Sunday, 29 December 2013

FLATTIE BASHING

Recently i have been drawn towards having a bash at catching some lovely Essex flounders like i used to many years ago. I actually havn,t caught, or fished for, flounder for a good 10 years now. In fact probably the last time i caught one would of been when i used to fish the platforms near Westcliff Leisure Center for anything that would take my bait. I used to love fishing tides that would be at their highest around 9pm, during the winter this was, and would use light gear and cast to the moored boats and end of the groins and would have great fun catching pouting, whiting, flounder, dabs, small bass and sometimes even rockling. My other half at the time thought i was mad as i would go out in all sorts of weather, i loved it that much.

Anyway due to reminiscing about my past fishing exploits i decided that i needed to scratch this itch and early one morning last week saw me and Oscar The Wonder Dog walking along the pathway at the bottom of the sea defences at a mark on Canvey Island, one i have never really fished to tell the truth but i,d been advised to give it a go by a few friends on one of the fishing forums, in hope of connecting with a couple of plump flounders. A nice are was found within casting distance of the main channel and after setting up my rod out flew a 2 hook flapper rig baited with frozen lugworm.


Everything was quite until around an hour before high tide when i started to get a few little rattles on my rod tip. After striking into thin air i eventually reeled in this tiny little pin whiting which i didn,t even realise was hanging onto my hook. A few more little rattles resulted in me again not hooking into anything, so i decided to leave the next rattle to materialise a little longer in the hope that the rattles were possibly being caused by flounder nipping and tugging at the end of the worm.




A few rattles stared after i re-freshed my bait but i sat on my hands. A few more rattles followed by a nice pull down on the rod tip had me jump up and position myself with the rod tucked under my arm and nice bit of tension on the tip. Again a few more little rattles were seen on the tip but more importantly felt through the rod, i was using braid mainline and my pike rods, then a nice thump followed by a good pull and instinctively i pulled into whatever was pulling at the other end. Excitedly i felt so weight at the other end and preceded to bring in something which was pulling back. As the fish got 10 foot or so from the bank it started to actually fight back which was great as its been years since i,ve actually had a sea fish fight back. In next to no time this gorgeous plump flounder surfaced and was soon on dry land. I was over the moon as my target had been achieved. Quickly unhooked, a few pictures taken with my phone and away she went back to her watery home. Bloody fantastic.....

Nothing much materialised after the flounder but it might have been because a seal popped its up and watched Oscar run around for a bit. But to be honest i wasn,t that bothered as i was made up with flounder i had caught, now i can,t wait to have another go for them.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

LOW WATER WALKING

A couple of weeks back i took my dogs for their usual long weekend walk along Benfleet Creek as a change to our local haunt of South Fambridge. I guess i should of checked my tide app as when we got there it was at dead low water so there basically wasn,t any water for Harry to have a swim. It was a shame as he does love the water, and sometimes i have a right job to get him out of it when we have to go. Unfortunately Oscar doesn,t like to swim, he can swim but just chooses not too. He,s happy just running around splatting in the mud and searching through the scrub grass.



Anyway, as we were walking along the creek i was taking note of the gully left behind by the receded tide. In places it came within 10 yards of the bank where i was, and also in a couple of places the water was a foot or so deeper than the average. I know this as Harry was wading through the remaining water and i was keeping an eye on how far up his legs/belly the water was.



Seeing all this mud and the deep gully running through it made me think of years gone by when i used to do a bit of flounder fishing in this creek. I didn,t often fish the area i was walking, but fished opposite on the Canvey side around the speed boat area as well a from the wharfe in Old Leigh. The most productive area was from the wharfe in Leigh, i used to sit on the bench and just flick my light leads into the gully and let it gently roll with the tide until it came to a rest and more often than not a rattle on the rod tip would soon appear. I caught some cracking flounder
that way and still use the technique now where ever i might be sea fishing.
My biggest flounder came to this technique and also at Old Leigh after i had
gone pike fishing during the afternoon but had found the lakes to be frozen so without a second thought i shot over to the wharfe and fished strips of mackeral to try and tempt a flattie. I ended up after a couple of hours fishing with 4 flounder over 1.5lb and the biggest over 2lb. Great fun as i only used to have 2lb tc carp rods which i used for my piking so when a flounder was hooked it fought really well on these light rods.


I took a picture of these old timbers as a friend of mine told me that these were the remains of the bridge legs that used to span the creek for the train to go over. I don,t know how many years ago this was, it was a lot though i,m sure. They are still as strong as ever and you wouldn,t be able to break them if you tried  

Monday, 9 December 2013

EVERYTHING BUT PERCH.......

Last week i knicked the morning of work as i fancied spending a few hours after the perch at a small local pond which i,ve been told holds a few biggies within its shallow waters. Weather was perfect, overcast with a slight breeze, as i set up in the last swim to the left of this tiny water. One rod was set up with a ledgered lobworm cast to some reeds where i had seen a big perch lunge at my lure last year. While my other rod was to be floatfished to the right in front of some more reeds with the hope of some silvers that i could use as bait, as well as causing some activity in the hope that this might draw in a couple of perch.

Unfortunately the perch didn,t materialise, but i did have an enjoyable mornings fishing catching some gorgeous roach to three quarters of a pound along with a couple of bream to 3lb and 5 carp to around 4lb or so. All the fish were caught on a single floatfished maggot on a size 18 hook to 1.8lb hooklink attached to 3lb mainline.

Great fun........



PERCH

I managed an afternoon after the perch on a local venue 2 weeks ago as i was ' itchin to go a fishin'. The weather wasn,t the best for perch fishing as the sun was strong with only a slight breeze to ruffle the waters surface. First task was to catch a handful of silvers to use as bait, my favourite technique being free roaming a small roach beneath a 1 swan shot loafer incorporating a 9 inch wire trace with a small semi barbed treble hook attached at the end. This set up has accounted for a lot of good perch upto 3lb 14oz as well as pike to upper doubles.

As per usual a couple of micro pike snaffled my livies and put up turbo charged fights on my light gear, but they soon paid a short visit to the bank.

The speed of these small pike is quite amazing. I could see their every twist and turn through the clear water as i was wearing that most vital item of fishing kit, polarised glasses. Small they may of been but they still had some impressive chompers....







After a couple of moves i managed my first perch of 1-1.5lb. That was soon followed by a couple of perch around the half pound mark before i set off to fish an area 100 yards away.

I had another couple of small perch before the sun started to set and i left for home and my dinner. I did see a very good size perch chase some fry from beneath a boat which was a nice sight to see.




All in all a nice way to spend an afternoon even if i didn,t connect with one of the biggies that live in this stretch.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

ATTACK OF THE WHITING...

Suday just gone i ventured out to my local estuary with aims of catching a flatfish or two. I was hoping for a nice plump dab as the area i chose is reputed to throw some nice ones up this time of year, or even a nice flounder would of made my day. Baits were fresh lugworm, mackeral strip and slivers of squid, all cast at varying distances.

Unfortunately all i managed to catch was 10 of these little blighters which were giving me rod rattles from the off. I,m not going to complain though as i enjoyed my few hours sitting out in the dark watching the tips of my rods silouhetted against the skyline.

PIKE

The sunday before last saw me whizzing along the A12 racing the rising sun to get to the swim i fancied on my syndicate water. There was other swims on this large body of water that were probably just as good as the one i wanted but i had made my mind up as to where i wanted to go. Arriving in the car park there was only the one cart there so with a 'haste in my pace' i shot off to check if my swim was free. Fortunately it was so i went back to my van and proceeded to load the barrow with all the kit needed for a days piking as well as the bait boat, damn that things heavy with the batteries etc. By 7am i had 3 rods set up and fishing but unfortunately i,d not checked the batteries on the boat hand set, which were flat, so had to settle with casting. There was fish topping and jumping all over my swim at around 30 yds so i dropped 2 baits there and launched the other as far as i could manage.

At 8am i had a run on the distance rod which after a cracking scrap resulted in this bruiser pike of 10lb 13oz. I didn,t take a proper picture as i didn,t wan to alert the guys getting their boats ready that i,d caught one, or else they would of been straight over.








Around 10am the dreaded sail boats started to launch and did their usual and made a bee line straight for me. Why they have to come so close to the bank where they can easily see someone fishing is beyond me. One was so close his keel clipped my line. Bloody annoying it was and by midday i,d had enough and moved to another area of the lake.





I spent the rest of the afternoon fishing this area but unfortunately i didn,t even get a nibble. I,d popped into a local garage and bought some batteries for the boat handset so spent some time mapping out the contours of the swim and it was very suprising, mostly uniform then i found an are where it dropped from 26ft to 37ft within a few feet. Obviously i had a bait here but it didn,t work, but i,ve noted the area for next time.


I did get to try out my midifyed road pod and i was very happy how it worked too. Some of the banks here are either hard as nails due to the gravel or are so soft that any bank sticks that you push in just fall over. This pod with my drop off adaptions solve both problems, although its now another peice of kit to lug up and down the banks.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

KAYAKING

With a heavy heart i had to sell my lovely little fishing dinghy a couple of weekends ago. Unfortunately due to my fishing partner not having enough time to actually go fishing i have not been able to use here as she is just too heavy for me to handle up and down the bank let alone put on the top of my van. So my plans are to build a lightweight fibreglass flat bottomed punt style fishing dinghy that i can handle on my lonesome. Watch this space...

 A couple of years ago i bought a kayak hull from a chap who makes them in the Fens. I then employed the talents of my Daddio to build the rest using some very expensive hardwood i had left over from a decking job i did. And he did me proud as always and i had a cracking looking kayak ready to paddle up the river. Until 2 weeks ago the only water it saw was when i gave it a hose down when it got dirty in my warehouse.



 That all changed one saturday afternoon recently as i was bored in the office and for some reason decided it would be a good idea to take the kayak out for her maiden voyage on a local river, right there and right then. Up on the van she went, rope, paddles and life vest were duely thrown in the back and i was on the banks of the river within 15 minutes, then the fun began. I,m 6ft tall and weigh 17stone and it didn,t matter how carefully i tried the bleeding thing kept tipping as i tried to gently step into her to push of from the bank. Eventually with the agility of a hippo i hopped into the kayak and pushed off from the bank to the sounds of clapping from a family i hadn,t noticed where watching me from a nearby bridge. Famous at last......





I then spent a really enjoyable few hours paddling along areas of the river i had never been too before, off course noting all the likely areas to bag a fish or two on future trips. The kayak was a litle bit too wobbly for my liking really but i,m going to make a pair of outriggers for her so she is more stable when i anchor for a wee spot of dangling. She was ok while i paddled alone though.












All in all i had a cracking time paddling around, watching the ducks and swans drift by and seeing the shoals or silver fish burst out of the water as i spooked them. I will definately be doing it again thats for sure.

I,VE BEEN FISHING..

Yes its true i have actually had a few short fishing sessions over the past few months, not many mind you..

I,ve had a dabble for perch on a local river which resulted in a few tiddlers, a couple of lost Jack pike and a nice sargeant of around a pound and a half. That was a 2 hour sessions after work on a bright sunny day, so i was pleasantly surprised when i actually had a bit of action. I started of catching a few small livebait which proved more difficult than you,d think as all the silvers i was catching were too big for perch, so i fished closer to the river bed and managed few nice size gudgeon.

I had a days fishing with a friend on his syndicate water which was enjoyable even though neither of us caught any carp. In between the torrential downpours we could see some cracking size carp showing over our baits but not one fell for our traps.

I had a couple of hours deadbaiting for pike a week or so ago at a local water and managed to bag this lean 10lber on a floatfished sardine cast to some reeds. This little scrapper gave me a right run around, tearing throuigh some lillies and tail walking at the net. It was great to watch the sun come up and bag this little beauty. I had a couple of hours with the lures a couple of days later but no joy.




I,ve may not have done much actual fishing but i have been doing a lot of research into local waters for perch and pike for this coming winter, as well as locating some slipways on the broads as i,m hoping to take my boat up there soon. I,ve also been researching the local sea fishing as i fancy doing a bit more this winter. I found some lovely looking spots where i,m hoping to have a go for the flounder in February, and some nice marks where whiting and codling will be on the cards too.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I,M BAACCKKKK............

Its been a while since i last posted anything on here. Unfortunately the trappings of modern life have caught up with me and like the rest of the country i,ve been feeling the financial pinch so have been working extra hours to make ends meet. I,ve actually designed and built 3 different websites for my various ventures recently. My main income being the design, construction, modification and maintenance of ornamental garden/koi ponds, www.waterbouys.co.uk . The second site is for a new venture of mine manufacturing fibreglass model boat hulls for the modelling community, www.waterbouymodelboats.co.uk . And finally i,ve been running an online tackle shop for the past year but have recently been building a new website as the old one wasn,t up to my standards. This will be an ongoing project as i,m increasing stock every week,  www.waterbouytackle.co.uk.

Although i,ve been working long hours i,ve still managed to have a couple of short holidays with my fair lady Sharon. We,ve taken our touring caravan to Norfolk twice for a nice chilled, relaxing few days doing nothing but walking the dogs and eating good food.

The beautiful beaches of Sea Palling looking towards Waxham. We love this beach as it seems to go on forever. We did manage to see a couple of seals one day at Waxham. Sharon has some good pictures of them.
If only i had taken my sea fishing gear as this beach screams bass.






As you can see Sharon is seriously into her photography, she must of taken hundreds of pictures while we tripping around the sights of Norfolk. Sharon has recently taken a City and Guilds photography course which she passed with 2 merits and a distinction. She,s really chuffed with her results and i,m proud of her as i know how much hard work she has put into the course.




 Ive been taking a few pictures too. Heres Oscar up close and personal at Sea Palling. He loved running up and down the beach splashing about along the tide line. Harry preferred to just swim around












Here is the pair of our hounds playing around in the seaweed at a local river mark where i like to have a little bash for the bass. Its a beautiful place to take the dogs for walk, especially early on a sunday morning when everyone else is still tucked up in their beds. I love the smell of the salt water and listen to the waders and wildfowl as i walk of the troubles of the previous week as the dogs run here and there along the tideline.




I have actually managed a couple fishing trips recently but i have the pictures on my computer back at my office so i,ll have to update you at a later date.

Until next time wrap up warm as winters is coming. Toodles.......

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

SUCCESS AND FAILURE

Welcome fishing friends, i hope you all had a good Christmas full of good food, good company and hopefully a few angling related presents. I know i,ve had a lovely couple of days in the company of family and friends but i,m itching to get out fishing but unfortunately i still have a couple of days left of family visits before i,m let loose again. I guess my only consolation is that its pissing down here so i probably wouldn,t of gone anyway. Who am i kidding i would just don the waterproofs and got on with enjoying myself.

Well i managed a couple of trips before christmas which proved to be both a blessing and a bind.

First off i spent the afternoon fishing a very small local pond which i,ve heard rumours of large perch being caught. This water is less than an acre in size and shallow with depths no greater than 3ft. Its a pretty little water though and i enjoyed my few hours fishing there.

I started off by fishing for the silvers to get an idea of how prolific the water is and also to see if i could bag a few small ones for livebait. Well straight away i was into some nice size roach and also skimmer bream, or at least i think they are skimmer bream, possibly silver bream but as i said i,m not too sure.
It was actually a fish a chuck once they got feeding which i really quite enjoyed before i decided to get my perching gear set up as it was getting late in the day.
Perch rod

ANOTHER SKATE...

A couple of evenings ago i decided to have another go at catching a thornback ray at a local mark. I got there a good 4 hours before high tide to fish the tide up in hope of catching some bass as well. Fortunately the mark i wanted to fish was free so i quickly set up my rods and started to cast various squid, herring and ragworm hookbaits out at different ranges. I use 3 rods whenever i can as it gives you more scope, most fish come to the 2 rods cast to the horizon but its surprising how often the short distance rod will produce the bigger fish.

There was no action until just before high tide when as i was having a little beach comb i noticed my ragworm baited rod start to nod then pull down. As ran up the shore whatever was on the end of my like just kept on pulling until my tripod and all 3 rods had come crashing down on the rocks. Once the active rod was picked up mi started to pump in a heavy weight which thumped every so often. I wasn,t sure what was on the other end but was pleasantly surprised to see a nice thornback ray break the waves and get temporally get stuck in the weeds around the high tide line. My second ray woohoo.......


Shortly afterwards i landed a small basslet on my close in rolling rod which put up a good account of its self on my carp rod. I left an hour after that as there was no more action and i had run out of bait. All in all a cracking few hours fishing after work. I,m really getting into sea fishing again

DAY TICKET TENCH

Recently i,ve heard a few rumours that some big tench have been caught from a local day ticket lake, just a couple of miles away from WATERBOUY TOWERS, with at least one confirmed double figure beastie being banked. Well as you,d expect, these catches got me interested so at the beginning of last week i paid a little recce visit to the aforementioned water. I,ve known of this water for the past 6 years since a couple of locals took on the mammoth task of renevating the, long left wild, water. When i first had a look at it all those years ago i had to admit it didn,t inspire me as it was just an overgrown hole in the ground with huge piles of rubbish and soil everywhere, so i didn,t bother to pay any attention to it. When i turned up there a week ago it looked like a totally different lake, the overgrown reeds, bushed etc had been sympathetically cut back. There was plenty of good size clean swims which had been built, but with plenty of space between them. And there was a pleasant array of wildlife swimming, flying and fluttering around. I was impressed and after a chat with the owner i decided that i would give it a fish the following night.

Late the following afternoon i was setting up camp in a point style swim shielded on both sides by 5ft high reed and bullrushes, with a nice bay round to my right and a nice reedbed in front at 30 yards. After a quick plumb around i found that the right side of the swim went down to 11ft then shallowed up to a plateau of around 2ft directly in front of the swim, then deepened of to 6ft to the left of the swim. Excellent i thought, plenty of veraitions and features to work too. I baited just of the right side of the plateau with a couple kilo of mixed particles, dead maggots and micro pellets and dropped a maggot feeder baited with Enterprise artificial maggots on the spot. The left rod was a small method feeder baited with critically balanced Enterprise sweetcorn cast to the bottom of the shelf to my right. The 3rd rod was a trimmed down Grange boilie with a pva bag of boilie crumb and micro pellets cast cast to reed bed to the left slightly.


Well i fished through until 10am the following morning as i had to go to work, and because i ran out of bait. The most action came to the method feeder and i lost count of how many fish i caught, roughly a dozen tench upto 4lb and about the same amount of carpm to 8lb. The maggot feeder produced the biggest tench of about 6lb but unfortunately it threw the hook at the net, typical. The boilie rod didn,t even get a sniff.


















All the fish were well fed and healthy little blighters and scrapped like demons on my light tackle. All in all i had a great time and was knackered after catching that many fish and getting just as many dropped runs as well.

I will definately be back there trying for one of the biggies....

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

RIVER SORTE..

I ventured onto the rivers a day after the new season had begin as the weather was beautiful and i couldn,t be bothered doing any work. By 3pm i had walked the mile and half to the small weir pool that i fancied having a fish in. I,d stopped of in a couple of chubby looking swims on the way and had spotted a couple of small chublets drifting about but seeing as the water was really clear and the sun bright i decided on not giving them a go. The weirpool on the other hand looked great, slightly coloured with plenty of turbulence and a lovely slack area in front of my swim.

I set up my quivertip rod and cast a maggot feeder out just into the flow with a 2 maggot baited hook attached. Straight away i was into fish, mainly small chub with some roach to half pound a few nice dace, i havn,t caught any dace for years, and a few perch to around the half pound mark.

All the fish i caught were in immaculate condition, well fed and hard fighting. I did somehow manage to lose a much bigger perch at the net, i think i was bullying it a little too hard too be honest



When i was bringing in a small perch all of a sudden there was an explosion of water and a nice pike of around 5lb grabbed it. After 5 minutes i somehow managed to land the opportunistic pike, if you look at the pikes back in the picture you will see the perch it had grabbed, fortunately he was none the worse for wear and swamm of strongly.









After fishing for a few hours i had caught a really nice mixed bag and as the sun was starting to set i decided to catch half a dozen small silvers and set of in pursuit of some nice perch. I fished a few swims until dark and managed to avoid the perch, but i did catch 4 pike to 8lb which i was more than happy with. The pike scrap really well on my light perch gear. Unfortunately i seem to have lost the pictures of the bigger pike which was a stunning looking fish.

Tight lines everyone........

Monday, 17 June 2013

SUCCESS

Last weekend i took my other half Sharon and our two dogs to a secret mark for the day to have a picnic and  see if i could bag a thornback ray. The weather wasn,t particularly good being very overcast with a strong wind blowing and a bit chilly. Sharon didn,t mind and neither did the dogs so of we set. After a nice offroad drive along the bottom of the sea wall we were at my chosen destination and carting the gear over to the otherside of the sea wall to fish on top of an old pill box. Sharon took her camera and the dogs for a walk as i proceeded to set up my tackle on top of this comfortable fishing platform. After one slip cast resulting in a big birdsnest i had my two rods cast out, one with a 2 hook flapper baited with ragworm for the bass and the other with a big herring fillet for the thornies.




 Just as Sharon got back from her walk i had a knock on my herring rod followed by a big slack line. Quickly winding in the slack i felt another thump and walked backwards pulling into the fish. I could feel a heavy weight thump again on the other end and i have to say i got a bit excited. Sharon was taking the mickey out of me as i started to talk to the fish, asking is it what i,ve been looking for and dont come and other mumbo jumbo that us anglers say as we,re playing a good fish. Fortunately Sharon took some lovely action shots as i played the fish in. There it was in the weed at my feet, my very first shore caught thornback ray, only the second i,ve ever caught, the first being from a boat out Hayling Island many moons ago. Although the fish was wrapped up in my trace, the hook was well and truly in its mouth.

Here is my prize at 7lb 13oz, not the biggest fish but not only my first shore caught skate but also the heaviest shore caught fish i,ve landed. Was i a happy boy, you bet i was.

Sharon also got some cracking pictures of the RNLI performing a rescue on a boat with engine failure just up the shore from us. It was good to watch the boys in action, they were quick and efficient in securing the boat then transferring the people on board to their rib and taking them to port, then roping the boat to one of their ribs and towing it back to port as well. Excellent work lads, job well done.











Cracking pictures by Sharon....