Wednesday 30 June 2021

On This Day 2012

Nine years ago today...
I landed my first double figure barbel - still up to my neck in nettles searching for them nine years later...

Monday 28 June 2021

Changing River

Over the last 12 years I’ve fished the small river the water purity has improved year on year, there is far more insect life and the fish stocks have increased dramatically.

Does more fish mean smaller fish? There seems to be a lot more barbel in the river - in four sessions out this season I’ve landed 46 of them! The biggest so far going 5lb 10oz.

But over the past few seasons there does seem to be far fewer fish in the 6-9lb region, the next batch of doubles - or are they hiding in there and I can’t find them?

All rivers flow in cycles - and I’m not complaining about too many fish - plus I’m sure there is the odd monster lurking about in there - just waiting to be discovered! The hunt continues...

Saturday 26 June 2021

Bugs & Beasts 6

My favourite butterfly species, a Meadow Brown posing in the sun.

An open winged Holly Blue - they don't sit like this often.

A Small Tortoiseshell fresh off the mint.

A battle scared male Adonis Blue - still flying about though.

And a female Stag Beetle - only seen two females so far this year.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Jungle Warfare

Creeping about in nettles, floating crust at barbel - lovely!

Keyboard is broken - that'll have to do - took ages to type that!

Friday 18 June 2021

Ten Thousand Miles

On the opening day while searching for barbel I spotted a shoal of roach, some of which looked over a pound, so after a stormy night I was back - armed with bread and the trotting gear.

Not sure if the roach had moved or the barbel were beating them to the bait - no roach - just little barbel. Nothing over 3lb but 11 barbel on the float was great fun - they don't all have to be monsters!

I also noticed I have walked 10,000 miles since I started wearing a Fitbit - it took 4 years, 5 months and 16 days - that's a lot of walking for a lazy hobby! On to the next ten thousand miles...

Thursday 17 June 2021


The long wait was over. The conditions weren't great after the recent heatwave, but the barbel had already spawned and I was looking forward to being on the riverbank - up to my neck in nettles once again - we're a weird bunch!

Unfortunately I was feeling the effects of my second Covid jab; sweating, shivering and a dead arm - with no sleep it took a lot of effort to get up early - but I knew I'd be alright if I could just drag myself to the river. By 5 am I was on the water...

Floating crust in the gin-clear water was the technique - and to cut a long story short; 21 barbel, 4 chub and a carp found the net. No big fish but plenty of action - just what the doctor ordered. Exciting fishing - and the perfect way to open the season!

Monday 14 June 2021

Pre-Season 2021/22

It's very nearly time to go fishing - river season opens on Wednesday - like you didn't know! New line on reels, bits and bobs restocked and kit ready to go - time to make a few plans...

I'd like to up a few personal bests this season; rudd, roach and perch are the initial targets - I'd like to crack a 2lb+ roach and rudd, so close to the target. And a weighed 3lb+ perch would be fantastic.

I can't ignore the local barbel - so I'm again aiming to bank 100 of them this season. I'd like to beat my PB (perhaps a 15?) - but I'll probably have to wait until February for one to hit that weight.

I have a couple of winter pike targets (after so few pike last season) - but with the threat of Covid making a return I'll post about that nearer the time - I don't want to curse it!

Right, hopefully on the riverbank on Wednesday (second Covid jab tomorrow and it made me ill last time). Tight lines bloggers - and I look forward to reading all about your adventures this season...

Friday 11 June 2021

Bugs & Beasts 5

Species 35 - Wood Whites - not many places you can find these.

Species 36 - Adonis Blue - a female posing in the sunshine.

One of our rarest butterflies - the Glanville Fritillary.

The tiny Small Blue - not easy to photograph.

Common Newt - or is it a Great Crested?

Wednesday 9 June 2021

On This Day 2018

Three years ago today...
My first canal carp - a 28lb beauty caught on floating crust from a grotty London towpath - this will take some beating!

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Bugs & Beasts 4

Species 32 - Green Hairstreak - battered but beautiful.

Species 33 - Marsh Fritillary - rare species for the collection.

Species 34 - Duke Of Burgundy - we've seen this individual before.

Dark Dingy Skipper - different colour variation, not new species.

Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle - so it's not just butterflies!