Tuesday 29 May 2012

I love this weather!

 Over the last few days I've been soaking up the sun as much as possible with more work coming up my way over the next few months I'll be a busy man and any little pockets of spare time I can get hold of will be spent catching some fish, with the sun being as good as it has I'm not the only creature that enjoys the sun, the Carp have been going mental for the last 6 days and most have now finished spawning with only one dead Carp found which is always a shame, but could be much worse.

 After the Carp finish spawning they always feed really well and this morning I thought I'd take advantage of that fact and have a go at expanding my collection of spring Carp.

 By the end of the session I did end up with 2 Carp, one was a fine 17lb 8oz Fully scaled Mirror that fought like a demon and brought in about 5 pound of Canadian pond weed with it and just as I finished weighing it the sod decided to slide out of my mat and straight back to whence it came without a photo shoot, drat!!!.

 The second Carp was a Common that was feeding on the surface for a little bit and I plonked a lovely piece of bread on it's head and it opened up it's cavernous gob and sucked in my offering and this fight was much better than the first one, obviously recharged after the spawning it gave a very good account of itself, charging around the swim and trying to round a bush and lose me init, after 2 attempts to land it, I finally got it in the net and this one wasn't going escape early.

15lb 13oz solid male Common Carp.

 I did carry on after releasing that fish and went in search of a Tench and I did find a shoal of them in small bay basking in the sun and one of them did have a go at my bait but I just couldn't create any contact with the fish and gave up in the end, maybe another time.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Another specimen hunted

 After the very nice warm weather we have been experiencing I felt that a morning session was in order and as I start back work on Monday after a little rest, I needed to get some more fishing done and I was so glad I did peel myself out of bed this morning, firstly by catching a lovely 8lb 8oz Bream which had the most amount of spawning tubicles that I have ever seen on a Bream, so this was a male Bream and the biggest I've had to my recollection.

  Then a hour or so had passed with only a couple of small Carp passing through my swim, but then a shoal of Carp came into my swim and started rooting up the bottom and feeding really well, with two of the shoal being a really big Mirror around 30lb and a Common about 26 - 28lb surrounded by a handful of good doubles and when the Mirror circled around ahead of the rest I placed my bait right on it's nose and it inhaled my bait with real conviction, my chance at landing my first 30lb + was now in my hands and I played it very cautiously knowing that the tree line on the other side could be a real issue but thankfully I managed to turn it's head at the last moment before it would have almost definitely snapped me up and after about 5 minutes my prize was in the net and I was an extremely happy boy indeed, on the scales she went 31 lb 3 oz, this fish was a foot across the back but was a very short fish but what a fantastic fish and a MIRROR aswell. Get in!!!!! My first Thirty and hopefully the first of many.

What a pig, 20 years in the making, I started fishing for these aged just 4.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Catch up

First off, a quick catch up from Monday, after a short early morning session I landed a 6lb 1oz Tench using lob worm under a crystal waggler fishing near to a bunch of lily pads the perfect place to find a Tench, my second 6lb + Tench in a week.

Unfortunately missing its left pectoral fin.

 Yesterday I did also manage to get a few hours on the bank to try and catch a Carp or two and after a couple of hours of moving around a part of the lake I did manage to find a willing participant and when I hooked this Carp it did not give up, almost taking me through a bush it pulled some dirty tricks out the bag, also with the fight lasting nearly 10minutes the Carp on its first charge must have taken 60-70 yards of line and was literally unstoppable even with my clutch tightened up it stripped line with consummate ease but a good fight is always a good experience, so when the fish tired I guided it into a nice wet net for my first fish of the day, after a couple of pictures and weighing it at 19lb 10oz (it was a nice Common with a very nice woody colour), I released it and packed up to go off to do some fly fishing for the main part of the day.

Absolutely pristine.

 So after the early session I decided to enjoy the lovely 26c weather we had, donned my typical style of shorts and T-shirt but with the amount of stinging nettles present I didn't think flip-flips would have been a good idea to be honest, so after my deliberation on what to wear, I tackled up with 9ft brook fly rod and 5lb greys floating line and 4lb drennan specialist line for my terminal end. The session didn't go according to plan entirely after bumping a few Chub or Roach with a green shooter and missed the chance to hook a 5lb+ ghost koi-mirror Carp on my pheasant tail nymph, TWICE! how I missed either takes I still don't know now but the show must go on and then I had a micro Chub of about 3 inches long my first Chub on the fly albeit see through variety.

 But I did hook a decent fish further up river in the form of a 3lbs 1oz Chub which did put a nice bend in the rod, now my second Chub on the fly ever.

Stocky old Chub.

The fly the Chub took.

 We did carry on up after that in search of a Trout and they have been so hard to come by recently I think unfortunately the Trout have been pinched out for a bit of supper because within a year the stocks seem to be dwindling some what, yesterday me and Stu a fellow angler who shares a very similar passion for Barbel walked the river and only came across 3 Trout and the biggest was no more than 2lb 1/2, last year I would have seen and/or caught them over 4lb, only last season I had a 5lb 2oz Trout, for the Trout populations sake I hope I'm wrong but why all of a sudden have they vanished and only small ones are now around, even further up I did manage to find a Trout willing to feed on the fly and missed it twice, two fish taking two bits of the cherry in one day, really? It wasn't to be my day to get a trout and with that we walked the 5 miles back down that we walked up and bumped into a nice 4lb + Barbel sat on the shallow gravels just watching us watching it, come the normal coarse fishing season I guarantee he or she won't be so blase, only 3 weeks left :)

I'll be back, oh and there spawning.

Monday 14 May 2012

Carp fishing with a twist

 Over the last couple of mornings I've been out in search of some Carp and not had alot of luck, missing 3 takes which another time I would have connected to, but thats fishing sometimes but today I did have some joy in the form of a nice 20lb 3oz Common Carp at about 5.30am.

A pristine Common Carp

 Also I did have a twist in the session by landing a female Tench at 6lb 14oz whilst fishing amongst a shoal of Carp and there were 2 Tench bigger than that aswell swimming in the shoal.

An old fish with plenty of scars.

Spawning Roach

 After a quick walk down the river in the other day to do a little fish spotting for mainly Barbel, I spotted a large shoal of Roach spawning on the weed which is a very good sight on this river as the Roach population has taken a huge plundering due to the flying black death.

Roughly a 100 fish in this shoal, mainly Roach and some Chub.

A Roach flashing whilst spawning.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Stalking fish, nothing better!

 After being down the river clearing up and trying to make it a better place for fish and fishermen alike I decided to do a bit of fishing for the first in over a month so I really couldn't turn down an invite from my mate Matt to have a go at water down in Kent near to where he lives, so a night session was in order to have a go at some Carp mainly but also is home to some big Tench and Bream aswell.

 So after 2 hours of travelling we finally got to the lake about 9pm and was fishing by 9.30 but both Matt and myself drew a blank all night with only one knock all night for Matt, so we just entertained ourselves by watching silly videos on our iphones (the joys of technology), I don't like fishing with modern tackle even at night, I'll try to avoid buzzers and so on as much as I can so I thought for a while about just folding the rod away until dawn as the clearing up down the Wandle had taken its toll on me and I really needed some kipp, but we soldiered on through the night and as time went on dawn started to approach and the horizon was starting to brighten up.

So with the impending sunlight I took off my nightlight and left our patch and went searching for some bubblers in an attempt to wiggle one out, after a fair old walk down the bank I noticed some tail patterns and bubbles in the water and placed my float right in the middle of the feeder and within a couple of minutes my float started to lift and then slid away, I was in and it wasn't shy on charging around so I immediately thought Carp but no sooner I thought that a Bream rolled over and I took a step back, absolutely stunned by the size of it I reached straight for my net and she was mine, I knew it was a double and had a feeling she would beat my pb Bream of 10lb 10oz set on the River Thames, she most certainly did beat it at 10lb 14oz, what a result! Matt wasn't answering his phone ,who turned out to be fast asleep in his bivvy, so its a good thing that I always travel with my trusty little tripod and camera which never leaves my tackle bag.

A very tired but excited me. :) new personal best Bream.

 I couldn't believe that had just happened but it did, so after admiring the fish in water at it sheer size I prepared myself to carry on fishing and maybe have another fish and when I walked back into the swim I had the bin-lid from there was a couple of Common Carp feeding in exactly the same spot, with a lobworm as the lure my float buried itself without any hesitation, after a good strong fight for about 5 minutes in came the culprit, a good looking Carp that went 16lb 1oz.

 Quality 15minutes definitely but I was seriously thinking about calling it quits due to my non-existent sleep, but within another 5 minutes I was very happy I didn't as an even bigger Carp decided to swim right in front of me and I was in no mood to say no considering what I've just caught, off to work again and this Carp was a definite 20+ fish, so again I put a worm on the business end same as before and like clock-work I was in, with a very dogged fight and hugging the bottom it took a while to get it up but a good fight all the same and just as she was approaching the net the line flicked off her dorsal fin and hoped she was well hooked which turned out to be the case as I then slid the net under her and it was mine, my first 20+ Carp for a while, what a 30 minutes I had aswell very exciting to say the least and all this action while my mate was asleep. He will be pleased.

A very chunky 21lb 7oz Common Carp.

 A very fit and fat Common, after a very dead night the morning came up trumps, but what was very funny about this trip is that my host drew a blank in the end but also the conversation we had on the way up in the car was £10 to the capture of the most fish and that the venue was normally very difficult to fish and when I got back to the bivvy and rattled him back into consciousness to say I thought it was time we got a move on, he noticed the wet net and said 'go on how many then?', with which I handed him the camera and his choice words after a brief look was, I'm not taking you out again! Love it when a plan comes together.

 A brilliant mornings fishing and the Bream was the highlight 10lb 14oz, WHAT AN ANIMAL!

Another days work

 After all of the rain that we have had recently, I have been looking forward to getting back down the river to complete the clean up job that Stu and myself had started almost a month ago, so as the rain had calmed down for 2 days and allowing the level to drop and sediment to settle, we were back in the river pulling out more carpets, metalwork of all forms, clothing, kitchen wear, more old drinks cans that I have never seen before and i'm pretty fond of a fizzy drink and 20 odd bags of recyclable material.

 With all of the other couple of tons of debris collected now, weve managed to built up a pile bigger than the first one, which we can not believe at all, but the stretch looks so much better now and has gained about 4 - 8 inches in depth and clear gravels for about 30meters with the exception of 2 massive concrete slabs about 10feet long by 6feet wide, the perfect Barbel haunt for sure.

 The nearly complete project brambles.

About 30 hours with 2 men. Looks good!!

Also most of the metal didn't hang around long as a couple of travellers came down and took it for scrap bearing in mind some of the scaffolding poles were 30 footers and must have been about 70 poles in total removed just from that small piece of water but I guess waste not, want not. Plus another 4 eels and 1 elver, the Eel population is looking very healthy in this stretch, I think in the 4 trips to this spot to clean up between Stu and myself  we have seen anything up to 20 eels the largest being about 3-4lbs and 1 Chub around 2lb.

 Can't wait to get back to fishing the rivers again. Roll on June the 16th.

Blackwater Returns.

   Throughout my teenage years I spent many thousands of hours targeting Barbel in low gin clear rivers and really hammered home my love for...