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