Wednesday 28 December 2022

Bars of Silver!


 Once the mercury dips below 5c consistently over two or three consecutive days the thought of Roach immediately come into play, the prospect of a days trotting after my favourite species is always an exciting one. I'm not entirely sure what could be better than running a float down a treelined section of river with the possibility of the "next" dip on the float resulting in a battle with a large bar of silver.

 ***Below are a couple of specimen Roach caught around 8-10 years back when this particular river threw up numerous 2lb specimens with some regularity, not anymore regretfully.***

A wonderful 2lb+ Roach taken on bread.

Another specimen Roach over two pounds.

 The tell tale plodding and head shaking a big Roach often give you as you apply the pressure, then that inevitable sneak peak of the big red dorsal fin cutting the surface layer of the river, swiftly followed by the obligatory roll as it shows itself off and really puts the fear of life into you as you go from playing a fish to playing a special fish! The complexion of how the battle concludes changes immediately. The sense of nervousness creeps in as it gets closer to the rim of the net where some battles are lost, the froth whipped up by the Roach' desperate attempts to escape cover the top and sometimes the fish disappear eerily before resurfacing a few yards from where you thought it was, thankfully more often than not these encounters ended with enormous amounts satisfaction as I got the chance to marvel at those wonderful broad bodied slabs of silver laying in the folds of my net, that moment is unrivalled in angling.

 On Tuesday I headed out in search of another one of those special moments that I have enjoyed so many times over the last 15-20 years. There was a slight caveat to the proceedings and that was I wasn't just Roach fishing, that would come slightly later in the day as I would wait for the cloud cover to come in and fish for the Roach in the murk of an arriving storm, before that I took the chance to dust down my MKIV split cane and pin for a Barbel, but not just any Barbel, a double figure Barbel! 

 This particular river has given up one of its treasures albeit below my target size (7lb 8oz) so I decided on a roving approach with a massive lump of meat in the margins, the river had dropped around 2ft over the previous 24/48hrs so it meant the areas the Barbel would hold up in would be reduced thus, in theory make it "easier" to locate them, that key word "easier" does make me chuckle a little as this river like so many in the south are far from easy! a low stock of predominately big fish, with averages of around 9lbs seems to be the perceived size, with a sprinkle of low doubles and in the past has done them to around 12/13lbs which considering the size of the river is rather impressive.

 One major issue here is snags, the river is littered with them, some small and easy to get free of, others are so robust and heavy that I end up pulling from breaks or bending out the hooks. It is a trade off, lose some gear with the slight chance of winkling out a real gem, it will happen...the question is when. Luckily for me its a river I can get on pretty easily and all I have to do is put my Barbel brain into gear and keep searching.

Poised for that moment to strike!

 I spent six hours moving around, with a big piece of garlic meat I gave each swim 30-40 mins, plenty of time for that smell and oils to permeate the flow and attract an unwitting Barbel, unfortunately for me that typically successful tactic didn't reap any rewards this time but it may do on my next visit, who knows!

 So with that aforementioned cloud cover rolling in I decided to bang the Barbel fishing on the head and broke out the trotting gear, my swim selection was a densely covered trot of around 30 yards, with a steady depth of 3.5ft, which at the end of the run tailed off to 2.5ft approx, within a few trots the Roach began to show up and not long after one fell to my trotted flake after prepping the run with a small amount of mashed bread.


 With only an hour left of light the fishing was fairly brisk, not looking to dwell too much on the finer details and just keep my hook bait working the line 3ft from the far bank vegetation as this seemed to be the hotspot which was worked out fairly quickly. Over that hour I managed six Roach, nothing big but all very pretty and in great condition. I will be back down there soon to hopefully contact some bigger fish with 2lb specimens a possibility, in truth it is just nice being there and catching them.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Chub Video - YouTube.


 I shall start by wishing all my readers a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2023 which hopefully will be filled with fun, good memories and more importantly plenty of rod bending experiences!

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 I haven't been on here much of late, to tell the truth I have barely been out fishing as life has dominated proceedings. Money making and family (rightly so) taking up most of my time, but once Christmas is done I will be looking to head out for Roach in the cooler conditions and when it warms up the Barbel will be back on the radar.

 Around 2 months ago I was approached by Drennan International who asked me whether I would like to do some filming and I jumped at the chance, working with Drennan? Yes please. So I organised a date and a time to meet and early December it was shoot day. Chub were the target, on the centrepin and float.

 The video can be found here ------)

 Now this was the first time I had ever been in front of a camera and found it a rather odd experience but felt that it came out well, Laurence, who is fishing fanatic himself was behind the camera capturing some pukka moments and felt coupled with some obliging Chub made for content to do a video. This is always a fear if the fish aren't playing the script, luckily I knew the pegs I choose would provide some decent sport. 

 The bigger fish did elude us but you can't have it all. Seeing some Barbel was also great as there aren't many in this particular tributary so I will be back for them come January. 

 Hopefully in the new year there will be some good news and kick off 2023 in a positive manner.

 Even though fishing trips have been lean since October the odd venture to the Loddon has been undertaken with nothing more than a nibble from the pre-hibernating Crayfish. I will get my Loddon one day....6 sessions down, 57 hrs and not one single bite. Tough old cookie.

What A Start!

   Since the river season ended I've taken a 3 week hiatus from fishing, work as usual the excuse! Storm Kathleen however was predicted ...