Monday, 2 November 2009

Advanced Planning

Hello again and a blustery welcome back to Fishing For Memories.

The weather the last few days has taken quite a turn for the worse,with rain and high winds.However there is still plenty of things that can be organised and planned whilst the elements are none to conducive.

I decided that I needed some larger capacity reels to replace my old and much loved Shimano Baitrunner 8000`s which are an integral part of my stillwater setup, after a lot of looking round and indecision I decided to order two Maver Tica Abyss free spool,pit reels from a seller in America, via Ebay for around £54 each inc delivery, they arrived yesterday and I must say after much toying with them they seem lovely, the real proof will be if they last as good as my shimanos have.

10 ball bearings and a capacity of 300 yards of 20lb line,along with what seems a very smooth and finely adjustable baitrunner system.

Mavger tica Abyss


I also managed to pick up a Daiwa Regal Plus 5000BRI. Although not feeling in the same class as the Tica Abyss and showing signs of being well used, it seems in good working order and cost me £16 so I thought it would come in useful.


I do plan on loading these with fairly heavy line,I am considering Berkley big game,which has never really let me down and I have a lot of confidence in, or perhaps Nash bullet, I would use Fox soft steel again as that is what I have on my Baitrunners and it is fairly abrasion resistant, however I dislike the way it has a tendency to have memory issues and go all springy and coil up after you have used it for only a short time.

Either way I will be very interested to see how these reels live up to the wear and tear,especially the second hand Daiwa.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Rusty Skies

Hello there and welcome back to fishing for memories.

Before I start to tell you about my latest trip to the riverbank,I wish to digress some what. As you may know I normally fish a lot with my father Robert and I have had a few mails asking why he is not in any recent articles,the sad fact is he has not been able to make it fishing with me since July or thereabouts,his Parkinsons affects him very bad on somedays and on others not so badly. He also has a lot of difficulty with his memory.

when I get down to the swims on the rivers that we used to fish together it fills me with a lot of memorys and emotions,some warm some very sad,I sometimes envisage him being there with me.

Now I am not the most overly sociable chap going because with my Aspergers it makes it very difficult for me to socialise without feeling like i am a duck out of water,but I try as best I can. I miss the company of Robert a lot and our jokes shared on the bankside,as well as shared enjoyment in each others catches,I miss the person he once was,if not for him then I would not be fishing today,god knows the kind of things he had to put up with when I was a youngster and he taught me how to fish.

Aesthetically pleasing gifts for Christmas or Birthdays are all very well,but nothing is worth more than when one human spends his or her time to show and teach you a skill,it is priceless,do not take such things for granted.

I decided to scale down tackle accordingly so as to be compact,it never fails to suprise me how much unecessary tackle we can encumber ourselves with sometimes.

Keeping it compact

In the above picture,the rucksack contains both my non floodwater stc rods with reels attached,bait,tackle,rigs and camera along with food for myself,leaving me with only a seat,brolly,landing mat/net and rod rests which all fit into the seats carry bag.

After myself being too busy,I managed to get out on the river at the same time as a low pressure front came along bringing some welcome rain and cloud cover with it,on the way down to my swim I was greeted with that ever so rich aroma that you get this time of year a damp and richly intoxicating smell of decaying wood and fungi,the smell of Autumn.

My heart said "new spot?" my head disagreed and I was soon setting up in one of my much loved haunts,despite the weather reports claim of low pressure it was suprisingly blue and cool,but the forecast for a low pressure front to push in later on was still looking likely.

I flicked my downstream rod out on 15mm pellet and a tiny mesh bag with crushed boilies and pellet,no more than a rod length out and into a slightly sandy gravel gully,my upstream rod was placed out with the shellfish B5 freezer baits and a mesh bag with a mixture of crushed F5 elips boilies and shellfish B5 boilies,that was placed to a bush.

Not long after being setup,my left rod smacked over fast and bouncy and fell quiet. Chub came to my mind and not long after it ripped over again,too fast for me to strike and then fell quiet again,on checking the rod,the bait had been ripped off as I find can happen a fair bit with Chub.

So rebaited and recast I settled back and noted that the clouds were beginning to roll in and the forecasted rain began to drizzle lightly and along with breeze picked up momentum,all was at peace.

The left rod bleeped again,bounce bleep,bounce,silence again,ten minutes later it took off and I was met with a solid sprinting bullish resistance,the fish sprinted off again along the near bank margin,eventually a very chunky looking Chub was sat in the net,out on to the mat and weighed I was most happy,it was 6lb8oz and looked like it could push to be 7lb+ later on in the year.


Evening drew in very early as it does this time of the year,the rain eased and the clouds parted to reveal the blue star lined blouse above,the temperature dropped slightly,my left rod tapped and the clutch slowly ticked off,I was into a very slow docile fight that signalled a bream and sure enough it was,I did not weigh it and estimated it around the 6lb mark before unhooking it in the net and slipping it back.

The hours wore on,I was giving it until 1am or so,depending on temperatures,the boilie rod had been quiet for a while,but I have a lot of confidence in the spot and bait,crayfish activity had been very minimal as well,most trips they have been active enough

I dozed a little,head rolling back with the whiplash effect waking me up,the boilie rod bleeped once,I stood up and the swinger shot up and clutch ticked,I was into an interesting fight,interesting in that the fish was putting up a good lively fight,but I could not decide wether it was a Barbel or Carp as it diverted from going upstream and tried to go downstream and make some marginal reeds,it was then that I caught its golden flank in the headlight and saw a small but feisty Carp giving me a tussle,once into the net I noted what good condition it was in and went 6lb exactly,it really was in lovely condition and did not look like it had seen a hook.


Time was ticking on by now at 12am and the cloud that had so kindly covered me had now dispersed and the temperature was dropping along with it,I gave it another hour,no more bites materialised so I packed up and headed for home.

Until next time on fishing for memories,tight lines and all the best of luck to you.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Dew Point South


Hello again and a hearty welcome back to fishing for memories.

I have not had quite so much time recently to get some fishing in,but managed to get out last week in midweek for a short and unusually for me non overnight session.

The day was far from ideal and coincided with high pressure and light cold snap we were having in the South of England,nighttime temperatures the wrong side of the dew point and as low as 4.7c,which from my experience is low for the end of September compared to what I have experienced in these global warming fueled recent years,This along with a very stupidly low river for Autumn did make me concerned.

But there's no bad time to go fishing and I decided to head off down to my stretch of river in anticipation of some Barbel,Chub or Carp.

The trees are now shedding their summer clothing and rusty leafs were spread on the ground, the Balsam was looking quite forlorn and turning a limey green,Autumn is a beautiful time to be out fishing,with the trees varying in colour and hawthorn bearing its luminescent yellow autumn berries.

I got to my swim late evening and planned to fish until 1am,that was if the conditions stayed blue and cloud did not make an appearance,I cannot say that I felt as optimistic as I usually do,it was one of those feelings you get use to having as an angler,where you feel the conditions are not prime and the fish are not going to play ball.

I opted to place both rods out on 15mm boilie,one halibut and other Shellfish,in my rush to get out I had misplaced my pack of ready filled pva bags,this was not going to help proceedings and I could have kicked myself for being so woolly headed.

Luckily I did have some free offerings to spare at the bottom of my rucksack and these were hastily placed round both rods,which were fished to near margin and far margin gravel gully's.

The days draw in swiftly now and darkness at around 7pm was soon upon me,I sat listening as the owls started prowling about and a couple of bats clipped my rod tips from time to time.It began to drop in temperature pretty fast,but this did not stop the crayfish activity and they gave my boilies a light chewing,not quit as malicious as they can be I can tell you.

Fish activity started at 7.40 with the halibut boilie picking up a couple of Bream of usual size for this area I was fishing 6 of 7lb mark,this then slowly faded and recommenced later in the evening on the shellfish boilie with another two Bream of similar size.

I was beginning to wonder if this would be the first time this season that I would not bank a Beautiful Barbel and sure enough this did turn out to be what happened.The temperature was by now 5c and it was heading the wrong side of 11pm,earlier in the evening I had had what I felt were the usual tell tale knocks from Barbel but these did not materialize into anything more.

By now I was feeling my umbrella and it was getting soaked in dew,my heart sank,heavy dew and lack of bites are for me synonymous,I stole a look at both rods which had beads of dew hanging from them like diamonds,looking at the sky I could not see a single cloud for miles,not even a hint of some faint wisps.

By now it was getting on for 12am and the heavy dew and lack of cloud sealed my decision to finish up around 1am.

My left Halibut boilie rod let out a fast beep and the swinger smacked against the rod and went slack and lifeless,I was thinking "hmm Chub",which would be nice,as the area I was fishing has some clonkers in it.

The rod fell silent for 20 minutes before it took off and ran downstream,I was into a sprinting fight and under the headlight I could see a solid shape and broad back of a Chub,it was still showing signs of some summer leanness but looked a good fish,once in the net I felt its weight and guesstimated it around the 5lb mark,the scales merrily tipped round to 5lb 8oz. No Barbel but I was certainly not complaining in the least with a lovely Chub which along with the Bream had cheered me up nicely.


This was the end of my short session and at just gone 1am with the dew getting ever heavier and the river still and silent,I headed off back home.

Until next time from myself on fishing for memories,may your Autumn fishing be grand and your weather system cyclonic.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

()><(((º> Litter Louts <º)))><()

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After spending this evening down my local stretch of river litter picking,I feel a need to have a rant about so called "anglers" who bring their rubbish be it food,drink and bait packets and cannot be bothered to take their rubbish home once finished with,these muppets for want of another word then dispose of items in hedges and bushes surrounding some of the most beautiful unspoiled stretches of river,I spent the evening gladly clearing the rubbish up and filling two black bin bags full of their crap which included Stella Artois Cans and Cider Cans and excessive amounts of toilet roll,which had also been dumped into the side of the river.

It saddens me terribly to see such shit being left behind,you are not anglers,you are not welcome to grace the banks of such water and you are not welcome in my presence and it is the minority like you that give the Anti Brigade extra ammunition and also sully the reputation of decent thoughtful anglers.

there is one word for this type of angler and that is SCUM,if you can bring something then you can damn well take it home.

That is my rant over.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

()><(((º> Final Tears Of Summer <º)))><()

Hello again and welcome back to fishing for memories.

I managed to get out for the first brief overnight session of September on the river last Friday afternoon,in what I can only describe as very windy weather indeed and rain,but you will not catch fish trying to wait for the perfect weather system.

I think too many anglers try to look for the perfect weather for fishing and whilst this can be good,far far too much time can be spent and wasted on such contemplation,do not let yourself become a slave to this way of thinking,try to be spontaneous with some of your decisions and do not end up becoming stale,unimaginative and a stick in the mud.

Just lately on the river having spoken to a few anglers,it has been a bit harder going,they put this down to a lack of rainfall and are finding the bites coming later and later into the night and more warily.I have found this at times,but I have been very lucky to not have blanked yet this season,but I am sure I have now tempted fate by mentioning.

I got to my chosen swim very late afternoon,the Blackberry bushes looking very ripe and the bird life was having a field day with them,the Balsam was looking a bit tired,but still with many flowers swaying about to and fro in the gusty winds catapulting the remaining bees about. The sky had taken a heavy Autumnal look,the clouds were low,moody and racing by,I was also greeted by the lovely sight of Red Kites hovering effortlessly on the wind,whilst scouring the ground for some prey.


I opted due to the shallowness of the swim in question to fish both rods on fluorocarbon hook links of 10lb,with both rods set as low as the bushes would allow,rather than fishing both rods on boilie as I had intended,I decided instead on 15mm Halibut pellet and given the added wariness of this swim,I did not use any pva at all and lightly lowered both rods into position on to gravel runs.

As the evening drew in there was the odd rattler on the rod tip from smaller fish which resulted in a kamikaze Gudgeon being hooked on my size 8 hook,they never fail to give a good bite.The taps and knocks on the rod tip slowly disappeared and the most massive full moon I have seen reared its huge head across the river,the wind had pushed all the cloud away and I was sat basking in the bright light of the moon,in fact I could have sworn it was daytime it really was incredibly bright.


The dew was now showing signs of becoming heavy and the droplets glistened on my rods like rows of diamonds,I always feel my chances lessen when a heavy dew builds.All was quiet and it was getting late,it did cross my mind that I might be in for a blank,but when your in such beautiful surroundings blanking is well worthwhile,I sat and commenced to nibble on my pack of Hob Nobs,whilst taking fleeting looks at the skyline,I was rather hoping for some cloud cover to roll in from the southwest but this did not look like happening,the moon big,bold and sky dotted with stars,I thought to myself "it truly is a good night to be an owl out hunting",their calls began, later on a Barn owl flew over my head and perched on its usual tree upon the far bank.

My rods remained still,some weed and other bits of junk passed by me,the water looked wonderful,its ebb and flow caught from different angles by the full moon,the water activity was silent but for the odd sign of Mink diving in further downstream.

It was late,I sat and pondered a change to mussel boilie on one rod,but for some reason I felt my best chance would still be on the pellet.

My left rod which had been like the other so very silent did not bother to signal its intent with a single warning bleep but instead tore off downstream from the marginal gravel run and I was met by the resistance of a superb fighting fit Barbel,I tightened the drag of the tiny Exage reel in my effort to halt the fishes run to its chosen destination "snag land".

Slowly bullying it I brought it to the bank side and there it nestled in the net it's back glistening in the gaze of the moon,a wide smile broke upon me,the happiness the fish had bestowed by gracing me with its presence shone through.

It felt a nice well shaped fish with a distinct pink spot above its left gill cover. The scales did not disagree as the needle flicked round to a healthy 10lb 8oz.

10lb8oz beautiful barbel september 5th

It was early morning 5am or thereabouts when I decided to pack up and pad my way home,one very happy bunny indeed.

I have put together a little video of this fishing trip,I am by no means a professional at video editing so please forgive me any errors.

Once again as ever and until next time,tight lines from myself at Fishing For Memories and may your landing nets and weigh slings be forever wet.

Friday, 21 August 2009

()><(((º> Sunny Days & Fishing Ways <º)))><()

Hello there and a very warm welcome back to fishing for memories.

Heck the last few days have been very hot haven't they?

Despite the heat I opted for an overnighter down the river,although my memory kindly failed to remind me to take my hat and polaroids,I would remember to curse my memory but alas I would probably only forget to do so anyway.

I decided prior to going to make up a small batch of Shellfish B5 boilies as well as some extra maize.

If some of the species of trees were showing hints of Autumn with the odd tint of yellow,the weather was in disagreement and screamed summer,the Balsam was brimming with bees and the Blackberry bushes were full of big juicy berries,I love the different moments of each season as it merges into the next and Autumn is one of my favourite seasons for fishing so I am looking forward to it kicking in.

I managed for a change to get down to my swim by 6am,some what of a miracle for me,the sun was blazing and it was then that I cursed the fact I had no hat or polaroids,I mean who forgets their cap and polaroids,boy did I curse myself. The sun was already feeling toasty and I didn't fancy my chances during the day to be fair,I put a very light amount of maize into both areas and settled on fishing one rod with a shellfish B5 boilie and the other on an 15mm Halibut pellet,both rods with mini pva bags of crushed boilie and pellet.I placed my right rod near to an over hanging trees and left rod to a marginal gully about a rod length out.

More or less straight away I was getting taps and knocks on the left rod (halibut pellet)about thirty minutes later the rod trundled off and rattled and shook,I struck and was greeted by a a shakey resistance,as I played the fish in I saw a nice Chub of what I would estimate to be around 5lb and that was the last I saw of it as it shook the hook and swam off,"damn and blast" I muttered,I decided to re bait and get the rod out again,but no more decent bites followed,only taps and knocks from small fry.

The heat continued to grow without sign of abating and by 12pm the brolly was up and I was sat pouring sweat and it felt like the brolly was not really helping all that much,so I threw my coat over it and commenced drinking water like a camel for the rest of the day.It was a very quiet late afternoon when I decided to reel my rods in and rest my swim as well as grab a bite to eat,an All day Breakfast Hotcan being the meal of choice,I sat back and tucked in as the sunlight gradually faded,whilst I watched the bees popping in and out of the Balsam and wondering exactly how much pollen one single bee can carry?

One last sip of tea and I placed both rods back out,dusk had fallen and the owls made their presence known with their shrill hunting calls,what seemed like a group of vixens began calling out with their screeching and rough barks,the bats flitted in and out of the nearby tree and weaved their way over the water occasionally clipping the rod tips,an environment at peace and myself an angler drawn into that magical place where you feel as one with nature.

it was coming on for 9pm when my left rod signaled a slow bite and I was into the first fish of the night a Bream of around 6lb which was unhooked and placed back,three more of its cousins followed shortly after all on the halibut pellet rod. It was around 10.45 that all fell silent from the Bream and they faded away into the night,the left rod was silent for about 15 minutes and then lurched over and single toned off,I was into a solid fight that hugged the bottom and paced upstream and downstream,my mind said "barbel",it was soon resting in the net and weighed in at a pleasing 9lb.


Before recasting the left rod I decided to have a little check on the boilie rod and I found the bait had been chipped about a bit by Crayfish,not something I mind as I find they act as good attractants for the fish.

Both rods were recast and it was around 2am when the pellet rod wrapped round and was away again,this time bolting straight into mid water and angrily charging about,it felt a nice fish,as I got it to the margins it decided to throw a wobbly and sped up and down along the margins,not my idea of fun at all as the margins are littered with some heavy underwater snags and roots,eventually heart in mouth it was in the net,a Barbel and a good looking sized fish that looked like a double and sure enough the scales did not disappoint as they tipped round to 11lb.

11lb barbel august 2009

Up till now the boilie rod had been quiet,but I have faith in the Shellfish mix as well as the area the rod was placed in,although that means little if nothing if the fish still don't play ball.

It was 4am when the rod signalled a steady take that saw the swinger hit the top of the rod butt,I jumped up and was met by a real bullish fish that tried to bolt out and leave me for dead on some nearby underwater tree branches,the water swirled,the fish stayed midstream,I decided to hold firm and let the rod tip absorb as much lunges as possible,this paid off and the fish changed direction from the upstream snag and kited downstream,walking down I grabbed my other rod and moved it so as to make some room to land the fish,it was then that it broke the water in front of me. A lovely common carp,heart pounding heavily I slid the net under her and sighed a large sigh of relief,she was one old looking river warrior and looked spawn laden as well as quite battle scarred with some scales missing and a tatty dorsal fin,its times like these that im glad I carry some Orabase which I have been using a while now thanks to some advice given via the Cemex forums a few years back,this really helps with aiding in repairing and healing as well as cleaning damaged areas on fish,as it creates a protective barrier when used that seals and aids with speeding up the healing process.

Out on to the landing mat and into the weigh sling and the scales tipped round to a very pleasing 19lb,lovely.

19lb river common August 2009

19lb river common other pic of same fish

That was the last fish of the session and as dawn broke and 6am beckoned I packed up a very chirpy chap and moseyed on home.

Well till next time at fishing for memories,I would like to wish you all tight lines and above all enjoy the places that you fish and respect them,take only photographs and leave only footprints behind you.

Friday, 14 August 2009

()><(((º> When It Rains It Pours <º)))><()


Hello there and a warm but fishy welcome back to fishing for memories.

We have seen a fair bit of rain in the south east last week and it was over the weekend that I got out for an overnighter on a stretch of my favourite river.Getting to my swim wet and very late evening (around 10pm) in the pouring rain,I was greeted by a very high and rising river,that was very coloured,almost like gravy,despite the rain it was nice,very humid.I opted to fish larger 22mm halibut pellets in conjunction with size 8 Gardner talon tips and 3 1/2 oz leads.

I decided to place both rods not further than 1 to 2 metres out,right under the bank and in the slack area of water between reeds and lily pads,I did this due to the pace on the water and felt any patrolling fish might be happier to come along the margins out of the main current.

Getting down to the river later than I usually would like,I felt it would be maybe a bit of a quiet night and for most of the night it was,until 3am when the left rod which was more or less fished only 1 metre out absolutely belted off and I was into one heck of a good fight,especially with the extra flow,the fish just did not want to play ball whatsoever and came in under the rod tip trying to bury itself into the reeds and pads,luckily it escaped the roots and was sat recuperating in the net.The Scales tipped round to a 10lb exactly,happy days.


There was no more bites after this fish and dawn gradually broke,I don't like staying too long past what I call prime times which I have found to be up to 5am normally,it was a sunny morning,but the water was still nicely coloured and I fancied I would still have a chance of maybe another fish,both rods were recast with small pva bags filled with pellet and crushed boilies.

The left rod started getting light taps and then screamed off,I was into a very nice fish that was powering away,I locked down and managed to play it in,it broke the surface and I saw a lovely Common Carp of around 16lb,not massive but a nice looking fish,just when I thought all was well it then darted downward again and hit a snag that I had no idea was there and I felt the dreaded ping as the hooklink severed on what I later found out was the end of a sharp underwater log,I was gutted.

I decided to put another rig on and try for one last bite,the time was approaching 8am and the sun was popping out and feeling very humid for so early in the morning,with my rigs lowered down quietly into the same marginal spots,I waited,with the thoughts of the carp I lost running through my mind,so many what ifs and buts and should haves fill your mind when you lose a fish and I was consumed by having lost this fish,almost feeling cheated.

This time the left rod did not even give a bite,instead after a massive wrap round it screamed off downstream like a runaway train,I was into a real solid and powerful fish that was intent on going across the other side of the river,I was into a good fight,I decided to ease off slightly so that the fish would drop its level of resistance,this helped some what and I regained line on it and saw it cruise just below the surface film of the water,it looked like another nice chunky Barbel.
Once resting in the weigh sling it went 10lb 8oz.


After that I decided to pack up and whilst on the way home pondered over losing the Carp,but nonetheless very happy with two cracking conditioned double figure Barbel,some you win and some you lose,if we knew we would land every fish when we went fishing I do wonder how often we would go?

I have also uploaded a small video of this fish as it was a real nice looker.

As always from myself here at fishing for memories tight lines to everyone and the very best of fishes!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

()><(((º> Ruddy Superb<º)))><()

Hello and a warm and wet welcome back to fishing for memories.

I decided to have a slight departure for a change on to a quiet still water for the day for some Rudd and Roach,I have never really tried to target them,so was looking forward to it,The feeder and float rod were hastily put in the car along with a bucket of crumb,maggots and hemp and I set off.

Arriving at the lake I decided to fish an area that had a lot of debris as well as some pads and reeds there was a lot of wildfowl activity in this area too,with the usual moorhens and other wildfowl regularly making sorties back and forth to make underwater feeding excursions


Both rods were set up with fine fluorocarbon hooklinks of 2.6lb and size 12 hooks,one rod with a cage feeder and the other rod with a Crow quill float.

I had brought some sweetcorn with me as well as animal feed maize I decided to put the feeder rod out with two grains of sweetcorn to the reeded area with wildfowl in the picture above and then fished the float in a similar area nearby but on maggots,feeding both areas intermittently with the animal maize.

Most of the day was very active with small rudd and lots of tiny Perch picking up the maggots on the float as well as a few small Roach on the feeder rod,but no sign of any larger specimens especially Rudd.At late evening the feeder Rod swept round and a fish I had no hope of controlling disappeared into the sunset with my hooklink,most likely one of the wild carp that reside in the lake,I was a bit crest fallen as I do love catching these torpedo like fish that look majestic and fight like demons on steroids.

I replaced the hooklink and baited it this time with one of the smaller grains of animal maize instead of sweetcorn and cast to the same spot,the evening had drawn in and darkness was gradually trying to engulf me in its cloak,my time was coming to an end,but I was happy.

I had brought the float rod in and decided to concentrate for the last hour or two on the feeder setup only.All was quiet not one sound of another person except myself,the lake came alive with bats sweeping in low across the water having their evening meal,an owl called out in one of the nearby trees.

The feeder rods bite alarm which was on low,bleeped once and the swinger climbed slow but steadily,I lifted in and was met with a solid resistance,thud thud came the reply from the other end,I played it as carefully as the hooklink and snags would allow,all the way to the net I had my heart in my mouth,it was certainly not a Carp and as it broke the surface film of the water I got my first glimpse of a chunky heavy weight specimen,which once in the net was a glorious Rudd immaculately conditioned.Scales out and fish weighed 3lb1oz a new personal best,I felt pleased as punch.


I had enough time for one more cast,but there is another day for such things,I packed up and went home a contented chap,dreaming about the knights in silver scaled armour with yellow eyes and proud upturned mouths that inhabited this lake.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

()><(((º> A perfect Storm<º)))><()

Hello and a warm welcome back to fishing for memories.

Firstly may I say that I am glad to see that some of you have taken the time to sign the guestbook and more so that your enjoying reading the blog,it is nice to see that you enjoy it and any feedback is always most welcome.

I got out for an overnighter last Friday,knowing that there was a decent low pressure system and felt that the added wet weather would help,when I finally got to my swim it was raining steadily and I decided to get the brolly up fast,apparently my brain was working faster than anything else and as i walked to place my brolly i slipped and landed in a bed of stinging nettles,I can safely recommend this to any angler prior to fishing as it really is most invigorating and does really liven up proceedings.Nettles and stinging rashes aside I got the brolly placed and sat down to set up my rigs,I decided to go with shellfish B5 boilies on both rods to start with,placing one rod into a gravel patch near some streamer weed and the other rod just off a cabbage patch area.

The river looked sumptuous,the extra rains had done it a lot of good and there was a nice flow and light colour to it,I sat back and relaxed for the evening watching woodpeckers tap tap tapping away at nearby trees and Mr & Mrs Kingfisher patrolling back and forth like a pair of mini jets,The dragonflys were in and out as frequently as the sun,lovely creatures.


it was as light faded into darkness that my left rod on the gravel patch sounded and the rod wrapped round and sped off,I was into a very solid,deep running fish,I felt the line ping through some weed and then a thud of a cabbage patch and then eventually freeing up and back in contact with the fish,it was eventually resting in the net,not a long fish but solid and dumpy and weighed 9lb,a very nice start to the beginning of a wet night.


I baited up and clipped on a pva bag with crushed boilie and pellet,opening my flask of tea I noticed that the nettles behind me had been moving,now these reached up to where i had my boilie sack which was in the frame of the umbrella,Mr Dormouse had scaled the nettles Mission impossible style and had been chewing into my boilies much to my rye smile,but kudos where it is due and it was a daring mission and he had his reward,alas I was left with the holes.

I sat back watching the clouds,large,black and very moodily moving by overhead with just the odd glimpse of a star every once in a while,the rain continued to steadily increase,eventually hitting its crescendo,the left rod sounded a bleep bleep and the swinger hit the top,the rod bent over to the left,the fish did not run,I was into a fish that on first contact did not move an inch and just sat still,eventually it came to life and I could feel I was playing a reasonable fish,it hugged the bottom with deep runs then would stop and hug the bottom and then go into another run, eventually in the net I could see I had a nice looking Barbel,this fish would be very easy to recognize in the future,as it had a very crinkled area on the bottom section of its tail,it weighed in at a pleasing 10lb.


I was very happy indeed and sat back to treat myself to a pack of digestives with tea,everything tastes so good when things are going well.

The night wore on,the left rod was now silent and the right rod near to the cabbage patches had been very quiet,the darkness was slowly changing and I could see it was 3am,the rain had eased some what,I considered the time I had left and sat back,my right rod bleeped once and again and slowly run off,I struck and was into to what I thought was a Bream as the fish came in slowly but heavy,it was not until I got it to the margins that two things happened,one being I saw it was another nice Barbel and the other being that it woke from its apparent sleepwalk and decided to play merry hell and tear off from the margins and the welcoming folds of the landing net,with me standing with probably a visible exclamation mark hanging over my head as it decided to try and head off like a torpedo downstream,narrowly avoiding my other rod,the crisis was averted and I eventually got the fish into the net,I was greeted by a very light coloured almost faded Barbel that weighed 9lb 2oz,very nice.


Whilst the rain had stopped and early morning came,I decided to head homeward bound,wet but nonetheless a very happy chap.

I hope everyone's enjoying their fishing,the long range forecast for August is for more rain,so in theory if we do not get flooded,the fishing should be good,but on another note,what happened to the predicted hot summer?

As always tight lines to everyone from myself at fishing for memories.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

()><(((º> Wet And Wonderful<º)))><()

Hello there and a very hearty welcome from myself here on fishing for memories.

Well the suns gone for now and been replaced by showery and at times windy conditions,Good! Although the rivers are still running slow considering the rain we have had,I guess the ground is so dry it will take time to make a larger impact on water levels.

However it has no doubt helped and on Friday I just had to get out for an overnighter as I felt certain something would develop given the conditions,when I got down to the river it looked in fine shape and form indeed,I had some fresh freezer baits I had mad in my effort to get the fish to get their heads down and was looking forward to putting them to some use.

I always feel that it is imperative to not allow yourself to become to set in your ways and bang your head against a brick wall,do not misunderstand me,sometimes you can over complicate things,but I always feel if I am not trying something,be it even something just basic,then I feel I am doing myself a disservice,in this case it was just a basic adjustment partly of bait,nothing really earth shattering,but having some fresh freezer baits filled me with more confidence than usual,that and a combination of the weather which I will admit filled me with the most confidence.

I got to my swim a little later than I had planned after Mum had got stuck in traffic.Everything looked great upon arrival and I setup one rod downstream onto a clear gravel gravel area that had some streamer weed,just the right spot to lay a nice little table of food for Mr Barbel,my other rod was cast to a similar spot but directly in front of me in between some very heavy cabbages.

My Rod cast directly in front of me had fresh shellfish freezer boilie dumbbell shape 18mm size and with this I opted for a pva bag of crushed boilies,however not the same as the hook bait in flavour,I like to try never matching boilie free offerings to the hook bait as I feel sometimes this helps if the fish are wary,the pva bag was filled with crushed banana and caramel boilies.

On the downstream rod I opted for the old faithful 15mm halibut pellet with a pva bag or 8mm pellets.Both rods on running rigs with size 8 Animals and 2.5oz flat pear weights,Drennan sink braid hooklinks of 10 and 12lb respectively.

The scene was set and a wet evening drew in,feeling peckish I opened a Hotbox meal of Tika Masala and listened to the last few overs of the Ashes test match,lets hope we can ball them all out today and get a needed win at Lords!

Anyhow all was quiet,with just the odd Perch and Chub along with the freshwater Sardines that are Bleak breaking the surface,I was at peace though and a man could die a happy soul at such times,My Tika Masala was about ready and I tucked 10pm my rod with the freezer bait on signaled one bleep followed by another and then just went into a full blooded run,I was into a good fish that powered off downstream and somehow managed to avoid my other line,it tried to snag me a few times but eventually was sat very lively in the net a lovely well proportioned linear of 11lb 9oz and a very nice looking Carp, 1-0 to the freezer bait,I was most happy indeed.


My central rod was placed back out and I sat back and had a cup of tea as a reward,however half way through the cup of tea and the downstream pellet rod tore off,no bite no warning just a single tone run,as soon as I set the hook i knew I was into a good fish which decided to tell me where it would run to and proceeded to bully me like hell on a stick or more aptly put,like hell on a Carbon stick.This fish just did not wish to give in and tried every trick in the book,but was in the net after one last long run,I was staring down on to a very nice Barbel,slipping it into the weigh sling i knew I was into a large summer double,sure enough it went 12lb on the dot,I was made up and thinking "I could get use to this".


So it was 11.15, I was sat thinking "Ok two fish in a short time,possible red letter incoming?".My central rod answered with another screamer,I was into a smaller but very lively Barbel of 5lb8oz and for its small size it put up a good spirited fight,I guess it was taking lessons from its larger cousins,perfection in miniature.


By this time I was wondering who had decided to bless me,so I paid tribute to the rain gods by sprinkling a cup of tea on the ground (no word of a lie).After this fish all fell silent and I was sat so pepped up I could not relax,so opened a pack of Hobnobs, no fisherman should be without a pack of hobnobs on an overnighter seriously!

I sat listening to the owls and foxes calling out as well as mosquitoes dive bombing me,least this time I had some deet protection.1 am came and went,a dormouse was sat at the side of my empty hotbox meal,eating some left over rice and was clearly enjoying what was for it a banquet. At around 3am my left rod gave a fast bleeeep,the swinger was back up and down in a swift jerky motion,half of me said Chub,but all fell silent again,I dozed slightly,nodding off,head rolling forward like the nodding dog from the Churchill insurance adverts,I was gone,awash with thoughts of what had been quite an overnighter,it was then that my rod placed downstream sounded again,this time tearing off,I was pulled out of my sleepy dream cloud and was playing a fish that has to go down for me as one of the most moody and agressive Barbel on and off the bank that I have had the pleasure of catching and weighed in at 9lb 4oz,happy times indeed.

9lb4oz barbel

The downstream rod was re-cast and I opted for a change in pellet size to some older 17mm pellets,which I unfortunately cannot seem to get hold of any more,so keep them for hook baits only,this with another tiny pva bag clipped on the hook.

I sat down to finish off my Hobnobs and have a cup of tea or ten,there I was thinking to myself "heck seems like my lucky night". 4am called to say hello,the cloud and rain had lifted and the night was clear,stars were out along with the moon,not full but still very bright,eventually the morning was making itself ever more evident as the sun rose to oppress the stars twinkling overhead the time drew on and it was gone 6am,I was sat considering that as it was clear and the sun was up,it would perhaps be curtains,apparently my central rod did not agree and single toned off upstream,I was into another good fight and had to lock the reel down more than usual as I felt the fish was going too far too fast,the Exage`s progressive and responsive drag replied and still gave a little,just enough but also with enough sternness that allowed me to bully the fish into the security of the near bank once more and back out in front of me,there sat in the net was a superbly proportioned and pristine Barbel of 9lb 8oz


Well what a session,was I happy? I think if I was not then there would have to be something very very wrong with me,four Barbel and a Linear makes Mark one happy fellow,at 7am I decided to pack up and head for home one very happy lad indeed,whilst packing up I saw a deer having its breakfast and sauntering my way,so got a small video of it and have added it to a montage video which you will find below,along with a couple videos of the 9lb8oz barbel and the 12lb fish as well as the pictures you see here.

I hope you have enjoyed this latest update,feel free to sign the guestbook,I have also added another anglers fishing Blog to my blog list that is the blog of Dave Lumb a very high quality and well written blog it is too.

Until next time on fishing for memories it is a very happy goodbye wishing you also some good catches with the current weather system we have.

tight lines and best fishes!

Monday, 29 June 2009

()><(((º> Hot Weather Whiskers <º)))><()

Hello and welcome back to fishing for Memories.

Weather currently roasting hot indeed and not making for the easiest or best conditions,but patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who use their watercraft to its best potential,so please keep plugging away,although I would love some rain as the rivers could really do with a bit and this would help with sport.

Robert and I got down to the gentleman's river on Thursday evening,weather hot and humid and the rivers water level down again by another 6 inches or more,you could stand in the side where it was dry,however though there was still some reasonable depth ranging from 4 to 5 foot+ in the channels and that was good consolation.

I put a couple of handfuls of pellets into my swim along with a couple of small balls of heavy ground bait mixed with hemp and rested the swim for over an hour and decided on one rod boilie and one on a 16mm halibut pellet.Robert however opted for two rods out with pva bags filled with chopped boilies and small pellets,with 16mm and 20mm Halibut pellet hook baits on each rod.

Meanwhile I was being kept company by the kingfisher again who had taken to perching on one of the branches of a bush,I got some more video footage this time of it,what more can I say,such a beautiful bird,the video I Took of the Kingfisher is at the bottom of this blog entry.

After I felt my swim had been given a chance to recover from my disturbance,I placed both rods out 3/4 of the way across to the far bank,one rod to a cabbage patch and the other placed underneath a bush.The evening wore on and boy was it hot and humid too,apart from some small fry there was little to no activity but as darkness beckoned to envelope us in its cloak,it was getting to what I would call "magic Hour" where you know the fading light gives you a little edge and the fish drop their guard.My swim started having a few Bream rolling in it and it was not long before I caught a couple not huge at 7lb each,but welcome in the slow conditions both on the halibut pellet rod near the cabbage patches,at 11pm my boilie rod which was fished under the bush shot off upstream and the Shimano Exage reel sang merrily,I lifted into a heavy plodding resistance that continued upstream hugging the bottom,I felt the line clip on a snag and a sudden panicky feeling set about me,luckily the weight must have just clipped a snag and i was safe again,gradually I played the fish back each time it responding in another deep run,eventually after an excellent fight a Barbel of 9Lb8oz was sat recovering in the net,it had been slow going but this fish putting in an appearance made it more than worth the effort,it was in pristine condition and second Barbel of the season from the gentleman's river for myself.


About 1 hour later I heard Robert calling for me,I turned up at his swim to find he was into a good fish that had wedged itself into a cabbage patch,after Robert applied some sensible pressure it was out and bolted off downstream again,after eventually coming close to being landed it shot off and tried to embed itself in a snag further downstream,thankfully it didn't make the snag and Robert had a lovely 9 pound Whisker nestling in the net,we was both feeling very chipper and happy.


This ended our session and we headed off homeward again,both very happy to have had another two Barbel grace us with their presence in such hot conditions.

Once again thank you for reading and good luck and tight lines wherever your fishing at the moment,till the next post best fishes and goodbye.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

()><(((º> The Sweet 16th<º)))><()

Hello and a warm welcome to everyone from us at fishing for memories,guess what the 16th of June came at last,I hope everyone had a cracking start to the season,I notice from some river reports it has been slow going for some on the Thames and other rivers,personally I would not say no to a drop of rain,but I know if I wish for a little bit of rain it might end up in a Noah's Arc amount.

Well Robert and myself got out for a short session on the gentleman's river and it was a rather blustery session but beautiful nonetheless.The night before the river season starts I get so excited I cannot remain calm,almost akin to a child on Christmas Eve and over all the years of fishing this feeling has never deserted me.The buzz of anticipation filled my body with a vortex of emotions of seasons past.

Robert and I got out at and setup by 8am,both our swims looked in superb condition water level down by about 2 feet.Robert opted for Donkey choker pellets on both rods fished to some cabbage patches,myself opting for 20mm Shellfish B5 on both rods,fishing 3/4 of the way across to nearby features and opposite bank cut/drop off,all setups were basic running rigs with 12lb TFG gunsmoke mainline and 2.5oz flat pear weights coupled with 10lb and 12lb Drennan sink braid hooklinks and size 8 Gardner Talon Tip hooks,basic tidy rigs as usual (a good basic rig will out fish a complex messy one).

I was sat on the bank contemplating the beginning to another season,surrounded by a plethora of flora and fauna about 3 hours into the session the master of all fishers paid me a visit,I am of course talking about the Kingfisher,he perched on my rod for around five minutes whilst making sorties to catch fish,I managed to get a very very short video of him dropping from my rod,but managed to snap off some fantastic photos of him,an absolutely marvelous sight as always.

For such sights of wonder and beauty nature charges us nothing,but I feel in these days of technology and electronica some of the younger generation have been sucked into a hazy dreamland to which they lose sight of such gifts bestowed upon us by nature and that is truly a pity.

Evening drew in and at 7pm I heard Robert call "I'm in" and indeed he was with a strong battling fish that kited off downstream and tried to wedge itself in a sunken tree and then into a cabbage patch,but after some careful playing it finally was back upstream and resting in the net. "looks a nice fish for a season opening" I chirped to Robert and sure enough out on to the mat and weighed it went 9lb 5oz,the perfect starter to the season and very happy we were indeed.


As evening past into the first hours of darkness my swim was still silent,but I thought to myself what if the rod that the Kingfisher had been sat on might have been a sign of providence and had he blessed me with his magical fishing charm?

I was soon to be answered on that thought when the swinger flew up and the baitrunner went hyper and gave line like it was going out of fashion as the fish shot off upstream,I lifted in to feel a strong bottom hugging resistance that plodded away and ticked of line upstream,I shouted to Robert that I was in,as I was playing the fish I mentioned to Robert "this feels a solid fish",gradually I regained control and it was not long before she was nestling in the folds of the landing net,Robert commented "looks a dead chunky fish" and he was not wrong at all,she was slipped into the weigh sling and went 10lb7ozs,new start to the season and a double figure fish to get proceedings going,happy days indeed!


Along with a handful of Bream averaging 6 to 7lb this ended a lovely and fitting commencement to the start of the fishing season for us,two beautiful Barbel and two very happy anglers.Until next time on fishing for memories Tight lines to everybody and best fishes!

Monday, 1 June 2009

()><(((º> Late evening Short Session<º)))><()

Robert and myself have been waiting like hungry underfed wolves for the River season to begin and only 15 days left now,it seems like an eternity as I am sure many of you waiting to fish the rivers will agree but hang in there guys.

The waiting I must admit got the better of me and I decided to go for a short 5hr session for some Carp on a stillwater,the weather has been rather glorious these past few days and a lot of fish are heavily into their love making action.

I turned up at the water late evening and decided to fish what i consider to be a slightly deeper area where there is a run off and decided on a light baiting approach.I had some spare Shellfish b5 base mix left and the day before had made 1 kilo of mixed Dumbbell and round baits ranging from 15mm to 22mm.The usual tactics were employed running rig 3oz weight 12lb Drennan sink braid and a size 8 Gardner Talon tips.

One rod was placed near the runoff to my left and the other out to a small plateau at around 60 metres.The lake itself is not that deep and has some very silty areas.

It was an absolutely gorgeous evening with a light breeze across the water.


My confidence was not that great,with such hot weather,but I had hoped that fishing one of the deeper areas and with the breeze it would give me a chance,a few hours ticked by,I had forgotten the mozzi repellent,bad idea Mark really bad,I was gradually being gnawed away whilst they performed doodlebug attacks on me,the evening wore on and all was silent.My left rod that was placed near the runoff let out a single bleep,at the time of looking a bat had flown nearby so I did not think so much of it. Five minutes later and the Delkim flat lined and I was into a rather frisky and powerful fish who tried to wrap me round the run off area and then tried to ditch me in a weed patch.

Eventually into the net it slipped,a chunky looking mirror,which went 21lb8oz exactly,I was very happy indeed as this fish had come just 1hr before the session had to end.


A nice end to a short session in lovely balmy weather,now back to thinking about the river season opening!

As always thank you for reading,wishing everyone tight lines and good fishing from us here at fishing for memories.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

New Season & Planning

Hello there and welcome back to fishing for memories.

Well it has been a while since I last posted,life has been very busy the past few months and real life scenarios took over.However the past couple of weeks myself and Robert have been planning for the up and coming start to the river season and have been configuring and reconfiguring our plans where bait and tactics are concerned. The rivers look in superb condition with the rain recently and now sunny conditions. Spring is well and truly in the air and we are looking forward with baited breath to June.

What I also feel that needs to be commented on is the fact that on more than one occasion we have spotted people fishing the Thames in the current closed season which as I am sure said people are aware is illegal,the EA were telephoned about this but the reply which we got was far from helpful,along the lines of "we cant be everywhere".

This is a pity and makes me wonder if it would be better in the long term to have no close season,least not on our bigger rivers like the Thames/Trent and such.

I do feel that the Thames needs better patrolling to stop illegal fishing/poaching I also feel its a bit of a sad state that fishing Clubs can have voluntary bailiffs doing a decent job checking if people are members of said clubs,yet the Environment Agency cant afford some extra paid staff to do a similar job,I would have thought they would have the funds to employ people part time to do the job.

Anyhow Robert and I are looking forward to hopefully a fruitful 2009/2010 season and if it is as good if not better than 2007/2008 season then we will be very happy indeed,we both have our eyes set on some new pbs,I would absolutely love to have a 30lb English river Carp,Robert came close in 2007 with his 28.8 Mirror and I would not mind a 15+ Thames Barbel either,although I am probably being greedy wanting both.

Robert has set himself similar targets as far as Barbel and Carp are concerned,so hopefully the gods will smile on one of us,One thing we both agree on is that our Chub Pb`s are going to be a very tough nut to crack,it really will take a very special fish to break those.

So until my next post I would like to wish Tight lines to everyone who is looking forward to the new season on the rivers and on the Thames.

Thursday, 15 January 2009