Sunday, 27 September 2020

Hook

 


Much like Captain Hook my relationship with Crocodiles has hit rock bottom.  Only weeks ago I was snagging crocs right left and centre.  Last weekend saw a dramatic downturn in fortunes with six(!) Pike falling off the hook and one eating a little Roach I had caught before biting through my braid.

As I lamented on various forums. Fellow angler Kev Farnell mentioned a hook sharpener. I instantly made the purchase. Good to have a sharp hook. A few days later they were sharper than Samurai Swords.

This weekend I decided that I would mix it up and rest on the lures for a couple of hours and instead fish a jighead with a worm on the end.  Super simple.  What could possibly go wrong...?

I started off along the banks of the river Brue.  Despite the wind blowing a fair bit I was confident that my 'chuck it in and watch the line' trick would surely be a winner...


View from the bridge


Me falling over (again)

There was a small shoal of Chub nervously flitting about. But they were not keen on feeding. Every time I cast they scattered to the four corners of the river.  After a fair bit of sighing and ruminating over whether I'll ever catch enough fish to make a another worthwhile YouTube video. A small Perch decided to chomp up the hapless worm. 


Much like Captain Hook I  could almost hear that clock ticking. It was time to cut my losses and head to a nearby drain. As expected it was running low and clear. But it was stuffed with fish. Fish which didn't seem especially hungry with only some interest in slimy Worms. 





Crocodile Food...

It was time to face my fear and so the little Roach lure went on. Sadly I was hindered by lily pads and weed. An hour later I watched a nice Pike slowly follow my comical little wobbly lure. It was almost a watery version of Smee. Sadly the Croc didn't execute a final strike and instead disappeared under the near bank. Never to be seen again. 

Its like the African Serengeti these days. 
 Cattle Egrets, crocodiles and a snake (see lower down)


A while later, after an encounter with an electric fence. I made contact with the big Pike's smaller cousin. Unfortunately a combination of my 'Bad Luck' Carp Hoody, the inability to set my landing net properly and the Pikes penchant for thinking it was a flying fish lead to me losing it... That's 8 Pike lost in a row... 


Crocs and time ticking... A true nemesis. I certainly know how Captain Hook feels...

 



Not a Croc but not far off...

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Fast and Furious

 How to watch 'Fast and Furious' movies in the right order - Insider


I set the alarm early this morning.  I had to move fast and fish furious.  Time was of the essence.  If my wife woke up with the kids it was game over.  I kept noise to a minimum.  Wincing slightly at the whir of the electric tooth brush, I sorted myself out and slipped out of the door.  No morning moans and groans emanated from the household... Success!

I knew that I had about an hour and a half, tops.  Anything more than that would result in heavy flak from my better half when I returned.  I had factored this in and already had a cup of tea partially prepared before I left.  Sometimes this can help to soften the blows (bit of a top tip there).

The river had recently been cleared of the enormous amount of weed which grows at this time of year, making it much more fish-able.  Thank you to Glaston Manor AA.  Bet it took ages...

Everything was all rather calm and serene.  But I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the surroundings.  Now wasn't the time to get all reflective and melancholic. 


Maybe a little melancholic after all (the caravan spoils it a bit though)



Enough scenery.  Get on with it!

My set up couldn't be simpler.  Braid with a little jig head on the end with a worm.  That's it.

The worm had barely touched the water and the rod hooped over...  


A little Chub with a fast and furious attitude!




Second put in and after a few seconds the rod went again!  I was liking this.



Third time lucky... and it was!



This one put up a good scrap.  Unhooking was a little awkward as he had swallowed everything.  Managed to pop the hook out though and he turbo'ed away.

I had all of these fish within about 10 minutes plus another little Chub which slipped out of my hand, not keen on being photographed.  Vin Diesel would have been proud!

Things went a bit quiet for a time.  This often happens here as the area I was fishing was quite small.  Luckily there were a couple of Kingfishers zipping up and down the channel which kept me entertained.  Really must get a decent photo of a Kingfisher one day...

Luckily the lull was punctuated by a slightly larger and very strong Chub.


A beautiful bronze Chub, matching the warming sunrise 
(sorry, going a bit melancholy again)



Poor fella.  He just wanted a bit of breakfast (speaking of which...)


I had spent about an hour on the bank.  The sun was definitely risen.  The world was awake and so was the household no doubt.  I hopped into my supercar (Citreon C1 - in red) and burned some rubber.  With my sunglasses on I was a dead ringer for Vin Diesel.

Like an action hero I strode confidently into the house.  Guard up, ready for incoming fire.  It wasn't as bad as I suspected.  Mainly sighs and a raised eyebrow/disapproving look.  Certainly not a furious response. Further tensions were eased by my fast tea making skills.

So fast but not too furious.  That's a result in my book.


 


Tuesday, 18 August 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

 

Image is copyright free

Although its a spaghetti western the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a great metaphor for my fishing successes, trials and flat out failures...

Today was to be no different.

Lets start out with the good.  I have very recently been sponsored by Inspired Angling Services.  Run by the fishing extraordinaire Julian Chidgey.  Now, a quick Google of this fellow will bring up a raft of incredible catches.  Suffice to say he has been in the game a long time and certainly knows his stuff.

His company Inspired Angling Services specialises in lures and are designed by the man himself and they are good, very good!  As you would expect from someone who has caught more enormous Pike and Perch than I've had hot dinners.

Being part of a sponsored team is quite a daunting prospect especially as I am relatively inexperienced at lure fishing and haven't been back in the fishing game for all that long.  However I do have enthusiasm on my side and can happily say I'm pretty obsessed with all things fishing.  A second string to my bow is the fact that I'm on holiday for 2 weeks meaning that I can strike whilst the iron is hot and get the first catches in.  Hopefully striking fear into the hearts of the other team members...

So without hesitation I headed down to the Somerset Levels.  Conditions were pretty good with the water level up a bit, but the ubiquitous lily pads and duckweed were out in force.

      Good: It wasn't raining and I was about to go fishing
Bad: Plenty of weed to contend with
Ugly: Nothing in this category (yet)

I started off fishing around the little bridge I was standing on.  Using the Snack Shad 38mm paired with the Wasp Weight Jighead 2grm.  I have had the Pink Snack Shad for quite a while and is my go to lure for Perch.  Its not in the best of condition if I'm honest and has taken a beating!

It wasn't long before I had a few hits and then a Perch took the bait!

 
Good:  Its a Perch!
Bad: Its in the shade and you cant see the colours very well.
Ugly: My horrible pink hands

Not long after this things went from good to bad...

I snagged up in a bramble hedge and lost the lure.  But not to fear!  I had another one in green.  I eagerly continued .  The world (or water in this case) was at my feet.  I had caught a Perch within 10 minutes of my arrival.  Sure, I had lost my favourite Perch lure but I had a replacement.  All was well, for a bit.

I hooked up into something very big and heavy.  It wasn't a fish.  In fact I have no idea what it was but it wasn't budging and my little ultra light rod wasn't up to the task of getting it out.  Lure number 2 lost in the drink.  Hmmm....

But the bad wasn't done with me yet.  After my snag up, the braid on my reel decided to turn into a particularly nasty looking, blind crow's birds nest.  There was braid emanating from every orifice.  I muttered and swore.  Before bringing out the scissors.  I didn't hold out much hope.  Thoughts of going home were increasingly at the forefront of my mind.  So much for the glorious, 'strike whilst the iron is hot' start.  If Mr Chidgey were here he would have probably thrown me in and cancelled any form of contract there and then.


The good I had not broken my rod
The bad:  Look at the picture
The ugly: Those pink hands are back.  


Somehow I cut through the correct bit of tangled knot and was able to continue but I had to be careful as I didn't have a lot of braid left!  It was all or nothing now.  I delved into my lure box and pulled out the Pike E Shad in white with a red tail.  I hadn't used this lure before but the red tail had to be a winner.


The good:  This lure is superb in the water.
The bad:  I only had one of them
The ugly: Those link pink fingers poking through

I was really impressed by this lure.  It looks so good in the water and isn't too big meaning that you could easily catch both Perch and Pike without any difficulty.  Also you can simply fling it out and wind it in and you still get a great wobbly action.  But if you let it sink and slowly draw it up it looks very much like an injured little fish.  Ideal if you happen to be a hungry predator.

The good:  Nailed fair and square in the chops
The bad: Nothing, all good here
The ugly: I accidentally pulled out the power cable to my GoPro... 

Closer look at the lure


Now we are entering the final scenes of the good, the bad and the ugly.  I cast to a small patch of duckweed and lilies and slowly retrieved the E Shad lure.  It was then a slim torpedo swept out of its hiding place.  It hung high in the water for just a moment before gliding effortlessly into the lure.  A quick snap and the lure was in its jaws.  I struck lightly and I was in.

An incredible fight ensued.  My ultra Light rod arching heavily toward the water.  I kept the tension high but the pike's shear strength still stripped of some braid.  Another fisherman (who I later found out was an ex student!) quickly came over and extended my landing net for me.  My heart sank as it dived under some thick weed and I couldn't feel anything but heaviness.  It had come off...

Then movement.  It thrashed furiously sending water and duckweed everywhere.  I plunged the net under its powerful body and brought it in, along with snails, lilies and algae.  Got him!


The good: Pike PB I would think.  I needed a bigger mat!
 
The bad: I got utterly soaked and pretty much fell in when landing him/her
 
The ugly:  My GoPro had stopped recording.(see two pictures above).  I had missed the take and the epic fight.  As a consolidation I did get a quick video on my phone before slipping him back. Was still gutted though as it would have been awesome on video.
 

So it is with a mixture of good, bad and ugly feelings I conclude my catch report.  I did have a YouTube video planned but I was too upset at not capturing the footage I wanted of the Pike that I decided to write a blog piece instead.  Which I have actually quite enjoyed doing.  Hopefully the boss enjoyed reading it...