Sunday 23 March 2014

Early Spring Tench.

 On Saturday morning I made the trip down to Marsh Farm, a fishery I had visited last year twice in search of Crucian Carp and got plagued by Tench, this time round it was in search of Tench as it's probably too cool for the Crucian's to be feeding hard, April onwards will certainly be the time to target them, but in the meantime even though we have cold nights and rain/hail storms passing through the Tench should still be on the feed.

Not the biggest but probably the most pristine.

 I was joined by Richard and Brian for the days fishing where we had no real expectations and simply went for a day out and relax, my personal best Tench of 7lb 15oz caught in 2010 is still the number to beat but even though there are Tench at the farm that can beat that I simply wanted to enjoy the sporadic sunshine and get my line pulled, on the other hand Brian and Richard's Tench PB's are not as large, hence a PB here for them both could have been easily achievable.

Not breaking any records.

Nasty looking weather.

 The day out did provide us with quite a lot of fun and all of us were catching fish but we were made to wait until the afternoon, with a hail storm seeming to be the catalyst, float fishing maggots over a big bed of loose maggot feed, Brian and I managed 9 and 6 respectively each, even Richard got in on the act with 3 Tench but the Bream also showed up with almost a dozen caught between the other two, apart from the Tench for me, a solo Roach put in an appearance and for all my hard work on the Harris Lake which didn't pay off it was Richardson Lake that delivered, which is why it is the match lake and much easier to catch from, but come the warmer months Harris Lake will see me a few times as I try to achieve a new personal best for the species which coincidentally was set in 1998 (3lb 1oz).

 A good day out and we were also joined by a pair of Red Kites which unfortunately stayed very high up in the sky, but was constantly reminded of their presence through the loud squawking and occasionally stooping much closer to the ground but still too high up for me to not get a picture, until mid-late April Crucian......

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Winter Pike Challenge Final Chart.

My accumulated list of Pike caught this season, my objective was to catch 200lbs and also trying to catch five doubles amongst that total weight, of course it's my first season that I have targeted this species in particular, so I had already caught a new personal best and caught more than all my years in angling, I hadn't been disappointed at all by the amount caught, due to the awful weather and inability to reach the rivers as they were out of their banks as I know they were all through the British Isles, hopefully next season the weather is alot better and we don't get bombarded by rain.


5.13, 2.1, 5.3, 11.3, 2.6 ----- Total: 26lb 10oz


4.14, 2.13, 3.1, 2.8, 2.3, 19.5, 6.0 ----------Total: 40lb 12oz


8.13, 6.0 ---------Total: 14lb 13oz


10.11, 5.0, 5.6 ----------Total: 21lb 1oz


5.15 ------Total: 5lb 15oz



Overall Total : 113lbs 13oz, unfortunately I did not reach my target but it was exciting all the same, more of the same for next season.

Previous season 12-13 Barbel Capture Chart.

Barbel caught since June 16th 2012 to March 14th 2013.

2lb  +  2
3lb  +  6
4lb  +  7
5lb  +  10
6lb  +  13
7lb  +  11
8lb  +  7
9lb  +  2
10lb + 2
11lb + 1
12lb + 1

Total caught since June 16th stands at 62 Barbel.

16.06.2012 - 2lb 7oz
17.06.2012 - 5lb 2oz
23.06.2012 - 8lb 1oz, 4lb 4oz, 8lb 3oz, 5lb 11oz
24.06.2012 - 2lb 14oz
26.06.2012 - 3lb 10oz, 4lb 4oz
29.06.2012 - 7lb 13oz
30.06.2012 - 6lb 10oz, 6lb 2oz, 6lb 7oz, 4lb 2oz

05.07.2012 - 7lb 6oz, 6lb 4oz
07.07.2012 - 4lb 10oz, 6lb 5oz
19.07.2012 - 9lb 3oz, 5lb 10oz
22.07.2012 - 8lb 6oz
25.07.2012 - 6lb 12oz, 6lb 9oz, 5lb 8oz, 3lb 1oz

02.08.2012 - 6lb 8oz
11.08.2012 - 6lb 4oz, 5lb 13oz

06.09.2012 - 6lb 6oz
09.09.2012 - 7lb 7oz, 7lb 2oz

13.10.2012 - 6lb 14oz, 7lb 6oz, 10lb 8oz, 4lb 7oz
25.10.2012 - 6lb 9oz

03.11.2012 - 10lb 8oz
24.11.2012 - 3lb 13oz, 7lb 7oz
27.11.2012 - 7lb 1oz

01.12.2012 - 4lb 3oz
09.12.2012 - 6lb 10oz
15.12.2012 - 7lb 5oz
29.12.2012 - 3lb 9oz, 4lb 2oz, 11lb 1oz, 7lb 2oz

10.01.2013 - 8lb 14oz, 7lb 0oz
23.01.2013 - 9lb 13oz, 7lb 4oz, 5lb 0oz, 5lb 4oz, 8lb 1oz

09.02.2013 - 3lb 0ozs
23.02.2013 - 3lb 8ozs

03.03.2013 - 5lb 5ozs, 8lb 10oz
13.03.2013 - 12lb 6oz, 8lb 15oz, 5lb 7oz, 5lb 4oz

Season's Total: 402lbs 1oz.
Average weight for the season: 6lbs 5ozs

Sunday 16 March 2014

So Long To Another Great Season.

 Since the 1st of April last year I set myself a few goals some of which I achieved with a few more personal bests to boot, but the likes of the Grayling had slipped my grasp, much to the fault of the erroneous weather but these things happen in fishing, another time.

During the past 12 months I have had a number of quality fish, from a 35.8 Mirror Carp to a 13.12 Barbel whilst trotting and a couple more 2lbs plus river Roach (2.6 & 2.2), fish that are still fairly rare in the river systems by the standards of the 1980's, not also to mention my best season for Pike which culminated in a 19.5 specimen being banked on the Avon, fly fishing during the spring months for Brown Trout also proved very successful with well over 30 Trout caught up to a shade under 5lbs and lastly my first Crucian Carp for over a decade which was caught at Marsh Farm Fishery in Surrey during a session targeting them during a lovely spring day and funnily enough that is where I will be heading next weekend for a fun day out, no expectations day out with James Snr and Brian from Pike Blog....touch wood the weather stays warm.

As usual, I am not glad to see the back of this river season but all good things must come to an end, I will enjoy this next three months and the start of the season will start later for me as I will be soaking up the sun in the middle-east for a few weeks and due back into the country at the beginning of July, so I will head off out on to the rivers come July but I will be in search of some Brown Trout between now and then on the fly come the 1st of April, until then.....tight lines.

My Personal best Pike.

Biggest Roach of the season at 2.6

Seasons best Barbel at 13.12

A 5.9 Chub, one of a dozen 5lb plus Chub this season.

Another 2lb river Roach (2.2), 21 now for me and slowly growing.

A large Brown Trout caught on the fly

Last but not least my record Carp at 35lb 8oz, a special moment.

 At times the season that has just passed has been difficult and my Pike challenge unfortunately I didn't achieve as the rivers for a large swathe of the winter were almost un-fishable which was a great shame but I did manage nearly 114lbs, so for me it was still a very good attempt and my best season for Pike yet, but I have learnt alot and will hope to put that knowledge into catching more and bigger ones too.

Friday 14 March 2014

A No Show.

 Wednesday and Thursday were reserved for Roach fishing and with my hope of catching a 3lb Roach firmly in mind that was the species I targeted, but to put a long story short the two sessions didn't go to plan as the Roach must have had their heads down and clearly not feeding on both occasions on two different rivers, but on the Thursday it wasn't a total blank.

Amazing speed of the Kingfisher.

Blink and you've missed it.

 Basking in the lovely sunshine whilst quiver tipping for Chub as it turned out, as the Roach weren't feeding the Chub as usual were and I had three Chevin's to 4.14, the others at 4.0 & 3.10, all put up good fights but not the species I set out for and the trip out didn't end there as I had given up hope of attaching myself to a Roach I headed off down to the Thames after dark and went cage feeder fishing for Bream where I was very successful, with 14 caught to a weight of 7lb 14oz and another four of which were over 7lbs, I accrued over 50lb of Bream in just over an hour, they were certainly on the chew.

Nearly mine.

The biggest of the day at 4.14

The biggest Bream of the night at 7lb 14oz.

 But the session didn't end there either, a good fish crashed out just in front of me and my hunch was that it was a feeding Pike, I didn't need a second invitation, within 30-40 seconds of casting out the rod slammed over and whatever it was that crashed out had now grabbed my small diver, I powerful fight ensued on the 6lb line I was using but I've overcome many Pike on lighter gear so I wasn't praying for it to stop and come in as it was fairly impressive, but I had not yet seen it but I knew it was a good one.... Then all off a sudden it came careering out the water and done a brilliant tail walk in front of me, showing me it's full length and as I had just seen the entire fish for the first time it was to be also the last time as it worked the lure loose and flew off into the night, the Pike was gone..... I estimate it to have been around the 14lb mark, quite disappointed to be honest but it wasn't the first time that has happened and won't be the last, nearly time more session today. 

Sunday 9 March 2014

Mirror Mirror.

 Well 5 days remaining of this seasons coarse sport, it leaves me with a small amount of time now to get out but I will hopefully manage a couple of trips out in search of Roach, as like most other species will be looking to spawn soon as spring settles in and they approach top weights and my chance of capturing my "Holy Grail" could be at no better time of the season than now, but let's catch up on a session that I embarked on at first light Saturday morning after Carp on a lake out in Surrey.

 During the morning the Carp were very lethargic and due to the cloudless night the temperature was fairly cool even though the sun was very warm and the first bite came after around an hour of fishing, which was subsequently missed, it all happened so quickly I missed it, but the following 2 casts provided me with 2 Carp, one of which about 4lbs and the other 10 lbs 1oz both of which were Common Carp and the lakes that I visited are stocked predominately with Commons plus a very small head of Mirrors and Leather Carp, I've only had one all season from here and that was 35lb 8oz, so they do get large and 40's do exist too, something to look forward to on 6lb line and a centre-pin on the waggler.

 The bay I was fishing was starting to show signs of activity as tail patterns and small bubbles started to appear, then after five minutes the swim went dead, although it seemed.... I reached into to my bag to grab a sandwich and the centre-pin screeched as a fish made off with my small bread offering, with no need to strike I leant into a good solid fish and for more than 7 minutes it led me the merry dance although I had it close to the net twice, the feisty Carp constantly made powerful surging runs out of the bay and into the lakes deeper water, after carefully getting the pristine specimen to the net I rested up for a few minutes as my arms were shot. I only had banked a Mirror Carp, one of only a few.

Immaculate, I want to catch more like this, very pretty.
Another double, fourth Common Carp of the day.

 It was one of the prettiest Mirror Carp I've ever caught and it looks as if it has the capacity to be a very big fish, let's hope it does..... At 16 lb 4 oz by far not the biggest Carp I've caught but indeed very much perfect and the day didn't stop there either with a further two Carp caught, 7.1 and 12.14 these were good battlers but not monsters and then the float started to lift and dip constantly as the Carp finally vacated my very fishy swim and the scores of Rudd moved in but I was unable to catch any even though I scaled down the gear, a lovely afternoon was ended on five Carp and that was a fulfilling days fishing, only a few days left and then it's over to the Brown Trout on the fly, but before then I will targeting some specimen Roach with the view of catching some more 2's and if the weather gods allow a 3lb Redfin.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Specimen Chub and Roach.

 Today's trip out never nearly happened, as I have come down with a bout of the flu and my body feels totally drained but if there is a sniff of a session out on the river bank then I'll get myself amongst it, within reason of course. Today's weather was lovely and the distinct warmth of spring is starting to settle in and with the coarse fishing season finishing 9 days there isn't long to target the likes of Chub and Roach, so these were my target.

 After a very laboured journey down to my chosen destination I selected to fish for Roach first and I set up originally with a stick float and then a wire stem but both didn't provide any enquiries, so after a 20 minute period I switched over to bread punch and a light feeder with white crumb but this approach also didn't work, I assumed they weren't feeding or in the swims I fished but I know fish move so I upped sticks and moved on up in search of some appealing water.

Under shotted so the bait would balance it out.

 The further I walked up the beats looked better more for Chub than Roach, so I set up a Chubber float rig and fished with a mix of Bread, Meat and Cheese, within 10 minutes I had a good Chub on and tearing off around the weir pool that I was fishing, first fish of the day was landed and it looked good too, my first guess was 5lb but after putting her on the Ruben Heaton's it registered 4 lb 13 oz, a good opener to the session 4 hours in!.

4lb 13ozs Chub, not long left now.

 It took over an hour before I got another indication and this fish certainly was miffed at being hooked, a big lump of bread was the winner and after a very good fight by Chub standards I had a substantial Chevin resting up in the net, wasn't sure if it would be heading towards 6lb, certainly had a good frame, the trusty scales gave me an accurate figure.

At 5 lb 9 oz, these do make trips worth it but a 6lb is here.

 As dusk was approaching and I was still feeling very rough I decided to head back down stream and sit behind a ledgered piece of bread flake and fish the creases and hope that as night was settling in the Roach would start to feed as they hadn't had all day and they were proving very elusive, in all honesty the Chub were more than enough and I'm certainly not greedy by any standards, I just did feel that something could happen during dusk and after half an hour or so the rod tipped bounced a couple of times and then the tell-tale jag-jag fight ensued, it felt good and made several strong runs through the current and it took three attempts to get it into the net and when I saw the Roach I knew it was a definite two-pounder, boy I am a lucky bugger sometimes, as the hook was right on the edge of the mouth and only took a little tension and it fell out, lucky indeed, time to marvel, specimen Roach never get old, always a pleasure to catch them and could catch them for the rest of my angling career quiet happily.

Old Father Redfin, get in......2 lb 2ozs.

Just perfect, need I say more.

 Another 2lb plus Roach takes me now up to 21 fish in 10 years of this bracket the biggest being 2.15 which is still my PB and was set a decade ago on the Thames, will I ever get a 3lber?? who knows but I just love catching Roach and I could have had more but I lost 3 Roach in a sunken tree that was in my swim and my bait ran out as I tried to really get them feeding, it was a struggle today but a great finale, I trudged off to the train station like a zombie and fell asleep on the train and nearly missed my stop, ill!!! pfft who cares when you catch fish like that, all was forgotten until I got on the train. 8 days now, tight lines guys.

What A Start!

   Since the river season ended I've taken a 3 week hiatus from fishing, work as usual the excuse! Storm Kathleen however was predicted ...