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, 10 March 2012

My last trip South for this season.

Yet again I did the trip to the south and fished the Hampshire Avon for those big chub that swim there.  As you know the weather last Sunday and Monday was just a little bit cold, quite a change from the previous days when that snow fell on Sunday.  I had planned the trip to begin on Tuesday but I did wonder whether that very cold snap could make it just too bad for even the chub to tolerate.

 I checked the river temperature by the gauge at Knapp Mill [ http://www.knappmill.co.uk/id2.html ]  and could see the water had dropped from just over 10C to about 6.5C but if I stayed home what would I do? – I went.

Over the next few days I consistently caught chub, not as big I would have hoped for with a best weight of 6lb-1oz but the chance was always there.  A bonus perch of 2lb-7oz also took the artificial caster that was being used to beat the ever present problem of minnows; there are millions of them in the river.  The bull-head that took a maggot almost half its own length was outnumbered by a factor of 1000/1 by those minnows, but he still got onto the bait.
6lb-1oz Avon chub.
2lb-7oz bonus perch.
                                                            Pesky things are a right pain.
                                                       Ugly, but somebody loves him.
As with last week’s account there is always plenty of wildlife to see in the area, deer, buzzards, kingfishers and all the common birds you see on the bank everywhere.  One unusual sighting was that of a male ring ouzel that has obviously strayed into the area normally being found further north.  I tried for my normal photo shot but the dam thing would stay long enough to get it, another time perhaps.
                                                               Always something of interest about.

John Found, who was again my fishing companion, had a frustrating couple of days.  He tried a new swim and was delighted to get indications off chub almost straight away.  The problem he had was one of not being able to conect with apparently perfect bites that would even spin the reel.  Time and time again he missed, and then would connect with a fish out of the blue on an indication that appeared exactly the same.  He managed to hook eight to a best of 6lb-3oz over the two days, but he reconds he missed maybe 50 or more.  One logical answer is that they were not truely bites, instead it was the chub taking the maggots out of the feeder and giving that tell tale indication.  If you suffer a similar situation try casting into the swim with no bait on the hook and see if you still get the apparent perfect bite.
                                                     Chub rig with 4lb Fireline and artificial caster.


  1. A couple of nice fish there Phil, as for the Minnows I had the same on the Loddon, like packs of Piranha, simply ravenous. Always nice to see a miller's thumb and it looks like he made quite a meal out of that maggot too.

  2. A six is still nowt to grumble about Phil, I thing I will be making the same journey a few times myself next winter

  3. I remember catching Bullheads in a net from my local brook when I was younger, never had one take a hookbait, probably hardest catch of the season Phil. Real nice Chub - Good result.

  4. Hi Phil
    I am they guy that stumbled through the bushes opposite your swim on the Avon - sorry!
    Glad you had a good couple of days. Intersetingly the Ring Ouzel you saw would have been on passage to its breeding gounds on the Northern Moors as they are a summer visitor. They pass through the souith at this time of the year en-route but are normally seen on South Downs and are notoriously shy so it was a good spot.
    kind regards Mark T