Sunday 26 April 2015

Angling Limbo.

 It's been a while now since I keyboard bashed another post out, with a combination of steady flowing work and changeable weather putting most of my sessions on the back burner, this time of the year always seems to be slightly on the lean side in regards to fishing but when the time came I managed a couple of short sessions and a day back on the Marsh Farm in search of a Crucian Carp.

 First of all was the trip to Marsh Farm and the target was an early season Cru' to get me started on what maybe that I get to break my long standing PB for the species and what better to place to do it, I have found this fishery very tough as I suspect most anglers do these days, gone are the days here when you turn up and catch a "3", but to put myself in with a shout of banking a 3lb specimen I set myself in my usual peg on Harris lake and slowly built a swim up to try and attract the finicky blighters.

 Hours passed.....

 And a couple more passed with very little action, oh them baby Mallard's were really was like watching paint dry for most of the day and then the sun came out and the surface began to boil as a shoal of Rudd and Roach started to work the surface nabbing the flies that were hatching or laying, I couldn't resist as that be rude, 45 minutes later I had banked 11 Roach to around 12oz and 1 solitary Rudd of a couple of ounces but regardless of size these were a welcome distraction from the monotony of being focused on a lightly dotted down float that wasn't moving.

 Whilst this was happening a match of Richardson's had just concluded and plenty of fish were coming out, I thought that as it wasn't happening on Harris I would pack up the gear and pick a peg at random on the match lake and give it a go for the last hour, was never going to catch a PB but I had accepted defeat so it was just about catching some fish!.

 For April the gates close at 1930 so I knew I had to get myself packed up before finding myself imprisoned at one of the best Crucian lakes in the country, at roughly 720 it was all going pear shaped with not a bite to show for my change in lake or tactic and then all of a sudden my float moved about 3-4cm to the left and stopped, classic Cru' bite, time quickly became no object I had to catch this fish that was inching my float across the surface, for roughly 10 minutes this continued to happen before hearing my alarm sound or never I thought to myself and as I struck the float went on the move again outwards to the middle track, I hit and hoped for best, a light dogged fight resulted in a cracking Crucian Carp of 2lb 1oz, I didn't manage to get a selfie with her as I was already over my time and had the sling and scales ready as I usually do in case of a last minute rush.

 I packed up in a mad rush after slipping my target which took 9 hours to catch and made a mad dash for the gate for it to close of my arse as I left, lucky eh?, One or two photos would have been the difference in making the open gate and being locked in for the night. Happy journey home and it just goes to show that sometimes you must squeeze every last sinew out a session when thing's are tough because that could be the difference as was proven today.

Stunning little creature, season best of 2lb 1oz.

 So away from the Farm I targeted a different type of Carp, this was King and I have quite a few fisheries that I dabble in and although they are only just starting to really move about I hadn't seen much but as the sun was shining for long period's the Carp switched on big time and I managed to catch a porky Common of 13lb 4oz which looked as if she was carrying a bit of spawn, a little early me thinks but I'm probably wrong there, nothing else on that occasion but the trip after I did find myself amongst a shoal of 10 Carp and every single one was over 20lb ! mind blowing I know but very true and boy they were very very clever and even more shrewd as they singled out my bait amongst loads of mixers and ate every one bar mine, too clever for me but I will be back to extract some, no doubt I will succeed.......I hope.

First Carp of the season, first of a few I hope.

 Lastly was yesterday, I hadn't been out for a week nearly before then and after working up until 3 I decided to pack a fly rod and went out to catch me a Brown Trout, after the morning's rain the river was slightly coloured but it dropping out all the time, I walked for a good 2 mile before I managed to see a Trout but it was in a position that was impossible to cast to, up or down, so I had to move on. Things were looking a bit slow so I decided to put the rod down and cleaned up a 50m section of river that I love fishing,(Beer cans/bottles to the dozen or even hundred, VHS tapes and all the ribbons tailing off 20m downstream, around a tonne of logs and branches that had been cut upstream and just tossed into the river to float down at no thought to where they may end up, a 2 seater sofa-leather- which was covered in Kingfisher shit, about 200kgs of iron and cages disgarded, some of which had been on the river bed for 20,30 maybe even 40 years, who know's, along with plenty of other rubbish my section looked immaculate but for how long??. A shame that such an amazing river is treated with such disregard, people and businesses caught using it as a rubbish tip should have the book thrown at them and more, punishments should be an unlimited fine, community service but only to clean the river or watercourse they were caught damaging as this would hopefully deter them from doing it again and spread the word and repeat offenders should face a certain jail term, what more of a deterrent could you set. Or chop their bastard hands OFF!, they will never do again and that won't be through choice.

 That's my small rant over. As I proceeded to fish again after nearly 3 hours back breaking and sweat inducing labour I was rewarded with the sight of some Chub spawning on a gravel bed amongst a few runs of Ranunculus some of which were 4lb plus, nice size but not my target, I soon found it though as a large frame lay motionless on the river bed, I started to position myself so I could cast upstream to it when it moved up to just under the surface watching stuff floating down or flies hatching, I wasted no time to get my fluffy white fly ( I believe a Cat's Whisker ) and on the first cast my fly was slaughtered and my little 3/4 weight 7ft rod nearly powdered as the take was explosive as you could imagine, absolutely atomic!, what turned out to be a cock Trout was very impressive as he powered through the river which at this point is very pacy and difficult to stand in, you have to give credit as to how strong they are, a few minutes past and he was on the bank for a photo and weighing but was equally as boisterous on the bank as in the water, complete with a bleeding thumb for the pleasure I released him back strong and swam away which always gives you a sense of satisfaction in itself.

Season best of 4.10.

Nearly ready....
 Now back to a slightly earlier trip out which was very short and again in search of Trout on the fly but this time I didn't manage to locate a willful spotty but I had to make do with a stunning Rudd of 12-14oz which was in beautiful condition and in the sunlight it glistened gold and sun highlighting the deep red of it's fins, what a stunning creature for sure and after catching that I wasn't bothered about not catching a Trout, this Rudd was taken on a 3lb tippet with a small dry fly presented on a size 16.


Sunday 12 April 2015

Gobio Minimus.

 Owing to a busy weekend my angling opportunities were limited to about an hour so I ventured off to a small venue close to home and targeted the hoards of Gudgeon that are present, plenty of them here but I've never managed one over 1.5oz. Fishing a 0.6gr pole float and a size 20 hook I was able to present the bait as perfect as is possible which is almost Crucian fishing and some bites were as finicky as the aforementioned - with others in stark contrast taring the float under as to assume a big Carp stormed off with my single red maggot, it was fun even if the largest weighed at a measly 7dr!.

 After an hour of fishing and battling the wind I finished up with 20 averaging the grand weight of 5dr, but you never know what might come along and pull your string.

Fine condition but needs miracle grow.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Never Expected That !

 After a bumper long weekend of fishing it's back to normal and knocking out the work, as the temperature improves a few more fisheries that I dangle a line will start to come good for various species, today we were basking in lovely spring sunshine and whilst at work an urge to go fishing was playing on my mind, unsure of what I was going to do later on I kept an open mind.

 When I had decided to go fishing for an hour or so I targeted the Tench and Perch with worms, a light setup in conjunction with a fairly responsive float so even the smallest of tweaks would show, after a wander around in the hope of seeing fish I plotted up in a nice little bay but unfortunately I didn't see anything so I one cast to check out depth and the second was plummed perfectly and awaited any inquiries, about 30 seconds and the float lifted and then shot under and I was connected to a good fish, nearly half a minute passed before I saw the fish and then there it was.......a monster Perch that was easily 3lb!, this fish looked monstrous as it rolled on the surface.

......My heart skipped a couple of beats as I scrambled for net the which wasn't set up, I haven't learnt from past experiences yet obviously but I wasn't to worry as the soldier carried on fighting for another minute or so before I could finally usher the net under my prize. What an amazing specimen she was on the bank , so without further ado my personal best of a very pleasing 3lb 6oz.

What an astonishing fish.

Back she goes, fighting fit.

 It was the quickest session I have ever embarked on, why would I carry on after catching that lump.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Tiny Tinca Fishing.

 It's Spring at last, Tench and Crucian time has finally arrived, some would argue slightly to early to target the latter but for the 4 days leading up to bank holiday Monday I was sat firmly on my hands but by Monday I couldn't overcome my impatience and got an itchy arse, I boarded the train to Surrey and went hunting for both but Tench were my priority as the water is still a little chilly as are the evenings for Cru's.

 I wanted to challenge myself to catch a decent Tinca which this time of year isn't easy, so built a swim on Harris lake and awaited for about an hour and a half for my first knock......the float lifted and I was in, on 3lb line I played what felt like a Tench for a couple of minutes and then this little looker posed for piccy in the sun.

 For it seemed hours passed by without much other than the occasional bite or lift, it was tough going for sure and the next tiny bite resulted in a lumpy scrap and I admit I was bit of a wreck when a size-able Crucian broke the surface ( a mid 2lb ), after quite a long time waiting I wasn't sure it would, out of the blue for sure......then disaster struck as the hook pulled as it approached the net!, absolute t*****. So damn gutted and fast forwarding another 3 hours after that as the sun was disappearing because the rest of the session was very very tough as one solitary Roach and one more Tench were caught.

Magnificent condition.
 Dusk is always the perfect time to be fishing but I couldn't hit the minute taps that the Cru's were giving off but the Roach continued to feed well as I ended the day catching one a chuck almost but nothing over 10oz but during the course of the day a few Crucians were landed by a couple of pole anglers, one thing I will add is that the wind for most of the day was gusty and made bite visibility an extremely hard task, I will be back and would like to contact a 8lb Tench and a 3lb Crucian over the next couple of weeks before my Rudd campaign begins in May.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Back to School.

 This weekend so far has felt like I am back at school, the canals around London offer a massive amount fishing, but is there any fish in them? this is the question I wish to answer so I need to do my homework if I'm to make the grade. First hand it seems like it is going to be an easy task but I know that the GUC and the Regent's have suffered extensively from poaching and poor water quality which has led to thousands of fish perishing over the last couple of decades, I have personally found remains of fish that have been prepared on the bank and probably exactly where they were caught, I am aware of certain sections containing more fish than others and I will be targeting these to build a small picture but will look expand on that as I gain more confidence and this will come as I catch more.

 I am fairly lucky as we also have a large selection of disused docks which do hold massive heads of fish, unfortunately the weights tend to top out at a fairly mediocre level but as the docks average 25-40ft in depth these aren't no straight forward waters either, these are usually shared with Grey Seal's who have the same idea as us!. I have done my fair share of miles in scouting out potential water and lots of it looks exactly what I would associate with "good" fishing, but again I'm not getting my hopes up immediately as will allow the fish to wake from their winter slumber, my main aim will be to locate Bream and Roach whilst hopefully bumping into some Carp during the hotter months which grow over 25lb and as much as 40lb in certain sections, a capture of one of those sized fish would be one of my greatest angling achievements if it were to happen.

 But as with every trip I have a "Plan B", this was to head out after my recon' mission's on both Saturday and Sunday with the fly rod to catch some more Brown Trout, both day's I was successful too as on Saturday I managed to take a 3lb 9oz specimen on a Daddy Long Legs plus a couple of small Dace taken on a weighted Nymph pattern. My trip this afternoon was slightly more productive than yesterday evening as I managed five Trout to about a pound, so a smaller stamp but still very enjoyable, all were taken on a little dry fly with a white piece of fluff trailing at the back end with a silver piece of tinsel running through the body, they seemed to like it but the larger fish were not to be fooled and they remained annoying visible, another time, tomorrow Marsh Farm is next up with the view to catch some Tench, hopefully they will play.

Oh and a Roach too.
3lb 9oz, best so far, but larger have been seen.
Tiny but equally as perfect.
About a pound, all immaculate.
Picturesque and the fishing is good too.
Sight fishing in these condition's is brilliant fun.
Very healthy and the stocks are improving, let's hope that continues.

Friday 3 April 2015

The Local Cut and First Trout of the Season.

 Having recently visited one of my local cuts and managed a customary blank the drawing board was visited again, I have done a large amount of research on some waters and today I was hoping to quench my thirst for a canal fish this season, my target initially was to spin for some Pike and Perch but after a couple of hours I drew a blank, so I had a bag of made up ground-bait for the Bream and Skimmers, with this in mind I found a couple of likely looking swims and laid out a decent bed of crumb whilst fishing bread punch over the top.

 In theory this was probably my best approach and I honestly thought it would work but in typical fashion I contrived to draw a big fat blank, I set-up in two other swims as well but the same outcome followed, starting to wonder what I am doing wrong because I'm sure fish do frequent the areas I was attempting but maybe the fish are still shoaled up as the water hasn't yet warmed up, I may leave it for a few weeks and the re-visit will be made when the water temperature has improved.

 I made the journey back on the bike from North London to the "souf of the Thames" to drop off my coarse gear and planned a short foray out with the fly rod in search of a Trout, this lark is more what I'm good at but it's never easy as I found out, two hours of fishing and one half hearted rise but as the sun was disappearing and the evening sky was cast with a warm orange glow the Trout felt obliged to feed as I had three Trout in very quick succession. all were taken on the dry fly and I lost a really good brownie too as a fish of 4lb or so slurped my daddy long legs off the surface but as I struck the 3lb tippet brushed it's teeth and cut itself free.

 These were the lucky candidates selected for today's blog.

Immaculate little piece of perfection.
The largest of the evening at 2lb 10oz, a strong fight too on such light gear.

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 ...