Saturday, 23 June 2018

Back On The River

I missed the opening of the river season as I had various Father's Day duties to attend to.  Luckily I did get a decent fishing cap and t shirt so at least I look the part.

Today I was keen as mustard to get out onto the Somerset Levels and catch some Roach, Rudd and maybe a Chub or two.

I was going with an absolute minimum of gear.  Just my Daiwa Pellet waggler rod, my fox reel, couple of cheap floats, bit of shot, a few size 14 hooks, tin of sweetcorn and Morrisons wholemeal bread.  Oh, and my dinky little landing net I bought a while back which looks a bit like one of those nets you get at the seaside.

My first stop was the drain at Ham Wall Nature reserve.  It was in serious need of a haircut both above and below the water.  Also the water was running very clear indeed.  Hmmm.

After a bit of roving about I hit into a little Rudd which promptly fell off the hook.  The commotion killed the swim so I decided to move to a spot underneath the bridge, where the weed growth was much less.

A put in a few scraps of bread and moulded some on the hook.  It didnt take long before the float twitched a buried.

First fish of the river season.  
These Rudd are in beautiful condition and fighting fit

I wasnt just the fish making an appearance.  There was a fair bit of slithery activity with 2 Grass snakes and an Adder showing both in and out of the water.

Bad video of a Grass snake under the bridge I was fishing at.

A good number of Rudd similar to the one above fell for the bread but after catching six or seven it went quiet.  They had wised up!

I had a bit of time left and was keen to get a Chub.  For that to happen I had to pop over to the River Sheppey, where the blog began!

I pulled up by my favourite little bridge.  Hooked on a big bit of bread (I dont find Chub to be delicate eaters).  The float trotted away before sinking.  i gave a light strike and Chub on, or so I thought...

The battery died giving the shortest video of all time...

I tried getting some selfies with him but it didn't work.  In the end I admitted defeat and back he went.  I would estimate that he was a solid 1lbs and certainly the biggest Roach I have caught.

I returned home with no Chub but the Rudd and Roach (especially the Roach) had more than compensated.  There is something truly special about catching fish on the river.  I don't mind fishing the lakes but the river is hard to beat.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Cracking Perch at Higher Farm

I was keen to get out reasonably early, but didn't manage it.  Babies and new dining tables prevented such notions.  Nevertheless I managed to pop down to HillView Farm again.  To the Lower lake (again).

Two chaps were already fishing by the time I had arrived.  One was Dennis (who I thought was Tom, but isn't).

I set up opposite the tip of the little island beyond which were a tasty looking set of lily pads.

I've been using a Drennan quiver tip rod but rather than using the quiver I set it up on a bite alarm.  Banded pellet and a smidgen of bread on the hook.  In my mind bread is the ultimate bait on this lake.  Everything eats it (and I mean everything!)

I filled a small inline feeder with Bait Tech green and cast out close to the lilies.

Meanwhile I set up my trusty Daiwa Pellet Waggler rod, with a pre weighted float.  Again bread on the hook.

I flicked in a few pellets and sat back.  The sun was shining, ravens were croaking above and frogs were croaking below.

I didn't get long to enjoy the serenity though.

Nice Little Ghost Carp

The serenity I was talking about

For the next few hours I had plenty of missed runs, missed bites on the waggler.  Even swapping to bigger hooks which stuck through the bread a bit better didn't improve my hit rate all that much.  Still, I managed 7 or 8 Carp of 2lbs to 3lbs

Lots of activity.  The Carp were hungry.  
Most were about the same size as this one

Then the alarm went off and bang I was into another Carp...

Wait - its a Perch.  What a beauty...
Fought like a tank. Caught on 8mm Halibut pellet and bread :-)

I shouted at Dennis (who I thought was Tim).  Sadly he wasn't to tech savvy and the photos didn't come out very well.  All was not lost WhistleApp on my phone.  Job done.  Quick weigh. 2lbs - that will do nicely and back he went.

I was buzzing and took a bit of a break, savouring the moment with a well earned cuppa.

A few more little Carp later and time was getting on.  But there was one more surprise right at the end.

A decent Roach in perfect condition.

What a great day.  Carp are fine but I really like Perch and cant wait to get the drop shot out when the rivers open again.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Higher Farm (Bottom Lake)

Unfortunately I had an extremely upset belly for a few days and even ended up cancelling my trip to see Star Wars which upset me greatly.  Luckily I have seen it now and what a great film it was.  Much better than Epsode 8 which was plain awful.  Anyway on with the fishing.

Friday saw me pop over to Shepton Montague, Hillview to be precise.  I managed to find it this time (last time I got totally lost).  I plumped for the single lake nearest the farm.  I have never fished it before.  But what a lovely lake it is.  Not massive but very picturesque.

I kept it simple, just my float rod, 4lbs line, waggler, 14 hook with sweetcorn/meat/bread bashed on the end.  I rotated between them all.  Every so often flicking in a few 2mm Halibut pellets.

At the other end of the lake I heard line screaming off a reel.  Father and son were obviously scrapping with something big!

I settled on the peg next to the carpark and fished a couple of meters out next to some lilies.

5 minutes went by and the float sunk.  Gentle strike and a Gudgeon.  Hurray!

Then another one on double corn! 

Soon some bigger fish were moving about.  There was a swirl and then a strong fight.  A small ghost carp.  What a beautiful fish.

Not the best photo ever.  But he was a cracker even though he was little

At this point I believe I met Tim Panting, a very friendly and likable character with an intimate knowledge of the lake (the big Ghost Carp did come into the margin when I was aboout to leave, as you said it would)..

As the day drew on more Carp began to feed and I had a good few especially on the bread.  But also a few Bream managed to get in on the action which was a bonus.

 Plenty of action with the smaller Carp

A few bonus Bream

The fellow and his son had packed up and he showed me an unbelievable 20lbs Carp on his phone.  Next to his son it looked enormous.  No wonder that reel was screaming!

My Catch22 is now:
Common Carp
Mirror Carp
Ghost (not sure if that counts tbh)
Roach hybrid thing (not sure what it was)

Saturday, 2 June 2018


Angling Times is running a Catch 22 challenge.  Surprisingly you have to catch 22 different species.  Some easy, some not so much.

Anyway Ive got started and currently I'm on 7 species (4 were caught here).

Common Carp
Mirror Carp

These were caught on Emerald lake at Emerald Pool fishery.  Some on bread, some on corn.  That was all I used in the end!

Had the cage feeder out with Bait tech green groundbait and sweetcorn on the hook and the float out, set at 3 foot with bread.  Both set ups scored well and had plenty in the bag including a nice 11lbs Common, which I didnt manage to record very well...

The other 3 species were caught somewhere else and will be updated when I get round to it!