Saturday, 26 April 2014

NEW FOREST PADDLING

Just thought i,d put this short clip on of my golden retriever Harry enjoying himself paddling in a small brook in the New Forest. I,m not the only one who likes messing about in the water. I don,t know why it recorded without sound though.

DOWN ON THE DENGE

A couple of weekends ago i had a pass from the better half to spend the day fishing as she was going to be in London cheering on a friend who was running in the London Marathon, well done Sam Monks. With this in mind i had to make a quick decision as to what species and where i wanted to fish. With the old brain cell clunking and creaking i opted to have a spot off sea fishing at a favourite mark of mine in hope of an early thornback ray. Rumour had it that there had been a few caught lately and considering i had just received my gate key i decided to try Holiwell Point on the River Crouch. It would of been rude not too.

Having loaded my tackle into the van the night before i set the allarm clock to wake me at 7am so that i could get to my mark at low water as i wanted a scout around first and also to see if i could find a few peeler crab under the rocks. Well in a nut shell i overslept and arrived 2 hours later than i had hoped but still 3 hours before high tide. I had a little mooch around the rocks but didn,t find any peelers and not wanting to loose anymore actual fishing time i set about tackling up my rods.

One rod was set up with the Thornies in mind, a clipped up pennell rig baited with a whipped on herring fillet cast as far as possible. The second rod was rigged as a 2 hook flapper rig baited with ragworm and tipped with squid and also cast as far as possible to see what else was swimming around out there. And i also used a third rod which was my lightweight bass rod which i fished as a long trace rolling rig baited with ragworm and squid and only gave a gentle cast as i wanted it to gently roll in the current until it settled on a rough patch. This rod was to see if there was any bass patrolling close in, and to be honest has produced some of my better bass when i ve fished a rod this way.




After a few minutes of the close in rod being cast it was showing a few rattles before a couple of good pull downs. Like a shot i was holding the rod waiting for it to knock again, then rattle thump thump and i lifted into something kicking on the end of my line. Although it didn,t put up a fight as it was out gunned by my set up, this little codling did try its best to fight me on the way in. I followed up with a couple more small codling and a few small whiting for the rest of the time i was there. The crabs where really active, cleaning hooks within 10 minutes and sending little shivers through the line to the rod tips making me lunge to the rods in expectation of a bite many times. I didn,t manage any rays this time but i will be back thats for sure, and i,ll also be trying for the bass along this stretch as well.



Old gun turret out on the Dengie.

Friday, 11 April 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY

I,ve been sitting in the office at WATERBOUY towers this afternoon bored stiff and not really wanting to do any actual work. So i,ve been surfing the web and gathering information on fishing for and catching stingrays from my local coastline, as well as browsing the various fishing related groups on facebook. One group in particular has been keeping my attention and that is the FISHING PHOTOGRAPHY group, and as the name suggests its about sharing fishing related pictures. Some of the pictures are fantastic, not just through the composition or clarity or anything technical like that, but simply because they evoke the feelings that you get when you turn up on the banks of certain waters and you feel relaxed, at piece and excited all at once. I,ve posted a couple of my pictures on there too and had a few likes which is nice, but really i,m just happy to browse through the picture that some of the other chaps have posted. With this in mind i,ve trolled through my fishing picture archive and would like to share some of my favourite pictures with you.














Each of these pictures been a lot to me each in their own way, from the toadstall which reminds me of my trips to Estonia, the big water shots from when i was in Canada, the frozen shots of my local river a couple of years ago, to the picture of my dog Oscar in his neoprene jacket on his first fishing trip with me. All of them bring me a smile and warm fuzzy feeling, isn,t that what its all about...........

Sunday, 6 April 2014

NEW WATER

Late friday afternoon i arrived at my new syndicate water with tench, and to a lesser degree carp, on my mind. First thing to be done was to have a little walk around the areas that i,d ear marked for attention, no mean feat considering this water is hovering around the 100 acre mark and its long. Parking up in one of the car parks i could see 3 other cars so i opted to take a little walk along the arm towards the shallow end as this area has mature trees on both banks as well as nice reed beds and the bed is silty with years of decaying leaf mulch from the surrounding trees, also this is where the original river used to run before the area was flooded. Sods law dictates that the swims that i had an interest in fishing were already taken, but thats fishing for you. A quick chat with one of the carpers revealed that a couple of tench had been caught from this arm earlier in the week. I was tempted to set up further along the bank but opted to give it a miss as to be honest i didn,t really want the long walk it entailed, so i jumped in the car and drove the mile or so to the middle area of the lake passing another couple of anglers along the way.

After parking up i took the short walk to the small bay i fancied fishing. Fortunately there was no-one fishing there, in fact i don,t think there was anyone fishing within quarter of a mile so i had plenty of space. I,d seen tench cruising around this bay a couple of years ago when i was taking a walk around whilst deciding if i was man enough to join the syndicate and tackle this huge water. Quickly back to the van i unloaded my kit then piled it on the barrow and made my way around the bay to a nice little swim at the end of some reeds. Bivvy up, rods sorted, out came the marker rod to find a nice layer of weed interlaced with small gravel patches through out most of the bay. Two nice areas were selected and out went 1.5kg of mixed particles, pellets, boilie crumb and dead maggot to each spot neatly and easily done using the big size spomb. What a piece of kit the spomb is, easy to use and really accurate, even in my hands. One rod was placed on each spot with a small method ball and either fake corn or maggots on the hooks. My third rod was for the carp and was a snowman rig and small bag of choppies and pellets cast to just past the weed line.

After getting all my kit and usual paraphernalia sorted out and tucked away i settled down to cook a nice dinner of lamb meatballs in a chilli and tomato sauce. All the while i was getting little bleeps and pulls on the method rods so i was a little surprised that by morning i hadn,t actually had a full blooded run, my guessing was that the indications must have been from small silver fish and possibly bream as this water does hold a lot of them.
By the afternoon i decided to spomb out the rest of the particles to the middle of the bay as i had seen a couple of tench roll there the previous evening, my thinking being there might be something below that they were showing an interest in. After an hour of the rods being cast onto the spot i had a screaming run which could of been mistaken for a carp, but after a lacklustre fight a new PB bream was safely in the folds of my net. Although not my target species i,m always happy to catch any fish, especially if its a new personal best. After the bream the weather took a bit of a turn for the worse with the skies clouding over and the wind picking up, so i prepared for the worst and settled down for a nice dinner of sausages and beans. You may note that i like my food, i really do love to cook and also to eat so cooking decent food whilst i,m fishing is all part of the enjoyment to me.


PB bream of 7lb 3oz.

Well i was right about battening down the hatches as the weather got quite rough during the course of the night. The wind got up and it chucked it down with rain keeping me awake for most of the night. I did have a few aborted runs but by the time i,d got to them the fish was away, small bream i think. I packed up at 8am as a check of the weather apps showed that there was more rain due so a quick retreat home was the order of the day. All in all i had a nice relaxing session resulting in just the one bream but i,m more than happy with that, theres also meant to be some big double figure slabs in there so i,m hoping i connect with one of them one day. I may not have caught my target species but i,ve learnt a few more things, which is how you get one step closer to your goal. I think i,ll try the opposite end next time as i,m fancying a couple of swims there.


END OF SEASON PERCH

As a last minute send of to the season i opted to have a couple of hours after the perch at a local marina. Technique was float fished small livebaits left to swim around the boats hopefully attracking the intentions of a hungry sargeant.

I fished a couple of my usual hotspots but unfortunately they didn,t produce even a nibble. A move a couple of boats along and i landed a small turbo charged little pike nicely hooked in the scissors. Another move to the end of the marina by the lock gate and i could see shoals of fry scattering across the surface as something with teeth chased them from below.

A gentle flick of the float and my bait was settling through the depths when an eruption around my float saw a mahoosive perch snatch the small roach. Unfortunately the hooks didn,t connect and i reeled in with my heart thumping. A new livie was in the same spot a minute later and, as before, the float sunk out of sight before another explosion on the surface as the same monster again grabbed my bait. Unfortunately for the second time in a few minutes the beast got away. Quickly as i could, another livie was sent to the same spot but this time nothing happened for 10 minutes or so, typically with fishing i had looked away from the float as i had noticed a disturbance to my right, when there was a scrapping sound as my rod was dragged along the concrete pathway. Quickly i grabbed the rod as the tip was pulled beneath the surface as the beast from beneath did battle. After a minute or so i saw a big flank as the perch rolled on the surface just moments before i slipped the net beneath it. Heart thumping and my hands shaking i peered into the net, expecting to see the ginormous perch i,d seen earlier, only to find this beauty of 3lb 3oz lying there. Now don,t get me wrong i was more than happy with this capture but the perch i,d seen earlier must have been nearly twice the size of this one. I,ve heard of a few rumours that there is perch to 5lb in this marina, and a mate of mine saw one a couple of years ago that was so big he thought it was a carp, but i always take these rumours with a pinch of salt. Maybe the rumours are right, i,ll definately be having another try for them this winter and i,ll be doing it from either my kayak or from a small dinghy for easier access, oh and so i don,t get kicked off by the lock keeper again.