Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The last Session of the year

After the ice that had scuppered our plans yesterday, myself and Ben went armed to the hilt with a rake to smash the ice. There was no need though, as unbelievably the drains hadn't completely frozen over today. The temperature though was absolutely freezing, and was by far the coldest conditions that I'd ever fished in, not only was it freezing it was also blowing an easterly wind, apparently from Syberia. I'd say the temperature was around -5. Needless to say in these cold conditions, the Pike had well and truly switched off the feed. After speaking to several anglers on the day, it soon became apparent that nobody was catching. Perhaps live baits would have given us the edge today? Today was to be my last session of the year, pity then that it didn't go out with a bang. Bring on next year.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Damn! Frozen Over

The Excellent moonphase is coming to an end, so there's only one thing for it, make the most of it and get on the bank as early as we could. We arrived around 7.15am. We decided to wait until it was approaching daylight before we headed to our swims. This was to save spooking any fish with our head torches. The sight thatwe were greeted with next, left us gob smacked. The whole of the drain had frozen over, It was like an ice rink! We couldn't believe it! There was a few areas near the bridges that were saved, but with the amount of time that we had to fish today, we decided to call it a day before even casting a line.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Early Bird catches the Pike

My alarm was set for 6.30am and I'd arranged another session with Ben. However...... By 7.45 I still hadn't heard from him. Oh dear! Had the self proclaimed 'All New Piking Pirate' overslept? He sure had, whilst I was setting up on the bank Ben was just awakening from his slumber. Within around 10 minutes of being in the water I was in! I was a little guilty of striking a bit early and lost the fish on the strike Damn! Not to worry though as less than 5 minutes later I was in again, more than likely the same fish. A decent scrapping Pike of around 8 or 9lb's was soon caught and released. Ben was missing out on the action. He soon appeared though and was rods in by around 9ish. 2/10 for time keeping today mate. Around 10 ish my right hand float was signalling a take. Unusually my line was stripping off the reel before I struck, I sign that I was into a big fish? I was to be proven right. A powerful fish, and when landed showed 12lb 8oz on the scales. Ben was to be heard muttering "I hate you" to his horror this would be another 12 points to me. Soon enough Ben landed his first Pike of the day, a Jack Pike of 5lb. The rest of the day went by without so much as a sniff, we were about to pack up when Ben was in again, unfortunately the Pike came off during the fight. I seem to be having a bit of luck at the moment, every dog has it's day though and I'm well aware that Ben is due some good fish. Pike league now stands at Matt (40) Ben (25)

12 and a half pounds

Don't stick your fingers in there

Monday, 22 December 2008

Sixfields and a bit of a gap in the league

A Pre Christmas session on The Sluice, and a Pike league match with Ben was arranged today. Sixfields was the stretch we decided to fish. The water was very coloured and flowing at a fast pace, not ideal conditions. The session was mostly uneventful, until around dinnertime I finally struck into a fish. A Pike of around 8 and a half pounds and a welcome 8 points on the board. Ben didn't catch today, so as we go into Christmas there is an 8 point gap in the Pike league, much to Ben's dismay it's in my favour :) Matt (28) Ben (20)

Thursday, 11 December 2008


I headed back to the swim that has been known to produce the odd twenty or two. I have nicknamed this swim 3P PSP, and from now on, will now refer to it as such when writing about it. This peg though is fishing really hard, and after 3 sessions has yet to produce me a run, never mind a Pike. Ben has fished it twice this season. The first time he had a 10lb'er and lost one during the fight, the second time he drew a blank. I'll head back there soon, but perhaps this swim will fish better on livebaits.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

A spot of bother

After checking The Sluice out yesterday morning, I was soon making my mind up that it was Un-fishable. The victim of some very hard down pours the day before, The Sluice was pumping like a fast flowing river. I made a call to Ben, and managed to convince him to finally give it a go at Anglezarke Reservoir. Locally known amongst Pikers as 'Heart Break Ridge' a reputation it has gained because it can be a difficult water. I was really looking forward to today's trip, as I've not fished there for a while. We set off at around 7.15am, our intention to arrive there just as day breaks. The plan was going well, and we were almost there, until we reached a hill that was very steep. It's a hill that I have been up countless times before, however once we were around half way up it became very slippy. We were driving through thick ice, and we'd hit the point of no return, we couldn't turn back, we had to go for it. The end was in sight, we were at the top. Then the wheels started spinning and we started to slip backwards, just stopping short of a fence. We were in a bit of trouble. We collected some drystone wall bricks and put them behind the wheels, this stopped us slipping further back. Ben came up with several defrosting plans, amongst which were, Boiling water; urinating by the wheels ; setting fire to the Tarmac with an aerosol can, and using a full can of de-icer, to his credit this did manage to clear the area around the front wheels, which when we were finally dragged out of our predicament by a local farmer and his tractor, helped our escape. Once we were freed we sheepishly set off home, plans for fishing Anglezarke were well and truly scrapped. We still managed to wet a line though, we once again settled on The Sluice. No Pike to report. But not catching fish was the least of our worries today. No more trips to the reservoir when it's icy. Lesson learned!

Ben inspects the situation

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Time to fish the peg of legends

I headed for a peg that I have had my eye on for about 2 to 3 years. It's a peg that has been known to produce some true hawg's, and for some reason I have until today yet to cast a line there. The weather was absolutely terrible today, and at one point on my way to the peg I decided turn back home, I was nearly at my doorstep, when I turned back again. I just couldn't resisit it. Amazingly the weather turned for the better, and held off the whole time I was there. It would be nice to say at this point, that I was soon into my first Pike, however..... I blanked! Oh well you can't win them all. I will say though that I didn't think it would fish too well today, as we have just finished a good moon phase. A big thanks to Ben for the early morning text confirming that It would be a crap days fishing today. Damn!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Short 2 hour session and 5 welcome points on the board

A very short session on the drains today with Ben. Match 5 of the Pike league may well have been a short one, but there was enough time to put 5 points on to my total. A Jack Pike of 5 Pounds was the only action. The scores are now at 20 points each

Friday, 28 November 2008

A decent days Piking

The Sluice was once again the choice venue for today. I was joined by Beef and Kenny. We were rods in by around 8ish. The chances of catching were very good today, the conditions were perfect, the winds that have been terrorising us the week before had blown through. Today felt Pikey! The first fish was to come to Beef, a cracking fish of 12lb 2oz. This is now Beefs Personal Best Pike, surpassing his old PB by some margin. There were a few dropped runs today, Pike seemingly interested in the baits, but not enough to commit to a meal. Soon enough I was watched my left sided float signal a take, I was in! a Pike of 8lb 12oz was to be my reward. It was just down to Kenny now, interestingly we have never all caught on the same session whenever the three of us have fished together. Kenny didn't disappoint, a lovely fat Pike of 10lb 14oz was soon being cradled by the man himself. Note to self....... Remove comedy hat for photo's!
12lb 2oz Pike Well in mate

It's no monster, but I'll take these all day
Look at the belly on that, I mean the Pike

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pike League Match 3, and a Birthday Bonus Fish


I met Ben at The Sluice for our third Pike match of the season. We didn't start too early today. We were rods in by 8.45ish. Recently we have noticed that most of our catches come later on in the morning, and as we are fishing a section of the drains mostly unfavoured by other Pikers, there is no need to fight for a decent peg. I prefer it this way it's far more relaxing. Believe me there is nothing worse than another Piker setting up base a few metres away from you. Ben (As usual he may like me to add) was the first to catch, a Jack Pike of 5lb. An hour or so later I was in, or so I thought, I had my first ever dropped run, a Pike had hold of the bait, and perhaps feeling the hooks decided to let go. I waited a few minutes before checking the bait, upon doing so there were indeed a couple of neat punture marks in the deadbait. Soon after recasting into the same spot I was to receive another take. This time there was no doubt, I struck into the take and landed a hard (Cribbins) fighting Pike of 7lb 12oz. This was to take me into the lead in the Pike league, all be it not for long. As Benny Boy was not to be out done, and managed to winkle another pike off of just over 7lb. Ben has managed to gain 5 points on me in the league. Damn!

Hi Res Photo of a Pike's Eye

The weather was lousy today, which was a shame as today was my birthday. It's always nice to have a session on your birthday. There was no way it was worth fishing in 50+ mph winds and rain. Yesterday I'd discussed with Ben, the possibility of Piking today. Depends on the weather is how we left it. As a joke I sent Ben a text, telling him I was at one of our hot spots. If he was still in bed, then I could almost guarantee that he'd call me. He didn't! So I turned over and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later my phone rang, it was Ben. "Where are you?" I knew instantly what he'd done. He'd driven to the peg to surprise me. I was overcome with guilt. He was secretly annoyed at first that he'd gone to the effort of driving around 15 miles for nothing, he soon saw the funny side though. ;-) He made his way to mine, we loaded his gear in my van, and we headed off to The Sluice anyway. We must have been mad to fish in this weather today. The 50+ mph wind was blowing from the North, and it was very cold and icey, it also rained most of the time we were there. We stayed for around 3 hours, and for once I was ready to pack up early. There were a couple of blokes waiting for us to vacate our peg. Ben decided they could wait, and insisted that we sit it out until they set up somewhere else, typical Ben. Itching to pack away, I was held back by Ben again, "Wait until the shower passes" he said. Then would you believe it, I could see the float moving on my left hand rod. I was in! A blank was saved, and a Pike of around 8 and a half pound was on the bank. A Birthday Bonus fish, and my 50th Pike of the year too boot. It would seem as though I was destined to catch today, I 'll credit my Birthday Bonus Fish to Ben. Cheers Mate. Sadly only moments before I caught, due to adverse weather conditions we delcared the Pike match null and void, Damn again!

Friday, 7 November 2008


I arranged a session on The Sluice with Charly and Kenny today. I of course headed for the peg that produced so well for me the day before. Charly was was the first to catch, and this was to be be his first Pike in 15 years, by no means a supertanker, a Jack Pike of around 3 lb's a welcome sight all the same. Hours came and went without any action, until Kenny flew out of his seat at lightening pace, this indicating a take on his nearside rod. A decent fish of around 7 and a half pounds, and Kenny's second of the season. I sat patiently waiting for my baits to be snaffled, regretfully I was to be kept the whole session. Not a bite, not a touch for me. It's a funny old thing Piking. Four fish the day before and nothing the day after. Still it'll keep me keen and wouldn't it be boring if you caught all the time. At least that's what I'm saying ;-)

Charly's First Pike of the season


I'm certainly cramming in the sessions at the moment, I couldn't resist a session today. The weather looked perfect. Today just felt Pikey. Not an early start though, I headed down at around 9ish. The Drain was still pumping off, so I changed my dead bait pencils to Fluted Slider floats. This proved to be a great decision, I was soon in to my first fish, a Pike of around 7lb. This was soon followed by another Pike of a similar size. I little while later I was landed my biggest Pike of the season so far, a cracking Pike weighing 12lb 10oz, this is also my new Sluice PB beating my previous best by just 1oz. I had to wait a couple of hours until my next take. Another decent catch, and at 10lb 4oz this was to be my second double of the day. This was also the first time I've had 2 doubles in one session.

First double of the day 12lb 10oz
Second double 10lb 4oz


I had arranged a session with Kenny today. We headed for a different section of The Sluice, the drain was pumping hard, not ideal conditions. Kenny had 3 takes on his left hand rod, but each time he retrieved his bait and no Pike was landed. It would seem that he was being bothered by a greedy Jack Pike. I didn't get one take on my dead baits. However.... I did manage to winkle a Pike off on my Jerk Bait rod. Although it was no monster, a little Jack of around 2lb. Another blank session saved none the less.


Due to the awful weather conditions we endured in October, the chances of getting out Piking were few and far between. As a bit of fun Myself and Ben have started a Pike league. So far we have only had one match, and neither of us managed to catch. We decided to have our second match today. I could only fish for around 3 hours. We arranged to meet at The Sluice at 6.30am. It was a cold and frosty morning, perfect Piking conditions. Ben had a Pike on the bank within an hour, 8lb 14oz and the first points of The Pike League were on the board. 8-0 to Ben! The short session was almost over, and I was contemplating packing up, when I saw my float bobbing. I was in! "Damn! Damn! Damn!" was the cry from Ben. I was about to score my first points of the season. Amazingly my Pike weighed 8lb 14oz. Though 2 hours apart, It would appear that we both managed to catch the same fish. A last gasp equalizer which left The Pike League at 8-8. Bring on the next match.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Sea Fishing at Mariners Wharf

As a result of the bad weather we have had of late, the rivers that I fish are very high and coloured. Not ideal conditions for catching ravenous Pike. I came up with the idea that instead of sitting at home wishing we were fishing we should head off to Liverpool and try our hand at a bit of Sea Fishing. Myself and Beef had a couple of sessions last year, with mixed results. I did though catch a Cod, Whiting, and a couple of 3 Bearded Rockling. So Beef, Kenny and yours truly headed off to Mariners Wharf. Expectations were high. We had come cracking fresh Lug Worm for bait, and I quite fancied our chances. We arrived just as the tide was coming in, and upon our arrival we were told by a fellow angler that it was "Fishing it's head off" Brilliant! This was a great confidence booster. An hour or 2 came and passed without so much as a knock on either of our rods. Suddenly the prospect that perhaps today wasn't to be our day after all was dawning. Watching other anglers it soon became apparent that they too were not catching. It would seem as though we had chosen a bad day catching wise. Could it have anything to do with the amount of fresh water that had entered into the river? No catches this time, but we'll definitely give it another go.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

We'll never catch in these conditions


A short session on the drains with Beef and Kenny today. Although the sun was out and it wasn't raining, the fishing conditions were to be effected by the previous downpours we had the days before. The water level had risen a good foot or so. The water clarity was awful, and was the colour of mud. The drain was also pumping at a very fast pace. After assessing these conditions I put my head on the block and claimed that we wouldn't catch today. "There is no way that the Pike will feed in these conditions" I proclaimed. A couple of hours soon passed when suddenly Beefs alarm screamed off, and in an instant I was to be proven wrong. He'd had a take, and with that Beef finally laid to rest his recent blanking sessions. Although not the biggest fish we've had on the Unhooking Matt this season a Jack Pike of just under 5lb. and a new Pike PB for Beef. A nice catch though given the conditions. Amazingly 5 minutes later his other rod pulled violently forward, he struck but just brought back a mangled bait. Something had being having a chomp but somehow didn't take the hooks. Well done Beef you're on the score sheet this season. A blank for myself and Kenny, this is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence for me ;-)

Beef's First of the season

Monday, 29 September 2008

Kenny's quest for a Pike part 4. JOB DONE!

Now there is one thing that you can't accuse Kenny of, and that is determination. After around half a dozen Pikeless sessions last year, and finally giving up the ghost around October. This year a new and enthusiastic Kenny has embraced the world of Piking. Today was to be Kenny's fourth Piking trip of the season. The last three sessions, have proven to be fruitless to say the least. kenny can often be heard saying "Just a run would be nice" in fact I'd guess that the highlight of Kenny's Piking sessions so far, are without a doubt the Sausage and Egg Barms that I've been serving up on the bank side. Today hopefully was to be his day. We were setting up on the bank by around 6.45am. Kenny opting for Beef's usual peg and I went for my usual swim. Kenny was fishing in both the near margin and the far margin hoping that a Pike patrolling either side would find his bait. I recommended to him that he forget the far margin and fish both rods close in, as this swim seem to produce more fish from under your feet. Around 20 minutes later, he was in! Sure enough the bait he'd only just moved was under investigation. I talked him through when and how to strike, (I'm not sure whether he heard me or not, because he'd already entered what I call 'The Zone' This is where you are totally oblivious to the outside world, and the only thing that matters is catching the fish. You can be in 'The Zone' for quite a while after the catch. Classic signs are, Stepping on tackle, Breaking things, Visibly Shaking, Setting up your rod incorrectly, and an ear to ear smile.) He wound down onto the fish , felt the weight and whoomph! A strike that I'd have been proud of. His line was kept tight, a battle ensued and soon the Pike was in the net. He'd done it! Finally he'd caught his first ever Pike. And what a cracker it was too. A good strong hard fighting fish. And his first Pike was a double weighing an impressive 10lb 2 oz. He couldn't believe his luck. It was a textbook capture to boot, the hooks caught just in the scissors of it's jaw. I would think that it will take quite a while for kenny to beat his new PB, but one thing is for sure he'll definitely be back on the bank trying. Well done Ken you deserve it. As for me? Not a touch! Out fished by a Bung!

Kenny's Cracker 10lb 2oz

Friday, 26 September 2008

Kenny's quest for a Pike part 3

Another session was arranged with Beef and Kenny, this was to be their third session with me, and as yet neither has caught. They're becoming more and more determined, today was going to their day surely? The last time we went Piking, we sat for over 14 hours without any sign of a Pike. Today I baited up cast out my line and had a fish on the bank within 5 minutes, a good size fish and my biggest of the season so far, it weighed 9lb 8oz. Within an hour and a half I was in again, this time a smaller fish of 7lb 10oz, but it wasn't happy and gave a very good account of it self. As for Beef and Kenny, today wasn't to be their day after all, and once again they both blanked. They must be starting to hate me :-) I've arranged to have another session with kenny on Monday.

(26 Sep 2008) (Moon Rise 03.14) (Moon Set 17.39) (Moon Phase N/A)

Quickest Dead Bait Catch ever

7lb 10oz

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Not Over The Moon


After witnessing me catch three Pike on our last outing, Beef and Kenny were keen to get amongst the catches. I arrived on the bank at 5.30am and they soon followed. Traps were set and we waited eagerly for one of our rods to signal a take. We waited and waited and waited, in fact we waited a staggering 14 hours and in this time Beef had the only take of the session, but the fish came off on the strike, an over ambitious Jack Pike perhaps? Another angler tried his luck on three rods and he was using live baits, eventually admitting defeat by packing up before us. They were just not interested in feeding today no matter what we tried. Interestingly the Moon Phase had finished it's cycle. So kenny's quest for his first ever Pike continues, another trip for Friday has been planned.

Date. 23/09/08. (Moonrise. N/A) (Moonset. 16.34) (Moon phase Finished)

The same cycle of the month in August I fished at my local Reservoir and between myself and Ben we had one fish. I will try and fish the same Moon Cycle next month and I will log the results on here. The new Moon Phase starts on Monday.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

First Match Of The Pike League Produces 0-0 Bore Draw

Ben and I have decided to add a little spice to our Piking season this year. We are going to have a League table. Points will be awarded on Pike weight, for example if a Pike was caught and weighed 10lb's, 10 points would be awarded to whoever caught it. The holder of the biggest capture of the season will be awarded a bonus 11 points. The prize paid in cash will be awarded to the winner. The prize will be the difference in points paid in cash. So today was to be the first match of the season. The season ends on March 14th the last day you can fish before the season finishes. We arrived before dawn and eagerly awaited a catch and to put some points on the board. Typically though, when we put pressure on a catch, we both managed to blank.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

First Dead Baiting Session Of The Season

Today was to be the first Dead Baiting session of the season. I'd arranged to meet Beef, kenny, and Charlie on our local drain. My alarm was set for 5am and I was on the bank by 6am. Beef was the first to arrive, and we were rods in by 6.15am. Kenny and Charlie arrived soon after. Traps were set and we eagerly awaited for one of our alarms to indicate a take. We didn't have to wait too long as I was to be the first to receive a take. My left rod was in. I wound down on to the fish and felt a decent sized lump at the end. The Pike didn't put up too much of a fight which was a little disappointing. It weighed 9lb not the biggest fish in the drain, but a good start to the season non the less. I was in again within the hour. This time a much harder fighting fish but it weighed a little less at 8lb 2oz, this Pike was unusual as it was covered in red markings. Finally I caught a third fish, a Jack Pike of around 3lbs. As for my fellow fishing companions, Beef received 2 takes but both fish came off during the fight. Charlie had one suspected take. Sadly Kenny didn't get so much as a beep.

First Pike of the season 9lb.
Thanks for telling me my hat was wonky mate!
Red Flanked 8lb 2oz

Jack Pike of around 3lb's

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Final night session of the year, Ben goes out with a bang

Ben's New Carp PB 16lb 5oz

Myself and Ben headed for what could possibly be our last night session of the season. We went to our usual pegs and set up camp for the night. There wasn't much action to be had. I had a smallish Carp on at around 5.30am which I lost at the net. Despite staying an extra sneaky night The only other fish I had was a Bream of around 3lb's. Ben however caught a great fish, and caught a new PB a Fully Scaled Mirror Carp which weighed an impressive 16lb 5oz. He also kind of caught another Mirror Carp of around 9lb. Something unexplainable happened. I'll leave it at that.

A spot of fishing in Sorrento

While I was away on holiday I was feeling the urge to wet a line. So I came up with the idea that If I could find a fishing tackle shop then I would Buy some line and hooks, and try my hand at some Hand line Fishing. And that is exactly what I did. I Caught a few fish, but it certainly wasn't as easy as it looked. I fished mainly on bread, but the fish seemed to have the knack of eating all the bait and somehow managing to avoid the hook. As the water was so clear I could see how they were feeding. Interestingly once the bait hit the bottom they were not interested. They seemed to favour competing for their food up in the water. I would chuck a few freebies into the sea, and each time small fish would appear, but they would soon be out muscled by bigger fish. I hooked into a couple of decent sized fish the biggest being some nice looking Mullet. Each of the bigger fish always shook the hook, and with me not having a rod i was unable to play the fish. There are some beautiful fish in the sea at Sorrento. Here are a few pictures of some that I caught. I had some great fun doing it too!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Night Session 'Billy No Mates'

As the Carping season is coming to an end I intend on cramming in as many sessions as I can. And with a vacation planned for next week opportunities are running out. So I headed down on my own to my local Carp Water. I set up around 2pm and planned to stay for at least a night. Beef came down for a chat and stayed for several hours. My first run came just as it was getting dark. I'd hooked into a Mirror of around 10lb's. I'd just settled down and was chatting to Beef when a figure was approaching from the woods. Another Carper was heading for another late night session. I wasn't to be alone! "Alright Lads" was his greeting, and only when he was around 5 feet away was it clear as to who it was. It was Ben! He'd decided to pay a surprise visit. Not wishing to miss out on any of the action. I may add at this point that he'd just acquired a new set of alarms and receiver, and will have been dying to try them out. Alas his efforts were in vain as we were to have a very quiet night indeed. Not so much as a beep! Morning soon came and Ben made his way to work, and promised himself that he'd never night fish again when he has work in the morning. We'll see about that. It's at this point that I should have packed up too. But I didn't I stayed the rest of the day, through pouring rain and thunder storms. Just my luck. I had a couple more runs, and lost a couple of fish, before finally calling it a night around 10ish at night. Not the best Carping session I have ever had but certainly not the worst.

Friday, 29 August 2008

You can't catch them if they're not there!

I headed down the River Yarrow for a quick session on my tip rod. I opted for my favoured swim, and fished bread flake on my cage feeder. Although I received a couple of bites, non were substantial enough to rip my tip around and indicate a bite from a greedy Chub. I stayed for around an hour and a half before packing up to get my gear ready for a nights Barbel fishing with Ben.

The Night Session..........

We headed for a club controlled water that we have been meaning to try for a while. We were rods in just before night fall. Our target species was to be Barbel. However the one and only bit of action that came was on Ben's rod. At around 4.30am his alarm signalled a take. Not unfortunately his intended quarry, he'd caught a Chub of around 3lb. We heard from another angler that some Barbel had been caught further down stream. It would seem that the section of river we had chosen was devoid of Barbel. And as my blog title suggests if you can't catch them if they're not there

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

What a difference a week makes

Sunday Night

I met Ben at our favoured Carp water at around 8.30pm. We had arranged another night session. After our previous success of 17 fish between us 11 for Ben and 6 for me, expectations were high. I was rods in by around 9.00pm. Ben arriving a little earlier around 6.30pm was already fishing. We settled down for the night after midnight. Neither of us received a run in the night. I was quite surprised by this, as I was sure we would get some action. The conditions seemed good. Slightly overcast and a light breeze gave the water a ripple which lapped the banks that we were fishing. Hours came and past and despite our efforts, we struggled to get so much as a beep on the alarms. An afternoon nap was in order to settle our stomachs after our traditional bank side fry up. I awoke around 4.45pm to see Ben starting to pack up. I was going to stay until the edge of dark, but with the threat of rain I decided to call it a day too. I was folding away my chair when wouldn't you believe it my right hand rod screamed off. I was in! I struck into it and was greeted by a lump at the other end. A little battle ensued but was swiftly dealt with. A Common Carp of 10lb's was in the net. A blank was saved! That was it, I had to stay I couldn't pack up now as maybe they had got their heads down and were feeding. Ben stuck to his plan and managed to tear himself away. I received one more run a couple of hours later. I was guilty of striking a little early and fluffed the run. I finally called it a day and packed up just after 10.00pm A lesson was learned for us both on this session. Just when you think you have the right tactics and you have cracked a water. We Haven't!!! However it is this reason that keeps you going back to the bank time and time again.

Common Carp 10lb and a Blank Saver

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Red Letter Day (For Ben) Good Session For Me

After much discussions with Ben as to where to fish this week, we decided to apply for night passes that will enable us to fish this water 24/7. This was a great investment for £48 pounds per year. I arrived on Friday at around 21.30 and was rods in for around 22.00. Ben was into the first fish, the second fish and indeed the third fish. My first run came just before 3 O'clock in the morning. I was awaken by the sound of my last hand rod screaming into action. I was up as quick as a flash, I scrambled down the embankment and promptly fell into the water knocking over my rod pod and rods in the process. I'm not too good on my feet when I'm tired. I played the fish with my pants around my ankles, they'd fallen down during my fall. I landed the fish and tried (unsuccessfully) to wake Ben. Alas there is no trophy photograph of me with my prize catch, a Common Carp of 13lb 4oz. Amazingly by the time I was just getting back into my sleeping bag, one of Ben's alarms was screaming off, I ran to his bivvy to wake him up, much to my surprise he was up on his feet already playing his fish. I ripped into him all day about that (Selective hearing) I nipped to the shop at around 12ish as I'd forgotten to bring a knife, fork and plate for our bankside fry up ;-) Whilst I was away he struck into a decent sized fish, which turned out to be his new PB of 14lb 6oz. After 6 or 7 hours without us so much as getting a bleep, Ben's alarm signalled another feeding spell. In just one hour he clocked up 4 fish to his tally. Today was to be Ben's day. He broke his PB 4 times, catching 7 Doubles and a total of 11 fish. As for me, my heaviest fish of the day was 13lb 4oz and I caught 6 in total. 17 fish between us made for a very good session indeed
Ben's first catch of the session
Typical stamp of fish for this water
Ben's new PB Carp 14.06 oz
I'll have a photo with me with this one mate
Oh no you won't!
My best fish of the session 13lb 4oz
8lb 12oz Mirror


Sunday, 10 August 2008

2 Carp Each and a heck of a lot of rain

My alarm was set at a shocking time of 3.45am. I'd arranged to pick Ben up at 4.45am. Our destination was to be one of our local reservoirs and our quarry was to be Carp. The weather was given to be absolutely terrible, we were not to be disappointed. It chucked it down for most of the day, thankfully due to our early arrival we were able to set up and be rods in before the rain arrived. I wasn't to be kept waiting for my first run. My first fish was on the bank and posing reluctantly for photographs within 15 minutes of my first cast, a Mirror Carp of around 8lb. Were we going to be in for some non stop action all day? Well not quite, a couple of hours later I caught another Carp of around the same size. I'd fallen asleep and was woken by Ben shouting "You're in! You're in!" I scrambled out of my Stealth Brolly and ran off towards my rods, being rather sleepy I wasn't too good on my feet, and I eventually lost my balance and fell over, a grazed leg for my troubles and to add insult to my injury, I lost the fish as it managed to shake free whilst I was playing it. As for Ben he had quite a good day in the office, as he finally managed to break his duck on this particular water. His first fish was the biggest fish of the day, a Mirror Carp of 9lb 12oz, another Carp of around 8lb's was to be his second and last fish of the day. Not a bad days fishing considering the awful weather we had. The highlight of the session had to be the Full English breakfast that Ben cooked up. Good man!

Typical View, note the rain
It's no monster bit it's a quick catch Ben finally catches on this water

Another Carp around the 8lb mark for me

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Good session on The Sluice

I headed down to Sixfields with Ben for a session on the Lures. (I say Lures but I was mostly casting Spoons) The weather was looking very grim but the rain held off the whole time we were there. Ben was the first to hook into a Pike, a Jack of around 4lb's I hooked into a fish around 2 minutes later. And much to my surprise it wasn't a Pike. I'd hooked into a faboulous looking Perch of around a pound or so in weight. This is only the second Lure caught Perch I have ever landed. An amazing statistic when you think about how many times I have been Piking and how many casts I must have made. More interestingly I caught my first Lure caught Perch on my first ever Lure session. Ben caught a decent Pike of around 6lb's with practically his first cast on a Spring Dawg Lure. Moments earlier he'd claimed that they never seem to do too well on The Sluice. ;-) I caught a couple more small Jacks and I mean small Jacks. I also lost a decent size Pike that managed to shake my Spoon whilst tail walking. By all accounts a good nights fishing, and more importantly has fed my hunger for some more Lure sessions, because of my coarse fishing they have taken a back burner of late.

Fabulous Perch caught on a Williams Spoon

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Last hour of light on The Sluice


The sun was almost setting, but I couldn't resist a quick bash for Tench on the Southport Drains. I wasn't to be disappointed either. I only fished for around an 45 minutes, but in that time I managed to catch a perfect Tench of around 3 and a half pounds. It was a fabulous colour, more of a shade of Brown than the usual Green. It fell for ledgered bread flake on my tip rod. I'm beginning to favour this particular method of fishing at the moment, it pretty much guarantees great results. I can thank Gordie for this, as he gave me the Idea whilst I was fishing on the Yarrow.

A lovely coloured Tench off The Sluice

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Night session on the River Ribble

A night session on the Ribble was on the menu for today's fishing. Myself Ben and Chris headed to a cracking spot on the Ribble. The peg was a bit of a trek to get to, but was well worth it. We were rods in by around 10.30pm. Ben was into the first fish of the night. A cracking Chub of around 3 and a half pounds a couple more Chub followed, until a screaming run on his left hand rod signaled the first Barbel of the night. His was into some serious rod bending action, when disaster struck, somehow during the fight the hook pulled free. He was gutted, it would seem that he had lost a decent size fish. I was soon to receive my first River Ribble Barbel action myself. My left hand rod was bent over and I could feel the weight of a decent size Barbel. It weighed 5lb 12oz. Not the biggest specimen in the river but a cracking fish all the same. At around 6am Ben's alarm screamed into action again. He was into another Barbel, after being pulled all over the river his line went tight, he'd been taken into a snag. He weighed up the situation and decided to wade in after it. This decision paid off, as he landed the biggest Barbel of the session at 6lb 2oz. He deserved it, good fishing mate. In total I had one fish, Ben had four, and Chris unfortunately blanked on this occasion. We packed up at around 7am A cracking nights fishing and a great laugh.

5lb 12oz My first River Barbel3lb 7oz Chub for Ben

Best Barbel of the session at 6lb 2oz


Friday, 25 July 2008

Chub session on the River Yarrow

The temptation for a sneaky session on The River Yarrow was too hard for me to resist tonight. So I made my way down to my favouite peg of the moment. The surroundings are absolutely fabulous the forna and wild life there are in fantastic form. There is a Kingfisher that frequents the area and often fly's past my swim, it's a little too fast to take a photo though. This stretch of river is pretty much neglected by other anglers, infact I can recall only ever seeing one other angler there the whole time I have been there. Apart from the odd dog walker I'm usually on my own. I managed to land two Chub this evening. The first one was around a pound and second one was around 2lbs. I remembered to take a photo this time.

Nice Yarrow Chub around 2lb's

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Another Sluice session = 3 Bream

I headed down to The Sluice at 9.30am. Once again on my tip rod. I have realised that this water pretty much switches off late mornings until early evening. I'll be avoiding fishing there during this period in future. I couldn't get a bite. I did catch one small Roach on my float rod though. ;-)

The Evening Return.....
Time for another evening session on The Sluice. I arranged to meet Ben there at 8pm. Once again I fished on my tip rod. Using Bread flake, I caught 3 Bream Hybrids the Biggest being around 2lbs. Ben lost a decent Bream at the net and we had to wait a while until his next bite. It was worth the wait though, a Bream of around 3lbs.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sunset session on the Sluice

I decided to head to The Sluice for a couple of hours, I arrived at 7ish and fished until around 10pm. I fished on my tip rod, using the same tactics as I'd used on the canal. 4lb main line, Cage feeder with bread crumb to a 3lb 10" hook length on a size 8 hook finished off with a big piece of bread flake. My first fish was a Bream hybrid of around a pound and a half. I had to wait until I was almost ready to pack up until my next fish, which was a Tench of around 3 and a half to 4 pounds. Unfortunately the batteries had gone in my scales, so I wasn't able to weigh it. I'm going to keep at this way of fishing for a bit as it guarantees bigger fish. I have proven to myself that if I want to catch lots of fish like Roach and Skimmers I can do so. Time for me to winkle out the odd specimen or two.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Windy session on the canal


Although the weather was very windy and overcast, I still made my way down to Sollom for a few hours. I was lucky that the rain held off all day. I fished on my float rod and It made casting pretty difficult. I ended up in the tree opposite a couple of times. Rash came down for a few hours. In total I had 33 fish, mostly small Roach and the odd Perch and Skimmer.


Had a recce with Ben on some stretches of the River Yarrow that I have yet to fish. Ben suggested that we head down to The River Darwen. We set up our tip rods and fished on maggot feeders. We managed to get a couple of bites and were robbed of our maggots a couple of times. We didn't stay there too long and after a few hours made our way down to The Yarrow. A couple of hours down there produced no fish for me, Ben managed to catch an Eel ;-)

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

River Yarrow, Chub by design

I headed down to the River Yarrow for an hour or two, and my quarry was to be Chub. I set up my rod on a stick float and was into a Chub within 5 minutes. A lovely fish of around a pound and a half. Most regretfully I didn't take a photograph of it and I didn't manage to catch another one. I will definitely be heading back there for another go some time soon.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Brilliant session at Sollom

I couldn't resist another float rod session at Sollom. I was fishing by around 8.00am and caught my first roach after around 20 seconds. A good start and perhaps I was to be in for a good session. Indeed I was. I caught 41 fish in total, a mixed bag of Skimmers, Roach, Perch, Bream and of course a customary Eel. The biggest of the bunch was a Bream of around 2lb's........

Another mixed bag of fish

Monday, 14 July 2008

Sluice is still not producing the goods

I arrived at Sixfields for a session on my float rod. I was to find out soon enough that the sluice is still not fishing at it's best. In just over 3 hours I caught only one fish. There were Tench bubbling all over the place in my swim, but they didn't seem to want my hookbaits. I packed up and headed over to the canal again. I was rods in by around 6pm and stayed until 9ish. In this time I managed to land 26 fish, 25 Roach and 1 Skimmer Bream. Sollom is fishing really well at the moment. Rash also fished and caught 10 fish. My pupil is doing well and is starting to catch fish ;-) I quite fancy having a bash on the River Douglas as this is quite close to where I live. Some cracking Chub in there I hear. I'll try and have a go in the next week or so

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Another Sollom Bream

I met Rasheed at Sollom to give him a few pointers and see if I could get him catching. He's been fishing at Sollom and not catching too many fish. It was quite easy to spot the problems. Basically he was fishing too heavy. I made him a hook length of only 2 and a half pounds and changed his hook from a size 10 to a 20. We had a fish within 30 seconds. I met him again around 7.30ish, the fishing was rather slow. I did though manage to catch 5 fish, the pick of the bunch was another Bream of around 3lb's.

Yours Truly with another Bream

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

A couple of hours on the float rod

On Monday when I was sorting through my Pole stuff, I found a Float rod that I'd acquired last year. It's a pretty old Diawa, i'd estimate from the 1970's. It has a bit of a retro feel about it. I headed to Sollom for a couple hours. I've not used a float rod for ages. It was good to get back to basics. I even caught a few fish, 9 in total. The best fish coming just before I packed up. A cracking Bream of around 3 pounds.

Another cracking Sollom Bream

Monday, 7 July 2008

First Pole session of the year

I finally got around to digging all my Pole gear out. At around 3.00pm I headed down to Sollom to get reacquainted with an old friend. It's around a year since I last used it. The bites were slow at first, and when they did finally come, my swim was disturbed by a constant stream of Narrowboats. They had all passed by around 6 ish though. I was getting a bite a chuck after this, but I was struggling to hit the bites. That was until I changed my technique. Instead of lifting into the bites, I started to strike to the side. The result was amazing. Instead of a bite a chuck I was getting a fish a chuck. I caught a lot of Roach. I'll take comfort from the fact that there is a saying in fishing. "If you're catching Roach then you're doing something right" This is because they're rather tackle shy. In total I caught 23 fish. I can't wait to have another go.

Not a bad mix of fish

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

2 X Canal sessions = 21 fish

I couldn't resist another quickie on the canal this afternoon. I fished for a couple of hours. I caught a total of 13 fish, a good mix of Roach, Skimmers, Perch, and of course no trip to the canal would be complete without a traditional Eel....

Another sneaky trip back to the canal after work produced me another 8 fish. The pick of the bunch was a fabulous Bream of 3lb 9oz. There are some quality Bream at the canal at Sollom and are well worth targeting. This is about the biggest one I've caught from Sollom

3lb 9oz Breamthere so far.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Quick trip to the canal

A 3 hour session on the canal at Sollom produced me 2 fish. One small roach, and an Eel of around 1lb. I fished on my pole top section. It was good to get back to basics for a change.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Can't buy a bite

I headed down to the Match Stretch for the day. As there was a match on in the evening. I made my way down to peg 20. It's quite a walk when you're fully loaded with gear. The fishing was awful. I hardly had a bite all day, I fished from 11am until 10pm and didn't catch one fish. kenny came down for a few hours, and he had one bite and one fish, a roach of around 2 ounces. I enquired how the match fished, apparently most anglers struggled and the winning weight was around 3lb. The sluice is just not fishing well at all, It's a real head scratcher. My theory is that the water is way too clear and that perhaps farming chemicals have washed into the drain from the surrounding fields. Either way I'll be giving coarse fishing on the Sluice a rest for a few weeks.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

First Yarrow Brown Trout and a River Ribble session

A Surprise catch! Brown Trout from the River Yarrow Croston Brown Trout around 10oz
Ben's absolutely stunning Barbel of 9lb 5oz

Safely returned back to the water

I decided to head to my local River, The Yarrow today. The water was very clear but the weather looked threatening. Armed once again with my Feeder rod and a pint of maggots, my target was to be Chub, or anything that was passing really. My first fish was a perfect little Dace another soon followed. Soon after the bites dried up. Gord came down for a nosey, as he's never fished The Yarrow before. Tooled up with his lure rod, the temptation for a cast of two was too hard for him to resist. He headed to the Weir Pool "Watch this mate I'll go and catch my first Yarrow Pike" Remarkably he had a follow after only a few casts, a Pike of around 5lb followed his lure but backed off at the last second, seemingly spooked by something, it sensed something wasn't quite right. A quick lure change and a couple of casts later, he was into a Jack Pike of around 3lb. True to his word, Gord did catch his first Yarrow Pike and it took him around 5 minutes to do so. My highlight of the session was a stunning little Brown Trout. I was quite shocked to catch a Brownie, as I didn't know they were in the river.

More Fishing..........

A innocent conversation with Ben about the days fishing events soon led to another session. The word Barble was mentioned. That was it! The seed was well and truly sewn. I picked him up at around 21.30 and we made our way to a fabulous part of the River Ribble. This was the first time that I'd fished this river. Ben talked me through the set up and what to expect from a Barbel session. We were rods in by about 22.00 and the anticipation was brilliant. Within the first hour I had a strong pull on my rod, I was later to learn that perhaps a fish had moved my bait and I'd become snagged. Within about 2 minutes of my pull, Bens rod bent round and his line was stripping off his reel. He was in! And it look like a good fish too. And what a fish, after a good scrap he was soon cradeling a Barbel of an impressive 9lb 5oz. A cracking fish mate, well done! There was no more action for either of us, even though we stayed until almost first light, finally calling the session to an end at 3.30 in the morning. Lets just say I'll be giving Barbel fishing another go sometime soon