WELCOME to our Friday blog. Every Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex.
These super keen youngsters have a passion for making a variety of fishing videos, and provide a youth dimension to our new blogging mix.
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A TRIP TO HAMPSHIRE – COUNTY OF FISHING DREAMS!
IT was only this week that I suddenly realised that the river season was drawing to an end. As you can imagine, there was a sudden rush to get some fishing in before it was too late! Both Alex and I had planned sessions for the weekend but neither of us expected to end our seasons on such a high note!
I have a good friend called Matthew who lives in Hampshire. Being located in that part of the country gives him access to more water than I could ever dream of!
Within just a short drive from his house you have the Stour, Avon, Test, Itchen, as well as numerous backwaters, streams, tributaries and plenty of stillwaters.
It was however the clear, swift moving water I was after, and following a lengthy phone call we decided to visit the Stour to target chub.
I took the train to meet Matt, but because it was a Sunday (engineering works day), it meant travelling part of the journey on a rail replacement bus. At around 10am we arrived at the river; it would have been much later but I made sure that I woke up at 5.30 to make up for the slow train service.
The first thing we did once at the river was take a look at the level and colour. The rain we received previously seemed to not have made much difference. ‘Perfect,’ Matt said!
We walked the length of the stretch and baited a few snaggy slacks. We then made our way back up the river fishing each of the baited spots.
In the third swim I flicked my tiny lead under some branches, just on the edge of the flow. The lead slowly bumped downstream. My rod tip pulled round then sprung back twice before it stopped dead still and then knocked hard, indicating a fish had taken my bait.
I picked the rod back up and hooked a good fish. Wow, that chub must have taken the bait as it was sinking! I called over to Matt that I had one, but because it was swimming towards me and shaking its head a fair bit, I did not think it was that big.
Matt scooped the fish up in the net and we both realised that the fish was much bigger than expected. Once on the mat, it weighed 4 lb 10 oz. I held it for a few photos; my fingers started to get rather cold! The excitement drowned out the cold though and as I released it I felt very happy to have caught so early on in the day.
Just as I was moving swims after my fish, Matt received a strong bite. He was upstream of a huge, fallen tree so was desperate to stop the chub from reaching it. The bend in his rod was phenomenal as he guided his beast up from the depths. We safely netted his prize and weighed it in at 5lb 10oz. Wow, an immense creature and one I was very proud to witness.
We walked further up the stretch fishing every spot we thought might hold chub, but to no avail. We ended up sitting in the car trying to warm up!
We spent the last few hours of daylight trotting on the Hampshire Avon and Matthew found a couple of shoals of dace and roach.
That was the end of this session and very nearly the end of the season. We did however manage to sneak in a few more river fishing trips before the 15th which I’m sure Alex will tell you all about next week!
Tight lines everyone; I hope you find some great lakes to fish for the next few months. We will be thinking about what to target… tench, perch, carp, roach… decisions decisions!
Check back on this website for a new blog every day!
THE NEXT CARL & ALEX BLOG WILL BE ON FRIDAY, MARCH 22.