Monday 16 June 2014

Espania mullet and a big old roach

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic with both work and a family holiday in sunny Spain, I've not been out fishing a great deal really and to be honest I've been counting down to the fishing season opening day, I've really missed being on the rivers this closed season so now it's finally time to get back on the banks, I'm raring to go.

Mullet in Spain.....

In  Spain I packed a reel and a few bits including some jigs and lures in the case but needed to buy a suitable rod when we got out there. I managed to find one but only a cheap tourist shop telescopic effort, it would have to do. I looked at the fishing options on the net but was a bit disappointed to discover nothing much to go on in terms of info for the area. I took a walk within the first day or so and found some nice looking rocks to fish from. The first couple of 1/2 hour  sessions drew a blank though and I thought it might be a waste of time. However on seeing some locals fishing from the same rocks later in the holiday I knew it must be worth another punt. With my trusty "slap up fishing gear" rod I managed to get down for a quick couple of hours before sunset and searching for signs of life I found  a shoal of mullet in the swirling cauldron of deeper water directly below the end of the rock outcrop. I decided that the lures I had would not be any help for these fish and so I managed to cobble together a two hook paternoster baited with bread and waited for the rod tip to nibble. The nibbles came and went but in typical mullet fashion were nigh on impossible to hook at first.

Eventually I watched the bread on the bottom hook drift around in the current below me, it suddenly disappeared and a dark shaped could be seen moving where the bread had been. In a split second I had struck and the fish was on ! Success a last, the fish fought well but was no match for the "slap up rod"  and 20lb braid !

I caught a smaller mullet soon after, an sadly lost an even larger one that slipped the hook as it violently twisted and turned below me.

A big canal Roach....

Back in Blighty after a couple of  mediocre short lure sessions on the canal catching a couple of small perch for my trouble  I deciding that a change was needed. So at the weekend I set up a rod for canal carp and a float rod to catch bits and anything else that came along. Last time I did this I hooked and lost a carp so decided to beef up the line to 4lb straight through. With the boilie rod in I set about building up a swim. It didn't take long to start getting bites and soon a steady stream of bite size roach and small to medium perch were coming to hand. The boilie rod stuttered off  at one point and my heart was in my mouth until I felt the fish fighting and new it  wasn't quite a carp but not a quite a bream either ? Turned out to be what I suspect might have been a hybrid of about 2lb which probably explained the bit of fight it had in it.
The boilie rod remained quiet after that bit of action, but the on the float things were hotting up, - I caught a few more reasonable perch in between the blade roach and lost  a better one that had run me round the swim taking line off the pin before slipping the hook just before the net slid under it.
Then on the fifth or sixth last cast of the evening I hooked a slow plodder that hooped the rod tip round rather nicely. Thinking bream I just let it slowly nod around drawing it steadily towards me until I caught the first glimpse of red and sliver. Not panicking I readied the net and strangely just glided it over the rim on automatic pilot. I was now looking down at a huge roach. Well huge in terms of my previous catches - in fact it turned out to be my new Roach  PB !
I have witnessed bigger Roach before, like when I fished with Jeff on the Warwickshire Avon a couple of years ago, but now this fish was in the bottom of my net.  The photos were taken and the fish weighed and safely rested and returned back the water. Shame it was a bit of a battered old warrior or maybe just badly out of condition after spawning.  I'd heard some tow path rumours before but now I know they are here I can always try for another in the future.

1lb 5oz Canal Roach