2016 – Another year comes to an end

I had high hopes for the beginning of 2016.  I’d taken 3 months off work to fish the rivers in the hope of getting a decent Perch or two but lets just say the weather had different ideas.  I lost most of January to high river levels and persistent rain although it didn’t stop me going out.  I wanted to experiment and see just what conditions Perch would feed in.  Although they didn’t feed in extreme conditions I did take some nice fish when the rivers were high with quite a bit of colour in the water proving that it’s always worth getting out there and giving it a go.  I did manage some nice Barbel and Carp though when the river was close to going over the banks which gave me quite a runaround on 10 foot quiver tip rods and 6lb line.  I gave those fish a lot of teddy on that gear and not once did I feel it was going to fail me proving that with balanced gear you can land some pretty hefty fish.

13.3 - Taken while floodwater Perching
13.3 – Taken while floodwater Perching

Two fish that stick in my mind from those sessions were a Barbel of 12.10 that I took while Perching.  The fish tore all through the swim and whilst playing it I thought this is really going to bugger the swim up.  I really didn’t expect to catch any Perch from the swim after that.  Little did I know that a short while later my rod tip would be wrenched round and i’d be sat there with a stunning 4.14 Perch in the net.

12.10 - Bull in a china shop
12.10 – Bull in a china shop


4.14 - Taken after the swim trashed by the Barbel.
4.14 – Taken after the swim was trashed by the Barbel.

Once the weather settled down several more good Perch followed before the end of the season including 3 more 4’s.  I had one of my best days on the river where I took 5 big Perch which is almost unheard of, topped by a magnificent fish of 4.11.

4.11 - One of the most satisfying captures.
4.11 – One of the most satisfying captures.

My last day on the river culminated in the capture of a 4.4 Perch and finally ending that chapter of my fishing life fishing those particular spots.  It’s time to target new swims and new fish.

With the river season over it was going to be difficult to fill that void but I went back to work to earn some much needed dosh.  I spent a bit of time fishing gravel pits for Bream.  My first session resulted in 6 fish upto 9.1 and I really thought it was going to be easy from that point on.  How wrong was I?  I struggled after that, mostly blanking but taking the odd fish.  One thing I did love though was on that first session, i’d cast out after landing a fish and couldn’t get my head round why the bobbin wouldn’t settle when clipping up, only to see the rod tip bouncing as another Bream took the bait.  It really was a wonderful days fishing.

9.1 - If only they all came this easily
9.1 – If only they all came this easily

Summer came and so did a week at RH Fisheries Weston Park.  I’d been looking forward to this for ages.  I haven’t fished seriously for carp in 20 odd years so when Mr C suggested we give it a go then I jumped at the chance.  So much so we’ve booked the whole lake for a week in 2017.  The fishing wasn’t all that easy but we managed some good fish.  I upped my PB and Andy had a 32lb fish on the first night.  Sometimes though it’s not all about the fishing and just being at such a historical place can be a magical experience.

Stunning Weston Park lake and Boathouse
Stunning Weston Park lake and Boathouse


28lb Weston Park leather
28lb Weston Park leather


21.2 Weston Common. Fought like a Chesterfield lass.
21.2 Weston Common. Fought like a Chesterfield lass.


During the Summer months I planned on getting out after the Zander again.  I did manage a couple of sessions but moving house basically took up most of my spare time.  In fact I think I only managed two Zander trips which resulted in one small fish and a Pike.  Then before you know it Summer is over and you’re back into Autumn.  I managed a few trips during this period, most of which resulted in blanks.  I did manage my first river Tench which made me think i’d hooked a monster Perch for the first 10 seconds and I managed a stunning 3lb 6oz Perch while attending one of the Perchfishers fish in’s but overall the season hasn’t panned out as I expected.  The rivers have been out of sorts and as I type this I have just returned from the river after another blank and they have been lower and clearer than I can ever remember for this time of year.

Still, another year is just around the corner.  I wonder what 2017 will bring.  I’ve already got a few ideas swimming around in my head.


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