John Bailey’s fishing Masterclasses are the premier events of my guiding calendar. The whole idea is to offer something uniquely special to anglers looking for an ultimate learning experience. The Masterclasses are designed to fill two days completely and, hopefully, leave you a much more competent angler as a result.

Masterclasses are run over two days, in the Wensum Valley Norfolk, because this gives us a real opportunity to get into the detail and application of specimen fishing techniques and watercraft as well as putting this into practice and hopefully catching specimen fish, even a PB!

David with a pb 30lb pike caught on a previous predator masterclass

2019 Masterclasses;

4/5th May – Tench Masterclass
11/12th October – River fishing masterclass
 16/17th November – Predator Masterclass

Book here 

What the Masterclass offers

  • 2 days fishing with focussed tuition from John
  • 2 nights stay at Carrick’s with breakfast and dinner
  • Picnic packed lunch tea/coffee
  • Access to selected Private Waters
  • Complimentary gift of selected Ian Lewis handmade floats

What you can expect?

The fishing

There will be no more than three or, at the most, four anglers for each of these events, so that it is a very personal experience. It could well be that you have family or friends that you want to join you on this educational angling exploration. I’d welcome that. Equally if you are on your own you can meet new like-minded friends. The whole idea is to build up friendships along with exploring angling’s possibilities.

A great Chub for David Brown.

The Masterclass

I will talk about the fish, the best tactics, watercraft, how waters behave, baits, rigs and the habits of the fish that we are targeting.

I will endeavour to share with you all my experience of the last 40+ years, so you get a real in-depth knowledge of the target species and approaches to catching specimen fish.

There will be a mix of theory and practice with the emphasis on the fishing on one of the many beautiful waters that I have exclusive access to.

We will be throwing in a lot of goodies during these masterclasses. There might be small gifts, as well, perhaps donated by one of my many sponsors. We will have photographs of the trip.  What I’d like to think is that you will leave Carrick’s, leave Norfolk and leave me with a really strong idea of where your fishing can take you in the future.

Dave and Dick, two stalwarts with two wonderful tench


Will be based at Carrick’s at Castle Farm, right on the banks of the River Wensum.

The evening will be spent, in our excellant accommodation, enjoying great food and discussing where we went wrong and, hopefully, more often, where we went right.


 15/16th October – River fishing masterclass

  • Float gear and the floats themselves
  • How floats, shot and baits work in the current
  • Location Crabtree style
  • Trotting in theory and in practice
  • Centrepins vs fixed spool
  • Laying-on, the overlooked method
  • We will also cover quiver tipping,free lining and touch ledgering technique
Rivers have been the focal point of my fishing life. In my teens I was tutored by Ivan Marks during his trips to the Wensum. And it was on this , my home river, that John Wilson and I explored through my twenties. In my 30s, 40s and 50s, during my travelling days, I was tutored by legendary Indian river guides Bola and Subhan as well as some of the great European anglers in Scandinavia and  especially the eastern states.  Now, in my 60s, dare I say I feel qualified to pass on this wealth of gifted knowledge?
My hope is that after the two days, you will have caught good fish, picked up new skills and perfected old ones. Above all, I would like to think you will go away with a new , more profound way of thinking and fishing rivers, Perhaps you will have made new friends, and as Ratty once said, simply enjoyed ” messing around on the river”
See you there!
To reserve your place and book email [email protected]

 16/17th November – Predator Masterclass

  • How pike and perch feed
  • Bait approaches for pike
  • Unhooking predators safely and with respect for the fish
  • All manner of lure approaches (in conjunction with Savage Gear maestro Robbie Northman)
  • Forgotten methods – wobbling roach
  • New predator rigs

Why book a Masterclass?

  • Access to one of Britain’s most popular and knowledgeable anglers with over 50 years of experience across all species and angling approaches
  • Opportunity to catch specimen fish from Private waters
  • Opportunity to meet and discuss with a small group of likeminded fishermen
  • A relaxing and enjoyable stay at beautiful  5 star  accommodation on the banks of the river Wensum in Norfolk

What people say

It really was a real eye opener for me, I’ve been fishing for many years and like to think of myself as reasonably competent but I learned so much from John’s tuition particularly about watercraft and understanding how to read the situation and the water plus great tips on technique. And I caught a pb!  The whole two days were a great experience, I would definitely recommend it.”

David Chapple

Prices. £595 inc 2 days fishing on private waters, bait, 2 nights accommodation and all meals.

To check availability and pricing please email [email protected] or fill in the reply form below.