Friday 30 November 2012

Unexpected Day Off

I was all set to work on a computer game today, but a phone call last night informed me that my programmer was unavailable... Unexpected day off, yay!

I needed a lie in, it's a shame to waste daylight hours but work has been going nuts recently. The cat decided that at 9.30 enough was enough, so I got up, we had breakfast, I grabbed my trotting gear and I headed out into the frosty morning.

I was heading to a new stretch in search of a winter trout. James had pointed me roughly in the right direction, and when I arrive a couple of local fishermen pointed me to some likely spots - cheers guys!

With my new found information I soon had a bite and my first Wandte trout was on the bank, only small but a new fish on this year's species list.

With new confidence I went after his bigger brother, but only two more bites were forthcoming and I missed both. Still I covered a lot of water and did some exploring - all good research for next time.

One problem I had was this area has suffered from the pollution and some stretches are still devoid of fish - it all looks good but I'm sure I must have spent a lot of time fishing in baron water... Still more research to do!


Species Challenge

So my species list for this year stands at eleven, beating my 10 from last year. But there are still more to find, and I wouldn't mind landing a bigger trout...

Jack's Pike #105

Monday 26 November 2012

Jack's Pike: Book 3

Everything that has a beginning has an end...

Work, wives, chores... Nothing is going to get in the way of that monster pike! Jack and Bob are back and it’s getting serious. Meet some old friends and prepare for some skiving, excuses and an extraordinary amount of time on the riverbank...

Available from Lulu
Black & White - Just £5.49 +p&p
Glorious Colour - £13.99 +p&p

• Comic strips 201 - 300
• Bob at work
• A trip to Penton Hook
• More tips, seagulls and bleak
• Sausage sandwiches!


A few facts:
Volume 1: I wrote 110 strips and rejected the worst 10.
Volume 2: I wrote 150 strips and selected the best 100.
Volume 3: I wrote over 300 strips and I have loads left over for V4 & 5.

Initially I wrote 12 strips and thought that would be it.

If you wait to see them on this website, strip number 300 will appear on Friday 26 August 2016.

The price increase is Lulu not me.

I'm sure I could have thought of something better to do with my time!


Volumes One and Two are still available from Lulu, priced just £4.99 each for the black & white version or get them in glorious colour for £12.99 each +p&p, click here.

*This isn't really the end.


Bob Roberts review and more sample strips can be found on his website - here. Thanks Bob.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Leaves & TV

The plan to spend the day on the river was scuppered by having to work this morning, but me and Dan managed to hit the river at about 1.30pm in the pouring rain. It's still like leaf soup and in among all the real leaves I managed to catch these plastic ones... What are the odds?

Only one real bite this afternoon, Dan was briefly hooked into what looked like a very big fish, but it managed to straighten the hook, ah well, next time... Not what we said at the time!

On route home I bumped into James from My Fishing Exploits and he'd bagged up today, probably worth checking out his blog later.


Edit: The problem with it getting dark so early is I'm now faced with evening tv, in the summer we could hit the river about five or six, fish for five hours, quick pint or two and perhaps a Family Guy.

Tonight I was faced with Strictly Come Dancing and The Killing, my girlfriend talks about these a lot, but I still hadn't guessed what I'd let myself in for...

Strictly Come Dancing: A group of D list celebrities are given a week to learn a dance, then a panel of 'experts' slag them off when they get it wrong. OK it was only an hour... No! Results show on Sunday and a catch up every day of the week... Somehow I don't think I'm going to get hooked!

The Killing: Extremely slow-paced Danish crime drama with subtitles, I'm not sure if anything happened, and goody, there was a second one straight after... I soon stopped reading the subtitles and made up my own story. And there's only another dozen or so episodes before they find the killer. I couldn't help thinking they should send Lewis or Frost over, I'm sure they could crack it in a two-hour special...

But then again I'm sure telly addicts think us fishermen are mad!

Monday 19 November 2012

Bury Hill Zeds

I haven't really stuck to the Wish List I proposed before the season started, I get very easily distracted. But one fish I really want to catch is a zander. So yesterday Darren and I headed to top zander venue, Bury Hill in Surrey.

Bury Hill has a single barbless hook policy, and when I was making the traces I didn't fancy them. But having used them and seen how they hold the bait with a lot of hook showing I think this might be the way forward in predator fishing. We inherited trebles from the days of catching for the pot, and there must be a better solution.

To the fishing... Well the zander didn't want to play today, only one was caught on the entire lake, but we did a lot of exploring (floating about in our boat in the sunshine), a couple of jacks provided the excitement and cooking sausage and bacon rolls from our mid-lake camp was brilliant!

Any trip that results in a pike or two, regardless of size, is a great trip in my book. Now we just have to work on smashing Darren's pike curse... And we're both very keen to return and hopefully put our first zander each on the bank!

Friday 16 November 2012

Sunday 11 November 2012

November Barbel

With less than 3 hours on the clock, including travel time, I raced down to the river. I headed for a stretch that produced barbel in the summer - no time for exploring today!

The river was still leaf-soup, but today I was prepared; I brought some 3oz leads. Accuracy was going to be the order of the day - the lead was going to make a hell of a splash in this little river. On the sharp end I fished two white maggots on a size 16 hook.

First cast hit the water like a depth-charger, but it was anchored in position. Next I threw out 2-3 maggots every 30 seconds or so, to keep a constant but minimal reminder that there was food in the water.

Five or ten minutes later the rod hooped round, I hit the fish and was initially concerned with how much crap was on the line, but it didn't take long before the barbel shook it free. Then a great fight, even by barbel standards and a 8lb 7oz fish was in the net.

With the swim thrashed I moved a short distance downstream and repeated the process, and after about 5 minutes I had another rod-ripping bite. But this one was quick, too quick to hit. For the next hour it was the same story, the barbel (or chub) wanted the maggots but weren't getting hooked.

I swapped over to a bigger hook and a bunch of maggots but the bites disappeared, not sure if they just wanted a small bait or if the brief feeding spell was over.

But my November barbel is in the bag, although I think the December and January ones are going to be the most tricky...

Barbel Challenge November 2012:
8lb 7oz | 1 barbel | 8lb 7oz average | 8lb 7oz best

Saturday 10 November 2012

PH4: Loads Of Bait

Three pints of ground bait, two pints of maize meal, two pints of maggots, one tin of corn, 8 hours and... One bream! (And a dropped run on a deadbait).

Water conditions were against me but it was great to be back on the riverbank. [Edit: Forgot to mention the sausage sandwiches!]

Friday 9 November 2012

Jack's Pike #102

On time this week! But another week has slipped by with no fishing, it's tricky at this time of year with work - but I need to get to the river. And I've just quoted on two big Christmas advertising campaigns. I think I need a fishing weekend!