2015 was a bit of an up and down year for me, fishing wise that is!
The downs were that Sway Lakes, my favourite venue for some peaceful specimen roach fishing, just didn’t fish very well at all. In the few trips I had there I still landed some nice fish, but not the numbers of 2lb fish I’d caught in previous years. I never came close to seeing a 3lb + redfin, of which I’d been fortunate to catch 2 the previous year. Most roach were caught at night too, which was a change.
I did have the heartbreak of losing a very big perch at the net, but was lucky enough to catch it just before it spawned at a weight of 4lbs. What a perfect example of the species it was.
As the end of the river season approached, I tried for chub on a local river, but only caught the same fish twice. This lead me to have a closer look at the river in the summer which was an eye opener. There weren’t many fish in the river, but some were very big for the area. I might have a go for those in the future!
I also fished the River Frome for the first time ever. I landed a string of grayling, but not the hoped for 3lb+ monsters. A number of fish in the 1-2lb bracket made for a great days trotting though, before heavy rain killed sport for the day!
The period that bridges the end of winter and the warmer weather always throws up conundrums on what to fish for. For 2015 I chose to target some perch I’d seen in a local canal. Some great sport followed with numbers of 2lb+ fish, quite a few that made it over 3lbs, plus a cracker of 4lbs 1oz. Terrific sport on my own doorstep. Everything was caught on link legered lobworms, except one 3lb+ stripey that fell to a lure. Simple, quality fishing.
In spring I tried for a double figure tench from Bawburgh Lakes. After a fact finding first week on the place, which led to a couple of fish to over 8lbs, the rest of the spring was written off as I broke my ribs in a comedy fall.
I was in too much pain to fish effectively and found out the hard way you don’t bounce when you fall like I did a few years ago! I met some great guys on the place though and had the pleasure to photograph my mate Adam with a huge tench of almost 12lbs!!!
I had my annual rudd fishing trip into the Fens. The fishing seems to get tougher with each passing year, but the bars of gold still put in an appearance every now and then
I had a couple of trips to the Hampshire Avon where I targeted the big roach, but caught many more dace!
Autumn was the highlight of my year though as I found a shoal of roach in a local river that had me foaming at the mouth. Being right on my doorstep I could fish for them when I wanted and soon racked up some stunning catches. Many fish were landed over a pound and a half, with 5 landed of 2lbs and above. 4 of these were landed in one afternoon and is a catch I may never repeat. This would be a special catch on a southern chalk stream, but these were from a tiny northern river!
My year finished off with a few trips for barbel. The middle and tidal Trent was fished with good doubles landed from both areas of the river
This leads me right up to today where I’m now struggling to wet a line. As I type this, I’ve had no time at all for fishing in 2016. The reason is I’m moving into a new house with my girlfriend and we’re renting a couple of houses out. This means many, many jobs need to be done, things moved from one house to another, loads of things need to be thrown out and much, much more! It’ll be worth it in the end, but this year could see many more short, local trips made instead of the trips down south. When I get time I can get back to normality, but this will be in a few months at least. Still, as you’ve read above, there are some hidden jewels to be found locally. Let’s hope I find a few more in 2016! Tight lines to everyone out there that reads this blog, and may your PBs be smashed. Happy 2016!!!!