Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 highlights

Well the year is almost over so I thought I would sum up my years fishing as I see it. The most enduring memory of 2011 for me is the number of new angling friendships that I have forged via the Salford friendly anglers in particular a certain Mike Duddy without whom I would not have caught several of my memorable captures from 2011. So I have to say thanks Mike not just for the information and advice but for the laughs and friendship on the bank I hope to spend many more banter/fish filled days on the bank showing you how to catch in 2012! :)

Well here are a few captures from this year that stick in my mind.

January this year I bagged this nice pike from the Irwell after losing a bigger fish the previous day but it was still a great start to the year


This was followed by a trip to the ribble on a bitterly cold day when thanks to Mike being as keen/mad as I am we stuck it out wading in ice cold water and I managed 2 firsts my first grayling followed by my first sea trout


Then it was spring on the quays with Mike and after a number of nice tench and bream this carp gave me one of my most memorable and scary fights ever on 5lb line in the quays seeing it head for every snag in the clear water!


Another memorable fish was this nice perch from a tiny manchester pond on another trip out with Mike.


Then it was another trip out that provided two firsts my first grass carp


And my first catfish


Although I didn't manage any very large fish this year there were countless days when plenty was caught and a great time was had. My new years resolution is to update this blog properly when I go fishing.

I have to say 2011 was a great year the Salford friendly anglers are a great bunch and the club is going from strength to strength. To see barbel stocked into the irwell was a privilege, thanks Ian.

Thanks again Mike for some superb days out and I look forward to 2012 being another exciting year for the club and myself.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Never say die!

Well today was another typical example of my recent pike fishing trips, no bites and horrendous weather conditions. All these factors combine to test the patience and willpower of the keenest angler. Just to set the scene here is a picture from my previous trip out piking with Chris to salford quays, a blank, the hailstone was a nice addition to the relentless rain and wind though!




Today's trip was to Rhodes lodges in middleton, a last minute choice of venue owing to the weather today. Its a venue I have previously taken many small pike out of on lures so I thought it may provide a few runs for Chris and myself how wrong was I!

I had 3 rods out on deads one on roach and the other two sardines and chris had 2 out too. No runs at all and I even chucked lures around to no avail. With a few few hours remaining I broke out my secret bait a small jack pike that I found recently dead which I had chucked in the freezer. Ougt it went on the ledger rod but still no interest.

As Chris was slowly starting to pack up, he isn't as keen/mad as me I rerigged the jack to wobble it as I have some success in the past using small jacks sink and draw style. a few casts later and the jack was snatched in the margins and a few moments later this 8lb 12oz fish graced my net, a skinny fish that should have been a low double but a good result for the never say die attitude!


And Chris was laughing at me when I cast my jack bait out!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Piking in the fog

Lately my brother, Chris, has expressed an interest in pursuing something larger than than the usual tench roach etc that have made up the bulk of his fishing since we both started around 20 years ago. Chris recently acquired some carp/pike gear, much shinier than my tat and expressed an interest in exploring these more specialised, yet no more difficult, aspects of fishing so with me as his sort of tutor, god help him, I started to formulate a plan for our first trip out in pursuit of pike.

Now I didn't want to sit on the canal wondering if the pike were still there or sit shoulder to shoulder on a water where I could almost guess what the next run would produce so after much research we settled on a large, 40 acre+ reservoir which was a bit of an unknown quantity yet I felt the scenery and expectation of a monster would more than make up for any lack of action. The scenery didn't disappoint, approaching the reservoir the scene was spectacular, a mill pond calm huge sheet of mist covered water bordered by steep rock faces, sheep and no anglers heaven. Forgive the quality of the pictures the mist hung around all day

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Swim selection was easy we plonked ourselves in the first bit of accessible water which still involved a long walk. The water was clearly down and the banks a little treacherous but out went a legered roach on one rod a legered sardine on the other, chris did the same and I had a third rod with a floatfished sardine set off bottom.

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No action for the first hour or so saw me start chucking lures around and after about half an hour I had a follow from a pike which raised hopes. Still not a bleep on the alarms for either of us saw me move my floatfished bait into the spot I had the follow in and a short time later I was rewarded with a jack of a few pounds forgive the fag

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The mist continued to roll in and out throughout the day causing intermittent white outs which gave the day a superb eery feel. Another hour or two passed and it was time for a move which was easier said than done due the the rocky banks and walk involved. Sweating 15 minutes later and settled in a new spot same tactics as before. Another hour passed biteless so I decided to wobble a deadbait for a while and after an hour or two of thrashing the water to a foam with a deadbait my persistence paid off with a very gentle take which resulted in a big fish powering off and the hooks pulling gutted! Chris meanwhile was still biteless but with his rodpod etc I think he may have been carp fishing!

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So that was that for the day. I bit of a baptism of fire for chris on the pike fishing front on a tough day. In hindsight I think our leger rigs were wrong for the depth of water we were fishing into 20ft+. The leads of 2 1/2oz just wouldn't hold bottom due to the angle on the line and I am sure the fish were picking up the baits and ejecting them due to the lead? Maybe a long paternoster lead below the bait next time? t least we had one interested spectator!

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One day I will work out how to post my pictures properly!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Ribble trip

It LIVES IT LIVES!!! Well it is / was recently halloween so it's time this once embryonic blog got the Dr frankenstein treatment!

The Salford friendly anglers contingent including myself (Non tackle tart paragon of truth top all round bloke), Mike Duddy (AKA fishing fiend/hans christian andersen), Dave (Meddy Man,Top bloke superb angler and someone id like to have by my side if trouble came my way!) and Chris (My Brother tackle tart the epitome of all the gear no idea!) descended upon the ribble. I suggested to Mike that after the kingfisher match was cancelled that a river trip was just the tonic (knowing Mikes knowledge of the ribble) Chris was well up for it. Mike soon got Dave on board too and we were off. All credit to mike

4 anglers arrived ready to go on the banks of the ribble and yet again it was a case of 3 proper looking fisherman and one scruffy hung over tramp like individual with inadequate gear etc, ME. The ribble in this area, which i have never visited before was slightly less rural than the sections Mike has taken me to before but the odd bit of bankside litter made me feel more at home on the walk to the area we would be fishing.

Mike ended up in the swim lowest downstream, then Chris, Then me and finally Dave at the uppermost swim of the four of us. I am not sure if it was the distance involved but I think the keener anglers walked furthest. Either that or it was another Mike Duddy, oh well all the swims are good I will just sit here in the hotspot before any of you lot do!

So before I alienate all my fishing buddys I will say it was a bite a chuck on the blockend feeder and maggot but it was far from a fish a chuck. Dace seem to have a habit of spinning off whilst being played despite several changes of hook pattern and numerous rig changes I struggled to stop the losses.

Meanwhile Mike managed to bag a big fin perfect roach amongst dace, dave was getting a fish a chuck and Chris was spinning some dubious story of how he had bagged up only for the tide to come in and all the fish residing in his keepnet swam to freedom hhmmmm!

The tide. I can look back thinking oh yes I have never fished a tidal stretch before but I had researched and read about it and was well prepared YET. I wasn't I only just got my gear on dry land it was so fast rising, top tip there be aware its fast, Chris and mike got away with it but Dave was caught out and some of his gear got wet.

In all a fantastic days fishing in superb company I finished the day with a few dozen cracking dace and 2 small chub. Most on the maggot feeder and a few on the waggler (should have switched to the waggler before I ran out of maggots maybe?)

Big thanks to Mike, Chris and Dave for their great company on the day

Sunday, 23 January 2011

First ever Grayling!

Big thanks to Mike as I had my first ever grayling thanks to his guidance and help. I shall post a proper report soon.