Thursday 31 January 2013

Off to a Decent Start

I've not done much fishing this month, but the few times I have been out have produced some decent sport. Something a little different for me and an enjoyable experience, was my first time fly fishing. Read Dan's post, Trout Tuition. Fly Fishing at Burton Springs Fishery to find out how I got on! I had wanted to do a bit of sea fishing during January, but unfortunately it didn't happen and so my time has been spent fishing some local lakes. Waggler fished maggot over groundbait and micro pellet has produced plenty of roach, skimmers, bream and the odd carp. My best day resulted in over 60lb hitting the scales, a net full that included a brace of 2lb plus perch. So, not a bad start to 2013 and with spring just around the corner and holidays to Spain and Norway later in the year to look forward to, it can only get better. Fingers crossed!

Saturday 26 January 2013

Cadbury Angling Silverfish Open Match 1 of 4 Plantations Main Lake

Thankfully the lake had defrosted, wind changed direction and the temperature was on the up, all positive signs for the match ahead.

17 anglers booked in and were looking forward to one of the first silverfish only matches held on this venue.

Breakfast was at Acorn Fishery and was top notch as always.

I took the last peg in the bag, peg 12, a pretty useful silvers peg.

Steve Mayo was to my left in peg 11.

Carp showed up in a few pegs early on and not many silvers, not what I was hoping for! I could see Lewis Walker on peg 19, catching skimmers steadily and sure enough Steve starting getting a few bites too, from carp initially.

I had a slow first hour but I knew the skimmers responded well to large amounts of groundbait so I wasn't scared to keep feed going in, even when I hadn't seen much action from my first 3 balls going in at the start.

My shorter line only produced 1 carp so I pursued my two longer groundbait lines, bites came slow and steady with a burst of activity later on in the match. Steve caught impressively throughout the match on maggot over groundbait, which seemed to be the preferred tactic from most anglers on the day.

Word from around the lake was that Paul Faiers on peg 27 was also catching well, most of his fish came on the waggler, proper silverfish fishing!!!

From my peg, I couldn't see many other anglers catching well, but with Callum Dicks in my section I didn't hold out much hope for a pick up.

After calling all out it was obvious to me that Steve had won, the results are as follows:

1st Steve Mayo    Peg 11    23lb 7oz
2nd Paul Faiers     Peg 27   16lb 6oz
3rd Callum Dicks  Peg 7     16lb 3oz

Section Winners:

Toby Parker         Peg 12    12lb 8oz
Rich Lovering      Peg 26      8lb 1oz

Steve's impressive winning bag
Paul's 2nd place net of fish.

Winter Sport From Plantations Lakes, Kingston Seymour

I decided to fish Plantations Main Lake on my day off as a gauge on how well the silverfish were feeding, with the Cadbury Angling Silverfish Open Matches now booked I wanted to see what the anglers could expect.

Myself, Rob Fogg and James Gunter met in the car park at 8am and were greeted by a not too fierce +2c! We had the pick of the lake and opted for the top bay where lots of silvers have been caught previously.

Darren Vowles was passing and stopped for a chat, we decided to fish pegs 8, 11 and 12, Darren drew the pegs for us so no moaning (Rob!!) of being a golden arm could take place.

The draw was:

Peg 8   Toby
Peg 11 James
Peg 12 Rob

We wheeled are gear round and saw the overcast conditions and not a breath of wind would enable perfect presentation!

I baited and plumbed two 13m lines, a groundbait with dead pinkie line and a damp micro pellet line.

I also plumbed both my margins and an 8m line.

I mixed  Sensas Lake 3000 combined with a fishmeal additive and black dye for my groundbait and added a small handful of thawed frozen pinkie.

On both my 8m and 13m lines I cupped in 3 large balls and put 3 large cups of damp 2mm carp pellet on my other 13m line. Whilst the bait was settling I flicked out a groundbait feeder, which immediately wrapped round with a carp of about 3lb, James had also had an instant result on the feeder!

I rigged up with the NEW Drennan G-Tip 2 pole floats in 0.8g and 0.6g  tied to Drennan Supplex 3lb (0.14) and used the Drennan Silverfish Maggot hooks tied to 0.08 hooklength in both 18 and 20 sizes.

After a few more casts on the feeder and no more signs of life, I tried my 13m groundbait lines.

I started to see indications straight away over my groundbait line, within minutes I had a solid bite from what turned out to be a large carp, for the next hour I caught carp and and skimmers all on red maggot. When the bites slowed I introduced two more big balls of groundbait and I was rewarded with instant bites again.

I had set my float tip up to only show a couple of mm and my shotting pattern was setup to show lift bites which was how nearly all of my bites developed.

I kept checking my 8m line for life and it did produce a few skimmers but bites weren't fast or plentiful.

James had also caught a few carp (and skimmers but he kept them quiet) on his pole lines and Rob was also getting bites.

For the rest of of our 'match' I caught steadily and every time bites slowed I topped up with two or three large balls of groundbait, surprisingly the fish were extremely responsive to large amounts of bait, considering the time of year. I kept bites coming by regularly lifting and dropping my rig.

By the end of our little friendly match I had finished up with 56lb of carp and 10lb of skimmers. James had 30lb of carp and 5lb of skimmer and Rob finished with 24lb of carp.

An alround brilliant days fishing for this time of year and the weather, we couldn't be happier with our results.

My friend for the day, Mr Robin Red Breast who I fed maggots to all day.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Trout Tuition. Fly Fishing at Burton Springs Fishery

I promised Jon some time ago that I would take him fly fishing. Jon had never cast a fly rod before and so on Tuesday we made the trip to Burton Springs Fishery, so that he could wet his first line. The one acre trout lake here, is the perfect place for a beginner to get to grips with casting and with a good head of fish, there is a very good chance of putting one or two on the bank. I set Jon up with a 9' 6" 6# rod and floating line and spent some time showing him the technique of casting a black cruncher fly. I soon felt happy to leave him to it and set about tackling up a few different rods for my own use. I didn't have to wait long before a rainbow trout of about 2lb 8oz took a liking to my black nymph. A good start! Soon after releasing this fish, Jon hooked a trout. A decent brown was soon in the net. Jon's first fly caught fish! We both expected more fish to follow quickly, but the next few hours proved very hard, we both received a few pulls but the only fish landed was a second rainbow for me. A fish of about 3lb. Plenty of trout were showing all through the afternoon, but catching them was a tricky business. By the end of the day, I had landed a further two trout, for a total of four. Jon, unfortunately had to settle for just the one. All things considered, a decent day! I know Jon was very pleased to have caught on his first try and is keen to give it another go. And, my four rainbows, landed on a damp January day, were enough to put a smile on my face.
    Burton Springs Fishery provides excellent fly, coarse and carp fishing, over three lakes and all the information you need can be found on their website, at

A lovely Burton Springs Fishery rainbow trout