Saturday 18 June 2016

June 16th 2016 on the River Wye, Courtfield, Lower Lydbrook

June 16th, first day of the river season. For me that means only one thing, a trip to Courtfield at Lower Lydbrook on the River Wye. I've written many times before about this venue, my tackle, tactics and so on. So I'll skip all that boring stuff and get straight to the exciting part. Eight years I've been fishing here, my favourite river and in that time I've landed well over three hundred barbel, my favourite species, to just ounces shy of 10lb. Today though I caught a very special fish, a barbel that pulled the scales past 10lb, an immaculate example of the species weighing 10lb 2oz. A double! A ten! A dream fish! Finally! And on June 16th too! It doesn't get better than that! This fish means more to me than any other I've ever caught. Record catfish, 400lb sturgeon, 30lb plus carp. They were great. This is better!

Dream come true - A 10lb 2oz River Wye barbel

Thursday 2 June 2016

Porbeagle Shark Fishing Aboard Celtic Wildcat. Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire

Geoff with his porbeagle shark of 144lb
I've been getting out a bit since the last time I posted on here. I've enjoyed an incredible run of luck with the weather and the five charter boat trips I had booked during April and May, unbelievably all went ahead. The fishing has been good with wrecking producing pollock, ling, bass and whiting. A flatfish trip out of Weymouth produced just that - fish that were flat! Turbot, brill etc. When I haven't been out at sea my local Cheddar Reservoir has produced a good number of pike up to 12lb for me, all on lures and light tackle, great sport! The subject of toothy predators though brings me to my most recent boat trip, my first ever try at catching sharks. Porbeagle sharks to be exact. I was booked aboard Milford Haven based charter boat Celtic Wildcat along with friend Geoff and two of his friends Phil and Rob who I had not previously met. Skipper Nick was to be the fifth member of our team and needless to say once we all got talking fishing it was like we had all known each other for years. With much excitement we headed out for the Celtic Deep. Rubby dubby was prepared and our rods set up during the trip out and when the engines were cut after reaching our mark we all tossed fresh mackerel baits over the side. Now all we could do was cross our fingers and wait. This waiting however certainly didn't feel like too much trouble, with a flat calm sea and a bright blue sky it was pretty lush just being there. As if that wasn't enough though we were entertained by common dolphins and even minke whales as they approached incredibly close to the boat. As we sat watching our floats a fin belonging to a very large porbeagle shark broke the surface just behind the boat. An amazing sight and one which got everyone very excited indeed. What a fantastic day this was turning out to be. It was about to get even better though! My float bobbed and slid under, the reel started to scream and just like that I found myself attached to my first ever shark. The fish went on a long dive under the boat bending the rod in to its fighting curve and then all of a sudden the rod was straight again. The shark had come off and I was left reeling in a very torn up looking bait. Would I get another chance? Unfortunately not. That was all the action that came my way for the day. Geoff and Rob later got chances though and both managed to get their sharks to the boat. Fish of 144lb for Geoff and 156lb for Rob were the rewards for their efforts. Well done both of you! Great to see porbeagles for the first time. What a day we had all enjoyed! Everyone was in agreement that the day had been a huge success and as we headed for home we were all wearing big smiles. Information about Celtic Wildcat can be found at Nick is a great skipper and if it's sharks you're after then he's your man.

156lb for Rob