A trip to the Avon with James from My Fishing Captures, and having heard so much about The Royalty I was really looking forward to my first pike session there...
An early start (4am for me) meant we were on the water by 7.30, dawn - two of only four anglers fishing the whole venue. And it took about 40 minutes before James had a run and a 6lb pike. Great start!
My rod was next to produce a run, but I've missed out a chunk of story - as this was the only other run of the day, and it happened well after sunset...
We had spent nearly 10 hours searching for another pike, exploring some cracking looking swims, trying a bunch of float-fished and ledgered dead baits and a selection of lures. They just didn't seem to be feeding today!
Still it was great to explore some cracking new water and I'm sure we'll be back. Hopefully when they are feeding...
First full day fishing in ages and I headed off to Penton Hook in search of a pike, and perhaps even an elusive bream. First went out a deadbait, then I feeder fished maggots - with one eye on each rod.
For a change I did find bream, once a bed of bait was laid it was a bite a cast - mostly as soon as the rod settled. And after a very slow season it was just the ticket, no big fish - they maxed out about 8oz, but must have had a few dozen. With the odd roach and perch mixed in I had a great morning catching them.
I hoped there might be a bigger bream in the mix but they didn't show and when I ran out of maggots about 2pm it was time to set up the second pike rod and go exploring.
Despite float fishing and ledgering a variety of deadbaits in every pike-looking spot I couldn't find a pike... Never mind, next time - still had a great day!
F**k me, we all thought you were dead - said the guy in the tackle shop when I walked through the door this afternoon. I'd managed to get a few daylight hours together and needed to catch a fish!
Maggots were the bait of choice, I only had about 3 hours including travel time, and any fish would do. I really didn't care as long as it had fins, gudgeon, minnow, eel - any and all welcome.
I sat in the first swim for about 20 minutes before the quivertip slammed down, a barbel less than a pound - but still very carefully played, and netted no less. Brilliant, mission accomplished.
I then tried a couple of casts in a few pegs that have produced in the past as I walked downstream towards my train home. A couple of little dace, chubblets and a little roach kept me entertained in the afternoon winter sunshine.
Last spot and almost out of time, the rod barely settled before the quivertip ripped round. Cracking fight in the fast water on light gear - and more than I'd hoped for, a 6lb 10oz barbel to end an all too brief session. And back to work!
This dropped through the letterbox a couple of days ago, and I've now watched it twice. Beautifully shot, packed with big fish, and you really feel you are there with the guys - the agony of hook pulls, and triumph when the fish slides over the net.
And some of the conditions they fish in made me feel cold just watching it - and reassured me that there are other people out there who are as mad as me!
Inspirational stuff... For an angler that is trapped at work through the daylight hours (and well into the night). Big push at work this week and then hopefully a trip or two to Penton Hook in search of things with teeth!
You can get a copy from Bob Roberts website, here. Bargain!