Thursday 18 October 2012

Wonderful Wiggly Worms

Lobworms and ragworms have been the successful baits for Dan and I, this week. Dan did a bit of perch fishing, whilst I targeted wrasse. Float fished lobs tempted perch to 2lb for Dan. Carp also took a liking to the bait and a 15lb common was the biggest of the day. I braved a very windy afternoon to fish single ragworm on a size 1/0 circle hook and simple running lead rig and caught numerous small wrasse. A bit of lure fishing for bass or pollock proved less successful.

An autumn, worm caught perch

Major Clubs Final at Grafham Water

The sun sets on my two days at Grafham
My first visit to Grafham Water on Friday 5th October, was to practise for the final of the Major Clubs Association Competition. The final round was set to take place the next day. I met my boat partner for the day, Graham, in the cafe at 9.30, on the banks of the sixteen hundred acre reservoir and after a quick cup of tea, we went to board our boat. Weather was overcast with a slight breeze, good conditions. We had chose to fish the catch and release ticket and some local information had told us fish were being caught at G buoy. Keeping this in mind, but wanting to explore other areas, we started off at Savages Creek. Fishing midge tips and a selection of nymphs, after two drifts, with no pulls, we moved to try the North Bank, where I had read on forums, was fishing well. Changing tactics to a fast glass line, a pair of blobs and a hares ear muddler, produced my first Grafham trout, a fish of 2lb 8oz. We carried on fishing all the points down to the dam wall, taking fish on every drift. Recently, Grafham has become well known for its population of killer shrimps, a non native species, which grow to over an inch in length. The trout have grown to love these and so I had tied some hares ears with red heads to imitate them and I was keen to give them a go. Fishing the midge tip, we drifted further toward the dam wall and both Graham and I had furious takes from much bigger trout, the biggest around 3lb 8oz. The rest of the day was spent catching steadily. Things looked good for the competition the following day. 
    I woke Saturday morning to bright skies and very little breeze, what a difference a day makes! Forty boats were fishing today and on the whistle we all headed out. I had been partnered with a chap from the Rutland team and we chose to drift from G buoy to the dam wall. I used similar tactics to the previous day and my boat partner opted to pull lures. To cut a long story short, we struggled. I had a single fish on one of my red head hares ears, my boat partner managed three. Two very different days, but that's fishing for you!
A hard fighting Grafham trout comes to the boat

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Catfishing in Spain With CatMaster Tours. More Monster Fish Banked on Return Trip. The Pictures

Here they are then! - Pictures of the biggest fish from our week's holiday in Mequinenza. Enjoy!

Ryan and I help Dave with his new personal best -
A huge 169lb catfish
My 184lb cat measured 7 feet, 10 inches
Dave with his 152lb wels
My 150lb catfish
Andy shows off a 133lb fish

Paul with the first fish of the week at 142lb
Terry lifts his amazing albino of 190lb - What a fish!

Catfishing in Spain With CatMaster Tours. More Monster Fish Banked on Return Trip

The business end of my 184lb beast
Here we go again then, off out to Mequinenza in Spain, for a week of catfishing with CatMaster Tours. On arrival, my friend Dave and I wasted no time in meeting the other anglers we were to be grouped with for the week. Three chaps well in to their match fishing, brothers Paul and Andy and their friend Terry. Our guide for the week was Ryan Binge. I had requested Ryan when I booked this trip. Ryan was responsible for gloving my CatMaster Tours record breaker last September, so I was more than confident in his abilities. A good angler and nice guy, I can't recommend him highly enough. The six of us met up on the banks of the River Segre the next morning, in a swim just a mile or so from where this river meets the mighty River Ebro. This was to be where we were to focus our efforts for the next six days and we had two rods each, baited and in position in no time at all. Very large halibut pellets were the bait and these were hair-rigged to a size 8/0 hook, tied to 200lb braid. With the rods in the rests and the alarms switched on, the six of us sat back and relaxed under the hot Spanish sun. We played cards and told jokes, Ryan disappearing every now and then to fetch us food and drink. Later that afternoon Paul was first to hook in to a fish. It was great to watch an angler that had no previous experience with these massive catfish do battle with what turned out to be a large fish of 142lb. A great start to our week! That night, Dave had his first fish of the trip, a cat of 92lb. A good first day. Day two and later that night, I was in! A hell of a scrap resulted in a very big wels, all 184lb and 7 feet, 10 inches of it! I was well pleased. The rest of the week continued in much the same way. By day we would enjoy the sun, have barbeque's, laugh and joke, play cards and generally chill out. At night the fish kept us on our toes and by the end of the week we had all caught cats. I added fish of 150lb, 111lb and 67lb to my tally. Dave had three more at weights of 169lb, 152lb and 72lb. As a group we had landed twelve fish and lost six others. A great result! The week had one more treat in store for us all though. Terry hooked in to what was clearly a very big cat, fighting for a long time and really giving him the run around. It finally surfaced after ten minutes or so - an albino catfish! Very rare and much sought after and a very big one at that. On the scales it went 190lb! One of the biggest in the world and just 4lb short of the CatMaster Tours record albino catfish. A real privilege to see an albino on the bank and what a monster it was too! It brought our combined total for the week to thirteen fish landed and wrapped up the week in fine style. A fantastic holiday that will live long in my memory. For more information on CatMaster Tours, the holidays they provide and my previous experience with them, visit their website at and check out my earlier blog posts - Catfishing in Spain. CatMaster Tours Record Broken With 245lb Wels! And - Oh, This Year I'm off to Sunny Spain! Fishing With CatMaster Tours. I will post more pictures soon. Next week, I'll be out fishing somewhere a little closer to home no doubt. Check back to see what I've been up to.