In an attempt to avoid the dubious charms of a lady of the night (if indeed it was a woman!) I crossed the road at a point where roadworks were going on. Out of a hole in the road came a mud smeared creature in nothing but a pair of heavy boots, a singlet and a pair of shorts. Emblazoned across the front of the shirt were the words "I like my job" then in explanation, "It’s the dirt mate". I know just what that guy was saying as today I feel much the same. Our great new angling web-site has been hit by a series of gremlins which were determined to give us grief. But, with the whole fishing.co.uk team pulling together, those little blighters stood no chance. We have weathered the storms and are set back on course to be the premier angling website in Europe. There are still areas for improvement here and there and we are working very hard to get it right. If it’s not right yet, it soon will be. Keep coming back, we’re getting better every day. Put a bookmark in now.

This month on fishing.co.uk we have yet another extravaganza of articles for you. It’s all brand new stuff that has never been previously published and you are a rare angler if there is nothing here to interest you.

On the sea-fishing side Bradley Bone brings us up to date on what’s been happening on the match scene with a report on the Clacton Open and a list of guidelines on how to get started. Entering these matches can bring some serious dosh and provide new perspectives on your beach fishing. Out in the boat Mike Thrussel is taking on our favourite shark family member – the tope. This is the first in a two part series on tope that Mike has put together for us and should get the pulse racing. Russ Symons has been targeting bass way down there in Plymouth. I’ve been promised a day out with him myself soon, that should be a recipe for a tangle or two!

Game anglers get a taste for travel this month. Irish trout guide Brian Joyce puts us in the picture regarding how to get the best from Lough Mask while Martin James stays at home with the Mayflies. Meanwhile Paul Holroyd puts aside both his Brylcream and his catfish fetish, and takes us fishing in the Falkland Islands. Paul is an officer with both the Catfish Conservation Group and an NCO in the RAF, so… Left, right, left, right… READ IT!

On the coarse scene… Dr. Paul Garner does it again. Summer chub this time – It amazes me just how much that man knows about fish, I s’pose that’s what having a PHD in ‘Fishology’ does for you. Mark Ackerley continues his tales of the pike in Lough Mask and Graham Marsden catches a few off the top. Carp that is - and someone who has all the gen on the carp world is Rob Hughes. Check out his carp corner for a report on the new world record common. Uncle Bill Rushmer gets corny and has some astounding statements to make about both Thames carp and roach - and Alan Tomkins starts a new series. Alan is possibly the only angling writer I know who can hold my interest for hour after hour, and can he catch fish! Lots of fish, not just carp! No wonder he is in so much demand.

We have all read the disclaimers that accompany angling articles, mainly noting that "the opinions of our contributors" are not "our own" etc. Well, if you disagree with any of the opinions expressed anywhere on fishing.co.uk then please let us know about it. As an example, Mark Ackerley has been writing about Lough Mask from a pike anglers perspective. It follows that there is a trout anglers perspective also - so if you have views about this why not write to the letters page and tell us what they are?

My favourite article this month has to be John Coopers ‘Giant Rivers – Giant Fish’. It’s given me the bug. I’m nagging Maggi to stretch the budget and hit Sth America next January, mind you she’s pushing for a return to India and the mahseer. I must admit I won’t be disappointed if she wins this battle. Now, how do I break it to her that I want to go to Canada after the salmon and sturgeon in September? Hmm…

Read on

Geoff Maynard