my pb's for several species including a 260lb arapaima and a 90lb Amazon redtail catfish (which is still probably my favourite fish yet). I also had a 180lb Mekong catfish that took me over three hours to land and beat me up good and proper. I met some more amazing people including Poppa again and even got filmed by National Geographic!

http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/thailand-11th-to-24th-september-2012.html

1 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2013

Scotty was back for this trip and we found the fishing a little tougher this time although we still had seven fish over 100lb between us which is dream fishing in anybody's book. Scott had the best fish of the trip and the fish of a lifetime with a massive 360lb arapaima. We lost a lot of big fish and I think I lost ten with Scott losing six.. Poppa was there yet again and we also met Gary Newman from the Angler's Mail.

http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/gillhams-resort-thailand-14th-to-27th.html

I wonder what my next trip will bring? The lake has been extended now and some new species have been stocked so it will certainly be interesting. At some point I would love to try for Sturgeon in Canada and there are loads of other fisheries in Thailand that look good too, I just need to win the lottery first!

Well tomorrow I'm at Summerhayes and the weather is awful so come back tomorrow night to see how I got on.