I joined Talk Angling about a month prior to getting back into the UK Match scene, I needed to find out what had changed after such a long break from the sport and I needed to be sure I wanted to go through all the trials and tribulations again.

I was listening to Talk Sport the day Wendy (Barbelqueen) was on there and up pops Lee Woodhouse talking to Keith about his charity auctions, I had a look through the forum and came across this auction Little did I know I was really bidding for a day out with the Midlands finest a day on the bank with two guys that could quite easily fit into the cast of One flew over the Cukoo's nest, anyway I put in a cheeky bid in the rest is history, and of course I now have to get back into it for real there is no more putting it off.

The day we choose is July 4th The Venue Barston Lakes, http://www.barstonlakes.co.uk/

I set off from Essex around 8.15 am with roughly a 2 hour drive, I should get there in time for 10.30, Now I have never met Lee before and only seen cartoon pics of Tony once again this is going to be a laugh finding two strangers especially as the memory I still have embedded in my mind is Lee looking like Beyonce and after that having his head shaved,

I arrive bang on 10.30 after getting lost in the country lanes, My sat nav sent me down a lane that was a dead end but one good thing came of it I now know Solihol quite well.

As I get out of the van I see two guys walking towards me I look at the older guy and his long flowing white locks and its definately Tony, a quick introduction and into the clubhouse to find Nigel and grab a coffee.

For those that have never visited the fishery its a beautiful place the kind of place you would associate with a stately home, very nice indeed, why on earth Nigel wants scruffy smelly anglers here amazes me.

Apparently we were supposed to meet at 9 am going on the description of Tony's A to Z he probably still uses a sun Dial for a clock and 9am was never going to happen .

We chat with Nigel for a while and he suggests we fish around pegs 113 to 117 so we drive to our pegs, priority treatment too, he gets the barrier lifted as they were re tarmaccing the car park especially for our visit, what a nice guy.

We argue about pegs like all good anglers do and finally drop in a swim, Basically me and Lee stitched up Tony and dropped him in the middle.

Lee was off and catching before I even got a rig on I eventually got my act together plumbed up and set off, its quite a shallow area around 4ft withg no no shelves, we had a nice ripple so it was pick a line and go for it
I put 3 balls in at 13 metres at 2 oclock and some chop and caster at 10 oclock, it took me quite a while to get anything other than perch but gradually the skimmers moved in, and they seem to come faster and faster with a good helping of pellets blasted around the float, the chop line was just a perch a chuck.

By this time Lee was bagging big time and I think Tony may even had chucked the feeder out, he decided to fish the feeder as it was easier to take pics it saved constant shipping down.

I was getting 12oz to a pound skimmers every chuck untill I caught a tree I managed to get this large branch to 6 metres before it done my hook length, after this disaster it took me ages to get the fish back and I felt even at the end they never really settled again.

I ended up with quite a nice weight for the 4 hours we fished and Lee had a very good bag , Tony managed to nick a few nice skimmers bordering on bream and had an excellent fight with a carp, he cast his feeder out and a carp took it before he could get his rod on the rest, sadly the hook length was no more, I wont go into the weights as Tony will no doubt cover that in the article.

We weighed in took a few pics and went back to the club house, Nigel met us back there and layed on a well needed beer and a lovely meal, we chatted for a while and Nigel had to go, well he said he had to go but only 30 seconds after he left I heard someone belting out staying alive the old BeeGee's number in the function room next door, Maybe Nigel has other passions apart from fishing as it seemed to much of a coincedence.

Sadly we had to go our seperate ways, its a long drive back, I had my gear to sort for the morning and it was looking like a 10pm return if the traffic was good.

I would just like to say thanks to Lee for Organising this day, Tony for just being Tony what a great guy, and Nigel our host and a very good one at that, it was a super day and worth every penny.

I cant wait to see the pics

And I will add some to this in the week

JC