To kick off the new Manning’s Fishing Tackle blog we’d like to introduce you to one of our long standing customers and blogger, Stu Harris! Happy reading all!
Stu Harris has been a customer of Mannings for a good number of years. Stu has fished the local beaches, piers, creeks, lakes and rivers for some
30 years and has built quite a reputation as a great catcher of fish. Flitting from one genre to another he has settled in recent years upon coarse angling, with carp his favourite quarry and stalking them his number 1 choice of tactic.
Fairly recently Stu made a very significant change in his fishing, prompted by his deep interest of the history of angling. He chose to follow the path of the anglers he read about in so many books, anglers from a classic era when angling, and carp angling most notably, was in its infancy. These pioneers of yesteryear, known as The Carp Catchers Club, moulded and shaped the sport as we know it today.
Stu took this interest a step further than research, the inspiration he found among musty old books prompted him to swap his modern kit for vintage kit, the very same kit used 60 years previously, rods of split cane, centrepin reels, the first of the fixed spools. His attire changed too, from a Korda beanie and fleece hoodie to a flat cap, cords and woven country shirts. He’s even been known on occasion to wear a tie angling, such is the eccentricity he’s adopted.
The switch has been quite revolutionary, for with it has come a certain maturity, a coming of age if you will, no longer are fish just numbers, no longer is a blank day seen as failure, no longer is it all about the catching of fish. But that’s the interesting bit, even though a certain handicap has been thrust upon him, with squeaky reels, heavy wooden rods and unwieldy bamboo net handles, he still manages to catch just as many fish as he always has. Which obviously proves that having all the modern wizardry associated with the sport today isn’t actually a necessity. It’s more about your mindset and how you apply it to your angling.
That said, there are certain things he simply cannot give up, it would be bad angling to do so. For example, if it’s a long session he is to embark upon, perhaps at legendary Redmire Pool or similar, he’ll never leave home without his beloved Shoreline Baits Sausage Oil GLM Boilies, he’s caught on them everywhere he’s taken them and are a key player in his biggest asset, confidence. Rig technology too, although fairly simple, will also not be compromised, especially if a rig is to be left out overnight.
Aside from these things though, Stu comes into his own when creeping stealthily around stalking, being quiet, being one step ahead of the carp, and this fascinating method of up close and personal carping has accounted for many great fish from a great many waters. Early misty autumn mornings, late summer evenings and even mild winter afternoons, you’ll usually bump into Stu, rod in hand seducing something scaly on one of the local pools.
Ever the allrounder too, in the Winter Stu loves to trot the Itchen for grayling using floats he hand crafts himself, he’ll be chasing big perch on a number of waters including the mighty Thames where his current best stands at over 4lbs. In spring, just as the first of the pads appear he’ll be watching a tiny orange tipped quill whilst trying to tempt a leathery tench, or hit those infuriating crucian bites. Big roach are also targeted, a 2lber being a target he is yet to realise.
So with all this in mind it’s little wonder we’ve teamed up with Stu, we asked if he’d enlighten our blog with some of his ramblings, musings, knowledge and thoughts. A published author and regular angling magazine contributor he knows a thing or two about telling fishing stories, and also runs his own popular and well received blog and his Facebook page ‘The Sweetcorn Kid’ too has a large following. We are looking forward to Stu’s first instalment, hopefully the first of many.