Friday 29 September 2017

Got a Riddle Here.....PB Crucian (Take Two)

 So the riddle is, an angler goes fishing, fishes two rods, baited and ready for action, fished exactly how I'd like with barely a sniff of action all day, infact not one run but still lands a personal best Crucian?

 At 3lb 8oz here she in all the glory possible, immaculate, just like her captor :)

Matching haircuts too, it was fate!
 Well the answer is quite amusing, all day partner in crime Brian hadn't needed the toilet, after all those hours you'd have thought it wasn't going to matter that he'd leave his rods for me to watch over, you know where this is going now! No sooner did he turn down the path for a piss his margin rod "one tonered" and I gingerly hobbled around to his swim next door and lifted into a good fish, that being the fish above. Well don't mind if I do help myself to a new PB, after all my effort I didn't even need to bring any gear, oh well, maybe I'll christen my new Korum 1.5's another time.

 Cheers mate!:)

Thursday 28 September 2017

Barbel on Bread, Wally With a Rod.

 Have you ever fished a swim that you really think you should never have?, whether it be dangerous or simply not the cleverest thing to have challenged. Well that happened on my last outing which was in search of Roach to start but their lack of showing made me change my target species to something a little more bullish, namely Chub and Barbel. Now I was only using a light trotting rod, Sheffield pin with 5lb straight through and a 4BB wire stem. With only the Roach in mind to start with I only had bread but I know that wouldn't mean I'd blank for my new target, if anything bread can out fish any other bait, meat included when it comes to Barbel and Chub.

 Having left the areas where I typically target Roach down to the more trickier stretches I donned my cap and glasses holding out some hope I could find a fish or two amongst the thick weed, this season the weed growth has been incredible, never before have I seen so much, plus I'm also seeing it crop up in places where it never used to which is making fish spotting harder, the positive side to that is that if i can't see them then others are going to struggle too!. With more than a mile walked before I got to the more likelier runs was I expecting to see fish, hey presto there were three Barbel and a Chub sat just off a shelf, all three Barbel looked decent, two were certain doubles and the other couldn't have been far off, the spot where these were though was not fishable, no clear access down and the river too dangerous to get close to. I decided to inch myself down whilst trying to avoid snagging my waders on the briars as I descended, the closer I got to the river the more I was starting to regret my decision.

 Alas, I continued with my plan, having pinpointed their rough position I flicked out my float and set the depth slightly over so the bread flake would tantalisingly bounce on the bottom, the float began to trot down smoothly toward the area I saw them not two or three minutes previous, as the bait dropped over the shelf of weed and when the float cocked it completely shot out of sight, could only mean one thing! I flicked the ratchet on and it screeched as line pissed off the pin, I thought to myself I've hooked a smaller nuttier Barbel as it was very erratic, twenty or thirty seconds in I was struggling to keep the fish from burying itself into the weed, I had no choice but to jump in the river, luckily for me I had waders on, otherwise it would have been an uncomfortable journey home. Between 3-4ft in pacy river water made me quite nervous for a moment whilst I got a sure footing, by now I'd been playing the Barbel for a couple of minutes downstream and still had no idea what size it was. Now being in the water I felt I had more control but the constant lunges into the ribbon weed and thick Ranunculus sent shuddering vibrations through the rod, everytime I thought it was going to come off, slowly but surely I was gaining line and now maybe five minutes into the battle I got a glimpse of the fish I was being bullied by, this was no little'n.

 As she approached the net I could clearly see I'd hooked the largest of the three I was watching, how about that for luck, 33% chance of getting the one I wanted, but what surprised me more was the other big Barbel was shadowing this fishes every move, as my one cruised closer to the net the unhooked Barbel swam to within a foot of net as it lay in the river awaiting my prize to give up, an experience I've not encountered at such close quarters it was amazing to see, nearly as amazing to see my first double of the season slip over the rim of my net, job done!

Another float caught monster :)

 On the scales I was not surprised to see the digitals rest of 11lb on the nose, very good nick and clearly more room to fill out it was the beginning of what will be a productive Autumn for the species.

 After watching her revive well and swim off I had the difficult task of getting out of the river, that was hard enough but during my time in the water the level had risen by nearly a foot in just the 10-15 minutes I'd spent in the river made it even harder, plenty of scouting the bank for a reasonable place to get out I decided to call it a day. Got to love failed Roach sessions, so often pays dividends to try something else. 

Wednesday 27 September 2017

PB Crucian, A 20 Year Journey.

 For many years I had a personal best of 3lb 1oz which was caught on a little council run park lake, many great years fishing for various species made for some great times, one species that I dearly wanted to beat was the Crucian Carp best which I caught back in 1998, aged just 11 at the time. My father was instilling everything into myself and my two younger brothers from a young age, how to treat fish, how to correctly weigh and recover etc, so it's probably no surprise that my fishing is predominantly specimen hunting as I feel the desire to improve all the time.

 Unfortunately genuine Crucian Carp stocks are slim but luckily for me I have Enton and Marsh farm not 35mins drive from my front door, convenient for after work outings I made a few plans, first one was last Sunday, weather was atrocious but after 7 hours of tinkering and cast after cast I got that all important run, not even the huge patch of pads could prevent me from achieving a long standing target, within two minutes a large frame of a certain personal best lay in the net, did it surpass the mark of 3.01? you bet it did!

Another PB :)

A whole 3lb 7oz, for me it was a huge monkey off my back as I really wanted a photo of a specimen Crucian, photos of my original PB were lost so this was to reignite my appetite for fishing for these wily creatures, a few photos with a cheesy grin were in order before slipping her back to hopefully make someone else's season. The remainder of the day did slip by with barely anything else by way of action but "for now" this specimen Crucian will most certainly do!

Not the most pleasant of conditions to fish in but worth getting soaked for.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Fleeting Summers.

 Far too many plans and far too little time to indulge in them all, dreaming of spring mornings with the Tench bubbling uncontrollably and Carp sifting the surface for whatever they can find. All sounds great and so often it is, the balance of working as self employed electrician, fiancee and everything that else that goes with it makes time fairly tight, some of the dreams in the Spring did come to fruition and as the summer wore on I continued to get amongst some fantastic fish of various different species. Some of which will remain a target as the season meanders to its close next March.

 Plenty of these sessions have been extremely enjoyable with some not so for one reason or another (usually atrocious weather when dressed for something a little akin to the summer)"when will I learn". My Spring started off with a variety of fish, most of which were lake dwellers as the rivers remained closed for all coarse species (although Brown Trout are fair "game"). Golden Orfe, Tench and Crucian Carp were among my early targets, some would have you believe it would be easy, like stealing candy from a baby?, not likely, well for me at least, plenty of casting about to work out the depths and drop offs/shelves on Enton, weed beds and clay plateaus on Newdigate. All homework but to be successful it's all vital undertakings to achieve the very targets that I set myself.

 A few weeks into my fishing and nothing really seemed to be paying off apart from my childhood ability to catch good Carp almost closed eyed, not that it was easy but easier than the other waters I was concentrating on, could I have done better? anyone can always do better, maximum achievement is never achieved because when you begin to think that and improvement can not be pursued then surely the enjoyment would cease, that for me would be the ultimate nail in the piscatorial coffin. Maybe, if that day comes I'll invest in some waffel bats or golf sticks. Seriously hope it never gets to that hence my eagerness to embark on the next trip, typically thinking about it whilst already heading out or on a fishing trip already. My fishing brain working ahead of time !

 As the temperature crept up fishing started to become slightly better with plenty more showing on various venues, by May I'd already had a few decent Carp to mid-20's (best 25.03 by this point), the Tench started to show and G.Orfe started to slip out of their winter coma, nothing big but all a start and leading up to bigger and better things, by mid May I could honestly say achieved what I wanted on the G.Orfe front, after nearly a dozen trips I smashed my previous personal best which now sits at a proud 6lb 12oz, job done and the Tench were up next but these proved a little harder and if I recite correctly I blanked nearly as many times as I caught, since the good Tinca times are over I have located a water that I believe holds the potential for my dream "double figure specimen", watch this space for 2018-2019 season as I will endeavour to make good on my plans.

 A few more quality Carp made their way albeit not willingly, with June approaching fast my flowing fix was about to be quenched but not before some awesome looking canal Bream showed up, along with some stunning Crucian's from Marsh Farm to 2lb 9oz, a frantic morning on the pin and fined down gear was great, not always like that I will say although sometimes I feel it's my approach that let's me down. Then the season started and it delivered big time, a Chub just "two ounces" off my personal best graced my net in what was probably my best ever opening day capture, 6lb 8oz of pure awesomeness, absolutely perfect and boy would I love to catch that in the depths of winter with snow on the ground.

 My recent trips up to the Fens were continued in July but found fishing rather difficult due to an immense amount of weed cutting, not great but managed some to a smidgen under 2lbs, not massive but the Somerset levels picked up the slack and proved why fishing off the beaten track proves to be a success more often than not. A snap decision to take gear down whilst on way to Cornwall to see my sister shows why the opportunistic angler will always catch, the effort just needs to be applied and over time the rewards will come, I firmly believe in that, some are naturally good at being lucky, I seem to have to earn that right but only happy to graft, a 2lb 5oz Rudd taken in less than ideal conditions proves why opportunities never go begging.

 Then a double figure Bream pops up and makes my season all over again, not everyones cup of tea but for a canal, stalked in gin clear water after casting a million times at the same fish is madness, relentlessness is my middle name and for those who know me could probably vouch for that statement, last cast? yeah, maybe usually what I'm thinking, so often it has paid off and it has this season a couple of times. Barbel and more big Chub have featured as my quest for a 7lb specimen is still firmly in mind, just waiting now for the temps to drop and the rains spark the fish into feeding more than they have of late, anytime from now to Christmas is going to be a busy period for fishing, can I achieve a couple more of my long standing goals? only time will tell, Summer? It was certainly fleeting this year but feel I made good of it for the time I had available.

Friday 1 September 2017

Failure? Nope, Not a Chance.

 Another day spare and another day spent hunting down my Chub target. I felt confident that I would get a chance as the conditions weren't to be too bad for some stalking, I spent the morning chatting with fellow anglers and searching the water for holding fish with an eye on the evening as I know it's often the best time when the day has been hot and certainly was, by 3pm it was 27c which isn't pleasant in the long grass, in jeans, boots and a top to prevent the nettles stinging me to within an inch of my life!

 Many hours passed with nothing to show for all the miles covered but none of it is in vain as it all helps with the mental picture I'll need when it's in the fields and chocolate brown!, I didn't actually have a proper cast until possibly 4pm which seems crazy, drive all that way just to chat and walk miles of river, but thats how one learns fast, I still got five hours behind the rod, not that it made much of a difference as my tips didn't move a smidgen, shame as I was rather hoping for just a Chub, thats now five blanks in 24 sessions, which I don't think is a bad return, maybe half of the fish I've caught have been 5+ with a couple of sixes thrown in the mix, most of which are summer fish.

The tip may have lye dormant but it was a lovely evening.

 Brian and I packed up about 2115 to get back to the car so we could avoid the road closures that lay ahead of us, during the evening I did hatch a back-up plan and that was to pop onto a river on our way home, crossing the borders of four counties theres plenty of water to aim at......half past midnight my tip savagely wrapped around, an lovely 8.04 Barbel put that tough days fishing firmly in the back of my mind, home just after 1am it was a long day having set off at 430am the day before, all worth it though.

Great tonic for a tough day and it fought like a devil!

8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...