Wednesday 28 December 2011

Winter Chubbing

  Yesterday me and my dad thought it would be nice to do some Roach fishing on another of our haunts, and also anything else that fancied a feed so we first decided to try a brilliant looking back eddy on the main river and both had a take instantly, Dads one was a 4lbs 0oz Chub, mine a 3lbs 4ozs Chub.

 After a few more casts i had another Chub at 3lbs 6ozs, then another fish this one though was alot bigger and stayed hard on the bottom for a while i thought it was a Barbel which are very rare in this river and then managed to get the fishes head up and it was a Chub a definite river best and after a couple of photos we weighed it and went 5lbs..... 6ozs, a second Chub of that weight from 2 different rivers in a week!.

                                               Dads 4lbs 0oz Chub

                                A large 5lbs 6ozs Chub (P.B for this river)

 After that i had another 5 Chub to 3lbs 11ozs and 1 from the Thames at 3lbs 9ozs (heavily scarred by the Pike) and 4 Dace and a Gudgeon. Dad finished up with 1 Chub (4lbs 0oz) , 1 Roach (1 lbs 2 ozs) and 5 Bream to (5lbs 4ozs). A good days fishing.

Friday 23 December 2011

December 2011 Barbel stats.

 10lbs 9oz, 4lbs 10oz, 2lbs 3oz

 8lbs 13oz

 3lbs 10oz, 3lbs 4oz, 2lbs 0oz

 7lbs 15oz, 7lbs 0oz

 7lbs 9oz, 5lbs 15oz, 4lbs 6oz, 8lbs 4oz

 6lbs 1oz, 8lbs 2oz

 Total = 90lbs 5oz!

November 2011 Barbel stats.

 6lbs 13oz, 6lbs 7oz

 6lbs 4oz, 7lbs 6oz, 9lbs 8oz, 7lbs 3oz

 3lbs 14oz, 6lbs 4oz

 Total = 53lbs 11oz

October 2011 Barbel stats.

 4lbs 0oz, 6lbs 1oz

 6lbs 0oz

 7lbs 14oz

 8lbs 1oz

 7lbs 2oz

 6lbs 14oz, 7lbs 1oz, 9lbs 0oz

 Total = 62lbs 1oz

Brilliant days fishing

First of all went out for probably my last Barbel exploit for a while but quickly turned out to be a waste of time, no Barbel feeding but showing up on the gravels, so i turned my attention to Chub as plenty were showing aswell, the Chub are making a great come back on the river over the last couple of years.

 Been looking at a blog recently of a couple of guys that fish the river as well and have caught a koi (kevin) a couple of times i did come across the koi and 2 other koi's and also a shoal of about 15 Chub to 4lbs-5lbs but i had a take off of a fish that I didn't even see, which turned out to be a leather mirror carp of about 5lbs but decided to shed my hook in a pile of rubbish on the bottom, it was a shame I haven't had a river carp in a few years.

  Later on...

 After a few trots had 3 Chub, 3lbs 10oz, 3lbs 4 oz and 3lbs 7oz all good fighters, then after an hour or so decided to head down and carry on the Chub fishing and within 20seconds of casting out latched into a powerful Barbel that really put up a fight, it only looked like it was about 5lb but was extremely well fed and went 6lbs 1oz, good stuff.

                                   I nickname this one 'Fatso' 6lbs 1oz.

  After that i went down even further, one of the things ive learnt about this river is that staying mobile is key to being successful.  Found a nice run under a canopy with a sand bar and saw a shoal of Chub (7) and a solitary Barbel and cast in the middle of them all and hooked.... you guessed it, the Barbel, out of 8 fish i hook the only Barbel in the shoal and a big fish aswell very long and powerful with a bit more water to move around in took me a while to get it in but was well worth it.

  Note: this is the first Barbel caught from this swim in 7 Years!

                          A well earned 8lbs 2oz Barbel. (So much for Chub fishing)

  So the day had been a strange one went for Barbel could only catch Chub, went for Chub can only catch Barbel, so i thought i'd go even further down and finish up with a Barbel and... caught a Chub but this wasnt just a normal Chub it was one of epic size for this river so much so it beat my previous chalk-stream personal best of 5lbs 3oz, this one was long, wide and deep and weighed a brilliant 5lbs 6ozs, catching these sort of sized fish out of this little river just makes getting cold and wet all worth while.

A new PB for this river at 5lb 6oz.

 So today I had,
 2 Barbel. Total = 14lbs 3ozs
 4 Chub.   Total = 15lbs 9ozs

Sunday 18 December 2011

A very cold night on the bank!

  Been waiting to get back to the rivers and do some Barbel fishing and thought i'd go back to spot i had my 10lbs 9oz specimen from 2 weeks ago and with the moon out and no cloud was'nt expecting much but first cast and 10 seconds later hooked into a fish which turned out to be a 3lbs 10oz Chub.

 So after the initial excitement the bites came at about 1 every 45 minutes so very slow but got a take at about 1am and hooked a Barbel possessed by something, never had a fish scrap so hard in the water and on the bank, another great sized fish weighing at 7lbs 9ozs, also had 2 other Barbel at 5lbs 15oz and 4lbs 6oz.

                                                     7lbs 9ozs.

  After that session moved about 3 miles down river just before dawn and went roving free-line tactic and after searching lots of little runs and deeper holes found a solitary Barbel hiding behind a sheet of corrigated iron, was very hard to spot nearly walked on until it moved out about a foot from its hold-up, after about 12 casts with the free-line meat finally got the presentation spot on, the take was emphatic a good strong fight which lasted along time and not having slept or eaten for about 20 hours, felt like a massive carp my arms were aching like mad but was very happy to see it slide into my net, biggest of the session at 8lbs 4ozs.

                                        8lbs 4ozs a very welcome whiskers.

Monday 12 December 2011

Some spare time....

  Just had an afternoon free so met up with my brother Chris and decided to have fun with a shoal of small fish and turned out to be quite enjoyable, with no Barbel on the agenda today just had a bucket of maggots that the little fish enjoyed and finished up with 37 fish mixed bag, comprising of dace, chub, roach and some very large gudgeon, one infact weighed just under 5 ounces! (nearly a british record fish)

                                               Little Monster, shade under 5ozs new (pb)

Friday 9 December 2011

Up to date now

   Up bright and early to do a couple of hours of fishing and got straight to business set up, cast out and put the rod down and prepared to sit down when the rod bent double, a fish immediately and after a very hard fight - stripping line from a tight clutch, took about 5 minutes to land and looked a very short but fat Barbel, Unsurprisingly went close to 8lbs, scales sat at 7lbs 15ozs.

   After putting that back fighting fit moved on up about 3/4 of a mile to a swim starting to produce me a few fish of notable size, changed tactic onto the trotting maggots and had a take straight away but missed it, then had to wait 35minutes before i got another chance but was ready for it, another one to the growing collection of good sized fish this winter, 7lbs 0oz.

  Left for home in time for breakfast.

                                                Short but strong 7lbs 15ozs

                                                            7lbs 0oz

Thursday 8 December 2011

6th December 2011

Time for a change of emphasis and dusted off the match fishing gear and went to see if there is any small Dace and Roach that have escaped the gobs of the pesky cormorant and herons, and had quite a few bits and bobs 4 Dace to 9ozs, 2 Roach to 5ozs, 2 Brown Trout to 1lbs 14ozs, 5 Chub to 4lbs 0ozs, 1 Perch! of 11ozs very rare indeed especially up where i had it from and can't get away from them even when i try to, 3 Barbel to 3lbs 10ozs very good 3 hours of fishing and a set of waders full of water. damn !!!

                                                           Solid 4lbs Chub

                                                         1lbs 14ozs Brownie

A rare Perch for here.
A pristine Brownie.

4th December 2011

  Having got home from last nights escapade i was feeling very happy and couldnt sleep laid on the pillow as the sun started to rise and the birds kept me awake and my brother snooring :( thought sod this so with no sleep and 2 cups of tea was back out the door and back on the river so a very early session and only aimed to be out for a little while so i had to make it quick and precise and within 15 minutes of setting up i had stalked a Barbel from a fast shallow run, hooked it and what a fight in the fast current, so when i landed it walked upstream a few yards to get the pictures.

  This was another fantastic sized Barbel aswell seemed to be having a great 12 hours when it hit 8lbs 13ozs on the scales another very fit and pristine Barbel, after that decided that the journey was complete and finally got some sleep, dreaming of a pb sometime soon, im sure it will come.

Very fit 8lbs 13ozs Barbel.

3rd December 2011

Set out after work with a feeling inside that if i went fishing tonight i would catch a good fish of what size i had no idea, after a calamitous journey taking nearly hour and a half got me to the river with about 20 minutes of light so scouted this piece of river that I haven't fished in about 4 years and found a gravel hole which spelt out "home" to me so it was my haunt for the night and after just 5 minutes into dark had a ripping take that pulled my rod out of the rod rest and started heading down river just grabbing the butt of the rod, with an almighty fight I christened my brand new net with what can only be described as a lump i thought it was going to smash my personal best of 11lbs 0oz, but when it hit 10lbs 9ozs i was extremely pleased with myself but at the same can only wish to catch that in March next year when she will be pushing 12/13lbs, my pb was set on this river back in 2006 so a long standing pb indeed, but after the excitement of that beast it turned out to be a tame night after that landing another two Barbel of 4lbs 10ozs and 2lbs 3ozs also with two Chub around 3lbs aswell.

 1st double of the season, new season best 10lbs 9oz.          

30th November 2011

Out on the river for a dusk fishing session saw a fairly quite night on the river and only had a couple of takes up to dusk which saw me bank a 3lbs 14ozs Barbel which about 2 months earlier had been caught at 4lbs 1ozs so it moved 500m upstream and lost 3ozs in the process and after moving downstream nearly a mile being pitch black just cast out into mid-river and hope i cast it into a lare of an elusive Barbel and surprisingly had a take within 15 minutes and landed a 6lbs 4ozs Barbel but unfortunately had left my camera at home so no photoshoot for them two.

14th November 2011

Red Letter Day number 2, i thought you only got 1 of them a year but seemed to have trod in something. Knowing that work is going to be extremely busy after xmas and having put alot of weight on i thought November and December was going to be used wisely so back on the river and today it was very low, cant remeber the last time it was this low and was gin clear so the omens were not good, but i cracked on to see if i could make something of it so went back to the swim that i hadnt done very well in and worked my magic and had a fish instantly and after a spirited fight had a another 6 pounder beggining to enjoy this greatly, 6lbs 4ozs on the scales, recovered that one and swam off strongly and soaked me in the process baited the hook and cast it out about 10 yards upstream of the 1st and again had a fish straight away those omens were for the good clearly and this was a bigger fish the fight was so much lazier than  usual just hugging the bottom in the current by which time me dad had come to take over the tripod duties and take some snaps of a 7lbs 6ozs Barbel, after a nag with the old man for about an hour and no bite thought of moving and said to myself 5 more minutes and we'll move and no sooner i said that i had a very good take the float slid under and firstly thought it was a Chub but after 20 seconds of its charging around knew it was a whisker and when it came up to the surface me and me dad thought i had a double on the business end it was a long and thick fish which niether of us have seen before and when it tipped 11lbs 1ozs on the scales we were wishing the sling weighed nothing but deducting that it went 9lbs 8ozs a truly welcome beast and biggest of the season so far.

                                                                            6lbs 4ozs

                                                                         7lbs 6ozs

                                                                Season best 9lbs 8ozs

But the session didnt end there though and the crusade went on headed up river and was hoping of carrying my great day on and it wasn't long before i had another specimen fish but this was a Chub and another season best of 4lbs 11ozs and as darkness was falling one last cast to see if i could add to my amazing day came up with a 7lbs 3ozs Barbel pristine condition, which took the tally to 4 Barbel equalling 30lbs 5ozs and a 4lbs+ Chub. A day to remember for sure.

                                                            Season best Chub 4lbs 11ozs

                                                                          7lbs 3ozs

10th November 2011

A couple of weeks off of the waters owing to work saw me only go out for a nights piking on the thames, to which i beat my brother at 2-0, but he did have a 9lbs 9ozs zander absolute monster, my 2 pike were only small ones, 5lbs 2ozs and a pb 10lbs 0oz esox and a 2lbs+ perch each.

                                                A long 10 lbs esox

                                                 Richard's 9 lbs 9ozs Zander (new pb).

But back to my beloved Barbel exploits saw me try a spot I have never managed to see or catch a barbel from and have a few friends on the river who have had barbel from there so thought of giving it a go, and took about 2 hours of real patience before even a knock came around and did hook the fish but within 10 seconds the hook slipped so back to the game plan, didnt wait long within 5 minutes had a take and landed this 6lbs 13ozs torpedo, which within 10 minutes of that was followed by another of 6lbs 7ozs. 6 pounders coming through quite reguarly recently :).

                                                                          6lbs 13ozs

                                                                            6lbs 7ozs

28th October 2011

                                                6lbs 14ozs

Been a week since i last had a go at my fav' swim hoped no-one has been there for a while (wishful thinking), got there to find a empty fresh tin of luncheon meat laying on the bank, to which was a good indication that it hasnt been unattended to for long but even still with the nagging feeling in my head that i wouldnt get anything, had a take almost immediately but only made contact and that was it, so back down again for another go and 30minutes later had another take identical to the 1st and this time made no mistake with this pristine 6lbs 14ozs Barbel, so a good start to what turned out to be a red letter day!

                                                   7lbs 1ozs

2 hours of searching brought me to a spot i haven't fished much due to the amount of other anglers in and out of there but couldnt resist the temptation and saw a couple of Chub knocking about thought that if there around then the Barbel may be home, the 1st thing i knew of a presence was a very strange knock on the rod then the line started to slacken up and thought its worth a hit and then after a typical dirty fight trying to cut me off on anything it could find finally got it over the lip of the net and thought it may be bigger than the 1 from downstream earlier on in the day and right i was when it went 7lbs 1ozs on the trusty old reuben heaton's but the day was going to get even better when after another hour wait in the same swin saw and old friend that seems to have lost a considerable amount of weight in just 2 years.

                                    A large frame but only weighing 9lbs 0oz

Unfortunately my dad had this fish in august 2009 and it weighed 11lbs 6ozs which is still his current personal best. Sod he's still beating me!. Though it did tip the scales to 9lbs exactly so still a very nice fish indeed. But after that the bites had dryed up and was time to head home, one of my best days on the river believe me these dont happen everyday 22lbs and 15oz of Barbel in one day is a feat on such a small river.

23rd October 2011

One of them nights when you look at the television and nothing decent on and the missus is out, thought i should grab a rod and my brother for a late night hunt for a good fight, after 5 small barbel between us further upstream the brother decides enough is enough, but with everything at a good condition i thought staying may pay dividends and at 3:30 in the morning and feeling wearey eyed, had a crazy take which nearly cut my finger off!, after a very good scrap and wet trainers slid the net under this 7lbs 2ozs Barbel, a very welcome fish for a somewhat drab night. (glad my camera has a timer!!)

21st October 2011

A very early session on the river at one of my favourite spots, first cast and a typical wrenching take and after a 5 minute bout saw this 8lbs 1ozs whisker banked and a barbel ive not caught before from this stretch so very good to see different fish moving around. Also 2 small Chub to 2lbs later on in session.

13th October 2011

A hard days work paid off 6 hours of roving to no avail but rewarded with a fine 7lbs 14ozs Barbel, plenty of chub showing but not particularly on the agenda as autumn and winter are the good Barbel months and Chub on this river are not shy of feeding at any time of the year.

5th October 2011

Another autumn whiskers through the shoal of hungry chub, at 6lbs 0oz, 2 six pounders in 2 days!

4th October 2011

 Autumn Barbel weighing 6lbs 1ozs, also caught a 4lbs 0oz barbel and 3lbs 7ozs Chub

8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...