Sunday, June 28, 2009

Barbel fever..........

I finally made the text to a mate of mine who was based in the Army at Camberley - i worked in Guildford/Basingstoke and i didnt realise he was based in-between - he advised me he was moving so it was now or never - so we agreed to meet up for a 2 hr session on Weds night.

We pulled up to the river and Geoff pointed out barbel feeding under a tree - what a sight - you dont get to see 9lbers do this in the North.

This was a stalking session with a difference - we had to crawl on all fours to keep off the skyline - Geoff loves the stalking and takes this very seriously so on my front commando style we crept about.

We identified 2 fishable swims - but we only could fish 1 rod between us - get a fish and move swims - first cast was to me - almost instantly i missed a quick pull wrong - then again - definatly chub was the culprit - third time lucky and yes i was in ...... a quick hard fight and a 3lb chub was in my net.

Geoff's go.... we waited 20mins for the swim to settle and again a lead with luncheon meat was cast into 12 inches of water and made it s way under the tree - then wack the rod went round - this was no chub.... but Geoff missed it.

Then another cast and tip round - fish on, double bend in the rod and then slack...

the line snapped - like cotton.. 8lb diawa sensor - Geoff wasnt happy "get my rod we will use some proper line 20lb braid".

I felt bad... we tackled up again and moved to the bridge swim - it was 10mins and round the tip went.... a farmer giles strike saw me in the trees with no fish damn....

then geoff's go - we went back to the chub catch swim - but no joy - time was getting on and so we went back to the bridge swim - Geoff cast in a halibut pellett - then whack - barbel on....

A quick fight saw the fish go into the net - Geoff though didnt want me to lift up the net for fear of breaking the pole - so i suggested we swap over - in the exchage Geoff managed to dip the net into the water and away was the barbel - this time i was playing it.....

10 mins later it was in the net - but Geoff go the photo he deserved a lovely fish between 7-8lb.

We had chance for 1 more cast - the tip went round - i was in then it went slack - hook pull -- oh well.....

A great experience and one i look forward to doing again

Thanks Geoff for a session to remember.....

Still waiting for my first Barbel for years ..... i look forward to the Wye,,,,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

on the Irwell again

I took my 5 year old grandson for a short session on Mon night - weather was great and fish were accomodating.My grandson Christopher is a very enthusiastic boy but with little attention span - so i was hoping for a good start - and the river didnt disapoint.

first cast a roach, followed by a number of bites....Chris decided he wanted to play in the water with the stones and the fishing died off somewhat - but we ended up with 3 roach one of about 12oz and a smile on our faces.Tues i went with my dad - just after the terribe downpour - dad couldnt buy a bite on maggotts - i had 2 on bread but missed them - river was running through by now due to the access water - not ideal at all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A surprise on the Irwell

Well after reading Manchesterfishingfiends latest blogs on the Irwell I decided I would explore more swims around the area he fishes. Luckily for me I bumped into a neighbour who is a keen fisherman and dog walker and covers the area mentioned in the blog, So thanks to him I had locations and parking all sorted out,
My Sunday trip should have been on Blackleach but my dad was ill so I managed a couple of hours on the Irwell

30mins in and I was disturbed by a dozen teenagers who wore Nazi uniforms and were drunk (or high) and singing / throwing stones in the river. After reading Manchesterfishingfiends latest post i can relate to situations where the yobs that have kept me off this river - i like peace and quiet and have been pelted with stones from the bridge behind Clifton Marina.

On this occiasion while it annoyed me at first to be honest they didn’t directly disturb me or my swim - and the bites never stopped.

It was a great session with roach to 12 oz and the odd chub - I had a bite every 3 runs - took about 10 fish - I don’t think the river was in prolific form but I did make best of it.
I cant wait to give it another go….

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Season on the Irwell

The New season and I am chomping at the bit to get on the river even for a couple of hours - after work my dad and I headed to the Irwell and we decided to have some fun seeing what was about.

The feeder rod didn’t produce a sniff on meat but on worm we missed a number of takes from the minnows (more like didn’t see anything but the worm was trashed).
On the float road in 1-2 feet of water was great - we tried to wade through the minnows to get to the other fish - and we did, my mate Chris showing off the catches of Gudgeon and Chublet - but no trout….. I didn’t expect any decent chub or barbel.

But good fun for a couple of hours - fish not the quality of ManchesterFishingfiends stretch but nevertheless I will do it again - but I wont be wearing shorts…. I got nettled to death….

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

tench pb broken!!!

PB broken at last
But unfortunately not mine,
Another session chasing the big tench at Blackleach led me to bait up my favourite swim 24hrs before the 4.5hrs session with 30 balls of vitalin/pellet/corn. I purposely didn’t put any bait in my dad's swim just in case this approach killed it.
Usual tactics for me with my dad feeder fishing with red maggot.
I had a couple of liners but nothing on meat/halibut pellet - my dad though missed a good bite (hook pulled off - oops sorry dad for not tying it properly) and the second bite he was in - a great fight on 6lb main line meant he had to play it well and couldn’t bully it too much.
He did just that and pic shows a new pb of 5lb 10oz - well done dad.

My day will come……….
Until then enjoy the reading - I'll enjoy the trying!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thats why its fishing not catching - on the quest for big tench

I had no late night, early morning meetings planned this week in Basingstoke/Guildford so I decided to take my gear and hit Wylies lake in Thatcham for 3 short sessions to go for the big tench - the target to try and beat my average of a single catch and also my pb of 7.15oz.
The aim was to try and fish the same peg for the 3 sessions using two lines, one method feeder on alarm at 25 yrds were the fish show quite often, the second to floatfish in the margins to the right.
Bait would be bacon grill/halibut pellet on the method and bacon grill / bunch of red mags/casters on the float which will be fished slider style with a stop not marking the depth (which is around 10ft+) - I expected to get near 9 hrs fishing over the 3 sessions.

Session 1 : Tues evening - weather was part cloudy but the sun was shining - activity on the water was at a minimum - I put out 6 balls of vitalin/pellett etc on the method and 6 pouches of hemp / meat/pellet on the float and then continually fed as and when.
Result : I had a few liners on the method rod with single bleeps, but on the float I had 3 bites, all on red maggs/caster cocktail - 1 though was more of a drag under and I believed this to be a liner. With the last bite I hit a small perch - which led me to believe the 1st one may not have been a tench - so for the rest of the session I put bacon grill back on but there was no further action.

Session 2 : Weds evening - decided it was more important than watching England so attacked the lake in the same way as the night before - it was slightly overcast and there was more fish topping - I had a more confident feeling.
Result : Liners on the method from the start - after 1 hour I had a double bleeper which I hit and missed / the bacon grill was gone - liners continued with a couple of" two bleepers" which I left to develop so didn’t hit - with 1 hour left the action hotted up - first the float buried on the meat - I hit into the fish - a definate tench but after a second the line went slack - lost the fish to a hook pull. This is when the method/alarm rod sprang to life with constant liners resulting in two good takes - not one toners but more than 2 bleeps - the feeding was tentative so I struck at everything I could - the first went at the same time as the float rod buried - which do I go to - the hestitation for a split second meant I missed both - damn…. Then second strikable run just before the end of the session was when my wife rang - and as I was talking the alarm screamed - a real bite - I lifted, wound the baitrunner off and struck…… but again nothing.
My thoughts at the end of the session was one of wasted opportunity - if they allowed fishing into dark I know I would have been on the fish but I am one for following rules…. Also to note that the hair rig on the method was around half an inch long… did I need to shorted this right up to the hook shank . Note fornext session!!!!

Session 3 : Thurs morning - weather was very bright not ideal at all - I changed the hair rig length and cast out same again.
Result : Liners on the method for the first 2 hrs but nothing on the float - just when the session was petering put bleep,bleep bleep - I hit into the run - but again nothing……..what is going on..
I examined my rig and then realised that maybe the takes were from the bream - with a long hair and a 10inch tail on the hooklink from the method feeder - maybe the tentative bream bites - they had time to such in and have a few inches to spit out giving only a slight indication - I should have shortened the hooklength!!!!
You live and learn - I need to do this in order to put fish on the bank

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blankleach vs Mancspurs

The Sunday morning weather had significantly improved from Saturday however I had found myself rising late from my pit and not getting to the bank until 6.15am. I still fancied my chances so out went a method on the alarm and a black cap feeder full of red maggots these went to both spots that were pre-baited. The 3rd rod was cast around the lake and had a bunch of worms and a 40g blackcap filled with red mags.

The lake looked good but I had not received any indications - the two lads opposite had taken a tench each on the float - but alas I had not had a snifff.
My dad made a cardinal sin - he left his feeder rod while he talked to a regular - he was only six foot away when the rod (my rod actually) was wrenched round at such a force that if his seat wasn’t in the way the rod/reel would have gone to a watery grave.
I managed to grab the rod but there was no tench - upon inspection he had a bite off - clearly cut just about the hook baited with 6 red mags - I have only ever heard of this with carp but I guess tench have pharyngeal teeth as well. He did miss another bite on red maggot but after 3 .5 biteless hours I went home to paint.

When I got home my misses didn’t want the mess of painting and furthermore wanted a quite afternoon which meant me out of the house - what luck,,.,,,
Off I went back to blackleach for a 4 hr session - same tactics and spots as the morning session 2 rods with meat/pellet/red maggots on the hook.
But no fish…..
I talked to the bailiff who glady took my £3 day ticket - he told me a couple of specimen guys had been on 2 pegs down from me a few days earlier and they had spent the best part of a week baiting up with gallons of bait prior to fishing - they had over 100lb of tench with the biggest 10.03oz - he said he had to tell them that keepnets were not allowed close season - that’s why he got to see the fish. That is very promising… but he then said a big pike had took a small terrier the week before……….what can you believe?
So all in all - maybe the fill it in approach is the way to get on the fish - maybe then lads beating me to this a few days earlier made my approach somewhat a little futile and I like all other anglers on the lake had a chance of the odd tench as they patrolled through - suffice to say my dad had that chance with the two bites.
Blankleach 3 Mike 0
But I will be back - I don’t know when I am beaten and I am desperate for a multiple catch and to beat my pb.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blackleach or Blankleach - the saga continues

Thanks to Manchesterfishingfiend who put the pressure on by saying if i didnt get a tench on my next visit i would have to call it Blankleach!!!
I did promise my dad a session bit bashing but with the weather so bad today i would expect all fishing to suffer so why not give Blackleach another go.

They say you only get out what you put in....... well if that is true then i should be on for a fish or two. True to form i put together 20 balls of vitalin, hemp, crumb, corn, various halibut sizes and left over meat and off i was to walk the dog around the lake in terrible weather to pre-bait for a Sunday morning session.

I chose a swim with shelter but while i was getting the groundbait ready a family of swans wanted to pitch up where i was standing and it was stand-off time - my god they are big when they stand up and hiss at you.

Anyway i was forced to move to a swim around the corner and prebaited the swim which i had a run in last week - 10 balls in each swim.

Will it make any difference - will the drop in temp from earlier in the week kill any chance i have of baggin a specimen - or now the temp has dropped will this kick start the fish to feed? Will the prebait help, will it pull the tench in to use these spots on its patrol routes or will it kill the fishing..

Well i will take a postive approach on 2 rods and cast to different spots on the 3rd.

Will i do it or will it go down as bad day on Blankleach.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tenching & the North / South divide

What is it about the North/South divide ?
In fishing terms its always claimed its far more productive in the South - my latest Blackleach challenge would provide testement to that!!!.

In the week I work in Basingstoke/Newbury - Newbury is a lovely place with lots to offer the angler.

I am a member of Reading DAA and focus my efforts for the tench at Wylies lake Thatcham(it borders Newbury) - it’s a mature and deep lake that fishes well in the margins. It holds the odd big carp, shoals of big bream and fishes well for silvers at certain times of the year. The Pic is of my dad at the lake waiting for action!!!

I think Wylies is to Newbury what Blackleach is to Salford - a difficult water that holds big tench - its never packed as most anglers only get the odd tench and want lots of fish, but for a wanabe specimen hunter its ideal.

Again my fishing is a few hours before and after work - so I would say I do 6-8hrs a week on this water - results? I normally get 1 fish a session and a few bites, the silvers don’t show until end of June onwards so I am confident its tench or carp/bream.
I usually fish 2 rods, a float and a method feeder, early season bread scores well but at the moment meat wins all hands down - I have included some pics of fish I have had to 6.4lb - but other anglers are getting them to 7.5lb - with many reporting upto 9lbers.

I wont move onto the rivers until July so that’s a few more weeks targeting a tench - my mission to beat my pb of 7ib 15oz.

Or cry trying!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beaten by Blackleach (again)

Another 4.30am start, enthusiasm and optimism running high and a level of expectation fills the car as I leave with my dad to drive the 5 miles to Blackleach.
Corn/meat/pellet and hemp - method feeder on alarms - all set to go - we even changed the peg to pick one slightly further round the lake where I have had tench from before.
One rod cast 30yrds in 8-10ft of water, the second 40-45yrds out and the third(my dads) was on the float 15yrds out in 8 ft of water.
The first 2 hrs was slow, grebes and coots in abundance but no surface activity from the fish - an old boy came round and talked to us - a fisherman who stays away from this water but walks round daily - his views were that it is fishing slow and the catch rate has gone down over the last few years - this is consistent to my views but what I need is catching advice right now - he gave it "fish Gorse Pit instead".
A little while later another regular talker came round to join us and described what he had seen of late - a few good tench all in 1 and 2's but no bag ups - there was still no silvers showing. The second guy is a keen predator angler and has fished this water for years but only bothers with the pike and eels.
He again told us stories of his 30lber and a 6lb eel - something I do believe as I saw a 4lb+ dead one the day after he had told me he caught and released one at that weight.
Still no action - so a rebait was required - I kept doing this every 45mins.
After nearly 4 hrs and just as I was thinking of packing up - I got a run - it never tore off - just 4or5 bleeps but enough to strike at - I bent into the strike on the rod at 30 yrds which I had fished meat over soft pellet on a method feeder - but nothing - I was gutted.
There were 2 other guys on the water - one had gone after 2 hrs - I spoke to the second as I walked back to the car - he missed one take and had a 6lb pike on double red maggot - but no silvers.
I think my all out tench approach may need re-thinking - its obvious they are there meandering around - but not in big enough numbers to be anything significant in catch rate terms and all the other fish occupy the opposite side of the lake where the silt bed is - for the moment anyway - the bream don’t really move unless spawning but the silvers do come out and play and to get 20 fish in 4hrs is common once they go for it.
So what should I do?
Is it a sit on the water for all hours and take what I can, or put in 10kg of vitalin etc and fish a couple of days later or build up a small amount of feed in one clear spot and hope and wait.
The conundrum continues - what is for sure - I was beaten by Blackleach yet again