Friday, 30 December 2011

Few wets lines and new targets for 2012

It seems like an age since I really concentrated on blogging, for which to those who follow it I
I have been out and about but without a massive amount of quality fish being caught. Visiting gravel it's for zander with no results, the canal for stripe's when it's frozen etc. The most productive sessions that I have had, have been to small sections of the Avon at which I have caught some nice quality roach, dace and chub.
On the 27th I landed the fish pictured below as the winter sun warmed me on the river, whilst all the other members of the club fished the pools with little results.
I feel the swim that I am concentrating on might well throw up a few surprises. Already when float fishing I have lost two large chub, mistakenly put a very large dace back thinking it was a chub and had roach up to about 11oz.
My next task was a planned visit to the river test, in Southampton to put a few last percentage points on the board, but my fathers health has been very poor recently so this will have to be postponed.
I am now having thoughts of the next angling year, in which I am aiming to achieve the list below, with my focus now being on more specimen style fishing instead of pleasure/ match style.
Roach over 2lb
Perch over 3lb
Bream over 10lb
Tench over 10lb
Pike over 20lb
Zander over 10lb
Carp over 25lb
Grayling over 2lb
Crucian carp over 3lb
Barbel over 12lb

Whilst fully realising that these targets are high, I honestly feel that with the correct techniques and the correct water I can achieve these goals. I have spent time and money on changing my tackle to suit a more specialist approach, and along with getting told I can no longer play contact sports, have more time to dedicate to my passion.

Below is a picture that makes me smile. Whilst visiting on New Years day, I had a chance to take my nephew fishing. Whilst my brother visited our dad in hospital.We visited the same swim as I had caught from earlier in the week. Within about ten minutes he had landed his first ever chub,of 3lb 4oz. The photo was sent straight to his grandad who though in intensive care managed a smile at the photo also. Perhaps a future blogger?
I wish you all the very best for the new year .....tight lines.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Update....what I can remember!

To say things have not been great this summer would be somewhat of an understatement in many ways.

I have fished alot within only bits and bobs to show for it, for the hours dedicated.

With the challenge in mind I have spent hours/days on my local stretches of river searching out the very allusive barbel....with absolutely no reward! On one occasion watching 4 or 5 double figure fish swim throughout the area but having no interest in my bait..a nice spectacle it must be said. My efforts will continue until I do land one, I am considering a trip to either the Severn or indeed the Wye.
In terms of other fish I have landed my PB Zander from the Avon of 4lb 14oz, though small in comparison to some, I am always happy to catch new species and obviously new PB's.

I also managed to bag a couple of additional species when on a trip to the river Windrush with Danny, bagging a nice dace of 10oz and a grayling of 4oz!!!

We will see what happens over the next few weeks, I am determined to bank a barbel soon! It is becoming a very much love hate thing at the moment.

On the plus side I fished my first match in years and finished 4th! Just outside the money!

Tight Lines

Monday, 15 August 2011

Fishing on the Nile

As some of my angling friends will be aware I have recently been lucky enough to visit Africa with work, based in Kamapla, Uganda. Though the work that I was involved in took up the vast majority of the time, and to be honest was both physically and at times physiologically difficult to deal with. I could not go their without finding time to cast a line into the Nile!

On the last but one day of the visit I managed to get my hands on a very basic outfit made up of a 12ft foot rod, reel and a Mepps spinner! I had spoken to a few members of the hotel staff who had told me that in the area there were Nile Perch, Yellow fish, Talapia and many species of catfish. Prior to going I had already checked that the challenge I am involved only covers home water, as if could land a Nile perch then someone would struggle to beat that from the cut!!!

I went down to the river which was only 100 metres from my tent and gave it a go. To be honest though I did want a fish, the setting was mind blowing and the rationale of why people fish did not need any explanation. I have included a couple of images which captured the scene.---well a lot better than me rambling on anyway!

The two below are short videos but I am not sue they will work.... as you might hear the pupil that was videoing for my sounds happy to be up on his day off! At the end a snake appears just past the jetty!

After about 30 minutes, as the sun rose,I noticed some small fish had moved back into the shallows nearby. In fact they had all moved into their respective territories which were visible, as concaved clearings in the silt bottom. It did not take long and one of the fish took exception to the spinner and grabbed it.

From its appearance I could see it was a Talapia (as I had eaten one the night previously) which I think is a member of the Cichlid family. Perhaps no surprise with Lake Victoria so close? No monsters but I can now say that I have fished...and caught on the Nile!!!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Back to the pit with Bream in mind!!

With Friday being the start of my half term I had decided to get over to the pit early doors and fish for the Bream and tench. Arriving very early I spombed some participles onto a patch about 40 yards out, and quickly set up my rods both onto this area.

I was convinced that "the mistress" was going to give me a spanking this time, so sat back and prepared to take my beating!!!! This was until I saw a bream roll over the baited area, followed by a couple of beeps on my left rod....go on take it!!!! It did!. After a bit of rod dancing the fish was in the net, incidentally just as a pair of polish anglers arrived...after I told them last week that there was nothing in the lake I felt a bit embarrassed! On the scales she went 8lb 12oz.

First bream of the morning.

About 2o mins passed before the alarm screamed again, waking up all residents in the local area. This time the fish swan directly towards the bank, before fighting very hard in the marginal clear water. Slipping the net under another bream , which looked very similar to the last one....peas in a pod in fact, scaling 8lb 10oz!

Here very simliar sister!

A long quiet spell followed with only a couple a beeps indicating moving fish. I did have some issues with my right hand alarm, missing two bites due to the alarm not sounding but hearing the baitrunner which with bream was seemingly to late. This drove me crazy as when checked all appeared fine, perhaps they need a service back at Gardner!

After the long quiet spell came 5 mins off manic action, with firstly my left rod running, and landing a beautiful 9lb bream. Just 2oz of my PB weight!!!! Then whilst re baiting this rig the right hand rod ripped of with a slightly smaller on of 7lb 10oz.

Beautiful 9lb bream

Nearly two tone!

The shoal had definitely been over the baited area. Unfortunately as quickly as they came they disappeared, resulting in another slow spell. This was until once again my left rod howled out its shrilling scream. This bite was not a bream, but after a spirited fight a nice tench of 5lb 11oz was landed, quickly photographed and returned.

Nice belly

Things had definitely slowed down towards mid morning. Though I did managed to sneak two more tench the first being slightly larger at 6lb 0oz and the second coming as I was packing away my tackle to head back home. A smaller fish scaling 4lb 10oz

Pretty tinca

Last knockings!

I was very pleased with this session as in quite difficult conditions in a new peg I had managed to bank 7 fish again. Once again some other anglers did not far as well. I await my spanking!!!!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wind of change....Bream PB

On Sunday I made my way back to scene of my PB tench last week, with again tincas being my target species. This time I went about it slightly differently. I had decided to spomb out a carpet of bait then fish over it, with aim being to get the fish feeding over my area instead of moving in and out in a sporadic manner.

I started off with about 10 spomb fulls of a mixture of corn, dead red maggots, casters and pellets at a range of about 40 yards from the same area I fished last week. I set both rods and sat back watching the sun rise. At 5.45 my right hand rod had a run, after a steady fight a tench of was landed. A nice start. 4lb 13oz butter belly!

Over the next hour i missed two good runs, one of which I think might have woke me from a quick nap, the other of which snagged me on something in the open water. When runs are hard to come by I get annoyed at losing them, especially as the nap was not planned...perhaps the general anaesthetic from Friday had made a return??

I did not though miss the next one which screamed off, I was into a better fish as I could tell by the weight on the line, not fighting in that mad way that the smaller male tench tend to do. Instead making powerful runs in various directions. The culprit was a very nice female tench of 6lb 4oz

Though i was pleased to have landed a couple of fish by 9 o'clock the swim was not showing the signs that I thought it might of feeding fish. When the bailiff came round he bought he usual good luck, whilst talking the left rod belted off. A male with an attitude issue was the guilty party, though only 3lb 11oz it ran me a merry dance looking for snags and roots. In fact the bailiff commented that it might be the smallest one he has seen! No picture was taken in the shame!

By 12 the swim had gone dead and I made the decision to change plans and move to the other side of the lake into which the very strong wind was blasting. Be nice for my newly acquired holes in my mouth!!!

I had made a quick call to my girlfriend explaining that I was only going to be an hour or so but just wanted to give a new swim a go. After about 45 mins of this hour my right hand rod bounced to life with the bobbin jumping up and down 3 or 4 times prior to slowly running off. I hit the bite and was in, this time though the fight was very different....bream o'clock! As I slipped the net under the fish I knew I was in the PB area. On the scales the fish went 9lb 2oz. this fish was far from pretty but as my new person best I could not grumble. She was though very empty of roe so could have been a bit heavier just a couple of weeks ago?

I put the rods back out the the hope that there may be a shoal out there....within 10mins the left hand rod ripped off...tench I thought, well you know what thought did!!!! Another bream, this time a beautiful dark bronze male which gleamed in the half breaking sun as it drifted into the net. On scales the fish was 7lb 9oz which I would consider large for a male! With this in mind I do feel there could be a monster female in there somewhere.

I did stay a bit longer than the hour but my bed was calling as were the co-codermol!

Tight Lines

Friday, 20 May 2011

Quick couple of tench..

Had a chance to get out of work on time and get to Ryton by 4 o'clock on Wednesday where Danny was already fishing. I had my rods and bait ready from my weekends exploits so it did not take long to get in the water. Though there was some activity I would not really say that they were "getting on it".

I had put one rod to the front of the island and the other into a deep whole short of the island. Whilst on the phone to Dan I had my first run, which transpired in a small female tench that scaled 2lb 9oz. Not to sure but I think Mr Peck might recognise this little man, seems to have healed up quite well after his close call with a pike.

After about an hour it was clear that this was probably an odd fish in the swim on that they were not in great numbers in this area. So after a conflab we both moved to the back of the island on the front off the wind but in the only calm area on the lake. It did not take long before we had both landed a couple of fin perfect small tincas. Interestingly enough both of fish appeared not to have hook marks in their mouths so might be some of the new stock coming through. Though nice to see it was not really what we wanted...perhaps in 3 to 4 years time?

As we had observed alot of feeding and rolling fish in the early pegs we decided to move again going on the adage that an hour in the right swim is better that 5 in the wrong one. Though we both had tench Jacuzzis between us I only manged a drop run, very difficult to understand how we were not getting constant bites...perhaps double caster may have been more effective?

A nice short session back on the mistress, hopefully the extractions on friday will not stop me getting out at some point over the weekend, got to make the most of the tench window prior to the weed getting up. Tight Lines

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Time for some Tinca-ing!

On Sunday myself and Dan had decided to pay a visit to a local pit. On arrival we walked the lake as it was empty . We discussed most swims with the focus being on depth, wind and of course any feeding/topping fish. After around ten minutes the decision was made to fish a couple of pegs next to each other.

After quickly adding some lake water to my secret mix, I set about using my marker float to check out what was in front of me., it appeared very clear and also thought the depth did vary between 6ft and 5ft quite level. With this in mind I decided to fish at about 40 yards with both rods, as I was fishing with barbel rods this was comfortable as they are not made for throwing huge weights.

It took about half an hour before my left hand alarm sang, fish on! After a energetic fight a male tench of 4lb 8oz was on the mat. Fin perfect and a good start to the session.

Though I was very keen to get a bed of bait out in front of me I was also aware that using my new toy of a "SPOMB" might have a detrimental effect on the swim and after taking one fish I thought why change it etc. So with this in mind I had a set plan of casting every 20 mins to ensure that if fish moved into the swim they would have enough particles and goodies to keep them interested and not to move on...(Into Dan's swim)

After another half an hour this time it was the turn of the right hand alarm to bleep twice and then scream, this time the fight was different alot less speed but more weight. As the fish surfaced I could see that it was a female which had a rounded appearance, perhaps this was the reason for her lack of energy?? She scaled 5lb 4oz, but ordinarily I do feel she was more like a 4lb 8oz fish as she was very short but rotund.

The next two fish came in quite quick succession of each other both of which where very similar runs, once again a couple of bleeps then a screaming run. The fish came in as one of 4lb 4oz and then a one of 5lb 1oz.

Lee had come over for a chat at this point with myself and Dan, we discussed all things from the angling fraternity. Hearing that I was having a good morning "Specimen Keith" had rang me for a chat, whilst discussing the session my alarm let out an almighty scream meaning that I had to throw Keith to the floor and let him know that I had to go! Hearing this Dan and Lee came round to see what was the culprit, though erratic the fish felt alot better that what I had landed so far. Though there was some interesting moments around the second rod, the fish was landed to comments of "its a good one"..."think its a six"..."its a female"......"its bigger that six"....

On the scales the fish went 7lb 11oz which for me is a new PB. I was really surprised to see first hand the difference between a 5lb tench and one of nearly 8lb. I know it sounds very obvious but the different is huge not only in length but also in overall mass. Very happy with this beauty, to be honest i do feel this fish will be over 8lb in a couple of weeks as she was not full of roe by any means.
I really do not think this picture does this fish justice...real beaut!

After missing three runs due to phones calls and a bit of over enthusiasm I eventually hooked into another fish only to loose it at the net whilst being watch by the local "staffy walkers", bit annoyed but I did rush that one.

It took a while before my alarm made a more convincing scream and I was in again. This time a fish of 5lb 0oz was netted. This fish was alot more gold in appearance than the others.

At 12.30 we decided to call it a day and head back. Dan managed to land a late tench to prevent a cheque book and pen, but the other anglers failed to catch (some very competent ones too). This might mean that the fish shoal up in certain or areas or............I am lucky??

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Fun in the sun

A very quick blog to mention a quick session that I had last week. I had a short time slot, so nipped to Jubilee with a floater set up. I fished the back pool Horseshoe, as the carp appeared to be more active here than on island. I had spoke to a few anglers on my way around the lake who commented how poor the pool was fishing......In short I had 9 carp in 3 hours. Ranging from 6 ish up to 12lb 11oz. I have to say I was very impressed with the condition of all of the fish that I captured, just shows that a well managed fishery can ensure that the fish remain in very good order. All of fish fought all the way to the net, probably due to their massive rudders!!

All fully scaled commons, interesting as on the Island pool I catch alot of mirrors. I have put some pics below.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bream for the blackness

After deciding to give the perch on the cut a break, I focused my attention on the bream that I have heard come out to feed once the boats have stopped moving. With this in mind I ventured to the canal.
I arrived at about 7 with my attention being to feed the swim before 8 when the boats should have stooped moving. I soaked up some 2mm fish meal pellets and added some hemp and a few casters. I was convinced I had made a good job of this and by 8 I thought my prebaiting was safe for the evening, so I added starlight s to my pole floats and settled in for the sun to go down. I had set up two rods both with very similar rigs, centre pins and float rods with pole floats on. My aim was to fish bread punch over the baited area lying on by about 3 inches to prevent tow.

As I felt settled I could not believe it when a bloody boat appeared at about 8.30, as far as was aware boats have an 8 o'clock curfew on their motors??? Not only did it appear it turned around over my prebaited area......all good plans and all! I did make very obvious glances at my watch to the boat people...but not even a simple sorry! In last few weeks I have witnessed some very intersting acts by narrow boat users, including tipping the contents of thier wood burner (ash etc) straight into the canal, throwing their washing up water in, and one of the very best urinating directly in to the canal....

Anyway rant over, After the canal had settles I introduced a small amount of feed an sat it out. I was very pleased when my starlight bobbed then sank away and I was into a fish. I have never fished at night before and found it very interesting fighting a fish in the dark. A nice looking bream surfaced and was soon in the net. A fish of 2lb 14oz.

It took a while before it happen again, this tome the fish ripped line from my pin....interesting! After a very spirited fight a larger bream surfaced, I really did not think it was bream to be honest. These fish fight so much more than the ones that are in still waters. This fish scaled 4lb 10oz...a nice fish for the cut!

The next bite came almost straight away, again taking line I was into another better fish. a differetn looking bream, in fact it was almost green. Though a bit bashed up it was still a nice fish. Scaling 3lb 15oz.

I finished fishing at 10.45 and was happy to have bagged 3 fish for over 10lbs. The one thing that I did notice was their tails, an commericals the bream tails are alot smaller than these!

Will definately try this again, I really enjoyed the different sounds from the canal in the dark.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Commercial Capers..

With having a little bit of time on my hands I decided to venture to a local commercial fishery and have a play. I have recently got hold of a new long float rod, a Preston 15/17ft. Having not used a long rod before I thought a commercial would be a good place to see what sort of action the rod has and also what its like to fish with in general. I set up the rod with a pole float (garbolino Dc13 1g) with an olivette and a couple of droppers to a size 16 G point pellet hook.

I was really surprised when I plumbed up to find that the pool that I was on only had a depth of about 4ft, bit gutted at this but I had set up my gear so could not be bothered to move.

I had soaked some 2mm pellets and made up some fish meal groundbait, introducing this into my swim at about 5 metres.
I baited the hook with a 4mm expander and put my first cast out. Straight away my float sunk and the tip bent nicely, a small skimmer of about 8 oz was first in. This trend continued for the next 20 mins with a regular ball of groundbait, followed by 4-5 bream. In the first hour I probably landed 30 fish, all of which ranged from 6oz to 2lb.

This was until my float popped out of the water and I struck into a fish that took line straight bream!

This was when I realised that using a long rod though very enjoyable is not really the tool for bagging zoo creatures. The action is brilliant as it has a through progressive flex that absorbs all of the kicks from the fish, but it does feel like you are towing a plastic bag in a river, and takes probably twice as long to land the fish. The fish that caused this was a mirror carp of around 8lb, a very grey fish, which may have have some ghostly heritage.

I thought that this would have messed the swim up but it had not, again the bream were back....not that I minded them but after probably 50 they were getting I hate to say this but boring?

As the light started to fall the swim changed allot with tail patterns swirling and brown clouds appearing...yes the bigger fish had moved in. To cut alot of hard fights short I had a total of 12 carp in the last 2 hours, at this point the skimmers were gratefully received as a break to the arm wrenching carp. The largest carp weighed in at 12lb 8oz and the others ranged between 6 and 10 lb. I have put some of the pictures below as I was getting fed up with getting off my box tho photograph them...lazy old git!

Largest of the carp at 12lb 8oz

Amongst the bream and carp, I had a very welcome bonus first for the challenge. A crucian carp of 2lb 1oz, though I am sure there are bigger in there it got me a grateful 45%! If fact I actually lost a much larger fish when the hook pulled, due to me giving it to much pressure whilst some of the local "burberry boys" were watching me. ...bugger!

(Incidentally they sat a couple of pegs down from me for the whole time, behind buzzers shouting at each other and saying that there was no fish in lake...interesting)

Pretty pixie at 2lb 10z

The pictures do not do this little fella justice but I did what I could.

By the end of session I had roughly caught around 60lb of bream and silvers, over 100lb of carp and my bonus little pixie!

Not bad for a play on the new bit of kit!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Evening back on the cut.

On monday evening after doing some housework, I decided to nip back to the cut and have another pop at trying to catch a larger perch. After having a few nice fish and a couple of Zander I called it a day. I had a net of perch which went to 8lb 6oz.

Few of the larger pose for a piccy. Though I have enjoyed fishing the canal for perch I have now made the decision to target some different species...what next?? I am also planning to visit some local fisheries that have perch but are not really targeted by many. Might also start thinking of tincas and bramas soon?? Tight Lines

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Can not get out of the terrible twos!!!

Having missed my regular dose of canal I felt that I had to get my hit on Sunday. I have heard of very good silvers being taken from the area that myself and Danny have been targeting for predators. With this in mind I set up a light pole rig with bread punch being my approach fished over liquidised bread. It was my intention to fish for a few hours to see if any silvers came my way, then after I had bagged up on them focus on the preds that may have followed them in....all good plans and all!

Well after fishing hard for three hours my float had not even dipped through the interest of a fish! So I decided to introduce so pinkies and a little choppy to an area to my left. Hoping to get the perch feeding. Soon my chubber bobbed then dived under, a perch of 1lb 3oz was quickly netted, a fat little lady. I then had a surprise as a roach took my boat of about 8oz...all day on the bread with nothing then a silver on the pinkie! Soon after I lost a Zander on the worm, but it soon returned as they always seem to do, a fish of just over 2lb's, it always surprises me how large Zander can be but weigh very little. I forgot agian to take a photo!

Perch 1lb 3oz

Dan arrived soon after at this point I had very little news. Few small perch with the largest being 1lb 3oz, a Zander and a roach...not exactly bagging time. Ironically at this point the barge that was next to me moved and left the stretch free from my water going friends. This I feel had a big impact on the fishing, as immediately the fishing improved with a perch of just under 2lb's taking the worm very soon after. Then a few more of around a pound followed.

Another perch of just under 2!!!

As the evening grew closer we decided that we would split and fish different areas, using the walkers to send messages to each other of record breaking fish!

After an hour I had banked 5 perch over a pound but nothing of real size, the largest being agian just under 2lbs.

Another perch of just under 2!!!

This was until my chubber buried and i was into a much better fish. This was a bigger fish...but how big?

On the unhooking mat it looked very good..perhaps a pb? I could not believe what it weighed! When Dan came over I got him to check the fish..he was impressed by it size, as I knew he had bagged a fish of 2lb 6oz it was interesting to see his reaction. He as I thought it was a big un...and also could not believe it only weighed bag on 2lb!!!! Gutted!

This photo really does not do this fish justice..buit only 2lb!

Must have been a male fish as it was very thin and empty, if it was female I feel that it would have been considerably quest goes on!!