Wednesday, 9 August 2017

While the Kids are Away

Managed  a couple of evenings out while the kids are on holiday:

Friday Night

Grabbed a load of maggots and headed down to the Avon. The Perch were hungry and landed one after another all about 2-4oz plus a few small small Roach and Dace. Nothing special but then I didn't set my stall out for anything bigger.

Tuesday Night

Last night was back on the Barbel with a single rod fishing pellets and pva bags plus a second 'sleeper' rod baited with small Roach for any predators that happened to be passing by. The action was very slow until the light faded and the sleeper rod was first to go. A small Pike that tail walked a bit before it snagged me up in some of the masses of weed that is prolific this year and then escaped.
As I turned round to rebait the Barbel rod bent double and I enjoyed a fabulous scrap with a fit seven(ish) pounder.
One more classic Barbel bite which failed to connect and then the swim went dead again. A very short little feeding spell but at least I avoided the blank.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Monthly Update-July

There are not enough hours in the day to write comprehensive blog posts about each session. Hence from now on it will have to be monthly updates, here is one for July.

Session One.

Friday early morning spent rolling meat under the willows in my favourite weir pool. 

Two small Barbel landed both around five pounds-odd. Back home in time for breakfast.

Session Two.

A pleasant evening fishing pellets on the upper Avon stretch that is fast becoming my favourite stretch of the river. Picturesque, peaceful, private, no boat traffic and full of fish. I feel the average size is probably less than I am used to but who cares. It is fun and there is certainly a few good doubles to be had.

One lost Barbel (my fault-gave it too much welly) and a brace of Chub landed on this occasion both around the four pound mark.

Session Three.

Back on the peaceful syndicate stretch and this time the Barbel did play. Small fish but immaculate and a good indication that this stretch has a bright future. Pellet and Pva bags again proved their downfall.

Session Four. 

Another early morning jolly but a blank this time. Got a proper soaking. Did manage to get this photo of two expert fishermen having a chat about their favourite swims!

Session Five. 

An evening session, pellet on one rod but this time I fancied a bit of variety so small Roach deadbaits were deployed on a second 'sleeper' rod in the hope that some Zander might be in the mood. 
First up a terrific battle with an 8lb 10oz Barbel. They don't half pull back in the low clear conditions but all held firm. 

The fish needed nursing in the margin for quite some time having expended all her energy in the battle but finally she swam off strongly.

Sadly that was the end of the action on the pellet but I did have some fun with tail-walking Jacks on the dead bait. Two landed, biggest 5lb 10oz.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Big Barbel Before Breakfast

A beautiful dawn, perfect for a sneaky session before work. One tin of Spam was all I needed to land a cracking eleven pounder in the golden sunshine whilst the rest of the world slept. 

One lost fish to an unforeseen snag and a four pound Chub the only other occurrences before I snuck back home for breakfast.

Friday, 23 June 2017

So Close, No Lies

The sun rises on another new season and I couldn't resist a few pre-work bankside hours. However the fish could resist my pellet offerings and I went home with just a couple of Chub pulls and nothing more to show for my efforts.

Fast forward to the following Wednesday and I was back on the bank. This season I have decided to come away from the manic BAA stretches as much as possible. I have kept the ticket on because they are close to home, ideal for quick sessions but am disillusioned with the actions of several individuals that fish these stretches, lighting fires, the ridiculous amount of litter and the constant flouting of rules. Plus I am not a people person with rod in hand and they are just too busy.

Martin already had a Bream in the net when I arrived, a lovely dark fish of about four pounds. I dropped into the swim above him, a lovely nearside run with overhanging trees that just screamed Chub and Barbel. I baited up with a couple of handfuls of pellets and the pair of us went for a wander. Martin knew of a Kingfisher nest just upstream so we went to see if we could spot the owner and also have a chat with the only two other anglers on the mile and a bit stretch. That's what river fishing should be, plenty of free swims, not full of noddies in every available peg.
No sign of the Kingfisher but one of the other anglers landed a Barbel while we were there, a good sign that the fish were feeding.
Within a half hour of returning to our swims (the Kingfisher was hiding) my rod hooped round and after a cracking battle I landed my first whisker of the season, 8lb 2oz. I thought more would immediately follow but the fight had obviously spooked the swim and an extended period of inactivity ensued.

Martin added a decent Chub to his Bream and then a Barbel of his own of about six pounds as the light started to fade. Darkness was virtually upon us when I finally had my second bite. The fish managed to find a snag but thankfully with a bit of careful cajoling it came free. From there on I was on top of the tug-of-war and Martin slipped the net under a lovely long fish for me. The scales don't lie and neither do we!-9lb 15oz of immaculate Avon Barbel. Martin took a pretty good photo considering an inquisitive horse was nudging him in the shoulder whilst he did so.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Six Sessions, One Post- Close Season Catch Up

Recently it has been a bit of a struggle to find the time to fish and when I have managed to get bankside the results have been poor. I cannot find the motivation to write about fishless sessions or ones involving tiddlers so hence the blog has been quiet.

Several weeks ago I took some floaters to my favourite Carp venue. The avian life were extremely interested in my offerings, especially the goose and swan pictured and I struggled to get the same response from below the surface. One missed bite was all I could muster and I went home cursing our feathered friends.


Session Two and some very inclement weather gave Tazzy and I a proper soaking.

The cold rain made the sport sporadic to say the least. I was targetting silver Bream but only managed a few small roach and a couple of Bronze Bream and nothing special to boot.

Session Three was good fun, got the fly rod out and chased the Carp in the local puddle. Two small battling Commons landed made for a pleasant evening distraction.


Session Four was a blank chasing Tench, the weather was still quite chilly and I don't think the Tincas had woken up properly from their Winter slumber. Even Tazzy looked bored that day.


Session Five and the fly rod came back into play. A social evening with the big man at the picturesque Lenches lakes chucking bits of fluff at rising Trout.

The warmer temperatures have made the fish more active and I managed a brace of Trout up to 2 1/2 pound. The first one fell for a black gnat type pattern with buoyant white wings (I must learn the proper names of these things!), the second a large grasshopper type thing, it was getting dark so needed something big that my old eyes could see in the gloom.


Session Six saw me back Tenching but this time on a red hot day in glorious sunshine.

The Carp were thrashing around in the margins obviously starting to get amorous and they gave me a constant barrage of line bites making it difficult to tell if I was getting actual bites. The Tench were conspicuous by their absence and after five bite less hours I was beginning to get frustrated.

Finally I had an unmissable run and after a bit of trouble with a weed bed I slipped the net under by far the best fish I have caught this year. A stunning female Tench pulling the scales down to 9lb 3oz. All the frustrations of previous sessions forgotten with one fish- gotta love this sport!!

Friday, 17 March 2017

One Last Hurrah

The final day of the season, still as special as always despite the close season rule changes on stillwaters. A last chance to sit beside running water for a whole three months. My chances to fish of late have been extremely limited but there was nothing that was going to get in the way. A whole day away from the business for which I owe my wife a large debt of gratitude. She will make me pay I'm sure!
I arrived late, the joys of getting three kids sorted for school but the whole day was ahead of us so I did not fret. Martin was already well settled in a swim, the first stage of his plan to fish the early morning for predators in full swing. I hadn't even finished tackling up before I was commanded over to his swim for photography duty. An excited Martin had a pb Zander in the net. At 9lb 9oz he had smashed his previous best by over six pounds, his half smile hiding obvious delight. 

My tactics were different, my target was Barbel and I intended to fill a swim with maggots and hemp, wait a while and empty the river of its slippery residents. A few Chub and a solitary Perch fell for the tactic, but they weren't exactly crawling up the line as I had hoped. 

Between bites I amused myself watching the lumberjacks trimming the tree opposite. With my vertigo I felt sick just watching!

On Martin's advice I chucked a second rod upstream with pellet and a pva bag and it finally gave me the prize I desired, not a monster but a Barbel landed and I was happy.

A Jenny Wren gave an opportunity for some playing with the camera.

Eventually as darkness fell the fish started to feed in earnest, Martin had sveral Chub and a solitary Barbel and I managed an Eel and a Chub of 4lb 5oz...

and finally a Bream of (strangely) exactly the same weight.

And so the sun sets on another season and I have just one target for next, to get more time on the bank!