Another Season Gets Underway

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I managed to get out for a few hours on Saturday afternoon on my club water, apparently it fished its head off on Friday but Saturday was a different story with half a dozen anglers on the same water and only two fish between them. Most of them fished the day before and caught several Barbel and Chub so they had all come back to fill their boots again only to end up struggling.
Sunday morning along with my regular fishing partner Lee Swords we headed off to the tidal Trent. This year we would be fishing the opposite bank overlooking the famous Collingham weir the water’s a bit deeper and slower on this side and we don’t have to suffer from having to fish along side a bunch of knob heads, we can now watch them from the other bank. Anyway I managed about eight small Chub a nice Perch (8oz) and a few little roach and Lee took a small Barbel(4LB)and a Bream all mine came on maggot. The funny thing was when we arrived there were only a couple of anglers fishing the weir pegs and by 4pm the place was empty but by 6pm the night shift had turned up you know the type three of them wearing trainers jogging bottoms and hoodies tooled up with Dragon carp gear and a Tesco pop up tent and not forgetting the 24 pack of Stella. A little later on four more turned up pushing the biggest carp barrow I’ve ever seen and you guessed it all seven of them fished in peg one and two.


This year I’ve had a break from fishing during most of the close season and if I’m honest I’ve been chomping at the bit for a while now, but she who must be obeyed keeps finding me things to do. After an e-mail from my regular fishing buddy Lee Swords we arranged a social along with Ron Clay at Alderfen fisheries a very well run angler friendly venue, it has three lakes a carp lake a specimen lake and a match lake. I’ve never fished the carp lake as I have an aversion to rat fish but the specimen lake holds some quality bream,tench and roach, however we elected to fish the match lake as it was producing some good tench around the five pound mark. I started of on maggot and got a fish a chuck which I thought was a good way to get back into catching after a couple of months doing house work. After a couple of hours I got myself a five pound tench and lost another, and then later on in the afternoon we witnessed a very rare sight two EA bailiffs checking licences.
Anyway have a look at the web site
The three of us are off to the barbel society conference next week(5th June) it should be a good day out, if you want to come along and hear some good speakers or trawl though the trade stands or just meet up with friends there should be loads of tickets left


Another weekend with freinds

I found myself getting out of bed at 3am and making the long drive down to Bedford for the Chub study group AGM weekend, arriving just before 6am I met up with a couple of fellow members at a local cafe for a full English before setting off to fish the river Ivel, we would have liked to fish the Gt Ouse but it was carrying extra water and as a result wouldn’t fish very well. The river Ivel is a roving water 20 or 30 Min’s in each swim and then move on and after three or four hours I finally caught a 2LB.8oz Chub, I then spent the next three or four hours trying to catch another one with little success.Later on that evening we all met up in a traditional pub hidden away down the back streets of Bedford, it was a proper pub no music no mobile phones no larger it’s a good way of keeping the riff raff and chavs at bay the beer was OK if you like real ale I had three different beers from the same pump so I went on Guinness after that.
Next morning after breakfast I returned to the Ivel this time I would find the fish and stay there in the hope of getting another rather than moving on, well it worked sort of I managed two fish 2LB,10oz and 3LB 2oz which apparently was more than most managed so I was reasonably happy. Sunday was very wet so after the meeting I hit the A1 and headed for home.

It’s been a hard Christmas.

Boy have I struggled, first came the snow which lasted a month along with freezing temperatures and then just when your able to get on the bank the snow melts and knocks the fishing off again. After a couple of trips to the Trent to try and catch a chub (so I can get a photo of it in the snow) I switched to the river Rother nr Sheffield but that was just as bad, then I had a day on the tidal Trent with Pip McGuire and blanked. Anyway Lee Swords rung up and said he wants a big Pike so off we went to a small Notts river which is known for holding a few big girls.
After about an hour I had a run and I struck into a good fish unfortunately the pike had only grabbed the bottom of my dead bait the bit without any hooks in it so I only managed to retrieve the top half of my mackerel, and other than a few enquiries I remained fish less.
However Lee hooked a nice 17lb pike so one of us went home happy

I’m struggling

It’s been a bit quiet on the fishing front a couple of weeks ago Swordsy talked me into fishing a still water for pike and we failed I’ve been on the Trent a couple of times with just a small chub being caught. I’ve put it down to the first real change in the weather.
On a quick trawl though the Internet I found out that a new barbel group has been set up mainly to appeal to disaffected ex BS members who have become disillusioned with the way it was being run. I was a member of the society for five years but I just got fed up with all the squabbling about the committee and the Pope. It was obvious there was a problem as they changed secretary’s as often as I changed my socks, the society’s forum was the most heavily moderated site I’ve ever seen, any awkward questions were deleted so most of the time all you got was “what’s your favorite record”. Anyway this new group is called the Association of barbel fishers(ABF). It will be a democratic open organization made up of like minded angers.Time will tell if it takes off.
I did think about doing an over nighter last weekend but as I was watching the TV thinking about where to go the wife came in she had a PVC nurses outfit on and fishnet stockings she gave me a beer and said I’ll be back in two minutes and she’ll give me a certain something that she does best. Great I love Shepard’s pie.

A weekend with friends.

I’ve just spent the weekend with some new friends who have descended from all over the country to plunder as many chub as they could from the river Trent. Our hotel was located in eastern Beirut err! sorry Nottingham, most of the guy’s arrived on the Friday so that night we hit the town big style, well alright we went for a curry and had a few pints and returned to the hotel for an early night( not by choice). After breakfast we all split up and fished various stretchers around the city and a few of us even headed over to Newark. Most people caught a few fish and a couple blanked but that’s fishing. Saturday night was a bit of a damp squib as the hotel wanted to charge us for opening the bar and as we had just come from the pub I didn’t fancy walking back again so a few of us just hung around out side talking till about midnight, but I was happy enough. I didn’t bother to fish Sunday as she who must be obeyed had some instructions for me to carry out, so after saying goodbye I left them to it. Till the next time.

Catching in the rain

The weatherman said expect heavy rain and for once he wasn’t wrong. When I turned up on the bank there was a very brief gap in the constant rain showers giving me time to set up and get underneath my brolly. The river was two feet up and rising not ideal but beggars can’t be choosers, and bearing this in mind I would be using a good old lob worm,it’s always a safe bet when the rivers carrying a bit of flood water.
The first few hours past off quietly enough with very little weed or rubbish getting caught on my line and even a pack of young swans only visited me for a few minutes and as there was no free bait on offer and as I wasn’t going to share my mars bar they soon drifted away so I decided to tempt a bite by pouring a cup of coffee( it’s the one thing that’s guarantees a bite and it’s better than any bait or fancy rig) and guess what the rod tip bounced and started shaking. “Barbel on” I said to myself and it felt like a biggun so I had to be careful playing the fish because due to the high water I was sat well back up the bank and just in front of me was a submerged platform but I managed to land it without to much drama then things started to go tits up. While the fish was resting in the net I set up my camera however I’ve lost a screw out of my tripod the bit I’ve lost keeps the camera level so when I took a few practice shots the camera would slowly tilt downwards and all I would get is a shot of the wife’s wedding present or a wet unhooking mat, fortunately for me another anger was passing by and I got him to take a couple of shots and help me weigh it, the fish came in at 14LB 2oz. A few hours later I had to pack up and that’s when my umbrella gave up the ghost as all the spines fell out from the center boss so that’s a trip to Climax for a new one and a trip to Argos for a tripod.

Just a quick session

I could only manage a couple of hours so I nipped off to my club stretch on the Trent. As I was setting up it started to rain nothing to heavy but persistent, anyway it wouldn’t bother my umbrella as it was still in the shed but luckily for me I found a swim under a couple of trees so I kept reasonably dry and I just hoped I didn’t get struck by lightning.
For this short session I will be fishing with some new salmon flavoured boilies that I borrowed from Lee Swords, now I’ve never been a fan of boilie fishing but as I was to lazy to open a tin of meat or collect a few lob worms it seemed like a good idea to try them out. So after laying down a small carpet of hemp and broken boilies I lowered a single hook bait and a small stringer of boilies over the top, then as usual I got the flask out and selected a mars bar to munch on while I was waiting, however as I was pouring my coffee with my mouth full of mars bar the rod tip hooped over and stayed there so there I am fighting a big fish with one hand and trying to screw the top on my flask with the other while choking on half a bar of chocolate. Once I’d sorted myself out and concentrated on playing the fish it came in without much drama,and after a little rest (for both of us) I weighed it in at 17 LBs, not bad for a river pig.
I also took a couple of small chub 3LB-ish and before I knew it it was time to head off home for tea and medals.( and write this drivel)

Circle hooks

About three years ago I met a guy on a fish-in on the river Severn who had been using circle hooks for quite a while, mainly targeting chub and barbel with some success. After a few tips on the types of bait that can be put on the hook (bread,paste,maggots,worms)and what should be fixed on a hair(meat,boilies etc) I was interested enough to do some research.
originally developed for commercial long lining for Tuna but they have found favour in the USA where their use is encouraged and in some states it has become mandatory for most catch and release type of fishing, the reason for this hooks popularity is the fact that it’s use prevents deep hooking as it’s designed to turn instantly if any force is applied and gain a hold in the mouth area.After reading up on loads of research and tests carried out in the USA I ordered some of e-bay and gave them a go.
After a bit of trial and error I found the best way of using them was to use free spool reels and bite indicators rather than reacting to the rod top this way you can allow the fish to pick up the bait and turn away or move off before(and this is the important bit) picking up the rod and tightening up the line. The one thing you must not do is strike as all that will do is pull the hook out of it’s mouth, now that’s easier said than done but once you have it in your head that you should not strike then hopefully what bites you do get should result in a few fish on the bank.
During the winter months of November/December I tend to do at least one over night session a week and at that time of year bites are at a premium, so I hair rig a small chunk of lamprey on a circle hook and so far I’ve managed a few fish including a couple of PB chub’s. Now I’m not saying that these hooks catch more or bigger fish but they do work if used correctly, all that is needed is to think about how to present them and how to attach the bait without preventing the hook point from doing it’s job. I dare say a few anglers will confuse themselves by trying different hook lengths and bolt rigs but it’s not necessary just remember to allow the fish to turn before taking the strain and winding in, if you strike it’s more than likely the hook will just pull out of the fishes mouth.One piece of advice I would offer is to avoid some of the negative comments from the armchair anglers on the net who oppose anything they don’t like the sound of weather it be circle hooks, lead core or the latest fluoro carbon, just take in the positives and adapt them to your style of fishing.
This winter I am going to try them with bread flake and maybe cheese paste when fishing for chub and also worms and hair rigged live baits when targeting perch.