Saturday, 24 September 2011

Dace chase

A misty sunrise greeted me as I made my way across the field at Barton, on the way to the weir peg where I felt I had unfinished business due to being kicked off last week for a Brummie match. Again I was fishing for Dace, not something I have done a lot of since I used to catch them twenty years ago from the fast flowing water of the river Ure. I had reasonable success with them in my youth, catching them to the pound mark so my hopes were high for a big one today. Eight or Nine ounces seemed an acceptable target from the Avon.
I had no problem finding the Dace, a massive shoal of them, and managed  to catch about 40/50, but they were all of virtually the same year group and weighed around an ounce apiece. I would have caught more but the Jack Pike kept picking off an easy meal. Five times they snatched my fish and bit through the 3lb mono every time. I did get one close to my bank but he disappeared as soon as he saw me.
Late in the day when I was running low on maggots I had my biggest Dace of the session, weighing a whole five ounces.
It bettered last weeks effort of four ounces but it will take me a long time to get a good 'un at this rate.
I also caught Gudgeon, Roach and Perch, one of which was the biggest fish of the day.
An enjoyable day angling.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Tiddler Bashing

Badsey Brook
Take 1:
My brother and I started out the day on the Avon at Barton. We had just nicely got settled in, started catching a few Dace and Perch when a couple of Brummies turned up. "Ow mate we got a mutch on ere tuday". Bugger! My fault, I should have checked the BAA website first but there has been so few matches on the stretch this year I did not bother. So we upped sticks and left. I gave them a parting shot about Barbel in keepnets on the way to the van. They assured me they weighed them in as and when they were caught, Bollox. 
Take 2:
My mate Cockney Steve has been going on about a Mr Crabtree-esque little waterway called Badsey brook, where he goes for livebait but has been catching some Dace that are too big to use so we headed there. At the moment the best swims are choked with weed but give it a frost and a decent run through of rain and I reckon we could be on a winner.
 I dropped some maggots in the best swim I could find and within seconds I struck into the closest I have ever come to a British record. I have never weighed a Gudgeon before but this one went on the scales as it was way bigger than any of it's predecessors. Three and a half Ounces!
My brother thought I was mad but never mind. I struggled after that but did manage a four once Dace, points on the board. 

Take 3:
After an hour or so of no action we decided to move to our third venue, Willow Farm and try to better our Silver Bream efforts. We caught them but small ones, along with Roach, F1s, Goldfish, Tench and Perch. Best of that lot was a Perch well over a pound but we decided not to put it through the photo trauma. 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Shark Trip

The weather forecast at the start of this week did not look promising. There were hurricanesque winds forecast for every single day along the Devon coast and I was sure that our shark trip would be called off. Friday, the day we were going was about the best but still too breezy for our skipper to risk taking us out. However as the week wore on the Friday forecast improved until it was obvious that it was going to be a break in the weather. My excitement kept building as I checked the forecast on an hourly basis.
In the end it was flat calm as we set off from Plymouth harbour on board Sea Angler2, just misty and drizzling, 'sticky rain' our skipper Malcolm calls it.
We got to the Mackerel fishing mark and for the first time in ages there were loads of them. Full strings all the time and it took no time at all for us to have plenty for bait and to make rubby-dubby.
A smelly mixture of mashed Mackerel, fish oil and bran, sharks love it!
 We then steamed out to the shark drift, 21 miles out to sea. It is fascinating how the skipper finds these places to fish because it all looks the same to me.
Dave and I drew straws for rods and thankfully only an hour in to the drift, mine was the first to take off. After about ten minutes I had the fish alongside but Malcolm let her run again because they are never beaten first time and if not played out they become a real handful on the boat. They are not a Great White but they have teeth to make a mess of human skin. I asked the skipper how many times he had heard 'we're gonna need a bigger boat' and he said 'every f'ing time'. I changed my mind about singing the theme tune. A couple of minutes later and we brought a 50lb Blue on to the boat.
She thrashed a bit but was good for the photo shoot.

As I went to put her over the side she bit through the rubby-dubby bag, and left it with a great big hole in it, a toothy reminder.
I then let Dave have use of all the rods and another hour later he landed his first ever Blue, slightly smaller at about 40lb. He then followed this up with a twenty pounder and I finished off with a 30. Four sharks on the boat was a good result and we went home happy, but still with an itch for a 'ton'!