Wednesday, 29 November 2017

60 Minute Makeover


I haven't been doing too well of late.  The last two sessions were blanks.  BUT I did encounter a large Pike which shot out of know where and so nearly connected with my lure.  I jumped a bloody mile!  It was a massive adrenaline rush and I really want to go at it again.

However I decided that I would make a flying trip to Lydford Millstream for some small Chub and maybe a Roach or two.  I literally ran out of work fully aware that

a) There wasnt much light left.  By the time I got there it would be around 60 minutes (Just like Claire Sweeney)

b) The wife would put me in the dog house if I was gone too long

Now, all was going well until I got out the car and pulled my rod out (oh er!) only to find the very top section to be snapped - bloody hell.

I decided to fish anyway.  The Mill Pond was really raging and very full.  Nevertheless I thought I would give it a bash.  I had some dead maggots (really dead this time).  I chucked a few in along with a bit of leftover groundbait.

10 mins in the float buried

 Quite a nice looking chap.




I then got the odd little knock but detecting bites in the flow was quite hard and the light was failing.  Nevertheless I got one more cheeky chappy.

A tiddler but still a welcome fish



Then the phone went. The Boss.

She wasnt aware I was out fishing and she wanted me to pick up my daughter from swimming (a change to the original bill).  I calmly informed her of my location and that I would be at the pool in 20 odd minutes.

I did arrive a bit late and she was already there.  I knew the Doghouse was calling.  I'm still in it at the moment (24 hours later) as I write this.  Who knows if I will ever get out?

I blame Claire Sweeney for encouraging me to complete my fishing session in 60 minutes...

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Waiting for The Drop


The post round my way is bloody awful.  Sometimes the Postman doesn't get round till 3.00pm!

It is always made doubly worse when you are waiting for something cool.  The cool thing was a dropshot rod.  It was an NGT Dynamic (I think thats what its called).  I really like NGT products.  They are very well priced and offer good quality as well.

Anyway the post did eventually arrive and the rod was duly handed over.  I had paired this with a cheap spinner reel from Ebay.  The reel looks great, much more expensive looking than the £8.50 I paid for it.  It looked even better with a nice green braid wrapped round it.  I was well pleased.

Oh, i forgot I attached a dropshot weight to the bottom and a rubber lure on the hook.  Job done.

Now I needed to go somewhere.  For some unknown reason I headed to Edney Farm tucked away in the little village of Mells. Now this place is really hard to find.  Once I actually got there I almost ended up fishing in  a pond on someones front lawn.  True story.  The fellow was very gracious but said I couldnt fish in his pond and the lakes were back up the drive. Oh dear.

It was a pretty cold day and soggy as well.  Nobody was about except a battered white caravan.  It was all a bit still and ... creepy.  I was quite concerned that Leatherface might come charging out of the caravan wielding his chainsaw.


I kept an eye out - just in case.

There were 2 lakes.  One was very clear and the water was also very shallow.  It wasnt really very fishable if Im honest.  Then the was the other lake which looked more promising.  The water was a bit less clear and the odd little fish was coming to the surface.

Looks great here but the water was about 10 inches deep 

More promising

I was aiming for Perch from the off.  My favourite fish.  I chucked in a method feeder with a fat worm on the end and starting drop shotting.  The lure looked so good in the water.

2 hours went by and I had one bite and 1 Perch follow the lure but he didnt clamp his gob round it.

The owner came along and said that it wasnt fishing well anymore.  Not good.  In its heyday 100ibs would be fairly common.  Indeed Jase "The Carp" said he had spent many a happy hour down here in his youth.  Unfortunately I got the impression that it was a shadow of its former self.

I kept going.  I was a bit more aggressive with the feeding.  Chopping up some worms and plopping them in.  It worked.  Only little Perch but I was still happy.  Most importantly I had one on the lure.  My first ever!

He might be little but I was thrilled!

All his mates fell for the chopped lobworm



Its not exactly impressive but I still enjoyed it and have got the bug for drop shotting. 

I really hope the fishery will regain its former glory one day.

P.S :

I couldnt wait for the drop and tried South drain a few days later.  I caught exactly nothing. But I did lose 2 Perch (one fell off in mid air) and I watched one following my lure.  I also got chatting to a lure angler doing stuff similar to me (except he knew what he was doing).  He very kindly gave me a lure to try, although I still didnt catch anything. BUT I really enjoyed the mobility.  No box, no groundbait. I could go all over the place!

Now Im waiting for the drop once more...


Monday, 13 November 2017

To The Manor Born

I have heard a lot about Todber Manor so on a very wet and windy Saturday I thought I would pay a visit.  The journey took far longer than it should have done, due to the sat nav taking me through a variety of small housing estates and minor B roads.

Eventually I made it.  From the off it was clear this was a very slick operation with a nice shop and helpful owners.  I was advised to try Hill View lake, so I did.

Luckily you can drive pretty much up to your peg.  Unfortunately the wind was gathering more strength and was carrying a fair bit of rain.  2 chaps had set up with their backs to the wind, but I couldnt do this.  Sideways on was the best I could manage.  I tried for about 45 mins bit life in the rain and wind was difficult so I packed up and headed backwards to Firs lake.  Much more sheltered, Firs is only little but I was happy enough.

I flung in a few zombie maggots (back from the dead once more) along with a small ball of ground bait into the margin to my right and I cast my float rod over the top with a bunch of red maggots.  I then flung the method feeder over to the far bank, close to the reeds.


I was aiming at the far bank with the method


There was a wait of about 20 minutes, then the float vanished.

Saved from the blank

Then the method rod started bouncing about madly

The start of many...

I got quite a nice rhythm going catching on the float and feeder.  The smallest Carp I have ever caught - a PB (kind of)

One for Anglers Mail Carp section :-)


Meanwhile the sounds of barking dogs and blaring horns filled the air.  Hundreds of ducks flew over panicked by the din.  On the horizon posh people rode on galloping horses.  I hoped that there wasn't a little ginger dog being chased down and pulled apart.

Back to the fishing and many, many baby carp were caught.  Here are a few of them.








I like this one the best


So, I will definitely come back to Todber Manor, perhaps when the weather is a bit better.  There are loads of lakes and plenty to get your teeth into.

Hopefully Tarquin and the other 'To the manor born' lot won't be thundering around next time round.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Big Daddy




Saturday saw Jase "The Carp" and Brother-In-Law head over to a Somerset lake he has been visiting for a few weeks.  A little while back he netted a 24ib Carp.  But this time he was going bigger - much bigger!

31ibs and a bit! Second biggest fish in the place!

Here is Jases account:

Bait (Boilie) was left out nearly all day.  I decided not to reel it in. I noticed the line slowly kiting across the lake and decided to strike into it.  Fight lasted 15 ish mins - slow and plodding but when it broke the surface near in, I saw its shoulders and started bricking it!  Luckily it was netted and nailed with a barbless hook - Well chuffed!

Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Aspirations...



Winter time appears to be slowly gaining a grip.  This is good and bad in my humble opinion.  The water gets colder and many fish switch off and go into Stand By mode.  But not all of them do. In my humble experience Chub, Perch, Roach and Bream will still feed.  Along with the big bad boy Mr Pike.

Today I tried Pike fishing for the first time and failed.  I went to the North Drain on the lovely Somerset Levels.  Just last week I was catching some top quality Rudd.  This week...

The rain had fallen heavily overnight - something I should have thought bout.  The drain was the colour of dairy milk chocolate and was actually flowing (it doesnt normally).

I pitched in a ledger with some maggots on the end and my carp rod had a dead roach slapped on the end (frozen and bought from the shop - club rules and all).

Then, nothing happened not even on the ledger - last week it was non stop.  I waited...

BLEEEEPP the alarm went off.  I nearly fell off my box and struck immediately into nothing.  Bugger.

Still I was still excited and plugged away a bit longer.  My Pike aspirations on high alert.

More time passed and I decided to move down the drain a bit.  ANother fisherman got chatting with me and he hadnt had anything.  Not good.

To be honest I had far too much stuff to lug about, tripods, rods, cameras.  I was bloody exhausted.  To cut a long story short I caught absolutely nothing.

I didn't give up though.  Next spot was Wallyers Bridge at Baltonsborough.  The last time I fished here must have been about 1997!  It to was the colour of chocolate and the water was pushing through at quite a rate.  

Using the quiver was difficult because of the heavy flow.  But it stopped a blank...


Its a Pike!!! (Smaller than the dead bait I was using)


I noticed opposite quite a bit of disturbance with little fish flying everywhere and large plops in the water.  I put my dead bait out towards it but again was unrewarded.

Still I was intrigued and crossed the bridge, broke out my new drop shot rod.  I didnt use a lure but a little float with red maggots.  Bites came thick and fast.  I missed most of them.  But the ones I did get led to a Dace the size of my middle finger and 3 Minnows.  Yes Minnows.  I didn't get any photographic evidence of these as my camera was on the bank opposite and I cant use the Force to move objects.  But I guess most readers would probably except my less than amazing haul.  Whatever was there had either gone or was full up on little fish already.



Wallyers on a much calmer day
 (Copyright Rivers.org)

Time was getting on and I thought I might quickly try the River Sheppey on the way back.  This was running really fast and unusually was very brown.  Normally the water is very clear.  My float was shooting along like a little Usain Bolt.  I tried a few spots without any success.

Lessons learned - if its rained a lot it might be better to go to a stillwater.  Travel light on the river. It saves so much effort!

My aspirational target of a Pike was well and truly missed.  But I'm not going to choke on my aspirations.  I will give it another go soon.




Meanwhile in other news...

He has only gone and landed a 31ib Carp...
Well done once again to Jase "The Carp" White




Thursday, 2 November 2017

Down the Drain


Well, Winter is starting to grip its icy tendrils across the land.  The fishing will get harder.  But I dont hang up my rods over the cold months - I just end up blanking more...

This is the time that the rivers around my way are coming into their own.  During the summer months most stretches are clogged with weed and run pretty shallow making the fishing very difficult.  However all of that weed is dying back now making life an awful lot easier.

With this in mind I headed to Somerset's North Drain.  I even had a new rod and new style of fishing I have never tried - The quivertip.

I wasnt really sure what the best rig would be for a quiver so I went really simple and fitted on a small line through bomb and fixed it in place with a couple of small shots.  I then left about 8cms to the hook on which I impaled some hapless red maggots.  I catupulted a small handful in for good measure.  Then I cast over the top.  The drain is narrow at this point so casting isnt a massive deal.

Not a lot happened for a while.  Luckily it was sunny and its very picturesque so I wasnt too worried.

Then the tip yanked to the right and I struck in.  There was some resistance at the end.  Initially I thought it might be a Perch but...




A beautiful Rudd.  The photo doesnt do him justice.  
He was hovering around the 1ib mark.



But it wasnt quite the end.  A further few Rudd chomped down the maggots plus a few bonus Roach.  

 Another beaut, bit smaller but still great.

 Its not an atom bomb - its just the sun

A few bonus Roach always welcomed




I really enjoyed the quiver and will certainly be doing it again.  Its worth going down the drain for.