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Showing posts from January, 2019

Pike Hunt: Hole-y Saturday...

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 This day was always going to come along at some point. Another day planned in search of Pike and another day spent roving with an eye on the prize of another river twenty. A nice hour and thirty minute drive was punctuated by a series of dreadful roadworks which caused tailbacks of a couple of miles which seemed like it took an eternity to get through, all the while my Pike time was ebbing away and all I could think of was getting on the water. Dreaming of catching more.  Finally I reached the river and no time was wasted in getting the rod set up, within two minutes a bait was lobbed out and ready to go. I couldn't wait to get on it and with good reason too. Before dusk a large band of rain was pushing in and a quick drop in pressure meant it was going to get fairly windy too which never bodes well for stalking. Knowing this I pressed on my pursuit and settled for only two or three casts per 20-40 meters and allow the bait to drift through all the little eddy's etc.

A Return To The Barbel: The Return.

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 Didn't think I was going to get back out for Barbel so soon, the day after that haul I got an unexpected early finish to my day, with not enough time to head down with the boat I choose to get back out in search of Barbel and effectively continue from where I left off, that plan worked a treat as it didn't take too long to get my first enquiry.  First dip of the float resulted in a mint 3lb Chub which was quickly followed by a lovely 6lb 11oz Barbel, not the biggest but certainly welcome. As I headed upstream I had another shot at a decent Barbel as I run the bait along side a fallen tree which was providing a good amount of cover that screamed Barbel, I wasn't wrong either.  It did take three trots mind you before I got the hit I was half expecting. Crazy that you expect a fish whilst trotting for Barbel in the winter but I know this river very well and that all the knowledge of this venue comes in very handy when ones angling fix needs quenching with limited time.

A Return To The Barbel.

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 It has been a long time since I got the urge to fish for old Bertie and having fended off that urge I finally caved in. Glad I did too! My roving started on very familiar grounds and was shocked at the clarity of the river, I could see every pebble and strand of weed throughout the 1 mile or so that I covered.  It has to be said I missed this aspect of my fishing as carp and predators have featured heavily at the expense of most other species. Within 40 minutes of arriving on the river and making my first cast I had already slipped the net under three Barbel, one of which was a beautifully conditioned 8lb 10oz fish, no marks or blemishes it was a poster girl for the species. Second best of a quick fire session, 8lb 10oz  With that pristine bertie released I fancied another try through the same swim and as my bait approached the same gravel bar a large frame cruised up to it and in a flash the bait was gone and I was locked into battle with another good fish. In the powerfu

River Monsters: Twenty No:3.

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 For a few sessions on the boat and bank I have had some good luck and hit some fantastic specimens, however there has been something missing, as to what, I'm not entirely sure. Maybe the battle with a monster Pike being that missing piece of my seasons jigsaw?.  Having spent most of the Christmas period either working or spending it with the family my fishing time has been greatly reduced, however I had managed to get some fresh air on a couple of occasions, one of those occasions was this trip, in search of Pike. A river I am starting to understand just a little more and a river I am very keen to extract the secrets it holds. I have been lucky enough over the last three seasons to catch two twenty pound plus specimens and I feel thats not all and don't feel the job is quite done hence my continued attentions.  Stealth is part of the game, usually. Not on this session. I arrived to find the river slightly up, only by a couple of inches but running fairly murky and I stru

Fish Of A Lifetime, The Book.

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 About 2 years ago I was very kindly offered to contribute to a book called "fish of a lifetime" , I obviously jumped at the chance and for the next few months I added little by little until my final piece was handed to the editors to weedle out any mistakes, grammatical errors and so on.  After a while the trail went cold and I thought that the book wasn't going to go to print and although I was honoured to have been given the opportunity I was always thinking about. Then out of the blue, the main man Adam Perna emailed me and attached a draft copy of my piece, all eight pages of it. I was/am still, chuffed.  So even when it seemed like it wasn't going to happen it did! here is a shot of the cover and the 1st contents page, with yours truly contributing in Chapter Six. To have a piece side by side with some of the most awe inspiring catches of my generation and those before is quite brilliant. The overall quality is very good.  Chapters include the de

Esox On The Brain.

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 For many seasons now the thought of Pike fishing had excited me to the point that I'd hatch so many plans in order to catch them, so much so that they would be neglected almost entirely every time late-autumn would settle in. I guess as a species they didn't excite me enough. Looking back now it seems absurd, what can I say, other than I really feel that I am making up for lost time. This season has already been my most successful in relation to the amount of trips embarked on.  For me, rivers are naturally my favourite watercourses to tackle and I am yet to have caught a stillwater pike this season, I suppose one has to fish a stillwater to catch one. I will look to put that right soon enough, however, the river pike fishing I have access to is too good to ignore, the rawness of the stretches that I fish and the ever changing scenarios met on the bank or boat is what keeps me coming back time and time again. Since fishing for Pike a little more frequently I have discovere

Zander Hunt: Waking The Sleeping Dogs.

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 Driving home after packing the boat down after another successful trip afloat I couldn't help but think that what had just happened was a messy blur and that my brother for all his moaning came away with a huge fish like that. Never mind, I was very happy for him. That however lit a fire under me and I was in the mood to get straight back out....work however had other ideas, a full schedule of clients I saw no gap where I could get out, the issue is taking the boat out needs time and that wasn't looking likely. As always though I am happy to graft and as each client was satisfied and I'd earned my crust, by midday I was finishing up with my last!  There was no loitering around, I shot straight home and got the little bits of gear I'd packed away the night before and hot footed it out the door and back on the road, with no time to waste I picked Brian up on the way and with empty roads at my mercy the Zander hunt was back on. It had been just 23 hours since I set my

Zander Hunt: Leviathan Zed.

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 Now, I do class my self as bit of an all-rounder, with that said there are a couple of species that I haven't given much time up for, Zander certainly fall within that category as I know exactly how many times I've targeted the species. On a river I have embarked on two trips catching one little fish around 2lb, on canals I have made five trips whilst banking again, just the one. Lake Zander is where I have had the lion share of success, over 6 trips I managed approximately 25 fish to 7lbs exactly. My reasons for not continuing with the lake Zander fishing was for two reasons, its an expensive hobby when you are paying £18 for a one-rod predator ticket for 4-5 hours fishing and also the fact a double was a pipe dream amongst the hungry schooleys.  Fast forward roughly 3 years since I last made a fist of it and I found myself questioning why don't I target the Thames Zander once again, this time in a boat I'd have a lot more water to search and the chance of a fish