Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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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.

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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 ?

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Self-take Photography Revisited

March 20, 2014

Last year I started to take my self-take photography seriously. After landing a 46lb Common at night and not being able to do adequate photos I decided to right things.

My first piece of equipment was the SRB Griturn air release. (See my previous blog post). The item was shown to me by Shaun Harrison and had loads of advantages over simple self timer shots. It worked well and let me take shots once the fish was calm and I was ready. No more dashing round and desperately trying to pose while the fish wriggled and flipped, and putting slimy fingers on an expensive SLR.

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The Hanhel Giga T Pro 2…

But as good as the shots were that the system allowed me to get, it was somewhat flawed on a number of levels. Firstly it worked mechanically, an air release pushing a pin that would focus and trip the shutter when you stepped on the ball. On most modern SLR’s the shutter button is angled for ergonomy, and made of shiny plastic.This means that the pin can slip and not trip the shutter. Shaun’s idea of putting some velcro in the button went some way to solving this, but the very fact that the pin was not pressing directly down on the shutter made it very fiddly to set up and on more than one occasion it refused to fire.

It was very frustrating to set it all up pose with the fish but not be able to get a shot. When this happened I hadn’t much option but to release the fish (for its own well being) and forget a trophy shot.

I then read a piece by Elie Godsi on the Quest Baits blog about an electronic option made by Hanhel. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Winter Diary

March 10, 2014
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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.

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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 ?

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New Shoes for my Fishing Wagon

February 11, 2014

I wrote a piece on my Croix Blanche Lakes blog about the best fishing vehicles a few years back. One of my top vehicles in the post was a 4×4. Now I’ve had a few in the past and I’ve always been very pleased with their ‘Go anywhere’ aspect.. So when I need a new car, (my campervan was just not practical for running a fishery) I naturally opted for an off roader.. It tows well, will go anywhere I need it too and can carry all my fishing gear and the family when needed to.
Here’s what I wrote: 

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 4X4 :
For a long time a long wheel base 4×4 was my favourite all time fishing car, a go anywhere, unstoppable beast. I’ve had a couple of these and my favourite Nissan Patrol was brilliant. With a full length roof rack, I had enough space for tons of tackle. The rear luggage space was equally vast, and I had up to 7 seats if necessary or 5 comfortably. It never got stuck, even when I sunk the rear axel in the mud over night. Good tyres and four wheel drive were absolutely superb. It was the car I used to pull all those Transits out of the mud… Frontera’s, Discovery’s and Shoguns (Pajero’s in Europe) are common place in England and are great carp angling cars. Just recently Shaun Harrison pulled my MB Vito camper out of the wet grass in his Disco. My latest Terrano has been very good around the lakes in soft mud and sand as well as a solid car in the snow. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Madfred’s Angling Mag – Number 4

January 8, 2014

Hi All
Very happy new year to everyone who reads this blog. Here’s a link to the forth edition of Madfred’s Angling Mag. It’s in French but features several articles from UK anglers, and a contribution from my good self on my barbel fishing in France.

madfred mag 04-02Here is the link:-

http://issuu.com/madfred_angling/docs/madfredanglinglemag4/1?e=8146579/6232716#

Read the rest of this entry ?

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French Barbel Fishing: One Year on. My Target Achieved.

November 6, 2013
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A Oise barbel glides back to it’s home.

This year has been the second I’ve turned over to tracking down barbel in French rivers. I mentioned last year that after a life time of carp angling I fancied a change, a fresh challenge; and inspired by the Quest Baits lads Shaun Harrison and Pat Gillett and their barbel exploits in the UK, I decided to give it a whirl in France.
Those of you who read my article from last year will know that initially my quest was just to find barbel, any barbel in the local French rivers. The task was not easy due to the total lack of barbel anglers in France. But I soon found that the species is abundant if you fish the correct methods.

As time went on and I fished more and more areas and picked the brains of more and more local anglers about the presence of the fish I sought, I slowly started to get a picture of the possibilities.

I also found that while the species was present in large numbers in my local rivers, the majority of the fish were fairly small, in the 3lb to 5lb bracket. Throughout 2012 I did manage over 75 fish, but the largest were only in the 7lb range. It was clear that if I wanted to bag my target fish, an elusive double figure barbel, my research would need to dig deeper and my net cast wider.

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Fast forward to the start of 2013. My research had established a few new avenues to explore on different rivers, where the average stamp was better, even if the fish were less numerous. But that suited me fine. Coming from carp angling I was used to waiting between takes for a decent fish, so this would suit me fine on the rivers. Read the rest of this entry ?

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October Diary

October 31, 2013
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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.

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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 ?