Sunday, 17 May 2015

Back Door Man

I spent the morning trouting again amidst some spectacular scenery.

I moved a couple of real brutes in the fast pocket water but in the clear, bright conditions the fish were super spooky.
This little warrior fought well above his weight.

As I reached home with the rod still rigged it seemed rude not to give the perch a chance to grab my little crank baits.

Stunning little creatures.

Friday, 15 May 2015


If pushed to categorise myself as an angler I would probably call myself a specimen hunter, preferring venues and techniques which are more likely to produce big fish. That said I have a weakness for fishing the wild and unexplored streams of which there are many in Lancashire.

These streams are, in the main thin, stony affairs where the fish struggle to sustain themselves and are populated with small brown trout with the occasional chub.They provide amazing sport taken on ultra light tackle and a fix to a moving water junkie in the coarse closed season.

At this time of the year these small valleys are paved with carpets of wild garlic and bluebells patterned with myriad spring flowers, the light filtered through the acid greens of new foliage.

Often these small streams are best tackled by careful wading but when the water is as low as it is currently and when the water is unruffled by the breeze I find it better to stay on the bank and use what ever cover the vegetation provides. I love exploring new ground and it often involves walking long distances and many trips up and down the bank in order to find a place where it is possible to thread a cast under the  trees. This is often one shot fishing with takes coming in the first run through a riffle or pool. In water often only a few inches deep spooked fish go tearing off, either upstream or down, alerting their stream mates of the imminent danger.

Wanting to take advantage of the light evenings I returned to an area I haven't visited in years to explore a new stretch of this particular ribbon of water.

My preferred set up is a 5'6'' Majorcraft Trapara rated for lures up to 3g, a mini Abu fixed spool reel loaded with 4lb mono and small crank baits.

The action was instant with fish hitting lures everywhere it was possible to present one. The shallow water means that the fish often go air born, cartwheeling repeatedly before being tamed. What these fish lack in size they compensate for with attitude and sheer beauty, each one in its unique garb.

The Halco Sorcerer is my all time favourite in low water conditions, it has a super tight wiggle and due to its arched shape a rare ability to tick over the bed without constantly getting hung up. As the bill contacts the stones it goes veering off in a new direction and does a superb impersonation of a fleeing meal. The brown trout pattern is often the most productive, revealing the cannibalistic nature of these protein starved fish.

I regularly lose all sense of the time when engaged in this type of fishing, constantly wanting to see what lies around the bend and find myself miles from where I started.

For all I love the satisfaction of big fish captures I hope I always find joy lost by these small streams.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Children With Cancer 2015

Thanks to those of you still looking in even though it's been some time since I blogged. I haven't fished for over two months so I've had little to report.
I know one young reader, Dan Barlow has been missing the catch reports, so this one is for you Dan.
Wednesday saw the 2015 charity event in support of 'Children With Cancer' which is organised annually by Keith Edmunds and held at Suffolk Water Park on their Big Lake.

With strong winds already blowing pegs were initially drawn on the sheltered sides of the lake. Anglers had to stay in their allocated peg for 20 minutes before being allowed to roam at will.
I failed to stir any interest in the first swim and soon moved of down the lake and into the teeth of the strengthening breeze.
In the next  swim I found a friend just unhooking and weighing a good fish which turned out to be a PB!

I had a couple of hits and misses before finally getting one to stick. I played it to my feet at which point it rolled and very expertly spat the hooks!. This event is more about the cause than the fish or the fishing but losing fish is always frustrating! About half way down the lake and an hour into the competition this little beauty took a liking to one of my hybrid tailbaits, These lure which are made from the Savage gear Butch lures and the Real Eels made by the same company have become a firm favourite and, as on this occasion, saved many blank days. Quite by accident they have almost perfectly neutral buoyancy. They just hang on the stop and I can change from an ultra slow rise (about 30s per foot) to a super slow fall just by changing the trace. Long stops followed by a sudden dart have produced fish on the most difficult of days.

The tail on my most productive hybrid has seen lots of action and was a bit worse for wear and after a little nip during a retrieve came back a little on the short side! Fortunately I have a few of these and switched to a different pattern.

As the day wore on the winds got stronger and stronger making throwing large (and not very aerodynamic) lures increasingly difficult and it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I finally managed to tempt a better fish.

The wind and rain of the previous few days had stirred the relatively shallow lake up and visibility was very much reduced from my last visit to the lake and consequently the lake fished much harder. Nonetheless one of the anglers banked his first 20 lb fish, mid doubles were caught alongside a good number of fish in single figures.

The day finished with the raffle of prizes donated by the anglers and supporting businesses. It was a great day despite the tough conditions and the money raised is going to a great cause. The link below is for anyone who would like to contribute

Last year I drove to the event in the early morning, fished all day then did the long journey home in the evening (a 520 mile round trip!). Coupled with work the next day it nearly finished me off!.
This year a friend offered to put me up the night before so I had a leisurely drive down on Tuesday afternoon, a lovely meal and a decent nights kip followed by a full English breakfast ....absolute heaven.
So I end with a massive thank you to Ste and Kaz for their fantastic hospitality and for making supporting this event so much easier.


Sunday, 18 January 2015


Had a recce around Preston Marina today in the hope that the area might give me my first lure caught flounder. Although the marina is actually a few miles from the sea a quick surf had revealed reports of flounder being caught from 'The Bullnose' - a structure between the first basin in the marina and the river.
A minus 4 degrees walk to the car and a beautiful sunrise.

 Sky hooks attached to the heavy fog!

Upstream towards the city.


 A guy bait fishing for them had a small one while I was there so I know they are there!