Saturday, 17 May 2014

Highs and lows.

Thought I'd round up the week a bit. It's been one of mainly highs with a massive downer at the end. Fish wise I've caught a few and social media wise I've done pretty good. Going right back to last Sunday and the Epic pike take I actually had a few more fish that day which I didn't write about. I was chucking the 2 inch Kopyto shad around in the hope of perch and spotted some chub cruising the surface but every time I cast at them they ignored the shad. I kept picking up small perch but never found any bigger stripeys in the swim, may be they're not there? Casting around trying to find out where the fish were I got a whack and the rod bent double. I wasn't filming at the time but quickly switched on the camera to capture the majority of the battle and a decent low double pike. This time of year the pike are strong as hell and put in a fight and this fish gave me a good run for my money but with a steady approach I eventually got it in my undersized net. I'd only brought the perching net so the fish only just squeezed in. If you follow my Facebook or Youtube you might have seen this already but if not here's the fishy video below.

That was actually the first pike of the day with another four esox coming in total. One more to a kopyto and the others to free lined livebait as I wrote in the last entry. I did lose a couple of pike too which I didn't manage to set the hooks in to but that was to be expected on an ultra light rod. Back on the Kopytos I'd had a few more perch and spotted loads of bleak and small chub cruising the surface with those bigger chub evading me, at least two I'd guess with one a little bit bigger than the other. I'd kind of given up on them and was slow retrieving the shad, no jerks or pauses just a slow as possible motion. It was whacked again and all though at first I couldn't help think it was a pike it wasn't long before I realised I'd finally hooked a chub. Camera switched on quickly as again I wasn't even ready to film. It turned out to be a nice fish pushing 4lb but not quite there I guessed. I put it back and not long after swapped banks, crossing over at the lock gates. This gave me another angle to cast the lures and no sooner had I started my first slow retrieve it was smacked again. You'd think by now I'd have had the GoPro suckered to my forehead but no, silly arse had it in the bag so had to whip it out and catch the last bit of battle with what turned out to be the bigger of the two chub I'd seen and this chub went four and a half pounds, super fish. I reckon I'd just dropped on this spot at a perfect moment, fish of all sizes everywhere in a mass feeding frenzy. If only all fishing was that easy. The tiny Kopyto was simple tactic to use but it bagged up, wire trace and the lot. Just shows that pike, perch and chub don't care about a bit of wire. If you want to see the chub action watch the video below.

So midweek I had some spare time in the evening a couple of days. I could go back but fancied a change of scenery. Somewhere different that would throw up a new set of challenges for me. I do get bored easily and don't always go for the easy option. I arrived at the new canal to find it crystal clear. Not usually the best for lure fishing I find when you add the bright sunshine on top. It was nice to be out though after busy days art work and being alone with mile after mile of canal and not another person let alone angler in sight was great. I set off up canal with all the gear and no sooner had I gone 100m a massive cloud came over. A cold wind came in and the sky turned dark. A distant rumble of thunder had me on alert. When I looked around, the highest object around seemed to be me. I didn't fancy conducting electricity down my two rods so sharpishly headed back to the car. I chucked the gear in and sat watching as the rain lashed down and the storm gave me some fantastic viewing. I wish I'd have had time to set the GoPro up as I might have got some great footage, especially a couple of the strikes which went horizontally across the sky. Proper wow moments.

When the storm past, a good twenty five minutes later I was back out and back to where I'd left off before. Again I carted loads of gear which had be casting the rapala first then having a chuck with a heavy jerkbait before moving on. This was hard work, especially when the cold front moved off to be replaced with flat calm, blue skies and scorching hot sun. I was sweating buckets now and after a good haul and no fish I about turned and went back to the car. I was now heading for a massive blank and had to figure out how to save the day. Everything went back in the car all except a couple of items. Of course a rod, the ultra light set up was chosen and one lure. My trusty 7cm jointed Rapala shad rap. Rather than bright colour I'd chosen a more natural light blue and white version. I left the net, lure box and bag, scales and even the camera. The only other item were a pair of long nosed pliers in the back pocket and off I went.

I kept seeing fish, some nice perch were about but they were not interested. They were settled on the canal bed and even knocking them on the head wouldn't interest them. I think they had already had a feed and were just sat digesting their food. If I could find a jack though he might help me save a blank before I finally had a bit of interest but it was a half hearted take from a 1lb plus perch who wouldn't come back for another go. When it seemed like I was running out of time and water I spotted a movement. A single chub was cruising the surface coming towards me. I cast past it and brought the lure right across it's path and as soon as the chub saw my lure it darted straight for it. The blank was saved with a fish about 2lb. This was then followed up by a take in the deep channel in the middle of the canal with what turned out to be a super looking 2lb stripey. A great result in the end and I went home happy. Pictures taken on the iPhone.

Chub - Rapala Jointed shad rap

Perch - Rapala jointed shad rap

I was out again the next day but where to? Should I go to where I had so much success or back to the hard grind and crystal clear waters? I chose the hard grind, I guess I'm a sucker for punishment. I had a crack with the Rapala again but after an hour or more of no joy I decided it was time for a change. The tactic often worked but it wasn't really now so I went for the Kopyto, though a 2.5inch bright green effort. Often I was casting out and just bringing it in but then I would also mix it up with bottom bouncing and even really, really slow retrieve along the bottom. Trying to puff up a cloud of dust to interest something. By the time I was back at the car I'd probably fished a good 500m of bank in total for no reward, not even a pluck. Today I would blank for sure. Tail between my legs I was nearly at the car and was going to avoid the starting spot and just go home but I gave it one last go. Five perch in total with this the pick of the fish. Luck? Skill? I'd say just perseverance in the end.

Perch - Relax Kopyto

This week I had a few fantastic offers via other fishing related folk on the internet. One is a rather generous offer to fish with a total stranger, but no doubt fantastic bloke, some time in the future. One I won't say much more on just now, only that when it happens I'll gladly tell the story as it will be a fantastic experience. Another was interest in my Youtube video making and fishing skills combined. Another that when it comes off you'll be the first to know. Someone with awesome skills and that I can't wait to work alongside. Then finally late this week an offer of sponsorship for my Youtube videos. There's a new lure shop out there with the name of Lure Lounge and my videos will feature a little plug for his website. While very new, it only opened on Friday, there is already a good stock of lures. Some well known such as Savage Gear and some not so well known to us here in the UK but it seems the lures he is stocking are well known in places such as the US and Australia for starters. That is part of his plan, to bring in and supply not just the easy to get hold of lures but stuff we often struggle to find. So get yourself over to and have a browse. There's already a bit of variety and some interesting looking lures to try so next time you're needing a lure fix grab some gear from Lure Lounge.

Finally, after a great week of all things fishing for me I ended with a fishing free weekend. I was planning to get out with Woody somewhere, if only to catch a bit of sun. But right at the end of the week I was dealt a massive blow when my best mate suddenly fell ill. My best mate, like many of you lot too no doubt, was my dog Poppy. A real character and genuine, perfect, family loving dog. An absolute gem of a mate and one I am going to miss deeply. RIP Popples.



  1. Jack Russell's are lovely dogs - sorry to hear about Popples.

  2. Paul,

    Four years ago in April we had our Staffie put to sleep, old age and arthritis had caught up with him. Every day I still think about him, but if its any help after time, you will look back and smile. Dogs mate they break your heart.

    Be lucky.

    1. I'm at that point where everything I do I'm missing the dog. Just been out to the pond with a slice of bread to feed the fish and guess who always had a piece. I can't do anything at the minute. Just sat here typing and she'd have been nudging me with her nose. Time will be the healer as you say.

  3. Nice round up Paul, enjoying reading that and look forward to hearing of your exciting future plans bud.

    Sorry to hear about Poppy bud, maybe gone, but never forgotten dude.