A nice walk but not many fish

A lovely walk on a beautiful Autumn day.

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So yesterday saw the misses off to work in the afternoon for a couple of hours leaving me at a lose end. That means only one thing to me; fishing time.

Only having a bit of time I opted to get the lure rod out. Also is there anything better than a walk on an autumn afternoon? The leaves turning, bit of a chill in the air but nothing too cold and being a Monday afternoon the chance of throngs of people being around was very unlikely. That’s one of the great thing about lure fishing, the walking. It’s not for everyone but for me I love a good walk and with the added bonus of possibly catching a fish; well count me in!

The stretch of canal by me is lovely, it goes from relatively urban to relatively picturesque in a short distance. Offering a wonderful array of swims and challenges. I had forgotten though that there had been a match held on the stretch I was tackling the day before.

This did I think have an impact on the standard of the fishing, I only managed to bag one on my long walk.

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My first lure caught Chub and a PB to boot as well 

The fish that graced my net was a lovely Chub, it was my first lure caught Chub and a PB as well so I was a very, very happy man. It went off like a train so after a good two hours of no bites I was getting a bit tired and to be totally honest I wasn’t expecting the bite so when it came and the rod bent over like it did I was taken completely by surprise. The fight didn’t last that long and it was great to see it come into the net.

After catching the Chub I decided it was time to head home, the light was fading and I know of a spot that I can more than often get a Perch or two in the fading light close to my home.

Sure enough on my first cast at the secret spot I got a fish, followed by another then another and then another!! Over 30 casts I caught 25 fish, all small Perch; nothing larger than a quarter of a pound but after the massive walk and not a lot of action I was more than happy with that. After about 40 minutes of action I started putting my casts in trees and lost two hooks and a couple of lures so I thought it best time to go home.

To add to my ever growing collection of lures (really when is too many too many?) I got some lures, cheburashka weights & hooks from the folks at Realistic Shad on Facebook. Mainly because some of their larger lures for Zander and Pike look so realistic I really thought they were deadbaits and I’ve wanted to try some cheburahka rigs out for a while.

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Some good quality lures and rigs!

The whole process was very simple and pain free. I simply sent them a message on Facebook and went through with them my normal size lures etc and they advised me which rigs to get, I added the lures on as a slight after thought. They offered me a choice of different lures but there were so many to choose from I asked for a random selection. Delivery was very fast and the overall price is competitive. I haven’t tried them out yet but I will be before the weekend and I will let you know how I get on.

Tight lines folks.

Sam

 

 

 

Planning a session for Pike

Been a while since I caught a Pike, time for that to change I think!

 

I’ve not gone Pike fishing for a long time, so I’m a bit rusty but raring to get out and find some of these amasing fish.

I am fairly spoiled for choice really being in Worcester; there’s the canal, the Severn, Teme, Avon as well as a few lakes near by which are rumored to hold Pike. There’s also the chance of the odd Zander and large Perch which is just as exciting.

I’ve located a local lake that from what I’ve heard should hold some small pike and a decent perch or two and it’s a 40 minute walk from my house; happy days. I think this will work out well for me to be able to get back to grips with the tactics needed but also the water isn’t huge. So I’m hoping this will mean they are easier to locate; well that’s my thinking at least.

My planned approach is two fold, first I intend to cover the water with some lures (provided it’s not too busy) first so I can have a good look at the place and work out where the fish are likely to be. After that I’m going to set my dead bait rods up and have a sit down and some grub, looking to then move every half an hour if the bites don’t come.

As for deadbaits, I’m planning on going tomorrow and haven’t planned a thing for bait. So
I’m going to have to rely on the local supermarket and hope they have something in there that is suitable. So for this session I think I will have to settle for mackerel or maybe some sardines. If they don’t have anything well that’s me going fishing for Barbel instead.

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Might get chance to use a new float.

As I’ve said this isn’t new to me but I’ve not done loads of Pike fishing before so I’m defiantly looking forward to testing my skills against what has to be one of the most beautiful fish in our waters.

What you up to this weekend? Got a trip planned or are you out on the water today?

Tight Lines Folks

Sam

Some new tackle

Is second hand tackle worth the hassle?

We all love getting a new rod and reel don’t we!! I have been really lucky recently in being able to find some great bargains.

All the kit I’ve bought is second hand, I know this might not be to everyone’s taste but if you’re willing to wade through Ebay, Facebook and the like you can find some good deals.

Of course you need to be careful when buying anything second hand as most items are sold as seen meaning refunds will most likely be hard fought if needed. So my advice is ask for pictures lots of pictures. If buying a rod ask for pictures of each eye, the reel seat, where sections fit together etc. Reels can be a little bit different, you could clean a reel up and have it shinning and not be able to tell there’s an issue without having it in your hand. So you’re a lot more reliant on the seller being honest but still ask for photos. It’s common sense really, anything you’re buying you want to make sure it’s going to be fit for purpose.

Finally use PayPal for payment; by using this payment method you can raise issues after receiving the good and seek a refund if needed.

So what have I managed to pick up?

  • The first item is a Shakespeare Mach3 XT Match Rod. This replaced an identical but older model rod. I found this in a Cash Converter still with the original plastic wrap on the handle. It’s a great rod for all round float fishing and it’s predecessor lasted me over 10 years. Retail price £50+ I paid £22.
  • Next up are two more rods, firstly a John Wilson Avon Deluxe and also a John Wilson Barbel Quiver. I have yet to land a fish on either of these rods and have only used them twice since getting them, so I can’t comment too much on how good they both are. What I can say is they both offer a wonderful array of fishing options. They both come with 3 quivers and a specimen top section. The Avon is 1.5 test and the Barbel 1.75 test. Both are 11ft as standard but both come with an extension bottom section that turn both of them into 13ft rods. So they really do allow you to employ all manner of tactics to suit whatever conditions you find on the bank. The Avon retails from £60 and the Barbel retails from £60 so combined they would be £120 and I picked the two up for £70.
  • To go along with the rods I picked up a new reel. It’s a Wychwood Solace 6, I found out that Leeda own Wychwood and I have had a Leeda reel for years and love it so took the plunge. Add to that the line clip feature that unclips itself when a fish takes line without damaging the line and I think it’s a winner. It comes with both a single and double handle and as expected a spare spool. The one I picked up had one spool loaded with 10lb fluorocarbon (not something I would normally use as mainline but it works well). Again I’ve only used this twice and blanked both times so can’t speak of its fish catching pedigree but so far it seems like a very nice reel, compact but feels solid, smooth action and looks like it will last a while. They retail at £44.99 I got mine for £25.
  • Finally I needed a bag suitable for river fishing, I have a great all round bag I use everyday and for lure fishing but it’s not big enough for the river. I have looked and looked and looked for a suitable bag. It’s tough to know which one is going to be right and buying brand new means spending anything for £50 to £90. So I narrowed my search down to a Greys Prodigy. It looked big enough to move house with, had a cool bag compartment for bait and the straps looked like they would offer great support. I found one on Facebook and it lives up to my expectations and exceeds them. I have all my tackle I need in it along with bait, reels, change of clothes, storm kettle, food absolutely everything. Retails at £53.99 I got it for £25.

Had I bought all this at retail I would have been looking at £268, however I paid £145 for all of it a saving of £123. That’s a lot of money, I mean that’s not just a fiver it’s over a £100 saved. To put it into context if you’re average day ticket is £7, it works out at 17 days worth of day tickets; 17!!! That’s the best part of a month!!!!! I think that’s brilliant.

So my advice; shop around. If you know what you want and you’re sure about it then look to see what’s about as it really may be worth it and everyone loves a bargain.

Tight lines folks

Sam

Just got back from lure fishing. 

Got to love jig fishing for perch

I’ve not had much time to fish the last couple of weeks. 

Tonight though I got out with my jig rod and hit the canal. A couple of hours led to thirty perch. 

This type of fishing really is fun and rewarding. You don’t need to carry a lot, rod, net, lures, hooks, leader line and you’re good to go. Also you don’t need a lot of time either to be able to bag up. 

It’s been a great evenings fishing. 

Tight lines 

Sam 

Homemade Paste and Boilies

How I’ve been making paste and boilies

I’ve talked of my love for homemade baits before. My experience in this area has mainly been limited to groundbait and adding an edge to meat etc.

I have however been working on a few paste recipes as I’ve been targeting  barbel a fair bit recently and paste is a really good bait for this. The process is simple enough and allows for great versatility in flavor as you can make a number of differing pastes to suit whatever occasion.

I have mainly stuck with fish and spicy flavors at the moment; the only reason being is that A) this is what I’ve been catching on B) it’s what I already had kicking about.

So what do you need?

  • Something to act as the main bulk ingredient, I went with Dynamite Baits Betaine Green groundbait. I love this stuff, I go on about homemade bait but I keep some of this around for when I go last minute. As this is the main bulk ingredient I thought it best to use something with strong fish pulling power. I used about a third of a bag.
  • As this paste was to be used in the main for Barbel I added a couple of tablespoons of garlic powder.
  • 3 eggs, these are for binding but also add protein.
  • A couple of squirts of liquid worm, this was mainly to add more flavor to the mix.

What to do next? 

  • I mixed all the dry ingredients together and did the same with the liquid ingredients.
  • Once mixed I added the dry mix to the liquid, adding a small amount, mixing it with a fork and then repeating until the mix started to go stiff.
  • Once stiff I kneaded the mixture, just like bread. I added any leftover dry mix as I was going. Top tipCover your hands in a small amount of oil, this will stop the paste sticking to your hands.
  • The consistency I was left with was almost that of plasticine, easy to mold around boilies etc but with enough stiffness to stay there in flowing water.
  • Once it’s all made up I separate it into batches, the above ingredients allowed me to make 4 large balls of paste. This went into strong thick freezer bags and into the freezer it went. That’s the good thing about this, you can freeze it and refreeze it. So any leftovers take home for next time. It also only takes around an hour for it to defrost as well.

How to use it?

  • Wrap it around your hook bait, so for instance when using a spicy flavor boilie I wrap spicy paste around it. I’ve had success also on wrapping a pellet in the above paste.
  • Attach a piece of fake sweetcorn or a small bead to a hair and the mold the paste around this.
  • You can get or you could make a spiral piece of metal, again tie this to a hair. I’m not a fan of these for a number of reasons. They can damage a fish, if it comes off and the fish swallows it. Also they can easily get caught up in your landing net.
  • Simply molded onto a hook. I do this by taking a small amount of paste and then molding a tear drop shape around the hook.
  • Any leftovers simply take home and pop in the freezer.

So that’s homemade paste! Simple and very effective. The great thing is you can make it out of lots of different things. You could use bread as a base or cereals also any groundbait you prefer to use. You could use powdered pellets. The same goes for additives, all manner or flavors could be used, who knows what might work.

Homemade Boilies? 

This really couldn’t be easier, when you’ve made your paste you can stop there. However you can turn the paste into boilies. All you have to do is roll them up into balls or roll it into a sausage and cut into pieces. After this boil 10mm for around 45 seconds, 15mm up to 90 seconds and 20mm up to 120 seconds.

Leave to cool and you have homemade boilies in the same flavor as your paste. Again these can be frozen and refrozen.

Hope you find this useful, if you’ve got any comments or have a better way of doing it please share.

Tight lines folks

Sam

 

It’s been far too long but I’m back!!

Due to work and all the other stuff life throws at us I had a bit of a break but I’m back!!

Sorry is all I can say!!

I have been so busy that I’ve not had the time to think about writing let alone get the time to do any writing.

I have however managed to get to the bank and let me tell you I’ve had some adventures!! From my first ever river barbel to having to escape a river bank in torrential rain!!

So it’s been fun, it’s been more than fun it’s been amazing!!

Before I had my hiatus from writing I had been doing mainly lake and lure fishing.  I’d never really been a river fisherman. Disgraceful I know! I am happy to say that this has changed and in some style, if I do say so myself!

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My first & second ever river barbel

These two beauties came into the net on my first ever trip to the river to target barbel.They both fell to Dynamite Baits spicy squid boilie wrapped in home made garlic and betaine green groudbait paste (I’ve very much got into making my own paste and boilies, more to come on this), I also had a feeder above this with bread and fishmeal groundbait in it.

It was a glorious night, the bottom fish in the picture came to the net first. It was just as the sun had set, I was watching the rod tip and enjoying the evening. The relaxing evening was shattered by the rod tearing round and line shotting off the reel. I’d heard about how furious barbel bites could be but it really has to be seen to be believed. I was taking my time playing it as it felt quite large, as I got it near the surface I was greeted by a branch of a tree, not a stick, not a twig a branch. It had tangled around my feeder. I thought I had been playing a branch for 10 minutes! Only for my rod to nearly get pulled out my hands with a huge crash of water as my reel sang once again. So I had my first barbel on plus a branch! How I got the fish to the net I’m still no sure but I did!

The second fish came as I sat down for my tea (they know how to pick a time don’t they). Again the rod tip savagely pulled round  and I felt an almighty power on the end of the rod! Barbel really do know how to fight, it took me a good 15 minutes to get it to the surface; those who know Barbel will know what happened next. It went on another almighty run! When I finally got it to the net I couldn’t believe my eyes!! I had no scales so I would not like to guess the weight but I’m happy with it being my PB barbel!!

This has led to me wanting to spend every possible second on the river, which might be the reason for me not having the time to write much!!

On a recent trip to the river me and my regular fishing accomplice Ben went on what looked like a nice evening planning to fish over night and into the next day. The good weather failed us quite quickly and quite spectacularly as it started raining at around 11pm and went on through till 4am, none stop; to the point we couldn’t fish and just had to sit it out. We learnt a lot from this, the main thing being MAKE SURE YOU CAN GET OUT!! I can’t stress this enough. We waited for the rain to stop, which was the right decision at the time. However due to the amount of rain that feel it turned an already steep bank into a mountain. We had to make our own new way out of the spot, something that might not seem too bad but trust me after that long sat in the cold and the rain it was horrible. So what did we learn? If the spot your in is difficult to get down to when dry, well if it starts raining just leave. We thought it would be fine, no problem; it’s only rain. That was until we thought we were stuck and would need to call for help!!

I’ve also put a bit of time in on a few lakes. Taking this beauty off the surface on a recent trip along with an arm breaking amount of others; got to love fishing on the surface!!

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I also fished Brockamin recently and it was a great day; one of those where I had to work hard to build a swim but once I had it was a fish a cast. Mostly large perch, some decent roach with some lovely fighting carp coming along every 15 minutes or so. The main tactic was fishing the margin with maggot on the hook with maggots and pellets for lose feed. When I saw a carp move in (the water churning and boiling) I switched to a small amount of paste on the hook. This worked every time with the carp turning to find this much more smelly, protein filled bait over the lose feed.

It was really nice to turn up, have a couple of slow hours but persevere with building the swim for it to then come alive and fish for an amazing  5 hours or so.

Finally along with homemade baits I’ve had a go at making some floats. Mainly for targeting perch and possibly pike on the canal for when the river is in flood and not too safe to fish.

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I’ll happily admit to them being rough around the edges but these are my prototypes. The ones on the right are made from beer barrel corks (the thing that you use to tap a barrel) carved into a ball with then balsa wood as the stem. The one on the left is a champagne type cork that I hand carved with balsa wood again used for the the stem. All are painted with acrylic paint and then varnished in with clear nail varnish top coat. I know I can get better materials for the varnish but at this stage I would rather spend £1.29 on this to figure out what patterns will work best for me and then expand from there.

So that’s some but not all of what I’ve been doing, I’ll do my best to get some more stuff up soon. Any comments or question are happily received.

Tight Lines

Sam

 

Far too much to do!!

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to write anything. Any spare time I have had I’ve tried to spend on the bank. So sorry for the delay in getting anything new up.

I’ve managed a few trips out of late, I’m going to do a brief write up here and go into more detail on method etc with other posts.

So first off was a trip to Caslte Green, Leigh Sinton; this is a single medium sized pool based on a farm. It’s a nice venue, fairly secluded and nice for a bit of peace and quiet.

There are lily pads either end of the pool with reeds covering the bottom bank. To begin with I fished the bank closest to the entrance. This has a nice patch of lilies and looked promising.

I tried everything but nothing seemed interested. I didn’t have any maggots but I think if I had I might have had more luck but only in catching small fish. One thing I did note while fishing this pool is the sheer amount of small fish there are. There were an absolute abundance of small fry & small fish, most of which I think were carp. This could be a good thing but I do wonder if the competition for food will stop or slow the growth of the larger fish and also the small ones.

After a few hours of fairly fruitless actions I decided to grab a loaf of bread and head down the bottom end. A lot of carp had been cruising about so I thought why not head down and give it a go.

Damn was I pleased I did; I moved at around 3 and had a fish almost every cast till 7pm. I lost count around 35 fish!!

I’m going to go through my set up for surface fishing and how I go about doing it. So keep a look out for that. This is one of my favorite forms of fishing but is being banned at more and more venues so I want explore it in a bit more depth.

The fishing really was insane, I had mostly 4-8llb’s with the biggest coming out to 11llb.

The following week I decided to give the Christmas Tree Farm, Leigh Sinton a go. I wasn’t up for a trek and fancied a bit of peace and quiet somewhere I knew I could catch.

Well I kind of made a mistake on that front. It was so windy!! The fishery is split, with three lakes near the entrance and then another three a short walk away down a hill. Well the bottom pools are not sheltered from wind; at all. This shouldn’t be a problem and wouldn’t have been had I been prepared for it.

First of all I hadn’t got a float that could deal with the literal waves I was faced with. So I though I’d put a feeder out with a bite alarm to get around the wind, only to find that my bite alarm was broken. Not a good start. So I retreated from the pool I’d started on (Click for more info on the pool I fished first) to a more sheltered pool. To be honest I don’t know what was going on but I didn’t have the best day. I had two lovely bream and a few decent roach  but that was all I could manage. I think the one thing that I can take from this session is fishing with slow sinking bread. Something I’ve never done to a great extent but had some joy on with the roach, this has given me a lot more confidence in using it again.

The last session I managed was at Woodland View. This is such a well kept and managed fishery. It’s not the most natural looking of fisheries but what it lacks in that it makes up for in being well kept both in terms of the fish and the general tidiness of the place. Also there is a very well stocked tackle shop with very helpful advice on hand if required. There is then a canteen (this was closed on my visit) and REAL TOILETS!! This doesn’t bother me but I know some who would find this a bonus!

We went on one of the hottest days of the year, possibly not the best day some might think. Well me and my Dad don’t let rain, snow, ice or the sun get in the way of fishing!! We set up with some puddle chucker floats with about 4 inches of line to a straight through hook and loaded the hook with some meat. Fishing mainly off sight we targeted the carp on the surface, casting further than they were and teasing the float toward them. This worked really well and we bagged up all day long. If there were no fish to be seen we simply cast out and put pellets out to bring in the fish. I guess this is pellet waggler fishing but with meat instead.

It really was hard going at times though; the heat was making me think I had bites when there was nothing, other times I missed bites due to not realising there was one. I think it’s worth saying that fishing in that type of heat does have some risks; SUN TAN CREAM is a must, can’t stress it enough. If you fish a lot you need to put the highest factor possible on, the last thing you want is cancer thanks to the hobby you love!! Also water, keep lots of water to hand; you don’t want to pass out on the drive home and crash. I know that all sounds a bit much but sometimes while fishing we forget the world around us. So plan a head and you’re less likely to forget!

So that’s it for me, I own a tattoo studio so this time of year is my busiest. So I will try and get to update the blog as much as I can; if I’m slack on it, it’s because I working or fishing! Keep an eye out for the posts on the methods I used in these sessions.

Tight Lines

Sam