Thursday 17 December 2015

Pike Fishing at Cheddar Reservoir

Cheddar reservoir is a 400 acre concrete bowl,  set in the shadow of Cheddar Gorge. On the right day the venue can be a very pleasant location so taking advantage of a unseasonably warm December day I set off with my friend Roy for a spot of pike fishing. We had chosen a swim on the south side of the reservoir with the wind to our backs enabling us to use our Fox Rage Predator drifter floats to their best advantage. These we set these up at 22ft with sea baits, we also fished a popped up ledgered bait close in. 

fishing the south bank

First cast I had an instant take which turned out to be a small pike of around 3lb on the drift float, followed by one of around 8lb. Roy also had one of similar size on the ledgered rig them a 15lber at distance on the drift float, a very nice fish and fighting fit, so in all a very productive day.
Cheddar day tickets are only £6 a day and can a bought in advance along with all relevant tackle and baits from: 
Cadbury Angling 
Within Cadbury Garden Centre
BS49 5AA
01934 875733

Roy with the days biggest fish

Thursday 22 October 2015

Flattie Fishing Aboard Flamer IV of Weymouth, Dorset

Tuesday saw Dan, Dave and I hop aboard Flamer IV of Weymouth, Dorset. Skipper, Colin Penny runs trips targeting all species of sea fish but I think it's fair to say that the majority of his customers book up to fish for flatfish species. Colin has built up an enviable reputation for locating and catching large plaice, turbot and brill and it was these three species that were our main targets on this occasion. All on board enjoyed a great day with both Dave and I catching the target hat trick of flatfish, Dan caught plaice, along with some nice black bream and the rest of the boat added gurnard, mackerel and pouting to the list of species caught. Similar bait and tackle was used by all with ragworm, squid and prawn fished on rigs made up of coloured beads and flashing spoons and tied to 20lb line. To book a trip with Colin aboard Flamer IV visit

A plaice of nearly 3lb for me
Dan with a nice black bream

A Mixed Bag. Fishing in Spain With CatMaster Tours

Roger with 8 feet, 7 inches and 230lb of catfish
I have recently returned from a weeks fishing in Mequinenza, Spain with CatMaster Tours. My dad, our friend Roger and I spent our time targeting not only the catfish that this part of the world is famous for but carp and roach too. We got very lucky indeed and during our time there we landed catfish to 230lb, carp to 33lb 8oz and roach to over 2lb. The catfish and carp tackle was provided by CatMaster Tours whilst our own float and feeder gear was flown over with the rest of our luggage. Large halibut pellets fished on braided hooklengths accounted for the catfish and carp. Roach, some small carp and a couple of perch took a liking to maggot or corn presented on the float or feeder tackle. It's worth noting that Rogers catfish of 230lb is a real monster fish and one of the biggest ever caught in Spain, at a whopping 8 feet and 7 inches in length it is also the longest catfish ever landed by CatMaster Tours. So well done Roger! Dads carp of 33lb 8oz is a new personal best for him and my roach of 2lb 3oz sets a new best for me. Great results all round! CatMaster Tours continue to provide great holiday packages and all the information you need can be found at  

New personal best for dad - A 33lb 8oz carp
My biggest roach weighed 2lb 3oz

Saturday 12 September 2015

A Bumper Day With Spot On! Charters

Two Boat trips in a row something of a record for me , this trip was to be an inshore wrecking trip mainly for bass but hoping for other Species as well , Kicking off from Brixham at 7'0'clock the day promised to be a good one weather wise and expectations where high , 50 minute's motoring to the first wreck and we where in to fish from the off , Bass off around 3lb up to 6lb being brought to the boat,
My best Bass around 6lb
 All methods and Lures where tried over the day from bass wedges to multi coloured shads fast retrieve and slow , all caught fish to varying degrees ,so a bumper day was had by all with 40 odd bass a couple of Cod to the boat, its worth noting that the new rule of only keeping 3 bass each was strictly observed and it was good to see them swim off back to the Depths,   
A Bonus Cod

A pod off 30 plus Dolphins followed us home,

Thursday 20 August 2015

Wreck Conger Fishing With Spot On! Charters

Geoff with the biggest of the day at 52lb
Tuesday saw Dan and I accompanied by Geoff and Roy (friends and customers of Cadbury Angling) hop aboard Ross Parham's Brixham based charter boat Spot On! for a days wreck fishing targeting conger eels. First job was to catch the bait and after half an hour of feathering we had a load of mackerel. A quick trip to one of the many inshore wrecks and we were soon anchored up and dropping our baited hooks down to where we hoped the eels would be lurking. We didn't have to wait long for the action to begin and I soon brought conger number one along side the boat, a strap of about 10lb. Roy soon hooked a bigger one, about 25lb. Dan was next with an eel similar in size to mine and it wasn't long before Geoff caught his first, an eel of about 15lb. Others on board were off to good starts as well, one of them getting very lucky and landing a bass of 11lb on his conger gear. Dan, Geoff, Roy and I all soon hooked our second conger each and more and more followed. Averaging 15lb or so the eels were great sport and put up great scraps, fighting all the way to the boat, often making dives for the wreckage below. A bit of black bream fishing for an hour or so gave our aching arms a rest but the bream weren't as forthcoming as the congers and all we managed were a few pouting to strips of squid fished on paternoster rigs. Time for round two with the conger and we all reached for our heavier gear again. 30lb - 50lb class rods, large reels loaded with 50lb plus braid, running leads to 200lb mono traces and 12/0 hooks were our chosen set-ups and did the job just fine. More eels were caught including a personal best for me of 35lb, a strange capture as the greedy conger had taken two baits, both mine and that of one of the other guys on board! Two hooks in one fish is a first for me! Anyway, Geoff was next to bend in to an eel and it was obvious to all that this was a big one. After fighting hard for a long time it finally surfaced and Ross was able to gaff it and heave it on to the boat. At 52lb it was a personal best for Geoff and the biggest conger Dan, Roy and I had ever seen. Well done Geoff! With the tide picking up it was time to pull up the anchor but before heading in we set up lure rods and did a few drifts over the wreck. We didn't catch much but did manage a few small pollock and pouting. As always another great day out with Ross and Spot On! Charters. Information can be found at 

Thursday 13 August 2015

Light Tackle Bass Sport. Devon Bass Pro Charters, Seaton, Devon

Yesterday saw Geoff (friend and customer of Cadbury Angling) and I spend the day with John Wallington of Devon Bass Pro Charters aboard his charter boat Outcast II. As always when fishing with John, bass are the target species and light, sporting tackle is supplied. Bait fishing, typical wrecking tactics and spinning/lure techniques are all used by John and so we set out to see which of these methods would produce the fish on this occasion. As it turned out every method we tried caught bass! The fish were obliging from the very start and the frantic fishing continued up until it was time to stop and head for home. I've never seen so many bass caught and a good number of pollock showed too! No cod on this trip but I wasn't bothered having recently spent a week catching them in Norway. Another great day out then! Information on Devon Bass Pro Charters can be found at I urge anybody who likes the idea of a bit of light tackle sea fishing to book up a day with John as a good time will no doubt be had! Next week should find me trying my hand at conger fishing with Ross and Spot On! Charters of Brixham. Will I get to tangle with a monster from the deep? Check back here to find out.

One of the many bass caught on light spinning tackle

Thursday 23 July 2015

Back on Top. Return to Skjervoy, Northern Norway

Dave with the weeks biggest at 31lb
It's been a month since my last post on here and during that time I've enjoyed a couple of successful trips to the River Wye where I've caught barbel to 9lb 8oz and chub to nearly 5lb. The highlight of the last four weeks though has to be the holiday to Skjervoy in Northern Norway that my friend Dave and I have just returned from. This was our second visit to this part of the world and we had six days to catch a few fish. Day one and after only five minutes we were doing just that! Cod to 10lb, coalfish and a small ling were soon boated which meant we had dinner sorted! Day two saw some bigger fish to the boat. I had cod to a new personal best weight of 19lb and Dave caught his first ever halibut, it weighed 14lb. The next couple of days saw lots of fish caught. Plenty of cod, more coalfish, a small halibut for me and a torsk. We were however struggling to find the bigger fish that Norway is famous for and so we asked for help from a friendly bunch of Geordie lads that were staying in the camp. They had been doing well catching cod to over 30lb and a 60lb plus halibut and were more than happy to offer advice, even suggesting that we follow them out to a couple of marks that they thought would produce a few lumps. We were quick to accept their kind offer and the evening of day five was spent drifting over a plateau some six miles out. We were straight in to fish and they were, as hoped for, bigger! Cod of 18lb and 19lb kicked things off before Dave hooked in to something clearly a lot bigger. Stripping line and fighting for a long time, the fish turned out to be a cod of 31lb. What a result! I soon found myself in a similar arm aching situation and after heaving it up from the depths I was holding up a new personal best cod of 28lb. I was very happy! More good cod followed but these two fish were to be the biggest of the day and indeed the week as day six produced only smaller examples. A great week! We arranged our trip through Anglers World Holidays and flew with Norwegian.

My biggest cod weighed 28lb

A 14lb halibut for Dave

Saturday 18 July 2015

Barbel Fishing on the Wye at Bishopswood

Its been a while since I have fished the River wye , And its was certainly nice to be back to this lovely part of the country, I would be fishing the Worcester Angling beat at Bishopswood, with Friend Roy ,
we travelled up after lunch arriving at the River at 2'o'clock, giving us time to walk the stretch,
after an hour of searching we settled on a couple of swims a 100yds apart with deep water and settled in , I for one was not expecting any action until later in the evening and usually for me set up 2 rods to start with on feeders with Halibut pellets ,
A view Down Stream
 Around 5.30pm I had a text from Roy he had caught 2 barbel a small one of 2lb and one of 8ish just goes to show they will feed all day in the right swim , as I had had only one small chub of around 12oz's I decide to give my swim half an hour then move , packing down 1 rod I moved along the river looking for faster water which I found nearing the end of the beat a long walk but it was to prove worth the effort , between 7.30 & 9.30 I caught 4 Barbel and 3 chub all which fought really well in the fast water reminding me want I had been missing ,so in all a very successful day cannot wait for my next session in September,
The first of 4 Barbel

Thursday 25 June 2015

Inshore Wrecking With Devon Bass Pro Charters, Seaton, Devon

A day out with John Wallington of Devon Bass Pro Charters, Seaton, Devon was in the diary for Tuesday and with a lovely, warm day and light winds forecast, Dad, Dave and I were all set for a days fishing targeting bass from the many inshore wrecks found in Lyme Bay. After a quick introduction to Paul, the chap taking the boat to it's maximum capacity of five, we were off and making our way to our first location. It wasn't long before the first fish were hooked and landed and I wasn't at all surprised to find that they were cod and not our intended target species. As I reported recently the wrecks off the south coast are currently alive with cod and getting through them to get at the bass and pollock is not an easy task. You can't be unhappy with catching cod however and we all enjoyed battling these hard scrapping fish on the light tackle that John provides. It wasn't until late in the day that bass number one made an appearance, followed soon after by another few. More cod and the occasional small pollock made up the bulk of the catch though and we were soon heading in after a great day of rod bending action. Information on Devon Bass Pro Charters can be found at John is a great skipper and an enjoyable day out is guaranteed. Go book yourself a trip!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Early Morning Session on the River Kenn, Clevedon

With the weather improving a trip to the River Kenn in Clevedon for Bream and possibly a Tench presented it self a early Session just 10mins down the road from my house ,
So prebaiting a swim with 2kg of sweet corn the night before and rigging up a pair of 1 1/2lb TC rods just in case there was a carp about , I was ready for a 5'o' clock start ,
The day was all ready heating up as I arrived at the waters edge and swung out two ledgered rods of artificial corn hair rigged to size 12 gardiner specimen hooks on 9lb guru hook length to the bait on the far side I had put in the previous evening,
I had to wait until 8 30 for my first fish a bream of around 6lb which unlike lake bream put up a thumping fight to the net , this was followed by a smaller fish of 5 lb ish
by now the sun had risen and so had the temperature so time to pack up,
Clevedon AA control the Kenn on a £20.00 a year ticket which besides the Bream has good Stocks of Roach ,Perch the occasional Tench and a few Carp,  
Biggest of the morning

Saturday 20 June 2015

Tench and Perch in the Cotswolds

Spurning the pull to fish the rivers on the first day of the season, I decided to give the tench fishing on my club gravel pit in the Cotwolds  another go, the approach was to be the same as before spodding out dead maggot and hemp and fishing 2 rods one with rubber maggots and maggot feeder one on a method feeder and 10mm boilie ,but unusually for me I made an early start arriving at the lake a 6 am. I didn't have to wait long for my first fish a tench of around 4 1/2lb   on the maggot rig , then a surprise perch of 3 lb  6oz, a PB for me and a lovely fish which made my day ,
I followed this up with 5 more tench , 3 on the boilies. A great day proving the early angler catches more fish!

Not a bad photo for a selfie -
My 3lb 6oz perch
A tench of about 4lb 8oz

Thursday 18 June 2015

June 16th 2015 on the River Wye, Courtfield, Lower Lydbrook

One of the River Wye's smaller residents -
Great to know that the big barbel of tomorrow
are thriving in this fantastic river
June 16th, opening day of the river season! A day every keen river angler looks forward to and although for many, with expectations set high, it can often be a disappointment, for some it can be a great day. I have been lucky enough to go fishing on this special day a number of times but I have never had what I would call a "good" June 16th. This year I hoped to change that and it was back in January that I booked a place each for me and my dad to fish my favourite stretch of my favourite river on opening day! The Courtfield beat at Lower Lydbrook on the River Wye. We arrived late morning and I was pretty excited despite the less than ideal conditions we were presented with. Bright, clear skies and a very low and clear river are not exactly what you want when targeting a river full of barbel and chub, but that's what we were faced with and so we would have to try our best and cross our fingers for a little luck. Fortunately, I'm pleased to say, luck is something I usually enjoy plenty of and as our baited rigs splashed in to the river I sat back quietly confident that today was going to be my first "good" June 16th. After only half an hour dads rod hooped over and the reel screamed in a way that could only mean a barbel had slipped up and picked up the hair rigged halibut pellet that they just can't seem to resist. A good scrap resulted in barbel number one, a great start and weighing in at 7lb 15oz. My turn next for a fish, a chub of about 3lb. Another followed soon after, bigger this time at 4lb 1oz. Dad was soon bent in to another barbel, another good fish at 8lb 9oz. My first barbel was next and I was really chuffed with it, not because it was a big fish but because it was a small one, the smallest barbel I've ever caught in fact. Weighing no more than 1lb 8oz it was proof that the Wye barbel are thriving, ensuring good fishing for hopefully years to come. The hours ticked away and we continued to catch well. Dad landed the biggest barbel, a beauty that weighed 9lb 1oz, I wasn't far behind with a 8lb 12oz fish. We both caught decent chub, with fish to over 4lb. So there we go, my first ever "good" June 16th! Courtfield rarely disappoints and it's for this reason that I have another six trips booked between now and October. For information visit

A 4lb chub - Average size now for this part
of the River Wye

Monday 15 June 2015

English Channel Cod Fishing is Spot On!

The cod fishing in the English Channel at the moment is the best it's been in years! South coast charter boats are all reporting boat loads, with fish up to low doubles in abundance around both inshore and offshore wrecks and reefs. I was lucky enough to get in on the action recently during a day out with Ross Parham aboard his Brixham based boat Spot On! As I've mentioned on here before Ross is a fantastic skipper and he put myself and nine others right amongst the fish recently. All on board caught plenty of cod, the odd pollock showed also and a few ling and whiting were caught too. It wasn't uncommon for all ten of us to be hauling up fish all at the same time! Not something that happens every time out and so something to be thoroughly enjoyed when it does. Tackle and tactics used by all were pretty similar with either 12lb or 20lb class rods matched with decent multiplier reels holding 30lb to 50lb braid being the preferred choice. On the business end, lures of varying shape, size and colour were tied to long, strong traces and sent down to the depths using 10oz or 12oz ball leads attached via long tube booms. A reasonably tangle-proof, cheap and very effective fish catching set-up. Pretty standard wrecking gear really! A bit of barbel and chub fishing is next on the list. I'm fishing the River Wye at Courtfield, Lower Lydbrook tomorrow. June 16th! Opening day! Very exciting! Next week should find me out bass fishing with John Wallington and Devon Bass Pro Charters of Seaton, Devon. Then it's back to the Wye before heading off to Skjervoy, Northern Norway for a week targeting the cod, coalfish and halibut that this part of the world is famed for. Lots to tell you about hopefully, so check back soon to find out how it all goes.

Thursday 23 April 2015

A Day at Sea With Spot On! Charters - The Highlight of a Successful Start to the Year

Right, let me see if I can remember how to write a blog post! It's been a long time since I last told you all what I've been up to. It's been a busy start to 2015, with moving house taking up a lot of my time. I've managed to get out fishing too though and I've enjoyed success with both freshwater and saltwater species. Roach, dace, grayling, chub, barbel, carp, tench, bream and pike have all found their way on to the bank and in to my hands. Places I've fished have included the River Chew, the River Wye and a few local stillwaters. Sea fishing in the Bristol Channel and from the South Devon coast has been productive too. Codling, whiting and wrasse have made up some good catches. It was however, my trip out with Ross Parham, aboard his Brixham based charter boat Spot On! that produced the best days fishing of the year so far. Fishing some thirty miles offshore, all on board had a great day. Plenty of ling, decent pollock, some cod and a few whiting were all keen to take lures or fresh pouting baits dropped down to the wrecks littering the seabed below. My best ling weighed 15lb, the biggest caught that day went over 20lb. Pollock to low doubles were caught by all and one lucky chap slipped the net under a cod of 14lb. I can't recommend Ross and Spot On! Charters highly enough. Visit to book yourself a trip. The rest of the year promises to remain busy with further boat trips booked, holidays to Norway and Spain and the usual days out a little closer to home. So with all that to look forward to you should find that I write on here a little more regularly than I have been doing recently!

Catching hard fighting ling is tiring -
I can't even stay awake for the photo!


Wednesday 22 April 2015

Tench Fishing in the Cotswolds

With the weather finally on the turn my thoughts turn to Tench fishing, I am no longer a member of Somerford AA so a new venue needed to be found.

Asking around a  Lake in Fairford seemed to fit the bill, a 20 acre gravel pit in the Cotswolds, So Tuesday morning gear loaded I set off to explore a new water.

I arrived at the lake late morning after making a small detour to purchase a day ticket.

And did a quick circuit of the lake, it’s a crystal clear lake with marginal tree cover and weed beds, being a bright sunny day with a slight northerly wing blowing I opted to fish into  the wind and soon found a swim with a gravel bar showing at around 20 metres.

My approach was to be two rods on ledgered feeders, one with maggots the other corn, these I cast out to the gravel bar and spoded a mixture of dead maggots, caster corn and hemp over the top.

Bringing in the rods every half hour to top up the feeders , this continued until 4 o clock just as began to have thoughts of blanking or moving swims , when the right hand maggot rod screamed off at last ,this run produced a small Tench of 2 ½ lb small but very welcome.

Soon to be followed by 3 more 2 of around 4lb and the biggest of the day at 5 1/2lb, all on the maggots.

All of which fought well above their weight in the deep clear water, so a very successful day in all I will defiantly return.


5 1/2lb the days biggest

Wednesday 11 February 2015

A Couple of Hours on the Upper Avon

It’s not often a fishing trip goes to plan, but Tuesday was to be the exception,
I had decided to fish the Upper Avon near Malmesbury for Grayling, not a species that is prolific on this river, my plan was to trot maggots staying mobile to cover as much water as possible, 

A good size Brown
Setting up with a small Drennan chubber as the river was low and clear and a size 16 barbless hook  
With two maggots  one pink one red my favourite combination , I soon caught an out of season Brown  trout which although good fun on light tackle was not the target species, in fact I was to be pestered by these all day ,
Until I reduced the amount of loose feed maggots into the swims, I did catch 5 roach up to 1/2lb in one swim but determined to catch a Grayling, I moved on,
As the light started to faded I settled into a swim with a run between overhanging trees, On my first trot I bumped a fish which is usually the kiss of death for a small river, but I gave it another run though anyway to be rewarded by a small but perfectly formed Grayling of 20cm, mission accomplished the next run though produced a small chub then the trout moved in and I decide to call it a day,  

Small but very Welcome
Low and Clear