Thursday 30 September 2021

Summer Fishing 2021

A summer of bread! It's pretty much all I've used for bait so far this season - sorry bait companies. Well the short summer season has once again flown past; roach, trout, chub, a few eels and lashings and lashings of barbel (153) - so before it's wooly hats and wellies here's a quick summer review - written monthly as I went along...

June: I managed to hit the Small River five times during the opening two weeks (one full day and 4 afternoons). Action was explosive with 62 barbel landed - plus a small carp, a pound plus eel and about a dozen chub! The bigger barbel are eluding me but hopefully I'll track them down. Cracking start to the season!!

July: Extreme weather; a heatwave followed by storms and flooding. The barbel fishing was still hectic, small fish, but I cracked my Barbel Challenge - 104 barbel! And mission with the stick 'n' pin resulted in a mixed bag including some lovely gudgeon. With the 100 barbel target in the bag I really need to locate some bigger specimens...

August: Still trying to track down a bigger barbel - best of the month was a 7lb 3oz beauty. I did land a surprise new PB eel - on bread! As a break from the barbel, a trip to the Itchen resulted in a couple of pound plus roach and five bream. And a wander along a neglected chalk stream provided some cracking wild brown trout.

September: A return to the chalk stream produced the most stunning wild brown trout I've ever seen. A quick mission to the Small River saw a double figure barbel added to the season. And three days on the very low, clear River Wye produced some fantastic chub and barbel action. Small River summer barbel count: 140.

And now it's time for pike...

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Quick Barbel Report (140)

Just three quick Small River barbel missions this month - 11 barbel added, including a double and the 7lb 12oz beauty above.

And James has added another double barbel to his 40 Rivers Challenge - quarter of the challenge complete - blog post here.

Monday 27 September 2021

Wonderful Wye - Day 3

Last fishing day of the short trip - time to find that perch! But first I couldn't resist using up the last of the luncheon meat - and bagged three more barbel in The Wye Valley sunshine.

I switched to a lure and the weather closed in. Unfortunately no perch - I did watch one about 2lb hit the lure in the rain - but it didn't find a hook. Wet through - a Sunday roast was calling!

Roast beef and Mortimer & Whitehouse. Cracking trip home - far too short a visit but I'll be back very soon. Thanks Mum & Dad - can you order a bit of rain before the next trip (but not too much).

The heavens opened - so we spent an hour sheltering under a bridge.

No perch photo, so here's a photo of cow #1063..!

Saturday 25 September 2021

Wonderful Wye - Day 2

A late morning start and the plan was to sit it out in a couple of swims I'd seen barbel in the day before. Chub were first to find the bait - but soon the chub taps turned into barbel trying to rip the rod in - a perfect day on The Wye in the sunshine!

I watched kingfishers fishing, a big pike striking bleak and landed 6 chub and 9 barbel - I photographed all the barbel - beauitiful bronze and gold with a green sheen. All too soon the day was done - back home for a steak and a bottle of wine with my Mum & Dad.

The barbel soon bullied the chub out of the way.

Barbel number 8 as my Dad watched on from the steep bank.

Last barbel of the afternoon - a 7lb 11oz beauty!

Friday 24 September 2021

Ticket Please

Rumaging through an old coat - as you do when you're back at your parents house - I found an old Club Card from 1991 - 30 years ago!

Wow! Thirty years!! I found some photos from that season - Mat Police Alert! My last season as a junior and I was all about match fishing...

I won the season and set a new junior match record weight. I never did fish an adult match - turning my attention to pike (and girls).

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Wonderful Wye - Day 1

First time I've seen the River Wye in nearly 2 years - and the first time I've seen my parents since the pandemic began. A short visit but I had to wet a line. I'd brought the lure gear, with a plan to bag a perch - but the water was painfully low and clear - a Wye perch would be a hard target and I didn't fancy a blank - but I thought of a couple of species that might want to play in these conditions...

Rolling luncheon meat was the method, and I wandered about in search of fast water with lots of oxygen. I could see chub and wondered if I should have brought the fly gear - but persistence paid off - eventually bagging a beautiful Wye chub. With a fish on the bank I could relax. Continuing my wander I landed nine more chub - and almost out of time - the last swim - I found Wye gold! Brilliant!!

Caught in inches of fast flowing water.

I knew the barbel were there somewhere.

River Wye gold!

Thursday 16 September 2021

Hide & Seek

Knew they were in there somewhere! A beautiful 11lb 1oz barbel with plenty of room to fill out over autumn & winter - fantastic!

Note to self: Never use Hovis bread again - it's crap.

Saturday 11 September 2021

Small River Roach

A couple of afternoons chasing small river roach; stick 'n' pin, bread for bait and polaroids to spot the shoals under the weedbeds. One or two fish from each swim before moving on - a lot of water covered. And a lot of fish spotted, including future targets - carp, chub, dace.

First session I landed about a dozen roach - including three over a pound; 1lb 2oz, 1lb 1oz and 1lb 0oz. Second session I landed a couple of dozen - biggest was 14oz - smallest about 10oz - cracking bag of roach! Oh, and I found a lure - always a bonus!

Thursday 2 September 2021

Return To The Stream

Couldn't resist - although more exploring than fishing...

But 4 wild brown trout landed - three swingers...

And this absolute beauty!

And if you missed it - James has added another double barbel to his 40 Rivers Challenge - plus some cracking chub - epic blog post here.