Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Still Fishing - Just!

A bit of a barren year on the blog post front, which largely mirrors my angling year.

Life took on a different meaning for me in April, following the birth of my daughter. Despite having the usual best of angling intentions and a good handful of club / syndicate tickets, the fish rarely got a look in during 2019.

I've been limited to snatching short sessions whenever the going at home has been good. A far cry from being able to throw myself into decent length sessions pretty much every week. I'm not complaining though - family wellbeing  is now the priority - but I've sure missed my regular dose of piscatorial therapy.

That said, what a miserable run of wet weather we've had in the last quarter of the year. All too frequently my short sessions have coincided with the rivers being badly our of sorts. I've even resorted to the odd stillwater, which had little impact on my success.

A run of 7 blanks stretching back almost 3 months was endured at the peak of my misfortune and only ended with my final session of the year.

Amongst the limited offerings I've had, there were occasional highlights with a couple of pb's.

A completely unexpected specimen canal silver bream that was actually my first post baby capture in May. It went 2lb 8oz and the sheer scale of it didn't really hit me until I started discussing it with others afterwards. I just wish I'd taken some  better shots of it now.

The other highlight was finally breaking into double figures with an Anker bream of 10lb 2oz, taken on stick float and centrepin in June. Again I didn't do it justice with the self takes and a mat shot will have to do.

2020 will hopefully see me hitting the bank a little more often again and I'll duly follow with a few more blog posts.

Tight lines all.

Thursday, 31 January 2019


I'll summarise the month with a 4-3-2-1 countdown:

4 sessions - all pretty short. A case of grabbing what I could when the opportunity arose.

3 blanks - two chasing chub, one after predators. Let's move on swiftly.

2 venues - both on the Anker.

1 bite - but a personal best!

After years of figuring that I'd eventually drop lucky with a Warwickshire Avon five pound chub, my pb was refusing to budge above 4lb 5oz. I'd pushed it close with an Anker fish earlier in the season and much bigger fish (in the 6-7lb range) are in residence.

I didn't strike gold with a 6, or even silver with a 5. I had to settle for a close third with a clean well fed fish of 4lb 12oz. I'd like to say it was down to a perfectly executed plan, but it would be stretching the truth a little.

I'd fed my three preferred swims with liquidised bread, but I then fancied a quick look at one of the deeper downstream pegs before putting a bait into them. I offloaded my gear at the end peg, but when I tried to settle in, I wasn't happy. It was a lethal mudfest at the business end. I didn't want to risk a ducking.

I moved to a different peg further upstream that I hadn't fed. I cast two big pieces of flake across the river, more in hope than anything. I was amazed to get a quick tap on the right hand rod and more surprised when the tip pulled steadily around. That was the only bite of the session - and from a peg I could easily have overlooked. The baited pegs were barren.

The season's end draws ever closer. Soberingly, I'm probably down to just a handful of opportunities left. Let's hope the weather doesn't curtail it further. While I have plenty to do at home in preparation of a new arrival, I'd rather not be confined to enforced decorating duties.

Finally, it was nice to bump into Lee from This Angling Life (ex blogger  / now Facebook). during one of the sessions. I never knew we were members of the same club! Looks like he had a nice perch of 2lb 11oz (amongst other fish)  while I was slumbering. Nice one Lee!