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Showing posts from December, 2015

Vampires of the Lake.

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 Before I started this season my predator personal bests were not what I'd call impressive but I have wanted to achieve some targets that I set at the beginning of 2015, this season has been made by some impressive captures on the predator front, three-pound Perch for some angler's are average but a fish of 3lb 6oz is massive to me, I also made abundantly clear in my last post the achievement of another angling goal by catching a 20lb+ Pike, from a river it was all the more impressive, this was all on top of my PB Zander caught earlier in the month which nudged 7lb on the scales where I was tackling the much maligned Bury Hill complex to put myself in with a chance of a double figure fish.  I had finally learnt how to catch them along with Brian Roberts, we set our sights of the ultimate prize in the Zander world.  So for one last hoorah we made our way back down into the Surrey Hills for one last blast, I stuck to my usual tactic of one float rod slightly off the bott

If Carlsberg Did Pike Trips....

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 Between my brother "Richard" and I there has always been a slight angling rivalry around Pike, he rarely fishes and catches some pretty awesome specimen's, although he hasn't been out of late as he is expecting his first "pitter patter of feet". I don't have any tykes yet but the day will come I'm certain in the not to distant future, until that day comes I will endeavour to find some time on the bank as I always do, recently I had a long wander on a river system in search of Pike, or Pike looking swims, these I did find and some specimen fish, staring at me as if I was their next meal, I could assure them though I was more threatening as my 9ft Chub Outkast rod and 20lb line would tell 'em.  That was over a week ago now, how on earth I didn't get back down sooner beggar's belief. Well the time came to revisit and I had a plan that I wanted to execute and cut a short story, short, the plan was full-proof with maximum devastation, arm

Just Simply Brilliant.

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 This season has been special for quite a few reasons, but none more so than the capture of two pound plus Roach and I have been blessed with the opportunity on multiple occasions this last three months, fish of (2.03, 2.05 & 2.10 ) have graced my net and thankful for the chance to witness one of anglings wonders. So when I head out in search of Roach there is never expectation of specimen fish at all, just happy to be on the bank and in with a chance, so with that a few days ago I set out my stall to trot for Roach using maggot and caster with the sporadic use of bread just to see if the change sparks a fish into taking should the grubs fail.  The plan was to fish roughly the last hour of light until I could no longer see the tip of the float, I find if the redfin's are feeding that this is the time to get trotting, a couple of decent Chub put in an appearance very early on and when this happens it usually means the Roach are either not around or that the Chub are simply h

In Search of a Personal Best Chub (Part Three).

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 "Jean eating bollocks".  This lark of loitering around rivers in search of a fat old Chub is good fun, never knowing what your going to find is exciting, but blanking is always a fear, especially when it's on a section of river or indeed a new river, blanking though is par for the course although I try to avoid that big fat zero as much as possible. This afternoon I simply set my stall out to get some bites going and went about this by feeding roughly two-dozen maggot/casters before every run through, at this time of year I shouldn't be feeding this hard but it took ages to get the fish feeding.  Nearly 45 minutes had lapsed before I hooked a proper Chub and not one of those see-throw variety sorts, a serious puller which isn't what they are known for but this fish in particular had a flea up it's chuff, nice to have them pull back to be honest and when I finally got it into a nettable position I realised it was a decent fish with first guesses around &

Itchen and Avon Grayling.

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 It had been a while since I visited the Avon for Grayling, although catching a fish of two-pounds or more is unlikely I just wanted to get down there and have a good day out, Dace were also a possibility with the odd monster thrown in for good measure. My last visit to Salisbury yielded many Grayling but it was the Dace that got my attention with the best a smidgen off one pound, a return to that venue was never to catch large fish but to fill my boots and although the weather wasn't perfect for trotting as the wind was very stiff I still had a good bash at it. Avon at dawn, magical times. How many monster Roach are here I wonder?.  For this trip I travelled down with my father and we met up with Russell Hilton and his father for day's trotting, unfortunately when trotting it's hardly the type of fishing that allows you to be sociable as there was plenty of water to search through, the Dace were very forthcoming but only one of noticeable size which went 11.03oz,

Worth Getting Wet For.

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 My Zander campaign was kicked off again with another trip to Bury Hill planned, my last trip was a success and I dearly wanted to find out that it wasn't a fluke along with the fact that I had worked out how to catch them, I touched on it briefly in my last post in regards to hooks, rigs and that I wanted to improve hook-up and landing rates, as the colder weather arrives bites will become harder to come by and conversion of bites will be very important as to not make the effort and blank.  Blanking on this fishery isn't something I've done before and for the price I certainly don't want to either, it's no wonder why the banks are empty as you have to earn a tidy mint just to fish for the predator's, I have had this conversation in regards to the running of the fishery and I'd go as far as saying it is poorly managed, reason's why may seem trivial but silly things like the website, hasn't been updated in five years nearly and a lot of anglers pr

In Search of a Personal Best Chub (Part Two)

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 "Washed out" is always my fear when I go on a detour and on Sunday I set off from London to a section of the Stour that has been churning out monster Chub like they are going out of fashion, my Chub personal best fish of 6.10 is going to be very difficult to beat on most of my local rivers, so where best than probably the country's best Chub river.  All I needed was a river that was fishable.... Hmmmmm......... A regular occurrence on the Stour.  The colour was like chocolate and although the river was within it's banks I knew from the beginning it was going to be tough, Chub would have switched off, not completely but they would wait to feed properly as the colour dropped out of it, unfortunately I didn't have a couple of days to wait so I had to get on with it, I travelled down and met up with a couple of anglers who were after the same quarry Matt and Rob, I started off in a swim that had a main glide with a near-side obstruction and far-bank ve

The Enigma Code That is Zander.

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 For years Zander have been a species that I just can't seem to catch and when faced with the opportunity I come unstuck spectacularly, over the last few seasons I have threatened to actually go after them, so yesterday evening I ventured out to put an end to a wretched run. I arrived at my chosen venue at a little before dark so I could set up and plumb the depth in the swim I decided to plot in. New best fishing buddies :)  The idea was to fish two rods, one on a half ounce lead and the other on the float, hook patterns have been a huge talking point of late and many experiments are going on in the angling world in regards to what is the best for hooking and holding these seemingly difficult species, I haven't had much of an issue myself as I've only caught four Zander in my lifetime, so it's not something I can comment on with any real clout. But that was all about to change..... Not bad at all, I started to bag up on some of these "elusive"

Drennan Cup on the Horizon?.

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 Ever since I was a child learning to fish with my father I have always had a relatively competitive outlook to my fishing, this was natural owing to two brother's who also fish and we are very similar age, we used to try to better each others PB's over most species that were available and although this was good banter between us at an early age I soon became detached from the competitive side of angling and have adopted a more nomadic style of fishing and spending many hours just thinking on how to improve my catches and indeed sometimes just to catch.  It may seem I catch just about every time I go out and invariably that does happen but it's not without having to tough out times when it seems the waters are devoid of fish although I know it's not the case. But of late I have struck gold with the capture of some magnificent wild river Roach, my all time favourite species and to catch such rare specimen's is testament to what our rivers can produce should the c

In Search of a Personal Best Chub. (Part One)

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 It's been quite a few years now since I experienced a special moment on the Chub front, I have had red letter days on a few occasions, the stand out one of course for me was a short session on the Thames which was almost 5 years ago to the day when I managed to catch a brace of 6lb Chub (6.10 & 6.4) on bread link-ledgered over a large bed of liquidized bread, I remember landing the first and was in disbelief by the sheer size of it and not twenty minutes later I hooked and landed the second six, what a day that was and the brace shot was amazing. A few months down the line my computer crashed and it corrupted the HDD and I lost absolutely everything including the photo's of my 2.15 Roach which was also caught on the Thames.  That was a very painful scenario but over time you realize that the photo's can be erased but you will always remember the catches and I do remember them like they were yesterday and still very fresh in the memory, so since that shitty incident

Cutting My Teeth.

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 It's been a very long time coming but after so many years of reading reports, seeing images and hearing many good thing's about the River Itchen I had finally got the opportunity to "cut my teeth" on this historic waterway. About time too aswell, I have been lucky enough to fish a few of this countries many chalk streams with many successes on various fronts, all I wanted for this visit was to enjoy myself, catch many fish with the view of also targeting the Roach population that reside there. An early start.  For the trip down I was joined by Brian and met up with Mick and Jeff for a day's trotting and quiver tipping, for Mick this was his first stab at a chalk stream and I'm sure he would enjoy it, who wouldn't. I started off at the free stretch before the fishery opened but I never managed to connect with the only bite I had, then once we had made our way up the track to the top of the beat our sights were set firmly at trotting for Grayling

It's Been a Good Month.

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 Recently the Roach fishing has been on another planet with three specimen's over the 2lb barrier banked, many many hours of fishing has gone into my quest for large Roach this season alone and I feel the hard work has paid off, although I don't want it to end there I am certainly chuffed with the results, the best time of the year for Roach is now upon us and a trip on Friday is booked to cut my teeth on another of England's beautiful chalk-stream's for Roach, a small gathering of blogger's will also be present for what will be a lovely day out in the countryside in great company. Happy moments...  Earlier in the month I received a lovely surprise as I submitted my photo of the 2.05 Redfin that I caught, which won me my first Drennan Cup award of the season and in fact ever, I feel I may have won a couple previously with certain fish I have caught but never gave it a thought and part of me didn't really bother as I was just happy to be catching such clo