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Showing posts from December, 2014

Cold One.

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 A return to Hampshire is planned just after the new year but between then and now a couple of short sessions are planned for some Roach and Pike but today my target were those big Gudgeon with the sight of a British Record specimen still the target and having done some research, the record seems to be at 5oz 0dr so that is the benchmark, the gauntlet is set.  But before I got to my Gudgeon swim I decided to have a look about for a Pike or two and maybe even a Barbel, whatever fancied feeding. The Barbel weren't shy on feeding and I did manage two today the first at 8lb 3oz and the other was captured in my Gudgeon swim at roughly 5lb, a Chub of roughly 3lb did also make an appearance even though it nicked the bait off of a Barbel earlier in the walk up river, plus I got a surprise in the form of a Goldfish and not a small one either at roughly a pound to a pound-and-a-half, a right old turn up - not something you expect to catch from a wild river like this. 8.3 What is

River Test Grayling.

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 Grayling have long since been one of my favorite species but excluding my trip to Britford back in the Autumn I have never caught one, over Christmas I kept a watchful eye on the weather right up until Friday night, a quick call to the river keeper confirmed that it was fishing very well was good enough for me even if the wind forecast was to be reaching speeds of 25mph, when trotting the wind you can certainly do without but I thought I may not get another opportunity so I booked my tickets and at 5am I was ambling around my house getting the gear together. Brisk but lovely morning.  I reached the river around 8:30 and immediately found a lot of colour in the river which I did expect due to around 8 hours of heavy rain the night before but I still hoped that I'd catch or at least find spots where the Grayling would be patrolling, bearing in mind I have never fished on the Test and also on the Avon I had good advise on where to head and how to fish it, here it was all

Barbel & More Specimen Gudgeon.

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 After my trip on Tuesday it got me thinking as to how big do the Gudgeon in the river I've been fishing, the answer is I'm really not too sure but one thing I do know is that they are bloody big and "IF" I was to catch a Gudgeon over the current British Record then I would not be overwhelmingly surprised as the average stamp seem to be upwards of 2oz with a majority that I have managed to catch have been pushing 3oz and one bang on 4oz, these are extremely big and they have been the result of many miles of walking and many hours working out how and where to catch them, all of which now has come together.  I ventured out with my father ( James Snr ) this morning as we interrupted the dawn chorus with our crunching of feet on the frozen ground where we had probably our coldest night yet, -3c was the reading in the garden and that is cold enough!, before we reached our intended Gudgeon spot I decided to get my father his first Barbel of the season, not a species h

Land of Monster Gudgeon.

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 Leading on from yesterday's tough day of angling I set about targeting some different species, the species I wanted to go in search of was a good sized Barbel (hopefully a double), a river King Carp and also find one of the few shoals of specimen Gudgeon that inhabit the river. First of all I started at the top of one of my beats and for this stretch I set about ledgered bread flake for King Carp, a small gathering of them exist in this beat but are seldom found as they have a large amount of water to hide away in but with the knowledge that I have of the river it didn't take long for me to locate a couple, one a Common of roughly 7lbs and the other was a stunning looking large plated Mirror Carp of what looks anything between 15-18lbs but it could be pushing 20lbs, my only difficulty was where they were stationed as the water was pacy added with lots of sunken trees on the far side and inside bank, if I had hooked one a whole new challenge would then be faced.  Within the

One Out of Two.

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 With a busy lead up to Christmas I haven't managed any fishing since my trip out on the Avon, I've wanted to get out but time has been very restricted, so this morning a session in search of Roach and Chub were planned and at around 8am I made my way onto the river, conditions were good with the clarity at the best I've seen it for ages, but it was also very low and for Barbel I love it when these conditions are here but for Roach they need a tinge of colour to feel a little more comfortable but the Chub I needn't worry about so I set myself a target of 5lb or more.  Early doors I did start with Roach but after an hours trotting I only managed a small Brownie so I changed tactics with Chub in mind, it wasn't long either until the Chub showed their intent as my third trot produced a nice skelly of 4.12, this was quickly followed by a hectic half hour where a further 5 chub cruised to the net ( all around the 3.8-4.0 mark ), everything then went a little quiet so

Cold Snap, The Kiss Of Death.

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 After a long time in the pipeline the conditions and time of year were perfect for venturing out in search of the Lady of the Stream, a species that I have had the pleasure of catching if only a handful on my last trip to the Avon to 9oz, today I was joined by Mr Pikeman himself Brian for a go at catching some prime winter Grayling and hopefully breaking Brian's duck on the species, in theory everything was perfect, que our arrival at the river.......... Beautiful morning but very cold. The famous monster Roach bridge in the distance. ..........it was like drinking chocolate!, we immediately knew that the session would be almost a write-off, I don't know much about Grayling in fact neither us do in truth but we knew it would extremely difficult to catch our intended quarry even though we had good advice on where to apply our tactics, we plotted up in a few lovely looking swims and started to feed it up with maggots in the vein hope the fish would eventually find

Blanking........Common Theme These Days.

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 Time has been hard to come by recently with any spare time being spent on getting ready for Christmas, but Saturday morning was reserved solely for a trip out at dawn for Pike, in the outskirts of London winter has finally arrived and the thermometer in my parents garden read -2c.....perfect for Pike and I was hoping for a bright start, I had set up 2 rods, the first a sleeper rod armed with a 4'' dead Roach on a float fished slightly over depth and the second was used to throw some slow crank lures as the Esox were probably laying dormant on the bottom conserving energy so getting the bait down to them would be paramount to catching, 10 minutes or so of fishing and with the sun barely casting a glow across the night sky my sleeper rod bung started to dance about which was followed by a sharp pull under, the moment I hoped would happen. Autumn going and winter is here. Woke up to a lovely frosty landscape. But this tasty bit of grub warmed me up big time.  As