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...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

September stripeys!

September is an exciting time of year for the lure and fly angler. As temperatures begin to cool, predatory fish go on the munch, and it also coincides with the opening of many of the midlands reservoirs for lure fishing. Rutland and Grafham both opened for lure fishing on August 31st this year, but my Dad and I were able to fit in a couple of trips flyfishing beforehand, in between a busy period of Family Fishing days, which I'll talk about later. Grafham seems to be producing more small Zander this year than I've ever known, although on our last trip flyfishing there a few weeks ago, on his fourth cast of the day, Dad landed a good fish on one of his 'Zander Lander' flies.

Shortly after, I also caught my first fish of the day - a Perch measuring 51cm! You would have thought a fish of this length would probably weigh 4lbs, but it was quite an old fish and weighed 3lb 6oz.

The summer holidays is the busiest time of year for Get Hooked on Fishing, and the 'Family Fishing' days, run in conjunction with the Angling Trust, have been huge successes. The last week or so of the summer holidays were particularly busy, with events at Suffolk Water Park, Shuttleworth College's Middle Lake, and GHoF's projects at Rib Valley, Walthamstow and Ealing.

There were a couple of highlights for me that week, and the first was at the Family Fishing day at Shuttleworth. When young Joshua Cobbs' float slid under for the very first time, I don't think he could quite believe what was pulling on the end of his line! After an amazing fight and brilliant team work between Joshua and my Dad, they managed to land this beautiful 19lb 3oz Mirror Carp on 4lb line and a size 14 hook! Not bad for your first ever fish!

On the Saturday of the August bank holiday weekend, GHoF held a second Family Fishing Day at Rib Valley. We were very lucky with the weather and plenty of fish were caught, including some nice Perch on lures and Roach to nearly 1lb to those fishing the whip! It was a very busy day, but it couldn't have happened without the support of our volunteers, so a massive thank you to them, and also to Keith Arthur and Sarah Collins! It was then off to Ealing the following day for another successful Family Fishing day, and over the course of the weekend, GHoF introduced just over 300 people to fishing.

Our next fishing trip was back on Grafham, for the first day of the lure fishing season on there. Sadly, the weather was awful, with heavy, persistent rain and strong winds all day, which made it hard to target the Perch and Zander we were set on fishing for. At 3pm we were both so soaked (even through Gore Tex jackets), we had to go in and change clothes! Thankfully, we had some spare waterproofs, but unfortunately, we didn't catch many more fish before it was time to head in!

We returned to Grafham a couple of days later after all our clothing and gear had dried out, and this turned out to be a much better day. We caught from many different areas, but we did find a big shoal of small Zander, which was great fun.

We caught most of our fish jigging, but we caught a few fish drop-shotting too, including the biggest Perch of the day, which weighed 3lb 6oz (49.5cm). Dad was unlucky though, as he hooked in to a Perch of a similar size at the same time, but his one came off as we netted mine! We ended the day boating 58 zeds, 16 Perch and a Pike.

Apart from one other trip to Grafham, the rest of our fishing has been based on local rivers targeting Perch, practising and trying out new lures in preparation for the Lure Fishing World Championships in Estonia next week. They've been working well, and my Dad even managed to catch this nice Roach on one of the lures we've been experimenting with, which the fish took on the drop!

On one recent evening trip, we'd been fishing for around an hour without any bites, then, as I was lifting my Sébile A.T Minnow out of the water ready to make another cast, six or seven Perch, all well over 2 and a half pounds, followed me in and literally started rolling and boiling around the lure, fighting over the shad! It was incredible to watch - almost like they were in a frenzy, like Tuna smashing in to bait balls. This 3lb 1oz beat the others to it, but there were bigger ones that I just missed out on!

After an unsuccessful attempt at relocating and catching them the following evening, my Dad and I had our last outing before the World Championships along another stretch of river. The afternoon was going well, catching plenty of Perch to 2lb 5oz and a jack Pike, but after a few hours in one area, we decided to have a change of scenery and try a different section of river where we've caught some big fish in the past, often in the last hour of light. It turned out to be a good move, as Dad's last fish of the day was a chunky 3lb'er.

We're now just finishing the last bit of packing before our flight to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, tomorrow. Somehow, all the gear has managed to fit in the cases, but I'm not sure how we'll get it in to Eric's car to get to Gatwick - we may have to put my Mum on the roof rack!

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