31 August 2010

Back to the Eden

On Saturday the 8th of August 2010 I decided to go back to the River Eden in search of some large Perch. My plan was to fish a paternoster rig with a live bait. The other rod would be fished for the chub with just a couple of split shot and a long shank hook fished with lob worm. Phil, my mate decided to join me on the session but was not going to fish. We arrived at the river during darkness at around 5am and headed straight for my favourite corner swim. After an hour or so my chub rod bent round and I caught a nice 2-3lb chub. It seemed slow going so decided to set up in the small weir further upstream. My first challenge was to catch a live bait for my paternoster rig which after an hour or so I was successful at. A small minnow was hooked top lip first onto the long shank hook. After half an hour the rod began to shudder and I hooked a fish. It was a perch and although not big (around 8oz) It was my first perch live baiting and I felt an achievement. With the light enhancing as the day developed the chances of a big perch had become slim and I concentrated on the chub.
We moved to a swim further upstream which I knew usually holds a few goo chub. As I put on my Polaroid’s I was amazed at what I could see. There was around 6 chub moving quickly at the back of the river bed all of which were over 4lb and two over 5lb!!!. I had a few casts to see if one was interested but they turned their noses up at the free offerings so I moved to the swim next door and have a look. Under a raft I could see a big chub moving in out of the overhang. It was only when it moved out of the cover and moved over a sandstone rock that I realised the true size of it. Honestly it was over 7lb and it was a truly amazing fish. I also spotted another large fish hanging in the water which if a chub would have been a British record but I came to the conclusion it was a carp.
I flicked my lob worm out around the area I spotted the fish and the rod immediately bent around. The fish put up a great fight and I was sure it was the big one I had spotted earlier. Phil helped out with the netting and a 4lb chub was banked (pictured above left). It was a stunning fish but not the big fish I had seen. I will be back to catch that one.

Sunday 9th August 2010
Decided to complete another session to try and bank the large chub I spotted yesterday. The river was dead but I managed to bank 2 chub to around a pound. It was not the best fishing session but was enjoyable apart from the weather. I will be back to catch that mysterious chub.

R.I.P The Mere

I have just discovered that the Mere has had a fish kill. The Black Mirror is dead along with an un-confirmed common of over 60lb and a "would be” British record. Along with the carp British record tench and eels were found. Everything in the lake is dead including snails and other aquatic life. This is a sad day for fishing as the mere held some real Jewell's. Although it was illegal to fish the lake it was a real challenge. I am sad to never have had the chance to fish there. This massive disaster happened due to an algae bloom. The Black Mirror was caught first by Jason Hayward in 1992 at 46lb. Terry Hearn and Dave Lane (Picture below) both managed to catch the fish and in their books mentioned seeing an even bigger common. She went over 50lb. This fish kill comes two weeks after Two Tone was found dead. It’s been a bad month for fishing.

15 August 2010

4th Chertsey Session

On the 14th August I completed my fourth session, on Chertsey. Fished the furthest swim from the car park for two days and blanked. I decided to have a go for the Roach and caught a few to about 6oz. I was really hoping a 2lbder would pick up my sweetcorn but it did not happen. Can’t wait to get back there and winkle out another Carp.

Tight Lines.

11 August 2010

Linear 2010

I have just arrived back from a great session at Linear fisheries in Oxfordshire with my Brother John. After much debate we decided to go to Linear instead of Twynersh because of all the bad sessions we had previously had there. There are five lakes at Linear fisheries St Johns, Manor Farm, Hardwick/Smiths Pool, Oxlese and Brasenose. Oxlease and Brasenose were immediately filtered from our list as pastie bashing was not on our agenda. We decided to look around the three remaining lakes and make a decision. There were bivys everywhere which to be honest we were expecting but we managed to find a nice double swim on smithspool joined to Hardwick. This lake is relatively large and around 20 acres. The lake holds around 400 carp to 40lb (Jordon) tench to 12lb and massive roach to 3lb 14oz. When planning for this trip I decided to have one rod for the roach and so I equipped myself with feeders, hooks to nylon, casters, hemp, sweetcorn, groundbait, micro boilies and maggots.
On the first morning I received a take on my rod fished at distance. After the fish being attached to my rod for no more than five seconds it fell off. During that day we fished for roach and caught some nice Rudd to around 5oz and loads of perch. I really got the fish going at one point and had a fish a cast. This caught the attention of a pike that managed to take three of my hooked fish and destroying my swim in the process.

During day 2 I decided to go for some good roach. As I fed the swim I began to catch the odd Rudd and some perch. Suddenly my float went under and I hooked into a reasonable fish. It took my drag and when it surfaced I could not believe it was a Roach. John did the honours with the net and once weighed she went 2lb on the money. It has to be the greatest fish I have ever caught and it was caught by design. I can’t explain how big it looked and was so pleased to have caught it. I did not think I would catch a 2lb roach years as they are such a hard fish to catch. After this magnificent fish the rod was out again quickly. Again the float went under I was into a good fish however the rod suddenly bent double and I was re-assured a pike had grabbed my prize before cutting me off. That was the end of the roach fishing. I hooked into another small fish which was again taken by the pike but this time it didn't let go. It wasn't hooked but I managed to net it before it dropped the rudd. This session was turning out to be a strange one.

On the second evening as we sat drinking a beer watching the lake my right had rod pulled tight and a fish was hooked. It put up a strong fight but it didn't feel right. As I reeled it in it became tangled on my other lines and created a mess. We managed to net the fish and a ball of tangled leaders. It was a tench and we weighed it at 6lb. strangely when unhooking the fish now in the dark I realised my rig was not in its mouth but that of another fishermans was.

After scratching my head a few times I came to the conclusion that the leader it was dragging from a snap off had got tangled in my line. It created chaos but I managed to untangle the mess with my trusty head torch and the rods were cast back out. The second night also passed without a bite and although we tried every trick in the book it wasn't to be. It seemed as though the carp were in the Hardwick section of wind changed direction in towards us it didn't have much effect. We could see some fish moving at the far bank and so rods were cast long to where they were showing.
the lake and although the

The third and final night passed without a bite. My brothers middle rod let out a couple of screams at around 7am on the final morning. I was out the bivy before him and struck into a fish. It felt like a carp but I wasn't sure. After a strange battle and the fish being weeded up it through the hook and the last minute. My brother was gutted and so was I. We enjoyed our time at Linear despite the carp not putting in an appearance. We will be back next year.

8 August 2010

Medway "The Stream"

When I first began fishing over 15 years ago the one place that I can really remember my dad taking me was a place we called the stream. "The Stream" (as we called it) is a small tributary river that flows into the river Medway. It is located in Tonbridge industrial estate and although not set in the most idyllic surroundings it actually offers some fantastic fishing for free. My memories of fishing there are few and far between but I do remember catching hundreds of gudgeon, dace, roach and if I was lucky a perch. During the times we spent at the stream my dad caught a 5lb pike and my brother a 7lb bream but nothing huge. These were the days we were learning the trade and a 5lb bream was not to be moaned at in fact it was a monster. I still remember my brother catching it in the dark. My dad took us down there for my brother’s birthday, camping on an industrial estate all night. No bite alarms. bivy, bed chair just three old rods and a tiny tent. My brother fell in once and started to frantically thrash about thinking he was drowning when he realised he could stand up and it was only two feet deep.
I decided to go to the stream 07/08/10 and catch some perch and maybe same chub. It was more of a trail session as I didn't know what to expect. The last time I visited the stream there was rubbish everywhere, fridges, sofas you name it. The stream was inaccessible and it was such a shame to have seen it in that condition. I am pleased to say that when I arrived I was impressed with the condition of the surroundings and the stream itself. Tops tiles have moved in the plot next to the stream and have looked after it including cutting the grass that runs adjacent and clearing all the rubbish. My plans were to fish with red maggot and worms to try and entice some perch. I fished the first swim you come to which was the one we used to fish years ago. There are two concrete pillars protruding out of the stream and are good fish holding areas. I once remember seeing a man fishing with a pole catching 1-2lb roach from this swim so I know it can produce. (Swim pictured below)

I had arrived at the stream at 5.15am and had not even had a knock on the rod. The fishing was hard even to get a twitch on the quiver. I decided to have some fun and try catch some dace trotting maggot. I managed a couple but nothing like what I used to catch. I ended up exploring the stream following it down through the industrial estate into tranquil surroundings. I finally came to a sign for Tonbridge Angling Society members only and so decided to head back. There was a lovely house on the stream with a brick built bridge overlooking the river. (Picture below)
I stopped back at a swim by the industrial estate and, managed a few perch from under my feet fishing beneath the stream bank under cut. Finally the rod tip pulled round hard and after a great fight I landed a chub of around a pound (picture below). It was not the biggest chub in the world but was my first from the Medway so I was happy. For its size it put up a great fight. I am planning to go back to the stream and fish for the perch which is a bit of a gamble as I do not know the size they go up to in there. I am going to live bait small gudgeon on a paternoster ledger rig. There were some great looking perch holding swim which I have noted and will give a go.

Tight Lines.