Thankyou for taking the time view my mutterings.

"We sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us"

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A new challenge

Although I have other species on my mind at present, my mind is thinking forward to June 16th.

Myself and a couple of friends have been given the chance to angle on a thirty man syndicate stretch of the Gt Ouse in Bedfordshire.

One of the said friends has fished it in years gone by, but not for a few.

I personally have only wet a line there a couple of times in search of anything that would bite but this challenge is going to be different but also likely to get the brain ticking as the said stretch, as a lot of the Ouse (and most other running waters), has been ottered out over the last couple of years and not forgetting the 2007 floods which seems to have also pushed the fish elsewhere.

Barbel will be my main chase but also this beat holds some good chub and also some carp which are rarely fished for.

It's times like this when a new challenge excites the angler and only anglers understand my thoughts and directions. The effort and excitement that is involved every year by anglers of all experiences can't be explained to non angling types.

So with baited breath, although I'm lake fishing at present, my mind is already planning its attack for the new challenge.

And if I get one, it will be another special moment in what is an ever changing pastime that we call angling.

I'll let you know.....

Sunday, 25 April 2010

"Shut that up will ya Dad"

Where to start?!?

The session as planned to nine acre pit, started as a chilled out affair... I decided to have a stroll round and scrounge a couple of teas en route. Jason was itching to get fishing but understood that there was no need to rush.

After scrounging a tea or two, we decided to head to our chosen swim, the area is a nice little secluded plot with nice marginal bushes and a small island straight ahead. The plan was just to fish margin spots either side in the hope that if there were any tench about they would hopefully be patrolling up and down the marginal shelf.

The weatherman was giving it warm, so with this in mind we began to get our house up and complete before it got too hot.

On this occasion I was using 1.75 test curve rods, coupled with my small bait runners and ten pound line was order of the session. "why line so heavy for tench" you might be wondering? Well this particular lake has carp to just over forty pounds and catfish to just under seventy pounds!! Ok, I would still have no chance of landing such beasts in the tighter area swims but in open water scenarios I might have a chance.

Bait was mixed up at home the previous night and this consisted of a method mix with all sorts of goodies thrown in including casters, hemp, corn and broken down boilies.

A short rig with fake corn was on one rod and a double 10mm boilie completed rod two.

Rods were baited and the first casts were made late afternoon and left to settle ready for the time that is dusk. Not long after these casts were made it was soon apparent how things were going to turn out. As it was Saturday, some anglers departed soon to be replaced by more.

By 6pm, two roach and one bream had been caught... it was noticeable already that if this continued then we were in for a long and busy night!

Two tins of hot dogs were tipped into the pan and a fresh baguette was cut in half and filled with eight dogs each and while I was trying to make the most of such a splendid dinner the right hand rod gave a stuttered take.

Bream number two was landed and my hot dog and cup of tea was now cold!!

Now without a blow by blow boring account, let me just say here that by ten o'clock that night we had landed thirteen fish which included three roach and ten bream! The bream were all in the 7/8lb bracket with all of them falling for the double 10mm offerings, with the corn rod only producing roach.

At 10.30 I managed to get Jason settled into his sleeping bag, but liners continued and we both had trouble getting our heads down. A couple of friends were fishing the opposite bank and thought I was running a brothel as all they could see was my little red head torch coming on at regular intervals!!

During the dark hours after midnight I managed another couple of bream, but my hopes for a tench were all resting on first light.

I must confess here that at 3am I wound the boilie rod in as enough was enough and I needed some shut eye. The quiet corn rod was left out and I managed to see the back of my eyelids until a pair of fighting randy geese decided to wake me up at 5.15!!!

Both rods were re-baited and no sooner had the kettle boiled than the bream rod was off again, and with that I heard a little voice from the bivvy "Shut that up will ya Dad" "All night"! With that he buried his head again!!

Not long after first light the Heavens opened and the bites dried up and this twenty four hour session ended with 4 roach, 14 bream and no tench!

Next time we'll have em!!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Its Spring....... get out there!

Now, the die hard traditionalists will be at home sorting their tackle ready for a June 16th start.

Personally I will be (at least for the next three months) angling for tench on the local home water that I bailiff then come the 16th I will more than likely head back to the Gt Ouse trying my wits against the getting more elusive barbel.

It's a shame really as I remember in years gone by the buzz the three month lay off created and all the preparation that went with it... cleaning the tackle down, re-spooling reels and thinking about baiting strategies, along with this there was also the recce trips around lakes and local canals.

It now seems however that the months between March and June can't be missed and are classed as one of the best times of the angling season to put that maybe fish of a lifetime on the bank.

In my eyes, spring is the time of year that things start to wake up after the long winters that we now receive. Not only the fish, but the trees, flowers, birds and the dreaded mozzies! Longer days, misty mornings and glorious sunrises all add to the spice that is angling.

Come the 15th of June I will buzz with anticipation once again as the urge of running water takes over but until then I will enjoy the spring and do my best to outplay our scaly friends.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Baiting has commenced and attack has been planned.

I am still sticking to my plans of chasing the "doctor" fish.

A couple of times this week I have visited the nine acre pit and baited with a few handfuls of tit bits in certain areas of the margins. The plan is to fish the spring months chasing the tench that nobody seems to angle for.

Rods are rigged up and baits have been selected; myself and my son plan to fish for the unknown this coming Saturday for a twenty four hour session.

On walking the lake this evening one thing is noticeable........ it's still bloody nippy when the sun drops from view and the temp reading when back at the truck was saying four degrees.

Its looking pretty as a picture up there and things are waking up and the trees are budding.

Lets hope the fish like the gourmet i am offering.....

I'll inform you of my findings!!

Monday, 19 April 2010

No success but not a failure

The 11.55 night crossing from Dover to Calais was met and now it was time for a good drive through the night with three excited ten year olds in the back of the truck.

We had decided to take the scenic route to try and avoid the nightmare that is Paris. On doing this, complete with three stops and a lengthy fourth for a much needed rest as no sleep kicked in at about five in the morning!

We eventually arrived at Chapel lake at midday(ish)!! We were totally wrecked and then Tony the owner of the lake arrived to give us a tour of the venue and to tell us a little history.

Eighteen acres surrounded by woodland was now ours for the week.

Swims were chosen all in close proximity of each other for all in all it was going to be a social for us and any fish would be a bonus as we had planned that the young un's would wind in most of the takes.

One thing that didn't look too promising was the weather, some of the days were sunny but with that came cold easterly winds with temperatures dropping like a stone come the evenings/nights.

That first day went like a blurr due to tiredness, but that first tea time one of the lads had a far bank run which turned out to be a small common carp and with that sort of start we thought/expected to have a bagging week!!

A few drinks were had before we turned into the bags, but one thing that was noticeable was..... it was a dark surround.

Quiet, dark and in the middle of nowhere with only the odd squawk to be heard, if nothing else we would have a chilled week with the surroundings we had been given!

First light came and that first morning told us that warm clothing would be the order of the week.

Time had now come to go and venture out into the lake by boat to have a poke and a prod to look for some likely looking areas as the first days efforts were nothing more than pub casts that left the reels in more of a lets hope sort of way!!

The main body of the lake of which used to have a predominant river bed running through it was now six feet deep with a couple of feet of silt below it, hmmm! On boating across to the far marginal snags it soon become apparent that from a couple of rod lengths from the far bank the bottom changed from silt to gravel/sand and a rocky make up. Carp anglers are suckers for this type of area and we were to be no different.

At this point I will just say.... that maybe we'd be proved wrong?

Baits were rowed out and placed on the rests and now it was time to set three float rods up to keep the young un's happy to compete for the roach that occasionally pitted the surface. Now this little game turned out to keep me busy for most of the week due to hook losses, tangles and mega lines wrapped around the backs of spools! The boys were happy and left to their own devices most of the week, whether it was fishing, wandering off into the surroundings to find wood to whittle or just to play hide and seek (although my son Jason didn't like it much when a free roaming Shetland pony chased after him!!).

Donkey's, chicken's and even Limousin cows were roaming free and with the odd sighting of a white heron and the twit twoo from from a local owl in the far bank tree's all was well in the world.

Now, this is not the bagging up tale it could have been with just the odd run coming between us over the period of the week. Different rigs and baits were tried and by the law of sod, three days in and I was singing in the shower of which at this point I will say was pukka apart from the mad dash at the end of it to get off the cold cobbled stones with the cool air temperature.

It turned out that the rod I had set up with my lad in mind who is left handed (yes, reel handle on the wrong way!) had melted off ninety yards away!!

Although I could not see this happening when later told the story it turned out that one mate was holding the rod while another was turning the reel handle! With this sort of heath robinson affair going on, I hasten to add that a very large fish was lost about thirty yards out due to a hook pull!

Some you win, some you lose!!

Still, I was there to relax and nothing was going to faze that.

A couple of fish had to be landed by boat due to fishing tight to snags but again these only turned out to be small ones but over a few days all three lads had wound a fish in and to see them smile while holding a French carp was a picture in itself and something you or I probably never got to do when we were their age and something that will stick in their memories for ever and you never know, they might even travel down through France on their own as a trio of mad keen carp anglers simulating their fathers? Lets hope so!!

Due to the weather being so cold considering we were only about three hours from Spain, one good blow of a southerly might have been a different story for us, but it was not to be and with this we decided to head for our own shores a day earlier than planned.

But on that last morning at 4am one of the party netted what turned out to be the biggest of the trip at 36lb that slipped up on a light linked pop up rig from yes you've guessed it.....the sloppy silt in the middle of the lake! So maybe, just maybe we got the plan of attack wrong? Who knows?

If not for the chilling winds, the company was great, the lake was pretty as a postcard the region was at peace but most of all, to go camping with your son and let him be a lad with angling intent and to experience this sort of trip, well that was enough on this occasion.

We will no doubt return again one day of that I'm sure.