Saturday, 19 March 2011

Season 2010-2011. A brief review of my sporting year.

A fond look back at the season of 2010-2011.  Regrets....  I have a few....
India trip 1.  This is all I got
Looking back at the last year of fishing brings back some happy memories of river, lake and foreign fishing trips.  I was fortunate to get made redundant in January with a respectable payoff so was able to spend a lot of time fishing at home and abroad until I got a new job in June.   Highlights were...
  • A new PB pike - 21lb from the Thames.
  • A new PB tench 7lb-6 from a commercial.
  • A PB perch 2lb-14 from Thames weir pool
  • A 38lb-10 silver mahseer from the Cauvery river S India.

Before the glorious 16th of June I mainly fished at Newlands Angling Club near Witney where they have a variety of gravel pits offering big carp and tench and a couple 'match' lakes stocked with a mix of species.  It was from 'Surmans' match lake that I got my best ever tench.

PB tench 7lb-6

  The fishing there was actually a hoot as there are some good sized carp and a healthy stock of decent tench to be caught on float tackle and feeder. Playing out a 15lb carp on float rod is a fun way to spend 20 minutes.  I even had a coup by catching 2 6lb tench simultaneously.
2 tench at a time at Newlands
 I tried a few sessions on the specimen lake after the tench, reputed to go well over 10lb, but never beat 6lb.
In February I went to India for 10 days intending to fish for mahseer on the Cauvery but in a royal made-in-India fuckup I ended up not even getting to the river but still had a nice holiday fishing for non-existent fish in the Kabini dam.  Got very drunk and met some nice people though.  The picture at the top of this post shows half of my total haul in those 10 days. That small fish was taken on a (sinking) float controller made of a log.  I did get bitten off by a larger fish while trotting a small live bait (on a multiplier!) in the Kabini river.
With spectacular bad timing my return to full employment coincided with the start of the river season and the World cup so I made relatively few trips 'proper' fishing but did a lot of lure fishing with varied results.   Best perch was this 2lb-14.5oz specimen taken on a Delalande miss shad rubber lure from my favourite predator infested weirpool on the Thames.

PB perch.
Late July: In a real feat of clever angling I also beat a long held target of a 20lb plus pike.  I have caught hundreds of pike now on lures but only 4 in double figures.  That shows just how special this fish was.  I will do a separate gloating post about this capture later but it was a beautiful 21lb river pike and it nearly pulled me in.  Sadly no photos of the beast exist as I did not even have my phone with me on the day. So here's a pic of my 2nd best pike of the year

 I was optimistic about beating by 5lb-14 chub PB this season but it was not to be.
Highlight of the year (and my best fish ever) came on a return trip to India in late November.  this time to Galibore fishing camp on the Cauvery in Karnataka.  There will be a separate write up of this trip later.  Suffice to say it was difficult fishing in unfavourable conditions.  Galibore is said to fish best in Jan-Feb when the water level is lower than the murky torrent that we fished.  However I was VERY fortunate to hook and land 2 good fish of 28lb+ and 38lb-10.  An unforgettable experience that just left me hungry for more as mahseer grow to over 100lb.

Silver mahseer 38lb-10.
So looking back I would call it a successful season with some good fish caught and some memorable experiences.  Fishing is about more than catching fish and I've met some good people, learned a lot and had some good times pursuing a fascinating sport in beautiful surroundings.

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