It has been a busy few weeks since I last wrote a blog pieceto keep you up to date with my angling adventures, so with a lot to catch up with let us get going.
Visiting the UK
With Covid making travel very difficult for almost two years now, its been a long time since I was last in the UK, but finally with things looking a bit better we decided to have a few days in England to have a long-awaited catch up with friends and family and hopefully a couple of days fishing.
High on the agenda was a visit to catch up with the team at Angling Direct Norwich store, I have known a few of them for many years and worked with most of them when I was the Logistics Manager for Angling Direct a few years ago.
I have to say I was very impressed with the store refit and the layout was hardly recognisable from the last time I visited but glad to say the hospitality and help were as normal very welcoming. I needed stock up of a few bits and pieces especially my favourite feed pellets for barbel fishing the Sonubaits3mm range, perfect size and full of flavour, just what I needed for a trip to the river Trent planned as part of my visit to the UK.
Reading about Fishing
I have always been interested in fishing books and whilst I know the internet has made it much easier to research and read up or watch YouTube I still like the physical feel and information found between the covers of a good book. I was looking forward to finally getting my hands on 2 books I had ordered and were waiting for me at my English address. First looks and they both look very interesting, so which to choose first, some tips and tricks on catching Zander, a species I have never seriously targeted before, but intend to as we have plenty here in Holland, or Steve Harpers latest offering on my favourite species of all time The Mighty Mahseer.
Another book I was looking forward to was my old mate and the original Feeder master Nick Larkin, Nicks book tells his story as a “Cage Fighter” in the early days of feeder fishing Nick took feeder fishing to a higher level and when he couldn’t buy what he needed he made his own, Nick turned his passion into a business and now under the brand Nisa Feeders, Nick produces some of the very best feeders and accessories available for feeder fishing. I am privileged to call Nick a friend and it was great to share a cup of tea with Nick as well as pick up my copy of his book.
Fishing on the River Trent
As I mentioned earlier I had planned a couple of days on the Tidal River Trent, one of my favourite barbel venues, little did I know I was in for a pleasant surprise with the barbel being most obliging. Using a mixture of the Sonubaits 3mm pellets, dampened to make them soft and sticky and then crammed into the feeder, on the hook I used the Sonuabits 8mm Robin Red, with the water low and clear I went for either 1 or 2 on a hair rig with a long hook-link of between 4 and 6 feet.
My plan and method worked well and landing over 60 barbel in just 2 long day sessions, I set a new personal record of the number of barbel caught in a day session with the best day producing over 40 barbel. With plenty of doubles coming to the net my long-awaited visit to the UK was most rewarding.
Winter Fishing in the Neverlands for Roach
Our visit to the UK was all too soon over and it was back to The Netherlands and a trip with my Dutch mate Jan Willem, Jan had told me about a venue that often produced 2lb roach, so we arranged a meet. The Venue was a huge shipping canal well over 100 metres wide up to 8 metres deep and hardly a venue to expect huge roach. For me, it was difficult and apart from a few smaller fish I had a disappointing day, but the Dutch master showed the way with a cracking mixed net of feeder caught silverfish, but most importantly some very big roach with some going over the 2lb mark and very close to the magic 3lb. I can't wait to go back for another go and put into practice some of the tips I got from Jan, we are never too old to learn.
River Fishing in Winter
The next planned trip was with fellow Expat Michael and a trip to the Maas after barbel, choosing to fish an area on the Dutch side of the river we were hoping for a barbel or two before the colder weather set in. Fishing tactics were very similar to the Trent a couple of weeks earlier small baits and long hook-link.
It didn’t take long for the method to work, with a savage bite and then a telltale nod of the rod top signalling a hooked fish, I set the hook into what became quickly apparent wasn’t a barbel, firstly thinking bream but changing my mind as the fight was more intense and when I slipped the net under a huge Ide (Winde as the Dutch call them) I was very happy. The fish sent the scales to 7lb 9oz and a new P.B. for the species.
Ide are found all over Europe but not so many in the UK, there are, however, plenty of versions of the golden orfe found in commercial fisheries around the UK. Interestingly common ide are caught in UK rivers and often classed as hybrids of chub or roach but they are a species in their own right. Sadly that was the only action of the day with no other fish landed.
Well with that, I will sign off and another year is almost over! May I wish you all seasons greetings and a happy and prosperous New Year.