Determination to wet a line over the Christmas break drove me out into the pouring rain for a couple of hours fishing this afternoon. I ledgered maggots in the rapidly rising water and gave each swim just a few minutes to see if it held a fish.
Second swim and a barbel, only a small one at 4lb 6oz, but considering my season so far I was delighted! I made my way down the river and the only other fish to take an interest was a 3lb 14oz chub, fantastic condition and really looked heavier, but I wasn't complaining!
Soaked through I made my way home - but it was worth it!
Happy New Year, and I hope 2014 sees you land the fish of your dreams!
It's happening again! Before the season began I set myself a challenge of catching 200lb of pike, a fairly reasonable target if I was fishing much - but work has really gotten in the way. James also took up this challenge and added the 'must be at least 5 doubles clause' - so I added that to my own challenge.
As you can see from the table above; James has made good progress, where as I haven't gotten to grips with it yet. But I had an ace up my sleeve - 2 weeks fishing my home turf, the River Wye, with the best pike angler I know - my Dad.
I've been watching the water levels and the webcams and it was looking good, until a couple of days ago when the Christmas weather curse arrived. Pouring down with rain and a river that is about to burst it's banks... I'm going to fish it no matter what... But the odds don't look good!
Miles and miles and miles! I don't know how long I've had these shoes, must be 10 or 12 years - and I wonder how many thousands of miles I've walked in them chasing things with fins? On the long walk back from Penton Hook on Thursday they finally ripped.
Goodbye fishing shoes and I'm really glad to finally chuck you in the bin - even clean and dry they weigh a ton - why did I keep them?
And what did my girlfriend get me for Christmas? Yeap, proper waterproof hiker's boots - fantastic!
Girls sometimes listen to you, even if you are banging on about fishing! My girlfriend and I don't have Christmas together, so we have Mini-Christmas a few days before, and as well as my shoes I opened the present above - a set of kitchen scales.
"You said that you were going to take a week off in March and try and catch a monster gudgeon at it's full breeding weight, now you'll know exactly how much it weighs and can bore me with the details"
OK, perhaps I have mentioned my plan a few times - but I didn't think about the logistics... Now I have scales that weigh to 0.1oz... Roll on March gudgeon fishing!
Easy targets? Looking through my PB list there are quite a few species I've never caught; silver bream, crucian, wels, zander, grayling and rainbow trout. And some very low weights; bream 2lb 14oz, rudd 4oz, tench 12oz, salmon 6lb 4oz.
Myself and James have a plan to catch a crucian or two next summer - and hopefully I'll bag a PB tench in the process. But our target for early next year is a grayling - a fish that we both find fascinating but neither of us have ever caught... If anyone has any advise we'd love to hear it - a day ticket venue with a good head of fish would be great!
Merry Christmas! Well it's time to pack up the wet-weather gear and head down to the Wye, I've got a date with a thirty... Before I go it's time to wish everyone in Blog-Land a Merry Christmas - see you next year - and tight lines!
An early start, two trains and a long walk this morning as I headed to the Thames for a days pike fishing. And I arrived before dawn to dense fog that didn't lift all day.
The first rod was quickly set up and cast out while I went to set up the other rod, glancing back I already had a run on my still frozen sprat. Several long upstream runs and things started going my way, before she showed her teeth in front of the net and spat the hook - looked about 14 or 15 pounds... Apologies to anyone who was in ear-shot in the seconds that followed!
The trace was inspected and a new sprat was cast back out. This time it sat for about 10 minutes before another run. Another great fight and a 10lb 4oz pike was in the net - my winter pike season was finally up-and-running, and a double to kick things off.
Two casts, two runs - perhaps today was going to be my day - I need to make up for some lost time on this year's challenge... It wasn't to be, only one dropped run on a sand eel punctuated the rest of the day.
As the light was fading I was winding in a perch deadbait when there was a tell-tail thump as it was grabbed by an unseen pike. A scrappy 5lb 8oz pike was soon in the net, not the day I was hoping for after my first two casts - but I was delighted to finally get a couple pike on the bank.
Still I fished into the dark hoping for another chance, 21lb on the challenge, a long way to go - fingers crossed The Wye will be in good condition for a trip later in the month. And for a trip with Paulos and Roger in January...
Gentlemen (and Ladies) we have 100 days left of the course fishing season, and if you've had a shocker like me; now's the time to get on it!
I decided to get on it today, arriving at Walthamstow Reservoir before dawn armed with a variety of deadbaits and a good selection of lures. I kept on the move and fished hard but by lunch time I hadn't had a sniff. New lucky hat required?
In the afternoon I joined James fishing the Coppermill Stream, he had seen a couple of pike in the morning but they didn't want to play - he had however made a surprise catch, but I'll leave that to his blog.
We fished every likely looking spot as we made our way up the river for just one run between us. Yeah, I was net man and photographer again! Where do you buy lucky hats?
Without stealing James' thunder I'll just stick this teaser photo here, I'm sure the proper photos will soon arrive on his blog - and it's one of the prettiest looking pike I've ever seen.
With renewed vigor we fished on into the sunset but that was the only action of the day. One hundred days left... Got to get on it...