Saturday 16 November 2013

Red Fin Heaven. Roach Fishing in the Cotswolds

Biggest of the day
It was off to a gravel pit in the Cotswolds on Tuesday for a day targeting roach. Friend, Tony Sweet and I arrived early morning and set about pre-baiting a couple of swims at the northern end of the pit. A bag of Sensas Gros Gardons groundbait laced with hemp and caster was introduced and left to settle. We had a cup of tea and tackled up. Our chosen tactic was to fish float rods with wagglers, fished slightly over depth and on the business end, size 18 hooks with single caster as bait. We didn't have to wait long for bites and fish seemed to be lining up, with quality roach and some good sized perch coming nearly every cast. Regular top ups of bait kept the fish interested and we caught well all day. The biggest roach was just over a pound and it wasn't alone, I had half a dozen pound plus fish! A great days sport!

A bag of quality roach



Thursday 7 November 2013

Chew Valley Lake Pike and Brown Trout on the Fly

Terry with a nice brown trout
The windy weather has hampered recent plans to get out fly fishing, I have however managed a day on Chew Valley Lake where I targeted reported fry feeding perch. Fish to over 4lb have been caught here in the last few weeks so I thought I would give it a go. I caught some trout but no perch, I did hook two though, both leaping clear of the water and throwing the hook. I also landed a couple of tiny jack pike. Not all Chew pike are monsters! A second trip out found my cousin, Terry and I fishing a lake on my recently acquired Somerfords Angling Association ticket. Terry is new to fly fishing and the two of us enjoyed an afternoon taking small brown trout on dry flies. Good sport!

A tiny Chew pike - a future record breaker maybe?

Monday 4 November 2013

A Fisherman's Tale! Record Carp and Monstrous Catfish Caught

Mike shows off his new Spanish record 77lb mirror carp
Mike's friend, Alan with another big carp
from their recent holiday - a 51lb common
Fisherman's tales, some true, some not so true! The world of angling is and has always been alive with them. It's these stories of huge fish, both lost and landed, weird and wonderful bank side goings on and the simply unexplainable that contribute to fishing's huge appeal. I've always loved the mystery that surrounds fishing and enjoy a monster myth or two and so it's with great pleasure that I get to write (and be apart of) the story I'm about to tell - my very own fisherman's tale! Where do I begin? I guess it ought to be with the capture of my 245lb River Segre catfish in September of 2011, a fish recognised as being the Spanish record at the time, a record I held up until just one month ago when a giant eight foot, six inch moggie was banked at a whopping 249lb! Knocking me off the top spot. So, where am I going with this? Well, during the last couple of years many visitors to Cadbury Angling have been keen to talk to me about my lucky catch, none more so than a chap named Mike Cuff. A good natter with Mike quickly revealed that he enjoys his foreign fishing, he, like me had visited Spain in search of catfish, taking fish to over 140lb. Mike enthusiastically told me of this experience and we got on to talking about some of the other freshwater monsters he had tussled with, most notably the white sturgeon of Canada's Fraser River. I have always been keen to visit Canada to try for one of these incredible looking creatures and so when Mike told me he was planning another trip for next year I was quick to suggest I accompany him. We swapped a few ideas and were soon booking the holiday. We fly next September. Can't wait! Mike and I have been in regular contact since and the two of us have both enjoyed a foreign fishing trip each during the last month or so. For me it was a week in Norway, you can read about that on this very blog. Mike was returning to Spain and this is where the story gets very interesting. Four days in to his trip I received a text message from Mike telling me he had smashed the Spanish carp record with a huge mirror of 77lb! "What are the chances of that?" I replied "You having the carp record and me, up until recently, holding the catfish record!" After all, thousands of anglers fish the Ebro system every year. I was chuffed for Mike and told him I was looking forward to seeing the pictures. What a fish! How would Mike ever top that? With a monstrous catfish that's how! The very next evening Mike landed the same huge cat that had recently beat my record, the eight foot, six inch beast weighed at 249lb only a month ago! Incredible! Had Mike smashed the catfish record too? Unfortunately we'll never know for sure as the scales used to weigh the beast bottomed out at 230lb. What a truly amazing and bizarre chain of events! As if all that wasn't crazy enough, a friend of mine recently returned an eight foot, two inch Spanish wels unweighed due to not having scales and I was also introduced, only two months ago to the angler who held the catfish record a few years before I did, he has since become a regular visitor to the shop as he too lives locally. So, it would appear that if you're heading off out to Spain for a bit of fishing you could do a lot worse than pay a visit to Cadbury Angling as there seems to be something in the air. If we can just work out what it is then we can bottle it and sell it. Anyway, a massive congratulations to Mike on an outstanding brace of huge fish. I'm very much looking forward to our trip to Canada next September, with our combined luck a world record sturgeon is surely on the cards!!!! Mike arranged his week in Spain through Gary Allen of Regency Angling, visit for information. Photographs of the new record 249lb catfish are a little hard to find but are starting to appear on some Facebook pages, keep your eyes peeled for those.

Mike and his 230lb plus catfish, the fish's exact
weight will forever remain a mystery

Mike and a Fraser River sturgeon - I want one
of these next year