Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

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February Update


Where to start?

The problem with this blogging lark is that you stay away for a month or so and the world flashes by, events become history in the blink of an eye, yesterdays news is very old news indeed.

Never mind I’m back in blogging mode and this is going to be a real mixed bag and I’ll apologize right at the start by saying there may not be a lot of barbel content, not surprising as I’ve been Down Under for almost a month and I won’t be back in the UK until Easter!


If you want to check out some barbel related stuff then it’s worth checking THIS out. You can see by the responses that it kicked off quite a storm! For the life of me I’m not really sure why, the title was pretty much tongue in cheek and the whole piece was meant to be light hearted. Mind you no matter what you say , how you say it or why you say it some will only see what they want to see and as Paul Simon once wrote, “disregard the rest.”

The next installment is almost ready and I’m sure there will be more howls of anguish when it goes live in the next couple of weeks. The final part will bring it all together and I’ll have something to say about forum posters, bloggers and the new kids on the block, I expect total meltdown then!

The only thing I’ll give away is this, if I can’t find anything positive to say about someone then I’ll say nothing at all, seems the logical line to take and I’m not one for courting controversy these days, I leave that to Big Bad Bob!

The photo below was taken on a beach at Jervis Bay which is a hundred or so miles south of Sydney. My daughter organised a boat trip around the bay and it turned out to be a cultural cruise with distinctly political overtones. To cut a long story short we stopped on this beach and all sat down in a circle, about twenty of us, and while holding a sort of Aboriginal peace pipe I had to deliver a few sentences on what the following day meant to us. That day being the anniversary of the government saying sorry to the lost generation and the indigenous Australians. It was a serious moment and I had to think quickly, luckily my words went down well and I was allowed to continue on the voyage! Fortunately for me I had previously visited the Sydney museum where the history is well documented and I have great sympathy for their cause.

So take your pick, the photo either depicts a group of locals happy with what I said or a group of lost forum posters registering their ire………………your call!

The main reason I’m out in Australia is because babysitting duties are now top priority. My eight month old grandson Henry is at that stage where constant attention is required and my daughter, who owns and runs a very successful business, needs help and that’s what parents are for! I can see me spending the winter months Down Under for the foreseeable future.

I have a few contacts out here on the fishing front and I’m confident some new adventures are coming my way.

Manly is a really nice place, combining a vibrant surfing community with an affluent older generation located right on the harbour, my daughters place is no more than five minutes from a lovely beach.

The past week has seen top surfers from all over the world descend on Manly to compete in The Australian Open, I sometimes wish fishing could be seen to be as cool as riding the waves! If it was then appealing to youngsters would be no problem at all.

The Aussies are very good at marketing fishing, the TV programmes depict sheer excitement in a way we only play at, I now know where Matt Hayes drew a lot of inspiration from! I know many will disagree and love the traditional way angling is depicted in the UK but I’m all for the Aussie way. Catching marlin from a jetski and Great whites on a handline or to be precise handrope, now that’s fishing!

The surfing competition closed with a music festival headlined by The Living End, a top Aussie band, the beach was packed out but have to say the music was only just passable, mind you I’m firmly in Boss mode at the moment as the new album is out very soon and I’ve been listening to a few tracks and they bode well for the summer shows.

Seems an age since the tennis finished but have to say the semi finals and final of the Aussie Open were three of the best games I’ve ever watched. The final was truly epic and if the rest of the Grand Slams live up to the first of the year then tennis fans are in for a real treat this year.

On the football front I get all the premier league matches live over here and am seriously looking forward to Spurs making Wenger’s life even more miserable than it currently is. The demolition of Newcastle was something else but its put paid to a budding relationship with a potential fishing pal over here, he is a Geordie!

I went into one of the banks in the Corso, which is in the centre of Manly and got chatting to the cashier about football, turned out he is a Spurs man which made me laugh when I saw the sign outside, I’ll say no more……………………………….!

As I said at the start once you let a week slip by news becomes old news which is a shame because I wanted to mention the sad loss of Bob Holness, the Blockbusters host. The reason being that my daughter who lives here in Australia once appeared on the show and the actual programme was recently aired on one of the channels. She didn’t win the holiday but I suppose when you live in Sydney pretty much every day is a holiday.

I’ll sign off now with a couple more pics, the first showing what I do most days at around eleven, an iced coffee at Manly Wharf while Henry looks on…

The next, what I’m dreaming about for the coming summer……………………

And lastly, why I’m here…………………….

Note the top, I have many a tale to tell about Fred’s truck!

And finally, if you’re thinking about a Guided day next summer now is the time to get in touch, the diary is almost full and although I’m the other side of the world I can tie things up by email.

All the best for the last couple of weeks,


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