A New Season Awaits….

So welcome, one and all, and more importantly tight lines and wet nets for the coming season!

I am pleased to announce that beginning from the glorious 16th of June an observational study of rivers, streams and waterways we fish, will begin. The information will be collected from various sources and gathered together to form an assessment of our waterways as seen by us.

This is proudly supported by the BFW, Barbel Society, Barbel Fishing (Prince of the River), Angling Trust and the Enviroment Agency, as well as other social media sites. The aim of the study is to survey the condition of the waters and how healthy a habitat they presently are, for all water based life.

The details being collected are very straight forward and quick to record for you. They will consist of: Location, Time, Date, Type of Sighting. The sightings can vary from extra low levels, fish struggling, silted gravels, preditors ie) cormorant, otter, mink, crays etc. And please all positive signs you see, more fish than usual!! Preferably backed by pictures too.

This is purely an observational study to show everyone just how much we, as anglers – between us – on the banks every day and night, do actually witness. Please take the small amount of time it will take, to take part whenever possible.

Please remember – in an emergency – to call the Environment agency hotline first on ;0800 807060.

End Of Season Encounters!! Part Two..

Well this one has been a long time coming! I am sorry to those of you who have been checking in for my updates and found a blank page. I have been fairly (and squarely) tied-up for the last while with the imminent arrival of our baby, and then he has arrived, at 8lb not a bad weight!! But the house and all within have been well and truly taken up with gaga and googoo. A massive “WELL DONE” to my incredible wife who manages to juggle so much!
So here goes;
The next session I had was on the wild Wye and – with only a few days left of the season – a bite would be nice!! It was very tough going , but just before dark the bite arrived and a fish of 6lb ish was in the net after a very spirited campaign towards some underwater snags. The day had been a perfect Wye day and with a baby of around a pound to follow the last, two Barbel was the outcome.

Another Smile.

Another Smile.

Congratulations to my great mate Mark, on landing his Severn P.B just 2 days before the end of the season. It was a cracker, and no doubt, worth losing those leads for! Nice one mate, I still say I really am your lucky charm!!!

For my final trip of the season I was back on the Avon and trying for another bite and fight to finish the season with….I set off very early on the morning of the 14th Mar,

Sun up on the last day.

Sun up on the last day.

with the intention of going until lunchtime(ish). As the Dawn chorus was just beginning to head towards a crechendo my rod plunged under the surface of the clear river, and this could only be one fish….A fine specimen of 7.5lb.
Pleased with this fish on the dawn of the last day, I moved on to another swim and hardly waited a few minutes before the rod was doing the same dance to the birdsong! The next fish was slightly bigger and – as it turned out – my last of the season. The sun came up and burned brightly and lots of anglers started to arrive as I decied to call “time” on quite a challenging season.
I hope you all fared well, and had a pleasing end to your season too, and look forward to the coming season with great anticipation…..

My next diary entry (next week), will be all about my close season rambling and the new fish I have found, and of the Barbel Society meeting last week.

End Of Season Encounters!! Part One..

I decided to catch the river with temperatures rising and levels falling slighty. It was a late start after settling the house for bed, I decided to head. I would be on the river by a civilised(ish) time (all being well). But junction ’9′ was closed! So I diverted up to 8 and back down to 9 on the southbound side. Still I was fishing by around the “eta”, and tried a couple of swims before the “right one”. It was just below a swim that I knew fairly well.

After just 5 minutes or so, on the Special Spam, a good take and this fighting 9lb 4oz fish!

Fin bar

Fin bar

It had some war wounds and fin rot as shown here,13lb 9oz 003
Healed wounds..

Healed wounds..

so I applyed some Friars Balsam as recommended by no other than Ray Walton, and released it to fight another day!

I moved then, onto an area that has done well in the past for me. The river was pushing hard and I could just get down on the bank to cast. After a couple of fruitless cast’s – with big bow’s in the line – I landed a good cast. Holding the rod high it did not take long for an indication.

I thought the tapping bite may be a chub at first, then it took off like a barbel upstream. As it got level with me, it shot off hard and low like a “big barbel”, the fight had really begun. And when I thought that the fish was beat, it kept using the flow and it’s weight against me! Even on the last, I had the fish over the net, it was huge, as I laid the rod down to pull up the net the fish was out!! I grabbed the rod and 5 minutes more fighting ensued. Finally I managed to do what I thought only two people could do, and landed the giant!!

Season`s biggest!

Season`s biggest!

It weighed 13lb 9oz and made my season!13lb 9oz 009 I then lost a “log fish” on the downstream rod which hook pulled before I saw it. I think it was a carp. Or perhaps a foul hooked fish??

I slept in the car, and the next day had this nice 6lber before heading back for lunch!

One for breakfast.

One for breakfast.

Our Environment v Our Government??

Here is a link to a very interesting article which explains just how little regard there is for all things natural, when it comes to greed….. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/13/flooding-public-spending-britain-europe-policies-homes
This also goes a long way to explaining why – in recent years – the low levels of our rivers have been so low so fast, and probably why the habitat for all river life has become less sustainable.