Hi! My name is Sam Edmonds. Those of you who know me are aware that I am just 'ever so slightly' keen on my fishing and the love of the outdoors.
Fishing has been a part of my life since the day I was born. I suppose it comes as no surprise when you have a Dad that's fishing crazy. We fish together literally all of the time and have had some fantastic times spent trying to catch all kinds of fish here in the UK and on holidays abroad. Along the way I have met some great fishermen and some of these have become really good friends.
The more I fish the more my fascination and appreciation for the sport grows and catching fish is just the start - there is so much more to angling: travelling, nature, wildlife and watching some spectacular sunrises are just a few.
So I'd like to share in my blog some of my fishing experiences, captures and other related interests such as photography and writing. I hope you will enjoy reading it and find something that interests you too...

Monday, 28 March 2011

End of season Pike and Perch

I've finally got round to updating my blog, as lately, homework, revision - and fishing - have taken up all of my time. The river season has now ended, and although I will miss my river fishing over the next 3 months, there's still a lot to look forward to. For the past month we've been continuing our quest for Perch on our local rivers, mostly with lures. The last few weeks of the river season can sometimes be some of the best, but this hasn't been the case this time round. So to keep the bites coming, we've been experimenting with Drop Shotting and trying out some new lures we bought about a month ago.

The last couple of weeks has only just started to be light enough to fit in a couple of hours after school to jig our local river. One warm but cloudy day seemed to tick all the boxes for great Perching conditions. After recently trying out Drop Shots and Wacky Style Worm fishing on the River Ivel with some success, we were keen to try it on the Lea too. I lip hooked a 3" dull, split tail shad on to the hook, tied via a palomar knot about a foot above the end of the line. To this I attached a 1/4oz drop shot weight. By presenting soft baits in this way, you can fish them very slowly - and by lip hooking the bait - whether this be a curltail or shad, you can twitch them enticingly, very much like an injured silverfish, and this can prove irresistible to lethargic predators. It's also amazing how such small fish can engulf such a large bait - not long after starting, a Perch fell for my Drop Shotting tactics - only a fish of around 10oz, but it still managed to completely engulf the 3" split tail shad! Hopeful there may be others in the swim, I cast out again. Hardly moving the rod tip, I twitched my bait delicately along the bottom, and soon found myself playing a larger fish at over 2lbs.

20 yards further down the river I found myself hooked up again to another good fish. Seeing the Perch as it approached the net, it looked and felt bigger than the previous fish, so I played it carefully in the hope that it wouldn't come off. The fish soon tired and I netted a lovely Perch at 3lb 1oz, which again fell to the Drop Shot. I managed to land another small one, but it wasn't long before our couple of hours fishing was over, as it was now pitch black. Unfortunately for Dad, who had persevered fishing our normal jigging method (which normally works very well), had blanked - so it just goes to show how a change of approach can sometimes make a difference.

In the last few weeks of the season we caught some nice fish on drop shots up to 3lbs 8oz. It's also proved a great method for catching Pike, Chub, and even Brown Trout that live in the river too. We also fished the River Thames on the last weekend of the season in our boat - the fishing was tough but we still managed to catch nearly 30 Perch to just over 2lbs, I also caught a 12lb Pike fishing a Wacky Style Worm intended for Chub!

Talking of a change of approach, my Dad had really been wanting to try some quivertipping but as usual, we'd got carried away with lure fishing But this time he was determined to try it, so after an evening collecting lobworms from our local football field, we were ready to give it a bash. Arriving around midday, we set up in an area where we thought we'd have a chance of catching Chub and Roach. We fished using bread and maggots, but after 3 or 4 hours without a bite, we opted for the lobworm in the hope of a last minute Perch. We sat back patiently, waiting eagerly for that magic moment - when the tip swings round. With time running out, I suddenly heard the sound of a drag of a reel. I looked round and my Dad was playing a fish. I walked over to give him a hand with the netting - he said it felt a good fish, but until it graced the net we didn't realise how 'good' it really was!

The scales read 4lb 1oz - my Dad's first four from the Lea, and our 3rd from the river in total! We stared at it in awe, and after taking pictures and much excitement, we released it back to it's watery home. We were soon back fishing though, as we knew that although he'd caught our 2nd biggest from the Lea ever, there was still a chance of another decent fish. It wasn't long before I had some interest showing on my quivertip, and I struck in to a fish - not to be outdone by my Dad! I soon had the fish in the net and this weighed 3lb 3oz - another cracking fish, not a beast like Dad's, but it had made my day. However it wasn't over yet. Not long after casting out again, the tip swung round and I landed another of 2lb 6oz too.

Chopping and changing techniques has certainly paid off over the past difficult weeks - sometimes when fishing gets harder it can be a good thing as it forces you to try new things. It's always sad to see the season over, but now I'm really looking forward to flyfishing reservoirs.