Tuesday 27 May 2014

The Challenges Set for the Next 3 Months.

For the next three months I have set myself some targets to try and achieve, although some may seem easier than others, it will be the locality of where I will be angling for some of these species, I have picked some out as potential PB's too but catching may not be easy and at times I suppose coining the phrase, it will be like "catching the impossible", but if it's worth catching then it's certainly worth the effort I will no doubt have to impart on my quest, so for the next 3 months these will be the species I'll be aiming to catch and my target weights.

Bream ( Abramis Brama ) - 13lbs.
Tench ( Tinca Tinca ) - 8lbs.
Carp ( Cyprinus Carpio ) 40lbs.
Perch ( Perca fluviatilis ) 3lbs.
Rudd ( Scardinius Erythrophthalmus ) 2lbs.
Eel ( Anguila Anguila ) 5lbs.

Over the course of this time which will encompass most of the summer I feel these can all be achieved but it will be a mammoth task but one that I am relishing if time will allow me, 6 species of specimen proportions in 3 months, with the gauntlet laid down, it's time to fish.

Current PB at 7lb 14oz.

Current PB at 10lb 14oz.(left)

Current PB at 35lb 8oz.(left)

 Current PB at 2lb 13oz. (left)
Current PB at 3lb 13oz.

Current PB at 5lb 11oz.

Friday 23 May 2014

Carry on Carping Part Two.

 Leading on from the first short trip out in search of Carp I have since done a couple more sessions but again they have been extremely short session's and not the sort of sessions I prefer but they can yield some great results and have done in the past many a time, so there is no reason why it won't happen again, so a short trip last Thursday morning and another Tuesday night an hour before dusk, both sessions provided sport which was exciting and equally as peaceful, you and your fishing and nothing else to bother you, the sessions I enjoy the most.

 Thursday last week I had a 2 hour stint on a localish lake in search of a Carp, the tactic was simple and adapted the terminal tackle to whether the fish were feeding on the surface or along the bottom, 40 minutes of chasing fish around a bay I finally got one to take my suspended bread-flake, the bay I was fishing was flat calm until I hooked the Carp then the swim exploded into white water and foam, a cracking battle at 6am is enough to wake anyone up and if I wasn't woken up by the fight then it beating me up on the mat would have done it, the Common wasn't a monster but certainly was in great shape, crazy buggers.

Locked into battle mode.

11lb odd of pure muscle and pristine condition.

Bend over then......

Some perfect looking swims to be fished.
Dawn on the Carp lake.

 So after that lovely looking Carp I headed off up north for 4 days which was touched on in my last post, arriving back on the Monday after, a trip after work on Tuesday was decided on and headed out with the float gear and half a loaf of bread, within 45 minutes I had done something five anglers hadn't done in hours of fishing, that was hook a Carp. The larger Carp didn't come first though, a bag of smaller Carp devoured my bread before the larger ones could get to it, the speed that these baby Carp were hitting it was almost reminiscent of a school of Piranha, but after I got through these ravenous little sods a larger Carp finally snaffled up my bait, the float slid away and instead of striking into something tiny the rod tip lurched back down towards the water, it was no 4 inch Carp, 5 minutes later a nice chunky Common Carp lay resting in my net, happy days for me and that capture was all too much for one angler as he promptly packed up as I had landed that Carp, call it coincidence but it seemed like that it were the straw that broke the camels back, but did I care? Not a jot.....all the anglers fishing the lake were pumping out 3oz leads or tackle to that nature out to islands and waiting for the fish to find them, I fished a rod length out at around half the depth on the float and moved it around to find the activity.

14lb 1oz, a proper thick set, pukka fish.
 Could only hope to catch that fish in 5-10 years down the line, it has potential to be big, but once upon a time it looked like these.......

Amazingly small, but one day may be a twenty pounder.

The prettiest Mirror Carp, perfection in miniature.
 I will be heading off out and looking for some more Carp but as the weather warms furthermore I fear that they will be looking forward to spawning rather than feeding, but I can only try, nearly the beginning of the river season is upon us, this year it has gone quick. 

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Fishing in Lincolnshire.

 Well, the title may imply that I solely went up the east coast of England just for fishing, which was not the case, myself and the other half headed out of London on a 4 day much needed break from the bustle of our busy town, we made the 3 hour journey up by train and then relaxed in the balmy 20c + weather and lazed around on the beach and did a bit of touristy stuff but one thing that I had researched on was....potential fishing opportunities, of course I packed a rod and some basic tackle, but a majority of the lakes available near to where we stayed were only Carp lakes.

 We got into Skegness ( Jewel of the North ) for holidayers within the top half of the country without going abroad, we actually stayed in a small town called Mablethorpe on the coast, roughly 20 miles from Skegness although we did spend a small amount of time there on the beach and looking around the shops, or mainly the other half did and I did bag duties.

 As the regular viewers may know, Carp aren't my number one species but when the opportunity presents itself I will give it a go, but one of the fisheries I looked at had a good head of Roach to 2lb and Rudd also to 2lb, the Rudd certainly made me excited and after just 10 minutes on the Saturday morning I spotted a few large Rudd basking on the surface near a reed-line, the omen's looked good but as the day went on the sun got hotter and the Rudd only wanted to sun themselves, my plan of catching one looked set to be a difficult one from the off, but I certainly didn't blank as I had a bag of Roach, Skimmers and a solo Mirror Carp, I only spent around 6 hours fishing as the trip up north was to spend some quality time away in a quaint but very pleasant part of the country that I had never been to.

Typical views everywhere you went.

Plenty of these.....

And these....

hmmmmm....... a few more, biggest at 10ozs.

Oh and a Mirror Carp to break the monotony. 4lb 4oz.

That's more like it... a couple of these too.

African coast??, guess again, the beach next to our accommodation.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Carry On Carping.

 Unbelievably it is mid May already and as the warmer weather starts to settle in - the Carp will start to awake from their slumber and feed a little more in earnest with the view to prepare for spawning season and as the water warms up the Carp will also come up the water column and become visible on the surface as they scour the scum for bugs, flies and in the other instance, my bait....well I will endeavour to get as close to them as possible, I don't mind fishing for Carp blind but targeting them visually gives me a lot more confidence and it is my favourite method for Carp, with the best baits being chum mixers and bread.

 But when I fish blind it is quiet common to catch other species, from Bream to Tench with also a range of silvers, early mornings for me are the best time for me to target Carp because if they aren't on the top they will be digging up the bottom, thus releasing bubbles from the silt patches that they feed on, but determining what species it is digging up the bottom isn't always easy and knowing your water-craft with plenty of experience sometimes you can tell the difference but you can be surprised just what may be next to tug the float under.

 So over the last week or so I have managed to do a couple of very short sessions, after my success with my PB Perch I have watched a few large Carp to the 30lbs mark but have not been feeding alot, over the course of the week when I've had a look about I have been studying patterns of feeding, places where fish congregate and also when they are moving the most or static, so I can build a picture as to when the best time is to attempt to catch, during the course of the week I caught one Carp of 9.11 and lost one in a dense snag which was a mid-upper double Common Carp, it was a shame to lose but I'm certain that I will catch a much larger one.

Pristine Common 9.11

 Trees can be very useful when in the right places, if you can climb them and not scared of heights then they can be extremely handy for spotting fish but mainly Carp whilst they feed on the beds of bloodworm, I love to use the trees as vantage points and although sometimes I feel like a squirrel it can help you spot fish which are hard or impossible to see from the bank, only the once I have fell out of a tree which I can tell you, it hurts..... alot, so it does have it's hazards. Tight Lines......Next stop a twenty plus Carp.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Trout on the Fly Part Five.

 This Trout fishing business is starting to look easy from just looking at the previous posts but I can assure everyone that the amount of effort put in is huge, the last couple of trips I have found the correct flies to use and worked out how to fly for them, but what's helped me more than anything else is being in the thigh waders, they open up so much more water and even in the parts you can fish from, being in the water makes life so much easier, plus it allows much better presentation and I'm almost convinced that that has contributed to a larger quantity of fish.

 After working the entire bank holiday weekend, a whole day out on the bank wasn't possible but the snippet of time I had on Saturday when I banked a new personal best Perch was all that I could manage but today I had a day off and fishing was hoisted back onto the agenda, let's go Trout fishing.

 So this is how it went.....

A cracking Brown Trout at 2lb 11ozs, just what the doctor ordered, perfect condition as usual.

A couple of photo's of the 2.11 Trout.
 That Trout above wasn't the first either, before that one I had a smaller brownie of about 8oz, but this certainly fought harder than the little guy, but the small Trout are so much easier to find and catch, the larger Trout seem to be harder to find and seem to be much more weary of flies and anything else to that matter, but the day was to get better but also something alien would put in an appearance.
A small one but they are great fun.
A Brown Trout? nope guess again- it's an unwanted Goldfish from someone's pond.
 What on earth is that doing in a river and secondly taking a fly in amongst a trio of Trout, well in angling I've had many strange catches and know doubt I'll manage more in the future, then after that it was business as usual with two more Brown Trout both again around the 9-10oz mark, but as I was walking downstream I peeped into a swim which has a deep gravel/chalk hole with some Ranunculus covering the bottom but as the weed swayed it revealed a shoal of Chub, three of which were very big fish, two I estimate at 5lbs and the largest was getting on for 6lbs, it was a very good Chevin, but they were extremely alert to my presence so trying to tempt them on the fly would be near impossible, so I left them to do what fish do and come back when the coarse fishing season starts.

 Through all of the small Trout a much larger one downstream was found and after only a single cast I was entwined into a battle of the will, I had picked on a spotty that certainly didn't want bothering and a battle of nearly 5 minutes started, it lasted so long I managed to get a minute-and-a-half video rolling whilst I was playing it, but my will and fly rod were stronger than that of this large Brown, when it slipped into a ever smaller looking bow net I knew this fish was well in excess of 4lb, another big fish successfully caught, the fishing gods are looking after me at the moment, this fish has to have been the easiest big Trout I've ever caught simply for the lack of effort it required to catch with a Black Muddler doing the business yet again, as it has done so frequently this season.
Angling perfection.

 A typical fish in regards of condition, I have seen a couple of Trout this size but not managed to catch one but this is my 2nd Brown over 4lb but at 4.1 it fell short of what I thought it would but still a very large fish, happy days, but all the time I've spent on the bank I haven't yet seen a Trout that could eclipse my PB yet, do they exist in here anymore? and if they do, where are they?, it's a question I am hoping to answer by banking one or at least spotting one, maybe I will have to look in more obscure places and stretches of river that rarely get fished or even never, it is possible that a couple may be seeking shelter away from the main population, just waiting for one to grace my net, but unfortunately it wasn't today as the session then turned into a Dace fest again with 9 coming in a space of 45 minutes with the biggest weighing at 9ozs, a big Dace although I lost one that was well in excess of 12ozs maybe closer to a pound than 12oz, but as the Dace rose to the fly I was to eager to strike and must have finely lip hooked it, these are the rest of the pics of the day.

A stocky Chub of around 2lb.

Biggest of the day at 9oz.
 The session ended with a cracking total, here is the scores:

Brown Trout = 9--- 6 between 4oz & 10oz, 2.5, 2.11, 4.1
Chub =1 2lbs
Dace = 10------all between 4oz & 9oz being the largest
And a pond cast off, a orange Glodfish which coincidentally was really fat and weighed more than it's size would suggest. 

Tight Lines Piscators.....

Sunday 4 May 2014

You Just Never Know.

 Trout have all but dominated the angling agenda over the last month and although I have thoroughly enjoyed it I fancied shying away from the fly gear and utilized a couple of hours after work today, my intended target were Carp and knowing how big they get in my secret lake, it's hard to not be filled with optimism, just watching some of the specimen's gracing the surface hoovering up anything in sight gets the adrenaline pumping and for the first 20-30 minutes that's all we could do as the majority of fish were out in 40-50 yards of water, so casting was out of the question.

 The Carp here love a bit of crust or dog biscuits, so armed with the earlier we carried on walking around the largish expanse of water in search of movement in the margins, as the sun was starting to set we started to struggle to see through the water with the polaroid's on when a set of stripes appeared amongst the already dense weed, it took me about 30 seconds to adjust, focus and realise the fact that Perch were present, for almost 20 years I have never ever seen or heard of them being caught here and this was no little Perch either, easily a 2lb fish maybe even 3+ then an even larger Perch appeared out of the weed to join the first, this fish was easily a three-pounder, I thought to myself, "Where's a worm when you need one ", my personal best being 2.7 which was caught nine years ago. Instinct took over and I could not ignore a potential PB Perch, so for about 15 minutes after James Snr and myself went hunting for worms, which it has to be said with a flimsy stick and hard soil we may have found them quicker but this was surely worth the effort.

 The rig.....was simply a size 14 hook and finally a worm but not much of one, I flicked it out as far as possible and then started to sink & draw it, with in seconds one of the Perch came out of nowhere and nailed the worm but didn't get hooked, how? I still don't know but I got another chance within a minute where the bigger of the two came and watched me jigging my worm up and down, the take was emphatic a the gob opened up in full-view and watched the worm disappear down it's cavernous mouth, I struck and.........I pulled the hook and bait out of the fishes mouth. "Dear oh dear", what the hell did I do that for I said to my father as he looked on and looked back at me with as much shock as disappointment as I had then thought I had blown my chance for good this time, but in typical James fashion I did get a third bite of the cherry, I changed the presentation slightly by just letting the worm slowly descend to the bottom where the smaller of the two Perch came and inspected it then suck in the worm, I waited a couple of seconds for it to make up it's mind and then I gently leant into it and she was on!, the excitement then kicked in as the fight was not what I would have expected off of a top predator but that for me was not much of an anti-climax, I desperately wanted to land it and I gladly slipped the Perch over the net, a definite PB!!!!.

2lb 13oz!!, not a monster in today's fishing but for me it's a very big Perch and extremely chuffed to have caught it, a new personal best, it surpassed the original by 6ozs.

The Perch bait home.

In position and awaiting that all important bite.

The ol' bean posing for a picture, or shall I say Ghillie.

 You just never know what your going to catch, that for me is what fishing is about enjoying your time out in nature and catching such fantastic fish whilst relaxing, unless the fish decide to toy with you.

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 ...