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.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Another year to remember - month by month look at the year.

Well that is another year coming to an end, but what a year.  This blog has come of age with the followers now at 100 and the total pageviews at over 66,000, it makes it all worth while to keep up the effort of the diary.

I am considering publishing a book which would be a record of this blog from its inception and your thoughts on the idea would be appreciated.  Initial figures suggest perhaps £10 for B&W and £25 for colour.

Recent weeks have proven very hard to get any consistant sport and most trips have in fact been a total blank, fortunately the year has a whole has been quite satisfactory so lets have a look at the highlights.

The 2012 year has been an exciting year with both highs and lows that I have shared with you through this blog.   Although I’ve only caught one new personal best of a species, I have increased the number of rivers where a double figure barbel has been caught as well as improving other river bests.  Improving a personal best is only one measure of success, and I was very pleased with getting my target fish in chub, and tench along with the barbel already mentioned.  The crowning feature of the year was almost the last when my crucian claim was accepted as an equal British record at 4lb-9oz.  No BRFC certificate yet, but I am advised that it will arrive early in January and once framed it will find a place on the wall.  So let us look at some of the highlights of my year, month by month.

The month had started much as the previous year had ended floods with very cold snaps to interrupt consistent sport.  I had been fishing the River Anker for a couple of seasons, not often, but enough to have hoped for better results in that I had not caught a single barbel up to date.  This visit towards the end of the month put that right in the form of another different river double and a river record at the time of capture going 15lb-4oz.
                                                                   15lb-4oz Anker pb.
We sometimes have mild months at this time of year, but this was not one of them.  I struggled to catch fish at all, a few perch and an odd smaller chub was the reward for a fair bit of effort.  Then I decided to go south to the Hampshire Avon for a few days and I got my reward in the form of a 7lb 2oz monster chub along with other fish made smaller by comparison.

                                                        Magnificent Avon Chub

Although not a monster by today’s standards I was pleased to land a 20lb-12oz Common Carp from a canal on a match rod using gear suited to the silver bream I was trying to catch – the rod broke but I did land the fish.
                                                                Canal specimen
Not a particularly successful month by my own standards, a chub of 6lb-1oz caught along with a 2lb-7oz perch off the Avon and a 3lb-7oz perch caught from a local commercial being the better fish landed.

                                                               Best of the season at 3lb-7oz 
Always a chancy month and this one saw the start of the tench fishing produce fish to 6lb-3oz for me, and a 46lb-9oz catfish caught by Curtis from Orchid Lakes.
                                                          With a little help to hold it.

This month saw me get a brace of catfish at 41lb and 34lb-4oz, but the highlight by a long way was a 10lb-5oz tench from a new water, this being the third different venue where I’ve taken a double figure specimen.
                                                                      A real gem. 
A good month for me with a 12lb-4oz barbel off the Dove and a brace of tench off a local water at 9lb and 9lb-4oz amongst a 15 fish catch, the first time the venue had done such a brace.  This was topped off by a brace of roach from Lochnaw at 2lb-13oz each.

                                                                  12lb-4oz Dove double.

                                                        Best of the tench brace  9lb-4oz.
                                                          First of the brace of 2lb-13oz roach. 
Lots of barbel from different rivers with yet another different river double, this being the River Soar and an 11lb-1oz specimen.  Although I had caught barbel from both the Ribble and Goyt they fell short of that double figure target ensuring I still had plenty to go at.

                                                                    11lb-1oz Soar double
This month started with a bang when a trip north to do a barbel talk gave me the chance to fish the River Swale and I was rewarded with yet another different river double at 12lb-2oz, bringing the total rivers to 23. 
                                                                       Swale monster. 
A return trip to Lochnaw saw me improve the previous brace from the last trip by one ounce with a pair of roach at 2lb-14oz.  Lots of barbel for me though nothing spectacular, but Curtis upped his personal best to 10lb-15oz from the River Severn, his first ever double.

                                                                       He looks pleased.

                                               The second of the 2lb-14oz brace.
Again lots of barbel off different rivers topped off by three 11lb fish, two off the Kennet and one from the Severn all within a four day spell.  Very pleased with the barbel but a new English pb put extra dimples in the cheeks when I landed a very hard fighting sturgeon of 75lb-5oz.

                                                                   It was this long!
My third trip to the north for roach finally paid off with a Lochnaw 3lb specimen taken along with a 2lb-14oz backup fish.  I did not know it at the time but that was to be the last of the better fishing for this year as the weather went haywire and floods and frost made fishing difficult. 

                                                                      3lb At last.
As mentioned at the start of this piece my 4lb-9oz crucian caught in 2004 has been accepted as an equal British record.  This came about as a result of a correction of an anomaly where the current 4lb-9dram fish could not have been weighed on the scales being used.  That 9 dram only came about through the Weights & Measures Dept. checking scales in the metric system and needed a conversion back to imperial.  Whatever the reason I’m delighted to have my name added to a rather exclusive club having twice previously come fourth in the bream list, once from Queenford with a 15lb-14oz fish and then again with my 17lb-15oz Broadwater specimen.  Happy days, even though they fell short of a record.

                                                         A British record at 4lb-9oz.
Looking at the blog for last December I can see that this was a repeat in that there were very few fish with a lot of hard effort, but yet again the year as a whole has been kind, hopefully your results have met with your hopes as well.


  1. Excellent post Phil,a blog that I really enjoy following, keep up the good work and good luck for 2013.

  2. Top stuff Phil, it must be great to crack a record after all of those years of coming close. Is that other crucian still being considered do you know?