Mike likes to be far from the madding crowd

Regular readers may have noticed, over the years, that I seldom mention the names or locations of the freshwater fisheries I visit, only those controlled by clubs with open membership.

Regular readers may have noticed, over the years, that I seldom mention the names or locations of the freshwater fisheries I visit, only those controlled by clubs with open membership.

Some of the clubs I've belonged to have a strict publicity bar and I cannot risk expulsion or endanger having my application to rejoin in the future refused.

I cannot abide popular day ticket lakes these days, with constantly bleeping bite alarms and anglers casting heavy weights to the opposite bank and parading around in full view of the fish.

So, I'm lucky that, I've made contact with and become friends of many farmers and landowners who have private lakes and stretches of river. It is these I fish most often in peace and quiet with the prolific wildlife - kingfishers, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and deer, amongst others.


You may also want to watch:


I never leave litter of any sort lying around. I always remember one evening when the owner strolled around his lake with the dog and came back with a glass bottle and a screwed up cigarette packet he found under a bush. He showed me and said "He ain't coming back!" I always leave a place as if I'd never been there.

I phone up before I go to ensure it is convenient and make a point of saying "thank you" as I leave. In many cases, the fishing is free or only a token fee is charged.

Most Read

I was pleasantly surprised that many of the owners missed me during the summer when I was in hospital and sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery and looked forward to seeing me back soon.

Right at the beginning, when I was seeking to fish, there was one common request "Please don't tell anyone you come here." I've never broken my word to abide by that.

Some of my best angling friends don't know of all the places I go fishing. But, on one occasion, a landowner said to me "I'm a salmon angler really, but there are some carp in my pond as big as 20 pound salmon. So far I've caught an 11lb carp from my pond. What is the carp record these days?" I replied "a 51 1/2 pounder caught by my friend Chris Yates." "Oh," he said "I'd like to shake the hand of the record holder."

So I got Chris to come down and we fished together for the day. I blanked, but Chris got a 14 pounder! Although Chris was told he could fish again, he's never been back. He's got plenty of 'secret angling boltholes' nearer home where I fish from time to time.

Having put in much time and effort to arrange to fish my 'secret boltholes' far from the madding crowds, I intend to keep them that way. Any angler intent on doing the same can arrange their own 'secret boltholes' if they haven't done so already!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus