Sunday, 14 November 2010

A tasty Sausage and a Canal Cracker

After yesterdays Piking trip and the last minute capture still fresh in my mind, I couldn't resist another trip out.

Just for a change on our way fishing we stopped off at a cafe and had a full English breakfast. What a good idea that was, as it was absolutely fabulous. Now that's the way to start a days fishing if there ever was one.

We meandered down to our swims with our full bellies and got about setting up. I decided to lay one bait on the bottom and to suspend the other. A decision I would become thankful for later.

Allan though was the first to catch, a Jack Pike of around 5lb's fell to a Smelt.

We leap frogged a good section of the canal and I was getting itchy feet to move again when my suspended dead was under and away. I set the hooks and felt the weight of a good fish. I caught sight of it as it flashed past me in the water. "Jesus Christ I'm in to a good fish here Allan" Was my reaction.

16lb 4oz to be exact. Now what's special about this fish? Well... It's the biggest fish I have ever had out of the Canal. It was caught on a suspended dead and the bait was a 2" Sprat. I've never used Sprat's before, I pretty much always prefer bigger baits, perhaps though I'll use Sprat's a little more often from now on.

It's a shame that I've had to edit the photo to take the background out. Saves the Pike in this area being pressured.

And that was that, we stayed until the edge of dark but there was nothing else caught.

Perfect start to a days fishing Burp! Ahhhhhh!
16lb 4oz Canal Pike

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Back fishing!

It's been a while since my last blog post. Over two months in fact! I've been busy with work and moving house, this has left me little time to spend on the bank.

Today I fished a private water which contains a few Pike. I had two takes in the five hours of fishing the first one stopped before I had chance to strike and the other which came 5 minutes before I was to pack up produced me a battle scarred Pike of just over 10 pounds.

Both takes came on Suspended Smelts. Laying baits on the bottom on this venue doesn't seem to produce the goods.

It was nice to be back out on the bank and landing the fish was an added bonus :)

Battle Scarred Double

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Allan's biggest ever haul!

Little did I know what was around the corner when Allan confessed to me that he didn't use 'The Method' apparently he found it too fiddly and had pretty much given up on this killer tactic. "Don't worry mate, I'll set you up and show you the in's and out's" I said.

Needless to say Allan absolutely trounced both myself and Panto, he had the session of a lifetime, I'd say that he must have landed 70 - 80 lb's of slab's in around 3 hours. I'd wager then that 'The method' is probably Allan's new favourite way of fishing.

The Pike activity during the day was pretty good. 3 for me, 2 for Panto and 1 for Allan, no monsters but great fun was had catching them. The Pike in this water fight hard, so even the Jacks are worth catching.

I'm crying on the inside

One of many for Allan

Friday, 27 August 2010

Chucking lures and a stolen fish

Panto was in the middle of a 48 hour session. I decided to head down and mither him for a while. I didn't go empty handed I packed my Jerk Bait rod and a selection of lures. Despite thrashing the water to a foam, I didn't get so much as a take.

A moment of kindness came over Panto and he offered me one of his rods to fish with, I quickly went about setting it up for Pike and it wasn't too long before the water erupted and I was battling with a Jack of around 4 lb's.

An hour or so later and a noisy commotion in the water gave away the presence of another Pike in the area, this was soon confirmed when my float was under and away. A great fight was just moments away.

This fish was bigger and It fought hard, I have to confess that my right forearm was aching after playing this Pike. She weighed 10lb 2oz ensuring my first double of the season.

So it was worth going to see JP after all, and of course I was told on more than one occasion that the Pike should have been his and that I'd poached it from his swim, and lets not forget that it was all his tackle that he'd so kindly lent to me :D

The Pike season is nearly here and do you know what? I can't wait!

10lb 2oz

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The day that Panto packed up too early

The usual rabble myself, Allan and Panto headed off to a local(ish) water today and we set about catching Pike and Bream.

We arrived at dinner and I'd proposed the idea that we should sit it out until the early hours of the morning to see if the Bream would come on the feed as the night drew in.

The Pike action was fast and furious and between the three of us we landed 10 in total, OK granted they were all Jacks to around 6lb but still fun nontheless the results were as follows...Panto 5, myself 4 and 1 for Allan, don't be feeling to sorry for Allan though as he (Although Panto may argue this) landed the biggest Pike of them all.

And so to the Bream, I'd fished the tip all day and the results were pretty good. I fished on worm and landed a decent amount of fish for my troubles.

8pm and Panto decided to call it quits, he was getting bored of catching Skimmers, and the lure of watching a thin lizzy tribute band seemed to tempting for him to resist. Myself and Al decided to stick to the plan and fish into dark. I switched over to the method and fished double maize and as the sun was setting the Bream switched on and it was fish after fish after fish, I can honestly say I lost count of the amount of slabs that I landed, the biggest of the bunch was 5lb and I'd say the average was around 4 lb's.

The tactic of using double maize is a good one, it's a hardy bait so lasts for a good few catches. I'll certainly be using it again next time I'm out and fishing the tip.

Sadly the fishing had to come to an end, and at midnight Allan spoiled the day by telling me it was time to go home :( Still nevermind I'll just go back there next week :D

Allan's 6lb Pike
Nice to get back on the Pike,
a sign of things to come

An early Bream, and the first of many5lb and the biggest of the session
Not to be outdone
4lb' and Al's biggest

Thursday, 12 August 2010

What? Another big Eel!

An afternoon fishing on the tip at a local water produced me another personal best capture.

When I landed my last sizable Eel a couple of weeks earlier, I thought that it would be a good couple of years before I'd see another one.

So when after a couple of hours fishing and my rod signalled a good take I presumed that I'd hooked a Carp or large Tench, watching the line zig zagging from side to side gave me suspicion that I'd hooked another good sized Eel, and as Panto knelt down to assist with the netting I heard him say "Bloody Hell Matt it's a big Eel" my thoughts were confirmed.

According to my Reuben heaton's it weighed 3lb 1 oz. I'd beaten my 3 week old Eel record by just 2 ounces.

The fish was caught on Worm and on a maggot feeder.

The fishing thoughout the rest of the afternoon was by the best part pretty slow. I ended up with around 8 fish in total including a Tench of 3lb's or so.

3lb 1 oz Eel

Saturday, 24 July 2010

6 Hours! One Bite! One fish! But what a fish!

Back on the drain today and I met with Allan and JP for an afternoons fishing. The water wasn't towing as fast as my last visit, and looked to be recovering just nicely. Should fish well today I thought to myself.

Allan and JP had arrived an hour or so before me and I'd expected them to be well into the fish, but this wasn't the case. In fact it was just the opposite, they were struggling for bites. Not to worry I'll show them how it's done and I went about my business setting up.

5 hours later and I hadn't had a touch. Unbelievable! The conditions were spot on, and here I was facing a blank.

Allan was sat under my brolly, complaining that I'd talked him into fishing the Sluice (Again) and that we perhaps should have chosen another venue. I was just in the middle of arguing back - saying that it fished OK the other day, and I couldn't understand what was wrong, when my tip moved a little, then a little more and then WHAM! I was in!

I lifted into the take and I felt a good force tugging back. "Allan I'm into a lump here mate and it isn't a Tench" "It's either a big Perch or a big Eel" It was the latter, and what a lump it was. It stayed deep in the water and wouldn't show it's head, it kept me in suspense for a little longer than I would have liked.

Finally It's head came to the surface and it was met with a chorus of gasps from all three of us. To some of you reading this blog you may not consider an Eel of 2lb 15oz to be of giant proportions, but I can tell you that for this venue the very sight of an Eel these days is a rare one indeed. let me put it into a little prospective, in all my visits to the drain, which I can assure you is a lot, I have never even seen an Eel being caught never mind catch one. I was made up with this catch and to date I'd consider it to be one of my best fish that I have landed from the Sluice.

It's a funny old game this fishing malarkey isn't it. I have one bite in the 6 hours that I fished and the result was a PB Eel. I guess that's fishing for you and that's why I love it.

As for the rest of the fishing. Allan landed a cracking Tench of 4lb's. This was some achievement, as he'd caught it fishing the pole and his rig was only 1.5lb bottom. Top angling that mate, well done!

Panto had around 5lb of fish, but Al gave him a good run for his money. The weight difference between the two of them when they weighed in was just 1 ounce.

The 2lb 15oz Eel

It wouldn't keep still

Around 3ft in length

Allan's 4lb Tench

Friday, 23 July 2010

Two Full English Breakfasts Please

I headed to the drain and met up with JP. We fished the tip and decided to make things a little interesting by having a small wager. The loser with the lowest match weight, would the following day treat the winner to a Full English Breakfast. This was a surefire way to keep us both on our toes throughout the session.

The conditions on the water did not look too good, the levels were high, the water coloured and there was a fair amount of weed and flotsam passing by. Not even a thunder storm could deter us from our fishing, not the best idea to be out in the open and holding a 9ft 6" rod made of carbon when there is ligtning about.

I have to say though that the fishing was pretty good we landed a fair few fish between us. I finished with a mixed bag of fish and weighed in 6lb 5oz. The pick of the bunch was a Perch of 1lb. Panto weighed in at 7lb 5oz he'd done me by a pound, a Bronze Bream that he'd bagged of over 3lb had won him the match. Damn it! Breakfast will be on me tomorrow then. :/

Caught in a storm

The re-match!

As the title suggests it was time for a re match, not before we met at a cafe to have our Cooked Breakfast, which I have to add was delicious and worth losing the match for, there is only one way a breakfast like that can taste any better and that is if it's FREE! So Panto must have loved his...

I decided that we should perhaps lower the stakes on today's match, if I lost my pocket couldn't sustain having to pay for another brekkie, and as I had a two pound coin in my pocket it seemed convenient that it should be the nominated wager.

The fishing was about the same as the day before. I landed a good sized Tench of 4lb's, this would stand me in good stead for the match. We packed up early which was good as I would get chance to go for a 5 mile run and burn off those lunch time sausages.

I weighed in 8lb 9oz and Panto 7lb 9oz. So I'd done him! I was left ruing the fact that I'd hadn't up the stakes second time around, still one can't be having a cooked breakfast all of the time. I enjoyed taking the £2 off Panto and for anyone that knows him they will confirm the fact that he's not too forthcoming in parting with the cash.

The Sausage lover
The match winner

Thursday, 15 July 2010

A visit from Winter on a Summers day

Back to a venue that I haven't fished for a couple of months, the weather was interchangeable but the sun was shining so I decided to make the most of it.

JP was hot on my heels and arrived an hour or so after I had set up. Expectations were high, they needn't have been as the fishing was woeful. We couldn't even muster a bite between us.

The weather finally turned and it was like a scene from winter and not the middle of summer out there, it was blowing a gale and it absolutely chucked it down. Half an hour to go and I thankfully managed to winckle two fish off. Both came from the same swim, and within 5 minutes of each other. I landed a Tench of around 5lb and a Bream of a similar weight.

So for me then the session was saved and a sure fire blank was thankfully avoided. JP wasn't to be so lucky and as he sheltered under his brolly from the howling winds and the torrential downpour you could have hear him muttering and cursing me. "This is the last time I listen to one of your good ideas" :D

The Blank Saver
I'm laughing at Panto's glum face

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The dull and overcast day


I joined Allan on the Canal for a couple of hours fishing, I had intentions of giving him a run for his money on the Pole, but time got the better of me so I went for a spot of Perching instead. I wasn't to be disappointed as I had another Perch over the pound mark.

Worth turning up for
A dull and overcast day in the middle of summer could mean only one thing, fishing! Surely the fish would respond well to a break in the scorching temperatures that we've been having over the last couple of weeks? So with that in mind I decided to head to the Sluice and to target Tench.

I arrived just after dinner, the place was empty, seemingly the threat of rain (which didn't arrive until i packed up!) had deterred other anglers from joining me.

While I waited for some action on the Tench rod's I occupied myself by setting up on the whip. I fished single maggot in the margin, and it was literally a fish a chuck. The season is a couple of weeks old now, and a good steady stream of bait from other anglers is attracting and holding the fish.

A couple of hours came and went when my tip rod bent around to the right, I lifted in to the take and felt a decent lump resisting my strike. I was happily playing this fish when suddenly my other rod was also in on the action. Two Tench at the same time. Thankfully I managed to land both.

I finished the session with 5 Tench to 4lb's and 2 Bream to 3lb. 5oz. The photographs aren't that good as I had to use the steps that lead down to the peg as a tripod as I'd foolishly forgotten my camera adapter .

My first Sluice Bream in a while

Tench # 1 of the double hook upThe other part of the Brace
The hardest fighter
If I'd have packed up after this one I'd have
Stayed dry, will I ever learn?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Tempted by Perch

A phone call from Allan in the afternoon revealed his intentions on fishing the canal later that evening. I wasn't for going fishing today as the night before (Foolishly) I'd promised to stay in and watch tele with 'Her in doors' But just knowing that Allan would be out there fishing became all too tempting. So, I decided to risk the wrath of the Mrs and join him.

I had other commitments which meant I could only get there from around 8pm, so I decided it wasn't worth the effort in setting up on the pole, for what would be only two hours fishing maximum. Catching Perch by design though was a different matter.

I dropped my bait into the water and with 3 seconds it was away, I was stunned - So quick! Unbelievable! Sometimes you can be there all day and not so much as a bite, I must have plonked it right on the nose of a Perch. No Hollywood ending here though as the blighter fell off.

Thankfully there wasn't long to wait before I landed my first of the evening. I didn't bother weighing it, but it was easily over a pound. Minutes later and I was in again, a small one by comparison but all customers are welcome on my new rig.

The next and final fish delivered to me another Perch PB. A hard fighting 'Had to use the clutch' fish of 1lb 9oz, bringing me all the more closer to my canal target of 2lb, not quite there yet but I'm getting closer. I must add that I'm not in a rush to achieve this as I'm having lots of fun looking for it.

As for Allan, well there is just no stopping him with this Pole fishing malarkey, consider that he only fished for 3 hours he had a very impressive net full of 30 odd fish to 4 and a half pound. All I can say, and believe me I keep saying it to him is that "He had a good teacher" ;)

They get bigger

and biggerand bigger - 1lb 9oz

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Hot days, some Tench and a PB Perch


Too lazy to start fishing at first light today, I meandered down the the Sluice in the afternoon. I set up fishing in the blistering heat and sat it out until Dusk. My main quarry today was to be Tench (I'll wait for some dull overcast days before I target Pike).

I fished to ledger rods under feet and the tip on the far bank, of which produced me my first Tench of the session and a few Perch for my efforts. The fishing as predicted in the heat was a little slow. Two tench fell to the method bringing my days total to 3 the biggest of which weighed in at 3lb 15oz.

Allan has his day:

Went Pole fishing on the canal with Allan, he beat me. The End......

In search of a slightly bigger Perch:

Whilst I've been out and about Pole fishing on the canal of late, I have seen one or two big(ish) Perch hanging about in the margin, one of which took it upon itself to attack Allan's keep net, a sight that I have never seen before, Pike maybe but never perch.

Inspired then by the obviously ravenous Perch, it was once again time to target old stripey.

It didn't take me too long to hook into a decent sized Perch either, and it also didn't take me long to lose it. I was gutted. Never mind! It was back to the drawing board and a rethink on the rig that I was using. A couple of days later and finally, and after a little effort I landed my first Perch by design. OK so at 1lb 6oz it was no monster, but it was a new PB for me. I shall target Perch on the canal over the coming weeks, fingers crossed I'll catch some good fish while I'm at it.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

June the 16th and a couple more trips

The Opening Day:

The long awaited June 16th and the opening day of the iver season had finally arrived, and myself Allan and JP descended upon the Sluice at day break. It was to be a long day for me as I intended to stay until dusk. In the winter these long summer days are the days that I long for, so I decided to make the most of it.

The fishing wasn't exactly at it's best. Is it ever on the opening day of the season? It never seems to live up to it's much billed name. I mustn't moan though as I did land 2 Tench, both of which came to the method on corn. Allan and JP also got in to some Tench action.

The First Tench of the new season
Stifling heat, but the Tench still fedAllan's first of the season

Allan's first bash on the Pole:

It's been on Allan's wish list to own his own Pole for some time now, and last week he finally managed to part with some of his hard earned and buy a Maver Genesis 13 metre Pole.

It was time to try it out then and put some fish on the bank. I must admit for his first attempt he did rather well, and in four hours fishing I caught 26 fish and Al landed 18, good fishing that mate, I'll have to up my game next time we're out. I can see myself and Allan becoming a little competitive when we're Pole fishing, it makes it a little more exciting so you won't hear me complaining, until he starts to beat me that is. My catch of the session was a 1lb 4oz Eel, and another PB for me to add to my list.

The first haul off the new Pole

1lb 4oz Eel

Back to the Drain and looking for Tench:

Another early start for myself and I headed down to the Sluice to fish for Tench, I fished two method rods and I also fished the tip. I was inspired by a rig on the tip that a friend of mine had recently shown me, and I have to admit the results were very good. I caught a lot of Perch and when the fish were feeding it literally was a bite a chuck, the best catch of the lot was a cracking Ruffe of 3oz + I don't have any scales that measure in ounces so I guess I'll never know just how close I was to the UK record ;)

As for the Tench. I landed four in total, one of them though has to be the smallest Tench that I have ever landed, I wonder if this is one is from a recent stocking programme that was undertaken? I also caught a few Hybrids on the method.

3lb + Tench

Smallest Tench I've ever caught?
Not quite a new Ruffe record
Iphone photography madness+

Suddenly it's getting a little competitive:

Back to the canal and a chance for Al to have another session on the Pole. We fished from 8pm until dusk, not a long session by our standards, but two hours at the right time of the day is better than many hours at the wrong time of day.

It was literally a fish a chuck, and at the weigh in, Allan landed 18 fish to 1lb 10oz, but he was left scratching his head wondering how I'd managed to land 39 fish to 2lb 10oz. I can see that Allan is going to beat me soon, and it's only a matter of time - I have to confess though that I fished pretty hard and I shall continue doing so :)