Quick review of my season so far……..

Well I thought it was about time, I updated you what I have been up to since I last updated the site.

To be honest, I haven’t been out much due to time and the unusually hot summer we had.

I just cannot sit by a river or fen drain in 30/35 degree heat, and when I have been out the fishing has been really slow.

However, I have been doing a lot short evening sessions, and have had a few Bream and the usual skimmers and roach. Most of my success has been on the Great Ouse, which over the last couple of years, has been very consistent for me.

A lot of good sized perch have been coming out, along with some specimen Bream and Roach.

Summers evening on the Great Ouse

Typical Great Ouse bream.

I have also had a couple of sessions on the River Cam after some summer chub.

This has also been extremely hard, and I have not yet caught a summer specimen yet. I am planning to visit again, before the water temperatures drop, to see if I can catch one.

One of my favourite spots on the lovely River Cam. Always seems to do better in the winter months, which is when I usually go after these species.

However when I have gone after chub, these little fellas always seem to enjoy my spam baits. I have had two of these lovely specimens so far. I am looking at going for some bigger specimens in this area, during the winter months.

Perfect freshwater killing machine in miniature.

I have also been after the elusive ‘Barbel’.

Some of you may say “Now where would you find Barbel in the fens?

Well, I am fortunate enough to be located not too far from the middle reaches of the Great Ouse. In this part, there are some gorgeous weir pools, which hold some lovely chub and perch.

However, one particular weir pool, near where my father in law lives, holds a small head of barbel. Some of which can get to the 10ib mark, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there may be the odd one or two bigger specimens lurking in the depths.

One of my favourite weir pools on the Middle Great Ouse.I have fished this weir pool a few times over recent years and done very well.

On the my last two recent visits, I have caught barbel during the day and night, and they are slowly getting bigger, which is fantastic. The fight from them, despite there size is fantastic!

I am going to have a few more sessions on this particular weir pool, just to try and winkle out, one of the larger specimens.

Very elusive local weir pool barbel. Cracking example of the ‘Prince Of The River’ in miniature

The barbel I have caught, have all taken luncheon meat baits, which is my all round favourite summer baits.

Fenland Predators

Now the temperatures are getting cooler, and Autumn is on our doorstep, I am now beginning to think about going after the Zander and Pike.

Over the last few years , the predator fishing has been extremely difficult in the fens, due to various reasons. I was only able to get one double figure pike last year, which I had from the twenty foot drain, despite regular sessions, but there are still plenty of jacks in the drains.

I am planning to visit a couple of new drains and rivers I have discovered, to try and winkle a few more doubles out.

The good news is, plenty of doubles have been showing to lures recently from various rivers and drains, so I have been told,  and I have seen some beauties in the margins, whilst on the bank, so it could be a better season this year.

I certainly will be out a lot more.

My only double from last season. Hopefully this coming season will be more successful!

 

The ‘elusive’ Fenland Zander

As I said the pike fishing was hard last year for me, but the Zander fishing was really successful. I tried two new venues, and both produced for me each time.

I was very happy with these two fish, as not seen or had any for nearly three years, and these are just a couple of the ones I had last season.

I also had one from the Middle Level, which itself has struggled especially with the zander fishing, and I have recently discovered that one was caught from the Level, a couple of days back on sweetcorn, by a couple of bream anglers. I am due to head back to the Level for my first Zed session of the season, in the next few weeks, so watch this space!

Although no double figure fish were caught by me, it was great to catch them again, as they have been really hard to track down over recent years. I am intending to visit these venues again during the coming season, to try and track down the larger specimens.

I think this proves, that the Zander are still around, you just need to put in the extra work to find them.

Anyway that’s all for now from me.

Tight Lines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The wait is over… The rivers are open!

Hope everyone has had a good start to the season.  I was not able to get out on the first day, but was able to get out twice last week.

My first session was on the Old West river. Just a short evening session after work. I arrived to a lovely and calm river, fish topping  everywhere and spotted a few bream rolling.

After seeing this, I decided to use the feeder rod approach. I was getting loads of rudd and skimmers, then just as darkness fell, I was getting into the bream. I managed a couple of bream, and still was getting bites, but unfortunately I had to go.

Tiredness got the better of me!

Will be back again soon!

Biggest of the two Old West Bream

First session on the Ely Ouse

Dawn on the Ely Ouse

Arrived at the crack of dawn to a lovely mist covered river. Plenty of fish topping so was looking good. Setup my usual feeder rod and baited up the swim. Bites from the off. Packed up lunch time and was happy with a mixed bag of skimmers,roach and perch. Great fun and will be back soon.

Going after the tench on a fenland drain one evening this week.

Keep an eye on my catch reports!

 

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Pre Season Madness on Roswell Pits

Since my last visit to Roswell pits, I have been fishing it most weeks and been very successful. The thing I love about this lake, is that you have all sorts of fishing available to you.

From deep reed fringed, gulley’s and overhangs perfect for predators like Zander and Pike and bream at one end.

Then to perfect lily beds and channels around islands at the other end. Perfect for all the summer species.

As you can guess, I spent most of my time after tench and bream, but in particular the very large Rudd that lurk the depths. As you saw in my last post, I was fortunate enough to get a brace of two stunning rudd, which got me hooked, catching these bars of gold.

So how did I do?

As I have fished Roswell all the way through the close season, I was starting to learn where the fish hang out. I was noticing the big bream tended to show in the deeper end of the pit, and had some beauties, as you can see below.

As for the rudd, I deliberately waited until the lily bed started to show and the water temperatures started to rise. before I had a go after them.

I had a walk round the lake most evenings, and was seeing some very large fish topping around the lily beds, and they all seemed to be around an hour or so before darkness.

I returned with the feeder rod, and was getting them, but was being pestered by Bream. Great fun but not my intended species. So I decided to change tactics.

On my last visit, I left my feeder rod at home, and took my float rod instead, armed with a couple tins of sweetcorn. I arrived a couple of hours before darkness, and there they were right on que, topping around the lily beds.

I setup the float rod with a waggler setup and hair rigged corn on a size 12 hook, and set the depth, just a couple of foot below the surface. I was also throwing a few kernels of corn around the float for each cast.

After about half an hour, I could see fish rising in the swim and was into my first fish, not the intended target species, but a nice bream. I kept at it, and was starting to pick up a few more bream, and then the rudd started to show.

It was constant, then it started to slow down. They were all caught just off the lily beds.

When it started to slow down, I then baited up another swim to the left of me.

It was a gorgeous looking swim, with a lovely clear patch, amongst a semi circle of lily’s.

I scattered a few kernels of corn around the float as usual, then I saw something rather large, swirl on the surface. With a sense of anticipation I cast the float near where the fish surfaced and waited patiently for half an hour, sprinkling corn around the float,  then the float slowly sailed beneath the surface. I struck into the fish, and it was racing all over the place.

When it hit the surface, I thought it was a bream, but then it dived below the surface and I saw the red fins. I was stunned, it was my intended species.

I kept calm and netted the fish. Shaking at what I was in my net, I called my mates over, as I wanted them to see this fish.

They came over and were stunned. We weighed the fish, It was a lovely 2ib 80z Rudd, just short of my PB, and my first from Roswell.

After a few photos, we returned the beauty back into the depths.

2ib 8oz of pure gold.

Many thanks to Paul Sumption  and Dave Flynn for helping me get the best photo.

(My self takes have been very bad recently!) lol

This was my last visit to Roswell, as now starting to focus on the rivers and drains, but definitely will be back for another go after these beauties.

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Saturday April 28th – Roswell Pits

Had a lovely day at Roswell pits today. Check out my first ever video diary below

Hope you enjoyed the video diary. I am going to do some tweaks with the videos as I gain more experience, so keep an eye on the website.

Overall it was a cracking days fishing and looking forward to returning soon.

Highlight of the day for me, was a brace of rudd, Biggest 2ib!

 

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Another river season comes to an end for me….

Well I booked three days of work and decided to go on a few pike sessions out in the Fens, as not had a proper go for them since January.

The drains I fished were,  The Middle Level, Forty Foot and a local land drain.

These sessions were very disappointing, but I was able to manage a lovely jack pike from the forty foot.  Everywhere else,  I blanked.

It didn’t help as we had just got over the “Beast From The East” winter snap, and the drains were not in the best form. If it wasn’t the snow melt, it was the heavy rain. They were pumping very hard and very coloured.

After speaking to a few anglers, I was happy to know, I was not the only one who was struggling!

Anyway, overall I had a great season, and managed to smash my Catfish pb, which was a highlight, as well as experiencing a fantastic red letter day tench fishing on the forty foot, on the first day of the season.

I have a couple more zander sessions on a still water to come, before I hang up the predator rods for a while, so keep an eye on my website.

As from April, I will be bringing out the beachcasters I have, for a spot of sea fishing.

Then as from June 16th, I will be digging out the feeder rods and be back on the drains and rivers, after the bream and tench.

In the meantime, keep an eye on my website, as I will no doubt be fishing a few still waters and commercials between May and June.

Tight lines to everyone!

 

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Sunday March 4th – Final River Cam Winter Chub Session

After my last Chub session, I had a text from a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for a long time. He saw my success from the last session, and fancied a go himself, so off we went.

We arrived at dawn, and started off in my favourite spot of the stretch. Within minutes of my first cast, I had a lovely pull down on the rod and hooked into a lump. It scrapped for a bit, and then the hook pulled out. Was gutted.

We gave it a bit longer, but it had gone dead. We then decided to move the next swim.

We had baited up the area and cast the rods out. My friend rod tip hooped round, and he struck into something, then there was an almighty crack and he had succeeded in breaking his rod! Looking a bit red faced, he brought the rod in (Now in two halves) and a lovely chub around 2ib was on the end. Lovely fish, if a bit expensive for him!

We had a couple more takes, but missed them. We tried a few more swims, but blanked. We gave it a couple more hours, then moved back to the swim we started off in, as given it a chance to rest after missing the fish earlier. I chucked a few cheese paste samples out, and cast out the rod.  I had a couple of taps on the tip, the rod hooped round. I struck into the fish and was finally in. A fish just over 2ib.

After the rod breaking on him earlier, he was able to do a temporary fix and cast back out (With the aid of sellotape!) but it was starting to break apart again, so he headed home.

I carried on fishing, but moved to another location on the stretch, where I have been very successful.

After arriving at the spot, I chucked out some lumps of cheese paste and cast the rod out. After about twenty minutes I had a couple of timid taps on the tip, then it hooped round. I struck down into the fish, and was in. Weighed it, and it was just over 3ib.

It was a lovely clean fish aswell. I threw some more cheese paste out, and within ten minutes of recasting, I was into my second fish.

Not as big as the first one, but it still was a pristine fish.

Overall it was a cracking days fishing, and great to get two fish from the same swim, even better straight after the snow melt.

Will be back again with luncheon meat in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday February 25th – The Arthur Rank Hospice Predator Cup Charity Match.

Poster A4 v2266

It was fantastic to be doing this again, but no fish for me.

Click on the link below, to get a report of the days fishing.

//www.arhc.org.uk/news-item.asp?$=1212&o=1

Tight Lines!

 

 

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Sunday February 11th – First Winter Chub Session On The River Cam.

Well, I have been seeing a few nice chub coming out the River Cam over the last few weeks, so fancied a bit of the action on my favourite stretch of the river. I invited another angling friend of mine, who has never fished this stretch of the River Cam before, who jumped at the chance.

I picked him up, just after 7am, and we got to the river just after half past seven.

On arrival the river looked perfect.  Lovely colour in it, and a slight breeze blowing.  I set the rod, and baited up with cheese paste.

Before I cast out, I chucked a few cubes of paste out and left it for a ten minutes, then cast the leger setup out.

Within minutes, the rod hooped round and I was into my first fish, I felt it kick, then the line went slack. The 4.4ib hook length had snapped at the knot.

After this mishap, I changed to a straight through setup, using 6ib line with a size 8 wide gape hook. I had no more bites in this swim, but my mate had a knock, but missed it. I tried a second swim, but nothing else.

We worked our way along the river as the day want on, but the conditions were getting harder. The wind speed increased, and made it more difficult to cast out and tell whether bites were genuine or not, due to the tips bouncing about, then there was a sharp snow and hail shower, which didn’t help, but we kept going.

Around lunchtime, things started to improve, the wind dropped slightly and my mate was into his first fish. A lovely little jack pike on his lure rod.

In the final couple of hours I lost a second fish. It succeeded in biting through the line. I am thinking it may of been a eel, or even a rogue pike. Gutted at losing the second fish of the day, I was beginning to get frustrated and wondering where I was going wrong, but i stuck with the methods I was using.

The last hour of daylight, I had a couple of nice knocks on the rod, then it looped round and I struck into a fish.

Determined not to lose it, I eventually netted it.

A lovely, plump, chub graced the net. After a couple of photos, and releasing the fish back into the depths, I recast and was into my second fish within minutes, but it dropped the hook.

After losing this fish, the swim went dead and the daylight was slowly disappearing, so reluctantly we headed back to the car.

The only chub of the day, but was worth it!

Overall it was a very hard days fishing, but was worth it.

Will be heading back in March, for another go.

 

 

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Tuesday February 6th – Ely Ouse (Town Centre)

Not used my feeder rod, for a while so dug it out of the shed and had a go after the roach and skimmers that shoal up regularly in this stretch, this time of year.

I met a mate down there around 9am, and we both had a chat and setup the kit. Fishing started around 10am.

The conditions were very hard. Very cold to the point it was in the minuses, and the sun was quite bright aswell. We were getting bites, but they were very finicky.

It was great to catch up with my friend, but the fishing wasn’t the best. I only managed two roach and my mate  had a few more.

Will hopefully get back for another session, before the season ends.

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Thursday 25th January – Red Letter ‘Evening’ on a Fenland Drain!

I am lucky enough to get out fishing one evening week, and as you know this time of year I use this time to target the zander.

I had text from a friend, who fancied a session, and of course I obliged.

We had intended to give Well Creek a go, but on this occasion we decided to change our plans and visit the Middle Level.

We chose an area which was very close to my friends heart. He lost his father last year, and this particular area, was one of his favourite spots.

We arrived just after six, and the conditions were perfect. Slight breeze, and not too cold. My friend had three rods and I had two.

We were there just over an hour, then my friends buzzer, on the right hand rod broke the fenland silence with a couple of beeps, then a screaming run. He picked the rod up and struck into the fish.

After a few minutes and battling with the fish, and almost losing it in the reeds, a lovely pike broke the surface and graced the net.

As soon as I picked the fish up, I had a feeling it was an upper double or maybe a twenty.

After getting stuck in the mud, and almost losing a boot, I scrambled up the bank and helped my friend unhook the fish, we took some photos and weighed it.

My inclinations were right, and it was 20ib on the nose!

As you can imagine, my friend was over the moon, and it was his first twenty from the level and in the night. After releasing the fish, we simply had to have a celebratory brew!

Beautifully marked fenland twenty.

After about half an hour and settling down after the excitement of the pike, my left hand rod beeped once. At first I thought it was a bit of weed, then a couple of minutes it beeped not once, but twice.  On the second beep, I clambered down the bank and struck into the fish.

At first I thought it was a jack pike, but my friend was standing next to me, with the net and saw it roll.

He then shouted ‘It’s a zed!’ at this point I could feel the excitement bursting to come out of me, as this could be the first zed I have had from the level, for quite a few years.

I kept calm and played the fish into the net. As soon as the fish was in the net, I said ‘You are right it is a zed!’ and that’s when the excitement came out of me.

We both cheered and high fived each other. It was a lovely feeling, to see one of these now rather elusive fish come out of the level . We were both buzzing.

Not only had we had a caught lovely pike, we also caught a gorgeous zed aswell in the same night, and from a very hard drain. These sessions are quite rare these days!

After taking some photos, we released the Zed back into the depths, put the kettle on and reminisced on our success.

Lovely 7ib 12oz Zander

These two were the only fish we had, but it was by far the best fenland evening session I have had for a very long time, and in great company.

We most definitely will be back here very, very soon!

 

 

 

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