Tuesday, 27 July 2010

I just couldn't help it...

"Hello my name is Daniel and I am a tench fishing addict"

Leave a kid alone in a sweet shop and you know what will happen. Put a goat in your back garden and all the flowers are gone. Leave your steak tea alone with your dog and it won't be there when you return.
These are all exactly the same scenario as introducing a self confessed tench addict to Napton reservoir...

I just couldn't help myself returning for a quick go Sunday morning. Same swim, same tactics, with a slight tackle modification; I left the pole alone and replaced it with a fourteen foot power waggler rod and fixed spool reel.

There is only one way to describe the gargantuan bonanza of tinca I encountered. And that is via the medium of vision.

This is what happened...

Until I looked back at the photos I never spotted the number 18 on the side of this fish!

Thirty tench between 2-4lbs all pictured in order of capture. I feel sure that somewhere in that lot there may be one or two repeat captures, but honestly I couldn't be bothered to spend as much time trying to tell one from the other as I did catching them in the first place. But if anyone has the time or inclination they can email me their findings on thisisnotarealemailaddress@hotmail.co.uk

In the mess of tench I did bag four nice perch like this one which added 3.2.lbs of perch as well.

A nice 1lb perch to finish the day.

I know most people would say that 30 tench in one session should satisfy anyone but I will be frank and honest when saying the only reason I stopped when I did was that I ran out of bait.

"I know I have a problem, but with help from my friends I will do my best to conquer this crippling affliction"

Monday, 26 July 2010

New to Napton.

I have lived in Warwickshire all my life and been fishing in the area since I was a child,but in all those years I have never even set eyes on, never mind fished, Napton reservoir. So when Keith invited me along to follow a hot challenge tip how could I say no. The tip we were following was a supposed population of the diminutive bullhead, which could turn out to be a key species in the ever more competitive challenge.

Upon arriving I took the time to wander round the lake to try and get an idea of it's geography whilst tapping any anglers up for catch info. Initially I set up on the windward bank as had Keith, but after a biteless hour my confidence dwindled and I opted to move to the causeway where an angler whom I'd spoken to had caught some good perch through the afternoon.

Shortly after I had moved Keith who had also begun doubting the previous area, moved in next door. My first bite wasn't long coming on my ultra light bullhead rig consisting of a 3 x no8 drennan pinkie pole float, 1lb hook link with a size 24 hook delicately tied to the end. With little to no resistance I was convinced my first bullhead would be soon in hand. Admittedly it was tiny but slightly the wrong species.
The current perch record is 5lb 15oz and at this size A rough estimate of 10 to the ounce would mean 960 of these would be needed to make the point. 

I will issue a Sub challenge to my fellow competitors that if any of you can catch a smaller perch than this, I will buy you a four pack of the finest ale payable upon the Xmas piss up.

The next dip of the float yielded something much larger and the perch point looked well on the cards. At 12oz ten of these cracking Sargent's would make the point.

The no7 pole elastic shot from the top kit after the next strike which came as surprise as I never knew bullheads fought so hard. After a testing fight and successful netting it Keith refused to acknowledge my claim that my bullhead rig had landed a universe record bullhead of 3lb.

Two more giant Napton bullheads managed to throw the hook on the next two casts and my regular feeding of small amount's of red maggots attracted ever more to my short line.

This was how my pole spent the majority of Thursday evening.

I could not believe the Tench action here, as myself and Keith landed one after another hard fighting tench.
By nine o'clock I'd landed six and lost another seven on my light rig. What I find hard to understand was the lack of other anglers after them on a warm summer evening. This place should have been packed with anglers with nothing but tincas on their mind.

The only thing that let this heavenly tench lake down was the mouth damage to every other tench, more than likely caused by ether braided hook links, or being dragged through the heavy weed by anglers not targeting them using heavy gear.

As the light went so did the tench from my swim, only to be replaced by some very nice perch indeed, and for the second time that session the perch point looked to be within my grasp as I landed fish of 4,6,8,14,8,12,8,2oz one after another. It was going far too well! Then a good perch of over a pound came off at the net and I could have kicked my self. The next better perch turned out to be a tiny tench, then the sky darkening in a rather biblical way was followed by a drop of rain here and there. Just after both Keith and I got our brolly's up the deluge started. A hour in the dark in heavy rain totally unable to see or get a bite and it was game over. With only four and a half pounds of perch another point was missed, although seven tench up to 3.5lb more than made up for this.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Not so much a thumbs up day....

I am sure I have probably said this before but I will say it again for anyone who missed it; the Warwickshire Avon can be a hard mistress. Some days she is generous and her bounty overflows and other days she just pulls your pants down and kicks you up the arse. After my mid week evening success that had been before the on and off torrential down pours of rain I half suspected that a little colour in the river and an early start would mean I might stand the chance of a few bites on Sunday morning. I was wrong! The river whooped me good. Three fruitless hours and I'd had enough. To save the blank I made the short trip across the field to college pool, a venue I have never even cast a line into, to try and at least get a bite.

Not knowing anything about this pool at all and only having my river gear with me I threw caution to the wind, lobbed out a ground bait feeder on my barbel rod and hoped. I got instant results by the way of a slew of tiny voracious perch. An hour in my tip slowly slid round and I hooked something a little better. T'was my daily bream which seem to turn up every session at the moment and at 6.1lb was more than welcome.

The perch continued right until the end. I did hook one other better fish that came off which I have my suspicions about....

To top off this up and down day as I left the car park to go home I somehow manged to catch my thumb in the metal gate, dislocating it and leaving it pointing in a rather interesting and unnatural angle. I instinctively whacked it back then went and lent on the car for ten minutes feeling rather sick, cradling my thumb whilst it throbbed like a drum at mardi gras.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Chances taken always pay off.

Never being one to miss an opportunity to get out for a last minute session my ears pricked up like an elf when Jacky told me she was going out for drinks in Leamington with some work colleagues on Wednesday night. Being the absolute gent I am I kindly offered to drop her off and pick her up albeit with a short fishing trip down the river in between.

It seemed the perfect chance to investigate a long held theory of mine that the bottom field at wasperton should hold some big perch. My original plan was to fish opposite the weir right at the very end of the stretch but upon arriving found it was bank to bank cabbages across the bottom of the river so instead settled next to an large overhanging willow upstream.

I didn't wet a line till eight and the first hour proved fruitless. But trying to be positive I slowly trickled in small balls of riddled mole hill and chopped worm interspersed with tiny Asda smart price peeled prawns.

With only one 2oz perch to show for my efforts I suspected it may not get any better. That was until the sun dropped below the hill on the far bank, and then it went berserk. From nine till ten the rod tip wasn't still for a moment. The next perch that took my lob worm was a pretty ten ounce minter.

After this as correctly predicted by Keith the text clairvoyant, a thick set near 6lb bream snaffled my bait.

I did manage to winkle out a few more perch as the evening drew in and the best of the bunch was this 1lb fish that lead me a merry dance under the willow.

Before I had to go the perch disapeared and some small chub moved in. Two heavily prawn filled one pound examples both decided that a tasty lobworm would be the perfect way to top off their supper of shellfish which both regurgitated once on the bank.

Every fish I caught in this impromptu session was in absolutely perfect condition and after the little success with the perch I feel sure there has to be a few two pound fish or even three's and dare I even say it four's...

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Special offer day on the Avon.

After a awful evening Zander session on the local canal mid week where I had eight runs over three swims, of which I contacted with only two fish and only managed to get one small Zed witinh six feet of the bank before it shook out the hook. I needed to feel that wonderful sensation of something pulling back that we all crave so desperately. So to satisfy this I did what all self respecting anglers would do and went bleak fishing. Yes bleak fishing. The only place I knew contained them for sure was Lucy's mill on the Avon. So Sunday morning I met up with Andy to go and check it out. Unlike my target for the day Andy was more interested in the normally prolific bream sport that can be had in the large eddy near the big weir so I left him there whilst I headed off up to the smaller weir to tangle with my mighty foe Alburnus alburnus. Before beginning my bleak bashing I put out a lob worm under an old school perch float to roam around over the cabbages that I could see under the water all along my bank to try and tempt a good perch or two. Before I had even picked up my other rod the float was gone. After striking I got a rather dull thumping response but the rod had a serious bend in it. A moment or two of confusion was soon explained when I spotted what had happened trough the clear water. A small perch had in fact taken my worm only to be itself taken by a jack pike. Normally when this happens the pike let go of the fish just as you're about to net them, but this one was particularly determined to keep it's breakfast. It must have thought it had caught the hardest six ounce perch in the river as there was no way it was letting go. As soon as it was in the net the stupid thing let go leaving the little perch no worse for wear and me chuffed as I didn't know it was two for the price of one day at Lucy's mill today.

After this amusing catch I got down to the business of my bleak point. It all went surprisingly well and from the off I was getting bites, though at two to the ounce and half of them dropping off it could have gone south. After only half an hour I weighed in to get an idea of how many would be needed to make the 4oz needed. The first batch went 3oz and then after a move to follow the ever moving shoal the second lot with a couple of bigger ones weighed in at 4oz giving me a safe 7oz of bleak and another challenge point in the bag. 


Not wanting to spend the rest of my session continuing to chasing tiddlers I decided to move down stream to fish near Andy. I would have stuck round to try for more perch but the pike attack had put a damper on that one. After arriving behind Andy he told me he had lost one bream but was being plagued by perch. So it seemed sense to try and add a few to my 12oz total so far. The perch never showed up but after a few casts with a feeder I picked up this mint condition bream

After this a couple of rather inconsiderate canoeists came down the weir and began doing Eskimo rolls right over where Andy had been casting all morning only to come under a hail comments along the line of "would you good gentlemen please have a little consideration for some fellow waterway users please" they duly moved on. But a little later a flotilla of young canoeists and their instructors turned up at the weir and totally ruined the morning. 

Though I do not normally have a problem with canoeists I would like to say that of all the waterways users they are by far the most inconsiderate obviously unless they are also anglers where they then do show us some consideration.