Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Now We Are 1 !!!

Idlers Quest is now one year old!

Hip HIp!


Come on...


F^@& O££!

That's the spirit!

On 24th August 2008, after ten years of dedicated bass angling in the sparkling brine of the Essex coast ( yes, sparkling is what it is despite all your misconceptions about Essex) I made my first faltering steps into the muddy, murky world of river fishing in the Midlands.

My first faltering step saw me enter into the river spirit in a way too direct way (check first ever post) and I lost two cherished fishing hats in the process - it was some kind of baptism, I guess they had to go, as they stank of salt.

Here's my top ten cherished fishy moments from the last year ~

1. Capture of roach that misses the two pound mark by a measly ounce, on huge lobworm, only bite in many hours and from frozen canal, snow on ground, frostbitten tootsies and fingers that resemble a bunch of milk ice lollies after undergoing the protracted ritual of measurement and trophy snap that such a fish deserves. Personal best by a mile, it does not get better than this...

2. Has to be capture of personal best chub of 5lb 9oz from the Severn at Montford Bridge. Fish came the day after a long, long, blank night session, fought like a demon, almost had me beaten then rolled over the net, me with heart in mouth, and was duly weighed, snapped and returned. A beautiful fish and one that played me as hard as I played it!

3. For sheer fun value (and personal fishing demon exorcism value) it has to be the return to form experienced just a few weeks ago on the Avon at Anchor Meadow with Kev and Kate, Molly and Judy. Libations and exhortations to the Gods of the Avon result in a PB barbel of nine pounds exact. My angling skills have absolutely nothing to do with it...

4. During a mad two hours fishing in the midst of a shoal of ferociously hungry barbel on the Avon at Anchor meadow, Judy has to take over one rod. Actually she doesn't have to, but insists. She baits the hook, casts, sets the rod up and gets the bite, strikes, hooks and plays her first ever completely self caught barbel! And without any prior experience! This is going on as I play a barbel of my own, have to land hers first whilst still hooked up and then she reciprocates and lands mine in the same net. Top Stuff!

She has the trophy picture on her wall at work, and it gets the jealous male attention it deserves, of course! but, she has not fished since.....

5. Falling in the Avon at Guys Cliffe on my first day. I went in over my head, lost my hat, lost my cool entirely, but laughed my head off at my foolishness. I learned a lesson and decided no float was worth it, no matter how pretty!

6. Losing a huge barbel to a tackle disaster on the Avon at Anchor Meadow. This happening, avoidable certainly, set me back for ages. It's the anglers fault when any fish is lost to tackle failure - it shouldn't happen, but it does, and it happens to the best and the worst of us. The worst don't much care, the best are devastated. I'd like to think that my devastation was a measure of my angling sensibilities, but, to this day I think it was an accurate measure of my stupidity...

7. The capture of a personal best Ruffe on the Coventry Canal at Longford. Keith Jobling was witness to this epic fish. It was mahussive. I should have weighed it but had not the scales for the job of measuring ounces, divisions thereof, and grams. I should have mustered something suitable from the local drugs baron to do the fish the justice it deserved, for it must have been a record in the making!

8. Up from London, my mate John's captures of personal bests for pike, perch and chub. He can't believe how good the fishing is up here and nor can I ! All these fish were captured on expeditions organised by myself and to places of my choosing - always a risky venture, promising good fishing...

9. Kev's face after catching his barbel. He has had two now and both were those very rare creatures indeed, those around the pound in weight mark that very few barbel anglers ever encounter. Extraordinarily, neither fell to small fish tactics but were captured by orthodox barbel tactics - large legered baits!

10. A Winters day straight out of Narnia, on the Avon at Bretford. The frost dusted everything in sight, it was ravishingly beautiful, still and unearthly quiet. My crappy phone photos do no justice to it, I'm afraid.The fishing was slow and the cold severe, but I had some chub and enjoyed every last second of it. Astonishing weather and I had it all to myself, the sane were safely locked up in their warm prisons...

And, because my amp knobs go to all the way past ten, to eleven...

11. The huge pike that appeared in the canal one day, that I like to think followed my lure but probably didn't. It was the biggest fish I have ever seen swimming, thirty pounds easily and probably nearer forty. What a colossus of a fish!

© Jeff Hatt 2009 All Rights Reserved


  1. Congratulations on your blog's first birthday, long may it continue !
    Sounds like you've had an eventful year, I'm glad to hear that the canal pike is still growing !

    Regards Steve

  2. Hurrah to your blog and all who sail upon here! Glad to of been part of it and look forward to many more fabled outings!