Sunday, 12 June 2011

Can I keep a promise?

Well like I keep telling everyone I really am a busy man and the only reason this blog is getting updated today is because I am house bound with the rain and since iv just come back from a session I thought I would get it typed up whilst it was fresh in my head.

A week ago I was lucky enough to have a week booked off from work and with a large number of big tench coming out of the mere it would be rude not to pay it a visit before they spawn and I miss out on there peak weight.

Home for the next 24 hours

If it isn’t broke don’t fix it so baiting up was the usual hand full of the magic mix pellets on each marker with a sprinkling of 10mm source boilies. Rigs well I do like to be Mr. secret squirrel every so often so ill let you use your imagination as to which rigs I was using ;)

Action was hot and heavy from the very start and within an hour two tench graced my net with a cracking fish full to burst with spawn (picture below doesn’t do it justice it had a belly like a football)

Having now spent a few years on the mere iv got used to the timings of the fish takes, and this session was no different, try and get to sleep around 11pm, usually get woken up between 1am – 2am by a pissballer run then alarm clock at 4am to rebait and recast the rods with fresh pva bags and you can usually get another take between 4.30am and 5.30am. if I didn’t rebait and recast you don’t usually get a touch, so early bird catches the worm.

Sun set on the mere.

I ended the session having caught 5 tench all of which over 5lb but non of the bigger ones, I couldn’t grumble though because I didn’t blank.

with the hottest day of the week fast approaching plans were made to pay a visit to a grass carp pond with Mr Stu. I visited this venue last year trying to bag one of its residents but with only 3 grass carp it can be very difficult.

Stu fixing me up with a dog biscuit

Despite the SAS style sneakiness these wary grass carp once again manage to elude my capture, best chance I had was a grass carp heading straight for my dog biscuit but was wrecked by a greedy rudd which engulfed it before the grass carp could get to it. All part of the chase I suppose.

Keeping low to the ground so the grass carp don’t spook.

the grass carp clearly did a disappearing act and we then moved onto a near by pond which holds some nice carp just so the day wasn’t a complete blank.

Kio carp caught between the pads on a dog biscuit.


With the big tench opportunity fast running out a night session was once again in order. Phone calls had been made in advance to see if I could have a bit of company for the session and see if I could up someone’s person best in the process because the mere holds a few of them.

Mr Clive parry was the first to take up my offer and with his previous pb being at 5 and a half pounds I told him his first fish would smash this and I promised him a pb (was it wise to say this?)

You would swear we would be staying for the week

My plan was to head up to the stages that I caught on the week before and just hope that clive could bag a few. During the day though we started the session in the boat yard plugging away with maggot feeders.

Some accurate casting needed from clive

It’s a funny place the mere though and if something isn’t right you just won’t catch, on this occasion the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and from previous experience the tench won’t filter into the boat yard without it. So all we were left to catch was some quality rudd and roach between heavy showers.

4pm soon approached and we headed back up the mere to the stages that we were to spend the rest of the evening on. Same as last week, markers had been baited with some of the magic mix with added corn and maggots. With the heavy rain showers and no cover it resulted in me getting soaking wet trousers, when the sun did come out though I managed to get them half dry on the bivvy roof and I thought I would be safe for some dry trousers until the wind decided to blow them into the mere.

With the shorts on, whiskey cracked open and the BBQ lit all that was missing was clives promised pb.

“Beeb beeb beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeb”

Piss baller for clive and with his less than speedy actions he was soon connected with an angry tench in shallow water. But was it a pb?

It was ww0o0o0o0o0o00o0o00 ho0o0o0 6lb4oz

A few more celebratory beverages and I retired to the bivvy with a starting migraine starting.

4am and I was out the bivvy and all the gear was frozen solid! I was up to finally wet a line and rebait, Shorts made it all very uncomfortable but I did it and within half an hour I had a rip snorting run but unfortunately bumped the fish.

Clive had a fish at 11pm and also a few more throughout the morning.

Clive weighing his catch

From 8am till well until right now its still raining and there is nothing I hate more than packing up in the rain so as I type this all my gear is soaking. It truly was a challenge getting all the gear back into the car but it was made easier because I managed to put clive onto some fish.

Good man


Think that little window of bagging a final big un could have gone for the mere this year, but I really have enjoyed the tenching this year and had some great sessions with good company. Well done on the pb clive, we will up it again next season im sure.

What’s next well rivers open next week! I can’t make june the 16th but I may be out on the upper severn to see if I can get some big upper severn chub on the weekend

Until next time

Upper severn magic, I will soon be with you my sweet.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Down the mere

Well its all hands on deck at the moment, after my last post the tench really have turned on with there feeding, the initial burst of sunshine really gave um a kick! And with a week off I had planned on taking advantage of this feeding spree!

My angling buddy stu

My first day off and i ventured down onto the mere with the man himself Mr Stuart, the Wrexham/Chester feud was put aside just for today as we are sporting gentleman. (although if he got a little close to the edge I would accidently bumped him in) falling in would have been a blessing though because the day was set to be a scorcher.

Me into a nice tench

We planned on meeting at the car park at a lovely sociable time of 10am and the idea was to plug away with maggots until we got into some fish. I hadn’t seen Stuart in a while so was looking forward to the sesh and when I got my first glimpse of him I noticed how much he has changed!! Flat stomach and lovely flowing locks (it was a wig) haha

I don’t want to go into to much detail about tactics because after all everyone holds a little back (secret squirrel ;)) but first tench came at 11am and action was thick and fast continuing right up until 3pm. Although I bumped a couple of fish and lost one around a marker the day ended on a high with 8 tench bagged. Two going 6lb and the rest being high 5s.

Team work resulted in a bumper catch of big uns

Few days later I once again found myself floating across the mere in the boat to my chosen spot which this time was to be the sandbar which meant me spending the day in the boat.

Fishing from the boat on the bar, check out the markers in distance

Now im not a massive fan of fishing from the boat, I love my space and having two rods out and all my gear in the boat leaves me cramped which leads to me getting naggy! space for casting was also very tight but being the welsh wizard it didnt take long for me to get the hang of hitting the markers which had a nice sprinkling of pellet waiting in front of them.

Police helicopter which spent the day circling the mere.

Now over the years iv started mastering the art of self takes, usually being alone I rely solely on that 10 second timer. Usually they do go to plan but whilst holding a fish and waiting for the 10 seconds to come to an end I had a screaming run on the left hand rod

Fish on!

Before I was rudely interrupted I was trying to take a picture of this 5lb+ male.

The day contuined with a few more fish making the total upto 6 tench and not a boilie or buzzer in sight.

nice female

As they say variety is the spice of life so a change of scenery was needed so a days stalking and floater fishing was to be my next adventure which came to an abrupt end. This time of year I have no choice but to share venues as the “fair weather” anglers pour out of the wood work and venues get cramped!

The venue I went to was a couple of big meres and I had aimed at targeting the carp, but with the car parks full and a busy road along side I didn’t stay around very long

Nice relaxing day by the waterside

This venue really wasn’t me, I haven’t been there before and unless I want a few easy fish I don’t think ill be back. Im after peace and quiet on a fully overgrown mere so I can creep about and spend hours up a tree, think im just a fussy angler these days

A victim of the day on the carp rig I swear by

So your all upto date, iv decided not to go out this weekend and instead get the blog updated. Although its all good fun catching decent sized tench the fire for me burns with the big girls of 8lb+ which will just about be ready to start creeping up and down them margins and when they do ill be there waiting.

also gagging to get back on the severn after some barbel! june 16th is just around the corner.

until next time

The one that got away?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

This is how my fishing year begins

Wow!! What a fantastic spell of weather we have been having!! And it’s only these past couple of days I have been able to experience it. As I type this I have already spent all day in the garden kicking back in a deck chair, reading some fishy mags with a couple of fosters.

Everyday it seems the grass is growing longer and the trees are looking fuller and the mere in which all my attention is on is changing by the day. The lilly pads have just broken surface, the weed is filling up and the reeds are starting to show.

Swan mussels and weed, crawling with grubs for the tench to fatten up on.

These past couple of weeks I have been down the mere every Saturday, putting bait in a few spots and raking the swims (as well as having a go for the pike).

if raking wasnt done this is what my hook bait would be lying in.

All though the tench have this buffet at there finger tips I have still managed to bag myself a few yesterday.


For me I really do love the journey down and the journey home! It’s the anticipation of getting down there to unlock the meres secrets and it’s a nice steady chilled out drive home after a mission complete. I managed to find a “best of rock and role” cd in my car which made the journey even more pleasurable.

my intention for the day was starting on a drop off swim I have really had my eye on for a couple of years then moving towards the boatyard at midday when the tench would hopefully be moving into the shallows to enjoy the sun shine.

6.30am at the boatyard entrance

Upon arrival the mere seemed alive with activity, everywhere I looked there seamed to be a tench topping and things really did look good for the day. The morning went by very fast though and I was unable to connect with any tench from my drop off swim. However I was still to fish the boatyard entrance where I could intercept them as they went in.

Drop off swim

i hadn’t even managed to get my 3rd rod in the water when I had a piss baller on the middle rod! In came a lolly olive green tench and she gave a lovely fight. I have decided on 8lb mainline this year over 10lb and you really can appreciate the fight you get from these fish because they just wont give up.

Between 12 and 3 it really was manic! On 3 occasions I didn’t have any rods in the water because I was either rebaiting a rod, unhooking a fish or trying to re clip the rod. I ended the day with 5 tench, 4 over 5lb and a 6lb fish. I managed to miss 3 violent takes because I was busy with other fish.

Its now early April and tench season hasn’t even started properly yet! I can see some crazy sessions in the future! Ill once again be back down on Saturday to try and against u amongst some more fish, at the moment size is irrelevant its just brilliant fun in a great surroundings

Until next week

Thursday, 17 March 2011

"Blast from the past"

Fishing Sywell Reservoir was the reason id booked my Friday off from work and I was planning to get down there for the weekend, but with sywell being closed, me and Steve were left with bait and an empty weekend but no venue to fish I said id sort Steve out with a guest ticket and we will jump on my syndicate mere (I secretly wanted to do this anyway rather than sywell because I have unfinished business with the little tincas on there).

I went down the mere around 2pm on the Friday onto the peg I usually fish and got all my gear setup, rods clipped up and baited up but I was off the mere again by 5pm to sort something out. With rods clipped up already it was just a matter of casting rods out and putting little bit of fresh bait out 10pm and I made my way across the mere with the sun just setting, I put some fresh bait out over the markers which I had left in the boat.

Bait I put out was a few handfuls of casters and maggots on each marker, I didn’t put to much in because before I left id put out half a bucket of ewe nuts covered in molasses evenly over the 3 markers as well as handful of corn and handful of party blend.

Rigs for the first night was 10mm solar pop up with pva bag casters, day glow maggots with pva bag casters and I decide to change a corn rig and I made up a double pop up caster rig with a pva bag of caster.

Sunset on mere

darkness fell and I was left hoping to be rudely awoken by a screaming reel, but instead I was rudely awoken by steve ringing me lol 3.30am and I boated across the lake to meet steve In the car park. After hauling a stupid amount of gear into the boat and plonking steve in one of the favoured pegs on the mere I went about putting some more bait out and getting my head down again.

Steve in his swim
Dawn rose and up until 12am I couldn’t even by a bite, I think by this time steve had already lost a tinca but I was still to get a run. I decided to cream up and enjoy the sun when I had a piss baller on the right hand rod, I got sun cream all over it before bumping the fish not long after doing it. This happened 3 times in the space of 2 hours and it wasn’t until id realised I had done the knotless not the wrong way around (what you get for drinking whilst your making rigs up the night before) that I knew the reason for me bumping the fish off, grrr I thought but at least I knew the reason.

I spent the rest of the afternoon chin waggin with steve over the phone and in person, cooking burgers on steves stove because my bloody stove ran outa petrol and caught 2 pike on a little perch shad. 6pm and I was back on the rods waiting for a fish.

Scared Pike
With getting up so early for steve and a mixture of boiling hot sun I wasn’t feeling to good and got my head down by 9pm hoping for a wake up during the night with a nasty fish on the end, instead I forced my self out of bed after waking up at 4am and put more fresh bait in with a recast.

By 5am the sun was creeping up and the mist was dancing on the surface, I had been back and to to the rods with drop backs from roach on my double caster rig before finally connecting with one which looked around the 1lb mark, really pleased with my first roach off the mere I put him in the net for a picture later on.

5.30am and I was wake but tucked up in the fart sack just watching for rolling fish when my right hand rod roared off, I knew this one was a tench not only because it took a boilie but because it was fightingKnowing how the 6lb fish fought a few weeks early I knew this fish was a lot bigger because I just couldn’t get its head, I decided to grit my teeth and continue to inch it to the surface as it headed closer but closer to the pads.

its head broke the surface and I thought “aghh its not that big” then it rolled and I seen its shoulders “holy shit” it was a really big tench, praying to the lord above I snatched the first opportunity I had to get him in the net and he was in Lifting him out the water it was an 8 I could tell by the weight of it, I unhooked him and put him back in the net letting out a wwawaahhho00oo0o00o into the mist knowing my mission was complete.

I franticly tried getting hold of steve but he was away with the fairies. I couldn’t wait any longer and I put her on the wheel of fortune¡!!!!.. 8lb6oz!!I jumped in the boat and boated down towards steve with the pressure off my shoulders that I had now achieved my goal I was able to take in the surroundings of how gorgeous the mere is this time off the morning, I drifted through the mist and into steves swim to find him flat out in the bag lol I told stevey the good news and I boated both of us back up the mere to my swim and to take some shots of this gorgeous fish

Back in the water and time for a brew to celebrate

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A new year and a fresh start!

First off, Happy New Year. My first post of 2011 and good luck to all those anglers reading this, hope you can achieve your 2011 goal.
For me my goal is still the 20lb river Dee Pike, but I think I’m going to change the rules a little here and rather than say a 20lb river Dee Pike, I’m setting my sights on a 20lb Pike from anywhere!! Hoping to achieve this before March so I can concentrate on the mere ready for spring and the tench. Got a few Pike waters I want to have a look at that have recently turned up on my radar and with the Dee at the moment being so unreliable I’d be stupid not to spread my wings a little.

So unlike most people I have been out and about fishing. First trip of the new year was a spot of grayling fishing on the upper upper Severn.

But as you can see from the picture it was far from grayling conditions, over an hours drive and it was unfishable!! Luckily half an hour back in the direction I came from and it’s my usual upper Severn haunt so a quick stop to check it out and run a float through was in order. But I suffered the same fate as before!

Both sides of the river were completely frozen and just a small channel in the middle for me to fish. I spent just over an hour in a few different spots before admitting defeat and retired to the car for some tea.


A return to the river Dee was inevitable and I had my head firmly set on a big Pike! I headed out a lot later than usual and upon arrive at my live bait catching section of the Dee I was greeted by a hoard of anglers! I drove down but every single peg was taken! With only a small supply of dead baits I didn’t really want to target my chosen area of the Dee without the magic of a livey!! So I decided to take a trip down to the mere but this was also unfishable, the whole mere was completely frozen over and I felt I would be wasting my time even if I tried. I had no other choice but to head to the area of the Dee I was going to fish anyway but with the deadbaits.

An in flood frozen mere!!

An hour later I was sat in my swim on the Dee and had two rods cast out towards a sunken snag which had collected a large amount of floating debris. Watch the video below to see the results

I had no confidence all day because things just weren’t going the way I wanted it to but I managed to catch one. You might have been able to hear a machinery noise stopping in video and that was a farmer on his tractor who had seen the commotion of me landing the fish and came over for a look. He was nice enough to take a snap for me.

Worth its weight in gold on a day when nothing was going right

I stuck it out fishing the same swim for a little longer before a move back to the live bait section I had originally started. Upon arrival at the venue as expected most anglers had left because they can’t handle fishing into dusk. As I was fishing away I was approached by another angler and we started talking about how it had been fishing today. Apparently not one Pike had been caught and the Dace were not showing. He was right about the Dace because I failed to catch any! But it was nice to know that all the anglers in the same area failed to catch a Pike and I had one under my belt.

Quiver tipping into dusk, perfect way to end the session


I had Day booked off work because the weekend before I had spent it helping my cousin plaster board his ceiling and I had a number of late nights throughout the week so I really was ready to switch off and get out fishing.

So the fishing! Same plan as before quick stop for live baits then move on!! I arrived just after 7 and was relieved to find an empty car park with only one other angler upstream. Feeder rod was set up and I was soon enough supplying the Dee with a constant rain of maggots. Unfortunately the river really was ripping through and it was up about four foot because of the recent snow falls. I went upstream to speak with the guy fishing and he confirmed that nothing at all was showing, he was stick float fishing for dace and he hadn’t had a bite in 2 hours.

My next plan of action then was a few hours on deadbaits!

Messy business on the Dee, my gear was caked in mud!

The night before I made a trip to Sainsbury and got some fresh mackerel and herring. Both really smelly baits and I was hoping the scent trail in the murky depths might entice a take! I spent a couple of hours there before my mind starting going into overdrive, I just knew I was wasting my time and I was soon set on heading back to the mere. The 20lb Pike would have to wait and catching any Pike was the mission.

Rods out on the mere and an afternoon on the boat, First brew of the day

This was my first session on the mere this year and I always forget just how much I enjoy it down there, peace and quiet, no other anglers and the chance of a few double figure Pike.

My favourite area of the mere is the boat yard for the Pike but today I just couldn’t produce a run on the deadbaits! The next area to try would be wooded area

I tried everything during the course of the day! Dead baits nailed to the bottom, popped up baits, wobbled a few dead baits, and even tried a suspended dead bait!

(Yes I did managed to get it all out of the tree, the beauty of using the boat)

The day had almost come to an end so all that was left to try was a little lure I’ve nicknamed the jack destroyer! Because it never fails to bag me fish. Only problem is that’s all it does catch is the little jacks, but it does save me from a blank! So with the last 40 minutes of day light and I managed to bag 3 jack Pike all from the boat yard

The jack destroyer in deep!! They loves it!!

I plugged away until the last flicker of light but was happy with my result even though non of the big girls showed to the deads.

Nothing beats standing in boat throwing a lure around with the sun setting.

That now brings you fully up to date.

Like I said at the start of this, my aim now before spring is going to be a 20lb Pike! If I manage this I will then set my sights onto Chub. I’ve got a few big Pike venues in mind so I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. Mainly because I will get to join a few of my fishing companions who are mad as hatters! So even if I blank the day will still be enjoyable.

Until next time!!

Cormorants over the mere!! Lock and load!