Tench on the pole.

Lymm AC member, Vinny Coulson (some of you will recognise him as ‘bigfedup’ on the Lymm forum) has recently written a lovely article on pole-fishing for tench that was published on the Angling Gazette website, he has kindly given us permission to reproduce

Vincent 'Vinny' Coulson

Vincent ‘Vinny’ Coulson

the article here for the benefit of our members. Vinny readily admits to being ‘addicted’ to fishing and describes himself as a ‘multi-species angler’ who is branching out into specimen fishing, though he doesn’t always target the ‘big girls’.

Vinny lists his other interests as writing and photography (something that will become apparent when you see the article!) He enjoys watching movies, playing guitar and, utilising his writing skills, has put together a very enjoyable blog. http://www.northwestfisherman.wordpress.com Read on and enjoy the article…

Pole Fishing for Tench

Concentric circles emanate from the tip of my float. It dips momentarily, not enough to strike at yet so I give it a little more time. Below the surface, a tench brushes against my mainline as it turns toward a piece of yellow sweetcorn. With its pectoral fins, the tench steadies itself. In the blink of an eye gills flare. From the bank I see my float vanish and I strike into a heavy weight. The fish surges in the depths. My tackle takes the strain but

A brace of 4lb-ers.

A brace of 4lb-ers.

there is no ratchet to be heard here, I’m not fishing with a centrepin. Instead, luminous elastic streams from the end of a pole. I hang on as the angry tench wishes it had resisted that tasty looking morsel. So why am I using a pole, why not a waggler or the lift method? It’s all about versatility.

So what gear do you need to catch tench on the pole? In reality you probably already own most of it. Anything that you use for carp fishing on commercial fisheries will be well suited to catching tench. Make no mistake, these natural water fish fight hard. Couple that with the features you might sometimes be fishing to; lily beds, Canadian pond weed and in some cases tree roots, you must have the utmost confidence in the pole you are using. Especially so when you are piling on pressure to stop a fish boring hard into a thick weed bed. Margin poles are a great choice. For a start you don’t usually need to fish very far out

The only floats you'll need.

The only floats you’ll need.

so the length is not an issue, one offering seven or eight metres range will be more than sufficient. Margin poles are also much more durable than higher grade poles, they are also a lot cheaper.

For elastic I use both hollow and solid varieties, both for very different situations. I generally use the hollow elastics when fishing into open water or away from any visible snags. When fishing to underwater features, on shelves or bars, here I can use lighter hooklengths and smaller hooks. The hollow elastic will provide a little extra ‘give’ and cushion the powerful runs of the tench, reducing hook pulls considerably. I use the solid elastic when there are significant snags or thick weed beds present, usually mid to late summer and I am fishing close to them. The lack of stretch suits the hit and hold style which, coupled with the use of stronger lines and bigger hooks, allows you to apply a surprising amount of pressure to prevent fish reaching any hazards.

In terms of end tackle, for 98% of the pole fishing I do for tench, a line of around 6.5lb (0.17mm) breaking strain is my first choice. I’ll use this when targeting fish up to around 7lb. I always use a hooklength of a lesser breaking strain, so typically around 5.5lb (0.15mm). I use hooklengths for two reasons. The first one being fish safety, if I do become

Line strength is often determined by weed and snags.

Line strength is often determined by weed and snags.

tethered in an unseen snag or I hook a larger than intended fish, should the situation arise where I get snapped, the chances are I will only lose the hooklength thus leaving the fish trailing just the hook, which it will soon get rid of. The second benefit is that it allows me to scale down to lines that I think are much too light to use on a running line. Especially low diameter high-tech lines ,maybe as low as 2lb (0.09mm) in snag free swims. Tench are notorious for being fickle creatures and can give crucians a run for their money in the ‘infuriatingly difficult to catch’ stakes. Obliging one day and shy biting for the other six. This ability to scale down, but still land fish, is obviously a great thing to have.

Hook size and pattern is, as in every other aspect of angling, dictated by bait size. Apart from maybe when fishing in thick weed, when I wouldn’t go any lower than a strong size 12 hook. For open water fishing, I usually start on a size 18 medium gauge hook with a wide gape. Any pellet hook would be perfect. On this I can fish pellet, corn and even sections of worm. If I wanted to use a smaller bait 4mm pellet or cut down sweetcorn then I would have no problem in reducing this to a size 20, again in a medium gauge. Small hooks that are taken in a positive manner go in and stay in. I’d rather hook a confidently feeding fish on a small hook than one that is toying with the bait on a bigger hook.

Bait for this type of fishing is also very simple on the waters I fish. It’s fair to say pellets have changed the way we fish for most species. Roach, bream and tench, they have all been affected by the pulling power and the nutritional properties of the pellet. In my tench fishing there will always be a pellet of some description, be that simply in my feed, on the hook or ground down to form a groundbait. The reason they have taken such a high place in my bait choice is that you don’t have to feed many to attract fish into your swim. With less bait,

Tinca tinca from the margins.

Tinca tinca from the margins.

particularly small particles, there is less chance of the fish becoming preoccupied. Swims that resemble jacuzzis are, in my experience, no good for catching fish. They can have you tearing your hair out trying to distinguish line bites from real ones. Foul hooked fish are a sure thing. No, I would much rather feed a small amount of pungent bait and present one or two focal baits for he fish to home in on, be that a larger pellet, sweetcorn or worm. I very rarely use maggot and caster when fishing for tench on the pole nowadays. In my opinion there is simply no need to.

The obvious drawback to using a pole is the range you are limited to. I don’t see this as a bad thing though and I don’t let it worry me at all. Tench are great lovers of exploring marginal shelves, weed and lily beds. Reed stems and overhanging tree’s are also favourite haunts and most, if not all of these, can be found very close in. As long as there is sufficient depth by which I mean anything over three feet I am confident of finding tench. I think tench like to have a little water over their heads and in my experience a deeper swim nearly always out fishes a shallower one. So lets say we’ve found a swim. How would I approach it?

At around six metres out there is a shelf which drops from three to five feet. I would choose to fish around halfway down the shelf. The base of the shelf will collect too much sediment; dead leaves and rotting matter that I want to avoid. By fishing up the shelf, our bait will be presented in an ideal location for feeding tench. They won’t have to upright themselves in order to take the bait. Plumb up to fish two inches over depth and hold the rig in place. Feed a small amount of pellets at the top of the shelf. They will trickle down slowly or be moved around by any undertow. If no bites were forthcoming my next tactic would be searching the swim. A little to the left of the baited area or to the right. sometimes I’ve found tench will hold off the free offerings and a bait presented to the extremes of this will soon see the float diving under.

If searching the swim doesn’t work and you have an idea there are fish present, a few pin prick bubbles or similar, now is the time to start adjusting the rig. Is there any undertow? If so, allow the rig to move with it. Let the bait trundle though. Often a tench will snatch at a bait that is behaving like this. They do this because it’s behaving more like the free offerings, which are also moving in the tow. It’s a case of trial and error, gaining experience and learning from it. Each water will be different, and each session on that water the fish will want a bait presented in a different way. Herein lies the beauty of using the pole. The speed at which you can adapt your presentation to find out what the fish want.

A near 5lb fish caught using the tactics described in the article.

A near 5lb fish caught using the tactics described in the article.

The above is a very rough guide of how I fish the pole for tench. I have not gone into fish location and suchlike, there have been plenty of articles written on this subject by much better tench anglers than me. However, my approach has worked for me over the last few seasons and I have taken some lovely fish to just over 6lbs. Fishing for and playing these fish on the pole is terrific fun. They are truly a joy to catch. Why not have a go yourself and put some of the ideas you have just read into practice?  You might just have a great time and land some quality fish in the process!

A big thank you to Vinny for his article, which I’m sure will be of benefit to many of our readers. If you’re interested in joining Lymm AC and maybe catching some tench using Vinnys methods, then visit our website www.lymmanglersclub.com

Catfish record tumbles again!

We recently reported on the club Catfish record being broken with the capture of a 64lb specimen from Lymmvale. Well, the same fish has been caught again at an even heavier weight and, of course, another new club record! The successful captor on this occasion was Nev Evans and he outlines the story of his superb catch below……

Shaun and I managed to get Friday afternoon off so we decided on another session on the ‘Vale. This was to be our third session on the lake and once again, the double peg was free. This time we were going to leave the carp and tench alone and concentrate on the cats. A short time was spent with a whip and maggot catching enough livebaits (Rudd) for the night  and we were eventually set up for the session ahead.

The evening passed, uneventfully, into night, with the livebaits working well, the ‘polyballs’ dancing nicely. At 1.30 a.m., the left hand rod burst into life and I scrambled out into the rain (God, I hate the rain!) I began playing the fish, the majority of the fight being played out  in the middle part of the lake, until I felt her tiring, when I then guided her into the margin, where Shaun was waiting with the 50″ net. After a brief struggle, she went in the net – but only just,  what a fish!

'If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?'

‘If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?’

Five weeks ago I broke my PB cat with a fish from Cudmore of 49lb 10oz, but this fish was something else, the sheer length of her was amazing. The tripod was set up, scales zeroed and we hoisted her up in the weigh-sling. The digi-scales eventually settled on 65lb 6oz and I let out a scream of joy! (sorry if I woke anyone!)

'The captor returns!'

‘The captor returns!’

Now the fun began!  Trying to lift and hold this slimy, heavy fish in the rain was almost impossible, so I had to settle for some quick shots so that we could return her to the water as soon as possible. She just gently rested in the margin for a while, getting her breath and energy back before swimming off strongly.

For the record, the tackle used consisted of a Greys 3.25lb TC rod, coupled with a Shimano Medium Longcast reel loaded with 20lb Subline, a hooklength made up of 50lb Greased Weasel mono and a size 2 Korda ‘Choddy’ barbless hook.

Nev Evans with the 'new' Lymm AC Wels Catfish record of 65lb 6oz, June 2013

Nev Evans with the ‘new’ Lymm AC Wels Catfish record of 65lb 6oz, June 2013

Our congratulations go to Nev on being the newly-crowned, official Catfish record holder for Lymm AC, well done, Nev!

So, who will be next to break a club record? If you would like to join Lymm AC, then visit our website here.

Catch of the Month Competition May 2013.

Welcome to Lymm Angling Clubs Catch of the Month Competition May 2013

May’s ‘Catch of the Month’ competition had plenty of good quality entries and for the second month running it’s been a difficult decision for the judges however after much discussion Mark Johnson has been declared the winner of May’s Catch of the Month competition after baggin’ up on Belmont with no less than 20 carp in one 24 hour session, well done Mark.

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To top winning the first prize of £50 worth of Nash PegOne & Fish Frenzy bait Mark also collects a £20 tackle voucher from sponsors Fishing UK previously Baileys Bait & Tackle in Woolston, Warrington.

Members can find out how to enter this months competition by clicking here, good luck and remember you’ve got to be in it to win it so get out there and start catching.

In no particular order the following members submitted entries for the month of May;

Mark Johnson 28lb Mirror Carp Belmont Pool plus a further 19 fish in the one session!!

Mark Johnson 28lb Mirror Carp Belmont Pool plus a further 19 fish in the one session!!

Chris Latimer 6lb 4oz Golden Tench New Pool

Chris Latimer 6lb 4oz Golden Tench New Pool

Jamie Wood 33lb Catfish Spring Pool

Jamie Wood 33lb Catfish Spring Pool

Kevin Hamill 17lb 12oz Ghostie Serpentine Pool

Kevin Hamill 17lb 12oz Ghostie Serpentine Pool

Mike Quinn 9lb Tench Lymmvale

Mike Quinn 9lb Tench Lymmvale

Michael Wynn 26lb 7oz Mirror Carp Belmont Pool

Michael Wynn 26lb 7oz Mirror Carp Belmont Pool

Lymm Admin.

Put yourself in the frame!

We all like to have a decent trophy shot of special moment, be it a PB, or just to keep a record of your catch whatever the weight. If you’ve got a mate with you at the time, or someone fishing the next peg who is happy to be your cameraman, then great (beware though, that doesn’t guarantee a decent photo!) However, there are many occasions when we are fishing alone and have to rely on ‘self-take’ photography.

Many people find ‘self-takes’ a little daunting and struggle to get the trophy shot quite right, myself included, I hate doing self takes as I’m torn between making sure the fish is ok and getting the picture right, this is where problems arise and a lack of concentration in the photography stakes usually results in a poor shot, e.g., heads chopped off, fish tails missing, poorly focussed images etc, but it doesn’t always have to be a nightmare if you follow a few simple rules.

There are several ways to go about ‘self-takes’ and some of them are dependant on the type of camera you use. The vast majority of anglers use ‘compact’ style camera and everything below is based around that type of camera, though it can be applied to DSLR’s also – I use both types of camera. The following isn’t a definitive guide, it’s merely outlining how I go about getting my self-take shots and will hopefully help a few people who are struggling with their self-take pictures.

One thing that is paramount is fish welfare. If you think or know that you will be taking pictures during your session, then have your camera equipment ready right from the outset, don’t leave yourself scrambling about to find your camera/tripod etc after you’ve caught the fish, it should always be to hand and ready for use as soon as the fish is banked. There isn’t a worse sight than seeing an angler leave a fish flapping about on a mat while he looks for his camera!

Self timer.

My ‘compact’ camera is a Canon G11, it is ideal for self take pictures with a screen that rotates around to face the angler to ensure you get the composition/framing of the shot spot on and I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to get their shots right to try to use a camera with a similar swivelling screen, they are worth their weight in gold when comes to getting the framing right. It also has a feature that enables me to customise certain settings. One setting I use, is to set the self-timer mode to allow 15 seconds and then fire off a pre-set number of shots (I have it set at 6 shots) This gives me ample time to fire the shutter release, kneel down, lift the fish and even if the fish doesn’t behave or settle during the first 2 or 3 shots, I know I still have 3 or 4 more shots to get it right, after all, I only want one decent shot! A good method for self takes, but not 100% reliable. See the example below….

IMG_0598

Shot #2 of a six shot burst.

Shot #5 of the six shot burst.

Shot #5 of the six shot burst.

Not all compacts offer this function and will only take one shot once the timer has lapsed, my advice for people using this type would be to set the timer to its longest possible setting to allow time to get yourself in position whilst holding the fish.

Remote control.

'Key fob' style remote control.

‘Key fob’ style remote control.

Many cameras, these days (although not all – always check the specs before you buy!) have a remote control facility, the remote sometimes comes shipped with the camera from new, or can be bought separately. This set up allows the angler to lift the fish, compose the shot and trigger the shutter release by merely pressing a key fob style remote control. The downside (in my opinion) to this style is having to hold the remote whilst holding the fish and therefore not having full control over the fish itself.

Bulb release.

My particular favourite for self-take trophy shots is the bulb-release method. This involves fitting a custom-made bracket to your camera via the tripod socket and then attaching a shutter release fitting which in turn is connected via a length of tubing to a rubber air-bulb release.

The SRB-Griturn bracket (compact version)

The SRB-Griturn bracket (compact version)

The bracket attached to the camera.

The bracket attached to the camera.

The bulb release complete with 20' of tubing.

The bulb release complete with 20′ of tubing.

It works by applying pressure to the bulb, this forces air down the tubing and pushes a steel pin downwards on to the shutter release button on the camera. You can vary the amount of pressure you apply to the bulb to do a ‘half-press’ of the shutter release button and hear that magic ‘beep’ that tells you that autofocus has been achieved, then apply more pressure to fire the pin all the way down and trigger the shutter release.

The whole kit and caboodle assembled.

The whole kit and caboodle assembled.

Shown here as the pin is pushed towards the shutter button.

Shown here as the pin is pushed towards the shutter button.

Cheap bankstick with Gardener camera adaptor attached.

Cheap bankstick with Gardener camera adaptor attached.

This method gives you the maximum time to get yourself framed with the fish and ensure that the fish is ‘behaving’ and settled ready for the shot, I use my knee to apply pressure to the bulb. The bracket I use is an SRB-Griturn( www.srb-griturn.com )which is custom-made for compact style cameras (they produce the same style bracket for DSLR’s) it costs around £25 and comes supplied with the bulb release and approx 20′ of tubing on a reel, though you will never use more than about 10′ of it. Don’t worry about it using up the tripod socket on your camera, the knurled screw that goes in your tripod socket has a socket of the same thread built-in to enable you to attach it all to a tripod or, as I do, to a bankstick via a Gardener Camera Bankstick adaptor, they cost about £3.

Self-take procedure.

All the methods above work well, particularly the bulb release method, however, they are all completely useless if the shot isn’t framed correctly or the camera is on the wrong setting etc. This why I can’t stress enough the need to ensure you have everything set up before you catch your fish! Nikon/Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Olympus to name just a few of the popular brands of camera, all have similar settings/functions, albeit labelled differently. Probably the most popular choice for anglers is the ‘green square, or full auto setting, followed closely by ‘P mode’ – I personally use ‘P mode’ on my camera to allow me to shoot in RAW as oppose to just JPEG, this gives me flexibility later on when processing my shots – however that’s digressing and maybe I can talk more about that some other time.

Use the setting you are comfortable and familiar with and have the camera set up that way BEFORE you start fishing. I have my camera set up and attached to the inner part of a bankstick before I fish, with the main part of the bankstick firmly placed in the ground at the spot where I’ll be weighing/unhooking my fish. It’s simply a matter of placing the inner bankstick into the outer and turning the camera on!

Always have the camera ‘zoomed out’ to its widest angle, don’t use the digital zoom feature that is on most compacts, it will degrade the quality of the shot and is completely unnecessary given that you need to be no further than about 6′ from the camera. If you have a camera with the aforementioned flip screen, then framing your shot will be a simple affair, if not then take a couple of practice shots at the outset so you can familiarise yourself with where you need to be positioned when it does come to getting your trophy shot. If necessary, place a bankstick or other such marker at a preset point to remind you where you should be.

Night time.

Probably the most difficult time to get a decent shot is during the hours of darkness. This is when the cameras auto-focus system is working its hardest to achieve a ‘grab’. However, most modern-day cameras are equipped with a ‘focus-assist’ light that activates on the half press and briefly illuminates the subject to help the camera grab focus, keeping as still as possible helps also, although I appreciate this isn’t always possible. This is where the beauty of the bulb release method comes in to play as you can repeatedly use the half press to achieve focus prior to pressing the shutter release.

Another thing to consider with shots during darkness is the problem of flash photography. Most compact cameras have quite a harsh flash, some (like the Canon G11) feature flash compensation adjustment where you can lower the flash output, however, due to the nature of the subject, ie., big, slimy, reflective surfaces like those on a fish, the outcome is usually disappointing, with ‘blown’ highlights all over the place. One solution (it’s not a complete remedy but does help) is to put a cigarette paper or piece of thin tissue paper over the flash itself, this helps to ‘diffuse’ the light output by the flash resulting in less blown highlights.
Always make sure that if you are still wearing it, that your headlamp torch is turned off or it will confuse the cameras metering system even further!

Summary.

The best advice I can offer when doing self-takes is be relaxed about it, don’t rush things, try to imagine that as you set yourself for the shot, that someone else is actually behind the camera taking the picture for you. Again and I make no apologies for repeating myself, have your camera all set up and ready to go BEFORE you start fishing. Kneel down at your unhooking mat and do a couple of self-take practice shots (don’t hold your arms out as though holding a fish though, somebody might be watching!) One last thing, if a fish just won’t settle and repeatedly flaps in your arms making the shot nigh on impossible, then do the right thing, get a quick ‘just for the record’ shot of it on the mat and get it back in the water. There’s no trophy shot worth getting a fish stressed or worse still, badly damaged/injured.

Have a good read of your cameras instruction booklet, there is so much to learn about your camera beyond ‘full auto’, most of it relatively straightforward and designed to help you achieve better looking shots from any given situation.

Remember, all of the above is just my take on getting half-decent pictures when your all alone on the bank, it is not carved in stone and I appreciate there are people who have their own tips and tricks to achieving good results, however, I hope my words have been of benefit to some and go a little way to helping them improve their shots.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to devote a little time to ‘post-processing’ my shots and if there is sufficient interest, then at some point in the not too distant future, I’ll explain how I go about it.

Lymm AC acquire fishing rights to the River Severn at Bicton…

River Severn Bicton

Lymm AC are pleased to announce that as of Monday 24th June members have exclusive 24/7 access to  the River Severn at Bicton Farm just downstream from the famous Montford Bridge area of Shropshire.

An initial enquiry last Autumn from Lymm AC Bailiff Tom Casey, whilst fishing the Crewe Pioneers opposite bank, led to the New Acquisitions Manager Bill Last following up the lead and along with a couple of river regulars we visited the new stretch in October. At just on a mile in length the river looked stunning in it’s full autumn glory and the fact that it hadn’t been fished from our bank by a club for a long time only added to it’s potential to be home to large barbel and chub. The mention of ‘Barbel into teens’ raised interest even further and Bill continued to  work hard to discuss the opportunity with the landowner over the following months.

Eventually the lease was agreed and Bill along with a few volunteers spent the weekend of the Glorious 16th putting up signs and exploring the latest  addition to the clubs ever expanding portfolio. The River Perry feeds into the lower limit of our stretch and is known to hold a good head of Trout as well as the odd Salmon which leads us to believe that Pike will be present in the area providing a venue with something for everyone all year round.

River Severn Bicton

The map book has been updated with the latest addition and can be downloaded here. Members have access to hard standing car parking which is located at the end of a private track. The land owner holds motocross events at the venue which take part over a number of weekends throughout the year around a pre-constructed track close to the woods and as such has welcomed members who wish to watch free of charge. The event dates will be published in advance on our website and members can contact the landowner to confirm access to the river which, although it will be restricted to the downstream limit passed the coppice, still gives members plenty of river to go at.

Enjoy the new stretch of the Severn which we’re certain will reveal some surprises as the new season gets under way and it will no doubt require time and effort to produce the bigger fish but anglers will not be disappointed!!

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If you’re a river regular and would like to join Lymm AC you can do so here, with annual membership costing just £35 for a River Severn & Canals card which now offers a total of 7 quality stretches of river as well as 9 lengths of canal or full access to all waters from Juniors £10 per year, Pensioners £35, Intermediates £50 and Seniors £80 (Seniors pay a one off joining fee as well which is £35), there is also a Bridgewater Canal only card at £20. Membership runs from 1st January to 31st December each year so why not join us now.

Members have access to over 65 still waters, rivers and canals, for more information visit our website www.lymmanglersclub.com and we look forward to welcoming you to our club.

Ian Futcher does really ‘Wels’ with a new club record catfish!

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to christen Ian with the new nickname of ‘Mr Consistent’ as his run of quality fish continues. On this occasion, his target quarry were the Wels Catfish of Lymms’ premier water, Lymmvale, with one particular ‘beast’ in mind. Read on as Ian describes his incredible session…..

When I first joined Lymm Angling Club three summers ago, I did so with the Lymmvale catfish in mind. In particular the ‘Big Girl’, a very large Wels that I never, for one minute, imagined I would actually meet on the bank, but there is no harm in trying, right? This particular session started no differently to any of the others, the familiar sense of anticipation as I drove down the track to the Vale and the hope that my first choice swim would be free. Luckily it was and I soon had camp all set up for the day and soon had my rods baited and cast out for the cats, both rods baited with free-lined, half-tin size chunks of Spam.

The 16lb Mirror Carp

The 16lb Mirror Carp

An hour or so later, I noticed some carp appear on the surface right in front of my swim. Never one to pass up an opportunity, I brought in the cat rods and put out a few pouchfuls of dog biscuits, followed by my bread hook bait. Within seconds a 16lb mirror was hooked and landed. Not what I came for, but a welcome distraction all the same.

Once the carp had been safely returned, I launched the sizeable cat baits back on the baited spots, followed by another shower of halibut pellets and chopped meat and settled in for the night. At 3 am, my right hand rod signalled a take with line coiling of the spool, however, on this occasion, I didn’t connect with anything. Knowing that I may not get a second chance with the cats, I was cursing myself for missing the run as I recast the rod to the same spot.

'The Cat Sat On The Mat!'

‘The Cat Sat On The Mat!’

Half an hour later and this time the left hand rod was away. I cautiously lifted the rod and allowed the fish a little line until I was sure it had fully taken the bait. I closed the bale arm and lifted into the fish, instantly I could tell it was one of the big cats and for a moment, I allowed myself the thought that it could be the ‘Big Girl’. My tightly set clutch made little difference and line was stripped from the spool at an alarming rate as the fish powered away. By the time I had stopped it, the fish was well over the half way point of the lake and my reel which only holds 150 yards of 40lb line was looking worryingly empty.

"...all five foot of it!"

“…all five foot of it!”

After 20 minutes or so, the monster catfish was within fifty yards and wallowing on the surface, it rolled and with a slap of the tail, was powering away again. This ‘see-saw’ battle continued for another arm aching fifteen minutes, before it finally came towards the net. It was only then that I realised it was twice as long as the net and it could actually be the big girl after all. I had to hold the fish close in and try to scoop it tail first, believe me, not an easy job, but after a few attempts, it was in the net!

I rested the fish (and myself!) for a minute or two whilst I gathered the scales and camera, I then tried to lift the fish on to the mat. It took a lot of effort to get the fish out and at that very moment, I knew it just had to be the fish I’ve been chasing for three years. On to the scales, with weigh sling and net it went 70lb, after deductions 64lb! I simply could not believe and still can’t believe that the big Vale cat was lying on my unhooking mat, all five foot of it! A few quick photos, then I watched as this amazing creature, with one powerful undulation of it’s incredible length, returned safely to its home. An incredible feeling and a night I will remember for a long time to come!

June 2013 Ian Futcher Lymm AC Club Record Wels Catfish 64lb

June 2013 Ian Futcher Lymm AC Club Record Wels Catfish 64lb

Our thanks go to Ian for a fantastic account of his amazing catch. The next day, Ian submitted his catch report as a potential record and that evening it was confirmed officially as the new Lymm AC Catfish record of 64lb! Many congratulations, Ian!

To join Lymm Angling Club and have the opportunity to catch specimen fish like the ‘Big Girl’ visit our website here.

Juniors and Adult Pairs – 16 June Chester Lakes

 

Carl McCormack's 17lb 6oz mainly method feeder caught fish.

Carl McCormack’s 17lb 6oz mainly method feeder caught fish.

 

Chris Finneran's 14lb 9oz of pellet waggler fish

Chris Finneran’s 14lb 9oz of pellet waggler fish

 

Group picture of all that took part. thanks everyone!

Group picture of all that took part. thanks everyone!

 

Kyle Hickman's 7lb 7oz

Kyle Hickman’s 7lb 7oz

 

Elliott Mavers 29lb 14oz

Elliott Mavers 29lb 14oz

 

Jack Ross 2lb

Jack Ross 2lb

 

Louis Mavers 9lb 8oz

Louis Mavers 9lb 8oz

 

Phil Ross 5lb 15oz

Phil Ross 5lb 15oz

 

Sarah Taylor 11lb 13oz

Sarah Taylor 11lb 13oz

Cloudy but dry skies greeted us for the annual dads and lads match, the match also served as a practice match for the upcoming Merseyside Championships taking place at the fishery. Warm temperatures all week should mean for a good match with fish showing.

The match saw seven pairs taking part, split over two lakes most anglers on the middle lake on the bank facing away from the café with four anglers on the bottom of the first lake.

It wasn’t long before fish were gracing the banks, some started on the method feeder and some on pellet waggler. Sarah Taylor started fishing shallow on the pole and was first to catch a small carp on her second fish her pole come apart and started to motor across the lake. Luckily after a minute or so the fish moved close the bank and we were able to hook it in. Mark Hickman was catching using the method feeder a short distance out fishing double maggot over groundbait. Chris Finneran was using a pellet waggler fishing about 18m out constantly firing 6mm pellets around the float fluctuating depths between 3ft and 8inches. Jack Ross was fishing a small waggler under the rod and catching some small Tench his dad on the next peg was fishing with a small method feeder a couple of rod lengths out and was catching the odd carp. New comes Elliott Mavers was catching well at the end of the second lake. He was catching early on the method and started to feed the closer in on the pellet waggler. Callum McCormack fishing the first lake facing the island was able to cast close the island and picked up the odd fish. Peter Smith and Connor Higham struggled in the corner with the wind blowing in their faces. Kyle Hickman lost a big fish at the net but was catching small carp in the corner of the first pool. Match section regular Kieron Lock was taking part with this son Dom and managed the biggest fish of the day with a 7lb mirror carp.

Results:

Mark Hickman – 11lb 13oz

Kyle Hickman – 7lb 7oz Total: 19lb 4oz

Peter Smith – 2lb

Connor Higham – 0 Total: 2lb

Elliott Mavers – 29lb 14oz

Louis Maver – 9lb 8oz –Total: 39lb 6oz

Callum McCormack – 5lb 13oz

Carl McCormack – 17lb 6oz Total: 23lb 3oz

Phil Ross – 5lb 15oz

Jack Ross – 2lb – Total: 7lb 15oz

Sarah Taylor – 11lb 13oz

Chris Finneran – 14lb 9oz Total: 26lb 3oz

Dominic Lock – 1lb 2oz

Kieron Lock – 8lb 10 – Total: 10lb 12oz

Ian stalks one out at Chester Specimen Lake

Specimen angler Ian Futcher took advantage of the all too brief sunshine to try a bit of good old fashioned stalking at one of the clubs premier carp waters today. Armed with the bare minimum of tackle and not a boilie in sight he applied water craft to great affect taking this stunning carp on a much forgotten about hook bait, Ian takes up the story…

Ian Futcher 25lb 4oz Mirror Carp Chester Specimen Lake

I rarely fish for carp behind bite alarms these days, much preferring to stalk individual fish on hot sunny days like today. On difficult specimen waters such as the Chester location is everything and with the sun beating down I arrived at the pool to find most of the lakes residents basking on the surface. So that was location sorted, the only thing now was to try and pick off one of the bigger specimens which were hiding amongst the smaller carp.

I made my way to the top end of the lake and found a group of nine fish mooching around, mainly single figures but a couple slightly bigger. Then one carp, noticeably larger than the rest waddled into the swim and I knew this was to be the target. Hiding behind some bankside shrubbery I watched and waited for it to come into range so I could offer it a bait without having to make a cast which would no doubt spook it. As time passed I stood with baited rod in hand anticipating the moment and eventually it came in just feet from the bank.

Without hesitation I slowly lowered my bait millimetres from the carps mouth and it sucked it straight in before it even hit the deck, I immediately struck and the battle commenced. The first run stripped thirty yards of line off the reel, I turned the fish and gained ground before it shot off again. After a ten minute tussle the fish relented and came to the waiting net, I dropped the rod and scooped it up with both hands, not letting this one get away!

William turned up to help with weighing and took some great photos for me and then we watched the fish swim back to freedom.

Ian Futcher 25lb 4oz Mirror Carp Chester Specimen Lake II

At 25lb 4oz smashes my previous PB by over 3lb so chuffed to bits with that, also as it was my first carp session on there I’m absolutely made up to have caught so soon.

Good Old Breadflake

Free-lined bread flake, 15lb line straight through to a size 10 Korda Kurv shank was all it took.

Ian.

Catch of the Month Competition April 2013

Welcome to Lymm Angling Clubs Catch of the Month Competition April 2013

Aprils ‘Catch of the Month’ competition had plenty of good quality entries and it’s been a difficult decision for the judges but young Frank has taken this months prize with his 4lb Brownie.

April's winner Frank Cockill-Guy Peover Eye 4lb Brown Trout

April’s winner Frank Cockill-Guy Peover Eye 4lb Brown Trout

To top winning the first prize of £50 worth of Nash PegOne & Fish Frenzy bait Frank also collects a £20 tackle voucher from sponsors Fishing UK previously Baileys Bait & Tackle in Woolston, Warrington.

Members can find out how to enter this months competition by clicking here, good luck and remember you’ve got to be in it to win it so get out there and start catching.

In no particular order the following members submitted entries for the month of April;

Jonathan Kenyon Wrinehill 15lb 8oz Ghost Carp

Jonathan Kenyon Wrinehill 15lb 8oz Ghost Carp

Callum Geraghty Woodside Pool First Tench at 4lb

Callum Geraghty Woodside Pool First Tench at 4lb

Proud member Callum Geraghty Woodside Pool Tench 4lb

Proud member Callum Geraghty at Woodside Pool Tench 4lb

Jamie Gosling 26lb 12oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp

Jamie Gosling 26lb 12oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp

Jamie Gosling 30lb 4oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp

Jamie Gosling 30lb 4oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp

Both specimens came in the same session for Jamie along with a 17lber beating his PB three times which was previously 15lb

Gavin Holmes 13lb 4oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp, not the biggest but hard earned as the venue had been netted the day before.

Gavin Holmes 13lb 4oz Belmont Pool Mirror Carp, not the biggest but hard earned as the venue had been netted the day before.

Ian Futcher Perch Shropshire Canal

Ian Futcher Perch Shropshire Canal

Frank Cockill-Guy Peover Eye 4lb Brown Trout

Frank Cockill-Guy Peover Eye 4lb Brown Trout

Gareth Byrne Lymmvale 7lb 7oz Tench

Gareth Byrne Lymmvale 7lb 7oz Tench

Well done chaps and keep them entries coming as the season really starts to kick in!!

Lymm Admin.

Juniors Spring Series – Final

Today saw the final match of the Spring Series taking place on Spring and New Pools. The weather looked promising with bright sunshine greeting us for the draw. Fish were moving around both lakes and prospects looked good for some big weights. The series was all but won by Sarah unless she finished in last place.

Fishing was good from the start with everyone catching small fish on maggot. Callum McCormack was first to put a net under a nice skimmer and Sarah was quick to catch a pound of roach.

On Spring Pool, Alex Warham set up a short line and was catching Perch and Roach on his top three. Kyle was fishing long on pellet and getting lots of bites. Jack Ross fished two lines, one at 6m and another at 5m off to the side, bites were slow for Jack but it wasn’t long before he started to put a few fish together.

Callum McCormack caught well but struggled to hit bites with the warm water fish were very active and line bites were a problem. Sarah Taylor pegged next door was also catching well but fish weren’t as big. On the other lake Kyle was living up to his reputation as the bit machine and catching steadily. At the weigh-in Callum McCormack won the match with 11lb of skimmers up to 3lb.

Alex Warham caught 2lb of roach and perch all caught short on maggot.

Alex Warham caught 2lb of roach and perch all caught short on maggot.

Jack Ross with 2lb 1oz of roach and perch

Jack Ross with 2lb 1oz of roach and perch

Kyle Hickman's 7lb of mixed silver fish

Kyle Hickman’s 7lb of mixed silver fish

Sarah Taylor's 8lb was enough for 2nd place and series title.

Sarah Taylor’s 8lb was enough for 2nd place and series title.

Callum McCormack  winning weight on 11lb of some nice sized skimmers

Callum McCormack winning weight on 11lb of some nice sized skimmers

Final placings of the series. Well done to all that took part and congratulations to Sarah Taylor.

Final placings of the series. Well done to all that took part and congratulations to Sarah Taylor.