Saturday 29 November 2014

Rolling And Walking

A day of two halves, this morning I did some barbel fishing on the very low, clear river. Spotting fish and rolling a cube of meat to them. A 3lb 2oz fish on the first cast signaled a good morning...

Next up I had a 5lb 0oz fish. Using an ultra light 8 foot spinning rod they all went like stink...

Another three pounder, 3lb 6oz with a very orange tail...

The best of the session at 8lb 6oz...

And finishing on yet another three, 3lb 14oz taking my season total to 46 barbel for 201lb 5oz - cracked the two hundred - yeah!

About 11am I dragged myself away, inspired by Danny's success last week I headed to a local pond to Walk the Worm.

Walking the worm is drop shotting with a live worm for bait and perch and pike were the target. Well I walked the worm right around the pond twice - and didn't get a sniff - more practice required...

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Barbel Tally

I managed a very quick trip to the river this afternoon, it's these quick trips that are making my season. I do like to spend the day chasing fish, but those trips seem all too infrequent. I really wish there was somewhere close at hand to try and find a pike or two, perhaps I'll give the local pond another try now we've had a frost.

Anyway I added two more barbel to this seasons tally, 4lb 8oz and one about 1½lb, so I'm in the fish - just not the big ones. I'm really not complaining, I only landed five barbel last year so it's great to have something pulling on the line on a regular basis.

Total weight: 177lb 9oz
Number caught: 41
Biggest: 10lb 1oz, 9lb 12oz, 8lb 7oz

Monday 24 November 2014

Teeth And Claws

On Sunday James, Richard and myself journeyed up to Coventry to join the Midlands bloggers for a social fishing trip on a local canal. Organised by Jeff Hatt, I'm not going to list names or blogs, instead I'll make a list at the end of this post to other reports from what will probably be a heavily blogged event.

So this is my story. Having NOT missed the train from London (I'm looking at you James and Richard) I met Jeff at the train station for a 5 mile sprint across Coventry, we did briefly peer into the canal and spotted a couple of jack pike, but no time for a cast - there were people to meet and zander to catch.

Tackling up over a pint outside the pub on the canal it was strange to actually meet people who's blogs I read and fishing experiences I'd shared for years, I felt I knew them even though this was the first time we'd met - apparently I'm taller than expected.

Pint finished it was time to wet a line and on advice from Jeff we float fished roach sections. I didn't have to wait long before my float was on the move - I waited for it to pick a direction and struck - fish on and it stayed on!

My first wild zander, delighted! I was awarded 3lb by my fellow anglers, a cracking start.

Next cast sat out for about 5 minutes before the float started to wander, really like this float fishing - taking this to Bury Hill. Zander number two was on the bank, a mini zed but still a zed - brilliant.

As the afternoon progressed we explored some more of the canal, Jeff using his local knowledge to put a cast under 'the zander bush' for near instant result and the 4lb zed above (look how it's posing for the photo).

It was the last zander I saw, although a few more were caught, I believe Danny had a couple [Edit: make that 5] drop-shotting (got to give that another go) and Richard finished with a zander about 1½lb on legdered roach section.

While fishing I did have my float gently pull under a couple of times, and after a couple of exciting strikes thinking it was a zander, a slow pull up revealed it was a crayfish.

Despite crays being the bane of a lot of anglers lives, I'd never caught one - so I lowered the bait back down and waited with the net in hand. A slow bite, a slow lift of the rod and net under before he let go. My first crayfish!

Back to the zander fishing. We fished on into the first two hours of dark with no more fish, then retired to the pub for a few drinks before I had to race home.

It was great to meet such familiar faces for the first time and it was great to see how people were fishing for zeds, it was a brilliant day and a lot of food for thought fishing-wise.

So a big thank you to Jeff and all the guys.

They say there is two sides to every story, but in this case I expect there will be more, I'll update the list below as they appear:

Saturday 22 November 2014

Back On It

Very quick morning roll to get over my blank on Wednesday, and two barbel - 5lb 4oz and 4lb 13oz - just what I needed!

Thursday 20 November 2014

Chasing Zeds 4

Another trip to Bury Hill, and I knew this day was coming, I've had a hell of a run, but no fish today - a blank! I knew chasing zeds wasn't going to be easy and conditions just didn't feel very zander...

But looking back through the blog, I've managed 21 consecutive trips without a blank - three months! In that run I've caught 37 barbel, 9 zander, 6 pike, as well as perch, chub, eels, trout and even a ruffe.

I'll settle for a run like that any season!

After getting lost and going on a long walk through the woods, Richard eventually joined me for the day and bucked the trend by catching the only two zander on the lake all day - proving it could be done - nice one!

Saturday 15 November 2014


Not the five pound bream I was after, but only the second one I've ever caught (or seen) - so delighted!

And a quick snap on the way home - love this time of year (until it floods).

Saturday 8 November 2014

Static Weather?

Well the weather seems more November, I think summer finished last Saturday. A quick stalking mission this morning - hoping to relocate the double I lost last weekend.

I did see a number of barbel and rolled meat to them, but they all dashed over to the bait, sniffed it and drifted away. Perhaps now the temperature has dropped a static bait is the key.

I persevered and found one about 7lb and once I'd got him mopping up a few samples I rolled a bait down to him - just as it got to him I spotted a bigger one and ripped it out the way.

Rolling a bait to the bigger one it nailed it first time - brilliant, looked like a double. A fairly short fight in the shallow water and my prize was safely in the net.

The barbel had a massive head and was broad across the back but no depth at all, but 9lb 12oz, I'll settle for that! It will be a much bigger fish later in the season.

The plan was to hit the Thames this afternoon, in search of my five pound plus bream, but looking out at the dark storm clouds I think that will have to wait for next weekend!

Thursday 6 November 2014


A couple of months ago while walking on the beach I found this block of stuff, something about the typeface appealed to me.

A bit of research later it turns out it's a block of rubber made from a rubber tree over 100 years ago in Indonesia. And was used in the early 20 century to make everything from teddy bear noses to diver's suits.

Several ships transporting it sank but one candidate was the Titanic, which was carrying a large consignment of it on it's fated voyage.

Pretty interesting.

Here it is when it was made (probably not the same block). Early 1900s.

And what did I do with this rather extraordinary find? Much to the dismay of a couple of beach combing websites I sent the photo to, I photographed it and left it on the beach, below the high tide mark. The sea has claimed it again...

Saturday 1 November 2014

So Close

With a beautiful day forecast I set out into the November morning to try and bag a barbel or two before the cold weather kicks in. And it nearly went so well...

I hooked into what looked like a good double and after a fairly long fight the fish swerved past the waiting net, used it's last reserve of power, shot across the river into a snag.

I tried every trick in the book but it was stuck solid. And just as my hook departed my phone beeped - James texting me to let me know he'd just bagged a double... Some you win etc...

I wasn't too disappointed though, landing four fish - the best going 7lb 0oz (above) and the others going between 1-2lb.

I wonder how long this weather is going to last.