This was the last day of my two days off and I decided to pop back down to the new mark id found on my river where the sea trout was. I wasn’t expecting another trout but in the back of my mind, I was hoping violently hoping for it to happen. id armed myself with the Salmo minnow 5cm again in “minnow” pattern to match the baitfish and I was super impressed with it on the day before and again it absolutely crushed everything that came in its way.
10 mins in and on the same corner that I had pinned the sea trout the day before another gleaming bar of sliver crushed the minnow putting up a super hard scrap and diving into weeds to try and get off the hook, ill be honest it did scare me a few times! Eventually, I just about managed to get her into the net and it was a lovely soldier of an adult chub maybe 4lb in weight brilliant!
The rest of the fishing was quiet even some of the shoals had moved on I swiftly got to the “chub corner” section of the river where I surprisingly couldn’t hook Into anything no one was home! As I continued down the river and reached the shallow and fast water my mind instantly thought of trout so I retrieved the lure quickly so it was smashing its way along the bottom and I managed to pick up another trout! I learnt from yesterday where I hooked into about 5 brown trout and lost them all was that the rod tip had to be kept low to avoid the trout coming to the surface and shaking the hook.
I had been getting quite wound up for the rest of the day after getting into a few snags and close calls so I packed up and decided to call it a day.
unfortunately, the footage corrupted and I lost all of my video files so I cant make a youtube video but be sure to check out my channel anyway there are some good things coming soon.
Welcome to another JT Carpers blog, this week we go over a short session myself and Jack had whilst away with our families for the bank holiday weekend last month.
So, as I was already on holiday with my family at Waldegraves Holiday Park on Mersea Island, Jack and his family joined us for the weekend, obviously with a few lakes on site, a small slot for fishing was bargained for and we were in our element.
So, on the Monday myself and Jack went up to the lakes at sunrise with the plan being that our wonderful partners would then bring food and children later in the day so we could all have a little family picnic whilst trying to entertain the kids with some fishing.
Our main target for the day was to use a whip to fish for the silver fish in the lake to try and keep the action as thick and fast as possible to keep the children’s attention on the fishing. With a few hours spare before they arrived, we decided to get some rods out for the carp whilst setting up the poles for later, clearly not for our own benefit of course.
With constant and real fun action on the whips we landed ourselves some lovely fish from Roach, Perch, a small cool looking Carp and finally the best of all, a brand-new P.B for myself in this absolute unit of a Gudgeon!
With this being my first ever Gudgeon I was actually very happy, obviously I love catching carp and fishing for them specifically but I just love fishing all round so a new species is always cool.
With the day continuing and us losing 3 carp on our carp rods (Honestly no idea what happened, these carp seem to be tricky!) we then hooked into a carp on the whip which unfortunately snapped the hook link straight away and really gave us some food for thought.
After another carp taking the whip for a bend and snapping off, we decided to ditch the whips and float fish for the carp instead on our other rods.
A short while later as we were packing up Jack was in on his newly configured float rod, a £1 rod he picked up some years ago was put to the test and luckily prevailed! We were introduced to this awesome little mirror carp and our only carp of the day.
So, that was the last fish of the day and Super Jack saved our blushes with the children once again by rescuing us with an awesome little carp, with plenty or laughs and memories made this is exactly what fishing is about!
Welcome back once again, we thank you for your time 😊
This blog is just a short one on a recent session I had on a lake near myself in Lincolnshire called North View Fishing Lakes. This complex is your typical complex with 3 lakes, 1 Match Lake, 1 Carp Pleasure Lake and 1 Specimen Carp Lake.
Having never visited here before I decided to give the pleasure lake a little go for a few hours whilst my children were at a summer club and they would come and join me with my wife for the last few hours.
When arriving to the complex it was quite busy, luckily there was a peg free tucked away in a corner of the lake, perfect for me as I was going to be fishing the margins mainly and seeing if I could sneak out a fish or two.
As I said in our previous blog, with quite a bit of success on the method feeder I decided this would be a great way to fish on a pressured pleasure lake, so with one rod fishing a method feeder I decided to fish the other rod using a rig I had seen some time ago in a video featuring the great Frank Warwick. Using a long shank hook from DSD Tackle I used the rig described by Frank as seen below, I’ve had success on this rig before so knew it would be perfect.
So, after an hour or so of fishing, my bottom bait rig was away, after a short scrap I was blessed with this lovely mirror carp, happy days!
A couple hours after that cracking little mirror my method feeder was away, after a spritely little fight I was introduced to this awesome little Ghost Carp, the pictures don’t do it much justice but it was a proper white, cracking little carp.
Then within 2 minutes of the method feeder being back out on the same spot it was away again, once again producing this absolutely stunning little fully scaled mirror carp (This picture does the carp a lot of justice, it looks a lot bigger than it was.)
Shortly after that fish was returned my 2 minions arrived with my wife, hoping for a fish whilst they were here was my next target, suddenly the sound of an alarm burst into life, unfortunately for myself and my wallet it was of an ice cream truck turning up to the lake, of course the kids were over the moon with this.
Slightly poorer but still ever the optimist we stuck to our guns, we moved the bottom bait rod to be closer into the margin and fed loose Smokey Jack boilies and corn over the top, within 5 minutes of moving the rod it was away! The fish was putting up a cracking little scrap and so I handed the rod over to my wife so she could get amongst the action, a short but awkward (My wife uses a walking stick so trying to stand and play the fish was a bit awkward for her) battle later it was in!
My wife had just landed the biggest fish of the day, as she likes to remind me, however with her not wanting to take a picture with it, myself and the minions jumped on the chance for a little picture.
And there we have it, a few hours on the bank but lifelong memories made, perfect!
Today’s session is a quick after work trip down to the River Chelmer. Hoping to target some of the lovely Roach which reside in this stretch of River. I have personally caught them up to 2lbs, and heard of some 3’s.
The approach for my River Roach fishing is to keep things as simple as possible. For bait…Bread, blitzed bread to feed, breadflake on the hook.
In terms of tackle, a nice light quiver rod, in this case the 8ft Specalist Quiver, it has a lovely and soft 1oz tip, perfect for detecting the delicate bites from these Roach, Light line, 6lb in this case, down to a free running plastic cage feeder with less holes, its a deep river so I want my feed closer to the bottom. Then a quick change bead into a long (16inch) hook length with a size 16 hook.
The session started quick, with rip round bites coming, but I could never connect to any of the bites, became frustrating, however knowing there were some fish feeding filled me with confidence that I would catch.
I plugged away, and made sure I kept holding the rod to react to the quick bites, and it paid off, hitting into the first Roach of the day, proving to be a nice one! The next few bites came quickly and the next two fish were also tidy Roach.
Sadly after the great triple start, the fish did soon slow down. And did get a bit smaller. However for a quick session after work for an hour. I was very happy with the fish I had caught. A few good size Roach, and for a first river roach session of the season, it made it even better, surely it can only get better!
Hope you guys enjoyed this quick after work blog! If you did, check out the video on it! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos sooner!
I’m afraid I’m a tad indifferent when it comes to football. I only ever take a mild interest if Spurs, the team favoured through family tradition, or the national side start to perform well and show signs of actually winning something significant. Such was the case with England’s recent Euros performance but I have to admit as the final drew close I had a desire to escape the build up and hype as the doubts, anxiety and inevitability of failure came to the fore. So I decided to go fishing, and although failure is often inevitable with this pursuit also, at least I’d be outside enjoying the natural world.
The local river Stour in Sudbury was my chosen venue, and on arrival it became apparent that large swathes of the river were unfishable, either because of overgrown swims or copious weed growth. I should have known really. This year, probably due to the wet, warm summer, grasses, nettles, bankside reeds and all manner of vegetation has grown with wild abandon, completely transforming spacious, comfortable pegs into impassable jungles that would make even Indiana Jones hang up his machete. Nonetheless, there were enough accessible swims to make a cast or two worthwhile, so I thought I’d have a go with the lure rod as I love the roving nature of this type of fishing and the opportunity it affords to reconnoiter stretches of the river I’ve yet to explore. Also, I’d recently seen a photo of a 3lb perch caught from the Stour in Sudbury which had whetted my appetite, as had a dead perch of well over 2lb I’d discovered on a canoe trip last summer. But I’d have to contend with the pike, which the river is famous for.
My dog Indy was my fishing buddy for the day and true to form he did his usual impression of a rhino and bulldozed his way through the undergrowth totally oblivious to the stingers and brambles that were tearing holes in me and constantly snaring my landing net.
I had a few casts to no avail, constantly thwarted by the weed and cabbages, so I changed from a jig to a Cheb rig, with a view to fish a creature bait using the “weedless” approach where you hook the bait in such a way as to conceal the hook to reduce snagging up. As I was rearranging my tackle (?!) I noticed that Indy had disappeared.
I needn’t have worried. Tucked around the corner in the next swim were a couple of Polish anglers who had taken a shine to the dog and were feeding him bits of their lunch.
“Nice dog”, the older one said as I walked up to them. “He’s always nice to people that feed him” I said. “Nice dog”, he repeated, nodding his head.
They were both smoking fags that smelled mighty pungent, not ghanja, more likely cheapies brought over from Poland made from weightlifters jockstraps sprinkled with festering grass cuttings or something. I bade them farewell and left before my nose fell off. After a few more fruitless casts, I found myself at a familiar spot, an old railway bridge spanning the river, with arches casting deep shade and wide brick pillars descending into the depths; perfect ambush points for perch and pike. In addition, below a straggly willow is a back eddy above a very deep hole that on a winter’s evening the previous year delivered a nice brace of sizeable chub and a perch of half a pound or so, all on legered lobworm. I’m sure I’d have caught more had I not been scared half to death by the dog, who suddenly started growling low and deep and staring fixedly into the blackness beneath the bridge. It was all far too “Blair Witch” for my liking so I buggered off sharpish, dragging the dog with me who carried on growling all the way back to the car!
This time, however, it was broad daylight and the sun was out, perfectly illuminating the space beneath the bridge along with all the beer cans, plastic bottles, fag packets and general detritus common to river banks nowadays; bloody horrible but not a knife wielding maniac.
Annoyingly, the bridge swims produced nothing so I flicked the creature bait into the hole beneath the willow and was rewarded with the smallest pike I’ve ever seen, a micropredator not much bigger than the lure. And that was it, not a sniff for the next twenty minutes so a move was in order.
I headed for a stretch of the river that’s maybe three or four foot deeper than the general course where apparently dredging work was carried out in the sixties. I figured they’d be less weed in deeper water. First cast proved that theory was flawed when I reeled in a big chunk of lily rhizome but it was definitely less snaggy than the shallower area where I’d started, and there was also more fish action as I caught two jacks of about 4lb in quick succession, one of whom nearly tore the rod out of my hand with a thwack of a take. I was beginning to enjoy myself, and light levels were dropping as the evening rolled in so I begun to work the deep margin cover for perch.
But then what can only be described as rowing rush-hour began. One man sculls, two man sculls, four man sculls, they all kept coming in what seemed an endless regatta of men and woman in boats; puffing, blowing, shouting, splashing, laughing, swearing and even some waving at me and the dog. It was practically impossible to fish. During a brief lull in the paddling I chanced a quick cast and, unbelievably, hooked another jack! I just managed to land it before it was keelhauled by a single rower totally oblivious to me and the tussle going on beneath his boat. As I unhooked it, a passing two man scull shouted “show us the fish mate!”, which of course I did. And that was that, the boat traffic seemed to fade away and with it my enthusiasm to fish on. So my football avoidance session hadn’t exactly been Premier League but I had some sport from those lively jacks and had spent a couple of hours walking a river that was a pleasure to behold, watching ethereal dragonflies skim and dart and kingfishers hunt for fry from riverside perches. Which was, of course, way, way better than watching football.
Today’s session brings me back to Parsonage Farm, the BDAC water in Chelmsford, after some Tench. A lovely hot day (maybe a bit too hot for fish to feed properly!) and a few fish was on the cards, as well as a sunburn!
My tactics for the day was my 8ft quiver rod and a simple setup of a berry groundbait and corn on the hook in a small hybrid feeder, with hand feeding a few balls of groundbait over this. Simple method, and in the right day, can really do well catching fish.
Casting just past the reed bed on my right, a route the Tench in this lake like to patrol, I was confident a few fish would get onto my feed.
And it didn’t take long of fishing before my tip was ripped round for the first time, and pulling into a heavy fish, it was definitely going to be a Tench. However, it managed to spit the hook during the fight and was gone before I knew it! Devastating losing a fish so early on! However plenty of time to get another chance or two!
A few more balls of feed, and a few missed bites later, I was in again, to another good feeling fish! Keeping this one under control I soon got it’s head up, and it was a lovely green Tench! Nothing big, but a welcome catch!
While fishing on a hot day, it’s important to make sure your landing mat is wet, and you keep the fish out of the water for as little time as possible! No matter how big or small the fish is! Unhooked, photographed and swiftly back into the lake!
As the sun kept shining, a huge shoal of Rudd appeared in front of me. Swarming anything that hit the surface of the water, it was a joy to watch, however made fishing hard with how aggressive they were!
I did have a run of a few untargetted fish, a few Roach and Rudd, and a surprise small Perch!
With one of the roach being quite a nice size! However not what I was after!
It wasn’t long however before a few Tench came back into the swim, first a smaller one, which unhooked in the net and I only got an awful photo off! So sorry!
And then not long after, a much better one, which put up a fantastic fight and a great bite!
The method really seemed to pay off with some lovely fish caught! The last being the best of the day.
We was getting towards midday now and the heat was building up, I decided to head home as I felt it was a bit too hot to fish at that point! But a good mornings fishing regardless!
Hope you enjoyed! And below is the video of that session!
Last week, I had the pleasure of fishing my local small river with my dad. Due to him working away in Switzerland, we haven’t been fishing together as much as we usually would so it’s been nice to fish when we can.
We were hoping to do some sea fishing in the week however poor tide times meant that this wasn’t a viable option. Instead, we decided to spend Tuesday evening fishing on our local small river. After a quick trip to Pete’s Tackle to get some maggots and a few bits and bobs, we enjoyed some fish and chips before setting the gear up.
This was my dads first ever time fishing on a freshwater river, so the aim of the session was to catch him some fish more than anything. I set one rod up on a light ledger and the other on a small float. For bait, we had worms, slugs, sweetcorn and of course maggots.
We started in a swim known as the pipe which was aptly named due to the large pipe running across the river. This point of the river is a little deeper than the rest, most likely due to the instillation of the pipe. I started my dad off on the float on worms and I just sat back and watched for a little while. He received a bite almost instantly however it may have been from smaller fish. We were baiting with maggots over the worm and we could actually see small roach and rudd coming up and taking the maggots mid water.
After 10 minutes, my dad had caught his first ever river fish, a meagre perch. It was only small but we were off the mark. This was shortly followed by slippery slimy eel.
After this, I cast out my ledger rod and sat back and waited. We had been in the spot for about half an hour with little action so decided to give it 5 more minutes. Just then, we spotted a large shadow move into the swim. The fish was obviously big because despite the deep water, I could see its dark shadow with the aid of my polarised sunglasses. I really wanted my dad to catch it but he was struggling to see it without any polarised glasses. We had switched rods and I lowered a bunch of maggots in front of its nose. It turned and swam a foot in the other direction, I repositioned my bait and within 10 seconds, the float sunk under and I had struck. It was fish on!
It was a large carp and definitely my biggest from the river. My friend had previously caught a 10lber from the river and at first, I thought that it was that fish. My heart was racing and after a few close calls, my dad had scooped it up into the net. On closer inspection I realised that it was a different fish to the one my friend had caught and was probably around the 6 lb mark. We took some pictures before slipping it back.
The 5 minute battle had quite obviously spooked the swim so we moved to the next spot. The next spot is quite a fast flowing section of river, slightly deeper than the rest. It’s the perfect spot for trotting although it can be a little challenging due to the flora. I baited the hook with a worm and handed my dad the rod. He wanted me to show him how to do it first however I had a sneaky suspicion that we may catch one on the first trot downstream. I explained the basics and on just his first proper trot, the float dipped under and my dad had caught his first ever chub.
Usually, that section of river only produces one or two fish before they spook. My dad had hooked that fish pretty early on so I hoped that there may still be fish there. We received a few more bites however my dad was struggling with striking while the line was free so they didn’t transpire into fish landed.
We moved onto the next spot, a railway bridge / tunnel. The fishing was pretty slow and all we managed was a small roach.
We headed back towards the pipe, stopping off at the second swim for a quick trot down river. 10 minutes fishing for my dad produced another stunning chub and a couple of missed bites.
Half an hours fishing at the pipe produced another perch for my dad and a couple of roach and rudd for myself, the bigger fish seemed to have spooked of since the carp. We were on the move again and back to the trotting spot.
This time, my dad insisted I give it a go. I had swapped over to a smaller, size 12 hook and armed it with a bunch of maggots. On the first trot down, I received a couple of small shy bites. I decided to leave them because I suspected that they were roach or rudd. The decision paid off because my float sailed under the water and it was chub on! It was the biggest chub of the night.
In another 10 minutes fishing, I caught 2 roach and a nice little rudd. 4 fish in 15 minutes, not bad from a tiny river if you ask me.
Back at the tunnel, the fishing was tough once again with my dad just catching an eel. Personally, I was thrilled because I caught a tiny dace which is a new species from the river and a new species for the species hunt. That’s now the 9th species of fish which I’ve caught or seen caught from this little river, pretty amazing really considering it’s quite mucky. So mucky in fact I was once told by a passer by “you won’t catch anything in there it’s a sewer”.
We decided to call it a day and we headed back towards the car. We were walking past the trotting swim so it would be rude not to have one last trot, right? Well one last trot turned into about 10 minutes fishing which resulted in a little chub, a roach and a rudd.
All in all, it was a great evening with lots of fish caught between us and lots of good laughs. Definitely one I’m sure I won’t forget.
If you’re interested in reading more blogs about fishing on this river, then check out my 4 part series about a weeks fishing in February.
Tired of reading? Check out my recent YouTube video about a session catching F1 Carp.
In August 2004 I caught a 44lb carp, the same weight as Richard Walker’s record breaking common back in 1952. He named his fish Ravioli but thankfully someone else decided Clarissa was more flattering. My Clarissa was a common too, but I’m not a carp fisherman, I was after catfish.
Waveney Valley Lakes in Norfolk, a nature reserve and fishery endorsed by the late, great (albeit climate change naysayer) David Bellamy, is a beautiful place to be let alone fish. I booked a week on Marsh Lake, with a view to catch a catfish, beguiled by their uncomely strangeness and brute fighting strength, not to mention their size. Those big slimy tadpoles go to 65lb at Waveney Valley. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the sort of fight a fish of those proportions would give so I hoped I’d start off small and work my way up.
There was only me and one other fishing Marsh Lake, an unusual looking, elderly gentleman with more than a whiff of Catweazle about him. He had coarse grey hair to his shoulders, wore galoshes and an old waxed cagoule and wouldn’t have looked out of place on Ahab’s Pequod. He had the perplexing habit of exclaiming “who me?”whenever I asked him a question when more often than not it was just me and him talking. I had to suppress the urge to shout “WHO ELSE FOR CHRISSAKE!” a lot during our chats. Despite his archaic appearance, his tackle was top draw, the very latest in carp fishing innovation, and his set up looked like a feature spread for Carp World. He was very proud of it and took great pleasure in cocking a sneer at my mishmash of assorted rods, reels and threadbare brolly camp.
When I hooked my Clarissa her initial run were so powerful that before I could slow her she tore off parallel with the near bank straight through all of Catweazle’s three lines. The bite alarm’s catawaulling and light show alone could have filled an Ibiza dance floor. I felt very guilty at the time, more for the fish than for him but miraculously when I netted her the only terminal tackle visible was mine. He didn’t seen perturbed, however, and was gracious and congratulatory. “That’s the biggest carp in the lake,” he said, quietly. I wasn’t surprised, she was massive, the biggest freshwater fish I’d ever seen. Although saying that I had once caught a pike of similar rare proportions, but the two events couldn’t have been more different.
Being in the presence of Clarissa was a joy, made more special by a fine, late summer morning with sunlight playing on her doubloon-like scales, whereas my pike was caught from a huge pit in the Lee Valley on a frigid, overcast December day and was a mottled, deformed leviathan so battle scarred she looked like she’d been swimming around since the Cretaceous. And to make her appearance all the more frightening, her entire left eye and part of her head was engulfed in an ugly tumorous growth of a ghastly mottled grey/red that looked like her brain was seeping through her eye socket. That December day was a fitting backdrop as it felt almost apocalyptic. I encountered no one else during that session, saw no one, spoke to no one. It was if the world had ended, and all that survived was me and the monster.
It all started with the rat. With a faint rustle, he popped out from the reeds only to immediately spin round and dive back in when he saw me. Next thing there was a plop as he’d apparently opted to travel by water rather than land. As he swam from left to right in the margins creating a little bow wave, a huge dark torpedo shape emerged from nowhere, tracking his progress. It hung motionless below the rat, which appeared oblivious to the threat. I braced myself for the strike, but it never came and the torpedo slid back into the shadows.
It was an eerie sight, that pike. With trembling fingers I gently reeled in my popped up mackerel tail to within three metres of the bank, and waited.
Five minutes later I was staring at a stygian creature on my unhooking mat, laying there in all her deformed glory. She had barely struggled during the fight and came to the net like a wet blanket.
I tried to weigh her with freezing, shaking hands but my scales only went up to 25lb and, with a crash and a rattle, they bottomed-out. At a guess I’d say she was well over 28lb but she could have been a thirty. When I returned her she loitered menacingly in the margins for a moment before slowly vanishing. I had no desire to fish on, because of the dreadful prospect of hooking her again. That was the one and only time I fished the pit with the Frankenpike.
I did manage to catch a catfish at Waveney Valley, and as they usually do it came at night. I didn’t hear or register the bite alarm initially as I was sat up in my brolly camp, struggling to breathe, suffering a hay fever induced asthma attack. They’d been coming on and off for about three days, depriving me of sleep, energy and enthusiasm. As I played the fish, in the dead of night with rattling lungs and crumpled under-crackers, the shocking, lunging power of catfish became all too apparent. Sapped of strength and vital motor skills, I tottered around the swim totally befuddled, head-torch on flash, trying to take control of a fight that was all too one-sided. I could feel the line grate ominously on the lip of a gravelly drop-off about eight metres out and gritted my teeth in anticipation of a break-off. I was still struggling to gain line when, to my tremendous relief, the cat seemed to turn-tail and head straight at me. After thrashing about in the margins for a few seconds, a commotion that drew the attention of Catweazle, the fish was on the bank. “Look at you covered in slime, they stink too don’t they?” This was his commentary on my slithery attempts at weighing my very first catfish, which was a muscular 25lb. In the end I was glad that all I was wearing from the waist down was underpants. For one it makes the photos more of a talking point, and for two it’s easier to wash catfish gunk from bare legs rather than fishing strides.
Out of all these angling escapades I think the capture of my Clarissa was the most special. From the minute the bite alarm announced her presence on that beautiful late summer morning to the bitter sweet moment I watched her great, golden shoulders slide back into the pellucid depths of Marsh Lake, I knew I’d been in the company of one of nature’s rarities, a real gem.
In this week’s blog we look over a recent trip myself and Jack had over at ‘The Lake at Nine Acres’, the main reason for this trip was a little social with a couple of mates. Having been to the lake before and lurking in the shadows of Facebook we knew of some of the awesome stock that resides here.
Upon arriving I decided to set up in the swim I did on our previous trip as I had 3 fish that time and could remember the spots pretty well so I was hoping to repeat the success of before.
Jack decided to set up 2 swims up from myself which had a fair amount of open water to fish to and also had an angle of the edge of the island to the middle of the lake, this giving him another feature to fish towards if he wanted too.
I decided to use similar tactics as before with 1 rod over to my left-hand margin using a single glugged up Smokey Jack boilie with matching freebies, another rod fished using PVA bag tactics and my final rod using a zig rig as this is what I had some success on before, Jack used similar tactics but swapped the PVA bag method for a Feeder method.
Not long after setting up Jack had a beauty of a take on his method feeder and was greeted with an awesome little Koi carp, something this lake is known for and why we mainly choose to fish this venue for.
With another small carp not long after the Koi carp, Jack was having some success on the method feeder which again he has had some really good results as of recent.
After somewhat of a short quite spell, Jacks zig rig was off! Jack was fishing a 6ft zig rig just off the edge of the island, with the depths of the lake being between 12-15ft Jack decided a 6ft zig would be perfect to possibly entice a fish that was cruising through those middle layers, this had once again proven to be a great idea as he was met with this beauty of a mirror carp, with it normally being one of the lakes bigger residents at 20lb+ it was a named fish called ‘Frenchie’ with the time of year being not to long after spawning the fish was slightly down in weight at 18lb but that really doesn’t matter when it’s a cracking as this.
The action continued for Jack throughout the day on his method rod and he went on to eventually land another 5 fish with 3 cracking commons up to 15lb and another small common as well.
After watching Jack have some success on the method rod, I decided to change my PVA bag rig over to a method feeder and low and behold I had this small ghost like common carp to show for my troubles, although not the biggest it’s what I like to call ‘A Blank Saver’
So, with the day all but over we can safely say Jack hit the nail on the head with his tactics and what a great day it turned out to be for him, so well played sir!
Thankyou once again for tuning into a little blog, we appreciate every view and we thank you for your time 😊.
Spring 2021 has been a season of fascinating rediscovery of my local fishy riches.
As predominantly a river angler, but also a scientist working on water systems globally and particularly over recent years in Asia, I have generally saved up my long research trips for the weeks after the Ides of March. At that time, the river season has just ended and I have enjoyed my birthday with my family on the Ides. Also, helpfully from a scientific point of view, India is in the drier part of its year leading up to the monsoon.
In spring 2021, for obvious reasons, I have been homebound. But I have been enjoying it so much that is it getting me thinking about how I’d like to spend my remaining springs.
One major surprise, resulting from being in and around home with opportunities to fish, has been that I never thought I’d fall in love with a canal! To me, canals were previously not only not particularly local but were also not particularly interesting as, to my eyes, they do not flow and lacked features. But, this spring, those two assumptions were blown out of the water, so to speak, as I learned how fish respond to the subtlest of water movements such as the distant opening of lock sluices or wind fetch as well as the passage of boats. I also realised that features were not always obvious, but were certainly there to be found.Aside from the roach, common bream, tench, rudd and occasional eel, reacquainting myself with ruffe was a real joy! Amazingly, I have already published four books in the first half of 2021, and the title of one of them – Ruffe: The Spiky Little Freshwater Ruffian (which you can find on Facebook @Drredfinrods) – says is all about this feisty and most characterful of tiddlers.
But the fish that has most captured my heart this spring has been the silver bream. I have knowingly caught silver bream on and off since at least the 1970s, in Kent, Sussex, from the Thames and assorted other places. But, this spring, I have enjoyed them particularly on the Kennet and Avon Canal, catching them on so many different baits and tactics. I have had them on bread, worm, maggots and corn, and on the lift method, bomb, feeder and on the pole. The fact that this has included successive personal bests – currently 1lb 4½oz – is not really the point. What I have enjoyed most is re-familiarising myself with how really very handsome these much-neglected fishes are. Those pectoral and ventral fins are a rich amber, particularly at their bases, and the flanks are brilliantly silvery; in fact, that you only really appreciate how silver they are when you see how bleached the photos are when you have held the fish for a ‘specimen shot’!
And silver bream are tragically overlooked despite their attractive and sporting qualities. A few very experienced anglers that I know have confided with me that they had not even heard of a silver bream until I started posting photos of them. More than a few have also admitted quietly that they could not identify one with any confidence, and probably would have dismissed them as ‘skimmer bream’ or roach-bream hybrids. Yet the silver bream is relatively widespread, and the British rod-caught record weight is more or less the same weight as that of the much-loved (not least by me) roach.
It is time for a renaissance in our appreciation of what must be Britain’s most neglected freshwater fish. The handsome silver bream is a native species deserving greater attention and respect; fun to catch in most seasons and on a range of baits and methods. I hope you too can fall in love this this fish, finding a place in your heart for it and raising its profile as a worthy quarry for all to enjoy!