Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mini Torpedo's.


 Just a quick session on Saturday morning resulted in my first Barbel for a month or so, although this was only my fourth trip out in search of these steely fighters it has been nice to be targeting a number of different species and catching a Barbel today may have re-ignited my desire to catch a few more, the little guy today was caught on my standard tactics of rolling using a cane rod on the pin.



 This youngster weighed between 4 to 4.8 and put up a great little fight and I did have the chance to hook one around 9lb and another between 8lb and 9lb which unfortunately was too clever as it hit my bait to test it's validity, but I feel very confident that any trips I embark on soon will throw up some fish, between that and some Thames Perch in the evenings this will probably make up my next weeks fishing.

 Look out in this weeks "Angler's Mail" for a couple of recent captures, available in shops from Tuesday.

 ......Be Lucky!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Baby Pike.


 Before last September Pike were a somewhat unknown species of fish to me, having only caught a few in all my years of fishing I felt last season I had to give them a go and I was pleasantly surprised by the enjoyment that the Pike fishing provided, so much so that this winter I will be hopefully picking up where I left off, but it won't only be Pike but it will be predators in general, a little bit of attention and I've already improved my Pike PB to 19.5 and my Perch PB 2.13.



Spirited jack.
Another little monster.

Plenty of these, the Pike love them.

 So yesterday I headed off out for Pike and maybe a rogue Perch, this is all practice for my trip up to the Wye next month and I did get quite a few runs as the Jack Pike were running riot, 3 little Pike caught on the sprats and 2 also caught when I was dabbling in a bit of trotting and the 2-5oz Roach were getting grabbed by the hungry Esox, these ranged from 2lb up to around 13-15lb and although I managed to actually land two of them another two bit me off and the largest to bite me off was a good mid-double which tail walked right in front of me and the 4lb line must have grazed one of the teeth and it was gone, but five small Pike was pretty good fun, all in good time the bigger ones will surely get snuffed out.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

River Avon ( Britford Fishery ).


 This post is a catch up from a session I embarked on with my younger brother Richard, we both made the trip to Salisbury with the view of both catching our very first Grayling, a species that has long been on my most wanted list but never really made the effort to catch one, so needless to say that time had come.

 Having walked from the train station, we met up with Stuart ( Balliff ), who put us on some fantastic looking spots for Grayling and knowing the Avon fairly well I knew other species would also be caught over the course of the day, I hadn't really set myself a Grayling target for the day I just wanted to catch one, after 2 trots I had already achieved my target, a pristine "Lady of the Stream", of around 5ozs, I was so happy and with it being such a diminutive fish it embodied something I have long wanted to catch, if you have never caught a Grayling then it's hard to describe just how fantastic they look, also nothing prepares you for how strong and squirmy they are. Within 20 minutes I had another 4 Grayling and 6 Dace, the white maggots were doing well.

Not a monster but it's what I came for.
 The weather threatened to ruin the day but I wasn't having any of it and I'd caught a few Grayling already Richy hadn't managed any but had lost a couple of big ones, and I had lost a good pound plus fish too which was painful as I had to only play another 10ft or so and it would have been mine, but another time eh. Some fantastic fish came to the bank in a steady but promising spell, the Avon is known to hold some great specimens of a large range of species.

A pristine soldier of 2lb 9oz.

Not bad for a chalk stream.

4lb 12oz wild Avon Brownie, cracker.
 The Perch above was the 2nd strippey taken from the same swim which took a big juicy log worm, the first one was around 12oz and the Brown Trout above took a Minnow as I trotted past a Perchy looking swim, the float buried itself and my very light trotting rod bent double and took around 6 minutes to overcome, brilliant battling, then a couple more Grayling came to the net with the biggest upping my PB to 9ozs.

 But the session didn't finish there either as I had banked one of my biggest ever Dace which bucked the trend of the average Dace coming in around 6oz, as soon as it approached me I knew it was big so this one was for the net so no mistakes would be made, I looked at Richy as it went in the net and he looked at me, "that's a pound plus Dace if I ever saw one", well he wasn't far off and I think at 15oz he could be forgiven as I thought the same, a proper specimen and I believe there are bigger in this beat too.

15oz of Avon Dace, not too bad at all.
 As the day started to draw to a close I fancied using some Sprats that I had bought along for some Pike and get some early season Esox fishing done, after an hour of fishing I connected with five of them but only landing two, 2.8 & 5.12, the Pike lost were all bigger than what I banked, the largest looked around mid-doubles but that's life in angling. The Wye will no doubt provide me with some sport over my trip in mid September where I'll be accompanying Brian Roberts of "Pike Blog" for some Esox hunting and with the view of banking a twenty pounder, in my opinion there is probably no better place to do it.

Not big but a decent fight. (missing top half of it's tail )
Such a lovely species and very strong for their size. 9oz (PB) above.


Some shots of the fishery below.



Ugly and very wet cloud's, persistent too.
Thousands of Mayfly's took flight in the evening.
Sunset on our Grayling trip.
Face say's I enjoyed myself.
Richy with a maggot chomping Skelly.



Didn't want it to end, but I got some well earned sleep.

 I finished the session with 3 dozen or Dace to 15oz, 2 Pike to 5.12, 2 Perch to 2.9, 8 Grayling to 9oz, 1 brownie at 4.12, although it doesn't seem a lot it was thoroughly enjoying, I will surely head back at some point.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Catching Carp Part Three.


 The next couple of posts aren't in chronological order but as I left off with Carp I might as well carry on with them. This evening I had a go on one of my ticket stillwater's and I was joined by my father for a walk and maybe an opportunistic cast to a Carp, normally when I say opportunistic it means I probably wasn't leaving without having a cast at one or two. With all the recent rain the weed has died back massively and the water has coloured up, usually when this happens they get their heads down and start digging for whatever they can find, for 20 minutes we both had a slow wander looking in all the little bays and lily pads looking for tell-tale signs of Carp.

 None were found until we got to a sunken tree just off of a marginal shelf when I noticed a nice Common hoovering up weed and small invertebrate, armed with a very delicate set-up and a stout 9ft rod backed up by 10lb line so if it were to make off for cover I could persuade it not to, cue the cast.....perfection first time around and within a heart beat my bait vanished, no delay, the hooking was immediate and a good sized Common tore off, a typical fight followed but after it's initial couple of powerful runs she pretty much gave up, I was thankful for my great ghillie "Dad" or James Snr who expertly slid my dilapidated net under her, good job too! ( He has had many years of practice I must admit ), we swiftly put her on the scales and she registered a healthy 22lb 14oz, largest of the season so far, but then it all went a bit pear shaped, when I mentioned my net was a bit worst for wear it was actually in terrible condition, where I had some winter Pike in it, cutting trebles out and so on had made it look like a connect 4 board, to cut the story short when we put her back after weighing to get her breath back she found one of the holes and went berserk and forced it's way through one of the decent sized holes and made so big with force behind her that she swam out the net and to freedom without a piccy, sorry guys no evidence just my word, good enough for me though.

 Obviously with no net it was home time, probably my shortest ever session but extremely fruitful, happy days.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Catching Carp Part Two.


 It's mid August already and a chill in the air is already apparent at dawn, the last few morning's the weather has been pretty bad with the passing of the reminisce of hurricane Bertha, last night I had a quick looksy at the predicted weather for this morning and things looked a lot more settled so with that knowledge I set my alarm for 5am and packed the gear by the front door.

Autumn already settling in?
 Carp were my target and I have done okay recently, one of the Carp caught being a twenty pounder is always a good feeling so I set out looking for more of the same and with all the rain over the last couple of days I assume the water temp has dropped a couple of degree's, because when I arrived at my first port of call the bottom was like a jacuzzi and large patches of black separated the large expanse of water as they sifted through the silt, so it was obvious where I would aim my casts but Carp fishing is seldom easy and this was certainly one of those days, when you could see enormous paddles waving up in the water, knowing full well where they are but I just could not tempt one to take the bait.

 Fishing though isn't full of promises but with the Carp feeding as well as they were it was almost inevitable, in the end it had to happen, at about 630 my float lay flat as my target fish picked up my bait and trundled off with it I needed no time to strike, Carp on.......but my only issue was that I decided to pitch up right next to a set Lily pads and this Carp once hooked went berserk and headed straight into them, only a bit of side-strain prevented me from losing this fish, a big tail propelled this Common for what seems like an eternity, catching Carp can be quite a frightening ordeal, especially when they fight that hard and half of me is still in bed, but after plenty of battling I did manage to slip the net under a lovely upper-double fully scaled Mirror and not a Common which is what I thought at first it was, another good fish conquered.


 This perfect specimen weighed in at 17lb 14oz, a great way to start my day, after that I managed to hook another Carp but it managed to go into the lily pads and I wasn't so lucky, but it was smaller too so not all bad I guess.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Catching Carp Part One.


 The past week or so after work I have been after Carp and when I've been off I have patrolled a couple of local pools around dusk to try and find out where they may be held up, leaving myself with about an hour to spare each evening I began to build up a picture of usual spots where the Carp frequent and also what they were feeding on, as the weather has cooled recently the Carp come off the Daphenia and have now dropped down in the water and now ploughing through the bloodworm on the bottom, this gave me a much better chance of getting them to feed on baits like bread and worms.

 So after a couple of pilot runs I tackled up with a 9ft Greys Outkast Carp rod 2 1/2tc, with 8lb line attached a crow quill float and a couple of dropper shot, baited with a generous piece of bread flake on a size 10 barbless.

 On my first trip I was accompanied by my Dad who fancied a wander around and ended up being my ghillie just before we were due to pack up when a Carp tore off with me in tow, after a few minutes of constant surging runs a 12lb 4oz Common lay in the net, a perfect conditioned fish and certainly full of fighting, I must admit as soon as I hooked it I knew it was a Common, as the Mirror Carp don't tend to charge off like a fish possessed.

Not big but good fun.
 The next evening I did the same again and left with the same minimal tackle, armed again with a half loaf of bread I was back on the search. After 20 minutes or so of looking around in the likely swims Richard and I bumped into a shoal of 5 Carp, 3 of which stopped feeding as soon as I cast out my bait, which left 2 Carp both of which were Common's one a mid-double and the other looked an upper-double maybe even a twenty pounder, so I cast my plumbed set up out and awaited the bait to hit the bottom and cock the delicate quill, 10 seconds or so of the bait being in position the bigger of the two Carp circled my bait and put it's head down and I watched in anticipation as my bait disappeared with quill laying flat it was time to strike and as I connected with this Common a fantastic battle which took me to the limit, a proper fight ensued, one that makes you wish every Carp was this hard, nearly 10 minutes passed which was definitely a mix of terror and excitement, so when it did finally give up the net couldn't have been put out quick enough, my prize was finally beaten, much to my relief, so here it is.

A twenty at last.
 A fin perfect Common Carp of 20lb 8oz, my brother Richard was impressed at just how well proportioned it was and the fight it gave, after I had rested her for a couple of minutes I dropped the lip of the net and it stormed out and soaking me and Richy in the process as punishment for catching her, after that well, there was no point carrying on so we headed home, all good. Tight Lines.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Summer Crucian's


 My trips after Crucian Carp over the last couple of season's have been shall we say okay at best, although I have caught a couple of Cru's in the last couple of years to 1lb 13oz, there seems to be an air of unfinished business in regards to the Crucian fishing so on Sunday I decided on breaking the cycle of targeting big Bream and head down to Milford for some summer Crucian Carp, well at least be there with a slim chance of getting close to one.

 I tackled up very lightly and scaled down so I could see even the smallest of touches and that is where I may catch the fish as opposed to not seeing any movement and totally missing the opportunity, I spent my time at Marsh Farm on Harris lake, it was a lovely day to sit out fishing as it was slow going for long spells but I was continuing with my tan, so it wasn't all bad I suppose. Firstly I used maggots but all I got was a shed-load of small Roach and Perch, these weren't what I was after so a change of bait was called upon and within 20 minutes a Tench hung itself on a single grain of corn.


 At 4lb 8oz it was good to get a bend in the rod, then another followed which was around the 5lb mark, the larger Tench gave off a very tentative bite which I could have sworn it was a Crucian but nope, not this time, but it wasn't long before my float dipped around a couple of millimetres, I needed no invitation to strike but on this occasion I actually connected to something, a solid fish plundered around the swim for about a minute then popped up to the surface, when I was greeted by a lovely bar of gold, I couldn't have reached for the net any faster, finally I had caught a decent Marsh Farm Crucian and my biggest for many years.

Any further away and the bites disappeared.

This is my reward for my last half a dozen trips, a 2lb 9oz Crucian.
  
2lb 9ozs, thank you very much.
Doing battle with Crucian number one. (above).
 It has been quiet a long time but it was certainly worth it, such deep and thick bodies, they can be deceptive in what they weigh, I took a couple of moments before the picture above just to admire it as it has been some 16 years since I last caught a Crucian over 2lbs, but just like London buses you wait an eternity for one and.......two turn up, the second one produced a more confident bite as it sailed away into the dense cover of the Lily pads that I was fishing, thankfully I had just enough to lever it out before the hook got shed in the stems, another pristine Cru' and another happy angler.

My 2nd Cru at 2lb 2ozs, lovely creatures.
 After the 2nd Crucian normal service resumed with a load of small Roach coming to the net and another couple of smaller Tench around 3lbs but one good Roach of note did break up the kindergarten party, all 1lb 4oz of it, unfortunately after weighing decided to go mental on the bank so as to not cause it any harm I duly slipped it back, just as dusk settled it was time to leave but the difference this time is I caught exactly what I wanted, a summer Crucian over 2lbs, maybe a new PB in the offing at some point in the near future.

Not the biggy but usual stamp of Rutilus Rutilus.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Totally off topic ( Items for sale )


 I have a few items up for sale as I'm preparing to move.

 The items up for sale are 2x LG TV's one a brand new 47" la660v and the other a 37" ld450 which is roughly 3 years old but in great condition, 1x Samsung z320 home theatre kit 1000w 5.1 surround, these items are available to purchase at any time, cash in hand for local delivery or paypal for longer distance purchasers with delivery to be arranged.

47" TV priced at £550
37" TV priced at £150
Samsung HTK priced at £80

Any questions please contact me on 07535720134 or leave a comment on this post at the bottom and I will duly get back to you with an answer.