Thursday, 2 December 2021

Double Damn

I saw a big tail sticking out of a weedbed, trundled a cube of spam down to it - and fish on! A good double hammered around before finding a snag - I pulled this way and that, but it was stuck. Giving it some slack eventually it swam out - game on! Great fight - until - as it was in front of the net the hook pinged out!!

Only an angler knows that feeling - you can only look on as your prize sinks back into the depths - gutted! A mild day after the recent cold snap - and I thought the barbel might be on the munch. They were - seven barbel and 2 chub found the net - including two barbel in 2 casts (one was resting in the net). Not a bad consolation prize!

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Break Out The Meat

After a few frosty nights I was wondering if the barbel would play - it normally takes them a little while to adjust to a sudden drop in temperature - but would they be able to resist a cube of spam?

It's been nearly 2 weeks since I last wet a line - so I thought I'd risk it. Quick mission and they were very spooky in the clear water - but 3 barbel and a bonus chub slipped up - that'll do nicely!

Monday, 15 November 2021

Got Gonk?

Christmas is coming - so new designs added to the Prawnsoda Shop - tshirts, hoodies and stickers. Plus a few old designs reactivated. Have a look around and feel free to share them on your Blog, Facebook or Twitter - love people wearing my t-shirts!

Oh, and if you've got any ideas for fishing tshirts you'd like to see chuck them in the comments - cheers!

Friday, 12 November 2021

Alan Turing

After three pike blanks on the bounce I needed something to pull my string - time for a barbel. Much harder going than I thought (time to swap to luncheon meat) but I did manage to bag this beauty.

Some people think I'm just lucky - and what I caught next, floating down the river, might add a bit of weight to their argument...

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Prospecting II

Back to the new river searching for pike - 2 afternoons - 0 runs - am I looking for a needle in a haystack? Not giving up just yet!

The river was full of baitfish, so I entertained myself catching a few on the livebait gear - bleak, perch, dace, roach...

And one of these! Not sure what it was? Roach/bleak hybrid? Bream? Something else? Answers on a postcard please..!

Thursday, 4 November 2021


A trip to a new river, I'd heard rumors of pike, but how many and what size was a mystery. It was full of bleak - a good start. And although I didn't land a pike I had two runs; the first I failed to connect, the second, a good pike shed the hook in a snag. So even though it's a pain in the arse to get to - I'll be back...

Is anything more exciting than watching a pike float hammer under?

Saturday, 23 October 2021


Barbel number 150 of the season, and more importantly Small River barbel number 1,200 over the 12 years I've fished it. That means I've got my average up to 100 barbel a season - something I couldn't have dreamt of even 3 years ago!

And as it happens this also includes 25 doubles (including recaptures) - so that's an average of 2 doubles per season. Due to excessive note taking I've collected a mass of data as a by-product of fishing here... Let's see... Total weight of barbel caught: 2.3 tonnes!

It's not an average I'm planning on maintaining - the river is close and convenient, and I'll keep fishing it. But I think it's time for a new fishing challenge - what that challenge is needs a bit more thought - wish there were some local pike..!

 Season No 5+ 7+ 10+ Best
 2010/11 27 1 0 0 6lb 6oz
 2011/12 44 14 8 0 9lb 12oz
 2012/13 56 34 20 6 12lb 4oz
 2013/14 8 5 4 0 7lb 13oz
 2014/15 71 33 16 1 10lb 1oz
 2015/16 127 45 15 0 9lb 4oz
 2016/17 70 31 15 2 11lb 15oz
 2017/18 132 56 23 2 10lb 9oz
 2018/19 101 36 13 1 10lb 3oz
 2019/20 164 69 28 5 12lb 1oz
 2020/21 250 77 20 6 14lb 2oz
 2021/22 150 21 6 2 11lb 1oz
 Total: 1,200 422 168 25 Breakdown

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Secret Stream Silver

Very few places fill me with more anticipation than fishing the Secret Stream (I’ve never mentioned it’s name) - less than a mile long, shallow, gin-clear water and flowing though the most beautiful countryside. And James and I found ourselves lucky enough to be fishing it on the opening day of the grayling season.

It’s been nearly two years we last laid eyes on it - our 11th visit in six years - and we were on the riverbank, gear set up, long before the sun broke the horizon. As soon as we had enough light it was stick ‘n’ pin, maggots and searching the gravels with polaroids for grayling among the many trout and millions of minnows.

The minnows were ravenous but the trout were pretty well behaved - except for the triploids - I landed a few of those, one of which was well over 6lb (would have smashed my river PB if it was in season). And we found the ladies of the stream - beautiful bars of silver - fantastic fishing - cracking day in the autumn sunshine!

Monday, 18 October 2021

Evening On The Itchen II

A return trip to The Itchen, and while James tried to add another barbel to his 40 Rivers Challenge, I tried once again to land a 2lb+ Itchen roach. I could see them ghosting in and out of a shallow gravel run - but to cut a long story short - I couldn't tempt them!

I tried a variety of bait but the roach weren't going to be fooled on this trip - a blank was saved by a grayling, a brown trout and three chub to 4lb 13oz. A quick photo of the largest chub - before hitting the road, no time for sleep - there was grayling to catch...

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Ghost Barbel & The Twins

Whatever was putting the fish off a few days ago has washed through. An afternoon wander and five barbel found the net - including the 7lb 2oz very distinctive 'ghost barbel' (above) and an 11lb 0oz double (below). Oh, and another double spotted for next time...

The eleven was sat with her twin - there couldn't have been more than an ounce or two difference between them. Both rushed the rolled bread, this one beating the other to it - a recapture of my September double - but I know there is at least one more there...