23 June 2009

Confessions of a mediocre angler!

The Fleet had all we needed. Good beer and a quality english breakfast.
After huge anticipation the 16th had finally arrived and at one minute past midnight myself and two friends, Steve and Phil cast our lures blindly into the dark night of the Warwickshire Avon. The only indication that we had of the lures hitting the water was a distinct splash. Unfortunately it was the only splash we heard and after half an hour we retired to our beds in the Fleet Inn at Twyning which was to become our base for the next couple of nights. It was pure coincidence that we had chosen a pub to stay in........honest guv!

Steves perch looked like being the biggest.
4.00 am and we were up and rearing to go, boats were loaded and the new Minn Kota pulled us powerfully upstream. The rods were out as we trolled to our first chosen swim and at just after 5 am Steve landed the 1st fish in the shape of a small zander and then a couple of minutes later he followed it up with another. It took me a couple more hours before I landed a fish and Phil had been struggling as well.

Phils huge pike upped the ante!

The day continued in the same vein with fish coming slowly until the evening when we retired to the bar for some well earned drinks and food. It had been a beautiful day with the sun burning down on us which we blamed for the low number of fish caught and we staggered off to bed and the promise of a better 2nd day

The zander were not going to get any bigger for me, no matter how close I held it to the camera

Day 2 and that was certainly it for the sunshine. Overcast skies and persistent rain promised much better fishing, especially when zander are concerned. The fish were not having any of it though and we struggled all day to get fish into the boat. After a couple of hours totally fishless the rod finally bent into a........bream. I dunno, you lure fish for 20 years with no sign of the slimy dinnerplates then two come along in a month. This time it had taken a small rapala and was landed with the treble firmly embedded in its mouth.


The highlight of the day was Phils personal best zander of around 5lb. He never weighed it so I'm allowed to be generous. The evening session was the most fruitful and once again I managed to land a good perch to confirm my "Perchmeister" tag and I landed quite a few fish before we retired once again to the pub.

Tonksys best Z

Come to daddy. 2lb 4oz, my best perch from the Avon

Day 3 and the weather just got worse, rain and a cold forceful wind meant keeping the boat on a good course which required all my concentration. The fishing was poor and we finished our little adventure with very few fish on a very poor day. It had however been a good laugh and much more fun than sitting in front of the TV watching "Pets do the funniest things". We had managed to land about 50 fish between us over the 3 days which by sheer coincidence was about the same number of pints we had downed. I hope my doctor doesn't read this!!!!!

11 June 2009

Llangorse with the Lads

The beautiful scenery is a huge bonus
Upon reflection it was a great days fishing

Hold up, this feels like a good fish.

Great fun on light gear, this pike just kept going....and going....and

A cracking 15lb'er ends up in the boat

Andrew tried his best to emulate me on the day

But the true beauty of fishing doesn't lie in the size.
On we go to the glorious 16th when we can get back on the rivers.

04 June 2009

Bad luck and big fish!

It's been a stressful last couple of weeks, something that I don't normally associate with fishing. It all started at the Gloucester canal where I landed a huge bream on
a lure which was a first for me. Harry and I went down to the Kennet and Avon canal where Harry hooked into a perch of around 2lb when a boat promptly started its engine, reversed and chopped the fish in half with the prop. Harry was not amused and a few choice words were directed at "Captain Meldrew" as he was nicknamed.

An evening session with Michael was a disaster from the start. First cast out with a Savage Gear 4play and a pike of around 16-18lbs was on and just as I bought the fish in, the lure which was only lightly hooked came flying out and ended up in a tree. A swift tug resulted in the 4play snapping off and ending up in the bottom of the lake. I leaned back against the wooden landing where I was fishing and then managed to tear a hole in my "very expensive but worth every penny" Airflo fishing suit. I'm sure Matt Hayes has had similar days, he just doesn't publicise them.

The last weekend of May and surely my luck would change. I checked over the boat prior to setting off and in a scene which closely resembled Basil Fawlty attacking his car I had noticed that the wheel bearing on one side of the trailer had collapsed. So instead of joining a couple of friends at Llangorse http://www.llangorselake.co.uk/lake.html on the saturday I spent half the day up to my elbows covered in grease and dirt.
So it finally conspired that with the curse still intact I took the boss, Andrew, and a mutual friend, Marcus, out to the most beautiful lake in Wales for a days piking. With the sun doing its best to cook us it was not going to be the best days fishing but it will always be remembered as one of the most enjoyable. We ended the day with a total of 14 fish but the biggest laugh was when my seat broke with an enormous "CRACK" to leave me floundering in the bottom of the boat doing my best impression of the "Dying Fly" while Andrew hastily took some photographic evidence which he has agreed not to post on the blog......yeah right!
Shortly afterwards my luck had changed and I finally got to land a ferocious 15lb pike. I slipped the fish back into the water together with the curse which had hung over me for the last week. Happy Days!