Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Great Result of a Different Kind

Went out for a short session Tuesday night. The fishing was slow landing just one Barbel of about six pounds. I blame the consistently low clear river for the lack of action, who doesn't at the moment?
Was treated to a stunning sunset though that turned the river into molten larva.
Or maybe the moon is all wrong for the fish? if you believe those theories!

Did have a much better result today though. There is an antiquated little book shop in Pershore that always has a selection of Angling titles for sale at reasonable prices. I cannot resist a wee purchase every time I go past but today I bought something a bit special.

The first twelve issues of Creel magazine including the coveted very first edition published in July 1963 in mint condition within its original binder.

The first ever angling magazine to include colour photographs it was founded and originally edited by the one and only Bernard Venables.

It attracted some of the best authors of the era including Richard Walker, BB, Fred Taylor, Reg Righyni and Fred Buller to name but a few. I've had a quick flick through some of the articles and what amazed me was how some things had not really changed in over 50 years of fishing.

And tucked inside the back cover was a selection of paper cuttings, articles from Angling Times in 1964 written by Richard Walker. And what did all this set me back, a meagre £20. Right place right time or what?! I told the chap behind the counter (after I had made the purchase and the bag was firmly stuffed under my arm) that he had sold this to me way too cheap. He told me he was fine with that because he knew I would return soon to relieve him of some more of his stock. Wise old man!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mullet Mission Part Two

Last week I saw my first ever Mullet landed (by Phil) and having watched the battle it put up I had an even greater yearning for one of my own so when Andy suggested a four thirty am start I did not baulk at the idea. We headed for the same marina as last week but this time close to the moorings getting there way before the residents were stirring. 
Armed with a mountain of mashed bread it didn't take Andy long to hook into the first fish of the day and the Mullet gave him a right run around, they just don't know when to give up the fight. 

 Finally he had the beating of it and it was a cracking 3lb 12oz specimen. He followed that up with two more smaller fish before his hunger got the better of him and he went off in search of breakfast.

Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth I jumped into his swim and finally landed my first ever Mullett, all eight drams of it!! I held it as close to the camera as possible but it was never going to look anything more than a sprat! I have no idea how it managed to get a size six hook in its mouth but it was lip hooked fair and square.

I missed as many bites as I hooked, if not more but thankfully the fish kept coming and did not get spooked by my amateurish efforts as I added another six to my tally. I was having a great time. None of them huge but it seemed like I was getting the hang of it, finally.

They all battled hard (except the sprat) on the light tackle I was using, float rod and four pound line.
By mid-morning the boat dwellers were tramping and trudging along the floating jetty making lots of noise and we knew that that would put pay to the fishing so jumped in the truck and headed down into deepest Wales.

Our destination was the river Tor or 'Towie' as it is called in Welsh-speak. Nothing to do with the crap tv programme! A picturesque venue with some interesting derelict buildings along it's banks.

The river seemed fairly devoid of fish but aided by polaroids I eventually spotted a pod of large Mullet feeding close to the bank and knew that was the area to concentrate on. Sadly the larger ones avoided the bread hookbait that I trotted in the slow moving margins but I did succeed where my more experienced colleagues failed and landed a 1lb 12oz Mullet. The first of the day that I weighed properly so now I had a new official pb.

No more action followed so the three of us ventured upstream and fished within earshot of the Liberty stadium. The Swans were playing at home and it was amusing to hear the songs and chants coming from the terraces and the roars as the goals went in, Swans 2 Magpies nil.

We managed just the one bite between the three of us. I must be getting the hang of this Mulleting malarkey as again I hooked and landed the only fish, and my pb was broken for the umpteenth time that day, 2lb 2oz.

We tried one more final venue, Swansea marina but my heart wasn't really in it. I was about fished out by early evening so sat it out and took in the sights. Stag do's, Hen parties and footy fans in various different states made for interesting viewing!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Mission: Mullet

My fishy bucket list is long and increases by the year as more species come onto my radar but whilst some are possibly unachievable and some reside in distant dangerous places the Mullet is definitely one that I shall be ticking off real soon. I have seen them in many harbours and marinas on my travels but more often than not they have been in no fishing zones.  The ones in Plymouth harbour have really wetted my appetite sauntering slowly around the boats without a care in the world safe from the anglers hook, frustrating to say the least!
So when a couple of experienced mulleteers invited me along for a trip I jumped at the chance. To be honest I didn't think they lived as close to me in central England as they do.
Our mission began on the lower Severn in Gloucestershire. The landscape was peaceful and stunning, wish I could say the same about the fishing, well it was peaceful but not stunning. In an hour and a half we saw two fish, it was needle in a haystack stuff and obviously we blanked.

Plan B was put into action and we upped sticks and headed down to a pretty little marina just south of Bristol. Now this area had much more potential with bait fish everywhere and Mullet topping all over the place. The mashed bread was deposited and with flake on the hook we set about the task of nailing one. Bites were plentiful but mostly the small stuff playing with the bait until finally Phil hooked and landed one of about 2lb. Meat and drink to him as he put it back without taking it's picture but to me the only thing it did was wet my appetite yet further.

To see the vicious battle that this 'little' one put up has made me really want to catch one of my own. Sadly bad light stopped play and it will have to wait until next time and that will have to be real soon!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Nuisance Barbel?!

With the wife and kids away in Yorkshire for a few days I had the opportunity to get back on the bank and retest my Roach/pellet theories to see if last nights success was a one off or a viable method. The weather was a lot more settled and to begin with the fishing was slow but as darkness descended the fish became a lot more active. There was crashing and splashing and fish rolling all over the place including some very big Roach and I knew it was only a matter of time before one would trip up.

A very similar stamp to the previous nights capture weighing only a couple of ounces more at 1lb 6oz. I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg and am confident there are larger to come from this area. My target has to be a two pounder, that holy grail of river fishing. Somehow I need to improve my catch rate to several fish in a session but I think have a plan to help me succeed, just a slight tweek of the rig and method. Fingers and toes crossed!!

There was plenty of time for more fish after the Roach was released but there was one issue, a shoal of Barbel had found the pellets and decided it was supper time.
Size twelve hooks and four pound line is not ideal for hard fighting Barbel but thankfully the swim I was in is relatively snag free so I was able to land my adversaries.

A five pounder was soon followed by a seven.

I would never describe Barbel as nuisance fish and it was great fun catching them on light tackle but when your targeting Roach they can get in the way a little. Not unsurprisingly there was no more Roach.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Plan Worked

In certain swims that I have fished of late there have been a lot of twitchy bites, little plucks on the rod tip that have not developed into fish. I suspected them to be Roach picking up the two eight mm pellets but not getting close to the size eight hook on the hair rig. I decided to investigate and tonight just fished one pellet and a size twelve hook to see if I could land one.
The heavens opened early on but once the shower had dissipated the bites started. Frustratingly I lost a good fish to and unseen snag. I suspected it to be a Tench but will never know, the risk of using light tackle. First fish was a small chublet but then just as the light faded my plan cam to fruition and I netted a decent Roach of 1lb 4oz

Maybe there is something in this method as there were a few more plucks on the tip before I ran out of light and retired to the pub.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Sociable Saturday Session

A short Saturday session that was more social than serious, an opportunity for Jeff to catch up with our Tazzy, one of the puppies that was born nearly twelve months ago under his stairs. A daughter to his dog Molly and also a grand daughter to Martin's dog Oscar, quite the family reunion!
Whilst I had decided on a static approach both in terms of swim and method Jeff and Martin roved up and down the river searching out likely looking spots, every now and then dropping back into my swim for a social and to stroke the almost impeccably behaved Tazzy.
Bites were not easy to come by on the clear river and having lost one Barbel to an unseen snag I changed to rolling meat down the swim. Second run through proved successful and I landed an average sized Barbel in mint condition.

With the swim well and truly disturbed I decided to re-employ the legered pellets and sit it out until the fish came back on. About an hour laterI managed to land another well-conditioned Barbel not much bigger than the first.

Martin had come back to join me for a natter when the hat-trick was completed and took some great action shots whilst I played the biggest fish of the day, an unweighed but chunky probable seven pounder.

Come 'ere ya bugger!

Got ya!

The smile says it all, an enjoyable morning spent in good company.