Ahoy there me Carpy’s!!

Typical isn’t it?  You go Carping and you don’t catch any.  You go Roach fishing and you’re plagued by the scaley buggers.

I’d decided that as soon as the Christmas festivities were out of the way that I was going to start my Roach campaign.  I’ve dabbled a bit with it the past couple of winter’s but it always takes me time to get my act together and not get distracted by other things.  Now though, my focus is firmly fixed and with a bit of luck i’ll be going all out to catch them this winter, conditions permitting.

We’re not blessed with big Roach waters around here but I headed to one of my local pits that has done some pound plus Roach in the past.  Not wanting to potentially overfeed the fish I put out three spombs of bait to start with and fished two rods over the baited area.  Encouragingly there were Roach splashing on the surface at first light, although admittedly further out than where I was fishing.  After an hour or so I had my first bite that was definitely Roachy.  A couple more followed but they didn’t develop into anything though Continue reading

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Just call me “El Blanko”

So you could be forgiven for thinking that i’d dropped off the face of the Earth.  I haven’t obviously but my catch rate certainly has.  With the decent weather we’ve been having the past few weeks i’ve been down on the river after a Barbel or three but my last four trips have all been blanks which is really odd.  In fact I haven’t even had a bite.  I haven’t been getting down until after dark and although I don’t have a problem with that it can make picking out likely looking spots tricky.

A couple of trips after the Zander have also resulted in blanks so I decided to have a bit of a change and have another session on The Monument after The Carp.

There was only three of us on M1 with a lot more anglers choosing to fish M2.  As I sat in the car to let people get their tickets and sort themselves out I was dazzled by something coming up the drive.  I know carp anglers like their vans but this thing had spotlights on the front, top and lights all down both sides.  Honestly I thought the venga bus had turned up to take me to Ibiza.  For the rest of the day all I had going around my head was “the venga bus is coming”.

Conditions were perfect.  Mild, overcast and drizzly.  I’d spent quite a bit of time preparing for the trip.  I’d got my methods all sussed out and rigs made to suit.  The guys in the office gave me the low down on which areas to target.  If I do say so myself I fished like a demon.  My casting was pinpoint accurate, so was my baiting and I don’t think I could have fished better if I tried.  Despite a couple of liners the first day went without any action, apart from a coot that picked my bait up and nearly gave me a heart attack.

On the second day I decided to have a cast about a bit more and see if I could land on a fish.  Just before lunch a couple of fish moved towards the middle so I put both rods out where i’d seen them.  It was all very quiet though.

My session passed without a bite but despite this I loved every minute of it.  The sunrise on the first morning was stunning.  It would have been nice to get a pre-Christmas fish.  I’ve got a trip somewhere organised for next week so hopefully that fish will turn into a pre-New Year fish and the year will end on a high.

Back on the Zed gang.

I had a couple of evening sessions last week after the Barbel in a couple of new spots that resulted in blanks.  There’s always something to learn though and the second area I noticed a couple of decent fish roll so it is an area to target again at some point.

The rivers are very low at the moment and the conditions aren’t ideal for Barbel so I decided to get the Zander gear out and see if I could nick a fish or two.  As i’ve got a few days off I decided to get down the river mid-afternoon to beat the rush hour traffic and just to get out in the fresh air.

I couldn’t believe how clear the river was which never fills me with great confidence.  Still, i’m sure under the cover of darkness a chance will come along to bag a Zander or two.

I put the first rod out upstream and set about getting the other rod out of the sleeve.  A quick check on the upstream rod and it was banging Continue reading

Yep, you’ve guessed it.

I really didn’t fancy it last night.  The weather was due to change around 7pm with a mild southerly turning to a cold northerly and temperatures plummeting bringing rain with it.  I never feel confident with a sudden change of conditions but I was hoping I had a small window of opportunity.  Besides, I wanted to try out my new Drennan umbrella.  I’ve made a few purchases recently.   First impressions on the umbrella are reasonably good.  What I like about it is the fact that you can tilt it without unscrewing the pole and then screwing it back in again.  When i’m on the river the last thing I need is faff and this thing is simple.  It comes with a guy rope and a couple of tent pegs and has the ability to use storm poles with it if needs be.  The pole feels a bit flimsy though (hence the storm pole attachments I guess but more faff) and the fabric is a bit thin.  So not perfect, but better than the two i’ve just had.  I do wish I could find a good sturdy umbrella that can stands the winter elements though.  They just don’t make them like they used to.  It’s all about them being lightweight these days.  Balls to that though, give me something heavy duty any day of the week.

Another recent purchase was the Drennan Mega Carp net pole.  It sounds like i’m an advocate for Drennan but i’m not.  They do some things very well and i’ve always liked their landing net handles.  This thing is sturdy and has a 30cm detachable Continue reading

Legs 11 again – aaaaarggghhhh!!!!!

As previously mentioned I had plans to try a new area of river for my next Barbel trip and that’s exactly what I did last night.  Christ, it was a long walk though.  What made it worse is that every swim I looked at just didn’t seem right so I kept walking, knowing that I was getting further and further from the car and hotter and hotter in the process.  Eventually I found a spot that looked just about right.  The flow was on my near side for a change and with the river narrowing up in this area I didn’t really need to chuck very far.  A couple of underarm flicks and that was it.  The right hand rod was placed in the flow under an overhanging tree and the the left hand rod was placed just past the flow in the slacker water which is my favourite kind of area when targetting big Barbel.

Time was ticking on by the time I made my first cast, in fact it was almost dark.  Expectations were high and a Chub splashed just downstream of the left hand rod which is a sure fire indication that a bite would come in the next half an hour as the fish homed in on the bait.  Sure enough that’s exactly what happened although to be fair it fought more like a Barbel than a Chub.  It’s the first time that I can remember that Continue reading