Sunday, 30 September 2012

All go!

Well i am starting to notice a pattern here, i go all out in spring when i am out almost every weekend giving those tench a hammering on the syndicate and then i do no other blog updates until autumn when once again its all systems go.

As i type this my evening plans were to head out either onto the upper or my local river Dee in search of chub or barbel, unfortunately the rivers are well up and in the fields, now i love my flood fishing but not when its as high as it is. my head though is firmly screwed on thinking of targeting barbel and chub and trying avoid the distractions of pike fishing when i see the photos of pike from Stuart out in Ireland pike fishing and Malcolm out pike fishing on two other local big pike venues.

Summer behind us and iv had a very unlucky spell with fishing, iv once again been in search of those big grass carp and finally i managed to hook the biggest of the 3 that usually comes out at around 20lb, unfortunately this grass carp didn't read the rule book and after hooking him decided to fight with the force of 1000 demons sending me snagged up into a tree. Having been targeting these fish on and off for a couple of years i was absolutely devastated at losing this fish. i really cant put into words how bad losing this fish and only an angler will really understand.

Upper Severn, the area i know and love

Couple of weeks later and with a fresh summer flood i headed out for my first upper session of the season, with a raising river catching was inevitable and i slid my net under a very good chub, easily 5lb+. went about my usual practice of setting up the camera and weighing equipment up the bank and unhooked the fish in the net. With a blink of the eye this slippery customer had managed to back flip back into the river without even a good bye, really cannot believe my luck!!

Upper/Middle Severn flood barbel fishing

Summer flood fishing

Ok my plans for the next couple of weeks are to continue enjoy blanking on the river Dee in search of barbel, they are few and far between but with it being just 10 minutes down the road will mean alot to me to catch one, carry on with my upper campaign and venture down onto the middle for some fun with some shoalie barbel. 

Nice Chub on the upper

Until Next time!

Tick followed tock on the dee!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hot and Heavy!

I’m rather excited about this blog post as I’ve had loads of things going on recently and I’ve finally got amongst the tench on the mere!

I had two session since my last post targeting rudd and carp/cats whilst I was waiting for the warm weather to return to get those tench routing about, But nothing to report, for the carp/cats my friend from preston mark joined me, you might remember him from a previous post when we both fished the ribble last year. We tried everything we could think of but with around 20 lines in the small water, mallets and fosters we were bound to fail. I won’t be returning to that lake but was good to see mark and we will get a couple of session in on the ribble this year I’m sure. I visit waters like this and realise just how lucky I am to fish the waters I do.

12/05/12 – The mere 

back to what I know and love! Id set Saturday aside as a rest day as I was to be running the Chester half marathon the next day, Monday and the Tuesday were also booked off work as rest so I would also be heading back down the mere on the Tuesday.

The day started off horrible, the mere is in full flood and I needed my leaky waders to get to the boats, each boat was full of water, all boats were tied together, I couldn’t find my cement anchors, I couldn’t find the weed rake and there was only 1 peg above water (I’m sure it was floating though).

Stage 1

Two of my markers were still visible so they were given the magic mix treatment with a handful of maggots, all that was left to do was lie back and think of wales.

Action was hot and heavy from the off, I caught 7 fish and lost 3 in the reeds, because I couldn’t find my anchors I had no choice but to tie up in the middle of the reeds which meant I had to bully the fish through them which resulted in the lost fish.Another problem which added to the reed situation was most of the tench i caught were males, which as most of you know fight alot more than the females. 

a little squashed in the boat

7lb male, 6lb10oz female

13/05/12 - Half Marathon Day! 

 Well until youv run a mile you cant understand just how far it really is, 13 miles was set to be my furthest ever run, iv done 10 miles before and i knew i would be ok up until the 10 miles. At 12 miles i thought i was going to die, my hips started playing up and i had to stop twice to give them a bashing.

Two months of training for the picture above, the finish line in Chester City center. I finished in 1 hour and 57 minutes. Really happy with finishing and my time because two weeks before this i was lying on the office floor in work with a bad back after a gym injury. 

Mr Smug pants

15/05/12 - The mere

Well im just back from another session and im a little weather beaten, one minute is was sun shine and the next it was thunder and lightning.

Woodpecker on the mere.

Despite the rubbishy conditions there was the odd tench still feeding 

After this picture i was taking cover under my unhooking mat

Now iv caught a few fish its time to focus on the big girls! iv had two 8lb fish off the mere and each of those have come in the early hours to boilies, so as soon as the water drops and i can get my bivvy on the stage ill have my eyes set on an 8!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The magical Mere

What a fantastic start to spring and the tench season!! the mere is starting to come alive with fresh reed shoots, the lilly pads have just hit the surface, the club subs have gone off, we have a new sturdy double boat which I'm really looking forward to jumping in during winter for some pike sessions and we have managed to repair one of the stages with fresh planks and stakes!.
One of the many geese nesting on the mere
im starting the blog post off on a high! at the end of March (28/03/12 to be precise) i had a brilliant session catching 5 tench all to the maggot feeder, all fish going over 4lb8oz and the biggest a 5lb8oz male. i made a lot of mistakes during the session and i lost a lot of fish, but its always to be expected until you get back into the swing of things.
The magical bait with maybe a little "Something Something" added!
Mr Maddocks definatly gets the bow and handshake for this because he had already been down a couple of weeks before hand and put out the markers, raked and baited ready for me to take advantage whilst he was away on holiday so top man. all i needed to do on the day was re rake and put some of the magic mix down.

Its been a fair few weeks now since that eventful day and i have very little to report. Fish are showing in the hours of darkness (10pm - 3am) but i cant force myself just yet to brave the elements because i have alot of other stuff on the go. But two 7lb tench have already put in an appearence which is brilliant news because the fish are definatly getting bigger even when carrying no spawn.

 Its not from a lack of trying that i havent been catching, i have been down every weekend since and its just horrid down there. I have been battling with the snow, wind and rain and as a result the mere is bursting its banks! i really have been taking a beating and im sure at the end of this week the water will be over the front of stage one which i fish.

Weather speaks for itself
one from yesterday, if it looks danergous it usually is
You are now fully up to date, all we need on the mere is one week of full sun shine and once again i can enjoy a bumper catch of tench. Soon as it warms up a little more though i will be taking advantage of the night feeding spell. I said earlier about a lot of things going on and one of those is the chester half marathon which is on the 13/05/12. so im spending all week training and come the weekend i cant force myself to be woken up every other hour by a tench. But once the 13th is out of the way ill be nighting because i happen to know those big 8s love a 5am breakfast.
Until my next post
A couple of the big uns!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Now the fun really starts!

I have stood by my word and here is another update!! I have well and truly got my head screwed on now and made the most of the close seasons on the river. To peel myself away from the heavy drinking and partying I have also signed up to the Chester half marathon in May!! So training all week then the weekend is free for fishing!

So the close season, I had two weekends to try and make the most of it. All I really wanted from the river to end was a nice catch of barbel fishing two rod approach flinging out feeders on the middle Severn, a classic Mr. Crabtree approach for chub with cheese paste into chubby looking areas and something that I am always thinking about at the moment an upper severn big barbell.

With Angling effort defiantly equals rewards and before deciding on what I should fish for first I was constantly reading through fishing forums, keeping my eye on the angling times, scanning the weather and water reports before I was to make my decision.

With this knowledge now gathered and an afternoon booked off work I was heading towards Shrewsbury after some middle severn barbel.

Baits for the barbel, 8mm Pellets and cubes of meat.

Sometimes fisheries really can change over time, my big roach venue has been netted, the big perch venue is overrun with crayfish but on my two year absence from this stretch it hadn’t changed a bit, come late evening into dusk the barbel just go berserk.


The session started on a high with my first fish sliding over the net at 9lb10oz which is a very good fish for the stretch, followed by frustration of losing two more fish not long after due to a blunt hook.

Sun set plunging me into darkness

Come darkness I sat it out until the moon was high in the sky and all the bites dried up, the higher the moon gets the more my confidence seems to plummet with the air temperature. The ending total of the session was two barbel.


With the river on top form and with the amount of sharp taps from chub i was receiving the next day I headed to my favorite big chub stretch of the severn which has done me a number of big fish in the past.

meat with a cheese paste hat

Arriving early morning I baited 3 swims with meat, magic mix and small balls of cheese paste with the plan of moving between the 3 spending half an hour in each before starting over again.

Rod ready for instance strike at any movement

Big hiccup of the day though was picking up the wrong reel and was only fishing with 4lb line, now it might sound strong enough but I really like to bully the fish out into the middle of the river from the overhanging trees and i felt the 4lb line just wasn’t up to the job.

come midday the water was starting to foam from the amount of casts I had made and I felt any self respecting chub would be the other side of iron bridge by now so with two chub caught the day was cut short and i was left for another week dreaming of the next trip which was for a last chance big upper severn barbel.

Between both trips i had been in contact with my angling companion stu maddocks and we sketched a plan together to target a new area of the upper severn after chub then splitting up at dusk and heading our separate ways for our chosen quary, mine the big barbel and stu a big chub.

Despite it being a very good recce trip for next season the new stretch failed to produce so once again i was sitting alone in the dark.

just like the week before i had the rod in hand ready for any knock that was to occur on the rod, and like electric traveling up the line the first tap i had was hit and with solid resistance, the shadow bolted for the sanctuary of some nearby trees, typical chub i thought to myself as i plunged the rod into the river to avoid the branches, feeling very confident in landing the fish which was starting to feel like it was a very good chub i put the net into the river. the chub sensing this rolls on the surface and the hook flies out!!! Even now i still can’t believe it and i would have loved to of seen this fish because it felt like it was 5lb+.

the hours went by and i was receiving no signals up the line so a change of swim was needed, i packed up and made my way to the top of the stretch in completely darkness as not to scare the fish with any unnatural light. first cast into the new swim and i managed to get the rig caught in a caught in a tree, it was starting to turn into one of those sessions. With those fish also spooked i gave it another hour before leaving in shame.

not really a fantastic end but catching that 9lb+ barbel was enough to fill me with the magic of fishing.

what’s next? i have been looking through some of my previous pictures and it was April two years ago i started catching some pbs with big perch and pike. But with so much to go at and the mere screaming at me I am unsure of what to target! im thinking bream.

Until next time.

A long lost video of a 8lb tench i had two seasons ago, cant wait for spring.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


well i cant believe its been 7 months since my last post!! where does the time go, it only feels like yesterday i was on the mere flinging out feeders on the mere with clive.

i do know where my time has gone though and thats been on drinking and partying!! fishing really has taken a back seat

i even set myself a little challenge in Ocotber to catch a number of personal best fish by the close season on the 15/03/2012.

The idea of the challenge was to peel me away from the nightclubs, hangovers and cheap booze, and for the first two weeks it worked! i was able to catch this beauty of 9lb10z off the upper severn.

But with the joys of Autumn ales! Halloween, bonfire night and of course christmas those goals started slipping through the net!

Me busting out some superfly moves

Well no more excuses today is the 19/02/2012 and that desire to cradle those big uns is almost to much to bare! i had planned on a chub session today but upon looking out of my at 6am i was welcomed with snow so decided on the next best thing and that is to write about fishing instead (excuse?).

So with spring almost upon us you can expect to see this blog getting updated on a regular basis, below is a few pictures of 2012 for me so far.

Pb 1lb8oz Grayling

Chub 4lb15oz

a cold River Severn

Pike taken on a livebait