A bit of a salty flavour in the water with this months edition of FISHING.CO.UK.

We have our usual bundle of sea fishing writers of course. Mike Thrussell tackles the not so common skate and Russ Symons alerts us that the first cod are on the way. Freshwater favourite Barmey Bill Rushmer is also rabbiting on about salt this month, this time it's in baits- and even I was fishing in the brine for a change. At Rod Hays invitation I spent a few days seeing how the other half fish. Big game fishing is not exactly a common pursuit of the average British angler but we all have to try new things sometimes. I spent a week agape and in awe at what some consider to be everyday activities and met some fun people to boot. See the Last Cast for more.

Both Lesley Crawford and Martin James review the past year's fly fishing and pick out the lessons learned along the way (a few good tackle recommendations in there) while Duncton Mill falls under the trout fishery review spotlight. Also reviewed is that most unusual of fisheries, the River Thames. For some reason Barmey Bill couldn't get the whole river into one article so he's splitting it up. This month Bill starts on the tidal reaches and will work his way upstream as the months progress. Nobody is better qualified to write this series better than Bill, I think you will agree. I was going to say that he grew up on the river but if you've ever met Bill you'll know he has never grown up! Never mind.

A little foreign flavouring: John Cooper is still in Sweden, this time tackling those whopping great Scandinavian pike with guide Anders. Over the other side of the pond, Nigel Barrow switches roles and catches some Californian carp. Nigel too is better known for his salt water exploits (there's that salt again). Mal Cummin goes down under with some Pommie fish while John Bailey is in Southern India with those golden giants, the Mahseer of the Cauvery River.

Closer to home Chris Plumb is back on the Kennet with Eric Edwards and Alan Tomkins both laying it on thick with their barbel catching instructions. Serious reading for the river man this month!

My own fishing has gone through a purple patch. Right though, and out the other side! For most of this year it seemed as if I could do no wrong. I already had picked up three new personal bests this year, a grayling, a rainbow trout and a barbel and I had turned into one of those guys you really hate. Y'know, one of those who don't even have to try, the guys that send you home looking for a cat to kick. Every time I put a hook in the water something grabbed it, and all too often it was a big something. Then without warning it has all gone pear shaped. Example: I was out with Alan (spit) Tomkins the other evening. We sat eight feet apart fishing the same baits into the same swim and having a lovely evening, until he ruined it by catching one fish after another. He finished up with half a dozen chub to a huge 4lb 8ozs (big for the Thames) and a bream whilst I…. er… didn't. Not even a bite. This despite the fact that he was using 30lb braid and I was on 8lb mono. We packed up, both laughing about me having to scale up next time and I cheerfully drove off home into the darkness.

All the way home I had one eye open for a stray cat…