I haven’t had much time to get out recently with work and other things going on so I decided to go on a little micro adventure stalking for pike with the Dog and convert a dog walk into stalking for pike along the river.
It’s very difficult to balance everything sometimes and sometimes something has to give and it is important to keep that balance in our day to day lives.
I head out along the river after a real heavy night of wind and rain and I am very thankful that we cancelled the previous nights camp out as the weather really did turn for the worst.
My stalking equipment basically consist of a small spinning rod, telescopic net and a ruck sack with a few lures in it.
The lure I was using this day was a small (6cm) rubber shad with a single hook. These are very productive along this stretch of the river and the previous week I had a good catch so I thought i’d give this a go again.
The tide was really low and I don’t think i’ve seen it this low before. My thought where that the fish would be very concentrated in the main channel but this wasn’t the case.
The method I use is casting out, allowing the lure to hit the bottom, the retrieve a little jigging the lure then allowing it to drop to the bottom. I find that a lot of the time the fish are taking the lure on the drop.
Not very productive fishing session only had one but it got me out for a while.
Due to to limited time I head to head back home after one fish but managed to head out the next day for a little down time. Post to follow.
I try to keep up with my distance walking and regularly go hiking along the Suffolk Coastal path. I had planned to arrive at the beach before sunrise and setup the cameras to get some time-lapse of the sunrise but there was too much cloud cover.
Hiking along the Suffolk Coastal Path.
I arrived at Walberswick just before dawn to a windy and cloudy beach with no chance of a good sunrise, so started walking South towards Dunwich.
I was following part of the Suffolk Coastal Path which starts at Lowestoft the most Easterly point of the British Isles and ends at the ferry port town of Felixstowe. So with Boots and Armaskin on my feet, day pack, water and Dog I headed along the shingle beach.
There was a strong westerly wind and luckily no rain, so I headed towards the marshes and reed beds south of Walberswick planning to cut west through the reedbeds towards the Sandlings Way and into Dunwich forest. We came across no one else hiking the suffolk coastal path the beach was empty.
My trusty sidekick and me walked the well made path through the reeds and passed an old wind pump. It is here that the path splits to follow west through the marshes and into Dunwich Forest or South along the Suffolk Coastal path.
Normally I would head West but today chose a different route after checking out my map on view ranger where I have marked areas of the forest I regularly use for meal stops. So after hiking along the Suffolk Coastal path further than normal I followed South a little more and cut through the trees I could get to my usual stop and miss out all of the muddy path leading through the reedbeds.
After following the path along a dirt road for a bit I headed through the trees and reached my meal stop.
Today I had brought my JetBoil with me to cook breakfast and brew a coffee. Breakfast consisted of square sausage, bacon, black pudding and mushrooms.
I have a pan adapter for the jetboil so I can take of the water pot and use any pan with it.
I don’t normally use gas for cooking a fresh meal on, I prefer to use a bush box or a wood gas stove but as I was packing light and also as I have a cafeteria plunger for the jetboil I could brew some fresh coffee and cook a fry up.
So once I had cleared up and packed away it looked like the weather was going to change so pulled out my rain jacket I did have my waterproof trousers in my bag but I had received a pair of Revolution RaceZip Up Pants and wanted to see how waterproof these where.
By the time we returned back the beach the rain was quite hard and these trousers held up really well ( I will review them soon).
If you fancy hiking along the Suffolk coastal path there is a book available
Growing up on the Suffolk coast I have always been interested in beach fishing, there has been many years of biking home and not being able to feel my fingers due to the cold.
I always remember going to the bait shop on a Saturday and buying scrap lugworm as I couldn’t afford fresh bait, waiting for it to start getting dark and head down to the North Beach and try my hardest to catch something.
Learning to fish
I had to teach myself how to fish from the beach. From an early age I started to enjoy fishing and with no one in my family that had this past time it was a case of reading books, watching John Wilson every Thursday night on ITV (God rest his sole, Flags at half mast) and learning by my mistakes.
Nowadays its a lot easier with all of the content on YouTube
As a teenager earning £4.50 per week on a paper round it was really quite expensive to go beach fishing due to the price of the bait and having to keep buying weight due to the hefts in the area I used to fish.
Living in Cyprus
Whilst living in Cyprus I worked as a Scuba Diving instructor and spent a lot of my spare time spearfishing for Octopi and boat fish for Tuna.
So when I relocated back to the UK in 2007 the first thing was to get myself some sea fishing gear and start fishing the winter of the Suffolk and Norfolk beaches.
The first year was brilliant loads of Cod. I was regularly filling the freezer with fish and then it started to dwindle to the point when I didn’t fish last year at all.
First Day this year on the beach fishing.
So last Saturday I was free from work my eldest has been nagging me to take him out beach fishing.
We finally got out onto the beach.
Fishing is a great way to participate in a micro adventure whether its all day, all weekend or just a few hours out walking the dog.
The weather was forecast sunny with a 10mph Easterly wind which was ok for the beach we where to fish from. We where heading to Kessingland beach.
After collecting bait, servicing gear and making a few traces up we headed to the beach around 15:00 for a 17:30 High tide. I always like to fish the tide up and down.
We arrived at the beach to find the wind slightly stronger than 10mph and looking at the sea it looked really rough.
I thought “Well we are here, we’ve got bait so lets drown some worms”. There was no chance to delay it a day as the weather was changing for the worse so we got on with it and headed North along the beach.
There was a few people beach fishing and looking at the state of the sea I didn’t think the gear would hold bottom.
Talking to someone fishing already he said he was catching Whitting and Bass so at least they where catching.
Setting was quite difficult as the wind was onshore but we got the shelter up, rods setup and started to fish.
We where getting a fish every cast mostly Pin Whitting. We managed to take home about 12 decent sized Whitting.
Jan caught a small Bass and before we knew it it was time to light the lamp and start fishing in the dark.
This fishing is my favourite. I love fishing of the beach in winter, yes its cold but as long as you have the right clothes there is something magical about winter night fishing.
Dutch oven recipe Pork & Porter Stew served with potato pancakes.
Finally had a day to myself so headed down to the marsh to do some open fire cooking using my Dutch Oven.
Since my Frontier Stove is being serviced it was time to do some open fire cooking. I had also a new video camera to try so thought i’d make a day by filming some cooking, review some new trouser I had delivered from Revolution Race, show how I look after my boots and make some more char cloth.
There was a draw back, I took all the footage but there was an issue whilst editing the footage as iMovie didn’t like the 4k 60FPS footage and it was flickering a lot. I had used my iPhone so had some footage left but only enough to show how I cooked the stew.
So this recipe is my own recipe loosely based on a Polish Dish.
2 x Pork steaks
1 x large potato
2 x carrots
1 x bottle of porter or stout
A little water
Chop the pork steaks into cubes, put back into bag and add 2 spoons of flour and shake the bag.
Cut onion and carrots
Place dutch oven onto coals and allow to heat (gentle heat).
Add meat and onions and allow to brown.
Once meat is brown add in the bottle of porter, paprika and carrots.
Stir regularly over allow heat for about 20 mins (add a little water if beer reduces too much.
Pancake: Open your bag of potato and onion and add 3 large spoons of plain flour, salt and pepper and a little water.
Hold top of bag and knead mix together (it should be the consistency of porridge).
Invert the Dutch Oven lid onto coals, add a little lard, allow to heat the squeeze out mixture and pat flat using spoon onto the lid of the oven.
Allow to cook for about 10 – 15 mins until golden brown turning often.
Show us your steak During the week I saw a post from a colleague which pretty much sums up Mens Mental Health. Men aren’t very good about speaking out about their problems and tend to keep it all within their heads. I see a lot of people at work whether colleagues or patients that struggle with dealing with mental health problems.
I wrote on a previous post how I believe that getting outdoors is a great way to deal with mental health problems. Mental health issues aren’t a physical injury although they can have physical signs and keeping these problems in a box will only make them worse.
As mentioned in the previous post so many people that suffer with mental health problems end up lethargic and staying within four walls (in a box).
So again the word box comes up problems are boxed up in our heads and we are boxed up within four walls.
Its time to open up the box.
For the last 3 and a half years I have worn them for every shift and they have seen everything I have seen and worse…
They’ve trod in vomit and urine, dog poo, horse poo, cow poo and human poo…
Trod in the blood of the dead, the dying and the seriously injured….
Protected me from the broken glass, oil and jagged metal of shattered vehicles…
They’ve been with me when I’ve saved lives and when I’ve had to let people go…sometimes for the greater good of others that needed saving…
Seen the very best of humanity, but they’ve also seen the very worst…
They’ve seen the moments of life-changing sadness of those left behind; wives & husbands, sons & daughters, mothers & fathers….some of them to children…
If my boots could talk, they could tell stories that would make your toes curl…
If they had a conscience, you would sometimes hear them cry at night trying to outrun the sadness they have seen…
Boots don’t talk…..but sometimes those who wear them should.
Following on from a post from a very entertaining youtuber that I follow (Haze Outdoors). He posted a video that was such a great idea to raise awareness that I jumped on the band wagon and created a video to show us your steak
In his video he is hoping to start a viral trend of men posting videos online of them cooking steak which will help raise awareness of Mens mental health.
So to all that read get making you videos post to youtube / instagram and tag with #showusyoursteak then tag three people to do the same.