This month we have yet another competition, tackle and fishery reviews, plus the usual feast of articles for you to consume. There is, as always, something for everyone here, from the dedicated big game angler to the guy under the green brolly on the canal. Please, don't just read about your favourite discipline, because you'll be missing out. There is a wealth of angling fun to be had - limiting yourself to just one type of fishing is just that. Limiting. The best anglers I know are those who have a foot firmly in several camps. They apply the knowledge they have accrued from one area of the sport to the other areas and are successful because of it, not in spite of it.

We are now a couple of weeks into the coarse fishing season and all the old purists are out on the rivers. It may surprise many of you younger anglers to know that there are still a great many anglers who hang on to the tradition of the old Closed Season and keep to those non fishing dates 15th March thru 15th June. Some do it out of tradition, others abstain from fishing during these three months because they genuinely believe that they are benefiting the welfare of the fish. My personal view is that a load of cobblers has been spouted about the whole issue. That different fisheries have different needs and that it should be down to the local bailiffs to impose any restrictions that may be required. What's your view? There's a discussion going on in the Clubroom right now, why not join in? You might even get me to change my mind!

Talking of close seasons … It happens every year. As soon as I make preparations and plans for the opening nights of the coarse season, along comes the dreaded visits from the family. I spent two weeks prebaiting a couple of swims on the local lake in anticipation of a great first nights carping on June 1st (which is when my club opens the water) only to have my plans scuppered at the eleventh hour by a visit from my mother. The dear 'ol thing only visits once every six months but her timing is always perfect. I grinned through gritted teeth as I walked the dog around the lake on the opening morning. Four fish had come out on the first night, three of them from the swims I had pre-baited and one of them a thirty.

Then I heard that the outlaws were coming to stay for a couple of days running up to the 16th. Horror!! Time to develop some absolutely-impossible-to-avoid business meetings which would take me away overnight (it's really hard to think up stuff like this when you work from home). In retrospect, on the opening night I should have stayed with the outlaws after all, who are wonderful folks - they never catch more than I do. Instead, my fishing partner Mick trounced me on the night. He took all the honours of the 'glorious 16th' with half a dozen bream and a couple of tench whilst I blanked. Well, I would have done if I hadn't had the wit to nip over to the stream and lift out a chublet - I do hope this is not an omen for the rest of the season. The carp I had planned on targeting had started spawning on the 15th. So much for the close season protecting spawning fish. Not that I was really bothered as the day before I had put the most amazing day's trout fishing under my belt. But you can read about that in the Last Cast column.