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...

Friday, 4 October 2013

Awesome action on artificials!

For the last few weeks my Dad and I have been preparing to fish the 6th Artificial Bait Boat Angling World Championships, and I can't remember ever having such a busy month! With just a few days to go before Team England head out to Ireland, the last few days have been a bit manic, so I've only just got round to updating this blog.

Following on from my last post, many of the Anglian reservoirs have now opened for lure fishing, and the Team England Lure Squad decided to meet up on Grafham on the first day of the lure fishing season. It was very warm, and flat calm, which made for a tough day's fishing, and much of the activity happened in the last two hours for us. We'd only caught 2 or 3 fish by around 5pm, but as the light levels lowered the fish seemed to switch on. We ended up catching 7 Zander and 3 Perch between us - Dad caught the biggest Perch right at the end of the day at 3lb 8oz on a jigged Berkley Ripple Shad.

It was great to meet up with the team members we've both never met, and discuss tactics, game plans etc. for Ireland, and also catch up with some other great friends that were fishing Grafham the same day too.

Since then we've made a couple of trips back, and temperatures have cooled down a touch. Although the Zander fishing has been quite slow, which, again, could be down to water temperatures still being quite high, we've caught some cracking Perch.

On our next trip to Grafham I was getting over a nasty cold, and wasn't quite sure whether to go or not. But, mad as we are, I decided to go for it! Within just a few minutes of fishing, venturing out was made worthwhile as my Dad landed a cracking Perch of 3lb 11oz.

From then on, we caught a few more Perch up to 2lb 11oz throughout the day, but strangely only one small Zander. With just an hour to go we decided to return to the area where Dad had his 3lb 11oz from in the morning, in the hope of another big fish. I'd been drop-shotting a Sébile Magic Swimmer Soft for most of the day, trying out a new stinger drop-shot rig (an idea my Dad came up with recently), and as soon as I dropped it down to the bottom I felt a good thud and set the hook. After a tense heavy-headshaking fight, eventually I got the Perch safely in the net, and it tipped the scales round to 4lb 1oz!

After photographing and releasing that beautiful fish, we had time to catch one more Perch before we had to head back in, otherwise we'd be late! We were so fired up for trying it again, we decided to return just two days later. Dad and I spent the first half of the day targeting Pike, but we didn't have a follow or a touch. Maybe as it cools down even more, the Pike might switch on a bit. For the last few hours we couldn't resist fishing for Perch and Zeds again, and almost instantly after dropping down my drop-shotted Magic Swimmer Soft I caught a Perch of 3lb 5oz!

However, in the end it wasn't as productive as the last trip, but I did land a nice Zander of around 9lbs.

On that same trip it was also great to bump in to Andy Lush, owner of the Friendly Fisherman tackle shop and top lure angler, who had a great day's fishing targeting Perch with his boat partner.

Just after fishing with the Team England Lure Squad on Grafham, my Dad and I met up with Steve Phillips of Total Coarse Fishing for a feature on targeting river Zander on soft plastics. I'd chosen to fish the River Ouse right in the centre of Ely, a place where I have some great fishing in the past catching lots of Zander, although mainly small, plus some nice Perch and Pike. The trouble was we hadn't fished it for around four years! So we had an afternoon trip there, just to get an idea on how it was fishing. It wasn't easy, but we had a few Zander, Pike and Perch, and were hopeful it would fish just as well, if not better, for the feature.

On the day Steve came along, the fishing was much harder than we anticipated - sometimes we'd catch upwards of 30 Zander in a day along there, but that wasn't the case on this trip!! We did catch a few fish though, mainly Pike and Perch, using a variety of different tactics to see what worked best. We even fished well in to the dark - one of our favourite times for catching Zander at Ely, but we struggled for only a couple of bites.

That's just the way it goes sometimes, but there hadn't been any rain for a while so the river was quite low and clear - maybe a good downpour might have livened the fishing up. But we had a great day with Steve and I might head back up there this winter to see whether the fishing is any better then.

A couple of days later, that good downpour finally arrived, freshening up the rivers. Dad and I decided to try some of our local rivers for Perch, and made an early start the following day - on first appearance I thought the river still looked a touch too coloured, but 20 seconds later we found out that wasn't the case! Dad made one cast, and within seconds hooked and landed a Perch of 3lb 8oz! I hadn't even cast out! What a start!

Over the course of the day we covered long stretches of river with a variety of tactics and methods, before covering all the areas we'd caught from again with a drop-shot. Drop-shotting a split tail was the tactic that fooled my biggest Perch of the day, weighing 3lb 13oz, and we ended the day with 21 others to nearly 3lbs.

Our next trip resulted in 16 more. The highlight of that day was when Dad had a Perch follow his jigged shad right to the margins. He let the jig fall to the bottom and stood like a heron. The Perch then eyed up the shad for a few seconds and then engulfed it! I don't think he knew quite how big the fish was at the time, but at 3lb 14oz it was a fantastic looking specimen! Watching a fish take the lure has to be one of the most exciting elements to lure fishing.

We've had a few more trips along our local rivers since, but none have been quite as productive. My biggest fish recently was a 6lb 4oz Bream, that was hooked in the mouth and took a drop-shotted split tail! I thought it was a huge Perch at first! But it was still a lovely fish to catch on a lure.

On October 1st, my local lake opened for predator fishing. As of late, we've both been very busy getting ready for the World Championships, but when the lake is just 150 yards from your house, it was hard to resist! The fishing wasn't easy, as the water was very coloured - out of all the anglers deadbaiting, I think only one fish was caught. We spent a lot of the day experimenting and trying new lures - I was also trying out a new Abu Garcia Veritas heavy jerkbait rod, and christened it with a cracking Pike of 15lb 1oz, which took a Sébile Koolie Minnow.

We ended the day with 10 Pike and a few small Perch, then right at the last knockings Dad caught a stripey of bang on 3lbs, to round off a really enjoyable day's fishing.

Now it's back to packing, and somehow trying to slim down all the lure gear so it fits in the car, before heading out to Ireland early Tuesday morning. I'm really looking forward to seeing the other team members and competing in the World Championships. COME ON ENGLAND!!


  1. Good luck in the world championships Sam !

  2. Great Blog Sam. See you at Enniskillen in a couple of days time. Come on England!

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