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.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Average day.

With the high temperature dropping from that we have suffered over the last few days I thought a fishing fix was in order.  Plenty of things come to mind but with the success of the last trip to the Teme I wondered if the barbel were still going barmy.

Arrived to fish I found the colour had mostly dropped out of the river, but still a little extra water showing on the height.  Trying a new swim I had one rod on the home made 10mm boilie, the other rod would be to present the pellets that did the job last week.  both rods had an open ended feeder with pellet and hemp in an attempt to attract the fish.

Lots of knocks from the chub on the pellet rod, and a few on the other rod but I ended the session with 4 chub to 3lb something and 1 barbel about 4lb, all on pellet.   Not what I went for but far better than a blank.

Friday 24 June 2011

Teme calling.

Following last Saturdays effort on the Avon I went for a ride round with Merv on the Sunday.  first weekend of the season and anglers were missing - Barford was empty, other Avon venues, similar story.  I never thought to see this picture where even the new page of another river season was not enough to get anglers out to at least check if the sport was any better than that of last season.  Go fishing on a river and you may have a blank - stay at home and you'll definately have one.

I got way laid this week with a recuring problem of lower back pain, enough to stop me fishing Monday to Thursday, it has to be bad to do that!  Went to the osteopath on the Monday but it was still tender and although I had planed a trip to the Colne Valley it would have required the use of the barrow and that was a no-no.

Thursday I decided to try the Avon on a venue where I can fish out of the van, off early and fishing before 7am - packed up 8:30pm with just 4 roach to the pellet rod.  They wittle the pellets down to a point where it is almost just the super glue left and then they take that.  This shot was the first one caught, and I just admired its perfection before the cormarants got at it.  The best of the four went about 1lb so I might go back and try for them with a float.

                                                                 Nice silver.

Friday I decided it was time to try the River Teme again, at 10lb-4oz my river best barbel needs improving.  The banks can be a bit of a problem but I knew a swim where I could get in without difficulty - landing a fish might be a different story, but I'd cover that if the need arose.

                                                          Reasonably comfortable in this swim
Fishing with pellet on the hair, and a mix of pellet and hemp in the feeder, I took fish steadily through-out the day.  Lots of smaller samples that bode well for the future if they can live long enough to grow up.  2lb-4lb sort of size, and of the eight barbel landed five were in those brackets.  Then a 5lb fish joined with a 6lb fighter, and last, but not least, a season best so far of 8lb-13oz.

                                                           8lb-13oz Teme Tiger.

Saturday 18 June 2011

open season.

I started the new season with a short session on the upper reaches of the Avon.  barbel could be seen in the swim, not big, but the target species,  A few hours later one picked up my artificial casters and I had my first barbel of the season.  Maybe 4lb but a start, and better than lots of blanks I've suffered on previous opening days.
                                                             First day barbel 2011
Today I went back for an afternoon session.  Again with casters/hemp and I hoped my previous bait dropping would have got their taste buds working.  Sure enough, between the rain showers [and storms] I caught a further three barbel to about 6lb and five chub to about 3lb.  I had forgot just how much barbel can pull, even these little ones put a nice bend in a 1.5lb test rod - I look forward to the bigger one pulling it round.  :)
                                                           Typical of chub caught.

                                                                        heavy rain as well

Thursday 16 June 2011

Hours on the bank.

When you read the weekly papers or monthly magazines it is normal to see lots of big fish being paraded, what is normally missing are the stories of the hundreds of hours that go unrecorded behind each picture.   I am fortunate in that I know many of the leading names in the specialist angling world; I can say without exception they all suffer the same percentage of blank sessions as most anglers on the bank.  Sometimes this figure can be far higher if the angler decides to target a particulary large group of fish on a low density water.  This as an example could mean 20, 30 or even more blanks in a row, just for that one chance that may never happen.

                                                                       6lb specimen tench
This week I did 60 hours on the Colne Valley lake that produced my double for the season.  The tench are caught predominately in the mornings so I arrived early Monday, and fished through to early afternoon on the Wednesday.  My total result was tench of 5lb-10oz [m] and 6lb [f].  Just one solitary bream just over the 10lb mark, and 3 eels between 1.5lb and maybe 2.5lb.  The angler in the next swim had just one tench of 6lb-14oz [m] so perhaps my result was good.   In actual fact the result was almost very good in as much as we both caught, many weeks on this water can be a total blank for all on the bank but that 12lb plus tench is out there waiting to be caught.

                                                                            10lb +

It is now the 16th June, and rivers, along with many of our still waters, are open again for fishing.  30 years ago I would without a doubt have been on the bank somewhere, waiting for the midnight to strike before I cast out for tench that hopefully had not yet spawned.   That side of my angling has now passed and I fish through the normal close season and catch my share of the fish without the problem of whether they had spawned.  That leaves the rivers, still an exciting prospect but without the urgency of those bygone days.  Now I'm more relaxed and I'll go down the river this afternoon and break the water's surface in the traditional manner, I'll probably blank - again in the traditional manner but maybe, just maybe, that barbel will oblige and I'm off for another season.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Lightening strikes again - well almost!

With last weeks results I had to return while the tench were in the area, they come and go and at the moment they have come.  I went to the water Monday morning arriving after a very early start and fishing for 5:30am.
Casters and hemp in open ended feeders were the order of the day and I fished away hopeful of a result.  I was down until Thursday so the blank I had this day was disappointing but not fatal to my confidence.

The blank the following day did have me wondering since three other anglers on the bank were also suffering the same result, had the tench begun to spawn? perhaps, but time would tell.

5:50am Wednesday morning I got part of an answer as the bobbin rose and I went on to land a well proportioned tench of 9lb-10oz.  I had been convinced it would go over the ten mark but these blasted scales always tell the truth.

                                                                  9lb 10oz June tench.

                                                 This shows the belly somewhat better.
I thought that would be the start but it was still the only fish on the bank as the Wednesday night fell.  At just after 11:00pm the bobbin dropped and I went on to land a spawned out 10lb-2oz bream followed an hour later by another of 9lb-7oz.  I took a self portrait of the double but did not take enough care and I clipped the tail, not to worry, if it had been big, the shots would have been perfect.

                                            Any double is worth a photo 10lb-2oz just makes it.

I'll be back next week but will the tench?

Friday 3 June 2011

Tench surprise.

My 1st choice tench venue seems to have been decimated and all the bigger tench have disappeared, this means I have to move on.   I chose a water in the Home Counties that I have fished for bream for several years, I know the big tench are there but the pit is very big and there are few tench in it.  Last week I blanked, could it do the same again to me.

I intended to fish open ended feeders with casters as bait, it needs the open end version to enable the caster to be left in the swim since there is no flow to dislodge them from the closed version.  Three artificials were put onto the hair with a size 16 Palatrax hook [ bigger than the size states] and I cast the two rods every 15 minutes in order to build up the swim.

Up at 4.15am and out went the fresh baits loaded into the feeders, I kept to the self imposed time-table until the first bite at just before 10:00am.  What a scrap, I thought it was going to be big but when I put it on the bank I could see it was very big.

                                                                   11lb-14oz monster.

  At 11lb-14oz it puts 1lb-2oz on my pb and I would rank it within my top 5 specimen fish of different species.  Icing on the cake is that it is definately a different fish to the one I witnessed last week at 11lb-12oz so there are at least two monsters swiming there.  I caught a 6lb-13oz male to complete my session and make my day a memorable one.

                                                               6lb-13oz male specimen
I fished for a further two days and caught just one each day, 7lb-10oz and then 5lb-1oz on the last morning.  Not easy fishing but what rewards wait you if you succeed.

                                                          successful rig for tench.