Sunday, 22 March 2015

Time To Move On

Spring is definitely upon us and with it our Perch campaign has reached its conclusion with one final session at the commercial fishery that has been so kind to us over the last few weeks. With so many different species to target I find it difficult to keep fishing for the same one for more than a couple of sessions at most and Perch have now run its course as far as I am concerned, until next Winter that is. I am really pleased with how its gone, lots of fish and a new pb equates to a successful campaign.
The Daffodils in the garden have bloomed....

and lambs are being born all over the countryside including our own small flock with the first this year. The kids have named her Snowy....

thankfully she is a girl so she doesn't have to go on her 'holidays'!!!
Our feathered friends are becoming more and more active now gathering twigs and stuff for their nests and looking for suitable mates and when the fishing is slow they give quite a display which helps to pass the time.
A noisy Chaffinch...

some boisterous Ducks.....

and a distant Red Kite, the first I have seen while fishing,...

all kept me amused between bites.
Anyway back to the fishing. The active and slightly annoying Carp of last time made me think a live bait might be a good option to avoid any 'nuisance' fish so I set one rod up with a Roach hook bait and to hedge my bets I used Prawn on the other. Considering how warm the day was the Carp were conspicuous by their absence as I only landed two all day and live baiting wasn't the answer as I didn't have a single bite on that rod all day long.
Every bite I did get had me thinking Carp but when it turned into a Perch it made it all the more special and I landed two overall, no monsters but both were very welcome.
The first weighed 1lb 11oz...

and the other 1lb 13oz......

The venue we have targeted definitely has the potential to do a 'four' and the remote possibility of even a 'five' but for now that will have to wait, it is time to move on to species and pastures new.
I had quite a lot of maggots left over from the session but found some very grateful recipients, our chickens absolutely loved 'em!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Season Finale

So that's it then, another fishing season draws to a close. Despite fishing ponds for the last couple of weeks it was compulsory to have one 'last hurrah' on running water today. An end of season Barbel was the target and I started the day in what has been a banker late-on swim for me and thankfully it didn't let me down today, but only just.
Martin and Jeff were to join me mid morning and right on cue just as they arrived  I had my first bite of the day.

Not a monster by ant stretch of the imagination but an immaculate and very welcome fish. A fish that filled us all with confidence for the rest of the day but it transpired to be a false dawn. One Eel was all I could manage over the next couple of hours and with the cold Northerly wind going straight through me I moved to a more sheltered area.
I toyed with the idea of going home to warm up but instead gave one more swim a try and within ten minutes of casting out I played in another small Barbel that had taken a liking to my pellets, warmed me up a bit at least!

That proved to be the end of the action on what turned out to be a tough old day. As far as I know Jeff had blanked but my goodness he looked dapper while doing so....

and Martin had landed a small Chub.....

...not so Dapper, almost tripped over him!!

It was nice to see the local Deer again on the way home.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

More Puddle Perching

Despite the end of the river season looming ever closer still water was again my chosen venue this weekend. I guess I have been bitten by the Perch bug and so I revisited the scene of last weeks success to see if I could do battle with some more stripy predators.
The forecast was for a fairly dull overcast day but the wind soon blew away any cover and left brilliant sunshine and higher than recent temperatures. Not ideal conditions for Perch fishing. I was still very confident of catching some Perch but feared the worse. The Carp would have woken up from their Winter slumber and would beat the Perch to my Prawn hook baits.
My apprehensions were not dumbfounded as Carp after Carp proceeded to tear up the swim making my chances of a bagful of Perch unlikely.

Every time a strike connected I would play the fish ever so carefully until I got a sighting of the culprit and if that was a flash of gold then I would up the ante to try and land the fish as quickly and quietly as possible. 

They came along in all shapes and sizes up to about double figures. Mirrors, Commons, Ghosties and F1s, I lost count after ten but there was plenty more, far too many in fact for what is supposed to be a 'silver pool'. Now don't get me wrong I'm not adverse to catching 'nuisance' Carp but only when they get to a size worth chasing and these puddle pasties aren't on the list. At least they were all in excellent condition.

The ducks kept me entertained in between Carp as they are now in their beautiful majestic mating colours and were highly active chasing each other round and flying from pool to pool.

It wasn't a complete disaster on the Perch front though as I did manage to land a brace of the target species. The first one weighed just over a pound and a half and the second one a respectable 2lb 9oz. Not quite the monster of last week but it was still a satisfying moment of success.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

In the Buff

Catalogue pose!!
A few weeks ago the kind hearted guys from Kitshack sent me a polar buff from their latest anglers collection. It has had extensive use often three or four times a day. Mostly when I have been out with the dogs but also on fishing trips. It's versatility is brilliant, there are so many different ways to wear it and its ability to help keep me warm is excellent.

Great selfie!
Fully reversible in a range of styles and designs I would thoroughly recommend them for anyone who ventures outdoors at this time of year. Check out the angler polar buffs or click the logo to the right for the full range.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Commercial Monster Perch

The potential for commercial fisheries to throw up monster Perch is well known and with the river out of sorts our plan was to nail one for ourselves. Perch like most predators thrive on neglect and the abundance of bait fish that inhabit these waters.
It was slightly later than planned when I pulled up in the fishery(over-indulgence in the pub again!) and the Perchman was already ensconced in a lovely corner bay so I dropped into the adjacent swim. Our plan of attack was Prawn hook baits float fished on highly sensitive lift floats, a tactic that has served us well in the past. The lake was new to us so we had no idea of the potential apart from a few rumours that abound but fisherman rumours need to be accompanied by a huge pinch of sodium chloride!

It didn't take long for me to get the first fish of the day and it was pleasing to see a target species in the folds of the net, not a monster but a good start at about a pound and a half.

Within the hour I had another two in the net the biggest going just shy of two pounds. Martin had not had a sniff which was strange because we were fishing exactly the same tactics within a couple of yards of each other but only I was getting any action. He moved to the swim the other side of me but his floats remained motionless there too, fishing is brilliantly unpredictable.

A sail away bite and subsequent battle way out in open water followed and either I was connected to the mother of all Perch or a rogue Carp had joined the party. Sadly it was the latter, an immaculate Common that fought like a tiger but ruined the swim for a good hour. I would land three more of the little buggers before the day was out.

The next bite that connected felt initially like a Carp as it took line from the clutch which none of the previous Perch had managed but then there followed some tell-tale head banging. I could tell it was a Perch and a serious one at that. Martin came over to do the honours with the net and we both gasped as a monster Perch broke the surface. The hook was clearly visible only just gripping the boney gaping mouth and as it drew closer and closer to the net Martin kept me calm by whispering to me to be very quiet and especially careful. Thankfully everything held together and as we peered into the net at our prize we played the old guess the weight game:"it's a definite three", "looks like a four", "definitely a pb". Handshake and back slaps.


It was close to a 'four' but the scales settled just shy on 3lb 14oz. I was elated, buzzing, a new pb beating my previous best by five ounces. 

The one in my right hand weighed 1lb 15oz so you can see the difference!
The water had lived up to its rumoured potential but sadly that was the end of the Perch action as the Carp moved in and made a nuisance of themselves. Martin saved a blank with a Carp of his own but it had definitely been my day. Amazing what a difference a couple of yards can make. There was no visible rhyme and reason to it, I just got the right swim by chance. Got a feeling we might go there again!