Sunday, 4 September 2011

Very low levels and fast rising water

As I lay my tackle on the ground, I was rather taken aback as I observed the level of the river.

The lowest I've ever seen in in fact. It was obvious to see that if I was to catch a Barbel tonight I'd have to take into account the fish welfare, as trying to land it normally by the bank would result in a beached fish.

I'd set up, and had a coffee so I meandered over to see how Allan was getting on. "I don't fancy it tonight mate" and with that my rod bent over and line peeled off at some fair pace. Pfffffftt! What do I know eh? By recent standards it was a smallish Barbel of 6lb's or so had taken my bait.

This session wasn't exactly as busy as my last one, I did have 5 runs though, three of which I managed to land (That snag is still there) 9lb was the biggest of the night.

Allan was staring a blank in the face, pack up was looming large, when thankfully one of his rods sprang to life and a Barbel of 7lb's or so was landed. Well done mate!

It amazes me as to how fast the river can rise and fall during a session. By the time we came to pack up the water was up about three feet.

Allan's last minute catch

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A frantic nights fishing

Little did I know what I was in store for as I packed the gear in to Panto's car and headed to the river.

Tonight was one of those nights that you can only dream of (Well for me at least)

Once again I was to find the river in low conditions, though I have to say now that previous catch results haven't left me worried when I'm greeted by the river running lacking water.

I was to have my rod bent over in no less than 14 occasions tonight. I managed to land 9 of them. The ones that got away unfortunately made good use of a snag that has appeared in my favoured swim. A passing tree moved on by the previous floods perhaps? Nevertheless it's a bugger of a snag and once the fish has found it, it's nigh on impossible to retrieve it out of there.

I broke two PB's again. My new Barbel PB is 9lb 8oz and I also have a new Chub PB of 5lb 7oz. To say I was pleased with tonight's fishing would be an understatement.

In comparison Panto had a wretched night's fishing. Indeed he only managed to land the one Barbel. The fish god's were not favouring him on this session. I'm sure he will turn it around next time ;)

I'm still chasing that double, but I'm not bothered that it hasn't come yet, as by the crikey I'm having some great fun looking for it.

The one that started it all off

The new PB Barbel 9lb 8oz
A new Pb Chub, but not for long
5lb 7oz Chub the new PB
Panto's catch!

Sharing the spoils

Myself and Allan once again made our pilgrimage to the river. The river was low and not carrying much water.

It was a nice warm August night and the conditions felt right. I had a feeling that we would bag up and that's exactly what happened. Twelve Barbel to 9lb were landed and we shared the spoils by landing 6 fish each.

I managed to beat my Barbel PB by an ounce. So my new record currently stands at 9lb.]

A great nights fishing and I wouldn't argue if we had more like that

Allan gets amongst the fish

My new PB Barbel 9lb
I seem to be enjoying myself

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The 45 minute feeding window

Allan and I once again made our way to the river. I was expecting the water to be low, too low in fact. I was wrong. It was starting to rise and was up around a foot since our visit a couple of days previously.

The rising river soon started to cause us problems. As the water started to rise it lifted a large bed of weed that would inconveniently find our lines with ease.

There was only one thing for it. We had to move, a bit of a hassle, but it had to be done.

Darkness was approaching and there hadn't been so much as a beep on the alarms. Suddenly Allan was in! I was left with the honours of netting his fish. I'd just readied the net in the water when his other rod was off. Oh dear! A dilemma. There was no other option than me having to take the rod.. A good fish ans I was into a hard fighting Barbel of around 8lb. Allan's other fish... a Barbel of around 4lb. Oooops! :D

The heavens decided to open, and I mean open, it absolutely lashed it down. I was seeking refuge in my day shelter when I caught sight of Allan with another Barbel. The bastid! This was technically his third fish. Due to the fact that it was still raining and heavily at that, we didn't bother with a photo. Where was my action? Was I looking at a blank? I did what any angler in my situation would do. I started to sulk and indeed question what the hell I was doing on a bank side in the middle of the night in monsoon like weather?

When I got a take and suddenly I loved fishing all over again, and being out in the rain was fun.

I had a good bend in the rod, so I knew I had a Barbel at the other end. A fish of around 7lb was photographed (just so there was something to look at on the blog) and released back to where it came from.

...and that was that. The rain got heavier and heavier and neither of us could muster another take. The feeding window tonight lasted less than 45 minutes, and was a little later than normal.

The blank saver!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Three trips to the river

Trying to find time to blog in the summer holidays is proving to be a somewhat difficult task... Still here I am finally grabbing a few minutes to myself to hammer out my musings.

Trip one:

I paid a surprise visit to Ben. The only run between us both came at 10:30pm. I'd landed a Barbel of 8lb 12oz. A record shaker for me, but my current PB of 8lb 15oz stayed intact.

Trip Two :

A new section of river was on the cards for myself and Allan today. We'd started to become a little, how should I say?... Creatures of habit? Comfortable in our pegs? Frightened of trying somewhere different in case we blanked? Yes I'll go with the latter.

So we made way to a new stretch and we were rather excited, though perhaps not too expectant in our new venue.

We were kept waiting right until last light before we caught. I was into a good fish, it was darting all over the place, when disaster... The hook pulled! I was gutted! I'd lost a good un'. I slinked back into my chair a deflated man, in other words I'd gone off to sulk. I'd possibly blown my chance to land a Barbel.

A couple of hours later and Allan was in, he had a fair old bend in the rod, I called that he was about to land his new P.B. I was right. He'd managed to land his first Barbel into double figures. 10lb 5oz a cracking fish that mate. Well done!

Not too long later he was in again. I was rather taken aback by his capture. A 8lb 5oz Bream left us both with our jaws on the floor. Wow! I'd rather catch a double figured Bream than a Barbel any day. I have a feeling one of us may just do that this season.

The Barbel weren't finished with yet. Allan landed a couple more and I had a mad action packed few minutes that saved the day. I was playing my right hand rod when my left hand rod screamed off. Thankfully both fish were landed.

I was also to catch my first ever river Bream, not as big as Al's but another P.B for me. at 6lb 10oz I wasn't for complaining. I was pleased to see this one slip into the net.

Trip Three :

Back to the river, a late start, we haven't had much rain and as such the river was running low, very low in fact. We decided to increase the chance of catching by fishing an area that holds a little more water.

I had a pretty good session, I landed four Barbel in total. No whoppers the biggest was a little under 8 and half pounds. The novelty of photographing catches seems to be wearing off. I only posed with a couple of 8+ fish. I'm still looking for that elusive double. As for Allan, well I was very surprised that he blanked on this trip. Unlucky mate. (Although after your last session, I have one thing to say... GOOD!) :)

Back on the Barbel

6lb 10oz wild river Barbel
10lb 5oz Barbel the first double

Al's 8lb 5oz Bream8lb+ Seem to be catching a few of these

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fishing in the flood

I just can't keep away from the river at the moment. A trip with Ben was organised and we arrived by the river some time after 7 O'clock in the evening.

The river was high and carrying a lot of water, a daunting sight if there ever was one. I had to increase the weight on my rigs to 6oz to hold bottom. There was a lot of debris floating by which kept snagging up on my line. My Barbel rods are only 1.5lb TC and were hardly perfect for the task ahead. Note to self... Take Carp rods as back up in future.

I cast out my right hand rod under my feet. I'd probably cast five times within the space of only half on hour. I gave up on using PVA as it was just being wasted. I trudged up to my day shelter and plonked myself into my chair, folded my arms and proceeded to sulk! I doubted that I was going to catch at all in these conditions.

I'd no sooner sat down and assumed the 'sulking position' when my recently re-cast rod almost bent double such was the voracity of the take. A nice battle ensued and yet another PB Barbel was landed. 8lb 15oz. I'm getting closer and closer to the magical double.

That was the only fish of the night, and was caught on MC Boilie

8lb 15oz

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A trip to the river...

Back to the river for myself and Allan today. We headed beck to the same area as the previous week. Our quarry was of course to be Barbel.

We arrived mid afternoon to find the river low and flowing at a slow pace.

I'd craftily made up my PVA bags at home so I was soon set up and fishing.

By 6pm the water had risen by at least a foot, an encouraging sign that we may be in for a good nights fishing - the fish would most definitely move about with some fresh water about the place.

Night fall..

It was just creeping dark, I had been watching a Mink going about it's business I'd just missed a cracking photo opportunity (due to the camera not focusing quickly enough) when I was into my first Barbel of the session. A tremendously violent take that near enough dragged my rod off it's stand gave me a clue that I was into a good fish. As I'm new to the world 0f Barbel fishing almost every fish I catch at the moment is a new PB. Which incidentally I managed to break four times tonight. 7lb 6oz, 8lb 6oz, 8lb 8oz and finally the biggest of the night at 8lb 9oz. I even managed to catch 2 Chub worth weighing. The biggest of them was 4lb 8oz another PB.

It took Allan a little while to get off the mark tonight, at one point I have to confess I feared he may even blank! But thankfully he managed to pull it back, Landing 3 Barbel in total. One of 5lb 9oz, 6lb 4oz and PB Barbel of 7lb. He even beat my new Chub record by landing one at 5lb.

All fish were caught on MC (3) and SGLM (7) baits.

Allan's PB Chub

Al's Record Barbel 7lb
My biggest Barbel so far 8lb 9oz

My record shaking Chub 4lb 8oz
8lb 8oz

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

River Barbel

It was time for Allan and I to have our first Barbel session of the season. The water was coloured and up a little. But not racing through. The conditions were probably perfect. I'm no expert at judging this water and I confess I have a lot to learn.

There is an air of excitement when trying your hand out a new water and a new species, and I was dying to start fishing.

I fished two rods with Coltswold baits 'The One' as my choice of boilie. After around an hour of fishing my left hand rod bent over and my reel stripped line at a good pace. A Barbel and no mistake had taken one of my baits. The fight was amazing and after one session it's fair to say if you'll excuse the pun that 'I'm hooked'

A few hours later I had another take, this time on the right hand rod and the bait was wrapped in paste. Unmistakeably another Barbel, a bit bigger than the last one and certainly a new PB.

No fish for Allan today, which was a shame as I'd liked him to have experienced the 'Barbel fight'

I'm sure we will be back on there very soon.

A black swan -
I've not come across too many of these in my time
My first Barbel of the season

7lb 2oz P.B Barbel

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Night and day Carping

Once again I find myself having to catch up with the blogging. The reason behind the absence isn't down to procrastination I suppose it's more down to the fact that with the late nights I'm returning home far too late to be bothered hammering out my musings on a keyboard.

To the fishing... I've been Carping quite a bit of late. A few day sessions here and there. I also did two nights on a water which produced me one fish, a two toned mirror of 13lb 2oz. Not the best of sessions but a lot better than a blank.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The opening day

It was here. June 16th and the opening day of the river season. Myself, Allan and Panto headed to the drains. An early start was in order and arriving at our pegs at day break ensured a full days fishing.

The fishing started well. I was into a Bream with 2 minutes of casting. A good sign for things to come? Well actually no it wasn't. The opening day for me was absolutely dire. I managed to catch around 6 fish the whole day. I really struggled to get so much as a bite. Allan and Panto caught a few tench between them, if I'm not mistaken I think Allan ended up with four Tench in total. Panto caught the fish of the day, a Pike of 14lb's fell to a single maggot. I'd suspect that as he was fishing the method that he'd tethered a small Roach or Skimmer, the Pike had taken the fish. Nevertheless he did very well to land it on only 6lb line. It put up a hell of a fight too. Good angling!

I had two runs on a Pike rod both of which resulted in drop runs.

To be honest I'm glad that the opening day is done and dusted now. It often doesn't live up to it's name. I have the whole season to look forward to now and I'm planning to catch some decent Barbel and Carp over the coming months.

Allan's Tench

Panto's catch of the day

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Knowledge is key


The weather was god damn awful today. You just wouldn't believe that it was the 12th of June. Blustery winds accompanied by pelting rain would put pay to many a fishing session. I had other ideas! This would be perfect weather for a spot of carping. Firstly the weather would keep the noddies off the bank and secondly there was no way the Carp would be basking cockily on the surface.

I arrived at the venue for just after 12:30. Now I have to confess I do have a favourite peg on this water, and my bottom lip went a bit when I could see that there was someone already on it. Given my late start I should hardly have been surprised.

I enquired to the man that was sitting in 'my peg' as to how it was fishing? He revealed that he had been on the water since 5:10am and as yet hadn't caught a fish. I was quite taken a back by this, as I was sure that they would feed today, yes it was cold - but the water was very warm.

Still sulking, I chose the next peg, put up my day shelter and set up my rod on the method. I cast out towards a prominent feature. Ten minutes later I was weighing a 15lb 2oz Common (At the time of writing this is my second biggest Carp) soon followed by another Common of 10lb 2oz. I'm sure 'my peg' pinching friend was left scratching his head. I finished the session with four Carp in total a 9lb Mirror and a 11lb 4oz Common came just on pack up.

Now I'm not trying to make myself out to be a great angler, far from it. The point behind the above anecdote is that sometimes a little knowledge about what techniques and baits are working on a water are an absolute must - and can most definitely be the difference between sat behind motionless rods or catching fish.

For the record... I didn't spill the beans about my bait ;)


Back to the same venue. I was supposed to be doing some chores with 'Her in doors' but a last minute reprieve from she that must be obeyed was music to my ears. The van was soon packed and I wheel spun out of the drive before she changed her mind.

The fishing however was slow, very slow...I was catching plenty of Bream, but the Carp were not for showing. (notice I'm becoming a little expectant) Several hours went by before I finally had my moment. A welcomed blank saver by that of a lovely golden looking common of around 8lb's. Another 2 Carp followed - all of them being around the same weight.

No doubles were caught today so I couldn't be bothered with self takes. Instead I opted to photograph a little mouse that kept me company during my session. I affectionately referred to him as Mickey. :D

Scraper Double
15lb 2ozlast knockings 11lb 4oz


Monday, 30 May 2011

Cyprinus carpio

Another catch up!

I've been putting a good few hours into Carping recently. I've had a few sessions here and there, and I've banked a good few fish along the way. A fair amount of doubles and a few smaller fish too boot! I even managed to catch a new pb. At 16lb I'm still a little way off catching my first 20.

All fish were caught on the the 'method' Some have been caught on light gear, 8lb line and 6lb hook length, and a few have been caught on purpose Carp gear.

I've been experimenting with various baits until I found a combination which was absolutely deadly. It can be hard to move off a bait when you've started to get results on it. Indeed why change it if it's working for you and you're landing fish? But that's exactly what I did.

The night before my last session I went to my local river and observed some Chub. I took it upon myself to take them some food and I threw in some free offerings. I had a selection of around half a dozen baits and I what I witnessed was truly fascinating. There was one bait in particular that they homed in on. They would suck up the bait and quickly blow it out - repeating the process two or three times, before finally losing interest and leaving it. Soon enough another fish would come along and the ritual was repeated. Interestingly after quarter of an hour or so and up until the point when I left - the bait was still there. So of course this got me thinking! Would the Carp on the water I was to fish the next day do the same? There was only one way to find out...

I'd had two fish landed before I decided to experiment. A very hard fighting Ghost Carp of around 6 to 7lb's and a Common 5lb's or there abouts fell to my old faithful cocktail.

The new bait was hair rigged and had been in the water not 5 minutes when my rod screamed off. Something had fallen for it. That something was a 12 and a half pound Common. An hour or so later and I was in again. A smaller common perhaps a scraper double was landed.

Unfortunately the weather turned from perfect overcast conditions as the sun came out. This killed the fishing as all the Carp came to the surface. Fishing off the top on this water is banned. Alas I had to spend the rest of the day watching the fish rather than catching them.

Allan's 7lb+ Common

12lb 8oz. The worse self take ever? Possibly :)
The hard fighting Ghostie13lb + Mirror

16lb Common and a new PB
A cheeky visitor