I had been up until 2am trying to fix my camera phone (see post below). I couldn't fix it so I set up a new one. Normally this would be a job for daytime, but I had bumped into my mate Dan in the pub and he had suggested going bream fishing in the morning - if I catch one, I want a photo!
So yesterday he turned up at 8am, I dragged myself out of bed and we headed for Kingston. The trains for Kingston were delayed, for how long only the fat controller knew... We headed for Hampton Court instead and fished a spot opposite the palace.
We set up cage feeders with maze based groundbait, with white maggot as hookbait - fishing the same swim means you can get a lot of bait in the water quickly and you can both hear the radio (cricket and grand prix).
I had a bite second cast, and got my bream, 2lb 5oz, fantastic... This was followed by a 9oz roach to me (I filmed it instead of taking a photo - stupid new camera), a small perch for Dan and a small perch to me. Then the action stopped... No more fish all day.
My first bream, 2lb 5oz.
Why the silly title for this post? At about 2pm after 2 bite-less hours, and after a quick visit to the local corner shop, we were sat in the sun, overlooking the palace, drinking beer, eating fizzy sweets and listening to the cricket - there are worse things to be doing...
I had been told there was a pond near London that contained tench, a fish I've wanted to catch for some time (I've only caught one, once while watching someone else's rod). The only details of this pond were it's location and it may contain tench.
So on Friday the plan was to head to Cannon Hill pond for a couple of hours before continuing my quest for a Thames bream, fishing in the last couple of hours of daylight at Kingston.
It was quite busy, the first person I asked said they had caught 2 small tench - they were in there. I found a likely looking spot and set up an over depth waggler and fished white maggots. First cast a rudd, second cast a tench - only small but I'd caught my target fish.
My first tench by design. Yay.
I continued to catch small fish, roach, rudd and tench. The thing I like about a new water is not knowing what you are going to catch, this was proved after about an hour when I caught a goldfish! My camera phone had packed in by this point, so no photo.
My first brown goldfish (I didn't get a photo of the orange one).
I couldn't tear myself away so I fished into the dark. I caught loads of roach and rudd, 23 tench, 4 carp, a goldfish (orange) and a brown goldfish. No big fish, I asked the locals and they said it was mostly small fish with the odd big carp, they had all heard of tench over a pound but nobody I spoke to had caught one.
It was a great afternoon and I'll definitely be back. I'd like to catch a big tench, say 5lb, I think it's a bit late in the year to start now - so I think it'll be a target next summer.
RIP camera phone, you battled frost and snow while pike fishing, got covered in eel slime, got dropped in the water while carp fishing and died on the banks of Cannon Common pond trying to photograph a goldfish...
This evening myself and Dan went after some Thames bream, it had been planned all week but as with all best laid fishing plans work got in the way. We aimed to start at 2pm, we arrived about 5.30. We both feeder fished the same swim to get a lot of bait in the water quickly, maze based groundbait with worm & corn cocktail hookbait (to discourage the perch).
Fishing was slow, as darkness was approaching it was just one small perch to Dan (the sweetcorn didn't discourage them that much). One last cast into the 'we should have packed up half an hour ago' produced a bite... I presumed it was a bream, but had been told they don't give much of a fight, chub or small barbel perhaps... nope, nice big eel!
2lb 11oz a new PB, I was delighted as I was green with envy since Dan's big eel on Sunday. Sorry for the crap photo as it wouldn't stay still - we gave it a couple of attempts but as eels are really delicate fish I put it back without too much messing about. No bream, they'll have to wait for another day.
<- Keep still! Also, I've added a personal bests page to the website here.
We had a couple of sessions on the Wandte, Thursday evening saw us sneaking up on our first swim, we had seen chub here before but the water was clear and shallow so we tackled up quietly away from the edge, we knew this would be a one-fish, one-chance swim. Just about to cast when a rather drunk tramp came crashing through the bushes and peered over the edge 'caught anything lads?'... Swim 2, after about a mile walk, it looked absolutely perfect. A variety of baits were offered as we fished into the dark without a bite!
Sunday morning the plan was to meet at 7am to continue exploring the Wandte, Dan was a no-show so I found a nice deep run and began fishing. I had Dan's kit with me so I set it up as a second rod. About 3 bite-less hours later Dan showed up, grabbed his already assembled rod, cast out and caught an eel straight away! A big eel. Dan is not an eel fan, so I did the unhooking duties and as I turned to get the scales he slipped it back. 'I didn't want to hold it for a photo' was the excuse... He'll never know if he beat the magic 2lb barrier (and I'm not sure he cares). A couple of bite-free hours later we decided the riverside pub was too tempting.
Haven't given up on the Wandte, we know there are fish there, we've just got to find them...
I've heard there have been some good barbel fishing in the River Wandte in London. I know it suffered from pollution a few years ago but it seems to have been cleaned up and restocked successfully. One guy on the banks of the Thames told me 'I didn't have chance to eat my sandwiches the barbel were coming in so fast' though when I asked him exactly where he was fishing he became very vague.
As I haven't managed to catch a fish over a pound yet this season I think I'm going to give it a go. So I've had a look, it's very shallow and clear but I did see some chub and trout swimming about - probably needs a bit of rain to make it a bit more fishable.
And it should prove a good testing ground for my new fishing rod. I've been after a multi purpose rod for a little while, and I found this on Tackle Bargains.
Rovex Varona Ideal XL Avon Quiver System
It's a six piece rod that can be assembled into a quiver tip, light feeder and a float rod. Much better than lugging around 3 rods especially when using public transport. Oh, and they threw the reel in for an extra tenner.
I gave it a quick outing yesterday afternoon at Clapham Pond (quiver tip) and it felt great. Had a few carp around the 4-8oz mark.
Well I've done it, despite being fairly terrified of flying, I've booked my trip to Florida. So in October I'll be fishing with Paulos from sharkblog.net, and he seems confidant he can put me on some sharks... Can't wait...