It’s been a couple of years now since l realistically targeted venues that contain the stamp of fish that could possibly break a few of my old standing personal bests. To be honest my guiding has taken over, unbalancing my hobby with work and now that its been noticed, l have intensions of getting back on the bank and doing what lm good at, putting a few oversized specimens on the mat.
Over the last couple of weeks l have made time to do just this, ignoring the easy option of catching lots of fish on overstocked commercials, for the difficult job of visiting rock hard venues. It takes time to learn these venues time, effort and sheer determination is required if l am to raise a few eyebrows. Its early days at the moment, and looking at the next couple of weeks going to be difficult to find much time, yet this is how things have gone so far.
My first target was crucian carp and although some may think it’s a bit late in the year now, l find that these go on a feeding frenzy in the autumn, yet timing my arrival with this can be tricky. Targeting a ten acre mature lake l have managed to put three late afternoon and into darkness sessions in. Using what l call ‘The groundbait lead’ where finely sieved Sonubaits Super Crush Green is compressed around the lead and sweetcorn used on the hair, next to a size 16 hook which is placed on a short four inch hooklink. Holding the groundbait ball next to the reel, all l do is swing this before setting the bobbin. If nothing happens in fifteen minutes the process is repeated. Over the three session’s l have taken just two crucians, one around 2lb plus one of 3lb 9oz, just eleven and a half ounces of my best. Although on one occasion l had crucians all over the swim, my feeling is they have either already finished their frenzy or lm to early, so lm going to leave these for a week or two.
Another species that l always target and love fishing for are eels and recently l spent a night under the stars making a video for Coarse and Match Fishing Monthly. Before the sun had set l put a good eel of 3lb 12oz on the mat, yet the rest of the session failed to produce any more action. If you haven’t already viewed this online fishing magazine then take a look as it’s full of great shows.
One personal best that l would love to break is barbel. At the moment my best stands at 16lb 10oz, one that has stood for nearly eight years and with venues capable of producing one bigger slowly disappearing in the south, feel that there is no better time to start looking. Its still a bit early to catch a real whacker, yet l have spent three short sessions on one such stretch, more to get a feel for it, find some swims that l can place a bait within and see what the pressure from other anglers is. These three sessions have totalled thirteen angling hours and have covered no less than twenty swims. Some swims have been visited more than once and only one swim has produced bites. The first could have been from a barbel, yet lm consoling myself that it was a chub as the hook pulled shortly after feeling the fish. The second bite came from what surely looked like a chub, yet the power and way the fish thought had me guessing right to the end. When the chub went in the net l wasn’t that concerned on its size as barbel were my main target, however this fish seemed to grow every time l looked at it. Lacking the depth of a winter fish, this chub was longer than any l have caught before, a true monster if it ever fills out and on the scales it went 6lb 13oz, my second biggest chub ever.
I have also been pre-baiting a lake with particles over the last week in the hope of catching a big grass carp. The water has produced a couple of forties this season so tonight’s sessions is one full of expectation. Unfortunately it seems that l have been feeding the wildfowl as soon after spombing more particles out flocks of every bird imaginable turned up and started to dive over the spot. Darkness bought some respite but come morning and after just two bleeps they were back, proving that the desired target hadn’t visited the area. Time for a rethink!