Thursday, 23 December 2010

Chasing Shadows indeed!

First off this will be my last post of 2010!! Yayayay!! Christmas really has come around fast and so has winter!! I have been unable to do most of what I have wanted to do with the current weather as it is. We had a heavy frost, then snow then frost and now snow again! This makes planning my angling very difficult.

Which is what happened when Chris came up from Portsmouth, I was hoping some pike fishing would be on the cards but i felt it would have been a pointless trip after we had a hard frost, so the next best thing was to mix things up, we both enjoy walking and I do love the Upper Severn so……………………..

Back up Rodney’s pillar I went!! (I really think I should reword that?)

But as well as the pike fishing being pointless so was this because half way up a mist settled around us and made seeing any sort of view impossible, I was really looking forward to seeing a snowy background!

The following week was also a non angling week as I spent the weekend recovering after seeing the punk band *The Gallows* perform in Wrexham, was a great gig and if you watch the video on the link below you might just see a certain someone coming into the circle pit at 50 seconds

With the gallows out the way plans had to be made to get some fishing done!! Firstly though I had to make up a fresh batch of cheese paste after my other batch had been mistaken for mouldy pastry!

That Saturday I went about sorting all my gear out and getting everything as light as possible to carry and i thought I would acclimatise myself to the cold weather by creating this In my garden………………..

A snow loch ness monster!

Sunday morning I made my way to the upper, it really is a different world to up there and upon arrival I was greeted with 6inchs of snow, freezing fog and a frozen padlock gate which meant my precious tea had to be used to defrost it.

Before getting all the gear out of the car though I went up and down the river putting balls of liquidised bread and lumps of cheese paste in chubby looking areas

I felt like Jack Nicholson in the shining!

As you can probably guess I blanked! Lol I did enjoy being out in it though and looking back at the pictures now it looks a lot colder than im sure it was, but I was dressed like an Eskimo. Below are a few shots of a snowy Upper and a video I did whilst I was out.

As you can see all the overhanging trees just scream chub!

The little video of my antics

And that just about concludes 2010! Iv had a lot of memorable fish and had some really enjoyable fishing sessions with some angling friends.

What now! Well im getting into the festive spirits by drinking to much and eating to much and not really beating myself up about not going out and fishing, im keeping in contact with some other anglers out and nothing much is going on. I have a session planned on the 2nd of Jan pike fishing with my fellow whisky drinker Clive at an undecided venue which im really looking forward to as iv only fished with Clive once this year which was a flying fishing trip.

So keep your eye out at the start of the year for that and enjoy Christmas! And have a triple on me.

A Little video of me and my attempt at trying to scare my dog who is passed out on the sofa! You might be able to make out Robson greens extreme fishing in the background (it takes a while for me to turn up but im trying to build up the suspense)

Monday, 29 November 2010

River Dee Crocs

Finally winter is here! Happy why I hear you cry! Because I can finally start catching fish!! I’ve reached that stage in my angling where what ever species I want to target I know a venue that suits my specimen needs. Some far away and some on my very door step, and on my door step is where I have been the past couple of weeks on Dee.

I do love fishing my local venues and my aim this winter is my first 20lb Pike out of the Dee, now this is a very realistic target because there are plenty in the Dee its just catching them.

Mink tracks

To get my head into the Pike fishing I decided to fish a non pressured area away from most people so I could get to grips with avoiding the trebles and the Pikes teeth. The Dee was just coming down in level after a flood though and the banks were very slippery, learning from my mistakes boots were put on straight away.

Apart from its Pike, Dace is the firm favourite of a lot of the anglers in winter on the Dee, as there’s plenty in the area.

Perfect for live baiting

To be honest I was enjoying fishing for the Dace more than the Pike, keep hitting that same spot with the maggot feeder and they crawl up the line, even put up a half decent fight if you let them.

Surprise Grayling catch on the maggot feeder

So the Pike, I had a really good first session managing to bag one of around 7/8lb

7/8lb Dee Pike

Which also gave me a bit of bother which resulted in this

Hazards of the job

And for my troubles and pain I was rewarded with this

13lb8oz, I’m always happy to catch double because they do put up a great fight.

The following week was once again going to be spent out on the Dee in search of the treasures it holds. Unfortunately Wrexham was hit with snow on the Friday evening and I wasn’t sure if I would have to give up a weekend on my quest.

Sure was a cold start

As you can see from the picture above I did go out fishing!! I,ve always wanted a really nice photo of a Pike in the snow so I couldn’t just sit back in the house. Although I think that’s what most people did because this very popular area was deserted.

I’m starting to hate swans more than cows now! Nasty little devils

I wasn’t alone for long though and sure enough the place was getting very busy. Match men lined the far bank and went about drawing peg numbers (“IT’S A 6, NNOOO ITS NOT THAT’S A 9, IT CANT BE A 9 BECAUSE I HAVE 9”…..) I do hate sharing.

Dace live bait doing its job perfectly

I spent the morning enjoying my Dace fishing with a float out in the margins for the Pike, It’s rather tricky to watch the quiver tip for the Dace and the float for the Pike and when my Pike float shot away from the surface its all hands on deck! For its size it put up a fantastic fight, but my aim for the day was a Pike in the snow and irrelevant of the size here she is.

That’s what we like!! Smiles from me and the Pike

Not long after catching this Pike I ended up moving to the area I fished last week hoping that less angling pressure could mean some extra fish, but as soon as I arrived it just didn’t feel right and I felt I should have been back where I started. I gave the area a couple of hours anyway because you never know, had some dinner (which I’ll tell you about later) and went back to the other stretch.

Lovely deep margins for the Pike to work their way up and down

I fished the last hour of daylight in a tasty looking swim with some overhanging trees and listened to the match men’s antics a little longer. Interestingly the match was won with almost 30lb of silver fish!! Why stay in bed or at home with weather like this you should be fishing!

Well I didn’t catch anything else, the Pike just didn’t seem with it. The week before I was constantly getting runs and this time around it’s as if the Pike stayed in bed.

Right next week! My mate Chris is coming up from Portsmouth to visit his family so he’s getting dragged onto the banks Pike fishing!! Haven’t decided were we are going yet because it all depends on conditions, lets just hope the fishing continues to be just as good and I can get my hands on a 20!

Until next time

A new found winter warmer! Chicken soup and a packet of super noodles, Quality

Thursday, 18 November 2010


First off id just like to say sorry for how long this has taken me to get up, Iv had it written a while but without the internet and limited use of a flash drive it makes things a little difficult

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.

Bury Hill

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

Monday, 18 October 2010

the patriot

07/10/10 - the patriot

Another couple of weeks down and since the bream session on “Lake 55” I have been spending my time in the valleys of Wales in search of barbel on the “Upper Severn”

Anyone traveling to the upper would recognize this

The first session was spent on a club stretch where I caught the barbel a few weeks back. The biggest problem with the Upper Severn is finding the fish, so if I know an area I can catch them, then half the battle is won anyway.

I arrived on the venue around 7pm and the sun was starting to set fast, the river was up about 4ft and was ripping through. It was though starting to drop which means lovely conditions to barbel fish. But, I’m not a massive fan of fishing floods into dark because one slip and you’ve had it.

Just as the sun was setting

And that’s basically what happened to me! I started walking down the bank and because of the river dropping the banks really are treacherous with slippy mud. For some reason I decided on not wearing my boots because it’s not a massive walk from the car. I put my foot in one wrong place and it sent me on my ass hurtling towards the river. Nee up in a flooding Severn on what was supposed to be a stealthy approach! Ratttssss


With the light rapidly fading I had to run back to the car for a change of socks and to put my boots on.

Unfortunately that was to be the most excitement on the whole session. I fished from 7 till 11 and I didn’t have a single tap not even from a chub!!

On the far bank ………. make your own mind up.


This weekend I was once again heading down to the Upper Severn. Tactic for the day was to bait up a swim with pellets and boilies then return to it at dusk for “bait n wait” tactics. Hopefully over the course of the day fish would have been over the spot and would be hungry for more.

Pellets and monster crab boilies, Ready to be bait dropered into the swim

Whilst the bait was doing its job I was to head upstream with 1 rod, bag of meat and a net. Plan was to walk as far as possible then head back downstream putting a large lump of meat into long glides and under over hanging bushes, aka “Rolling meat”. By doing this I can cover a large a mount of water to find the fish and present the bait how the barbel would naturally see it which is rolling towards them in the current.

Planes over the Severn

Despite covering 4 fields worth of river and putting my life at risk by venturing into a field with 20 cows I was unable to tempt a barbel! 3 hours of walking and not having my fishing comforts like a chair and cake was taking its toll so I headed back to my bait and wait swim ready for the night time activity

Swans coming through my rolling swim

Back in the swim and I was ready for some action, and it looked in perfect condition. The swim itself was like a bottle neck forcing the barbel underneath the overhanging trees on the far bank and hopefully over my bait. So a single rod with my standard ground bait tactics was placed conveniently in the red zone!

Jobs a good un, all we need is fishies!!

Here it comes, unfortunately I didn’t catch lol I had a right session the night before involving whiskey and I only had a couple of hours sleep so after the long walking you plonk me in a chair and all I wanted to do was sleep. One minute it was light, the next I woke up to this

Fell asleep again and woke up to the moon. It had only just gone 8 but I had enough, and I needed my energy for the next day! There’s always another chance.

Now not really fishing, but, overlooking the Upper Severn standing proud is Rodney’s Pillar and I’m sure if anyone has ventured onto the upper you must be blind to miss it (although its not very clear in the picture)

After years and months of saying I’m going up there, today I finally scaled it to have a lovely view of the twisting and turning Severn and got to see all my stretches with a birds eye view. Would fully recommend it to any Upper Severn angler.


I wouldn’t do anything differently, I feel I fished both sessions really well but its just the upper, if I wanted to catch small 5lb shoal barbel all day I’d fish the middle like everyone else.

So what’s next…PORTSMOUTH!!! Wwwaahhoooo, I head out on Thursday and won’t be back till the following Friday. Zander, Pike, Barbel and chub are all the cards for the session and will be fishing some of the most famous waters in the country! With a little help from the bailiffs I have been in talk with I just might be able to winkle 1 or 2 out.

Until next time

They’re a nuisance but I have been looking into doing this because they’re making me jealous