Chris Shute is a member of Team Pallatrax.He joined us to share some of his fishing tales for our ‘An Interview with’ series:
How often do you fish and what do you fish for?
Due to having a young family and a full time job, my angling time is restricted to mainly weekend angling, when I grab quick nights and the occasional 24/48hr sessions. I predominantly target Carp, however I love spending time reliving my youth wandering the banks of the middle and lower reaches of the Bristol Avon in pursuit of Barbel and Chub.
I love nothing better than targeting low stocked waters, where the unknown and mystery adds to the thrill of pitting my wits against the targeted quarry. However due to limited time, I need to make the most of my time when I get it, putting my all into planning and preparation to maximise my chances.
Give us some PB stats – what are you most proud of and why?
Personal bests, or achievements, are always special moments when they happen. What makes them even more special is being able to share and experience them with good company and friends, which looking back I have been fortunate enough, all bar one, to do.
My personal best UK Mirror of 37lb was one of these moments, arriving at a club lake late one Friday with a pre-determined plan and swim in mind. On the walk to the swim, I heard a familiar voice which turned out to be a very good friend, Dan, so I decided to ditch the plan and fish with him so we could catch up as hadn’t seen each other for some time. Another good friend, Rich, joined us that evening which turned out to be very special indeed when I had the queen of the pond resting in the net. If it hadn’t been for Dan being in his swim at the moment I walked by, I wouldn’t have had the chance to catch this special fish.
What are your earliest fishing memories? Who taught you?
My earliest fishing memories are probably the moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life, moments I often reflect on and feel how lucky I was to be exposed to them, or I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do now. I was very fortunate to have a couple of anglers in the family; the tales of how my late Granddad used to catch sharks off the back of his navy warship, along with photos of my Grandma holding giant salmon. It was however my uncle, Steve, who would give me my first taste at the age of seven on the local river. I was given a telescopic rod kit and taken to the Bristol Avon, where on my very first session caught three eels, with my uncle blanking! From this moment I was truly hooked and captivated with angling, the excitement and thrill of the unknown.
Over the years we fished rivers, canals and small ponds, other family members and friends taking me when we used to visit. My uncle Mike in Wales took me to canals, a close family friend, Paul, took me to his local pond in Manchester. As I grew older Uncle Steve and I would change from the small float fished maggot, to float fished mackerel, or roach for the king of the pond, the Pike.
I was also fortunate that my best friend, Chris, was also into his fishing, with his mum often taking us to the local club lake. It was this club lake I would truly become even more captivated. It was this old estate pond, sitting on my Granddad’s old wicker fishing basket, that I would discover the magical and mysterious carp.
Without the help from family and friends I don’t think I would have been privileged enough to experience the joys angling can bring, the sights you will only see at 4am as the sun is starting to rise with everyone else tucked up in their houses.
Is there anything in fishing that you haven’t done? What are your ambitions?
There are a few things that I can think of I’ve yet to experience, with plenty of aspiration to one day make them happen. The first on the list is to learn how to fly fish, followed by catching a Carp off the surface on the fly, along with fly fishing for pike.
Eventually, I would like to become an angling coach and help youngsters into fishing. Being able to help give something back to the sport and encourage youngsters to experience the moments I was fortunate enough to experience since becoming an angler.