We all know social media can be a blessing and a curse. Spending any amount of time reading some of the inane drivel on the Facebook fishing groups really can put me off.
And it’s a measure of the success and influence of Nash and Alan Blair’s Urban Banx series that has seen the format mercilessly copied across the ever growing numbers of carp fishing related channels on YouTube. Urban Banx is brilliant – a worthy modern day successor to A Passion for Angling I think – but if I see one more version of Budget Banx, complete with wobbly GoPro footage of someone sat by a pond in Air Max looking as though they’ve just been told their VW van has failed its MOT, I think I’ll cry.
Luckily, the angling bloggers challenge WhatsApp group has provided a regular healthy dose of reality, convivial piss taking and even the odd bit of inspiration.
The bloggers challenge is good fun and there are enough opportunities for me to gather a respectable points haul simply by changing where and what I fish for regularly, which is what I enjoy anyway.
I fluked a giant roach bream hybrid (50 points) in January from my local pool, keeping up a strange phenomenon of catching a personal best fish on my birthday. It was one of two bites on a bloody cold and, if I’m honest, bloody miserable mid-winter afternoon that was illuminated by a lovely, colorful mirror carp right on dusk.
I joined Russ for a far more enjoyable session on one of his fantastic canal venues a week later. Fishing with Russ is always a pleasure, a genuinely social affair. It’s never too serious and it’s nice to fish with someone like-minded. It was a lot milder too and Russ even thought a tench may make an appearance. He was right. I hooked one at the end of the day that absolutely ran me ragged before snapping me up. I’m itching to get back and have a go for them again as soon as the snow finally eases off. Luckily the predators were on the feed and I had a lovely pike and perch on the day – all valuable canal points for the challenge too.
I did manage a final few hours on the Wye too, but despite it being a mild day a rapidly rising, cold river put paid to a first river fish of 2018. Still, managed to get a few pics for the ‘gram!