Fishing Blog Episode 4

Fishing Blog Episode 4

First, I apologise for a lack of blog over the last couple of months. There are two main reasons for this, the main being quite a large-scale refit throughout the shop. If you have yet to see it I highly recommend coming to have a look as we are all very proud of how we have got the shop looking. The second reason is I was hoping to write about angling exploits other than carp fishing. I am afraid I have failed on this front as all my spare time has been consumed chasing carp, apart from three hours spent chasing an early salmon which only resulted in numerous stunning brown trout.

 I have mainly been focusing on fishing Upper Tamar lake recently. Up until around a month ago I was having steady action from my usual favourite swims taking on average 3-4 fish a session. I was enjoying my fishing but the average stamp of fish was, overall fairly poor, and I knew if I started putting a bit more effort in I could have some far better action. I had also heard of plans to stock the lake with some larger fish. Having never had a 20 from the water I made it my target to catch one before the lake was stocked.

It took a blank session to inspire me to go the extra mile. After this session, I wasn’t able to fish for two weeks so decided to have a bit of a baiting campaign to ensure my next session wasn’t a blank. I started baiting every 2-3 days with around a kilo of boilies. To minimise the chance of other anglers capitalising on my hard graft I chose an uncomfortable swim that I have never seen anyone fish. Initially it may sound like hard work but I actually started to enjoy these baiting trips. Walking round a stunning lake enjoying the flora and fauna associated with such an environment certainly beats anything on tv.

 My first session over the baited area wasn’t particularly fast and furious taking four fish to mid doubles over 48 hrs. The average size had definitely increased so I continued baiting up.

The following week the fish really started to respond to the bait. I knew it was going to be a good session after seeing 3 fish roll within the first 10 minutes of arriving in my swim at around 7pm. At 10pm I received my first run which resulted in a nice conditioned common of just over 10lb. During the course of the night I had a further two fish up to 14lb 14oz. just before 9am my left rod signalled a strong take and after a heavy ponderous battle I slid the net under a better fish. A stunning mirror which pulled the scales down 19lb 9oz. being a new venue pb I was chuffed. The swim was fairly quiet during daylight hours as I waited patiently until 6:30pm to receive my next run. The action really picked up as I received regular runs through the night tallying up another 6 runs before 5:30am including some absolutely stunning fish to 16lb.  I then very had a strange occurrence. After a fairly average scrap I slipped the net under the 19lb 9oz mirror I had less than 24hrs previously. This fish was evidently enjoying the regular dose of bait. Up until packing away at 4pm I had a further 4 runs with fish up to mid doubles bringing my total to 15 fish in just under 48hrs. I was knackered but happy.


First capture of the greedy fish. 19lb 9oz           

Awesome angry looking 16lb common

 Stunning mirror.                                                 

  An old warrior

The following week I heard two mirrors had been stocked ahead of schedule meaning I had failed in my mission. I decided to continue my campaign as the fishing was enjoyable and productive.  After baiting two nights between sessions I returned for a quick overnighter. Again, the signs looked good with a couple of fish showing in the vicinity within an hour of arriving. Around two hours after getting the rods out I had a take at 9pm. Believe it or not this resulted in the same poor old 19lb mirror I had twice the previous week. Clearly a very greedy fish. An hour later and I added a mint conditioned 15lb common to the score sheet. Around 1:30pm the action picked up a gear. I was just landing a fish on my middle rod (which turned out to be a stunning 16lb mirror) when my right-hand rod blitzed off. Upon lifting into the fish I heard a big splash out in the inky darkness as the fish jumped clear of the water then commenced a most unorthodox battle seeing the fish clear the surface two more times before being safely enclosed in the confides of my landing net. During the battle I did start to think I had hooked one of the stocked fish as the fight was so erratic. This suspicion was confirmed as it was the smaller of the two fish that had been stocked and weighed 23lb exactly. Upon returning the fish I was obviously chuffed but can’t deny the slight pang of disappointment I felt in my first 20 from the venue being a tame stock fish rather than one of the wild old fish that reside in the water.


Third capture in two weeks                                      

Lovely old 16lb mirror


The leaping 23lb stocky                                           

A classic looking mid double


After this session I had very little bait remaining having to make do with a couple of kilos of odds and sods for prebaiting. This reflected in my result the following week as I only had four commons to mid doubles. One of these was an old character of the lake that I hadn’t previously banked so I was still pleased


A weird looking fish

The following week I was chomping at the bit to get down to the lake. I had a new stock of bait and I had been putting it to good used prebaiting twice since my last visit, both times seeing fish shortly after baiting. 5 o’clock could not come soon enough. By 7pm I had three rods out and was sat watching the odd fish subtly show over my rods. 8pm soon came around and fish number one was in the net. A lovely low double mirror. By 9:45 my swim was a scene of madness with two delkims ripping off and a bumbling angler deciding which one to hit first. I went for the middle rod and after a great fight netted a 14lb 4oz common, the fish was still on my right hand rod and I soon bundled a 9lb common into my other net. It was a hectic night and I managed a further 4 commons up to 15lb bringing my total for the night to 7 fish. My mate Matt arrived early in the morning to find a sleep deprived zombie crashed out on the bedchair. As I hadn’t experienced a great deal of action during the day I decided at around 3pm to put half a kilo of bait out and go and have a bit of a social with Matt who was fishing 200 yards up the bank from me and a couple of other mates who had popped down for the evening. It was good to have a few beers and soon enough the topic turned to fishing. I mentioned that one of the fish I would dearly love to catch is a portly low 20 common that’s a proper old character. I managed to get my rods fishing again by around 7pm after a few beer related miscasts! In all honesty I was soon knocking out the zzz’s until I awoke around 1:30pm in a slight daze to a slow take on my middle rod. As the line pinged out of the clip I picked up my rod and 20 yards of line slowly disappeared into the eerie orange moonlight. From then off the fish was just a slow dead weight going on two more runs before I saw the deep flank of the fish I dearly wanted in the oily looking water. The fish was soon over the net cord and I silently punched the air in a bizarre victory dance. On the mat the fish looked very full and was passing my bait so it had obviously been enjoying all the food. Before photographing and weighing my prize I sacked him up for five minutes to allow both parties to regain their composure. On the scales, she went 23lb exactly. I quickly fired off a few trophy shots and returned the fish to its home. I was absolutely made up with this fish. I have caught bigger and prettier fish but the buzz I got from this capture was something else. I had just drifted off to sleep when I had a run at 5:30 am This fish ran me a right merry dance before succumbing to the net. As I parted the mesh I was met with rows of freshly minted golden sovereigns cladding the timeless looking common carp. This fish went 16lb 2oz. I was soon netting a carbon copy of this fish. This time weighing 16lb 5oz and just as beautiful. This took my session total to ten fish and I was soon packing up a very satisfied, tired angler.


Not the prettiest fish but I was absolutely chuffed 23lb common.


A lovely brace of commons both just over 16lb

This wraps up my fishing over the last few months. I think the main thing I have learnt is you get out what you put into something and never be afraid to go the extra mile.

A few products that stand out over the last few months include. The ESP super grade waterproof clothing. This range is not new to the market but we have just started stocking the jacket. There are two things that impress me most with this garment. The quality of the material and the standard of the finish. The material is rated 25,000mm waterproof and 10,000g breathable which is incredibly high for the price point and means you could be out in rain all day and not get wet. Totally waterproof and windproof with exceptional breathable qualities, other features include an adjustable, fitted, peaked hood, a high collar which is snug and comfy and prevents draughts plus hand warmer pockets with a protective rain baffle, a zipped internal security pocket and the full-length YKK zip is protected by a Velcro sealed rain flap. The adjustable cuffs also feature an internal neoprene cuff which enhances warmth and prevents water ingress when casting. All these features and a price tag of £119 is exceptional value for money.


ESP super grade jacket


The Fenix range of headtorches also stand out amongst the new products we have recently received. We are stocking four of their headtorches currently.


The entry level HL15. This featherweight torch has a maximum output of 200 lumens and a red light mode for those wishing to stay stealthy. It would make a great second torch or main torch for those not needing a high output. At £29.99 it represents great value for money.


The HL26R. Key features of this model include 450 lumen output, rechargeable, water resistance and spotlight/floodlight functions. At £49.99 it has a wide range of features for its price point.


The Fenix HL60R Headlamp delivers a maximum output of 950 lumens, beam distance of up to 381ft and a runtime of up to 100 hours from just one rechargeable18650 Li-ion battery. This feature rich headlamp is equipped with neutral white LED for better colour rendering, a side switch to activate the five brightness levels and the red night vision mode. The HL60R is an all-season headlamp designed with an all-metal housing and waterproof up to 2m underwater. This torch is a serious piece of equipment and ideal for shore anglers that require a high output. It would also make a great headtorch for carpers as the lower outputs are quite dim and it also features a red light function but the high output is there if required. This torch retails at £74.99


The Fenix HP30R Boasts a huge maximum output of 1750 lumens. The versatility of this headlamp begins with the belt-worn (or backpack) battery case that allows for lightweight and comfortable design on the head. The rechargeable micro USB port in the battery case even allows you to utilize it as a power bank in those moments your mobile phone might need a little extra charge. The versatility continues with 4 levels of spotlight and 4 levels of soft floodlight to match up to whatever your needs may be at any moment.  The unique ability to utilize both flood and spot levels at once provide you 16 levels of adaptable light with runtimes lasting as long as 400 hours. This headtorch isn’t cheap at £129.99 but has a huge range of features and is best suited to anglers that demand the best in quality and functionality.

Posted by Callum Henley
9th October 2017

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