Tuesday 30 August 2022

Muddying the water

Date fished 29/8/2022

10.30 am until 3pm

Jar (Alan) had seen enough yesterday to give it another try. We had a leisurely bacon sandwich before getting the kit together and heading out for another try. We took one rod this time, deciding we could share it and just fish a few specific swims where yesterday we fished a few but with no luck. 

We got the bus to the other end of the river and decided to walk through a park to get to where we wanted to fish. I think there is no fishing allowed in the park, this may have been evident due to huge shoal of chub, some definitely 4lb plus and a large barbel we saw sitting under a bridge. Amazing how the fish know where they cant be fished for!

We walked on and came to where we started yesterday ( but from the upstream end today). There were a few more anglers today, some targeting a large bush that was sure to be hiding fish. We saw a nice ghost koi come out from the bush, and left the anglers trying to catch it. Some other fish of interest, carp, koi and chub caught our attention as we fed some bread and watched. We didn't fish here, we were just passing, we had decided to fish the area we saw lots of chub yesterday and then head straight to the area with the six barbel. 

This area was urban fishing at its best, we fished over some railings with parked cars and houses at our backs. We picked swims that we could safely net any caught fish, unfortunately these came with added ducks! I soon got the chub feeding on bread and bits of meat, loosing about 20% to the feathered friends. We saw a large barbel here too, but it went under the streamer weed and we never saw it come out again. 

Our free offerings were being taken, so we baited up the rod and started to fish. I very much wanted Jar to catch a fish, so put on my best guiding hat and set to it. I needn't of worried because in next to no time, the rod was bending and he was playing his first chub. 

We returned the fish and I thought I would try for one too. My exploits resulted in over wanted duck attention and after a brief hooking ( it got off), we decided to walk on. 

We walked with more purpose today, finding the correct path too. We looked at sections of river but mostly walked direct to those barbel. The highlight of the stroll was stumbling on a geocache, this was promptly returned for those seeking it and off we went. 

We arrived at the swim and sure enough the barbel were still there. We saw them in the crystal clear water, just drifting in and out from the streamer weed. There was at least six of them and several carp too. This truly was an opportunity not to be missed! I threw some meat in upstream and it drifted down towards them, unlike yesterday these bits were taken. They were on the munch today. We got ready and hatched a plan. Free lining meat was difficult as the current was not going exactly where we wanted, so I put on a small weight. Not sure how many casts I made, but I tried hard to catch one, but unfortunately it was not to be. The fish moved upstream, returned, moved again. I was doing everything right but they were just too clever. 

I decided to change tact, I fed about 3 good handfuls of 12mm pellets and we sat back and ate our own lunch. The barbel initially swam off, but soon we noticed the flashes of their flanks. Quite soon the water was no longer crystal clear, the feeding barbel stirring up sediment. I fished on but nothing. As we were sharing the rod and I had been hogging it since seeing the barbel, I offered it to Jar.........yes, you all know what happened next. 

Second cast, he said "its pulling". 

"Pull back" I offered but don't fight it. A short battle later and an awesome barbel lay in the net!

It was amazing to have succeeded, yes I didn't actually catch it, but my methods are instruction helped, I felt rewarded all the same. We gave it a good rest and gave it a number and took some pics. Jar asked me what weight I thought. I said Six and a half. Not a bad guess as it went 6lb 7oz!

We celebrated by getting an uber and not having to public transport it home. I was thankful for the rest, although a six hour drive lay ahead but at least I had a smile on face as I battled through London. 

It's been a great few days away, with plenty of fishing trips. As I look at the pile of kit and dirty clothes, I cant help think that getting dirty was worth it. I was going to christen Jar's PB in the customary way, but didn't wanna make him to clean! As I left him at 4pm hoovering the pile of mud off my shoes in his lounge, I chuckled at how muddying it up today had helped us!

Sunday 28 August 2022

A picture paints a thousand words

Date fished 28/8/2022

10.30am until 4pm

A change of scenery found me in central (ish) London. A place I had fished before, I was determined to catch an urban barbel this time around.

My mate (Jar) and I went to fish a river close to his house in London.  Armed with bread, luncheon meat and pellets we got the bus to the river. We fished alot of likely areas and did plenty of walking. Sadly no fish were caught although Jar had a chub take his bread but the strike met fresh air. 

In the afternoon we spotted a shoal of six barbel, one was maybe 10lbs, if not then only a few ounces below. It was a brute. Here are some of the highlights. 

Friday 26 August 2022

Which Colne?

Date fished 26/8/2022
7am until 2pm

Today's trip was very different. I had decided to visit the Colne at West Drayton.

Like yesterday this was researched from home. I originally wanted to do some still water bream fishing but wondered if a day (or part thereof) was not long enough and what kit I would need made me decide against this. I will be back for a large bream - one day, 'stow awaits. 

I decided on a river approach as I could rove with pellets and hopefully tempt a chub or barbel. I only had short rods ( 9ft and 7ft) as I wanted something that could remain in the boot yesterday, and didn't think 12ft rods on display was a good idea. This meant I was limited to not being able to float fish, but I had tackle just in case. I had hoped a short rod could be utilised to ledger on the river, I wouldn't know this until I arrived and actually saw the river....

Not wanting to fanny around too much, I opted on a section of river within a Carp fishery at Thorney Weir/Mets. I had never fished in a proper carp venue before and from what I saw it looked good. 
The sat nav took me on a merry dance but I eventually arrived at the fishery, and bought my day ticket. I parked up and chatted with another angler, the lake was quite busy but of course the river was empty. It was a clear river with trees, and streamer weed. I was confident I could winkle something out. There were fish topping in this swim and it looked good, so I settled on  the lilies. 

I had a big raft downstream to my right and a large tree which created a shady area. I was sure this would be where the fish were. It was misty and cool first thing but I knew it was going to get warm. 
I fed some pellets and with Robin red hair rigged, I was ready. I cast in and waited. 
I would still be waiting now, I think. Maybe I got it all wrong. I saw a few smaller fish jumping about but my rod remained motionless. The blank was obvious.

It was now red hot, so I packed up and headed 'home'.  It was only 9 miles to Dwix's House, I was not on the Colne in Essex or the Colne in West Yorkshire. How many Colne's are there!? I could have blanked on all today. 

Thursday 25 August 2022

Wet cement

Date fished 25/8/2022
7am until 2.30pm

As usually happens this time of year, I was seeing my old school friends. Old as in, I have known them a long time, Yume since we were six and also old as in, we are bloody old! 
On this occasion it was a boys weekend in London, so I filled up the car and headed South. Work commitments for Dwix meant I was able to do some fishing on the way down before descending on châteaux Dwix.
Immediately I thought of zander fishing the midland canals as I was practically driving along the toe path as I headed South. 

I left the house at 3.20m. A) so I could have a full day fishing and B) in the hope I would 'avoid' the traffic. I knew I would have the London traffic on the next part of the journey, so lets enjoy this bit I thought. 

I parked up in an area I only "knew" from Google maps (street view). This was research in its truest form. I had obtained a day ticket from the Tusses website, and looked at their fishing water maps, the rest I did with the internet and asking some questions on facebook. Thanks to those that replied and gave me sound advice. 

Tackle was simple, as shown above, I also had a net, mat and angler food. I parked up and walked to the Canal, it looked like any other and I was confident of some fish.

I started chucking a pink lure about, I walked a few yards and chucked it some more. Lure fishing is exciting but it does take some skill. Not sure I have that skill yet, but I was excited! 
Eventually I changed to a green lure and first cast it was grabbed. I was hoping for a zander but was rewarded with a stripey.

The canal changed from looking like a wild river with trees to man made sheet piled sides with houses next to it. I do enjoy fishing canals for the variety. 

I walked a few miles and only caught sticks and snags. One snag I was particularly proud of. 

It must be a pb traffic cone and being full of silt, it was pretty heavy. It was hooked fair in the mouth too, so definitely think I can claim it!? 
I got back to near the car and it was 12 o clock, I sat down and started eating my lunch, the heavens opened. I ran back to the car and had my lunch seated inside. 

After lunch I decided to try the other way from the bridge. Again, I thrashed the water with pink and green. 

I fished on and the heavans opened again, I was due to leave at 3pm but it was just after 2 and I was soaked. I walked back to the car and prepared to drive to London. 

As mentioned above, the canal is an interesting place,  full marks for drawing and I wasn't expecting that handwriting!!

Saturday 13 August 2022

Loaves and Fishes

Date fished 13/8/2022

5.30 am until 11.30 am

Hot weather continued and with much of the country declared as "in drought", I decided to stay local and fish early morning. A 4am alarm is currently not too early, so I was up and soon ready to go. I drove the short distance to Tilcon in 13 degrees and thick fog. 

The lake was low, not unlike many rivers and bodies of water up and down the country. It was also covered in a damp fog, it actually felt like it was raining there was so much moisture in the air. As the pylon hummed and crackled, I set up the float rod. 

I had decided to leave the sweetcorn at home and only brought breadcrumb as loose feed and some slices of bread as hook bait. 

It took a while for some interest, but soon the float was disappearing, a nice palm sized skimmer the first to want bread. 

I was then getting regular bites, as I chatted with a Carp angler (Mike) who set up in the swim next to me. We both commented on the weather, we both had suncream and sunhats although the fog was so thick we could barely see the other side of the lake! It burned off, but not until after 8am.

The next run of fish surprised me, it was tench time. I caught about six tench in a row. I didn't expect tench to want bread, cue the tuts at my ignorance! Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised!

I missed many more bites as Mike and I chatted with Dave. I didn't  miss the tench that tried to take me under the floating island or the roach bite that Dave spotted for me. It seems even when you are not fishing, you can't help but watch a float. Thanks Dave! 

The sun was now completely out, had burnt off the fog and was warming everything up. I had a proverbial net full of fish, at least a dozen tench and half a dozen silvers.

It took alot of will power to pack up as Mike cooked sausages, the smell making me hungry. But pack up I did. It was a great morning, I started with only bread, but definitely turned it into loaves and fishes. 

As for feeding the 5,000!? Well, Mike was lucky he didn't have to feed me as I just made myself a sausage sarnie too!! 

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Fishing with Stan

Date fished 9/8/2022

8am until 2pm

Six anglers (five spectators) descended on Potwell fishery in Broadwindsor for our annual family fishing trip. Our holiday had already been fish related when the Dawson's moved house and I was asked to "catch" the fish from the pond. Just a small net was needed, unfortunately! 

The three Northern Chumbleys, one Southern, the eldest Dawson child and his mate Stan were the anglers. Plenty of pellets, sweetcorn and some stale cheese scones that were crumbed filled the bait boxes, whilst float rods, ledger rods and a 4m whip was the tackle.

Rupe started on the ledger whilst I set up float rods for the others. A quiet start but as the hour approached, Rupes rod whipped around and the spool started spinning. Rupe played the fish to the net and the net was soon full. A 5 lb common carp the first fish of the day. 

Several small roach then took a liking to the sweetcorn and soon the anglers were getting a good few lightening fast bites, most were missed though. Stan then arrived, he had never fished before and was keen to learn. I had not started to fish yet and became "teacher" to set Stan up. He was soon casting with great accuracy and feeding too. The fish, not himself, he didn't eat until he caught! More to come on that. 

Davey's fish

Sam was getting lots of bites and I was jumping between the kids as each called louder than the last. ( Reminds me of a game we used to play at school). Sam connected with a bite and caught his first fish, he allowed his brother to hold it too. 



Finally Stan caught a roach, but it came off whilst we were landing it. We would of called that his first ever fish, but we hoped more was to come! 

Lunch was started about 10am and Eddie helped to polish off everything on offer! Hats were very much needed today, even under parasols. The hats were swapped about and soon I was wearing Martha's. But not until after she had caught her first fish of the day, she actually did it all on her own. 

As the morning turned to afternoon, we fished on. Stan stayed in his spot and kept up the feeding. He was soon rewarded as his float sailed away, this was no roach. He played it well and after a few long runs from the carp it was soon ready for the net. Stan played it over the waiting net as Rupe held it steady. 

Hat swapped

We weighed this fish, a lovely mirror carp of 7lb 4oz.

We let the fish rest a long while after the battle

Stan was now able to eat his lunch! Everyone had caught something except me by now and as our numbers dwindled to go visit the horses, I got a go with the ledger rod. I needn't of bothered, the early afternoon temperature was boiling and we decided to call it a day. Technically I blanked, albeit I only fished for less than an hour during the hottest part of the day, that's my excuse! 

Call it beginners luck, I call it skill and persistence. Stan was patient and kept casting and feeding in the same spot. We never got round to using the whip, maybe I was too scared to try. Stan had already given me a whiping with the rod, I didn't wanna be shown up anymore!! 

Hooked on fishing!