Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category


Spring Diary

May 12, 2014

Well I haven’t written a diary piece for a good few months. I left off with some modest carp from a local gravel pit, which filled a gap while the rivers got back to a fishable condition.
It wasn’t really till mid March that I really managed to kick off the barbel season, even if I had managed the odd fish beforehand.
I’d been having some success in the river Aisne which runs behind my lakes, and had baited a few spots which I know to hold barbel. Most of my sessions were just mornings or afternoons, a few hours I could fit in to hope for a fish or two.


Two takes at once

March 15th :
After my customers arrived I headed for one of my preferred stretches of the Aisne. The levels were still quite high, and 5oz feeders had a hard job holding, due mostly to the leaves and debris that wzs being pushed down by the current. Upping the feeders to 165g seemed to do the trick. Read the rest of this entry ?


Winter Diary

March 10, 2014

Frosty conditions but the barbel fed.

With the onset of Winter I did very little fishing. While it has been a pretty mild winter by usual standards it has been wet and still fairly cold. Not really my favourite conditions either. Added to this, due directly to the heavy rainfall, the rivers have been in constant spate since before last Christmas.


Just under 7lb and the best from the stretch last year.

I did get out a couple of times in December before the level and flow got too much. I concentrated on the Aisne river as my sessions were invariably short and travelling didn’t seem like an option. I wanted to consider.
Read the rest of this entry ?


October Diary

October 31, 2013

Evening on the Marne

Well the year is just zipping by so fast. One blink and there goes another month. October has been quite a busy and varied month with lots of little sessions on the variety of rivers I have at my disposition.
With the end of the holidays we’ve seen all the summer anglers disappear and once again the banks are deserted. So I wanted to make the most of the time left, getting out a couple of times a week,  before the winter arrives and we all go into scratching for a bit mode for our fishing.

1st  October

Today I was invited to have a go on a new stretch of the Oise. I met up with the chap Chistianin in  a bar in the quiet little village of Quiezy. I had fished with him a couple of times already. After a quick coffee we headed to the stretch of the non navigable Oise in question. Getting to the swim entailed crossing through some private land and my fishing companion for the day knew the owners, so we had no worries getting access to the river bank.


5lb 8oz Oise fish

The river Oise here looks a lot like the Aisne just down from where I live, but it certainly seems to hold more fish. Anyway we’d had a rather late start but the weather was fair and the sector looked inviting. It was quite narrow and on a bend. The level was low, but we had a fair bit of depth in front of us.  Due to tightness of the swim we fished just one rod each.

I started off with a Seafood boilie, and quickly had a 5lb 8oz fish. Second cast and it was off again with a smaller fish. I alternated 16mm halibut and Seafood boilie and in total had 9 barbel; most in the 3lb to 5lb bracket with the best fish 5lb 15oz. We called it a day around 5pm.
It was a nice bag of fish from a nice stretch of the river. Read the rest of this entry ?


September Diary

September 30, 2013

Well we should have now been getting into the best time of the year on the rivers, but so far the month of September has been unseasonably warm, with temperatures near or above 30 degrees on many days. What little rain we did have, did absolutely nothing to colour or accelerate the flow of most water courses, all of which remain extremely low.


A lovely stretch of the Meuse

30th August

The last but one day of August saw me trying a new spot on the River Aisne near Compiegne. The Aisne joins the Oise in this town, so the size of the barbel is, according to my French fishing buddies similar, that’s to say 6lb to 8lb on average.
I arrived at around 8:30 am and met Christian in the car park of a large very neat public park. Joggers passed by, along the tree lined banks of the river, which I must say looked very attractive. The margins were lined with tall reeds on a river that must have been about 60 yards wide. I set up about 50m downstream from Christian on a peg that had a very shallow margin slopping off to the navigation channel. The barges passed quite close, so as with the previous peg in Compiègne I chose to reel in for each boat so as not to lose any gear. Thankfully I was to find that the traffic was considerably less than my previous trip on the Oise. Read the rest of this entry ?


August Diary – A double figure barbel at last!

August 28, 2013
10lb7oz meuse

Pride of place on this post for my new PB barbel at 10lb 11oz

31st July:

Well my August diary kicks off with the first session on a new river, the Oise on the last day of July. I’d previously met a French barbel angler (a very rare beast) and he’d spoken about the non navigable part of the River Oise, a tributary of the Seine. The sector we were interested in was to the East of Compiègne.
We arrived at the first peg around 1pm… the river had about 40 to 50 cm of extra water which is not a bad thing. The peg was just under a bridge and was, to be honest too tight for two anglers.  I fished the upstream part and cast out a couple of feeders. After about 15 minutes I had a small chub of around 2lb 8oz. All remained quiet for an hour or so as we chatted.. my newly found fishing buddy then had a small bream and just as he was landing it I had a bite and landed my first Oise barbel of 4lb 09oz. Not a monster but a target fish from a new river.
After a couple more hours and with no further action we moved on to another swim about 10 miles downstream.


The Oise in its non navigable stretch

This peg was wider and on a bend. A peg I much preferred to the tight bridge swim. I had the downstream side this time and cast out one rod while I tied a new hooklink for the second. As I was doing so the cast rod tore off at great speed, I really would have expected a big fish. But the result was a second barbel of just under 3lb. Read the rest of this entry ?


July Diary

July 26, 2013

Well July’s come round and don’t seem to be at all the same. Last year was damp and cool, this year a ‘Heat Wave’.

2nd July

My first outing of the month was an afternoon trip to the Aisne near my house. The previous time I’d seen a fair few fish jumping opposite, and after studying Google Earth I found a track that might just lead me to a grassy swim on the far bank.
When I arrived a predator angler was already set up on the far right of the peg so I moved about 150 yards to the other extremity of the peg which allowed me to cast downstream and well away from his lines.
First cast was taken almost immediately by a 3lb chub. I recast and the second rod was away, but very quickly it found a snag. It had felt a decent fish, certainly a


Beware the Ide’s of July

barbel or a small carp. The hooklink broke but I did get the feeder back. The old boy ambled down the bank and informed me of a huge underwater snag to my left… I guess that was why he was fishing 150 yards up stream to the right…

Anyway as I went to reel in the right hand rod it too was snagged up. I had to pull for a break…These rivers are indeed very snaggy.
After these break offs I decided it was a sensible thing to go back round to the other bank and fish one of the snag free swims opposite.
So off I went and set up again in a new swim and cast back out. My first bite saw me land a strange looking fish, like a sort of hybrid between a bream and a rudd. I called my mate Séb up and he told me I’d caught an Ide.
At 3lb 9oz it was a whopper too.

I managed another small chub and an inevitable bream before calling it a day around 7pm. Read the rest of this entry ?


June Diary

June 30, 2013

14th June

Following the success with tench the previous weekend, I was keen to get back on to peg 6 and catch a few more large tincas. As the mobile home was now booked solid till September my window of opportunity was narrowing.


Waiting for the Tench to bite


As I’m not really a morning person I didn’t manage to get myself to the lake until 9am. I started by firing out several Spomb loads of hemp and sweet corn to my respective spots.

I took my time setting up, pruning a few willow branches to make casting easier. I placed two Method feeders as I had on the previous occasion, baited with balanced fake corn. I quickly started to receive single bleeps and the swinger moved a centimetre two.  This carried on for a while until it finally gave a positive bite and I banked a crucian of just over 4lb. Less than an hour later the same rod produced a slightly bigger fish of 5lb 2oz.


First tench of 7lb 3oz… Well pleased!


Next the buzzer on my distance rod…(all of 30m) sounded and a different species had found my groundbait. I then had three large slabs on the trot.. 7lb 5oz; 7lb 04oz and 6lb 9oz. Read the rest of this entry ?