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