Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Double Double!

So me and James popped down to The Stour on Thursday - and I blanked spectacularly - so I thought I'd head out this evening to catch a fish and test the new camera...

In fact this was going to be a post about the new camera - but barbel of 3lb, 3½lb, 7lb 10oz, 10lb 0oz and 11lb 15oz (top photo) - plus a 4lb 14oz chub... A brace of doubles - BRILLIANT, I'll post about the camera next time...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

In Focus

James sent the photos of the roach from earlier in the week - thanks James, cracking roach and brilliant photos - even the Roachman couldn't believe the weight, we reweighed it on James' scales - big frame just no weight to it.

The DSLR camera takes beautiful photos and as I'm in the market for a new camera I did briefly consider getting one, but it's too big, not in keeping with my traveling ultra light, always on the move approach.

I really like the Lumix range of compact cameras (like the one I've just broken), and been looking at the TZ range - already recommended by Mick Newey, and he takes some great photos.

But when I think about what killed previous cameras; water, fish slime and now sand, perhaps I'd be better off with a tough camera and I'm looking at the Lumix DMC-FT5. I'll loose a lot of zoom but hopefully it wouldn't let me down when faced with a special fish...

So what I want is DSLR quality photos, in a compact camera, that's waterproof and hard for me to break! Does anyone any recommendations?

Friday, 10 February 2017

Pull My String 3

Another quick mission, I was going to go after dace but it was getting late - by the time I got to the river it would be getting dark - better to stay local and have a barbel blast...

First taker was the chub above and as I checked the photo the camera said 'Focus Error. Please turn camera off and then on again' - I did but technically speaking the camera was f**ked. Crap, it's been on the blink since I got sand in it shark fishing...

Never mind, the light was fading and the barbel had come out to play - I landed five; 6lb 4oz, 3¾lb, 5lb 14oz, 3½lb and 9lb 5oz...

The nine was a beauty but despite threatening the camera with extreme violence it wasn't going to work. So a massive thank you to the dog walking couple who took the camera-phone photo below.

The DMC-TZ8 has served me well for the past few years and I was hoping it would last until the end of the season but now it's time for a new camera...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Plan(s)

How do you catch a two pound roach from a stream chock full of hungry trout?

Me and James had discussed it in length, and we had a plan... Well, we had a plan each as James was armed with his body weight in liquidised bread, and I had a small tub of worms and one of maggots.

My plan was to wander about and find fish on the stick and pin with very little feeding to keep trout activity to a minimum. It didn't work! The first couple of dozen fish were all trout! And James was having the same problem.

Eventually we found some gaps in the trout (caught them all once?) and started catching our secondary target - grayling - I eventually lost count but had 10 over a pound with the best (weighed) one going 1lb 9oz. And James caught even bigger grayling.

But by chance - and not by any plan - I caught our target species. Not a two but a spectacular looking 1lb 11oz roach, an ancient warrior - battle scared and beautiful. And despite fishing on well into dark this was to be our only roach...

What a fantastic looking fish, and for once James was going to be the photographer - this is just a quick self-take - I'll add James' photos when he send them across tomorrow...

Yeah, I know, just one roach between us and for once I caught it..!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Mutant Chub

A couple of hours chasing chub and barbel in some shallow water with James this afternoon. The barbel eluded us but we managed 3 chub including the mutant below...

This one was missing its pelvic fins - and is going on my soon to be compiled mutant fish list.

Others include a barbel with no anal fin, a pike with only one central pectoral fin, a zander with no dorsal fins and a one eyed barbel (no hole where the eye should have been or even dent in the skull).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Silver Darts 4

I wondered if this rain might have stirred up the dace, so I grabbed the stick n pin, the leftover bait from the grayling and headed for the stream. With a couple of hours on the clock I found them feeding...

Eighteen dace, nine over 8oz with the best three going 10oz (below), 10¼oz and a chunky 11¼oz new PB (above). Plus a little roach and three little perch - cracking couple of hours! Only a tiny increase in my PB but there's six weeks left...

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Plan C

Our first choice of venue, a little chalk stream was unavailable, as was our second - me and James had to put Plan C into action and headed to the River Itchen in search of grayling.

And we were both soon into the fish, no monsters but in some swims it was a fish a chuck - grayling, ever hungry trout and I also landed 2 roach including the ugliest fish in the Itchen!

By lunch time we'd bagged up, James had even tempted a nice roach - I always seem to be the photographer when James and roach are concerned!

And as a bonus while trying to find a Greggs for lunch we stumbled upon a Thai pop-up kitchen - Chicken Phad Thai - lovely.

The afternoon was much the same, the fish kept coming, mostly in the 8oz to 1lb range with my best ones about 1¼lb. I did spot a couple of pike, the first about 2lb spooked away from my deadbait and the second was about 12oz - didn't have a bait small enough to even try!

But all in I must have had over 100 grayling plus a dozen or so trout - action all day long - and I can still hear James grimace every time I swung a pound plus fish in, waiting for my rod to shatter!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Double Trouble?

The lost barbel from yesterday was playing on my mind, so I got up early and cracked on with work - earning a quick hour on the river this afternoon. Straight to the spot I lost her and she was back...

And nailed the luncheon meat straight away - brilliant! Great fight and seemed bigger than I remembered, but as she slipped over the net I noticed the distinctive tail - recapture - crap!

Always nice to see them again, and great fun, but I was hoping for a new fish... I'm sure there are bigger ones to find.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Pull My String 2

Quick trip to the river and two missions; the first hour was spent trying to better my minnow PB from a shoal I spotted last week. I caught minnows and big ones - but they maxed out at 12 grams - goes to show how special that 18g fish was. The only other fish was a tiny stickleback - wonder where the gudgeon are?

I then swapped the 2.5lb line for 8lb, maggots for meat and went for a wander, searching for barbel in the clear water. I lost the biggest fish I spotted to a hook pull, probably wasn't a double but looked a good nine, never mind I landed four more of 7lb 4oz, 6lb 10oz, 4lb and 2¾lb, plus a bonus chub about 2lb.

That's 41 small river barbel this season - despite not really targeting them - would be nice to make it an even 50 before the season ends...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pull My String

Working from home I'm making it a mission to string a couple of daylight hours together at least once a week for some local fishing (after all, I can work when it's dark outside).

I popped down the river earlier, the main target is chub but anything with fins is welcome. Three barbel to 5lb 0oz, a trout about 2lb and a chub about 3lb - great fun!