An Interview with 'Frodo' aged 41yrs

By Jessica Hillier aged 11yrs

Where apart from the UK have you fished?

I go to France a couple of times a year, just for a crack and to get away with a few close friends. We are all like minded in the way we fish at home, so getting away together gives us a chance to catch up with each other. We are not too intense out there with our fishing, it gives us a chance to bounce a few things around and just chill a little.

I also go away every Christmas to somewhere warm, and away from the madness Christmas generates in this country! You can't beat waking on Christmas morning to hot sunshine and a proper chilled atmosphere. I always go out for one days fishing out there, I would love to catch a big shark but as of yet it hasn't happened.

It's important that you accept these fish as holiday fish. To me, they mean very little and at no point will I count them as PB's, and it's wrong to do so.

What's your favourite venue?

I would have to say the 'LEATHER' lake at Moor Mill! I learnt so much on there and also made some very good friends while fishing it. I have a lot of respect for the place and the fish in it

Do you get bored when fishing?

The answer to that would be 'No Jess'! There are always things to occupy my mind, I tend to sleep through the quiet daytime and sit up most of the night when the fish are the most active! It's amazing how much people miss while tucked up in their bag at night. It's caught me far more fish from watching and moving onto them. If that means moving at 1 in the morning then so be it! If I'm not on them then I'm not happy.

What's the heaviest fish you have caught?

I've had fish abroad that are bigger than anything I've had in this country, but like I have said I do not look at these in the same way. 'Toadless' is my current PB at 40lb 4oz, but the common I'm after would eclipse this by a good few pounds if I'm lucky enough to bag it at the right time of the year!

What is your most memorable fish?

'Toadless' again! Not because it's my biggest!! She punished me and made me work so hard and also tested my commitment. When she finally slipped into my net, the feelings I felt were phenomenal, I've never had feelings like that with any other fish I've caught. I wanted that fish so bad it started to affect my everyday life and it's not a nice thing.

North Troy, Smallford or Moor Mill?

I've done all I need to do on the Mill and Smallford does not interest me in the least. There is nothing in there that appeals to me, so that leaves North Troy! Interesting water with some very restrictive fishing, a definite challenge and that is what appeals to me more in my fishing nowadays. So out of the three Troy appeals most to me!

What do you eat when fishing?

I am very aware of what I put into my body, my job is very physical so I burn calories like a furnace. I'm lucky in the fact that what I like is also foods that are deemed good for me.

In summer, I take pre made salads from Marks and Spencers or their pre made pasta dishes, as well as a couple of cartons of fruit juice. For a sugar rush, my bag also contains a couple of Mars bars or a packet of shortbread biscuits. Oh, and a couple of cans of Red Bull!! Because I'm more static in the winter then the weight factor I carry can increase, the food bag will now contain pots and pans! In winter you need to keep your core temperature up to stay comfortable. Hot food and drinks are better for this so the salads are substituted for some home cooked foods like chillies or curries, which are pre cooked and frozen. I also carry canned soups and things like fresh bread, oh and a couple of cans of Red Bull!!

What are your favourite rods?

Lol.. I'm not one to get sentimental about my tackle, it's there to do a job! I abuse my gear at times due to my style of fishing. All my gear has stood the test of time and has taken the abuse I have thrown at it!

I do like my set of Brentwood Tackle Extremes 2.25 test rods; they are great to play fish on but are restricted to small waters and stalking. Out of all my rods I would say I enjoy using these the most, but they are little used nowadays on the waters I target.

How do you keep warm at night?

I wear the correct clothing and have good sleeping bags, keeping warm is all about layering with clothing! The more layers the better the insulation, because layers trap air between them and you can also regulate your temperature better by adding or reducing layers. I'm not too keen on the over priced stuff designed for fishing. My preference is for the stuff made for the other outdoor market, such as hiking and climbing! Summer, I can get away with just a T-shirt and a good thick hoodie and I always have a woolly hat. Sitting up at night, it's amazing just how chilly it can get! By wearing a hat it's amazing how much warmer you feel, even in summer. Winter is a whole different ball game. Good quality thermals are a must, ones that are designed to breathe so you do not sweat! Sweat leads to moisture and moisture leads to you feeling cold.

When in my bag, I wear very little. Bags are designed to heat up from your body temperature and if your body heat is trapped in layers of clothing then your bag will never heat up efficiently. Take the chill out of your bag with a hot water bottle but keep what you wear to a minimum!

What has been your longest fishing session?

That would be when I go to France for a week! I haven't the time to do long sessions at home, I'm very much a short session angler. Friday nights till Sunday mornings are normal for me now, on short sessions you're more focused and are willing to move onto fish to capitalise on your time! On longer sessions you're more inclined to wait for the fish to come to you rather than you find the fish!

What has been your worst nights fishing?

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That would be whilst I fished the LEATHER lake! I was doing an incredible amount of over nighters a week! My body was taking a battering through lack of sleep and a poor diet. I suffered what I suspect was sleep paralysis, this is where the person remains aware while the body shuts down. This can last from several seconds to several minutes. In addition the paralysis is accompanied by terrifying hallucinations and acute sense of danger! Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual because of the vividness of the hallucination. I'm not a nervous person and I have never been afraid of the dark but that night I was proper on edge and didn't sleep all night. Mainly because I didn't understand what had happened to me!

What does your wife think of you fishing a lot?

Lisa is a cracker and understands my obsession! After 'Toady' I promised her I would never let a fish affect me or my fishing again. I've now found a balance and I'm happy and so is she! You should never put fishing in front of things that are more important, especially family. I'm an addict and with any addiction you have to learn to control it and not let it control you.

What would you say if she said you couldn't go fishing? I say, she's a good girl and would never say that, she understands what it means to me and I am in control now! When I was 'full on' she never said a word even though I knew it was affecting our relationship. Like I say, I have made her a promise and restrict my fishing slightly and also put time aside for me and her now which is important.

If you were sponsored, then which company?

As most know, I'm not one to publicise what I catch, so I can't see any company wanting me on their books as it wouldn't be beneficial for them lol!

I don't like what sponsored anglers do, forcing their products down your throat, most are not loyal and change companies more times than I change my pants! How can a companies product be the best when the said angler is saying the same about another companies product a few months down the line? Carp fishing is far too commercial nowadays; I wouldn't want to go full time either! Yeah, I would like more time to fish but to me fishing is my break, my release from the rat race! To go full time and turn fishing into my job would surely turn it into the rat race I try to escape from?

To answer your question I would have to say a bait company! I do have an interest in the subject and like to have input into the bait I use, plus bait is now my greatest expense! I get through a load throughout the season! I do like to give them some food!

What is your most wanted fishing accessory?

Ha Ha, I'm not one for wanting! I'm not a follower of fashion either, I know what works for me! I'm now in the fortunate position where if I want something then I just go and get it. It wasn't always like that, I wasn't brought up with a silver spoon in my mouth, far from it!! I had kids pretty young and it was a struggle money wise for a good few years! As a kid I had two paper rounds to pay for my fishing, my parents weren't well off not like some of today's kids, who get everything they want! It does you no favours.

Maybe that's why I do not want, because I've learnt to make do and get the best out of what I do have! Yeah, I could go out and buy the best gear, but will it catch me anymore fish than the gear I already have? Fish don't give a damn what you have, it's where you put it that counts and not what it costs!

Have you ever had a bug in your tea?

Yeah, all the time, mosquitoes and slugs home in on me as well! If you're scared of bugs then don't take up fishing, it's simple. I've had snakes, frogs, mice, rats and hedgehogs in my biv as well! They have as much right to be there as you and me, so treat nature with the respect it deserves!

Have you ever had any embarrassing moments whilst fishing?

LOL...yeah plenty and none of them can be printed, especially when young ears are around!

Do you know how to play Top Trumps?

Well, I can pass wind with the best of them but somehow I don't think the question is about farting, so the answer to that would be 'No'!

Do you put maggots in your mouth to warm them up?

Ha Ha, no Jess I don't!

Am I boring you?

Not particularly Jess. You have put some very interesting questions to me! Not your everyday, what bait, what rig? It's good stuff sweetheart!

How did you get into fishing?

I was in the fortunate position where both my parents fished. I was introduced to the sport at a very early age, my father knew I had a spark and encouraged me! Kids have lost their way now! They want big carp from the off without the apprenticeship and progression through the other disciplines of this sport. I've done the match scene, am a proficient fly fisherman and have done most of the big trout reservoirs such as Rutland, Eyebrook and Grafham. I've fished for pike, eels and tench and these disciplines have certainly helped me become a better carp angler! Kids need to learn to walk before they run, become an angler before you target one particular species, learn other disciplines before you step up to carp!

Have you ever fallen in?

Oh yeah, plenty of times! On most venues I've fished I've taken the plunge of some sorts, usually from trees! Climbing trees is a risky business and luckily for me I haven't hurt myself too badly. I've hit the ground pretty hard at times though...must have some tough old bones! Yeah, I've slipped, fallen and tripped into most bits of blue I've fished.

Does being interviewed by a girl make you nervous?

Ha Ha, I've known you long enough now Jess not to get too nervous! I'm having to think a little before I answer. I'm a straight talking type a guy and swear words slip in from time to time, so being interviewed by a young lady I'm having to watch my P's and Q's! I'm also pretty old school and do not agree with swearing in front of women and's wrong and disrespectful!

Thank you Frodo for answering my questions and giving me some good answers!

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