Dear John

Bailey’s Basics: Don’t Be Afraid of Weed

Weed now is growing fast. It can be frightening when you get to a lake and see nothing but the stuff, but don’t panic. Remember that weed is vital for the welfare of the fish. It harbours insects, gives cover and shade and where there is weed, you will find fish.

Look carefully for holes in the weed and attack these. Put bait in and then possibly fish over the bait with a float perhaps.

You will often find weed-free areas closer in to the bank, especially under overhanging trees where the light can’t reach. Fish will love these areas, especially if there is clean gravel or sand. […]

Dear John – Why do some lakes ban braid?

Good question, and here’s my explanation for why: […]

Bailey’s Basics – Bait Bucket Magic

I’m a great one for the sloppiest, smelliest bait buckets that you can imagine. I think if it comes to crucian carp, tench, rudd and even mirror and common carp, scent, colour and variety can really pay dividends. […]

Bailey’s Basics: Balanced Baits for Tench

This is the first in a new series of ‘How to’ posts, written by John Bailey about a variety of angling topics, which we hope you will find useful.  If you try them out and have success, we’d love to hear all about it on our Facebook page!

You can have a swim in front of you bubbling like a cauldron, absolutely full of tench feeding hard but you can still sit there fishless. Why is that? […]

Dear John – Turn off that ratchet!!

(aka….the clickety clack centrepin)

In lots of the episodes so far in the series we’ve seen John and our ‘Peters’ fishing with a centrepin reel. For most of these children it’s been the first time they’ve ever used this kind of reel and, without exception, they’ve loved it and added it to their tackle wish-list.

When we were filming, the sound of the ratchet became one of our favourites and came to mean something very special. Latterly, as viewers, the ratchet has at times been undeniably loud – of course when they’re playing a fish the reel is held close to the mic so it’s amplified, and it’s lead to some discussion on line – our favourite being #ratchettime on twitter. 

As with all things, there’s a practical reason for the ratchet, and here’s John’s explanation: […]

Dear John, why did you take the rod from Sam in Episode 1?

In episode one – Tench – there’s an early morning sequence where Sam and John visit a channel between two lakes to fish for tench. It’s a beautiful swim, full of lily pads and spooky tench and John has high hopes that it might deliver a decent fish for Sam.

Sam strikes into a fish, and it looks like a really good size tench, but the fish disappears into the lilies. John takes the rod from Sam to attempt to ease the fish out – sadly the end result is that he loses it… the look on Sam’s face says it all! […]