The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Advice Required – Of Mice and (Fisher)Men

It had been a long while since I had been coarse fishing, and although I would periodically check that all my fishing gear was still in one place, I hadn’t thoroughly looked through it for a while to make sure everything was as pristine as I had left it. Moving house meant that various items were bagged up and stored away, and for obvious (and smelly) reasons my water proofs and nets were all bagged up and left quietly in the shed. You can see where this is going...

The weather had been horrible for the best part of 6 weeks (you may have seen Somerset on the news), with absolutely no fishing! So mid week, when I noticed that Sunday’s forecast wasn’t going to be as awful as it had been recently, I started getting excited. I was finally going to get out there and try some new venues! Fishing new venues is a great experience and I was always told that fishing a multitude of different venues helped you becoming a well rounded angler. With the weekend approaching I decided to go and have a look at how many rigs I had, and what I would need to buy on my next visit to the tackle shop.

I should have realised when I saw a few (lots of) small brown pellets on top of my carryall. Checking it over and seeing no glaringly obvious holes, I had a quick look inside to find that everything was how I had left it. It was the same for the rod bag and Boss box. Phew!

As a last minute precaution “just in case it rains” I decided to dig out the waterproofs and check them over. The first thing that hit me was the smell. Poop in that quantity sure does stink. They had nibbled through the plastic bag and straight through the coat lining into the fleece. From the smell I can only assume this is where the little buggers snuggled down for the winter. From wearing that coat several times I can attest to the quality of the fleece, it’s mighty warm.

For whatever reason, they gave up on the trousers, and although I have 2 holes on the legs and 1 on the bum, they are salvageable. Then I thought, “hmmm... what else have I got in here that mice would eat???” Bye bye groundbait. They had eaten their way through half a bag of VDE Secret, half a bag of Maize and countless micro pellets. They did at least leave all the halibut and krill pellets. Just so you know, all the groundbait was in sealed bags, in stacked buckets.

So I came to the conclusion not only did I provide them with bedding but I also gave them an obstacle course for an all you can eat buffet! Having lived in what I thought was the Welsh countryside for the best of 17 years and never really had any trouble with mice, I made the terrible assumption that the mice from the fields of Somerset would follow suit and not ... eat my waterproof suit! 

On further inspection they had also munched their way straight through one of my silver fish keepnets. I don’t usually use keepnets, but I’ll certainly need to buy another one before I consider entering any matches.

I have now bought a large sealed, lockable plastic chest in which I have placed my thermal wellingtons and the remainder of my uneaten groundbait. I have also started hanging things from the ceiling, although I’m not sure that is much of a deterrent, but more of a challenge to these mice ninjas! I have been told that the fields around here are rife with mice, and they unfortunately frequent everyone’s sheds. It’s possible the floods had left them fleeing for a dry refuge. With the number of cats (including our own) I thought there would be less of a mice issue. Sadly not.

If anyone could please advise me on how to rid myself of this mouse problem without using inhumane traps, it would be greatly appreciated, as I can’t afford the buy several sets of replacement waterproofs!

The best advice I’ve had from my Biologist other half is “Just don’t offer up a warm bed and a easy buffet”.

Please leave a comment below or contact me here.


Paul Bosworth said...

No easy way to rid them, even traps and poisons can take time. Clearing clutter and food is the first thing as you already know. If you don't want to kill them then you need to trap them, the old way was a glass milk bottle on a slight angle. Put food in the bottom and if you get the angle right the mouse gets in but can't get out. It'll take time though. Other solutions are fire and flood though not sure you'd be keen on either.

Paul Bosworth said...

Another modern version of the milk bottle is a two litre pop bottle. Cut the top off to make a funnel then flip it and stick it back on the bottle. Mouse goes in struggles to get out, though this version needs to be checked often as they'll nibble their way out.

Paul Bosworth said...

Just had a quick look. Check out the bucket mouse trap on Youtube which looks even better to me.

Paul Murphy said...

There is a knarled old tree outside the shed with holes every where. I wondered if they were all held up in there. It's dead so I may fill it full of expanding foam, as well as any gaps under the shed, but I would be worried what that might do to the environment. Will try the milk bottle trap though. See how that gets on. Thanks for the message.

Paul Murphy said...

Will try this too!

Paul Bosworth said...

My shed is laid on concrete (like many) and the little buggers had dug a whole right underneath the concrete. I hatched a plan (not a humane one though) and made a funnel out of a 2 litre pop bottle and shoved it in the hole. Then I filled a bucket of water and flooded the hole. Within seconds the mice had made their way up the tunnels and into the funnel bottle. They were still alive, so it was over to my little terrier to finish the job.

Darren Roberts said...

Hi Paul,

I've had issues with mice for the last 6 months or so, tried traps, humane traps, poison traps etc.... No good, in the end I used this stuff, it's basically poisoned grain.

Just put some down everyday, eventually you will notice less and less grain gone and after a week or so it will no longer be touched as the mice will be dead. I now keep a small pile near the garage door incase anymore decide to visit.

Best £4 I've spent in a long time.

Paul Murphy said...

Hi Darren, thanks for your reply. I've been told about sonic mouse repellent alarms. Trust me, if there weren't so many cats near here I would put this poison grain stuff out. Just don't want to be responsible for dying pets...

Paul Bosworth said...

I'm the pest control guy at work and the poison grain is what we use. As you say though Paul, not good for anywhere near pets. The recommendation is to not use near pets but that said, the theory and usual case is that the mice eat the stuff and then die later in their nest. This can be good but also a problem if you have a nest full of decaying mice stinking out your premises.

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