Thursday 25 April 2013

Birthday Fly Fishing on the River Usk, Gliffaes Llandetty

A River Usk brownie
April 22nd is my birthday and what better way to spend it than going fishing! I had booked The Wye & Usk Foundation controlled beat, Gliffaes Llandetty, a stretch of the middle River Usk available on a day ticket for £24.00. I arrived at the beat at 10:30 am and set up with a pair of tungsten head nymphs on a 9' 5# rod. The morning past without a fish but early afternoon brought a change in the weather and as the sun broke through the clouds, a hatch of March brown's brought the trout to the surface. Quickly changing to a leader of 8lb fluorocarbon with a tippet of 4lb Drennan Double Strength and a grey wulff fly, the closest match I had in my box, I cast to the nearest feeding trout and watched as it sucked the fly gently off the surface. Sport was hectic from then on, with six trout, all around twelve inches, netted and several more hooked briefly, then lost. A very enjoyable days fishing. All you need to know about The Wye & Usk Foundation, can be found at I stayed at the Gliffaes Country House Hotel, which I can thoroughly recommend. Visit for more information.

A view of the salmon pool

Thursday 18 April 2013

2013 Season Starts on Chew Valley Lake

The 2013 season on Chew Valley Lake has kicked off and I've made a few trips already.
The first, on Tuesday 2nd April was a bright, breezy day. Setting off for the North Shore I knew the fish would be down deep so I set up a die 7 sinking line with two boobies on a short leader. Six fish were soon boated and so I changed tactics to practice for Saturday's upcoming floating line only competition. A longer leader with a pair of heavy buzzers and a small lure was cast out and it was soon apparent that this set up was going to be much trickier to tempt a trout on. Several drifts produced a few pulls but no fish. Saturday was going to be tough!

Chew Valley Lake - I'll be spending a lot of time here
during the next few months
Saturday arrived and with it the first of the ten floating line only competitions. My boat partner and I headed across to the North Shore and set up a drift, but with the wind in a different direction to Tuesday, we found ourselves drifting across to Hollow Brook and fishing different water to where I had caught fish earlier in the week. After three drifts with no fish we moved to the False Island where, in theory, the shallower water should make fishing with a floating line easier. I was again fishing two heavy buzzers and a small lure and we both soon found some trout, my boat partner and I catching a brace each. A decent enough start!

Saturday 13th April saw me fishing the Snowbee Boat and Bank Competition. This was going to be a rough one, with a south westerly howling and rain forecast all day! Wearing my new Vass jacket and waders, my boat partner and I set off to drift from the East Shore towards Denny Island. Choosing to fish die 7 sinking lines with two boobies proved a good decision and it was not long before we were in to fish. We continued to catch on this drift until the wind direction changed, blowing us from Spring Bay to Hollow Brook. This change of wind brought some really heavy rain, testing my waterproofs to the limit. By late afternoon I had caught seven fish and my boat partner had managed six. We called it a day and headed in, taking over twenty minutes to make the journey back to the jetty in weather conditions that had whipped up waves like the ones you see out in the Bristol Channel! My fish weighed 18lb 8oz and the winner was helped to 26lb 8oz by a 6lb plus rainbow, the biggest fish of the day. Congratulations to him!

Waves breaking on Chew

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Clevedon Club Match. Apex Lake, Highbridge

Another frost greeted all 22 anglers for the draw at Apex lake in Highbridge for this Clevedon FWAC Club match.

Myself, James Gunter and Rob Fogg had all shared some healthy banter before for the draw and were loaded ready to dip are hand in the bowl, not before buying our NSAA day ticket for the venue, no rule breaking!!

I had drawn peg 1 and scales duty! Peg 1 is at the mouth of the channel between the out-of-bounds boating lake and the rest of the complex. I had Lance Tucker to my left in peg 2 and Kev Perry across from me in Peg 44.

The view of my peg
Both Rob and James had drawn in the island bowl, both had chucks to the island as their disposal.

I targeted my peg two feeder rod setups and the pole at 13m, one with a paternoster groundbait feeder, the other with a method.

I mixed up Sensas Craztbait Gold and Sensas Lake 3000 and mixed them 50/50 then added half a pint of frozen pinkie to it.

I setup up the pole to fish at 13m with a positive and negative line, I cupped in 4 big balls on my negative left hand line and 8 big balls on my positive, right hand line. Kev Perry, Paul Faiers and Barry Fowler, all in a line clipped up and introduced groundbait via the feeder to establish a swim and we all soon into some skimmer action.

Due the the shape of this part of the lake I didn't have much of a chuck in front of me, I tried my luck fishing the feeder into the channel, but was only rewarded with a small skimmer in about 10 casts. I had a look on my pole line and had instant bites on the left hand line. I had 5 skimmers in 5 put-ins, then it died, as did the whole section of the lake. Everyone that I could see was struggling. In the last 3 hours of the, the bowl of the lake I was pegged in hardly produced a fish!!

For the remainder of the match, I tried everything to get another bite, going past my feed, baiting a new line, groundbait feeder, method, changing shotting, depth, hookbaits, you name it, I tried it, but to no evale!

James and Rob on the other hand were fairing much better, James was getting steady bites on the pole, when the ever present gusting easterly winds would allow him to hold his rig still and present it properly.

Rob had alternated between the groundbait feeder and pole and was catching a few skimmers and a few bonus BREAM!

Rob Fogg with his 16lb 10oz bag, enough for 2nd on the day!

At the whistle I knew I had only 6 skimmers, Lance had packed up early, as had Simon Carvallo along with a few others.

I weighed in John Wolstencroft from peg 3 and myself then went to Dom Sullivan who mentioned he'd "had a few", on the scales they went and bottomed out at 22lb 14oz, I knew that would be an almost guaranteed match winning weight!

Rob weighed 16lb 10oz, enough for 2nd overall, James weighed 11lb 8oz, which gave him a section, by default.

Brian slipper didn't get to weigh in his seagull he hooked as they didn't count this this match!

The overall results were:

1st.   Dom Sullivan  22lb 14oz   Peg 4
2nd. Rob Fogg         16lb  8oz    Peg 10
3rd.  Paul Faiers       12lb  8oz    Peg 43

Section Winners:

James Gunter         11lb 8oz       Peg 15
Kev Perry               11lb 12oz    Peg 44
Tim Lewis              12lb  4oz     Peg 36

Monday 1 April 2013

Great White Shark Fishing in the Bristol Channel!!!! 01/04/2013

A poor winter for cod fishing in the Bristol Channel has had a lot of anglers wondering where all the fish have gone. Here at Cadbury Angling, we felt it reasonable to assume a great white shark could be to blame. Undeterred by the fact that great whites have never been seen in the Bristol Channel, let alone caught and despite people saying we were crazy, we set off to prove our point. It was only when the three of us were stood watching our balloon suspended mackerel bait, that doubts and fears started to creep in. Comments like "You're wasting you're time" and "It's dangerous, haven't you seen the film Jaws? It will end in tears" were spinning in our heads. Perhaps we should have listened? Time would tell. Hours past with no sign of our target species and so Dan, getting a little restless, suddenly pushed Toby in to the sea. "The splashing should attract some attention" said Dan. I thought this was a little unnecessary, but to my amazement Dan's rather questionable tactics seemed to have worked. The three of us watched in excitement and horror as a large, grey, triangular fin rose from the depths and headed straight for the bait .... and Toby! Frightening stuff indeed! As I watched Toby thrash around in a panic, pure terror in his eyes, I remember thinking to myself - "No one can be more scared than I am right now!" Dan grabbed the rod just as the balloon plunged beneath the waves and Toby, who had made it back safely, grabbed on to Dan. The rod bent over and the reel screamed! This was no cod! The three of us took it in turns to fight the monster shark and after several exhausting hours the beast was beaten. We had done it, against the odds we had landed a great white! Dan described a method of unhooking sharks that he'd seen on YouTube, I haven't seen the footage, but if it's on the Internet it must be real, right!? With Toby holding the sharks huge mouth open, I leaned in up to my waist and removed the hook, Dan assuring us both throughout, that we were in no danger at all. After a few photo's we released the great white back in to the Bristol Channel, pointing it south in hope that it wouldn't hang around here to decimate next winters run of cod. Feeling very pleased with ourselves, we drove home, wondering if anyone else had enjoyed such a successful April fools day as we had just done.

Our personal bests have inflated
with the capture of this great white shark!