Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Parish Games Match

Whilst I enjoy the camaraderie that fishing a team match gives I don't want it to be any more than an annual event. Being told when and where to fish goes against my nature but this year I enjoyed more than ever before. That was mainly down to the fishing. Whilst the majority struggled I found myself in a half decent peg which gave me hope and when I missed a bite first chuck my confidence still grew.

Peg Twenty was my station for the five hours down in the middle of town and I started fishing maggot feeder about two thirds of the way across. Four Perch in the first hour was a start but I was gutted when I lost the biggest at the net, well over a pound it could have made a big difference.
Whilst feeder fishing I fed a line about a rod length out regularly with maggots and for a change I decided to give it a trot. First run through resulted in a Perch and after that followed a procession of Gudgeon.

They continued for the remainder of the match and I finished the day with quite a respectable net full of fish weighing in at 3lb 4oz. The fishing had been tough for most so much so that I had enough to frame in third place so ended up £25 richer. And the team finished a respectable fourth.

Summer Catch-Up

The Mullet fish-in was more like the Mullet fish-less. Several members of the Mullet Club descended on the Southern Welsh coast but the fish obviously saw us coming.

We started off under a salubrious graffiti ridden road bridge in the shadow of the Liberty stadium.

Andy on the left, Phil to the right and it was Andy who landed the first and only fish of the whole day, a decent 3lb fish.

I toiled hard but could not even muster a bite. As the tide ebbed the reason for my lost tackle became apparent, the local Morrisons need look no further for their lost trollies!

I counted six of them in my swim and those were just the ones I could see, there was probably more, the joys of urban angling!

We moved area but still no fish.

We tried the city centre with the same result, fishless, not easy these Mullet!!

A few days later and back on home turf I managed a lot more fish rolling meat around.

Chub and Barbel all fell for the tactic.

Including this chunky 9lb 5oz specimen.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Short Session, Short Post

Another evening session down by the local Avon spent chasing Barbel. The fish seemed very reluctant to feed until the sun finally dropped below the tree line. Managed to land one Barbel, a seven pounder but as I was float fishing I couldn't carry on for much longer as the visibility became poor. The low and clear summer conditions are making fishing difficult but it was nice to get one decent fish on the bank.

Next up- Mullet

Thursday, 28 July 2016

At Last a Biggie

Fishing hadn't even crossed my mind during the busy work day but a phone call from Andy asking what time I could get there jogged my memory. Completely forgotten I had arranged to meet him for a quick evening session chasing Barbel. Luckily the van was still loaded with gear from the previous trip so after a quick tea of scrambled eggs on toast and rushing the chickens and ducks to bed early I arrived bank side at 7.30 pm.
Andy was well entrenched in a promising swim and getting a few twitches but being short on time I felt the urge to get into the water and roll some meat about. Waders on and in no time I was fishing.
For quick smash and grab sessions I find there is no better method. Unusually this time it took quite a few rolls down the swim before hooking into a fish, a hard fighter in the fast water.
My run of baby Barbel was continuing with another fish of about four to five pounds.

I checked the line taking off about six feet that was frayed, retied and waded back out for another bash. The bait can't have even hit the bottom before I was into another fish. This fight was much more deliberate, more powerful than the previous and when a big tail slapped the surface I knew I was into a biggie. That feeling of tension and nervous energy washed over me as only happens when you are knowingly playing a big fish. I prayed for the hook to hold and gave thanks that I had taken the time to check the line as the fish powered towards the tree roots and potential freedom. The rod took on its full curve and with as much side strain as I dared muster I turned it back into midstream.
Eventually I started to get the upper hand, a couple more less spirited surges later and I was slipping the net under a proper Barbel. 
Thickset across the soldiers, long and deep but hollow from her recent spawning exertions she still weighed in at a pleasing 11lb 2oz. Would love to meet her again when she's back to her top weight.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Social Sessions

Three weeks ago was the time for a fishing trip that has become an annual event. My old school chum Nick and I get together once a year for a spot of fly fishing. The venue changes each year and this year Nicks choice was a session close to his home so that it could be followed by another session (in the pub) and a necessary overnight stay. The dawn sun rising over the Cotswolds was stunning, I couldn't resist getting the camera out but as I had a three hour journey ahead I didn't stop for long.
Nick laid out the venue choices over a coffee upon my arrival. There was two, a small intimate Trout pond that he had struggled on the previous day or an exploratory sojourn to Bewl water, the largest reservoir in this part of little England. Easy pick really.

Bewl water is absolutely stunning, there is no wonder it is a haven of activity. Yachters sailed, dog owners walked and joggers jogged, all day long. There was an angling competition taking place but due to the huge expanse of water available we were still able to get afloat. We quizzed the guy in the tackle shop about good spots to try and likely methods to catch on. Nick's eyes lit up when he heard that spinning was allowed and he purchased a full spinning outfit, spinners, the lot- never been one to let purism get in the way of nailing a fish or too, old Nick.

We motored out to the 'hot area' close to the dam and I set about chucking some feathers around hoping to nail a feisty Rainbow, Nick spun, didn't even set the fly rod up!

And it didn't take him long to nail a Rainbow. Embarrassed he tried to hide the spinner from the camera. I persevered on the fly but it soon became apparent that this was going to be a tough day.
Nick took a break from spinning so I ventured over to the dark side and it didn't take long for me to hook up to a small Rainbow of my own. They didn't half fight hard. I like the fact that you can either keep the fish or release, which we did.

I even landed a cheeky little Perch on the spinner but despite our best efforts we struggled to land much more.

A few days later another social session this time with Martin saw us sat by the Warwickshire Avon. It wasn't the best swim but there was plenty of room for both of us and we were mainly there for a chin wag. I did manage to land a Barbel though, again not a big one but a feisty little fella and if he grows to fit his dorsal fin he will be a much bigger fish.

I am on quite a run of Barbel, all of them being less than six pounds!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Bloody Spaniel

The river has looked stunning of late. The consistent sporadic rain showers have meant that there is always a tinge of colour to the water, perfect for Barbel but they have been conspicuous by their absence (for me anyway).
Another evening session spent being pestered by Chub and not big ones which would make a nice distraction.
Did hook something quite large at one point though. With the hook baited with pellet and paste I proceeded to fill the feeder with ground bait when suddenly the feeder ripped out of my hand. The bloody spaniel had only gone and walloped down the baited hook and when she felt the sharp bit she shot off down the bank. I shouted, she cowered and then I had the lovely task of forcing open her mouth to remove the hook from her tongue. No harm done thankfully but she won't do it again in a hurry!

Late on I did manage one of the target species weighing just over five pounds. Bigger than my last one but still not quite at the size we desire. Put up a good fight in the fast water though.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Update- Things can only get better!

It's been a tough few weeks. A few short evening sessions when I could find the time and it even took a week of the rivers being open before I could tread their banks.
An evening session hoping for a Crucian resulted in plenty of fish, all the wrong variety of Carp though. It would be great to find a decent fishery holding a stock of those gold nuggets locally but alas I feel it might be a pipe dream.

My usual spot for a bit of floater fishing (above) became festooned with weed earlier than usual in the year and it became impossible to chase those hard fighting fish so I had to give up my close season campaign early.

I snuck out for an evening Tench fishing but in conditions more akin to Winter than Spring. Tazzy and I got a royal soaking and went home with our tails between our legs, cold, wet and fishless.

And so finally I managed to get onto the river in perfect conditions, a lovely evening and a hint of colour in the water. I fancied the Barbel would be out to play.

Our old friend the car was still parked in it's spot, deteriorating badly as the weeks tick by. I can't see it ever being towed away.

 The fishing was good, lots of activity, plenty of bites but sadly not from Barbel but instead a succession of Chub after Chub. I couldn't get away from them. I felt sure that if I sat it out the Barbel would arrive soon and eventually one did. One of the smallest ones in the river, probably weighing about three pounds. Still it bolds well for the future. Onwards and upwards!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tenching in the Sunshine

Thankfully I had packed the van and set up the rods the night before. A birthday party (with a free bar) at the local pub meant I over indulged and over slept and was nearly an hour late for the 7am rendezvous with Martin on the banks of an Oxfordshire gravel pit. He hadn't let me down though and had commandeered us a couple of great swims on a prominant point with an expanse of water to fish in.  

The ugly duckling should have been written about a coot not a swan!!
The previous preparation saw me fishing instantly while the big guy tackled up and before he could even wet a line I was playing one of the stunning Tench that reside in this beautiful part of the world. She had been unable to resist a worm and weighed in at 8lb on the nose in the glorious golden sunshine.

I thought this fish could be the prelude to a bumper day but instead a long period of inactivity followed until finally around lunchtime I managed to land a slightly smaller specimen.

The fish were getting smaller but at least I was catching as a little feisty male then took a liking to the worm and gave me a bit of a runaround. It took off up and down the margins taking my second line with it.

Three-nil to the northerner and the big guy was beginning to get a bit desperate, climbing trees in the vain hope of spotting a few fish. 'Can you see anything up there' I enquired. 'Yes' came the response 'water'. I kept the camera poised in case he went for an unplanned swim but his footing remained sure.

Salt was rubbed into the wound with a fourth fish before I headed off home and left him to the final hour in 'my' swim. Didn't get a text so am presuming the move wasn't successful!