Monthly Archives: October 2015

Penn Rampage Is Back!

We didn’t think it would be possible to improve on this fabulous rage of boat and shore rod’s, but that’s exactly what Penn have done. Give us a call on 01275 892000 if you are interested in upgrading your tackle for the new season or take a look at the new range on the website, veals.co.uk.

We will price match any genuine like for like advertisement on any of the Penn Rampage II range!

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More lure fishing madness…

Its been a few months since I posted last, so I thought it was about time, I shared some of my recent kayak fishing antics with you. You may remember from my last post, that I had managed to catch a 4lb 4oz perch on a lure from the kayak – so that was always going to be difficult to top. But kayak fishing is a funny old game, and if there is one form of fishing which can consistently produce specimen sized fish, then this is it.

April saw me driving through the gorgeous Exmoor national park in order to fish the stunning Wimbleball lake with AListair Cole. It was a gorgeous day, and the trout were feeding hard on black buzzers.

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It didn’t take long to catch the limit from the kayaks – this is what kayak fishing is all about, on a day when both bank and boat anglers struggled…

Then a bit of a coup. I managed to get an invite for myself and Hobie team mate David Morris, to the Carp Fishing Holy Land of Wraysbury lake. This used to be a mecca for carp anglers (used to hold the carp record) – and the new owner was keen to see if we could catch some of the pike which were rumoured to be in the famous lake. After 30 seconds of launching the kayaks, we had our answer… “Yes !”. The action continued all day with pike of all sizes coming to lures – mostly small hard baits.

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The biggest pike fell to Savage Gear real eels (the big ones)…

I seem to remember catching 11 decent pike on that first day. Brilliant fun…

Then it was time for some river fishing on the kayak using ultra light lure fishing tactics – small soft plastics and small crankbaits for the chub, perch and pike. This is finesse fishing, and the Hobie kayaks reign supreme for this type of fishing, allowing us to fish spots on the river which no one else can get to.

It was the opening day, and I had a cracking perch…

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It was the World Predator Classic competition in Holland. This was the second time I had taken part in the amazing spectacle in which boat, street and kayak fishermen take part. If you are into freshwater lure fishing, then you really have to get out to Holland – their fishing can be incredible, with huge pike, zander and perch.

I caught some quality perch, and a personal best double figure zander – I was pretty chuffed, and ended up doing pretty well in a world class field of lure fishermen. Especially as vertical jigging is a relatively new techqique for me.

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Then time for something completely different. I am an alrounder, and love all types of fishing. So when my mate Charlie rang me to say that the mayfly were hatching on my local river, I didn’t need a second invitation. Wild brown trout are beautiful fish, and to catch them on my local river on a 4 weight dry fly set up is a priviedge and an honour…

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I expect many of you are wondering about the “Saltwater” stuff ? Well, don’t worry, I am a sea fisherman at heart, and one f my favourite species is black bream. I love to catch the big ones on light gear over the reefs…

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There are always a few ray around to spice things up too (this one was a spotted ray taken on squid)…

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Next a trip down to Plymouth to take part in the first ever Plymouth Ocean Kayak Classic. It didn’t disappoint, and I caught a fish I had been trying to catch for several years – the red band fish…

Continuing the saltwater theme, a trip to one of my favourite stomping grounds, North Devon. Not an easy location to launch or fish in the kayak, but one that I love. And when the conditions are right, the fishing can be spectacular. This small eyed ray was the highlight of the session…

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Back to the river, and things were really hotting up. Great topwater sport on lures, as the fish became active during the hot weather. I managed several sessions after work – I just love the long summer evenings. On this particular occasion, I whilst I was being dragged down the river on the kayak by a particularly feisty pike, I spotted some fry being chased oout of the water, by what I suspected was a decent perch. With the pike safely in the net, I threw my lure at the fry… BINGO ! A decent fish grabbed the fry immitation soft plastic lure almost immediately. A couple of minutes later, I landed the perch in the same net with the pike still in it – I am not sure which fish was more surprised !

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Then some DIY lure modifications. I was adding small metal weights to the bottom of my mini crankbaits to make them sink or suspend – this seemed to appear to some of the more picky fish in the river…

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They say familiarity breeds contempt. I am not sure if that is true, but I did decide to fish a completely new stretch of river for a change. Well, it turned out to be a red letter day, or maybe that should be a sergeant stripey day. The lures were on fire, and the perch were biting. The soft plastic Z-man grubz were doing the business, and the highlight of the session was a hard fighting 2lb 7oz perch…

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I also managed a decent chub on the lures, just as the light was fading…

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Now with autumn approaching, I was starting to prepare for my kayak fishing trip to China. I had been looking forward to this, and it didn’t disappoint. After a day of flying and 5 hours in a coach, we finally arrived in Shengzhong lake in Sechuan province in China. The people in this remote town had not seen many Westerners, so we were a bit of a novelty. People kept stopping and staring, and taking pictures of us. We felt a bit like celebrities; but this was nothing compared to the scenes which greeted us at the opening ceremony of the kayak fishing competition. We arrived at the brow of a hill overlooking an open air stadium by the lake to be greeted by over 20,000 cheering Chinese fans who were there for the opening ceremony. It was incredible. The crowd cheered as the flags of each of the countries represented were paraded across the stadium. The union jack got a big cheer. There was dancing and singing, a totally amazing spectacle – fishing is massive in China – a bit like football over here. The fishing event seemed to be being played on every TV in the town. The video footage gives you an idea of the scenes…

Amazing 20,000 crowd cheering on the fishermen

The whole experience is one I shall never forget – we learned alot, and the fishing was difficult, but we did ok with ultra light lure tactics and small metal vibes or blades.

I have been lucky enough to represent GB in a number of these kayak fishing competitions over the years, and have made some great friends, and learned so much about lure fishing from some of the best lure anglers on the globe. The Australians in particular are a class act, and true to form, they did well in the competition; but it was great to see one of my friends Ma, from the Chinese team, winning the event. I will meet him again in China in November when I return to represent Team GB in the Hobie World Championships.

However exciting it is to be away, its always good to be home. And I couldn’t resist trying out some new lures and techniques on my local river. To cut a long story short, they worked a treat… but I am not sure I can recomend my latest capture to anyone who had a nervous disposition or high blood pressure. I hooked a particularly lively pike on my ultralight lure gear… 4lb nanofil braid, Mitchell Mag Pro extreme 500 reel and Greys G-lite ultralight rod. The fish snatched a tiny Z-man grub intended for chub, and lead me a merry dance around the river. The kayak sleigh ride was nerve-racking, as the pike tried to reach the cover on both sides of the river – fallen trees and weed beds. Somehow, after a crazy battle, I managed to land the fish, and paddled to the bank to take some pictures…

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures from my last 6 months of kayak lure fishing… and I hope it encourages some of you to give it a try… Its a heck of a way to fish.

VMO Boat Trip – Round 2!

VMO Boat Trip – Round 2!

After the success of the recent trip to Wales in pursuit of shark’s, the team had a taste for life on the high sea’s and so headed for the west Somerset port of Minehead last weekend with the intention of targeting the multitide of species the port has to offer at this time of year.

Friend of VMO, Dave Roberts, was the chosen skipper for the day and Dave’s boat Aly Kat Too was to be the teams platform. Starting off not too far away from the infamous White Mark, The fishing was a little slow but it wasn’t long before a steady stream of pesky dogfish were coming over the gunnel. Knowing full well that the best bet would be a change of location, after half an hour of doggy bashing, Dave pulled anchor and headed a little further offshore where with the tide slackening all the while there would be a better chance of finding something a little lumpier.

 

Like all good skippers, Dave’s decision proved to be the right thing to do and within twenty minutes of dropping anchor, Karen let out a whoop as her rod arched over and line was pulled from the clutch. Like a number seven bus, on the opposite side of the boat Chris also had a good fight on his hands and before long a pair of nicely marked small eyed rays graced the deck of the catamaran.

A Brace Of Ray's

A Brace Of Ray’s

Karen Is In !!

Karen Is In

 

Before long, Steve had added a conger as had Joe, together with some small ray’s and even more dogfish, but all eye’s were soon on Andrew who’s uptide rod was groaning as an unknown fish made several good dives for the sea bed. Harry observed that the line on Andrew’s reel looked a little tired and familiar and Andrew confirmed that it was indeed the very same he had used almost two years ago on their last visit to Minehead.

But it did the job, as before too long the fish was safely in the net. A lovely blonde ray of mid double figures in weight was the highlight of the trip and despite the Bristol Channel having one of its off days, a good day out was enjoyed by all. With the ebbing tide rapidly getting underway, Dave called time and the team headed in for a well deserved pint!

 

 

Blonde's Are Beautiful

Blonde’s Are Beautiful

A Fitting End To A Great Day

A Fitting End To A Great Day