Thursday 19 September 2019

Summer Catch Up, a Lying Camera and a Sharky Finale

From now on my blog is going to be a catch-up series of posts and will be roughly season by season. I simply do not have the time to run a business, bring up three children and fish anything more than two-three hour sessions which on their own do not make up a blog post. So here is my summer catch-up: 
Having spent the close season catching Carp off the surface I had one last try. It wasn't easy on a chilly evening to find the fish but late on I located a few and persuaded one to nail my mixer hook bait offering. A spirited fight followed but I emerged victorious and landed the 14lb common above. 

The majority of the summer has been spent by the river, short evening sessions as and when. The Barbel fishing has been quite difficult but the Chub have usually obliged when the Barbel haven't played ball.

The Barbel I have landed have been good specimen and mostly caught when the river has had some colour in it. The old adage the camera never lies does not apply to fishing. I have attached the weights to the photos of the three fish below and you will just have to take my word on it. Trust me I am a fisherman and an estate agent!!

8lb 12oz
10lb 8oz

11lb 6oz
As I said photos can be deceptive. I never discredit any fishes weight online as some internet trolls do in rages of jealously, it is impossible to tell the weight of a fish from the photo.

The 11lb-er came on a session with Andy on the Avon.
Some of my favourite photo captures are of the battles we anglers enjoy with one such picture of a hooked mullet being published on the cover of a magazine. So when Andy shouted that he had hooked a good fish, I grabbed the camera to snap the fight in the glorious sunshine.

And the happy victor. Pictures do paint a thousand words.

The end of the summer was as always our annual Shark trip to Plymouth.
An absolute highlight every year in our calendar and Nathan and I landed five sharks in total, all blue to a biggest of 95lb. Friday the 13th wasn't unlucky for us!!

Sunday 12 May 2019

A Stunner

 The moor hens chicks have hatched, the margins are full of tadpoles, spring is now well-progressed.

I seem to have caught the Carp fishing bug but not the three rods, spodding, bite alarm type of bug. As far as I'm concerned if I can't stalk them off the surface I am not interested. For that I need non-commercial peaceful venues preferably with quite a low stock and the Carp need to be stunning too.

Like last week I managed just the one fish and also like last week it was a 'twenty', this time 23lb 2oz.

And I think you will agree it is a stunner. Getting addictive this Carp fishing lark!

Saturday 4 May 2019

Close Season-so far....

Not been out as much as I would like as is always the case but managed to sneak in a few short sessions.
While the weather was cold I had a couple of attempts at the Perch. Firstly at Willow Farm where I managed two smaller specimens the best going 1lb 8oz.

Then the next session Max joined me. The Perch did not play ball but we did manage one Carp which was fun on light tackle.

I then moved venues to try a lovely farm pond in glorious sunshine. First up was this lovely Eel that was thankfully hooked in the lip.

That was soon followed up by this 2lb 9oz beauty of a Perch. It was still early in the session so I felt confident more would fall to my prawn hook baits but sadly the action tailed off as quick as it had started.

Again a session with the boy followed and he took several Roach and baby Perch on maggot.

My rod remained untouched and we made an early retreat.

Yesterday I managed to sneak in a couple of hours before the school run. Not having much time I grabbed some dog biscuits and one rod, more in hope than expectation as I didn't fancy my chances. It wasn't sunny and not that warm but you never know I thought.
Initially it took me ages to find the fish, I don't think I even cast out for the first 45 minutes! Eventually I managed to get a few interested but they weren't exactly feeding with gusto.
Then just as the rain started I got a big surprise, the floater disappeared and I ended up attached to a powerful Carp. To be honest I gave it a lot of welly. By now it was absolutely pissing down, I was not prepared clothes-wise and this lake is weedy so I didn't want a drenching with only a lost in the weed fish to show for it. Eventually after a fantastic struggle I squeezed the fish into my not big enough landing net.
I love the colour of these fish, dark backed, long and lean, solid muscly beauties. A battered old warrior that went 21lb 9oz on the scales. Result.

I had no time left to fish on as I needed to detour home to change. I couldn't pick the kids up looking like a drowned rat and stinking of fish-what would the scrummy mummies think!!??!

Sunday 27 January 2019

Taff Grayling and Trout

I'm not sure the advertising gurus at Starbucks had thought this one through!? It did amuse us though when we called in for a coffee on our way to South Wales. Grayling being the target on the river Taff.

Although I had never fished the Taff before it felt very familiar. A Deja Vu moment as it reminded me so much of my childhood river, the river Ure in North Yorkshire. Short riffles followed by deep runs, home to Chub, Trout, Barbel, Dace and Grayling. I felt at home.

Being close to the sea the Taff seems to be under constant attack from Cormorants, several of the fish showing signs of narrow escapes and we spotted loads of these vermin birds as we trudged up and down the river searching for fish.

Trotting maggots is the only way to fish for me in this sort of river and this was the downfall of several Grayling. All a good stamp of fish, the lack of small ones probably a sign of the excessive predation.

As is often the case the occasional Trout is bound to come along, they can be a nuisance but I don't mind a long drawn out battle with a biggie. The one below gave me such a run around, leaping like a salmon on several occasions and nearly stripping all my line off the reel on one run. Careful cajoling helped the 2lb hooklink stay intact and the best fish of the day was beaten, 3lb 15oz, to cap an enjoyable day.

Thursday 17 January 2019

Mojo Returning

Blue skies and beautiful sunshine but blimey was it cold!
I seem to be getting my fishing mojo back with a second session in under a week, the first a disappointing blank but undeterred I grabbed what was left of my cheese paste and headed back to the river.
The sudden overnight drop in temperature made me feel that Chub were probably the only viable target.
An hour fishing and the cold was beginning to get through my thermals, just the one Chub to show for my efforts and not a biggie.

I needed to move to warm up the bones and hopefully find a bit more action.

Found the perfect spot. First cast fish on and that one was followed by several others at regular intervals.

I managed a respectable bag of Chub all falling for the paste before I ran out of bait, coffee and the will to brave the elements any longer.

We made our way back along the beautiful river to the comfort of the car. A thoroughly enjoyable peaceful little session.

Monday 31 December 2018

A Tough 'Test' of Tackle

I have definitely lost my fishing mojo this year having only been out on a handful of sessions but, Martin and Andy persuaded me that the annual end of year trip to the wonderful chalk streams of Hampshire was an absolute must. I'm glad they succeeded.

This year we changed venue but we were still on the famous river Test, the Godfather of all the chalk streams. Much lower downstream than last year so as well as the Grayling and Trout there was the chance of some good coarse fish. 
I plonked myself into the first likely looking swim, dispatched a few handfuls of mashed bread and when the float dipped on the second trot through I struck in almost misbelief. I expected bottom as I was still working out the various depths but the rod bucked and a powerful fish in the strong flow gave me quite a scrap. As it is a new venue I had no idea what I was attached to but when it made several bids for the nearside snags the culprit could only be a Chub.

What a start to the day, 5lb 1oz of chunky Chub, I collared Martin in the next peg for photo duties.

The big man was soon back in my swim with a large Brownie worthy of a mugshot, out of season so it went back unweighed.

What followed was a fabulous day's sport with four more Chub all over four pounds...

A surprising amount of river Bream the biggest of which I weighed at 4lb 4oz...

The unavoidable Trout, all Brownies and a pb which I shouldn't have weighed but it was over four pounds

A couple of deer grazed nonchalantly over the far side...

when the float dipped and I struck into something completely different from anything previously hooked during the day.

My first thoughts were Salmon but it stayed low so I changed my mind to Barbel....

Martin went click-happy with the camera taking plenty of shots of the fight...

and finally after more than twenty minutes I slipped the net under a stunning Carp. Not what I suspected in this fast flowing river, they really are everywhere!

The smile hides the relief

Not the biggest Carp I have ever caught but a stunner in all her winter glory and she 'test'ed all my skills on three pound line, a trotting rod and fast water. 

One of New Years resolution is definitely more Angling like this!!