Monday, 31 December 2018

A Tough 'Test' of Tackle

I have definitely lost my fishing mojo this year having only been out on a handful of sessions but, Martin and Andy persuaded me that the annual end of year trip to the wonderful chalk streams of Hampshire was an absolute must. I'm glad they succeeded.

This year we changed venue but we were still on the famous river Test, the Godfather of all the chalk streams. Much lower downstream than last year so as well as the Grayling and Trout there was the chance of some good coarse fish. 
I plonked myself into the first likely looking swim, dispatched a few handfuls of mashed bread and when the float dipped on the second trot through I struck in almost misbelief. I expected bottom as I was still working out the various depths but the rod bucked and a powerful fish in the strong flow gave me quite a scrap. As it is a new venue I had no idea what I was attached to but when it made several bids for the nearside snags the culprit could only be a Chub.

What a start to the day, 5lb 1oz of chunky Chub, I collared Martin in the next peg for photo duties.

The big man was soon back in my swim with a large Brownie worthy of a mugshot, out of season so it went back unweighed.

What followed was a fabulous day's sport with four more Chub all over four pounds...

A surprising amount of river Bream the biggest of which I weighed at 4lb 4oz...

The unavoidable Trout, all Brownies and a pb which I shouldn't have weighed but it was over four pounds

A couple of deer grazed nonchalantly over the far side...

when the float dipped and I struck into something completely different from anything previously hooked during the day.

My first thoughts were Salmon but it stayed low so I changed my mind to Barbel....

Martin went click-happy with the camera taking plenty of shots of the fight...

and finally after more than twenty minutes I slipped the net under a stunning Carp. Not what I suspected in this fast flowing river, they really are everywhere!

The smile hides the relief

Not the biggest Carp I have ever caught but a stunner in all her winter glory and she 'test'ed all my skills on three pound line, a trotting rod and fast water. 

One of New Years resolution is definitely more Angling like this!!

Catch-up Winter

Just the one session in November. Again Max was with me so we feeder-fished maggots to make sure there was enough action to keep him interested.

The first swim was dead so we moved to the ever productive weir pool. Max was happy with a succession of Chub, Roach and Perch.

The smile says it all!

Catch-up Summer and Autumn

Summer 2018

A couple of sessions over the ridiculously busy summer with Max in tow. A short evening session blanking on the river and an enjoyable afternoon session targeting silver fish initially...

and then we changed pools to chase the Carp in the glorious afternoon sunshine. 

Dog biscuits floating across the surface is my favourite way of catching Carp and is fast becoming Max's favourite too, so much so I recently bought him a 9' stalking rod at the local auction which will also be good for much of his other fishing.

Autumn 2018

A rare afternoon off the week before the Parish Games saw me heading off to the Avon for a practice session. A couple of pints of maggots were dispatched into a watery grave and I helped myself to a quality bag of Perch and roach. A pleasant pleasure session getting my eye back in ready for the match.

The annual Parish games, the only match I ever fish. Previous visitors to the blog will recall how frustrating this has become to our team of three, three second places and a creditable fourth in the last four years has given us a feeling that we might never get our hands on what is a spectacular trophy.

Not the most salubrious of pegs but for once I had been put in a decent place for fish. A decent net of Chublets. Perch and Roach, most caught in the first couple of hours and I knew I would frame in my section.

A section win for me and the same for Don plus a creditable fourth place for Ady in a barren stretch meant that finally we had our hands on the trophy that has eluded us for so long.
Cue the Celebrations!!

Sunday, 30 December 2018