Monday, 28 November 2016


Hello to all

Back on for my big update,I thank you all for reading.

Some more salt water angling to get through before I reveal my coarse fishing exploits.After my success on the smooth hound  fishing my attention was turned towards catching a few rays.And no,I don't mean a week in a cushty all inclusive lounging about like a lizard.
Far from it,I'm talking about those flat things with the long tails.I have become fascinated with the species as a whole,
Undulate,Spotted,Small eyed,blonde and thorn backs were the target.I wanted to collect them all over the course of the season....But then again we don't always get everything we want....yet.

To catch them all from the shore was a tall order,Me and the likes of Moxy,James and Tom Collinridge Clocked up some miles trying to do so.
The tally of dogfish and packs of blast frozen eels we got through was also excessive.

The hunt for Rays became a bit of an obsession,long drives after work to the likes of Poole and other favoured Ray territory's all to often ended in no Raymonds,but hey I am learning and each unsuccessful session only spurred me on to rectify that matter more and more.Like I said...a bit of an obsession.

The Thorny was fairly easy to catch from shore and boat,I had a few from the Bristol channel and a bonus one whilst trying to catch  flounder or plaice from the Kingsbridge estuary.
We all had good Small eyed whilst fishing a lads trip out of Watchet aboard Seafire.A few spotted's were also boated along with huss,smoothys,eels and the ever prolific pooch fish making for a cracking day out and a few more Rays under my belt.

With 3 down I still pursued the Blonde and Undulate,the latter really kicked my ass.To cut a long story short I still have not got my grubby hands on an Undulate,and not for the lack of bloody trying for that matter.I think it will have to wait until next year now but hey ho that's fishing for you.

On a positive note I did manage a Blonde! my main plan was to fish out of Dartmouth but
After 3 trips in row got the thumbs down right at the last minute due to the shit winds I had to look else where.
With a little gap in the weather ear-marked myself and Tom managed to get a last minute charter out of Minehead
Most of the lads on board were targeting cod but me and Tom had our hopes on some ray action,Mike(the 18 year old skipper of Teddie boy) assured us that when the time and tide were right we would move over a deep gully he had found to be especially good for a blonde or two,that will do me I thought.
Sure I like a Cod or two but I couldn't wait to move! finally the time came to up-sticks and after a short steam up the channel Mike seamlessly anchored the boat in the perfect position for our baits to be presented bang on the money.
He wasn't wrong either, 10 minutes or so passed before Tom was into something that was pulling back with intent, his rod was as bent as a nine bob note whilst heaving the creature up against the strong tide.A few tense moments passed before we got to see what was causing all the commotion.Sure enough it was  the Blonde ray Mike had promised us.
However, time was getting on, the window for me catching a Blonde was closing.

Meanwhile Tom was into his third! the thought of throwing him sea-bound ran hard in my mind when out of the blue my rod was nearly pulled into the pond.
I grabbed the rod to be met with heavy resistance! playing a good Ray as calmly as I could I was praying the hooks held,bloody good job they did too! I think the smile says it all.

A big thank you goes to Mike! I cant recommend a trip out with this keen young Skipper enough,he will keep you on the fish and trust me you'll be pissing tea from your ears if you accept every brew offer.Four out of five is not bad,but trust me I will get my Undulate sooner or later!

Ain't Rays brilliant!!!!

Til next time

Good luck

Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Hello to all

If there are any readers of this blog left out there? I salute you all

So Fish Tales has had more long breaks than your average painter and decorator, but alas my fingers are back on the keyboard with much to tell.
So what's happened since the last post all that way back in January, well....Donald flippin Trump was somehow elected as the next American president, oh yeah and that other Brexit thingy the world has gone nuts but F that! I have some good news...I have been up to a fair bit of the old angling, fresh and salt water but lets start with the latter.

The sea is like a magnet to me right now, to some up the last six months sea fishing is easy, it has been a succession of highs and lows.The long slogs and effort made to catch specimen fish from the shore can be crushing to a man's spirit.
After re rigging in a shit storm for your 20 th dogfish of the session whilst targeting Rays can be a bit of a punisher and a very common occurrence.Or perhaps having crabs maul your valuable and carefully presented bait within a few minutes of it hitting the seabed! frustrating stuff.
But then it all goes right and the target species is caught.
The feeling is amazing!
after all you have just caught the fish you wanted from the biggest piece of water ever....the sea!

Anyway, that's the way I see it.

This photo was taken on Chesil beach,I think I caught one dogfish whilst my friend James had a brace of smoothy's and a nice cod.
Talking of Smoothhounds,one of my summer targets was a double figure sample from the shore.
Hinkley point reef on the Bristol channel is probably your best bet for a real whacker, but I wanted to concentrate on a venue a bit closer to home and a dam site less hostile so Branscombe seemed a good bet.

I was at work on a boiling hot day when James called asking if I fancied soaking some crustation's,I had nout on that evening and with the tides and conditions looking good  for a hound or two how could I say no.
We arrived at the beach at around 5.30 ,there were already a few anglers plotted around the shingle and after a chat with a couple of them it seemed the beach wasn't exactly crawling with fish,both party's had caught nada.This didn't bother me to much as the tide was still yet to push and the sun still held high above the cloud.
After rigging up a couple of pennell pulley rigs I baited them both with fresh peeler crab including a slither of squid to bulk the bait out a bit.I then donned my trusty finger stall, clipped the baits down and proceeded to do my best Danny Fairbrass at Gigantica impression.
A couple of fruitless casts later the tide really started to push, my six ounce gripper leads could barely hold bottom.
The tips of my sturdy beach rods were bent right round in the tide looking very uncomfortable,when all of a sudden one of them pulled round then sprung back on its self as a fish broke the lead out of position.
I picked up the rod, wound  until I could feel something then struck into what felt like a decent fish.I took a few more turns of the large reel handle confirming something special was on the end.
"This ain't no doggy" I enthused to James.A few minutes later I had the fish close in,it was really pulling so I let a tiny bit off the drag.A bit to much!  the fish aggressively  kited with the tide igniting a few expletives from yours truly.Not worry tho I soon regained control as James hurriedly made his way to the waters edge,after a bit of a splashy rummage He lifted out a Huge Hound from the Drink."You jammy bastard" he said.  

I couldn't believe my first shore caught smoothy was a double,11lb 1 oz to be precise.I was literally dancing on the beach .....great times.
A short while later my other rod completely shit itself and was nearly dragged off the rest, I was in again.The fish felt like another goodun really scrapping on what I consider to be a heavy outfit.It turned out to be a 7lb'er but my god these creatures are ridiculously powerful.
Over the course of the summer I went on to catch a few more hounds mostly from the Bristol channel and Chesil but nothing compared to the magnitude of the Branscombe beast.

 Plenty more to catch up on so please watch this space.

Til next time

Good luck

Thursday, 28 January 2016


Hello to all

Firstly let me wish all my readers a very belated happy new year, tight lines and all that shit.

So a new year begins! on a brief reflection of last years angling exploits I suppose its fair to say I had a pretty good One.I taught myself more about sea angling than I would ever thought,I must also thank the likes of Jon Patten, James Nichols and Del boy Thorman for showing me the ways and a good few tricks to get me onto a flying start!

Its been a long time (again) since I last updated fish tales,I,m beginning to sound like a broken record! what can I say.....I have been busy.As I said in my last post, Perch Pike and Zander are at the top of my hit list right now.So I took almost a month off work over Christmas Which allowed allot of fishing time,far to many trips to write about but lets just say I went on a bit of a hot streak and bagged myself some cracking fishy Christmas presents.

Til next time

Good luck

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Hello to all

As I write this piece I can hear the generic drone of a must spend all the money you own on shit for Christmas commercial.Now I'm not a Scrooge or grump but I will admit this is my least favourable time of year,mainly due to the harsh weather and lack of sunlight.This time last year I was sat on a sports fishing boat sipping rum,smoking high quality cigars and partying my time away with the beautiful people of Cuba.....

A far cry from recent day to day life.I mean the weather has been proper rough here in the south west as rough that it has scared off the majority of anglers from even looking at there rods,once again mother nature had scuppered my plans for the weekend and I woke up Saturday morning with not much of an agenda,The wind was howling through the streets of Topsham like the apocalypse was on its way,old ladys were being blown about like the lottery balls as I waded my way through it all to fetch a wake up call from the local cafe.

with my stomach now happy I now needed to scratch another itch,that being the disease that is angling.Stepping out in such conditions is not exactly inviting,more like essential! either way I spoke to Moxy who is just as dumb and desperate as me when it comes to catching Pike and so it was,a quick load up of the pike tools into the van and off to get blown inside out on the canal with Mox and Pepe.With a bait rod plus a lure setup each, we planned to cover the water spending 20 minutes or so in each swim.Thankfully the first swim produced 2 fish almost straight away,one on each method too!had the winds whipped em up into a feed? the lack of action over the forth coming few hours answered that notion,just another small jack and a greedy perch of a pound or so was our reward for hanging on.

The next day was even dirtier than the last,I even spent the morning trawling consumer zombie lands for a new freezer,I mean how boring is that,Comet was numbing the shit out of me when again old Mox was on the blower,He talked me into going back down to the wind tunnel,I didn't need much convincing mind.

We started as we began the previous day but the wind was to much so we opted to find somewhere a bit more sheltered where we could settle for the afternoon to soak a few baits.After casting out the traps I kept my self busy fanning a lure around the swim when out of the blue my float rod was away,I was really excited as I wound down.For some reason I was expecting a big fish but a sprat sized jack was no big fish,still we were off the mark.

I continued to work the Replicant twist using a number of different retrieves when Bingo, a speed up of the lure provoked a savage take! the tip of my rod hammered down as a few yards of braid crunched off the heavily set clutch.This aint no jack I enthused to Mox.She went berserk for a while but our charms persuaded her otherwise,a lean double was my prize.

 Minutes after slipping her safely back Mox's dropback indicator clanked against the metal bank stick,the line was pissing off the spool at a rate of knots.Mox was now into something intent on snapping his rod,the fish held stubbornly deep and although perfectly in control of the fish, Mox had that slightly worried look on his face.The nerves were settled minutes later as he scooped the net round a huge framed canal Crocodile.....Buzzing!

Well done mate, fully deserved.

For more canal pike fishing check out this weeks Angling Times,where I explain my methods in more detail.

Til next time

Good luck

Sunday, 8 November 2015


Hello to all

After a fairly long slog of a weeks work, I set my self the pain staking task of sorting my fresh water predator gear for my up coming assault on all things toothy.

after a good rummage round the house I had managed to gather myself a huge pile of goods,something that resembled a hand grenade being lobbed into the local tackle shop.I reunited myself with some faithful old bits but without getting too nostalgic I did wonder how the hell I had built up such a collection,the realisation of having to sort through such a mess had me a bit cold, but needs must.

With predatory plans in the diary I had found the inspiration I needed to get the chore done,I must admit that it felt good to have all the gear in order,Perch,Pike and Zander watch out!

Fishing-wise I have still been on the salt water tip trying to catch a big Bull huss,these things are definitely my bogey species of the moment.The amount of hooked fish I have lost and unmissable bites I have struck with chuff all on the end are uncountable.Such is angling I guess,there's nothing wrong with the rigs and hooks!The rough ground I have been fishing also provides home for many other species which can prove entertaining whilst waiting for the bigger traps to be sprung.

That point being proven by my buddy James Nicolls here with a fine Ballan Wrasse and a specimen rockling taken whilst fishing for Bull Huss.I think I will have to wait until next year to get a big Huss,I may have missed my chance plus the fact that I need to concentrate more on the freshwater side of things now.
That being said I took a trip out with the dog and some other angling chums to a small commercial that I had not visited in a few seasons to reacquaint myself with still-water and see if any Perch were about.

The weather was ridiculously hot for November,so hot I had to take my shirt off and scare all the fish away with my pale complexion.That may of been the reason for a bite-less morning but I still remained confident and didn't really care to be honest,I was content enjoying the warmth and surroundings.With two livey's out in prime spots and a lure rod to explore the water with it was just a case of waiting for the light to drop a bit and keep on casting the lure in the hopes of provoking something with stripes.

Eventually my persistence paid off as the livey that I had placed amongst some old pads got slammed.It felt a goodun and was scrapping like a bitch,I have heard people say that perch don't fight....wrong.
A fish of around two pounds had given me the proper run around,I thought it was going to be a big perch but what he lacked in size he made up for with aggression.I was pleased to be off the mark with my first stripey of the season and went on to catch a couple more which made my day.

Til next time

Good luck

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Hello to all

What can I say..... no blog for 2 months,that's a bloody poor show! since I last wrote on fish tales allot has happened in my angling life.As I mentioned in my last couple of posts,I fished my way to the final of the Fox Rage salt water British lure angling championships.To cut the story short I ended up taking the trophy and a £500 prize package to which I donated to get hooked on fishing.On the day I managed to tempt 14 species which clinched me the podium finish.The highlight for me was catching a rare leopard spotted goby,I love Goby's.

On another LRF trip I caught myself a small Coalfish Which brings my ultra light lure caught tally to 34 species.Im sitting here struggling to think how to write up 2 months of angling,its been a busy day at work and the thought of looking at the computer all night is not  a good one so I will keep things brief and let the pictures do the talking for now and try to keep things a bit more regular in the future.

I have been spending an awful amount of time hanging around various coastlines having a great time learning about sea fishing.Catching fish from the shore gives me a real buzz and sense of achievement.A few of my other coarse fishing pals have also caught the sea fishing bug but that's not to say the freshwater predators wont be targeted when it gets a bit colder but for now every fish from the sea is a result and to say I am enjoying it would be an under statement. 

A stand out moment would have to be a session on Budleigh Salterton beach that I spent in the company of Ty and Pepe,we opted to fish a quick evening session in the hopes of getting a few bites,I really wanted to catch my first flat fish as I had heard there had been some nice Plaice being caught in the area but the worm baits I put out for the flatties were to much for the hordes of pouting and whiting to resist.

The evenings draw in far to quick for my liking, it was soon dark and we were running low on bait which led me to sack off a rod and switch the remaining over from a worm flapper to a pulley pennell with one of the bait stealing pout as the bait, after-all we all know where there are concentrations of bait fish the predators wont be far behind,plus the fact I was fishing after a few days of harsh onshore winds which often sees the larger fish move close in to feed on the freebies left buy the sea's rough conditions.
An hour or so passed and we were now at the top of the tide,despite it being spot on for a big ol Bass I was feeling hungry and decided that I was going to do one,after a quick natter with Ty I walked over to my rod and it gently nodded twice.I wound down to inspect the enquiry and the rod started to bend and bend and bend some more until it was at the full test curve.I stared to howl at Ty to get the head torch as a heavy fish took off in the surf towards Exmouth.My thoughts were that of a donkey Bass,but when I eventually hauled it to land we were all gob-smacked at what laid on the beach.

My first Cod 15lb 8oz,I was one happy angler and one jammy git to boot! looks like the fish has had a close call with a seal by the looks of its tail.  


Til next time

Good luck

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Hello to all

I hope you have been catching lots of fishes and enjoying the summer!

Summer used to mean lots of lazy days sat behind rods in the hopes of catching Carp and Catfish,but since I have been infected by the lure bug my efforts towards these species has taken a bit of a dive.Not that it matters as I am loving my fishing and that is all that matters so what the hell am I banging on about?

Well I keep looking at my lovely set of carp gear sat dormant gathering dust and thinking to myself that I must get out and give the Horizons a good flexing.Back in the winter I was invited to a catfish fish in at Todber manor with the motley crew of the region 12 ( Somerset )Pike anglers club,

A few months passed and the time had come to load the gear into the van,head up to Dorset and give those rods a good bashing.upon arrival the lads were itching to get going,but not before Paul Western presented us all with some excellent t shirts he had knocked up in his sweatshop,I mean factory.Anyway we drew swim numbers from a hat to keep things fair and as luck would have it I drew a nice little peg with an island feature a short chuck in front of me and some lovely reedy margins flanking my swim.Old Mox had drew the peg next door to me so if anything we would have a laugh even if the fishing was shit.

Thanks for the shirt Paul,spot on!

It was a boiling hot day so after lathering myself in crem de sol and setting up my home for the weekend , cracked a beer and mused on my tactics for the session.I know this was meant to be a cattin trip but I had Carp in mind and after having a bit of a lead around I found a silty patch located at the bottom of the island shelf,on this I presented 2 naked choddy's either side of the feature and pulted out a bunch of boileys around the area.After giving the line a moment to sink and settle I attached the bobbins and began the waiting game.

The going was slow on the lake and the first night only produced a lone Cat of around 10lbs which fell to a whole squid on one of Moxey's rods.Not the haul we were all hoping for but as we all knew cats can be very fickle,nevermind,we still had another night ahead of us and a day time bite is not unheard of.I was a bit peeved that I had not had an inspection of either of my pop ups so I wound in and put on fresh glugged baits with a plan to cast singles around over the course of the day whilst keeping an eye on the area I had been baiting.

An hour or so later I was boiling the kettle to fix a brew when I noticed the limp line tightening on the rod I had pubbed to a reed-line past the right hand side of the island.the alarm was yet to sound but before it did so I piked up the rod and wound down the slack to be met with what felt like the bottom,a bit of pressure was applied which woke the fish up and sent it ape-shit.The line was being ripped of my reel as the fish went on a huge unstoppable run to my left getting her self round the back of the flippin island.I had the worst angle on the fish and could feel the line grating on the side of the island,this left me no choice but to strip off and get into the drink to get a clean angle on the fish and do some serious arguing with what was clearly a good Cat.I got into the lake and made my way along the reeds to get to the channel between the islands,thankfully I persuaded the fish to come out into clear water.A few tense minutes passed before she gave up to the charm of mox's seamless netting skills.

Its wasn't until we had the fish on the mat did I realise how big she was,the gutt was huge.She had certainly been living the good life.At 62 10 I had landed myself a UK PB beating my last by 8 ounces! on a chod rig of all things.After a few snaps it was time for her to go back into the pond,I held her for a moment before she swam off strongly to go and fill her face again I imagine.

 What a result! I wasn't about to win any prizes for clever angling mind,what a jammy git.The second night was a bit more active with a few of the lads taking cats in the dark,all in all we had a great laugh and managed to bank a few kippers in the process, so cheers to Paul Curry for organising the jaunt and here's to next years smash up.

If your not already bored of seeing Mullet and Bass pictures, here's another fine example of the fun that can be had using ultra light lure tackle.

Til next time

Good luck