Wednesday 31 January 2018

A quick one

A quick hour before work, the river levels seemed fine but I couldn’t be sure about the colour so I grabbed the chub gear instead of the pike gear.

1.25lb Avon, 3oz tip, 5lb hypersensor straight through to a size 8 bread and cheese paste for bait.

The river looked great for this time of year but it was pushing through fast, which didn’t really matter that much as I was fishing the near bank margins. 3 pegs fished, 20 mins in each without a touch. Never mind, I don’t expect to catch on short off the cuff sessions like this, on the odd occasion I bank something I class it as a bonus.

Chub rods

I purchased an original Drennan medium feeder (a bargain at £25) for my chub fishing this winter, the main reason being you can store spare tips in the butt section of the rod. I’ve found fishing as light a tip as conditions allow a massive help when winter chub fishing. 

During a chub session on the final day of last season, on a different river but similar tactics, using a 2oz tip I was getting very delicate bites, very difficult to see and not something I would of usually struck at when chub fishing. However I did strike at one of them and it was a good chub. I went on to land 3 on that final session including a river best, would I of even seen the bites with a heavier tip? Probably not, I’m almost certain that if I was fishing with the 1.25lb Avon top (like I always used to whilst chub fishing) the bites wouldn’t of registered on the tip.

That’s where the medium feeder comes into play, one tip on the rod and another 2 in the butt, giving the option of changing tips to suit conditions. I’ve had a few chub on the medium feeder and it’s a lovely rod, lightweight with enough backbone to keep chub away from the snags. The medium feeders only downfall is that it doesn’t break down into equal lengths and is a pain in the arse to store in the back of the car built up, ready to go with a rig on.

I prefer carrying minimal kit whilst chub fishing trying to stay as mobile as possible, carrying a tube with a couple of spare tips doesn’t really fit in with this, maybe I can customise the newer rod to hold spare tips in the butt....

Tuesday 30 January 2018

First sessions of 2018


My first session of the year, first session for almost a month and a first visit to this river.

The morning didn’t start too well as we couldn’t get access to our chosen stretch and had to head to another one blind.

We needn’t of worried as the fish seemed to be on the feed from the off, Mick lost one and had a dropped run before I’d even cast a bait.

The first fish landed came to my rod though, a nice 12lb 8oz fish to a ledgered smelt.

Mick was up next, a jack taken on a ledgered sardine.

Both fish were covered in leeches, obviously laid up on the bottom during the extended cold spell.

After a couple of hours in the first pegs we moved downstream to a double peg for an hour. I had one rod on the bottom with sea deads and a margin fished live in a float paternoster. Surprisingly the live didn’t get any interest, all interest on baits hard on the bottom, so I reduced the height of the paternoster so the bait could  just get to the river bed.

Shortly after the live was taken.

Smaller this time, unweighted, but definitely welcome.

Mick had another dropped run in the double peg before we moved again. Plenty of appealing pegs on this stretch, deep margins and willow lined banks, spoilt for choice really.

No interest for a good hour in my last peg, a change to a full lamprey cast mid-river and an immediate response from a jack. 20 minutes later the margin live was taken by a similar sized jack.

And that was that, back to the car just as the last light was fading and home 50 minutes later. A good first session back and a good first session on this river. 


A week later conditions were completely different. A few days of below zero temperatures and heavy snow followed by a slight rise in temps. I was struggling to decide on which species to target, chub or pike, the pike usually win and they did this time.

I was hoping to get on the river before any significant snow melt made its way in. Tactics for this short session were trotting baits.

Arriving at the river I could see that I had things wrong, a nice level but pushing through fast and coloured not ideal for trotting baits and as I had minimal gear with me I didn’t have the option of changing tactics. A blank.


A big winter flood carrying warmer water saw reports of a couple of winter barbel showing. The rivers swelled and were well up,16ft higher than usual on some stretches. I went down with Mick the day after the flood had peaked, the river was still up a good 6ft and pushing through fast. 

We didn’t have a great choice of pegs as the flood left the banks covered in slippery silt and we didn’t fancy taking a dip. 

I didn’t get a touch all day, Mick had a bit of interest in the second peg and the tip flew round as we were having a brew.

A small but welcome chub.

That’s things finally upto date, I’m still having problems with photobucket as I’m not willing to them pay $400/year to host my images. There are plenty of free options (google images seems decent) however most of my older posts (2014 and older) still the have photobucket ransom link instead of the intended image.

Catching up with the blog I’ve also realised how incompatible blogger and apple devices (iPhone/iPad) are. Trying to compose a post of a reasonable length is difficult as you can’t scroll up or down on the blogger editor. A limited work around is the app ‘BlogTouch Pro’ it works reasonably well but some functions are limited.

A better work around will be shorter more frequent posts.... 

Monday 29 January 2018

A brief round up of 2017

Trying to get the blog up to date, so a very brief round up of 2017.


A great start to the year, landing chub and pike regularly, beating both p.b’s

A new p.b of 5lb

19lb 2oz, getting closer to that elusive 20!
A 6lb 6oz chub which smashed my previous best
Four nice chub from five casts, caught on the same night as my first '6'


No significant captures during February, a struggle compared to the previous month, average chub and jacks was as good as it got.


5 Pike to low doubles, chub to 6lb 3oz from my local, also a new venue best of 5lb from a smaller river.

6lb 3oz caught during a pike session on a flooded river

2 of 3 chub caught on the last evening of the season, the largest going just over 5lb, my best from this river.


No fishing ! Plenty of work and a stag do in Lisbon.


Best man duties at Ben’s wedding, a family holiday to Lanzarote and one eel blank.

Half a day trolling, without any interest, which I've found is pretty standard when fishing tourist spots

Plenty of these whilst bottom fishing
I also had a few different species whilst shore fishing, nothing of size but good fun.


A days holiday for opening day, a single 4lb+ chub for my efforts during a red hot day on a very low river. More chub and a few small barbel towards the end of the month.


A few blanks on short sessions locally and a hectic first trip to the tidal Trent.

A 9lb 4oz fish caught within 10mins of arriving
Two doubles caught in consecutive casts

Back on my local waters with a river p.b barbel of 9lb, then a first visit to the Wye with a short stop over on the Warwickshire Avon.

My best from this river, exactly 9lb

One of 8 barbel I landed on the Wye trip


Chasing barbel locally, fish to 7lb, chub to 4lb + and a jack on my first pike outing of the the season.


Another trip to the Trent, a flying visit this time, a 2.5hr drive for only a 12hr session. Targeting barbel locally was becoming more difficult, only one local fish landed during a flood. A nice 12lb pike caught on a short pre-work session, my first double of the season.

Trent doubles

Ben with a solid Trent fish, we both thought it would easily be 13lb but it 'only' went 12.02lb, a couple of ounces short of Ben's p.b
My first double of the season, 12lb from my local river.


A bit of a struggle both for time on the bank and results, a jack, a 3lb (ish) chub and a blank during my 3 sessions this month.


Two sessions in December. A first session on a Lincolnshire river which took 3hrs to get there due to the winter weather. Only two jacks landed, but two locals I had bumped into had both blanked so I classed it as a decent result. I’ll be revisiting again, hopefully before the season ends.

A session on my local river which was full of snow melt (water temp of 0.5°) and a lost fish, maybe a double. I was gutted at the time as I’ve never caught in water that cold.

No fishing over the Xmas period as I was laid up with Aussie flu, then had a wisdom tooth removed, not a great end to the year.

2017 highlights

Barbel - 11lb 1oz
Bream - d.n.w
Chub - 6lb 6oz*
Dace - d.n.w
Eel - 1lb 8oz
Perch - d.n.w
Pike - 19lb 2oz*

* personal best 

A mixed year with some good results at times. Often a struggle to spend as much time on the bank as I would like, I had around 40 sessions but the vast majority of these were short 2/3 hours sessions usually during the least productive times of day (in between school runs!). However I did achieve one of my targets of catching a double figure barbel from a new river, although the Trent is probably the easiest river to catch a double from, it’s still one ticked off the list.

Six pound chub are very rare on my local river, many a dedicated chub angler haven’t seen one, so catching two in a season was great. Large chub are such an impressive fish, they have definitely moved up a few places in my favourite species list. 

Trips to the Trent and Wye were brilliant, plenty of fish, plenty of laughs and plenty of memories, I’ll try and put a post up about these at some point.

Highlight of the year was my p.b pike, 2 double takes in 20 minutes, with last fish being the largest. The best 20 minutes of my angling year.

After recovering from that flu I’ve been out a couple of times this year, hopefully I’ll get the time to put something up before 2019!

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Another catch up....

Well another extended period without adding to the blog, lots of reason why, but mainly the usual family and work commitments leaving little time to fish let alone write something on here. Being held to ransom by photobucket also hasn’t helped.

Since my last update I have fished fairly regularly except from the close season when I only had one session. Losing access to a water I had been planning on spending the warmer months eel fishing was  a bit of a blow and I lost enthusiasm for a couple of months. My only session during this time was an eel blank.....

As the river season approached my enthusiasm returned and I was out on the banks as much as time would allow. I spent the summer and early autumn targetting barbel mainly on a local river but with a couple of trips to the Trent and a visit to the Warwickshire Avon and the Wye.

One of my targets for the season was to catch a double figure barbel from a new river, ideally a local river. I caught a decent number of fish locally increasing my river p.b to 9lb, however heading south provided better results. Plenty of fish from the Trent with 17 fish to 11.01lb landed in two trips. A barbel blank on the Warwickshire Avon but a nice session the following day on the Wye made up for that, 8 barbel to 9.01lb and 4 nice chub to around 4lb.

11.01lb tidal Trent 
My largest Wye fish of the trip 9.01lb
A midsummer fish of 9lb from a local river
Pleasingly I managed 4 doubles from my visits to the Trent so one of my targets for the season has been ticked off. My chub and pike targets are still very much a work in progress....

A nice low double from my one of my local rivers
Not a lot to report on either species really, chub to just over 4lb and pike to 12.08lb. Working long hours in the lead upto Christmas, then catching the Aussie flu meant that I didnt wet a line for almost a month. Hopefully things will pick up for the rest of the season....