Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The new season arrives!

I'll start this update by saying that an awful lot has happened in my angling and personal life since my last entry, way too much to remember even if I wanted to so I'll start with the now, my most recent trips out, which also happen to coincide with the start of the 2017/18 season!

I had originally planned to start the season with an opening night session in my favourite Barbel swim on the Trent but when the time came to pack the car I really wasn't feeling it at all. Instead I opted for an early morning Lure session with a couple of mates, Pip and Jacob. It was their first time fishing on my local bit of Trent and I was looking forward to putting them on a few nice spots. They were looking for some topwater Pike action and I was confident of finding them some.

When they said they wanted to go early they weren't wrong and it was 4am when they turned up at mine! Soon enough we were on the river and the lads were chucking some pretty hefty pieces of wood and plastic around. I decided to stick with a lighter jighead setup in the hope of a nice Perch or Chub.

There was plenty of fish moving all over the river but the first few swims proved fruitless catchwise. To be fair we were fishing pretty deep water but I was confident the shallows further up would produce something. Once we got there Jacob had the first fish of the day, a small pike which wasn't much bigger than the lure he was using! Within a minute or so I also had my first of the season, a small Perch.



Jacob started casting a large rat imitation around and the action of the lure really was something to behold, I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before something nailed it. Sure enough, in the next swim along, the rat disappeared in a big vortex and another slightly larger pike came splashing angrily into the net.



Over the next half hour I maintained a steady stream of small Perch and Pip finally got off the mark with what was to be the biggest pike of the day on a Mark Houghton topwater lure. Pip was just commenting on the lures 'walk the dog' action when a Pike launched itself vertically like a missile, clearing the water by a good 2feet with pips lure in its mouth! Truly one of the most spectacular surface hits I've ever seen.



As the sun began to gather strength towards mid morning the action was decidedly stale, I lost a really nice Perch to a hookpull and Pip lost another Pike but at around 10.30 we decided to leave the Trent, get some breakfast and make a plan for the afternoon.

The afternoon plan was to head to a lake I knew which has completely unknown potential other than that it contained predators. On the way however we got distracted by a small river we passed which looked like it had some fish moving. After rapidly scaling things down as best as we could it didn't take long before pip nailed a tidy little Trout and I managed some more small (very small) Perch.



Onto the lake and the lads were soon chucking their big surface lures about and it didn't take long to get some interest as Pips lure was hit 3-4 times by the same fish and he still didn't hook up! I found Wasp heaven on the light tackle as every cast was a coconut! A seemingly unending string of tiny Perch fell foul of my dropshot setup and after around 3meters of them I got a bit fed up at which point we decided to call it a day.



The following day I took my lad Lewis back over to the Perch lake has he had been badgering me to take him fishing all week. Considering it's the first time he's ever shown a real interest in going fishing I wanted to take him somewhere he would definately get a few and the recent find fitted the bill nicely. After a few initial tangles he was soon casting confidently, getting bites and even catching a few!



The sun was out in force and the heat really was starting to get a bit savage, I kept asking Lewis if he'd had enough yet but there no stopping him! In the end I literally had to drag him away from the pool before we got too burnt. Thankfully he loved our little trip and is pestering me to take again as soon as possible.





Sunday, 22 January 2017

December Predators

So December started with my now annual pairs lure match which I organise on the Trent and Mersey canal each year. This year it was kindly sponsored by ecogear and they sent an enormous box of prize goodies especially for the occasion. 18 teams turned up on the day and it was clear from the outset that the fishing was going to be tough. An overnight frost had put cat-ice on the water in some parts and the canal bottom was clearly visible along most of its length.


With the extremely clear conditions I said beforehand it would be pike that made all the difference and so it proved with several being landed throughout the course of the match. The perch were being difficult to tempt and overall lengths remained low for the first half of the match. A couple of boats came through late on and people began to catch a few at last knockings. In the end it was won by Vidar Thomassen and Alan Brown with a fantastic 2.7m which was a great result in the conditions.

Next session of note was a trip to Rutland just before Christmas with Potto, Andy and Dave. Conditions were chilly with no wind which meant for a flat calm lake with no drift, casting it was then! We landed on fish straight away and everybody caught within the first 20mins of fishing so we were confident of a good day.

Andy managed a couple of lovely 60cm plus Zander both consecutive PBs but as ever these things don't last and the bites tailed off considerably. I had a run of missed bites and lost a couple mid morning but a change of retrieve style finally managed to snare a few small consolation prizes late on. It was Dave and Andys first time out on the ressies and to say they are now hooked is an understatement!


A few days later I had a window for quick two hour session into dark on a local river which gave me a couple of Perch with shoulders! About time too as it seemed like ages since I last bagged some decent ones! It was tough going and I only had three bites but I made them count at least.


Soon enough Christmas was upon us and due to family commitments I was struggling to get out although I did manage a trip to the Severn with Potto where I bagged a fine conditioned Pike from my only bite of a very tough day.

So that rounds off 2016 then! Not a great year for big fish, I've certainly had many better years, but I've broadened my horizons a great deal by trying lots of new tactics and fishing a good selection of different waters at home and abroad . I've fished with old friends and met many new ones in my travels and I feel my fishing has been enormously enriched as a result.

I'm very positive going into 2017 as I have big plans, with various matches and a couple of European trips hopefully on the cards. Outside fishing I have settled into my new job and am looking forward to a house move and a fresh start which I'm certain will carry through into my fishing and help me bank some kippers!