Friday, 31 August 2012

The Cadbury Angling Team Fish the River Wye. Summer Barbel and Chub Sport. Part Two

Jon, My friend James Marlow and I set off with high hopes for the Courtfield beat of the River Wye with its excellent track record.

For a change we were greeted by glorious sunshine and light breezes. We all made our way to the meadow and picked some likely swims. We tackled up in similar fashion, running rig set-ups and various 'barbel-y' hookbaits.
The tried and tested Wye set-up

James and I toiled in our swims for two hours without any bites so decided to move down stream and try our luck. Jon stuck it out in his first swim and was rewarded with a 5lb barbel. With the heat of the day almost past I made a quick trip to the local shop to top up supplies. On my return I was greeted with a large grin across James' face as he retained a fish in the landing net.

James and his first River Wye Barbel
This fine looking barbel was James' first from the River Wye and was his second fish in two casts, the first being a 3lb chub.

We both recast after a few quick photos and James' rod was soon bent over with the baitrunner at full speed, he latched into another, slightly smaller barbel, approx. 5-6lb. I was also soon into the action with a similar sized chub, I was thankfully off the mark!

After all the fast paced action bites did slow and we pre-baited a few spots in that swim for a possible return and made off to the wooded section to try and locate a few more fish.

Jon had already made off to the woods and was settled in a swim and had already landed a few more chub and barbel, the biggest chub weighing 4lb 13oz.

The river had dropped a touch and the slack and fast water divide looked like a promising fish holding area. After a few casts and a scattering of Dynamite Baits Source boilies I was into a typically hard fishing barbel.
8lb River Wye Barbel

Myself in action playing a barbel.

The Picture left shows the wooded section of the Courtfield beat in all its glory. James and I managed a total of three barbel and 1 chub from this section in the last few hours of our session.

With light fading we made a decision to have one final cast. We had packed all non essential items away and suddenly James' baitrunner was once again screaming into action. I picked up the rods and passed it to him, a long, riverbed hugging barbel was hooked. After a long battle I slipped the net under an impressive looking barbel that pulled the needle of the scales to 9ln exactly, a new PB barbel for James, what a result and a brilliant way to end the session. We ended up with 8 barbel and 4 chub between us, and excellent days fishing!!!

James and his new PB barbel, 9lb.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Cadbury Angling Team Fish the River Wye. Summer Barbel and Chub Sport. Part One

The last couple of weeks have seen Dan, Toby and myself all enjoy fishing on the River Wye at Lower Lydbrook. Day one found Dan and I, accompanied by two friends, Dave and Roger, fishing the river at pretty much normal summer level. The day was a struggle to be honest and unusually slow. The barbel just didn't want to know and Dan, Dave and myself only managed a barbel each to pellet and boilie tactics. Roger enjoyed a good day though. He opted to fish the float and caught steadily all day. Bleak, dace and small chub were very obliging and a couple of larger chub showed up as well, the biggest fish weighing over 4lb. A day of mixed fortune. Day two and it was Toby's turn to give it a go! The three of us - Toby, Toby's friend James and I, enjoyed a much better day this time. To find out more about our day, take a look at Toby's blog post - The Cadbury Angling Team Fish the River Wye. Summer Barbel and Chub Sport. Part Two. Below, you can view a picture of my highlight from our day - a chub, just a couple of ounces shy of 5lb.

This big chub put a smile on my face

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mystery Fish Identified

A quick post to say that I think I've identified the mystery fish I caught recently at Hope's Nose near Torquay. I'm pretty sure it's a type of dragonet. Probably a common dragonet and most likely a female. Although news to me, they are commonly found all around our coastlines and often caught on small hooks baited with a single worm. So, another species to tick off the list. Dragonet. Tick!

My first dragonet

Thursday, 16 August 2012

More of the Same

Dan with his fly caught Chew Valley Lake pike
This Tuesday saw myself and Dan sample a bit more of what we both did last week. I could be found walking the banks of the River Chew, whilst Dan was bobbing about on a boat in search of trout, not at Wentwood Reservoir this time, but on Chew Valley Lake. I had a pretty similar day to last week. Not quite so many bites this time, due to less flow and a clearer river, but plenty to keep me amused for a few hours. No grayling today but I did catch a surprise near 1lb rudd. Not a species you would associate normally with this sort of river venue. I've not caught a decent rudd in many years so I was very pleased. Not happy with struggling to catch trout (but instead catching predatory coarse fish) for just one week, Dan did the same again this week. What would have been a pretty uneventful day fly fishing was livened up a bit by the appearance of a decent pike. The lively predator gave Dan the run around for nearly fifteen minutes before coming aboard to have its picture taken. Not one of Chew's famous monster crocs but a good fish at a little under 10lb. All things considered, an enjoyable day for both of us. Next week the two of us are booked to fish the River Wye at Courtfield. Check back to see how we get on.

My surprise River Chew rudd

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Jungle Warfare. Fishing the River Chew

The grayling safely in the net
Stealthily creeping around an overgrown river bank, getting stung by stinging nettles growing four feet high and getting the rod tip stuck in overhanging tree branches and losing end tackle. Doesn't sound like a brilliant day fishing! But it was! The River Chew is largely neglected by anglers and during the summer months the river looks wild, with much of it unfishable unless you're prepared to do a bit of gardening to get near the water. The fishing can be great though and today was one of those days. Taking just one rod and a few bits in a bag with me, I set about trotting maggots under a float in some likely looking areas. Fish were forthcoming from the first cast, a large dace kicked things off. More dace, minnows and a single gudgeon were soon to follow before the bites dried up and I moved upstream. This next swim, a large pool on the outside of a bend, is always a good producer of fish and the float slid away on cast number one. A dace, biggest so far too, about 10oz. More dace of a similar size and a few small wild brown trout were seemingly queueing up for my bait and it was a fish a cast. A larger brown trout was up next and gave a good scrap before I hooked in to another hard fighting fish which turned out to be a grayling. I don't catch many of these and so I was really chuffed! I moved swims several more times and caught more dace and trout, ending the day with a big brownie of nearly a pound in weight and twelve inches in length. A great day that I really enjoyed!

One of many dace caught

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wentwood Reservoir Revisited. Fly Fishing in South Wales

Ever since my first visit to Wentwood Reservoir in April, I have been keen to return. So, this week I found myself standing on the flooded banks of this popular trout fishery. I had intended to bank fish, but due to the extra water, I hired a boat. The local anglers had informed me the fish were staying deep, I could see no signs of trout on the surface either and so I set up with a 7#, D5 sinking line and a pair of UV cormorant flies. Rowing across to the far bank, I started a drift just off the bank. This first attempt produced a perch of about a pound. My second drift, a little further out, quickly resulted in a lighting fast take and a good five minutes later I was netting a fighting fit, very silvery coloured rainbow trout of 2lb 8oz. I fished on through the pouring rain and caught plenty more decent perch but the trout were not at all interested. Towards the end of the day trout did start to rise, but despite trying to tempt one or two on a dry fly, I went home having caught just the one rainbow. A little disappointing, but the perch were good sport even if they weren't my intended target species. More information about Wentwood Reservoir can be found at or

My Wentwood rainbow

I caught over a dozen of these feisty perch

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Go Fishing With Cadbury Angling Reaches First Birthday

Dan with one of Cadbury Angling's many Wye barbel
After fifty posts and well over three thousand page views, our blog reaches its first birthday. Its been a busy year in the shop but we've all found time to do plenty of fishing. From local venues, such as Acorn Fishery and Plantations Lakes, to some world famous destinations, including Rutland Water and the River Ebro, we've all tried to mix things up a bit and sample some of the many different types of fishing available. Coarse, sea, game and some foreign fishing, we've been busy boys. So, what have been our highlights? Fly fishing has taken up a lot of Dan's time, whether it be on rivers and reservoirs here at home, or in Cuba for the bonefish, he has enjoyed some great catches and has been doing very well in competitions as well. Dan rates his trip to Rutland Water and his holiday in Cayo Coco as the most memorable of the last twelve months. 2011 saw Toby move his focus from carp fishing to match fishing and he has continued to practise regularly. Local stillwaters have produced big nets of bream, carp and tench for Toby and he has had some great results to show for all his hard work. Toby took a holiday in Cuba this year too and although he didn't land that tarpon he wanted he did do battle with a giant grouper and catch some barracuda. A pretty successful year! November last year saw me achieve my target of catching all major species of British coarse fish from UK waters. I had slowly but surely been ticking off some of the more unusual species such as zander and grass carp and so when the River Kennet produced a grayling for me it was mission accomplished! My trip to Spain has to be my highlight though. How I will ever better what happened on the second night of my week long holiday in Mequinenza I do not know! A monster 245lb wels catfish, the biggest ever caught by a Brit and a CatMaster Tours record was banked, earning me my fifteen minutes of fame in the national press and a free return trip to try for an even bigger one! The one thing Dan, Toby and I all enjoy though, is a trip to the River Wye and last season saw us all catch some cracking barbel and chub. This river is by far my favourite place to spend a day fishing and if I was limited to just one venue and one species it would be here in search of its many barbel. So, a brilliant year for all three of us and we're all hoping that the next twelve months will bring more of the same good fortune.

Toby and Andy with a winning weight
Will I better this in the next twelve months?
Probably not!

Oh, This Year I'm off to Sunny Spain! Fishing With CatMaster Tours

The famous Mequinenza town stretch
Not long now until I return to Spain for a week of catfishing with CatMaster Tours on the River's Ebro and Segre at Mequinenza. During my last week out there I was lucky enough to land the CatMaster Tours record wels catfish at an enormous weight of 245lb and given the opportunity to return for free to try for an even bigger one! So, with my holiday just weeks away I thought I would tell you a bit about what CatMaster Tours offer during one of their fishing holidays. Guaranteed to catch is a confident claim but they do just that and very, very few people go home without that all important trophy photo. If you are unlucky enough not to catch you are treated to a free return trip. Fish of over 100lb are caught nearly every day and monsters of 200lb plus are banked every year! All tackle is supplied and during your holiday you will be fishing with two rods under the watchful eye of one of CatMaster's excellent guides. The guides put you in the best swims, row out your baits, glove and weigh your catch and even deliver hot food and drink to the bank for you. Fantastic service! Halibut pellets are CatMaster's bait of choice and these are fished on hair rigs made up of size 8/0 hooks and 200lb braided hooklengths. No messing about! When you're not on the bank you stay in the company's excellent accommodation. Fully furnished houses with everything you could need, a home away from home. Airport pick-up/drop-off and all transfers are included in the very reasonable price, your flights to and from Barcelona airport are all you pay for on top. Carp and zander fishing is also available and some very big examples of these two species have been taken by CatMaster Tours clients. So, if having your arm pulled off by monster catfish starts to get tiring you do have other options. Far more information can be found on their website, Check out the photos and give them a call, I can't recommend them highly enough. A full trip report with photos (hopefully!) will be posted here upon my return.

All tackle is supplied
A big fish like this 78lb cat for Dave, is considered
small in Mequinenza!

Spombs Away! Barbel and Chub at Courtfield, River Wye

This week saw the River Wye at normal summer level for the first time in a couple of months and so I settled in to the wooded stretch of the Courtfield beat at Lower Lydbrook. This part of the river has been unfishable since June 16th due to the floodwater conditions of recent weeks and I've been itching to get back in to one of my favourite swims to try for the barbel and chub. So, with the low water but high hopes I set about tackling up. For a change I opted to fish a small banded pellet over a big bed of small particles, no particular reason for this, other than wanting to fish a little differently to my usual large pellet and boilie approach. Would it pay off? Time would tell. First job was to get the bed of bait down so a mini Spomb was used to introduce a kilo of pellet, two big tins of hemp and two tins of sweetcorn, casting upstream of where I intended to place my hookbait, to allow for the current, the bait was soon in position and half an hour later I was ready to cast the fishing rod. I didn't have to wait long before the rod arched over and the first fish of the day was hooked, a barbel of about 5lb was soon in the net. A small chub followed, then a bigger one and then another barbel, this one was about 6lb. I kept the bait going in, the Spomb regularly topping up the swim. More fish obliged all day and I packed up at dark having landed barbel to over 8lb and chub to over 4lb. Success for my slight change of approach. More information about the River Wye at Lower Lydbrook can be found at

This 6lb barbel won the award for hardest fighting fish of the day!