Saturday, 17 June 2017

Swimming Trunks

At last, I can return to the river.  Commercials are fine but for me the river is where it is truly at.  Nothing beats that orange tip gently floating down the river before sliding under with a nice plump Chub on the end (hopefully).

After purchasing my all new yellow Glaston Manor AA license I headed over to Lydford.  I was allowed out for about 3 hours - not long enough but it would have to do.

I have to say I was excited.  My first port of call would be Lydford mill pond.  Bites come thick and fast here.  I didnt want to blank after all...

As I reached my destination I noted about 10 people stood on the bridge, another 10 jumping in, half a dozen sat on the bank...

My heart sank.  The Mill Pond was out, the area opposite the church was out.

I noticed 2 chaps with rods walking up stream.  I followed.


There were small Chub lazily swimming about, but despite my best efforts I only manged a couple of bits which I missed and then nothing... They werent interested... Hmmmm.

Thoughts of a first of the season blank worried me so much that I braved it and battered my way through the hoards of semi clothed swimmers, through some very tall and angry looking stinging nettles and down to the mill stream that runs out of the millpond.  Its hard to get to and bathers would be taking their life into their own hands going through the nettles.

The plan worked.  I was alone at last.  I found a slightly deeper hole and cast in.  Bites came quickly nut I couldnt connect.

Finally the sweetcorn did its magic and...

The first of the season (stupid face is for comedic effect)

Time was ticking on a bit and some of the horde had gone.  I waded up to the millpond.  On the way I miscalculated the depth of the stream and got everything wet including my new phone...

New phone shot with water damage...

At the millpond I cast in next to a large tree trunk which had been washed over the weir.  The float sank....

A fine little Chublet

There were plenty of bites around the trunk.

I did catch a 3rd but as I was bringing him in the tip of my rod got wrapped round a branch causing a right mess with a dangling fish and line everywhere.  I quickly unhooked the poor blighter and didnt take a photo.  He had been through enough for one day!

So, it wasn't a perfect start but luckily the trunk saved the day.  Lets hope there is less swimming next time.

Monday, 12 June 2017


I suffered heavy delays Sunday morning.  My plan was to try out Bullock Farm but its a bit of a hike for me.  Unfortunately the boss had other plans for my morning.  Washing up, hanging clothes, tidying  You name it...

Eventually my work was done.  It was too late for Bullock Farm.  So I headed over to Landsend Fishery.  I had another round with Sidney's Lake.  I will hold onto those bloody Carp this time.  No tangles, no snaps...

Except there was a big sign up "All lakes closed 11th June".  No round at Sidney's then.  The carp would have probably duffed me over anyway...

Time was ticking, Viaduct was also an option but quite a few of the lakes were closed.

Avalon it was.  Luckily Moors lake was almost empty.  I headed over to Peg 24.  Right in the corner.  There are a load of underwater branches and god knows what else. BUT the Carp love it in there.  Its a dangerous game to play of course.  We all know how carp love getting snagged up.  Given my previous record at Landsend I probably shouldn't have tried it.

What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Moors Lake is very natural looking and is second only to Burtle Lakes in good looks 
(in my humble opinion)

I set up with my brand new fancy drennan float and bunged on some shiny casters bought from Thatchers (great little store).

I also mixed up some fishmeal and Sonubait pellets for the method.  Whilst I was waiting for it to soften I chucked in a few casters and cast in with the float.  Not too far.

A few minutes later the float sank.

Lots of 4-5 oz Roach

I cast pretty much directly in front of me towards an overhanging tree.  But not too close as I didn't want to end up with 8m of fishing line wrapped round the trunk.

I continued to get little knocks and bumps on the float and a few more 4-5 oz Roach were caught.

Then the float pulled under violently.  My quick strike latched into something more sizable.  Predictably it made a bee line for the roots, I tried to steer it away but this critter was mean.  The battle only lasted 10 seconds as the hook pinged out and ended up behind me on the grass...

It went a wee bit quiet and then the method went off.  Line was going out already.  I picked up and struck gently.  I am quite confident with this Daiwa Rod.  Its big, menacing and tough looking.  Capable of dealing with angry carp.

This time the fight went on for longer.  He was a clever devil and made repeated runs at getting under my fishing platform which was very awkward.  Unfortunately for him his close proximity meant that I could fish him out with the landing net. Ha!

A typical scrapper.  This fella weighed in at a shade over 7ibs

I got into a rhythm of feeding pellets and a few casters each cast.  This helped a lot and I was missing bites on the float pretty much every chuck.  Again a few Roach here and there until the float sank sharply.  I struck quite hard but it worked.  Now this fight could be more of a problem.  The line on the Pellet Wag is lighter than on the method and I was close to the cursed roots.

I thought I had lost it amongst the maze of debris.  Resigned to the fact I tried my best to pull out what I could.  Then, amazingly the reel began to scream out again.  He had burst back out of the roots straight in front of me.

He was a lively critter evading my net 3 times.  But eventually I nabbed him.

A lovely Mirror. A bit over 2ibs

Pleased with myself I sat it out for a few minutes and ate my baked beans (I'm trying to avoid bread - like carp I just want more and more but it doesn't do me any favours, figure wise).

I cast out the method again and gave the float a bit of a rest whilst I finished up my grub.  Suddenly my calm dinner was interrupted by the method falling off the rest, the alarm rang out in distress.  Chaos!

A cheeky Mirror had caught me unawares.

Another healthy looking Mirror.  Just under 3ibs

As evening drew in a chucked out a load of casters.  Sure enough a team of mouths sucked at the surface.  5 or so Carp were swirling round.  I had to stay a bit longer even though I would get in trouble at home.

Time after time the float went.  But I could only latch into Roach (although some were pretty nice).

There was slurping and bubbles.  The carp wanted more, just like Homer in The Simpsons.

Then, the float sank, the strike came.  He was on.  Once more I steered as best I could but before making the roots I had lost him.  The hook had slipped again.

I didn't mind too much.  I had caught a few.

I realised just how greedy Carp are.  They would have kept munching if I had more casters!

I had a good day overall.  I didn't catch loads but it was fun all the same.  3 Carp and a few nice Roach.  I will be back for moor!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


"You can go fishing for a bit if you want"

What beautiful words.  I didn't need a second chance...

I loaded up the car and shot across to Landsend Fishery.  Its nice and close which was vital as I was on a time limit (last time I was late and suffered some flak).

Upon arrival I was surprised that it wasnt loaded with people.  In fact it was very quiet.  Sidneys lake was empty! Fantastic.

A picture of the swim should go here but I forgot to take it...

I just used my waggler rod with a nice little float and some sweetcorn, boosted with some Nash Cappuccino, which smells soooo tasty.

I balled in a few lumps of fishmeal groundbait.  I immediately hooked into a small rudd, followed by 4 or 5 more.

Nice reds on the fins. Caught a few of these diddlers

Then the float sunk sharply I struck into something heavy.  Strangely there was no big run, instead the fish continued on with its business.  I carefully started to wind in and... Bang he realised that something was stuck in his gob.

Off he went, crashing about and causing mayhem.  Now, I should have learned and picked a swom without any weeds, but did I? Of course not.

However I was winning.  A large body rolled at the surface.  A pair of slimy eyes stared at me briefly.  I reached for the landing net.  Then he motored off again, straight into the weeds.  It was over, the line snapped and the float bobbed about aimlessly.  He was a good size for sure.  A possible PB, but I will never know.

I think I am slightly cursed on Sidneys Lake as this has happened to me an awful lot...

But the curse wasn't lifted.  A few moments later after setting a new float I hooked into another chunk.  This battle was short.  The bloody hook pinged out and the line wrapped round the rod about 1000 times.  Curses!

I took a break and calmed down a bit.  The Carp were loving the sweetcorn and large swirls were seen followed by the tell tale slurping sound of pinky coloured gobs at the surface.

I tried again.  I was snapped in another set of reeds again.  Two floats bobbed about aimlessly.  This was getting ridiculous.  Then it belted down with rain.

A few more Rudd and hybrids came and went.

You get the idea

Then the rod bent over.  Desperately I steered the angry fish away from the reeds.  The landing net came out.  he went mental.  I nearly fell in, as I slid down the bank I managed to get the net under him.  The curse was over!

A shade over 7ibs.  Great condition as well!

Sidneys Lake is packed with great fish and does have some bigger carp in there.  However I only seem to be able to successfully catch one whenever I go! Next time I'm choosing a nice clear swim.

I will break this odd curse next time...  

Saturday, 3 June 2017


Arriving back from Disneyland Paris I was keen to wet some line.  Especially after seeing some giant Grass Carp lazily swimming about in the resort's big lake/canal thing.

I was keen to go back to Jade Lake at Emerald Pool.  I didn't have masses of time as H.Q. required my presence at 4.  So I gunned it down and setup quickly.  My favourite spot in the left hand corner of the lake was free.  I kitted up quickly and upscaled my hooks a bit, going up to Size 12.  I hoped this would keep the diddly Skimmers off the hook and get me some chunkier Bream.

Both the method and the float rod went in. I was using corn on both rigs.

This is where I plonked myself for a few hours

 First fish of the day...

 and No.2
 20 odd of these... The slightly bigger hook was resulting in some better fish

Then some bigger Skimmers moved in.

An almost proper Bream

And a proper Bream.

2ibs and a bit

I then had a run on the float - Carp on! Then off...

I quickly impaled a bit of fluffy white bread on the end and recast, seconds later it was engulfed...

A typical fierce fight ensued.  Mr Carp shot into the reeds to my left.  I kept the rod low and slowly guided him away.  He then headed into the near bank, straight into my landing net :-)

A family of 3 had been watching patiently and they helped weigh him and got me  a photo - Thanks! Sorry about the cheesy grin.

The scales had fogged up, so weighing was difficult.  It looked like 16ibs!!!!

A frenzied text to Jase ensued, then I looked more carefully at the slowly defogging scales. 8ibs...

Oh well, still a decent fish.

I took a bit of a break and scoffed some sushi and eggs.

A run of skimmers followed.  I lost count of how many long ago.  Then a second Carp was pulled from the depths.  Another 8ib!  Good stuff.

Another nice fella

The inevitable phonecall came... Pack up time.  But there were Carp moving about...

I thought I would take the hit and fish a bit longer.  A dangerous tactic but it payed dividends.

The last 15 minutes were absolutely crazy.  I caught at least 10 Skimmers from half a pound up to 1 pound.  Non stop action!  I also had a Carp run but the hook pinged out.

Then, the fish of the day.  A lovely Rudd of 10ozs

He looked immaculate, the shot didn't really do him justice.

I was late home and took the expected flack.  The thing is I'm a bit hooked on fishing.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Wild Goose Chase

After a bit of planning, the bro-in-law and myself decided to meet at Edneys Fishery near Mells.

The problems started early.  Mells doesn't actually exist.  Whilst driving around aimlessly I had visions of little Hobbit Holes and wizards.  But then Jase phoned and said he was at this mysterious place.  Could I find it?  Could I f***!!!

Jase is a calm and friendly chap and I think he finds me quite amusing.  Basically Edneys was out anyway, the swim was very weedy and fishing was going to be difficult.  

Next stop was Cuckoos rest which also didnt exist.  Even the sat nav was bemused...

After driving round looking at nice green fields Jase phoned up - It was closed...

Things were looking a bit grim, would we get a wet line at all?

After some more internet searching we discovered Rode Hill Fishery.  It was that or nothing.

Well, upon arrival we were both very pleased.  The Middle Lake is stunning.  Tree lined with a lovely wild feel to it.  We both unloaded and after a good chat with the keen owner we started fishing (unfortunately I fell into a hole and twisted my ankle, it hurt like hell but I'm a brave boy and continued on).

Despite the fish moving about (big ones at that!) I couldnt get anything, not even a little knock.  The fish were obviously wise.   Jase had a couple of runs.  After a while I moved to the New Lake, which is new (surprisingly).  It needs a bit of time to bed in as it looks a bit harsh at the moment, give it a while and it will look great.

The bites came fast and furious here.  Little Carp, Roach and even Gudgeon were going for anything that moved.  Both the float and ledger were getting utterly hammered.

Loads of nice little Carp 

 2 little Gudgeon caught

Some better sizes as well 

Check him out - bet he gets all the ladies

Meanwhile Jase decided to join me.  He had caught a beauty on the other lake!


Jases day went much the same as mine.  Loads of dinky Carp.  Non stop!

Check out that fin.

I also caught a good number of Roach on top of the Carp.  It ended up at around 15 Carp, best size about 3ibs, most between 1 and 2ibs.  Plus the same number of Roach.  It was great fun, and in a few years I could well imagine some bigger fellas making an appearance.

Its a great find and not too far away either.  For some reason I forgot to take photos of the venue, but there are some official ones here...