Monday, 31 October 2011

Canal Carp - Hard Liners & The Slip-Shot Rig

Another two four hour sessions after the Cov Canal carp come to a close without result. The first was a late afternoon into darkness affair and was interesting in that there were no indications of fish at all the two hours before dusk and then as soon as the auto night-lights on the indicators turned on in the half light, the bobbins started to twitch every now and then and the frequency of these 'signs' rose as night came, culminating in an seemingly endless series of full scale liners. One of the baits was brought back into the boat channel where the liners were obviously coming from and then just before I had to go home, a had a three inch twitch on that rod that on examination of the slip-shot behind the lead was seen to have been a real pickup

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Gonks on the March

When I came up to the Midlands four years ago I started river fishing properly for the first time. I'd been living in Essex my whole life before but river fishing is not really something anglers do down there as the only 'decent' river available is the Lee (or Lea), which is certainly the most polluted and shamelessly abstracted chalk stream on the planet, and the upper reaches, where the monster chub are is too far Up North and besides, that's in the foreign country of Hertfordshire.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Canal Carp - A Broken Crock

I had to go back. That single dropped run I had was enough to inspire a foray even if the lovely sunny day ahead couldn't tempt me out.

This time I took a trio of straightforward baits, pellets and meat and corn, and decided that one rod would be the corn rod and the other the trial rod and the logic being that the carp here would have seen more corn than any other type of bait other than maggots - corn being one of the standard baits that people chuck in after canal fish of all kinds and one that these carp would be well used to mopping up after dark.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Canal Carp - Delving a Pot of Gold

As it was such a warm day yesterday I thought I'd have a crack at some carp that have been reported out of a notorious local canal peg over the summer months. The towpath grapevine throws up these tales from time to time but as I threaded my way back from the succulent bunches of sweet grapes I was being fed by those who had only heard of these carp and eventually found my way all the way down to the root of the vine and the actual captor, the top weight fish had shrunk somewhat, from twenty five pounds to eighteen and the quantity too. It turned out that he has had eight fish over eight trips since May, not ten fish in two or three over the last weeks ...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Electric Canal Freaks

Have you ever seen anything like this canal bream caught yesterday afternoon? It's almost a crucian, in fact it behaved like a crucian - fought as hard, was netted and then just laid there in the mesh as good as gold, never paddled a fin, didn't flap about and his mouth barely moved either - I had to prod him just to see if he was still alive! He was, thankfully, and went back with a cheery slap of the tail and a vertical dive straight down. Then again, with a fish this shape which way is up?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

River Roach - The Stratford Blues

I've been so busy writing this book of mine that the blogger in me has taken the passenger seat and has been idly watching the landscape fly by as this upstart book writer hangs on to the wheel with his foot to the floor but luckily, even speeding upstarts need a stop off at the service station every now and then so the blogger has been able to stretch his legs once in a while. The word count is now scraping 50,000 and will pass that mark today with the beginnings of the another chapter and as they are pouring out so easily I can't see the first draft taking more than another couple of weeks to complete and now I'm beginning to work on the illustrations as a way of slowing things up a little and getting the mind to come around to the idea of editing - the slow and methodical but enjoyable process of sifting flour and cutting fat from the beef for the succulent meaty pie I'm baking.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

River Roach - Scratching the Itch - Down Beat & Up Beat (pt2)

Both the news and the tea were very, very good when I got to the fishing hut  - Danny had broken the British gudgeon record but slipped it back unwitnessed, nonplussed by its size, unsure that it could ever have been what it actually was and even confusing it with a baby barbel! Luckily (for us) he had the proof in pictures which are often better evidence than the fish in the hand and had weighed it at six or seven ounces on a dial balance never designed to be accurate so low down on the scale but there's no doubt about it - it was a gudgeon alright and seven inches long too

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

River Roach - Scratching the Itch - Putting the Roach Hatt On (pt1)

It's a funny old game. I fished one of the most exciting stretches of water imaginable just yesterday but decided, as this was my third trip to this gem of a water, that I'd now forgo all the pleasures of swimming the stream with a stick float and centrepin for most of the day catching one grayling after the other, a spectacular leaping trout every now and then, or hooking and losing salmon once in a while and when finally exhausted by it all traipsing down to the 'coarse' beats a little too late in the afternoon to really try properly for a big roach and instead of all that just go for broke

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Seeswood Seizure, Rare Flying Anglers & The John Wilson Self-take Trophy Shot Experience

Steve Philips invited me over to Seeswood Pool the other evening. It was right at the end of the fabulous October heat-wave which has to have been the best spell of summer weather in autumn I can remember. It was warm and then the clouds of doom came over and the end of the balmy degrees we had enjoyed so briefly was nigh.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Big Perch Quest - The Freaky Menagerie of 'The Lawns'

Catching Personal best fish always seems to lead to a temporary downturn in fortune unless that is you hit one of those streaks of luck that leads to two or three in a row, like mine with zander and barbel in February last and then a catastrophic downturn like the start of my perch problems at Weston Lawns in March. I've been back twice to the Lawns in the weeks following my jammy big perch at Blenheim