Thursday, 29 January 2015

Early morning double

My last session was again on the wonderful Wye, I arrived just before dawn with a plan of fishing as the first rays of light for the day were popping over the horizon, the river levels showed that a pulse of water had raised the level on the Saturday, I hope that it had peaked and started to drop for my Sunday session.
My first view of the swim initially gave me a dour response as there was more water pushing through that I would have liked but it was still fishable so he who dares Rodney.....

I had a dozen casts using the lure rod first but without any signs so as the lure rod was put up the bank a float-pat Sardine was dropped into the nearside slack. I had only been sat on the mat a minute and was trying to extract the flask from the rucksack when the baitrunner fizzed off, who was I to think the conditions weren't right! After a scrap that was in the flow for the majority of it a decent Pike was in the bag, first of the day within a couple of minutes and she registered 14lb 4oz on the scales.

A good start and the bait was back out in the slack again, guts hanging out from the first fish but that would do more good than harm in my mind.....
Another twenty minutes and there were signs on the bung that I had another interested customer, I struck into the fish and again a fight in the flow was soon over and the second fish was in the bag, this time a smaller sample of 11lb 9oz, a decent enough start to the session. Another hour in the peg and I decided on a move upstream to another stretch.

Snowdrops were starting to show on the riverbank, probably covered with snow now as I type this!

I had a further two hours upstream in a couple of likely looking slacks but no further takers for the rest of the session but I was happy enough with the days results. I was hoping to be on the river again this weekend but at the minute that isn't looking likely.......

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year Pike PB

Happy New Year to all, I hope that 2015 brings all your fishy dreams!

My first outing of 15 was on the River Wye, NYE had been the tail end of  3 day cold snap but NY day saw a rise to a heady 12 deg C with a little rain so I planned to fish the following day to see if the temp rise had woken a few fish up, a session on the Warks Avon on Dec 30th was very tough indeed on a cold slate grey river.

I arrived late morning onto the stretch and found the river at NWL and running quite clear, the Barbel fishing may not happen until dusk but I was happy with the river condition for my attempt for a Pike. I started in a very compact swim with my lure outfit, a small slack was the area I targeted but it was capable of holding a Pike, I ran the Fox Rep through a dozen times but no Pike fancied mauling my lure that day. I moved back into the main swim and repeated the lure attack but again without any takers so I dropped a float-pat herring down into the nearside slack whilst I assembled the Barbel rod that went out with a glugged boilie and groundbait feeder. Within half an hour the Barbel rod was away with a very 'Chubby' take, indeed it was and a fish of about 3lb was brought to the net.
The fishing then went quiet but I had enough to keep me entertained with two of the local wildlife keeping me company, the usual winter Robin was with me all day, continuing to take away tit bits plus a Mallard decided that he would plant himself down next to me on the bank, a very confident young man that also had a few tit bits during the day.
The light was beginning to drop when the Pike bung eventually looked like it was being troubled, I had to jump over my new found friend who was sat next to my chair although he wasn't bothered by my sudden acrobatics, I tightened down to the fish and a good scrap ensued before I netted my first esox of the year, on the scales she went 12lb 6oz, not a bad start.

With the fish returned and enough light left the rod was put back into the slack whilst I put together the second Barb rod that would go out when the light had gone, I was just about to retrieve the Pike rod when the bung bobbed once before sliding into the depths and this time the baitrunner fizzed as a better fish left the scene with my Herring, upon tightening down this did indeed feel like a better fish and again a good scrap was played out with the fish snagging me on some bankside stick ups at one stage but she was soon in the net, upon removing the fish from the water she felt heavy and the scales showed a figure of 19lb 2oz, a new PB, happy days indeed!

A beautiful fish and after she was returned she held in the flow for a few seconds before dropping back into the depths, a great sight indeed with the vivid markings showing clearly on her.
I had intended to stay late and hope that a Barbel or two would appear but I was happy enough with my lot, I did stay for a further hour and another 3lb Chub came my way but by 7PM I was away and I drove home a very happy angler.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

It's been a long time

Yes it has, my blogging has fallen by the wayside for some months now, I have no specific reason, I have still been wetting a line as often as I can for my usual variety of species so hopefully this will get me back into the blogging groove once again..........

My summer fishing mainly revolved around the Warks Avon, float fishing mostly for anything that came along, I fished the Wye a couple of times also but to be honest the canoes are manic and the autumn into winter are and have been much better as I will get to later.

The winter plan always revolves around predators, Pike & Perch being the main species but as I live in Coventry the Zander should really be on my radar more than they have been. I had a Perch fishery where I was going to spend a lot of the winter as it was local, unfortunately that water is now closed as per this blog by Mick Newey - so a new water will have to be found, I have a couple on the shortlist so hopefully I will be letting you know how I fare.

Josh has finally won Sky Sports Tight Lines 'Young Angler Of The Month' award with a Barbel he caught during our trip up to the River Ribble in late November, he will now be fishing with the stars of the Angling world on Barston Lakes in August, I am so very proud of him.

I have added a new outfit to my fishing armoury, a jerkbait set up, I don't fish for Pike using lures enough and it is a very mobile method meaning that on a new stretch of river you can kill two birds with one stone as you get to see the all of the river whilst fishing it, an ABU Ambassadeur multiplier has been mounted to a Savage Gear rod and a few large lures purchased, lets hope that the big croc's follow!

As mentioned earlier I have fished the Wye quite a lot over the past couple of months, Pike have always been the primary target but more often than not I have found myself on a river that has warm coloured water flowing through it's veins so the Pike have not flowed as planned, the Barbel have though. I have had a good average size of fish this year with eight fish of 9lb+ topped by a 10lb 13oz fish which for the Wye isn't bad and managed to top my previous PB for the Wye by 2oz. I also had a Chub over 5lb a couple of weeks ago which topped the river PB by just 1oz.

10.13 Barb

5.03 Chevin

 The Wye is such a gorgeous place

A single session to the River Severn earlier this year brought a fantastic looking Barbel, again the fish in this river are gaining weight and the average weight is on the rise, I sincerely hope that there are some younger fish coming through the ranks or else we will be thin on the ground with Barb's in the future.


Anyway, the Christmas break is almost here, I have a date with the Wye once again before that and I hope to get out over the break a couple of times, maybe even after Grayling on the River Dove.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Running again

Finally the close season has been put behind us and the running water venue's are open. My close season Tenching campaign has been a flop and I am already looking for different venues for next April, I really got myself keyed up for the Tinca's this year but my results were not great with just 6 fish over 7 sessions, not the best return and only one fish of 6lb.

Anyway, the 16th was here and I managed to get down on the Avon by just after 5PM, another member was trudging off the fishery and his return wasn't the best but there again the 16th is often a let down on the catch, but just being back besides running water on a river that is green and lush and overgrown is what it is all about, for this one day the catch isn't that important.
My plan was to fish on the stick & centerpin for a couple of hours then to drop a heavier set up in hope for a Barbel. I had recently received a new centrepin for Fathers Day, I already own a Browning Revolver and now I added an Okuma Aventa Pro to the collection, the latter was to be used for light float fishing and the Browning for the heavy stuff. I found my peg of choice free, a nicely paced run that is nice to trot on and offers the chance of a Barbus too. A 4AAA Avon was set up for the 6 foot deep run and caster and hemp was the bait, first run through after a 20 minute feeding period and the float dipped, first run through resulted in the first fish of the season, a decent Dace, happy days. The second run through saw another bite but this time the 13 foot carbon stayed round, the fish went straight for a far bank snag so it was obviously a Chevin, after a steady battle a fish of about 3 1/2lb was in the net, I was enjoying this!

The float session was steady sport and by 7PM I had over 20 fish, Chub & Dace, now was time to try for a June 16th Barbel. I had about a pint and a half of caster left so a pint went straight in via the bait dropper accompanied by a pint of hemp, the rod was set up and then I went for a mooch to look at some other swims, it was 45 minutes after the bait had been dropped by the time I cast out with a bunch of fake casters on a size 12 Drennan. A few taps were seen straight away but I was confident that the hair rigged rubber casters were still in place, something you do not get with the real deal. I recast at about 8.30 and five minutes later I had a couple of sharp Chubby looking raps before the tip hammered round and battle commenced, at first I thought that I was connected to a Chub but the second run saw me change my mind! A good tussle ensued and before long the first Barbus Barbus of the 14/15 season was in the net, not a huge fish at 6.13 but I didn't care!

My second trip to the Avon was a week later and this time I had the complete afternoon to fish, I had plans to float fish a fast water peg so the waders were donned (great in 23 deg C!) I fished the fast water peg for 2 hours but weed, snags & a lack of fish saw me make a move after only half a dozen Chub & Dace. The second swim was deeper and steadier but I thought the larger fish maybe sat in there due to the bright conditions, an hour in there without a bite saw me on the move again, back into the swim I fished on the 16th, I couldn't fail in here surely......... 

For 20 minutes I again couldn't buy a bite, this was unusual for this peg so I upped the feed and this did work to a degree with Chub, Dace, Perch and a Gonk being caught but very spasmodically, I couldn't build any rhythm up at all so it was at 6PM that again the bait dropper came out and a pint each of H & C went into the run, I sat back, had a bite to eat and chilled before casting in at 7PM, just after the first cast was made a Barb rolled in the peg, at least they were home!  It wasn't long before the 3 foot twitch came and the fight was on, a brief scrap and a 6LB Barb was safely bagged, rested, unhooked and returned and I was back in again. The second bite took it's time in arriving and came right out of the blue at  about 9PM, this fish was a complete headcase and time after time it seemed beaten on the surface only to give that tell-tale splash and slap of the tail as it headed back down towards sanctuary, eventually it was in the net and we both had 5 minutes to sort ourselves out! On the scales the fish went 7.12, not huge but welcome, a bent dorsal and blind in one eye, this fish had been through the mill but went back strongly. I cannot recommend the 5 minutes in the net before unhooking/weighing/pics enough, they really need it especially at this time of the year.

My third trip of the season was to the River Wye, I love this river and at only an hour's drive from home it is easily accessible. This Friday however the hour turned into almost 2 as the usual Friday afternoon rush plus roadworks slowed me down. However I was in the peg and fishing by 4.30PM , 2 rods today, both on feeders and 3 foot nylon hooklinks with size 12 hooks holding a single 8mm pellet. The first bite was after 5 minutes and a Chublet was landed, the second was a touch  bigger and a Barbel of about 7lb was landed. Action was steady and by 7PM I had landed 3 Barbel & 3 Chub, it was then the first rumble of thunder was heard in the black clouds heading my way, waterproofs were donned and the brolly pole was jammed into the bank so I could act quickly should the storm reach me ......
Of course it headed my way, there was no 'heads up' where the rain was concerned, just a sudden deluge like a tap being turned on full whack! The brolly was quickly erected, as much gear pulled underneath it as possible and it was hold on to your hat time. You can guess what happened next, the rod on the far bank wholloped over and stayed there, oh sheeeiiteee I thought as the first bolt of lightning cracked down, I attempted to get the Barb in as quickly as possible but that isn't a part of the Barbel fishing script that they read, I eventually landed it and left the fish in the margins in the net, the rod was left in the rest until the storm cleared.........  

Storm Barb

 The beautiful calm after the storm

As dusk approached the nylons links were replaced with braided links and size 8's for the glugged Prem Boilie's to be fished, always a winner after dark on here.
A quiet spell approaching dusk was had so a bit of bait went in and I sat back soaking up the gorgeous surroundings, at 9.15 we were away with the 5th Barb and it was pretty steady action after that with mainly Barbel and the occasional Chub. My plans were that I was to fish until 12PM, that would see me back home by about 1.30AM, it was now 11.40PM and I hadn't had a bite for 20 minutes.......
Had the continual stream of caught fish dropped the shoal back down the run or had the quiet spell signified a better stamp of fish in the swim, this was not an uncommon occurrence on the stretch so being the eternal optimist I cast out 3 feeders full of hemp, pellet and groundbait in quick succession and sat back to await proceedings. I had to wait until 11.55PM before the tip whacked over and straight away it was obvious that this fish was bigger than the 6-7lb stamp of fish I had been catching throughout the day. After an unspectacular but dour ruck the fish was in the bag, again she was rested for 5 minutes whilst I sorted myself out with scales, sling, camera etc. On the scales she went 9lb 6oz, a very long fish and in pristine condition.
It had been a heavy week at work so I will apologise now for the ugly beaten up mug holding the Barbel :)

That was that, final tally of 10 Barbel & 7 Chub, not a bad session at all. The drive home went pear shaped with problems on the M5 & M42 so I eventually rolled up outside the house in Coventry at 2.20AM, tired but grinning from ear to ear.......

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Still & Running


It has been a while since my last blog update, I have been fishing but not had the luxury of time to keep the blog up to date.
My spring Tenching has continued, all focused on one water, the catches have been very inconsistent, two seasons ago a few Tench could be caught during the day on typical Tench baits but this year there have been more fish caught at night to Carpers baits. I have fished during the day as that is what has suited, fish have come but by god have I had to work for them. The last four fish have all come to float tactics, no better way to catch Tench in my opinion, yes the feeder/alarm approach works but it bores me after a while so the float has been a part of my armoury of late.

6lb float caught Tench

5.07 float caught Tench

The Tench do not seem to be anywhere near spawning yet so I hope to have another couple of cracks at them over the next 3 weeks although a trip to South Africa with work may cut that down. I will try anyway as Tench are a fish I love to catch and the water has really drawn me in.


The 16th has been and gone and I made plans to get onto the Warks Avon after work to get a few hours in, stick/pin using caster/hemp was the main attack, to catch anything that swam, no real stress or targets for this session, it was just good to be back beside running water amongst the lush greenery that had sprung up over the past few weeks. The first cast saw the float dip and a nice hand sized Dace was swung to hand, a nice start, the second run through saw the float go further down the run and the fish had ideas of running me into a far bank willow, after a decent tussle a Chub of around 3 1/2lb was in the bag, I was enjoying this!

I continued to take a mix of Chub & Dace on the float until about 7.15 when I decided that I would bait drop most of the caster I had remaining and let it settle, a barbel attack would follow but after around 3/4 pint and 1/2 pint hemp had been deposited I went for a mooch to check out a couple of pegs that I fancy float fishing in this season. It was probably 3/4 hour after when I swung out an in-line feeder with 4 rubber casters on a size 12, half an hour later and only a couple of tiny knocks I decided to change the bait and slipped 2 x 8mm Krill boilies onto the hair, 5 minutes later and I saw a couple of whacks on the tip before a 3 foot twitch left me in no doubt, I thought a Chub was the culprit but after a couple of prolonged lunges a Barbel was seen, soon in the net and the session was complete. Not a huge fish at 6.13 but a good enough start for the first day, I knew this peg held Barbel and I had fished it enough last season without any luck so I was happy enough, the second session on the river is already well into the planning stages!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bank holiday fishing

The first May bank holiday was upon us and Tench were the target, my campaign has been stuttering this year as had it with many of my friends, the mild winter gave us the expectation that the Tench would be on it a bit earlier this year but it is only in the past week to 10 days that I have heard of consistent catches.
My intended venue was a very nice one on the eye, it holds some great Tench too plus a few other surprises, always a pleasure to fish there as far as I am concerned. I arrived with a friend about 8.15am and we found a further 9 cars in the car park, all with wet overnight windows so they had been on all night, more than likely Carpers but they do readily tell you of any Tench caught, we packed the barrows and headed around the water to the windward bank where we had caught well previously, en route we spoke to the Carpers and sure enough a few Tench had been caught during the night but everything had slowed down since dawn.

I chose a spot where I had caught before and after a bit of work with the marker float I found two decent spots to spomb a bit of bait onto, by 9.30 I was fishing, an inline magg feeder on one and a method on the other. The day was getting warm but the fishing was distinctly slow, out of the blue the magg feeder rod ripped off at 12PM, I picked the rod up and straight away knew that there was nothing attached as the run had been so fierce, upon retrieving the rig I found the hook gone, a clean break just above where the knot would have been, bite off or damaged/weak section?  I will never know. Back out went a fresh rig with expectations heightened a little as at least there were fish in the area. The temperature rose but the fishing remained cold, it wasn't until 4PM when the method rod rattled off and after a short spell locked in a weedbed I managed to nail a Tench, a male of 5lb 6oz.

I was hopeful of more action but not long after the fish was banked the wind dropped and the lake was as flat as a pancake, no fizzing was evident either, just a couple of cruising Carp. The margins had a few snails evident, super huge snails at that! Plenty of natural food in here for the fish.

We fished on until 8PM, my mate had a single fish also, a male Tench of 5lb 10oz, not the hit we wanted but we caught at least, plans are being made to return.


Josh and I visited another Tench venue on Monday, another warm day with a slightly stiffer breeze though. I was fishing two rods, method rod fishing 15mm boilie and a float rod with double/treble corn or double 10mm pellet, the reason for the bigger baits was to try and avoid the hordes of Rudd that live in the lake. It took a few minutes for the Rudd to find our baits and then it was non stop action with them, they would take anything that we cast at them! I had a good walk round the lake to see if any Tench could be spotted in the margins but only Rudd were visible. On returning to the swim I decided to go for broke with the Rudd, hoping that a Tench may put an appearance in but most of the time the bait was taken before it had reached the bottom, a net was slowly being put together and with our host a few pegs away he was also hammering the Rudd out, an eventual net of 32lb was weighed, this was what we could do whilst trying to catch Tench!

Before we left I did a fair amount of plumbing using a marker float, I had been told that the lake was quite deep in the centre but after a lot of thrashing with the marker I found an average of 7 feet with a deep hole of 11 feet, I will attack the deeper water next time and hope that the margins hold most if not all of the Rudd, hopefully leaving the Tench to graze alone in the deeper water, time will tell.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lazy Sunday morning

I had ventured out for Tench, I had ventured out using drop shotting gear, I had ventured out float fishing for anything that swims, none of the aforementioned sessions were very productive, April is a difficult time of year and things were looking grim, enthusiasm was ebbing......
Last Sunday provided me with an opening to get the gear in the car again, Tench are always my favourite species at this time of year but the two waters I favour were an hours drive and resulted in sitting behind two rods on alarms, that wasn't floating the boat for me, I fancied seeing a float itself dipping under the surface film so a trip much closer to home was made.

I arrived at the chosen venue a little after 7AM and the sights and sounds were delightful, bird song greeted me on setting foot on the bank and a little mist swirled across the surface as the early suns rays started to burn through it, not much brown left now, everything is fresh and green, spring is here and things are starting to move, I hoped the fish were in the same frame of mind!

On walking around the venue I came across a fellow Blogger, Mick Newey of fame, Mick and I had traded emails aplenty over the past 12 months but this was the first time we had actually met, good to meet you Mick!

I chose two attacks on my chosen peg, the earlier mentioned float and a 'sleeper' method feeder using pop up corn as bait across to the far bank. The latter rod was cast out and left to its devices whilst I set up the 13ft float rod using a .075g pole float as indication, maggot & chopped worm were to be the bait of choice with corn and pellet as back up. It was bite time from the off on the float and Perch after Perch were swung in, nothing huge but action and the aim of the day was met, the float was dipping, I was catching and it was a lazy Sunday, no stress, no pressure, just relaxing fishing for once. I do tend to have specific targets when I fish and I plan meticulously before every session I fish, that is a big part of it for me but today it was sit back, relax and take whatever swam my way......
The Perch continued to take the worm but then I had a couple of nice Roach that were pushing the pound mark, things were looking up. I was thinking that the 'sleeper' method rod hadn't woken up yet, I had recast 4 times in the same spot without a knock but suddenly the loose clutch I had set was spinning and I lifted into a reasonable fish, for its sixe it fought well, after pumping the fish across from the far margin it was desperate to get into the near back reeds to try and shed the hook but a but of pressure persuaded it out and into the net, the first Tench of 2014 was on the bank, not huge at around 2 1/2-3lb but a welcome capture.

I had now started to use corn or pellet as hookbait on the float rod in an attempt to lure a resident Crucian or more Tench, the small Perch were getting a bit of a menace. Bites slowed down on the different baits and were much harder to hit leading me to believe that a combination of Roach, Crucian & Tench were the culprits. The bites were occasionally hit and indeed I landed another couple of nice Roach, a couple of Cruican around a pound and another small Tench, all great fun on the light float gear. I did have a Crucian laid out ready for its pic but it performed the most exceptional flick then dive off the mat I have ever seen!

I had a further take on the method rod just before packing up which was a Silver Bream of about 10oz, the venue is famed for them and apparently holds them over a pound.

Quite a few of the venues Carp population were noted sunning themselves in a corner on my way off so I may place my method rod in that area next time to try and snare one as some of them looked good fish and worth a scrap with.

I maybe back this Sunday for a further lazy morning as I quite enjoyed the one just gone.......