Monday, 10 July 2017

FLOAT FISHING...........




Last week i had some energy left after work and decided that i fancied a couple of hours fishing. The only problem was i couldn,t make up my mind whether to go to the local park lake and have a go for some surface carp action or pop to the local estuary and target the ever wary mullet or trot up the road to a local day ticket and just float fish for whatever came along. The later option was chosen.




After quickly sorting some gear and grabbing a tin of sweetcorn i was set up in my chosen swim on a beautiful local water. I love this water but unfortunately it can get a bit noisy with the local scrotbags riding bikes along the paths behind you and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Today they were well behaved but unfortunately there was a small group of Europeans on the opposite bank who were chatting very loudly and constantly getting phonecalls. They were putting the fish they caught back in the lake so thats definately a good thing, so i can,t complain too much considering the general reputation they have.





Anyways back to the fishing. I baited a nice looking spot next to a bush on my left in 5ft of water with sweetcorn and small pellets then set about tackling up my road. First chuck in and i had a nice bream of around a pound or so on my corn hookbait, actually scrapped well on the light gear even taking line at one point. Next chuck the float dipped and i struck into something a lot heavier, i reckon it was a small carp as there was no way i could stop it from powering away from me. Unfortunately my hooklink parted and away it went. After tying a new hooklink on and re-casting nothing happened for ten minutes then it was a bite a chuck. Rudd and roach were the main culprits with the odd bream thrown in for good measure all giving a good account of themselves and in tip top condition. I fished for a couple hours before hunger got the better of me and away home i went for my dinner.


TESCO TREASURE......

I bought this little beauty at Tesco yesterday for the princely sum of £12.50 and it looks to be worth every penny.

It measures roughly 12" square, weighs 1.8kg, collapses flat and even has its own carry bag.

I,m looking forward to bbq steak on this beauty next time i,m on the bank...

BRIEF SYNDICATE UPDATE........

Well i,ve fished the syndicate twice more since i last posted about the place but unfortunately have not been successful in catching any carp. I have however caught more bream than i was hoping for and learned more about the place which is always a good thing.

My free time has been very limited over the past couple of months so i havn,t been able to put as much effort into fishing the place as i had hoped, but on the couple of trips i,ve made i,m slowly getting to grips with fishing such a large water for so few fish. One thing i have noticed is that the lure anglers both on the boats and on the bank can be a bit of a pain in the arse. I,m all for letting everyone enjoy their fishing but when lures get chucked over your lines from the next swim down because they ' didn,t notice you mate' and boats anchor up above your baits 50 yards in front of your swim and then the guys argue that they are only fishing mid-water upwards and that it won,t spook the carp on the bottom, it does get a bit frustrating. But thats fishing i guess..........

I,m hoping to be on the banks in the next couple of weeks so i,ll post on here how i get on.

RIDGEMONKEY XL





Used this bad boy a couple of months back and have to say its the perfect tool for cooking up a big boy brekkie bankside...

Saturday, 3 June 2017

PARK CARP........

A few weeks back i decided to fish the local park water, me getting down with the kids urban angling hahaaaaa,  for a few hours early one morning as after my trip to the syndicate i thought it would be nice to catch a carp so i,d remember what they were like.


I,m really not a lover of fishing this type of water as there is just too many people around for my liking, but having walked the lake quite a bit with the dogs over the years i thought i,d give it a go. It is a pretty little lake and well kept, just up the road from where i live and has a good head of carp so was an ideal venue to brush off the cobwebs. Also i wanted to try zig fishing and this seemed an ideal place for this technique as i,ve seen carp swimming sub surface on most of my visits.

 Having arrived at first light i set up in a swim with easy access to fish a small island in front. One rod to the near margins with a small stick and bottom bait and the other rod out to the margins of the island. Nothing happened for an hour or so until i had a missed run on the margin rod followed by a screaming run on the zig rod. This resulted in a beautifully scaled, although gammy mouthed, mirror carp of around 12lb which initially got tangled in someones snapped off tackle which was still connected to a tree on the island. Eventually after a lot of commotion i landed the fish, quite chuffed i was too as it was the first time i,d used the zig method and i,d caught on it.

I stayed for another hour but the swim was dead, probably due to the commotion of the mirror i,d just caught. I,d enjoyed my few hours fishing and learnt a bit about fishing a new, to me anyway,  method for carp. I left just as the sun was getting warmer and  the lake was getting busier with more anglers arriving and families out for an early sunday morning walk.

Croissants and coffee picked up on the way home for brekkie, my fishing itch scratched and the rest of the day ahead of me.

Top banana.........

NEW SYNDICATE FIRST TRIP.

Well finally i was given a pass by the better half to have a couple days out from working on the extension and without any hesitation plans were made and bags packed for a 2 night trip to my new syndicate water. The weather was bloody cold when i arrived at first light but after a couple of hours walking part of the banks i opted for a nice tree lined section of bank which was sheltered from the cold wind and considerably warmer than the rest of the 100 acres. Even the sun came out to greet me.

It wasn,t just because it was warmer here, i had also seen quite a lot of small fish activity here when i first walked through the trees. They were only silver fish but seeing as though i had not seen any activity at all anywhere else on the lake i thought this would be as good a place as any. The swim also gave me plenty of water to fish and even more water to scan in case any carp showed themselves anywhere else.






By mid afternoon i had everything set up and three rods fishing in what seemed like a rather featureless expanse of water. I,d markered around as far as i could cast both left, right and central and the bottom seemed to gradually sloped out to 26ft with patches of gravel dotted in between the light weed at varying distances. No areas jumped out 'fish me' so i opted for a near, medium and far approach. Near being a small stick and bottom bait cast 30-50 yards to my left on a gravelly seam i found in 12ft of water. Medium rod was a ronnie rig fished pop-up over a good bed of boilies, whole 10mm and 15mm as well as some chopped, and hemp with a little groundbait mixed in as an additional attractor. And the far rod was a choddie fished pink pop-up launched as far as i could cast, and i moved this rod every few hours in an attempt to locate any fish. All the baits were the ever stinky Virus, boy do these baits stink and the liquids are even worse, in a hope the strong odour would draw any passing fish in.














Soon enough the sun started to set with no indication of any carp being in the local vicinity but the water was alive with silver fish and pike thrashing at them. Although i hadn,t caught anything, i did have a few aborted takes but i reckon they were just bream as this water holds a massive head of them, i had still enjoyed my first day there and had learnt a lot about this part of the water. Expectations were high for the night as i settled down to cook a nice fillet steak and mushrooms dinner.
Morning came carpless but i did have a couple bream during the night to the stick mix rod. Not what i was hoping for but at least the bait and rig was working.


Whilst having my morning latte just after first light i had an erratic take on my medium rod, not a bream type rattle, and before you knew i had rod in hand, ooeerrr missus, and lent into whatever was nibbling at my bait. Unfortunately it wasnt the hoped for carp but a beautiful silver roach glistening in the morning sun as i watched it twisting around in the shallows at my feet. A lovely fish but not what i really wanted and after recasting the same rod was away again but this time a good size 7lb bream was the culprit. In fact the rest of the morning i just got plagued by bream on the medium rod, which on talking to some other anglers the following day, as i walked the banks again, was commonplace if you baited up with particles. Oh well, lesson learned, maybe not a good idea to use particles which is a shame as thats my favourite method really.




The bream i caught were quite scabby looking things really, with big chunks out of their fins and covered in marks, lumps and scars. Some of them were failed pike attacks i,m sure but i,m not sure about the rest. I would of enjoyed them more if i was using lighter tackle as they were putting up quite a scrap really, and i reckon if i had used a small method feeder approach i would of bagged up on the snotty things, and hopefully some nice tench too as this water holds some crackers as i,ve seen some pictures and actually watched them swim around a a nearby shallow bay a few years ago. In fact this water holds fish of most species to an above average size its just such a big body of water that tracking them down is a bit of a nightmare. I,ve watched match anglers on numerous occasions over the years catch some big old roach upto the magic 3lb mark as well as bream to the upper single figures, with regular reports of mid doubles being caught too. The tench go to low doubles so i,ve been told and i,ve seen them to upper singles swimming the margins. As well as these fish you have good size pike, fair size perch, rumours of biggg eels and abviously the carp that i,m hoping to catch at some point.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful and the evening and night time didn,t bring any fish at all. The temperature had dropped quite a lot during the later part of the afternoon and the night was a lot colder than the previous. I had considered a move to somewhere else but to be quite honest i was comfortable where i was and had a visit from a regular carper during early evening and he had said i was in as good a place as any. The evening saw me watching the water until well into darkness drinking lots of lattes and eating more jam and cream biscuits than i should off, but i didn,t see anything remotely carpy.

Morning came around and other than a couple of bleeps on the Delks i,d had a good nights kip. I watched the water, drank some lattes, ate a fry up, walked the bank either side of my swim and by midday i was in two minds as whether to stay or go home for a roast dinner with missus. The later got the better of me so i packed up the kit and pushed the barrow back along the track to the truck. A quick stop of at the  waters toilet for a much needed dump and a wash then the local petrol station for a cold drink and then a walk along the bank at the far end before the long drive home. No carp but thoroughly enjoyed myself and  learnt a bit more about this water.

Until next time chaps and chapesses.......

Sunday, 9 April 2017

NEW VENUE, NEW CHALLENGE

Its been a couple months since my last post for which i apologize. Work and diy has got in the way again, a frequent occurrence for the past couple of years, but i do have a little something to tell all you fisher folks. I have been deliberating as where to fish this coming season as last season i joined a local water which i,d been a member of many years ago, a time i thoroughly enjoyed back then, but this time round i did not enjoy it due to the numerous Korda Klones fishing, and messing up, the place. It was obvious this was not the place to join again so i donned my thinking cap as to where to go this season. Maybe just stick to the local day tickets i thought firstly, then slapped myself hard for ever having such a stupid idea. What about joining BDAC or CAPS, local angling clubs with numerous waters on their books, but they didn,t really interest me one little bit. Then i remembered a very large water i fished a few years back which had practically everything i wanted out of a water. I,ve fished it plenty of times for the pike and done pretty well, it holds some good size tench, has big shoals of bream, the roach there are big and numerous, and it has some monster carp swimming in its depths. That was that then, i fired of an email to the fishery manager asking if there was any spare places on the syndicate and i waited with my fingers crossed for the answer i was looking for.

The man from the fishery he say yesss!!!!!!!!

Thats what the email said when i opened it the following day, hows that for prompt. Whats more he even remembered who i was and my like of pike and tench, cant complain at that. Anyways a meeting was arranged for that sunday where i paid my dues and had a walk around this mahoosive spread of water to acquaint myself again. By christ she is a biggg water and didn,t look too appealing on a grey blowy day, but that aside i was looking forward to it.

A rough plan was hatched as to how i was going to tackle finding and catching the carp from this water and i was onto my next decision of which bait to use. After quite a bit of research and chatting with various bait buffs i opted to use a local bait manufacturer called ECLIPSE BAITS as i,d heard some good things about the baits they produced.


After a chat with Dave the owner i decided to give their Virus range a go as it stinks to high heaven and hopefully will have the pulling power i will need. Its a stinky fishy boilie and quite soft which i like and comes with various pop-ups, dips etc. Bait sorted the next stage was to get the rest of my kit ready for my first trip which was going to be in a couple of weeks, I couldn,t wait...


Monday, 27 February 2017

FLOUNDER FISHING..

Well a couple of weeks ago i got the urge to have a bash at catching a flounder or two, and when that certain fishing itch strikes you have to give it a scratch. Checking the local tide times it turned out that the following nights tides were ideal, highwater about 8pm, so i promptly ordered 2 packs of lugworm from a local bait digger which i picked up an hour later and set about tying up some flattie bashing rigs.

After a couple of hours fiddling with my tackle, ooo eerrrr missus, i had numerous rigs made up and two of my pike roads set up ready to rock the following evening. I like using my lighter pike rods for flounders as they detect even the smallest knocks and when you do actually hook a fish they allow you to enjoy the fight. Flounders do actually give a good scrap when fished for on lighter tackle, as do small bass and even whiting. The only downside with the lighter rods is they compress a lot when used in waters with strong currents, not very good if i,m fishing my local River Crouch as this has a very strong tide run. The rods are ok when i,m fishing close in though as the current isn,t as strong and i think because there is less line in the water there is also less drag.

Well i set off to my chosen destination, Old Leigh, with absolutely no real hope of catching anything as the reports had been of blanks all round and to top it off the temperature had dropped considerably the previous night and during the course of the day. Either way i had my bait to use up so at 5pm i was sat on the Wharfe bench baiting up my first rod ready for my first cast. It had started to get a little foggy on the drive there but i didn,t really think much of it but by the time i had baited and cast out my second rod you could only just see past the rod tips. Luckily i,ve fished here for more years than i care to remember and know that there is a deep gully that runs close to the wharfe no more than 20 yards out so it was an easy chuck to land the rigs in there.

Over the course of the next few hours the fog got heavier and the temperature took a serious plummet southwards but i had my thermal gear on so it didn,t really bother me. Regularly re-baiting and re-casting every 15 mins showed that there was barely anything alive out there as most of my baited hooks were coming back in untouched. I did have a couple of small rattles which could of been small fish or maybe just crabs, who knows, but those little rod movements kept the fire burning for the chance of something coming along. Unfortunately it was not to be and about 9.30pm i packed up the gear and set of for home in seriously thick fog. In the time it took me to tackle down my rods etc the droplets of water that were hanging from my rod rings had actually frozen, and it took the 15 minutes car journey home to warm my hands and fingers up. In fact i can honestly say that my fingers have not been so cold since i was a kid, and bloody painful they were too. Maybe its me getting old but i do seem to feel the cold more nowadays.....

Although it was a fruitless fishing trip i can honestly say i thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be having a bash for flounders again very soon as they should be coming into the shallower waters to spawn pretty soon.

TIGHT LINES..........

Saturday, 21 January 2017

TEENY WEENY PERCH LURES

Got these little beauties through the post this morning. I reckon they will be great for perch on a couple of waters that i know. Not bad for £3.50 of Ebay...


Slow sinking with an internal rattle, got to have a fish or 2 on these. I,ll give them a try first to see how they fair and then might change the hook for a smaller size..........

I LOVE THIS...

I,ve just seen this on bookface and thought i,d share it.




IT SNOWED.............

 Last week the it snowed as predicated. The weather men had predicted heavy snowfall along with strong winds as a bad weather system was meant to be hitting the country. People started the usual panic buying of food in case we were going to get snowed in for countless days, and what did we get... Barely half inch...

And guess what, this small amount of snowfall brought chaos to the country as it usually does. How come Canada can be under feet of snow and no one bats an eyelid and keep going about their business, but we get half a fookin inch and all hell breaks loose. This country is a joke sometimes.

Now on that note i couldn,t work the first day of the snow as the boss pulled the plug on the building job we were doing. But this time i wasn,t complaining as i had deadbaits in the freezer and my pike rods were already set up and ready to go from a session a couple of days. So as the sun was rising i was crunching through the now thinning but frozen solid snow on my way to the same local water for a couple of hours fishing before breakfast. I headed for my favourite area of the lake which is a large bay kind of area which i hoped be free from ice, which luckily it was as there was a strong bitterly cold wind blowing across it. The usual static float fished deadbait and drifted deadbait were cast out towards the far reeds in hope of a fish or two but to be quite honest it was turning into such a beautiful morning that i was just happy to be there. Oh and the fact that it was a work day made it all the better.

 After about 10 minutes the static float started to twitch then sailed away to the right. A quick strike and i was into a fish which was pulling back pretty strong. It wasn,t long before a nice low double figure pike was thumping away below my rod tip but as i slipped the net into the water it shook its head and made a final lunge and spat the hooks back at me. Bummer.....
An hour or so past after that fish with not a twitch on the floats even though i worked my swim pretty well searching for more pike. I,d been feeding a little Robin with biscuit crumbs for a while and now i was soon going to need feeding as well. I decided to up sticks for a final half hour and fish in the corner of the bay as it looked pretty good an area for a predator to hole up in wait for its prey. In went my static dead and my drifter went in the next swim as it was clearer water. As i was watching the static bait the float seemed to give a little twitch which didn,t quite look right so i gently tightened down and felt another little knock knock. I struck and nearly got slapped in the chops by the bait as it was only a few feet out and i,d hit it a bit hard, note to self calm the fook down. Anyway there was teeth marks in the bait but seeing as i hadn,t felt resistance on the strike i plopped the bait straight back in the same place in hope of a second attempt. A couple of minutes later the float was dancing again and this time i lifted into it, all calm like, and felt a nice thump on the end before the bait was spat out in disgust.

Well that was it for me as my belly was well and truly grumbling by then, so i packed up and walked back to the car before driving to the local cafe for a nice big warming fry up. By the way the wind had picked up steadily and was bloody freezing by the time i left but it was still worth standing out in for this little impromptu session.

TIGHT LINES.............

Thursday, 12 January 2017

DEADBAIT SOAKING.........


 I soaked a couple of deadbaits for a couple hours the other day at a local water hoping to catch a half decent sized pike.  It was a bloody cold morning and a good part of the lake was frozen but i found a nice looking spot and cast out my two floatfished deadbaits. One was a standard static bait, half a bluey cast to the far reeds. The other was a smelt hooked through the back so it sits just of horizontal in the water and was set up under a float allowing it to drift around the swim on the breeze. Expectations were high but the pike didn,t want to play ball. I left after a couple fo hours ready for a nice big fry-up at the local eatery........











I had a visit from a friendly Robin though so wasn,t all bad.

MARINA DANGLING.......

After taking a walk along my favourite marina and seeing the lock empty it gave me the urge to get up there at first light and have a wee dangle for the once plentiful perch that used to reside there. So the next day saw me sitting in the car park just before dawn eagerly awaiting the big ball of fire to rise over the tree tops. After what seemed like hours but was probably only 20 mins it was light enough for me to grab my kit, dropshot and light lure set-up this morning, and try my luck.

Well i started of by using the drop shot method in between the moored boats in the hope of a perch or two as i,ve had plenty of action here in previous years. The drop shot is an ideal method for fishing in tight gaps as i was, because you can just flick the small weight and lure out and fish it in one position for a while, just giving the rod tip a little tap tap now and then to get the little imitation fish to waggle around seductively. I did this for 45 mins or so in various spots, all spots that i,ve caught from before, and only had a couple little plucks for my efforts.

I decided to change tactics to a small jighead fished shad cast along the boats a little further up the river and straight away i was getting follows and a few knocks. After a dozen casts or so i hooked into this little terror which gave a cracking scrap on my lightweight set-up. He was only small but much appreciated and the only fish i banked. I only fished for a total of 2 hours at most but thoroughly enjoyed myself and although it was pretty cold, the sky was blue and the sun was strong which made it a beautiful time to be out and about.......

I think that maybe this marina has had its day as i havn,t managed to catch anything of note for the past few years. Time to move on and find somewhere else for my perch i reckon........

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

EMPTY LOCK.............


 Over the years i,ve walked across and fished alongside countless amounts of locks on numerous rivers and canals, but i,ve never really given much thought as to what they actually look like once empty. A couple of days ago i took a walk along a local river and found that one of the lock gates had been removed and the lock itself had been drained and obviously is having some work undertaken.
I took these pictures with my phone just to show how deep the lock actually is. I wish i,d taken a picture of the removed lock gate but didn,t think of it at the time.

The gate fits where the scaffolding is now, and i,m standing on the middle gate.
















Standing on the scaffolding looking inland. Its amazing that all that is holding back the river is these steel sheets thumped into the river bed and that one steel rsj. There must be one hell of a lot of pressure pushing against that sheeting. I wonder if you get danger pay for going down that ladder and working at bottom.













Standing on the scaffolding looking seaward. You can see the middle gate and just behind it you can see the outer gate. I didn,t realize that the bottom of locks was lined using bricks, i thought the sides would be and the bottom would just be mud. The pictures don,t really do the size of the lock any justice, its massive. I wonder how much rubbish they might of removed from the bottom??
INTERESTING STUFF..........

FIRST TRIP OUT OF THE NEW YEAR...............


My first trip of the New Year saw me on a perch hunt at my favourite location armed with a couple of pints of maggots to catch some livebait and a tub of lobworms as back-up in case no little silver fish could be caught. Arriving before it was light i sat in my truck eagerly waiting for the sun to rise so i could set of to my chosen spot. I,ve fished this location  quite a bit over the years and have had some cracking perch, fishing small free roaming livies in between the moored boats. My PB of 3lb 14oz came from here as well as more perch over 3lb than i can remember. In fact a few years ago it got to the point that if i hadn,t caught a perch over 3lb in the 2 hours i was there, bit of a naughty place to fish so only had a couple hours fishing before lock keeper was out of bed, then it was a poor session. Anyway, eventually it was light enough so off i trudged through the car park and up the steps to find the whole river frozen solid. OOPPSSS!!!!! Should of checked the weather forecast the night before i guess, but i honestly wouldn,t of thought that it had been cold enough to freeze the marina. Oh well, back in the truck i got, quick pitstop at Mcvomit for a breakfast meal and within 15 mins i was at another river that definately wasn,t frozen over.

I set about catching some livebait first in a little backwater which had them dippling all over the place and as usual i found it hard to stop fishing for them after i had my allotted dozen hookbaits in the bucket. I do enjoy catching livebait, i don,t why as in reality its usually pretty easy as they,re usually shoaled up tight so they compete for your maggots well and they don,t put much of a fight as they are only small. Any ways its good fun for half hour or so.

Where i was fishing for the bait kept having a big fish shooting across the surface, i didn,t manage to actually see what it was but i reckon it was a good sized pike. So even though i only had my perch gear i set up my little free roving rig and dropped my bait in the areas i,d seen the biggie. After no interest i fished around the bridge legs as this are looked really good for perch but unfortunately i had no joy there either. So of i set for a nice walk along the river in search of a perch or two.



Over the next few hours i fished every likely perch holding spot that i came across and didn,t even get a sniff from a fish. As mentioned earlier it was pretty cold but i don,t think that would of made much difference to be honest. The river was only running slowly but was gin clear so maybe that was the reason for the difficult fishing. After a good mile and half walk i came to a nice weir-pool i occasionally fish, actually i don,t fish the pool itself as i,ve never done any good there, but i have had some success fish where the carrier returns to the main river just after the lock gate. A dozen trots through and it was looking like a blank here too until a slight miss-cast put my bait in an area i generally don,t fish, but i thought i,d leave it there anyways. The float had barely moved when it just disappeared without warning, so quick that it took me a second to figure out what had actually happened. A gentle strike and a heavy fish powered of upstream making my clutch release line, feeling like a good perch first of all i was being very careful playing it because i only had 6 lb line and there was a lot of snags around me. It didn,t take me too long to realise this wasn,t a monster perch but a nice pike as the fish changed direction and roared of towards the main river. After a good scrap for a few minutes i finally slipped the net under a pristine chunky pike of around the 8lb mark. After unhooking and slipping him back i released my livebait and took the long walk back to the truck and then off home for a well deserved cuppa.

After my initial oversight i still managed to have a cracking mornings fishing even though it was hard going and i only had the one fish. To be honest it was nice to just have good walk after all the xmas food munching, i definately needed the cobwebs blowing out too.........


Monday, 2 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR........

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my fellow danglers out there...

I guess a round up of the highs and lows of my years fishing would be in order at this point. Except that i,ve barely set foot on the bank this past year. Work and building my extension has literally taken over my life, resulting in not having much free time and when i do i,m generally too knackered to lift my lazy arse outta the bed.

I have had a few short sessions and thoroughly enjoyed myself, even though catch results have been pretty poor. But as they say that,s why its called 'fishing' and not 'catching'.

Highlights of my year, not fishing related, have been getting more and more interested in photography, Earlier in the year i purchased a Canon 7D mk11 so i could use it to take better quality pictures of the local wildlife, although time has restricted me to limited use so i,m still learning about the camera and the various settings, jargon etc. A couple of months back i had a right result and bought a secondhand canon 400mm lens for a song. Only managed to use it a couple of times buts its a cracker.

The downside of this year was losing both of our dogs, Harry the Golden Retriever and Oscar the Springer Spaniel, to serious illness withing 3 months of each other. I can,t begin to describe how its felt losing one, let alone both of our hairy companions so quickly. The house has never felt so empty since they,ve been gone. You couldn,t of asked for gentler, happier more loving pooches than those two brothers in arms.

RUN FREE BOYS.....