John Bailey

The Passing of Great Angling Lives

There are so many reasons why I am so proud to be involved in the Crabtree Project. I can quote all the usual ones, especially the central issue of trying to bring more children into fishing so that they can enjoy the highlights that the sport has brought to my life and probably to yours. Fishing is absolutely the most worthwhile thing to do and if Crabtree can convince people of that then it will have served the sport well. […]

The Springtime River

Just because we’ve got to put our bait rods away until June 16th, that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t spend some time along our riverbanks. […]

A Perfect Day

On Saturday I was out with dad Russell and 9 year old Leo after pike. It was just perfect. We caught fish, son and dad had a fine time in each other’s company and a lot was learned to take them on in the future.

But why don’t I let Leo take up the story? Here is his account of the day…. […]

Advice or Secrets? by John Bailey

I absolutely love getting questions via this website, the Angler’s Mail, the Eastern Daily Press or from anywhere else where that I’m associated with. When this is all about genuine tips and advice, I’ll do everything in my power to help just as much as I conceivably can. Therefore, if I’m asked about best methods, best baits, best gear or whatever, I’ll draw on far too many years of experience to try to be of help. It’s a real privilege to be following in the footsteps of Mr.Crabtree and to live a life that revolves around fishing. I’m hugely appreciative of the cards that this fishing life has dealt me. […]

Those Missed Bites We All Suffer – John Bailey

I do a heck of a lot of guiding and when it comes down to it, the biggest problem a lot of my guys experience is the vexed question of missed bites.

This is particularly so in the winter months when fishing rivers on the quivertip for roach, chub, perch and possibly even barbel. I’ve had guys miss thirteen bites in a session. Can you imagine how frustrating that gets for them and I both?

Of course, a lot of it is down to confidence. Once a few bites are missed, then the rest almost inevitably go the same way. It’s a bit like a striker in a football team. If he bags his first two chances, he’s on top of the world and everything goes into the back of the net. When he’s on a missing streak, though, he couldn’t hit a barn door.

If you are missing bites, then there are a load of things that you can do. Here begins a long list! […]

All things come to he who waits…

I’m a great believer in this. If you do the right things, in the right places, the right number of times then a fish of your dreams will eventually come to the net. The key is not to be disheartened, not to give up. You’ve got to fish with a hope in your heart and a certainty that it will all come right one day. This philosophy of mine was gloriously confirmed the other day by young friend Lambo! Lambo is thirty now though I’ve known him since he was a late teenager. During that time he’s proved himself to be a wonderfully sensitive and resourceful angler and he’s caught some very, very special fish, often with me in attendance. Pike are one of Lambo’s ‘things’. He understands them intimately, and above all, he knows how to care for them and get them back in the water with as little stress and damage done as possible. […]

Making the most of every moment – by John Bailey

Not that long before Christmas, I was out with my good friend Anthony on a blissful, if chilly, winter’s morning. As the sun rose, it pulled the mist off the river until the whole valley was swathed in the golden magic. I find my river beautiful always but I have to admit, at this moment it was like paradise. Just to be alive on such a morning both Anthony and I knew was such a privilege. […]

John Bailey’s Barbel Challenge

This week sees the start of John Bailey’s Wensum Barbel Challenge. John has taken up […]