I've just realised it's been more than a year since I posted, so I thought I'd do an update to let the world and the computer system know that I am still around!
What fishing happened in 2020? For me very little. I can't remember what the problem was in winter 2019/20. I think it was the time I had tennis elbow! Then in the spring and summer we had Covid and restrictions on fishing and tackle shops coupled with a house move - not far, still Didcot area.
In the autumn I did at least wet
This was a special fishing holiday near Pontivy in Brittany to fish the River Blavet and the Nantes-Brest Canal which it flows in and out of. I had heard from blogs on-line, and also a reliable report on Anglers Net, that the roach (to 1lb 8 oz) and bream (to 6lbs) fishing here was prolific, with nets of around 50lbs regularly available in a session. Also the locals mainly fish for predators, to be taken away and eaten, so I assumed the roach and bream wouldn't be too 'hook shy.'
7 - 8.30pm
For the first time in the Thames I used bait-dropper. I cast out 10 bait-droppers full of 3mm pellets, and then fished feeder with 6mm halibut pellet about 5 rods out. At first it was bite-a-chuck, and very positive bites, too. Within 5 minutes I had a 12oz roach, which is actually my pb for the Thames. Then they got a bit cagey, and I missed a lot of bites. I wondered if the hair was too long and they were sucking the bait and not really having the hook in their mouth? Next time I m
7.30 - 9.30pm
During the last 2 years I did some fishing with 8mm pellet. It worked well in the lake, but was pretty dead in the river. So I decided to try 6mm pellet to see if that would be more to the taste of the quality roach which are my main target. I used 3mm pellet in the feeder.
Just one skimmer bream, plus a number of bites including a couple which got off. I would say mostly skimmers. Maybe the roach were up in the water?
At the start of a new season, in case it's of any interest to anyone, here are my pbs so far. The question is, how to improve at least one of them this season given that I'm a bit of a cushy 'pleasure angler', not into all night stints and with health issues hindering also:
roach 1lb 9oz River Farm Lake, Fareham Oct 2009 float single caster
rudd 2lb 2oz Aquatek Lake, Woolhampton May 2009 float single maggot
dace 7oz River Kennet,
4-6.30pm at the Club Lake, Orchid Lakes, Dorchester
I left myself too little time, mainly because the forecast had been showers, and I decided to wait till the weather was better. But then the forecast changed, so I had a quick session.
Fished 8mm halibut pellet, with 3mm pellets in the feeder. Had carp of approx. 11lb plus bream of 6lb 6oz and 4lb 7oz. The bigger bream was a pb. I realise many anglers, specially carpers, have had much bigger bream than this, but I was still very pleased
I've always wanted to fish the middle Stour since someone told me it was a place where you could reasonably rely on a good bag of roach with a good chance of a fish over 1lb. I was able to combine it with visiting a family member. Would the fishing come up to expectation?
15 Nov 1.30-4.30pm. The fishing shop steered me in the direction of a 'mill pond', weir pool really. But this immediately raised a question. Where on earth in a weir pool do you find roach? Such experience as I have of weir
8am to 3.30pm
4 zander up to a pound vertical jigging, plus some perch also to about a pound - thanks entirely to Kappa's experience and coaching. The first time I have tried this style of fishing. A great day!
6.45 - 8.15pm
I've caught very few bream above 3lb with a pb under 6lb, so it wouldn't take anything too gigantic to please. Fished two rods with 8mm pellet. Very pleased to get 3 bream, 2 skimmers approx 1.5 and 2lb, and one nice fish (to me, at any rate) of 5lb 7 oz.
All bites in the last half hour. That's the trouble at this lake, you are not allowed to fish beyond dusk. But I was encouraged and will be back.
7 - 8.45pm Cloudy. Almost no flow after lack of rain. A new stretch
I wasn't expecting much with so little flow, but pleasantly surprised. I ledgered maggot for the first hour, and then sweetcorn. Bite a chuck small skimmers and some roach bream hybrids up to about 5oz on maggot, and then 4 nice roach 6-8 oz on the corn.
I'll be back for a more serious session.
Local lake 7 - 9.30pm
Aim was to catch some quality roach on float and sweetcorn, feeding hemp. At the first peg I couldn't get past an army of skimmers, so switched peg. Almost immediately I had a nice fish of 1lb 13oz that looked roachy, but I am sure wasn't. The scales weren't bright enough for a silver bream, so I concluded it was a roach bream hybrid. But to be sure I took out my camera that I had put in the bag a year ago when a similar fish identification issue came up, only to find the
3.45-6.30pm Club Lake
Fished 2 rods, one in the middle with feeder and 8mm pellet for bream, one in the margins with sweetcorn for tench. Was pleased to have success on both rods with 2 bream, best 5lb 10oz, and a tench of 3lb 3oz from the margins.
My experience of sea fishing is limited, to say the least. The first fish I ever caught were in the sea, when I was about eight. My dad took my brother and me out in a rowing boat at Hastings for an hour. Hand lines and bait (lugworms) were supplied. From memory we only went out about 30 yards, but we had 27 small whiting and three dabs. It all seemed remarkably easy! But future attempts have normally resulted in failure, the main catch being seaweed!
The last week was a family holiday, but
A trip to the Middle Severn on a quest for big roach. I stayed in a B&B at Bewdley for 2 nights. On Sunday night I fished the Northbrook stretch on the BAA ticket, and got off to a good start with a lovely roach that tipped the scales at exactly 1lb. Bait was ledgered 8mm pellet No other bites, though, which turned out to be a bit of a theme for the couple of days.
On Monday morning I went to visit Arley, 3 miles north, which is a bit of a mecca - but I think mainly for barbel anglers.
7-10pm local lake
My aim was to catch roach on 8mm pellets. I started using a float with the bait mid water and caught 6 roach and rudd up to 6 oz or so in the first hour, but decided the bigguns weren't around. So I switched to feeder. No roach at all, but a 2lb 4oz perch would-yer-believe-it, and a carp of about 15lb which took an age to land on the light tackle. I didn't have adequate scales to weigh it.
10am to 11am local lake
What should I fish for? The carp, tench and bream are probably spawning, the roach are doubtless recovering from it. I decided to try for perch using prawn as bait. I've almost no experience of perch fishing at this time of year, but decided to get out for a couple of hours, hopefully dodging the forecast rain.
The first fish was a surprise. It looked breamish, but with no slime. Could it be a silver bream? I wish I'd taken the camera. I estimated it at about 12
5.15 - 8 pm
Relatively shallow local lake which has warmed up well (WT 17degC)
Fished feeder. 3 roach, 1lb 3 oz, 1 lb 7 oz, 1 lb 12 oz.
The fish were full of spawn. The biggest was a pb, and the catch was my best catch of roach, so I was very pleased.
The middle fish was quite pale and almost looked like a silver bream, but I was not aware this species was present in the lake. I shall take a camera next time! All the roach came in the first hour, and I also foul hooked a second 1lb 7 oz
2.30-5.30pm the Club Lake, Orchid Lakes
My original plan was to have 2 baits in the middle for bream, but few bream were coming out and a catfish angler told me you could get good tench in the margins. On reflection I think that is often the case at this time of year with the margins warming up faster than the deeper water. So I had an 8mm pellet a quarter of the way across, and 2 pieces of sweetcorn 5ft from the bank.
It was bright and sunny, and day anglers have to leave by 7pm, so it
2.45 - 5.15pm WT 4 deg C
An attempt at the perch in this local lake now that the ice has melted. I float fished a whole prawn, which a lot of people use in this lake. I skimmer bream and 7 perch, all but one of which over a pound, the best two being 2 lb 1 oz and 2 lb 8 oz.
I have only fished prawn a few times before, and was pleased to get more bites than previously, though the size of fish was a bit less than expected. Next time I will try bigger prawns!
3-5pm AT 4 deg C WT 0-4 deg C Beautiful clear blue sky, little wind.
The fishing shop manager had warned me that this high stock density lake might be iced up, and he was right. But along the north bank which had had most of the sun there were a few inches of water, and under a willow tree the ice only started 15 feet out. I cracked the ice at one point to put in my thermometer, and it came back registering 4 deg C, but presumably the temperature over much of the surface was lower at 0
3.15 - 4.45pm
Thames lock cut, hoping for some roach on float fished maggot or caster. A cold day with WT 5 deg C. Much more water coming though the weir than I had expected after what I thought was average rainfall, and a lot of colour in the water. With the amount of flow I thought it was a safe bet the fish would be in the cut, but either they weren't feeding or else I just didn't find them. I tried two places with slight flow from an eddy with not a touch, and then settled for 12 ft deep st
10.30am - 12.15pm AT 5 degC WT 6 degC
A cold day, but this high stock density local lake fished well in the past on a cold day so I though I had a chance. I didn't fish my normal time of dusk as rain was forecast in the afternoon. The question was, what should I try for, the roach or perch? Since my two baits of maggot and prawn could attract both it was partly an academic question, though I fished tight to a bush with the perch in mind.
I started float fishing maggot, but the small fi
2.45 - 4.15 pm
A typical brief session for the normal mixture of good and bad reasons. I had brought lobworms and maggots for perch, but the air pressure was high, and most of the morning cloud had disappeared, so I wasn't too optimistic. But I chatted to an angler on the bank who told me of a 'deep hole' where there might be some good perch. At least, there USED to be a deep hole. I have been told of such holes before, but when I tried plumbing the depth I have never been able to find them, bu
2.15 to 4.15pm Thames lock cut
The last time I was here I fished for roach with little success, but when dusk came the pike went crazy. Each time I threw in some groundbait the bleak would leap from the water chased by the perch, and then one or two roach would surface followed by a massive explosion from 2 or 3 pike. Given that, today, we've had 3 days of very mild weather after a cold spell, and the air pressure is high, I had hopes esox would be in similar active mood.
But no, it was
3 - 4.30pm. Tackle shop owners and anglers on the bank are saying the same thing. For some reason the Thames is full of roach this year, up to just under a pound. Chokka. Wall to wall. Brim full. It's so full of roach that I have found myself asking if there is even room for any water! And what is more they are unbelievably easy to catch. 'Bite a chuck mate, you can't go wrong.' The only problem is that not many of them have been finding their way into my landing net.
So in sceptical mood I