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.

Sunday 10 July 2011

A catfish with a difference.

As mentioned in the last feature I was going after a sturgeon on a short session last Wednesday, as with so many these plans in did not follow my expectations.  Merv caught a nice sturgeon of just under 16lb whilst dodging the rain showers, but my bite produced a carp, a nice carp at 18lb-10oz, but still a carp.  That's the last two visits now where Merv caught the target and I took the runner up prize with carp.

                                                           18lb-10oz consolation prize

Thursday afternoon I picked up Curtis, Merv's grandson, following his day at school, all his tackle was already in the van as I wanted an early departure in order to beat the traffic on the A34 as it goes past Oxford.   With his teacher on a training day on the friday it gave us an ideal chance to go to Orchid Lakes in an attempt to get him a catfish, it also gave a chance for me to improve mine since there were three definate different 50lb cats in the Club Lake waiting to be caught.

Following a good run down where the only problem was a lorry having run off the M40 causing one lane to close.  We arrive at the lake about 5:00pm giving plenty of time to get set up and hopefully we could miss the rain showers that were promised.  In good time both camps were set up and we were ready to go, baits cast out and curtis kept a fairly constant shower of halibut pellets going in the region of the one bait cast under a tree on the opposite side of the lake.  We had a wide range of baits available and would ring the changes over the time up to sunday morning, pellets, boilies, meat and worms, all we needed was a fish ready to pick one of them up.

                                                        Camp set up on Club Lake.

The first night came and went but for us it was without result, a lad fishing round the corner from us took a pb catfish for himself at 25lb odd and it gave us hope that at least the cats were feeding.  Friday past as all fishing days do in expectation, but the only break was at around 6:00pm when another lad fishing toward the airator at the one end of the lake took a nice cat of 38lb-13oz, getting better.  Going into dusk, just after 10:00pm, my right hand alarm signal interest and following a good fight I landed a very nice starter for the session at 31lb-3oz.  A good fish, but the rest of the night let us down as only the constant attention of bream, tench and carp nudged the baits in an attempt to take them kept us alert and ready for action.  Daybreak came and a check of other anglers results showed no further cats had been taken, although there were a good number of carp to those that had targeted them.

                                                                   31lb-3oz Moggy

One of the reasons for coming down to Orchid, beside trying to catch catfish, was to celebrate Marsh Pratley's 60th birthday.  He had laid on quite a 'do' and expected anywhere between 40 and 60 people to attend.  This was to start about 6:00pm and I had arranged to go round at 5:00pm in order we could both wash and brush up afer two days on the bank.  Generally I think of cats as night feeders although plenty do get caught in the day, yesterday's 38 being an example, still I am not really thinking of it happening in daylight.  About 11:00am, I was actually taking the photograph of the camps when the alarm signalled yet another bite by yelling out as the line stripped out from the reel.  The initial strike did not suggest a big fish and I was playing it quite casually thinking it was similar to last nights example, then it went down the lake but still only comparable with what that the other cat had done.  Now I pulled to bring it back, the last cat had obeyed the pull but this one refused.  I pulled harder and the rod bent round further but the fish did not move, stalemate!  I tried to pump it back, but as I let the rod go foreward it straightend a little but before I could reel the line onto the spool it bent back round again.  I did comment to the angler in the next swim, who had moved across to watch, that it was bigger then I first thought.  Now it came down to a pulling match and for most of the next 20 minutes the fish won hands down and I became convinced that I had hooked one of the lakes bigger residents.  At last, with a maturity well beyond his 12 years, Curtis slipped the 50 inch net under my prize and made him safe in the edge.  By now there were several angers watching the fight and I asked two of them for help in the weighing, my arms are not what they used to be.  I watched as the digitals finally settled on 55lb-9oz a new lake record though only by two ounces, but that generally is the way of new records when the same fish is concerned.  An English pb and one that gives great satisfaction, topping off many visits to this lake over the years.

                                                                  55lb-9oz lake record.

Marsh's 'do' went very well and the following hours until we left passed in an instant with me hoping that Curtis could break his duck, the answer unfortunately was no, and we left vowing to return in the near future to put that right.

1 comment:

  1. Wow TM those fish are awesome, Ive never caught a catfish, one day eh!