Wednesday, 18 September 2013


I was asked today (at work) if I'd ever eaten dog biscuits.  I replied "yes" - and even before the time we had a dog! It reminded me of a childhood fishing event that I still remember and need to blog about, in case I ever forget it.

Years ago I used to go coarse fishing with my brother and his mate, my brother is 4 years younger than me.  I must have been about 14 at the time, maybe a bit older, maybe a bit younger...Anyway, I was a bit of a tomboy (sometimes) and go fishing, play 'heads and volleys' in the local park and pinch veg from the local gardens to make a 'stew' on someones camping stove (but that's another story).

I was quite into coarse fishing, my brother got me into it - and before I knew it we were watching John Wilson's Go Fishing buying Coarse Fishing magazine

I found it relaxing, setting up the rod, the line, choosing the float and weights to attach, adding the bait, casting into the pond and waiting...watching for the nibbles, and the bites and picking the right time to strike (to hook the fish).  I was just a bit rubbish at landing the fish, that's the bit when you've got your rod in one hand, a landing net in the other and need to scoop the fish up without hurting it.  Once landed, I was alright with removing the hook (we always used barbless) and putting it into the keepnet until hometime (when we'd count them up and let them go).

I also liked experimenting with different baits: sweetcorn, luncheon meat, cheese, bread, maggots, dog biscuits (which is what triggered this memory) and making up groundbait to catapult into the water and attract the fish to my hook.

Image from: (bait we used for fishing)

But most of all I loved to organise my tackle box (that's not a euphemism) each item of fishing kit had it's own special place in the tackle box, and if it didn't fit - it had it's own storage box: hooks, lead shot, hook extractors, floats, bait containers.  I didn't have a proper fixing seat-box, so I used an old wicker basket which we picked up from a jumble sale.  I loved it. (Mine was always much tidier than this)

We'd go fishing on a Saturday morning after we'd been to the tackle shop in town for maggots (we always bought maggots) and my dad would drop us off somewhere, often a pond at Streetlam, just outside Northallerton, which was nice and quiet.

Anyway, back to this story...On one such occasion, just me my brother and Joth (that was his nickname) went fishing, had had a good day and started packing up - for when my dad came to pick us up (he moaned if he had to sit around waiting for us).  And we started getting rid of the bait that wouldn't keep (mainly the maggots).  This time, instead of tipping them into the pond my brother decided to catapult them into the water, and then decided to catapult some at me.  At the time I didn't mind, I shouted at him, but I wasn't frightened of them, I could shake them off my coat and as long as I didn't swallow them - I could put up with a shower of maggots.

What I didn't like was on the way home in the car feeling a tickling in my belly button and finding a maggot - I picked it out, chucked it out of the window and screeched at my brother, who found it highly amusing, and yes I did deck him in when we got home.

As an aside, I remember my brother's friend Andy once got a barbed fishing hook caught in his mouth or eyebrow, I wasn't there that time, but I remember my brother telling us the story and crying with laughter.

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