The river season is upon us and fishermen across Britain will be looking forward to getting out there on the banks. For many years I would never fish still waters in the close season, but alas, I also have been sucked into filming then as it allows me to at least stockpile films for the future. If they brought the close season back I think it would be great. The fish get a rest, the banks, wildlife etc. and of course there is that build up to the date, when I used to be out pre-baiting a Tench swim in readiness for a bagging up session. All a thing of the past I’m afraid and never likely to come back. Particularly good Tench fishing which numerically does seem to be on the slide. So what have I been up to? There was a gap in the property work schedule and this coincided with the wife and daughter diving off for a short week touring Norfolk. I had done some touring of Norfolk before. But mine was in the winter hitting beaches like Trimingham and Waxham with Lugworm for shore Cod. So with both females out of the way I made a hasty call down at Angler’s Paradise in Devon, where Zyg Gregorek has an enormous complex of lakes and chalet accommodation. I had not been there for a couple of years and could see a marked change in some of the swims. The lilies, well I don’t know exactly what species they are as they are sort of long, but they had flourished, together with vast shoals of small Golden Rudd. The latter meant soft baits were out of the question as they were destroyed in minutes, and not being a boilie fan I opted for the good old floating crust as there were no Geese or Ducks. It was hot, bright and a bit tough, but even so I managed to get among the fish and after putting in some long hours, and returned home with no less than FOUR FILMS….in just 2 full and 2 half day sessions. There are not many places you could go and do that. Then there is the therapy factor. It is so peaceful and quiet there, with manicured bankside, ease of access and sheltered lakes it was heaven indeed. You tend to notice it more when filming. Chain saws, cars, planes, motorbikes, just general noise that all registers on the audio range on the camera. There were some Carp and Catfish caught while I was there but I never got to see them, though one big Cat did roll right in front of me. I watched the type of bubbles it left as it moved over the lake bed and they were different to carp bubbles, so something useful learnt there. So if you fancy a session in Devon give Zyg a call or check their Angler’s Paradise website.
Also had a trip fly-fishing over at Surrey’s Frensham Trout Fishery. Again, beautiful peaceful surroundings and some free-biting Rainbow trout that tend to take well even in hot weather as there are so many shady areas and the water moves through the lakes keeping them cool. I had missed the best of the Mayfly action, but with so many trees and bushes (beware the long back cast!) there are always plenty of terrestrials falling in the water. I watched a small wild Brownie take a Bumble Bee that was vibrating on the surface.
Another short session was at Watmore Fishery, which is quite deep and while other waters slow up in the summer heat, Watmore can still produce due to the deeper, and cooler, water. I noted they are starting to come in really close now and had 6 Carp in an afternoon fishing virtually under my rod top. I don’t think it matters which swim you fish. I am sure the Carp move round in groups as you can see anglers hook into a couple of fish, then anglers further round the lake hook up. Maybe they just do an entire circuit of the lake. Again, Watmore is just regular day ticket water, and from now until October they should be on the bite pretty well.
As for the films. Dave Roberts, of Bury Hill Fisheries did me a talk on How to hook a Caster for bait. Anyone with a target of finicky Roach would do well to watch it. Highlight of the film was when I wound my float rod in close, but left it dangling in the water. Halfway through one take the rod almost gets dragged in the water. Just a reminder to always keep the reel drag set light. It was a Carp, and Dave filmed me catching it, with a running commentary, from start to finish. I had also taken a day filming there for my “Carp on Garden peas” film.
The sea fishing will soon be in our camera crosshairs. In fact I was scheduled to catch a big shark in another country but just couldn’t get the transfers organised in time. It seemed the powers that be need to have a boardroom meeting just to decide how many sugars to put in a cup of tea. The problem with modern corporate life today is that fewer people are prepared to take decisions in case they get something wrong. I guess they are desperate to keep their jobs and it’s better to have everyone agree rather than have any pioneering employee who really does have some fire in his belly and can get things done. Still, another date has been organised but I feel the boardroom/meeting mentality will again rear its head.
Our numbers still tick inexorably towards the 100,000 subscriber mark, and anyone who follows us on Facebook will have seen that we have just passed an incredible 20 MILLION VIEWS!!…Now that really is an amazing number when you think there are just two of us doing it in our spare time…SPARE TIME?? What’s that?? Oh yeah, did I mention Avon Springs Trout Fishery????. It is a two-lake clear water complex down near Stonehenge where you can get some quality day ticket trout fishing. Fly fishing in great surroundings, as I pulled into the car park I could see a rod bent, and in the half hour it took me to set up the opening camera shot there were big Rainbow Trout coming out all over the place. You can get variations of tickets down there, and it is the sort of venue where you can drop in for a half day to suit whatever session you want. Possibly morning will see fish coming out on nymphs, then in the afternoon you are more likely to get some dry fly activity. It has parking, toilet facilities and I have to say the Rainbows scrap really well, especially some that they keep in a sort of raceway stewpond, where constant flow keeps those trout in tip-top condition. Check out the Avon Springs website. It might be somewhere else for you to try if you haven’t been there yet.
I hear from Wayne that there has been a Thresher seen jumping really close inshore in the Eastern Wight area. By all accounts it was upwards of 120lbs, and in an area that I have always anchored for bottom species yet run a Thresher line out. So I wasn’t in the wrong place. Just maybe at the time. However, that might soon be rectified as Wayne has finally completed his new build luxury, belt-and-braces 17 foot Wilson Flyer that has just had its test run in the water. By all accounts its running smoothly, so any Thresher in the Wight area had better be on its guard as Wayne is going to be out there looking for it. Proposed trips will also be planned for down at Falmouth. I personally fancy a multi-small-boat assault down there, to see if we can finally get the elusive Mako shark out of the way in a small 17 footer. The Wilson Flyers have now had big Porbeagles and monster Thresher shark, so there is only the Mako shark to go. Just how close you need to get to one in a 17-footer remains to be seen. So everything to play for over the coming few months. For myself I have had some really consistent freshwater fishing. It has not been easy, but all the hunches of what to target and when have so far paid off. So whatever species you intend to target, good luck, and may the weather Gods be with you. In true WICKED TUNA style, every time you land a fish you should shout..”PA-POW!!!”…..
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