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Chris Lee


2nd March 2020


A members thoughts


Why have we still have a close season at all for rivers the actual reasons go back to between the wars when Britain was trying get back to normal after the first world war. They wanted the working man “working” and not fishing. In those days there was many more million fishing.  I gather a number of reasons since been given (1) birds nesting is the main one and (2) fish spawning.


The problem of these is three fold.


1. Most, if not all, day ticket fisheries are open except when fish are spawning which can be out of the close season generally around May to mid June. Most clubs have a one month closed season but generally it is in April, but that is for different reasons  cleaning the lakes and doing work etc.


2. Birds nest, okay but the birds near lakes and river are generally ducks and they nest up to three times a year, other birds relie on the angler to feed them (maggots etc.).


3. Fish spawning, agree you should not fish but why March and April they never spawn at that time of year.


4. The EA have lets be honest not exactly great of doing there job (you only have to look at the floods) officially they look at the amount of the population that live in the area affected and if it is below a certain number they will not spend the money i.e. River Severn.


To me they are not fit for purpose.


I personally think each council and county council and parish council should be in charge. Maybe they would do a better job.


Note the EA has become too big since the fisheries act which meant they was in charge of since then various departments. Have merge to become EA and DAFRA who in my opinion are the worse. Banning species such as Catfish and Sturgeon. In lakes near rivers is crazy  because they are not UK species  actually Sturgeon and Catfish was natural to the UK the carp itself was brought in by the Romans  !  The British breed of Catfish does not exist anymore !     years back we had the Crayfish problem started  ! this was due to the Crayfish market overseas  disappearing  ! and many farmers ended up broke because of it.   At that time  the biggest of the Crayfish farmers died and as the story  goes he was worried about them so he contacted ( remember they had to pay for a licence to breed them)   Fisheries dept (EA)  about what to do with them  ( I gather his father had died and they had thousands of those bloody things)  he was advised to put them in to the nearest river.   Hence we have still got a problem but worse we have to pay for a licence to catch them   the traps need a licence !    Something they caused themselves.    A mate of mine is not happy as he had to pay to drain his lake to get rid of them !


Member since 2019




Steve Palmer


28th March 2018


How It all started.

Morning all, Many of you are probably like me, You can think back to when you were a kid, and remember where your first rod come from. Many can remember the first rivers or lakes that you fished, or even your first club membership, but can you remember why you started and what your motivation was. Well here's a little , of how i started out, Just an ordinary fisherman that went hunting whatever lurked in our waters.

As a kid back in the fifties, once I had done my chores which seems to be a thing of the past, i was allowed out with a time curfew, be home by so and so time. I was never told where I couldn't go, but was always expected not to bring home any trouble. I lived in Cheshunt a fine place to live and grow up in, country side right on your doorstep , and plenty of places to explore and when you think about it as safe a place as you could possibly want.

I started off when i found The Great House , Not to far from where i lived, i discovered their drainage brooks or streams, and found there were Newts Frogs toads and all sorts of things i had not seen before. there we were with our Jam Jars full of Frogspawn Sticklebacks you name it we had it. It wasn't long before i discovered the New River, walking along the paths and seeing movement in the water, soon had us rushing home for one of mums cotton reels and a handful of worms. Would you believe we actually tied the worms on the cotton reels and dangled them and caught greedy minnows and Sticklebacks that gorged the worms down as far as they could, great fun.

It wasn't long before we found The River Lee and that is when my fishing would start, it wasn't long before i had the basic equipment of rod , reel and a couple of floats and hooks and weights. That is when i learnt patience. Fishing looks easy, but its only when you start, that you realise that if a fish hasn't been caught in the first 10 minutes, then it may start getting a little boring.

That's the time, when stones started getting thrown in, but the older guys down there soon instilled in us, that had to stop, and we soon got the message. The first fish i caught was a Bleak it seemed like a monster to me . the older guys would tell us their names , and told us how to identify the fish we caught , that is when we realised how Anglers pass on information and how to catch certain species, what baits and why fish liked certain spots.

Now that was how i started , but i write this post, not to bore you with what you probably did your self, but to remind you of your fellow Anglers, and how the older guys steered us on our journey.. Many of you guys fished on your own , many may have joined fishing clubs, many would have started to target certain species, but most of you that are reading this, would have joined fishing clubs, and started to fish waters that are looked after by other Anglers,

That is the time, that we realise just what a fine job the Secretaries the Bailiffs and all the officers do, and how much time they put in to make it possible for us to enjoy our fishing . It has to be said that these guys are often forgotten, but without them fishing wouldn't be the same.

Tight lines all.



Steve Palmer


13th July 2017

Evening all, or morning when you read this  I can't sleep so thought it about time i put in an appearance, not that i have a lot to tell you but from what i see Ron's doing his best to keep these pages covered , and thank you Ron for your patience.

I'll start off by telling you about my ML270 my fishing gear carrier. Failed the MOT for a broken coil spring, so i have an understanding with the guy in the garage, if i can't do it, he lets me get the parts and he fixes it. Big job to do at home so i got the parts off E-bay, two new coil springs and a couple suspension struts, why sod about if he has to take it all down , might as well fit the struts and do a proper job. Job done and it glides my fishing gear as sweet as you like.

Mrs was going on about a holiday, i wanted to spend a bit of time on the bank, she wanted a cruise, yep ended up with a six day Med cruise, motor drove down to Southampton like it was on rails sweet as you like , My new Samsung Phone with \google maps took me right to the port, technology is fantastic today isn't it.

If you have never cruised before, take it from me it is the Bee's Knee's, what a sound way to travel. Food is excellent even a black tie dinner felt special, and i have to say a few sherbets along the way. we had 3 stops La Rachell where i spent the afternoon in a French cafe drinking with a couple we shared our dinner table with, blinding couple who liked a drink Heven. Next stop was Bilbao Spain Mrs wanted to find the old town where there was a market, we walked for a mile and half and found another roadside Cafe and sherbets all round, Met a Danish woman teacher on her own sitting at the table we picked , got chatting and she was there for education meetings , she smoked but didn't have any fags, so she helped me smoke mine. She told me she was devastated when she heard the news, that we were leaving Europe, and said what great allies we are and what a big loss it will be for Europe. I had to tell her that most of the Brits i know was quite happy to go on our own , but that's another story.. Our last stop was Guernsey, never been to the channel Islands and where many had booked excursion's, we hadn't, and as we got to the main road i saw a sign that said bus ride round the island which takes an hour and a half, wait at the bus stop and catch a number 31, I said to the Mrs come on were going on the bus sod all that walking, You know what i said to the drive two all the way mate, 2 quid he said how much, 2 quid bugger me what a result, there was about forty behind us though. We saw a nice seafood restaurant on our way out it was only one bus stop from where we had to get off, and i said we'll have lunch in there after our tour. what a lovely island, and the crab i had in the restaurant was the best i had ever tasted. they gave me more tools to eat it with than it took the mechanic to fix my car, got to laugh. Leaving the ship is a doddle your luggage is taken down and its waiting for you by the door, car park across the road 20 minutes and were driving home, the only moan was that the air con in the car wasn't cold enough, but i had that fixed today.

Well this is a fishing page, so i better say a few words. I did go on the river walk, and the guy that took us was bloody good, he game me plenty of ideas and a lot of info so intended to use some of it and hopefully grab a Barbel. First off was a trip to the tackle shop where i brought new rod rests 2 telescopic ones that go to about 8 foot some of those platforms are away's from the water, so right tools for the job, i also brought a couple of short ones for the buts of the rods new attachments deep front rests and but rests that close around the rods holding it as safe as houses. Kilo of pellet couple of tins of frenzied hemp and a bottle of Salmon oil. and a trip to Lidles where i brought a couple of Italian smelly sausages and a couple of tins of sweetcorn.

Now armed with all i needed, now get the rods set up, Two 13 footer carp rods, reels loaded with mono and set up with a 3 foot tail of braid with number 8 hooks set with a hair rig. a choice of leads with safety connectors and off me and the Mrs went down the river. Got there about 3 in the afternoon bit early i know but i hadn't fished for Barbel for bloody years, last time was Kings Weir 30 odd years ago where i had a specimen of 9 and a half pound, a big fish in those days.

At the bank i had a few swims i fancied but didn't expect quite so many keen anglers so had to choose one that would have been down the list but were here and were going to fish. I had a high platform but the new rests fitted very sweet indeed back rests just about perfect, i did feel clever i can tell you, I had cut my sausage up to about 15 to 18 mill and had them soaking in Salmon oil they bloody stunk i can tell you Mrs wouldn't go near them, in the bucket went my pellet tin of frenzied Hemp tin of Sweetcorn and a few small bits of sausage and i set my 3rd rod up with my bait dropper. Two swims one under a overhanging tree and the other the other side of a low overhanging tree, dozen droppers of the mix in both swims and gentle casts and both in the rests, sweet as a nut.

Every 2 hours i re baited exactly the same new hook baits and fished till about 9 at night Mrs starts moaning about that time Mozzies and a rustle in the margins i knew my time was coming to an end, First time out not a touch but was determined to try again, as i packed up i met a young lad who had just turned up and started a chat, he told me he had had one out the night before trundling Luncheon meat along a fairly long stretch. He also told me i was leaving when i should be arriving as if i didn't know, but he hadn't been listening to my old woman for an hour whinging.

Been back a couple more times and fished the same, stayed there till eleven but still not a touch, the swim has been empty every time, kinda tells you some thing doesn't it but i will persevere and get my Barbel in the end.

Have fished a session on Railway not a touch spent a night down the central at the Mead's last Thursday night. Went light, slept in the chair for a couple of hours, but was plagued by Crays all night, Not having it all my own way at the moment, but that big one is only a cast away. If the weather is good Sunday i may help out our Ron hopefully he will open the gate so i can drive down there, May see some of you, hopefully get a few tips from you Barbel men and Carp men of course. i seem to be struggling all round, bout time for another cruise maybe. Tight lines all, hope i haven't bored you too much.



Steve Palmer


16th July 2016


Morning all,
When your luck is out, I often think that you should change tact, saying that I don't think that what you are doing is wrong, just that when its quiet i feel you need to do something to freshen the mind.

I decided to do something I haven't done for a couple of season's, and that was to try for a different species, the old Well's. So Marsh was the venue and having watched a fishing program in the week about Cat's got my attention, It always looks easy on the Tele doesn't it, but we all know its not in real life, so instead of feeling confident, I kept a lid on it and started to plan.

I have spent many hours in the past, sitting waiting for a Wells catfish out of Marsh, Many that have fished it will tell you it is probably harder than what you normally do, but I was up for the challenge. I made my visit to the tackle shop, I have often been told a bunch of worms in the margin is the best approach, but of course I have to be different, seeing how its been a while , I felt that I should look at what's the latest rigs, so went online and picked out quite a simple rig that sounded fairly easy to set up, keep it simple or as simple as I could as a take in the middle of the night needs simplicity.

In the tackle shop i brought 24 mill special catfish boilies, may be 20 boilies in a pot so plenty for hook bait. I also found a pot of what looked like dried dog poo, 2" long and about an inch thick so a pot of them too, I also brought a pack of 5 mil pellet of the same flavour which was Salmon oil, and a pack of eighteen mill salmon boilies for freebies.

Many of you will say that the size of these baits cuts your chances down, but I believe that if you set your stall for Cats of over forty pounds then you would be stupid not to scale up your tackle and your baits and that was the plan.

I changed the spools on my reels to 40 lb braid on one and 30 lb mono on the other, on the mono one I attached an in line lead and a 3 feet 25lb mouthtrap stiff hook link finished of with a special no 2 catfish hook razor sharp tied with a knotless set up and enough hair to mount 2 24 mill salmon boilies. The braid rod would be same set up but with a stiff braid 25 lb hooklink all tied off with 5 turn grinner knots that are recommended by everybody.

I told the Mrs i would go for two nights, she replied that she's coming too. She has only started coming with me this season and has never done a night, but she seemed interested so I said ok, She of course has started to learn that quietness is needed on the bank and all the rest you need to know, but nights are a lot different than sessions on days but she seemed adamant and who am I to try and change a woman's mind.

Thursday morning the car was loaded, we decided to take 2 cars as she would go for food down the shops so we didn't need to take all the cooking gear, and should she be uncomfortable she could always head home.

Always more gear for nights and of course with a woman you need a lot more than normal if you know what I mean, I put my saw secateurs and a pair of shears as I know Marsh gets little work on and she likes space. I shouldn't say it as we are not supposed to change the environment down there but you have to be able to set up and so we set off.

In the car park we started with a walk to find a spot, loads of cars in the car park but nobody on Marsh just as I like it, I found a swim which had the room, the swim itself gave me options so I had to clear a bit of stuff to open it up , and really I could have done with a few overhead trees trimmed , but felt i was pushing it so left them alone.

I know there are not many swims where a big bivvie would fit, so I only took my overnighter one bedchair and bag i would sleep in my chair and she would be covered. 2 rods out and I had set up my spod rod and out in front was a dense weed bed but it was clear in front of it so the intention was to fish close to the weed, I spodded a few spods of pellet and boilies enough for a nice carpet and cast my double boillie on the top, the other rod was just other a reed bed our side close in a few spods there and another couple of spods of 18 mil boilies and then the rod that I held at arms length and dropped on top baited and set game on.

Overnighter set up with bed chair bag and everything she needed and we were fishing, seemed to take an age, but with out to much noise we were settled. Night fell and she was nervous but she was tucked up and in the bag I had suited up and sat in the chair every ten minutes she asked if I was still there you know the score. The night seemed to take an age it did get cold I must admit but I did manage a couple of hours, Mrs did get some sleep in the end , she woke up when I freshened the baits in the morning and put a few more spods out, the fishing was dead nothing not a sound. Cats were not at home.

The day seemed very slow no action what so ever Mrs went down the cafe and got us breakfast but nothing at all on the rods. We had now done 30 hours on the bank not a touch a family of swans had spent the after noon going down on the baits Coots moved in when the Swans took a rest, and a pair of massive cormorants devastated the swim after them, I was a little despondent we hadn't slept a lot and was not really up for another night in the chair the Mrs started moaning so enough was enough, shall we go home and have a good nights kip the Mrs kept saying, so low and behold we gave up and came home, another blank but we both slept well and are thinking Sunday may be our next outing, what is it with this specimen hunting don't catch but are still trying, good luck to all you buggers, till the next time, tight lines all. blank number seven but who's counting. Ha Ha.




Steve Palmer


11th June 2016


Morning all, after Mondays success, I had to go back didn't I, and Friday I did, got to the lake about ten, and loaded the barrow, trudged it to the bottom of the lake where I had done a bit of work on in the winter months, but with the sun and rain it had grown rather thickly and I didn't feel like an hours work.

I turned the barrow round and trudged back and found the swim I had worked on Sunday and decided to give that a try, trouble was the place was spawning all over the lake Carp were going potty.

I have seen this many times, it's quite spectacular male and female flanking one another and crashing and bashing. No I don't know much about this lake or how many fish it has but what I do know now is the mating pairs are a sight more than I had thought.

Said to the Mrs, don't know why I am bothering as usually the Carp don't feed while engaging, but I still had to set up. I set two rods up one on float and one ledgered, thought to my self the Carp are a no no but may have a Tench or anything else that's in there.

The Carp were certainly having a go at one stage two of the were going at it right under my rods, and what a commotion they were causing. But after an hour a cloud of bubbles and a swirl right near my float caught my attention and I leaned forward on my chair ready to pounce. Sure enough the float dipped not right under but enough to make me twitch, then the sight I love a slow sink better than sex that is and was in.

Well that fish went mental I can tell you, one way then the other, under the ledger, he had me in all sorts of bother, I had bushes on both sides of the swim and the bugger was determined he would get there, I tightened the drag s**t or bust I'm afraid and I had to put the pressure on, my alarm on my ledgered kept going as the two lines were tangled the Mrs was asking if she could help, but in all honesty all you can do in the situations is to keep a tight line and only worry about the fish.

Finally he was in the net a nice eighteen pound male, he poured milt all over my mate so he had been spawning. Back in he went, and back to the tranquillity.

Couple of hours later after line bite after linebite from the spawning Carp a long run that seemed like a proper bite and I struck, fish on, he run me ragged loads of weed on the line but that never hindered him he headed for every snag and I bullied him out the Carp were still crashing about a pair under the bush right next to me didn't even realise I had a suicidal mad Carp acting like the Bismarck. After a hard fight he finally slid into my net, seventeen and a half pounds take off the sling he was about 16 .8 so now my theory that Carp don't feed while spawning, is right out the window,, but I must admit next time me and the Mrs cuddle up I may just leave a Mars bar on the pillow tight lines all.




Steve Palmer


9th June 2016


Morning all,
Not been on for a while, thought you lot would have heard enough of my exploits, so thought I would give you a break. Wanted to find out about Mike, as he is not to forthcoming so thought I'd force him out.

Have to apologise for not attending work parties, as I am a member of other clubs and have been doing my bit, but will contribute before the season ends.

Had few sessions on Langridge throughout the winter for the pike and managed a few out, Even had a go on the fishers green rivers where I lost a few, but I won't bore you with those.

I did do a work party on nursery lake on Sunday, and I know you guys were at Fishers Green, but because I have had a few sessions on Nursery felt I should my bit.

Throughout the winter I did go down Nursery with my swim rake and saw and did rake out many of the swims, one day I hooked onto sheets of plastic 4 foot wide and about 30 foot long which I piled up neatly at the back of the swim.

Not knowing if I was doing right I thought I would inform the club in case I was undoing something they had put in place, but they knew nothing about it , so the next session I had another length out.

The weed in this lake makes it almost unfishable in the summer, and I did ask them if we could treat the weed, but I was shouted down by many members who wanted it left as it was well I have spent many hours over there and seen nobody so felt I would clear weed from certain swims to give myself a chance to fish comfortably, Now I know that clubs and Bailiffs do not like members doing work unsupervised, so I kept it quiet, but I did come clean on Sunday to one of the Bailiffs and he did say that I am doing no harm, but should I feel a big job needs doing, inform them first and they will help.

Monday I had a day over there fishing, as usual I had it to myself, don't mind telling you lot as you don't fish it but I did strike lucky and had a 13lb female out full of spawn, I was very gentle with her and slid her straight back in. Couple of hours later I had an eighteen pounder out, so the work I have put in is starting to work.

I hope every body is well and enjoying their fishing and Mike my old mate hope your progressing well mate, tight lines all.




Steve Palmer


14th November 2015


Evening all.

Had a day over Langridge yesterday Piking, there was supposed to have been a frost but sadly we must have missed it but I still went, and got there by about half eight.

I decided on a swim past the bridge and steps where the river runs by the side, I walked passed the bridge bend, and was tempted to go in, where the bridge is but decided to give that a try later.

I got to the swim and set up, I had three rods with me, my spinning outfit, my float rod and a ledger, all set up at home, so all the hard work done.
My ledger went out first, a paternoster set up with a popped up Herring tail on an alarm. My float outfit was set with a slider knot but fished very shallow as the weed was quite heavy, This had a Herring tail also, couldn't get anything else, this was cast out about forty yards slightly to my right , my Ledger was to my left close to a little island. My spinning outfit was put together but not fished for a couple of hours. I was probably in the water by half nine and sat there for about 3 hours before I noticed that my float was bobbing, My float had been pulled closer to the bank as it kept drifting too close to my ledger so as luck happens the right spot by accident.

I hit the take which felt like a good fish, lots of weed so couldn't really tell how big, it fought like crazy and made runs like a very big fish, long boring runs but no jumps so I didn't really know what size it was. I decided to let him fight as long as he wanted to which was about fifteen minutes, the first time I saw it it had weed all over its head so not as big as I had hoped. The net was in early and well down and as the pike came in he saw the net and drove off again but the second pass he went straight in the net,

He had taken the bait a long way down, so I had to put the end of the trace in my mouth and put a slow pressure on to pull the hooks up, as luck had it the trace came into view and I was able to get my long forceps I, I weighed him in, and untangle the hooks. He looked worn out and lay on the mat silently while I took a pic, the scales said ten pounds, a very fine example. I held him for some time letting him recover but he looked in no rush to swim off, in the end I held him by his tail and moved him backwards and forwards to get the water through his gills and finally he was released. He sat in front of the swim for close on two hours until the last time I looked had slunk off..

I checked my rig out to make sure of no damage, rebaited and cast out again, I had no more action and at half past two I decided on a move. I did try my spinner outfit but the weed was more trouble than enough, I felt I needed a surface lure and I had just the right one, my Baby that I had been saving for a day just like today, a large floating multi jointed piece of artistry a beautifully painted lure you have ever seen £20 quids worth from eBay. I had a coupe of casts, but where the lure was large it didn't cast that well, but it did work well on the surface.

I decided on a long cast and let it go but where I am still getting used to my press button reel got the timing wrong, and by lure, if anybody finds it please give it back, I will give a reward HAHA.

I went down to the swim next to the bridge my ledger went out close to the left hand bank and my float out in front my spinning gear was not used I was still sulking after losing my baby, the light looked as if it was fading and I had possibly an hour before I had to go.

I kept getting a little beep but assumed it was floating weed as I had heard that beep all day and when I had reeled them in were full of weed. My last cast with the float was a long way out the water was still where I cast too and I was able to see it better, I wrapped up my spinning out fit and started to pack the gear up, only the two rods left and the float came in first. The big cast had tangled the line and the lead was wrapped around the float so never a chance of a take and the light was now almost gone so I packed it up as it was and packed it away, now for the ledger, I picked up the rod and tried to reel in but it seemed as if it was snagged I put pressure on and it started to give and then I felt a couple of little knocks, that feels like a fish I thought another pull and a couple more, bugger me a fish on, to cut a long story short he had eaten my bait and must have just sat down to digest it , the only sign was a beep now and again, but still I wasn't complaining, When I finally saw the fish it looked big, a massive head and it looked long I had to bounce him to get him in the net. Amazingly he only weighed in at twelve pounds, but this fish had been a dam sight bigger at one stage, a massive head and the full length of my mat but lean as hell, he went back in and swam away and that was my day done,

There are times when even if you are watching your lines intently, there can always be a fish on without you knowing, this was one of those occasions, after all they feed and then rest not normally right there and then but on this occasion it did. Tight lines all.



Steve Palmer


22nd March 2015


Afternoon all,
Work party today, but I soon realised that not many of you knew about it. From what I understood all the consortium members were all going to descend on Turnford, and give it a bit of a blitz.

I was up fairly early My Mrs had spent the night at her Daughters looking after their kids, so if I was to have breakfast I was going to have to cook it myself. Bugger that I thought , I would pick up something on the way, I stopped at Wicks a nice Burger van there that does wicked Cheese Burgers with lashings of onions , but would you Adam and Eve it not open.

Back to the drawing board I felt, Cafe at the top of the road from the fishery maybe a couple of bacon and tomato rolls and a large coffee, again the cafe shut. Tobacconist was the only place open so a Chocolate drink and a kit Kat bugger me don't think that will last me for 4 hours but it did and I am still slim.

I arrived in the car park at around 5 to 8 guy followed me in as I seemed to be the first, just as well he came along as I had forgotten the number and came without my book. Couple of guys packing up and a bivvy on the other side of Lee obviously didn't know there was a work party.

Mike turned up around 8, and got what guys were there to sign his book , I reckon about a dozen the most being from Hollow and 3 or 4 from Veruliam none from Kings arms at all a poor show from them I thought.

I shouldn't whinge about who turns up or not as we all have family's and its not always easy to get away weekends even if it is only a couple of hours, but I have to say that most of Hollows contingent were old guys like me, one of the guys even had a card he has to carry as he has a heart complaint but he still did a fair old stint. I offered him and his grandson a lift home as they lived close and walked there, but they were quite happy to stroll home.

Because there wasn't that many of us, we decided to concentrate on Boot, we started on the car park swim, and worked our way round. a young hollow guy who had done the night had packed his gear out of the swim and barrowed it to the carpark, but he had decided to join us, and put in a shift he did. After we finished he took his barrow back and continued to fish O to be young.

Mike of course had all the tools, although the guys who turned up also brought tools as well, in actual fact we had more tools than helpers. Mike directed us to what needed doing and he organised us and did a blinding job, in actual fact when he wasn't taking photo's he was amongst it all and did his fair share.

I was watching the older guys and they had the sense to take there time while the couple of younger guys arms were like a blur but they did slow towards the end. Around the bend was a fallen tree a cedar I think it was , Mike got us all to work on that. The two youngsters had sawn through the bottom of the base and that took some sawing I can tell you, he got us to throw ropes around it and try and haul it out , the whole lot of us couldn't get that bugger out , the youngsters and the old uns alike pulled with all our strength, but the mornings graft had took its toll, and that bugger is still there for another day.

That finished us off, and we gathered the tools and made our way back to the car park, while walking out, a young guy barrowed round his gear to start fishing and Mike asked why he hadn't done the work party and he answered that he wasn't aware there was one. Mike joked with him that he couldn't fish as he hadn't done the work party and I feel he nearly cried, Mike relented, and said make sure you do the next one, and we slunk away with a smile. Matey would choose one of the tidy swims and I hope he had success.

I think its only fair to Mike to thank him for all his effort he runs our club keeps us updated , has put a blinding face book page up for us and other web pages as well , he turns up for most of the work parties and he grafts as well, I feel its only fair for all members to remember that when these work parties come round.

Lets be honest we don't pay fortunes like most big fish waters, and we have a blinding venue with specimen fish of all types, what's a couple of hours graft when you consider you can spend a weekend under canvas without batting an eyelid. I ache like hell and I am sure the others do as well. but for the swims we cleared we realise that we will all benefit, OK enough moaning from me as I don't really care if your there or not but Mike deserves more support than his getting .

Tight lines all and I mean it.




Steve Palmer


Evening all, Today was a day to put my money where my mouth is and join a work party, Probably picked the wrong venue, as my legs really felt it coming back up the field, and I would like to thank the lads who waited for me to recover.

I only made my mind up to go this morning I was up early and felt it was time to meet some of the clubs Grafter's, I arrived in the car park dead on eight and some of the guys were there preparing their tools.

Other than a litter pick up at Turnford this was my first initiation into bank management, Mike of course made me feel very welcome right from the off, 3 guys in the car park and Mike had arranged for 2 of them to build a swim, and me and him and hopefully some others who may be down the lake already, to trim back some of the vegetation,

On the walk down to the lake Mike was very informative, here we have a guy who has fished all his life, a walking computer of angling experience, his enthusiasm for what we were about to embark on was infectious, Although I don't walk too far these days, the walk down to the side of the lake passed in seconds.

If I speak the truth I was surprised at the amount of tools Mike had in the back of his motor, I believe he had a tool in there for every conceivable situation, a couple of telescopic lop saws hand held saws and a bag of loppers, secateurs you name it he had it.

We got down there and a youngster who's name I can't remember [Lawrence Mason ] had a sack of gear over his shoulder, Mike did the intro's but I have to meet guys a few times before I remember their names but this youngster certainly did his bit, and I must say a nice young feller as well.

We started on one of the swims, and Mike who is no youngster himself was in there like a ferret, boy that guy with a long saw was like Arnie in the Terminator, nothing was safe and Mike soon had branches almost as thick as your arm, splashing in the water, the Young guy was in there taking out the lower branches and Mike the higher , Oh Yea me pulling out the branches and finding nice spots to deposit them.

We hadn't been working on that swim long when another guy turned up I believe his name was Terry he helped straight away and we were then the four Musketeers. By the time we left that swim it was fit for many anglers to enjoy in the future Terminator Mike had devastated that swim with bursts of intense sawing and still he was raring to go.

Onto the next, and then the next, until we had circled the lake, for those guys who have thought about work parties but on the day has bottled like me, I can assure you guys you would really enjoy it I know I certainly did.

We finally got to the swim where the two guys from the car park had been building a swim, and boy what a swim they built, those boards was not the thin type boards but thick red wood so they told us but those buggers will be there for many years to come and a big well done to those guys.

We was coming to the time where my legs was telling me its time to attempt that walk back, the guys had all done there bit and I had had a blast .Terry and the young guy had done this work many times in the past they were blinding company and gave me loads of tips I thank them all.

Walking back up that field, I knew this was going to be hard, they of course took it in their stride Mike and Terry could probably give me a few years but they had no trouble at all I reckon they are Bionic or is it Viagra, my legs were almost gone but had they had a blue tablet or a piece of bionics man I would have grabbed it I can tell you.

Mike came back and took his telescopic saw off me I thought to help me out, but he said I thought I would take the saw as I don't want to reach the top and find you didn't make it, and I had to go back, after all the saws don't belong to me, this pocket dynamo guy had me in stitches, if I had the breath I would have hugged him.

The time went really quickly and I am glad I went, next time perhaps will be Turnford where the walk is kinder and hopefully I may just meet a few more of you. So far all the guys I have met are diamonds I'm sure the ones I haven't met are just the same. till the next time.




Steve Palmer


20th February 2015


Evening all,
I took the plunge today, get the gear out and imagined a swim. I have to be honest with the changing weather I have been finding excuses not to go, But I made up my mind last night. Of course I have said that before today, and woke up and decided maybe tomorrow.

I didn't get any bait out of the freezer last night and also never even looked at my gear, I had brought new batteries for my alarms just in case they were dead but that's all. I loaded the car and then went to look for bait I picked up a pack of four sprats, and before Christmas I had purchased 4 sticks of smelly spicy sausage, hard as a brick they were, I picked one out and the fish and thought one rod on sausage for the carp, and one for Pike.

I use a builders bucket for odds and ends and that bucket is rammed as I loaded that into the car I noticed a small bag of boilies those air dry type so had a change if I should need it.

I arrived in the car park at Turnford at ten o'clock, the number had changed on the lock so had to dig my ticket out to find the new one and with a bit of luck had it in my bag I hadn't even thought about it so almost home before I started.

I had decided to fish Boot, why I don't know maybe because I have had Ken on my mind and that was the last time I had seen him, Anyway swim No eleven so a walk round the other side which didn't take me long. Boot was dead nobody on it not even any birds did I notice, I had it to myself.

I set up as I had imagined myself the night before Pike sliding float and would drift that across the swim starting as close to the bushes at the end and hope it drifts the right way and it did.

The carp rod was set up but the Sausage was still frozen and I couldn't cut it so a 20mm boily tipped off with a nice yellow grain of fake corn, inserted into a PVA bag of mixed size pellet and a healthy squirt of magic Juice with my injector cast that out fairly short as I had my 13 footers with me and the overhead branches were a bit of a pain,.

I poured a coffee and had a fag and looked about the lake Boy it looked a bit like the Adams family dead as a doe doe. What I had said previously about stalking your prey and waiting for that feeling of a lurking monster had passed me by, also reading the signs also out of the window, to tell the truth had I done all that I probably would have packed the gear up and gone home that's how dead it looked.

I fished like that till about one o'clock not a sign and not a touch, looked at the sausage and it seemed softer so cut a nice piece of and baited up again same as before but as I cast out hit the branch and as it landed showered all the contents, although the contents was spread in a ten foot circle I couldn't be bothered to set it all up again and as my bait was in the middle left it there.

The trusty sonar went out to start with 9 to 10 foot and all fairly flat looked a bit boring but still a bit of depth 7 degree's and the sign of a fish small fish but still life. Needless to say he didn't hang around. I packed up just after 4 I had had enough but at least the gear saw the light of day.

Going to be a while yet I feel so maybe I will wait till the warmer days before I try Boot again Tight lines all.



15th December 2014



Steve Palmer


Morning all.

Good and not so good news, Arsenal win 4-1 at the home of football, and Hollows pike match cancelled. I have to say that Arsenals win set me up for the weekend.

Saturday morning I visited Forty hall, or should I say the carpark, as after driving in and following the road down I came to forty halls Banqueting hall, done a wronger here I felt, so a u turn and as I came out of that little road I saw a dog walker that had just come out of a field, Excuse me mate I said, is there a fishing lake down there somewhere. He said go back to the main carpark, then walk to a little gate on the road and walk down the field for about ten minutes and you will come to the fishing lake, Cheers mate I said and did as he said, parked the car, and walked to the little gate.

Now I looked down that field and I couldn't see any signs of water, it looked a bit of a route march to me and looked a little damp so I thought bugger that back to the car, if I am going to walk it it will only be once so I will wait till tomorrow, I'm not that keen on walking anyway.

I had got my bearings and knew where I had to go, so thought in the morning there will be other anglers as well so will walk down with them, so now for the prep work.

Down to the bait shop, I had read the Hollow bible and it informed me that the lake is about 500 yards long, and about fifty yards wide no more than 3 to 5 feet deep with a few little islands, I have fished a few Estate lakes before and I don't think any had been that deep, most of them had been dug out by hand, when labour was cheap and the rich owners wanted some thing to show off to their mates. So I had the picture in my mind.

The rules stated Barbless hooks, they would wouldn't they, as I had just recently purchased a lot of barbed ones, so I brought 3 traces with size 8 trebles a tenner, I do begrudge paying out when I have a lot of others but rules are rules and that's what's needed. I also went through the sea bait cabinets and remember Mike saying that the pike are from small to about fifteen pounds so nothing to massive, I picked out a pike pack of 4 quid and a bag of what looked like small sardines couple of quid.

Listening and reading a couple of our members comments about using ground bait as attractors, I thought could be a good idea, but the rules were quite strict in what you can use and I didn't want to rub our Leaders nose the wrong way so I thought I would just go with a couple of pints of maggots and half a pint of Casters, I could fire some of them out and then fish over them, another five or six quid, no pot to put them in, another couple of quid new catapult 8 quid I thought I had better stop and when the guy in the shop rung it all up 34 quid bugger me you don't get much for 30 quid nowadays do you.

Back home, I now had to reduce some of my tackle, a bloody long route march needs light gear so just the one rod and just the minimum of tackle , I set the rod with a float ledger set up as the experts on the web reckon this would be the best method so that was all set up, my living room was littered with my fishing gear which I would take to the car first thing in the morning, so now for the Arsenal match, I sat down to watch the match as the Mrs just came in from shopping, she gave me a right mouthful about the tackle, but calmed down a bit as Arsenal kicked off.

After the match I was happy and wanted to comment on an Arsenal blog I use, and spent a bit of time blogging . Mrs wanted Strictly on so we watched that and then I thought I would look over Hollows Page to make sure I hadn't forgot anything, Bugger me the match had been cancelled, not anybodies fault, lake frozen, now that was a bloody surprise, never gave that a thought. Bugger it.

What to do now I thought, Well I am still going fishing some where I thought, will have to re plan that's all. Brackens Pool was the idea, so before I went to bed Brackens was the destination.

Not so much of a walk so more tackle needed and I sorted that before sun up and had the car loaded and was off. I was in the carpark by 8. I looked over the lake not frozen thank Christ although a heavy frost, 2 other guys fishing and bivied up Christ that must have been a cold night, but still plenty of empty swims and even the one I had thought of fishing was empty, blinding, Game on I thought, Well I worked hard all day One ledgered one on float Plenty of Maggots spread round and casters as well, to cut a long story short bugger all, Bailiff came round, and informed me the guy on the other side had spent 2 nights without a touch and the guy on the end also bugger all, Now me, not a touch, why the hell do we bother eh. Till the next time then, Tight lines all.



7th December 2014



Steve Palmer


Sunday fishing started late, blogging on an Arsenal blog consoling ourselves seemed to eat away at the time and before I knew it it was ten o'clock, Racing away I was in the Langridge car park by about 20 to 11 and walked to my chosen swim which was empty although half a dozen cars in the car park. I set my gear up fast and was in the water by just after eleven hardly time to catch my breath. 2 rods sliding float on one with a Mackerel tail and a smallish Mackerel popped up with a large balsa finger about 18 inches off bottom.

Once my gear was in I set my sonar up and cast in, the wind was pushing just in the right direction and the line pulled the sonar right through the swim it was working perfect, 9' 5 to 8'5 right a cross it took about 15 minutes to go right across and I did that 3 times one at about 60 yards one at 40 yards and the other a rod length out, surprisingly no big changes at all no holes no bars in fact no nothing, and by that not one bloody fish either.

I decided that an hour in this swim was enough no signs of fish so time for a move. I moved further down the finger I was fishing and came to the end, it looked quite inviting a little bit of slack water behind me and plenty of water in front and to my right.

In front of me was an island about 80 yards out and to my right was another island 70 yards out these islands were relatively close so features must be there I thought. To start with I just wanted baits in the water starting late was a bad move as I now wanted to cover as much water as I could before the light went, the float went out in front of me where I knew the wind would pull it from left to right and my ledger went to my right between the 2 islands I set them up and reached for my sonar.

I cast that out in front of me as close to the island as I could where the sonar wouldn't register so I dragged it in a bit till the reading was back in range drifted it through the swim and the depth was about four to five foot a touch closer and another drift and it shelved very gradual no features.

I now cast it out so it would drift from one island to the other and low and behold features showed up, the depth was changing as it drifted and fairly big changes as well, spike type images was showing where it had all been flat and then a beep then the hells that I thought looking at the screen and a fish icon then another and another, bughger me we have a shoal of fish and below them was little dots that I can only assume were small tiddlers but fish all the same, I pulled in my ledger and fires it out right on the spot that the sonar was on and funny enough I expected a take straight away.

I felt I would also drift my float over the same spot, so I reeled that in and estimated the depth where I thought the fish were and slid my slider knot to the desired place, changed my bait to a nice fresh one and cast that out, My plan was working I felt a bait anchored to the bottom popped up to 18 inches and a drifted bait at about 3 to 4 foot, if there's a pike there, he can't resist this offering, but nothing no movement on the float and no indication from bobbin or alarm.

I thought give it time and a take will come , I had to recast several times to keep the float going over the same spot but sadly time waits for no man and the light was now almost gone .

Of course bugger all happened and I packed up and made my way back to the carpark, 3 guys were also coming from a different direction they also had packed up of course I had to ask didn't I, Any luck lads one take between us all day they said, and bugger me who was it,, matey from The Railway who saved my float small world eh, he said at one time we had seven rods out and just the one take but no fish, I left them loading the car and said till the next time lads see Ya Bugger me another paper hat. Tight lines lads



24th November 2014



Steve Palmer


Evening all,
My hopes of a fishing trip last week went to pot, Dentist Monday, where I had a tooth out and a filling, So that never started the week well Tuesday and Wednesday working, so I planned a fishing trip for Thursday, Got home Wednesday night and the Mrs informed me that the boiler had stopped working. No heat no water so Thursday saw me servicing the boiler.

I knew the boiler needed doing but I kept putting it off, and then I am forced to do it. I started at 8 and was still trying to get the pilot to light at 2 o'clock.
Now this boiler hadn't been serviced for I don't know how long and the soot and mess inside of it made a right mess, but cut a long story short we had heat and hot water before dark.

I had sent off for 4 new tyres, for the car, and seeing how they turned up Thursday morning, I wanted to get them fitted so that saw out Friday. The weekend rained so I was left to wait till this morning.

8oclock I was in the carpark, and loaded my barrow and off I went to the designated swim, I had decided to fish Marsh, and had remembered a swim on the other side of the top end, but when I slipped and slid my way round there, the swim was unfishable, The platform had the first couple of boards missing and somebody had pulled a big branch across the swim to tell you that its dangerous. Overhead branches also made it impossible to fish, so with disappointment I moved on to the next swim.

Now I know from when I walked round at the start of last season that there wasn't many fishable swims, so first one I could fish that I came to I would. the swim I found was the one you walk out too, its usually water but not today, Hazardness but able to walk my gear round in fits and starts.

My intentions were to free line a big Herring for the Pike, and my other rod would be float fished for whatever would take the bait, with the hope of a Marsh Carp which I still haven't had yet.

I cast my sonar over the swim and found that a seven and a half foot channel in the middle which shelved as it came to the margin, in a six foot move the depth changed 3 feet so I thought I would fish the slope with my float . but the channel never went to far and the rest of the swim seemed about four feet deep, so I decided to cast my Herring in a fan like manner throughout the day.

My Herring went out first, and then my float, I decided to fish the float in a laying on way, fished over depth but pulled taught on the line so any movement would show straight away. I had mixed up some ground bait about a kilo and thought I would trickle feed it in throughout the day. I had a tin of Spam, tin of Luncheon meat, a kilo of corn and mixed Pellet plus some pop ups.

My sonar was showing fish in the top third, but they looked like small stuff but nothing on the bottom { Yet } . I fished all day until the light went and not a touch from both rods, a change of bait several times but not a touch, I packed up while I could still find my way out, I should have found another job at home to do, as the fish were not at home,

Marsh I find hard every time I fish it, but next time I will fish the bottom as the top end is almost impossible. I know its protected and has to be left natural, but the fish are in there, the silt and the weed and overhead branches and the overgrown margins jut make it very uncomfortable, or am I just getting old. Tight lines all.



19th November 2014



Ricky Strivins


Went spinning at Fishers Green today , fished Langridge and top part of relief channel. Had a nice double follow lure in at Langridge on first cast but just would not take lure. Moved to top part of relief channel lost two fish and finally caught one at 6lb.

River level up on River Lea spoke to a few anglers fishing one angler had a good Chub and Barbel which is good to see coming out during daylight hours.




16th November 2014



Steve Palmer


Evening all.

Not a great deal to tell you, had a day over the Meads last Thursday, wont bore you with the details, Nothing caught and sat in a swim which looked like a family had lived in it but not fishing, I only had a carrier bag with me which I filled up but could have filled a big bag quite easily, Never saw a bailiff all day, and I don't think many take home their rubbish very often.

Now this brings me nicely to This morning, Yes for those that forgot or had more important things to do, it was a litter picking up day at Turnford. Now I was hoping to meet a few Hollow guys and learn a few of your tips and Methods, but sadly only 3 Hollow men turned up.

I was lucky that I met Ken Appleby He got the time wrong and started at 8 o'clock, thinking he was, on his own, didn't deter him and he was determined to do his bit, and started his litter pick up on his own round Boot, Just after nine he appears in the car park with a full bag of litter. After the intro's he claimed that Boot was all clear so only 3 other lakes to do.

As luck had it a few Kings Arms Guy also turned up and a couple of anglers who had done the night, also downed rods and helped.

While I did the bottom end of Lee and the far bank I met Ken again by the gate, Ken again had a full bag, and mine was overflowing, we got to the end of the lane, where bags had been filled and left for pick up, this is where I met another youngster who looked like he had been doing a Bear Grills in the undergrowth, he also had a full bag, turned out that he was also a Hollow man, although I never caught his name, and as we walked back to the car park he was over the fences and delved deeply for the odd beer can.

Once we got to the car park, the other guys had done their good work round the other Lakes and we were done, a tidy few bags piled up and smiles on all their faces Job Done. For me just a couple of hours for Ken add another hour and another bag.

Talking to a couple of the Kings arms guys who said they did Bailiff duties, they were having a little moan that other bailiffs in their opinions were not doing their rounds, bit of discontent by the sounds of it, so could be a bit of a shake up.

I did learn one thing form one of the guys, and that was that he had had a 44 pounder out of one of the lakes a couple of weeks ago, I wont say what lake, as its up to him if he wants to let on , Personally I say well done son and thanks for your time in helping out, Ken of course for all his effort and it was nice to meet the Kings Arms lads.

The complex looks clean and should be a pleasure to fish now, the weather was ok company good and I'm ready for a session in the week.
Tight line all and keep your bags full.


8th November 2014



Morning all,

Thursday morning saw me in the Turnford car park, the time was about eight. I had decided to fish the bottom end of Boot, for hopefully a Boot Pike.

As many of you read, I had been in touch with Lee Valley about Sonar, and although the mails back sounded encouraging, I still felt it would be some time before I heard any more from them, So this old fart decided to buy a bit of modern day Technology, Yes even the old uns still try to keep up with the youngsters, so a £60 investment of a hand held sonar device was the order of the day.

I hate plumbing swims, many tell you they can plumb a swim by pulling a lead and they can tell you where the features are and the depth and the type of bottom. All I can say is those guys are a lot cleverer than me, usually all I get is a rough estimate of how deep it is and a lead full of weed, and the feeling I get from the vibration of a weed covered lead, is that the bottom is just weedy.

Anyway the idea of the investment was to cast out the sonar transducer or whatever its called, then turn on the hand held display and map out the bottom, Well to my surprise this little outfit worked quite well, 11 foot 5 was the depth, and as I reeled in the depth decreased, it seemed to me that it was a gradual slope without any holes or bars, if I had to explain the swim it would be a hole of about 11'5 in the middle with just a gradual slope to the margins, so out went a ledgered Herring and the Sprat float fished at 11 foot to cover the swim.

The sonar does take a bit of getting used to I must admit, it has different settings for sensitivity which I am still working on but it also tells you the temperature of the water and has a fish finding feature on it as well.

while the baited rods were out, I decided to float the sonar over the swims to see if any fish were present, surprisingly there was bugger all, but the hand held device kept beeping and I thought the batteries was going, but when I looked , there was a fish icon appearing on the screen and every time a beep a fish was in the swim.

Now remember this is all new to me, so it took me a while to understand how it all worked, it also never helped that I got caught up on a overhead branch and thought for one minute that the sonar was only going to last for ten minutes and sixty quid down the swanny. As luck ha it I got it back and am still in possession.

Now Ken in his post had got me thinking, and I had decided to use some ground bait to attract the small fish which in turn would attract the predators. Now I didn't want the Pike feeding on the ground bait and leaving the Herring and Sprat, so used finely ground up ground bait and one mil pellet mixed together with a little Tuna oil, and threw that in to the swim, left it for about an hour , then cast out the sonar to see if any fish were in the swim.

Now I was expecting a few silver fish to home in on ,but bugger all appeared in the screen. While I was waiting I looked over the instructions again and apparently the beeps that it emitted, tells you with a fish icon, if its a big icon its a big fish if a little icon a small fish, game on I thought.

Bugger all fish in my swim, not even the sprat dangling on the end of my line so perhaps this device is not all is cracked up to be as far as finding fish but blinding for finding the depth and features should they be there. The fish icon did beep a couple of times but showed the fish to be midwater which didn't help a lot when both baits are on the bottom , and by the time you changed them the fish would have moved so not too much help I would say.

4 hours of doing this and not a sound from my buzzer and nothing from my float, time for a move. I moved closer to the car park swims and a guy at the end was bivied up so made sure I was 3 swims down from him so wouldn't interfere with him. I cast my sonar out and found a gully about 11feet on the other side of the lake which reduced to about 5feet where the lilies are normally present. No major holes or bars, so I decided to spend the rest of the day in this swim, and cast out my ledger to the 11 foot gulley and my float this side of where the pads normally are which shelved a little to about six feet.

Needless to say the day ended with no action at all, and as the light faded I packed the gear up. I did speak to matey in the car park swim he had done one night and was staying for another, he said when he turned up he had caught a 4 pounder before he was all set up but hadn't had a touch since, he was a Kings Arms member and was knocking on a bit, I said to him, bloody cold last night wasn't it and all he said was, well I'm bivied up with my kettle and sleeping bag , and I slept well with no disturbance, Now that guy is a tough old Angler, I felt, I'm off to my nice warm bed and a nice warm Mrs.

Tight lines all.


6th November 2014


"Had this Pike out today at Langridge Fishers Green at 9lb. My friend Paul Wallis had hooked it twice and lost it before I caught it. That's what I call team work.

Also spent an hour or so on the river doing a bit of trotting had a few Dace, Gudgeon, Chub up to a 1lb and still getting minnows."




4th November 2014



"Morning all.
Reading my yesterdays post this morning, made me remember why some of us picked up fishing rods in the first place. In my young days fishing was free, going down the Lee and sitting there with a rod and line a tub of maggots or like me garden lobs from the garden, fishing rod that was given to me, which as I remember was an old tank aerial that somebody had made in to a rod, accompanied by an old centre pin. chairs in those days was a luxury so most of the time a stump or on the floor was the order of the day, surprisingly Bream Roach and Perch seemed easy to catch in those days so blanks was very rare indeed.

Fishing Licences were unheard of, and on weekends the Lee was full of kids dangling a line. I never fished regular as I played football, just now and again but I remember seeing the odd angler on the North met and one day I asked one of them about the lake, I was about 15 16 at the time, and the angler told me about the Carp and Pike that the Met held, He said to me that Richard Walker used to fish it so big Carp must be present.

Richard Walker meant nothing to me, but the guy told some great fishing stories and got me interested in specimen fish. Not that there is anything wrong with match fishing as many of these guys know more about angling than most, but for me Roach Bream and Perch were common place.

Although I played football for many years I did fish, not much but now and again. The North Met saw me dodging Bailiffs on a regular basis. The Fingers was where the pike were, the times I heard the stories of monster pike made me determined I would have one.

By this time my tackle had got better I had brought a fifteen foot beachcaster fibre glass, second hand and an old Mitchell reel from the tackle shop at the top of Cadmore lane, loaded with fifteen pound Maxima which was the line of the day and a couple of pound of large Mackerel, my mate and me made our way to the Fingers.

I had baited up with a big Mackerel and with the wind behind me, cast it out it went about seventy yards the longest cast I had ever made, free lined with just a home made trace with a couple of trebles. My mate laughed as an angler a couple of swims down, said bugger me mate I thought someone had fell in, what you after crocodiles.

Half an hour that was out for, and My rolled up silver paper bobbin made a jerk, the next second the rod was sliding down the rest and I just managed to grab it before it disappeared, I pulled into it and the rod went fully bent and as luck had it the clutch on the reel kicked in, that first run went 60 70 yards and I was worried I would run out of line , the clutch was on maximum and finally it stopped and I started to reclaim the line No finesse just a hard winch for 60 yards when it took off again 30 yards this time and I pumped again.

Now I hadn't ever felt a fish that big before and my whole body was tingling, that fish was on for a good half hour which doesn't sound that long, but then, I had never had something that big on before or since. I pulled or should I say hauled that fish till it was under the rod tip, and I don't know for definite how deep it was but over six feet I would say and he hugged the bottom and wouldn't move.

I thought I would leave him till he started to move and get him off the bottom, but after a couple of minutes my mate for reasons only known to him, grabbed the top of the fifteen footer and grabbed the line and gave it a yank, well I could see that he had broke the line but he held on to it as though it was still there and we were both silent. after a few seconds I said its gone ain't it and he nodded, we never spoke for about an hour, the biggest fish I ever had on, and probably ever will have on, gone in a split second, never ever seeing a glimpse of it, and gutted, almost took all my enthusiasm for fishing away.

It was almost six months before I went back, minus my mate, but that was a once in a lifetimes fish, but you never know do you.

A short time ago I heard that mate who I hadn't seen for years had died, and believe it or not my mind went straight back all those years ago, Maybe if there is a God up there he will now know how big that fish was, I hope its a few years yet for me, but we never know do we, well I am in no rush to know, Tight lines all.

Steve Palmer"


2nd November 2014



"Evening all. Sunday 2nd November, Looks like winter is settling in, Had looked at the weather report and it said showers with a little sun, and a little sun is what we got.

I have to be honest and say that when I looked out the window this morning, I had to wrestle with myself whether to fish or watch football on the tele, and seeing how it was Spurs made my mind up to fish.

Usually I have it all planned out , and although I took some bait out of the freezer last night, that was about as much planning I did. Once I made my mind up which to a while, where to fish, Lee pit last week was a hard day, and now the weather has changed I feel its all going to be hard from now on, so for some reason Brackens Pool at the Meads got the nod..

I still had my rod in the car from last week, and my lightweight tackle, so I thought I would do similar to last week, and pick a swim and work my way round the lake.

I reached the lake about ten after a massive breakfast at home, Belting down with rain as I assembled my gear from the car, by the time I got to the swim, everything was soaked, but I had full waterproofs on and I had now committed myself.

I set up on the east bank at the first swim, the idea was to work a sliding float all over the swim then move on, Brackens is a fairly deep pit, so the idea was to start off with the float set to about 12 feet, and drift it across the swim.

What I like about this method is the way still waters, still has movement, as I am using braid as main line and it is supposed to be sinking but it does seem to stay on the surface, and any wind makes the braid pull the float quite nicely across the swim, strangely I have found that a slight change of wind and it goes the other way.

As I said 12 ft deep to start and the bait drifted across fairly swiftly, several times and not forgetting the margins , then a change to six feet and the same procedure, I had started with Sardine as bait , I Took 3 Sardines and 3 Herring, wasn't expecting to stay all day just a little dabble really.

Bugger all in the first swim not even a knock , so moved on, I went right down the East bank Paper hat. When I reached the top end of the lake it looked a bit like Lee pit did last week sheltered from the wind and looked pikey, I thought, yeah I said that last week.

the fist swim the bait drifted very well and I covered the swim very quickly but I liked the feel of it so persevered for another half hour. Shouldn't take any notice of those feelings as I have had them before but still a paper hat.

Not many swims on that side so the next swim was the last on that side , quite a big swim with a small island to my left, but right in front of me is 12 feet deep I know that because I plumbed it a couple of seasons ago, 40 to 50 yards out a gravel bar runs from the little island, from left to right and the bar is 7 to 8 feet high so the idea was to drift the bait along the side of the bar and snag a big un. Six drifts, bugger all, another six shallower, still nothing, that idea down the pan.

Now for the margins, I was standing on what is like a jetty a well made swim where the water is under it so it gave me a nice access to place my baits. A few casts to my right and I had been using little sink and draw tactics as well , now to the left and I saw a pike move out of the edge, just a flash but a pike nevertheless. Sink and draw, what seemed like a hundred times, and finally a take,

The pike had been tempted and the float sunk down I was a little excited and struck after about 5 seconds. it hadn't turned the bait and I dragged it out of its mouth, a few swearwords , but I still kept trying, and the greedy bugger snapped it again. This time I waited 15 seconds then pulled into it he was on, I pulled him to the surface and he was about 10 to 12 pounds, He put up quite a fight couple of tail walks and a few surges and just as he was coming to the net I heard a young kid behind me, You caught one mister I turned round and saw 2 kids no more than about 5 to 8 yes I said just when Pikey jumped and threw the hooks, never say you have caught one till he's safely in the net . I wanted to scream but the 2 kids said my Dad done that the other day.

Well what do you say to that. I re-baited and cast it out again, the kids were getting on my nerves and I said to them where's your Dad then, oh his fishing round the other side, he's been here since 3.oclock this morning he said, I said to him have you been here as well ;no he said Mum brought us down this morning.

Now I don't know about you but I don't think its right for kids of that age running round a deep pit on their own, but what do you say. Now the way the world is at present, I don't feel comfortable alone with a couple of kids so I told them to go back to their Dad, been a long time since my kids were that age but I would never had let mine run round a deep pit.

Kids gone, and I am still sink and drawing, finally a bob of the float and a gradual decline of the float boy I love that sight, I waited counting ten eleven twelve then I pulled into it, Pike on , well baby pike about a five pounder and while still in the net the 2 kids were back climbing down the swim and before I knew it standing on the edge of the platform, I must have sounded harsh as I told them to get back on the path, do you know that waters 10 feet deep I said, is that where it came from they said, what do you say,

As luck had it the hooks had come off in the net, and I was able to put him straight back in, and finally the kids went, I did had another take which when I struck he had let go of it, and I thought that's it 5 o'clock and that's my lot.

I know Fathers like to teach their kids about fishing, but teach them in your own swim where they are looked after. That's my view anyway.

Tight lines all

Steve Palmer"


14th October 2014

"Hi Mike

A quick report on three morning sessions I had fishing ultralite lures and spinners on the Lee and Relief Channel at Fishers Green.

Session 1
Lures: soft plastics on jigheads.
Methods: bouncing bottom and straight retrieve at varying speeds.
Location: very top end and middle section of Lee.
Catch: a dozen perch up to half a pound plus a very small pike about 10 inches long.

Session 2
Lures: soft plastics up to 3 inches and size 1 & 2 Mepps.
Methods: dropshotting and spinning.
Location: very top end of Lee at Fishers Green.
Catch: 2 perch of around a pound plus one larger grabbed by a large pike during retrieve. Pike followed a Mepps twice but refused to take.

Session 3
Lures: soft plastics to 3 inches and size 1 Mepps.
Methods: dropshotting and Mepps.
Location: Relief Channel
Catch: it took a bit of walking and a blank hour but I eventually found a spot were perch were clearly chasing fry to the surface. Drop shoting failed to interest them but I couldn't stop catching once I moved to a silver size 1 Mepps. Nothing large but in 3 hours I must of caught a couple of dozen perch up to about 3/4lb. Great sport on my ultralite rod.

Not a sniff of a chub. Number of lure anglers on the river appears to be on the increase."


18th September 2014


"I have been fishing the Old Lea that runs past the Powder Mill Factory since the opening of the river season with limited success. I've had Roach to half a pound quite regularly on link ledgered maggot and one beautiful Dace of about the same size (the only one so far), no Chub at all. I have heard tales of Carp up to fifteen pounds coming out as well.


A couple of weeks ago I was fishing the swim on the upper reach about three hundred yards below the weir where the river runs up into the Powder Mill. I was having some success with the Roach, but you had to be spot on with your casting as a foot either side of a clear run between the streamer weed and you didn't get a touch."

Ken A



12th September 2014


"Dear Mike,
Well, we’re now safely back in Adelaide Australia and all the better for our trip back to the UK.
Just a note of thanks to you and the club for arranging Keith and I’s membership and allowing us to sit back and enjoy a lovely days fishing on the Lea. Unfortunately no records were broken in terms of fish caught, but a fabulous time was had by all, especially my young lad who kept himself busy eating the sizable blackberries growing along the path.

The consortium should be congratulated on the condition of the fishery, it’s in fine condition and there has obviously been a fair bit of activity by members in keeping it well maintained.

I attach a picture of my attempts to land a whopper from peg 7, but alas, I’ll have to wait until next year for the big one!"

Kind regards
Tony B
(Probably the most distant Hollow Angling Society member!)




10th September 2014


"Friday, 1500-2000 hours - spent trotting the Old River Lee at Waltham Abbey. Baits maggot and bread. Perch up to about 1lb, small roach and Dace. Also worth reporting catching a few Chub no more than 3 inches long - I have done some searching on line to check the appearance of juvenile Chub and am certain that this is what I caught. No sign of any larger Chub on my line but did see a dozen or so up to about a foot long on one of the gravel banks. Need to practice my presentation of floating crust as this just spooked them."

Phil R


"Went to Fishers Green today had a day of trotting with the centre pin on the river. Plenty of fish nothing massive but some cracking Dace plus small Chub and Roach. River level down but still flowing well. Few anglers mentioned they have had a few Barbel out last knockings. Looking forward to Piking come October."

Ricky S


"Friday evening 15th September, Old River Lee. Trotting. Few small Roach to bread up until about 7pm. Then around a dozen Perch between 1/2lb and 1lb up to 9pm on worm."


"Spotted nice group of small Chub on gravel run in bright sun. Tried free lining bread down to them (landing net just long enough) but completely disinterested. Do Chub ever feed well just after rain I wonder. Also spotted Carp of about 15lb swimming up towards the top end."


"Saturday morning - trotting. Top stretch of River Lee using bread and worm. 2 Dace and a monster Gudgeon caught."


"Angler's fishy story, spotted grass snake swimming across the Lee. It diverted to look at my float but thankfully didn't go under to find my worm."


"Saturday afternoon - as the Flood Relief Channel had a nice flow on after the rain, thought I would try trotting worm for some of the large Perch I saw last year walking the bank. Sadly, just lots of small Perch caught."


Tight lines





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