Saturday, 6 October 2018


Last nights Chinese washed down with Thatchers Haze had made me feel like Mr Blobby but less excitable.  My mood wasn't lifted much when I opened the curtains to find a monochrome world smothered in heavy rain.

But I have to take every opportunity and I had a few hours.  So after the customary crying and shouting from my daughters my wife bundled them out and I was free to get some Predators...

My hopes were not that high with the rain falling I drove to the South Drain on the Shapwick end.

I chucked in a curly tail silver grub and almost immediately had some knocks.  But I couldn't keep the critters on the hook.  Must only be tiddlers.  This has been happening a lot recently.  Luckily I had a cunning plan.

I decided to step down the lures and had purchased some micro jigs.  I quickly attached a small Minnow esque lure.  It looked great in the water, fluttering and falling.  Incidentally the water was the clearest I have ever seen it.  The bottom was in full view.  Rudd could be seen flitting about.  I had no doubts that a Perch or two would be keen on this.

 My initial swim

Some nice autumnal colours

I wasn't wrong.  Bites came after about 10 minutes of flicking and twitching.  

Then the first proper bite came and the quick strike was met with resistance.  Hooray!

Already better than the last few attempts

Another cast and bam!  Another Perch.

Best fish in the water in my humble opinion.

Bites came, some were lost but plenty banked.

A big confidence boost!

Despite the bites coming i decided to move along a bit just to see if I could get anything a bit bigger.  Sadly in my haste I disturbed either a big Perch or Jack Pike as it shot off from the near bank.

I fished the near bank in only a couple of feet of water.  But Perch were plentiful, hiding amongst the underwater debris and once more I capitalised.

Baggin' up :-)

Before I knew it nearly 3 hours had passed.  Even heading back I caught a few.  Casually flicking in.  

It was one of those days when everything went right.  You feel almost invincible!  The day did live up to the title.  Predators - 25 of them in total! 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Predator 2

Well the official Predator season is underway and people are happily posting up pictures of Pike and Perch all over Facebook.  Unfortunately I haven't managed to do the same.  Ive stolen an hour or two over this week in pursuit of anything toothy or spikey.

Ive done a bit of spinning and a bit of jigging.  All to no avail.  A few bites here and there is the best I could do.

My trip to Burtle lakes (for the 3rd time) appeared to be heading the same way.  I was a bit fed up to be honest!

Just before packing up, this enormous Perch snaffled the silver lure.

5lbs+ I reckon...

Despite the Perch being a bit bigger than a thimble I felt quite elated!  It hasnt been a good start to the Perch and Pike season and I was happy just to get off the mark!

The 3rd film in The Predator franchise is called 'Predators'.  Lets hope my next fishing trip can live up to that name...

Monday, 1 October 2018


So the weather is cooling down and there is an Autumnal feel to the air.  Days are shorter and things can often go a bit grey and dank.  But not to worry.  Predator season has begun!

I havent caught a Pike for ages so it was time to get out the spinning stuff and get down to Burtle lakes.  Now you can do some lure fishing I thought I would give it a go.  Before I got there I found the combination lock to difficult to beat.  Rather embarrassingly a chap who was leaving did it for me...

I went onto Lake 2.  My reasoning being it was the smallest and so I might get a lure in front of a toothy Pike a bit easier.

I was travelling light and made my way around the lake.

Casting long, short and everything in between.  My little Savage gear Roach look a like was getting some serious workout time.

The first hook up happened right under my feet.  i even saw the little beggar.  A few thrashes and he was off.  It was still exciting.  I really like lure fishing!

Another hit came about 10 minutes later but once more it was lost.

third time didnt prove lucky as the tip whipped round but was quickly straight again.  Bugger...

Well, the positive is that I had some proper bites and it got the adrenaline going.

I have removed all the trebles from all my lures after hooking a Pike a while back and really struggling to get the treble out.  I did manage it but it was stressful for me and the fish.  I vowed never to use trebles again and have had no problems with unhooking as a result.

I guess it means I might get fewer hook ups but I'd rather that than a stressed Pike.

Still, the Predators had outwitted me this time.  But as Arnold said "I'll be back".

Monday, 24 September 2018

Mission Impossible

So with Autumn on the horizon Ive packed up my Carpy stuff and will now be aiming squarly at silvers along with Perch and the big boy, Pike!

I had a few hours to spare so I headed down to Burtle Lakes.  Fished on a Glaston Manor License.  You would be hard pressed to find a more tranquil spot.  Buzzing with wildlife there is always plenty to savour.  

That is of course if you can crack the code on the lock... Despite having the number I couldnt actually turn the bloody thing.  Like Tom Cruise I attempted to defeat the metal padlock using cunning, then guile and then brute force.  None of them worked.  So i parked on the road and did a deft (ahem) leap over the gate.

Mission complete.  Now I needed to find a peg out of the wind.  I plodded to the Carplake at the back and sat at Peg 15, tucked in a corner.  The rain splatted down but I had my decent coat so i was alright.  I chucked in some mushy bread a put a grain of corn on the float road.  I didnt cast far but kept it close to the reedy margin.  Then I waited, and waited.

Today the Jay's harsh call was echoing through the trees and a brief glimpse of electric blue signalled a Kingfisher.  Nice, and kept me entertained seeing as my float was ... floating.

A friendly chap (Mr Curtis - first name, not sure) popped up behind me.  I was slightly amazed that he recognised me and knew my blog (its the glasses).  Also, I teach is son... Small world.

We discussed the lack of younger people in the sport and the massive decrease in numbers since 2001.  Getting kids away from the addiction of phones and XBoxes is a hard thing to do.  They don't know what they are missing to be honest.

In the end I abandoned the Carp lake and went over to the front lake.  As I did so the rain turned to sun.  Hooray!

I could see a lot of silver fish milling around near the surface.  First cast and the float sank almost instantly.

What a nice view

Saved from the blank...

After getting tangled up on some reeds I tried to solve the puzzle of the twisted line but it was Mission Impossible.  So I cut the line and bunged on a pellet waggler.  This gave me extended casting range.  But it didnt make much difference.  The fish were much the same stamp and were very hungry,

Kept me entertained. 

Loads of 'em

How did he get here?  Caught on sweetcorn...

It really was a game of two halves today.  Raining and blanking on the Carp lake.  Sunshine and unending Bites on the front lake.  Nothing of any size but like Mission Impossible there was plenty of action.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Water World

So, the weather is going downhill.  The blazing summer seems a (Water) world away.  Nevertheless I do great this time of year with some enthusiasm.  Chasing after Carp is fun but the river is calling.  Now that the water levels have risen a bit (probably a lot by the end of today) it is time to take hold of my favourite rod.  The Darwent Valley Float rod.  An elegant piece of carbon if ever there was one.

The weather was a bit grim.  Rain and general greyness.  Due to get even more rainy and more grey a bit later.  I thought I would head out for 2 or 3 hours over to Lydford Mill-Pond.  A picturesque little place which holds a special place in my heart as I used to fish alongside my late Dad here.

Cunningly I had my rod pre assembled and fully kitted up.  Except it went wrong.  The line had wrapped itself around the rod with lead shot tangled into the mix.  I cursed a bit and reached for the scissors - much like I did when I was a young 'un and my Dad would watch and smile.  He was probably doing that now...

Re assembled I flicked it out.  Sweetcorn attached.  Immediately the float went and my first missed bite of the day can be notched up.  The same thing happened on the second cast with a small resistance felt before it came off the hook.  Hmmm.

I flicked it about into different areas of the pond.  Then things went a bit quiet.  I swapped over to a bit of bread.  Then all hell broke loose.  The float went under and a little Chub was scrapping hard.  I unhooked him and tried a photo but he was flapping like mad and went back into the water before I got a chance.  Then moments later the same thing happened again.  Obviously they were photo shy.

Bit moody looking

I kept up with the slightly random casting.  Hoping to land one in front of something a bit better.  Surprisingly I hooked into 2 Roach.  I dont normally catch many down here.  One was a diddler but the other one was alright.

Good enough

Things kept up reasonably well with a few more gracing the net.

Best Chub (the other two were babies)

Then I finally caught what I think was a little Dace, which brings my Catch22 Score up to nine (See Angling Times).

Dace?  Hope so.

Meanwhile some nutters were throwing themselves off the Lydford bridge into the icy brown water.  I had seen enough water in my world for one day.

Monday, 17 September 2018

No Room At The Inn

A bit early for Christmas Nativity references (although Tescos appears to be gearing up...).  However, much like the famous tale Viaduct was indeed very full.  Cary was out.  Match on.  Lodge had a load of people on it.  Spring had a load of people on it and Middle had quite a few on it.  Leaving Match Lake which did have some decent space.

After a chat with some friendly Carpers fishing on Spring through to Middle I decided to trudge over to Peg 51.  It had a bit of space around it (for a time anyway).

There was no chance of any whopping Carp in here (although there are a few low doubles).  But it always gives plenty of bites and those F1 Carp are far stronger than their size would suggest.

I opted for a method feeder approach with Sonubaits dark grounds bait and sweetcorn on the hook.  However after a few casts I changed my mind.  These feeders were massive and I just didnt like them (cheap doesnt always mean cheerful).  So I swapped over to a little coil feeder.  Much better.

Meanwhile I set up the pellet waggler with bread squeezed onto the hook.  Everyone in the lake loves a bit of bread (Ive even caught a 2lbs Perch with it...)

Things were a little slow to start.  I pinged in some small pellets and a little bit of groundbait.  The float bobbed a bit but it was all a bit half arsed.  Meanwhile a chap behind on Middle hauled out a nice 8lbs fish.

Peg 51

I kept feeding small bits every minute or so and finally the float plunged under.  I struck and met with some fierce resistance.

Probably the worst photo ever.  At least its a silhouette of a fish.

I do like these F1s.  They certainly keep you on your toes and give their all.  Right little scrappers!

Suddenly things kicked off after this first one.  This time it was the bite alarm bleeping away.  A powerful run.  Surely a bigger Carp?

No... But welcome all the same.

I cast out again and almost immediately the alarm was off again!  I was liking this.

They keep fighting even in the net

After unhooking and sorting myself out I cast in with both rods.  5 minutes later it was the float again!

The biggest of the day.  Again fought like a warrior!

I thought that I would be catching all day and was feeling like a pro.  Then it stopped.

After the marvelous run of fish my optimism dimmed as an hour went by with only a few taps.  I did struggle in the afternoon and only manged two more fish.

Greedy Roach who flipped himself into my groundbait bowl...

The last F1 of the day

So overall it was a day of mixed fortunes.  If I had kept up the initial run i would have been well in.  But it wasn't to be.  Next time I'm hoping to find lodgings at Cary Lake.  Hopefully there will be room...

Friday, 31 August 2018

Small and Mighty

No I'm not sponsored by Persil.  But I did catch a surprise fish was was indeed small and mighty...

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.  In my case the summer holidays are drawing to a close which means I'm back to work, the nights get longer and the weather gets colder.  But its not all doom and gloom.  It means that I can think about breaking out the soft lures and catch some Perch and maybe a Pike or two.  I'm very new to this but really enjoyed it last winter.

Also, plenty of migrant birds stop over on the Somerset Levels in the cooler months with spectacular flocks of ducks and starlings to look forward to.

Anyway back to now.  I decided to head over to Ash Lakes for what will probably be my last visit to a fishery for this year.  After the bumpy arrival (that track!) it was quite busy.  I was eying up Lake 1 but there were a few on it and its quite a small lake so I gave it a miss.

I trampled over to Pond 2 which had more space.

Nice view from my corner spot

I mixed up some Sonubaits dark mix and splatted into a small coli feeder.  Then I stabbed myself with a baiting needle.  Bloody hell it hurt.  Blood everywhere.  I sat it out for a bit, not wanting to get blood over everything...

Once recovered a put on a fake pellet on the hair and a grain of corn on the hook.

I also set up a shallow float rig with some bread on the end.

I put the method to my left and float straight out.  I flicked in some pellets to generate a bit of interest.  Things moved quickly and I was soon into a little Carp on the float.  Didn't even need to strike!

My lens had fogged up for some reason. 
 Looks like the world after a few Ciders.I will call him a Thatchers Haze Carp...

Like all Carp he put up a scrap and spooked everything else for quite sometime.  Soon I had a few knocks and the odd slight pull on the Carp rod.  I had a spell of catching a few silvers including this fella.  Who got the bite alarm buzzing and provided a short run!!!

What a little cracker.  Its fins were tinged orange.  Skimmer x Rudd?
Whatever it was it was small and mighty!

Again things went quiet.  It was about 2pm and looking about everyone seemed to be having a quiet spell.  As time ticked on the Carp began moving in with the odd slurp and telltale swirls at the surface. I bashed on the bread on both rods which was a good idea with a small run of small Carp.

Nice scaly Mirror

 His smaller cousin

And his mate who had a bad eye.  Poor critter.

And the biggest saved for last.  Not massive but a good fish all the same.

So it was a day of mixed fortunes with fish coming in bursts.  But for me the silver Bream/Rudd was the highlight.  Small and mighty!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Near Miss

It was a close call yesterday.  I was filming, with my phone balancing precariously on my seat box.  As the Carp was landed it toppled off and somehow didn't quite go into the water.  Phew!

Video is a bit but here it is.

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Monday, 27 August 2018


I am a very forgetful sort and today was no exception.  I thought I would head to Ash Ponds.  I was keen to give Pond 1 a go.  As I would like to up my Carp PB a bit before my holiday is over and the weather gets cold.  Sadly there were a a fair few lines out in Pond 1 already.  I didn't fancy my chances so I plodded over to Pond 3.

I ended up in the same spot as before as it was a little more secluded despite there being a fair few anglers out.

I set up the method first.  Once done I fumbled about in a bits bag and failed to connect with the buzz bars.  Hmmm... I cobbled together a make shift rod pod made from bait boxes and bags.  It was quite a sight to behold.

I put it out towards the low tree on my right.

I kitted up the float rod and put it straight in front.  I had corn on both and a bit of the old faithful Special G on the method.

The bite alarm struggled to detect anything, balanced precariously on a broken bankstick..  Nevertheless I hooked into something powerful which dragged me straight into the low lying tree and I promptly lost the method feeder in a tangled heap.

I set up again and cast a little further away from the aforementioned tree.  I was getting little knocks and half arsed runs.  Bream perhaps, although I have never caught one here.

I baited up quite heavily with Special G around the float which was only set at a couple of feet.

It bobbed and swayed in the bow wave of a Carp before sinking,  Bang! I was in - literally.

I slid on the bank and was waist deep in brown lake water.  Doh! Laughter erupted from around the lake along with a cry of "Great angling mate!".  Glad to see everyone was worried about my safety...

Despite this embarrassing mishap I kept the angry fish on the hook.

Not the best picture but remember I had just fallen in

Despite being soaked from the waist down I continued bravely onwards.  If i'm honest the method was a bit of a lost cause.  My A Team like construction wasn't working.  I packed it away after catching this one, which was a fluke as I literally just started winding and it was magically on!

Excuse the debris in this pic

I carried on plopping in some pellets and loose groundbait into the margins.  The Carp were about but I was fascinated by the hundreds of little Carp attacking anything in the water.  Then like a scene from Blue Planet, they would all art and a Carp would slurp up the goodies.

The Carp were feeding confidently and I had a few.  These two were the bigger ones.  The one above was just over 12lbs.  He was long but not fat! 

Another decent Common

I also had a good number of Rudd keeping my float bobbing.  Even though I was cold and wet I did have a good few hours.  I may well try Lake 1 next time if its not to busy.

On another note.  As I write this I am looking for my baiting needle.  Ive probably lost it.  Doh!