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PB Bream, Walthamstow Reservoirs 2022.

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   For many years the thought of a campaign for specimen Bream has always appealed, however the choice to go with it has never been taken. Finally, after plenty of deliberation the decision has been made, this spring my targets are going to be Bream and Eels. Not the pairing that many would feel comfortable with, nevertheless I don't mind and find targeting species like this very intriguing. A slime fest if you will.  The thought of big Bream is one that I find exciting, I don't know how big they really go to in the reservoirs, because when they do come out it is often to disgruntled Carp anglers who tend to unhook them in the water, so there is no real detail on numbers and weights of the fish that get caught, this is where I hope to come in. Having decided to take on Walthamstow Reservoirs for my Bream campaign I hope to get amongst numbers of fish with the ultimate goals being: To thrash my personal best, B: Get a good idea on exactly what is knocking about and C: What other

R"eel"y Good Start.

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   I can't remember the last time I caught an Eel by design, let's just say I have forgotten a lot and needed to brush up. That said on various platforms there is a wealth of knowledge and tutorials etc to help blow the cobwebs out of ones mind to remind you of past experiences and teach you new things and how to implement that into your angling.   I spent a few hours setting up my gear and watching said videos so that by Wednesday evening ( a few weeks back ) I would be primed and ready to tackle the seemingly baron canals on East London. Given the fact Eels aren't liked by many means they are largely an unknown and having only seen a couple of dead ones floating against lock gates or in rafts held up by canal boats at mooring it intrigued me. Also given the fact the specimens I had found dead were very big, one I estimated to be between five and six pounders when alive, it looked bigger still, but with bloating and decomposition beginning some of the size had to be taken

Another Season on the Bank.

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   Well what can I say about the 2021/22 season. It was bloody brilliant, lots of lows but amongst those lows I caught some big fish to really keep me focused and well and truly on track with my target for a double figure Barbel off of forty rivers across England, Wales and Scotland. So here is how it panned out!   May:  I only fished once in April so there wasn't much to write about there and May wasn't too different, a single trip out in search of Golden Orfe and Tench resulted in a success on both fronts, a cold spring did make fishing difficult on the day but did finally come good. A nice G.Orfe, but not what the lake used to produce. 7lb 7oz   June:    Again it was a very lean time for me fishing wise as the birth of my second child meant I was helping out at home and being Dad, I did manage two trips (1x Medway and 1x Mole) but these resulted in blanks.    2 trips / 2 blanks / 6hrs / 0 Barbel / 0 Doubles.   July:  I found time slightly easier come by on the bank as I was

River Wey Double! That's A Wrap!!!

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   Well, as you can tell from the title I have done it, a River Wey double on only my second trip ever to the river and my first trip to the river for Barbel was over 9 years ago  Blog Post  when I had a 9lb 2oz Barbel whilst rolling meat at night as the river was up high and pushing. When I arrived yesterday morning I found the river in similar condition as the river was about 1.5ft up and gently dropping throughout the day.   This section was a place I had never fished so it was a learning curve and sought out areas that looked like I would find Barbel present. Most areas looked amazing and really was spoilt for choice. I fished one rod in the tighter swims and two rods where the bends would open up, alternating between meat and boilie/paste I hoped to find a feeding fish and as the hours ticked by and pegs were worked I was starting to feel it wasn't going to be my day! Staggering temp at midday and it went up to 10.7c by 5pm.    Given the temps I felt confident of a fish and as

Running Out of Time.

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   Its been a trip that was well overdue, the Dorset Stour and an Itchen return were finally back in my plans and with an upturn in conditions it was hopefully going to be a successful trip which I was making with Brian (of Pike Blog )...3 days of bog talk and blanking was in-store for us both!  We started on the Dorset Stour as conditions were on the up after a cold spell that would have meant sluggish sport, within an hour of fishing on the float I had conjured up 4 bites, losing one that was a good Chub in the six pound bracket, missing one and landing two. Not the Barbel I was after but fish all the same, Brian set about Piking and had some success with the Jack's but the big girls eluded him on day one.  My sleeper rod during the day showed little signs of life and as the sun set and the night sky provided wonderment I hoped that dark would give the Barbel more confidence and setup using one rod on the meat and the other with boilie and paste. Within a couple of hours the tent

Warwickshire Avon Double, That's A Wrap!!!

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  As we approach the final throws of the 2021/22 season I am almost at a point in time when I reflect on what I have achieved over the past twelve months and on the Barbel front it has been a real mix of highs and lows, tough blanks on certain rivers and total elation on others, it has been brilliant overall and if you had told me I would have caught double figure Barbel from six different rivers this season to put me on 11 out of 40 I'd bitten your arm off for that.   So, I have had an eye on the last week of the season for a proper blow-out and see if I could potentially add another fish to my challenge and having looked at my options, the current forecast I thought that the Warks Avon would be in good nick and a few messages with George Burton of  Float, flight and Flannel  over the course of the week we decided on a visit on Saturday and I could not wait as it was to be my first ever visit to the river and it couldn't come quick enough.  2hrs up to the midlands was chalked

Little Catch-Up of Recent Ventures.

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   Fishing has been a little thin on the ground of late, I have managed a couple of shorts sessions out for Barbel with no joy which is hardly surprising given the venues I've been targeting, no joy in the summer I don't expect it to be any easier in the cool of winter. I know double Barbel exist and I also know there aren't many around so the task set out for a R.ColnBrook double is going to be possibly one of my toughest foes.   On the stick and pin the other day I had a good morning where I choose a peg that had a decent inside slack behind a fallen tree and on close inspection a few days before I could see silvers turning on the gravel, so I knew that would be a good place to start my Dace fishing. Once valentines day is out the way Dace are firmly in my plans as the Hens start to gather with spawning in mind around early April. The window of opportunity looked to be quite short on Saturday too as the stiff winds looked to return, bringing with it heavy rain for about 4