Bloody hell, that went quick - but I did manage more time on the riverbank than I thought I would this summer. Here is a quick look back at the closed season and the summer river season before it's wooly hats, floods and frozen fingers time...
Closed Season: I had planned to get out every two weeks but work had other ideas, I did manage a few trips to Marsh Farm where I caught tench, roach and bream - no monsters but it was great to wet a line. I even managed a few elusive crucians the day before the season opened, love these fish. How did I ever manage sitting it out for the full three months?
The highlight of the closed season was my first canal pike - a proper urban pike from the heart of London - a 15 pounder on a lure - great stuff!
June: I had the opening week off work and hit the local river hard, landing 24 barbel in three trips for over 100lb - sixteen of them on the opening day - a much better start than recent years.
Another trip to Marsh Farm produced two new personal best in the shape of a 1lb 1oz rudd and a 6lb 4oz tench in the same afternoon. A rather splendid week off work.
July: I continued to cram some time in on the local river with Saturday mornings and some short after work sessions while I still had some summer light. And as well as barbel I added chub to my target list, landing quite a few to 4lb 2oz.
I achieved a target I've been after for a few years; a pound plus roach from the local river - a 1lb 2½oz beauty - my fish of the month and I hope to bank one or two more through the winter.
August: A trip to The Wye provided a start to the Predator Challenge in the shape of perch, including two over 2lb - I really want to beat my PB this season and would love a three pounder.
I also added trout to this season's species list, normally caught while fishing for something else I had a great afternoon targeting them. And took my barbel tally to 70 fish - would love to see 100 this season but perhaps I should really focus on catching a double.
September: I started the month chasing a monster pike on The Wye, but it wasn't to be. Though I did catch a double and my first Wye barbel in over 10 years - I'll be back for the big girl.
A recce to The Royalty will hopefully come in handy with the pike season and we've made a start on the local zander fishing. An afternoon on the local river took my total to over 80 barbel, the 100 target is in sight.
Predator Time: A few trips already planned to The Royalty, Test and Wye - and I have my mind on some proper monsters next month...