Monday, 26 June 2017

Sneaking Carp in the Urban Jungle.


 A nice short post, the afternoon trip started off out in search off canal Bream and Carp but neither were to be spotted in the miles of canal searched, tough to take but I'm well versed in how difficult it can be and maybe they were just down in the water column hiding, another day may yield a completely different result but the trip didn't stop there as on our way home I popped into a local dock where I know big Tench live and good Carp to mid 30's.

 Opportunistic fishing at its best....one windswept corner of the deep dock had a small head of Tench showing and I felt confident that they were feeding as the paddle tails were waving up the water as they grazed, I flicked out a lump of bread and awaited the peacock quill to lift or shoot under.

 Twenty minutes or so of stalking and i was in, but it was no Tench, but a small Mirror Carp instead had fell for the trick, not a monster but it was very pretty!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Opening Day Successes.


 So the glorious 16th of June approached fairly quickly after my arrival back in the U.K and this season I had decided to give Chub a go for the first couple of days. My venue was the D.Stour and with this being my third campaign on the river I was certainly feeling more optimistic about my chances of catching some of the rivers huge inhabitants, I know I was fishing some of the best water in the country so I know I have to bide my time and continue to learn the waters, it will come.

 Myself and Brian made the long journey down at the crack of dawn with the view to stalking the fish throughout the day and static fish for the Chub during the night, once we had arrived the temperature was already at 24c with prospects of a max around 31c, that's pretty hot when in amongst towering stinging nettles and balsam, not very pleasant and if you can imagine sat in a sauna fully clothed then you get the picture. But the river season was open and we couldn't care a single bit, lovely to be on running water.

 I set up a short stalking rod (9ft) and a (12ft) trotting rod for different swims to make sure I didn't alienate myself from potential targets, as the sun got higher during the morning we could see Chub moving around but to our surprise they were still spawning on the shallows and this presented us with an early problem, just like us humans, we don't think of eating whilst doing the deed so I wasn't expecting the Chub to oblige, things were going to be tough from the outset.....

 Around midday I trotted a big lump of meat downstream to a tree line and the float stormed off downstream and was met by some very strong resistance, the fish began to come upstream and I could see a large frame (probably 6-7lb) heading for the top of my swim and as I bent down to pick up my net it lunged downstream and buried itself in a huge weedbed, not what I wanted and the line was solid straight away, I was gutted as I could still feel the subtle tapping on the rod, so I knew it was still on the other end, I let the slack off to see if she'd back off down still attached but before I could formulate a plan the line went completely slack as I took up the tension, she was gone.....not the start to the season I wanted.

 With very little since that lost fish but the occasional knock unfortunately nothing could be hit on the float or on the rolling method and as 4-5pm approached I decided to completely change tact and find a shaded area to fish a static, I had to try something else as my desired approach was proving useless, I flicked out my 15mm source boilie and sat patiently in the heat of the mid afternoon sun, tan top up time.

 Roughly two hours in my tip on my outside rod nodded and then absolutely went berserk, the sort of brutal take you'd expect from a Barbel, I made sure this time I put plenty of pressure on the fish the entire way in, thankfully the fight wasn't very hard and she came in fairly smoothly, back of the net for my first Chub of the season, not a bad one either!

5lb 6oz
 First of the season weighed 5lb 6oz and considering how hard it had been I was very chuffed with that, the evening hadn't even arrived and I felt that would be my best time, so having released that brassy beaut the successful rod went back out and the wait began again.

 That wait was not as long as I thought it would have been, maybe an hour or so later my outside rod again sprang to life with a vicious lurch towards the river and on a tight clutch I made sure that the fish couldn't make its way back into the branches I was fishing but the weight of the fish made it quite difficult and I wasn't expecting to see a big frame of a Chub surface, I had thought it was either a small Carp or small Barbel by simply how strong the fight was, not just a small Chub either, easily my biggest D.Stour chevin to date.

 Understandably I was over the moon when she slipped over the rim of the net, an easy 6 and maybe bigger I thought, only to keen to know the Rueben's came out to put a number on it.

6lb 8oz, only three ounces off a new PB.
 It had been a long time coming but I feel that it will get even better but now two Chub in the bag things were looking rosy and at 4pm I thought a blank was nailed on, funny how one decision and little knowledge of the water can help, this was no doubt a culmination of luck and hard work that has been put in over the previous two seasons.

A still evening of the tips.

Deer in the field at dusk.

 The rest of the evening unfortunately went by with little action but it was good to just be back on a river, night came and went without a hitch and we were ready for day two.
 

 
  Day two started with myself and Brian walking the banks in search of surface feeding Chub and as the sun got higher we could see more moving around but very few were actively searching for food, it must have been 6am and the mercury was already sat around the 27c mark, it was the precursor to a roasting hot day, one that I felt would not do us much good unless we found shade and equally knew the Chub would wait until the cooler latter part of the day to start feeding.

 We walked a fair few miles to search out fish but we were unsuccessful in catching, by around midday we decided to call it a day and fished a little closer to home for the remainder of the day, we knew we'd have to wait until 6pm onwards for some action, we can wait and do it all another day, the two Chub during the first day were brilliant and the trip was a success for sure.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Down the Farm.


 Crucians are to say the least not the easiest species to catch, method fishing for them has provided me with good sport in the past but fishing very fine on the float is great fun, in fact it's very satisfying when it comes off. Now, a few days previous I went down with the same mindset but failed miserably on the Crucian front.

 On my most recent visit I decided to change a couple of things around and headed to a part of Harris Lake that I've not fished before, with over 40 pegs it's a fairly decent sized lake and I know it's stuffed with fish, I just can't compute how I haven't managed to really get amongst the "bars of gold" in any meaningful numbers, maybe a slight match background would serve me well on a fishery like Marsh Farm but as I don't it's all crash course and work it out as I go along.

 With my decisions made I set about balling in some 50/50 Sonubaits Greencrush with my pellets (6mm) to build a patch on the outside of some pads, which I anticipated would be shelter to a few fish being that the sunshine was due to hit upwards of 30c and I knew by say 10-11am that it would probably be 24-26c and most humans wouldn't be sat in it.


 My set up was a pre-made Drennan hook length and float setup, and a Greys Prodigy 12ft 1 T/C rod and the bait was 6mm soft hookable pellets (Krill flavour) and once I was happy with my plumbed depth I got my bait into position, within seconds I registered my first bites but they even on light tackle were practically impossible to connect with and I had to just sit on my hands to see if the bites evolved into something that I could strike at.......45 minutes later......

2lb 4oz, first Crucian of the day.
 It simply looked stunning on the mat, due to the heat I just took a mat shot as I didn't have my camera and tripod setup and didn't want to faff around, only issue was that if that was my only Cru'y then I'd miss out on a trophy shot. Thankfully after a couple of Tench decided to go crazy in my swim I did then have a spate of very small dips on the float where only two were hittable but both resulted in Crucian's weighing 2.06 and 2.09 which equalled my best bar of gold for some years!

My best at 2lb 9oz.
  By the time I had got the swim going and started to catch fish the sun was getting higher and was starting to cast strong sunlight across the whole of my swim and I knew that it would be game over for the fishing until the sun moved across the sky so that the pads would be back in shade, unfortunately I would have to wait until dusk for that and I enjoyed the morning session a lot so I called a day after a quick faff around on the little pond for half an hour on my way back.

 9 Tench to 4lb+ and 3 Crucians to 2lb 9oz wasn't bad going I felt, i'll be back but it'll be on Johnson's for their resident monsters!

PB Chub on the Fly.


 For roughly five years now I have adopted a light roving approach for wild Brown Trout on a range of flies, this season has been tough and although I haven't been much over the closed season I thought I'd fair slightly better than I have, I think it could be down to a few factors, some of which I can control and others I can't. One thing I have noticed is that there are more fly anglers now than ever before, so competition is stronger for areas to fish and the fish themselves.

 On the other hand I have found Chub being a little more obliging on the fly and the other day I managed to tempt my best yet weighing in at 5lb 1oz. The fish was taken on a fluffy brown surface fly and I noticed the Chub sat fairly close to the inside bank and lowered the fly into position where the water erupted as the fly vanished from sight, the fight itself was fairly poor but when I landed it I was surprised to see how immaculate it was considering they've all spawned.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Tench on the Float.


 What could be more serene than watching the pin-prick bubbles popping around your finely balanced tackle as a shoal of Tench feed with abandon, not much it has to be said, I still get excited as the anticipation increases before the float slips under or lifts. A couple of weeks ago I spent a while fishing for them on the float and ended up with a lovely bag of Tench, the best going 5.01, not monsters but I swear they fight so hard you'd be forgiven for thinking you've hooked a Carp!


Marching the Towpath Part Two.


 I know this is a little delayed on writing this piece but having spent a lovely and a well needed break in the sun to recharge I am now back with the new river season just a couple of days ahead. I feel I'm almost ready but there was some scores to settle in regards to the canal. A big Carp this year has managed to still evade me but I have located a couple which would smash my canal best of 25.03 set a couple of seasons ago.

 Along with the desire to catch another big Carp from the canals I also had designs on some big Bream too, I know they live in these particular sections in a fair number but also surpassing the 10lb barrier which is quite incredible, not something you'd expect, however, I soon enough realised they had just either spawned or were in the process of doing so. I watched them for a while to work out what was happening, when so enough I concluded that they were in the final throws and were back on the feed.

 Que the stampede, I was following a few Bream around with the view of winching a bait into ones path close enough that it would spark a reaction, after a dozen attempts my plan worked as a large frame charged my flake and within 30 seconds the job was done.....9lb 0oz ! not bad at all as thus far it is my second largest canal Bream.


 It was astonishing how selective a species like the Bream can be but their greedy nature always lets them down, within half an hour I had finally got a chance at a Carp and not just a small one, I suspect it weighs in excess 28lb but without catching I wouldn't know, finally putting a bait in the right area I hoped it wouldn't take long.....


 A 8lb 4oz Bream decided it would eat my offering before the Carp could commit, the smile said it all, I wasn't complaining. So after slipping that black Bream back to the swirly depths I stuck it out for the Carp but they did not appear again. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Marching The Towpath.


 Having recently achieved my goal of a 6lb plus Orfe I turned my attentions to the daunting task of cracking my relatively local canal system in search of big Bream and Carp, for canal standards these species can grow to 10lb and 35lb respectively, now to some anglers a 10lb Bream isn't exactly big but in a canal neglected and poached to within an inch of it's life they are big and boy are they hard to find, should the location be found then getting them to feed is even more of a task, one that i've only achieved on roughly 25% of my visits in four years and if that doesn't put my task into perspective then the fact that I have seen only one angler in all the time speaks volumes.

 The Carp are even more difficult to locate as they seem to be extremely nomadic which makes my quest just that little bit trickier, but I love a challenge and this is one I've been looking forward to and I have only started now as only until the beginning of last week the canal system was like chocolate and zero visibility but with the drop of rain we have finally received it has cleared the water up and I can once again walk the many miles of towpath and stalk my quarry.

 Remaining mobile is absolutely imperative as if a bait and wait approach is adopted one would certainly blank, I'd hazard a guess that no fish would be caught unless said angler was donning a set of golden spherical objects in his strides. Waiting for fish to come to me on a water I can stalk is not an option, this is my type of angling and today my ability was to be tested, as it always is here.

 I left home around 6am this morning and arrived a little before 7am and was on the hunt straight away. As is often the case I walked for a couple of miles slowly scouring the water for any shapes, movement or feeding (bubbles). Probably a little after 830 I found a solitary Carp cruising the upper layer and it appeared to be looking for food on the surface, on certain areas of the canal near parks many people in the spring and summer feed the ducks, so bread is very much part of the staple diet to more than just the feathery kind, no doubt this Mirror that appeared to borderline 20lb was looking for any leftovers from yesterdays dinner.

 For nearly fifteen minutes I followed the carp until it reached an inlet where it decided to rest up and sat on a bed of silk weed, I gently lowered my slow sinking flake a couple of foot from it's snout and didn't hesitate to inhale it, I didn't wait for my little quill to register the bite, I struck and somehow I missed it !! I cursed my luck and swore quite a few times before I realised I hadn't actually spooked it and she was still close to where I screwed up my chance, on went another piece of flake and put it straight back where it was taken first time around but she was not to be fooled again, no matter how much I tried there was no budging.

 Having accepted my failing at a golden chance i ambled off with my tail between my legs.......would I get another chance??

 On the Carp front that unfortunately that was my lot but as the morning wore on and the sun got higher I continued to seek any signs of life when after half an hours walking I finally found three Bream feeding and cruising around, having found Bream I set the depth to around 5ft and watched the flake flutter through the column and then once it reached the desired depth I would lift it two or three foot up and left it flutter back down and repeated this method for about ten minutes when one Bream broke off from the shoal and headed straight for the flake, no mistake this time!

 My canal fishing was off to a positive start and on the scales she went 8lb 7oz which ranks that my 4th largest canal slab, I was chuffed with that as catching a fish is a huge achievement in itself. With that I continued to see if i could catch any of the others but there was no further interest.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Mission Accomplished: Golden Orfe.


 Leading on from my session a couple of weeks ago, my target of a "six pound" Golden Orfe still beckoned and I was on to my ninth visit to this picturesque venue sat in the middle of the idyllic Surrey Hills, my desire to crack this specific challenge was burning stronger every time I thought about it.

 So having thought about the Orfe fishing quite a bit I decided that I have not managed to stalk any of the big specimens in the lake, so my tactic had to be changed, with that I decided to go about the bait and wait approach. Following on from my mini rant a few days ago I only opted with a single rod but I knew that if my bait was presented properly and that the fish were feeding then I stood a chance.

 My rig was very simple but highly effective in other circumstances that I used it in, a short 10lb hooklength of very low diameter of maybe 3 inches in length tied with a small size 14 wide gape hook, the feeder was a 40g Guru (Korda) hybrid method feeder which I started to use and find it very good at what it's supposed to do, the bait? just a Drennan bouyant maggot dipped in a secret solution to give it a pungent smell which I hope the fish find if the lure of the red maggot doesn't attract the fish.


 I fed an area between two marks with a mix of hemp, Sonubaits supercrush green groundbait and red maggots which in hope would get passing fish to feed and eventually my plan worked, within an hour or so of starting up my rod bleeped and then tore off, fish on and it fought quite well which led me to believe that I'd hooked a Tench and when that last minute dash for reeds came about it was obvious, not a bad one either and more importantly I was clearly in an area where the fish were feeding.

Nice little start, 5.06
 The rod stayed a silent for a little and I employed a twenty minute recast to keep the bait going out and if fish were feeding around my area then it would keep them close with a chance of tricking them, maybe an hour after landing the Tench my rod melted as a fish made off with the fake maggot, as soon as I lifted into the fish I saw a big Orfe roll on the surface at distance and knew straight away it was a new PB so I played with caution all the way to the net but was it the "six" I craved?

The verdict....5lb 10oz
 So not quite the six pounder I was after but boy I was chuffed to bits! An amazing creature but the fights are so lazy, I near enough reeled it in the 40 yards to which I was fishing.

 But proceedings were to become very interesting as a couple of hours later my rod tore again, the take was very confident and could imagine it was a Tench as there was no large orange fish roll on the surface, but it fought hard just like the first and when it slipped into the net I could clearly see it was larger than the first, a seasons best of 6lb 2oz.


 Feeling quite content at catching a pair of good Tench and personal best Orfe I kept the feeder going out and regularly topping up the area I'd be preparing all day, I had to wait a while before my next enquiry but this one was to be the special one, the very fish I'd spent nearly nine trips for, a couple of double bleeps on the buzzer sounded and before I had the chance to strike the rod screamed off and a huge frame rolled out on the surface in the distance. Straight away I made sure that the fish was played very gently and as it approached the net I knew then I'd cracked it, but by how much?

I had smashed it, all 6lb 12oz of it !
 Target Achieved!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Toughing It Out For Tench.


 Tench, a species much associated with Spring, the problem is it doesn't feel like Spring as the temperature is reminiscent of winter. The cold NE wind that has remained for a good couple of weeks has affected the water temps which have had a knock on affect on the feeding of the Tench, however cool the weather has been the fingers were too itchy to ignore and planned a trip down south for an overnighter.

In position.

Mmmmmmm

Even better cooked.

 24 hour trips and me don't go together, for one I'm far too fidgety to stay in one area and the other I'd feel too much like a Carp boy, but I gave it a bash anyway, I bought myself a JRC stealth x-lite shelter/bivvy for the trip and had great fun in buying the food for a stove which I bought months ago, it was going to happen. In preparation for the trip I boiled up 10 pints of hemp and packed stacks of bait with the hope that the Tench would be very obliging.


 Brian joined me for this trip, both of us were very optimistic and for days previous I was excited like a little child before Christmas. When we arrived after a lovely journey down through the beautiful South Downs the lake sat there glistening in the mottled sunlight as we pulled up, with only one other angler on the lake we had the choice of the entire place and having been here once before last season I had a very slight idea on what to do and wasted no time getting the rods set up and a bed of bait out.


 With the traps set it was time to get the camp organised and brand new bivvy stripped out of the box the fun began.....with no manual it was a right pain the bum and after an hour nearly it still wasn't erected properly but it did the business. The occasional bleep would sound as fish moved around the baited area but runs were not materialising. A couple of hours passed before I got a solid take, a one-toner is what I'd been waiting for and I wound down on a heavy fish, clearly I was in contact with a big Tench but I know the weed can be a pain and I was to feel the pain first hand as the fish went solid and after a few seconds the line went slack.

The maggot thief escaped, again.
 Lost Tench for me was to become the theme as over the next couple of hours up to dusk I lost another two Tench to the weed and it was starting to wear on me, regardless of areas that I was putting my feeders the patches were clear but the Tench were running straight for weed beds and I hadn't the time to get their heads up before they ploughed into the silk weed, then dusk came and the Eels moved in.......

A clear night under the stars was a joy. 

Just a mess around with my DSLR and picked up something
that looks like a "Milky Way" in the bottom half of the photo.

The panoramic views of the South Downs are amazing.

 My little setup was cosy and laying under the stars was something I've not done in years, I even had a faff around with my camera on manual settings and play around with the ISO settings, I didn't manage any brilliant photos but it was good fun and picked up what I can only think was the Milky Way. the Eel count got to 3 before I packed it in for the night and caught a couple of hours sleep before dawn in prep' for a mad rush, well I hoped for a mad rush. I was honest with myself experiencing how tough the first 12 hours was I wasn't holding my breath, the fishing was tough and the remaining hours of our trip drifted by with only one more dropped fish, the conditions were not conducive to catching Tench but at least we were in the right places with the right bait, a return is pencilled in for next week where the wind will be blowing from the SW and the sun will be a lot warmer. The experience of the whole camping/fishing lark was great fun along with the cooking, thoroughly enjoyed it even if I failed in catching a Tench.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Orfe-ly Crafty Creatures.


 My quest which is now into it's third year in searching for a specimen Orfe with a target weight of 6lb, only a few reside in this particular venue but are extremely weary fish, I just hope on one trip that I can catch one unaware and tempt it to feed and manage to slip my net under it.

Red Kite on the hunt for something.

 I have been to this venue a few times now and typically I'll adopt a stalking approach but with the wind blowing a hooley I decided after just a couple to go on the bottom and fish a flat-bed method with a short 4inch hooklength, the hookbait was a single Drennan bouyant maggot soaked in a sticky strawberry solution which in the murky water hoped could lure the marauding Orfe to my bait and in the feeder I used Sonubaits 50/50 green crush with the little pellets, which is excellent, just watch the oils leech out of it after a couple of minutes sitting on the bottom.

 I usually use one rod here as the owner is on bit of a money maker and charges nearly doubled to use the second rod which I personally feel is nothing short of disgusting and just money grabbing, that erks me alot and the owner of this particular fishery isn't alone in drawing this gripe from me as Bury Hill Fisheries is very much the same, if you've ever fished for the predators in the winter you'll know what I mean, three rods....yes then start to charge a bit more but there is nothing to suggest that smacking another £8 on top to use a 2nd rod is acceptable, alas I do not use a second, I think £10 is a lot for one rod but if I want to achieve one of my goals then I have to grin and bare it until I have achieved what I started out to do.

Another mid-3 
 Bites however were very slow on coming and I had to wait nearly two hours to get my first inquiry but it was a smaller specimen than intended but this told me that my target species was on my bait and feeding, the confidence level crept up and put a small amount of bait out just to keep it topped but not enough to put pressure on the fish still in the swim, at 3.8 it was about average and now I've had nearly two dozen Orfe out but most are this size. The occasional patch of bubbles would surface around my baited area but struggled to achieve more than single or double bleeps as fish passed through the area but not stopping to eat, the hours rolled by and the rigs fiddled with as much as possible to find a winning combination, this however never materialised.

They were showing.

 About six in the evening I spoke with Brian who was down with me and I suggested a match on another lake with a points based system put in place, as the action was so absent on the other lake we forgot about the specimen chasing for a couple of hours.

 Before we headed over to start our match I'd noticed something really beautiful in the woods which the lakes are set in.



Absolutely stunning.

 Crucian's were 2 points, Tench/Carp/Bream were 1 point and Golden Orfe were 3 points (Orfe in this lake tend not to surpass 5lb), Brian on the float and myself baiting and waiting a set of lily pads was the way we started. The float tactic seemed to work well as Brian raced into a lead of 6 Tench before I caught my first fish which was a Tench, then Brian managed another to take his lead to 7-1 then a minor miracle occurred as a shoal of Crucian's arrived in my swim, not before I had changed to the float myself and plummeted the depth to an inch off the bottom. The fish then kept coming and Brian's lead was being eaten into steadily and it was about twenty minutes before the hooter that I'd overtaken him and by 8pm I was the victor, no thanks to number of fish but the Crucin's were double points and that won it for me! A good bit of fun, as angling should be!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Chalkstream Trout.


 One thing I love about the river closed season for coarse fishing is the fly rod makes the odd appearance and I really enjoy casting a piece fluff around with the vein hope in fooling one or two Trout, to be honest I'd like to try a couple of lakes for some Trout as I feel I have done okay on the rivers for wild Brown Trout.


 I finished work nice and early on Tuesday and thought as I had a rod in the motor that I should pop on the waders, grab the camera and go for a wander. At first I struggled to find fish of any description but as I looked harder in the small depressions I began to spot the odd fish, this scenario played out for a couple of hours and was successful twice in getting a Trout to commit to my pheasant tail nymph along with a small rogue Chub weighed probably a few ounces.

 I must say the Trout here are in great condition and a joy to catch on such light tackle, I may give it another go sometime soon if the time presents itself.

Immaculate Brown just over 2lb

My second Trout around the 2lb mark, well spawned out.


Covert Carping Part Four.


 Another morning and another early trip out before work, maybe a week or so ago I fashioned roughly an hour before a trip into London and with the conditions behaving the fish were in an obliging mood with two twenty pound plussers nailed within 15 minutes of each other.

 Typically I had a look around before starting but very little showed to begin with, I suspect the cooler night put them down slightly but as the sun got up above the treeline the activity began, however the amount of sightings was drastically down on recent trips with only a few showing, out of those few two were intercepted and put on the bank.

 The first Carp was spotted feeding amongst some young lily pads with it's large paddle waving up in the water as it grazed at the stems of the pads, the slow sinking bread flake lasted no time at all. The scrap was pretty intense and put my tackle to the test which is always enjoyable, the second Carp however was even better, not the fact it was bigger but the fight was great fun.

 On the Rueben's this Mirror weighed in at 21.14 and had a random cluster of scales on a wholley leather body.


 The second fish was this stunning Common Carp which tipped the scales at 25.05 and is possibly one of the prettiest Carp I've ever caught, if they all looked like this then I'd fish for them more!

Covert Carping Part Three.


 I find on a lot of waters ( especially the ones I fish ) that Common Carp seem to be more prevalent, in some instances I feel the ratio could be as much as 10:1, even on the canals I find so many more Common's than Mirror's and personally I prefer to catch Mirror's as they just look more characterful and more variation, Linear's are by far my favourite and it's been a long time since I've caught one, but fully scaled Mirror's rarely feature in my catches, could I catch a Mirror on this trip?

 A typically early start for me as I usually get these sessions underway before work and then hit the road in time for my first client of the day, when the conditions are right then anything is possible and on a nice barmy sunny morning the surface was alive with hungry Carp searching out an easy meal, I could only oblige.

Hungry Carp.

 For Carp which are seldom targeted they seemed fairly sly in how they went about mopping up the bread, something I suspect they do a lot of but it took three half hearted attempts to get the first of the two Carp to commit....silly bugger, I could have told it that it was dangerous to eat, but that's all the fun!

 A sturdy battle ensued as it tore sixty yards on it's first run, I thought for a few minutes that I'd latched into a real lump and the weight behind it seemed decent enough to think along those lines, only until I got the fish closer in could I get a better idea on size and I was surprised it wasn't bigger than it's fight portrayed. At 17.06 it was a good fish and it was a fully scaled Mirror too, perfect timing to break up the Common Carp monotony.


 The fun didn't stop there either as another Carp slipped up on the surface and when the mouth opened up to slurp down the crust I thought again I was onto another big fish, the fight this time around wasn't particularly impressive and once I got the fish in the net I could see why, age probably the downfall of this Carp and again it was a Mirror, not what I expected but it was a very old fish and on it's way down in weight as the frame dictated that it should be alot bigger with a huge rudder to boot, I suppose everything has to go out at some point. Great sport though, forty minutes of fun then off to work.

Smallest of the two, 16lb

Monday, 24 April 2017

Covert Carping Part Two.


 Another morning and another short trip in search of my Spring Carp target, " a new personal best", which is 35lb 8oz, I have a couple of waters which have the potential to do this, however this particular challenge is not going to be easy, this has been made more difficult by the recent drop in temperature as the fish are moving around a little less and barely anything showing on the surface adds to the challenge.

 Sometimes just keeping very mobile can pay huge dividends and on a recent trip I spent forty minutes fishing and successfully stalked a short thick set Common at a range of twenty yards off the top, one of only four Carp I saw that day, all together but even at that distance I could clearly see that the one I banked was the largest as it's mouth looked like that of a trumpet, not to mention it's large silhouette, I believe the Carp were feeding high up in the water on water flea or Daphnia but my extremely cheap offering was too tempting.


 This Common was bit of a warrior but nice to see and certainly didn't hold back on the fight, very impressive, this Carp weighed 25.03 which is slowly creeping up towards my target weight.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Covert Carping Part One.


 Since my Crucian campaign has been put on hold and I await the warmer evening's to descend upon us for the Eels I have donned a stalking setup and take it everywhere with me, a loaf of old bread, bag of bits along with a 9ft Greys Outkast 2¼lb test curve rod ( for those snaggy areas ), most of the places I fish tend to be snag free but it helps having a rod this good in my arsenal, these never let me down and I've caught thousands of fish of them.

 Of late the weather has been a little up and down, the catches have reflected this and some mornings you think this is easy and others end up as blank sessions, so I'm glad I make the most of it when the going is good.

 Here is a Carp from my first trip:

First trip of the season 21.3

Covert Carping.

A Kestrel locking on to pray.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Enton, Candy From a Baby.....


 ........Or so you would think, constantly in the angling press, social media littered with images of the prizes that any visiting angler could catch, somehow I felt that there was a little more to it than pitch up and bag up on potential British Record Crucian Carp and Tench. Before I go any further I can certainly say it's not easy, those who have caught specimen Crucian's have been in an area that have held them and location over my three trips would prove to be paramount, being just 20 yards from the feeding grounds would be the difference between complete success and failure.

The view from my perch....just 15 yards from the next angler....

 The tactics I employed were fairly simple, with one rod loaded with a 30g method feeder and bouyant maggot with the second rod set up with a standard maggot feeder heli' rig, with Spring in full swing I felt that the maggot feeder would do quite well with the Tench and hopefully pick up the Crucian's as they passed by in their little shoals, but as the hours passed by on three different days my rods both lay dormant with very little else than single bleeps, even as minor as that seems it kept me alert just in case one of those miniature enquires led to a run.

All the gear, but have I an idea??

 Only on the third day did I get a little more than no action as I waited more than half a day to get a clear cut run, I was nagging to a friend of mine who coincidentally was amongst the very fish I wanted to catch when my left hand rod tore off, I scrambled from my neighbour's swim and lent into a heavy fish, the culprit which was almost certain to be a Carp continued to head out into open water when my line went completely slack and the rod recoiled....fish off.

A new favourite of mine, drop one in a pint of water and see the results.

 Just the sort of rotten luck you need when indications of life were so few and far between, the hook just parted from the hook link but on a 3lb bottom it's likely to happen, when it doesn't it's a bonus. It was slightly annoying but you can only tackle up and get the bait back out where the fish may at some point find the tiny single caster, or maggot, or fake corn.

It's a lovely place to waste some hours.

 The plan was to stay as late as possible, this was to give the fish every chance in slipping up, then around 7pm my left hand rod finally gave off a gentle but consistent run, the buzzer was singing away and as I took up the slack the plodding fish on the other end really got my heart racing, this was a typical Crucian fight, slow and not going particularly far, in fact I only needed to retrieve as it made no attempts to swim, so much so I was convinced I'd finally caught my target and knowing the pedigree of the Crucian's in this nearly 20 acre lake it could be the very fish of my dreams.

 I continued to play the fish very gingerly as I did not want to lose it seeing how hard I had worked to get this opportunity, then as I readied the net and the fish approached the surface a Tench broke and I deflated like a hot air balloon, I'd never been so disappointed to see a 5lb Tench in my life....I almost put it back without a photo but as tough as the day was and how hard that sighting was to take I couldn't pass up a photo opp'......candy from a baby? most certainly is not! and for those reading this who have intentions of fishing it, do not go with the preconception that it's easy, believe if you are on the fish then yes, it's fairly straight forward but if your'e not on the shoals then it's a confidence knocker for certain. But in the famous words of Arnie, "I will be back".


One of the best reels I've used.