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.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Bream sessions.

My fishing has proven to be unproductive over the last week or more, with 48hrs after bream last week, then a tench session on Saturday, and now another 48hrs bream fishing that have all proven to be a total blank.  The season is well behind where it could be expected to be and even the trees that should be in full leaf are only just beginning to shows signs of waking up.
                                                            Just opening the buds  24 April 13

My bream sessions are done inside the M25 circle and as such I often seen the wild parakeets but this time I got a fair photograph of them as well, normally they are at the top of trees behind the leaf cover.  The way they are spreading it will not be too long before we see them in the Midlands, noisy devils but colourful.

                                                                Colourful but noisy.

Although I did not catch the tactics are well proven so I’ll just run through them in case you fancy a try on a large water for a double.  After many trials I now put most of my hopes into sweetcorn as the main bait, I’ll still include boilies, pellets and maggot/casters since if the fish move in on mass they can clear your well prepared table quite quickly.  The use of a marker rod can be helpful in finding the features that I like to fish, a bar rising out of deeper water that allows me to bait up on the top with loads of different particles.  Preferably I will fish three different bars with the three rods normally employed, since the bream tend to wander aimlessly over gravel pits.  The lakes and reservoirs will sometimes show a patrol route they take and this gives a chance to ambush them, but not on the pits.

                                                            Bream feast in the Spomb.

I have included some hemp in the mix, not for the bream but in the hope that just maybe one of the rare tench might show up and they love hemp.  Two handful of mixed pellet, one of Source boilie, two cans of corn and a little method mix will be put out to the marker with a Spomb, not too tightly since I want a pattern that allows more than one fish to browse the area.  Hook bait is one plastic buoyant corn balanced with natural grains.  Other hooks might carry one of the different particles but that is always on one of them.  The 6” hooklink will be 6lb or 8lb mono with a size 6 or 8 hook.

                                                                 Hookbait for bream.

With the feed out and three baits cast out into the swim it is then just a case of waiting to see what the night might bring.   I’ve literally spent thousands of nights after bream and just a few of them have produced the magic like this pb of 17lb-15oz, this time was a blank, but next time, well that’s fishing.

                                                                 17lb-15oz dustbin lid

                                                        Moon's up, night's not far away.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Tench tactics and Sturgeon to start the new season off.

Having spent 20 days in the high temperatures of South America it was bit of a shock to arrive back in Britain with the snow and freezing conditions that just would not go away.  Normally I would quickly have been out for the usual two night breaks targeting the bream on my usual London venue, but with those conditions I put the idea on the back shelf.  The problem with that idea was that it just stayed cold and even a planned sturgeon trip was rearranged for a week later than initially booked.  We knew it was still not the best of conditions to fish in with the easterly winds still cooling the apparent higher temperatures being experienced, but with Curtis still in school we had to fit in with the school holidays. 
The sturgeon trip had been planned for some months and there would be the four anglers fishing, Curtis, Merv, with Simon from Bicester and myself, all eager to go and hopefully catch one of the big ones.  Standard tactics were legered fish baits, I used mackerel and herring but it was the trout section on Simon’s rod that went off during the first afternoon.  A great fight followed, where the fish was initially in control but slowly Simon gained the upper hand until at last the sturgeon slipped into the purpose build 6ft landing net.  Our previous trip after these monsters had shown the need for the big nets since they will not fold into a smaller one as so many other fish will; they remain like a stiff board without flexing at all.  Once in the net the next problem was to lift it out of the water and onto the waiting large mat so necessary to any fish on rough ground.  At about 6ft long these fish again need purpose made equipment, but we had it so no problem.  Now we came to the best bit and once on the scales we could see that Simon had caught the largest fish of his angling career at 89lb, his job was done, but we struggled through the next few days without another chance, hopefully next time!

                                                                        Simon's monster
When we returned from that trip the wind was already forecast to turn from the eastern direction to a more favourable one so plans were made for Saturday to go to the local tench water.  The early season sessions for tench are always a bit hit and miss with the fish just thinking about feeding in earnest.  I had already had reports that just one fish had been caught on Thursday and one on Friday so my target was to catch at least one to get my season off to a start.

                                                       Setting up for the start of the session.

Method feeder and rig used.
                                                                   Inline maggot feeder and rig.

With two rods in action it seems obvious to try two different approaches so I looked at the most successful that I’ve used in the past.  First and probably the best when it is working is the maggot feeder, I say maggot but equally, and even slightly ahead, would be casters included in the Spomb to lay a bed over which the maggot feeder is used.  As can be seen in the photo I use artificial casters on the hook and these have proven their worth over many sessions so I use them with total confidence.  The second method I will use is a method feeder with either corn or boilie on a short hooklink.  On this occasion I would use the flatbed type feeder that allows the bait to lie within the moulded method mix, there are many other approaches but this does work well.  Again for this trip I will begin with artificial bait in the form of corn.  I used the method shown in the blog last May where a size 20 hook is first tied on the hair before assembly and then maggots can be put on this before the hook is pulled be into the corn, my thought is that the maggot’s movement may well attract a passing fish.

I had used the Spomb to put out three loads of a simple mix of method and maggot over each of my chosen marks and it was the corn rig that was to get my first tench of the new season.  At 5lb-4oz it was not big but pleasing never the less, the red colour that can be seen in the photo is I believe a parasite that often affects the fish and it is not of major concern.

                                                                First tench of the season.
It is perhaps an indication of the state of the fishing at the moment that I was on my own on a good water on a Saturday, but over the afternoon I did catch another two tench both of them falling to the maggot rig, not conclusive but at least the fish are starting to wake up.  It had rained for a fair amount of the afternoon but as 6pm approached it at least slowed down so I packed up well satisfied with my result.

                                                             Smaller but still welcome.

My next trip will be Tuesday and I’ll be off to try for those London bream hopefully in nice weather and with feeding fish in front of me, I’ll let you know so tight lines for your own efforts until then