2014 a statistical review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tri-Nant Fishery

Unknown to most the Royal Mint where all coins are crafted nestles in the South Wales Valleys, a stark juxapose between the rich and the poor. Perhaps, the Royal Mint was set in the Welsh hillside to create jobs and industry after the decline of the pits. Perhaps it was a good ol’ fashioned “Fuck You!” from England to Wales, both of these options appeal to me as a well natured southerner.

The untold wealth of the English and the miserable existence of the Welsh was not the only set of opposites in the valleys last week for there was also a show down between perhaps the finest coarse fisherman and the worst. Jack v Ben round II.

We fished at Tri-Nant Fishery just north of llantrisant, a small complex which was empty on the day. We fished the carp only lake, both opting for different methods. As any true sportmans will tell you the nature of the pursuit amounts to much more than the weight of the bag. Hence, I loaded my rod with a subtly balanced float rig, the thinking mans approach.

Of course, Ben opted for the all together less rounded, knuckle dragging method feeder. The easy way out, if anything. Below are the results, Ben had biggest bag and biggest fish….. but he basically cheated.

Forgotten Photos

Yesterday, I rediscovered some lost photos captured within a dusty old memory stick tucked away in my old oak desk, which I write from now. They were taken by my time served fishing companion Jamie, a Yorkshireman living in Manchester, fishing with a Hampshire man residing in Wales.

My own photos usually require an accompaniment to supplement the story told. Fortunately, bumf is not a prerequisite for these photos instead have some words which start with P: Jamie’s photos portray proceedings perfectly, a perpetually parched panorama painstakingly pictured …….errrrr penis.

Cefn Mably Method Feeder Madness

Cefn Mably is perhaps one of the most established fisheries in South Wales, a complex consisting of 8 lakes with the needs of the specimen hunter and the humble tiddler basher a like; it should also be noted that the on site tackle shop is simply to die for. Situated just off the M4 between Cardiff and Newport, location ain’t too bad either.

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On the day I fancied a mix bag and I had been drooling ovler the Horseshoe lake online for the week leading up to my little excursion. Home to some enormous perch, carp to just under 10lb, the odd barbel and match man’s favourite the slab. The lake itself is very nice indeed as I strolled along it’s banks I pondered which tactic I should employ. There was plenty of marginal activity and I am sure classic float fishing tactics would coax more than a few of our finned friends bank side. Whilst unpacking my trusty old Wilson barbel rod I couldn’t help but notice the gentle stirring of water around the lilies in the centre of the lakes. At around 5 metres range, with a bit of a breeze blowing across the water, I decided that some classic method feeder tactics might be more appropriate.

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One thing that has really improved my catch rate in the last few months when fishing these packed commercials is my rediscovery of the line clip. To really maximise your catch I really would suggest giving it a go. One thing to consider before deciding whether to clip up or not is that it can be slightly risky when not fishing tight to an island. If you are fishing open water there is every chance that the fish will pick your bait up then try to get away in the exact opposite direction of you. In this situation you have no shock absorbency from the rod, if you are a sporting gentleman then your suitably light line, matched to your quarry will be no match for an angry lump of a carp. In the perfect situation, an island will provide the perfect barrier to force the fish to scamper in a direction which will not overload the line directly.

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So the clipping up process, stage 1 is to have a “lead about” with an unarmed i.e. hook-less rig which could be just your feeder held on by swivel but without your hook link attached. Once you have found your range and a good spot which you have ascertained to be the underwater equivalent of a carp dining table, introduce a few feeders worth of bait to the swim, then lock and load a baited hook and recast and you have my virtual word that your bait will be all wrapped up in a neat little package sat atop a pile of freebies. Just be careful when a powerful fish takes they can give your rod a really good tug hehe.

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Bait wise you can’t go far wrong with any of the usual suspects, on these venues I personally think that the humble Robin Red pellet takes some beating. For my feeder mix I tend to go for a mix of Dynamite Bait 2mm Halibut Pellets, some cooorrrn, the cooooorrrrn juice and of course ol’ faithful Marine Halibut ground bait. Season to touch with some lake water. You want a mix which squeezes together into a nice ball but doesn’t sludge up and will easily crumble if rolled in your hand. I try to go as dry as possible, the best indicator that you need more water is when upon the cast the feeder flies for miles and launches a cloud of ground bait high into the air which will then gently patter back down on you and your friends head. Or in my case just my head. Solo.

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Anyway to prove that sometimes I kind of know what I am doing here’s the fish in a handy little gallery. Click through for some surprisingly feisty carp, a great fight on 4lb line. Tidy!

 

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Orchard Lakes – Match Fishing Showdown

On Sunday the stakes were high, two fishers reputation were on the line. Orchard lakes, New Milton, was the venue. We fished the match lake for a few hours on a warm afternoon. The lake holds a mixed bag of species including carp, roach, tench and my old nemesis the barbel. The rules of the match were simple, most fish caught wins the match and can sleep peacefully knowing they are the superior angler and an all round better human being than the loser.

I set up to fish match style on the method feeder, using Dynamite Baits Robin Reb pellet on the hook, topped with a small piece of plastic corn. I rustled up my usual method mix of Silver X method mix, sweetcorn and some mixed pellet. The lake is a snake style lake with margins slightly shallower than the main channel through the middle. I decided to fish the island rather than the margins as the trees on the far bank made a really nice little shaded feature that I was sure fish would feed confidently under. General Ben decided to roll the big guns out and fish with a boilie and bag approach, to try and target the bigger fish.

As is the norm with these packed out commercial style match lakes the bites came thick and fast from the start. I opened my account with a small carp and Ben then followed suit with a much larger common. After releasing both fish, we recast and I was straight away into another fish. The fish fought like a ‘roider down Wind Street on a Saturday night but she eventually succumbed to my tiny tackle. As the bronze flanks followed the angular head into my landing net I immediately knew that I had caught my first barbel, a fish which has firmly resisted my advances for over a year (more angling and barbel-less shenanigans here). The next few bites were also mine and soon they were coming steadily enough to encourage Ben to change onto the method. This increased his catch rate dramatically and the competition was soon close again. I soon showed my class and humility, by crushing Ben into the ground like a piece of shit on my shoe, with a grand total of 14 fish to 9.

I was over the moon with the day’s bag; despite catching a still water barbel which plays second fiddle to his running water cousin. Ben’s bag also included his first ever barbel and another barbel for me which was a unsurprisingly a new PB. Finally I added a tiny tench to my account which was another PB, a disgraceful PB I know but since I reset my PB’s for this blog I haven’t crossed paths with any of these slimy little buggers. After the match we headed back to Ben’s for a bloody good game of monopoly (which I also dominated), but I will save that story for my upcoming blog which will document, in great detail, every game of monopoly I have ever played throughout my entire life. At least then, this will not quite the most boring piece of writing in the entire world.

Woodstock Pond – a Festival of Fish

Woodstock Pond in Newport is a lovely established lake next door to School Pond and Morgan’s Pool. All part of Newport Angling Association’s fishery complex on the outskirts of leafy Newport. Regular readers (all 7 of you) will know, that I recently smashed school pond to pieces on the waggler(click here).Woodstock pond is a mixed coarse lake reputed to have a few carp to around 20lb, tench, some big bream and skimmers as well as the usual silvers.

The day I fished, turned out to be a real scorcher, luckily, I had packed the world’s sportiest sunglasses just in case of a a rare Welsh day such as this. A day where the sun actually permeates through the seemingly ever constant band of thick grey cloud.My usual set-up for this kind of fishing  tends to consist of my Jon Wilson Quiver – a great rod, Drennan Red Range Reel – a great budget fixed spool, loaded with 6 pound line with a 15gram Drennan method feeder and pre tied 4 lb Guru Method feeder rigs on the end.

Gracing the bait bucket on the day were my old favourites Dynamite Baits 8mm Robin Red pre-drilled of course, a bag of mixed pellet from Cwmbran tackle; view their wares here, a tub of corn , and Dynamites Bait Feeder X ground-bait and fans favourite artificial corn. After last weekends escapades, maggots had been firmly banned by Caitlin.

I didn’t put in any free offerings at the start of my session as the sun was really blazing down and I didn’t feel the fish would be feeding heavily. Also using the method at range, I felt that I might be better off keeping my free offerings all in wrapped up in one tidy little package. I mixed the feeder X with the corn juice and some corn and mixed pellets. Then I slowly added little bits of lake water until I had reached a suitable consistency. I started with just a fake corn on the hair rig to try and entice more bites whilst the swim was getting going. At the start of the session I made the decision to concentrate purely on fishing tight to the island, and for once I was going to stick with this spot. After the first cast it took a few minutes before the rod tip started twitching, it suddenly looped around and we were into the first fish of the day a lovely little F1.

 

For the whole day the fishing was bite a chuck with a mixture of F1s and small commons being the order of the day. The fish were in the 1-3lb bracket. I eventually moved onto robin red pellet topped with artificial corn to try and entice some larger fish. This technique was semi successful and the stamp of fish did improve steadily throughout the day. All in all it was a great days fishing and I managed to land around 25 fish to put together a good weight by the end of the day. Next port of call is to return with a keep net and scales and see if I can put together a bag of 50lb. Potential quest?

 

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