Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing day Best Behaviour

Boxing day by the river has long been a tradition of mine and this year the only difference was I had company, my Springer Spaniel Tazzy on her first ever fishing session. Her training has been going really really well, I will not lie and say she is the finished article but I have enough control over her to have the confidence to take her to the water side without her being a complete liability. At only four and a bit months old I am impressed with both her intelligence and surprised by my own ability to teach her new commands almost on a daily basis. 
Chub are a favourite of target of mine at this time of the year and I ventured to a familiar stretch armed with a rod, a small amount of terminal tackle and a bag of cheese paste. Tazzy had an explore of the close surroundings before settling to down watch the goings on. 

Her ears pricked at every unusual sound and she was fascinated by the variety of wildlife that passed us by. 

The first bite I connected to dragged me into an unknown snag and the five pound hook link parted easily severing our connection. The next bite resulted in a four pound Chub that was bullied to the net giving it no chance of snagging me up in the same place. I landed one more small Chub before a hook pull saw me lose a final unseen adversary and that put pay to any chance of any more sport. 

Cobwebs blown away with a couple of pleasant hours spent by the water and my fishing partner had behaved almost impeccably, got to be pleased with that! She will definite get another invite next time.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Commercial Perching

Over indulgence at the work Christmas party scuppered any chance I had of an early start on the bank. In fact it was gone 1pm before I turned into the fishery. This was my first visit to a small commercial that was rumoured to hold some good size Perch and Martin had spent the morning proving their existence. My first task upon arrival was to take a few brace shots for him.

The bigger of the pair weighed a respectable 2lb 8oz.

I set up in the next peg, well actually I was still hanging so persuaded Martin to set up for me! A simple but extremely sensitive lift float rig with a Prawn on the hook always seems to work well and within half an hour I had my own Perch attached, a bit smaller than Martins weighing 1lb 15oz. I was made up to catch the target species so quickly and the hangover became more bearable.

The action wasn't exactly fast and furious but the big guy added another smaller Perch to his collection and a couple of Carp and I landed a Carp of my own. There was an audible 'tut' when I asked my fishing partner to take a photo of it! Don't think he was too impressed.

That was the last of the action for the day unless you count the stunning sunset we were treated to whilst we packed away. A venue that we will definitely revisit as the monster Perch potential is excellent.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Chub, Wildlife and Tazzy

Two fishing sessions in the same week, virtually unheard of for me but I had a few days holiday left to use up. It would have been three trips if I had not put my back out yet again. I really suffer with my dodgy 'cilla' and at the moment lying on the floor is the most comfortable place to be. The dogs think it's great fun jumping all over their incapacitated master and my 18 month old daughter joins them in the frivolities too. 
The river is now in its full Winter mode, trees naked of leaves, the reeds and rushes have all but disappeared and the most popular swims have been churned into slippery quagmires. Some wildlife do remain active and give me and my camera great enjoyment including a particularly brave and friendly mallard.......

festive Robins....

and a stunning Buzzard that waited patiently for me to take some shots before it got fed up and showed off the spectacular wing span these apex predators possess.

The fishing was pretty good also and whilst I did not land the six that I am searching for I did get some good sport from some smaller specimens that fell for cheese paste fished on a paternoster rig.

On a different note I was deeply saddened by the news that Jeff had lost his beautiful dog Oscar. I know that it won't fill the gaping hole for you mate but I thought a few pictures of Oscars daughter Tazzy (my new best friend) may raise a half smile. Her training is coming along brilliantly and she is loving the fields behind the house and her walks by the river. You need to see her again soon, I think you'll be pleased.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A worrying end to a good day

The mist swirling and dancing across the surface of the river, grass crunching underfoot, the temperature barely getting above zero and a crystal clear river all baked in glorious sunshine. One of my favourite times of the year to be venturing forth in the great outdoors. 

Not the easiest conditions to catch fish but there are a couple of species that still feed in ernest, Chub and Pike. I decided to fish for old rubber lips with my favourite home made stinky cheese paste and Martin set his stall out for the toothy critters offering a salty snack of frozen Sardine.

Not surprisingly the majority of action came my way but the bites were very finicky. The rod tip rattled, shook and bounced but several strikes met thin air before the culprits became apparent when I landed my first fish of the day in the form of a four ounce Dace.
After a couple of frustrating hours I finally slipped the net under the target species but it was no monster just a small two pounder. The very next cast resulted in a solid bite and following a spirited battle the scales registered a 4lb 9oz specimen. That was much more like the standard I was hoping for. The stretch we were fishing is known to produce the odd 'six', something I would dearly love to land.

Minutes later I heard the dulcet tones of the big guy in the next swim calling for assistance with a near double figure Pike he wanted landing. A short but stocky example of the perfect freshwater predator.

I managed to land one more decent Chub to give me a pleasing brace shot to finish with. We were confident of more sport but any chance of that was put paid to by a family of highly active Otters. A bit worrying as this is the furthest down river sighting I have heard of indicating they are moving to lower parts of the Avon dangerously close to some of my most prolific Barbel hunting grounds. We stood and watched in almost disbelief the streams of bubbles travelling up and down the near margin as they hunted their prey. Not good news in the slightest!!

spot the Pheasant!