31 August 2011

Top Pond Tench Keston 2011

As you may be aware I have spent many days at Keston Ponds after the elusive carp in the bottom lake. Last season I received my prize for all the time and effort put in. Top Pond Common at 20lb. Whilst fishing the bottom lake my friend Neil recommended fishing the top pond for tench so I thought this season I would give it a go.

The top pond at Keston is smaller than the bottom pond but contains just as much weed which makes presentation a little difficult. The lake holds a few carp to around 18lb and this includes some spectacular coloured Koi most probably unwanted pets. The usual problems of dog walkers, weed and hard fishing will have to be overcome if I want a Keston tinca.

31/08/11 - I decided to complete my first session, a quick one after work on a overcast mild day. One rod was rigged with a simple free running ledger with a long hook link straight through to a size 8 (specialist barbed)  and the other, my main rod, on a more traditional waggler float set up straight through to smaller size 12 (specialist barbed) hook . Both on 1 1/2lb test curve soft tip barbel rods with 8lb line. On the float set up  I positioned most of the shot four inches from the hook in order for the bait to get to the bottom through the blanket weed leaving only a small tip of the waggler showing to catch the most sensitive of bites.

On arrival there were many people fishing including the spot I had my eye on but they soon vanished and I moved in. Prawns were chosen bait for the hook with 6mm trout pellets and some ground bait scattered in the area.  I tried to place the hook baits in gaps in the weed but still felt my presentation was being compromised. These tactics were recommended to me by a good fisherman and so I will persevere with them for now. The evening passed quickly and I had no fish. Just one uplift bite was all I had to show for the session. On my next session I may rake the swim prior to fishing to clear some weed allowing the hook bait presentation to be spot on and stir the bottom up.I will keep you updated until I get my prize.

03/09/11 -I woke up at 4.30am to tackle the top pond tench for a second session. My aim was to rake the swim and float fish prawns through the gaps in the weed. I made a swim rake from an old rake head and some old BT cable which I hoped would stir up the bottom and clear some weed to allow better bait presentation. On arrival I noticed there were two people fishing and so opted not to use the rake. I cast out and scattered some prawns around the area. Within half an hour the float positively vanished and I hooked into a fish. The tench powered into the weed and the hooked pulled. I was gutted but wasted no time in getting the rod baited and back out. During the rest of the morning I lost another fish and missed a good bite. A fisherman in the swim next to me landed a carp called Goldie at 10lb and had another 14lb common. Both fish came to floater fished dog biscuits. Goldie had lovely markings and is  koi carp put in the lake years ago.  As the morning passed I opted to have a go on the bottom pond. The tench in top pond stop feeding during the day and I thought I would have a go at the carp but had no such luck. I will be back down the ponds next week to bag myself a Keston red eye.

11/09/11 - Fished the evening in the same swim but changed tactics. I fished two rods with method feeder in conjunction with short hook links. I had a good social with a regular called Chris but had no fish to show for my efforts. I will be back and will no doubt rake my swim prior to fishing.

**/09/11 - I planned to do the whole day tench fishing starting early but woke up to heavy rain and wind. so opted to go back to bed. I eventually got down to the lake at 11am and was surprised not to see a fisherman in sight. As the lake was free of anglers I got the rake out and cleaned my chosen swim. For an hour I raked the weed away until I felt the shudder of gravel. Feeling confident I cast out two feeders with bolt rigs fished in conjunction with prawns. Black ground bait mixed with 6mm pellet, hemp, sweetcorn and some maggots was spread over the raked area. The day passed quick and before long I was due home with not even a single bite. I did however have a go for a carp called Goldie of the top but managed to catch two ducks. I had to actually reel the duck in, net it and then my mate Chris unhooking the beak. I tried to keep them of the bait but sometimes they are so quick its not possible. I will catch a tench from this lake and am now more determined then ever. I'm positive prime time is early mornings and so this weekend I will be up early whatever the weather. My mate Karl also joined me but had nothing to show for his efforts. 

I had a chat with a man named Dave who had caught two carp on one of my previous sessions. It turned out the next day he landed a carp called rusty and a 17lb mirror (nice fishing). Maybe I will have a proper go at the top pond carp?? In conclusion it was a nice session with a good social but no fish.

26 August 2011

Lanzoarote 2011

Last year my partner and I booked a trip to Lanzarote. The holiday was to be a family one but I knew I could fit some fishing in and after looking on the Internet at what could be caught I packed a travel rod. I also packed some lures, large hooks and reel with 25lb sea line loaded on the spool.

The hotel was located around 200 yards from the beach which had two breakwaters extending 100 yards into the sea (perfect to fish from). Target fish were barracuda, mullet and anything that took my bait!!. I am not to familiar with sea fishing especially tropical sea fishing but I gave it a go. I must have fished most of the ten days we stayed there. I started my sessions by float fishing bread for some mullet and ended up catching an orange striped fish which I was not will to touch. I also landed a type of sea bream (pictured) that put up an excellent fight on my small flimsy travel rod. I estimate the weight at around a couple of pounds.

My partners brother Jamie and I decided to do come Marlin fishing as after all we were in one of the best places in the world to do so. The boat trip cost 80 euro and ended up being a bit disappointing. I believed we may catch some king mackerel, Wahoo or maybe a Dorado on trolled lures but unfortunately we caught nothing. We were shown a book before we went out with pictures of 300lb + Tune and Blue Marlin up to 1000lb. There were ten people on the boat and each had a trolled rod which I thought was too many. We stopped of to do some deep sea fishing and were given rubbish rods with small rusty hooks. We were fishing for fish up to 2lb in weight and I was disappointed. One man hooked a massive fish which which snapped his line after a strong fight. As soon as this fish was lost they told us to reel in and we moved locations. I was like they didn't want us to catch. I did however manage a small puffer fish and a Small red snapper. Jamie caught a fish they was extremely poisonous which the boat crew advised "if you touch it you sleep". Although we caught nothing it was still an enjoyable day and the views of the islands as we trolled was beautiful. I am glad we did the trip as I may have missed out on what could have been an amazing opportunity for the elusive Blue Marlin.

I decided to do another small session during mid day when the tide was coming in. I rigged up a size 2 Korda carp hooked and baited it with a large slice of peperoni which was cast of the other side of the breakwater. As we sat enjoying the sun the rod pulled hard and I caught it just before it would have vanished into the sea. The fish pulled extremely hard bending my small travel rod over double. With 20 seconds or so the line went slack and the fish had won the battle. I came to the conclusion I was cut of by some sharp teeth, not rocks as I felt no grating etc. My 25lb line was sliced through clean. With this I got a taxi up to the town and went to a fishing shop. I purchased some extra strong Tuna traces complete with hooks and some 30lb line. If I was to hook another fish like this again I would be tackled up to deal with job. Unfortunately this didn't happen and I hooked no more monster fish of the breakwater. 

On a trip down to the local harbour at Play Blanca I noticed a large amount of good size Mullet swimming in the crystal clear water averaging around 3lb but going up to 6lb. The water was so clear you could see every rock on the bottom at 40ft deep. We spotted puffer fish, Barracuda (which we actually witnessed taking a fish with lightning speed) and some other colourful tropical fish. I wanted a go at the Mullet and so asked the an English man running the ferry tours if I could fish the harbour. His reply was "just fish it mate and if security asked you to leave tell them to piss off. I wasn't going to do that but this was enough reassurance I needed to walk down and wet a line. Jamie and I headed down to the harbour armed with a loaf of bread and our travel rods. Within two casts my floated bread crust vanished and I was into a Mullet. After an immense fight I landed a beautiful fish of around 3lb. Jamie soon followed with a fish slightly bigger . Just as we were about to cast out again security arrived and asked us to move on. Web moved to some rocks and fished out into the open ocean but didn't have any more fish that day apart from a sardine of around 2oz.

It was decided we would take a ferry journey to Feutventura for the day and so I packed my rod and reel in case we had some time to fish. Once we had arrived I had a look in the harbour to see if I could spot any large mullet. I said to my partners sister whilst throwing in bread that the smaller fish would pick at it at first and then the larger fish will move in. I stopped throwing the bread and turned around to talk to somone and when I turned back I was amazed at what I saw. A long fish around 5ft was cruzing up and down the harbour. It must have weighed 80lb and Im not sure what species of fish it was but it was an amazing site. We manage to get a picture shown below.

River Medway 2011

After a long wait I have now joined a local club that offers numerous lakes and river stretches which hold carp to over 40lb, barbel to 16lb, chub to over 7lb and all the other specimen fish I could wish for. I cannot name the club, lakes or river stretches as they support a strict publicity ban and I am not willing to compromise my membership.

As June 16th slowly arrived I planned my sessions and decided to fish for an elusive Medway barbel. I knew that the dedicated fishermen would be on the banks on the 15th camping waiting for the clock to turn at 12am and the fishing season begin. I set the alarm for 2am and got to the river banks at around 3.30 - 4am. New members must be a member for at least a year before a night permit can be issued so this was the best I could do. I had checked out all the lakes and rivers prior to fishing them to familiarise myself with the swims and help me select the correct tackle for the job. On these visits to various venues during closed season I found some large chub over 6lb and some huge carp but no barbel. I will target the carp once I receive my night permit.

I had taken two days off work to have a good crack at netting a barbel and on arrival I found most of them still spawning. So much for closed season!!!. It was great to see and although they were not feeding watching double figure barbel splashing around in the shallows was quite amazing. At least I had a good count of the stock the stretch was home to. I still decided to have go since I was there and had made such an effort. After all the chub would still be feeding. I managed to catch a 4lb + chub on lob worm so I had somthing to show for my efforts. I will be back.