Monday, 31 December 2012

Last one for 2012

Well another year has gone, time flies by so quickly and fishing trips seem to be minutes throughout that time rather than the hours that we all crave.

For my final foray of 2012 I visited a reservoir with Pike & Perch the intended species for the day, as usual on this water due to it's open location horizontal rain greeted me and it stayed that way on and off for the duration of the session. One rod was to be float fishing a deadbait for the Pike and I fished a slider float just over the drop off for Perch with lobworm on the hook and red maggot & chopped worm to entice them into the area.
I continually moved the Pike rod about during the course of the day as in my experience Pike take a bait shortly after it arrives in their water abode and that was the case after the third re-position of the day when the float slowly slid away, on striking the fish felt quite heavy but before long a fish was brought into the margin and netted. Once the fish was lifted onto the bank it was evident that this fish had seen better days, the proportion of the head and the rest of its skinny thinning body were far from equal, I would say that this fish during its heyday would have weighed between 12-15lb but today was only around 8-9lb at best.

This seems to be the case with all the Pike I have caught on this water since October this year, whether the current stock have hit their peak and are dropping away or maybe it is because the water was a trout fishery in years gone by so food was readily placed on the Pike's table and is no longer there, who knows, it could be an accumulation of a few different reasons and time will tell. The rest of the session passed by without any further action and I packed up at dusk any made my way home.
Highlights of 2012
One PB was broken during 2012 and that was my Tench PB which I lifted to 7lb exactly, not the dizzying heights of the southern gravel pit Tinca's but the water in question provided me with some good sport at times and will be targetted again Mar-July 2013. During the session that gave me that Tench a nice Perch came my way at 3lb 4oz, I will always enjoy catching Perch of that size!.
The last part of 2012 has been a strange one as the main targets for me this winter were river Perch & Pike, the high water that our rivers have suffered have put those targets on the back burner ......... for now.
I will hopefully fulfill my river predator yearning in the first quarter of 2013 pending water levels with a Barbel session or two thrown in towards in March pending weather conditionms and then onto the Tench for the spring.
I wish all readers a Happy New Year for you and your families and will probably meet some of you on the banks in 2013.
All the best.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Struggling with the weather

The weather over the past few weeks has been changeable to say the least, we had a very cold snap that brought frozen lids on stillwaters as it was 2 to 3 degrees below freezing overnight for over a week and didn't get much above that figure during the day. The cold snap came after rain, rain and more rain so the rivers were high and bloody cold, not particularly good conditions for anything.
I grabbed a session two weeks ago on a local day ticket fishery with Perch in mind although 5 hours fishing just brought me a couple of bobs on the float and not the large spikey I had in mind, I will be back there though soon.....

Today I had a day to use as work had ended for the year (wey hey) but again the weather did it's best to thrown a spanner into the gears, rain again hit us but with temps remaining mild I did have an air of expectancy as I walked across the sopping wet field onto the local stretch of the Avon with Barbel on the agenda. The Severn & Wye were also on my list but the Severn had a huge pulse of water heading down from the borders into an already swollen river and the Wye had already started its progression up on the EA river level graph so I played it safe and stayed close to home.
The Avon looked to be about 3 feet up and throughout the short session was clearly still rising.

I found a swim with a nearside crease with a gravel bottom so I was happy enough with that and I presented a boilie wrapped in paste with a stringer of half a dozen half boilies to create a scent trail.

I fished for a couple of hours without a sign of a bite, the river was rising and just about to come over the top of the bank I was fishing from so enough was enough and I bid a hasty retreat. I did however use one of my new reels today - Daiwa Regal Z BR, it did not get the workout I was hoping for but so far so good.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Perch The Biggest Fish Of All

It has finally arrived, I celebrated my birthday a few days ago and amongst the fishy presents received was the latest book from the Perchfishers, The Biggest Fish Of All.

It is the Perchy time of year and this weekend will be focused on the species, a stillwater on Saturday and fingers crossed the Warks Avon on Sunday if the levels have dropped to an acceptable level. I am definately looking forward to spending the next few days with my nose buried in the pages of the above!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Cold water Pike

With a Friday booked off work the weeks heading up to the date my head was full of river Pike, the Severn and Wye were the planned locations to fish for the large croc's that I know inhabit the available stretches open to me. The weather however had other plans and the week preceeding the day in question was very wet indeed so the rivers were high, coloured and cold........good for absolutley nothing.
So a stillwater secondary option was planned with Pike still in mind and a dawn start was on the cards. With 6 hours of fishing in my pocket I decided to cover as much water as possible in an effort to drop a bait on the nose of a hungry croc, my own personal experience with both dead or live baiting for Pike is that takes invaribly come within 15 minutes of casting a bait into the water, this water I was fishing today ahd for me stuck to that rule 100% so the regular moving for me at least was a plan I was happy with.
I arrived at 6.45am with a heavy frost on the ground and 2 deg C showing on the car temp gauge, the sun yet to poke its weary head over the horizon and after slipping a few layers on me I got up onto the water to get the rods set up under the light from my head torch. Both rods were to be fish on float rigs with either sardine or makeral being the breakfast for the hoped toothy pred to chomp on. The first swim provided me with a twitchy float on the LH rod but nothing developed, I then moved up to the furthest point I intended to fish that day and then moved back towards the car park every 45 minutes. It was whilst I was in the third swim of the day I received a take on the LH rod close into the reedy margin and after striking resistance could be felt, a short Pikey scrap ensued and a fish hit the net that looked a double, it was in fact a near miss and went 9lb 11oz but welcome none the less.

I then continued to fish and cover as much water as I could for the remainder of the session but without any signs of any action. The sun was now up in a clear sky and the wind was none existant so that was my reason for the lack of activity for that day. Even now the rivers are still taking their time to expel all the extra water in them but hopefully they will be looking reasonabler for a session this weekend. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Catching again

I have been in a fishing rut of late, prior to my last session on the bank I had endured a run of 3 blanks which I wasn't happy about as none of us enjoy blanking, maybe the odd day here and there but 3 on the row was starting to severely get under my skin. The Chew encounter wasn't too bad, I put that day down to experience and I enjoyed it, Chew will see me again no doubt about that but then a weekend on the Warks Avon had kicked me right between the legs after I had fished (or so I thought) well enough to deserve a fish or two.  Both of the Avon trips were mainly targeting the local stripey Sergeant's, yes the river had risen and was that Chubby bottle green but the swims I targeted were in my eyes the perfect Perchy abodes, depth, slack water and cover, what else does a stripey predator need for it's watery home? They may have been at home but they didn't take my air injected lobs liberally doused with red maggots, but again I will be back to try and settle the score on that one as I am sure they cannot be far away.

So to the day that I actually caught something.....

A trip was planned to a reservoir on a club ticket with Pike & Perch on the hit list for the day, 2 guys Carping were there when I arrived, a quiet night had been reported but a flurry of activity on first light with fish to 15lb reported, anyway none of the scaleybacks for me as I set up close to a shallow area that dropped into 12 foot of water, a perfect ambush point for the Esox. A second rod was also used for Perch, a locslide float was fished just over the shelf with lobworms on the hook with red maggot and chopped worm scattered over the area at regular intervals. It was whilst the float rod was being set up that I had the first run of the day on a sardine, after a short tussle a jack of around 6-7lb was landed, not huge but a fish and a start!

The day progressed without any action on the float rod at all, my last session here had resulted in a flurry of bites towards dusk but that wasn't the case today and the stripeys were conspicuous by their absence......
About an hour before dusk as the wind dropped and the reservoir flattened off I had another run close into the reed line to my left, a very 'bobby' affair on the bung and it took a while to fully submerge and move away with any conviction, the strike met with resistance but after only a few seconds the hooks pulled and I retrieved a mauled sardine with its innards hanging out, the first fish was not hooked well so even though they were feeding it wasn't with any gusto.  I cast back out along the reeds and just as the last rays of light were fading once again the deadbait started to twitch as the bung again was submerged, on the strike this fish felt heavier than the first two and true enough after a short scrap a slightly better fish of 10.09 was in the bag.

All in all not a bad day, 3 runs and 2 fish, I know that there are bigger Pike in here so perseverance is the name of the game, the Perch are another story and seem to be eluding me at the minute but again that mission will continue.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chew Valley - The first encounter

A friend and I had managed to secure a day's boat fishing at the mecca Chew Valley some month's ago, the day finally dawned and it was an early morning start down the M5 heading for the reservoir hoping for one of it's crocodile sized inhabitants. A fair amount of research was carried out previously and most people said the same thing, no particular hot spot's, cover as much water as you can and basically do your own thing and fish!
We arrived at 7,30am to a misty Chew Valley, a huge expanse of water (well at least for me anyway!) and we joined the queue for the lodge to get our boat number, watch a H & S DVD and then get the gear down to the jetty for the days croc hunting.
We motored out to a section that I had highlighted via a map I had found on the web, it showed a shallow hump surrounded by deeper water so we thought we would try this area as it was a feature that may hold a fish or two.
We started with 2 deadbaits each, sardine, mackerel & smelt were on the menu, it seemed as though this was a popular area as by half an hour later there were another 6 boats in the vicinity, not too close for comfort but close by Chew standards. Over the next hour 2 of the boats shared 7 fish between them but our floats remained above the surface of the choppy water. We then decided on a move but when I attempted to raise the anchor I was unable to do so as it was completely snagged solid! Oh sh*t I thought we have only been here an hour and already lost an anchor, a quick call back to the lodge and we were told to dump the anchor and return for another, the anchors are buoyed so it would be retrieved later on I presumed. Funnily enough when we later returned to that area another buoy was visible not 30 yards from ours so there was obviously a fairly substantial underwater structure there (duly noted!)
So during the day we moved around and covered different parts of the vast water but without any signs, the odd deadbait had signs that trout had attempted to remove their innards but no action from the croc's. We motored back to the spot from where the fish were caught from in the morning for the final hour and a half but nothing occurred. We did however witness a nice fish that we later learnt was 26 and a half pounds being caught from a bank angler.
So the first journey to Chew resulted in a blank for our boat, there were mixed results when we got ashore, a few blanked,a few jacks caught and the biggest fish I heard of was a 28lb specimen, maybe next time eh!
Lessons learnt, well I don't think we did anything drastically wrong, there was a mass exodus of boats down towards the dam in the afternoon but we didn't follow, we wanted to do our own thing, I just think that we didn't drop a bait in the right spot on the day, as I said there will be a next time, I am already planning it.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A cold Avon afternoon

I had a window of opportunity to fish last Friday lunchtime through to dusk, the local upper Warks Avon was the chosen venue and with the dip in temperatures predators would be the chosen quarry. I started in a swim where I had been told by a couple of club members about a large Perch that had been spotted, its lair was right beneath the bank in an undercut amongst a large bankside tree's roots, nice!  That may have been a tough enough start but the location of the swim also meant that the cast would have to be made from below the lair and aimed back upstream so the bait dropped on the front door mat of the Perch's place, the fact also that the swim was directly under the bank meant that I would not be able to too get too close to the rivers edge. I used a simple 1 SSG on a short link and 6lb straight through to a strong size 8 with a lobworm impaled on it. The first cast wasn't a bad one and it seemed to settle in the right area, after 15 minutes without a tap I reeled in to re-cast to find that I was firmly snagged.......I ended up pulling for a break and having to set up again, not a great start. The second cast did bring some interest to the tip in the form of rattles and taps but after another 15 minutes without a firm take I decided a move was on the cards, the big stripey under the tree would have to wait for another day but I will not forget about her!
I then moved downstream about 200 yards into a usual peg that I fish for the resident Perch, a float rig was fished in the margin into 9 feet of slack water and a small black cap containing red maggot and chopped worm was cast to the far side still into about 9 feet, both rigs had lobworms on the hook. I had interest on the float from the word go but a series of missed bites and chewed lobbies told me that they were not the larger Perch I was seeking. Both lines then went very quiet so about 4pm I thought about putting a Pike rod over to the far bank so I swapped out the feeder for a Pike rod, the sardine had literally been in the river for 5 seconds when the float was twitching and bobbing it's way upstream, I gave it a few seconds before striking and was into a fish, a short tussle and a jackie about 4lb was in the bag, at least it had saved the blank!


I gave the Pike rod a further half an hour in another spot but no interest was registered, back to the feeder rod for the anticipated feeding spree towards dusk. As dusk approached the swim and surrounding river did come to life (as it usually does) and I was hopeful of some action but it didn't happen, I don't know why but that's fishing hey! Until the next time.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Reservoir Predators

The plan for the weekend was a river session on the Dove for Predators but rain on the Weds,Thurs and Fri put paid to that after other anglers I knew who fished the river were reporting high coloured water and large amounts of drifting weed.......plans had to be changed.
So the change had to be from running water to stillwater, a reservoir was chosen on a club card and by Sunday lunchtime we were on our way. The car park had 6 cars in it but luckily the anglers present were fairly spread out and the area I fancied was quiet so happy days, a couple of jack Pike were clearly evident in the margins so Josh hastily set his lure rod up and had a cast or three, they looked but didn't chase, seemingly lethargic and soaking up the (quite warm for the time of year) suns rays, never mind there is plenty of time yet.
A deadbait rod for the Pike was set up alongside a float leger as I fancied a crack at the Perch over the marginal shelf into 14ft of water. The Pike rod held a sardine 2 feet off bottom and the float rod was fishing a worm and red maggot cocktail with chopped worm balled in over the top along with red maggots sprayed every ten minutes. The day past uneventfully on the fishing front for the first couple of hours and I began to think that we should have visited a river after all but fished for Barbel instead of preds, no, the decision was made and we have the dusk period to look forward to ...............I then swapped out the size 12 hook for the dendro and re-tied on a size 8 for a juicy lobworm to be impaled onto, time for a big stripey says I!  Ten minutes after the lob was cast out I had a bite, and missed it, I then proceeded to have a bit a cast for the next 4 cast, I missed them all, what was I doing wrong?  The deadbait bung then bobbed once and sunk, I shouted Josh as I wanted him to have the run but as he picked the rod up the bung reappeared, he hovered over the rod for ten minutes without any further indication so the rod was reeled in, upon retrieving the bait it had a small hole in it's flank and its stomach was hanging out, no teeth marks at all, there are no crayfish known to be in this water so I suspect an eel as they are known to inhabit the water, truth is we will never know so a fresh bait was cast out with 'baited' breath......
It was on sitting back down to concentrate on the float rod when I actually hit a bite, after a brief scrap a Perch could be seen in the clear margins trying to gain it's freedom, I hastily netted the fish as I was aware that several sets of eyes with teeth could be watching proceedings and maybe getting ideas!  The fish was brilliantly marked with blood red fins and weighed in at 1lb 10oz, a nice start.

1lb 10oz Percius


I had just re-casted the float rod when the Pike bung sunk and didn't resurface so Josh was in! He wound down until he felt resistance then slowly but firmly pulled the hooks home, after a brief scrap a jack Pike of about 4lbs was in the net.

Josh with his snapper

This fish had fresh marks on the top and bottom of it's head where another larger Pike had obviously tried to nail it quite recently, a 4lb Pike is a bit big for a bait but a good sign that the larger Pike are there in this water.
Fresh wounds

After returning the Pike I was quickly in again on the float and this fish felt better than the last one, surely enough after a slightly harder scrap I saw a larger Perch fighting away in the clear margins, again I didn't mess about and got the fish into the net ASAP especially when I saw the hook just holding in the scissors! After netting the hook dropped out so there was my piece of luck for the day, on the scales she went 2lb 11oz.

2lb 11oz Percius

We fished on into the dusk period but no further bites were forthcoming, there were plenty of small fish dimpling the surface heading to dusk and some of them looked harassed so I suspect the Perch lifted from the bottom and started to hit the smaller fish on the surface, something I will think about on my next visit.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vulcan on the Wye

The early part of the week had been wet and lot's of rivers were very very high and probably unfishable so the car was pointed down to the Wye again after results from recent trip's had been pretty good. The river was around 2 feet up and coloured when we arrived, not quite as high as the two previous sessions but it looked good for a few Barbs.
The first couple of hours passed without anything of note happening, Josh found it highly amusing transferring most of the Wye bank mud onto his body!

The first sign of life came to the inside rod that was fishing a small piece of pepperami, the result was a Chub about 4lbs that wasn't the target species although it was welcome. Around 5pm a jet was heard, at first I thought it was an RAF jet but they are not usually seen during the weekend, it soon became apparent that it was indeed an ex-RAF jet, it was one of the most impressive, a Vulcan! The pilot took the bomber over our heads then along the river towards Ross-On-Wye before applying the gas and pulling the stick back, he then appeared over the hill behind us flying vertically whilst performing a left hand roll, most impressive but the herd of 50 cows in the field in front of us were not impressed! It seems that the bomber was performing fly pasts over many places that had produced it's parts when in production, Birmingham, Coventry and Staverton airports all seeing the mighty delta wing on Saturday -

As darkness descended I recast several times to get some bait down on the deck but it wasn't until 7.30pm when the U/S rod folded over and a good fish pulled back, several times the fish stripped line from the clutch when the net was in sight and eventually a good fish was landed and weighed at 9lb 3oz, not my biggest off the Wye but very welcome.

Not long after the fish was returned a huge bright moon appeared over the hill behind us and lit the valley up, not exactly great conditions in my experience but we gave it until 8.45pm before we packed up and headed back to Coventry.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Floating on the Warks Avon

I had initially planned to fish a club stillwater for Tench last Saturday but a late change of plans meant that I spent most of the afternoon through to dusk on the upper W Avon.  The dusk period would entail a 2 pronged attack for the Perch & Barbel on the stretch, the afternoon would just be enjoying float fishing for whatever came along, the wind made trotting the far bank a pain so I ended up fishing straight off the rod end into 7 feet of water, first cast and a nice Chub of 3 1/2lbs hits the net, a mint specimen too.

The rest of the afternoon was spent missing lots of bites and catching another 2 small Chub , 3 Roach and a zillion minnows, I enjoyed it as you cannot beat seeing a float go under. The football scores were in and I was happy, Man Utd (yes I am from Manchester before you start) had won 4-0 and both Man City & Chelsea had drawn so happy days, a long way to go yet but I am confident that we will claw back the prem from the noisy neighbours.
The float gear was now re-rigged and it was 5lb straight through and a lobworm on the hook with Perch in mind, I also primed the Barbel spot with half a dozen droppers of pellet & hemp, a Pike of about 6lb actually snapped at the dropper after the first chuck but soon let go, (note for winter) and that line was left to stew.
First chuck on the float and a Perch was landed, only about a pound but a Perch. Second chuck and a heavy fish was felt upon the strike, visions of lost monsters again went through my mind as per my post a few weeks ago, this time however I leant into the fish a bit more and it succumbed to the pressure, after a bit of near bank snagging attempts from the dirtiest of fighters and a Chub of 4lb was duly landed, a floppy stomach so a nice fish later on in the year.

The Barbel rod was now cast out after another 2 droppers of hemp & pellet were deposited before a boilie wrapped in paste was dropped above the hole. Half an hour later that rod was over and a Chub of 4lb 9oz was landed.

It was then, just on dusk that a strange thing occurred, I caught 3 Ruffe in a 10  minute spell, all of them having the lobworm hanging out of their greedy mouths, I have never caught a Ruffe or heard of anybody else catching one but a gang had appeared in my beloved Perch peg!

I packed the float rod up after the 3rd Ruffe when the boilie rod went over again, another Chub was landed, this time 4lb 2oz, no Barbel and no decent Perch today but an enjoyable session all the same.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Eel challenge completed on the Wye

Josh and I took a trip back to the Wye again yesterday, on checking the EA web site throughout that week it showed the level had risen sharply late Weds/early Thurs then had started to drop again so I was confident of good conditions when we arrived mid afternoon Friday. Sure enough on arrival the river was about 2 foot up and chocolate, perfect! We initially looked at a spot further downstream than our last session but it was taken so we opted for the same area of the previous session, the peg that we fished last week was taken (this stretch never used to be this busy!) but the peg above looked great and was free so we were in. Two rods on the tripod would be used using either boilie/paste or double 12mm elips/paste on the hook with heavy feeders to deposit the mix of pellet and hemp with a plug of spicy red groundbait, the upstream rod had been in only 5 minutes when the tip buckled and after a nice scrap Barbel number 1 was in the bag, at 8lb 1oz it wasn't a bad start.

It was Josh' turn next when the D/S rod went over and after a short 'scrap' one of his outstanding challenge fish appeared on the surface, an EEL!  He was over the moon about the fact, I was less impressed as I was left to unhook the thing, never an easy task with smaller eel's maybe a bit easier with larger specimens? Anyway the boy was happy so it was handshakes all round.

The next fish to me was another snig, how I love the things (not) but at least they were not tackle wreckers, Josh was then into a Barbel and landed a nice fish of 7lb 7oz


He really does well when playing Barbel as they do pull back and at only 9 years old and being quite short they do beat him up a bit!

The next fish to me was a tackle wrecking eel (spoke to soon) that basically appeared on the surface after a lot of tapping on the tip in a ball of hooklink, feeder and a branch, what a mess and I had the cut the hooklink off the eel to release it, nightmare.......

The Barbel then continued to come at regular intervals throughout the afternoon/early evening with  us taking a bite each, Josh was unlucky by dropping a couple of fish in weed and one reached a snag but he was doing well with the resident Barb population giving him a right workout!

After dark the bites slowed down, I lost a fish around 9pm then took 2 in quick succession, Josh was taking a nap at this stage and he had just woken up when the tip dragged round again at 10.30 so he was in again, another Barb at 7lb 8oz.

We had one last cast at this stage (as you do) and it was whilst I waited for the final 3 foot twitch that I spotted something moving through the swim and moving a fair amount of water as it did so, a quick flick on of the head torch and an otter's eye reflected back at us, it stared briefly before submerging and leaving the scene.  Two minutes later the final bite was had and a Barb of about 7lb was landed by yours truly. The final tally was 8 barbel, 2 eels and a Chub to me and 4 Barbel and an eel to Josh, mission achieved on the eel front anyway, Dace and Gudgeon to go for him so I will work on that over the next few weeks.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Team work and a PB on the Wye

A return trip to the Wye was scheduled for yesterday and Josh was in tow this time, he actually fancied catching an eel as it is one of his uncaught species and one of my friends caught two last Friday, he would fish worm's on one rod in an attempt to snare a snig. The weather forecast was sunny and a bit if cloud but only 10 minutes from home and we were driving through a biblical storm on the M42, then another on the M5 and then another on the get the drift with this, luckily I had thrown the brolly in the boot so we wouldn't get too wet.  On arrival we were again greeted by rain but after a 5 minute wait in the car we loaded the gear and headed towards the river, it was back down to NSL but was still holding a touch of colour and looked great (when don't they!)
The plan was for Josh to fish his wormy eel rod and I was fishing two rods on a tripod for the resident Barbel, I started fishing caster's on one and a single 8mm pellet on the other until late evening when I would change hookbaits to boilie and double 12mm elips pellet.
It was during the set up that the first disaster of the day occurred, as I was setting up my landing head one of the arms shattered, it was the style of net where the arms are under tension when both are fitted into the spreader block but this net's days of tension were over, I told Josh that any fish we had during the session would have to be landed/scooped up by me and Josh would take the rod just before this stage if he already wasn't the one to hit the bite.

End of the road for this net

It was lucky that we weren't fishing a far bank mark as there were a lot of canoeists travelling down the river, most were over in the far 1/3 rd of the river but the odd one did creep close onto our bank and were almost garroted by my 15lb Suffix, it's amazing the looks that you receive when this happens, my tip to any budding canoeists reading this would be to stick to the half way mark, you should be fairly clear of any garroting activities on that line!
The next item of note was when Josh decided to take a walk upstream from our position and ended up wellie boot deep in mud, he tried to pull himself out for a couple of minutes then gave me the shout as was starting to get worried!  I ended up pulling Josh out leaving his wellies behind and then had to dig his wellies out, he was a total mess at this stage and was sent back to the car to change his gear out, spare clothes are always a necessity where kids and outdoor activities are involved!

Josh on his way back to the car for a freshen up!

The first fish of the day arrived whilst Josh was changing, a Chub about 4lb to the pellet rod, I had a mission and a half to try and land it with my 'limp' net but managed it. A lot of knocks and bangs then ensued for an hour but no further takes, the pellet rod then ragged over and after a definite Chubby battle where the fish tried to snag me on everything it could I landed/scooped a fish of 4lb 12oz, the fish looked as though it was heavier at some stage in its life as it had a huge head and shoulders.

Josh modelling 4lb 12oz Chevin

Dusk was approaching so the rods were re-baited, double glugged 12mm elips on the U/S rod and a 14mm boilie on the D/S rod both carrying feeders, the taps and knocks had now stopped.........  The D/S rod was the first to fold over and a Barbel was hooked, after a good scrap the rod was passed to Josh and I scooped the fish up in the smashed net, 8lb 6oz on the scales and we were off!

Within minutes the re-cast rod was over again and Josh this time took his turn and battled with another Barbel, Josh really had to hold on to this fish and was pretty tired out when I landed the fish, as soon as we had the fish on the mate it was obvious that it would be a new PB, on the scales it went 8lb 1oz and was indeed a new PB.

Josh with his 8lb 1oz PB Barbel

Josh's eel rod had not had any touches for a while and when he retrieved for a re-bait it snagged up and ended up in a lost rig so that rod was left up the bank, next time for the eel. Further Chub hit the net after this, all bar one over 4lb so a good stamp of fish, as Josh nodded off at 11.45pm I hit the last bite of the session and another Barbel of 7lb 8oz was bagged/netted/scooped. The final tally was 4 Chub and 2 Barbel to me and 2 Chub and 1 Barbel to Josh, all the fish had been caught on the D/S rod on boilie.

All in all a good session and I am proud of Josh on his new Barbel PB, it seems that he is quite happy with night fishing and would like to do some more, great with me as I love it to!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

First of the season

For some reason I have been struggling with Barbel this season, I have fished on 8 occasions targetting them, sometimes not for the entirety of each session but the hours have been put in and I thought I was due a fish or three. Doubts do start to creep into the mind though but I know that my bait, rigs etc are OK as they have caught many fish in the past and Barbel fishing hasn't changed THAT much unless I am missing a trick........Swim selection, conditions and hard stretches of river are all my fall back reasons and I knew that the effort would pay as some stage.

Yesterday I fished on a club stretch of the Wye, on arrival it was 18 inches/2 feet up and chocolate, maybe today was the day. Two friends accompanied me today and we all ended up fishing the same bank but spaced about 200 yards apart between the three of us. Pellet and boilie were the hookbaits with pellet and hemp in the feeders with a plug of groundbait, all simple stuff. I cast in around 4.30pm and sat back in the warm afternoon sun, the journey down from Coventry had been a different affair with heavy rain and lot's or red brake lights and the evenings weather forecast was 'mixed' to say the least!

It wasn't until the early evening that the first fish was caught and it was to the middle of the three of us, a nice 8lb Barbel, he continued to catch fairly steadily and by 9pm he was on 3 Barbel, the end friend was on 1 Barbel and a Chub, my tips remained still.......the demon's were starting to ask their questions, there didn't look to be anything different between the three spots we were fishing, it was nice steady flat water so I thought it would happen at some stage, famous last words I hoped not.

It had rained on and off until about 9.30pm and then it stopped, the sky cleared and the sunset was a nice one, at least I had taken some pictures today!.

It was 9.45pm and the U/S mate had just called me to tell me he had caught 2 eels!  Eeerrrr you can keep them up there I told him, the U/S pellet rod then crashed over and I was in, after a short tussle I had the first Barbel of the season in the net of about 7lbs, happy days indeed!


It then went back to being quiet for me, I had a decent fish roll on 3 occasions right on the boilie rod but it failed to pick up the hookbait and at 11pm I started to pack the gear away. My mates were camping down there so fished on until 12.30 and they told me this morning 'they switched on as you walked back to the car'.......they took further Barbel of 10 & 9lb between them plus other fish, that about sum's up my luck with Barbel at the minute.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Meaty Carp

I had offered to take a neighbours lad out for a few hours during the holidays and yesterday morning seemed a good time, the weather man stated that by 12 o'clock lunchtime it was going to rain with some added thunder so we planned on fishing the morning and then packing up at 12 or whenever the rain appeared. The venue was again the one I fished with Lou last week and I was still scanning for spots that looked good for my Perch campaign come the colder months. We arrived at just gone 8am and were set up and fishing by 8.30, we fished just a bit further around the pool than the last session, we had a set of lily pads in between our swims so we fished either end of them. Float tactics were deployed with meat or corn on the hook and I also baited with some remaining casters from my Trent session on the previous Saturday.
I was in first cast and it was the Roach again that were first out of the blocks, I had 3 fish all around  8-10oz before they mysteriously disappeared only to be replaced by Bream and Roach/Bream hybrids.  Tom's first fish was a small Crucian.

I stepped up the feed in an attempt to attract one of the Carp that inhabit the lake but the response was Bream between 2 and 3lb's, Tom also got in the Bream act as displayed below.

I then had a further plumb around the swim and I found that the pads were situated on the top of  a ledge around 2 1/2 - 3 feet deep and a few feet off the pads it dropped down to 4 1/2 foot, a new approach was to fish the bottom of that shelf to see if the larger fish were holding back and picking up any loose offerings that were being blown off course in the ever increasing wind. I then baited the size 10 with a large lump of bacon grill and sat back to await event's, it was immediately obvious that the tedious rapid bites that I was receiving next to the pads had gone and the first bite was a slower and more deliberate affair, the resulting strike put a tasty bend in my 13 foot power float rod, job done! After a good tussle a long torpedo shaped Common Carp was in the net.

I re-baited and it wasn't long before any slower bite was connected with and another Carp was dragging me around the near ledge, slightly smaller but good fun all the same.

It was approaching 12 o'clock when the first drops of rain started to fall so we bid a hasty retreat to the car, a few fish had been caught and it was a morning out in the fresh air, happy days.

Trotting the Trent

I met a friend on a stretch of the upper Trent last Saturday, I had fished here only once before (June 16th 2010) for Barbs during the day and blanked but conditions weren't too favourable on that day. Today would be spent trotting a float during daylight hours for anything that came along and then a switch over to the Barbel gear an hour before dusk and to fish until midnight.

The river was carrying a bit of water and was slightly coloured so it looked in good nick,  I started in a fairly fast swim and third trot down my double caster was taken and a good fish was hooked, the flow now came into full effect and the fish just held in it whilst my relatively light hooklink (2.12/16's hook) was doing all it could, after a minute the hook pulled so the lighter hooklink was dispensed with and it was 5lb straight through to a strong 14's! A couple of trot's later and again a good fish was hooked, this fish was brought to the waiting net but managed to do the thing that Chub are so adept at, transferring your hook to something else, this time it was streamer weed and a Chub of around 3lb was back with it's shoal mates, laughing all the way........ I stayed in that peg a further 2 hours, taking 5 Chub in total up to about 3 1/2 lbs, enjoyable fishing all the way.

3 1/2lb Chevin

Only small but an absolute minter of a Chub

I then moved downstream to another swim that was a long sweeping bend looking like it had a bit of depth compared to the faster peg I had just left. Second trot around the bend and the float buried and another good fish was hooked, I could tell this was again a Chub from the onset as it tried to snag me underv my own bank, dirty fighters aren't they Chub!  The fish was held out of the nearside cover and eventually in the net it went, this fish was 4lb exactly and looked like it had been in the wars with scar's and scrapes all over it's body, a proper old warrior.

4lb Trent Chub


A few further trots down gave me a Brownie about 12oz before going quiet so I then moved back in to the first swim for the final hour, back in here I had 2 further Chub before heading back downstream to start setting the Barbel rods up.  I had chosen a spot that was just below a snag, a willow had fallen most of the way across the river creating a funnel that I thought any travelling fish would pass through on their nocturnal journeys, one rod was to be put on that spot and the second a little further downstream in fairly open water but on the same line as the US rod so a single flavour trail was running down river. Double pellet wrapped in paste was on the US rod and boilie wrapped in paste was on the DS, half a dozen dropper's each of hemp & pellet was despatched into the spot's around 7.30pm and by 8.15pm I was in position and fishing. Cutting a long story short, nothing much happened apart from continually winding in ton's on weed every 20 minutes or so, the upper Trent is famed for it's weed running down river and tonight was no different.  What with this year's high water some stretches are relatively barren compared to past years but the dreaded weed  continues to appear, I looked at the stretch the afternoon before I fished it and there did not appear to be ANY weed at all coming down but today there mate had a Chub around 4lb at 10pm but the Barbel weren't playing out this time. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Meaty Roach

I fished a local day ticket lake after work last night with the better half, the lake itself has started to interest me after tales of large stripey's being caught so I fancied a quick look see for future winter sessions plus I took a chance to wet a line for a couple of hours, it would be rude not too wouldn't it!
We were both fishing float rigs using a combination of corn,meat and caster, I quickly set Lou up and within a couple of minutes she was into her first fish, a nice Crucian was soon netted and held aloft.

I was still setting my rod up when again Lou's float rod took a healthy curve, after a decent scrap a fish was landed that I initially thought was an Ide but after a closer look it turned out to be a Roach/Bream hybrid of about 2lb.

Lou with Roach/Bream Hybrid

Two casts and 2 fish that Lou hadn't caught before, well done indeed! I was finally ready to go and I chose to fish with a light 2BB waggler next to some nearside lillies, I caught from the off, mainly Roach with a few Roach/Bream hybrid's, Perch & Rudd thrown in, most fish were coming on small pieces of meat and the pads were continually bumping and knocking so I was sure a bigger fish would be hooked soon. When the better fish was eventually hooked it wasn't the expected Carp but a minter of a Roach that weighed 1lb 6oz, the largest Roach I had caught for some time.

1lb 6 oz Roach

The next bite was from one of the pad rocking Carp, it stripped 40 yards of line from the reel and as it neared a far bank overhanging tree the hook pulled, oh damn it.....or something like that.
We fished on for a short time then the owner was on his rounds telling us the gates were closing at 8pm so we had 20 minutes to get the gear packed away. An enjoyable session and I am already looking forward to the Roach & Perch in the winter.

Dodgy mince pie