Saturday, 18 March 2017


Yes, it's back...and so is Russell (link below)

Starting, perfectly bisecting the close season, at 00.01hrs on May 1st the 2017-18 Bloggers' Challenge is on!!

The 2015-16 challenge proved a really enjoyable added dimension to the season. The prospect of chasing 19 species across three different venue types for three, or was it four?, virtual winners badges certainly kept me alert for the whole period (very unusual!); albeit I took it a bit too seriously in those last few weeks, imagined I had a fortnight yet to go, fell off the metaphorical precipice when Russell advised I was wrong and spent the next 6 weeks in an institution; but other than that it was a hoot.

For newcomers contemplating a go, first and foremost you don't need to author a blog, you simply need your blogging mate to publish pics of your catches and thereby verify that you are an honourable human being, thus underwriting the validity of your catch with the integrity of Lloyd's of London.

Otherwise it's straightforward...

● Russell will create access to the score sheet for you via Google Drive before May 1st.

● Get yourself a set of mini-lightweight kitchen scales from the supermarket for those otherwise unweighable fish, from gudgeon to bleak.

● Post a photo of your fish.

Then add it to the score sheet and see your points magically appear (it's beyond me, but trust me it works!).

So what's the point of the points?
Well, the idea is your best fish of each species is given a score as a percentage of the 2015 record weight  and the spreadsheet keeps track of this across the (this time) 22 species and has 3 tabs - river/drain, stillwater and canal. You could gain an extra 10 points if your fish is the biggest of the species on that water type across all entrants

There are therefore four challenges in one with river, lake, canal and overall 'titles' to go at. You can pick and choose to suit your preferences or just go all-out for everything.

There are no prizes, no sponsorship deal, no Sky TV coverage and certainly no naughty ladies involved so it's a proper, honourable, truly amateur event in the old-fashioned sense...and great fun.

Last time James (link below) walked away with pretty much every category so the gauntlet is laid down for us all to change that as he has already registered to take part this time but more than that it's an opportunity to organise your season to make the most of it and target a few p.b's along the way.

Some excellent fish were taken last time including some of the smaller species and I cannot begin to estimate how many p.b's fell during the challenge but it was good number and included the above 4.9 eel from the Oxford Canal.

Please follow the link to Russell's new blog below where you can register by inputting your details to the contact widget on the left hand side to take part. He will enter everyone about a week before we commence in readiness.

Personally I cannot wait for it to start and running it each alternate year is ideal as annually would be a bit much. It's really nice to have the contrast of a relaxing year sandwiched between the year-long challenges. 

I do hope you can join us and wish you every success if you do!

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