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...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Soft plastics - not just for predators...


At the end of last month, my Dad and I were at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace on the Angling Trust/Get Hooked on Fishing stand, showing different lure fishing techniques in the casting pool with Gary Palmer and John Cheyne. It was very busy all weekend (and very hot too!), and great to catch up with friends and meet so many anglers. On the Sunday afternoon, Liz Truss, the new Secretary of State for DEFRA, came over to the AT/GHoF stand to have a look around. I introduced her to lure fishing, and she decided to have a go at trying drop-shotting in the casting pool!

When the weather was at its warmest, we decided to target Chub on lures along my local rivers. On one afternoon fishing the River Lea, where temperatures topped 31°C, we both caught some nice rubber lips on Berkley Crazy Legs Chigger Craws and small crankbaits, however Dad also caught a Pike, Perch, Dace, Roach and a Minnow on jigged Berkley Power Maggots and other soft baits whilst targeting the Chub.


The most amount of species we've caught in one day on lures in UK rivers is seven, and with a couple of hours of light left that afternoon, we thought if we targeted certain species, we felt there was a chance Dad could beat it. We decided to try and catch a Brown Trout from a weirpool further downstream, then try for a Gudgeon!

Within minutes of arriving Dad caught a pristine Brownie of around 1lb on a small crankbait, so we both changed over to a scaled-down drop-shot rig with a short length of leader from the hook to the drop weight, in the hope we could land a Gudgeon. After catching a few Dace, Dad had an almighty whack on the drop - we thought he'd hooked another trout, but as it revealed itself through the whitewater foam, we realised it was a small Barbel! This was Dad's second Barbel he'd caught on a lure, making it a new personal best of eight species on lures from the River Lea in one afternoon!


A few days later we travelled to Gloucester, as on the 9th August, Gary Palmer organised 'Zandermania', which was a lure (and zander!) only competition along the banks of the Gloucester Canal, with an aim to raise money for the Team England Lure Squad. The team are heading out to France at the beginning of October to fish in the Lure Fishing World Championships on Lac Bourget in France. The muggy conditions made for difficult fishing, but well done to the anglers that caught Zander and won some great prizes, and Gary for organising a brilliant match. The fishing was very hard and although Dad and I weren't in the match, we managed to get a few hours fishing in!


It was great to meet up with like-minded lure anglers and a massive thank you to everyone for supporting the Team England Lure Squad!


Staying on the subject of Zander, Dad and I have had a couple more trips back to Grafham flyfishing for the zeds using our new fishfinder. The Zander fishing on Grafham hasn't been easy this year, but a couple of weeks ago we both caught our first doubles of the year. I landed one of 10lb 8oz and Dad caught a 10lb 1oz, both on the same afternoon!




The Lowrance HDS has also come in very handy on a few recent trips to Pitsford targeting Perch. Pitsford has always previously allowed lure fishing during the summer months with lures over 18cm in length, but now anglers can target Perch and Trout with much smaller lures.



We've found some huge shoals of baitfish, and we've had some action-packed trips, boating lots of stripeys to 3lb 5oz as well as plenty of jacks on a variety of different techniques.



Recently we've been trying the new Shakespeare Agility range of lure rods, which will be coming out soon - there are six in the range for all types of lure fishing. I really like the drop-shot rod, which has a white tip to help detect bites in low light levels.




The Agility drop-shot rod is also perfect for targeting coarse fish on lures. On the 17th August the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing organised a 'Family Fishing' day at Get Hooked on Fishing's complex of lakes in Ealing. Around 70 people came to have a go at fishing - my Dad and I were showing lure fishing and the participants caught Roach, Rudd, Perch and even Tench on jigged and drop-shotted Berkley Power Maggots and Honey Worms. Dad also caught two Carp!


It was great to catch up with James, GHoF Ealing's Project Manager (pictured above with my Dad), Charlie and all the other volunteers, and it was a brilliant day all round.

On Monday evening, at around 5pm, I had a phone call from Keith Arthur asking whether I'd like to film a day's lure fishing for Sky Sport's Tightlines the following day (as his Bass fishing trip off the south coast had been cancelled due to strong winds). I jumped at the opportunity so Monday night was a mad rush getting gear ready for the following day! What a great trip we had, especially for Keith who caught a new P.B Perch of 3lb 11oz!



He also caught a 'Pitsford Super Slam' - a Perch, Pike, Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout! Although I didn't manage to catch anything big during the filming, three casts after the cameras left I caught a Perch of 3lb 4oz, followed by another of 2lb 15oz, along with a few others. I've been very lucky to fish with Keith a few times now and it's always a really enjoyable day!


Just two days later I was practising on Rutland for the Lexus European Flyfishing Championships Team Final with the Pitsford Pirates, followed by two match days on the Friday and Saturday. The Pirates had managed to qualify at the Grafham heat, which was one of many held across the country, where teams contested for a place in the final. Apart from fishing in the Anglian Water Loch Style 4 Man competition with the team the week before as a practice, it was the first time I'd been trout fishing since June, but recently, Rutland has been fishing really well. The rules for the match were that you killed your first 4 fish, then release 8 after that. The fish were very high up in the water and both the practice and match days were very windy, so I fished 3 flies on either a slow glass or fast glass line and mixed up my retrieve between long strips and a fast figure of eight, and often it was just as you slowed down or hung your flies at the end of the cast the fish would take - some of them were savage! Unfortunately, the Pirates came 15th out of 21 teams, but it was a great experience and I really enjoyed the three days we had together. Congratulations to the winning team, Rio Masters (who have been runners up on three previous occasions!), and also Hanningfield for finishing second.

Now we've had a few good downpours, and temperatures are starting to cool down, predator fishing should really start to switch on, especially on rivers. Many reservoirs also open to lure fishing next month, so I'll be organising my lure selection in preparation!