Cool for Cats

It was always my intention to fish for cats a bit earlier in the season this year as they seem to be well catchable from the beginning of April. Frustratingly, i’m a bit later than I wanted to be out but it’s still a lot earlier than I would normally fish for them and judging by the lack of anglers on the bank I can only assume everyone else was waiting for warmer weather. When I say lack of anglers, there were in fact none which suits me down to the ground. I chose a swim where I could cover a bit of water with the three rods and intended to make the most of the space as i’m sure there would be other anglers on before I was due to leave 48 hours later on Friday morning.

I’d taken my baitboat along to make the job of getting the bait tight to the area that I wanted to fish a lot easier, especially at night. It also makes the job of getting a big bait out a lot simpler. I took my time setting up as I have missed one or two screaming runs on previous sessions and although I think i’ve sussed out what the problem was, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. All three baits were put out where I wanted them and now it was just a question of sitting back for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. The weather was absolutely glorious although not conducive to good fishing, and all thoughts of the shit that is happening in the world right now were a million miles from the forefront of my mind.

Photobombed by my bag of supplies. You can just see the bags of bacon frazzles poking out of the top.

Just after 7pm I put fresh baits on. I wanted to give myself enough time to get them in position for dusk and into the night. By now it was a top coat cooler so I put on another layer and prepared myself for what was going to be a cold, clear night. Just after 9pm the middle rod, the one that was on the money, one toned and I was into my first cat of the season. As per usual, a tug of war ensued but in the end, my cotton-like arms won the battle. Not a biggie at 28.2 but it was an absolute minter and very, very welcome. I deliberated about taking a photo but to be honest, the buggers will never stay still so I decided against it and hoped that a bigger fish would grace my net that would be worth getting beaten up for.

Fresh bait back on and I didn’t have to wait long for another bite. Same rod, same place only this one felt heavier. I could see it way out on the surface in the beam of my headtorch. Slowly, I gained line until it was under the rod tip and from it’s serpentine rolls on the surface I could see it was a better fish. On the scales it went 39.14 so yes, I was going to get a photo of this one. I’d got the camera and intervalometer setup so now it was just a question of trying to manhandle this sucker for the camera.

Apologies for giving everyone “the finger” with my right hand.

I slipped into the sleeping bag thinking I was going to be on for a right bonanza. Two fish on the first evening and i’d still got another thirty six hours to go. In my head I was envisaging multiple captures and dreaming of bigger fish. I certainly had expectations of getting another fish that night but apart from one aborted run, probably caused by a trailer, the rods remained quiet. I awoke the next morning to another beautiful day and having the place to myself I decided to have breakfast followed by a move. I wasn’t expecting to catch during the day and it would help pass a couple of hours. I had a walk around the lake checking out various spots and decided on the next peg to my left. Hardly worth moving really you would think but it did give me easier access to a feature that I wanted to fish towards.

After the big move, the day was spent drinking coffee, thinking about random stuff and desperately waiting for the evening to arrive. When it did arrive it came with two other anglers. Honestly to god, who invited them? On top of that, they wanted to fish the two pegs next to me. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice blokes but I didn’t even want them on the same lake as me never mind the two pegs next to me. In the end they decided to fish at the far end of the lake, which in fairness, is one of my favourite spots and a good area. I like to think the fact that I emphasised that point about fifty times was what swayed them to go down there, but I suspect the reality is they probably thought I was a bit weird and just wanted to get away from me. Anyway, it paid off for them in the end because about 10pm they had a run and I could see that they were into a fish, whilst I on the other hand hadn’t had a bite for the last 23 hours. The good news though is they went after that fish as they were only down for the evening so I was back to having the place to myself.

The bad news now though, I never had a sniff all night and before I knew it the sunshine was burning my retinas out and it was time to get up. Breakfast was followed by a slow pack up and I had to be on the road for 9am. I knew i’d blown it now that the sun was up and I really did expect to get a couple more fish during the night. As usual I left the rods and net until last. I was looking at the rods saying “one more minute” when the right hand rod indicator lifted to the top and then stopped. Just as i was thinking “liner” the clutch started to tick on the reel slowly before increasing in speed. I got the fish in and left it in the net while I went about getting the scales set up again. It weighed 31.6 and I was chuffed to bits in the end. I think I would have been disappointed if the session had ended with those two early fish. No photo though, it wasn’t big enough for all the faff of setting everything back up.

If ever there was a day

If ever there was a day to go fishing it was yesterday and what a session it was. It’s been a looooong time since I had a more enjoyable day. Curtailed by lockdown it was a question of making do with what is on my doorstep but my god was I glad to get out and I planned to make every minute count. Arriving at the water at 6:30am I quickly got the shelter up knowing it was going to be a wet and windy day. Perfect conditions for a spot of Roach fishing.

I’d made some subtle changes to my rigs from the last time I was out as I was missing a lot of bites and bumping the odd fish off. Casting the three rods out it wasn’t long before I had my first bite. It was a Roach but only a small one. I hoped it wasn’t going to be another one of those days plagued by small fish. Others followed with the biggest going Continue reading

2020 – The year that wasn’t

Well, that was a year that I won’t be looking back on in a hurry with any sense of joy. The best part of the year for me in fishing terms was spent in lockdown with the rest of the country and then when things did finally calm down over the Summer I was snowed under with work and I think I managed a couple of days off in about six months. That’s not something i’m planning on repeating in a hurry bearing in mind I struggle to do a full week at work without having a day off.

But back to the fishing. It’s been a really poor year for me. I have been out more than the number of posts on here would suggest. Evening sessions and overnighters have been the norm but it’s been tough. I was trying new swims on the river and although the odd fish have turned up they haven’t been big. In fact the biggest was 11.7 with some smaller fish in single digits which has brought the average size down Continue reading

Its a hard knock life

After scoring on the Carp front on my first trip to an old water, I went back expecting success on my second attempt and my third and my fourth and my fifth.  Now i’m staring down the barrel of a potential blank on my sixth trip.  It’s not all been bad though as it’s been one hell of a learning curve although unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to catch any more of the few Carp that are in there.

My approach has been the same as it was on the time that I caught.  Fishing particles on a couple of rods and boilies on the other two.  Location has been a real mind bender though.  It’s all very well and good looking for signs of fish and that Continue reading

It’s a little bit Carpy, this feeling insiiiiide

No idea.

It’s been a while since I last went Carping, due to the fact that I packed in my Weston ticket at the end of last season because of time constraints and having to circumnavigate Birmingham.  Somthing no one should ever have to do on a regular basis.  So, with a recent run of blanks under my ever increasing waistband, apart from a Barbel weighing 8.14 that has made a mockery of my average barbel weights, I thought why the hell not dig the Carp gear out and and take myself off for an overnight session.

I hurriedly got everything together, loaded the car up and headed to a water that I haven’t fished for years.  Even then I didn’t fish it for Carp.  From what I remembered it has a low stock of Carp and no one ever seems to fish it these days so Continue reading