Sunday 25 September 2022


Date fished 25/9/2022

8am until 2.30pm

I had not fished the Swale since June 29th, and had actually only fished it five times this calendar year. Checking the levels and seeking some local input, I decided a return to the Swale was needed. 

I fished a feeder with crumb and pellets that I needed to use up, with meat or worm on the hook. 

The river was quite low but what surprised me was the clarity. I could count the stones on the bottom in fairly deep water. I assumed I was going to struggle. 

Struggle, I did. I fished lots of swims and covered some river. However, apart from seeing a large barbel (I think) swimming about it was a fishless trip. 

When I switched to worm, it was getting battered by small fish, that didnt tempt anything bigger to come and investigate. 

It started fairly mild, but the wind soon picked up and it was autumnal by mid morning. I was glad I had put my long sleeve thermal top on. The wind created a ripple on the surface and lots of leaves fell from the over hanging trees. It got me thinking of cheesepaste and fishing in winter. I always enjoy that, strangely. 

Please remind me of that when I blank in freezing conditions! 

Saturday 24 September 2022

Five in five

Date fished 24/9/2022

7.30am until 12.30pm 

I enjoyed the trip to Tilcon with my dad last week, so fancied some more of the same. I usually fish the further venues on the Saturday of my weekend and the closer one on the Sunday, it being a school night! However, with a match on Tilcon this Sunday, I swapped it around. I also figured with wfh currently the blended way, a downstairs commute on Monday was easier than one involving the car and needing to be awake!

I took a feeder rod and a float rod and planned to fish exactly the same as last time, albeit without my trusty sidekick. 

Arriving at the lake, another car was pulling in behind me. I didn't have to get out and close the gate, today already looked promising. 

I decided to fish a different area of the lake today, an area I have not fished much. A deeper area in the hope of a big bream. 

Corn on the float and pellet on the feeder and I was fishing. The rain then started and was soon heavy enough for the rain coat. Eventually it stopped and gave me the motivation to make some changes. Worm on the float, and it was a fish straight away.

 The bites continued to come and they were all the same species, just different sizes. One perch was barely longer than the worm. I alternated between corn and worm and only had interest in worm. 

The ledger rod remained motionless, I cast near the bushes, away from the bushes and everywhere in between. There was certainly fish in this deeper water, lots were topping and some bigger fish crashed about. It was only perch that visited me though. 

The sun came out and the rain coat was removed. Sun glasses were actually needed. Soon, the rain came back and I contemplated what changes to make. It had been five perch in five hours. I decided a big change was needed and buggered off home!! 

Friday 16 September 2022

Slab saves the day

Date fished 16/09/2022

8.40 am until 2pm 

The parental unit had been up North, North of here in fact, visiting the Northumberland coast. On their leisurely meander back South they stopped by to eat my food and drink my wine. I tolerated this and even took Davey to fish my club water at Ryton. We targeted bream on Tilcon. 

Float rods, worms, sweetcorn, some loose feed and with pellets and a ledger rod as back up, and we were set. Day ticket bought we arrived at the lake. 

There's something in the sling....

We set up in adjacent swims and started fishing. The wind was quite strong but when the sun broke through the clouds, it warmed us up.

A quick dip of the float and a small perch was first to banked. This was followed by a few more, all coming to worm. 

The ledger (sleeper) rod was next to show signs of activity. Just as I was having a cup of coffee, it pulled round and I knew I was hooked into a carp. I played it away from the lillies and eventually it was ready for the net. At 6lb 2oz, it was my largest Tilcon carp. 

We fished on and it was the ledger rod away again. I was hoping for a bream, but a nice little tench was the culprit this time. Some excellent photography from Davey, he managed both mine and the fishes head in the same picture (ish)!

Davey was soon catching fish, the switch from sweetcorn to worm brought three perch.  I called him over to fish the swim I was in. I was just ledgering now so there was space for both of us. Plus, I could berate and tell him off easier if he was closer. He was soon casting well and feeding close to the lillies. His float buried and he hooked a carp. The battle on the float rod was quick as the hooklink quickly gave way. Was this the story of the one that got away? 

I too lost a fish. Some weed drifted against my line. I saw it, but left it as I thought it would be fine. Moments later my rod pulled round and a fish was on. I couldn't play it with the weed attached too, and another one got away!  

Davey kept up the feeding and accurate casting, and soon his float sailed away. He struck and quickly declared "a better fish". 

Before I could offer guidance on the fighting carp, we both saw the bream pop to the surface. I had 'promised' Davey a pb, 4lb bream, so was careful with the net. He guided it over the net and it was ours. Smiles all round. 

This prompted us to pack up. Leave on a high. On the short drive home Davey remarked how "the slab saved the day"!

10/10 for blog titles, no shouting at him for that! 

Saturday 10 September 2022


Date Fished 10/9/2022

8.30am until 1.30pm 

Northern fishing was back on after my exploits down south. What was trying to scupper my fishing was (much needed) rain, two teeth extractions yesterday and the sad passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. 

All that aside, I planned a Tees trip with Tom, he was new to the club I fish, so it was to be a tour as well as a fishing expedition. The levels were touch and go. I got up at 5am to check, they were OK, so away we went. I collected him via a road closure and we headed to Rambo's so I could buy bait. A pint of reds and a small tub of dendras and we were away. 

Patriotic rod

I was going to float fish and Tom was lure fishing. I fed some maggots and set the rod up. Tom chucked some plastic into the river,  that's lure fishing not littering! 

We leap frogged upstream until I eventually found the fish. With the river being quite high, they were not a rod length out from the bank, more like a match stick length out. 

I caught half a dozen small roach and some even smaller chub. Chub that would be scared by minnows, they were so small. 

Micro chub

Tom had bites, connected but sadly the fish got off. It was promising they were finding his lures, so surely it was only a matter of time. We walked on, me showing Tom the area so he would know for next time. 

As this was an explore combined with fishing, we jumped in the car and I drove to another club stretch. We fished a few swims and was soon separated as I trotted and Tom lured. 

When we finally came back together there was a story. Tom had caught a nice perch but it jumped out the net whilst he was getting ready for a picture. 

We believe him though, a "one that got away" story usually is a 5lb perch not a 0.5lb perch! This is not a nod to the title, just a coincidence. I managed to leave the tackle shop by only spending £5.50!! 

Saturday 3 September 2022

Fish wranglers

No fishing today, but another work party. Today's was different though as we were netting Tilcon. I had the kids, so the three of us set of for an 8am start. 

Waders in various sizes were put on and we hatched a plan. My waders were also leaky so my plan was not to stay dry! Which was easy done in the rain that soon joined us. 
Tom and his kids were there also, as was the interest to see what lived in the depths of Tilcon. 

The net was strung across the lake, fish were corralled one way or another, the boat was instrumental in assisting our efforts and there was sinking in the silt! 

The first try to the right of the lake resulted in lots of silvers, some perch and some good sized bream. 

The second attempt was much more dramatic. We went to the deeper end of the lake. The method of using the boat as a trawler worked well to dispense the net. Unfortunately the tree lined bank was tough and some sunken cages snagged the net. There was some Carp in the net including a nice sized ghostie. The removal of the net from the  snag took an enormous tug of war with six men and a large silt filled cage. We won eventually but at what cost? 

We continued to pull the net in. A big carp jumped clean over the top and escaped but we were expecting others. When the net was in, it contained less than my normal net! The snagging had cost us the fish escaping. 
Soon, it was time to leave but it was a great morning. Look forward to trying again. 

I will give the last word to Steve, whose wet suit, swimming and diving were the highlight of the morning!!