Wednesday 30 October 2013

The Peninsula Federation Team England Qualfiers. Lower Itchen Fishery

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to fish the Peninsula Federation Team England Qualifiers on the Lower Itchen fishery. It is a grayling only competition, fished over 7 hours, you draw partners and setting off numbers. Between the pairing, you can choose then to either fish 3 and a half hours in the morning or afternoon, measuring your partners fish in the session you are not fishing.
I travelled down on the Friday to fish a practise session in the afternoon, arriving to find the river a little coloured, but with plenty of flow. I set up with a heavy nymph on the point, a pink shrimp and a small size 18 pheasant tail, I fished the middle beat, catching 2 small grayling and 3 brown trout which gave a good scrap on my 10’ 3# rod. I had also set up a New Zealand style rod with a dry fly and a small dropper underneath but found the heavy nymphs were out fishing this method.

Saturday morning turned out to be a windy day overcast with heavy showers not ideal but shelter from the wind could be found on certain sections of the river. I had drawn to fish in the afternoon, so upon meeting my partner for the day Michael, who had driven down from Huddersfield for the event, we set off. He had opted to fish the top beat, fishing a very similar method to the one I had opted for, he caught 5 fish ranging from 15cm (the minimum size limit) up to 24cm in his allotted time. Now it was my turn, by the afternoon the wind had increased filling the river with leaves, this was not going to be easy. I opted to try the bottom of the fishery and ended the session with 3 fish to 26cm all caught on a pink bead head fly that we had tied after coming back from the pub the night before. I did have the misfortune of dropping a fish of around 40+ cm with 15 minutes to go at the net, very disappointing!!! On a more positive note two of my companions, Jay Curry and Dave Drake came 4th & 2nd and look good to qualify, so in all I was pleased with my 3 fish in very difficult conditions, there's always next year........

Michael fishing the morning session

Thursday 10 October 2013

On Top of the World. Fishing in Norway

My 10lb halibut
My friend Dave and I have just returned from Skjervoy, Northern Norway. We were there for a week of boat fishing in search of cod, coalfish and whatever else we could tempt. After a quick safety briefing we were handed the keys to our Arvor 215 boat and were soon heading out on our first of six days fishing. This was our first visit to Norway and so we were relying on maps and information provided mainly by customers of Cadbury Angling who had fished these waters before. Many thanks to those who contributed - you know who you are. So, with the fishfinder switched on we set about searching the depths. What we found beneath the surface was as equally dramatic and amazing as our surroundings above it, tall peaks and huge drop offs, some as deep as three hundred meters were a little daunting, but we soon found fish in shallower water near a small island. By the end of day one we had caught cod and coalfish to about 6lb, a small torsk and a monster mackerel. The rest of the week was spent searching out likely looking marks, how far we travelled was largely dictated by the weather, we experienced some wet, windy days and some fine, bright ones, the temperature remaining mild throughout. Bites were plentiful for most of the week with more cod to double figures, small coalfish, a second torsk and a single ling falling to small shads fished on light 12lb - 20lb class gear. Great sport! We did find some larger fish on a couple of days and we both got our heavier 20lb - 30lb class rods bent by some decent cod, Dave took the biggest at 17lb. I was lucky enough to hook a halibut and after a good fight a fish of 10lb was on the boat. The week flew by and we were packing our bags before we knew it, both pleased to have enjoyed catching some decent fish on our first trip to this stunning part of the world. Rods used were tough Daiwa, Leeda and Shimano models. Reels were by Abu and Penn and were loaded with either 30lb or 50lb braid. Terminal tackle was Ultima shockleader, strong swivels, split rings and clips and shads by Storm, Savage Gear and the new ones from Drennan. We organised this trip through Anglers World Holidays, visit for information and travelled with Scandinavian Airlines -

Dave with the biggest of the week - a 17lb cod