Friday, 16 January 2009

UK coarse fishing: An online angling community

Welcome to the UK coarse fishing blog. It has been set-up by a UK coarse fishing enthusiast for other anglers to come and swap fishy tales, learn and share fishing knowledge and advice etc, post their catches with film and photos, get fishery run-downs and plenty more besides that.

I will regularly add new content to the UK coarse fishing blog in an attempt to bring you other UK coarse fishing enthusiasts lots of sound knowledge, tips, help and advice.

For the UK coarse fishing blog to work properly it needs the input of the angling community. I.E you!

You can post all you want here, as long as it's related to UK coarse fishing and it's legal! Get started and become a part of the community by posting:

  • Fishing related questions

  • Comments

  • Tales of past and recent UK coarse fishing captures

  • Coarse fishing pictures

  • Fishing video files (your own or via YouTube©)

  • UK Coarse fishing match results (all levels)

  • Coarse fishing tips

  • Where to get cheap fishing tackle

  • Upcoming UK coarse fishing matches

In fact, just about anything UK coarse fishing related is welcome here. I just ask that you refrain from using "blue" language. There's no need for it and youngsters are liable to read the blog. So thanks in advance for your taking notice.

So what of the man behind the blog?
Is he a famous face?
More to the point, is he any good at coarse fishing?
Who is he to be dolling out advice on coarse fishing anyway?

My name is Lee Churchill and I have been fishing for around 17 years now. I was introduced to the UK coarse fishing scene by my dear old grandad, Alf Churchill. He used to take me up on the River Lea at Picketts lock. We'd catch small Roach and Perch and I loved it. There was something magical about that dirty old stretch of canal, conveniently located within a few hundred feet of the local sewage plant. That place stunk to high heaven. Especially when it was hot!

I went on to join the Edmonton and Tottenham angling society, of which my grandad is the chairman. I used to stay over at my grandads house the night before a club match and we'd spend hours making rigs and preparing for the next days fishing.

Looking back, didn't really do him much good.....;-)

Then be up at around 5am the following morning to meet the double decker bus that the club hired to deliver both us and our fishing tackle to the bi-weekly club outings. We'd fish rivers, canals and lakes up and down the country.
The junior section was fairly small, never more than a dozen or so. However, as my fishing skills progressed, I won most outings and picked up a good few trophys along the way. The most memorable of which was the London anglers association Thames championship. Dickie Carr presented me with my trophy and to me, back then, he was a legend!

I also joined the Enfield junior league, run by a certain Eddie Williams, aka Eddie the animal! What an absolute legend. I remember once we were practicing for the London youth games on the Regents canal and some fella on a motorbike kept flying up and down the towpath behind us with little, or no, regard for our pole sections. Anyhow, Eddie soon had enough. He calmy unshipped his pole and waited for the next arrival of 'Evil Knieval'. As I looked to my right I saw the 100 or so cc of motorbike hurtling toward us and watched Eddie, best part of 60 years old and 5ft tall, stand up. A few seconds past and the man on the bike took a full right hander to the side of the head at around 30mph! He then proceeded to zig-zag his way past the next 3 swims, narrowly missing my team-mates and finally past me. His face was an absolute picture, we made eye contact and I could just tell he was thinking "I wasn't expecting that to happen....". We all fell about laughing and It's an image I'm glad I have in my head because it always makes me laugh, even now!

I was usually top three on our weekly wednesday evening match at Ponders end on the River Lea. The place is stuffed with Bream but it's a rarity to bag up! The best weight I ever had was 2 Bream for just over 8lb. But, it was fishing these matches that got me noticed for a place in the London youth games. We fished a venue in Crystal palace on a scorching hot day and the lake didn't fish well at all. I ended up fishing chopped worm and managed 7lb of mainly Perch, boosted a little by a 1lb Tench. I actually lost a good Skimmer on the waggler right at the last knockings that would have put me second. Oh well, never mind....

Shortly after this time, I kind of found out what my maggot was really for! That pretty much stopped my fishing career going anywhere as I didn't grace a bank for around 3 years.

Today, I can hold my own at club level, but really just love coarse fishing in general. I often just take a rod, a small bag for bait and a few terminal bits and just have 3-4 hours fishing for Barbel on a backstream of the river Ouse in Bedford. I've had nothing bigger than 7lb but they're great fun. Especially on a stick float with 3lb line.

Another example would be that I just take an extremely light carp outfit and go to Brookfield lake in Cheshunt. It's a reasonably hard fishery and one side is members only. These guys have literally thousands of pounds worth of kit, even the contents of their bait tables are worth more than my whole Brookfield outfit!

I'd simply take a John Wilson Barbel type rod, a couple of qtr-ounce bombs, a Shimano Aero match reel loaded with 6lb line, a pack of size 8 hooks, landing net, mat and a tin of Spam. In 7 visits I had 12 Carp between 12 and 20lb A friend fished with me and also enjoyed similar catches. But, in all those sessions I only ever witnessed one fish caught by another angler! We basically found a hotspot and a bait that was simple but effective as the venue is hammered with Boilies. I remember one session I turned up at around 4pm, Spent 2 minutes setting up, threw in a few bit of meat and cast out. Exactly opposite me was a fella that had clearly been sitting there all day without a sniff. Poor sod. Within 3 minutes of getting there I was into my first Carp. They go well on a heavy feeder rod and six pound line, but Brookfield being a fairly snag free venue helps. In that session I had 3 Carp upto 18lb and I was home by six!

What I am trying to say is that my experience of UK coarse fishing is varied, with a bias towards match fishing. I claim to be no better or worse than anyone else that uses the UK coarse fishing blog. So to that extent, I look forward to receiving your future contributions no matter what your skill level or favourite brand of tackle might be.

All the best and tight lines,

Lee Churchill


  1. For a coarse fishing fanatic, you're actually pretty funny....

    Avid fly-fisherman

  2. That sounds just like the Eddie Williams I used to know!! Please tell me he had a Keats removal lorry or something like that?? He must be dead by now surely! Mind you, he was quite a good match angler in his time. Could drink a pint of lager without swallowing too. Animal, yep. It's him alright. I knew him years ago, from my local. Tight lines mate!