13 December 2009

4lb + Chub from the Eden

If you have been following my blog you will know that I have been after a 4lb chub from the river Eden. I have caught them up to 3lb and had many 2lb Chub but really want to catch a specimen. I decided to go down to the river for a few hours taking with me minimal amount of kit. Free lining bread with a split shot 10 inches from the hook I bounced the bait down the steady current in my favourite swim pictured above. The weather was perfect for fishing today. The water level had dropped from the flooding level it was up to and was nicely coloured. My quiver bent around on the second cast and I was in to a decent fish. It took me left into some snags but I managed to pull it clear and net it quickly. I asked a man walking his dog if he could take some pictures and he did. The chub had a mouth like a bucket and when weighed she went 4lb 10oz which is a new personal best and a great fish from any water.
I am now aiming to catch a 5lb chub and so will keep you updated on my winter fishing trips.

10 December 2009

Barden Pike October 2009

I have been fishing for over 15 years but never for pike so during the autumn 09 I decided to head down to Barden Lake in Tonbridge which belongs to Tonbridge angling society. I was a member there for two years and was on the waiting list for my night permit which I never received. I knew it held some decent size pike over 30lbs so it seemed the perfect venue. It’s a large gravel pit of around 18 acre and contains some massive carp to.
Out came my carp rods with dead bait traces legered with a float for bite indication. I decided to use dead roach as bait as that would be the predominant natural food for the pike in the pit. I also decided to take my spinning rod and a few lures.
I arrived at the lake at dawn and it looked fantastic as it always does. I was struggling and was unsuccessful for half the day until my spinning rod bent round and I was in. I landed a small male pike of around 3lb (below) but it was on a lure so I was as happy as Larry. That was my first fish on a lure.
The evening drew closer and after walking around the lake twice I settled in a quite bay. Within 10 minutes my float disappeared and I was in but not for long as the fish shook the hooks after a short battle. I returned the bait to the same area hoping the fish might take it again and within five minutes the rod bait runner sounded. After a short easy fight I landed what looked like a large pike estimated 16-18lb but this was not the case. After weighing her twice she went to 12lb but looked much bigger. The head on the fish was of a 20lb fish. I decided that the fish was down in weight and may have been slightly ill as the fight she put up was poor. However I was still a very happy fisherman as this was my personal best pike(below).
I made another trip to Barden in search of pike and had a great session catching three pike from the bay and losing two on dead baits. 13lb (below), 10lb, 9lb again beating my personal best for the species. I intend to do some more sessions on Barden for pike during the winter when the fish have filled out more and are in better condition. I am also interested in the large roach that inhabit the water so I will keep you updated.

9 December 2009

Chub on the Eden 2009

I began fishing the small but rich river Eden during the summer months of 2009. I had been told that the river contains some good sized chub over 6lb. I had not been river fishing for many years and had no decent size chub to my name. On my first session I arrived at the river and was surprised at how narrow it was. I wandered down the free stretch and found a beautiful weir which I had all to myself. I could see some small chub darting in and out of the far bank picking up food trailing in the faster current. I tackled up, put a single white maggot on the hook and drifted it down the current. I picked up a few small chub of no more than 6 oz so I opted for a change in tactics. That was all I caught that day but I did manage to explore some of the river.
My next session was with a mate of mine. We were on the banks of the Eden when it was dark and heading to a small stretch that looked promising. I believe in simple approaches and believe they can be more effective when executed correctly. I free lined a lob worm on a size 8 hook, 6lb main line and a small blob of heavy tungsten putty around 10 inches from the hook. Instantly my line went slack and I struck into what felt like a good fish. Thinking it was a chub I grabbed the net but realised it was a massive perch. Once weighed she went to 3lb which was a personal best perch from a river (pictured below).
Half hour later my mate caught a beautiful 4lb 8oz chub on double maggot (pictured below) from the next swim. Things were looking good and we continued to fish swim after swim 15 minutes at a time down one mile of beautiful river.

We came to another weir where on the same tactics managed to catch a 3lb chub (pictured below) on lob worm and a surprise pike of around 14oz. That was all for the rest of the day so we retreated happy fisherman.


Other trips produced some chub around the 2lb mark in great condition. A few more pike also turned up on lob worm but they were only small. The river is beautiful and I will continue to update my blog as I fish it through the winter into 2010 hopefully catching one over the 4lb barrier. I did manage to see a fish of around 6-7lb in shallow water on an elusive stretch so there are monsters in there. Below is a 3lb perch and pristine chub caught from different stretches of the Eden.

Carp at Twynersh 2009

During 2009 I visited Twynersh fishery regulary for a few carp sessions. Out came my delkims and loads of other associated carp equipment. I had completed some reaserch on the venue but as allways on a new lake i did not know what to expect.

I decided to concentrate on pit 2 which holds many resonable sized carp. Pit 3 also looked good but Ididnt have the time or money needed to put in on that lake to be sucessfull . I was however interested in pit 4 as it holds some huge carp that may have never seen a hook before. I did walk around there once and saw two fish in the snags one a common and one a mirror. The common was arounnd mid 20s but the mirror im sure was over 40lbs (It was massive).

I decided to begin my Twynersh sessions on pit 2. I began by using simple bolt rigs in conjunction with inline leads. I had seen many fish bosch out in the middle of the lake so I decided to cast straight top of the.( little did i know this was not the correct approach). After a day and night of no fish i decided I was doing somthing worng.

On a second trip i decided to fish the margins. They drop quickly to deep water around 10-16ft depending on what swim you are fishing. I decided to fish with 8mm tigernut bolies tight to the snags with PVA bags on simple bolt rigs with inline leads. I baited the area with a fair amount of tares, hemp and corn with an added attractor. Backleads were placed on the line to eliminate carp spooking.
The night passed through and no fish untill around 6am. My left hand rod whipped round just clinging to my delkims. I had tightened my bait runner to try and slow the carps retreat into the snags and it had worked. The fish pulled clear of danger and i played it in open water. It put up an amazing fight and was an extremly healthy good looking common carp pictured right. At 22lb I wasnt complaining and felt i had acheived my goal. 20 minutes later a 12lb common fell to the same rod followed by a 20lb common a 20lb old looking mirror and an 18lb mirror both on the right rod. All the fish were immaculate and were of a good english strain.
I continued to fish Twynersh on the occasional weekend and had good success. with a beutiful apple scaled mirror weighing 22lb pictured below. My mate had a 26lb common and a 22lb common again both beautiful dark scaled fish.

I did go for another carp session at Twynersh with my brother just before the cold weather set in around October 2009. As soon as we had our rods out down in the margins my brothers right hand rod screamed off. Stumbling down the bank with a beer in his hand he pulled into a decent fish. Unfortunatly the fish got the last laugh and snagged him up. We were both gutted but had only been there for 3 hours and were staying two nights so it looked promising. The time flew by and we had no more takes. Just as we were about to pack up my left hand rod pulled round and I was into a fish but it was quickly lost when the hook pulled. It just wasnt to be and although enjoyable no fish fell to the net, but thats fishing.

8 December 2009

Commercial Carp 2007-09

During my fishing I have visited many commercial carp fisheries and have had some good success. I believe commercial carp fisheries and day ticket carp fisheries do not have to be linked and a day ticket water can hold some great carp (Twynersh). Twynersh fishery is by far my favourite day ticket fishery holding some huge English strain specimen carp in all seven pits.
Whitevane was another great day ticket fishery offering excellent carp fishing with comfort. I managed a 23lb common carp called the parrot from there pictured below left. My girlfriend used to go fishing with me regularly before she was pregnant and used to be really handy for making tea. I did go on a five day trip with my brother and BLANKED. It was unreal as the guys in the swim by the hut had loads of fish but we were obviously in the wrong area. However my brother did manage a large 7lb tench and a small 4lb common from the snags. The scenery at Whitevane is amazing and is one of the reason I loved fishing there. You feel like you’re in France. It’s a shame that it has now changed to a member’s water but maybe it’s for the best??
I do however get very angry with some day ticket venues that are run poorly. People are fishing for carp that don’t even know how to hold the fish correctly. I understand that people have to learn but they should be taught and advised not catching double figure fish in an overstocked puddle. Frant lakes for example is a poor fishing venue. The lakes are stocked full of fish and you just can’t blank. All the fish I caught there had distorted mouths from bad rigs and marks from bad handling. Kids were running around the venue screaming it was packed out and was just awful. This type of fishing should not exist and it’s no achievement to catch a carp from such a venue.
Furnace lakes in Horsham was another venue that is relatively easy to fish. Carp fisherman sitting around puddles with 30 + 30lb Carp in them with all the kit thinking that they are truly fishing. The fish are not English strains and there are loads of them. However, Furnace lakes is an excellent run venue and can be great fun as the carp are healthy and put up some good fights. I enjoyed my few sessions there and believe it has its place in fishing so I don’t really knock it not like Frant Lakes. At the bottom of the page is a 26lb common carp caught at furnace on the specimen lake on plastic imitation sweetcorn. The fish was in great condition and put up a good fight. Caught at 6am in the freezing cold winter of 2008. I played the fish with no shoes or socks on and couldn’t feel my feet.
Gabriel’s fishery in Edenbrigde was another venue that I completed a few overnight sessions. I think it’s far too expensive for what's on offer and the rule about catching an 18lb Carp in Oak Lake before you can fish Admiral is ridiculous. Imagine Terry Hearn being told that!!! (Not that he would fish such a venue). I lost a good fish on my first session and caught a 27lb mirror carp (above right) on my second session with a smaller 10lb common. The lake is small and shallow stocked with fish to 30lb.
I have also fished Beaver farm fishery many times and enjoyed tench sessions on the small pond at the back of the complex. I have had 20lb carp from Majors lake and also some Sturgeon from both daughters and Majors averaging 7lb. I used to fish Beaver Farm regularly and it helped me to develop my fishing skills. I also fished Tuscany Lake losing a big catfish on a tigernut. My bite alarm didn’t sound but my brother could see the line ripping off my bait runner. He struck into the fish but it frayed the braid and the fish was lost. (Unbelievably powerful).
I am now on a waiting list for CEMEX angling lakes such as Car Park Lake, fox pool, Horton church lake and Chertsey venue. It may be a few years before I can fish them but I may get the chance to hold some amazing true English carp.