Another fantastic season is firmly in the rear-view mirror but will be remembered for a number of memorable catches, rivers, lakes and streams. Every season that approaches I always promise myself more time on the bank and if you'd believe my partner I never leave it, well that's not true but close....we all have work don't we!
So here's a brief rundown of the last 12 months:
April was as always wasn't fished alot and when I did head out it was after Brown Trout on the fly and a Crucian trip to Surrey, best Cru' was at 1.13 and I had numerous Brownies to 4.6.
May is usually a good month as the water in the lakes starts to warm up and a plethora of species decide to awake from their winter slumber, I broke my PB Perch on my first trip out on one of my lakes in the form of a 2.13 specimen, apart from that loads more Trout to around 4lb were taken on the fly as were plenty of Dace to 6-8oz plus a bonus Rudd. Also a few Carp to mid-doubles were taken but nothing spectacular.
June is always my favorite month as the weather is more consistent and the fish tend to respond to that, plus the river season is in sight, but my first half of the month saw a brace of good Tench including my current PB of 8lb 3oz and also a monster Brown Trout of 5.7 which will always be remembered for the brutal fight that it put up.
|Totally brutal, best of the season.|
|My PB Tench, I hope to catch some more this spring too.|
July I'm normally away on holiday but last year we did it a little earlier so I was back for the beginning of the month and I was straight back into the Carp and as the river season opened so did some of my ticket waters, 3 double figure Bream including my PB of 11.4 were bagged, this was along with some Barbel, Chub, Carp to just under 20lb and a 14oz specimen sized Dace. Plus a very rare pair of Thames Sea Trout to 3.5 were taken (not home) whilst trotting for Roach.
August was a great month for me as I made various trips around the country in search of different species and was successful in possibly all of them, Crucian's from Marsh Farm to 2lb 9oz, Carp up to 23lb, big Dace to 15oz, my first ever Grayling and chalk-stream Perch over 2 1/2 pound.
|First ever Grayling.|
I usually love September for Roach and that was justified by the capture of two 2lb plus Roach (2.1 & 2.5) with a few more under 2lb, although it wasn't all easy going, a trip to the river Wye with Brian was organised and this was in search of the legendary Pike along with quality Perch too, both of which were captured, Pike to 14.12 & Perch to 2.8, a great 4 day trip and I was champing at the bit to get back, with a few more lake Perch nabbed out to 2.8 on the spinners.
|River Wye Esox at 14.12|
|Defiant Wye Perch|
|Another quality stripey at 2.8.|
During October I fished the Royalty in Christchurch and only managed a few jack's, on the Thames I faired better with a brace of doubles to 15.1, also a few Barbel just under the magic double figure mark and lastly I headed over to Bury Hill in Dorking and banked myself a PB Zander of 4.7, not a monster by their standard's but I didn't care as it was a tough day indeed.
November is usually a quiet month for me as work gets busier before the Christmas rush, this year I managed a decent amount of time out but it wasn't easy going, a few good Chub over 5lb were banked, good Barbel to 10.10 and lastly a trip to the Coventry canal where I blanked yet again but the journey up wasn't all about catching fish.
|5.5 skelly which was part of a brace of 5's.|
|Plenty of blank hours were suffered before this beauty of 10.10.|
In December the 5lb Chub were still coming out, the Avon at Britford was yet again very hard as a -3c night knocked the fishing on the head, some very good Gudgeon started to show aswell with plenty of the Gonks coming to Roach tactics, I visited some prime Grayling rivers hoping for a PB, I didn't wait long as I had them to 1.7 on my first attempt. Not just the wonderful are banked as the weird does also make an appearance, this time in the form of a chunky Goldfish.
A turn of a new year and the Grayling kept coming to over a pound which included an improvement on my previous PB by 2oz, a few rivers were tried and bagged fish on all of them, during January it was only the Grayling that I targeted primarily but I did also catch a nice Roach of 1.11.
|Stunning fish aren't they!|
|My favorite fish of all, not hard to see why.|
February was a great month for me as I found a few good shoals of Roach and also some brilliant Grayling, a 2lb fish was the target for both Grayling & Roach, the lady of the stream didn't take long to achieve, on trips before I saw 2lb plus specimen's this time it was on the bank and in fact 2 of them in 2 trips to 2lb 2oz, the Roach didn't reach that weight but weighing in at 1.8 it's not bad.
|A good Roach.|
|2lb 2oz my current PB.|
|My Dad with his new PB 1.14 after 30 years since setting his last.|
March doesn't last long as the river season cuts it in half, the month though was highlighted by a brilliant catch of Barbel with 7 caught in 5 hours to 11.13, great way to spend the morning, more Roach came to 1.9 and also a few more Gudgeon plus a nice spinner caught lake Perch of 2.2.
|My last Roach of the season at 1.9.|