Passing boat traffic, and does it affect bites?
Passing boat traffic, and does it affect bites?
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I'm coming round to the opinion that it doesn't make any difference. I used to be told that it takes five to ten minutes after a boat had passed for the fish to re-settle. Well this summer I've spent a lot of time on a narrow but deep river, with cruisers passing all the time, but bites seemed to continue as normal. The cruiser in the picture is the average size that I see, but there are some that wouldn't look out of place moored up somewhere in Monaco. In many cases my tip still shot round or dropped back even when the vessel was directly over my rig.

Might make a difference when float fishing, mind you.
That’s not a centrepin …
That’s not a centrepin …
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… THIS is a centrepin!

I was catching a few roach using a little 3" Paramore centrepin, when an old chap came by and commented on my tiny reel.

"I think I can beat that" he said.
And returned a couple of minutes later with a real beast of a 'pin -


Six inches in diameter, it spins like a dream.
It bears the name 'Harlow', but he knew nothing more about it.
A bit of digging revealed that the reel was sold by the fishing tackle shop Harlows, but like quite a few reels of the period, probably made by one of the rolls Royce engineers during his lunch break - or when he wasn't being watched.
Basically a big copy of the Renauld and Stanton reels, it was heavy, too heavy to trot with all day.

But I think I'd rather have his braces.

Best 3 most useful purchases this year....?

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There is obviously a link between cost/value.....and defining "best". For me here are my 3 "best" most useful purchases this year that have helped my fishing. Quite a few other contenders....but here we go.

1. Guru Pellet Strainer. makes preparing my feeder 2mm pellets so easy...Cost just a few quid.

2. Matrix 4 Wheel Transporter Barrow Trolley. Just brilliant. can take everything I need. Goes in the boot. Makes life so much easier. A game changer for me back and my knees

3. Korum Allrounder 11fft quiver tip rod. The same spec as my dear old 40 year John Wilson Avon Quiver.....but with the Korum the reel doesn't fall off when playing a fish :)
In the sale from BobCo £45......amazing value and impressive finish for the money.

Interestingly 2 out of the 3 were recommended by other forum members. :)
Birkwood farm
Birkwood farm
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Yesterday was a reccy day for us as we were looking for a new venue to try out.

The second venue was Spring End Farm fisheries. A lovely little place, i believe the smaller lake is an old established lake but there's a newer larger lake also. Both lakes are said to be stocked well so definitely worth a visit at some point. Has anyone been?
The first place we visited I am not going to mention the name. It was an established venue with a few lakes but it just looks tired. Not much maintenance has gone on in or out of the lakes. Although there was quite a few people fishing it just didn't have the appeal for us. We did get chatting to a guy there who was not very happy with his day and recommend Birkwood fisheries.
After a quick look online last night, that's where we went to today so much for the reccy yesterday as we didn't go to either place visited🤦
Anyway, we got there at just before 8am. It has 5 lakes, the main lake had a match on so we opted for Molly's lake.
I started fishing about 8:15am, as usual I was on the method feeder using method pellets, sweet breams ground bait and 8mm pellet on band. I had an island out infront of me but I opted to fish just out in front of me to where I could comfortably underarm cast, while I built up the confidence to fish the island. I wish I could go and fish where I want straight away but I always need to get in my comfort zone first otherwise everything seems to go wrong.
It was a very slow start and took over an hour to feel relaxed enough with my fishing to explore fishing the island. I then swapped from fishing the island to fishing the margin. I fished steady away all day from that point. Mainly skimmers and a carp of about 4lb. I did however loose a couple of decent carp. One bent my hook and the other broke my hook link. ☹️

But then......

About an hour before finishing, I decided to hit the margin again. And that's when the fun began.....
The first carp I bagged was nice mirror. I thought, a couple more like that will do.

But then....


The monster arrived.....

My God did we battle, the baliff turned up and didn't want to leave until I had bagged the beauty. I must have been fighting him (the fish not the baliff or the Mr) for a good 20 mins and only just got him in my net.
At a beautiful weight of about 17lb and a personal best for me.... I was knackered!!!
Come fishing he said.... It'll be relaxing he said... LIES!!!!!
Here's he is in all his glory, what a fish, what a fight, I only just managed to pick the damn thing up. 😍🤩

We were all over joyed, I couldn't believe it.

We only had a bit of method pellets left so we decided to finish them off before heading home. My arm was falling off so didn't really want to catch anymore and figured I'd fish were I was as that big monster would have scared any other fish away.


Just to add insult to injury and rub it in @MunchMyStump face some more, I bagged another 11lb one to finish the day (sorry no picture)

Unbelievable, what started off as a day where I thought I'd hardly catch turned out to be one of my best days fishing.


But the day wasn't over, we packed up and went to harvester for an ultimate mixed grill. Half of it is hidden underneath 🙄

Successful Thames Roach Session Dampened By Long Anticipated Rod Break
Successful Thames Roach Session Dampened By Long Anticipated Rod Break
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After a successful roach session in my favourite Thames swim on the sandford old channel on Friday I returned for today for one last go for the summer as the wind was a bit tricky Friday so wanted one last summer session there in better conditions before leaving it until well into the autumn. Conditions were definitely a bit better as whilst the temperatures and overheads were much the same being low 20s once the heavy cloud shifted to more sunny spells and the river all of about an inch lower so still flowing with reasonable colour the key was the wind was now back to a light upstream southerly. As such aside from still being hampered by small feed hemp again (given up on getting better stuff this season now really) I had some decent hemp and some tares for the hook so I was optimistic of another good session. It certainly did end up a decent session if not quite as good as I’d hoped but good enough save for a broken rod that I thought I’d avoided having actually damaged it ages ago!

Started fishing just before 8.30 and had the obligatory handful of bleak on waggler and maggot before switching to hemp. Reason being for always starting that way if I haven’t said before is to spend a few minutes feeding hemp before putting it on the hook and once in a while I do nick the odd non bleak fish on maggot. Anyway then caught a good stream of roach and surprisingly not a lot else up until midday so despite the stamp being small (no decent ones but no tiny ones either so could’ve be worse) it was going pretty well. At that point the session started taking a bit of a turn for the next hour and a half the river seemed to come alive with little dace and chublet which made getting through to many roach a bit of a challenge.

Then about 1.30 disaster struck when the aforementioned rod break happened when on a routine cast one of them broke clean through the butt section. Before anyone shouts snappolyte I’d been expecting this one to break for a while as last October a dog jumped on it causing a horrible noise and a cracking of the surface finish. Expected it to blow up on the next decent fish but nearly a year later whilst creaking horribly at times it’s been fine but clearly getting weaker and weaker until finally it gave way as it did indeed break clean through where the surface damage had been so was clearly a bit deeper than surface in hindsight. So at that point I lost about 20 minutes taking down that rod, replumbing the other and sending a couple emails to try source a new butt section as whilst I’ll spend £200 on a replacement rod if required as they’re so good I’d obviously rather spend like £100 on just the butt section! Anyway got back to fishing and had a couple more roach before after quite a few near misses I was into a pike that despite only being about 4lb took an ages to land as it kept somehow getting tangled up. Got it in eventually but then it broke me off in the net so the fight and re tying cost me another 10 minutes. I then proceeded to fish like a prat for about another 10 minutes having been a bit rattled by the events of the last hour before finally getting into the swing of things and having a good run of roach including some better ones before packing up just after 3.30.

Roach numbers wise I was never really threatening the seasons best 93 from last weekend but would have possibly beaten the 81 from Friday were it not for the lost time to the miss-haps as I still ended up with 72 roach plus comfortably over 30 other fish made up of a pretty even mix of dace, bleak and chublet and a single silver bream. Weight wise I was struggling for double figures roach wise until a late run of bit better ones so probably ended up getting double figures by about a pound to a couple pounds then when the other fish were added I had probably nudging a stone. In hindsight fishing it twice in 3 days with someone no doubt fishing it yesterday as well probably didn’t help the stamp but is what it is no such thing as a bad roach in my eyes. So not a great bag but not a bad one at all either so was another enjoyable session in just such a good swim. Well obviously save for the cost and inconvenience of the rod break. Suppose the pike was worth about another 4lb so couple pounds shy of 20lb in all sounds a bit better!

Tackle wise as usual it was the two float rod approach again today possibly for the last time for a little while depending on the lead time of a spare butt section if available at all and even getting a complete new rod might be a bit tight for next weekend as well. Anyway just about the most successful set up before it blew up was the 13ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g drennan loaded crystal insert waggler with strung out shot to a size 18 to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon set up just off bottom in a bit over 5ft of water. Second set up was the 14ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod also paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 2g drennan loaded crystal insert waggler with strung out s**t to a size 18 to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon. This was initially set up about a foot off bottom before being deepened a bit once the other rod blew up. Hook bait wise after the initial few bleak on single red maggot I used hemp and tares pretty much as much as each other today with probably slightly more fish coming to the hemp but probably only because I probably used it slightly more. Loose feed was mostly hemp with a few tares mixed in and groundbait was an initial few balls of frenzied hemp match black stuffed with hemp and maggots.

My grandad was with me again and his now staple corn feeder fishing was an almost total bust today weirdly as he did ok with it on Friday so not sure what had happened today. Had some nice roach plus a few dace, gudgeon and bleak but not many at all. He did provide a good bit of entertainment when he offered to net my pike given I only had much silvers net with me as blimey did he make a meal of it (part of why it took ages to land) which did make us laugh.

All in all whilst not as good as most sessions I’ve had in this swim this summer it was still a pretty good result fishing wise just shame the rod break tainted it. As I say I had expected it to have broken way before now after the dog incident so was pretty sure it would happen at some point but was also starting to think I’d got away with it having been nearly a year since that incident. Still got over 3.5 years out of it all in before I broke it which is better then some clumsy souls manage with acolytes so could have been worse. Hopefully can get a butt section for it given it’ll cost half as much as a full rod but really as long as it’s sorted fairly quickly it is what it is as I only paid about £80 real money for it anyway as £100 of it came from a voucher I got when I left my old job so wouldn’t be as out as pocket as I could have been. Plus better to happen now at the end of the summer (especially as I’m soon to potentially have a few weeks off the banks for a multitude of reasons) than right in the thick of the summer. Still want to sort it asap though as this sort of stuff bothers my OCD! But back to that fishing it was nice to have a good last session in what has once again proved to be a great swim this summer. 7 sessions in it across July and September is 1 or 2 more than I’d planned but conditions have dictated it really as it’s one of a few places that always fishes due to it always retaining flow and colour so very helpful in a warm dry summer. The bags probably ranged from about 13lb to 18lb across those sessions with an average of over 15lb I’d imagine so very consistent indeed. Is also just a nice place to be being so nice aesthetically pleasing and virtually free of other human activity not to mention is an easy walk so far as river fishing goes. I will leave it alone now though until at least late October maybe into November so this will be the last repetitive report on it this season really as when I do next return it’ll look and fish quite different.

Next session will be one of the days next weekend and suppose unless drennan are mega efficient I better go somewhere I can get away with one float rod! Have got another float rod in a CR10 #1 which is fine used in isolation but feels a bit naff alongside either of the acolytes and whilst I could use one of grandads acolytes I get a bit twitchy using other peoples gear so would rather not. As such as it’s also looking back northerlies next weekend I might go back to Franklins meadow where I fished for the first time last month as have had that in mind for when we get such wind again plus being shallow you don’t really need two rods set up at different depths. That’ll obviously be the last session before the equinox brings us into autumn so better try make the most of it to round another good summer of fishing. That said looks like it might feel quite autumnal already then as looking like it’ll be the first sub 20 degree session since the June so will probably feel a bit chilly having been such a nice summer.

Repetitive pics again with the swim ahead, upstream and downstream (last ones of it with green or perhaps any leaves this season though I promise!) and a selection of roach that were unfortunately about stamp before the rod break. I did get a better stamp after that (fishing gods trying to make me feel better maybe!) just didn’t take any more pics past that point as was a bit wound up hence no pike pic either.






How many times a year do you actually fish?

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I've often thought about this, even more so if about to make a major purchase (don't panic, I'm not :) ), but how many times a year do you actually go fishing?

I tend to do it in spurts, I might go every weekend for a while, a bit of a splurge, then miss for several weekends. So on balance, taking winter into account, perhaps 25 days in the year :eek:

Maybe I need to take up golf, or retire :D

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