The first outing of the year is looming…

… and judging by the weather it’s going to be a short one!

I had a week off work last week and had every intention of getting down to the water and breaking my fast, as it were. Sadly the heavens and family stuff conspired against me, and on the one very cold but sunny morning we had I ended up having to go and do some sickness cover at work.

I did, however, make it to the shed at least and began the long and finger numbing process of getting everything cleaned up and ship shape for my imminent outing.

One thing I’m itching to try out is my new pen rod. It’s one of the super cheap ones with a dodgy plastic and aluminium baitcasting reel, only suitable for vertical jigging or light, close in work.

I had it as a Christmas present after dropping a few hints to my wife. I’ve also recently discovered that my club has a short stretch of brook which holds some roach and perch from lake wash which I’m eager to try.

Watch this space. I may actually get some fishing in tomorrow!

Wet nets


Merry Christmas

Just a quicky to wish everyone out there a very merry Christmas and new year.

I haven’t fished for a long time and it’s doubtful I’ll get much in now until February. Family time is important, especially at this time of year and given that I average 50hrs plus and two nights away per week at work, something has to give.

If you are braving the cold and snow in pursuit of a monster, I wish you luck.

Wet nets.


Quick Update

Not feeling it to the degree I’d like but I did pop out for an hour this afternoon just to see how it would go.

I had a deadbait rod out with some small smelt on a single hook and didn’t get anything more than a few taps and one run which backed off. I did however pick up a 5lb 1oz bream which is a new PB for me, as well as an assortment of small carp. All taken on maggot and float.

The bream gave no fight at all and seemed a little worse for wear but it swam off lethargically after a few minutes in the net. Clearly a very old fish with lots of scars. Strangely this was the only bream of the day, but a welcome surprise.

Wet nets.


Time Out

Today started off really well.

I picked up a new rod this morning and was keen to test it out and get back on the deadbaiting, having had a taste for pike yesterday. I pitched up around mid day on the opposite-to-usual side of the lake as it was drizzly and cold and I wanted some cover.

My new rod is slightly longer at 11ft, with a bit of a stiffer action but it performed really well, netting me two nice 2lb plus perch in the first hour as well as a little friend that I haven’t seen since last year, a gudgeon. I also picked up an 8lb ish and 6lb ish common. I didn’t have my scales today so I couldn’t give you more accurate weights, but sadly weights are the last thing on my mind this evening. I’ll explain.

I popped a deadbait into the margin having seen a lot of non-carp like swirling earlier and fry throwing themselves out of the water. Thinking it was a pike, I lowered the bait into the swim gingerly and went back to my seat to lie the rod in the rest. As soon as I sat down the bubble float disappeard and I struck into a fish which certainly felt like a pike.

It wasn’t. It was easily the largest perch I’ve ever caught. Dare I say it well over 4lbs.

Why so sad? One of the sets of barbless trebles had hooked the rakers and literally snapped one of them off. I was distraught. The perch had clearly inhaled the whole roach and striking had damaged it. I have a photo, I’m not going to post it. It’s upsetting me too much. The irony of it all is that I’d just netted a 1.5lb ish fish and had it recovering when I landed it and I have a comparison photo. I’m not joking, this thing was huge and short of this bloody mess I’d be the happiest man alive right now.

Anyway, I unhooked the fish with some difficulty¬† and removed the broken raker from its thoat. It swam away, I didn’t see it surface again.

All sorts going on in my head right now. Hopefully I’ll pull myself together and be back at it soon.



First (landed) pike of the season

Nipped to the lake for a very short lure session this evening, arriving around 4:30 with an overcast sky and darkness looming.

I wasn’t at all prepared, having grabbed a small box of lures without checking for suitability and having no white or silvery plugs or softbaits. With the water being pretty murky and having a (human) visibility of no more than a few inches I was going to have to improvise.

I picked the right side of the lake for two reasons. Firstly I knew it held fish, both pike and perch and secondly because a small group of three other lure anglers were hurdling each other up the left hand side.

I popped on a rattling jointed orange Rapala to start and had nothing, so switched to a bright yellow and red Relax Kopyto 3″ shad which was equally unsuccessful. Then there was a small break in the cloud, so I put on a Fox Firetiger 2″ shad and began working it across the pegs close in. It wasn’t long before I had a take under my boots and on my favourite peg too…

… and so a beautifully conditioned 3.5lb (ish) pike came willingly to the net.

That was about the extent of my luck for this evening. By 5:30 it was getting too dark to fish so I headed home. I walked around the other side of the lake to ask the other guys if they’d had better success and sadly they hadn’t, though one picked up a tiny jack on a red and white shallow diver as we were chatting.

Wet nets.


Popped down for pike…

… and picked up a few perch.

1.2lb and 2.4lb today both on the feeder on lob. Pellet waggler died unfortunately but wanted a shorter margin rod anyway so, thanks fate, I guess!

Just a tiddler…
That’s much better…

Deadbait float rigged roach produced a few runs from jacks but nothing big enough to get itself hooked. Will be downsizing to size 8 trebles next trip as I’m sure some big perch were lunging for the deadbaits.

Just a quicky today as I’m at work (joy).

Wet nets.



I fish because my grandfather did. It’s a simple and honest statement and one that many who come from a family of fishing folk will be able to relate to.

He was a man of few words, and even fewer expressed emotions. If he spoke his words were considered, measured and not uttered lightly. Small talk was not a part of his repertoire. A miner by profession and a gardener of some repute, his singular drive was provision and the pleasure that providing brought. Whether it be cod, coal or cabbage, he made sure that he was keeping us fed, warm or both. Towards the end of his life, 14 years ago this month, it became clear to me just how much that drive kept him alive. Once immobile he went downhill rapidly both mentally and physically, speaking and moving less in equal measure. Having said that, he managed to retain his dry sense of humour until the end, his last words being “You thought I’d gone then, didn’t you?”, after having been revived for the last time.

He never frowned upon my coarse fishing, but I always caught a glint of proudness in his eyes when I brought home a trout from the river or whiting from the beach. He was primarily a boat angler, always fishing for the table though he evidently got pleasure from it. He was very fond of one particular charter out of Solva in west Wales and this was one of his regular trips with the local deep sea angling club. I still have his diaries listing dates and catches back to the early 70s.

Amazingly I only ever managed to fish with him once. He was strangely private about it. It was his ‘thing’ and I can relate to that, although I do try and encourage my children to come with me. I can remember nagging him to join me at a local mark shortly after I’d passed my my driving test. My step father came along also. We pitched up at the roadside on a local estuary and spent the day catching whiting and small flatties. It was handy for him as he could sit in the car and watch his rod, a bright green, glass fibre Sealy with about as much flexibility as a lamp post which now lives on the shed wall. He still caught though and had a good day.

Looking back, I realise now that fishing allowed me to emulate him and in doing so cement our relationship. Despite being very close, I always felt that I wanted him to let me in more, and fishing talk did just that. I remember being 7 or 8, lying on the living room floor with one of his books and asking if he’d ever caught each of the fish, one by one. “No, no, yes, no…”, his exasperation was evident but he always had a wry smile on his face, and so did I.

Wet nets.