Species Challenge: The first of a few challenges I set myself this season, I wanted to put a few fish on the list I'd never caught before (or had only caught very small ones). The first task was to catch each species and I also added a reasonable target weight to try and beat.
I achieved four out of the five targets (bloody bream) and have totally fallen in love with (four out of five of) them. They are all going to be future targets - very enjoyable fishing.
Pike Challenge: A repeat of last year's failed challenge, 200lb of pike including 5 doubles. I didn't take into account there is no real pike fishing close to home and work is pretty relentless, but that's not really an excuse.
I didn't manage the 200lb, but I did end up with 6 doubles - so half way there. A couple more trips to the River Wye or a weir permit might well have push me over the target but in the end I think I left it too late to start may campaign.
I love fishing for pike and really need to learn this time. Make some more time for pike fishing next season!!
Barbel Challenge: A challenge I decided on a few months into the season. Time was limited so when I could string two or three hours together I'd have a blast at a small river barbel. I wasn't targeting big fish I was just after something to put a bend in the rod.
As thing were going well I decided to aim for 60+ barbel and a target weight of 300lb. An incredible (lucky) run of multi-fish catches and next to no blanks meant I realised this target without that much time on the riverbank - perfect opportunistic fishing. Cracked!
Gudgeon Challenge: I've always loved gudgeon and normally specifically fish for them a few times a year. This season, armed with a set of digital kitchen scales, I decided to chase down a real monster, the target was a genuine 3oz fish.
I didn't manage a three, the best going 2.7oz which was still brilliant. Going to keep carrying the scales so when I do bump into one I'll get a proper weight... I'll keep trying...
And as for next season's challenges... Another attempt at 200lb+ of pike? A big rudd? Perhaps my first moggy? I'll have to give it some thought...