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THE ULTIMATE ANGLING BUCKET LIST

7DoHoXxkA

was good to be back in

was good to be back in the car for the long drive home, with bright red faces struggling to stay awake as the heater blasted out at full bore. That is the grand sum total of my grayling experience. Limited in the extreme, but in some respects to be envied I'm sure. So it would be foolish of me to say anything regarding tactics for grayling. What I can do however is have an opinion on other related matters and offer that instead. These are magnificent fish. They fight well, are obliging both on bait and on the fly, and offer themselves as a worthy challenge for those times when other game fish species are for reasons of spawning seasons, off limits. Why then are they so blatantly looked down upon in the way that they are, and why are they still classed in some circles as coarse fish. True, they spawn at the same time as coarse fish, which is what allows them to be fished for when trout and salmon are seasonally off limits, and at any time at all in Scotland where coarse fish have no close season at all. At the same time, they possess an adipose fin which makes them a salmonid species. Yet on the southern chalk streams where they are regarded as vermin, they were regularly removed by all means possible and knocked on the head, supposedly to improve the brown trout prospects, though this has been shown not to be the case. An attitude that has only recently started to change thanks to persuasive pressure from the grayling society. CHAR Salvelinus alpinus Bucket List status – result Because char in the British Isles present themselves as stunted relict populations confined to deeper cooler lakes, identification gets a bit of a kick start here by virtue of the fact that only certain waters contain them, all of which, except for perhaps a few in the wilds of Scotland, are already known. Elsewhere, particularly to the south of Cumbria, except for a couple of populations in the Snowdonia region of Wales, they simply aren't present, unless introduced as a novelty by stillwater fly fishery owners which does happen from time to time. Under normal circumstances then, in natural situations, identification is a case of is the fish a brown trout or is it a char. Wild trout with their golden flanks and black and red spots rule themselves out immediately. In breeding livery, char are bright vermilion red on their belly up on to their lower flanks. This fades gradually once the spawning period is over, leaving the fish a dark greenish grey on the back and flanks, with a generous covering of pinkish white spots. The clincher however are the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins, all of which are very obviously red in colour with a prominent white stripe along their leading edge. When I was a kid, I saved up my pocket money and bought myself a copy of the Observers Book Freshwater Fishes. In it was this mystical species, the arctic char, which at that time was thought to be 364

around one hundred and forty or so separate species, one for each of the different lakes around the British Isles known to contain them. As you'll see from reading elsewhere in this book, I don't have a lot of time or respect for the British Record Fish Committee as a collective, though I do have for certain individuals on the committee, not the least of which it's chairman Mike Heylin. To their credit however, the BRFC was responsible (in part at least) for having a closer look at this ridiculous char speciation situation, and for once taking a common sense decision by lumping all the so-called different species together under the single heading of Salveninus alpinus, the arctic char, and rightly so. Although there are both physical as well as spawning differences between populations, these has come about purely through geographical isolation since the parent stock stopped running back to the sea as their Arctic cousins to the north of Britain still do. In the British Isles they were prevented from undertaking these migrations by elevated temperatures several thousand years ago after the glaciers retreated, leaving both char and whitefish stranded as post glacial relict's in the cooler water still available below the thermocline in deep glacial ribbon lakes which thermally stratify during the warmer summer months. So, we're talking here of slight differences brought about by adaptation, and not a hundred and forty or so different char species initially running the rivers of Britain and Ireland, with one ending up in each different lake. This however doesn't mean that given more time, these differences won't become more pronounced leading perhaps to sub-speciation, or eventually even full species separation, as evidenced by the effects of geographical isolation elsewhere in the world driven on by evolutionary adaptation. If that is, UK char can manage to survive the current increase in global temperatures, plus creeping urbanisation, the result of which is often eutrophication or nutrient enrichment, adding extra pressure to populations already teetering on the brink. A lot of work has been done, and continues to be done, in completing an accurate representation of char as a species in the British Isles. Splits within populations in terms of feeding and breeding strategies are constantly being discovered, particularly in Scotland by scientists working at the Fascally lab near Pitlochry, one of whom, and a friend of mine, was ferox trout specialist and char researcher Ron Greer before he retired. A good practical example of this comes from the southern Phill Williams, Coniston Char most English Lakes of Windermere and Coniston, which are currently in Cumbria, but when I first fished them for char back in the early 1970's, were still a part of Lancashire until we had them stolen from us in the 1974 county boundary reorganisation. In fact, some of the older char fishermen at Coniston still regard themselves as Lancashire folk, but that's another story. 365

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    1

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    THE ACTUAL BUCKET LIST 100 species

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    Colin Penny: skipper of the Weymout

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS Page The Actual B

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    Long Rough Dab 153 Turbot 154 Brill

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    Introduction to the Gobies 251 Blac

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    Bitterling 322 Gudgeon 323 Bleak 32

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    Spain 479 Thailand 479 Tunisia 484

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    As always, with any sort of ambitio

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    Working in conjunction with these i

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    viviparous reproduction, and the me

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    possible, use a landing net, and th

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    Only when a world record claim was

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    pectorals, with the second dorsal d

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    The harbour itself completely dries

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    Nor can weights be estimated by usi

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    shark and porbeagle exploits, all o

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    Mincing also makes demands on the m

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    Plymouth and some of the surroundin

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    That however isn't the entire story

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    Mark Ward, 71 pound Norfolk Tope I

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    off around Shell Wharf to the south

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    Network (SSACN), and it was on thes

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    COMMON SMOOTHHOUND Mustelus mustelu

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    But you would be wrong. Because exp

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    There are lots of good smoothhound

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    But it was a long hard fought campa

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    The object of the exercise was to c

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    LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISH Scyliorhinus

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    One of the few occasions when I can

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    When they were more numerous than t

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    With its recent history, can there

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    Getting back to the history of thos

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    Ross Johnson, skate from the shore

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    From the shore, obviously, it won't

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    I remember one particular fish that

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    have a lot to do with numbers, dist

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    That said, I have on occasion been

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    I once took a bucket full of live m

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    With fast tides, a profusion of ban

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    igger than ten pounds, then it's a

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    Spotted Rays also lack rough prickl

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    A strikingly beautiful fish which e

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    An occasional specimen might even t

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    Most of the time we spent fishing i

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    Another of those at best rarely rep

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    A much smaller fish of more souther

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    As with all species, and for a rang

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    Our first trips didn't exactly ligh

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    etween Christmas and the last big t

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    The Fylde would fish best after a b

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    Muppets too began to appear in a ra

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    own boat over there to fish the rou

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    Colouration and lateral line are tw

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    Deep diving plugs too, providing th

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    pollack have a protruding lower jaw

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    The upper flanks and back have been

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    From my own experience, certainly f

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    photograph of a whiting he'd caught

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    s monofilament to help eliminate se

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    fishermen, presented as a flapper,

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    mouth is noticeably dark. There can

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    LING Molva molva Bucket List status

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    Mac McAllister, Whitby Ling Now, th

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    GREATER FORKBEARD Phycis blennoides

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    In common with all the rocklings, t

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    SHORE ROCKLING Gaidropsarus mediter

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    I used to tag along to collect dise

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    As with the more familiar flounder

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    fish, little realising that they we

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    Though it was still very early in t

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    A fish with a distribution potentia

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    aits, and a tiny sliver of squid or

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    e enough to push them right out wit

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    Hooks obviously can be bigger where

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    He also uses this description for t

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    I spent some time chatting to Paul

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    fin extending right around to the h

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    Whatever the reason, it did actuall

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    From the shore it's slightly differ

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    161 And if you are not holding your

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    MEGRIM Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis B

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    Colouration is brown with some dark

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    Dan Burrows, Fleetwood Because of m

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    Where there are still a few bass le

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    ecruitment in the face of imminent

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    As ever, there was always the dange

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    The EU is relying on existing enfor

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    The total reduction in fishing mort

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    south, as it is a common enough fis

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    A fish with a large mouth and power

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    weaning these otherwise algae graze

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    spots, and put in the time both swi

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    Ollie Stenning, 8.7.4 Thin Lip reco

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    Despite living nearby in Hampshire,

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    Simply fold the pectoral fin forwar

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    Otherwise, a family of fishes of vi

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    epeated off the Yorkshire coast. Ye

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    were forced to remove their fightin

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    So far as I can ascertain, this is

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    different scales starting at the gi

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    everywhere as was once the case. Wi

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    Quite an unusual visitor to our pat

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    Four of us we were drift fishing a

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    Physically, the almaco is a slightl

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    Already we are seeing that, not onl

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    the end of the trip, still with no

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    I've had it happen to me on more th

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    What clinched that line of thinking

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    much stronger sharper hooks, and bu

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    Mike Thrussell, Gilthead Bream I ha

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    BOGUE Boops boops Bucket List statu

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    AXILLARY BREAM Pagellus acarne Buck

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    Caught out, instead of reversing th

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    The biggest of the four was put at

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    So there I am winding in, certain I

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    CUCKOO WRASSE Labrus mixtus Bucket

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    For deliberately targeting them, th

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    The scientific wisdom suggests it t

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    As is the trend with most of the gu

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    In this particular case however, re

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    Although I've never caught one myse

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    So you can expect to see them in mo

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    The knock on effect would also sign

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    Phill Williams, Shad on fly Unusual

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    THE GOBIES Potentially quite a larg

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    Colouration varies between reddish

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    TOMPOT BLENNY Parablennius gattorug

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    BLACK FACED BLENNY Tripterygion del

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    A very dark blue-grey fish over its

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    If it's a conger, the eye will be l

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    Yes, conger can be a handful. Dange

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    to make a short flowing 10/0 hook t

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    Anyway, a good hour went by without

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    More recently, that trend has given

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    A fish well capable of weights well

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    eam covered in a mosaic of heavy sc

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    Trigger fish are not overly demandi

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    Distribution extends throughout all

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    exaggerated long filaments stretchi

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    sometimes lighter vertical bars on

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    GREATER WEEVER Trachinus draco Buck

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    SHORT SPINED SEA SCORPION Myoxoceph

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    The anal fin follows a similar patt

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    Colouration is sandy brown with a s

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    By far the biggest numbers I have e

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    RED BAND FISH Cepola rubescens Buck

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    FIFTEEN SPINED STICKLEBACK Spinchia

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    After spawning, the adults drop bac

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    So not a likely repeat prospect for

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    As for mirrors, commons, leathers a

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    That was it. We would film a demons

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    Granted, Richard Walker was from a

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    Anglers however tend to have mixed

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    It took us some searching to locate

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    RUDD Scardinius erythrophthalmus Bu

  • Page 313 and 314: Match anglers love them too, as all
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  • Page 317 and 318: BARBEL Barbus barbus Bucket List st
  • Page 319 and 320: In addition to that, Mike also had
  • Page 321 and 322: More towards the back-end however,
  • Page 323 and 324: Looking at recent reports of catch
  • Page 325 and 326: Let's start with the feel of the fi
  • Page 327 and 328: distances on a regular basis to fis
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  • Page 331 and 332: Phill Williams, small Zander locati
  • Page 333 and 334: Not exactly a fish to set the world
  • Page 335 and 336: Dave and Paul went straight for the
  • Page 337 and 338: For a whole range of reasons you co
  • Page 339 and 340: Let's also not lose sight of the fa
  • Page 341 and 342: You only have to look at the wider
  • Page 343 and 344: villa I stayed in. Using worms boug
  • Page 345 and 346: THREE SPINED STICKLEBACK Gasteroste
  • Page 347 and 348: Included in the adipose finned spec
  • Page 349 and 350: Other boats also came ashore with s
  • Page 351 and 352: Theoretically, a very straight forw
  • Page 353 and 354: particular tenkara fly fishing come
  • Page 355 and 356: A scale count from the adipose fin
  • Page 357 and 358: Living in a three dimensional world
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  • Page 361 and 362: Colouration is typically dark green
  • Page 363: In Grayling circles, I have to say
  • Page 367 and 368: across the lake, and would therefor
  • Page 369 and 370: There were certainly less fish abou
  • Page 371 and 372: One day, Bob Fitchie and I decided
  • Page 373 and 374: Inspired by Wally's catch, John and
  • Page 375 and 376: PART TWO BEYOND HOME WATERS THE CAT
  • Page 377 and 378: Cape Cod is a venue where bass in t
  • Page 379 and 380: The obvious problem was that Dave,
  • Page 381 and 382: FLORIDA - BISCAYNE CANAL When I fis
  • Page 383 and 384: So why go to the trouble of fishing
  • Page 385 and 386: It's just a pity that the hundred o
  • Page 387 and 388: This is controlled by a single lock
  • Page 389 and 390: idea was that as the light faded, t
  • Page 391 and 392: You could drop a live mullet or blu
  • Page 393 and 394: Having fished there on a number of
  • Page 395 and 396: getting access to big fish too for
  • Page 397 and 398: and reels supplied on-board, which
  • Page 399 and 400: Paul Bennett hooked up a huge snapp
  • Page 401 and 402: As one local party boat angler put
  • Page 403 and 404: The entrance can get quite busy wit
  • Page 405 and 406: Each morning at breakfast we would
  • Page 407 and 408: 407 What we had not expected was ei
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  • Page 411 and 412: The fishing itself was straight for
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    Smaller asp on the other hand tend

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    also run this river in their millio

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    Surprisingly, for the size of these

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    Eventually it appeared within reach

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    On one occasion, as soon as I touch

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    shark, which, along with a fish I h

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    fixed spool reels. Fortunately we h

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    As it would turn out, this was the

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    A stretch of land separated from th

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    The food was very nice. Fresh lobst

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    What you needed to do was cast as f

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    He in turn blamed the local lads on

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    against the concrete above us and h

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    The one remaining option was to go

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    More important still, so too were t

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    Our problem was catching the necess

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    Unfortunately, everything seemed to

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    was emptied, carried to us by scant

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    me there from Calangute where I was

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    In less than half an hour it was mi

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    said, as I'm not one for aimlessly

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    This happened a couple more times b

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    inside edge of the reef. As the sto

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    limited time, we were satisfied, an

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    Phill Williams, Puerto Vallarta Jac

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    Some days he would even walk into t

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    Were it not for the many bite-offs,

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    Gurnards very similar to our tub gu

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    Cod though were always the number o

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    up into the jungle. So late in fact

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    As was often the case, the chat wen

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    things turned out, it was nothing o

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    SPAIN I've only ever been to mainla

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    These eventually turned out to be f

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    In terms of approach, we used a ver

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    PART THREE INDIVIDUAL TARGETS THE C

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    Dove-tailing very nicely into this

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    I suggested in my representations,

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    Fortunately, most of the recorded s

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    not mentioned in this section of th

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    Opportunities to realistically and

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    Hamish Currie is the only home wate

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    through holes in bushes, around sub

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    to adjust the working depth, depend

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    One of the recorded audio interview

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    Wels Catfish - now excluded from th

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    Okay, so you can access much of it

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    With this mind we motored off down

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    As a sort of prediction as well as

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    Phill Williams & Johan Burger with

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    Let's look at the pro's and con's o

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    It may surprise some people here wh

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    kayaks tied up to some of the buoys

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    Because of the geography involved,

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    I even tried bottom fishing with sm

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    PART FOUR OTHER STUFF PERIFERAL & H

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    magnetometer behind the boat as the

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    Luckily, Pete had installed a bilge

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    But endless pages of print unfortun

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    And now here we are with the bucket

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    with no relevant qualifications, I

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    Deformed surviving Tope Most other

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    you dip the sampling can in at the

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    acteria feeding on it, or other inp

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    separate bucket for reintroduction

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    RESIDS 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.10 2 3

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    An asteroid impact 66 million years

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    As a point of balance, I should als

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    a vested financial interest in mopp

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    Podcast Interview 8: Graeme Pullen,

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    Podcast Interview 33: Zyg Gregorek,

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    Podcast Interview 55: Dave Beecham,

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    Podcast Interview 74: Justin Anwyl

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    Podcast Interview 95: Sven Hille, B

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    shore, and a 1000 pound fish from a

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    Podcast Interview 134: Mike Heylin,

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    Podcast Interview 155: Ally Gowans,

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    Podcast Interview 176: Terry Mosele

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    his job had to fish with many of th

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    Smoothhound at surface: Photo Phill

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    Dave Devine Haddock trio: Photo Phi

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    Gibraltar harbour: Photo Phill Will

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    Anchovy: Photo Phill Williams. Phil

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    Grass Carp: Photo Bill Rushmer. Vir

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    Char in breeding livery: Photo Phil

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    Danny Cove 200 pound Stingray: Phot

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    My angling hero & mentor, Davy Agne

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    The Lesser Spotted curse: Photo Phi