Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Feeling Rather Proud

Feeling rather proud today, it has been announced that I will be the recipient of the Pike Anglers Club Colin Dyson Award for 2016 in recognition of my work in pike conservation.

I will be presented with the award at the Pike Anglers Club convention 2016 on Saturday 17th September at Kettering conference centre.


Full details of this and the other award winners can be found here:- Pike Anglers Club Awards 2016


Friday, 15 July 2016

Like Buses



The weekend couldn't come fast enough as I was eager to get back out on the bank and fish again.

This time I was more prepared and got down to the waters edge for dawn and spombed the usual sweet mix into my familiar swim.
I did contemplate a different swim on arrival, but having seen more tench in this area then anywhere else on the lake, why go else where.

The morning was warm, but overcast and no one else was about. Perfect. The spombing was efficiently done after abit of raking was undertaken, the swim was rested until everything else was setup and ready.

The rigs were to be the same on the rods, but the bait on the boilie rod was to be the new handmade bait given to me by the bailiff to try whilst fishing fake maggots on the inline feeder rig.

With both rod now baited and cast out, it was time to boil the kettle, prepare bankside breakfast and enjoy the first cuppa of the session.
With the kettle bubbling aware the inevitable happened. The bobbin on the boilie rod was jangling , then swiftly lifted to the rod. Stumbling down the bank, I grabbed the rod as the reel started to spool. Lifting into a moving fish I was confident that this was a tench and that it was making off at pace across the lake. The fish fought well and gave a good account of itself before appearing in the upper layers. It was no tench, but one of the bream the resident bream.
After netting, unhooking and muttering about the slim it was slipped back to continue to pester the tench.


The bait was still intact and it was cast back out and I went back to enjoying the breakfast that was slowly getting cold. Alas it was to go cold, because no sooner had the next spoonful been put in my mouth and the Delkim was bleeping, bobbin was rising and the reel churned. This was certainly no bream. The line sung in the breeze and a paddle tail slapped the surface as it boiled and turned over before taking line. Weed floated to the surface as the tench made a bid for freedom down the margins. The tench turned for open water and was doing its best to shake the hook, but it was within the range of the net and soon in its folds.
Not a monster, but a good size for the water and another over the 5lb mark for the season.
It was soon unhooked and returned with a slap of the might paddle, but yet again it had mouth damage.

The early morning drifted along and the day was turning pleasantly warm. The float rod was un packed and soon I was watching the tip for shy biting roach or hopefully tench.

The float was soon dipping and I connected with a number of hungry rudd, roach and hybrids, nothing to write home about in relation to size but good fun.

Whilst enjoying the float fishing it was evident that there was alot of bream in the area, the bobbins lift and the alarms bleeped, only for the same to happen in reverse on repeated occasions. In between this there would be proper bites and a number of bream graced the net.

Mid morning came and I had a decent run again on the boilie rod, from the head shaking it wasn't another bream and a second tench was hooked. This one played out like the first heading along the margins disturbing the weed beds and then making for open water. Being slightly smaller it was soon in the net.

The pattern of bream to tench is on this water very high, a ratio of 1:10 won't surprise me and they home in on the bait very quickly. On a dawn you can see them rolling out in the middle of the lake, feeding or ascending insects, only for them to move quickly over the baited area with 15 to 20mins once baiting up has finished. These bream do seem to feed first and once they have had their fill, move on which allows the tench and occasion carp to pick up the scraps.
If I could isolate a single component of the mix that was particularly favourable to bream, I'd remove it, but its a simple particle mix with a additional 1/2 pints of dead reds, corn and pellet.

But its not just the fish that like the mix, the resident water fowl likes it too and they too home in on the sound of the spomb hitting the water and it become a game of cat and mouse with them.
I can usually get away with the initial eight spombs, but that next five area the ones where the duck get there fill. There is also the inevitable mix that get dropped or spilt in the margins and this is soon snaffled by the old bill.

The day was becoming hotter and I could feel the burn on the neck through the collar. With the rising temperature the bites steadily dropped off and by early afternoon even the float had stopped dipping so I packed and headed for home.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Long Time Away



Its been well over a month since I wet a line due to ongoing work,life, home balancing act that us anglers have to endure, so it was finally nice to get to the bank.

I had set my stall out for a afternoon/evening session on a local water in the hope that the tench would still be about in the weed beds, so a banquet of spomb mix was mixed up the day before and left to ferment in a sealed bucket ready for bank side.

Upon arrival, there was only one car parked up and I hoped that it wasn't a lone carper with their lines spread all over the place. Thankfully it was a single rod pleasure angler who was happily catching on the float rod.

I setting into my usual swim and started the sweet, sticky spombing process. The spomb is underhand swung out to about 5 rod length out into the weed bed abit like a bait dropper but on a grander scales.
Ten spombs later and the bucket is 90% empty and I can rest the swim before putting the hook baits out over the top.

After a cuppa was brewed, drunk and a chat with the old boy along the bank, the rods were finally baited and placed out over the dinner table. First out was the inline feeder with the fake maggots attached, then the double hair rigged boillies on a bolt rig, with a pva bag with a few free offerings.

I noticed on the last outing that a number of the rigs hooks had become blunted or the link a bit frayed, so it was time for an overhaul.The evening before and whilst home alone, I had decided to ditch the year old tied rigs and re-tied a whole set of new ones in braid, stiff and supple hooklink material in various length, hook sizes and fake bait.

The afternoon was a mixed bag of wind, rain, sun and more rain so the brolly was erected to make the affair more comfortable and allow the stove to cook my lunch of rice and chicken in white sauce.

The third rod was kitted out with a float on the lift method, this was to be fished a couple of rod length out with abit of corn on the size 15 hook. I was hoping that if the tench got muscled out of the baited area that they might be up for taking small morsels of bait closer in and away from the masses.

With the baits out and the sun on my back it felt quite pleasant bar the odd spot of rain, infact it was so nice the Ray Band copies had to come out!

The first fish of the day fell to the float rod and the float lifted like a rocket and lay flat on the surface. I struck and a fish was on, but it wasn't a tench but a plump roach which was quickly subdued and netted. Not exactly what I was after but rather nice to see.
The fish roach was quickly followed by a second and third before the rain came and I decided to sit under the brolly for a bit. The rain fell heavily and ironically the bites started on the maggot feeder rod. The bobbins danced around for a bit before being swiftly lifted to the top and the baitrunner churned. The rod hooped with progressive curve and the fish on the other end made an attempt to pull my string, alas it wasn't big enough to take line and plodded about before hitting the surface and coming in like a wet sack. Alas no tench, but a reasonably sized bream which was unhooked in the net and release without getting covered in slime.

The feeder was refilled and cast back out, whilst I got steadily wetter in the heavy shower, hopefully this was only a passing shower and not a prolonged thundery storm as forecast by the Met men.

Rain was still falling when the boillie rod was away and just as the kettle was boiling too.
The baitrunner was churning nicely and I thought my luck was in with the tench. Again the rod hooped over and again something pulled back, but again the fight was short and un tench like and again it was a bream.

The bream had mashed the double boilies and they were unusable so were replaced with a fresh pair from the pot and cast back out to the dining area.

By this time the rain had abated and I pulled the seat out from under the brolly and recast the float out whilst settling down with the cuppa tea after reboiling the kettle.

I love float fishing especially on the lift method and it fills me with alot of joy, I'm just abit lazy and when the rod was a three piece it hardly came out of the bag. So with the new rod effectively being a two piece, it stays tackled up in the quiver so it can be thrust into action more frequently.

The float settled nicely and I scattered bits of corn around the tip of the float and waited. I didn't however have to wait to long and a small hybrid was soon swung in, unhooked and returned. This was followed by a couple of 8oz roach before things settled down.
The rain came again and went again, this was to be the pattern for the afternoon and  whilst I did land a few nice roach up to 1.1/2lb, no real monsters appeared. As with all roach fishing, the commotion did grab the attention of fishing with a predatory nature and whilst playing a 12oz roach a pike bolted out from the cover of the margin bushes to grab one for their dinner.

More bream came came to the boillie rod and maggot feeder, but alas no tench. But they did give their presence away with some area of pin sized bubbling, so they are still about and feeding.

The bailiff came around for a chat too and he confirmed that the tench were still coming out to the carpers and in particular to higher protein fresh baits which he rolls himself in various sizes.
Upon packing up, a damsel baring gifts appear at the umbrella, the bailiff had sent her up with a kilo of frozen boillies to try on my next session.

They smell quite good, so I look forward to giving them a try.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Its meant to be relaxing!




For along time I been trying to get sorted for regular overnight session just so I don't have to get up at silly O'clock for the dawn feeding spell.

So after sorting out the venue, gear etc I head out to the lake for a 24hr session in the hope of catching a tench.

I arrived to find a couple of anglers already setup, luckily none in the swim that I wanted and I barrowed the gear into the swim and then took a walk around the lake for a chat to the other anglers. None had any news or sighting of tench rolling, so it was a case of getting some bait out.

I had decided to stick with my normal spod mix but added something abit different after reading online about an ingredients that I had been using for winter roach, but for summer tench.

With the 5kg of pink mix ready, three area's were baited up ready for the evening and night. After baiting up was done and I had removed the sticky mess from my hand the rods and brolly were setup to ensure everything was ready for the night.

First rod out was the usual inline feeder, baited with three fake maggots, this was placed in a weed bed straight out in front of me. The second rod was the 90 degree rig, baited with a double strawberry boilie with a PVA bag full of micro pellets and placed out along the margins just infront of a willow.

A familiar face was also on the bank and we had a good chat about the lake and what had been coming out over recent weeks and general stuff on angling and tackle etc.
 Whilst we were deep in chat, the boilie baited rod indicator was jangling and then rose to the rod before the bait runner ticked over. I lifted into the fish and it pulled back.
After a tussle, the fish was netted first time by my mate and a chunky tench was lifted up the bank and onto the unhooking mat.

It went just over 6lb and was in good nick barring a small amount of mouth damage and went off fighting it.
This was the best tench so far this season and I hope more or bigger will follow from this water.

The boilies were still ok, so the rig was placed back out to the willow and I could now enjoy the warm evening's sights and sounds.

Whilst tucking into my first evening cuppa, the maggot feeder rod was away at a brisk pace and the rod hooped over into a nice curve but it didn't feel like a tench or even carp. A long lean fish boiled at the surface and the culprit gave itself away. Another pike on the tench gear, soon this toothy critter was at the edge and whilst unhooking it it spat out a small roach whilst had been attached to the hook with the fake maggots.

Alas the roach was no more and it was left in the margins to likely be snaffled by another predator during the night.

The evening rolled out and before the sun set, I spodded out another couple of kg of mix over the area's to top them up for the night and hopefully some early morning tench action.

With evening meal cooking, the boilie rod was away again, but by the lack of fight it was evident it was a small bream which it was. This was soon unhooked, but it had crushed the boilies.


After the rod was rebaited and recast, the light over the lake was starting to fade, so I snuggled down into the bag for the night listening to the varied sound of around the countryside. A barn owl was hooting in the distance, foxes screeched at each other and evening chorus of small birds got quieter and quieter. The sounds were replaced with sights of bats chasing insects on the wing and carp leaping from the water.

By 11pm it was dark and I was asleep, but not for long. I could feel a presence even whilst asleep and I awoke letting my eye's adjust to the dark. A voice then echoed around the brolly. "Are you awake?" it said, it made me jump and I soon realised who it was, the "old woman" of the lake was at my brolly and settled on the wet grass for a yarn. After 1/2 hour, he went on his way and I drifted back to sleep.

12:30am, the boilie rod was away and I woke in a start so see the Delkim's light fully illuminated and a one tone from the sounder. Fighting the sleeping bag, I was up and down the bank to the rod. The baitrunner was spinning and I lifted into a lump. The rod hooped over and the fish had taken quite a bit of line from the spool. Could this be a monster tench, After a good scrap, the fish came into the light of the head torch and my hope faded and suspicions realised. The lump was a carp and was giving a good account of itself. Once safely in the net, a plumb mirror carp was soon unhooked and weight. At 14.1/2lb it wasn't a record breaker, but was the biggest fish that has taken a liking to my baits intended for tench. With the carp back in the lake and the bait back out I snuggled back into the bag and drifted off to sleep.

1:30am and the same alarm was bleeping in short burst according to the receiver, I was out of the back and looked out into a sea of mist. I could just about make out the rods in the gloom and the air was very cold indeed. I got to the rod and lifted into a fish, I but the lines were crossed and after abit of picking, the fish was soon in the net. A bream of about 3lb was the culprit and I cursed it as the mess it had caused. The bream was slipped back whilst I mutter under my cold breath. Both rods were recast into the mist over the lake and a cold angler got back into his bag.


3:30am and dawn was beckoning and a hopefully the tench would be on the feed. I laid in the bag enjoying the start of the morning chorus. This blissful awakening was then disturbed by the bleeping of boilie rod for the four time and I begrudgingly got out of the bag and down to the rod. The spool was spinning and the line was heading along the margin. The rod hooped over and a weight was at the end of the line, but it didn't feel like a tench and felt more like another carp.
A tussle ensued and whilst I did enjoy the feel of a weight on the line, but I was some what disappointed at the end result of another carp in the net. The carp was soon unhooked and photographed. This one wasn't as pristine as the first and had damage to a couple of area, but they were healing.

Carp number two was slid back and I sat on the bedchair with the first brew of the day and reflected on the busy night.

The sun rose and the wind came with it. It was blowing in a different and cooler direction to the day before. This did have a dramatic affected on the fishing and only the roach were showing.
It did stick a float out over the edge of the weed and baited a spot with casters and hoped that I would snag a tench. Bites came steadily but again it was not from the target species and a mixed bag of roach, skimmer bream and hybrids came along.

By mid morning it was time to pack up and head from home.


Saturday, 28 May 2016

How I See Today's Angling


I've  been struggling with the tench of late with a number of blank sessions under my belt on a few different venues, so I've have had a far amount of time on my hands to ponder things in angling including the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and ofcourse our current Government.

The Angling Trust was setup to be the voice of angling when required, but they seem to now to just simply like the sound of their own voice and are happy to take the credit for others work.
The Environment Agency are the ones stuck between a rock and a hard place, the simply do not have the funds or the man power to deal with the countless issues including enforcement, fishery work and protecting the environment. And finally, the Government, but its the UK's fault for voting them in!
The final issue or gripe I have is the current crop of magazines on the market, what pile of pissh!

If angling bloggers were to adopt the same principles, we'd write like this.

It was a gloomy lunchtime when I left the David Wilson home and drove to  to the pond in the Suzuki SX4 Crossover.

I walked to the swim with the gear along with the Detania collie cross dog in tow who was happy chasing birds, bumblebee's and bunnies along the path.

Once in the swim, I proceed to setup the Drennan Super Specialist Twist landing net, Harrison Chimera tench rods which have Shimano DL4000FA reels attached and place them on the Delkims alarms and Gardner rod rests.

The Van  Den Eyne Expro grounbait lased with Gladwell maggots, ASDA value sweetcorn and home cooked hemp was mixed, allowed to dry and Spomb-ed out using the Fox spod rod.

The first rig out was a Fox inline lead, coupled with a Drennan Super Specialist braided 8lb hooklink and Drennan Super Specialist size 12 hook, baited with three grains of the ASDA value sweetcorn and enclosed in a Fox PVA easy loader PVA bag filled with Gladwells coarse micro pellets.

The second rigs consisted of a Drennan inline maggot feeder with a Shimano hooklink and Drennan super specialist hook which was also cast out to the Spomb baited area.

With the two rods out, it was time to enjoy a cup of PG tips and a snack bar (forgot the make).

All was quiet with the rods, but the bird life was beautiful, Great Crested Grebe's, Sheldrakes, Pink Foot Geese, Kingfisher were just some of the birds about plus an abundance of small birds in the woods behind me.

The third and final rig was a float rod and I was testing out the Drennan series 7 13' Tench and Specimen Float rod, which was a birthday presnt.

I noticed that Middy 4AAA float was slightly lifting and had hopes that a tench was in the margins feeding on the baited area. Also it proved to be nothing.

Baring the presence of a minature pike and along of tadpole which it was happy feeding on that was the most action I saw for the next 6hrs.

Now if this was a magazine feature, said angler would have caught a number of specimen fish and ofcourse have a action shot from the water, but it was a tad cold and the dog is now good at taking photos'.

Might have to take up golf!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Sunshine & Rain, Oh and Hail



Well I was penning a piece about a dismal failure on a lovely SSSI, but I forgot to finish the piece and publish it, so I won't bothered.

So instead, I went out with the tench rods again on another chilly April hopeful of more tinca action.

I arrived at lunchtime with a lightened load and trudged along to the reed swim which was thankfully vacant.

The midday sun was shining and I was sweating buckets as I set down the gear to take a walk about and chat with a couple of carpers. Both had seen early morning action from nuisance fish aka tench and I was feeling quite positive about my chances of snaring a fish or too.

After being pestered by bream during my other visits to this particular water I decided to go with a full on particle approach rather than my prefer ground bait. So I baited up an area with a hemp, maple and corn mix which I'd fish over using mini boilies and a maggot feeder.

It wasn't long before I was cooking lunch whilst enjoying a mug of team and enjoying the sights of Black caps, Long Tailed Tits and the resident Robin in the willows.

The bobbin on the maggot feeder rod was the first to rise and soon the baitrunner was spooling with a hooked fish. Nothing massive and a 8oz roach came to hand.

The roach was soon unhooked and returned, only to be followed by a similar sized roach, then a rudd before the feeder had even hit the bottom!

Lunch was cooked and the maggot feeder was attracting alot of attention so was reeled in so I could eat the curry and rice.

After lunch the maggot feeder was put back out, but I changed from a bunch of maggots to a single worm tipped off with a single maggot, hopefully this will entice the bigger fish in the shoal and stop the smaller ones from gobbling the bait.



The inclusion of the worm had the desired affect and the bites dropped off.

The sun was beating down and it was proving to be a pleasant day on the banks, but alas on the horizon was a dirty big black cloud and I was soon erecting the brolly to shelter under from the rain, hail and snow fall.

The hail stones were pinging onto the line and the sensitive Delkims were going nuts.

The storm passed after an hour and I returned back to the sun and with the change in the weather the fish began to feed again. The mini boilie rod was off and with the bait runner churning I was hopeful of a tench, but alas it wasn't to be and the the third species of the day, a bream, was soon netted and unhooked in the water.

The boilie rod was rebaited and another bag of freebie's attached before it was swung out over the baited area, but it found its way over the margin shelf and I could feel it descending into the deeper water. It could stay there fore a while, while I had another cuppa.

The stove was bubbling away and the worm rod bobbin was dancing up and down like a whores draws, before the fish moved off and gave a positive run. Not a roach, but a better rudd was hooked and netted. At a scapper 1lb it was the first rudd of this size I've seen for a long time.

The rudd was slipped back and I noticed a disturbance in the reeds to my left, something was lurching.

The afternoon started to pass and the bites dwindled, but for a scraggy perch (species number 4) that decided that the worm was just too juicy to leave alone. It was a washed out old warrior and looked to be in not to good a state.

Afternoon turned to evening and there was s nip in the area as the sun started to fall, the rain started again and I was wondering when the dash for the car would occur. As the last few drops it the brolly, the worm rod was off again and a nice plump roach was hooked. As the fish came up in the water the reeds rattled and the roach disappeared into the jaws of a predator. The rod hooped over and the 10lb line was stretched before I loosened the clutch a tad and let it sing. I played the the pike for a while fearing that the hooklink would be severed by this toothy predator, but as the pike spotted me, it let go of it price and I was left with a wounded roach.

The roach was full of spawn and bleeding from the a slash across its tail, but it was still alive.


All I had managed to do was bring in both the prey and the predators, but not the intended tench