Sunday, 27 March 2011

The late bird doesn't catch the worm!

A tip session on a private lake that holds some decent sized fish was on the cards today. I arranged a time with Panto and Allan that at first was 6 O'clock then changed to 7 and finally stopped on 8am.

The water at this time of the year is very peggy, the majority of the fish seem to hold in one particular bay, accessible by only three pegs. It would seem that a few people have worked this out for themselves, thus there is usally a clamber to the hot pegs.

As I arrived and made way to the area I could see that two anglers had beaten us to the swims.

I was annoyed at myself for not making the effort of getting out of bed sooner. I said we'd struggle to get bites and that we did. Allan fished the Pole and didn't get a bite. the whole session. I fished the the tip which produced nothing! The ledger rod saved me a blank by catching a Skimmer of around a pound, better than a blank I suppose.

Panto, fished one of the hot pegs on the Pole and caught quite a few small fish. Q.E.D!

The trip wasn't a complete waste of time though as I observed some nice Long - tailed Tits, one of which I managed photograph.

Long tailed- Tit

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Time for the tip

The Pike rods are packed away and it was time to blow the cobwebs off the tip rod. This is what I love about fishing - just as one door closes another one opens.

A sunrise session on a misty lake was a fine start to a new campaign. It was time to see if I could catch a Tench or Bream awakening from it's winter slumber. I fished the Tip and I also ledgered one rod on a bite alarm.

There wasn't too much sign of life on the water, spare some inquisitive fry hanging around the margins.

The tip rod wasn't responding too well on the maggot feeder, in around two hours of fishing only one Roach made an appearance.

The ledger rod was better, three fish came in total. The first a Bream around 3lb's followed by one slightly bigger at perhaps 5lb's. Then came my first Tench of the year. I took the trouble to weigh this one, 4lb 2oz not a bad fish.

As this rod was producing I switched the tip rod over to the same bait. It lay motionless for around an hour when I got a whacking take. I hit into it and felt a good weight at the end, a hard fighting Tench led me a merry dance.

I'd forgotten just how well these little fella's can fight, pound for pound they'll give any fish a run for their money and at 5lb 6oz it was a decent sized fish, certainly worth unzipping the Reubens from their pouch. A good days fishing, and it was nice to be back on the tip, to me that means one thing... Summer is coming!

5lb BreamFirst tench of the year
Immaculate 5lb 6oz

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The toss of a coin

Well it was here, the final day of the river season. Myself and Panto were to make the most of this nostalgic day by meeting up at day break. We both had our eyes on an area we wanted to fish. In the interest of fairness and sportsmanship we decided to let fate decide our positions. The winner of a coin toss would not be able to decided where to fish but would be given the 'Hot Peg' A twenty pence piece was tossed into the air and Panto called heads. It was tails! The peg was mine. A forlorn Panto trudged off to the next swim. The peg choice indeed proved to be critical.

The action came fast and furious. In around three hours I landed a total of 5 fish to 11lb's, they were mostly small Pike between 5 and 8lb's but they were still giving the rod a good bend. I stayed until dusk hoping to catch a decent Perch but they didn't show. Panto was left cursing his luck as his only fish of the day was a tiny Pike of around 10oz.

I'd seen the season out in style, in under a week I'd netted a total of 15 Pike, nearly half of which were doubles. I will look back at this season with great fondness. I've taken numerous canal doubles to 16lb 4oz, and my new Sluice PB of 17lb 6oz won't be forgotten in a hurry. I've had a great haul of Pike over the last few months and It's been great fun catching them. I've had some great laughs with my mates along the way, and at the end of the day, that's what it's about isn't it?

The first of five

The last double of the season

A leeched up Pike

Saturday, 12 March 2011

At the double!

It was Allan's turn to try his luck at landing a specimen Pike today. We met up at out agreed location at 7am. We settled on an area and after an hour I got itchy feet. It doesn't feel right here mate, We have to move. We saddled up like pit ponies and walked to a more favored stretch.

Within 10 minutes of recasting our baits on to the area we'd both landed Pike.

Allan was the first to catch, a nice double of around 11lb was his reward for moving. We were just congratulating ourselves in making the effort of upping sticks when I heard an almighty splash, I saw fish scatter and fry jump for their lives, my float disappeared into the murky depths with some gusto, this had to be one of the most violent takes that I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Another nice Pike just 2oz's shy of 13lb. I was a happy man as this was my sixth double of the week.

Allan's back!

12lb 14oz

Panto has the last laugh!

Four days of the fishing season left and the chance for another session was not to be missed. I'd arranged to meet up with Panto, who I'd wager was still kicking himself for missing out on the previous days action.

Panto is no fool and had wasted little time in setting up on the peg that had produced fish for me the day before. I don't blame him I'd have done the same.

When I arrived at the swim I asked the dreaded question "Have you had owt?" I braced myself for the answer... "Yep two fish, both around 8 or 9 pounds"

But he'd done something that I couldn't believe, just as I got there he'd leapfrogged off the peg leaving it empty. What was he thinking? I thought, and as quick as a flash I jumped on it.

Ten minutes later I was in and Panto was left as sick as a parrot as I landed my first double of the day 14lb 2oz. Was it the same 14 that I'd had a couple of days previously? After checking the photographs at home I can confirm that they're actually different fish.

Another 20 minutes went by and I was in again from the same spot, another double and Panto was as white as a sheet.

Dont' worry mate your time will come...

Well lets just say that never a truer word was spoken, and indeed his time did come. I'm afraid at this point I'm not at liberty to discuss the events. I will do a follow on report in a month or so. Watch this space!

14lb 2oz

11lb 14oz
Scraper Double

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The day Gordy was late for fishing!

As I slept in my bed last night I could hear the wind causing a commotion, the gates to the back garden were thudding against the side of the house, the gutters hummed a haunting tune under the stress of a menacing wind. This wasn't good news as I wanted to sneak a few hours fishing in the morning before work.

My fears of abandoning the session were not eased as when I eventually dared to peek out the window, it was absolutely chucking it down and blowing a gale. Damn it! I wasn't for fishing in that. I had though arranged to meet Gord this morning and when he phoned me we somehow managed to talk each other into still going despite the weather.

I'd set off and was making way to the Sluice when Gord phoned again. "I'm not fishing in that Matt, I've changed my mind" I pulled the van over, questioned my own sanity and almost turned back. No! I'd come this far, the gear was in the van and I'd set off already. The Pirate declared that if I was fishing it then he'd come too. Almost as quick as it was over the session then was back on.

I arrived at my peg well ahead of my fishing companion. I had the area to myself so I set about setting the rods up. My third rod was just about baited up and in the water when my left hand float indicated a bite. My reaction was that of glee as my indecision's on whether or not to fish this morning had paid off almost immediately upon my arrival. I wound down on to the slack line and set the hooks, I was met with some hefty resistance, what the hell had I hooked into here? I knew I was into a big fish because she wasn't for showing. A battle ensued and what seemed like around half an hour was probably in reality around a minute.

I finally raised her head out of the water. When she slipped into the net I took one look at her girth and guessed she was around 16lb. I zeroed the scales and watched the needle come to a stop on 17lb 6oz. What a result! A new Sluice PB and all I could think was 'Thank god I didn't turn back'

The Swashbuckling Pirate arrived just in time to take the snaps. Good old Gordie I knew he had his uses ;)

I stayed for a few hours just in case there was something else lurking in the depths, and there was, alas it was just a rooting tooting Jack of around 2lb's.

So a day of what if's and might have beens that has a happy ending. Oh and I'm still smiling to myself about that fish :D

17lb 6oz

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The big girls are here!


An early morning meet up with Panto on the drains was arranged. I say early morning by that I mean 8am. Hardly the crack of dawn was it?

We decided to leap frog rather than stay static. A tactic that sort of paid off. Panto was the first to catch and within around 10 minutes of setting up. A plump Pike of just over 11lb followed by a small Jack 20 minutes or so later left me wanting. In fact I was left wanting for a good six hours or so before my float bobbed under and went out of sight. I too had caught a plump Pike, she was full of spawn perhaps adding a couple of pounds to her normal weight. Pre spawning she'd probably weigh around 8 or 9 lbs, laden with eggs she was 10lb 4oz. I had a couple of dropped runs probably by Perch but other than that there was no more action for myself or JP.

Panto's double

The fish that saved the day!


I arranged a session on the sluice with Paddy. The fishing conditions were absolutely terrible. The water was chocolate brown and was pumping very hard. Needless to say we didn't catch. We packed up a little early with our tails between our legs. Maybe next time eh mate? :)


Myself and Allan decided to give the drains a rest today. I suspected that the Sluice would be busy, I didn't fancy being part of a crowd so a trip to the canal and fishing on the pole was my preference.

I made my way to one of my favourite pegs and set out for the Roach on bread punch. It's fair to say that the fishing got a little bit competitive between myself and Allan and when we checked the keep nets at the end I'd just pipped him 30-25. I'll say one thing, I'm going to be in for some trouncing by Allan on the pole this season. Despite his shovel sized hands and sausage fingers he's pretty damn good at this pole fishing lark!

I also set out for Perch today, I caught a couple of Pike and just the one Perch of around half a pound, not the biggest of specimens but it's a start.

Hopefully they'll get bigger!


Another trip to the canal fishing for Roach and to target Perch. What a contrast to the day before, I really struggled to get a bite on the pole. I fished the whole day and managed just the 8 Roach. This could mostly be down to the wind that was blowing the pole all over the place, somewhat hindering the presentation of the bread punch.

The Perch rod caught me three Pike, the biggest was around 6 pounds, Squeaky bum time on light line and a sticky clutch but bloomin great fun!


The end of the fishing season is drawing ever near, with that in mind I couldn't help having a short session on the drains today. It was a decision that I was to be thankful for later.

My first fish came after around half an hour of setting up. I was sat starring at my floats watching debris sailing past me and wondering if I'd even catch at all today when my middle float shot under the surface and was away. A hefty lump at the end of my line tugged a bit and stayed deep but if I'm honest it didn't put up the biggest of fights. At 14lb 4oz it was a good fish, so I wasn't for complaining. Another fish of around 5lb soon followed, albeit a lot smaller but it gave me a much better fight.

The Pike were not done feeding just yet, another double as fat as a barrel and resembling a puffer fish was landed, and just before pack up a Pike of around 7 pounds ended the days fishing just nicely.

I'm pretty sure that if I was able to stay and fish the whole day the blogging would not have finished here. I had fatherly duties to attend to and I wasn't wanting to be on the end of an ear bashing from a disgruntled 8 year old if I was late for the school run.

14lb 4oz

The Puffer fish