Saturday 29 March 2014

Looks interesting

Might have a try of some of these next time I'm in Cromer...

Not sure what this is, a butter churn perhaps?

Love to get  a similar shot on a frosty day for full effect, still not bad from the car window.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Friday 14 March 2014

Indecision, reggiecide and just desserts

Went to bed last night with Plan A and Plan B buzzing round my newly shaven head.  A day on the Wensum piking and the last 2-3 hours into dark after a chevin or three or back on the syndicate stretch from the Beck down to the big 90 degree Bungalow bend?

The car navigated itself in the fog onto the high road through Buxton rather than down past the Mill so it was off to Swanton Morley then. The first inkling of trouble was to be found amongst the many rules, regulations and dire warnings plastered around the gate and on the gleaming new notice board. Winter day tickets 7am to 5pm No chubbing into dark then..

Pleased to see the river barren of anglers in the persistant fog and spoiled for choice plumped for the middle section of the fishery. A bush, bend, slack, crease every 20 yards with attendant well worn swims. Fish don't eat trees but they do tend to hand around them.

I should have been warned by the psychedelic red and blue claw on the bank but by then the bailiff had pocketed my £8. As soon as he had done the first tell tell bob on the polyball indicted just what was down there on the riverbed. These god forsaken prehistoric bait stripping creatures. Reggie and Ronny crayfish. Of the signal variety. A surprising amount of flesh in the scampi sized tail but I had not bought my glamping catering  charabanc so I could not justify dispatching anymore these crittters simply for being there.

I know I should have rigged up some paternosters but I was stewing on my other bait choice, meat. If they could strip a sardine in minutes what would they do to luncheon meat? I retired to the adjacent pit and pondered over a tuscan bean soup. Tough it out or onto Lamas? I gave it three swims on the meat just to see if the crays would have that as quick as deadbaits. They didn't but neither did the chub so upsticks and I was on the long Norfolk Reed stretch below the Beck by 1.15 in glorious sun. I'd just put out both baits and started on leftovers from a  chicken, bacon and leek pie I'd made yesterday when the upstream and across rod showed crayfish free bobbing action and the pressure was off with this belter.

I decided to put all the eggs in the far bank basket along the reed fringes and in fairly quick order a cast was obviously on the snout of a fish as the tip was nodding as soon as I set the baitrunner. This one gave a great account of itself.

A much smaller  fish again on the nose almost and I decide to end the afternoon down by the Church rather than fish into dark and just on 5 had the biggest of the day. This one had to find the bait as it was out for at least 10 minutes..A lovely end to the season and home in time for tea with the Bureboy tribe.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Getting in reel trouble

Passing reference to self inflicted pike loses in last blog:  a couple of years ago my old and unserviced Cardinal 155's demonstrated what shelf life meant. The push button mechanism on the spools went spectacularly twice when playing in pike, resulting in frantic hand lining. The thrifty but possibly shortsighted replacements were from that fine purveyor of hand crafted artisinal fishing equipment LIDL. One had been somewhat temperamental, the drive  often refusing to totally engage  meaning several fish lost as not enough torque to set the hook and a couple pointed when I didn't react quickly enough to flick of the anti reverse necessary due to the unbalanced bail rotor arm when in free spool on the rests.  Monday saw the errant reel consigned to the dust bin and those vouchers burning a hole in my wallet were needing to be spent, and instead of a shed load of terminal tackle I was the owner of a Aero Baitrunner, reduced as  it was the last one in the shop and you only buy reels in twos or threes..

Today dawned bright and cold, glass firmly in high pressure territory so it was be piking not chubbing. The river was low and even clearer than Monday but with a minimal breeze. I'd bought a pack of blueys to complement the sardines, not sure what species they actually are but quite oily and surprisingly durable.

The rod with the new reel was first to go, not a stern test for the drag setting but again came after a small twitch on the bait. Small, but pretty as a picture. Not easy doing a selfie on a DSLR..

I repositioned the other rod bearing the remaining LIDL vintage reel and on the gentle lob out  heard something  land on the bank. I went to turn the handle to engage the bail and it wasn't there.. the retaining fitting that enables  left or right handed useage had come loose. fortunately the reel handle itself had not fallen in the water and it was possible to fish on though fact the other two fish taken both fell to that rod. Both came above and below a bush feature on a long straight and unfortunately both more the marks of otter damage. As before, both fish came after twitching the bait


I'd caught  this one on Monday as well and hadn't weighed it then. Today it went 9.04

I have retrieved the previously jettisoned reel from a suitably sun warmed and festering bin to salvage the retaining pin  so will have something to use on Friday for the last day. I won't return to this stretch this season due to the recapture. Back to Kings Beck or perhaps brave the throngs on Swanton Morley for pike in the day and chub into dark?

Monday 10 March 2014


Cold , blustery day on the Bure. Started off chubbing, lost a good fish (hook pulled out) and  had this rather out of focus fish ( background pin-sharp) of 4 lb exactly.

Ran out of cheese paste and then missed umpteen pike for a variety of self-inflicted reasons before grassing this plump fish. Twitching the baits occasionally certainly provoked interest.

Thursday 6 March 2014


Had pondered perch today but yesterday was mainly bright and I wasn't staying out late today so on to the Syndicate stretch, avoiding the last straight. Green woodpecker yaffling and plenty of tree drilling from their spotted cousin  and raucous jay screeching as as I headed on to the flood plain to cut out three bends and straights up to the Beck confluence. Overcast, mild but very strong upstreamer, with real rollers.This is in a brief lull

Dropped into second swim and nearside herring half was on its way across the river. A spirited  tussle from a lean pike of around 5 lb, which pivoted it's weight round on my finger and a gill raker "tooth". Resultant painful carnage that took a long time to stop bleeding. A very neat L shaped laceration. And blood every

I'd  just started to reply to a text from the Essex Scribbler when the far bank herring half was taken. This was a very different  fight, boring in the deep near margins and surging back up river, sending out large boils of disturbed water. A very heavy fish, with  a smallish head. The weight in the wet net was 19.10, and after deductions 18.02.

As well as the high level air traffic from Lakenheath or Mildenhall preparing for a soberingly possible calamitous showdown with Putin I was treated to a very low level pass by a Tornado and a couple of go rounds from a Hawk trainer..

Down to the willow bend for the last hour, and indeed on the last chuck almost as soon as I'd set the bait runner the downstream and across sardine was away and  another even plumper fish was in the net.

Pictures well taken by a pair of passing just out of school dog walkers in spite of their hounds taking more than a passing interest in the pike, both when I was holding it and when I was in the swampy margins returning it. Didn't weigh the fish given the close proximity of canine teeth and claws.. but I 'd guess over 10 in girth and belly/roe if not length. Perfect primrose and moss colouration , with an ivory belly with no silt stains or leeches, and better still no otter scars.

Sunday 2 March 2014

I know where I am not fishing the last week now...

Fished through the last straight on the syndicate stretch above Buxton with no result so I probably won't spend anymore time on there for the last week which I have booked off. Did see some reasonable sized silvers topping though at last knockings last night and it always does look roachy....

Probably will have a day on Blickling which is open later this year right through to the end of the season, some pike out today to the chaps on the dam and plenty of chances from the bream whilst I was looking around.