Thursday 25 July 2013

Close, but not Close Enough

Kingston Seymour sea wall has been producing a few fish lately and so with a very high tide forecast I set off yesterday to see what I could do. Mackerel and squid were my preferred baits and I had my fingers crossed that a bass or thornback ray would take a liking to them. Having not done that much sea fishing meant both of these species were on my to do list and so I hoped to tick one or, if I was really lucky, both of them off on this trip. Just before high tide the rod baited with mackerel started twitching and so I hit the bite and was very happy to be soon skipping a small bass across the surface towards me, just a few more feet to go and it would be mine. It fell off! I rebaited and recast and had to wait sometime for my next bite. I struck this second bite but missed it and was left reeling back in a very chewed up bait. That was all the action for this visit, I came close, but not close enough! Maybe next time.

A very high 14m tide at Kingston Seymour

Beat the Heat

A very low River Wye
A trip to the Wye this week found the river very low and rather slow moving. Our recent hot, dry weather has done very few favours for species that require well oxygenated water to thrive and so I didn't fancy my chances of catching any barbel. With this in mind I set about tackling the river with a waggler rod, the first time in over five years I have set up a float rod on the Wye. The plan was to target some of the other species found here and to avoid a day of staring at what I believed would be the motionless quivertip of my barbel rod. I'm pleased to report that the plan worked a treat and I put together a great bag of small chub, biggest was about 1lb, dace, bleak and one large eel. Very enjoyable. I spent the evening trying for the barbel and wasn't at all surprised when a couple of hours later I found myself packing up having not had a bite. It just goes to show that reading the conditions and changing your tactics to suit can turn a bad day in to a good one.
    Similarly, the carp in our local lakes have been hard to tempt recently, choosing to cruise in the upper layers and sunbathe rather than get down on the deck and feed. But although the carp have lacked the enthusiasm to take a bottom bait during this hot spell, in contrast they've relished the chance to take a floater. So whilst others have waited and waited for their alarms to burst in to life, I've nicked some cracking fish off the top (including my personal best grass carp, that I reported last week) during a few very short, but successful evening sessions. So, next time you're out, read the conditions, try something a little different if needed and you too can beat the heat and keep on catching!

Grass carp like this 9lb fish love floating baits

Helping Heroes

On Saturday, Dave Drake, Jay Currie, Steve Ebdon and I fished the teams of four, Help For Heroes, charity competition at Chew Valley Lake. We all caught well with Jay and Steve taking seven fish each and both Dave and I catching our eight fish limit. Our combined efforts were enough to secure first place on the day, out of the fourteen teams participating. A great days fishing and money raised for a very worthy cause.
Victorious! Jay, Dave and I show off our winners plate

Friday 19 July 2013

South West Super League 2013 Round 3 River Huntspill.

A shift of venue was the order of the day for the next phase of the South West Super League, we were on to the River Huntspill, it was to be pegged from Gold Corner upto the railway bridge.

The practice matches had fished ok, the odd good weight with lots of scratching around in most sections.

I had been drawn on peg 270, so had the northbound carriageway of the M5 for company all day.

This stretch of Withy Grove was famous for bream in years gone bye. I knew some pegs would have bream in them but everywhere could have been difficult.

I set up with a feeder rod long, a feeder rod half way and a pole line at 11m.

I mixed up my favourite mix of Sensas Lake and CrazyBait Gold 50/50 with chopped worm and squat.

On the whistle I fed 6 feeders full then popped on a hooklength and went over my bait. Within 15mins I had a decent skimmer in the net, I thought I was sat on a few fish.......I wasn't!!

After a few recasts I landed a 1lb+ eel and decided to look on my shorter feeder line, which produced nothing at all!!!

I looked over my pole line and first put-in had a tiny perch, as the day wore on I could see Adam Palmer and Andy Pritchard regularly catching further downstream of me. I couldn't buy a bite from any of my lines until 5mins from the end when a bootlace eel paid me a visit on my long line.

I ended up with nicely sunburnt arms and 3lb for my troubles which was good enough for 3 points in my section and helped the team to an overall victory on the day, given the lack of anglers visiting the river and the extremely hot temperatures we couldn't. have been more pleased as a team.

Sean Partridge caught bream and skimmers for 21lb 4oz which won his section and put him 4th overall, so I nice day for him, other team member faired equally well, the supremo of the
team Sam Johnson was 3rd in his section, Gary Cross won his section, Chris hook was 3rd in his section and Dom Sullivan also won his section! Ian Hudson and Don Sutherland also chipped in with valuable points to get us to our winning number of 52!

Roll on next Sunday!!!

Results on the day:
1st.  Adam Palmer (Daiwa Gordon League) 41-1-0, bream and skimmers, groundbait feeder, worm and maggot, peg 264
2nd.  Darren Gilman (Maver Bathampton) 28-0-0
3rd.  Andy Pritchard (Wilts Angling) 22-11-0
4th.  Sean Partridge (Maver Cadbury Angling) 21-4-0
5th.  Dave Micklewright (Daiwa Gordon League) 19-8-0
6th.  Mike Owens (Sensas Thyers) 16-13-0

1st.  Maver Cadbury Angling 52
2nd. Daiwa Gordon League 50
3rd.  Sensas Thyers 45; Lobbys 43
4th.  Preston Innovations Thatchers 42
5th.  Maver Bathampton 39

1st.  Daiwa Gordon League 142
2nd. Sensas Thyers 137
3rd. Maver Cadbury Angling 136
4th. Lobbys 130.5
5th. Preston Innovations Thatchers 127
6th. Cardiff Nomads 105.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Scorcher! Huge Personal Best Grass Carp Banked

Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming! Just when I'm thinking the recent run of luck I've been enjoying has to run out soon, I go and catch a monstrous personal best. Yesterday, with the temperature approaching thirty, a grass carp doing the same, took a liking to my surface fished Cell pop-up dumbell and on the scales swung the needle round to 27lb 13oz. The battle was awesome and without doubt the longest and most enjoyable fight I've ever had from a fish. "Where are the photos?" I hear you ask. Unfortunately, the fishery from which this whacker came enforces a publicity ban and therefore I can't post any images on here. However, if you come and visit me in the shop I will be more than happy to show you the pictures of this enormous carp. Am I wearing a smile right now? You bet I am!

Saturday 13 July 2013

Sizzling Summer Sport

Keeping an eye on us - This seal kept us company all day
at Hope's Nose, Torquay
Wow! What a week I've had! July has started with similar success to that which I enjoyed in June. I've tried a bit of eel fishing, I didn't catch any, but I did land a small carp on a sprat! A first. A few days later and an evenings surface fishing ended in excitement when I slipped the net under a grass carp of 19lb 4oz. A chopped down Cell pop-up, fished on a size 10 Drennan barbel hook, 10lb Korda Kruiser Control line and a Fox Bolt Bubble, proved irresistible to the three and a half foot long personal best. Next up - A day on the Wye at Courtfield. My friend Baz caught his first ever barbel. I was on hand to net the 7lb 10oz fish. Baz was chuffed and I was very happy to have helped him add a new species to his list. Dad caught a couple also, a decent chub of 4lb and I, not wanting to be left out, had barbel to over 8lb. Yet another memorable day on my favourite river. The final thing to report is the afternoon spent at Hope's Nose near Torquay with Dave and Corin. We caught mackerel and pollock on feathers and all managed personal best wrasse, with hard scrapping fish approaching 3lb falling to ragworm fished on light running lead rigs. Great sport! Highlight though, wasn't the good fishing or the amazing weather, but the huge seal that spent the day munching mackerel as we threw them back and even, sometimes, chasing hooked fish as we reeled them in! Very entertaining and not something you see everyday. I'm loving my fishing at the moment and I'm out again next week. Stay tuned. 

Thursday 11 July 2013

Kingston Seymour Sea Wall 09/07/2013

Sunset on the sea wall
I thought I'd make the most of this weeks high tides, not to mention the fantastic weather and head to Kingston Seymour sea wall on Tuesday evening. On arrival I found Trevor, one of our customers, setting up and so I put my gear down not far from him and got the rods out. One I baited with crab and the other, a strip of mackerel. It wasn't long before the mackerel rod started dancing in the rest and after a good scrap I was unhooking and releasing a conger of about 7lb. I missed a further two good bites and then all went quiet for me. Trevor though, caught a small bass which I nipped over to photograph, before watching the sun set and then heading for home.

Trevor and his bass

Tuesday 2 July 2013

South West Super League 2013 Round 2 Gloucester Canal.

A strong westerly wind greeted the teams for the 2nd of two matches on the Gloucester Canal.

After the previous weeks performance, the team was sat in a strong position and hope were high on building on that success.

James Gunter was unavailable for this weeks match, but another match ace, Glen Calvert was, so the team had a strong look to it once again.

The draw was average, no noted pegs, all middle of sections. I had been drawn on the Hempstead straight, peg 18.

My peg was next to a concrete ramp which is used by the rowing club, a gap in the hedge meant I was exposed to the 25-30mph gusts, which made fishing long very difficult.

I knew this section was going to be tough as the previous weeks results showed. I setup my feeder for 2/3rds across the canal and plumed two pole lines, one at 13m and one and 8m.

The first hour saw no bites on the tip or when I looked over my balled in 8m or 13m pole lines. After 1.5 hours I finally had a bite on the 8m line, it felt like a decent eel, then the slimey critter bit through my hooklength!

For the next few hours I alternated between my pole lines and the tip and all I had to show for my efforts were two small eels which were caught on my 8m pole line, that was good enough for last in my section and enough for my to hang my head in shame as I returned to the rugby club for the results.

My other team mates had considerably better results than myself, the ever consistent Sam Johnson won his section again, Chris Hook was 3rd in his section as was Glen Calvert. The remaining team members all produced big points to leave us as a team with 42 points for the second week in a row.

1st. Simon Hebditch (Garbolino BVMG) 31-2-0 Peg 220 pilot
=2nd. Steve Long (Garbolino BVMG)
=2nd. Derek Jarman (Maver Lobby’s) both 19-12-0
4th. Steve Priddle (Sensas Thyers) 18-14-0
5th. Steve Bryan (Maver Lobby’s) 18-7-0

Teams on the day:
Sensas Thyers 56
Daiwa Gordon League 50
Maver Lobby’s 46
Maver Cadbury Angling 42

=1st. Sensas Thyers 92
=1st. Daiwa Gordon League both 92
3rd. Maver Lobby’s 86.5
4th. Preston Innovations Thatchers 86
5th. Maver Cadbury Angling 84