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 May 2015

May for Zeds!


This spring has definitely been more prolonged than last year's - I've just been looking back at my fishing notes for 2014 and three weeks before now we'd been flyfishing for Carp on a local gravel pit in hot and sunny weather! We've certainly noticed it, not only when we've been fishing, but unfortunately, we've had a parasite outbreak in our Koi pond and water temperatures have been much cooler than normal for this time of year, which has made the parasite hard to eliminate.


The Koi situation has hampered our fishing a bit for the past fortnight or so, but we've been trying to get out on the bank, or afloat, when we can. Prior to mid May, most of our trips were afternoons exploring very large local gravel pits in the search for Pike. This time last year we were having to use weedless lures such as the Sébile Magic Swimmer Soft, but this year the lilies have hardly started growing. Many of the Lea valley gravel pits are tough nuts to crack, but they contain fantastic fish of all species. The Sébile Stick Shadd, Magic Swimmer Hard and A-Cast have all worked well for me, and Dad has been catching a lot of his fish recently on the 4.5" Berkley Flex Rib Shad.




A few weeks back, my Dad and I had a great couple of hours at Get Hooked on Fishing's project at Walthamstow Reservoirs with Grant Fear and Sarah Collins, introducing some year 10 students to fishing. A few fish were caught jigging and drop-shotting tiny soft baits, including a nice Tench caught on a curtail by my Dad.



We returned to GHoF Walthamstow about a week later and caught a few stripeys and a nice Pike. One greedy Perch coughed up another smaller Perch after being caught on a jigged Ripple Shad! If you look carefully, you can see it's been eaten head first, as the tail still has some colour to it.


Keeping on the GHoF subject, Dad and I had a meeting with Sarah Collins, the CEO of GHoF, and afterwards we had a few hours fishing along the Grand Union Canal to see if we could help Sarah catch her first Zander. We'd fished this stretch about a fortnight before, trying out the new Berkley Urban Camo drop shot rod, and caught around 20 fish - so we were hopeful of some action.



Before we started fishing, I gave Sarah a couple of pink Berkley Floating Trout Worms to try drop-shotting with. It turned out to be a tricky afternoon's fishing, but Sarah was very persistent with the pink Floating Trout Worm and after an hour or so she'd landed her first Zander! It was good timing as a barge passed by as she landed it (everyone aboard was dressed as pirates!) and they gave her a round of applause! It's quite hard to make out the soft bait in the photo as it's camouflaged… in pink!


Mid May marks the opening of lure fishing at Pitsford and although we had a boat booked for the first day, we couldn't make it in the end as our Koi Carp were looking really ill and we had to treat them, but luckily I had a boat booked for the following day. We spent most of the day targeting Pike and caught 21 between us, plus a few scraper 2lb+ Perch.


Dad caught many of his Pike on the 4.5" Flex Rib Shad, including three good doubles.



About a week later, we had our first trip of the year flyfishing for predators on Grafham. Similarly to Pitsford, we spent most of our time after Pike but with just one small jack to show for our efforts, we decided to switch lines and target Zander and Perch in deeper water.



On arrival at the area we were to fish, we saw large groups of fish on the bottom on the Lowrance HDS sonar and sidescan, and on my second cast I hooked in to what felt like a good Zander - it certainly was, and it weighed 11lb 2oz!


We went on to catch 6 more zeds, including another double at 11lb 9oz for my Dad, and a Perch of 2lb 5oz, before it was time to head in.



The picture below shows two Zander following my Dad's fly - one of which he hooked and landed and weighed 8lb 15oz!


Two days later we returned for another half day. It didn't take long to latch in to fish and within the first hour Dad boated a fantastic looking Zed weighing 12lb 8oz.


After a couple of hours and a few more zeds, we decided to give this area a rest before returning for the last two hours, and search for some more fish. Locating shoals with our HDS fish finder, we caught some nice Perch, the biggest weighing 3lb 1oz (46.5cm) and a Pike too.


Later on, we returned to one of the areas we'd been catching Zander, and with about 15 minutes to spare I landed my second double of the season weighing 10lb 5oz, along with a few others, which was a great way to end a fantastic afternoon's fishing!