Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The compleat angler, project Guttenberg

Well not a lot to write about fishing wise lately other than my magnificent 3oz albino grass carp during the recent Salford friendly anglers match down at Duchy lagoons, a thoroughly enjoyable experience thanks to the duchy lads, so thought I would share this classic with anyone who has not had the pleasure. Isaac Walton's the compleat angler is THE definitive fishing book, with casting at the sun by Chris Yates a very close second. In my eyes the conveyance of atmosphere and the way these authors convey the very essence of this obsession/madness we suffer and enjoy in equal measures is very special. The cold clinical precision with which many of todays angling writers compose their prose lacks that very essence and magic that made me take up this lifelong obsession in the first place. Project Guttenberg is a volunteer led effort to digitise many historic texts and as anglers we are lucky that the compleat angler was on their radar so here it is for free and LEGAL for all to read. Don't expect to read about hair rigs or the latest Daiwa tournament pole etc but if you can get to grips with the language it is the essence of angling! Hope you enjoy. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/683

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Manchester ship canal bream

A lot of my free time lately has been taken up involved with various Salford friendly anglers events, always a joy to help and with fishing drinkwater park so I have been itching for a new challenge. One water that has always been on my radar is the Manchester ship canal. Now I have had a few half hearted attempts to fish the canal before but never gave it the time i felt it deserved. well I decided it was high time to have a proper crack at this rather daunting sheet of water. Mike and I began to formulate a plan recently which involved a visit to the canal to suss out likely looking spots. We settled upon an area Mike has fished in the past and introduced some bait ready for our first visit. Prior to our first fishing trip a number of trips down to pre bait took place with the hope we might attract some of the huge shoals of bream into the the area. The plan seemed to be working as we saw bream rolling in the area on each visit. Exciting stuff! The first fishing session was gong to be Friday evening from around 4 through till dusk. Upon arriving at the swim we were greeted with numbers of large bream rolling in the area so confidence was high that the hard work prior to the fishing would pay off. The swim was tricky to fish due to a strong flow and deep water and a feeder carrying up to 3 oz of lead was required just to hold bottom. Ths is one big water to fish with some interesting passers by including booze cruise style boats such as the one below
Bait was corn or dead maggots on the hook and into the feeder went groundbait and a particle and pellet mixture. Tackle was very sturdy 10lb mainline and hooklink as BIG fish of all species are known to inhabit the canal. It proved to be an incredibly frustrating evening as there were dozens of decent bream rolling throughout the evening over our bait and in the area yet bites were not forthcoming. I was beginning to think I had my tactics totally wrong when the tip went around and I latched into a decent bream of around 4/5 pounds which made me very happy. A number of liners followed and an hour or two later I took a second slightly smaller fish. Job done home time at about ten yet we left with the feeling we hadnt got our tactics right so alarm clocks set for 4am the next day for another crack. To cut a long story short the morning visit from around 5-8 am the next day was a disaster not a single bite and very little fish activity but being determined/mad we decided to return that same evening for another go. We arrived back at around 5pm and this time I used a slightly different rig. Well it worked instantly and first cast I slipped the net under this 7lb 8oz ship canal cracker!
I now thought I had it sussed but yet again experienced huge numbers of bream rolling over the bait only to be rewarded with liners and bites that were just impossible to hit. Well we packed up at about 8 and i was very happy with such a nice fish out of such a challenging water yet i feel there is unfinished business down the ship canal!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Drinkwater park highs and lows!

Well its been a long time since I updated this blog so I thought it was about time. The last few weeks fishing have been almost entirely taken up alongside Mike organising the Salford friendly anglers series of fundraising matches although since my last blog post I have also managed a few sessions down at drinkwater park.
After my tench a few weeks back I returned to the same area a few weeks ago and managed two decent bream a 6 and a 5 but sadly the camera was dead but I am an honest sort so you will have to take my word for it! After that session I didnt return for a while and my next session was with Ian Goodwin who managed 2 nice tench whilst I blanked. Then came the drinkies match and yet again I blanked whilst Ian won in the peg he had taken a superb net of tench and bream only a few days earlier I am sure he could see the peg numbers at the draw! I lost a decent carp during the match which made short work of my 5lb mainline in the thick weed and could see Ians smile from the opposite bank lol After much light hearted ribbing about my lost carp and Ian bagging up on drinkies and him being the venue expert I made a rather bold declaration at the fishing meeting last week, after a few pints, that i would bag a drinkies 20 soon when I broke out my proper carp gear. rather bold claim indeed but lo and behold a few days later I only did it! I bagged a 21lb 8oz carp on my carp gear the first trip after my bold clam and was I hapy.... YES! Big thanks to Ian for acting as ghillie and both Mke and Ian for the pics what a fish!
I went on to catch 3 nice tench after the carp too. I returned the next night and managed 7 nice tench so drinkies is back to its best now for something a little bigger!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Drinkwater park tench fishing almost like the good old days!

Well after a number of trips down to drinkies in the last few weeks to either stock roach or remove weed I thought it was time to go armed with a rod. I have been popping down and dropping a little bait, pigeon seed mix, into a few likely looking swims over the last week with the intention of trying to catch one of the bigger fish left in the water that escaped the netting of a few years back. I have known that there are decent fish present still for a few years now but other than some sessions a few years back where i took several big bream the tench have remained elusive. I thought it was time to resolve that and take a trip down memory lane in the process this season.

For those who are not familiar with drinkies it was always a renowned tench water and bags of up to a dozen or more tench were not uncommon in the past. Float fishing corn or bread into the the night watching a starlight was the way i my brother and many friends spent our teenage years and they were the best years of my life but could i recreate just a little of that magic?

Being early in the season for tench and with the fish stocks in drinkies being significantly dented I wasn't expecting to bag up but a few bites would have made me happy. I arrived after 4pm thinking a few hours either side of dusk would be enough. I set up in a swim I have baited lately floatfishing corn over a few freebies of corn bread mash and a few pellets real traditional tench fishing old school.


After around 45 minutes and having seen some fish activity in the area i received a bite and struck into my first drinkies tench in over 5 years! My brother Chris had popped down to say hello and was on hand with the net to land what turned out to be a 3lb tench. To say I was happy is an understatement as drinkies, particularly float fishing for tench on drinkies holds a very special place in my heart that those who knew the place years ago will understand. I am glad Chris was there as I know he appreciates those special evenings many years ago. Here is the fish nothing spectacular but very special to me!


After that fish catching was irrelevant so I just soaked up the atmosphere watching my nightlight glow in the darkness whilst reminiscing about the good old days. I did miss a few tentative bites and lost a decent fish in a snag just before packing up at around 9pm. So to sum up I am one happy angler right now and the future looks bright for drinkies now the salford friendly anglers are involved.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A frosty reception on the irwell!

Well Saturday evening saw me convincing Mike aka fishing fiend to go out fishing the following day, Sunday in-spite of the weather he said I was mad but was mad enough to say yes so a day fishing the irwell for pike was agreed.

It turned out to be one of those days when the catching of fish was second to being out there. This is where we started fishing


Trotting/laying on sardines in a few swims produced no interest so keeping moving and adopting a roving approach was the order of the day and meant that at no point did I feel cold


A half hearted take in a superb swim that normally holds a few fish was the reward for the day but just being out there was enough for me. The robin that kept landing near me ready for that proper picture perfect picture in the snow didn't read the script though and kept flying off when the camera was produced. Who could complain watching a float in a swim like this though?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Old river irlam pike get together.

Well today's was a trip a week or two in the making as a number of Salford friendly anglers and maggot drowners seemed keen to have a pike fishing social and with Mike organising letting people know and sending out invites it promised to be a good day out fish or no fish. The venue was the old river in irlam.

I was out of the front door around 7 and it was COLD and dark but I was looking forward to the day. Mike and I arrived around 7.30 and got tackled up and within 10 minutes I had a small jack of about a pound firtst catch on a small roach fished mid water. Second cast another take and a lost fish. Here is the swim I was in infront of the pub of course!


To cut a long story short I went on to catch a further 4 fishover the next 2 hours or so to make it 5 fich in total with 3 lost fish so a cracking morning despite the fact they were small fish still great fun. The best fish was this on of around 5 pound or so


The afternoon passed for me fishless but other members of the get together caught some cracking fish including a superb 12 pounder and Tom managed his first ever pike. A great day and I would have had fun if I hadn't had a bite. Its superb to spend time with such enthusiastic anglers and the banter was superb. The mysterious float that appeared in my productive swim when I returned from a short walk was surprising!!

Thanks to all involved for making it a great day.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Drinkwater park work party

Yesterday was spent in the company of a number of members of the Salford friendly anglers taking part in a drinwater park working party. The aim was to attempt to reduce the amount of weed present in the lake prior to the introduction of siltex to lake the and also to get rid of as much weed as possible prior to it starting to engulf the lake in spring.

It was hard but rewarding work in the company of good friends and I also had to sneak a cheeky deadbait rod out which produced a nice little Pike before the work had even begun. Just to show those present at drinkies yesterday how things have changed here is a pic of me setting up in the peg that I caught the pike from yesterday


And here is a rather blurred picture, its a photo of an old photo, of me in the same swim in 1996 how things change!