Category Archives: Fishing 2017

A Reel Surprise

I saw a good friend of mine fishing with a lovely reel recently it turned out be a reel called a “Speedia”. I like these reels and have fancied buying one for myself for ages.

Watching a few of these reels on a popular auction website, I made a bid for two of them. I only imagined that I would perhaps win one of the bids.

I could not believe it when I checked my account. It seemed that I had actually won both of these reels.

Both of these reels had very poor descriptions in their adverts, but I liked the pictures.

I could not believe it when they came through the post. One was a wide drum, 3.5 inch, silver back plate with black front and was really nice. The second however was a narrow drum, all black, with the best sounding check that I have ever heard.

Who knows what triumphs and disasters these reels have seen in their lifetime? The only problem now is finding the time to christen both of these lovely reels for myself.


An August Wessex Trip

A friend had contacted me to say that he would be fishing on the 16th, the day of my travel. I made my long journey to Wessex via the local tackle shop to purchase some bait, and then to a local inn to gain some sustenance, checked in to my accommodation and then made my way to the ponds.

I found my friend in good spirits and had not intended to fish that night at all. I did give in. Gathering my tackle from the van I set up a couple of swims down from my friend. It was good just to be here again. We fished until the approaching darkness. Tomorrow I would be here in earnest.

I had intended to skip my breakfast and be at the ponds very early on the Thursday morning. However, the journey the day before had taken it out of me, and besides, it was set for rain. A fair weather fisherman now I tucked in to a very good fry up and lots of tea before thinking about my departure.

For the traditionalists, I have not moved over to the dark side; (Carbon fibre) but managed to christen not only a new float, but this rather wonderful R.Sealey twelve foot ‘Match Winner’. This was sold to me as a black cane rod. It is nothing of the sort and is infact very, very dark green. It is made with a Spanish Reed butt section, a cane mid section, and a split cane top section.

I arrived at the ponds around ten thirty-ish and was greeted by warm sunshine. I setup in the swim that my friend had been in the day before, as I knew it had been raked. There were no signs of feeding fish. My float never dithered enticingly, nor were there any bubbles on the surface of the pond. Around twelve my float slowly submerged,  I grabbed the rod which hooped over. The fight lasted all of five seconds; the hook gave way. Damn! Well, at least I know they are feeding. I re-cast and settled down to more tea drinking. I noticed that I began bringing in weed when I reeled in, so around one thirty I raked the swim three or four times, baited it again, and went off to a local hostelry for some lunch.

Returning sometime after two o’clock, I recast. Again there were no bubbles, nor signs of feeding fish in the swim at all. Non-the-less I was very content. Not long after the bells had rang seven times, my float again slowly slid below the surface. Once again lifting the rod sent it into a hoop and a dramatic battle commenced. At this point I had no idea what it was, but it was desperate to get into the bed of lily pads. I gave as much strain as I dared on five pound line. It then changed direction into more open water, saw a wall of weed and then shot back towards the lilies. I thought that I had it under control until it managed to wrap itself around the one lilly stem that was jutting out of the bunch. I didn’t know what to do. I gave as much strain as I dare again and then fish raised near the surface, it was a Tench! Blimey I can’t loose this one. Keeping tension on the line, I tried to reach the stem with my landing net to break it free, but it was just slightly too far away to reach. Total stalemate occurred. I had to give in. Releasing tension from the reel was the last thing I wanted to do as I knew the fish would easily drop the hook. However, this was my only option. Releasing line from the reel sent the fish berserk and it freed itself shooting out of the beds and into open water once more. Keeping it as near the surface as I could, I managed to bring it over the waiting net. This pond is very well known for it’s Crucians, but I fish for Tench here, and was over-the-moon with this specimen. I haven’t caught a Tench in this pond for ages.

I had received a mail to say that two other members were to be fishing on the 18th , so I made my mind to fish another local pond to give them some peace. Again, following a leisurely breakfast, I decided that I would make my way back here to say hello before making my way to my fishing destination. However, when I arrived around eleven there was nobody there. Again I gave in, changed my mind about fishing the other location and went back to the same swim I fished the day previous. Around lunchtime I had the same sort of bite. No bubbles or knocking of the float, it simply slowly slid under the surface. Lifting the rod I knew straight away I was into a good fish and thought it was another Tench. I could not believe it when I drew it over the net, it was a huge Crucian. I did not weigh it, but was easily over one pound. The reel I was using on the day was a three inch Allcocks Aerial Popular ,and can be seen in the picture that the fish must be at least nine inches in length.

I know there to be a military firing range in the county and the ‘booms’ can be heard for some distance. However, today the sounds were quiet and loud, somewhat different to the norm. I was treated to a short shower, then the air turned really cold from what was a nice sunny day. This could only mean one thing – thunder. I was not wrong and did not have to wait long before the next storm rolled in. This time it was much closer. I reeled in and sat in the car as the rain began to fall in rods. I noticed two cars coming down the track, this must be the chaps who were going to fish today. Some time passed before I vacated my vehicle and went back to my swim. I really didn’t fancy my chances after the storm and cold rain. This often stops fish feeding. The two chaps also came round to say hello. One setup on the top pond the other went onto the bottom pond.

I was amazed to see my float slide under around five thirty, and was overjoyed to land a final Crucian before packing up and making the long journey back home.

It was great to be at the ponds again, and it was lovely to witness the Kingfishers fish, whilst I was waiting for a bite.

I can’t wait for my next trip.

Loss Of An Old Friend

Getting time off work is always nice. Even better is finding time in this hectic life to get fishing. Only the second time this season I have managed to get to my local pond. An early night was had in preparation for an early start.

I did not start as early as planned, and sat with a mug of tea listening to the rain hammer down outside, while contemplating whether to go fishing or not, to get a drenching or not?

Suddenly the rain abated and made the decision for me. Soon I was on my short journey too the pond.

I was very surprised to see someone else in the car park unloading their gear. I was even more surprised to see two other anglers (poachers) on the pond before me. I found a place out of the way in an overgrown old swim. A lot of the swims have been left and are now overgrown. Some totally unfishable, but just the place where the fish, or Tench are likely to be hiding.

Armed with the usual tin of corn, I settled down with my flask of tea. As ever at this pond, the Carp were evident all over the surface. Most looked between 2 and 5 pounds, but there were some double figures cruising the surface. After a biteless hour I noticed the rod rock in it’s rest, and the reel ‘sang ‘out it’s loud rasp! Although I was sitting right next to the rod, the fish made the middle of the lake with ease such was the pace of its run, almost as soon as I tried to stop it, the line snapped. A clean break as if being caught on some underwater snag. Normally when this has happened to me the line breaks near the hook, but the line had broke higher up, and I had lost my classic red-tipped quill float that I have had since 2011. That float had helped catch Roach, Dace, Chub, Tench and even 20 pound plus Carp, and now was lost.

Disappointed, I re-tackled with another float and it was not long before I had another bite. This time I was sure was a Tench, but the hook pulled. I re-baited and cast again. Soon after I had another run, clearly this was a Carp and this time I had it under control and managed to keep it near the surface. Landing it was a bit treacherous as I was fishing very close to large reeds and rushes on one side, and a bed of water lillies on the other that the fish knew all about trying to snag me on one and then the other. Eventually I won the day and managed to land a good double figure mirror Carp. Unfortunately the batteries had died in the camera so I could not take a picture of it.

Maybe next time I visit the pond that float will be sitting at the waters edge, just maybe.

In Search Of The Green One

It’s early July, and the first visit this new fishing season to my local pond.

I am glad, unlike most, to see that it has not been touched at all by a scythe or mower. Some swims are totally un-fishable due to the reed growth.

It would however, be possible to walk from one side of the pond too the other without getting your feet wet on the backs of all the Carp that now reside in this pond.

I chose to fish as far away from the visible “pack” as possible, right along-side an attractive bed of lillies. Just the sort of place a Tench may be hiding.

Today the Tench never materialised, but it was great to see that there are definitely more than two pairs of Kingfishers on this pond now, something I have never seen. I wonder if they are more comfortable now the pond clearly does not get fished so often?


Little Tinca

My last day of the fishing trip found me grab an hour or two at another Wessex pond, with the aim of landing a final tench of this trip.

Again the day was hot with cloudless skies. Arriving around 10:00 in hot weather really is not the best time to be Tench fishing. I should have got up earlier, forgot about any breakfast and got too the lake for 5am.

Never-the-less I was now here and was going to give it a go. I found a swim that I knew had already been raked from weed and cast a small piece of corn right next to a group of lilly pads, sat down and enjoyed the sun.

Some time passed and suddenly I noticed the float begin to dither. I sat right next to the rod in preparation for a take. I did not have to wait long before the float slowly sailed away. I first thought that I had hooked a small Rudd, but it turned out to be a very small Tinca which had a temper on it like a Perch.

After this fine piece of luck I retired to the local public house for refreshment before leaving Wessex for my journey home.


My Favorite Wessex Pond

My new season fishing trip was going well, and very hot. I had been looking forward to a trip to my favorite pond for some time. I knew that one of the ponds is surrounded on all side by trees, so I would be able to shelter from the blistering heat.

I found a lovely swim, with a nice breeze blowing on my back which was fantastically cooling, taking the temperature down a couple degrees was very welcome.

There were initially no signs at all of feeding fish, and I really did not expect to see anything, nor catch anything in these hot temperatures.

I had brought along with me my very first split cane fishing rod that I had squired, an un-restored Mark IV, and a little Aerial Popular that I had recently christened with a Roach on this trip.

The moment my first cast hit the water I was getting little bites. Piranha-like, the hook bait was gone very quickly and reeling in to a fish-less, empty hook.

Perseverance prevailed, and soon after the float shot up and laid flat on the surface. I struck lightly and was in contact with a Roach. A good Roach too.  Again I cast into the baited swim. Things were quieter now with no bites. I wasn’t paying attention to the float and was looking at the various plants that adorn this lovely lake when I heard the little Aerial Popular ‘sing’. By the time my hand was on the rod the fish had made the middle of the pond. I was convinced this was a Tench. A little disappointed that there was no resistance when I picked up the rod. However, as I reeled in it seemed that there was actually still contact. It turned out to be a big Roach that thought it was a Tench, or even a Carp. I don’t think Roach are meant to run like that? but it seems at this pond they do. This is not the first time I have experienced this phenomenon.

I cast again into the same swim and all was quiet. I sat and enjoyed the bird song which seems especially loud at this little pond. Soon after my float dithered, not a positive bite as such, but I struck anyway and made contact. It was one of the fine Crucian Carp that reside in this lovely pond, what a corker!

As the afternoon drew on, the pond took on a rather sinister feel. There were no signs of feeding fish anywhere and I had stopped getting bites. Out of the gloom, from time to time, the Grass Carp surveyed its kingdom. Nice to see, but un-catchable today.