Forgotten Photos

Yesterday, I rediscovered some lost photos captured within a dusty old memory stick tucked away in my old oak desk, which I write from now. They were taken by my time served fishing companion Jamie, a Yorkshireman living in Manchester, fishing with a Hampshire man residing in Wales.

My own photos usually require an accompaniment to supplement the story told. Fortunately, bumf is not a prerequisite for these photos instead have some words which start with P: Jamie’s photos portray proceedings perfectly, a perpetually parched panorama painstakingly pictured …….errrrr penis.

The Road to Nowhere – Loch Lomond

For us simple minded anglers, nothing quite gets the blood flowing like the thought of a good ol’ road trip. Loading up the wagon; hearts full of an excited optimism. The anticipation builds throughout the hum drum week; thoughts drifting lazily towards our piscatorial passion. Of course these dreams rarely fulfil expectations but thats what fishing is all about, well thats what I think.

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This trip was extra special, Loch Lomond the destination; Esox Lucius the target. Loch Lomond is the largest body of freshwater in the UK dwarfing even the mightiest of waters and its packed full of fucking pike; allegedly. As ever NCA associate Jamie Ward was riding shotgun.

For a change, I had conducted some initial research before this trip. Information was sparse but a few choice locations kept cropping up. The first was a spot passed on to me by an ex colleague, who was the inspiration for this trip. I was told of monster catches from this area. This spot was a small beach tucked away on the western shores of the loch barely big enough for a bivvy. Having conducted a thorough wader and stick depth check. I discerned that the depth of the loch very slowly tapered off and that it was still fairly shallow at 40 yards out, no less than 4 feet deep. However, the loch did seem low during our visit.

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The bait for the weekend would be the wallet hugging recession pike pack from Online Baits UK. Found here. The service was brilliant with delivery instructions followed to a tee. The pack contained a vast array of dead baits that only a fool would fail to catch on. I even injected the fish with heroin so they blended in and looked even more natural in this Scottish setting.

We spent the first frozen night (this trip took place in January) near Luss without a bite, We decided to move early the second day to the far side of the Loch to a location near Balmaha. Up[on arrival this spot felt much pikier, it shelved off straight away to around 20 foot at 10 yards out. Also rather than the gravel bottom there was a tackle munching, feature packed rocky bottom in it’s place.

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We spent another night cuddling around a fire place, shooting the shit but the floats remained resolutely un-submerged. Despite a valiant attempt to sink them by a Scottish yacht lout, who motored past us at about 300 yards out going flat out. Standing on the top deck of the boat was a man presumably Scottish, arms raised, shouting SCCOOOTTTLLLAAANND!!!. Whilst this is was a beautiful sight in itself, it was even more hilarious to see (first hand) the devastation that can be caused by a large boat travelling at speed. A couple of minutes after he passed, a tidal wave of gigantic proportions washed ashore and split both of our cups of tea and splashed us both a little bit in the face.

In summary, no fish were caught over the weekend trip but I could not recommend a trip up to Loch Lomond highly enough. Despite the freezing cold temperatures and teas being spilt by rampaging Scotsmen it is without doubt one of the most beautiful areas of our mossy little rock. I will be back probably with Jamjam.

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Fishing Britain – Silver Salmon and Manky Perch

Excellent video as usual from Fishing Britain, produced by the Field Sports Britain Boys, this channel is easily the best on youtube. This episode shows Ant Glascoe Jr. visiting some urban spots that I myself have visited.

Salford Quays with Paul

The difference of course is fish do actually end up on the bank.

Oh hey there…

Completely natural pose on a little island on Derwent Water.

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Fruits de Bridgewater Canal

The dark days of winter’s fishing are coming to an end. Hitting the bank now is not the painfully cold affair of but a month ago. As returning readers will probably know I have been fishing a lot of the Manchester canal network recently in search of our waters apex predator, the much maligned pike. These readers will also know that the most populous species residing in the canal is not pike but in fact the humble blood bag (seen here). To date, I have had more than my fair share of these gross bags on the bank. Call me crazy, but I rather fancied catching a fish instead of the usual canal debris.

To fulfil this radical new urge I had brewing inside me. I decided that a change of scenery was in order. The Bridgewater canal was still my destination same canal but this time I would be heading into the dark back waters of Cheshire. For a fully fledged city slicker like myself alarm bells where ringing in my head, I could hear the banjo’s duelling already.

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I have to say – hill billies aside – the stretch of canal was beautiful. It was not typical of the canal that I have become accustomed to fishing recently. I don’t often fish dead baits under floats mainly because its a pain in the arse on running water. On the canals virtually still water though, even the simplest of fisherman can fish a bait effectively (simple fisherman is a category that I slot into by the way).

We both set the depth for our baits at around 3 foot and fished them on a ledge at about 15 foot range on the opposite bank. It was thoroughly enjoyable to loaf out a couple of suspended sardines, then sit back and watch the floats with my mate Ben who had accompanied me on this trip. It was great to have some company even though in my eyes he was half a man as he had never caught a pike before. Hopefully that would change by the end of the day and I would be able to stop looking down on him in pity.

Would you believe it?  the little blighter caught his first pike. A small fish of around 4ish pounds I would guess, a beauty despite a few red marks that were probably inflicted during the recent spawn.  Finally a canal pike and finally my mate Ben has become a man himself stinky fingers and all.

Bens Pike edit

Cheeky Canal Pike

Precision hooked pike from Cwmbran Canal at Ty Coch

Keep an eye out for full write up at http://www.anglinggazette.co.uk/

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