Friday, 26 August 2011

Success on the new lake!


It’s my first season fishing on a members only water, and certainly my first time targeting Carp in a water notorious for being hard going (the water is around 15 acres, containing only ~70 fish, full of weed, making it hard to catch the fish, but that’s the challenge i was looking for!!!).


After several blank sessions ( a ‘blank’ is a session where no fish are caught) I’ve finally started making some progress.


I had a really nice 16lb Common Carp a couple of weeks ago on a mid-week overnighter:


Matt Groves (and a 16lb Common Carp)



This was caught from the deeper water fishing over a patch of shallow silt surrounded by deep silt and weed.


And then earlier this week I had a brilliant session landing 4 fish (I had 5 bites but lost one when it got into the heavy canadian pond weed that has choked the north end of the lake), of these 3 were my target species (Carp) and one Tench.

The main thing was that one of the fish was very special (to me anyway). Only last week I managed to finally bag a UK “twenty” which was also a new UK Personal Best (PB), and now I’ve done it again!!


Matt Groves (and a 23lb 12oz fully scaled Mirror Carp)



This is the 23lb 12oz Mirror Carp (a fully scaled Mirror Carp at that!) that graced my landing net at around 7am Smile

Was packing up to leave for work and as i was winding in the left hand rod the bite alarm on the middle one started beeping, thinking I had either knocked the rod with my leg or crossed lines I just carried on winding, until the baitrunner went nuts! It took a good 20 minutes to get it in through the weed...

The photo isn't very good. There was a dog walker passing who insisted on taking the pics and just wouldn't take ‘no’ for an answer, if i wasn't already late I'd have just slipped the fish back into the retainer sling and taken some myself after he'd gone, I wish I had, but needed to get to the office for a meeting (and shower etc beforehand).


There was a wonderful sunset the evening of the session, the iPhone managed to get some decent pics too:


Carp fishing sunset by matt groves Carp fishing sunset by matt groves Carp fishing sunset by matt groves



Anyway – I’m delighted with the new PB!!


Next target is a 25 pound Carp, or a “thirty” Winking smile

Monday, 15 August 2011

A great session at Bluebell Lakes and a new UK PB!


I had a great 48 hour session at Bluebell lakes with my father-in-law and my mate Mark.


The lake isn’t easy and we all struggled to get going, but over the course of the session I managed to land 5 fish (from 7 bites) for a total of 84lb including a magnificent (new UK PB) twenty pounder:


Matt Groves with a 20lb Common Carp

20lb Common Carp


Mark had one Carp (over 20lb) and three Tench - we won’t mention the duck he caught or the tree branches Winking smile


Slideshow of pictures below:



For those using devices that don’t support Flash (e.g. iPhone) you can use this link: Matt’s Bluebell lakes Album

Thursday, 11 August 2011

To the stupid woman seen on the BBC news reports from Manchester…

Dear Moron, 

Don’t be so silly. Please. I implore you.

Your kids don’t “have nothing”. That is a ridiculous statement.

What’s more, your anger appears to be mis-directed, you appear to be angry with the state and with other (generally decent) people.

Your kids have the same (provided by the state) opportunities for education, healthcare and social security that mine do. It’s exactly the same.

You yourself had the same (provided by the state) opportunities for education, healthcare and social security that I had. It was exactly the same.

The difference in the opportunities that your kids have is not because of differences in what the state offers, the additional opportunities that (I hope) my kids will have will be provided by me. In order to provide these I work very hard. If you are angry about this I strongly suggest you follow suit.

If you are unable, or unwilling, to put in some effort and get a career (or job) that allows you to provide the lifestyle and support to the kids that you want to provide then you need to seriously re-align your expectations.

As for your point about Mark Duggan, the man to whom you were talking outside the shopping centre makes a very valid point; it has nothing to do with the rioting/looting. I would like the news report to have included his full response…

Should there have been activity on the streets after this armed drug dealing scrotum was shot?

Well, yes, I think there should. It may surprise some of my friends to hear me saying that, but the streets should have been full of noise and activity. I think there should have been party poppers, ticker tape and marching bands.

Now, allow me to broach a subject that I know will cause you some offence, for which I apologise, but I feel it needs to be said.

The opportunities afforded to your kids by the state (which, as I established above, are the same as those afforded to mine) represents what can only be described as excellent value for money for you. Whereas, the same services represent less value for money for me, it’s not that I have fewer children than you (although I’m sure I probably do as both my wife and I have been able to successfully apply some basic self-control and family planning… sorry, I digress) or the kids that I have use less of the services available, it’s more that the mechanisms in place to fund them (they are free of charge directly, but are funded indirectly through taxation of various types) mean that I contribute significantly more.

That’s right, I contribute more, yet I don’t get more. We get the same.
Imagine that if you will.
Please, take a moment to consider it…

Allow me to tell a little story:

We (you and I) both go to a shop, we both buy the same block of cheese, you are charged £1 for the cheese, and I am charged £5 for the same cheese. It isn’t that I have better/more cheese than you, or you have worse/less cheese than I, it’s the same, and yet I paid a lot more for it.

Please indulge me while I carry this on another step:

We (you and I) both go to a shop, we both buy the same block of cheese, you are charged £1 for the cheese, and I am charged £5 for the same cheese. It isn’t that I have better/more cheese than you, or you have worse/less cheese than I, it’s the same, and yet I paid a lot more for it.

But then, due to the fact that you only had £1 but needed two blocks of cheese, the shop keep then gives you (for free) another block of the same cheese.
You now have two blocks of cheese, I still only have the one, you still only paid £1, and I still paid £5.
Imagine this scenario continuing for several years, each time you get an additional block of cheese without additional charge, and I still only get one block of cheese for my £5.
As I’m sure you can appreciate, the shop will soon go out of business if it continues to give away cheese to those paying the lower price for it, but the shop keep thinks it unfair to cover the cost entirely by raising his price to me, so instead he thinks that ending the free cheese deal (but still be prepared to sell you a block of cheese for £1, and only raising his price to me to £6) is the only way to remain open (and therefore able to provide us both with cheese).
While annoying to both of us, the shop keep has not targeted either one of us to keep him in business, you pay the same for the same cheese but don’t get any additional cheese for free, while I pay more for the same cheese.
Getting your cheese at the same low price, but no longer getting additional cheese for free, is something you’ll have to come to terms with. Sorry about that. But I’ve had to come to terms with paying £5 (now £6!) for the same cheese you get for £1.

Lastly, I would just like to add that your close supervision of your kids was admirable, to see that you’d clearly been keeping a very close eye on them all night (judging by the apparent lack of sleep you had before the interview and lack of time you had to shower, dress and prepare yourself to leave the house) and to want to take such an active part in keeping your children on the straight and narrow by escorting them around town is laudable. And to do all this while their father(s??) was out at work.

Great stuff. Keep it up.

Hopefully my sarcasm came through there. In case it didn’t, here is an alternate:

If you had a little more respect for yourself and your family, to say nothing of respect for others, you might be able to turn our life (and your kids futures) around. Try it, you might like it.

          Yours sincerely,


Matt wishes to thank Dr Spencer Johnson. Without him the Cheese story above would nave been about a bottle of milk, or a loaf of bread, or something equally mundane. It works better when it’s about Cheese.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My $0.02


To anyone questioning the Police reaction to recent events: cast your mind back to the G20 protests, the Police were slated for a swift and robust reaction, so they were directed from above to be more cautious, yet there are questions being asked now (obviously with the wonderful benefit of hindsight) about recent events and if the Police should have been more forceful earlier. It's especially irritating that the same people who slated them at G20 for being too harsh are slating them now for being too soft, FFS guys, give them a break.


As someone with strong family ties to the Police force my opinion may be biased, however, the on-the-ground bobbies are not given the support from senior officers or politicians, their actions are constantly questioned, and when they do react to provocation they are left hanging. Simply not acceptable. They (the on-the-ground officers) should not be expected to go out on the streets to be attacked with rocks and petrol bombs, and then use anything less than reasonable force to defend themselves, the public, and property. That is the job they are tasked with.


I don't mean to come across like Jack Nicholson's character in 'A Few Good Men', but, the safe communities in which we live are (albeit not exclusively) thanks to decent people putting on a uniform and dealing with unimaginable (to the majority of us) situations under incredibly difficult circumstances, I think we should simply say "thank you" and leave them to get on with their jobs.



Boris Johnson (interviewed on Radio 2 this morning) was spot on when he said that parents/teachers/blue light services have been failed by the authorities as they are in a position where they fear prosecution/reprimand for enforcing discipline and boundaries, hence the view from some of the criminals interviewed last night/this morning that they can simply 'get away with it'.


I knew exactly where the boundaries were growing up, because my parents (and grandparents), teachers, community leaders, local bobby, shop owners, sports coaches, neighbours (in fact largely any adult influence I had) were able to clearly enforce the boundaries of acceptable behaviour.


It seems this is no longer the case.


And it's a shame...