Saturday 30 June 2018

Weird Fish

With the temperature set to scrape 30°C it was too hot for the fish - but I thought I’d give it a whirl - the worst that could happen was I’d get a suntan! First up trying to find some chub in the shade.

After quite a bit of walking I found two that were up for a bit of bread - something was weird with the chub* above, it fought differently, looked odd and felt odd when I picked it up. And red eyes!

Still scorching I turned my attention to catching a barbel, rolling a piece of meat down the little highways between the weed - brilliant to watch them dash out and take a bait in inches of water!

I managed to tempt ten into hitting a bait, loosing 4 of them to hook pulls - and all the ones I landed the barbless hook came out in the net. Best was about 4lb, but great fun in the summer sun!

*Could it be..? I’ve heard of them but never seen one. Fortunately I know a couple of people in the know, and sent them the photos. An extremely rare choach (chub/roach hybrid)... Fantastic!

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Small River Fish 2

Hidden gems. If you’re prepared to put the miles in, can tolerate the odd nettle sting and the ever biting insects - I’ll bet there is a little slice of heaven near you. Us anglers are a lucky bunch!

On my local river, up to my neck in nettles, I was searching for a very rare shoal of rudd - and I found one. Got them feeding on maggots and set the gear up - except I’d left all my hooks at home - f#@k!

I’d spotted a fellow nettle treading angler about half a mile downstream, popped down and asked if I could buy a couple of hooks off him - he said no - instead gave me half a pack of 18’s...

What a top guy! Totally saved my afternoon - thank you. I’m pretty sure these hooks are antiques, but they’d do the job. Stick, pin and hook set - it was back to find my rudd shoal...

First up a couple of brown trout crashed the party...

Then I caught my target, my first rudd from the river, or 6 in fact...

A load of minnows, and this time I remembered to get a photo...

Another rare perch, a dace and a dozen chub...

And this little beauty - can’t beat ending the session with a goldfish!

Species Hunt. I’ve decided to do a mini-species hunt on my local river this season, I’d like to beat my previous best of twelve, already on 10 - but as each species gets ticked off the next gets more difficult!

Chub Barbel Perch
Chub Barbel Perch
Roach Dace Gudgeon
Roach Dace Gudgeon
Brown Trout Rudd Goldfish
Brown Trout Rudd Goldfish
Minnow Species 11 Species 12
Minnow Species Species
Species 13 Species 14 Species 15
Species Species Species

Monday 25 June 2018

On The Top

Afternoon on a new pond, fishing with old hand Richard. And after a few rigs, chopping and changing we got the carp feeding on bread on the surface - the water in front of us became carp soup!

We lost count but it was between 20 and 30 carp each, not big fish - mostly between 4lb to 8lb - but brilliant fun! Richard did manage a scrapper double - and we’ll be back for the big ones...

Saturday 23 June 2018

Canal Carp III

Warning: Stalking canal carp is highly addictive. This one and his pal distracted me from pike fishing! Humble bread crust did the trick again, a beautiful dark 13lb 9oz common carp off the top - ace!

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Small River Fish

It’s not all about big fish for me. So armed with the stick ‘n’ pin, the bare minimum of kit and a pint of maggots I set of for an afternoon wander - let’s see how many species of river fish I could catch...

I had 10 perch (pretty rare on this river)...

Two mini-barbel (good news for the future)...

Loads of chub and chublets...

Four dace...

Three roach...

And 4 gudgeon...

A total of 7 species (I forgot to photograph a minnow), perfect way to waste an afternoon in the summer sunshine!

Monday 18 June 2018

Canal Carp II

What a difference a week makes - the sunny weather has turned the canals green with algae and the duckweed is taking over, combined with more boat activity, spotting carp has got a lot more difficult. But I wanted another one to prove to myself the first wasn’t a fluke...

It took a lot of miles to find two feeding fish. Stalking them as they used the duckweed for cover, eventually the smaller one made a mistake. Great fight and a 8lb 15oz common was in the net - job done - but his pal looked like a mid-double - I’ll be back...

Fishing at range or in the wind I'm using a rig I’m playing with on the local pond:

The float sits the correct way up in the water, the small shot sinks the line between the rod and float, and the bread then floats about 6 foot beyond the float.

I cast well past the feeding fish, avoiding the ‘plop’ that gives the game away - and gently wind the bread into the carp’s path.

An added advantage is you can watch the float, once it moves you know the carp has taken the bread properly, not just mouthing it.

Or just use a controller float, but that doesn’t sound as good as an upside-down rig!

Saturday 16 June 2018

Hook, Line & Sink!

Noob. This my ninth season on this river, on my first some of the locals (when they realised I wasn’t going anywhere) told me that I’m a noobie until my tenth season - when I’ll progress to beginner!

My last season as a noob - opening day and it was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I eventually hit the 6lb 1oz barbel above - that barbel pull I’ve missed for three months!

I followed it up with four more barbel at 6lb, 1½lb, 7lb 1oz and 3½lb - with four bonus chub thrown in for good measure. Great start to the season! And I didn't even mention the kitchen sink.

Thursday 14 June 2018

Flight Night?

I've seen the odd stag beetle over the last week or so - but last night there were 4 on the path - I grabbed the camera, went back and snapped a quick photo of one. Could tonight be flight night?

Sunday 10 June 2018

Canal Carp

The only way I was going to catch a canal carp was by leaving the lures at home - even faced with a bunch of feeding double figure carp I am distracted by a jack, time and time again!

On Friday afternoon I set out searching the canal for carp. Lures ditched, kit was a size 2 micro barbed hook to 6 foot of invisible 12lb line to my 10lb mainline - even for me this was traveling light.

And I found about a dozen carp spread over about 5 miles. I convinced a couple to take my floating bread, and struck too quickly both times! Then, as the light was failing, I spotted something special...

Saturday morning I was back - and I found her exactly where I left her. And followed her for about half a mile, flicking a piece of bread in front of her - she sniffed it about 6 times before making a mistake!

I can’t describe how hard she fought, tearing up the muddy bottom as I followed along behind, dragging the net along with my foot - then disaster, she went though a roll of wire and was completely snagged...

I was tempted to go in after her - but it was a 12 foot jump down into water that is polluted enough to put me in hospital - I had to trust the micro-barb and waited the longest 2 minutes for her to swim out.

She still made a fight of it but found the net - my first canal carp and my first thirty! Until I put her on the scales, but at 28lb 12oz I couldn’t care less about those 20 ounces - what a beauty!

Massive thanks to a passing Kiran for the photo (after several photos of his thumb). So my PB didn’t last a week, I’ve christened my new net - and James; I’ve temporarily stolen your canal carp crown..!

I didn’t bother to fish on, my day couldn’t get any better - time for a celebratory pint. OK, the stunning topless lady who walked past me on route to the pub was pretty cool. But what a fish!