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Ryan Dabbs

My life of angling

Fishing for me started almost 27 years ago, at the ripe age of 3 when I am pictured with my Grandad float fishing on the River Lea.
Since then I’ve targeted hundreds of species from all over the world.
I would say the passion really took hold when I was around 10 and I found myself constantly asking my parents to take me to the local rivers and lakes. I was happy catching anything perch on float fished worms, carp on luncheon meat (isn’t that an under used bait now days) tench on the ever faithful sweet corn you name it I pretty much fished for it (fresh water wise)
I had moved to Suffolk at this point and attended a school in Bury St Edmunds where I met my first fishing partner in crime.
We fished almost every weekend predominantly targeting carp, but didn’t care what picked the baits up.
I had grown to love carp fishing and I would say I was a carp angler from the tender age of 14 up until I was 25/26
But in my early 20s I travelled to Australia this is where I got my first real taste of lure fishing.
I met my Girlfriend out there and we would fish the Murray River still targeting the carp but the fish that really peaked my interest was the Murray cod. It took me almost 6 months to actually catch one, casting 12″ lures and having 3 to 4lb carp hit them got rather frustrating. I got there in the end with a fish around 35lb I couldn’t belive it.


There is a varient of our perch out there and there larger cousins the yellow belly that were also great fun using lip less cranks and halco poppers!
The year we came back from Australia we attended The Big One show at Farnborough where we saw a really cool stand Amazon Angler. The two gents there were Gareth Purnell and Steve Townson we got chatting and I said my number 1 bucket list fish was an Arapaima. It took all of 5 seconds to pay our deposits as Steve showed me some of the wild ones they had caught from the Amazon and its Tributaries.
The following year we were on our plane and heading to Guyana. To say the trip was a success would be an understatement, I landed my target a stunning fish around the 175lb mark with loads of back up species and my Girlfriend landed pretty much everything else, ending up as top rod on the trip.


That winter I turned to pike fishing, not with baits but lures only, and big lures at that!
We found a honey hole near to where we lived that was stacked with good sized Jack’s and pike to around 18lb this was the perfect place to get my confidence up with handling and techniques.
We are probably around 2017 at this point and we had just moved to Essex. Not knowing the area we joined a club and as it was spring carp and tench took hold once again, that was until October! The pike were feeding I was eager to beat my pb (14lb) and the lake we were on had rumours of a 20! Well I never did land a 20 but did have a very ill looking 16lb 4oz new pb pike which I came to the conclusion was the big girl but on her last legs. For my birthday that December my girlfriend had brought me the ultimate gift a St croix bait casting rod and an okuma citrix reel! That was it pike were my new favourite and that’s all I wanted to catch…..
Fast forward to February 18th 2019 and I had the wonderful idea of entering my first ever predator match on a local river that I hasn’t really fished but though I have to start somewhere!
Well I blanked for the entire match and was just near the final meeting point and gave it a few last casts with an over gunned perch outfit 2 casts later I was looking at a 2lb 6oz Sargent a new lure caught pb.


The Perch was now my New Favourite species…..
I went back just after a week from that competition and fished that same swim, and at just after 5am I rudely awoke my girlfriend to ask (tell) her I needed her to come to the river and photo a fish for me.
At 45cm and 3lb 10oz this perch was like no other fish I had seen, people say they are the best big fish and my god are they right!


The pike took a back seat as I found myself entangled in the new world of bfs/ul fishing for perch. Later that year there was another predator comp I landed the biggest perch again at 42cm and 2lb 4oz and a lovely 82cm pike which secured me 2nd place! Not bad for less than a year targeting the species.
The love for perch is still as strong as ever but December just gone I got absolutely blown away with the best birthday present I will ever receive, again my amazing girlfriend had pulled it out the bag!
A 2 week trip to Brazil but with 3 days Marlin fishing. I don’t know what I expected but told the skipper Shawn Wallace I would be happy with a 200lber he laughed…… They wouldn’t even call it a marlin its a rat!
I won’t drag this on much longer as I could write half a book on this trip but we had our first Marlin to the boat Catherine my girlfriend was the capture and the fish weighed 800lb then I had a 750lb fish along with a Dorado and a sail fish (day 1)
The next day we set out and cat had a 80lb white marlin a few bonito on my medium pike set up and then I had it, the Holy grail of Marlin fishing a 1000lb+ blue we couldn’t believe it but it didn’t stop there i had an 850lb that day too.
The final day afloat, in all his years being a skipper Shawn has never had this whilst fishing me and cat consecutively landed 2 1000lb+ blues I still get excited thinking about it and find myself rewatching the footage and staring at the pictures all the time!


This brings us nicely the the roller coaster of 2020. The year had started well with a social at farlows where I landed a 29lb carp, then the filling week I was on my synidacte and landed another 29lber, hit the river once again for perch and pike to land 2 15lb pike whilst after the perch 6 2lb perch and another 3lb 10oz monster. (I’ve just realised I have missed out my actual perch pb of 4lb 1oz from the reservoir but my ramblings are endless)
As I am writing this all those fish are at the back of my head as at the minute for me it’s all about Bass fishing.
This was meant to be just an intro and I hope it comes across OK to you guys and girls reading it and when I next get a spare hour will put the rods away and talk bass fishing
Tight lines and wet net

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