Saturday 25 July 2015

Summer Tenching.

 This evening I tackled Enton for a few mid-summer Tench as I felt like a slight change in my target's, before doing this though I felt a short trip back to where I caught those good Dace in the hope I would find some slightly larger specimen's, upon arrival at the river it was hammering through and not necessarily the condition's I wanted, nevertheless I had made the effort so I was going stay and try. Two hours of toiling away in the coloured water I had all but gave up, I did try but wasn't going to leave empty handed as two pristine Chub were the only willing participants.

Not a Dace!
 So enough of the failed river trip and on with the Tench, I headed up the road to Marsh Farm's Harris Lake with the view to banking a few late-afternoon tinca's, my tactic for the evening was fishing the peacock waggler on the pin, to start with things were hard and the fish weren't playing ball just yet, I knew the Tench wouldn't really feed until 730 onwards, strange but true and although some will still feed during the day it's very sporadic sport, so I knew I would have to wait. After plenty of waiting and tinkering with my end tackle the float raised and buried itself with aplomb, my first fish of the session was in the bag after a good scrap.

Not big but a start.
 Not a lump but it was a good fight and the next cast provided me with another sturdy tinca, it's funny how a 3-hour period could be such a struggle then like the "flick of a switch", it all fell into place, it can sometimes feel there that your not fishing it properly but you are almost certain you are and then the fish arrive and it all comes good, the next fish was roughly 4lb followed by another at 4.10.

In anticipation......
 They were typical stamp but the next fish was above that, the float slipped away just like the others but the fight was less erratic and by that I could tell it was a better fish, it wasn't a long fight and she soon slipped into my waiting net, a much better fish indeed.

Ah....that's better. 6lb 4oz.
 Chuffed with that Tench, but maybe a Crucian to wrap up the day??, the answer was "no", but I did have a few more Tench to bring up the dozen and maybe 45lb of fish, not to shabby I must say.

In again, hard fighters on 3lb line.
Back she goes, great to see them go back strong.

Friday 24 July 2015

Big Dace in a Wild Place.

 Target: Dace.

 Tactic: Long trotting on the centre-pin.

 This evening I had a couple of hours spare after work and went out in search of some quality Dace, a couple of sessions have proved hard going for the Dace but the Roach have picked up the baton whilst providing me with some great sport. The condition's were almost perfect and the river was low & clear thus making my job a little tougher hence the reason for the trotting.

 At times swims were devoid of fish so being mobile was very important for it allowed me to hop between makeshift holes in the reeds which is what I had to cram myself into, I knew good fish existed and hoped they were still around, mashed bread was fed throughout and apart from the occasional Chub to 2lb a solitary Brown Trout of 2-2/8 fought hard on the very light tackle. After a fair amount of casting I finally found some Dace as one started to wriggle in the current after nailing my piece of flake, a nice one of 8oz 3dr (Below).

 I could see a few fish breaking the surface further down stream at around 35-40 yards, after catching that first fish the shoal pushed down into slightly deeper water and I couldn't bring them up as they were weary so I had to get down to them, as soon as it hit a certain spot the float would bury itself, three Dace came on seven trots and all of them were over 8oz with the largest weighing 11oz 5dr, just the sort of specimen's I was looking for and I'm sure there are larger fish, but those larger Dace will have to wait as dusk had settled in and the light level dropped too much with the float becoming invisible, four Dace to just under 12oz was a great start with a pound plus specimen a real possibility.

Best of the day, all in great condition.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Pretty Little Mirror's

 Recently my fishing hasn't gone down the route of specimen hunting as I have a few trips planned for my summer targets of Rudd and Bream, so I spent some time doing some more trotting and catching good quantities of Roach and Chub with a couple of Barbel spoiling the party on 3lb line which was very enjoyable, plus a couple of evening trips to North London in search of Bream and Carp with varied success on the Carp front and the Bream not showing full stop.

 A crazy moment also on the river as I managed a Koi on 3lb line of roughly 4-5lbs in great condition, certainly not a native but good to see all the same managing so well in what can be a tough environment, especially come the winter.

Weir-Pool Roach.

 Target on this occasion was the marvellous Roach and my tactic for the relatively short session was long trotting and feeding bread constantly into the swim to keep the hungry shoal occupied, I didn't have a target size but I know of good fish to 2lb exist albeit few and far between, I had plenty of fun in bagging up, in a little over 2 hours I had maybe 20-25 quality Roach but the largest maybe slightly under 1lb, not massive but very enjoyable, below are a couple of fish from the bunch, I have really enjoyed this match style fishing of late and although I won't go as far as saying it may be my next chapter in my angling career it's certainly something worth thinking about if I ever want or need a different outlook on the sport I love.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Hard Work.

 Easy when it comes together though.

 Since purchasing my Farnham ticket I have only managed 1 trip out in search of Tench, so a couple of days ago I thought I'd head down to one the rivers on the ticket in search of Barbel and Chub using my preferred tactic, rolling. When I arrived early on it was clear that it wasn't going to be easy as the river was seriously overgrown and the water was barely pushing so my plan was straight out the window unless I walked the banks and find the water I wanted. Miles of walking searching out water proved to be fruitless for the most part and some bits looked so picturesque but in places it was only 4-6ft wide instead of 20+, it was that bad I continued past some that looked good but just couldn't bring myself to cast a bait in.

Beautiful but almost unfishable for large swathes.
 After more walking I had finally seen my first fish in the shape of a lovely big Barbel around 13lb accompanied by 3 smaller ones but were in such a position that casting to them was impossible so I just stood and watched them for a few minutes in envy, downstream of where I saw the Barbel I decided to have another roll under some trees into a deeper pool, first cast nothing, the second roll through my finger felt a slight tap-tap and I struck immediately into what I thought was a Barbel but turned out to be a good Chub, a few minutes and she was in, a proper bruiser and come the winter will be a cracking fish to save a blank as it was on that day.
My first Loddon Chub of 5lb 9oz.
 Above is my prize and unfortunately it was the only fish I managed on the river but as I found it so difficult I turned my attentions to Frensham Small Pond in search of Rudd, I wasn't to be disappointed either as I had roughly 30 in two hours but the largest was only 12oz, so my quest continues for some large Rudd but having never been I was pleasantly surprised by how well kept it is, I'll be back in the famous words of "Arnie".

Banking yet another Rudd on Frensham.
 I did also see some Red Kites hunting a field adjacent to me and managed to get about 20ft from a couple along with some pictures that turned out fairly well I think, with a high powered lens I know they would be better.

Stunning creatures to watch. One of a dozen on the hunt.
 Now a brief catch up for a trip the other morning before work where I headed out for a Barbel and with only 2 hours available I wanted to make it count and boy did it, after just 20 minutes in my first swim my quiver-tip lurched over to the surface of the river as a Barbel tore off downstream before plodding about heavily whilst gaining back some line after it's initial burst, I could see she was a goodun and as it cruised over the lip of my net I knew she would be a double figure fish and on the scales it was confirmed at 10lb 4oz, but as I forgot my tripod in the mad rush I had to make do with a mat shot. After that pristine Barbel I fished on for a little while but no more joy, I headed off to work a happy man and my first double figure Barbel of the season. (photo to come later).

 Another trip before that proved successful too as I had a quick session on the trot and again I was spot on the money with another couple of Barbel to roughly 6.8 along with a Chub around 3lb.

Very rare snail, that liked my rod.
Perfect rolling water.

Sunday 12 July 2015

Wild River Brownies PB.

 As the title might suggest this session in particular was for Brown Trout but you would be wrong as Dace were my intended target as a couple of hours needed to be filled, although they are usually heavy I took my split can rod out for a working out, armed with a fresh loaf of bread and my ghillie for the afternoon it was time to find some silvers. The Dace so far this season have been difficult to locate and are not where they use to be, I set myself a task of hunting them down by long trotting down various glides and pools under the pin.

 Through all of the water I sent the flake through I didn't have a touch until I was intercepted by a nice brown trout around 3lb or so, on the cane it was a good fight and I swear I could hear it creaking but if I thought that was bending then I was had seen nothing yet, before that though I had a Chub of 3-3.8lb aswell taken on the very next trot through.

Mint condition.

Average but good to catch.
 The silvers were getting beaten to it if they were there. I left the swim to rest and kept baiting up with white crumb to hopefully induce the Dace to feed, after 20minutes I sent the bait back down and the float vanished halfway down with aplomb, I struck and that is when my rod was to find out what a real battle felt like, once hooked a big fish rolled just under the surface and hammered down stream so fast I could see the metal work of my pin more and more as the line approached the end, I was in trouble as the fish continued down stream over a small weir I had no choice but to kick my shoes off and dive in with the rod, not ideal but I had no other way of gaining on it as the near bank was to overgrown to walk down, so I waded 20 yards down and managed to get the line back on the pin, then it charged down again, the hard work undone in literally a flash, I thought that now was the time to put on the brakes and get it up stream but 50-60yrds down it was a mammoth task whilst it still charged from side to side in the strong current, the cane was bent to a point the top section was actually flat if that makes sense, I just leant into the fish and slowly began to gain, this was 4-5minutes into the fight by this point, brutal but amazing was the only thing I could think whilst playing and all this without knowing what it was, a Barbel, Carp or Trout, I couldn't tell. A few minutes more of gaining and the culprit came into view out of the deep water, a monster Brown Trout!, my god it was massive and my father (ghillie) was in awe aswell, my god was repeated many times and when this mother hen cruised over the net totally shattered I punched the air and a solid handshake off the old man as we had both endured this epic battle, these words probably don't match exactly what I felt but it'll do, my bloody god that was of biblical proportions, she earns the rest.

What a fish, never thought I'd catch one so large.
 A new personal best and that was obvious before we put her on the scales, the weight was almost secondary as it was a specimen that I've never seen before and they are very impressive at this size, but to satisfy my love of all things numerical a figure of 7lb 1oz was agreed on, a true wild specimen, Dace? what Dace?, after that Trout it was home time, how could I possibly carry on. A lifetime ambition for many anglers had been achieved (me included), although a 3lb Roach is the ultimate ambition this was up there with the very best. Over and Out.
Ready to make somebody else's season.

Friday 3 July 2015

Bream Campaign 2015 Part Three.

 It's been a short while ago since I last posted, this being down to various factors like, work work work....I'm not one to complain and not doing it now either, but when this amount of work is about the angling takes a back seat and squeeze out sessions as and when it's possible.

 Recently the Bream have completed their spawning and I think are just starting to go back on the feed but the hot weather seems to be curtailing that slightly and the couple of short sessions I've done have been very tough but I had some success whilst targeting big Bream on a local river, first of all I'll start with the lake fishing and plenty of tweeking has been done with my gear and using a few different baits to try and find the winning formula, in the reservior and lake I decided to use robin red 12mm pellets fished in conjunction with a small pva bag with 3&6mm pellets to add a little attraction to my offering, with time not really on my side I hoped I dropped in on some fish and get a response fairly quickly but after a couple of hours on both sessions my rods remained motionless, beautiful evenings by the bank but no smelly net for me to transport home, most would see that as a bonus but a dry net often means a unsuccessful trip.

Isn't fishing just great.

Sunset on another blank trip.

 The river fishing however turned out to be skittle more exciting as I targeted large Bream in the crystal clear water amongst willow clad banks, the tactic was again very simple and introduced a couple of handfuls of corn in slack areas and repeated this in three or four swims before headed back to the first swim. After arriving at the first swim I spotted 3 good Bream sifting through the gravel in search of the corn, most had gone by the time I arrived and a quick baiting of the hook with three grains I lowered it into position upstream and allowed the current to waft it down naturally into the baited area, bearing in mind these fish had no reservations in eating the free stuff my hook bait went untouched for nearly twenty minutes, I felt that the line or hook could be seen and this was spooking them, after adding a 3lb hook link and a size 16 hook the bait went back out but I only sent down one grain and a couple of freebies with it, a minute later a lovely dark slab inched up towards the hook bait that I could see clearly on the bottom, the corn disappeared and didn't await the line to tighten, the game was up for this koi bugger.

8lb 14oz, not the lump I'm after but good for a river.
 This river snotty didn't fight brilliantly but wasn't lethargic like most of their brethren, target was to catch one and I'd done that but not a double, another time for sure, but it didn't finish there though as I landed another of 6lb 4oz in typical post-spawning condition.

 The session didn't end there either as I know some very large Carp call this watery oasis home too, cut a story short, I found one of these monsters  ( estimated between my father and I at roughly 30lb ), the chance came and she sucked my ledgered bread in a treat and I struck and totally missed it, how on earth I didn't make contact I'll never know but this isn't the first time and bet my last nugget it won't be the last either, I will definitely be back for a crack at one of them.

 A couple of pictures from a brief session trotting last week as well, plenty of Gudgeon to 2oz 1dr and a decent net of Roach with the best below.

Stunning Gudgeon.
Not a monster but at 1.6 it's the best I managed.

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 ...