Monday, 29 August 2011

Meaty Eel

I headed down to the Barton stretch of the Avon this morning for a short session chasing Barbel. Started rolling meat down the run and after a biteless couple of hours I changed tactics and ledgered in the fast flow. First cast I missed a bite and second chuck I had the three foot twitch and fish on, sadly it found one of the many snags and I lost it. It felt like a good fish.
The bites started to get twitchy and I suspected Chub but then a short while later I found out the culprits.
The hook was in the corner of it's mouth and so I managed to unhook, weigh and return without touching. At this point I should claim to be respecting them because of diminishing numbers, endangered species, minimal handling etc but I won't. I did not want to be covered in slime and then smelling it for the rest of the week. 
Bonus points for the challenge- 1lb 2oz. That was the only fish landed of the session so no blank and I went home contented.

Barbel, Warks Avon

A fairly uneventful session yesterday taking a Barbel first cast and a Chub about an hour later and nothing else happened. Managed to get soaked for the second time running.
She weighed 9lb 8oz and took rolled luncheon meat.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bullocks to Zander

11 foot of carbon feeder rod is probably not the most obvious choice of weapon for fending off a herd of inquisitive Bullocks but Steve thought it was. It worked for a while anyway. 
The rain properly arrived this week and we had a difficult session on the Avon. The river was a few inches up and with that came a constant barrage of weed through the swim making delicate presentation an impossibility. We had decided to cover all the bases and I had a small Roach dead bait cast out for Zander on one rod, a lump of luncheon meat on another for Barbel and Steve also tried for the Zeds plus a maggot feeder for anything else that came along.
We arrived mid afternoon and it took quite a while for us to get the first fish, a Jack Pike of about 7lb to my Roach rod. Steve followed this up with a cracking Perch of about 12oz and then another a bit smaller. The heavens opened around 5pm and that seemed to slow the fishing down.  Just as it was getting dark Steve had a big Dace at least half a pound. 
It was my turn next and I landed a 4lb 6oz Zander which had ignored the deadbait, preferring the Luncheon meat instead, fishing is a funny old game!
As you can probably tell from my jacket that by this time we were soaked through. The thunder and lightning had started and we know bolts of electricity and lengths of carbon are not good bedfellows so it was time to call it a night.
The trek back to the van is across three fields, two of which now had skittish Bullocks in them due to the storm. The first field we gave our bovine friends a wide berth and they ignored us. The next field was darker and we did not see them until we were virtually upon them. This spooked them and they set off for a run. They ran across and behind us which was a tad scary with the lightning flashes to illuminate them. They then turned and followed us but thankfully slowly and at a distance. We reached the stile in record quick time, I leapt over it and just as Steve was about to follow a Deer jumped out of the trees and ran for it. He nearly died, one more shock would have finished him off. We then drove home in a spectacular storm, via the Oddfellows for a nerve calming ale of course.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Blanks, Struggles and Freebies

Avon sunset
All good things must come to an end and my recent run of success did just that. The last two weeks have been a real battle, firstly two blanks and then a couple of sessions with fish caught but not the species or the size that I wanted. Still if it was easy and we always got what we wanted we would not come back for more.
The first session was an evening Barbel foray and the successful tactic of rolling meat finally let me down, two bites, no hook ups therefore no fish.
The following weekend my brother and I headed for linear as confident as ever and we were sent away with our tails between our legs. A bite apiece, mine came off, my brother's hook link failed.
A short evening session chasing Zander. I avoided the blank by landing a pair of Jack Pike, both around the 5lb mark, one of them in the pitch black which is unusual and I was sure was a Zed til I shone the head torch on it. Better result but still not that satisfying.
Today I decided to go for the confidence building session we all need some time so the local commercial chasing Silver Bream was my plan. I still struggled for the first hour as I targeted the margins. Once I realised all the fish were in the middle of the pool I caught and fairly regularly. Despite the torrential down pours I enjoyed the session and ended with a very varied mixed bag.
The only fish I weighed was the biggest Silver Bream which was a new personal best at 10oz! 

One bit of good fortune was the new Land Rover arrived last weekend with a pretty awesome number plate absolutely free. The chap selling it is an angler but did not twig that to the right person it would be worth good money and he just left it on!
 It is pretty unmissable so say hello if you see it on the bank somewhere.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Feeling Blue in Plymouth

The first of two shark trips I have booked in this year. I hope the second one is more productive than this one. Not one single beast landed, not even a dropped run either. We drifted the exact same area as our skipper did Thursday and that day the lads landed 10! I still thoroughly enjoyed it though.
This time I had decided to bring my travel spinning rod along and play around with other species whilst waiting for the shark action. I did not expect any success with it but it had to be worth a try. Just after lunch I tied on a sidewinder and chucked it out as far as I could behind the boat, into the rubby dubby slick. Within a couple of turns it got nailed, I could not believe my luck.A cracking fight ensued on the light gear and I landed a 4lb 12oz Bass. 

My first ever Bass so a new personal best and another species crossed off the bucket list. 
I carried on playing with the lure rod but no more Bass were forthcoming. Mid afternoon I changed to a spinner and a garfish followed it in. They get attracted by the slick. On the skipper's advice a freelined strip of Mackerel on a size 6 hook was chucked out. Within minutes I had one of these fascinating little creatures on board. 
First time I have ever caught one so another pb but I did not bother weighing it. I fished on and caught a couple more of about the same size before we headed back to shore. 
All in all a disappointing day in terms of sharks but I was well pleased with what I did manage.