First pint in pompey
Well Portsmouth I really did have a brilliant time and I really didn’t want to come back to reality but all good things come to an end, but probably for the best for my health’s sake because we were on the pop everyday.
I didn’t actually do any fishing until a few days in, we spent the rest of the time around the town seeing the sights and basically just enjoying being out of work, on the Saturday though we did go for a day trip to London to see the landmarks and the pubs
Chris and me sampling some fine ale in a traditional English pub
Tower Bridge as the sun was setting
Right, the fishing.
Home of mega Pike and monster Zander a well known predator lake in the angling world and one of the top venues in the UK to catch your first Zander, and as I am yet to catch a Zander as we don’t really have Zander up north that was my aim.
For the trip my mate Chris would also be joining me as he has a thing for Pike and I managed to help him catch his first Pike this season off the mere. Would also like to say that as a non angler he did very well at getting up at stupid o clock so we could get to the lake at the crack of dawn for first choice of swims and hopefully winkle a couple of Pike and Zander out before it got too bright.
Me setting us up with 3 rods
My standard Pike fishing set up
Bury hill is a little funny where they won’t let you use treble or barbed hooks for fishing, so single barbless hooks had to be used.
Bait selection - Prawns, Prawns soaked in crab liquid, whole roach and whole smelts
I decided on the prawns because I wanted to try and do something a little bit different to everyone else as I’m sure these fish have seen more dead baits than I have.
We fished it by having Chris float fishing and basically letting him do what he wanted with it, I had a float a couple of rod lengths out in front of me on roach heads or tails, and I also had a rod on my far left to a snagy area on a whole hair rigged prawn
Really does look the cats pyjamas
It didn’t take long before we started getting action, well not me but Chris!! Casting into a windy area his float was getting dragged around the swim and into feeding fish
Chris playing a Pike
Unfortunately with the barbless hook rule the fish managed to escape the net and also another fish after this managed to elude us.
The day its self was very grim but its exactly what I wanted, dark and overcast with dark rain clouds over us all day, luckily I thought ahead and I brought the oval brolly with me.
Me playing a Pike caught on half a roach tail, check out the fancy foot work
Result!! Pike of around 5lb and saved me from a blank
During the course of the day the fish were feeding in a pattern were we would get takes about 2/3 hours apart on each rod with no action in between.
That morning I went on to land another 2 Pike all on the ledger rod and then just what I’d been waiting for happened
Me just about to land……………………….
A ZANDER haha the face says it all
6lb7oz pb Zander and a happy bearded man
Well that just about summed up Bury Hill, I went to catch a Zander and I did, quality
Hampshire Avon - The Royalty
Well it shouldn’t need any introduction the famous day ticket section on the Hampshire Avon and I was targeting barbel. It’s not the first time I’ve visited as I did a day session on here last summer, I did blank then but at least it gave me some ideas to work on this time around.
Now for people who don’t the Hampshire Avon its very shallow in areas with gravel bottoms and steamer weed runs and you can at time actually spot the fish and specifically target certain fish.
I arrived just gone 7.30 and it was still very dark so I thought I would start in a deeper area of the Avon and that was the railway bridge swim.
Dark and overcast lovelyy Barbel conditions
I started off by fishing 1 rod with a large lump of meat with no other free offerings just to see if anything was knocking about. A few hours went by though without even a tap. So another rod soon found its way in with what I was hoping would be the winning formula
Known to only a few as “the magic mix” with added hemp and what Stu likes to call my “soy sauce”
I have full confidence in my mix and I know it can drive fish barmy but for some reason I just couldn’t get the Barbel on it! Grrrr. I was starting to contemplate a move as I know Stu would be shaking his head at me if he knew I spent all day blanking in 1 swim
No luck a move was on the cards
The peace and tranquillity in the railway swim, hmmmmmmm
I spent the rest of the day then moving about, trying lumps of meat, boilies and pellets but just couldn’t tempt a fish. I tried rolling meat, straight leads, Pva bags, stonze leads, feeders but nothing was having it, looks like it was another blank for me on the Avon! They aren’t stupid these fish
The final swim I fished, fishing PVA bags of pellets on the other side of a clump of streamer weed
Dorest Stour – Throop
Upon leaving the Hampshire Avon I was approached by a member of the fishing club that has the rights to the royalty and throop (Ringwood Angling) and this gentleman just so happened to be the manger on the Throop fishery which is famous for its giant Chub. Id already bought my day ticket for throop for the next day to save me going back to the tackle shop and I spent the next 30 minutes just picking the brains of the manager to get as much info as possible to give me the best chance of catching, his words “You don’t need half that shite” so no bag, 1 rod, chair and a few bits and I was on my way
When I first arrived at the venue there was already two other anglers on the fishery so I decided to walk as far as possible to try and get away from them to non disturbed water. I sat in the first interesting looking spot after my long walk and set up. It was only 7.30 and just the same as the royalty I couldn’t see the bottom and what I was fishing into, I could just make out some underwater cabbages and some weed. I didn’t want to fish into cabbages and get my rig masked so I decide to up sticks and move down stream
Upon standing up something shiny caught my eye in the water, a ghost carp of around 8lb was heading towards me, I kept watching it and my eyes started adjusting to the water and I noticed 4 other mirror and common carp swimming with the ghostie.
Back in the swim I was just fishing and I started introducing the magic mix. Before long mud clouds started to appear on the surface as the carp were ripping up the bottom after the mix. For an hour I kept my hand on that rod with my heart pounding as I knew the carp were in the area but I just couldn’t see them. Then from behind the weed a carp starts drifting towards the rig and into my line, it stopped the carp in its tracks as if it hit a pane of glass and it bolted into the depths. Chance gone
Typical looking stretch at throop
I went on to move several times and see a fair few chub but I was unable to catch anything. I was really disappointed as I was trying everything technical under the sun and the regulars down there were just fishing it like I fish the Severn, Groundbait feeders and nothing more and they were pulling the chub out one after the other. Lesson learnt I think
And that brings you up to date, I haven’t been out fishing since Portsmouth and I have around 50 meatballs in my freezer covered in crab liquid I need to get rid of because there stinking!!
with this drop in temperature looks like its once again a change with the seasons and its roach and pike for a while, Depending on the river conditions I could be out on the river dee in search of a river Croc
Until next time
Doesn’t take much to make me happy, Nice view, beer garden, ale and Zander