Friday, 27 January 2012

Roach Length/Weight Curve - A New Record is out There, Somewhere...

In the last post I made a video of a roach trip to a local stream where a fish was banked, that on capture and before weighing, I really thought would make at least a pound and four ounces, if not slightly more. I thought it would be the largest roach I had ever caught from the river but the scales gave only a pound and one ounce, which was much less than I would have thought.  Luckily, I measured the fish and took a reading of 12 inches from fork in tail to snout...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Small Stream Adventures - Urban Redfins - Jewels in the Grime

After such a grueling session on the Wark's Avon just last weekend I was beginning to doubt the efficacy of my bread disc technique described a few blogs back, but I needn't have worried, it still works a dream, as you will see. Here's a video of an astonishing hour spent chasing roach on a local small stream. The day was perfect for roach, the kind of day roach anglers pray for -- a grim, blank grey sky, a constant westerly breeze, not too cold, looks like it might drizzle with fine rain any moment and the water tinted that perfect green-grey that on occasion, might well mean that the fish will be in the mood to be reckless...

If you've ever watched a Bob James or John Wilson video about roach fishing take a look at the sky. It's no accident that their roach videos suffers from bad lighting!

This was a trip to the only pool I have never tried for roach in all the time I have been fishing this stretch of river, and why? Well, I don't honestly know. Other prospects elsewhere always pulled my attention their way, I suppose, but the following illustrates perfectly why I should never have ignored it. I only fished an hour, and half of that was spent farting about with the camera, but it was worth it as this truly was one of the most enjoyable (and easily the shortest!) roach fishing sessions I have ever had in my entire life. A sudden change in one of the perfect combination of conditions brought an abrupt close to proceedings, but before it did, the sport was hectic and productive, which just goes to show how fickle roach can be when things aren't, just so...


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Widget Floats - An Update

A number of people have enquired recently about how I make my widget floats, the ones I use for fishing for pike and zander at night. The original article doesn't go into great detail so I thought perhaps I'd create a new one...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Forty - Seventy Percenter

It's about that time of the year when I begin to make serious plans and set objectives for the fishing I intend to do over the course of the rest of it. Completing the book has pushed away the recent past, where I relearned how to fish for coarse fish after decades of neglect, and opened a door to a new phase of my fishing career. Uppermost in my mind is the British obsession with the breaking of old personal bests (isn't it uppermost in yours?) and especially those that have been hanging around unbroken for far too long.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

River Roach - Repetitive Strain

Up in The Wilds beyond the woods and well beyond the reach of watching eyes is a swim where I've fished three times lately and with mixed results. The first time I dropped in there a few nice roach and a single dace were caught in a couple of hours. Bites, they came every cast but there was a bit of a wait involved before they materialised. The second was an hour spent there, a desperate last minute river switch at the end of a long biteless morning spent on the Leam with Phil Mattock. The bites? Well there were none at all, not even the slightest tremor, which for this stretch of the Avon is almost unheard of it being so full of fish.

Friday, 20 January 2012

My Way with Bread

I've done a great deal of bread fishing over the last few years and through hundreds of hours of various failures and successes have learned a great deal about this apparently simple bait, so I thought I might fess up about my hard-earned fluffy stuff methodology.

As you might have gathered reading this blog I am a roach nut. It's not that I don't love to catch chub, bream and dace, the other three worthwhile river species with a proper love for bread, but I find that fishing and searching for roach with bread invariably finds me those fish if they are present but without negating a chance of roach if they are present too. It's the only bait that I know that will select roach consistently, maggots and worms having their day but finding too many small fish in the first case and the second being rather inconsistent on rivers where roach are concerned.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Pike Head Study

One thing leads to another. Limbering up for a possible upcoming painting of a pike. A preliminary study in pencil ... 

And the cat looks as if it's staying put.

Gets up to all kinds of mischief that would never occur to a dog. Can't keep food out on the side, climbs curtains, scratches furniture, explores places impossible to extract it from but it craps in its tray after just a few days, and that can't be a bad thing! I guess it's ours for good...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

River Roach - A Royal Leamington Blank

It's hard to write about a blank if nothing happens, fortunately something happened just as soon as Phil Mattock pulled his motor into the car park of the Leamington AA stretch of the Leam at Newbold Comyn. We found a tiny grey tabby Kitty Kat transfixed in the beam of the car's headlamps... I couldn't just leave it there to fend for itself as an easy meal for one of the foxes we later saw prowling about in the predawn light so I stashed her ( I checked its rear end!) in the car and we made our way down to the river.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Big Pit Pike - Caught, in the Minds Eye...

What I want to know is this. Is it possible for a pike well in excess of twenty pounds to leap clear of the water and perform the twist I have attempted to depict in the sketch below, a drawing derived completely from the lightning-strike, shooting-star, split-second mental imprint I was lucky enough to have seared into my memory as just such a pike performed just such an act, and just as I brought a lure past its nose?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Big Perch Quest - Big Cat Caught on Perch Livebait

Monday morning saw Keith and I visit a hot new tip off in search of a monstrous great perch. Keith is seeking a four pounder now that he's had a few three pounders while for myself, still stuck in sub-two pound land despite having broken three pounds with that fluke capture of mine from Blenheim palace, just wanting to get a decent string of fish to back it up, if not beat it and put it to bed.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

River Chub - Saturday Night & Sunday Morning

The annual Coventry/Warwickshire bloggers meet at the Whitefriars Inn in Coventry last Saturday night was a beery affair. They always are for me, and I seem to become unstable unseemly rapidly every time the event occurs. Perhaps it's the atmosphere or the company or the strong ales or all three but two hours in and I'm there in the back garden having a fag standing on legs that feel like a couple of flexing willow shoots rooted to the ground with the eight stone of my upper body (legs must be 3 stone, surely?) balancing precariously above them trying not to fall backwards into the piles of empty kegs behind.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My 2011 in Pictures

Publishing a Fishing Book - Harsh, but Fair! (Pt5)

The manuscript was sent off to Bob Roberts a week or so before Christmas for his immediate perusal and what I thought would be his eventual edit but Bob was quick off the mark and had one half of the book done and dusted and back in the post before I could blink. It arrived back the day before Christmas Eve inked all over with his sterling work.