Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The catfish hunt continues


These cats are still making me climb the walls and I am not going to be happy until I get one. Even more determined am I now that when I come home every weekend and get asked if I caught anything, then I have to endure the disappointed faces from my mum and sister followed by a big sigh which is basically calling me a failure.

Experiencing this once again as I crawl through the door on Saturday morning after 3 hours sleep sent me into a rage, non anglers just don’t understand and I’ve explained countless times to them that these catfish are bigger than my dog, they feed less than lions and there’s only a few in the big lake. You have to be in league with the devil to be lucky enough to catch one.

But as I am a “Welsh Wizard” I am sure I’ll get one but it’s just a waiting game (I could I suppose fish an easier water but what’s the fun in that, I sure do enjoy a rant!)

So Friday evening I roll into the flash car park to be greeted by 3 cars, gutted, I hate sharing. I’m to use to being alone on rivers, but at least the area I’ve been fishing the passed couple of weeks was free. Next step was to get there before anyone else turned up, and just as I closed the boot to make my way to the swim a car turned up. I don’t think I would have got to the swim faster if a bull was chasing me.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty

Decided on a different approach to target the moggies this week, I can’t lose any confidence in bait because I haven’t caught one before so I can chop n change between baits. This week was a fish based attack. Taking with me Mackerel, sardines and the finest fillet of salmon to get those whiskers twitching

My favourite Nige Williams saying for a bait like this is “we’re not fishing for gudgeon down the canal”

The evening felt perfect for a catfish, it was hot, muggy and the wind on the flash was blowing an absolute hoole, things were looking in my favour for the night, any fish heading down the bay following the natural food would have to go through the bottle neck and past me and the cats would hopefully follow them.

The evening went by pleasantly and I got to watch cows in my favourite way, behind an electric fence (lol) darkness soon settled around me and I was ready for my Catfish!!

Cows and rainbows, makes them look so peaceful and tranquil, I know better

Despite regular castings and fresh bait top ups the catfish stayed elusive and I’m also finding it harder and harder to sleep on the bank! Think I need to invest in a new bed chair because I just can’t get comfy. For a decent nights sleep I think it will be money well spent, got my eye on one of the Nash indulgence bed chairs ;) I mean let’s face it at the moment I’m spending more time in my bed chair than I am playing fish.

£280 hmmm


So called confidence booster

Well if you’ve been following this blog you will know I haven’t caught a fish since my eel trip on the canal, I know, I know I cant believe it myself, 4 trips and not so much as a nibble so on Sunday I thought enough is enough its time I went out and caught something!!

Morning jobs done! Sunday dinner done! Centerpin, float gear and lobs done! And I was on my travels to a local club water in search of some margin carp. The weather on Sunday was surprisingly warm, the sun was beating down and of course what does this attract, fair weather anglers. How could I be so stupid, warm weather, small pool full of carp and, oh of course, yes 7 cars in the car park!! As I said in my last post I hate sharing

Back in my car and on my way to the jewel in the crown, Dead mans pool ;)

This water has a very good reputation for producing some vary large fish in many different species and fishing lobs on a water like this could get you a 30lb carp, 11lb Tench even very big chub. Luckily upon arriving there were only 3 cars in the car park, ok still anglers but I was expecting people to be on here. I was also expecting to blank because the pool is a very funny place to fish. One day they might be crawling up the line the next you can’t do a thing right.

This would be the second time I’ve fished the venue this season not because I don’t like the place but with it primarily being a Tench water I find it hard to drag myself away from my Tench syndicate during spring.

I set up in a likely looking spot just off the marginal slope by some over hanging trees fishing the lift float method. I kick started the swim with a few handfuls of mixed pellets, followed by my worm hook bait with the end of tail chopped off to release some of the juices

The swim on dead mans

It wasn’t long before I started getting indications on the float as it started dipping and swaying before finally being dragged under, I struck and felt no resistance at all until I had to pull my float out of the tree grrrrrrrrrr, first bite in ages and I didn’t connect

Oh well, there’s always another chance, rebaited worm and back out the float went. I haven’t done a lot of float fishing over the years because I feel like I’m missing out on something if I’m not using two rods, but until you go back to your angling roots of sitting back and watching a float you realise just how much you miss out on what’s going on under the water with all the float activity.

Dip, Dip, Dip and sail away, another fish!! I strike!!! Aaagghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what am I doing wrong!! No fish!!!! All I could think of was the same problem I was having with eels on the canal that the fish were just grabbing the worms by the tail and I wasn’t giving them though time to get it all in there mouth missing the take

Right! Worm chopped in half and I fished just the tail end on the hook, this will get one for sure!! Sunday soon started to fade away and I wanted to get off early so I could get some things sorted at home, I’d planned on leaving at 8pm and that time had quickly come around. I was starting to think I’d completely blew my chances of catching another fish when just like I said it would at 7.55pm the float vanished from the surface and I was met with a solid resistance

Fish on!! Haha, I’ve fished this swim a couple of times before and with it being a sharp shelve from the margin I’m able to drop the rod under the water and stop the fish getting into the branches of the tree. That’s also what I love about using the pin, with it being free spool its down to me to control how much line I give the fish by using my thumb so I cant blame anyone but me if it gets in the snag. I’d only had the fish on a couple of seconds when it all went slack and winding in revealed a break from a kink in the line

Throw the rod in or myself in

Its usually Stu Maddocks that loses all the fish but it looks like I’ve taken over. That was set to be my first fish in weeks and I lost him. Gutted

Although this cloud could have a silver lining because what most of you don’t know is, with 4 of my personal best fish (chub,carp,barbel,Tench) I also blanked for weeks until I finally had a fish which was a personal best!!

I’m after Catfish again Friday, will I get one ;)

Tight lines till next week

Starting to feel like a second home the flash

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sometimes it’s just an excuse to be there!


My river angling guru Stu has done all his hard work and for him this week its now time to play with time off work, so I arranged to meet him after I finished work on a new stretch me and Stu have our eyes on hidden deep on the upper Severn on my home soil.

7pm and after battling my way through the hoards of drivers trying to make their way home after a hard days work for tea time, I finally arrived to greet Stu waiting in car park.

I had been to this stretch a couple of weeks earlier just to try it out fishing a likely looking barbel hold up. At the time though I was only after chub and after losing 2 good chub from the swim it was all the confidence I needed to sit it out and wait for a big barbel to come trundling through

Its not a bad way to spend an evening

The upper Severn in places isn’t very wide so I much prefer to use only one rod, this saves any hassle of fish getting tangled up in another line and potentially costing me a fish, another line in the water can also mean I am more likely to spook fish. So with just one rod it would be rude not to be the traditionalist and get the centerpin out to fish the swim Mr Crabtree style.

Was that a twitch!!

Stu not fancying any swims on stretch jumped in his wagon and made his way a couple of minutes down stream to find some more pacey water. With full confidence in my setup
I was able to sit back and enjoy the wildlife and watch the sun setting

I would love to carry this on now and tell you how I hauled a monster barbel out onto the bank by its tail but couldn’t weigh it properly because the scales bottomed out but I can’t lol the evening went by without so much as a tap!! But I can’t grumble it’s the upper, you either blank or you get something decent there’s no in-between

Now non anglers that are reading this are thinking, well what a bloody waste of time he caught no fish. Thing is I was chatting to Stu about this at 12.30pm the same evening about how lucky we are as anglers. Between 7pm and 12.30pm I witnessed, Buzzards, a hare at close range, a kingfisher, 2 swans with 6 signets, an otter less that 2 foot away from me, bats and got to gaze aimlessly at the thousands of stars in the Pitch Black valley lighting up the sky.

Waste of time eh, its not always about the fish ;), But I am an angler and I do want to catch some fish or I might as well start playing golf

It’s now Tuesday night (10/08/10) and all my gear is ready for yet another after work session tomorrow, meeting Stu once again this time on a very local river to us both in search of yet more barbel and chub (hopefully we will be fishing the Welsh side lol)


Unfortunately Stu couldn’t join me for another bash at the barbel and chub and because I don’t really like fishing for barbel and chub until autumn time because I feel like I’m missing out on something else my mind was torn. But it didn’t take to long for me to decide to fish for a big bream

With being an office boy its always difficult for me to get out fishing after work, but with gorgeous lakes like the flash it makes all the hassle of getting out worth while.

The flash from the car park

I arrived at 7pm and with both rods already setup they were soon flung out into likely bream patrol routes. I have done a couple of sessions on the flash over the past couple of years but am still yet to catch one. But there are a few in here and a lot that go into double figures.

With both rods out, all you can do is wait

Fishing on the flash though was difficult as usual and I have nothing to report from the session, despite my best efforts those bream once again just wouldn’t feed. I do know the bailiff on the water rather well and he had informed me that only a couple of fish had been out in the past few months. I’m not sure though if that’s because everyone that fishes the venue is after the cats or because the bream really are that difficult at the moment, either way I still blanked lol

At least the rats were feeding

Tick followed tock into dusk on the bream quest


Once again I had planned to get down on the canal in search of the illusive big eels, this time though with back up of my angling companion Clive. Although I wouldn’t know if he could join me until 6pm when his wife would be home from work, which was ok with me anyways because I don’t want to get on the canal to early.

6pm came around and it turned out Clive couldn’t make (hope you enjoyed your sailor jerry lol) all day I had been thinking about eels but now the time was right I just didn’t feel like it, not because I didn’t want to go fishing, but because I didn’t want to be up all night again netting 2lb bream. The only other thing I could think of to ensure a good nights sleep was fishing for Catfish on the flash. A quick call to the flash bailiff to see if anything was going on down there because it was closed that morning for an EA fish check. Cliff confirmed though that the venue was open and no anglers were on the flash when he left at 4pm. it was decided then

Arriving at the venue at 9pm because of the police closing a road and it was a race against the light to get the rods up and out. 30 minutes later both rods were armed with lobs worms and were making there way to the gloomy depths.

The area I decided to fish on the flash is where the bank comes back into the water causing a bay (you can clearly see this from the earlier picture whilst fishing for bream)
Hopefully so if any fish move from the bay into the main body of the lake and visa versa I can intercept them in this tighter bit of water.

I didn’t wait long until I was soon getting some action the rods having a sharp take at 11pm but the bait getting dropped before I had time to get to the rod.

That night the heavens really did open and it rained from 10pm until 6am making the fishing during the night somewhat grim but I did still get out of the sack during the early hours to recast because the venue is weedy.

Rig for a monster cat

I slept through the dawn period finally appearing out of the sleeping bag at 8am, but I didn’t mind to much because I put full faith in the bailiffs knowledge that the cats usually come out later in the morning and feed until around lunch time.

The bird life on flash really is something

For some reason this is only my Second visit to the flash this year, once after the cats and earlier in the week after the bream. But I can happily see myself spending a little bit more time on here over the next couple of weeks because it really is a nice venue to pass away the hours

Plant life on the flash

And it looks like I will have to spend some more time on the venue because once again I blanked lol that’s 3 after work sessions I’ve put in and I haven’t even been able to hold a fish.
Since catfish have been chipping away in my mind for a few years now maybe a trip next week might see one climbing up the rod. Until next week ;)

They’re out there somewhere!!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

It’s what us coarse anglers are all about!!

A few days before this session was to take place i was in the garden planting a tree when probably the biggest lob worm I have ever seen revelled its self in the soil in front of me


The next day fork in hand and a little bucket and I was in the garden in lobworm hunting mode hopefully to get a few so i could go eel fishing on the canal the following day

Look at the tree behind me, planted rather well id say ;)

15 minutes of digging


Friday, 8.30pm and I was making my way through the lovely Cheshire country side as the sun was starting to set, I didn’t want to get on the canal to early because of people walking up and down and also the boat traffic.

After arriving I then spent the next hour just chatting with a couple of anglers who were already fishing the stretch who were looking to target the carp population. After exchanging some large eel stories of eels they had already accidently caught i was all fired up and rushed back to the car to get my gear

The light was starting to fade fast and with both rods out on lobworms I was ready to sit back, soak in the atmosphere and enjoy a bottle of dr pepper.

Notice the width of the tow path which I was very pleased about, saves anyone stumbling upon my gear

I started getting action on the buzzers almost instantly, but not from the eels I was fishing for but small bream, now I don’t usually mind bream but when you’re trying to catch something else they really are a nuisance

12pm and I had a visit from a friend of mine who had been in the local area terrorising the girlies, we put the world to rights and by 1am he was on his way, leaving me in piece and ready to concentrate once again on the eels

Last minute check before bed
By 3am and 6 bream later i hadn’t had a wink of sleep and every 20 minutes I was having screaming runs but was unable to make contact with any fish!! This carried on right the way through until 5am when I was finally able to suss the problem, I bunched all the lobworms up on the hook rather than all dangling thinking that the eels were just grabbing the eels by the tails and running off, meaning I wasn’t connecting with the eels.

The next run and I was into my first eel of the session, not the size I was after only around half a pound, but I went out to catch an eel and I did.

The session for me ended at 7am, with 7 Bream and 2 small eels. Whilst I was trying to unhook one of the eels one of the other anglers came over, they hadn’t caught many eels before so wernt really aware of there size but he said that the eels they have been catching have been 4 times the size of the half a pounder I had on the bank. Looks like im dragging my self back to the canal soon after one of those eels :D

There out there somewhere! Believe and Achieve!!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

So it Begins

First off welcome to my fishing blog! I’ve been doing session reports for a few years now on various websites so it only makes sense really to do a blog, hopefully on a weekly basis covering all aspects of Coarse angling to roach fishing on gravel pits in the depths of winter to Spring Tench fishing on secluded lily bed filled lakes on misty dawns.

The idea to start the blog came from Stu Maddocks one of my angling buddies. I’ve been reading his blog for a few seasons now (Roaming free) and been included in a few of them, so thought it was time I started my own so I can share the trials and tribulations I go through as an angler

Me and stu after a hard days piking on a semi frozen mere

I would also like to make you aware of the title “Every blank session will make the capture that little more special!”. That doesn’t mean I am always blanking lol just that it’s just a regular occurrence with big fish requiring your time, effort, determination and a little luck (or a lot) to catch them

Although fishing does take up a lot of my time, effort and determination I’ve still been issued with the nickname “Lucky Bruce” lol

Down to the important stuff and my fishing this season so far. I was lucky enough this year to catch my first double figure pike off my syndicate mere, very pleased because i had pike fished it a couple of seasons before this but only catching jack pike. A month later after catching the double I was cradling a pb pike of 15lb6oz on the boat of the mere. But on the same day a 16lb3oz pike graced my boat. So two pb pike in a day. Good angling I’d say not luck ;)

16lb3oz pike

15lb 6oz pike

Few days later I was back out, not on the mere but a lake in search of rumoured 4lb+ perch!! And a fish of that size is something I definitely don’t want to miss out on. I spent the day float fishing with worms and caught my first perch over 2lb, not just one but 6. Ending the day with a pb perch of 2lb11oz

2lb11oz perch

Spring is a very special time with being a member of a specimen tench syndicate, even more so now as I managed to get Sir Stu Maddocks a place on there. I’ve been on the venue a few years now and things have just started coming together for me. I had my first big hit of tench catching 9 tench all during day light hours which was unusual for the place, and also equalled my pb tench of 8lb6oz which I set the year before on the same lake.

9 tench all over 5lb
8lb6oz tench

Although those have so far been the highlights of the season iv still been out on little trips

Catching 5lb River Dee chub

Trying to avoiding big bulls in fields

And flood fishing the river severn for barbel

I do like to dabble into all species of fish and at the moment I’m sharing my time between catfish and eels, so hopefully by next week I will have a story to tell. But just before I go, this is never before seen footage or Sir Stu maddocks whilst we were stalking carp in the canal, this is the second Stuart strikes and fails to connect.

Until next time happy angling ;)