The Compleat Angler Store

Mugs and Stuff for Anglers and Fishing Tales For Everyone


Talking Rain, Rivers, Reels And Chasing Personal Best Fish

First, let’s get to the Personal Record Fish bit. As some of you may recall I’ve made a series of New Years Resolutions for 2016 which include my having to better Personal Bests in several different fish species. The list is as follows:Roach 1lb, Perch 2lbs, Pike n/a as my first pike will be my new PB, Dace 8oz, Bream 7lbs, Carp 10lbs, Tench 2lbs, Chub 3lbs, Barbel 6lbs, Rudd 12oz, Crucian Carp 1.5lbs, Ide 1lb.

Now, I know that’s not a particularly massive set of fish specimens but when you’re as awful an angler as me you know how tough it’ll be to gain Personal Bests for all of those species in one calendar year. This afternoon I had a couple of spare hours and so I offed myself to Lloyds Meadow Fishery, specifically Heron Lake, to give myself a shot at catching perhaps a nice chub or big perch. LLOYDS MEADOW 3To that end I’d made some cheese paste for the chub. I brought along a few prawns for the perch. I legered both of these, the cheese for an hour and the prawns for about 90 minutes. Neither produced a single knock. In the meantime I’d set up a waggler rod and fished to the island and caught consistently, nice fat roach in the 3 – 5 ounce range. It was a bite a chuck, I missed very few but I didn’t bring a keep net for such a short session and so you’ll have to take my word for it that there were LOADS of fish just like these:ROACH1

BLURRYROACH1Bait was live or dead maggots. A few skimmers showed up along with one small perch of about 3 ounces. That’s really been the story of my winter so far. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve told you, faithful reader, that “I caught some winter roach, skimmers and a perch or two” but that’s the way it has been lately. I’m not going to get many PB’s if this continues!LLOYDS MEADOW 2As you can see the weather was gorgeous. It didn’t last. As I was packing up at dusk the rain started to bucket down. I bumped into Danny, the owner of Lloyds Meadow and even though I was trying to sneak off without paying and he had caught me red handed he still refused to take my money. How did he know I was trying to pay with counterfeit pound coins? Joking aside, Danny is a Fishery Superstar and is always willing to show you the right ways to catch his fish. I really like that he’s flexible on keep net usage especially during the winter months. Of course I’d never put a specimen fish from a fishery into a keepnet, even if I eventually catch one.

Speaking of rain and weather and winter…I’m wondering when this awful sogfest will end? We are less than 11 weeks away from the end of the River Season and it seems as though the rivers, especially my local River Dee, has been in flood since early November. I found this River Level website last night and like it a lot: riverlevelssiteIt’s a nice alternative to the Environmental Agency River Level site. It will be even nicer when some of the rivers start returning to normal although the signs are not great. It looks like we’re about to have more absolute dirty toilet bowl weather in the next few days.

If I ever do get to fish a river again this I will do so with a centrepin reel. I just ordered this today: MARCO REEL 2 MARCO REEL 1It’s the Avanti Marco Cortesi Black Centre Pin Limited Edition. Looks pretty fancy but its only about £45 with postage, I’m going to be happy if the spool spins like the one in an earlier version of this reel shown on YouTube from a few years ago:

I love the lack of friction free-rotating demo starting around 1:35 of the video. I will, of course, give my opinion of the reel once I’ve received it and especially once I’ve fished it. One of the factors which drew me to it was the included Line Guard. Often a centrepin reel won’t have a line guard or it’ll have an option for you to purchase one for a Tenner or more. Not having a  line guard can equal lots of time consuming tangles.

It looks like it comes in a nice fancy satin lined wooden box. I wonder if I can get away with giving that to my wife for her birthday present? I’d better not. I need to be alive in order to catch all of my Personal Best fish this year.