A NEW BOOK NOW OUT. Targets set and achieved.

My third book, 'Targets set and achieved' is now complete and ready for sale. As the title suggests it reflects the past seven years of my fishing. Twenty different rivers where double figure barbel were caught, crucians and roach to near record size, perch, chub, tench and bream to make the mouth water. All will be in the pages and well illustrated with lots of colour photographs.

There is a 1000 copy print run of the hardback edition and a further 40 leather bound copies for the connoisseur.

Copies available from myself just email phlpsmith9@aol.com or ring 07980 394864 for details

Still a limited number of leathers available.

Alternatively use the web page http://www.philsmithangler.co.uk/ where you can order by Paypal or credit/debit card.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Friday the 13th

I am not a superstitious person but I could not help but to take note of a piece on the local C&W radio as I travelled in the early hours of the friday morning towards the tench lake.  It was relating the fact that for couples looking to arrange their wedding and reception they could well make a substatial saving on the cost by booking Friday 13th.  Any other friday will be booked for up to, and over a year ahead, but this date will remain empty in many cases.  This of course leads to the chance to get very good rates from a number of different venues.  What has this to do with my fishing trip?  Well, not a lot really but I was making an extra effort today, up very early [for me], and the thought to stay late, perhaps a 16 or 17 hours effort at the water, but on Friday the 13th perhaps I was tempting the gods.

I was starting in a new swim since the ones that had previously given up the little green gems to me were already occupied by overnight anglers.  Never mind, the fish must use all of the venue over the course of time and now I would be forced into trying a completely different section.  Was the 13th already in play, time would tell.

My tackle is fairly standard for this type of venture, 12ft 1.75lb test rods combined with 12lb main line and a similar strength 6inch braid hook length.  I will be using a helicoptor rig where the hook will be lay along side the feeder and is held in place by float stops that will release the rig should I break.  Bait is to be red maggots and the size 14 hook will have a single artificial and two natural maggots to attract the passing fish.  The articial being boyant does help to take up the weight of the hook thereby allowing the bait to act more like the free offerings coming out of the feeder.

Tackle ready, I set about where to cast the bait.  I like to choose a spot that can easily be repeated and for this I use the shadows cast on the water from the opposite bank.  Normally trees, it can be building or any other feature the lays a clear shadow in the general area I am thinking of casting to.  This allows a regular feed to go into the swim and theyby build up a tight feeding area.  Without the shadow the feed will usually be spread over a larger area, this will reduce the chance that the single fish that came across the swim will actually find the hookbait.   That done, I can now use my comparatively new piece of tackle, a Spomb.  Normally I use a spod to put feed out but this bit of gear is so much better, no lost bits as you cast, quite accurate and easy to retrieve, well recomended.  Out goes a little hemp along with some old maggots that are turning to caster as I look at them.  Not too much, little and often is better.  Now I am ready and as I so often say, 'time to sit back and wait'.

I did not wait too long before a little male tench of about 4lb was coming to the net, good start and this was followed by a plump 7lb-1oz specimen to take away any thought of a 13th hoodoo.

                                                               7lb-1oz Friday 13th May

The sun came down and then I got the forcasted showers - at times this looked like out and out rain but I suppose the forcasters know what their about.  Fortunately it did not affect the fishing a a nice 5lb-15oz male put up one hell of a scrap before going into the net.

                                                                 5lb-15oz male.

The fish continued to come at regular intervals, Spomb out some bait, wait a bit and ignore the occasional line bite then get a fish.  Then I struck something special, you know when the fish is that bit bigger just by the way they take line off the clutch straight away following the strike.  Great fight and nerve racking moments when having seen the fish I remember that tiny 14 hook hold.  That said she went into the net and a seasons best tench lay looking at me.  At 8lb-14oz it was a fish I could class as big and Friday the 13th is now one of my favorites days in the calendar.


  1. You did say it was big, Phil, and it is.

    Makes my recent 'six' look like a bleedin' tiddler...!

  2. Some lovely Tincas Phil.I have just found your blog via your blog post on the BFW forum and glad I did as it makes for a very nice read.