Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Summer Evening Chasing Barbel

Spent a beautiful summers evening by the Warwickshire Avon trotting for Barbel in one of my favourite swims. Landed my first of the season, only a small one which I didn't weigh, probably about six pounds.

Followed that one with an 8lb 5oz fish.

And ended the session with a seven pounder.

A cracking session thoroughly enjoyed, it really is a pleasure to be beside the river in this weather.

Monday, 23 June 2014

I do like to be beside the river

My first proper session of the new season saw me armed with half a gallon of maggots and a couple of bags of hemp wandering down to the Warwickshire Avon. No targets had been set just a pleasure session capturing whatever came along in the glorious summer weather we have been enjoying of late. The wildlife was abundant. Spooked a Muntjac on the way to the river. Damselflies flitted about all over the place. An Egret worked the shallow water for his lunch and the fish were in a real feeding mood.

I lost count of the numbers of Roach, Dace and Chub that I landed. No monsters amongst them but a really enjoyable day none the less. It certainly beat sitting by a muddy puddle pulling in Carp with deformed mouths all day. Stunning scenery, beautiful wildlife and fish galore.
What could be better?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Whitby Shark Adventure

Being a Yorkshireman I have been to Whitby countless times, endured wind and rain, sheltered in amusements and eaten soggy fish and chips that still tasted better than anywhere else in the world. When my old primary school friend got in touch for the first time in nearly thirty years I accepted his invitation for a Porbeagle Shark fishing trip without hesitation. Matt introduced me to fishing when we were 9 years old and we used to wander down the old brickyard pond at 4am to plunder its stock of countless stunted Rudd and battle the monster Tench if we were lucky.
Matt and I with a Brickyard Tench 1984
We met the skipper Rich Ward aboard his boat Shy-Torque3 at 6.30am surrounded by blue skies and not a cloud to be seen, this was a different Whitby to the one I remember! We had a thirty mile, two hour journey ahead of us so we quickly steamed out of the harbour past the famous Abbey ruins on the east cliff and the whalebone arch on the west, following in the footsteps of Captain Cook(the only Captain to tour Australia and not lose a Test!)

 Dolphins greeted us as we anchored up in the fishing grounds, probably attracted by the chum bag which by now was over the side leaking its pungent contents out into the water to attract the sharks. A mixture of crushed Mackerel, oil and bran. They played around us for a good ten minutes treating us to quite a show.

With the sun beating down and millpond like conditions we could have been in Florida, I can still feel the pain of my sunburnt neck as I write this! We messed about trying to catch fresh Mackerel whilst waiting for the Sharks to arrive landing only a couple plus the odd small Cod and Pouting.
By early afternoon we were fearing the worst when Matt noticed line trundling off his Shark rod. The skipper picked up the rod but there was no pressure from the other end. He reeled in, struck, still nothing. He did the same again, still nothing. As he brought the bottle float near the boat he grabbed the line and it nearly sliced through his hand, the fish was still on! It had swam straight towards us!
Matt took over and the battle ensued but what a strange battle it was. He gained line to the leader and it would waddle around under the boat before getting bored and taking some line back. After ten minutes we tried to boat the fish but it was clearly not ready and set off on a fifty yard run, the longest run of the fight. 

Eventually it began to tire and after what seemed like an eternity the three of us hauled it up the ramp and through the trap door. It still had a fair amount of energy left thrashing about the back of the boat trying to take a chunk out of anyone's leg in the vicinity. A towel over it's eyes was the only way to keep it calm long enough to get a picture.
We measured it at six foot two inches long equating to approximately 235lb!
What a fish!

We had about forty minutes left to try for another but sadly all I could muster was a small Ling.

A bit pathetic in comparison!!

We motored our way back into Whitby pleased with the result. The Sharking is definitely not prolific round these parts. In 2012 they only landed two fish in the whole year! It would have been nice if we had both had one but I was still pleased for my old mate and it was great to have witnessed such an amazing beast.