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Family Fishing Fun

Tales from the riverbank

My name is Jim and I have been a Member of ATAA for three years now and I have just renewed my membership for the coming 2019 season.

Last year I also joined my then 7 year old twins Sofia and Oliver as Junior Members which unbelievably is free until they are 12 years old.

I did this because they had been coming fishing with me to watch and learn but were now increasingly shooting me the “can have a go daddy” line so I thought we had better sort it out.

Through the 2018 season the three of us fished for trout all along the Wellow Brook from Wellow Ford all the way to Monkton School with great success.

Through Midford we had very good catches of rainbows of the usual size which were great sport with both Sofia and Oliver landing their first fish on the fly.

The look on each of their faces was priceless when they caught their first trout, both sporting beaming smiles and banking memory’s for a lifetime !

We caught trout off the top on mayfly which was electrifying and on days with tricky weather my good friend Nick tied us some of his special deadly shrimp pattern which never failed to deliver.

We enjoyed roaming to the remote areas of the Wellow and actually this is where we caught a few much larger rainbows and I lost a cracking big brown which came clear of the water to take a Mohican mayfly but sadly never stayed on long enough to make acquaintances with my net !

All in all it was a marvellous summer of fishing with my children and friends and fellow members Nick and Steve with sessions only interrupted by kingfishers, deer and butterfly’s.


As the trout season closed out we didn’t want the fishing to end and I pondered on what to do ?

A few days went by and it came to me:

Our club has the river Frome and I know there are pike in there because Sofia caught one of 6lb when she was reeling in a small chub the year before when I was showing the twins trotting for chub and roach.

So let’s try to catch a pike, they like cold weather and the coarse season is still open.

Bingo, we had a plan !


I didn’t know much about pike fishing having never caught one myself despite trying as a child while stood in the middle of Pulteney weir, not something I would recommend doing now as health and safety guidelines have changed quite a bit since 1975.

That said Sofia was happy to give me a few tips and Oliver also and I had caught a few seabass in Cornwall with surface lures during the summer so thought we would use that as a starting point.

Next weekend off we went, tackled up to catch a seabass in Iford but not a bit deterred by these minor details.

To my utter amazement we caught our first pike, a 5 pounder on our first trip out on a floating bass lure which looks like a sand eel.

The pike hit the lure so hard it cleared the water, in that moment we were hooked and so was the pike !

We landed the pike and gingerly unhooked her as though we were dealing with a saltwater crocodile, thank goodness for barbless hooks.

Over the next few weeks spurred on by our beginners luck, I genned up on pike fishing with lures and purchased a couple more to try.


We caught pike after pike running right up to new year and I even took a 4lb 3oz chub in January on a 115mm roach lure !

Not all of the pike were taken on the Frome as again we went roaming the ATAA waters and we had numerous fish on the Avon including a pair at 10lb 2oz and 12lb 7oz in one day.

The best of all though was when Sofia (now 8 years) took a pike of 18lb 2oz on the Frome on a surface lure in the Christmas break, what a fish !

Our pike results for 2018 are as follows:

Sofia: 2 x 6lb, 1 x10lb 3oz, 1 x 12lb 7oz, 1 x 18lb 2oz

Oliver: 1 x 1lb, 1 x 2lb, 1 x 3lb, 1 x 5lb

Jim: 1 x 6lb, 1 x 8lb, 1 x 9lb 9oz, 1 x10lb 2oz


If you are an ATAA member, I really recommend you explore all of the waters the ATAA holds and fish all year round for both game and course, its excellent value and outstanding fun especially when you introduce a child or two to the joy of fishing.

If you are thinking of joining the ATAA as a new member, do it, I can’t recommend it enough.

Tight lines !


Very best wishes,


James Williams

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