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Showing posts from 2020

A Round Up of 2020.

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  2020, the year that if I could, start all over again, roll the dice and hope for a much better outcome!  January: Very little of note was caught apart from a superb brace of tiny chalkstream Chub, four pound fish are still considered good fish. After plenty of searching myself and Brian located where there were some fish, a steady stream of maggots and dollop of patience was enough to take three super fish, topped off with a 6lb 3oz brute which was braced with a 5lb 4oz fish that in itself was good enough to walk away feeling a great sense of achievement.  February: Was even more difficult as I only went fishing once, Whilst away in the Caribbean I did get some fishing done but as they were caught in March they don't really count, so this lovely marked Brown Trout will have to do! Oh and I had a lovely Barbel the evening before I flew out, 10lb 7oz.  March: Once I got back to Blighty I fancied a trip out after Grayling and ended up having a great day out, with numerous fish to ju

Tackle Reviews.

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   For a few years now people who know I blog have asked whether I review tackle as part of my blog and the short answer is no, mainly because who wants to read my ramblings on about what rod or reel is good or what winter clothing system lasts a winter without the crutch area being clawed out by the incessant rigours of being a mobile angler where barbed wire is present most of the time and maybe the odd scratch of the family jewels.   However, on this occasion I do have a couple of things that I have recently purchased and feel compelled to at least sing its praises. Firstly before going any further I am not affiliated to either of the companies that these items are made/designed by, I personally feel that if someone is looking for something similar then these maybe for them!   First up is the Daiwa Igloo2 2-piece Bib & Brace set.  At £190 I wanted something that will keep me warm when out in the depths of winter which I have already found myself doing and I have been pleasantly

An Afternoon on the Float.

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   Given my recent difficulties in locating and catching Barbel I have decided to target other species until conditions are more conducive to catching. Having visited the dentist this morning and having an extraction at 940am I wasn't feeling up to much. But you can't put a good man down!   The fire still burns deep even with my mouth in absolute bits and the temps not predicted to go above 2c all day ( which for once they did get right ).  I quickly shot home, grabbed a pint of maggots and the gear then headed out for an afternoons trotting.   The tackle I was using consisted of a Greys Prodigy specialist float 12ft 2-piece, Greys Bewick 4¾ inch centrepin loaded with 3lb Maxima Chameleon and a beautifully made drake quill trotting float rated at 6BB.  Swim selection on a cold day with cold water is always key and I thought I had hit the nail on the head from the beginning as my second trot resulted in a mint 7oz 3dr Dace. The next half hour was a complete waste of time. Was th

Blank #16...

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  As the blanks rack up at a phenomenal rate I maintain the desire to get out and do my best to put a big Barbel on the bank during what are currently poor conditions. Now I know Barbel will still feed in the cold and with the frosts already settling in opportunities are going to be even more reduced, on top of that the work always picks up closer to christmas before having my usual festive siesta.   During the christmas break I do hope we get some mild rain and bring up the temps 2-5c, when this does happen I'll get back out as much as possible, at the moment I am trying to nick the odd session here and there just hoping that I get lucky, how many times can I blank?   Its probably an answer I don't want to know as I suspect it is going to be a far greater number than I would have liked.   Not that this sort of fishing is easy of course and some of the rivers I am currently targeting are not known for big heads of Barbel, most sections are holding possibly the odd decent fish.

A Decent Morning on the Chub front.

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   With my Barbel quest taking centre stage for the last 6 weeks I have been feeling a tad stale with all the blanks I have been enduring, especially after I had caught a couple of super Barbel a few weeks back. So to break up the blanks I needed a pick-me-up, what better way than grabbing the trotting gear for some winter Chub fishing.  A hard frost has covered the vehicles on the drive for the last two mornings and knowing it wasn't going to be warm I knew Chub were the only species that would still provide me with a few bites. However things were not straightforward if they are ever are in angling. I arrived to find my target river gin clear, painfully low and upon hopping into the water I could feel the water temp was very low.   Armed with two bags of smashed up bread and a half loaf for the hook bait I hoped that running out of bait would have been my biggest worry, two hours in and it was apparent this wouldn't be a problem and that my issue would be getting a fish to th

Heading West.

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  With that cold snap last week a thing of the past a nice mild spell now sits over us, hopefully giving the Barbel the green light to do some more feeding. Having had such a poor nights sleep I decided to grab the stalking gear out of the shed and headed over to the Colne for a go at a Barbel. Targeting both countryside and urban sections I gave myself half a chance at possibly catching a big Barbel and potentially checking the Colne off my list as my target of eight rivers by the end of the season still looks to be in contention.   I headed around the M25 under the cover of dark as I only had this morning free and 45 mins later I was parked up and scouting my first bit of the river. I have previous on this river with my best at 8lb 8oz and I know larger exist as I had seem them at the beginning of last season albeit further upstream, here I was in the lower reaches in some not so glamorous territory. Any little run or bolt hole I was running a bait through, unfortunately with no idea

Coming off the high.

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   Since my new challenge' inception time on the bank has been increased to try and get a head of steam going, visits to the bank have been mainly blanks as autumn swiftly turns cold as it has and Barbel become a little more difficult to locate and catch. Back out again on Tuesday evening for another go at one of my local rivers saw me arrive on a very cold riverbank. Not knowing what to expect and quite rightly high on confidence, my current set up and bait is certainly doing the right things and getting out as soon as any time comes up. The added impetus will hopefully lead to more fish on the bank.  Two rivers ticked off my list in a week it was always going to be difficult to keep going and whilst I currently have two other rivers on the go I know the prospect of doubles now given the time of year will become more of a harder task, but I am more than willing to keep up the hard work, maybe another will slip up soon enough.  Tuesday evening was spent roving around in 1c temperat

Third Time Lucky.

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 Having made the effort to drive the 350mile round trip to visit the banks of the Trent twice already I really wanted to achieve my goal of a double figure Barbel. Knowing roughly where to go is always half the battle, however, it isn't always the case. Doing my best to keep away this time from the busy sections I opted to fish further upstream for a bit of solitude and hopefully a Barbel or two.   With large amounts of rainfall across the country I wasn't surprised to see it was up, coloured and pushing with more rain due during my visit. This time I was joined by my younger brother Richard, so perhaps it wasn't total solitude but close enough. I finished a 13 hr day at work having left the house at 6am and returning home around 7pm, I got myself together and set off for the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border ahead of what was likely to be a lively visit owing to the remanence of Hurricane Zeta that was blowing out in the Atlantic.  Myself and Richard arrived around midnigh

Creature of the Night. PB Barbel in the bag!!!!!

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    I must confess, this last couple of weeks since I lost those two big fish a couple of weeks back have chewed me up and really got under my skin, not often I feel like that. To have a change of scenery to take my mind off it I dropped onto the Kentish Stour for a shot at a Barbel, however after 5 hours I came away with another blank, things haven't looked particularly rosey of late on the fishing front.  The recent low pressure and incessant rain has had a good impact on the rivers down here and upon arriving on the muddy banks of the S.Ouse I suddenly felt confident that I'd get a chance, not that the river itself is prolific, anything but is probably more accurate but I was fishing with bait that I have become quite comfortable in using and a tried & tested approach that have caught so many Barbel for me over the years.  After a swift drive into Sussex from my nice warm house I began to setup the rod and once that was ready I under arm threw a small offering of freebie

Pastures New, Tales of Lost Creatures in the Night.

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  Having spent many years trawling through what were local rivers to me I am now starting to target something a little different and have set myself something of a marathon target, that I shall touch on later in the blog.  Given my proximity to a few rivers that may provide something of a different challenge to me I have decided to give them a go and see if I can catch some of the larger specimens that inhabit these rivers. The target for me is of course Barbel and my hope is that I can locate and catch double figure fish. With limited access and knowledge of these rivers it really is a work in progress and first up was a freezing cold night two Friday' back as I set about trying to bag up a fish on my first go.  Under the stars and a murky river my hope was pinned on a very smelly bait with a small PVA bag glugged in some very potent stuff to do the work as locating fish in the pitch black was not an option. Nearly seven hours had passed before calling it a night and headed back h

Chasing Chevins Part 4.

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   I should give up on the title...  ...although I am actually targeting Chub the Barbel seem very happy at my presentation and at times not giving the Chub a chance! Not often that happens I'll tell you.   Recently I have found myself heading down with a couple of hours to use, the trotting gear was however revamped for this visit and although I was using the rod the centrepin was respooled with low diameter 8lb line to continue trotting, which would hopefully give me a fighting chance at landing Barbel should I tempt them.   So I think it was obvious how this visit went! Nothing big landed, given the loss of those two big ones recently it is bit of a kick in the plums that I now can't contact anything much over 7lb. The above Barbel came on my second trot, on the first through I saw a Barbel flash on the gravels that I was targeting, the fish I see roll wasn't the one I'd hooked. This one a low-six pounder.  A nice photo opportunity with the float setup in view. It to

Chasing Chevins Part 3.

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   ***More Chasing Barbel, but they aren't necessarily the target.***  Building a head of steam on this one, the heat of the summer is slowly but surely being dominated by a distinct autumnal feel and as the late summer floods have thinned out the thick weed beds its now time to dust off the trotting gear.   A few days back as the high water pushed through and colour began to filter out I headed off to a southern chalk stream for a blast at a Chub, armed with a few loaves of bread I set about "crumbing the runs" and trotting through any area that looked worthwhile. 4.4lb line certainly sounds light but have had numerous big Chub fishing lite and often found big Chub shy away from thicker lines and more cruder approaches, with limited time I wanted to make the visit count.  With my first couple of trots through my first peg a small Chub fell to my trotted flake, but at only 2lb not the size I was after, however nice to get one on board quickly. A move upstream provided a b

Chasing Chevins Part 2

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 Who'd have thought that by the 16th August that I would have only visited a river five times! it astounds me I'll tell you. However, going by what I have seen and heard in terms of rivers not producing hasn't given me any added impetus to get out. Now, as we enter late Summer and Autumn isn't too far away now I can start to make provisions to target some of my favourite species as it gets cooler and given the cold rain and boost in oxygen coursing through the veins of the river I have decided to give it a go a little earlier than I would normally.  Friday just gone I decided to give it a couple of hours and start my baiting campaign, hopefully one I actually stick with, as normally I run out of steam as I lose concentration when conditions improve for fishing for species such as; Pike, Zander and Grayling.  As dusk approached I set about cutting hopping, hoping to get a bite or two and I did manage a couple of raps (likely to be Chub) and a few indecisive taps as small