Sunday, 24 September 2017

Makin' Hay

If I can string only a couple of hours together while the sun is still shining I'm hitting the river - I'll regret it otherwise when I'm thinking back in winter - a few smash and grab missions chasing barbel.

Recapture above, although a long way from the original catch area. Glad I got to photograph this one again - is it the next evolution of barbel? More mussel and a massive tail - what a fighter!

Double barbel! Two barbel in two casts, the first was recovering from a cracking fight in the net when his twin decided to join him - haven't managed that before - combine total 8lb 5oz!

No big fish, mostly fours and fives - but fast and furious action, just what I want in the last of the year's sunshine. In fact the biggest was the long skinny 6lb 6oz barbel above.

I've also been chasing down the chub, had two close-but-no-cigars at 3lb 15oz. But have added two more four pounders; 4lb 3oz above and 4lb 6oz below - and they'll only get bigger in winter...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Fugly Chub

Continuing my quest for small river, big chub I added two more four pounders to the list. A very distinctive 4lb 9oz chub above - which had a weird shaped head - definitely recognise this one if I see him again. And a fat 4lb 2oz below. Great stuff!!

Season so far: 5lb 2oz, 4lb 11oz, 4lb 9oz, 4lb 4oz, 4lb 2oz and 4lb 0oz - six over four and no recaptures.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Bream Curse

Catching bream is easy! James assured me this morning as we headed out for a few hours on the Thames. I was instructed to bring a big keepnet and a few towels (to wipe away excessive slime) as well as the stick 'n' pin. I had told him about my bream curse...

Well, as I expected, I only caught one bream about 5lb (above). What James didn't know is my bream curse affects anyone within a 10 foot radius and as we were in a small boat - even he was stuffed...

Well, he did a lot better than me - but nothing like he was expecting - might be a while before I'm invited bream fishing on the boat again!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Dirty Water

There is no getting away from it; summer is fading into autumn. The days are getting noticeably shorter, the leaves are turning and there is a chill when you're out of the sunshine. Nearly pike time.

I took advantage of the rain last night trying to tempt a chub in the dirty water this morning - and as before the murky water gave them more confidence - tracked in clear water then wait for rain.

Unfortunately I bumped the first fish, felt like a good chub. Swim two and bait hardly had time to settle, a 4lb 11oz chub with lots of room to fill out (top photo). A few free samples and back to swim one.

The water was clearing, but eventually a few little rattles gave way to a good knock - chub two, 4lb 4oz (mat shot above). Two nice fish but the end of the action, time to spot some for next time!

When the water cleared I went in search of barbel, looking for shadows lurking about over the gravels. I wanted to take my season local total to 50 plus before the summer ends...

Mission accomplished; 5lb 12oz (above), 7lb 5oz (below), 5lb 8oz and one about 3½lb. Time to stop playing the numbers game and track down a double (while searching for that big chub).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Four Five Two

Due to meticulous notes I know that this is my 452nd barbel from the local river and my 47th this season. Unfortunately it could well have been number fifty...

Very quick mission to the river and I managed 3 hook pulls in quick succession - the first of which looked like a double. And the hook came out in the net on the only one landed, about 4½lb.

Bait seemed fine, hook looks fine... Just one of those days - glad to have landed one!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Oh Duck

First duck of the season, popped-up single grain of fake corn over a fizzy green groundbait. Tricky swim, had to net him to unhook him. So technically worse than a blank! (Photo from Wikipedia).

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Clear Water

On Friday afternoon I shot back to the river hoping the chub still wanted to play. The river was a lot clearer and the colour was dropping out rapidly. Both of Thursday's swims produced a chub first cast, about 3lb and 2½lb.

But as the water cleared enough to see my target I could watch them spooking off the bait - in fact once I could see them I only hooked one more, about a pound. I'll have to try and track where the shoals are and wait for the right water conditions.

In the clear water I could target the barbel landing five to 8½lb, including a powerful but freaky looking five pounder (pictured) - looks like it's on steroids, I'll recognise this one if I see it again.

Thursday, 31 August 2017


With the barbel on the munch and the chub becoming increasing shy I've been waiting for a storm - perhaps a bit of colour in the water would turn the tables in the chub's favour.

I was going to concentrate on two swims where I've seen chub and barbel recently - the first cast sat out for all of 2 minutes before the rod slammed over - a chub about 3lb - good old dirty water!

I added a few free samples and left the swim to rest while I fished the second swim. Again the cast sat out for about 2 minutes before slamming over - I struck and there was a loud BANG as the rod shattered and the line went slack.

The line pulled tight and I thought I was connected to a small barbel - until I saw a good chub turn in the dirty water - with my heart in my mouth I carefully played the chub in with what was left of the rod and breathed a sigh of relief when she slid over the net.

A fantastic 5lb 2oz chub, my best of the season so far and equalled my best from the river. And after less than 15 minutes of fishing and only 2 casts my session was done.

I'm not too gutted about the rod - the Rovex Lure Pro Quad - I use these in various lengths for about 90% of my fishing, virtually all my chub and barbel fishing, light lure fishing even a livebait or little deadbait.

Light, great action, four piece that makes it really easy to transport on the bus or tube and relatively inexpensive - I buy them and use them to destruction - this one must have landed hundreds of pounds of fish - I'm glad it had a Viking death!!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

That's Not A Chub

A trip to The Stour in search of chub and bait & wait was the nature of the game. Spicy shrimp and black pepper boilies under a weed raft, tip pointed skyward and relax.

I did bring a pike rod, with a gravel bar in front of me I was going to have a cast at any pike that crossed it with either a wobbled deadbait or a freelined livebait.

I spotted 5 pike cross the gravels and tempted four of them - watching them hit the bait in the gin-clear water was spectacular. I weighed the biggest at 8lb 10oz - I'll have to return for a double.

I also got within inches of landing a pike on a bleak whip when one grabbed a small perch, letting go just before the net. And pike number four was a recapture of pike one - they were ravenous!

And the chub? Didn't see one, I think we need some rain to get them feeding but I caught almost everything else; minnows, bleak, gudgeon, dace, roach, perch - and of course pike - can't complain!

Really looking forward to the winter pike season but it's great to get a few summer pike on the scoreboard. And it's nice to have a few pike photos on Pike Blog!!