Wednesday 27 April 2016

Specimen Rudd and Perch Exploits.

 Of late, I haven't managed much time out on the bank, fishing time has been there but the conditions have been poor to say the least, the time I have spent out have been in search of Rudd and Perch both of which I am targeting very large specimens, this season I really want to get some really big fish on the bank, not that last season was a disaster........far from it.

 The Rudd that I sought after are on a network of canals in the south of England, whereabouts are unknown yet as I have walked maybe 20 miles of the canals already, with two trips not turning up any Rudd myself and fellow stalker Simon Daley have made it our task to locate them, on that occasion we did finally find those bars of gold and crimson fins, the only issue was they ranged from 2oz to 10oz, not the size we've gone to bed dreaming of but where the small ones are, larger are surely present, somewhere. After faffing around with a few of those fish we had a go at stalking some decent Carp and Tench that were present, I did manage a Carp but nothing large. The Tench on the other hand were of a fairly decent size, maybe 6lbs or so, we spent the best part of the day searching but we didn't track those larger Rudd, we will certainly be back though.

I can see you! Stalking is so much fun.

Probably never seen an angler before. Pioneering.

 On to the Carp and I have some more success with them in the shape of another mid-double Common and a pretty Mirror of around 15lbs too, not immaculate and appears to be quite an old fish, nice to have caught it though, usual stalking tactics and bread the downfall on both occasions.

Not even 6am!

 Then on the Sunday (Day after the Rudd trip) I headed to a tiny lake in the Dorset countryside with Simon again, this time in search of Perch, but these aren't just any Perch, these fish grow to exceptional sizes and the chance of a 3lb fish was very good and a 4?, well almost as good but a 5?? unsure as to whether the lake holds them but you wouldn't bet against it as the lake holds a serious amount of Rudd which are there in seriously high numbers, the size in which a Perch with a bucket gob could easily whoof down.

 For all of the small Rudd and Perch caught throughout the day I couldn't manage anything large, Carp proved to be a right pain in the backside too as I fished with prawns for the majority of the day and the float sat motionless for long periods of time, so when the float lifted and slipped away around 20 minutes before dusk you could imagine my excitement, could it be?? Once I struck it became clear fairly quickly that it was no Perch but yet another pesky Carp, most averaged around the 10lbs mark but when you have a specific target in mind these certainly are not what you want to be catching.

 Unfortunately the time came to pack up and was willing my rod to go walkabout but alas, it stayed dead still as it had for large swathes of the day. Disappointing, was trying to work out why they weren't having it.

(Photos to come)....after Thailand so in June unfortunately.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Canal Carp - Back With a Plan.

 The canal recently has been carrying a lot of colour, which is making my stalking very difficult. This morning though I made the effort to get out of bed and on the water by 530am, nice and early but just how I like it. With a slight chill in the air and the sun only just breaking the horizon I couldn't quite tell how much colour was in there, the more sunlight that came over the hill and rooftops revealed that the colour was slightly dropping out, just enough visibility to hunt.

 Obviously with work only a couple of hours away there wasn't much time available, armed with my trusty 9ft Outkast stalking rod (2-1/4lb) and my polaroid's it was time to find some fish, whether it be Bream or Carp. With plenty of hours already done walking the towpath and not a lot seen it was almost as if Christmas came early when I spotted a chunky Common in pristine winter condition, I was even more surprised ten minutes later when I had overcome it and had it resting in the net, Nice One!.

 Bearing in mind that this stretch in particular has only been walked once so far and not one of the sections I fished last season was a major coup, let's see if it could produce some more like this and hopefully something bigger :)

17lb 1oz, such a stunning colour and immaculate. Bang on.
 Time to pack up came fairly swiftly afterwards and already planning a return, going to be good.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Golden Orfe, A New PB.

 Throughout the past week at work all I could think about was fishing, even during the close season on the rivers my desire to get out fishing just doesn't abate. But go out where?, that was the most challenging part of it, everywhere seems to be still in a state hibernation, Tench are not feeding avidly enough yet to target although this season they're not on my mind, the Rudd however are but again they seem to be feeding occasionally, once we get some decent overnight temperatures and the days get longer then I suspect things will improve rapidly, but time is running out, my up coming travelling in Asia is fast approaching and by the time I come back the rivers will be almost ready to open.

 I have done a fair amount of legwork already in search of Rudd waters: Canals, Lakes, Reservoirs and Drains have already seen my footprints. Just with the hope of tripping up on a hidden gem, in angling these days what with the internet and social media secrets are seldom secrets for long, but there still is that remote chance I just might find something special. But seeing as the waters in question are yet to prove fruitful I have decided to sit on my hands until I get back, but that still left an answered question, where to go? After plenty of thinking I suspected a return for some Orfe would probably be my best option. Conditions were set to be fairly poor but I won't catch at home.

 Upon arrival at my chosen venue I decided to fish my usual tactic and head to a section of the lake where the wind was behind me so presentation and casting was possible, the winds were reaching 20mph and faster at times so fishing in this manner was both stupid but also brilliant at the same time. Having the single bait approach with no other terminal tackle bar the hook was how I managed to snare them, a float or any other components made them increasingly weary, but stupid as line management in the strong wind was made frustrating at times, but needless to say, I did catch.

 Building the confidence of fish pays huge dividends and yesterday I managed to fool four Golden Orfe with the largest weighing a personal best of 5lb 2oz, the other three came in at 3.09, 3.06 and 2.14, all which will be future lumps and potential records. The largest one put up a really good scrap by Orfe standards which was nice to see. I also managed a Tench around 3lb.

Pleased as punch. Booom!
 Looking forward to the warmer weather when I can actually start my Rudd fishing, for now I'll continue to sit on my hands.

Sunday 3 April 2016

In Search of Golden Surprises.

 This spring I have set my sights on one of my favourite species, the Rudd. Everything about them is impressive and I really want to find a source closer to home where a chance of a 3lb specimen is possible, information on the species whereabouts is very limited, so with little info myself and another keen Rudd angler have made it our aim to locate and catch some off the beaten track with the hope of striking gold.

 Arriving a little later than I planned I got straight to walking the miles of drain networks, the weather was perfect for a lovely walk in the countryside and the fishing was good to start with as a couple of Carp showing under some far bank vegetation, five minutes of angling into position and the small piece of flake vanished, on Rudd gear which comprised of a 1-1/4lb test curve rod and 5lb line was pushing it but I've always been of the opinion that if you play it properly and providing it's not snaggy there should be no reason to lose what's on the other end.

14lb 2oz defeated on Rudd gear

 On a crisp spring morning there is not much better than landing fish like this, it's fair to say it may never have been caught before, although it's just an assumption it's a nice one, there's something quite special about tackling fish that have never been targeted, beats pond bashing any day.

 Rudd though were very difficult to locate and the conditions were perfect for spotting them, I think over the 6 miles or so I walked I located just one little Rudd, for the effort at this time it was a very small return but maybe I had walked as lesser stocked area, I know for the next time to aim at a different section, if they are there I will find them.

 On my way home I decided to drop in for a bit surface fishing/stalking, my favourite way of fishing and after a slow start I got into my groove and had half a dozen Golden Orfe with the best two going 3.03 & 3.08 and a few small Tench which were bagged too which was nice, then the rain came.......bane of my damn life!

Second best at 3.03

Best of the afternoon in the rain at 3.08

Very pretty fish.

Blackwater Returns.

   Throughout my teenage years I spent many thousands of hours targeting Barbel in low gin clear rivers and really hammered home my love for...