Wednesday 29 July 2009

It’s been a couple of weeks since the blog was updated but I haven’t been idle. Been working quite a lot but have still managed 2 overnighters on the Severn. I wasn’t planning on returning to this river until the autumn but with it carrying a couple of extra fee of water and being coloured I felt it was too good an opportunity to miss. Monday the 20th and I was on my way through the Worcestershire countryside, accompanied by my dad. I already knew which swim I was going to fish providing it was free with dad fishing 100yards downstream. Thankfully both swims were free and we started getting organised. Dad was set up with a single rod on elips pellets and pellet/groundbait feeder. I felt that this was the best approach for him to give him the maximum chance of catching several species.
For this visit I had decided to bring my 2 man JRC Quad bivvy, I usually use a storm shelter/brolly but with heavy rain forecast I wanted a bit of extra protection. Whoever said these things are easy to put up must have been joking I think. An hour of huffing and puffing and it was done.......................sort of. The groundsheet was a different shape to the bivvy but there was no way I was taking it down and starting again. That sorted and it was time to fish.
It wasn’t long before dad was into a few bream which kept him happy and busy. He then went one better and landed a barbel of about 6lbs, swiftly followed by another of about 8lbs. I was fishing a 2 rod set up with pellet/ groundbait feeder and 12mm boilies as hookbaits. It was 4 long hours before I had a bite but it resulted in my 1st double of the season off the Severn at 10lbs 10oz. I was quite possibly the strangest shaped and ugliest barbell I have ever caught. It had a severely ‘broken’ back with the head of a 12lber and tail of a 6lber, very strange. Fought like stink though and went back ok so obviously healthy. That was it for Monday and after a quiet night it was time for a breakfast of sausage and eggs (always tastes better cooked on the bank) washed down with a nice hot cup of tea. Sport was very sporadic throughout Tuesday. I landed a further 2 barbel and dad managed 2 more with us both getting amongst a few bream.
Mid afternoon came and it was time to go home so we could avoid the rush hour traffic. We had been bite less for a couple of hours when out of the blue my downstream rod tore off. Lifting into what was obviously a good fish I felt that horrible grating feeling. The fish had found a tree root and after 10 mins of trying everything I could think of the line parted. With the fish long gone the only consolation I could think of was that there wasn’t a barbell swimming round with one of my hooks in its mouth.

One week later and I find myself back on the banks of the Severn, alone this time. I decided to fish the same swim as the previous week as it had produced the goods last visit. The level had dropped but it still held some colour so I felt confident a few fish would grace my net. I started by balling 1kg vitalin, 1kg groundbait and 1kg 3mm pellets into my swim which had been doused with a liberal amount of CSL. I again fished a 2 rod set up on the same vein as the previous week. 1st cast and I landed a bream of about 7lbs. It was a full 12hours before I had another bite but at 2am the downstream rod hooped over and the alarm sang. I lifted into what was obviously a barbel and a few minutes later 8lbs of fish lay in my landing net. I would like to say that was one of many but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I did land one more barbel of about 6lbs and a couple of bream but with the fishing so slow and sporadic I thought it was time to give in and go home. My decision turned out to be the right one, as I was leaving I saw a friend and he fished through the night for 5 bream and it wasn’t until he had been fishing for 24 hours that he landed a barbel.

The Severn...................................quite possibly the moodiest river in the county but I shall be back there next week to try again.

Thanks for reading


Thursday 16 July 2009

Well we are now well into a typical English Summer, we have had the usual week of hot weather and now it’s onto the rain/sun/rain/sun weather that we are all used to at this time of year. The fishing continues to be consistent if not spectacular with me banking a few fish, nothing huge but nice to catch all the same as it keeps the confidence up. The past 8 days has seen me do 4 shortish sessions on the Warks Avon.
The 1st of these sessions saw me on the banks for about 7pm, fishing the feeder with lamprey mini mix sandwiched between ground bait and 12mm spiced liver and lamprey boilies as hookbait. I fished through till midnight and caught 6 chub of probably a 3lb average and 1 barbel of 6lbs. The following morning after a few household chores I felt that a few more fish could be had from the previous evenings swim. With the rod still made up and all my gear still in the car I was on the river and fishing in double quick time. Before long I was into the 1st fish of the day, a small chub of about 2lbs. This was followed by a further 3 chub and 1 barbel of 8lbs. Things went quiet early afternoon once the narrow boats got moving so having caught a few fish I packed up at 3 pm and went home.
Work then ensued for a few days but it wasn’t long before I was on the riverbank again. The Warks Avon was again the venue. It was originally going to be a small tributary of the Avon but after spending half an hour fighting through undergrowth to get 300 yards then finding myself 20 yards from the river with no way of fighting the brambles or nettles I tracked back and changed venues. I was on the river for late afternoon and again the method of attack was little and often with the feeder to try and build a swim up. I fished on until 11pm and managed to catch 2 barbel, 1 chub and 1 bream. Neither of the barbel were what you would call specimens but both had a good go of relieving me of my rod. The smaller of the 2 being only about 1.5lbs but managing to drag my rod into the river as I put my phone down, my only catching it as the reel hit my knee on its way into the water! The next morning my dad joined me for the day as he doesn’t fish very often. We got on the river for 6am but this time I decided to do things a little differently to try and attract the larger specimens. On arrival I baitdroppered 2 pints of hemp and 1 tin of corn into a margin swim along with a dozen hookbait samples of my chosen boilie. Whilst this was ‘getting to work’ I set my dad’s rod up for him. To give him a chance of catching a variety of species I set him up on a lighter rig that still had enough power in reserve to handle a barbel should he hook one. This involved a barbel quiver tip rod with 4oz insert, 8lb Fox soft steel mainline, 6lb Drennan double strength hooklength and size 12 hook with 2 small salmon Elips pellets as hookbaits, this was fished in conjunction with a pellet/ground bait feeder. This done I was ready to sort my rod out. Today’s rig consisted of a short 6 inch hooklength, semi fixed 2oz lead and a small backlead to pin it all down. At the business end I fished 12mm Spiced Liver and Lamprey boilie with a stringer of the same broken into pieces, the whole lot dunked into a sticky, smelly pot of barbel pro. Throughout the course of the day I managed 3 barbel of 4lbs, 5lbs and 6lbs and 1 chub, Dad had 1 barbel of 2lbs and 1 small chub, the bigger fish unfortunately eluding both of us. It was a thoroughly enjoyable days fishing though with a steady catch rate throughout the day. Back to work for the rest of the week now but the Teme is calling me for next week so hopefully I will come into contact with my 1st ‘Teme Tiger’.

Thanks for Reading,

Sunday 12 July 2009

The Season So Far 2009-2010

Due to the fact I was suffering from jet lag my season started on the 17th of June this year. After the enforced lay off for 3 months I was raring to go. I was due back at work on the 18th so a short evening session was all I had time for. I arrived on the banks of the Warwickshire Avon at 4:30pm to find the stretch surprisingly deserted giving me free range to choose my swim. In all honesty I knew which swim I was heading for, I was just hoping it was free.
I chose to fish 2 rods, 1 down the inside on a semi fixed lead set up, solid PVA bag filled with pellets and crushed boilies and back lead. The 2nd was set up with a free running ground bait/mini pellet feeder fished 2/3 way across the river. Choice of hook bait was Teme Severn boilie on the inside and pellet on the feeder. Plan of attack was to regularly cast the feeder to keep a trail of particles going in and to leave the inside rod till it went (if it did). It wasn’t long before a chub decided to do a good impression of a barbel by trying to drag the pellet rod in. Over the next hour or so a steady stream of chub fell to both rods before it went quiet for a while.
All of a sudden the inside rod burst into life and the bait runner sang, dis engaging the bait runner and I was into what felt like a very good fish but it was fighting in a very unfamiliar way. All was soon clear and new PB common carp of 16lb.01 oz was in the net. Rod was back out and before long it was away again this time things took on a familiar feel and my 1st barbel of the season was on the bank and at 10lbs 2oz my 1st double as well. Things were pretty hectic after this and over the next 2 hours I landed a further 3 barbel weighing 8lbs, 10lbs 4oz and 12lbs 12oz, a 10lb common carp and several more chub to 5lb 8oz.
All in all I finished the session with 13 x chub, 4 barbel and 2 carp. Every fish apart from a few chub came to Teme Severn Spiced Liver and Lamprey Boilies. The bait I used in the PVA bag was Lamprey Mini Mix, salmon elips of varying sizes and some crushed boilies which matched the hook bait.

The following week saw me make a trip to the Lower Severn on a private stretch I have been a member on for a year or so. Having had a few reports of it fishing very slowly I wasn’t expecting much. I arrived at 6am and chose a swim with depth of around 6 feet a rod length out, clear bottom on the edge of a crease. I had never fished this particular swim before but know people who have and it does produce. I spent an hour or so bait droppering some hemp and pellets in and then left the swim alone for a good 4 or 5 hours. In the meantime I set my rods up, tied rigs and got myself organised for the night ahead.
Late afternoon came and it was time to cast out, 1st cast and a snottie of about 6lbs was on the bank ‘oh no’ I thought this is the last thing I want. I had visions of me going home covered in slime and stinking, lol. Thankfully this never happened and unfortunately little else did either. I managed a few fish in the early hours of the morning, another bream a small chub and my 1st Severn barbel of the season of about 7lbs. Not a roaring success but not a blank also and considering a lot of people who had fished it blanked I did ok I think.

One week on and I’m back on the Severn again..... For my sins at 6am. It was forecast to be one of the hottest days of the year and they weren’t wrong. I spent some time locating a swim that hadn’t yet been fished, which involved a lot of hard work and bank clearing. Easy when you have the tools but all I had was a pair of ESP braid blades and a small pocket knife! Eventually the peg was clear and I could go about getting a bed of bait down. This took about 4 hours in all and by now the sun was beating down with some force and it was pretty hot. I decided to set up my shelter and retreat under it for a while. I ended up being sat under it for 7 hours! Eventually it cooled enough for me to feel like it was worth fishing. I was fishing 2 rods and both were fished very close in, 1 dropped right off the rod tip 8 inches from the bank. I had chosen to fish boilies again and both rods on the large solid PVA bags. The margins in this swim were about 8 feet deep but a crease hit the bank and went right under my feet so I felt the slightly faster water may hold a few fish. How wrong was I to be? I managed just one bite which resulted in a barbel of about 8lbs being banked. This was at about 10pm and I fished on for a further 12 hours without a single bleep coming from either alarm.
This particular venue was very good to me last season and I had some great catches on there. Unfortunately this season so far hasn’t hit those heights as I have had another overnighter there which resulted in not even a single bite (my Dad did manage to lose a near 20lb common carp at the net though). I never fished the Severn until the autumn last season and I think it will be September before I grace the banks at this particular venue again. I have other rivers to fish which don’t fish well in the colder months so will concentrate on them for the next few months.

Thanks for Reading,