Thursday 27 June 2013

A June to Remember

First barbel of the season - A 9lb 6oz stunner
Last time I posted on here I told you all about my recent trip to Spain, I've been getting out fishing a little closer to home as well though and I've had a very productive month indeed. Just before hopping on the plane I was lucky enough to catch my first ever floater caught 20lb plus carp, a mirror that just scraped in at 20lb 1oz. I was well chuffed! A surface caught twenty had been on my to do list for some time. On getting back from holiday, I wasted no time in sorting out the river fishing gear and headed to the River Chew. I love this river and during a short evening session I caught some of the biggest dace I have ever caught, some were only ounces short of a pound and there were plenty of them too. Finishing the month in fine style was this weeks trip to the River Wye. Barbel and chub were plentiful with a 9lb 6oz barbel kicking things off and plenty more following soon after. Biggest chub was about 4lb. So, big carp, dace, barbel and chub, some large Spanish roach and some decent catfish have provided the best June's fishing I have ever had! Dan continues to catch plenty of trout, Toby and his Maver team are doing well on the match scene and the shop is very busy with people all trying for success of their own. Smiles all round!

South West Super League 2013 Round 1 Gloucester Canal.

 Everyone was in good spirits at the draw for the first round of the 2013 Super League. I was part of the newly formed Maver Cadbury Angling team, which on the day was comprised of Myself,  James Gunter, Sam Johnson, Dom Sullivan, Sean Partridge, Gary Cross, Don Sutherland and Chris Hook (Cptn).

The draw wasn't overly kind to the team, a few good pegs, a few bad. I had drawn peg 220 on the Pilot stretch. After a mammoth walk to my peg, I saw I was the end peg, with Paul Isaacs of Maver Bathampton to my left. Our team had discussed a few tactics prior to the match and I was planning on implementing some of them in this peg.

I plumed a line at around 6m and found it to be a full top 5 deep. I also plumed a 12m line, both of which I was going to cup groundbait over and top-up if need be. As the call of "all in" rang out I could see some anglers in my section had opted to ball in, I stuck with my gut instinct and cupped in, 4 large balls of groundbait/leam/caster/chopped worm and squat over both the 6m and 12m lines. I was going to let this settle and check the lines for signs of life throughout the first hour. I also had setup my feeder rod for fishing 3/4 of the way across the canal. I starting fishing liquidised bread with a punched bread hookbait. 

After regularly recasting and not having any luck, I checked up on my shorter pole line.....nothing. So it was back on the tip! After nearly an hour I had a positive pull round which sprung right back. I lifted into it and it felt like a decent fish. It thudded its way to the net and it was a good 1 1/2lb skimmer. A few more casts and more more sign of life!

Paul, in the peg next to me was already catching a good stamp of skimmers on the pole. I checked my short line once again, I had 3 very small skimmers followed by a slightly better sized hybrid. This run of small fish prompted me to cup in a few more balls. I left that line for 15mins and checked my longer line, where I promptly foul hooked a carp and was left with just a scale! I went back over my 6m line and immediately had a sail away bite which came off almost straightaway, it felt like a better fish. I went over again and this time a got a ripper of a lift bite and after a good fight a 4lb bream was in the net. I had the hook pull out at the net on the next skimmer then put two more in the net. The bites dried up then so I topped up the groundbait again. Still no more bites on my longer pole line or the tip. Paul was still catching steadily and I thought his weight could win the whole match!!

Into the last hour of the match and I started to see signs of life again on my 6m line this resulted in 2 more decent skimmers and a few more baby skimmers. 

I weighed 14lb 12oz of my bream and skimmers which was good enough for 5th overall on the day and 3rd in my section, Paul Isaacs won the section and was second overall with an impressive 30lb bag.

Our team had faired pretty well too, Sam Johnson had won his section and came 3rd overall with 19lb. Gary Cross had also won his section and the rest of the team had all chipped in with some good points to leave us with 42 points on the day, tied joint 4th overall with Daiwa Gordon League.

1st. Rob Skellet (Nomads) 36-7-0, bream and skimmers, groundbait feeder with maggot
2nd. Paul Isaacs (Maver Bathampton) 30-14-0
3rd. Sam Johnson (Maver Cadbury Angling) 19-5-0
4th. Dave Micklewright (Daiwa Gordon League) 17-4-0
5th. Toby Parker (Maver Cadbury Angling) 14-2-0
6th. Gary Webber (Preston Innovations Thatchers) 12-13-0

Preston Innovations Thatchers 52
Nomads 47.5
Wilts Angling 46
Daiwa Gordon League 42
Maver Cadbury Angling 42

Thursday 20 June 2013

Fly Fishing for Wild Brown Trout at Grwyne Fawr Reservoir

Double hook up! Brown trout on dry flies
Fly fishing at a remote reservoir set high in the Black Mountains, accessible only by an hours walk, would not be everyone's idea of a relaxing days fishing. My friend Rik and I however, had been looking forward to this trip for a month or so. After the long walk we arrived to find the reservoir flat calm at the dam, but a slight ripple at the far end. We started at the dam end and by fishing a pair of nymphs on a 5lb leader I was in to a fish on only my third cast. A lovely wild brown trout of about 12oz. Moving along the bank every couple of casts produced a few more pulls, before we both changed to dry flies. This produced fish for both of us before a strengthening wind forced us to the opposite bank, where I hooked a big fish which unfortunately broke my leader. Re tackling with a 7lb leader soon caught a couple more trout, no bigger than the ones we had already been catching though. We fished on until early evening, catching a few more, before taking the long walk back to the car and heading for home.

Rik with the biggest of the day
The dam wall


Tuesday 18 June 2013

Fishing in Spain With CatMaster Tours

Dad landed the biggest of the week, this 110lb catfish
Last week was spent fishing on the River Segre in Mequinenza. Accompanying me on this (my third) trip to Spain, were my dad, Roger and Corin, all on their first trip and all looking to catch their first ever catfish. I had, once again, placed confidence in guide Ryan Binge, of CatMaster Tours, to get us amongst the fish, I knew he would do everything he could to help us all catch. On arrival he told us that the fishing had been hard, with unsettled weather and some difficult river conditions preventing anglers from catching much at all for some time. We were here to try our best though and that's what we set about doing at the first opportunity. The week started well with Corin landing a catfish of 83lb. Dad and Roger soon did the same with a cat each, pulling the scales round to 72lb and 49lb respectively. I was next, my fish went 73lb. By mid week we had experienced a real mixed bag of weather, some very hot days, cool, cloudy ones and even some heavy rain. The fishing had been a bit unpredictable also and so for the last couple of days we moved swims in an attempt to get a few more bites. This new swim provided the opportunity to target some of the other species found in the Segre. Some decent roach, a carp of 6lb and a single little zander, of about two inches long, all took a liking to feeder or float fished double maggot. The move proved a good one for the catfishing too and by midnight on Saturday we had caught a few more, dad taking the biggest at 110lb. All things considered we had done very well. We didn't catch as many fish as this time of year normally produces, nor did we catch any really big cats, but we had all caught during a period when many others had not. Most importantly, dad, Roger and Corin are all now able to say that they have caught catfish. So, a good holiday and one from which we all returned wearing smiles. For more information on CatMaster Tours, visit their website at I cant recommend them highly enough and I urge anyone thinking about taking a Spanish catfish or carp fishing trip to give them a try.

I was pleased with this 1lb plus roach

Thursday 6 June 2013

Chew Valley Lake Evening League Round Three

The weather on Tuesday could not have been more perfect for round three of the Chew Valley Lake Evening League. Warm temperatures and a slight breeze meant hopes were high for a few fish. A quick ask around in the lodge suggested fish were to be found at the North Shore and dam areas and so on the whistle, my boat partner Dave Drake and I wasted no time in motoring in to position and making our first casts. Teams of holographic nymphs were our preferred set ups and we both soon hooked rainbows of about 3lb each. This method continued to produce until the sun started to sink and as fish came higher up in the water I swapped to three crunchers to slow my sink rate. A change which also produced bites. We were back at the lodge before we knew it and our six fish each were enough to give Dave third place with 15lb 8oz, whilst my bag weighing 14lb 9oz, placed fifth. Winner on the night was Rik Anderson, helped to 16lb 9oz by a 5lb rainbow.

Dave with a 4lb rainbow trout