Fishing for Schools fly-fishing expert Bob Goble gives us the benefit of his experience for angling this January.

Happy New Year to you all, young and old. I hope you had a great Christmas.

Here we are, another year on and a little older and wiser! I do hope you have benefited and been inspired by my articles and tips over 2018, whether you coarse, sea or fly-fish (or maybe you do all three).

It again has been a disappointing winter for cod/codling fishing from our beaches, with winter gales and all manner of food being washed up on our shore – lugworm, razor fish and clams, but no cod.

In the past we anglers would have anticipated this weather and been on the beach ready for bags of cod! I do hope things improve in future years.

However, there is still bass to be caught and massive shoals of whiting, to keep the rod tips rattling.

Coarse fishing has been steady, with higher water temperatures keeping fish feeding  but as the temperatures tumble on the lakes it could get a little harder to catch.

Have you fished our rivers? They are the go-to places to fish at the moment, but obviously when they are not running high and coloured. Quiver tipping or float fishing are the way to go if conditions allow.

There is great sport to have with roach, bream and chub all very obliging and a good chance of barbel. All these fish can fall to maggots, bread and luncheon meat.

A place I will be trying is on the Medway at Teston above the weir. This is a day ticket stretch that can fish well.

Trout fishing, although cold, will be good. My advice is to wrap up warmly to keep out the cold, with base layers, not too tight, under your waterproofs, good boots, gloves and of course a warm hat that covers your ears.

We are fortunate to have some good trout waters where I live, in Kent and the south east. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to try these waters, if you have not already.

  • Tenterden Trout Waters, very close to the town, is an ideal location with very new facilities, a warm lodge, toilets and tea and coffee making facilities all included. It has three lakes, containing some large rainbow, browns and blue trout. There is a basket retaining system, meaning as you catch you can hold up to ten fish in the basket. At the end of your session you pick out the fish you would like to keep, releasing the others to fight another day. A warm welcome awaits you from Richard, Gaynor and Audrey.
  • Springhill Trout Waters, at Pembury near Tunbridge Wells, is another great water with great fishing for blues, rainbows and browns. It is well out in the sticks with four lakes, two of which are brown trout fishing only. The main lake has platforms all around. Again, you can expect a warm welcome from Lee and Jane and a comfortable lodge, with hot and cold drinks, some tackle for sale, and rods and reels for hire as well. I am one of the resident instructors and we offer one-to-one tuition as well as corporate days. There are also tagged fish with £100 riding on their capture!
  • Other waters to mention are Bewl Water, Chequertree Trout and Coarse fishery in Bethersden, Brick Farm, Herstmonceux and Coltsford Mill in Oxsted. These are just some of our fisheries – find more online, in this publication or through your local tackle store.

The flies to use for January include all the usual suspects – Viva cat’s whisker, nomads etc, lures with black and a different colour – black and green, black and orange etc, and of course the minkie.

Floating lines will be useful, but I suspect intermediate or full sinking line will do best. Don’t be in a hurry to retrieve – slowly does it.

Keep warm, be safe but most of all Have fun.  Bob G.