Hi there. I’m John Bailey and a real welcome to my website Above all, I like to think my fishing world is built around traditional values but adopting fishing styles and approaches to fit modern circumstances.

I believe in pursuing good fish, even big fish but taken on methods that rely on the skills of the angler, on watercraft and an understanding of how fish feed and behave. Tackle and bait are important but it is the fish that is the focus of my thinking.

I believe in fishing beautiful, unfenced waters where fish are wild and where a love of nature is at the core of what we do. These are precious places in their own right and there is no such thing as a blank day on lakes and rivers like these.

I believe that the joys of fishing should be shared, not solitary. Fishing days are the best days and they are to be treasured with family and the truest of friends. These are often firm fishing friends, dating right back to childhood.

I believe in trying to pass on the great skills of the past and skills of the present day. I have been fortunate to have taught by some of the best anglers of the twentieth century and I have honed their lessons over half a century. Mobility, sight fishing, free-lining, floats and trotting with centrepins are a part of this but there are times when feeders and hair-rigs and carefully laid beds of bait are what is required. If the fishing is fun and if it is fair, we should fish whatever it takes

Finally, I believe passionately about respecting and preserving the natural environment we fish within. I care for the future of our rivers, our lakes and the fish and wildlife that abound there because that is the world our children and their children will inherit. Fishing is a unique pastime that provides a haven for many from the pressures of today’s busy world. Fishing has been the key and the cornerstone of my life and I feel deeply the privilege of passing on the knowledge that I have built up.

“I am passionate about my fishing world and I really hope to share it with you whenever and in whatever way I can – whether that is guiding, through articles and blogs, video or just inspiration” John Bailey

I have had the great pleasure of being the angling consultant on the BBC2 show Whitehouse and Mortimer Gone Fishing. This involved me planning and organising the fishing locations and working behind the scenes with Paul and Bob to ensure the fishing action was ‘on point’ and wherever possible they caught fish. Paul and Bob have become great friends and were a delight to work with and as you might imagine they are very much their own men!

The series received some great reviews such as below from the Guardian. As a result we are shooting another series over the next months,visiting new river, lake and sea locations taking on new fishing challenges.

You might not have thought that two ageing comedians bumbling around Britain in their waders would make for one of the surprise TV highlights of 2018. But Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing definitely has been. The funny, reflective and thoroughly relaxing show has followed Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse on a ‘good life’ buddy jaunt through picturesque countryside, following their recent respective health scares. At a time when so many much-watch dramas are consistently bleak, and even ingenious comedies are so frequently tinged with the dark and uncomfortable, Gone Fishing has consistently helped expel negativity from viewers’ minds. It has been, a “breath of fresh air”. Watching Mortimers real-life pratfalls, and the pair’s vocal joshing, has been a joy. There’s a simple, endearing pleasure in watching an excitable man fly-fishing in a gently bubbling river, while a group of meandering cows trudge past to the opposite bank. and coming face to face with Bono!”). That, and the way in which they reflect on the very real issue of their respective health concerns, has made Gone Fishing something very special, charming and life-affirming indeed.


I am hugely grateful to the Anglers Mail for giving me a platform to write about my fishing exploits and share my experience and insights. You can find out about my fishing challenges  in the Anglers Mail – www.anglersmail.co.uk – every week.