Friday, 28 December 2012

Commercial Perch - they're in there somewhere!

For today's session I decided to revisit a pool I discovered around this time last year. I never had anything overly big last time around but the potential was definitely there so it had to be worth another look especially given the current state of the rivers. I was joined by Rob once again and when we arrived at the lake it was hammering it down good and proper. There was a nasty wind blowing across the water so we squelched our way around to the far side so it would be off our backs.

The water level had risen dramatically since my last visit and whereas before most of the platforms were around 2-3ft above the water level, now most were about 3-4 inches below it! We soon found a couple of spots though and quickly got fishing.

Seeing as this is one of the mere handful of waters I've ever come across where the Perch respond to Prawn hookbaits, my attack centered around floatfished Prawns in the margins. For some reason I've never done any good with Prawns for Perch on anywhere but heavily coloured commercial waters. It must be something to do with the fish being forced to look for food using their sense of smell due to the almost total lack of clarity in the water. Whatever the reason, I've found that where Prawns do work they seem to outfish the traditional baits like worms by a considerable margin.


Back to the session anyway and after a blank hour in my first swim I had itchy feet already. Something didn't feel right and I liked the look of the next swim along which gave me access to a nice reedy corner. Within minutes I was setup in the new spot and straight away I was getting problems and regretting the move. The combination of wind and undertow was making it very difficult to present my bait where I wanted it so it wasn't long before I was contemplating yet another move much to Robs amusement!

Rob had started to get a few bites in his swim so I had a mooch around the pegs to his right and found a likely candidate. Around twenty minutes after arriving in this new spot I had my first bite and promptly missed it. A few float tremblers later and I finally had another hittable bite which resulted in a small Roach, at least I hadn't blanked.

Bites dried up after that and over the next couple of hours I only managed one more Roach and my swim looked dead. Rob too had got fed up with watching a motionless float and came trudging past with his kit in search of pastures new. This was all the encouragement my itchy feet needed and I stood up to scan the lake and ponder my options. It was lunchtime already and Between us we had covered pretty much most of the calm sheltered water on the lake which meant the only thing to do was to head down the windward end and battle the weather, oh joy. There was only around three hours of daylight left would the move be worth it?

I found a nice swim which allowed me to comfortably sit with my back to the wind and fish along the margin to my left in around 5ft of water. There was a good chop on but by fishing tight to the reeds I was able to control the float pretty well. I had a bite within minutes and bumped a fish which was both encouraging and demoralising at the same time! A couple more missed bites on my next two casts and small fish showing out in the chop had me texting Rob to let him know I'd found some fish. He was setting up in the next swim along within minutes!

I continued to miss bites and decided to up my hook size to a 10 whilst decreasing the size of the lump of Prawn I was using by about half. I connected with my next bite straight away and was pleased to see Perch of about a pound and a half roll into the net. It had that horrid washed out look about it caused by the coloured water of its environment but a Perch is a Perch and it boosted my confidence no end.

A few very Roachy looking missed bites later and I connected with another Perch and after a dour battle out in the waves I finally netted something worth weighing. At 2lb9oz it was a nice fish and after a quick pic I realised the light was fading fast so I hurried to get cast back in for what was left of the Perch witching hour.


I struggled to get another bite and it was getting to the point where It was becoming difficult to see the float. I was contemplating packing up when I connected with the smallest Perch of the day at around a pound. It had been an interesting trip and it really hammered home the importance of winter fish location. Although the lake is fairly small the fish were very grouped up in the one area despite being on the end of a cold wind. I ended up fishing four swims and rob fished three yet the Perch only came from one.


I hate sessions where I struggle to settle but being a restless and impatient angler I always feel I should be doing something to help me catch and to me Moving swims creates new opportunities . Whilst it could be argued that I might be moving off fish and missing out I feel that the amount of times a move has literally saved a session for me in the past then its something that can't be ignored and should be an option that's always on the table.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Xmas Perching

As I write this the EA river levels site is showing my local stretch of the Trent to be running at over 3m. By my calculations this means the rivers got nearly 8ft of extra water on it! It's not surprising then that I found myself on a local lake for my most recent session, target Perch.

Rob joined me with the intention of fishing for Roach and whilst we both opted for a two rod approach, he fished bolt feeders with maggots and I went for groundbait feeders with lobworms.

After a fairly uneventful morning with nothing more than a couple of Roach to show for my efforts I decided to move swims in a bid to find some Perch. A couple of blank hours later and I was regretting the move. My wanderlust returned and I went for a look in the lakes tiny overflow pool. I was surprised to see some small Fish near the surface and not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth I returned within minutes armed with a float rod.

Ten minutes later I had half a dozen 3inch rudd in my bucket and I returned to my swim and setup a couple of paternosters. I'd never used liveys on the lake before and I was a little unsure as to what to expect but seeing as the worms had been ignored all morning I had nothing to lose.

Not long after positioning the rigs I was just telling Rob how I thought it might be a bit cold for livebaits to work when my left hander signalled a slow but deliberate take. I struck and the rod took on a healthy bend as a nice Perch made a bid for freedom and At 2lb7oz it certainly brightened up a tough day. After the quick action I was hopeful of a bit more but as is usually the case for me when that happens nothing else was in mood to oblige and it was soon time to pack up.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Xmas social in search of Roach

The other week myself and a few of the lads at work were talking fishing and decided that a Xmas trip to a local pool would be good for a few laughs. Much banter ensued over the next week or so about who was going to catch what and a lot of time was spent discussing the days menu which pretty much consisted of bacon with a side order of bacon topped with liberal doses of more bacon!

The day finally arrived and in the event only three of us turned up, all of us being somewhat jaded from a few too many ales the night before. As daylight began to creep in we quickly realised the lake looked rather frozen and were gutted when even half a house brick couldn't make a dent in the icy barrier. A walk around to the other side was a bit more encouraging though as the ice had cleared enough to enable the three of us to get in comfortably. We had to put up with a cold wind in our faces but at least we were fishing.

Steve and I fished for the Roach whilst Tim had his sights set on a Carp or two. I kicked things off with a couple of 8oz roach straight away and the action continued throughout the morning. Steve and I matched each other fish for fish and Tim even managed a couple of redfins on his Carp gear. Considering how cold the weathers been of late the fishing was outstanding, the quivertip was rarely still for more than a few minutes and a few of the Roach were easily getting on for the pound mark.
Just after Tim had cooked lunch in the worlds largest frying pan (it had two handles!) Steve, who was stood in my swim, spotted his quivertip move slightly and made like a man possessed back to his rod in time to strike into a good fish. A nice Perch appeared from the depths and upon netting it looked well worth a weigh. At 2lb6oz it was a new PB for Steve and added nicely to an already enjoyable day out.

Bites slowed up as the afternoon progressed and we decided to pack up around threeish. Steve and I both had double figures in our keepnets and Tim, although he found some very greedy roach, never did manage that carp. It had been a good day out though and its certainly fired me up to get out there again with renewed enthusiasm.
Incidentally, since my last post I've discovered a new App which is compatible with blogger and allows much greater control for editing posts and adding pictures. For anyone else who uses a tablet or phone to blog and who has experienced the same issues as me check out Blogsy on android and itunes, its well worth a look.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Winter blogging blues

I have only fished once since coming back from Chew and that session ended in a blank. I fished a water near Leicester in the hope of a Pike or two. Just about every other local water was either flooded, coloured or frozen and this lake was pretty much the only one I could think of which would give me half a chance of catching.  Once at the lake it turned out that the fishing was so hard that one chap had only caught 4 jacks since October! Most depressing indeed, as was the seemingly endless stream of Cormorants which visited the lake throughout the day. It was nice to be out on the bank though and the sun even came out so it wasn't all bad.

I'm having some real problems with blogger at the minute. I mentioned in a previous post that my laptop has packed up which means that I'm now totally reliant on my iPad to put posts up. This is fine for entering text but I'm finding putting pictures on to be a total nightmare. If I try and use blogger via the web I keep getting messages saying that my browser (safari) isn't compatible and I'm unable to scroll within the text box. The blogger app for iPad is ridiculously clumsy and extremely limited especially for adding pictures and the whole thing is very frustrating indeed.

I attempted to freshen things up the other day by customising my blog layout and template but things got very messy. I ended up having to settle for a crappy generic template to get by with for now and I'm far from happy with it.  I'm hoping to get setup with some kind of netbook or something soon so hopefully ill be back on track but until then please bear with me!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Odds and sods

I'm not usually one for blaming the weather for my failings as an angler but after having a few poor sessions of late I'm certainly inclined to believe the prevailing conditions have played a huge part in them. We seem to be in something of a transitional period between Autumn and winter and its mild one day and freezing the next with everything else in between. I guess it's no surprise that the fish have been a little reluctant to feed in the varied conditions as they prepare themselves for the really cold stuff ahead.

No more big Perch have troubled my scoresheet since my last post although its not for lack of trying. Two more trips to the Derwent last weekend resulted in just a couple of small fish to around a pound or so and to be honest my heart wasn't really in it. The weather had gone bitterly cold and I ended up just sat there with my teeth chattering waiting to go home. I even put a Pike rod out on one trip and that didn't raise a sniff either. The pretty little fish below was the only highlight really.

This weekend I headed back to the scene of  the four pounder and I had high hopes with the weather turning a bit milder. I was surprised to get quite a few knocks and taps from small fish straight from the off as usually the area is a bit of a grueller. I ended up striking at thin air on several occasions before reasoning that if the bits where there then the big stripeys certainly weren't. A move soon had me fishing a nice swim with a slack and some bushes on the far bank. I had to point my rod skywards to get the line over the bulk of the flow in a bid to hold bottom and I soon worked out how much slack I had to pay out to get it to do so.

After around 20 minutes  I missed  a lovely slow pull on the tip due to not paying attention thanks to a kingfisher which was working the far bank. It's colours were radiant against the backdrop of decaying reeds and fallen leaves. I recast and had another bite within minutes, the rod hooped over and a good fish tried its best to get into the snags. I bullied it a little hard and was left cursing as the hook pulled. My next bite resulted in an exact repeat performance and I was gutted at losing two on the bounce. I changed my hook and after a short wait for another bite I managed to catch a small Perch of around 8oz. It was getting pretty dark by now and no more bites were forthcoming, I packed up promising to come back and even the score the next evening.

The following afternoon I found myself back in the same swim and it didn't take long to get a bit of interest. A positive bite resulted in a small Chub of around 2lb on the bank which was a little disappointing as This suggested that those fish I lost the previous day could've been Chub instead of Perch. This was hammered home ten minutes later when a bigger Chub of around 4lb hit the back of the net. A move was in order.
In the new spot I was getting lots of little knocks and I even missed a couple of half hearted bites but the light was fading fast and I was running out of time. I assumed the swim was full of small fish but as I took a phone call from a mate the tip finally hammered around and a nice fish was hooked. Another nice Chub of around 4lb was a good end to the session and I went home pleased at actually catching something for a change.

Apologies for my lack of posts lately but my laptop has gone tits up so I'm relying solely on the iPad which is useless for blogging. Blogger has been updated in the last week to allow for iPad usage but its extremely limited and adding pics is a nightmare so please bear with me over the coming weeks till I've got the hang of it!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Chew - you gotta be in it to win it!

Back in the Summer I had a text from Rob saying that he had been lucky enough to acquire a couple of bank tickets for two days of Piking on Chew in November and would I be up for joining him? Damn right I would! Time off work was booked and much research was conducted over the subsequent months until finally the day arrived and we were about as ready as we could be.
A 4am start had us in vicinity of the lake by around 7am, I say vicinity because finding the lake is one thing but finding access is something else entirely! The woodford lodge was easy enough to find but we wanted to fish the opposite side and spent nearly an hour looking for access to the lake over there before giving up and heading around to Nunnery point.

There was a couple of other anglers already in situ and after a quick chat it transpired that the lake had been fishing extremely hard with very little coming out, not what we wanted to hear! It was very foggy out on the lake with no wind and it looked good for a fish. The echo sounder on the baitboat showed a smoothly sloping bottom and our baits were in around 18ft of water. There was plenty of fish signals on the screen and we took these to be the resident trout population. Nothing happened until around midday when an angler just up the bank from us caught a 14lb Pike which certainly served to up our ebbing confidence somewhat. Later on in the afternoon I received a series of Trout pickups and although I managed to hook one it soon fell off.
Reports filtered in that a couple of lads fishing Wick point, which is where we originally wanted to fish, had found a few Jacks. We managed to get some directions and resolved to head there the next day in a bid to change our fortunes. The first day ended as a blank for the both of us but after a nice curry and a good nights kip in a local b&b we were well ready for another crack at them the next day.

The first thing we noticed upon arriving at Wick point was that it was extremely boggy and waterlogged, two lads were already setup further down and seemed to be getting quite a bit of trout action. Hopefully if the trout were there then the Pike wouldn't be too far behind.
The sounder gave a nice depth of around 7ft which gently sloped to around 9ft at around 60 yards out, trout were showing everywhere. Within minutes Rob hooked what he thought was a trout until a Jack of around 3lb popped up. Because it was only hooked on the bottom treble I decided to glove it out despite Robs warnings about the loose treble flying about. sure enough I ended up with two of the points stuck in my hand but at least one of us had managed to catch a Chew Pike at last!
Over the next couple of hours we both had the line pulled from the clips on the drop off indicators repeatedly by the trout. Eventually I had one which kept on going and I finally hooked a fish. It pulled well and stayed deep right up until netting but it was no Pike, instead I found myself posing with a trout of around 6lb, I hadn't blanked anyway!
More trout pickups followed but no more fish were hooked for the rest of the day. A chat with one of the bailiffs told us the place had fished very hard and the biggest pike to come out had fallen to a trout angler on the fly and went 27lb+! A couple of other 20s had been caught but most had gone home with blanks.

The headlines in the angling weeklies about Chew would lead many to believe the place is a pike runs water and I guess it does have the odd day like that but with over 1200 acres to hide in the Pike arent always easy to find and a lot of people go home disappointed. Having said that I would be on there again like a flash given the opportunity, it only takes one bite to give you the fish of a lifetime on a place like Chew and as the title of this post says, you've got to be in it to win it

Friday, 2 November 2012

A brace of crackers

My last blog post is going to be a hard one to top but nevertheless I've still been out a few times since trying my best to catch something else worthwhile. I tried the same swim again twice in the hope of maybe catching another lump but the conditions were completely different and a blank was inevitable. I've fished the river for many years and never seen or heard of anything that size being caught before so I guess I'd have to be exceptionally lucky to get another unless the same fish pops up again. I'm not into chasing repeat captures though so for my most recent session I decided to look elsewhere.  Fortunately the water levels and colour  had receded on my other river venue and things had fallen right for me to fish a couple of Swims I had earmarked from some livebaiting trips a few weeks ago.
I arrived around mid afternoon and setup in my second choice swim as there was a Barbel angler in my most fancied spot. Barbel and Big Perch don't normally share a love of the same spots but there is a lovely snaggy slack along the margin where I caught a 3lb stripey the other week and it looked good for another but for now that swim would have to wait. My chosen swim was a new one to me a short distance downstream and here the water was a bit steadier and was almost still down the edge to my right with a small bush sticking out over the water but not in it. I decide to lay on with a worm next to the bush in around four feet of water.
The dead leaves which had fallen off the trees in recent weeks were proving to be a proper pain in the backside and I was having to recast regularly to make sure I hadn't picked up any on the hook as the worm tried to bury itself in the bottom debris. After a couple of inactive hours I was starting to have the usual doubts about the spot but I knew the best time was fast approaching so I decided to stay put.   The light was showing its first signs of fading when my float began to register a bit of interest. A couple of slight knocks had my hand hovering over the rod butt and I was well ready by the time the float slid away. Solid resistance meant a good Perch was hooked and sure enough I soon netted a real clonker. At a glance I almost thought I'd done it again with a 4 but as soon as I picked up the fish to unhook it i knew it wasnt quite in the same league. Last weeks  4lber was around four inches thick across its back and although this fish  had a similar length it was noticeably thinner girthwise. At 3lb7oz it was a fantastic fish though and I was very pleased indeed!

I returned the fish a few pegs downstream and cast back in, it was getting dark fast and I was struggling to see my float. In fact I was really struggling and then the penny dropped, the float wasn't even there! I lifted the rod and bent into what felt like another good Perch. I netted it and was pleased to see it was another cracker and although a shorter, stockier fish its colours were very vivid. It went 3lb6oz on the scales and completed the biggest brace of Perch I've ever caught. This years Perch Campaign couldn't have got off to a better start, how much longer will my luck hold out?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

An ambition achieved!

Today i realised probably one of my longest standing angling ambitions. For many years, even since before my Carp fishing days and certainly throughout my Specimen hunting era ive had an absolute burning desire to catch a monster Perch. Over those years I've caught many good Perch, plenty of three pounders and countless twos but a true leviathan, a fish of over four pounds has always eluded me.
I have come close on a couple of memorable occasions in the past including one time on the river Ouse when I lost a Perch which resembled a stripey football at the net and another time whilst lure fishing on the Trent when the jack that I was bullying suddenly turned out to be a Goliath perch which promptly threw the hook and left me with that horrible sick feeling that only happens when you lose something special.
Today was like any normal fishing day apart from not being able to fish where I really wanted due to high and dirty water conditions. Rather than writing another day off I decided to stay local where water conditions were a little more conducive to catching a Perch or two. I found a nice swim with a small sidestream carrying clear water into the main river and got setup. After a couple of hours on the quivertip with nothing more than a couple of gentle knocks to show for my efforts I decided to setup a float rig to lay on with a worm next to some reeds to my left.
Within minutes and without any warning the float slid away and I struck into a heavy fish. To start with it kept deep, often going on short powerful runs, and I initially thought it might be a good Chub. I caught a glimpse of a deep stripey flank down in the murk and immediately knew then that it was a large Perch, a very large Perch! Somehow it found a hidden snag and I could feel my line grating through it really badly, I prayed that everything would hold together.  Suddenly my line pinged free of whatever it was caught on and the Perch hit the surface, I quickly grabbed my net and scooped it out before it had chance to make any more lunges for freedom.
The net felt unusually heavy and I peeled back the mesh to reveal my prize. Before me lay the biggest Perch I'd ever seen and I knew straight away that I'd finally done a four pounder. It proved to be comfortable four as well as the needle settled on 4lb8oz, my mind was well and truly blown away!

4lb8oz, The fish of my dreams

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Collecting for the campaign .........

Now the cooler weather is upon us, my plan for the coming weeks is to concentrate wherever possible on catching some hefty Perch. A good supply of worms is a must for times like this so a trip to the local playing fields was the order of the day. Phil joined me and we mustve looked like a right pair of pillocks crawling about in the wet grass carefully scanning the ground with our head torches occasionally shouting about stubborn ones and six inchers! I was fully expecting to see a police car pull up at any minute to enquire as to what the hell we were doing!
Our efforts werent in vain though and after around 3/4 of an hour or so we both had getting on for 100 decent lobworms apiece, a good nights work indeed. Free bait is awesome i just hope i can put it to good use!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Still Carping on

Since my last blog update my fishing has been a little stifled due to the usual work commitments and a weekend away to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary .  I've not been sat on my laurels though fishingwise and during my time off I've managed to acquire an exciting new ticket with some great potential. I had my first chance to have a really good look at the water on Saturday and there are some seriously mouth watering swims to choose from, unfortunately the place was booked for a match on Sunday so I guess I'll have to wait another week before I can get stuck in.

My options for Sundays session weren't great, cold and bright conditions were forecast and with the rivers carrying a bit of colour and extra water I wasn't too keen. In the end, seeing as my Carp gear was still ready to go from when I last used it I decided to head back down to the same club lake as before.
Upon my arrival I was a little disappointed to find my fancied area already occupied. The two lads sat there though had nothing to report so I headed further around the pool hopeful of finding some fish. Nothing was obvious and although the lake was enshrouded in mist the sun was already starting to burn it away so I headed for a shallow area. I reasoned that the forecast bright sunshine would hopefully encourage the carp to feed in the shallows later in the day, it was a total gamble but would it pay off?
An hour or so into the session and nothing had shown whatsoever until I heard an alarm screech and looked up the lake to see one of the other two lads  landing a small Carp. A good sign that something was moving at least.  Shortly afterwards I was joined by Phil who set up in the deep water to my right.

The sun was soon up to full strength and and it started to get pretty warm, the Carp obviously liked it aswell because there was a couple of shows out in the middle of the lake . They were miles from where I was fishing but it did wonders for the confidence which increased further when I received a hefty liner on my right hander at around lunchtime.
By the time mid afternoon came around the Delkims still remained silent and that all important confidence was fast diminishing. A few other anglers had turned up, blanked and gone home again over the course of the day and eventually just Phil and I remained. We too were contemplating packing up when suddenly my left hander signalled a fast take. The fish put up a great account of itself and i was pleased when it turned out to be one of the lakes Commons, a nice mid-double. It finished the session off nicely and soon after the photos i headed for home.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A trip to the dark side

Seeing as I haven't done any blogging for ages I thought I'd better put something on otherwise it will be getting on for a full month between updates! To be honest I've not done a great deal of fishing lately mainly due to working lots of overtime. I did have a couple more perching trips after my last blog update but other than catching a couple of small ones they were fairly uneventful.

A couple of weekends ago I played host to the lads of the Milton Keynes specimen group who had booked one of our club stretches of the trent for a fish-in. After meeting up with them and giving them a quick tour they seemed very taken with the stretch and certainly  didn't waste any time setting up. Within the first hour Dickie brigden had landed a lovely Barbel of 11.14 which was a great weight off my shoulders after telling the lads how great the stretch was! The rest of the weekend passed off brilliantly with more double figure barbel and plenty of other fish to keep the lads occupied, they had a fantastic time by all accounts and I'm so chuffed that I was able to contribute to it in my own small way.

Just lately I've had a real hankering to go Carp fishing, don't ask me why, it's just a sudden urge I've had. In fact it's been more of an urge than I originally anticipated because I suddenly found myself in the tackle shop last week handing over a substantial chunk of cash for some new Carp rods! It's unbelievable what a couple of episodes of Carp crew and Thinking tackle can lure you into!

Anyway, armed with my new gear I headed to one of our club lakes in a bid to scratch the itch. The lake in question is around 3 acres and contains around 200 carp to low twenties so it's not overly difficult but it can be tricky on occasions due to the underwater topography and very clear water.
I was pleased to find I had the lake to myself upon my arrival and it didn't take me long to see a few fish moving about. I was quite surprised to see them so active as the weather had turned pretty chilly over the previous few days and we'd even had a couple of light frosts . I quickly set up in a swim which gave me a couple of good margin spots to cast to in the area the fish were showing. A couple of bags filled with 10mm boilies and a few halibut pellets were soon in position and I sat back to await events.

Fish continued to show but they were now further out and after an hour of total inactivity I was starting to convince myself I was fishing in too shallow water for the conditions. I was just contemplating a recast when suddenly my left hander buckled around and I found myself doing battle with what felt like a decent fish. After a feisty battle in the deep water it turned out to be smaller than I thought at around 15lb but it was a nice way to christen the new rods.

I took the opportunity to recast my right hand rod to where the fish were showing and I placed the left hander back where I'd just caught from. At this point another club bailiff came round and we'd been stood there talking for around 45mins when I received a blistering take on the right hander. This one was slightly smaller than the first but I was well pleased because I was fishing a new rig and it seemed to be working very well indeed.

Shortly after that fish the weather closed and it began to rain . Almost as soon as the rain started the fish stopped showing and i had the feeling id had all the action i was going to get for the day. Three hours later the feeling proved right and the temptation of a nice hot Sunday dinner back home was too much to resist. I emerged from my trip to the dark side fairly unscathed, maybe this Carp fishing lark isnt so bad after all . I wont be making a habit of it though!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Late summer Perching

With the August bank holiday upon us it means that we now find ourselves on the cusp of autumn and the great fishing it brings with it. With this in mind I decided to try some new perch swims out in preparation for the colder months. I've had my eye on some swims for a while but never got round to giving them a bash so, after finding myself with a free morning on Sunday, I headed out there.
We'd had a lot of rain in previous days but the river looked to be in fine form, carrying a couple of inches with a slight tinge of colour. Rain had threatened my whole journey over there and once I got out of the car and halfway across the field it decided to hammer it down, great start!
Livebaiting was to be my tactic for the day and it didn't take me long at all to catch a few dace and bleak for bait.  In fact I was quite surprised that I was getting a bite a chuck as the river has suffered badly through cormorant predation in recent times yet today it was like fish soup, they were everywhere. A float-paternostered bleak was soon bobbing about in the margin to my right and after half an hour of inactivity I was starting to think the Perch weren't home.
Suddenly the float shot under and stayed under and my strike met with solid resistance, straight away I knew it was a Pike. Sure enough after much tailwalking a lively jack of around 5lb was quickly unhooked and returned a few pegs downstream. That pike must've been putting the Perch off because not long after I received another take which proved to be a nice stripey of 2lb6oz which pulled every bit as hard as the Pike.

2lb6oz, a fine start

The swim went a bit dead after that so I moved a few pegs downstream. Within minutes of casting I started to get a bit of interest and soon enough another jack, this one about 3lb was on the mat. Once again it was as if the Perch were holding back from the Pike and almost straight away upon recasting I hit a nice one of 2lb4oz.
After that things slowed up and I noticed that the river had risen around three inches since my arrival. It was also getting pretty coloured up and I assumed that the previous nights rain must've finally started to filter downstream. I busied myself catching bits whilst contemplating packing up. experience told me that the Perch don't like coloured water much in this river and this was manifesting itself in the total lack of any further action on the paternoster.
As I started to slowly get a few bits of kit together in preparation I received a take on the livebait. A strike met with resistance which suddenly went slack amidst a big swirl on the surface. I reeled to find that the bait had masked the hookpoint hence no hookup, cursing my luck I put a fresh bleak on and dropped it back in. Immediately there was a large swirl where the bait hit the water and I found myself connected to a powerful fish. After a quick tussle I was pleased to see a bucket mouthed head pop up off the end of the waiting net followed by a large spikey dorsal fin, it looked a good perch. On the bank it had the length of a monster but no belly on it, I was still most chuffed to record a weight of 3lb4oz though. I'd like to catch that fish around March time as it would be a new PB for sure! After that I packed up happy with a good mornings sport, even more so that I'd caught from a couple of new spots.

3lb4oz, a future monster?

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Club lake Cats - another PB

My main trip this weekend came about due a to a conversation i had with Phil Smith whilst fishing the Tench lake a couple of months ago. We were talking Catfish and with Phil having such great success on Orchid lakes club lake in recent months we decided to arrange a trip down there. A motley crew in the shape of myself, Phil, Rob Thompson and Merv Wilkinson was eventually assembled and on Sunday we all met up in the carpark at Orchid lakes.
Orchid lake is very well known in Carp fishing circles and has been producing monster carp for many years but in recent times its smaller brother next door, the club lake, has really started to come into its own due to the monster Catfish which reside in there. Stocked around 15 years ago with a handful of small Cats they have really flourished in there and now fish to well over 50lb are available for the price of a day ticket.
We met Marsh, the lakes owner in the clubhouse and after a quick brew we ferried our gear around to the pool. There was a few other anglers already fishing but most were packing up later in the afternoon which would leave the entire main body of the lake available to the four of us. A quick coin toss chose our swims for us and soon enough we were getting set up.

A view of our swims, mine was the one in the right foreground

We were down for 48hrs and as usual i had brought way too much gear with me and it seemed to take forever to sort everything out in the sweltering afternoon heat.  I was hoping to do battle with some leviathans and had geared up accordingly, 18lb mainline, 85lb hooklinks and size 2/0 hooks were the order of the day. Baitwise we had a large selection between us in the form of luncheon meat, halibut pellets, squid, mackerel and worms, how could any self respecting moggy resist!

The rigs werent shy........

As dusk arrived the lake came alive and fish seemed to showing everywhere, most were from Carp but wishful thinking had me convinced that some of the bigger splashes were caused by Cats striking at the numerous Rudd on the surface.
Nothing happened until dark when Merv struck into a heavy fish, it gave him the proper runaround going through both Phil and Robs lines before it was eventually netted. The scales settled on a clonking 39lb2oz and Merv was over the moon as were the rest of us, we all returned to our bivvies for the night with our confidence sky high.
After seeing Mervs fish on the bank i was buzzing and couldnt sleep at all, the heavy sounding splashes from out in the lake didnt help matters either! At around midnight the water just in front of my rod tips erupted as something rolled very close in. I didnt need any more prompting and quickly repositioned a bait just out in front of me.
As the early hours slipped by i could finally feel myself slipping into a slumber but it wasnt to last long as suddenly my baitrunner went into meltdown on the repositioned rod! As i threw myself out of my sleeping bag and down the bank to my rod It suddenly occurred to me what might have picked my bait up and i have to say i was actually a little bit frightened of what awaited me in the coming moments!
I didnt have time to think anymore and i picked up the rod, disengaged the baitrunner and heaved into the fish to set the hook. It was like striking into a moving car and the rod immediately buckled over alarmingly. Rob heard the commotion and came over to assist, the fish at this point was very much in control. Whenever it wanted to go i had no choice but let it, all i could do was hold on keeping the rod well bent until hopefully it began to tire.  Eventually i could feel it relenting and i began to gain line slowly but surely and soon enough i had one hell of a Catfish wallowing in the landing net.
After unhooking it we hoisted it up on the scales and i was blown away to see the needle fly past the 40lb mark and settle on a cracking 43lb12oz, my old PB was blown out of the water!


The photo session was something of an ordeal and one ill never forget. Big fish equals lots of slime, couple that with one of the most difficult species of fish on the planet to hold up for the camera (especially at 3am in the morning) and you get a recipe for a right old mess!

Good job i had a change of clothes!

After returning it and getting changed i lay there on my bedchair in a state of happy shock, drinking in the moment of having just landed my heaviest fish of all time, absolute magic!
The rest of the session passed completely uneventfully for myself but i couldnt have cared less, id caught what i went there for and it was mission accomplished as far as i was concerned. The following night i slept soundly all night and didnt actually get out of bed till around nine the following morning. Merv had lost one in the night and Phil had landed a 22lber. Mine and Robs rods had stayed silent.
Many thanks go out to Phil for setting the whole thing up and to Marsh for his hospitality, that was certainly a session to remember!

Trent Carbelling - The long walk

It was Friday evening, my favourite time of the week and i had arranged an evening trip to the Trent with Keith. The area we had chosen was one id not fished for a few years due to the club losing access and it being one hell of a walk. With the distance involved it was decided between us that we should take my carp barrow and take turns pushing it. The weather was overcast but hideously humid and the sweat was pouring of us as we manhandled the barrow throught the undergrowth. It was bloody hard work but ten times better than carrying the gear on our backs  and we were setting up in our chosen swims in next to no time.
Nobody had been up there for ages and we both had to beat a swim out to get near the river. The flow in front of me was very powerful and i found that i needed 6oz to hold bottom only a third of the way across. It was a bit better along the margin and 3oz was more than adequate. After casting in and baiting up it wasnt long before i began to get a few indications as the downstream rod tip began to show up the odd chubby tap. The river appeared to be rising a little and there was quite a bit of flotsam coming down which kept snagging my line on the upstreamer and moving the lead out of position.
Despite the knocks, no proper pulls ensued and the evening was fast becoming night-time. A couple of Bream and a Carp head and shouldered over the downstream rod and i was confident of a bite at any minute. Suddenly the upstream rod buckled over and i found myself connected to an angry Barbel. It made full use of the heavy flow and had me thinking it was bigger than it actually was but on the bank it went 9lb exactly, a fine start!

A pristine 9lber

Shortly after returning that fish i heard a whistle from upstream and went up to find Keith doing battle with a lovely Barbel which turned out to be 10lb9oz, his first Trent double of the season. I headed back to my swim but nothing more was forthcoming and it wasnt long before Keith whistled once again. I got there just in time to net a nice Trent Common of 14.8, the man was on fire!

Keiths Carp

He went on to lose a fish to a hookpull  just prior to packing up which was a slightly disappointing end to a pretty successful evening for us, it was certainly worth the walk and i saw more than enough to make me head back up there again sometime soon!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Up all night!

After last weekends night session I was well up for another trip this week and although we'd had a bit of rain over previous days the river was dropping and looked to be in fine form. Phil joined me once again and we headed to a different area which looked a bit more Barbelly this time around.
We got to the river during a heavy rain shower at around 5.30 and made our way to our chosen swims. As you would expect, the rain stopped just after we got setup leaving all the gear soaked and it also left another major irritation in its wake, mosquitoes and flies! The air was thick with the little blighters and I gave myself a very liberal dose of insect repellant to keep them at bay.
Fishingwise I had decided to opt for a boilie and particle approach with idea being that I could hold any passing fishing in the swim a bit longer. Maize and chickpeas don't immediately spring to mind as top Barbel attractors but they are bigger and heavier than hemp and corn and I hoped that they would hold station in the powerful currents a bit better.
As expected the remaining hours of daylight were completely uneventful and by 10pm I hadn't even had a sniff. If it was going to be anything like last week then the period from midnight into the early hours would be the hot time for a bite so I was quite surprised when my upstream rod suddenly signalled a one noter! The fish put up a spirited fight and looked deceptively small in the torchlight as I netted it. On the bank it looked bigger than I thought and it registered a pleasing 9lb13oz on the scales.

After returning it I was just getting ready to recast when my downstream rod tore off and I found myself connected to another Barbel. This felt like a much smaller fish and upon netting it I was proved right, at 7lb1oz it was the smallest Barbel I've had this season by quite a margin. Nevertheless two fish under my belt before 11pm was a good sign and hopefully there would be more to come.
A few sizeable fish could be heard splashing out in the darkness and other than the occasional shot ringing out from somebody lamping rabbits upstream, all was silent. It didn't stay that way for long however as my downstream rod once again zipped off. Soon enough another small Barbel was on the mat and it tipped the scales around to 7lb10oz. Three fish caught, a good result for the upper Trent,  this was starting to have the makings of a memorable session!

After that last fish I decided to turn in for the night and made myself comfy in my sleeping bag. I lay there contemplating things and considering how many decent fish are currently present in the upper Trent, based on what I'd already caught, the odds of my next fish being a double were very much stacked in my favour I thought.
It was somewhere around midnight when the Delkim on my upstreamer warbled frantically as an angry fish smashed it's way downstream at a rate of knots. It felt like a decent fish and it kept low and deep even when I got it under the rod tip. Once netted I knew it was a double straight away and the confirmation soon came as the dial spun around to 10lb11oz.

After returning the fish I felt knackered and just wanted to sleep but the fish had different ideas. Over the next hour both rods kept getting intermittent bleeps as fish bumped the line and pulled at the bait. There was a lot of activity out there and I was very much on edge and unable to sleep. It was gone 1am when I found myself playing another Barbel which felt very similar to the last one. After gaining line on the fish it suddenly managed to find a previously unseen snag and everything locked up. After a quick tug of war I managed to get the fish moving again but the line was grating on something. Without warning the hooklink suddenly parted and left me with that horrible sunken feeling that only comes when you lose a nice fish.
I decided not to retackle that rod and just concentrate on the one remaining rod in a bid to get some sleep. Once again though the fish had other ideas and It wasn't long before another Barbel decided to put in an appearance, that one went 8lb10oz. Jeez, it was nearly 3oclock now and although i was five fish up I still hadn't been to sleep!
The  rod still kept getting bangs and knocks after recasting and I was seriously contemplating reeling it in. At about half three I heard Phils alarm sound and a few minutes later he came down in need of   some assistance with some pics. A 10lb4oz Barbel was a fine result for his first bite of the session and as he returned it in my swim my buzzer suddenly sounded. I thought Phil had caught my line to begin with but the hissing baitrunner soon brought me to my senses and I struck into another fish. It came in surprisingly quickly and I netted it before Phils double had even recovered. Fish number six went 7lb12oz.
By the time everything was sorted after that there was signs of fast approaching daylight, i recast and crawled back into my pit. Mercifully that was it as far as i was concerned actionwise and i did finally manage to sleep. I awoke and made a brew at around 8am and when Phil finally stirred his stumps he informed me that hed had another Barbel just as it got light, only a baby at around 2lb but a good sign that the different year classes are coming through. I began a slow packup and managed to get off the river and home for mid-morning, my bed was well and truly beckoning!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Trent 'Carbelling'

After my Zander session the other night I was fired up for doing a full night for them on my next trip out. My old mate Phil was also keen to have a bash for them so we arranged to hit the river on Saturday night. By the time Saturday morning came around the Zander bug had waned somewhat and we decided to try a different stretch of Trent with Carp and Barbel in mind instead, fickle or what!

We got to the river at around 5.30pm and set about baiting our chosen swims and getting the camps put up. The stretch in question very rarely produces during daylight hours and you could be forgiven for thinking there are no decent fish to be had there whatsoever. After dark though it's a completely different story and the river literally comes to life in a way that I've never seen anywhere else. My swim, although very wide, had no more than 3ft of water anywhere in front of it and a clean gravel bottom. I'd not fished it before myself but it's noted spot for river Carp amongst the regulars down there so it had to be worth a go. Phils swim upstream was around 6ft deep and a little slower paced.

As expected neither of us had any indications up until dark when suddenly my upstream rod tip started banging around. It was a very Chubby bite but I bumped it off on the strike so I'll never know for sure. A similar bite occurred around half an hour later and I struck at thin air. By now it was properly dark and fish could be heard splashing all over the place, the atmosphere was electric and we both felt that a proper take was imminent. Nothing happened though and at 11.30 I decided to turn in for the night. I'd just made myself comfy and was gently nodding off when suddenly my downstream rod was nearly pulled into the river! The rod took the strain as I desperately tried to pull the fish away from the snags downstream and fortunately I managed to turn it. Phil had heard the take and he suddenly materialised next to me with the landing net in hand. The fish surfaced in the torchlight and turned out to be a nice Barbel which was soon netted. At 9lb12oz it wasn't quite the double we both thought it might be but still a very nice fish anyway, I was certainly pleased!

 After that I was buzzing and really struggled to sleep, in fact by the time my next bite came at 2am I don't even think I'd actually slept a wink. Another rod wrenching tug had me thinking I might be on for another Barbel but upon picking it up I was instantly disappointed. The strange jagging on the other end meant only one thing, Eel! I really wasn't looking forward to getting the thing on the bank and wrestling with it in the dark but it had to be done. Five minutes and 2lb of writhing slimy mess later, the offending creature was back in its watery home leaving me with the angling equivalent of a car crash to sort out, nice. Once sorted I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard Phils buzzer go. I could hear splashing and sounded fairly sizeable so I headed up to assist. I got there just in time to net a nice double figure common, a good result from what was another new swim to us.

By the time that was done and dusted it was gone 3am and I was dead on my feet. I hit the sack and once again my rod signalled a bite as I was drifting off. I hit into something decent for a few seconds before it came off, I reeled in to find a couple of large barbel scales on the hook and I cursed my luck. After recasting I heard Phils alarm shrieking again but I was too tired to care, I finally went to sleep. My slumber was broken a little by a couple of knocks that didn't develop into anything further and it was around 8.45 when Phil eventually came round and woke me up. He'd had a Bream and a Barbel of around 7lb just before first light and nothing since. The sun was shining as I had breakfast and once again the river looked dead. Darkness is definitely the key factor when it comes to catching on that stretch and i will certainly plan future trips accordingly.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer Predators

After an enforced blogging layoff due to a balls-up at the not-so-wonderful institution that is BT i finally find myself able to get back online and post something. My shiny new fibre-optic connection still isnt what it should be and i await an engineers visit next week but for now i do have an internet of sorts so here goes....

Summer has finally arrived over the last week with wall to wall sunshine and soaring temperatures, a complete contrast to the extreme wetness weve seen in previous weeks. Hot conditions have never been kind to me Barbel-wise in the past and not having the time nor inclination to stay out till the early hours i decided to get the lure gear out and try for a few Predators.

In the early part of the week the local rivers were still carrying a little bit of extra water and colour so i headed to a local canal for an early morning assault in a bid to beat the boats. I went straight in with my favourite Mepps to which id whipped on a few red fibres around the hook to hopefully increase its appeal. I dont know if the red stuff made a difference but i had a hit on my third cast from a small Jack so i wasnt complaining!

I had several taps and bangs on the lure over the next few casts so there was obviously a few interested fish around. Someone had obviously opened the locks around half a mile away from where i was stood as there was suddenly a strong tow in the water heading that way, i didnt have long before the days first boat came through. The canal is very shallow and it quickly becomes the colour of chocolate once the boats start stirring the bottom up, not great for lure fishing in my experience. With so much fish activity though another hookup was inevitable and soon enough a small Perch was soon posing for a quick pic.

Youll notice a common theme in most of my pics this week and that is the grey Musky armour gloves i recently aquired. Although thin, they are brilliant for use on fish with teeth and other sharp bits. They allow a very firm grip without fear of raker-rash or spikey gill plates, id recommend them to anybody.
Back to the fishing anyway, i had another Perch drop off before the first boat appeared around the corner and as i expected it killed the fishing stone dead. I stayed on for a short while to no avail before heading for home.

On my way back from that session i stopped off for a quick butchers at the Trent and although it was carrying a bit i reasoned that it would be good for a few chances by the time my next session came around in a day or so.........

.......... which is how i found myself stood on the banks of the great river on Weds evening. The area i was in is a favourite summer haunt of mine and is usually a good bet for having your string pulled and there always a chance of a decent fish aswell.  My second cast saw a confident pull and i struck into what turned out to be a nice sized Perch. It was worth a weigh and at 2lb6oz it kicked off the evening nicely. Apologies for the picture quality, i literally placed the camera on a nearby fence post and the results speak for themselves!

The Perch were certainly very active and i went on to land a succession of smaller samples to around a pound and even a couple of small Chub. It was still early evening and very hot and sticky, this coupled with the thick undergrowth and the myriad of flies, midges and mozzies made for some pretty uncomfortable fishing. The fish were feeding well though so my comfort was of little importance and i pressed on sweating through the nettles. Heres a couple more Perchy pics anyway,  as you can see the Mepps was slaughtering them ..........

As the evening drew on and no more big Perch seemed to be showing i decided to switch to fishing with Shads in an attempt to latch into something a bit bigger. I found a swim with a deep slow margin on the edge of a crease with some much faster water and as i worked the lure along the bottom a slow but heavy pull told me a Pike had decided to put in an appearance. At around 7 or 8lb it put a good bend in my light lure rod and was a perfect end to a great evenings sport, or so i thought at the time anyway.........

Another crap pic im afraid, travelling light i dont carry a tripod so i kind of lodged the camera in the fork of a nearby tree this time! On my way home i passed by one of our club carparks for the river and noticed a car parked outside the gate. Past experience tells me that usually means someone is fishing without a ticket so i pulled in to do my bailiff bit. A couple of cars were in the carpark and i recognised one as belonging to Rob, a mate of mine. As i made my way to the river i was passed by a young couple who werent fishing but who confirmed the offending car belonged to them. With that cleared up i headed back to get my tackle and then made my way to where Rob was fishing.
Rob and his friend Mike were both about to pack up and had caught several nice Perch to well over 2lb on quivertip tactics although they had experienced several bouts of Pike trouble. Seeing as they were packing up and it was starting to get dark i took the opportunity to have a cast or two. I chose the most garish coloured shad i had (see pic below) to make it as visible as possible and cast it out. Third cast in and i felt the familiar tug of a Pike and struck into a heavy fish. After a brief tussle Rob netted a fine fish of 11lb6oz which really did cap the evening off nicely!

I had a pass for another evening out on Thursday and rather than lure fishing i had a mind to catch a Zander or two. After a brief stop to catch some bait i made my way to my favoured Zedding area and got tackled up for around 6pm. I had around a dozen small Bleak and Roach to use although they were smaller than i wouldve liked theyd have to do. 
After around 20 minutes my downstream rod tip slowly nodded as a fish showed an interest. I picked up the rod and held the braid between my fingers, the line plucked decively and i struck. Straight away i knew it was a Zander from the perchlike jag jagging on the rod and soon a small one of around 2lb was lying on the mat.

Sadly it wasnt to be the first of many, another bite shortly afterwards resulted in a small Perch, only the second ive had on deadbait from the Trent. A missed run just as darkness fell was the only other action i had which left me scratching my head a bit. Conditions looked perfect and there was small fish showing everywhere, i did expect the Zeds to be more active than they were but there always next time i guess.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Double Double

The fishing for this weekend was to be dominated by the effects of the torrential rain we endured all day on the Friday. With widespread flooding occurring all over the Midlands and beyond it was probably for the best that i found myself headed to the Tench lake on Saturday. I had arranged to meet Phil there for a bit of a social and to find out what the state of play was with regards to the fishing. There had been conflicting reports as to whether the fish had spawned or not so we were hoping to find out for sure.
Although there was plenty of fish showing early on in the day the action proved to be extremely slow. It was so slow in fact that between four anglers only one fish was caught and that was a Perch of about a pound which fell to my rod. Another chap missed a take but that was it and we were all left scratching our heads as to what the fish were doing.

A river Barbel session was on the cards for Sunday and i hoped to get on the Trent or the Soar. Reading the latest EA river levels prior to leaving however wasnt exactly encouraging as the rivers appeared to be as high as ive seen them since the infamous 2007 floods. I packed the kit and headed to the Soar but as i drove down i could already see the river was in the fields so i kept on driving towards the Trent.
The Trent was also in the fields in places but the area i fancied didnt look too bad. After parking up and heading along the track to the river i was disappointed to see water flowing away from the river through the undergrowth and onto the track in front of me. I tried an alternative route and after wading through a great deal more waterlogged nettles and foliage i eventually made it to the riverbank itself. I must admit i fancied it for a Barbel but the river was still coming up and there was no dry land to fish from so for safetys sake i headed back to the car.

The Derwent looked to be fishable based on the level given at Church Wilne so i headed there for a look. It had been at near record levels on Saturday but had dropped an unbelievable 2-3ft overnight. Upon my arrival the fields around the river were full of large puddles and the grass was flattened everywhere. The levels had certainly been well up but now the river was back within its banks and looked pretty good for a fish or two.
The first couple of hours passed without event although a did see a couple of small Barbel repeatedly leap clear of the water like minature dolphins right out in the main flow, they were obviously in their element in these conditions! Lots of splashing in the nettles by the river in one spot also caught my attention and that turned out to be three Carp chasing each other around almost as if they were spawning.
My third spot produced my first bite in the end, A slight tap followed a couple of minutes later by that lovely Barbelly wrap around had me connected to a heavy fish. After a couple of strong runs it seemed to give up and allowed me to net it fairly easily. Upon lifting it out of the water i could tell it was a double straight away and the scales confirmed a weight of 11lb4oz, brilliant! first double of the new season!
I set the camera for the self-take shot, 5,4,3,2,1,please change the batteries, aarrrggghhh!!! I couldnt believe it, i forgotten to charge the batteries after the air show last week! I was gutted and ended up snapping a couple of crappy phone-pics.


I stayed on in the swim for another hour with no further action and headed down to another spot just downstream. The new swim proved to be a slow starter but after around 45minutes i finally had a pull. This fish proved to be a real powerhouse and did its best to pull my arm off in the flow. I netted it before it was ready and it proceeded to beat me up good and proper on the bank. At 10lb8oz it was another good fish but once again i was cursing my lack of camera!


I tried a couple of other swims on my way back to the car without any more action but i was well chuffed with what id already caught. After since checking my records it turns out that thats only the third time ive managed two doubles in the same session, the other two times being on the Soar. Seasons average so far is well over 9lb now thanks to those two fish, defo gonna have to pack some spare camera batteries in future though!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Planes, Perch and the worlds hottest Chilli

In between visiting relatives and attending an air show ive not had much time to fish really this weekend although thats not say i havent been out at all. I did manage to squeeze a quick-un in this morning so  i cant complain. Ive mentioned on here before that i have a keen interest in military planes and helicopters and some of the hardware being put through its paces at Waddington this weekend was very impressive indeed, the whole family had a great time.

Whilst we were there i came across a stall which claimed to sell the worlds hottest Chilli and after tasting a sample i can confirm the stuff is practically weapons-grade! I purchased a bottle with an idea of using some in my bait come the wintertime but after since having a look online i was surprised to see it genuinely is the hottest in the world and im having second thoughts in case it damages the fish! Find it here.

So what of the fishing? I knew id only have around 3hours max to fish so i went for the lure-fishing option and when i awoke Sunday morning the sun was out in force. I headed to a local stretch of the Soar only to find it very mucky and carrying around a foot. A quick check of the river levels on my phone had me heading towards the canal as i knew this wouldnt be affected by the recent rain. I know fish will hit lures in coloured water but im never very confident in such situations and try to avoid them where i can.
Although the canal itself was coloured due to the boat traffic it was a different kind of colour and visibility was around twice what it was in the river. I started below some locks and first cast with a chartreuse and orange jig-fly resulted in a nice Perch of around the pound mark.

After that i was getting lots of taps and plucks on the fly but no more hook-ups so i turned to my trusty Mepps backup plan. I had a couple of really savage pulls over the next few casts which didnt connect and i suspected that Chub might be responsible. This was confirmed as the next fish i did hook proved to be a nice canal Chub of somewhere between 2-3lb which put up a great scrap on the light gear.

Another Perch followed pretty quickly after that before the first boat of the day arrived and the action was killed stone dead. On the way home i decided to stop off at a couple of our clubs lakes to check some tickets seeing as i was in the locality and whilst i did so i took the opportunity to have a few casts with the jig-flies id recently tied up. Everybodies tickets were in order but the fishing proved fairly slow. An algal bloom had coloured the water up quite a bit but nevetheless i still managed to land a small jack and pull out of another slightly larger fish.