Well it's all over for another season, a season which once again was governed by a lack of time, but unlike last season I maximised my fishing, averaging nearly a session a week - although some of them were pretty quick.
I managed my time, working when it was dark whenever possible and changing my fishing techniques to maximise success rates, deadbaits were wobbled, meat rolled, maggots trotted and swims hopped. I didn't wait for the fish to come to me I went and found them.
To say it's been a brilliant season would be an understatement, a season that included four new species, time spent on species I haven't really chased before and ten person bests! As well as new venues, new challenges and fishing with a great bunch of people.
Here is a quick breakdown of the season:
No closed season blues for me, for the first time ever I fished on through. Three trips to Marsh Farm bagging up on the tench and crucians, including a 100lb day, a stunning 2lb 9oz crucian and a 4lb 7oz tench.
Work was really starting to get busy but I did manage to escape to the Farm for a day, continuing to catch the tench and crucians, I even managed a PB bream of 3lb 14oz - which turned out to be the best of the season.
The glorious sixteenth was a bit of a wash out, I think I always target barbel too early in the year, I did manage 2 barbel over the first three days. And a couple of trips to the farm resulted in another 100lb day and a PB tench of 5lb 4oz.
A game launch really took all of my time, just one quick trip to a pond for some gudgeon bashing - but not much can beat a few hours catching mud skippers followed by a nice cold pint in the sunshine. Perhaps I could have got out a bit more.
A carp early in the month, but the really story was the barbel deciding to play towards the end of the month, rolling meat was devastating - the technique for the season. It was the start of multi fish catches and a 10lb 1oz barbel was the icing on the cake!
The barbel-fest continued and was only interrupted by a long weekend on the Wye. Me and James were targeting pike and perch, a successful trip that included James' first Wye double and a new PB perch for me, at 2lb 4oz a beautiful fish.
Zander time! Three trips to Bury Hill in search of my first zander, and I found them, tricky fish to hook but I landed nine to 5lb 10oz, a very respectable PB. I will be back this year hoping to better it.
I continued to bag up on the barbel and a bream mission to the Thames threw up a surprise ruffe. We travelled north to Coventry to join Jeff and the Midlands bloggers for a social zander session, where my luck was in, adding 2 more fish to my zander tally.
Back to the Wye in search of pike, and it wasn't flooded for a change. But the unsettled water conditions proved tricky, I did manage 8 pike to 12lb 2oz - so a better result than recent Christmas breaks.
Still bagging up on barbel I turned my attention to catching a 3oz gudgeon, armed with digital kitchen scales I was able to put some proper weights to these mini-monsters. Weighing lighter than they look I managed a 2.7oz fish, a great start.
Four trips to the Test Valley chasing my first grayling, a fish I have fallen in love with and the best was 2lb 1½oz, bigger than I'd even hoped for. I also managed a few bonus rainbow trout to 3lb 1oz and a stunning PB roach of 1lb 12oz - Proper red letter fishing.
A weekend on the Wye made a dent in the challenge, including my best pike of the season at 13lb 2oz and some lovely perch. A couple of sessions on the local river took my barbel total to 71 fish. And a North London pike provided a cracking end to a brilliant season!
Just brilliant. And now we're back in the closed season, well no closed season blues for me again this year - in a couple of weeks it'll be time to hit the ponds. I will be chasing tench, crucians and hopefully a rudd or two - got a 4oz PB to beat... Crack on!