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 and sunsets 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...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Big Perch below Zero on Jigs and Drop Shots

Since the new year, fishing has been quite challenging - My Dad and I have only fished rivers and they've been very low and clear. Combined with hard frosts, and now snow, this makes for tricky fishing. Even though the bites have slowed up, it hasn't been impossible and we've still managed to entice some nice perch into taking our lures. We've caught a dozen or so over 3lb to 3lb 9oz, plus some good 2's. They've all fallen to jigging and drop-shotting soft plastics, plus a couple on crankbaits.

We've also had a few jacks plus a nice surprise Brown Trout of about 4lb from the River Lea, which fell to a curltail. In the last couple of weeks as well, an article was published in the Angling Times on 27/1/12, which I wrote about catching our 100th Perch over 3lb. I've pasted it below:

Every now and again fishing throws up some unexpected experiences - not long ago we were lure fishing the River Ivel, when my Dad cast a 2.5" shallow diving crankbait across the river - he twitched it back a couple of times when, from nowhere, a Kingfisher dived in after it! Luckily, it missed the lure by about an inch - my Dad's fished all his life and this was the first time he's had one actually go for his lure! Mind you, it did look realistic!

Another really strange thing that happened recently was whilst jigging the River Lea. We located a small shoal of Perch and began catching a couple. Whilst my Dad was unhooking one of about a pound and a half, he laid his rod on the bankside poking it out over the edge of the river and let the jig fall to the bottom, so that no passing dogs would be able to eat it. After unhooking and returning the fish he picked up his rod to make another cast, only to find another Perch on the end! This one was quite a bit bigger and weighed 2lb 12oz - it had eaten the shad as it was lying on the bottom, motionless.

For a change, we have also had a couple of afternoon/evenings out quivertipping for Chub. We've tried some spots not renowned for many, but looked 'Chubby'. So far, we've only managed to catch 4 - the biggest, my Dad caught, weighing 4lb 7oz caught on bread. He also lost a nice river Carp that afternoon, and all I caught was a Pike that took my bread as I reeled it back in!

Last Sunday, we decided to take a look at the River Lea to see if, and how much it had frozen over. Where it looked OK, we'd fish for the the last couple of hours and in to the dark. During the night, it had snowed heavily around the South East, covering the countryside with a thick white blanket. Driving was a bit dodgy, but we did manage to reach and check out some of our favourite Perch spots. Unfortunately though, we found that most of the Lea had well and truly frozen over.

After an hour or so we did find some fishable water - not an area that we find productive usually, but we thought we'd give it a go anyway, seeing as there wasn't anywhere else to fish! By this time the temperature was dropping like a stone - it began to get uncomfortably cold at around -6°C, the braid was freezing up in our guides, and an Easterly breeze made it feel like conditions you'd normally find in the Arctic. Even though the sun had set, because of the reflection of the full moon on the snow, it made it seem eerily light.

Almost ready to give up, my Dad hooked in to what he thought was a snag, so he started lifting it from the bottom. It wasn't moving, so he thought it was probably a branch... until he saw a huge stripey laying on the surface in front of him. Unfortunately, before he could grab the net, it shook it's head a couple of times, threw the jig, and disappeared. He was so annoyed with himself - as he thought it was a branch, he hadn't set the hook properly and reckoned it could have gone 4lbs. He was well and truly gutted.

Seconds later I also had a bite. Mine was nowhere near as big - a fish of about 2lb, but it was still nice to get a bite in sub zero temperatures. It was a big shame about my Dad's Perch, but we'll definitely be back for that one... watch this space!!

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