I need to get this E-News done as …..I want to get back out fishing!! With the winds putting any potential boat trips on the back burner I opted to draw on 50 years of being an all-round angler and concentrate on short freshwater sessions, hoping to go with gut feelings that have stood me in good stead for so many years. I thought my epic Garden Peas session of 16 Carp was my highlight of the summer so far, but an afternoon trip to Finch Farm soon put that into perspective. It’s just a regular, small, day ticket water but has been very consistent for me. It’s not a bad drive at just over half an hour, so I can usually get any jobs done in the morning and turn up there around 1pm. People might think I have the life of riley fishing and filming, but I’m certainly not one of those who have the luxury of sitting by all the top private, club or syndicated waters holding vast numbers of big fish. So I can sympathise with all you people who have to hold a job down, yet still yearn for the few hours you can squeeze in to do the sport you love. Often you have to take the fishing day whenever you have time, weather or not, and talking of weather, don’t ever go fishing with my son Mike. Being a teacher you would think he has all the time in the world to choose a fishing trip. But he is something of a Jonah. Every time we plan a trip (usually a Saturday) something bizarre happens with the weather forecast!! I have the option of doing the jobs around when I think a weather slot will be, and will double up extra hard when I think I will get the best shot. It might only be a half day, but it really has paid off for me at several spots. So here’s my breakdown.
One of the best catch and release trout fisheries has to be Frensham in Surrey, and I have been successful there on several p.m. trips, small flies, but don’t be afraid to mix it up and try a few fast retrieves. Check with owner Richard Twite to see what flies he thinks might be best. I have yet to hit the big Trout waters of Avington or Dever Springs, and as I would want to target a bigger fish any weed blooms would be a problem. Luckily (!!??) we have had no hot weather yet so the lakes can still be clear for spotting fish. I took a run down to Avon Springs again, and tried the river on a day that was less than favourable as the weed was piling down from upstream weed cuts. This is done at specified times of the year so that keepers can push the weed rafts from one section to another, and get it through the entire river system in the shortest time. Aside from spending far too much time targeting a big Brown with a fast sinking nymph, I had to go over to the smaller lake, where I picked up just one Rainbow on one of Sid Knight’s Pearly Damsels. I saw very few, then after three hours, the low pressure came in, the rain started, and in just ten minutes, standing in the same area I had been blanking, I hit three nice Rainbows in short order on a size 10 WAEF (When All Else Fails).They hit on a fast retrieve….so what on earth was the switch that flicked them into feeding mode? …Was it the low pressure, or was it the rain breaking up the surface? After half a century of fishing I still can’t work it out, but it just goes to show that persistence can pay dividends, even if I did get soaking wet when every other angler had called it a day.
I had another trip to Watmore, which is deep so always retains some consistency of catches, and this time targeted Roach on the float, with a segment of fruit. Can’t say which until the film comes out as we know some bright sparks(s) will just rip the idea off and copy us. It was successful, and I learned quite a bit on what Roach will take, and how I adapted the fruit. Watch out for the upcoming float film. And yes, the Carp are still coming out at Watmore. The same afternoon I did the float film; I had three low doubles, and got stripped out on the match rod by a big fish that obviously loved what I was feeding.
Then, with rain colouring rivers I thought I would dive off for a couple of hours on a small spate river in a local town. Target species was Perch, bait was free lined worm, but I couldn’t be bothered to buy them from a tackle shop, so spent far too much time trying to dig some. Far better in the summer months to just go into a tackle shop and buy some. I had a couple of Perch, then hooked into something far more substantial…A Pike ! I don’t think I ever had a double out of this stretch, but this one was about 14lbs, and with no wire trace I was lucky to get it. Just goes to show there can be some good fish of all species lurking in some of the smaller streams and rivers. Hopefully I shall get down to the Hampshire Avon or Dorset Stour, but the local fishing has been good enough this season to keep me amused.
As for the sea fishing, Wayne tells me there has been a big Thresher knocking about in the Isle of Wight area, won’t say where obviously as there will always been one of the superheroes who want to get out there and catch it first. Just pay the money, charter a boat and wind it in. However, we all want to see a small boat angler catch it (and release) and the next 6 weeks is the time to try for the Thresher sharks. I hear down Torbay way the fishing is still pretty quiet. I was going to take a run down for a wrasse film but they have what I call the “May bloom” in the water making visibility poor. They also had it down in Falmouth up to last week as one of the wife’s relatives was out there in his own boat, talking about the lack of mackerel, few pollack and the strange colour in the water which they said was not the “Red Tide”. So it seems I have missed nothing on the sea fishing front. I hear little of Smoothhound from the shore, or Black Bream from the boat. Have they yet to arrive in numbers? Or is that it?…they have been and gone? July can sometimes be a peculiar month for weather, but sooner or later I hope to get afloat in “Hi Sea Drifter”. Luckily I cancelled my extortionate annual slip fee this year and will just pay the day rate.
The wife picked up some throw away tackle from her Charity Shop. One rod has a busted tip. I cut it back, glued on a second-hand tip, and oiled the reels then spooled up. Suffice it to say they had no trouble when on a Catfish film and both got folded in two. Double whammy film episodes are scheduled so you will see how the tackle fared. With one I got my biggest UK freshwater fish in an epic battle, possibly the hardest fight I have had in the UK, but a lot of that is due to the “hit-and-hold” tactics I have had to use. Even then I had big Cats strip line out and dump the barbless hook in the reed beds, quite amazing the amount of power they can generate once they get pointed away from you, almost impossible to stop. Although I have had far bigger in Spain it was still a treat to load the rod and line up to the maximum and still come out on top.
As for the film numbers they are going extremely well, and a couple of recent films, for our site anyway, have gone down really well. We don’t really know why, but a lot of people are subscribing, and I assume sharing the films. I’m actually working on films for 2017 so that tells you how many we are making. This will also be the year that “THE TOTALLY AWESOME FISHING SHOW” goes ,well what can I call it ?…Professional !!!…Yes, Mike is giving up his full time teaching job to search out sponsors and run the site on a full time basis. Nothing will change in the format our films are made, but quite simply, the enormous amount of our own time and money over nearly five years and 500 free to watch films needs to be coming back the other way. In time of editing and cost of making we worked out we have put in a signifcant amount of money into the show….for free…so nobody can knock us for trying to move forward. Mike will be running the commercial side. I have enough on my plate with property management and fishing/filming, and with barely 10 days to go before Mike and T/A go “Pro” I am trying to get as much clear time as possible. Keep watching…Keep subscribing….Keep sharing, and thanks to everyone who has sent us comments on how we have improved their catch rate. That’s exactly what we are here for. Not for the angler that only wants “Bert the forty” or “One eyed Susan the dirty thirty”, but the ordinary guy that just wants to enjoy catching a fish or….or any size !!…I know, as I’m one of them…GOOD FISHING OUT THERE…Graeme
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