Monday 28 November 2011


On a grey and rather cold Saturday morning I took the dog for a stroll along the Exe. The river looked in good nick with a decent bit of flow and a tinge of colour. I decided to return in the afternoon and throw a dead bait around for a bit in the hopes of a pike or two.

After meeting up with Neil and acquiring some perfect size fresh mackerel from my fishmonger mate Del boy I made my way back to the banks of the river. Ever hope full of a big pike and and a win for Everton (who were playing Bolton) I started the session by trotting a whole small mackerel under a large pike bung.
This tactic can quickly catch any active pike but on this occasion I had no such luck!

A change of swim was made along with the tactics. I switched onto a static dead bait in a slack pocket of water no more than 3ft deep. Again I used a whole mackerel with the neck cracked to release attractants into the swim: the bait was fished a foot over depth beneath a float with a 1oz bullet to hold bottom.
10 or so minutes passed before my float started to gently bob, seconds later it popped right up and disappeared as a pike made off with the bait. I hit the run and was met with a weight on the end, but to be honest she turned out to be a bit of a lazy old girl when it came to the fight. Apart from a crap attempt of a tail walk right at the end of the ordeal she just plodded around around like a fat old bream. Anyway she turned out to be a  lovely looking dark lean double that didn't show any signs of sickness or bad health just a bit of a lazy fighter I guess.

              No more pike for me or Neil but Everton won 2-0 so it turned out to be a crackin afternoon.

                                                               A CHANGE OF SCENERY

The next day Neil invited me to go sea fishing off the rocks at Hopes nose with a couple of his chums Chaz and Todd. I must say I don't really know much at all about the old sea fishing lark, so I was hoping the boys could show me how to catch a few as they have fished this mark a fair bit over the years.

As you can see the weather was spot on, Neil set me up a paternoster type rig with a gripper-lead attached to a rotten bottom to counter the generous amount of snags the sea has to offer. The hook was baited with a small fillet of mackerel and banged out around 70 yards or so. The fishing started off very slowly on the low tide with only one mackerel for Neil. To pass the time we explored the rock pools which held some cute little mullet fry, blennys and all sorts of crabs and such, like little mini aquariums, marvellous!

As the tide started to come in so did a school of whiting bringing lots of action with a bite a chuck. I did try to avoid them after a while by using very large baits but the toothy little gits still managed to engulf the bait every time! Neil also caught a Pollock along with Whiting and Mackerel. Todd filleted and cooked up a couple  of fish and a few were kept as pike baits. Some lucky ones made it back into the sea.
Overall a bloody good fun day so cheers lads.

Til next time
Tight lines

Saturday 19 November 2011


Finally a victory for the mighty but very dodgy Toffees! I had forgotten what a win felt like it has been that long. But my god I was relieved when Baines smashed in that pen to put us 2-1 up in the dying stages of the game, who knows we may go on a bit of a run now ( I hope!)

Last weekend myself and Neil reactivated the perch hunt. Around a month or so ago we were doing a fair bit of perch fishing but frankly our results had been piss poor. The day we took a break from the perch quest Neil landed a 28lb 3 oz pike. This somewhat side tracked us and pretty much all of my recent angling has been in pursuit of pike; after seeing the giant Neil landed I just had to get me one of those. Yes, I've been catching a fair amount of pike lately but the big girls have evaded me so far.

Anyway the heavy rods and trebles where put aside as I opted for some lighter more sporting tackle.
Big perch can fight very hard so a nice long match rod to cushion lunges and a reel loaded with 6 lb line is advised to give you a good bit of sport, but enough power to give 'em a bit back if needed.

We planned our attack around live baiting, worms and prawns alike make great perch baits but there are far too many carp in my chosen water for the perch to even get a look in. My baits were presented on a paternoster rig with the float on the surface for visual bite indication. I also employed the aid of a bite alarm when using this rig as I often get distracted, and bites can be quick and silent as I fish with an open bail arm to minimize resistance to a taking stripey.

To spice up the rig a bit I add a 28g Kamasan black cap feeder as the paternoster anchor and fill it with chopped worm and red wrigglers.This adds fodder fish attraction and scent directly beneath the live bait, simply deadly!

Not long after the baits went out Neil had an absolutely screaming take resulting in him landing a plump 2lb-er. 5 minutes later I was into a fish which also turned out to be another 2lb plus perch. A good start indeed!

The action grinded to a halt and we had to wait until last light for another bite, Neil had a take on a free roving bait but unfortunately pulled out of the fish. I landed another 2lb-er before we were forced to call it a day. The next morning we returned, the weather was alot more favourable with a dark overcast sky and a slight ripple on the water. Again early success was enjoyed. By midday I had captured 3 good perch (they all fought like little pit bulls) but the afternoon produced nothing.

As the lighted turned off the perch turned on and I was into another angry stripey which again broke the 2 lb mark.

Big perch fishing is by no means easy and I've put in a buttload of time trying to catch them suffering many blanks but sometimes things go right and the perch bite. As they gotta earn your stripes.

Til next time

Go catcha fish!

Wednesday 9 November 2011


I sacrificed Saturdays angling to watch the early kick off. Obviously an Everton match, which saw Moyes and the boys travel up the road to St James park to take on the ridiculously over achieving spawny gits Newcastle United. To sum up the game I wish I had gone fishing instead of putting myself through 94 minutes of frustration. Some classic Everton really; shit passing, missed chances and dodgy defending combined with a referee who's probably a life long Liverpool fan.
As you,ve probably gathered from this boring old rant we lost. My faith in Moyes is wearing thin!

On a lighter note the following day awoke to a glorious morning. There was not a cloud in the sky; not the best fishing conditions according to the old fishing handbook, but hey if we all waited for the so called perfect conditions to come along we would barely wet a line.
Anyway you get the picture you've gotta be in it to win it.

Pike fishing on the Exeter canal was the order of the day and the anglers were out in numbers taking advantage of this unseasonal pleasantness. I was joined on the busy banks by Nate and Ads who would also be spending the day pike fishing. Traveling light and roving was the plan of action.

After a slow start and 4 swim changes Nate tempted a small pike on a live bait.

We fished a few more swims before Nate had a stuttery take resulting in the fish coming off. However there were no signs of teeth marks on the bait. Although it was clearly picked up, perhaps a big perch was the culprit, but we'll never know.
As the light faded and temperature dropped I finally had a take. I hit the run straight away, thankfully the rod hooped over as I hooked into an angry pike that provided me with a great fight punching well above her weight.

Til next time
Be lucky

Tuesday 1 November 2011


Although I have spent alot of my recent time predator fishing for pike and perch I have still been trickling a bit of bait into the Exe in the hopes of banking a late season river carp.

Today I had a couple of spare hours to get down to the river and fish my baited patch. The weather was unseasonably warm for November which saw myself and Matty (aka The Golden maggot) led down the track by my ridiculously naughty dog Pepe. (He knows exactly where he's going) The river looked in good nick with a bit of colour and no flood debris coming down stream to fowl the lines, (last week the Exe looked more like the Amazon!)

Two rigs were flicked over the bait with a dozen or so freebies scattered over each rod. Hook-bait wise I've recently (with great effect) been using something a little bit different in the form of garlic and cheese lumps from Sonubaits. Believe me these things absolutely ooze attractants and stink to high heaven! In the short time I have been using them I have taken numerous carp from the river and still waters as well as other fish such as chub and barbel. Today I tipped each bait with a micro pop-up to add a bit of waft and colour in the murky water.

About an hour into the session my daydreaming was disturbed by the sound of a screaming alarm.
I quickly hit the run resulting in a very satisfying resistance. The fish was very powerful and gave me one hell of a scrap. Thankfully after ten or so minutes I had tired the fish out allowing Matty to slip the net under her. Bingo a late season carp, I love it when a plan comes together.

Til next time

Be lucky