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Showing posts from 2017

Zander March.

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 Zedvember was upon us once again and the bi-annual pilgrimage to the Coventry Canal was once again underway, a nice early start on a crisp late November morning bought many memories flooding back, memories of some very difficult sessions. Was this to be a case of deja vu? or a bucking of the trend? by 4pm we would have a better idea.  A 3-hour drive up the M1 and M6 was fairly smooth and I couldn't wait to get on the bank. First of all Brian, Rikki and myself dropped into for a quick chat and a cup of tea with Sir Hatt before we went for a wander. The trips up here were to coincide with Jeff's birthday so we'd have a nag or a few hours and an excuse to go fishing, however it always seems to coincide with frosts and the Zander are usually hard to find much to our disappointment. First blood didn't take long though when a small blue job was nailed on the second cast, I lost whatever that was but on the next cast it got hammered again, this time I made no mistake, a p

My Day.

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 Now when things crop up that you wish wouldn't they often come in three's, I had had my three, what with a lost Zander, a lost Pike (both of which were big) and the damage to my car which some disgusting amoeba caused without as much as a sorry and heres my details....the ideal world that we do not live in, however, the run of bad luck has to end at some point? End of another day without success.  You'd think so. Another day on the Saturday (last week) was spent on the tidal Thames in search of a tidal twenty plus Pike and a big river Zander; that didn't happen as I was completely inept at keeping the fish on that I was hooking, roughly eight takes were either dropped or lost during the fights, I was not having a good run of it and the general concesus was that I should bury my head in the silt and wait it out.  Giving up is not in my repertoire, relentless is more of an accurate description of my approach to angling, with almost the sense of a burning inju

Not My Day....

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 I looked forward to a days Piking afloat SS Rudd in search of....ermmmm...Pike, all was supposed to be smooth with no glitches as the last couple of trips have done, well that most certainly wasn't the case, a lack of live bait opportunities owing to the colder nights made catching liveys very hard, I could live with that, but when we left our first port of call and arrived at spot number two I had found that some piece of sh@t had hit the side of my car and obviously driven away without a care in the world, a nasty dent and scratched paint work above my rear drivers side wheel arch meant I was not in the best of moods, understandably so too.  Well lets just say it got worse before it got marginally better, a hard morning afloat without a knock for myself or Brian got our brains wracked, couldn't decide on where to go in the pool and what depths to fish so I decided just to pick an average depth and stick with it. I stuck with a Dace for the best part of an hour before it

Roach on the Pin.

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 Possibly one of the most enjoyable of our species, so easy to get excited about when targeting them, whether or not they play ball often doesn't matter, whether Summer stalking in the shallow chalk streams or lobbing out a large cage feeder stuffed with liquidised bread fished with a large lump of flake on the end during the depths of Winter is just perfect. Sunday morning certainly felt like Winter, the biting north-easterly wind and clear morning sky certainly meant the thermals had to come out, first time this season !  I had originally planned to go Perch fishing for the day, however with only a few hours available I had to stay fairly close to home. Having got home late after my last trip out which was in search of Grayling my gear was all still set up and with a 6gr large bodied alloy still attached normally would have been overkill, heavy overnight rain persisted and this brought the river up over a foot and just holding steady as I arrived but battleship grey with th

Open Season: Grayling on the Agenda.

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 This time last season I was faced with a very tough days fishing which ultimately came good after many hours of trotting with very little reward, just 30 minutes from the end of that trip came the all important take and the battle that followed was one I'll never forget in all my years ahead, quite incredible as was the Grayling that fell to a single grain of yellow corn, a PB of 2lb 11oz which I was aiming to better this time around. This seasons benchmark.  This time around myself and Brian decided on a two day trip down "souf" in search of a big Lady, what better place could an angler tackle than the picturesque River Frome which carves it's way through the Dorset countryside, the drive is long at nearly three-hours but certainly worth it. An early start from South London you'd think would have dragged but it never does, the thought of encountering my target of a three-pound Grayling is enough to keep my thoughts running away into dreamland, in truth a

Heaven.

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 When going on my travels around the country and sampling the potential angling rewards there are some places that justify the early morning's, the long drives and the expenditure that typically comes with angling, no better sport on this planet!  The fishing was tough over the two day period but small snippets of the session provided some good fishing, I will try to get a blog done soon.

Autumn Barbel: End of a Baron Spell.

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 When I decided I was going to put more time on the bank in the evenings I did for a moment think it wouldn't be easy, but it has been harder than I imagined. Over a kilo of boilies and pellet has gone out in just over a fortnight in a handful of swims which look good for a fish, however no matter how good these swims have looked, most of them have produced nothing, not even a liner. Perseverance is a key factor for sections of river like this, low stock, very snaggy and no info to go on in regards to catches ( so I could try and devise a plan based on other anglers results/blanks ), without this it's all blind, although I must confess I am not a total stranger to this area.  For nine trips up until tonight I had really struggled, a Barbel a few trips back was the tangible evidence I was in the right areas, five trips later and five blanks threw me a massive curveball, just when I thought I was getting somewhere, this evening I got down the river still with light in the

Bit of a Mixed Bag.

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 Fishing isn't always about catching big fish, or at least actively, the sight of an autumn Gudgeon cuttings its way through the gin clear river on a crisp morning is just as nice. Catching this morning was pretty slow to start with, the overnight winds culled a lot of leaves along the river bank and the river was full of them, even trotting was made difficult. This particular run has provided me with some great sport over the years, the first hour was poor but the consistent feed got the fish moving off the bottom and into the upper layers where they became more confident, I fished a simple 4BB stick float and fished about 6inches over depth and held back the float in the ceases which produced steadily for the remaining 3 hours I spent there.  A mix of Gudgeon and Minnows kicked it off with my best Gonk weighing exactly 2ozs on the mini scales, my first over two ounces this season that I have weighed, the minnows were relentless to begin with, however the Dace began to get a l

Autumn Barbel: Hard Going.

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 For nearly a week now I've been dropping bait in a few swims with a big Barbel in mind. Sightings of fish have become almost non-existent which leads me to believe they are leaving the shallower not so-weedy runs for some of the deeper runs, where they will hopefully start to fatten up, most of what I have caught in the last two months haven't been in amazing conditions, although there is always the occasional one which is built like a breeze block, just looking for a 12lb+ breeze block for my Autumn fishing, what ever else comes along in the meantime will be greatly appreciated, bites haven't been forthcoming.  I had a two hour evening trip on Monday which proved to be fruitless, not even a sniff, but I got the chance to put a little bait out to hopefully get the fish moving into the swims I have been prepping, Tuesday I popped back out, the plan exactly the same but conditions were completely different, mainly due to the arrival of Hurricane Ophelia the winds were pr

Predator Season off to a Good Start.

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 The mighty Thames, a boat and some live baits is possibly the best angling combo possible, the unknown monsters, the inevitable slipping under of the float, it could be 4lb pound, could be 32lb you just don't know and that anticipation is gripping, so much so when October came around I was making noises about getting out in the boat for a virgin Pike cruise. Now it wasn't necessarily a Pike trip to start with as Perch were actually the primary target but the lure of the Pike couldn't be ignored, so I didn't even set up perch gear, Brian only managed twenty minutes or so before caving in to his inner Pikey self.  After a short motor around the pool we anchored up just off the main weirs flow, the bait went out and it was time.....it didn't take long before my float slipped under, I was away! A healthy bend in the rod indicated it wasn't a small fish, after playing her in the deeper water for a few minutes she cruised up toward the net, what looked a low doub

Carp Bug: Part Three.

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 Since I had made an effort to get some Carping done which culminated in banking a personal best river Carp I decided on targeting a lake where a forty pounder is a possibility and with enough time spent on it and a little luck I may come across ones path, only fishing a single rod I fancy my chances but a second rod would certainly make the task a little easier. The gear I have been using on this particular lake is a 9ft 2.1/4 TC Greys OutKast rod, 12lb and a running lead rig or choddy, depending on where I fish in particular.  Unfortunately baiting up isn't really an option as the birdlife simply wipes it out the moment it hits the lake bed, quite annoying for sure but there are ways around not attracting the scores of Coots and Tufted ducks, either walking the bait out (not always the best option) and dropping bait around the area or PVA bagging it out, the latter is what I prefer to do as it causing only the one bit of disturbance, hence not attracting the bird life as much

Beast From the South East.

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 Not much to write on this one, but for the future is very bright. Mint, perfectly proportioned and all the hallmarks of a monster in the making, for such a small Barbel, possibly 12oz-1lb, I was as happy to catch that as I would a 7-8lb specimen.  Hard not to love these! Awesome!

In Search of Monster Chub: Thin on the Ground.

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 Another day, another trip, this one was getting back on the trail of a seven pound plus Chub. Over the last few weeks I've been keeping my ear to the ground on how the river was fishing and most reports coming back didn't fill me with confidence, however I fancied it in the conditions, the wind was a lot cooler but it gave the feeling of a winters day and that always fills me with hope.  The river was clear with a few inches on, ideal for a Chub, I picked a few small patches of gravel and fed some pellet, boilies and crumb to draw any feeding fish in, even if a Barbel showed up I'd be very happy to try. I decided to start at an overhanging bush which appeared to hold a couple of Chub on my last visit, knowing this I fed some broken baits out and put my rig straight in the mix, sat back and waited, twenty minutes later the rod lurched round and I was in, the clutch gave off a quick screech as it made off for the bush, I wasn't having any of it though. Halfway throug

Autumn Barbel, Quest for a Monster Begins.

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 Now with the warmer months behind us the rods come out to play for a better chance at catching a super sized Barbel, not many places on this island where they are common, locating them is a tall order especially that my target is a 15lb+ specimen, go to the Trent and stand a half decent chance? Avon, Stour (Dorset), Ouse etc these are all rivers that have done fish to this size and beyond or still do as is the case with the Avon, it's just a difficult river to learn, especially as I am an away day angler on these rivers, my more local rivers (Thames Tributaries) don't often give up it's treasures easily, but there is no harm in trying!  Over the years I've spent countless hours walking and fishing a handful of these rivers and been very fortunate with what I have achieved but taking it to the next level will not be easy, if anything I know I'll enjoy the journey ahead as I always do.  Recently I got out for my first proper session, baited a couple of areas wi

Carp Bug: Part Two.

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 Leading on from my first post regarding the Carp my fishing seemed to be going smoothly from the get go, after fishing on the lake I was on I decided to go for a drive somewhere I've never fished, only walked it a couple of times in the last closed season, these hours spent were to prove absolutely key. Over the years I could only imagine how many hours I have accrued whilst searching for Carp and many other species, to tell the truth I never think to myself "that was a waste of time", because there is always something to learn, whether it's fish stocks or gathering information on certain areas for potential campaigns.  Now searching for Carp on a river is never easy especially when it's narrow in places, overgrown, choked with weed and so on, needle-in-a-stack type of fishing but I always enjoy this type of fishing more, the feeling of adventure is what does it for me and the sheer anticipation of finding something worth the effort. Thankfully the river was

Carp Bug: Part One

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 After reading Terry Hearns "Pursuit of the Largest" has engaged the inner Carper, something I've not done properly for a long time and not likely to do it for long, this will be a stop gap whilst the colder weather settles in and I can target the Grayling and Pike. I have had an eye on a couple of locations of late, a couple of lakes and couple of separate sections of river where I believe a chance or two will come about should I put the time in.  Carp are typically a target around April to June as the river season isn't open and I sometimes struggle to decide on what to target, lakes, canals and reservoirs are not in short supply where I live (within 30 minutes drive) and when the conditions are right they do make for good fun, especially on the canals as they are extremely nomadic. However on a lake they don't have much choice but to be close by, just a little smarter and do take some work to get amongst. So my latest foray on the Carp front has resulted in