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!
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Today’s blog is a bit of a wet session back down the River Chelmer, targeting Perch using the Dropshot technique. This time I had my dad with me again as he fancied a taste for some Perch. It really is great fun this type of fishing, a light rod (Fish Rig 180) and some worms!
We walked the usual bridges I like to fish, giving a range of chances of catching a lot of wasp size Perch, some chunkier ones, and if we are lucky maybe a Perch of the 1lb mark. Nothing huge, but great fun!
It wasn’t long until the first bridge provided a bite, while slowly working the worm back. It a felt a good size fish, however it came off at the net! Agonising way to start the day!
I preserved on, and it wasn’t long before I had another Perch!
The day continued catching perch of this size, and smaller wasps pretty much constantly, a lot of action and great fun!
These bridges become such holding grounds for Perch, with slight undercuts in them, where some chunky perch reside!
The best Perch of the day came at the furthest away bridge, so about halfway through our session, as we fished the bridges again on the way back!
It smashed the worm and put a fantastic bend in the rod, and put up a great fight, It was swiftly in the net though! And what a great fish it was, not the biggest Perch, but a lovely fish!
Sadly we never had a Perch as big as this again this day, this bridge always seems to hold the slightly bigger Perch of this size, I feel like I have caught this same fish a few times now!
On the walk back we continued to catch more wasps and small yet chunky Perch. And on the last bridge before the car, we had a few worms left so decided just to try and use them, although this did become quite hard work, after a few perch they soon wise up!
However, I had a hit and struck, to what I initially though was nothing…yet it turned out to be something very special…
This is the first ruffe I have ever caught, and there can’t be too many left in Essex or the River Chelmer, I was chuffed and it was a great way to end the day!
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Well today’s blog is a quick after work session down a local bit of river on a lovely sunny evening. I was fishing with bread/worm in hope for a few good Roach and maybe the odd surprise. I have learnt this bit of river holds some great roach for the size of river, but also some good dace and chub, and catching any of them would be a great bonus.
The first swim was a bit more of an open part of the River, with a nice reed bed in, casting just to the side of this towards a tree too, I was hoping for some quick action, and the action did come quickly! With the first bite and fish of the day being a lovely Rudd!
Wasn’t complaining at all with this lovely fish, I thought I would have a few more chucks here, missing a few bites, but connecting to two good fish!
Two cracking roach from a tiny river! You won’t see many complain with this stamp of Roach!
Moving onto the next swim, a lovely over hanging tree swim, I was confident again of a few fish living here!
And again, fish where straight on the bread flake, with another few nice Roach coming from this swim!
This little river is really getting a warm place in my heart for being reliable in throwing up some fish, and those of a good stamp too!
The last swim fished is a lovely long overhanging tree going into the river, so have to be careful while casting here, although this is a swim I have even seen goldfish swimming around! So catching one of them would be great!
The bites continued into this swim with another 2 fish from here! The first being again…another lovely Roach!
What quality fish from this little river!
The next bite took a tad longer, however on landing, I quickly noticed is was one of the resident good Dace which live in this stretch of the river!
And that sadly was the end of my session, and what a little evening session it was. To go to a river after work for barely 2 hours, and catch these fish, I was chuffed!
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I had a few hours spare one weekday evening, I decided to pick up my little River Ambush quiver rod and a tub of worms, with the plan of light ledgering some worm, and hopefully getting a bite on a tiny river nearby…
The River Crouch, this river had really suffered with pollution spike after pollution going right through Wickford, the fish population has really taken a hit, however most of the river is too shallow for most species to be anyway!
I headed down and chose quite a tempting looking swim with a very out of control growing tree! I had previously seen people fish here and catch a few.
As I was getting my bits together, I saw a fish swim past…orange? It was a bloody gold fish! Swimming around this tiny urban river! Something I will definitely have to go back and try to target, a river goldfish!
As I was sitting after my first cast…I saw…another goldfish! Orange and white this time! Clearly a few people have decided to abandon their pets in this little river! And they have really put on a bit of size!
Before I could watch too much, my tip was wobbling everywhere, and for the next 10 minutes or so, I proceeded to miss bite after bite!
Until I finally hooked into the fish! As it came up, it was an eel! Not sure how I seem to attracting so many eels, luckily for me, it spat the hook and I didn’t have to worry about unhooking it!
I tried a few other swims with no touches, until after almost an hour there, I managed to break the blank, with a tiny little Perch (Check out the vid below to see it!).
I then got greedy and went for the next fish, which is the main surprise of this blog, not the goldfish!
I went back to the first swim, and got gradual little taps, until the tip went round! And I finally hooked into a decent fish, as I netted it, I thought I had a lovely chublet!
However, from looking at the fish, it appeared to be a rather incredible dace, for a river you can jump across in parts, and also won’t go over your shoes in parts! I was over the moon with this incredible fish! Probably my PB dace, from a very unlikely place! What. A. Fish.
Unfortunately, the rest of the session was quiet, if you wanted to check out the video for this session check it out here! And please subscribe if you want to see more content like this!
At last, myself and Jack have got ourselves back on the Top Lake at Whites Lakes! We booked ourselves on for a 48-hour session over the bank holiday weekend and have been looking forward to this one for a few weeks now. We haven’t had any luck on the Top Lake on our previous trips but with some more knowledge from the current members and from Mike himself we arrived with a slight spring in our step and some confidence within us.
The Weather leading up to the weekend wasn’t great but it was set to be somewhat of a scorcher whilst we were there, once again the Weather doesn’t give us a break, we always book our sessions a few weeks in advance due to family and work commitments so we are forever relying on the weather being nice to us rather than being able to fish on a whim.
Upon arriving to the lake, we were met with a bit of a knock in our confidence with Mike saying the fish are set to start spawning any day now, whilst they hadn’t started yet Mike did say that if they did start then unfortunately, we would be asked to leave as when the fish start spawning, he closes the lakes to let the fish get on with it, this is once again another sign of how much of an awesome fishery Mike runs and he is not in it for the money but for the love of the sport and the welfare of his fish.
With only 2 swims available on the lake, I decided to be the best friend a man could ask for and let Jack fish in his favoured swim (I know honestly, I’m just too nice for my own good.)
After selecting our sports and putting our new approach into place we stumbled across some eggs they were laid randomly on the path between mine and Jack’s swim, although I’m no twitcher, I do really love being amongst the wildlife around me when fishing and so my interests were intrigued and I decided to try and determine which bird these eggs belonged too.
Upon extensive research (Seeing the bird return to the eggs and googling ‘Black and White bird with long Orange beak) it was revealed the eggs belonged to a fascinating bird called an Oystercatcher.
A few hours into our trip Jack had a few single bleeps on one of his rods, whilst standing at his rods waiting for another indication, we saw the line moving but not enough for the bite alarm to detect it, Jack decided to pick up the rod and see what was going on, hey presto he was in! Result! Our first fish/take on the Top Lake, a short battle later he was graced with this chunky Common, all 25lb of it!
With the rest of the day passing uneventfully, we tucked up into our beds and was excited for the night ahead, at 12am I was greeted with a screamer of a run and just likes Jack fish I had a short battle ahead before being greeted with this awesome 23lb Common, my new Common PB! YIIPEEE!
(We do need to work on our night time shots)
With the rest of the night passing with no further fish we were greeted with our worst nightmare, the fish were getting jiggy with it, so we decided to wind the rods in and head off to the shops to contemplate our next move.
Upon returning it didn’t look good at all with the fish seemingly turning up their Barry White music and giving it a right good go.
With our session seemingly over, we had a very hard decision to make…… Come back for our next blog in 2 weeks to see what we done and how/where we ended up!
On a last note, the eggs seemed to start to hatch whilst we were there too! Love all around us!
Well, we have finally had weather with some resemblance of Summer! It’s been a long time coming and from cold it’s seemed to have gone straight to hot! And clearly the fish have noticed this change to, with mass spawning taking place.
I headed back to Parsonage Farm Fishery, in hopes for maybe a few Tench. Same method as usual, a little hybrid feeder on my trusty quiver and Tincaberry groundbait, a good mix, and hopefully with the heat the Tench would fancy some berry flavoured goods!
Within 30 minutes of baiting up and fishing, the tip had smashed round, and a very un climaxing fight began, with the Tench almost giving up with barely any fight. However great to get off the mark!
This beauty weighed in at around 3lb. With sadly a bit of damage to its upper lip, it was swiftly returned.
Unfortunately, the next few hours just provided constant line bites, never developing into anything. It’s always frustrating to see the rod tip moving so much but to no avail.
I opted for a change of tactic, others on the lake seemed to be catching well on float. So I quickly put the only float I had on! And hoped for some more Tench.
Using just corn on the hook, and casting just past the first ledge a few metres out. Similar to where other Tench where being caught, I was hopeful. Although I saw what seemed to be millions of Rudd buzzing around in my swim!
Providing a challenge to get past them, however catching these beautiful small fish really made time go by quickly, and it’s not long before you lose count!
I possibly forgot about Tench fishing while catching these scale perfect little fish one a chuck, and really just forgot about taking photos. Sometimes it can be such a joy just to constantly catch like this. no matter the size of the fish. Especially sitting in the sun, catching one a chuck proved to be a great way to spend a day.
Before I knew it, my alarm went off and it was time to head home!
Back to BDAC’s Parsonage Farm Fishery, a lovely lake, with no carp, and a lot of Tench stocked, other species such as Perch, Roach, Bream and I’ve heard good size Crucians are also resident to this venue. However I am mainly targetting for Tench.
My first session resulted in landing one, and losing one, along with a small Roach. So I was eager to improve on this. This time, although still cold and not ideal, at least it wasn’t raining! The brolly happily stayed down for…most…of the session. I opted for the same approach as last time, fishing my light quiver tip with a hybrid feeder with a Tincaberry groundbait/micro mix with either a berry boille or grain of sweet corn on the hook. I did decide to feed slightly more aggressively and hand fed the area I was casting too just past the reeds.
First cast provided a quick bite, although it was no Tench, as the tip quickly jolted, the Tench usually drag the rod in. This eager fish happened to be a decent Roach, and this venue is really proving to have some chunky size silvers.
I quickly re-baited and went in again, and it wasn’t long this time before the rod was being dragged in! The fish charged to the reed bed I was fishing by, as did every fish I hooked here, proving a challenge to keep the fish under control. I managed to steer this fish clear, and slowly waited and tired the Tench in the open, free of any snags. The net was swiftly under the Fish, and time for photos.
This was a great Fish to start with. Sadly, after this quick two bites and fish, the swim went quiet. And hours went by with only a few touches on the tip, but never developing. I had been feeding quite reserved, with only my initial few balls and then what was in the feeder. I still saw a few Tench coming out, and was getting notifications fish were in the area. I decided to try and up the feeding after this hour or so of quietness. And it wasn’t long before it paid off with another wrap round of the tip.
The perk of using a 1oz tip with these Tench, is they are so much more of a joy to play, however I do feel I should probably go to a 1.5oz tip, just to have a bit more beef while playing them away from the reeds, however the 1oz tip has done me well. This fish yet again, was persuaded away from the snags, and had a lot more energy than the last. When the fish got close, it looked a good Tench. And upon weighing, it was infact a new personal best!
5lb Tench! Not a monster by any stretch of the imagination, however a PB of any size, is a good fish for anyone. So I was chuffed with this! The fish was soon slide back into the Lake.
And on a new high with a new PB, and doubling the amount of Tench I caught last time. I was eager to get back in! And again a cast, another ball or two hand fed over, and the tip wrapped round again! This fish got me while I was hand feeding, so a slower reaction to strike, however I connected quickly to the fish, although it seemed to little to late as the Tench made it’s way to the reeds, and dislodged the hook leaving it in the snag. This is the risk of fishing towards a snag, however the previous Fish shows the benefit.
I quickly re-rigged, and recast, and after another 30 minutes, the tip went round again, however, I was not going to make the same mistake, and brought the fish away from the reeds before the powerful Tench got a sniff of the snag.
Another lovely Tench landed, and with this fish, the heavens decided to open a bit. I was satisfied with my session, and was happy to leave it and head home while still fairly dry and warm!
Hi guys and welcome back to another JT Carpers blog, we hope your all keeping well and getting out onto the bank as much as possible!
This week we have a little recap of a session we done with our children last month when we were allowed to meet up with another household outside, we decided to go to Tylers common fishery for a few hours on their match lake to try and get a few fish for the children, defiantly not for our own benefit whatsoever 🙄. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the fishery all the lakes were booked out for matches apart from the Specimen Lake, with the main aim of our trip to be quantity over quality (size) we decided to give this a miss and go onto Puddledock fishery as we know they have a few lakes on site which are of a high quality and very likely to catch.
Upon arriving at the lake, we decided to jump onto ‘The Snake Lake’. We weren’t going to be fishing all day as our children are still young, I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for them to lose interested if we were there all day.
So, upon arriving we decided to have 1 float rod each using simple maggot tactics and then 1 method feeder rod each to target some of the carp. The day started off somewhat slow and we were beginning to worry we would be forever taunted by our children about our lack of fishing skills.
Finally, Jack hooked into the first fish of the day, a lovely little roach that saved both of our blushes and made us look awesome to our children, true fishermen with unbelievable amounts of skills!
With Jack bringing in the roach to no end it started to become apparent that this was very much a one-sided affair and I needed to catch something or forever be reminded by my children and Jack and his son that I was the only one to not catch.
BRRRINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG, my bite alarm screamed from out of nowhere and I was into a carp on the method feeder, after a short scrap and letting the children have a go as much as possible without wanting to lose the fish, we had landed the only carp of the day, Hooray everyone was happy!
So, with a few hours of getting the children out of our partners hair and having some fun fishing we decided it was time to call it a day before the weather took a turn for the worse. All in all a very success day, a few fish under our belts and looking like we actually know what we are doing to our children we went on our merry way.
So once again, thank you so much for reading the blog, we appreciate all the support as does everyone from the Essex Anglers team.
Frant Lakes is a beautiful fishery on the border of Kent and East Sussex. It has eight lakes-two of which are the speci lakes (lakes 7 and 8). It will always have a special place in my heart as it is the first fishing venue my other half took me to.
My last two trips there have resulted in seven fish being caught. We have only ever been out on speci lake 7 where it has a nice couple of features you can fish to-there are snags and lilly pads out in the middle and over to the far right a small island.
I booked a 48hr session over there in April and I was determined to rely on myself to find the fish rather than just cast out to the edge of the snags and hope for the best. Got myself all set up-2 Sonik Vader RS rods, my brand new Sonik SKX bite alarms (a big improvement on my first alarms, Saber) and my Leeda pod. Unfortunately the weather was all over the shop and relatively cold and the fish were not showing. No splashes, hardly any fizzing on the water-nothing.
About 5 hours later we had the lake to ourselves after the other anglers left. An hour after that I saw a fish, splashing away over to my right in the next swim. I thought right you, you’re mine! I reeled in my right hand rod, stuck a fresh 12mm Mainline banoffe pop up on my hair rig and made up a PVA bag using my Crafty Catcher 15mm chocolate and nut boilies and casted out to the swim on my right (having the lake to yourself has some advantages I guess!). Then I sat back and waited. 40 minutes later my bite alarm on the right screamed off and I was on! He took a while to bring in as he decided to take me into the snags but I got him and landed him all by myself. Beautiful common weighing in about 14lb if I remember rightly. That day I felt a bit more like an angler.
The weather has been extremely frustrating with frontal systems sweeping in that seem to produce air temperatures more applicable to early Spring than mid May. Normally by this time we would expect that the summer visitors, such as the bass and smoothhound are well settled in our coastal waters. The signs are good with the fish showing in some areas, but they do not appear to be widespread on the East Coast at the time of writing.
I decided to chance my arm at one of my local marks for a crack at an early bass. It was to be an extremely speculative session lasting all of fifty minutes or so of actual fishing time. I had allowed myself forty minutes of travelling time, which was a bit optimistic with the Lowestoft Town Bridge a notorious traffic bottleneck to negotiate, but I managed it. The chosen venue was the Lowestoft South Beach, which is a shallow sandy beach bordered by a concrete promenade that stretches into the distance towards Pakefield. There is ample parking along the main road route. I would be fishing two hours from high water.
The weather during that early morning session broke the mould as it was windless and warm as the Sun’s rays broke through a thin veil of cloud. The previous day had been cold with gusty winds blowing from the North turning the sea into a churning vindictive maelstrom.
The tackle requirements were simple and I could travel a light, with a rod and all of my other tackle and equipment contained within a bag hung from my shoulder.
I chose to use my Anyfish Anywhere 12 foot lure and bait rod which will cast up to 90 grams and my small Akios 555SCM multiplier loaded with ten pounds monofilament line and a twenty pound casting leader. For a rig I used a single hook running paternoster with a two ounce Breakaway Flattie pattern lead and at the business end I tied a size 1 Mustad offset Aberdeen match hook. Bait was lively ragworm purchased three days earlier at the Gorleston Tackle Centre.
The moment had arrived for my first cast to catch a bass in 2021, and I lobbed the bait out thirty metres into the flat calm sea. The fish are often in the calmer water behind the rollers or they congregate in the vicinity of a feature, such as a gulley, depression in the sand, a patch of stones or a breakwater; all of which hold food. This being the case it is good practice to observe the beach at low water regularly, but be aware that storms can alter the topography of the fishing mark. When I fish using a light hand held rod I stand parallel to the surf line so that the line is at ninety degrees to my rodtip.
I did not have to wait long for my first take as the tip of the rod violently wrapped around, similar to the take of carp in a commercial fishery. A sharp strike and I was into my first bass of the year. It swirled on top of the water and made for the sanctuary of a nearby breakwater. After a delightful couple of minutes of furious swimming and thrashing on the surface I guided the fish onto the shore. It was small and plump, but measuring in at 40cm it was a very satisfactory result. A good point to make here is that this fish taken on a standard surfcasting rod would not have provided such enjoyment, as the fish would have been overpowered and not allowed to show it’s true mettle. Twenty minutes later I landed a second bass of a similar size and this fish was trapped because of its own curiosity. I always try to overcast when fishing light and gradually retrieve the end tackle by recovering a small amount of line every so often, and this is done not so much as to give movement to the bait, but to disturb the bottom raising a column of suspended sand near my bait. The idea is that the curious fish will investigate the disturbance. This tactic dictates my choice of the Breakaway Flattie lead as it is designed to achieve this effect.
After landing the second fish it was time to pack up, but it was a case of mission accomplished so I was quite pleased how things had worked out. The fish were in residence and I had caught a couple which had been returned to the sea, so roll on the next session.
The next session turned out to be four days later and again it was to be a short session of about two hours actual fishing time at the South Beach. This time the conditions were totally different and the weather had reverted back to its changeable pattern, and the wind was fresh and blowing from the South East. The sky was grey and overcast and that was no visible sign of the Sun’s warming rays. The sea state was choppy and surf was rolling in, hopefully providing perfect conditions for a bass hunt. I was fishing the middle part of the flooding tide. The tactics were exactly the same as during the previous session, but this time I choose to use a two hook paternoster with shorter snoods because I expected fish to feed freely in the prevailing conditions. I was quickly into fish taking one of 35cm the first cast on a cast of about twenty five metres. A short while later I hooked and landed a slightly larger fish of 40cm.
I started to get a number of bites which were distinctly different to the violent wrap around takes of the bass and these comprised of the lifting and settling of the lead usually following the retrieval of a small amount of line when displacing the lead. I ignored a couple of the bites expecting a bass to grab and swim quickly off with the bait, but nothing happened. I finally struck at one of the bites as the line slackened and was instantly into a fish which was not so dramatic nor vigorous in its attempts to escape.
The answer to the puzzle was a plump flounder in superb condition and this first one was followed by two more, with all of them falling to the slowly retrieved bait technique.
I was very pleased to see a flounder or two as I rarely catch them during my sessions on the open beach targeting the larger species. I have had good bags of flounders from this beach before during the late Spring and early Summer period but not recently.
I topped the session off with a fine plump bass that measured 49cm and probably weighing somewhere in the region of three pounds. The bass hit the bait hard and went ballistic when hooked, by first swimming quickly through the water one way and then running in the opposite direction as I played it and applied pressure. The rod took on a dramatic bend as the fish tried to escape taking a bit of line against the drag. Gliding it in with a wave was an exciting moment, as it thrashed about on top of the water before finally submitting to pressure. I carefully lifted the fish by hand and held it while admiring its beautiful silver profile…what a great looking fish! After a quick photograph the fish was carefully returned to the water, and after a few seconds of recovery it flicked its substantial tail and headed back out to sea. All the fish I caught were carefully returned to the sea.
I finished the session with the smallest bass of the day, and my two hours of angling bliss had ended, as it was time to head for home as promised. This light tackle fishing for bass is addictive and most coarse anglers who fish for tench and carp will have appropriate rods and reels amongst their kit, so it’s a great opportunity to try something different. For me, it won’t be too long before the sound and smell of the sea and the dreams of the silver bass tempt me to fish again; perhaps tomorrow?
Next week my fellow blogger Alan Stevens, will entertain you with his recent sea angling adventures from the shore in South Suffolk, and it is sure to be a great read.