Monday 19 November 2012


Hello to all

As you may or not know I am lucky enough to have a friend ( Del boy) who earns his living catching fish from the sea to sell to various restaurants and fishmongers etc. As a mad keen Pike angler this is very handy indeed, there's never a shortage of free fresh baits all thanks to good ol Del boys round the clock efforts so cheers mate!

This weeks adventure was guided by none other than than the man himself, for a long time now I have wanted to catch a Sea Bass. I have fished for them on a number of occasions but never have I succeeded. This time I was in the hands of a pro and the words " you will DEFIANTLY catch a bass " put a big grin on my face as we drifted out of the harbour into the morning mist for what sounded like a promising days fishing.

The mist soon burnt off the water making way for a blue sky and mild breeze, the water was flat calm making for very pleasant fishing conditions. Del suggested that we drifted on the tide to cover the water in our search for my first Bass, for bait he had sourced some absolute monster sand eels (what he calls a mans eel ) which would surly catch the attention of any prowling Bass.On our second drift Del hooked up and landed a lovely fish of around 2.5lbs. after a few more drifts Del had landed another 3 and I was starting to get a little hot under the collar. I was beginning to think I was the anti-bass, the fish could probably sense my anguish and desperation therefor avoiding my eel on purpose?.A ridiculous thought this may be? but I have often found that a bite is far less likely to occur when an angler is deep in thought willing a it to happen. once I began to relax and enjoy just being on the water on a unseasonably nice day in good company, that magical whack of my sand eel bait being set upon sent shudders down my rod and I lifted into my first of the species.

Fortunately it didn't come off and I slipped the net under a typically sized fish of  2.5lb, I was chuffed to have ended my jinx and Del boy had kept his promise.We carried on drifting and I even went on to catch another fish.Bass are a cracking species and I would love to catch a big one,there huge eyes and cavernous mouths make them a very efficient predator and a worthy target for any angler.


Job done!

Til next tme

Good luck

Monday 5 November 2012


Hello to all

I just cant believe the clocks have gone back already, this year has flown by me and it will soon be Christmas......dang, time's a bitch huh? there can never be to much time as far as fishing is concerned. If it were a viable option I would be fishing full time, but the reality's of life such as work and socialising with non angling friends and family in a bid not to become a forgotten face puts a dent in that thought. However imbetween the trials of life I have been loitering around various waters with the intent of catching some Pike.

I have sneaked a couple of day sessions on a new water earmarked by ol Moxy, he kindly invited me along with our pal Dom Garnett to see if we could russle up a croc or two from the depths of this weedy overlooked old pit.

This 12 lb 14oz fish was caught in 20ft of water on a ledgered Mackerel head section, if truth be told I poached this one from a bite on Mox's rods when he left me to hold fought whilst he wondered with a lure setup. As it happened he did snare a couple of cute jacks on small shad swimmer baits but the low double turned out to be the biggest of the trip. Dom caught a lovely Perch on a drifted roach deadbait.

Me and Mox made a return visit but this time we set about catching a few livebaits as on the previous trip we had stuck to the deads and lure tactics. After catching myself a roach of around 6oz I set up a sub float paternoster rig (a good presentation when fishing over a weedy bottom) on my 3.25lb Fox warrior rod.This was placed close in on a marginal shelf in 5ft of water, it must have been all of 20 minutes before my alarm interrupted a very warm and pleasant morning.The bite was very savage indeed, the Pike shot off towards the deeper water which saw me pile on the pressure to stop her making it into the maze of salad that chokes the majority of the venue.

 The battle was won as I slipped the net under this lovely long mid double. She has a very recognisable yellow mark around the pectoral fin which I haven't seen before. ( maybe a birthmark? ) the rest of the day proved fruitless for Mox and the only other Pike of the day was a jack of around a pound.

The Pike fun was not over as the next day Me and Mox headed over the Severn bridge into Wales for a two day trip on the mighty river Wye.We were also in the company of my dad and our friend Geordie who were both ready to try and catch a barbel or two,the car was loaded to the brim with tackle and bait including a bag containing about 20lb of deadbaits courtesy of Del boy the fishmonger.Sounds excessive but the leftovers would be fed to the fish to fatten them up for next time,we soon found ourselves bankside and as bad luck would have it there was a flippin match being held which limited us somewhat in swim choice.With around a mile of river to go at we soon (via the pimp mobile ) found a long deep slack margin on the tail of a slight bend that only had one ( slightly worried looking ) match angler on the far bank.

The area looked perfect and had a few swims to try with some nice overhanging tree features and  steep marginal drop offs, basically an ideal place for any big Pike to set up house. We soon had a couple of fresh Mackerel (that had been injected with Salmon oil) in the drink which quickly gained interest from the resident Pike. Unfortunately myself and Moxy both lost a fish each in the first hour then another kick in the balls came for mox when he lost a donkey of a fish on a lure, we were both pretty pissed but that soon changed when mox's deadbait trundled of up stream.

At 22lb Mox had a new pb and one very healthy river beast in his hands, I never had another bite that day nor did my dad and geordie ( who were fishing for Barbel for that matter ) but we did enjoy a 3 course meal and contemplated what tomorrow may bring over a few pints, which was nice.

At 5.30am Me and Mox had the peddle to the metal in the old pimp mobile making our way to the spots we had topped up with some chopped fish the night before.We quickly made it to our destination and were fishing in no time at all as we had stashed our setup rods in a bush, I was very excited at the prospect of a big Pike at dawn. As the mist started to clear I had a take and struck into a good fish, after two or so minutes I saw a large shape under the surface thrashing its head in anger.It was then my turn turn to thrash around in anger as the hooks pulled,I was not happy to say the least and decided to go a have some breakfast and a cup of tea to calm down.

I didn't get a second chance this time but I'll be back soon, me old man had this whopper tho.

22lb 10oz

Til next time

good luck

Wednesday 17 October 2012


Hello to all

Regular readers of this blog and football fans may have noticed that I have canned my rants and unbiased views on the goings on in the Premier League, After all this is meant to be a fishing blog but then again it is also my blog so what the hell. My beloved Everton are flying very high, playing some great football and scoring freely from open play which is far cry from the classic ways we Evertonians have become accustom to. But now with all the new quality signings we look invincible....Well not from referees!, which brings me to mention the fact we have been shafted out of 4 points already this season due to the fact that the refs we have had are complete bellends. I was fumin at the ref during the Newcastle match and then a further case of the ref needs glasses the other week against Wigan,  Daylight roddery!!! fishing time now.

October is here already! and the summer has passed us in the blink of an eye . As you know I have done allot of river carping this season and faired quite well for that matter, but for me the Autumn  fills my mind with thoughts of hungry predators wreaking havok on the more friendly course fish. Perch and Pike are at the top of my hitlist for now so I have made a couple of trips in search of both.

First on the agenda, a session on a small commercial with me ol mate Neil Edgar. Perch were the target species and the conditions were pretty much spot on.The lake was devoid of any other anglers which gave me the chance to rove the water and explore the various lilly beds and overgrown corners which provide home to the striped ones. Livebaits are my number one choice when targeting perch and after gathering a few decent golden Rudd I was ready to go.

 I didn't have to wait long for a bite and was soon guiding a perch of around 2lb into the net. On this occasion I was using two rods and soon after unhooking the fish and recasting, the other rod was away which again saw me land another plump fish of similar size to the last. The perch were in a really aggressive mood and the bites were coming thick and fast. I fished a few swims that day and all but one produced a Perch or two.

As I pointed towards earlier I have also been doing a spot of Pike fishing,October brings the official start to the traditional Pike fishing season. For some this means nothing but as I fish for other species during the warmer months this time is very exciting for me. If I'm honest  I did do a quick pre season deadbait session on the river which rewarded me with two small but very accountable Pike of 9lb and 12lb, Both fish fought so hard as they tend to do this time of year.

On another session I made a reasonably long drive up to the Midlands to again fish for Pike, the venue for the day was predominately a carp water. For a fishery of around 10 acres it had a very healthy stock of Carp but along with them also swim a few decent size Crocs. I arrived just after first light to find many bivvys dotted around the lake, the wind was pushing into a quiet back bay which also had access to a deep island feature. Fortunately this area was free from any carp anglers so I quickly dragged my gear to the swim and tackled up two simple running ledger set-ups. I started of with a deadbait on each rod, on the close range rod I opted for a whole sardine whilst on the other a large mackerel tail that had been soaked in pure salmon oil. After catching a couple of decent skimmers I switched the sardine over to a livey and sat awaiting a visit from old Esox,I fed minced fish ground bait over the livey to create a scent trail for the Pike to home in on and find poor old Mr skimmer. Patience was certainly the order of the day as the option of mobile Piking was not on the cards,the morning passed without as much as a sniff but by mid afternoon I had a ripper of a take on the livebait.I hit the run and made brief contact with a fish but seconds later the hooks pulled grrrr!. I sat there for an hour or so having a bit of a sulk and out of the blue I had a take on the deadbait giving me a much appreciated second chance. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice I swept the rod back over my shoulder to be met with ( to my relief ) a solid resistance,The 3.25 tc Fox warrior deadbait rods I use make easy work of setting hooks at range. And so I was in for a tussle with what felt like a lump of a fish. After a great scrap and some proper water thrashing tailwalks I had subdued what looked like my first twentyof the season.

The scales proved me wrong weighing in at 18lb 14oz but franckly who gives a ratts!, what a corker to kick off the season.
Up the Blues!
Til next time
Good luck

Monday 24 September 2012


Hello to all

As I mentioned in the last blog the river carp trail had gone very stale and we had been struggling to get a bite for a couple of weeks. I took a small break from the carping and enjoyed some more lure fishing with Moxy.We have mostly been roving the tidal on quick sessions catching small pike and perch and the odd sea trout.Neil however has been carping on. And catching in the process.

Good work Neil lad! Two lovely Exe doubles of 11lb 7oz (top fish) and 14lb 10 oz.The carping doesn't end there either.On a very hot afternoon I finished Work and had a hunch that a spot I sometimes frequent would  be holding a basking fish or two.I arrived at the spot and quietly crept up to peer into water to see if anyone was home.I slowly approached the edge making sure I didn't break the sky line and ruin a potential chance of a carp.As intuition would have it there were indeed fish at home and quite a gang too.I could clearly see five carp hanging in the shallow water enjoying the suns rays looking like they were not in a rush to go anywhere.

In such situations like this a standard ledgering approach is not the best option as a splash could spook the fish into leaving the area. The carp in question were quiet modest fish for the Exe with 3 of them around the 7-8lb mark and the other two being low doubles. I opted to use a my 1.75lb Fox Barbel rod and freeline a large piece of bread on the surface.The bait was flicked into the margin and drifted over the carp then held so it flutters on the surface. I know that the presentation is very unnatural looking but the carp haven't twigged. I find this by far the most exciting way of catching carp, Being able to see your quarry is real heart stopping stuff. It must have taken all of two minutes before a big set of slurping lips sucked in the bread.I bloo my cover with a very clumsy but well timed strike.The surface exploded as the carp realised his mistake, his shoal mates soon fled and battle commenced. After a dogged bit of hanging on I convinced the fish to get his head up and slipped him into the net.

The little fella ended a bit of a lean patch for me so I was well chuffed and playing him on the light barbel rod was great fun. I stuck around to see if the other fish returned but it seemed the whole ordeal had persuaded them otherwise. Meanwhile Neil was downstream fishing on the bottom with a paste wrapped boiley, He was later rewarded with a pb stunner of 23lb 6oz. I had left by this point so sadly missed all the action.

Aside from the carping I took on  a 48 hour Catfishing trip to Swallow pool to try and break my recent pb of 47lb 8oz. Swallow pool is a fairly recent project set up by Kieth Wesley, the water is home to some huge cats up to the 88lb mark. Keith welcomed myself and Julian Chidgey to his very unique water.

Watch this video to see how we got on.

Till Next time

Good luck

Friday 14 September 2012


Hello to all

Searching for summer river carp has been a passion of mine for a few years now, our river Exe fish come in all shapes and sizes each of them bursting with power- character and charm.There are some truly stunning dark Commons that swim with the fat rugby ball shaped Italian style mirrors all going about there life largely undisturbed.This has been a bit of a problem for me over the last few weeks,I havn't interrupted a carps day  for a long time.I have fished multiple quick sessions over prebaited patches and caught nada! I have explored new area's and done a couple of over nighter's but still not managed to trick a carp into paying me a quick visit. Too much sitting behind a set off static rods can drive a man insane in my book. It was one sunny morning on the river I was doing just that, sat motionless with my traps set looking at the rods. In my mind willing them to do something.......

Then my phone rang with ol Mox on the line informing me he was off to the river Culm for a stroll with a lure rod to find a bit of action.Sounded good to me so I packed up and did one up to the Culm.It was a gloriouse day with blue skies and a warm breeze.Pepe went about  his ways ripping up sticks and hopping round the feild like a little deer whilst me and Mox worked some small lures through the trailing branches and nooks of this pretty little meandering peice of river.


It must have been no more than my fifth cast when a Jack pike shot out from his hideout to smash upon my lure sparking an enjoyable tussle with lots of acrobatics.Sport continued with more hits from the jacks which are great fun when using light lure rods and braided line which puts you in full contact of the action.

Another big plus to this sort of fishing is that one doesn't need a whole truck load of gear which is a very refreshing change from lugging all the carp bits around on the Exe.Unhindered by a rake of tackle we explored many pools and slacks with most of them containing a Pike or two. For a While now I have always been an out and out bait fisher when it comes to the predators, and to be honest I have looked at lure fishing as a bit of a pub chuck and hope something happens method! I know I couldn't be further from the truth but personally I don't have the knowledge of the lures or the equipment to have appreciated it fully for myself.

Now that Mox has been turned into a Lure fiend by Steve Moore I have had the chance to get out and use a variaty of lures on some nice light spin stix rather than just slappin a spoon onto a stiff carp rod when the bait fishing is slow.To put it in a nutshell I'm getting into this lure lark so watch this space for more lure action and hopefully some monster pike and perch this coming winter.

Til next time

Good luck

Tuesday 4 September 2012


Hello to all

First of all let me apologise for the lack of posts lately,

As you may have already noticed I am a bit of a river fishing enthusiast, I enjoy fishing running waterways for a number of reasons regardless weather it be on the banks of my local river Exe or far far away in the jungle territory of  the Amazon.With river fishing there still lye's that degree of uncertainty, not knowing what will take the bait next is an exciting prospect but  rivers also offer us anglers fresh challenges.
Seasonal changes and the weather present us with varied conditions. each  condition or season will have  different effects on all species which changes where, how and what the discerning river angler may do.

The Exe has been doing a few fish for the boys recently including another double figure bream for Ty ( 10lb 8oz) and a couple of rather strange captures, Moxy  caught a 15lb Pike on a halibut pellet whilst fishing for Carp and during another evening session Neil landed a perfect condition 7lb 2oz Grass carp.This again highlights the mystery of fishing Wild waters.

I have been predator fishing for a far ol while now but in that time I have never fished for or caught a Zander I have always found them fascinating so I decided it was time to have a crack for one and planned a trip to the river Severn in Worcester.It was an early start which saw Myself accompanied by Ty and Neil caning our way up an empty M5 in the direction of Allan's fishing tackle so we could grab a few bits and the relevant permits.Once we had acquired the goods and reached the river we made the long slog down stream of Diglis weir to reach an area  noted for producing good catches of Barbel.

What about the Zander you may be thinking? the plan was to try and catch Ty his first barbel and gather some fresh baits during daylight then switch on to the Zeds once darkness arrived.The day was quite sporting producing a mixed bag featuring mainly bream along with perch, roach, bleak, eels a carp and a pike ( bizarrely caught on sweetcorn ).The Barbel were nowhere to be seen but I was sure we would grab one or two during the night or at first light. Any way the evening was drawing to a close and my thoughts turned the Zander whilst Ty continued with the Barbel fishing.

I have done a bit of research into the various methods used in modern day zander fishing, and from what I have gathered one of the most effective ways to catch them is to quiver tip a small freshly killed course fish such as a Bleak or roach ect.The advice I had been given was to hit the rod in the event of a mere rattle or tap.This may sound a bit strange and is a huge contrast to the way we fish for Pike in that we allow a small window of time once the line comes out of the clip or float goes under to allow the Pike to pick up and turn the bait before striking. It was whilst attending a PAC meeting I learnt from Dilip Sakur that Zander feed in a different manner to the pike and are very resistance shy snappy feeders making them rather tricky to catch whilst bait fishing using traditional pike methods.The photo's he showed us of the monster Zeds he had caught using the quiver tip method were enough to convince me that was the way to go.

I set up using a 12ft Fox Barbel rod of 1.75lb tc with a running 3oz feeder to hold bottom,The trace I used was somewhat different to standard snap-tackle. Using a length of the very supple trace that is Wonder wire I tied up a standard knot less knot round a size 2 Fox Arma-point leaving a hair of around 5 inches to which a small semi barbless treble was crimped on to complete the rig.The feeder was filled with chopped Bleak and oily ground bait to add attraction into the deep coloured water of the Severn.

Upon dropping the trap to the bottom of the nearside boat channel I settled down to watch the bright blue night light I had rather crudely taped to the tip of the rod for signs of Zander. after an hour or so the tip started to rattle slightly,I immediately swept the rod back over my shoulder briefly making contact with what felt like a decent fish...dam it!.I quickly re-packed the feeder and put on a fresh bait before recasting to the same spot hoping I had not just fluffed my only chance of a Zed .Not long after I received a positive pull on the tip which saw me connect with a spirited little Zander of around 2.5lbs. Far cry from a monster but I was happy to have caught my first Zed .Meanwhile Ty was up and down like a fiddler's elbow dealing with a shoal of Bream that had taken a liking to the banquet he had layed on for the Barbel.

I stayed up for a while searching for a larger fish but my efforts were not rewarded. After a couple hours of the most uncomfortable sleep I have ever endured We were woken up by a large dog howling at us,I proceeded to fish for Zander and quickly captured another school fish then the rain came turning the bank into an ice rink making it a dangerous prospect to carry on fishing.Unfortunately the Barbel were nowhere to be seen but hey that's fishing.

Til next time

Good luck

Monday 23 July 2012


Hello to all

After last weeks cracking angling which ended with me finally landing a big catfish I decided to take a week off  and spend some time doing other things. Of course I didn't stay away from the banks completely, I just didn't wet a line. I walk Pepe along the river most days which gives me an opportunity to top up a few spots  with boiley and pellet to hopefully attract and hold some fish in the swims for when I'm on the spots with a rig in the drink. Pre-baiting is a massive edge when fishing for carp and other species in large expanses of water such as rivers.

Myself and the boys have been busy little bees on the river this week.I fished a short session with Ty one  afternoon and the weather was actually quite nice for a change,We decided to fish one rod each over a spot laced with pellet and cheap tutti fruity shelve-life's.The afternoon passed rather uneventfully with no signs of any fish in residence so we decided to give it another hour before calling it a day.A short while later Ty had a rather stuttery take resulting in a huge Bream of 10lb 7oz.

That's one hell of a bream from any river,Ty has had doubles from both the river and the canal now which I think is quite an achievement so well done mate.For all you hardcore bream haters out there just remember to be nice to them,there only having their dinner and I know there guilty of snatching carefully placed carp traps but that's just part of fishing. I have been catching a few myself whilst carping this season but the tackle I use is not exactly what you would call a bream fishing outfit so they don't really argue much when being led to the net.

On a rather hot and grey afternoon I was once again lugging my tackle towards the river in the hopes of a carp.The clouds were lying low with a very humid feel and jungle like atmosphere.With sweat beading off my brow I arrived in my chosen swim and started off by throwing in 30 or so boiley's to tickle the appetite of any carp that may be near.I quickly put a rod out over the spot and settled down to listen to talk sport whilst watching the water for any signs of fishy life.I was in a bit of a trance when I spotted another angler walking towards me which turned out to be (angling veteran)Paul Hamilton.We got chatting for a bit then he made his way down stream to try and catch a few for himself,My ear was bent listening to some rather speculative transfer bollox when the alarm burst into life switching my brain from football back to the matter at hand.The stinking run let me know this was no Bream followed by some textbook river carp punishing lunges and fast deep ploughing motions,the tackle passed the test and I netted another chunk of a mirror.I had left my scales and camera at home so I briefly sacked the fish and ran downstream to interrupt Paul,kindly he reeled in to weigh and photograph the fish for me which turned the dial to 23lb 7oz-Cheers Paul

A very strangely marked fish indeed,I have never seen this before so if anyone has an explanation for this please let me know.The river has been very kind to me this season and all my results have come from quick daylight sessions. It has been years since I last did a night on the Exe so it was about time to see what she would throw us during an overnight session.Myself and Moxy put together a plan to fish a heavily pre-baited swim under the cover of darkness.The water ate around 10kg of the usual boiley's and wot nots before we dropped on the spot with our bed chairs and rods to see if anything was on the bait.

Tactic wise we both used bolt rigs with 3-4oz spod-like open-ended feeder's instead of a standard lead. We had a huge bucket filled with a halibut ground-bait mix loaded with a variety of goodies like sweetcorn boiley's and mixed size pellets.After casting our traps the excitement and expectations where high as we sat back to drink a few cold ones.Two hours passed with bugger all signs of any fish but the sun was yet to go down and to be honest I'm a bit of an impatient angler at unnecessary  doubhs were ended as Moxy's spool started to melt and after a good scrap he landed a  lean common of 11lb  kick starting the session nicely.

My rods remained lifeless in the daylight but as darkness came I landed 4 bream to 9lb in quick succession I thought I was in for a real haul of bream but it went quiet for an hour before I was in again this time landing a stunning mirror of 19lb 8oz.

What a cracking start and it wasn't even midnight yet!,We whacked out another load of bait and sat back for around half an hour feeling rather chuffed then Moxy's rod belted over.Mox lifted into the fish and the bend in the rod signalled it was again a gudden.The fish bolted down stream like a bullet but with some steady pressure the fish turned but was far from done and ten minutes into the fight we had still not seen it.I was poncing round with the torch trying to catch a glimpse of the action whilst moxy had a very nervous look about him as he hung on.The fish eventually came close and I lit up the water with the torch light,our jaws dropped to the floor when we caught sight of a huge Barbel! Moxy's knees turned to jelly and we were both praying that he had a good hook-hold.Luckily we maneged to get the stubborn beast into the net.

The Barbel weighed in at 12lb 13oz and is a first of the species for him the jammy git.The session wasnt over as the night produced an 18lb common followed by a 17lb 2oz common at first light.The morning produced another few smaller carp and remarkably the same 19lb fish I caught at night ,this time falling to Moxy's trap which took the tally up to 7 carp 4 bream and 1 monster barbel.

Til next time

Good luck

Monday 9 July 2012


Hello to all

As you may know I am not what you call a fair weather fisherman. I am what you would call an addict,An angler that will venture out in all conditions in order to scratch his ever tingling itch.So the river is rising and falling like a yo yo at the moment and the banks are treacherous quagmires of mud.this does not make for the most safe and comfortable fishing but the fish themselves don't just disappear and life goes on for our finned friends so why would I not continue to fish for them?.... Answer; I don't!

I have been quite busy on the banks lately fishing both still and running water.

On a rather over cast and muggy evening I met up with Neil for a spot of  fishing on the river.The water was very coloured and it looked good for a fish or two. Neil kicked off the session by feeding half a pint of maggot and caster via a bait dropper.I fed a line upstream With a few feeder loads of bread mash and casters.For my hook-bait I had a small pinch of bread flake on a size 14 whilst Neil went slightly heavier with a maggot clip rig.After a while the Dace and Minnows were proving to be a bit of a nuisance, it looked like they were the only fish in our swim. However I did have a good whack on my quiver tip but I some how missed the bite. A change of plan was in order so we decided to top the swim up but change our hook baits over to 10mm Factor 7 boiley's from Splash baits making them dace proof. As the light faded The tip of Neils rod wrenched round as a fish bolted off in realisation of its mistake.Neil was quick to grab the rod and from the way the fish was fighting we both assumed he was into a small carp.We were proved terribly wrong when I slid the net under the biggest Chub I have seen in my life.

The moment was like when Neil landed a 28lb 12oz pike last October! We were both gob smacked and could hardly believe what lay there in front of us. At 6lb 4oz this could very well be a river record but frankly it doesn't matter,The Exe has very few specimen chub which makes this a truly remarkable capture.

The next evening I was back on the river bank,this time on a different stretch where I have been pre-baiting a swim with boiley and pellet. A fair bit of bait had been previously thrown in so I was pretty confident I would get my string pulled by something. I used simple bolt rig set-ups with double 15mm Meateor tipped with a 10mm Splash pop up. I flicked out two baits over the spot followed by a scattering of freebies.The sun was out and I contently sat down to watch the water whilst hoping a Carp would spring the trap.I was in a very chilled state watching a Great crested Grebe going about his business when the alarm signalled an absolute screamer of a take.I hit the run and the fish continued to strip line from the melting spool ,classic river carp behaviour which is standard issue when hooking one of these powerful fish. I eventually subdued  a beautiful mint condition 14lb 2oz Leather carp. A similar event occurred the next day when I returned to the river and landed another carp in the shape of a perfectly formed 14lb 6oz Common.

With Luck on my side and a free evening I decided to give Zyg a call at Angler's paradise to enquire about the recent angling pressure on the specimen catfish lake.They had not been fished for in days and surly would be hungry.Luck was again with me when he told me that the lake was empty and I could come and have it to myself....Perfect. Well ,not so perfect as a heavy storm had been predicted to last the whole night.Thankfully Neil is just as stupid as me and we both decided to ignore the extreme weather warning and rocked on down to see Mr Gregorek.

We entered reception greeted by a smiling Zyg.Ahhh u come looking for pussy he joked, Joking aside I told him just how much I wanted to tangle with a big cat. They most definitely are my bogey species and I have put allot of time and money into a so far giant cat-less campaign.I have caught a few low doubles and a couple of giant Sturgeon along the way but the big cats have always eluded me. As the blanks stack up, each session mounts more pressure on me than the last.

We set up camp and got the rods out oblivious to the fact that the sky behind us was threatening to smash some bivvy's and flood us and the other angler off the complex.A simple approach was made using running rigs and popped up 21mm halibut pellet hook-baits.After topping each spot up with a really oily mix of whole and chopped monster crab boileys and pellets a hasty retreat to the bivvy was made as the clouds emptied lashing of heavy rain down upon our humble camp.It was a real lock down situation with both doors of the bivvy zipped up to stop the howling wind and rain making life very uncomfortable.The scene was in the making for what would be an epic battle set on a dramatic stage of a raging storm. Darkness brought anticipation along with heavier wind and rain,We were cooped up in the tent laughing at the whole ordeal when the unthinkable happened.The receiver alerted me to some interest on the rod I had placed off the island,I smashed my way out the bivvy splashing through the boggy terrain to investigate.the bobbin began to rise as the line slowly peeled off the reel.

I nervously wound into the bite and swept the rod back over my shoulder twice which set the hook into what was clearly a monster.My 3.25tc rod was fully bent into submission,This was a proper zoo creature of a fish which led me into a number of swims as I could not do anything at all about it.The cat was taking me for a walk and its a bloody good thing that there was no one else on the lake as I would have surly wiped everybody's lines out. 15 minutes into the fight the fish was showing no signs of mercy, my arms were aching and my clothes were ringing wet-not to forget Neil who was also flapping around on the bank looking like he had walked through a car wash.We had not yet seen what I was playing as every time I thought the fish was near it would make a mockery of my heavily set clutch and bolt off again and again and again.The fight was going on for a long time and I was beginning to think the hook-link might go when the fish started to slow up, Neil sunk the net as I walked backwards nearly falling down the bank into the carp lake.I heaved the fish up and Neil didn't let me down.

Finally,I had done it,a beast of a cat lay there snorting at us on the sodden turf. Yes I was soaked through to  my under garments but I didn't care,The search was over.

47lb 8oz

Til next time

Be lucky

Tuesday 26 June 2012


Hello to all

The dream of us winning the European cup has once more ended due to the fact that England are cack! I could easily write multiple pages detailing my dispair of pretty much the entire squad, But I wont bore you with all the details so lets talk some fishing.

Rain rain and some more rain has been the forecast as of late which has seen our rivers assume winter-like conditions, running fast and thick with colour and debris. Actually, the words colour and debris are in fact a massive understatement; The water is like mud and I have witnessed actual trees flying down stream like Nordic longboats. Conditions like these can prove a bit daunting but with a bit of venue knowledge and adaptation one can still enjoy a bit of sport. By adaptation I meen stepping up your gear to tackle a large fish combined with the heavy flow in the event of a hook-up.(After all I wasn't going tiddler bashing was I? )

The session in talk was one of those" Oh sod it, I may as well give it a go" affairs which saw me jump in the motor late evening to grab an hour or two's carping before Dusk.I knew what conditions awaited me so I grabbed the relevant equipment to counter the swollen river. Here's a quick tackle breakdown-3.25lb tc rods, reels loaded with 20lb mainline,4oz leads and super strong hook-links made from 25lb coated braid. It may sound like I'm going Cat fishing but believe me river carp fight hard enough in normal water levels so for this occasion the heavy approach was necessity.

For hook baits I opted for some CCmoore Meateor boiley's which I had left to soak in the matching glug for around a month. I also nicked on a pva bag of crushed boiley's and again dipped the whole lot in the glug creating a highly attractive parcel which would leek scent into the murky water.Rods were fished barbel style with the tips sky bound to keep as much line as possible out of the rivers thundering flow. An hour passed when I began to think I was wasting my time, then out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of what looked like a carp rolling on the surface.With my revitalised optimism I waited for another half hour or so when out of the blue the tip hammered down lifting up the rod butt as the free spool span like the wheel of a Ferrari going flat out....Fish on!!! the first run was unstoppable with the fish using the current to its full advantage. 50 yards or so later the reel was smoking but with a fully compressed rod I managed to turn the fish.To make things even harder I now had a 6ft tree branch attached to line and I began to think this was a battle I would surly lose But I hung on for 15 minutes and eventually bundled a beast of a mirror into the net.

This 18lb warrior gave me one of the hardest fights of my angling career so far.River carp are truly amazing creatures, just look at the size of its tail and fins.

Til next time

Good luck yall

Monday 18 June 2012


Hello to all

At last! June the 16th has come and the river season begins. I have been looking forward to getting back to fishing running water for a long time. River fishing is most definitely my favourite form of angling and for a  while now myself and the boys have been trickling some bait into various spots on our local river Exe.
The idea behind this is to localise the fish and get them used to feeding on our bait prior to the 16th in the hopes of them being in residence when we return and are allowed to fish.

On the opening morning of the season I woke up late with a thick head after pissing it up a bit after England's miraculous win over Sweden. Surely old Woy won't start flippin Milner against the Ukraine after Wallcotts impact? But, with the general cretin-ology that is a credential of being an England manager, nothing would suprise me. On a positive whim, that Judas known as Rooney is off his ban now, lets hope he is on good form ay? Anyway enough of the footy and back to the fishing.
I phoned up Moxy to discover that him and Ty were already bank side and that he had captured his first fish of the season being a pike of around 14lbs. On that note I dragged myself down to the river, disgraceful I know but I really was feeling a bit slow that morning.

Due to all the rain we have had, the conditions of the water had slightly scuppered  plans to fish our pre- baited carp swims. The river was running fast and dirty and most of the day was spent walking around checking out various reaches of the river re-acquainting our selves with old mother Exe.
Even though I was fish-less it was good to be back on the river!

The next day I awoke early and clear headed; hungry to get a couple of carp rigs out on the river. I was greeted with slightly clearer, more gentle conditions to the previous day. Its amazing how quickly the water fines down on the Exe. A chalk stream it was not, but it was certainly a lot more favourable to present a bait in the flow without a ton of litter building up on the line.
And so it was. I flicked out a couple of traps into a nice spot that I had a hunch might be holding a fish or two. There was no tricky rigonomatory or fancy bits involved just a simple bolt set-up and a high attract hook-bait.

I threw a hand full of sweetcorn over each rig and settled down for all of two minutes before a full volume alarm let out a horribly pleasing screech scaring all the wildlife away and probably waking up half of Exeter. In the few seconds it took me to hit the run, the fish had taken a sprint of line and was heading straight towards one of the many snags it had to choose from in a bid to ruin my day. I disengaged the free spool and the rod assumed its full arc. My intuition was correct as I was into a decent fish that most certainly was no bream! I nervously played the fish in quite a tight area on a heavily set clutch, it took me a good five minutes of hanging on and praying the hook didn't pull before I convinced her to give up.When I finally bundled her into the net I was one happy and very relieved angler. I cut the line off and unhooked the fish in the net with no fuss at all.
I now needed a photographer and a set of scales. I stood in the water with the fish in the net for around 10 minutes before Dom and Neil arrived to take the photos and weigh the fish.

At 23lb 12oz I was very happy to have opened my river account. I must thank Dom and Neil for getting there so quickly so cheers boys.
Else where on the Exe Ty was in action testing out his home made garlic boileys. The afternoon was a different picture to the sunny morning I enjoyed but the capture off this PB 24lb 6oz common most definitely brightened up Ty's session.Great angling mate!

A great start to the season! lets hope that England kick on and the carp keep biting.

Til next time

Good luck

Wednesday 30 May 2012


Hello to all

I hope you all have been enjoying this spell of hot weather and catching plenty of nice fishes.I have once more  been in pursuit of them big ol catfish but again I suffered a fekin long blank, with all the options covered on three rods I didn't receive a single run in 2 days. Soul destroying stuff really after my previous cat trip also produced chuff all so yes I had a bit of a sulk.

I,m not about to burn all my cat gear and give up the chase but I really did need a distraction from all the serious session angling. I needed some no pressure fun fishing which to be perfectly honest is what our sport should be all about. As some of you may know the old spessy hunting game can be very cruel one indeed. Maximum efforts are all to often rewarded with nada, It can also be very expensive hobby but if I haven't already put you off I must say I do love it.

Me old mukka Dom Garnett suggested that I should try my hand at a bit of fly fishing.I should bring to your attention that Domanic has recently released his latest book- Fly fishing for course fish. Being a complete novice in the art of fluff chucking the book has been a real eye opener for me and it would seem that almost all of our course species can be tempted on the fly. For any angler looking for something fresh I would highly recommend the book.

My fly fishing adventure began on the beautiful Tiverton canal.The aim of the game was to try and catch my first fish ever on the fly. Dom soon spotted a pod of a few decent Rudd that were gliding around the salad looking like they up for a munch.With not much room for manoeuvre Dom made a ninja like cast seeing the fly land silently on the tail end of the small shoal.The fly was then slowly teased back when all of a sudden a fish swooped in and nailed it creating a lovely bend in the light rod we were using.This method of fishing is so visual making it very exciting stuff !.By the end of the day I had managed a perch and two small roach which I was more than happy with in fact I would say it was the perfect remedy to cure the spessy blues.

My next trip was again that of a fly fishing jaunt,This time me and Moxy were let loose to try and catch a few carp by presenting floating dog biscuits on the surface via the fly rod.We started of feeding a few mixers to see if anyone was home,We scattered a few patches around the lake before a corner started to show some life with a few fish tentatively inhaling the baits. Casting to the fish was a bit of a nightmare for a number of reasons. One being that myself and Mox are shit at fly fishing- the other being all the uncut vegetation surrounding the pretty pool we were fishing.

Moxy started off as we were sharing the one rod. He was casting to a group of fish around twenty yards away, After a few missed takes and tangles with all the bushes he was into a fish which bent the rod like it was made out of rubber.The reel was screaming as the culprit surged out into the middle of the pool. All the whilst Moxy was giggling in the manner of a school boy who's teacher had just farted.To some up the day we had a hoot and ended up tacking a few fish each on the fly tackle. As for the cats; I'm a gluten for punishment so I'm sure I'll have another crack soon ,Who knows I may even catch one?.

Til next time

Good luck