Friday 19 June 2015

Bream Campaign 2015 Part Two.

 A worthy replacement.

 A very short session the other evening in search of Bream was the plan and instead of using the feeder/method feeder I fancied stalking the slabs using the waggler and bits of bread, when I arrived there was no sign of fish and it could have been anyone's guess where they were but luckily enough for me a small shoal of fish did move in and I could see them ghosting through the swim past an island I was stalking, the black shapes were cruising along the bottom but were so large they could be seen with ease, out with the bait and wait for one of them to hoover it up, I didn't think it would take long and I was right but it wasn't what I thought it was, a cracking Carp.

 5lb line, 13ft Diawa match rod and a size 12 barbless hook was my tackle and I was about to have a proper battle, the line peeled off the reel at a ridiculous speed and I thought I stood no chance in landing, the fish was 30yrds out and heading through a weed bed before it showed any sign of slowing down, I thought to myself that I could either gamble and tighten up on it and slam on the breaks but on such light gear would probably mean either broken tackle or the fish simply escaping or allow the fish to do what it wanted and I'd eventually lose it, so I took the gamble and more than 10 minutes passed before I started to really gain on it, the trainers and socks came off and I waded out with the small landing net to scoop up my prize and it was in the shape of a stunning Mirror Carp.

 On the scales this beautiful creature of 21lb 10oz not my biggest of the season but by far the prettiest and almost the prettiest Carp I've ever caught and I've had a few.....

Almost lost for words.
 The Bream didn't show after that but I didn't really care, although I had a nice Perch of 1.12 on a small worm.

A decent Perch again.

First Barbel Session of the Season.

 During the closed season I had a think through certain aspects of my fishing that I feel I excel in and ones that I don't do particularly well in, predators seem to be my sticking point so I will try harder to improve my predator angling over the coming months but as the warm weather is upon us and the rivers have recently opened up I wanted to go after a Barbel, adopting my usual roving tactic travelling light is essential and to aide me to do this, (below) is a very comfortable rucksack and has just the right everything, I don't work for Korum in anyway but credit where credit is due, if I were to make a bag this would be it, ( apart from the drawstring straps-that broke on the first day :-( ).

Everything in there I possibly need for whacking out Barbel.
 Having arrived at around 9am I gave myself a few hours to catch myself my target species, first swim I peered into with my polariod's on I could see a lovely pair of Barbel slowly working the bottom, in 6ft of water you can imagine how clear the water was to see that but seeing them wasn't really my only hope, I also wanted to bank one. Out went the deadliest Barbel bait and within 30 seconds the rod tip violently bent towards the river, I was in no doubt that my target was on the other end.
First of the season at 7lb 10oz.
 That first fish was certainly welcome and it was soon followed by another 3 fish from four swims, after the 3 months of rest and spawning finished these Barbel were on the feed and putting up some great fights in the swift current, oh how I missed that!.

A chunky 5.5.
Nearly ready.....
Pristine 6.8.
Lovely Moustache mate.
I see you....
One of my swims, guess where it is.
2nd 7lber of the day, 7.4.
 So plenty of pics but hardly any better that than a Barbel having been overcome and on it's way onto the net. I finished the day with Barbel (7.10, 7.4, 6.8, 5.5, 4.0) and Chub to 3lb 0oz.
Closure on a good morning.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Opening Day Roach Fest.

 For the start of the season I opted to continue my Bream campaign on one of my ticket waters that opened on the 16th, a very early start (4.30am) to be precise with the view too building a swim and getting stuck into some slabs with the target being a 13lb specimen, upon arrival I was shocked to find both lakes rammed full of Carp anglers, this of course was not expected as it was a Tuesday morning and I expected most to be at work but it seemed everyone had booked time off just like me, a major spanner in the works and I wasn't prepared to squeeze in between anglers pumping out bait.

 I was fairly annoyed by what had happened, it wasn't a good start I wanted to start on Frensham Great Pond but a ticketing system was in place, I want a choice of swims....the Bream fishing was full of Carp anglers so I had to turn to plan C and that was to go back home grab my trotting tackle with the Roach in mind. Fishing at around 3ft with a small piece of flake seemed to get the fish going straight away, the first fish was around 10oz and after a few casts the fish kept coming, in a little under 2 hours I bagged an impressive 52 Roach to 1.1 and a solo Chub with the addition of a dozen Gudgeon to exactly 2oz, the keepnet was so heaving that I curtailed the session so I could empty the net which weighed around 26-27lb a great summer haul but I didn't come across any of the larger fish.

 A short walk down and another swim was broken in, awkward to fish but once I was semi-comfortable I began trotting with my first Roach 1.2 which was followed by another dozen to 1lb, after the 12th I stopped and ended my session with the view in returning better prepared for the swim, but all in all it was a very good day of trotting after what was a disappointing morning.

Best of the day.

Just a smidgen of my haul being released.

 Total of 71 Roach to around 37lb, 12 Gudgeon to 2oz, 1 Goldfish of 1.8, 1 Chub of 12oz. Not bad for a first day.

Monday 15 June 2015

Orange Delight.

 Since the blogger's challenge had started there was a couple of species that I had never had the chance to catch so I was undertaking the job of silver-surfer to locate me a fishery where this species in particular resides, this species is the Golden Orfe, a fish that grows to 7lb + but a specimen is regarded from 3lb and above, my target was just to catch one. On Friday I started my task in capturing one and the session was very difficult, conditions I think were against me and I knew practically nothing about them, so having endured a very quiet day it was back home to do some homework.

 I returned today with a bit more of a clue, the correct bait, condition's were slightly favourable over Friday and lastly I gave myself a chance with a day to target these fleeting fish, I started the day by picking a swim where I thought would be good to intercept any passing fish on a marginal shelf, a constant spray of red maggots were fed into the swim at regular intervals to build up the swim and it didn't take long for the waggler to bury itself.

My first ever Golden Orfe at 8-10oz.
 I was not expecting it so soon but happy it came along, something bigger next hopefully. Then the Tench bubbles started to appear and it wasn't long before I was connected to a good tinca, which was followed by 3 more all of a good stamp.

Best of the day @ 5lb 10oz

5lb 6oz.

5lb 3oz

5lb 1oz.
 The Tench were great fun and all in brilliant condition and with no sign of the Orfe scooting around on the surface I opted to go mobile and stalk them when they showed up, finally. It took awhile but the opportunity did come along after a great deal of patience, a piece of bread flake floated on the surface and an Orfe came up in the water column and nudged the bait before taking it with gusto, a swift strike and a bright orange Orfe cruised to the surface whilst doing it's best to fight but not really doing much, if you have never caught one - location is absolutely everything, once in a position to catch one you will invariably catch it as I proved later on in the day.

2nd PB of the day @ 1.9.
 I would have been happy to end the day with that 1.9 golden orfe but the specimen hunter in me wanted to improve on that further, luckily for the specimen hunter in me that opportunity came by and it was certainly a bigger fish, the same tactic was deployed successfully and it was deja vu in regards to the approach and take, I started to get a little nervous that the hook hold wasn't great, thankfully though it was well taken and another PB lay in the net, this one though was a definite specimen fish of 4lb+.

My prized specimen at 4lb 5oz, a stunning creature.

Amazing creature.
 I came to fish this place for a specimen like this and have achieved what I wanted, I can now turn my attentions back to the Bream in a few hours but will look forward to some trotting as well for Roach, the day didn't finish there either as I caught a very small Crucian which was a great to see. A great day let's hope for more of those.

Little Cru.

Bream Campaign 2015 Part One.

 Breaking the Duck:

 This season I have set my sights on catching some big fish and improvements on existing personal bests, the Bream are one of those species and I was due to start my Bream campaign on Tuesday, it may seem a little late to start targeting big Bream, the lakes that I will be fishing though don't open until the 16th June, but there was one place that I maybe should have tried earlier in the season for some reason simply hadn't got around to it. Today though was the time to head over with the hope of contacting just a few of the many Bream that this vast water holds.

Needle in a haystack.
 I set my gear down and did a half lap of the reservoir before settling in a swim where a couple of Bream were breaking the surface at around 50yrds, with them now spotted I knocked up around 5kg's of groundbait and 3mm pellets and spent 15-20min getting my bed of bait out into the open water to try and attract the shoals in with the view to then hold them in position whilst I get busy.

Just a small amount of the foundation.
 I set up both rods on the method feeder (30g) on a running rig in conjunction with sweetcorn both real and artificial, a tactic that I haven't yet used but felt confident it may work. Fast forward 5 hours and I was still biteless, with time still on my side I decided to make a move as I felt the Bream were in another part of the reservoir and the couple I saw weren't feeding, I started all over again with the baiting up and within my first hour I had a good run but failed to hook up, I was encouraged by this development and continued to throw balls of bait out and it wasn't long afterwards the same rod sprang to life as the buzzer let off steady bleeps as a fish moved away from me, I wound down and struck immediately to feel a good weight on the end and by the lack of a fight I knew it was my intended target and when she came up to the surface I was certain I had a double-figure fish first time of asking. On the scales though and the deduction of the sling she went 9lb 13oz....oh so very close.

Best of the season so far.
 She had a big frame and was sure she would do 10lb plus but I suspect it was at bottom weight as I think it was completely spawned out and unfortunately starting my campaign this late in the year you do run the risk of catching these colossal creatures at the minimum weight but a great fish to see, the weather got progressively worse too as I caught that Bream and the wind was really starting to push hard down the ressy, this was making things a bit more difficult and even casting was proving tough, I packed up around 9pm but prior to that I did have one more run which was fast and very furious, with a short sprint to the rod and strike I bumped what I thought was a Carp but a bump was literally all I felt, that was my lot but I shall be on their tails again come Tuesday, hopefully I'll find some in a willing mood.

Early afternoon...
Late afternoon....25mph winds and all that.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Nothing Big, Basin Bream & Pike.

 A quick catch up on a couple of brief sessions in search of Bream and also a rogue Pike on hard bodies, the Bream weren't easy to locate but on the first cast a small one was taken on the waggler at roughly 9ft but it was a false dawn as I spent another hour without a single bite, so with my attention span waning the hard bodied lures were broken out and after 20mins a jack of 5lb nailed my small diver under a mooring pontoon and with my "ghillie" for the morning having alot of difficulty in getting the net set up I nearly lost what was my largest canal Pike, but Brian did manage to scoop my prize up and as he did the lure sprung free....lucky that.

Friday 12 June 2015

Summer Tench & Trout on the Fly.

 With the river season almost upon us it's nearly time to get amongst some big Bream and hopefully target a large Carp, before next Tuesday arrives I'll be fishing most of the time between now and then as my missus parties over in Ibiza with the girly's, do I need a better excuse to get out and wet a line??.....most certainly not and today I decided to take a fly rod for some action and I managed a trio of spotty's to 2lb and 3 Dace to 9oz which by the way I'm sure had a hint of Roach in it, slight hybridisation isn't something that I see much.

As pristine as is possible.
My biggest Dace on the fly at 9oz.
Testing out my new Canon dslr on some beautiful Trout water.
 So after that wander up along the river and suffering very painful blisters on my legs due to the waders rubbing on my calf's and writing this is a great deal of discomfort I popped out to open my account for a summer Tench, my tactic for this was my favourite way of fishing, stalking, no better way than stalk your target and watch it approach your bait with intent then the bread disappear's down it's bin-shoot, a fantastic fight culminated in a 5lb 11oz Tinca and I also lost a smaller one of 4lb or so, my biggest Tench of the season so far but I'm hoping to improve on that again. After the banked Tench there was no more action as the shoal moved away into the weedy bay, another time I'll be back.

Battle scarred 5.11.

Monday 8 June 2015

Back in Amongst the Canal Carp.

 On Sunday I started the morning by heading back down to my local cut for either a blast at the Carp/Bream or Pike, I had the tackle ready for which ever species I saw first and it didn't take too long before I spotted a small Jack of 4lb or so but I contrived to cast at the wrong end!, thus spooking it for good, I put it down to the fact it was about 5am.....

 As the sun crept up and the temperature got to what I'd expect the fish began to move a little more and a shoal of maybe two-dozen Bream most of which were 6lb plus started moving, but these had other things on their mind seemingly, I did however find some snotty's feeding and this was my que to break out the slowsinkers, it wasn't long before I got some activity on the float and a confident pull on the float resulted in a surging fish heading away from me towards a vast weed bed, from this explosive take it was clear a Carp was mooching around with them on something, on 10lb line and a 2 1/4 TC rod this Carp gave me a good battle and put the gear through it paces, not to mention myself who at times was just hanging on, 5 minutes or so later though I had put just enough strength into getting this chunk into the edge and over the lip of my waiting net.

 As I landed what was a Common of around 16lb I noticed loads of milt coming out, it was clear that this fish was ready to spawn or had been recently so to not cause anymore stress I slipped him straight back and allow it to repopulate a very sparsly populated canal, obvioulsy there was no way of knowing that the Carp were feeding with the Bream, I may have avoided fishing for them but you can't know everything, a very well proportioned fish too, a shame I didn't get a snap but I'll be back to fish for them in a few weeks once they have done the neccersary's.
 As I headed to the end of the beat I headed back down after an hour or two and witnessed what I believe to be the Common I caught earlier in the day nudging the under-side of a heavily spawn-laiden female Common of 20lb+ which I suppose was to get the game going, clearly unfazed by the capture earlier in the morning. Nothing else showing and most of the fish were spawning so I packed up after another successful trip to what seems to be a very tough venue.
The left hand one was my 16lb Common.

A loaded up Common.

Another Common Carp hoovering up something whilst playing hide & seek.

Saturday 6 June 2015

New Water, New Quest.

 As some sort of decent weather is starting to show my Rudd and Bream campaign can almost begin, today I went on an exploratory mission in the view to look at potential Rudd water, my destination was Yateley to have a mooch around the complex that used to be owned by Cemex with the view of catching a few, I did travel down with my gear and hoped to break my duck on my new ticket first time of are some pictures of my visit.

Summer Pit on the Yateley complex.

First species on my miniature species hunt.

A pristine Yateley Tench of 4lb+

Stalking a pair of 30lb+ Carp in the margin's.

Someone's home.....

 All in all it was a good trip out and minus the wind it was a lovely day and a fish to boot in testing conditions, a return planned for sure.

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 ...