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.......

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Draycote afloat

It was time for Trout, I had purchased a fly fishing outfit some years ago to keep me on the rivers in the close season fishing for Grayling but I had promised Josh a trip to Draycote afloat for a Trout.
I had been in touch with the venue manager a week or two before for info of how the place was fishing and what flies to use etc, he kindly offered to put me a goody bag of fluff together and with that the boat was booked for yesterday afternoon.
We arrived just after 4PM and when the fluff was purchased and the boat loaded we were off about 4.30 onto the waters of Draycote, it was Josh' first time fishing afloat although he had fished/cast with the Trout set up before, catching a few Rudd in the process.
The area we were intending to fish was quite busy being fished by bank anglers so we anchored up short of them and started to see what we could attract, a few casts in and I felt a few plucks but the strike met thin air, this happened a couple of more times with one strike resulting in a hooked fish but it soon dropped off. We had a move and yet again Josh had a few plucks and lost another after a brief tussle. It was not long before the anchor had to be lifted for the final time that night (had to be back on the jetty for 7.15) when the line tightened once again but this time I told Josh to try a slow lift rather than a strike and bingo he was in! After a good tug o war I slipped the net under our first Draycote Trout, job done!

The guys on the bank were really hammering them as dusk approached and we had a fair few more casts to try and catch another but it wasn't to be. We had enjoyed it and that was the main thing, we will definitely be back on there but may give the bank a try, Josh also has a fly starter kit on his birthday list in May so we can hit it together in the future.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Hail or Shine.......

The rivers are now behind us for another season so it is the stillwaters that we now look to satisfy the craving. I had managed to secure a free 10M pole from a fishing buddy up North so it was with that item of tackle Josh and I headed to a local water last Saturday, I had checked the weather forecast the days leading to the weekend and Saturday soon emerged as the day as I read 0% chance of rain with cloud/sun mix, cannot complain for mid March, the brolly was packed anyway......
We arrived at about 1PM and I soon had Josh fishing with the top 4 sections of the pole using maggot, I was on the next peg fishing a large pole float with a lobworm beneath it aiming for the resident Perch or anything that swam. Josh had taken a couple of small Perch and I had just settled into my swim when the 'plip plop' of the first rain drops started to resound around us, within 30 seconds there were pretty large hailstones mullering down upon us so up the bank we scampered and the brolly was erected quick time.

Deserted hail battered swim

The hail storm didn't last long so we were back on it, I had forgotten to fold down my chair in my haste to get the brolly up so it was wet backside time for me and Josh wasn't loving holding his now wet & cold pole so that soon went up the bank whilst he drank the contents of his flask. I asked him if he was to return but then the second hail storm descended, this was a bruiser and lasted around 15 minutes, we had now probably spent more time under the brolly sheltering from hail than actually fishing, don't you just love this bloody country......not!
The impending ice balls cleared and we were free to fish, I caught a reasonable Roach about a pound quickly followed by a slightly smaller Perch, the Perch (and all others caught on the day) were as fat as footballs, obviously they hadn't spawned just yet, I had wondered with the mild weather and thought that they would have done so but it seemed not on this water. 

Josh wasn't impressed with the conditions and as it was only a short fire session that was that, we caught eight fish between us and Josh needs a pole roller but on the whole we enjoyed it.

The tackle has been cleaned from the past river campaign, Barbel & Pike rods have been dismantled and the Tench & Fly outfits have found their way to the front of the rod holders in the garage. The current 10 day weather outlook isn't bad with temps rising after today/tomorrows rain. An evening session on Draycote is planned for next Friday for us and maybe the first Tench session too on the Sunday, fingers crossed all round.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Curtain call on the Wye

Thursday 13th was my last session on running water for the 2013/14 season, as per the majority of other river anglers the winter of 13/14 had been a literal wash out. The River Wye was again the chosen venue for my last bow as it has done for the past 3 seasons, I do like it down there, a great river and great surroundings so why not.
I left Coventry at 5.30am and instantly was hampered with thick fog making it slow going on small local roads, the A & M roads were better but it was usually because I was following tail lights in front which is a dangerous past time in itself! I eventually pulled into the car park at 6.45 and was on the bank for 7, foggy conditions still surrounding me but now it was very atmospheric rather than a hindrance, I have usually found that fish feed in fog, don't ask me why but that is my finding anyway. A two rod approach was the order of the day, a sardine on a float/pat for the Pike down the edge and a Barbel rod halfway over using a single pellet on a long nylon link with pellet and groundbait in a feeder.
Atmospheric Wye morning

The second cast with the Barbel rod saw the tip bump a couple of times before the feeder shifted and over the tip went, a good scrap soon saw a plump Barbel in the net, she looked a big 8 but the scales showed 9lb 7oz, always nice when they do that.

9.07 Wye Barbel

The next cast saw a repeat and another good ruck saw another Barb in the net, a bit smaller than the first fish and the scale agreed this time and showed 8lb 8oz, this is good, this fish had a nice white edge to its tail fins.

8.08 Wye Barb

The sun now started to burn through the fog and with it the fish backed away and the bites ceased, I had noticed a couple of bobs & dips on the Pike bung and when I retrieved the Sardine it was in a bit of a mess, the marks didn't look like Pike teeth marks, maybe Crayfish or Eels but I have not heard or seen the former plus I was fishing a popped up bait so I am open to ideas guys?

Sardine stripped 

The sun grew stronger and I retrieved the Barbel rod and started to trot a lobworm tail along the nearside crease, I have never seen a Perch on this stretch of the Wye but I am sure that they are there, I fed maggot & chopped lobs for over an hour but only caught one fish, a daft Trout about 2lbs, no Perch or Chub to be seen.
I went for a walk along the stretch to take a look at other swims and got the Barbel rod back out at 4PM, a short while later it was away and a Barb about 6lb was duly landed and returned, I hoped for further action but dusk came and went and I fished into dark until 8PM without a touch on either Barbel or Pike rod. I was hoping for another Pike but it was deadly silent on the rod all day despite positioning the bait above & below my fishing position, I was later to find that Pike were caught in the swim earlier on in the week but not today......
I bid the river farewell and that was that for another 3 months, I cant wait already.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A warm day on the Wye

The river season is running to a close, it has been a strange one, not a very good one in my experiences, my winter Chub campaign didn't happened, my winter Piking campaign didn't happen, for two months I haven't even thought about getting near a river and I usually will have a go in the wildest of conditions but not this winter.......

Anyway back to the current timeline, I had planned two visits to running water prior to the 14th March, I mulled over a few venues, Trent, Severn, Warks Avon were considered but I chose the Wye, I love this river, the surroundings are some of the best in the country in my opinion with two of my favourite species readily available, Barbel & Pike.
The first session was yesterday on a day ticket water, a few mates were down there for an extended weekend but as the Wye is only just over an hour for me I could be there and back in a day no problem. I arrived at the venue around 7AM and the sun was already kicking the ass out of any early morning mist that was about, bright sunlight has never been a friend of either Barbel or Pike angler but it looked as though it was happening today. The river looked to have around 2 - 2 & half foot on after a slight rise the evening before, nicely coloured and steady flow, it looked great for Barbel, fellow modest conditions for the fish compared to what they have endured over the previous few weeks. I walked upstream to Pike fish for a couple of hours before the sun was too high in the sky, first drop into a nearbank slack with a sardine saw a stuttering take that I missed, damn it (or something similar to those words) and the bait dropped back into the same spot didn't see another chance, half an hour later and I moved to another spot without any luck, after a third dead spot I decided that the Barbel gear was coming out earlier than planned.
I picked a swim that had glassy steady water and a decent enough slack down the edge, the Pike rod was despatched and left on the baitrunner whilst the fairly standard Barbel gear that consisted of groundbait feeder and a long nylon link with a single 8mm pellet were cast out to a nearside crease. The day got warmer and warmer, 16 deg C my phone told me but it felt warmer than that but that may have been due to the fact that we were at the bottom of a prominent valley. Spring had definitely sprung but my god what a temp rise!  The day continued, a couple of fish were caught throughout the group of us that were there but it was hard work all round.

At about 3PM I had a move and dropped into a swim upstream, again a glassy surface was chosen with a Pikey looking margin to drop my Herring into so I was in there, settled and off again.

I was in straight away on the Barbel line and a splasher Barb of around 3lb was soon in the net, a start and the first Barbel of 2014. The next hour again passed uneventfully even though the sun had now dipped behind the far bank wood providing shade onto the river with a noticeable drop in temperature with it. I was beginning to think the day would have better sunbathing rather than fishing when I noticed the near bank Pike bung sink and head past me upstream, I slowly wound down and lifted into a heavy fish, a couple of pulls and then in true Pike fashion it gave up and I slid a nice fish into the net, I though scraper double during the fight but once on the bank it was obviously bigger, the hooks were out nice and easy then onto the scales, 15lb 8oz was the recorded weight, she looked heavier but was very empty at the back and along with the red marks on her flanks I was wondering if she was recently spawned?

I slipped the fish back and then fished on for a further hour but nothing else showed up fish wise. It was a hard day but it ended well, that is a double figure Pike on my last two visits to the Wye so not bad, my target is of course a 20lb fish so the quest continues......
I have a further session left before the curtain closes, I will be back on the Wye on Thursday, again Barbel & Pike will be the main targets with another rod fishing worm in the mix, I am hopeful as the river should be spot on by Thursday, temperatures are remaining steady during the day but with no further rain forecast she will level out nicely, hopeful, hopeful, hopeful.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Trout reservoir Piking, not as easy as it looks......

Back in July last year a ticket was offered for a days Pike fishing on Blithfield Trout reservoir, as you would I took it without a second thought and as the day approached the thoughts were in my mind about what the day could possibly bring. I had never fished Blith but I had fished Chew in Nov 2012 and although I blanked I would definitely return as the one thing that you do know on waters of this type is that although you still have to find the fish you definitely know that they are in there somewhere. That mystery of not knowing on other waters for other species what maybe taking your offering you may say is the magic of our sport and I would agree but the buzz of also knowing that a 40lb Pike could be the next fish you cradle is also a fix that I can live with!
My boat partner had tickets booked the previous two Saturdays but alas the recent weather saw the days cancelled so we had no idea how the old esox were feeling and where they maybe residing, so a blank canvas was what we were starting on, no change there then.
The day in question was good in regards to weather, fairly mild, overcast and a light/med breeze were favourable conditions in my book. We headed off the staging in boat 18 at 8am and lures were trolled immediately as we slowly chugged up the res towards the top left hand arm of the two bays.

It was all quiet in the southern part of the res but not long after we motored under the road bridge (ducking as the water was quite high) my boat buddy had a take on a trolled plastic, a decent trout had grabbed the lure and after a few jumps threw the hooks. We then proceeded to cover most of the margins of the Northern half trolling but nothing came our way.  The water was quite coloured probably because of the river flowing into the res so we made an executive decision and headed back under the bridge into the lower half of the res with the hope that the clearer water would give us a better chance of a take. Again we trolled the margins of the complete lower half but without any luck, we also stopped and fished static deadbaits a couple of times but apart from a daft Trout hitting my float all was quiet.
A Goshawk was spotted during the afternoon, first chasing a couple of Oystercatchers before diving at a Coot and then moving onto a Crow, a busy bird indeed!
The day was drawn to an end without anything to wet out net, we enjoyed it anyway, there is something special about being afloat and we will be back again for another go.

With only 15 days being left until another river season curtain falls I am hoping to wet a line on running water a couple of times, the Wye will probably be my chosen water with Pike & Barbel being the quarry, one can hope.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Spring Perch

It seems that spring has sprung, January passed with me only wetting a line once and that was a fruitless session on a local canal with just a crayfish to show for my efforts.
Lambs are in the fields as well as most river's, it has been wet but no cold frozen frosty winter's that we are used to, my first winter Grayling trip is still to happen and may not the way things are going.

I ventured onto a new water today, I have recce'd the place a couple of times but after another look last weekend I decided on trying to catch it's Perch inhabitants today, I arrived at 8am and there were already another couple of anglers there fishing in my first choice swim, I headed to my second choice swim at the other end of the pool. The reason for my swim choice was the thing that Perch love and the anglers trying to catch them look for (and also love)  cover.........a tree has started its decent into the pool and had created a canopy for old stripey to reside under, well that's what I thought anyway!

Float fished lobworm was the main attack but I had a drop shot rig in my armoury as back up as well as a rod for livebait if I decided to set a whip up to catch some. The swim was tight due to branches sprouting out above, behind and to my left, after settling in the first cast went into the tree that I was hoping was holding some Perch, damn it said I but luckily after a couple of pulls (on the rod) the tackle was back with me minus the size 8. A minute later I was ready again but this time the cast was well and truly in the tree, damn it said I again (not) and this time I lost the lot but later retrieved, great start. The casts didn't feel right (bad workman blames his tools and all that) but when I checked the tip ring I had threaded the line through the guide leg rather than the guide............numpty.
So with the rod set up correctly I was once again ready for action, this time the cast was sweet and I was off away. I slowly built the swim up with chopped lobs and pinkies, for half an hour nothing took place but eventually I had my first typical stuttering Perch bite that resulted in a fish about 12oz.  Bites then came fairly steadily but as always I am always casting or twitching the bait when fishing for Perch, this has always worked for me in the past and the amount of times a bite occurs after either casting or twitching keeps me doing it. The fish gradually got larger too and a 1.14 was followed by a 2.02 which was then trumped by its bigger sister at 2.14 and by 1PM I had 7 fish on the board.

2.14 Perch

The afternoon passed fairly uneventfully and although I had a couple of bites towards dusk I missed them all with the worm coming back to me every time, they had obviously gone off the boil. Not bad for my first crack at the water, I will definitely be back for another go, hopefully before the Perch spawn which I don't think is far away this year.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

I only managed a couple of short session during the festive break, the weather as I am sure you will agree hasn't been ideal, the rivers are up and down (and in some locations out!) but I did manage to get on my local stretch on the Warks Avon as it was fining down after recent rains, it had only just started to fine down as it was still over its banks in a couple of spots.  I took a quiver rod and a tub of lobworms and dropped them into any likely looking areas, the result was 2 Chub, one around a pound and the second about 3 -1/2, I enjoyed the session and that was the main thing.

I then snook out at the crack of dawn yesterday to fish a local commercial for Perch, two rods, a feeder containing chopped worm & red maggot with prawn on the hook and a float set up using lobworm on the hook. It took an hour or so for the first bite and I missed it, and the second, I hit the third but bumped the fish off after a couple of seconds, small fish or cagey Perch that were not taking the whole worm?  The heavens then opened and a hooli wind prevailed for an hour with the accompanying horizontal rain, thankfully the brolly was packed and already erected as the weather forecast did look 'changeable'...........
I did eventually land a fish, again the sum of two was again the total, both Perch, the best nudging a pound but nowhere near what I was hoping for, another day maybe.

The year of 2013 from a fishing perspective hasn't been my best, one solitary large Barbel over 10lb off the Trent although a good catch on the float from the Severn was a highlight. My Perch hunt hasn't set anything alight either this year, Tench were moody from my normal water although Josh and I have stumbled across a new lake that does seem to hold some fish, further investigation required his spring there!  The Pike I caught in December was my years highlight as it broke my long standing PB for the species, river Piking is something that intrigues me and I would like to do more of it, but whenever do we not want to do more fishing!

So all that remains is for me to wish you all Happy New Year and best fishes for 2014.