Monday 3 October 2011


As I write this piece I am unfortunately in some pain. Earlier this morning I had an operation on my knee to remove some broken cartilage which was causing my knee to lock.Hopefully the surgery has done the job and I may be able to start skating again in the near future. Further pain was caused by some shocking refereeing from that serial card-brandishing twonk Martin Atkinson; with Jack Rodwell being sent off giving the SCUM! the upper-hand and duly costing the Blues the match in the legendary Mersyside derby.

Well you cant win them all, and with the amount of dirty money them lot have spent, they are still nothing special. Breathe! On a fishing note I have recently been on a 5 day angling binge tackling both still and running waters.

First stop, A 48 hour session at Emperor Lakes.

Me and Ty arrived at around 11.00 am. The heat was sweltering for this time of year which I hoped would stir the cats into a night time feeding frenzy. I went for a quick chat with the head bailiff Paul to see what had been happening on the lake.

He was brutally honest and I quote "the lake had been fishing like a bastard! one fish caught this week".The fish was a 34lb mirror. A fine specimen indeed but that's gonna make for one empty weekly catch report. Paul said it was up to us to show 'em how its done an get him some material for his weekly write up.

I set out to cross swords with one of the big cats, my approach being nothing more than beefed up carp tactics using 3oz leads on a simple running set up. The hook-links were tied using 35lb Nash missing link; a coated braid perfect for combating the catfish's abrasive mouth. At the sharp end the hooks I chose where size 2 ESP Raptor which are razor sharp making them perfect for snagging the tough mouth of the Wels catfish.

I hoped the fish had stopped fasting and would get right on the munch as I went about depositing piles of pre soaked mixed size halibut pellets into 3 different tasty looking spots along the channel between the 2 main islands.
One rod was baited with 4 lob worms, the other 2  rods with double Meteor boiley from CC Moore.
The traps were set it... was now time for some other serious business of getting the radio on to listen to Everton vs Man titty. For the last few seasons we've given them a lesson in football and team spirit beating them both home and away.

Anyway we lost 2 nil which mildly vexed me before I drifted back into the calmness of the lake and my surroundings.To be honest I fully expected city to win this time. The whole day and night remained quiet until a spell of heavy rain hovered over the lake for around 2 hours battering all the lads in bivvys as I watched on through the window of the shed I was camped in (the benefits of swim 2).
With all that rain refreshing the lake I fully expected a bite or 2 during the rest of my stay. As intuition has it I was correct; 2 hours after the down pour one of the boiley rods beeped twice before the bobbin slammed up to the base of the rod as the alarm screeched like a fat tart on the Jeremy Kyle show.
I was sat beside the rods and hit the run instantly. Brief contact was made before the fish did me in a snag I was unaware of. No more action for the rest of the session for us or anyone else fishing on the lake for that matter so sorry Paul.
I think the lake has seen far to much bait as off late and could do with a rest. (Well that's my excuse for blanking anyway).

It was now time to make the transition from still to running water. My dad had planned a two day trip on the rivers Severn and Wye in search of Barbel. We were accompanied by 2 other fishing pals Jordy and Jimma. After a reasonably hassle free trip up the motorway to Worcester we tracked down Allan's fishing tackle shop to purchase the relevant paper work to get on the waters.

The ticket for the Severn only costs £5 and covered all areas down stream of Diglis weir. On arrival we discovered that to get to the river banks its one hell of a walk. after a 'reccy' up and down the banks I decided to fish a swim opposite an old water tower; this being a noted barbel haunt.
The water was clear, deep and had a deceptively strong current flowing over a clean gravel bottom.
The swims along this stretch are hardly accommodating at all with steep banks and not much room to move or sit comfortably. This was jungle warfare but the standard of the fishing greatly out-weighs the bank side niggles. First fish went to our man from the Toon Jordy in the shape of the scabbiest little bream in the river. (bless it).

My first reaction was 'hmmm this is meant to be a barbel swim', I hoped all the hemp I had offered  the barbel was not being mopped up by a shoal of bream.My doubts soon went away as my rod was literally ripped off the stand.I grabbed the butt just in time and waded out a few feet to avoid the line cutting through the marginal vegetation as a strong fish shot down stream like a bullet. I must say that these barbel bites are nothing short of savagery and pretty much unmissable.

The fish fought a valiant battle making a series off long powerful runs. My god can barbel smoke some drag! My reel was singing at the top of its voice- very exciting stuff. After one hell of a fight I had a beautiful Severn barbel lying graciously in my net.After photographing the fish I held her in the water to let her recover from the whole ordeal. Moments later her tail started to kick as she surged from my grasp back to her watery home.

The fish fell for a chunk of my homemade paste which was very pleasing to me. I topped up the swim with more hemp and sent the paste back into the drink. 30 minutes later my rod was in action again with more of the same fight-wise, but a smaller fish this time.

Next in was Jordy with a brutal wrench of a take that took off downstream and parted itself from the hook to our disappointment.We soon lost the light and had a long trek back to the car.
The next morning we headed to Hereford to fish the river Wye.Conditions were far from ideal with beaming sun and low clear water levels. I struggled on the day and had to wait til dusk for a bite which turned out to be a chub around the 4lb mark which took a liking to the paste. I now had one more day before my operation to grab another fish. This time closer to home back on the Exe.After having results on the paste up country I wrapped a Sonubaits garlic and cheese chunk with a golf ball size of my magic paste. I flicked it out into the water followed by a few boileys and pellets. An hour or so later I was into a stubborn fish intent on hugging the bottom and plodding slowly with power towards a danger area of my swim. I tightened the drag and held on. Luckily the fish turned with the pressure and was led into my waiting net minutes later.
A cracking common and another river result.

The past few trips reminded me of  my passion for catching wild fish rather than those cooped up in a lake.
I find it so much more satisfying and rewarding, not to say that still-water fishing is a bit pants (just my personal opinion gained from my own experience).

Til next time

Go make some luck!

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