Last week saw me heading down to Somerset for our annual family excursion. Although both me and my brother need little excuse to head down to that part of the country, it's something we've done every year to give my parents a week away. Numbers were unfortunately depleted this year due to my dad suffering a stroke last year and he was unfit to travel this time around.
I managed to fit in 4 short sessions during the week and I'll be posting some reports over the next couple of days - it will take me a while to catch up!
The Somerset levels are where I first began to fish as a kid on holiday over 30 years ago. It's an area that just grabbed me all those years ago and I've never lost the enthusiasm for it. For anyone who fancies peaceful river/drain fishing - and I mean really peaceful - then it has so much to offer.
Miles and miles of rivers and drains, with endless numbers of pegs, plenty of fish and hardly another angler in sight - and we're in the middle of the holiday season! During my 4 sessions I saw just 1 other angler and it wasn't as though I fished remote areas. Every peg I fished was within 100 yards of my car.
Session 1 was on the Sunday and I headed for the River Brue at Merry Lane, East Huntspill. It's one of the smaller rivers in the area and I knew of a field owned by a local farmer where you can drive behind your peg. It's only a short field with no more than 7 pegs fishable and the river is about the width of the average canal, but about twice the depth.
On arrival I was shocked to see that the farmer had applied a 100% price hike. Is there no end to the money grabbing in today's recession hit society? I had to dig deep and find an extra pound now! He used to charge just £1 a day, but now it's £2. It's an absolute steal and I'd more than happily cough up a fiver.
I set up a stick float and was happy to while away a couple of hours catching bits on a lightish maggot set up. Things went to plan as I caught a small Perch and what I believe to be small Silver Bream in the first 2 runs down. I'm not an expert on the latter and it's only from reading some of Jeff's (Idler's Quest) posts on them, that I've started to keep a watchful eye for them. I must have caught them in the past and just classed them as small Bronze Bream. What I caught, definitely had the distinctive large eye and I had several more during the session.
Anyway, the 3rd trot through saw me connect with a lump and I had right old scrap on my hands with 2.5lb bottom to a size 18. It was an odd fight and when I eventually got see what it was, I realised it was a Bream. Why was it fighting like a demon though? Another couple of minutes of battling away and I discovered the answer - it was foul hooked. I got top side of it though and it went 4lb 11oz.
No more Bream showed up, but I went on to catch plenty of various other species including Dace, Roach, Rudd, Gudgeon and Hybrids, albeit of no great size. I did catch one other better stamp fish - a Perch of 1lb 5oz.
I didn't have my camera with me for this session, but my brother (Kev) did pay me a visit late on in the session. He took a few photos for me and was on hand when I caught the Perch. I'll post some photos when he sends them over to me.
Edit - photo of Perch now added. Sorry about the weed - the swim was full of it and loads of it ended up in the landing net.