Thursday 26 September 2013

Wychwood and Cadbury Angling Sponsor Hidden Pairs Competition on Blagdon Lake

One of my four Blagdon brown trout
Sunday saw a hidden pairs competition take place on Blagdon Lake. Prizes had been provided by tackle manufacturer Wychwood and us generous chaps at Cadbury Angling and with lovely weather forecast and a barbecue lunch to look forward to, everyone was hoping for an enjoyable time. I don't think anyone went home disappointed. It was a great day! The fishing was very good and many participants caught their eight fish limit. I took five trout (four browns and a rainbow) by fishing a floating line and a team of red Hackled Hoppers. Not enough to trouble the leader board but good fun none the less. I will try and get my hands on a full list of the results and post them on here as soon as I can. All Bristol Water controlled fisheries continue to fish well, with Chew Valley Lake and Barrow Tanks producing similar fishing to that which we enjoyed at this competition. For information on all these venues and more, visit

Happy faces at the prize giving

Autumn on the River Wye at Courtfield, Lower Lydbrook

My fighting fit 8lb 4oz barbel
The River Wye looked great on Tuesday, recent rain had coloured the water a little and upped the pace considerably since my last visit. Things looked good and so it was with some surprise that we found the fishing to be very slow going. I spent the afternoon trotting a large waggler and feeding maggot in an attempt to get the chub feeding, but all I could tempt were small dace and bleak. Dad caught a chub of around 3lb on his barbel rod and so I packed away the float set-up and reached for my heavier gear. Tried and tested 10lb reel line, 12lb fluorocarbon hooklength and Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook were soon cast to a likely looking spot and it wasn't long before the reel was screaming, as what I guessed was a barbel made off with my Dynamite Baits boilie. Wye barbel love the Sardine & Anchovy and Spicy Tuna & Sweet Chilli baits, but it was Terry Hearn's The Source that had tempted this fish. After a great scrap I was soon returning a chunky barbel of 8lb 4oz. We had to wait until almost dark before either of us hooked in to fish again and when we did both of us lost our next fish each. My fish found a snag and dads fish simply threw the hook after a short while. There was still enough light for a few more casts though and the last fifteen minutes were pretty hectic, with a few more barbel and a nice chub, turning what had been a slow day in to a pretty decent one after all. No complaints from either of us. Visit or for all you need to know about fishing on the River Wye at Courtfield.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Blanks, Record Shakers and Holiday Plans

September is normally my favourite month of the year, the month I usually catch something memorable. Not this year though, not yet anyway! I've had three attempts at trying to catch a big carp from a tough little venue and three blanks. What a failure! I do have a day booked on the River Wye next week though so there's still time to turn things around. It hasn't been a bad month for everyone mind. I've just heard news from Spain that the CatMaster boys have landed a giant wels of 242lb, a fish that shakes the record I set two years ago with my 245lb fish. Congratulations to the captor. Visit the CatMaster Tours Facebook page for more information and pictures. On the subject of foreign fishing - It's less than a fortnight now until I fly to Norway and I've also just booked the trip of a lifetime for next September - Eight days fishing for white sturgeon on the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. I can't tell you how excited I am about this! For information on trips to Norway, Canada and indeed many, many more worldwide destinations visit Tune in next week to see how my Wye trip turns out.

A Day on the Bristol Avon With Kenny Parsons

My small, but very welcome barbel
I recently joined Somerfords Angling Association, their waters include several gravel pits and over seven miles of the Bristol Avon. It was on a stretch of this river that I chose to spend Tuesday in search of a few chub. Fishing new venues can prove hard work and a bit of help from someone who knows the water goes a long, long way. With this in mind I was quick to jump at the kind offer of a day with angling guide and friend, Kenny Parsons. Kenny has fished here for years and has enjoyed great success in the past, I hoped today would be another memorable one. The river was very low and clear and after baiting a few swims, with the intent of returning to them later, we set about stalking chub with floating crust. We covered a good amount of water, taking a couple of chub to about 2lb, before heading back to our prebaited swims. The afternoon was spent fishing ledgered pellet over the hemp we had introduced earlier that morning. A weir pool swim produced a brace of near 4lb chub for Kenny and I was lucky enough to catch a small, but very welcome barbel of about 3lb 8oz. A successful day and one where I learnt a lot about a venue I intend to fish often this winter. Many thanks to Kenny Parsons for all his help. Visit for information on Kenny's guiding services.

A River Avon chub, caught on floating crust