Thursday 14 March 2024


Those useless feckers at the Met Office had on Sunday told us we'd seen the last of the rain , so don't worry folks, it's going to be a dry week.

By Monday evening it was, erm, Tuesday is going to be wet. Very wet. All day. 

With the local river thoroughly messed up, I headed down to the estate lake. It's part of a carp syndicate and I was told there were "big" perch, roach, a few tench and half a dozen grass carp, along with the prized carp.

It's only five minutes from the house, so I've been having a good look round recently and  deep in a wooded valley, so protected from the worst of the wind. Its shallow, being three, possibly four foot maximum. 

I decided to select four swims, all ultra close in and uncomfortable, so ignored by the carpys and lightly bait them with mixed seed, sweetcorn and chopped worms, then fish them in rotation for twenty of thirty minutes and keep on the move.

First fish was a 1lb 11oz roach, pleasing in size but a really poor old thing, having suffered terrible cormorant damage ( yes, them again ). This was followed by a couple of pound plus perch, thankfully in nice condition.

Before every move a handful of bait was scattered and the swim left to rest. Back in the "roach" swim an hour later I hooked into a much bigger fish that turned out to be a nice early season tench of just over 4lb. 

The swim in the corner, where I'd yet to have a bite, was showing signs of activity with tiny pin head bubbles periodically showing. Nudges and dips on the float but nothing positive until it slid away and a tiny but beautiful mirror carp surfaced. 

He couldn't have been more than a couple of pounds.

More bait, more bubbles and when the sweetcorn/flake cocktail was taken a much bigger fish bolted away with a huge cloud of silt colouring the water in its wake.

I definitely didn't want to end up hooking lots of carp, but there was a chance this could be a grassie so I played it gently on the float rod and perch tackle, more worried about the B983 light gauge hook than the line.

Whatever it was didnt want to come in and my estimate of its size was increasing as time went on. I just couldn't get the head up and was thinking it might be foul hooked. Every time it neared the net it would surge away and there was no way of stopping it on light gear.

With near bank snags I wanted to get it in the net first time and after fifteen minutes or so it seemed to be tiring and with a bit more pressure a head appeared and a massively long body which somehow slid into the, now very undersized net.

A monstrous grassie, it looked huge. Hooooooge I tell you.

The first I've ever seen, let alone caught and weighing 23lb 14oz.

To using my overused expression I was well chuffed or as I believe da yoof say, "buzzin".

Now, do you think I'll be able to get on the river today , for one last try ?

Sunday 10 March 2024

On The Doorstep

Back on the local stretch of river for a couple of short sessions, the first with old mate Waaaaaak Baines, AKA Bureboi.

River in good nick. Mild, great time of year, if you can't catch in these conditions sell your gear.

Waaak turned up fully loaded, holdall, comfy chair, huge bait bucket and trudged in slow motion across the muddy, slippery ice ring that passes for a meadow.

Bites in the first few swims which turned out to be small chub. Waaaak was in a banker chub swim and sat it out, missing a few bites before nailing a nice chub which he played like he was using a 2lb hooklink. 

The fish took advantage of his light touch and snagged itself on some bankside undergrowth before being persuaded out into the net.

I settled in a the next swim and set about catching some roach.

A handful of liquidised bread brought an immediate response which resulted in a lovely  fish.

There was no problem getting bites. Hitting them was a different matter. They were homing in on the micro cage feeder but the jabs and rattles were missed more often than not.

Waaaak left on the long trek back to Norfolk and I continued getting and missing bite after bite.

After getting home a plan was hatched to come back and fish for them with a pole which would give excellent control and a better chance of hooking the roach. In theory. 

Next day I was back on the river just as the light was fading. An over spotted float was held back, slightly overdepth, with a size 14 hook with double punch bread or flake. Sounds professional doesn't it ?

Did it work ? Yes, fourteen quality roach were caught in the last hour despite my untidy and ungainly handling of the pole.

The fish in the photos were in good condition, as you can see. Unfortunately, many others were showing signs of cormorant damage. I love wildlife but hate these birds. Fecking things.

Great couple of trips and always good to fish and catch up with an old mate. I'm hoping for a few more sessions before the season draws to a close.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Every Last Drop....

With the end of the season rapidly approaching and the local rivers, finally, after months of semi permanent flooding, coming in to prime condition, I've been out fishing. Alot.

Work has been sacked off all week. When it's ten or eleven degrees and the water has that lovely bottle green tinge then I'm going fishing. I'm never going to be rich with that attitude am I ?

Yesterday I fished a stretch where I had big chub and one nice perch last time. It's a deep, slow piece of water with a big concrete structure of some kind in mid stream. It screams out fish.

First chuck in with lobs and the tip went round. A perch, a very nice one in cracking condition.  I had five out the swim, the best three being 1lb 15oz, 2lb 2oz and 2lb 6oz. That'll do.

I moved upstream a bit and again the lobs did the trick with a clonking chub. A young fish in pristine condition with an unusually small head.

Bully Boy turned up and fished a slow snaggy swim just down from me and got in on the action with two corkers of 2lb 2oz and 2lb 4oz.

We were both well chuffed and with good weather forecast and a massive hunger to fish I'm looking forward to another trip today. And tomorrow.

Seize the day folks.