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.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Just like buses

When I packed up yesterday I was quite pleased with the result, and thought to return next week.  I got home through all that rain, deciding I had finished at the right time, it was in for the night.   Sitting at home Saturday morning, I decided that the river would have to be in better trim with the extra water going in, a slight colour tinge, and rise in level could put it spot on, I had to go back to try again.

Arriving early afternoon I found the river had indeed risen slightly, and there was definately more colour.  I had watched the chub drifting round yesterday, today there would be no chance of that.  I stopped to chat with a couple of the anglers already fishing and it seemed the sport was in fact quite slow, surprised, but I'm here now so let's find a swim.

Those of you who have fished the Teme will know the first difficulty of the river, those steep banks that make finding any swim a challenge.  You can see the features that would be a delight to try, but shear drops leave no possbility of getting down to the bottom.  Even the spots that are available are all too often quite uncomfortable.  Small, still difficult to access, generally on a slope, and in the rain dangerous, but other than that no problem!

Arriving late on a Saturday and the general lack of swims meant it was probably the best part of three quarters of a mile before I dropped into one that I fancied.  This early in the season many swims have not been opened and after fishing for a couples of hours without result I made a move, this time I took a little chap of maybe 3lb that thought he was much bigger.  The sun was now blazing down and although this does not normally affect sport I decided to do a little exploring.  For the last several years I have been on the self imposed Barbel Challenge of attempting to get doubles off different rivers.  I've now reached 20 and although I'll still go for others it will be with far less intensity.  Previously I was always looking at rivers where I had not got the double and others rivers took second place.  This had meant that the Teme did not get the attention it deserved, a fact I intend to correct this year.  That exploring involved going along the bank and into each available track to see what was there, many other anglers had previously done the same and found, as I did, that most were a dead end at the top of a sheer drop into the river.  Others were definately out of my ability to nagotiate, twenty years ago I might of been able to scramble down, and with more difficulty, back up the slope from the swim, but not now.  Probably half the swims fell into this group and it limited my choices quite badly.  Still, I'm not going to get any more agile than I am today so it was a case of finding the swims I could access, then looking at a selection that looked worth-while for the time to be spent in them.  One swim seemed very nice, the river had narrowed slightly, snags opposite, both upstream and downstream, I decided on yet another move.

I was using the normal arrangement of two rods where the swim allowed, here I put one behind the snag upstream, and the other on the outside edge of the downstream obstruction.  Both end tackles were the same, pellet for bait and a swimfeeder loaded with pellets just dampened with the addition of hemp seed.  No addition water was needed, since the hemp gave out enough to make the pellet hold in the feeder for the time it took to cast out.  Now I was back into the waiting game, how many hours, days, weeks and even years have I spent doing just that, I dread to think!

                                                                 10lb-7oz Teme Tiger.
I had been getting small knocks that I put down to chub, thinking of those mopping up the feed I had been casting out out quite often to top up the swim with particle hoping that when the barbel arrived he would stay for dinner.  At last, some hours later, one of my hoped for guests arrived and signaled that arrival with the door bell, well not really the door bell but the rod top slamed round and it had the same effect- I knew who had called.  The Teme fish have the nick name of 'Teme Tigers' and this one lived up to the reputation, and following quite a scrap I landed a new personal best for the river of 10lb-7oz.  Bit of fun trying to weigh and photograph the fish in that small swim, whilst looking after its well being in the higher temperatures of the day, but I got there and cast the rod out again.   No sooner done than the other rod sprang to life with another calling card, again an obvious big fish that was to prove to be a second double of 10lb-2oz, amazing!   All those years and trips to the Teme for just one double, and now just like the proverbial buses, two came along together.

                                                      2nd double of the day 10lb-2oz.


  1. Nice one phil, looking forward to my first trip down there this season even more now I've read this post.

  2. Yeah, great fish Phil. Two doubles in a day is one to remember.