Community Challenge
'A Match for Any Angler' - 28-06-2019
The coarse species are your target in this challenge. Catch 450,000 bream, tench, roach, rudd and perch before 26th July to unlock a Dovetail Match Series T-shirt.
Bream, Tench, Roach, Rudd & Perch Caught
Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour Purchase Options
IF you are new to Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour, there are a number of options for you to purchase if you are looking to get in to the game. Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour Standard Edition You can buy Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour standard edition which will give you the base game that will feature the Career Mode, 10 lakes and 29 species of fish for you to catch. Xbox [] PlayStation 4 Europe [] PlayStation 4 US [] Steam [] Dovetail Store [] Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour Deluxe Edition Fishing Sim World with a set of deluxe edition equipment. With the deluxe edition you will receive a bonus 20,000 Tackle Points, a deluxe edition boat, a set of 5 deluxe edition lures, 2 deluxe edition hoodies, 2 deluxe edition t-shirts and 2 deluxe edition caps. Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour + Giant Carp Pack Get everything that is in the base game of Pro Tour plus the Giant Carp Pack containing Gillhams Fishing Resort in Thailand and Wraysbury 1 South Lake in the UK. Gillhams is a fishing paradise located in Krabi, Thailand. This holiday resort is on the bucket list of many anglers due to the exotic species from South America and Asia that swim in its rich waters. This lake adds 5 new species with arapaima, redtail and mekong catfish, siamese carp and black pacu. Wraysbury is one of the most historic carp fishing venues of all time and was occupied by arguably the most famous carp, Mary who has been recreated as well as other famous residents such as Mary’s Mate and Cluster. Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour + Quad Lake Pass Get the Pro Tour base game and the Quad Lake Pass featuring four lakes across the US and Europe, Lake Williams, Jezioro Bestii, Lake Arnold and Gigantica Road Lake.
2 days ago
Who are our partners?
Licensed products are a key feature of Fishing Sim World and we are bringing you equipment from some of the biggest names across the fishing industry. 13 Fishing About 13 Fishing: 13 Fishing is a brand founded on the most important principle of fishing, the angler. Baitworks About Baitworks: Baitworks was set up in 2005 by Mark Bryant. In this time the company has grown to be one of the most respected and reputable bait firms in the country. Bass Cat Boats About Bass Cat Boats: Manufacturer of fiberglass bass boats and trailers. Began in 1971 by Ron & Jan Pierce. Today it is still the longest existing tournament bass boat company in the USA. Bill Lewis (Rat-L-Trap) About Bill Lewis: Started in 1964, Bill Lewis' passion lead to the creation of his brilliant invention which went from something he created while tinkering in a garage to a product used all around the world. Booyah About Booyah: Founded in 2004 and based in Fort Smith, Ark., Booyah Bait Company has become a leader in the bass fishing lure industry. Canal and River Trust About Canal and River Trust: Canal & River Trust was launched on 12 July 2012, taking over the guardianship of British Waterways (the previous government-owned operator) canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks in England and Wales. Delkim About Delkim: Delkim has been at the forefront of bite indication technology for over 30 years. Duckett Fishing About Duckett Fishing: “Pro-Driven”, the company motto for Duckett Fishing that proves that their rods and reels were developed by and for pros. Enterprise Tackle About Enterprise Tackle: One of the U.K’s leading manufacturers of imitation baits and pioneers of the now fabous “Popup sweetcorn”. Evinrude About Evinrude: Our licensed engine partner and a leading manufacturer of outboard engines. Fitzgerald Fishing About Fitzgerald Fishing: Founded in 2010 by Trevor & Sonia Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Rods quickly became the preferred rod for guys frogging and flipping. Fitzgerald Rods became the brand that you used if you needed a rod that could with stand heavy duty use and abuse. Jenko About Jenko: Jenko Fishing is the brainchild of teenage entrepreneur and angler, Coleton Jennings. Coleton started fishing with his grandfather at a young age, fishing for crappie and other pan fish from a john boat on Kentucky Lake and other small ponds in the area. Korda About Korda: One of the biggest names in the carp scene and a company that we have worked with since day one. Linear Fisheries About Linear Fisheries: The Linear Fisheries Complex in Oxfordshire is one of the best day-ticket venues in the country. Mainline Baits About Mainline Baits: Since Mainline Baits was founded it has been synonymous with the highest quality carp baits possible, and the capture of carp from all over the world. Missile Baits About Missile Baits: Missile Baits have become well known for their soft plastic baits. Nichols Lures About Nichols Lures: A small bass fishing lure manufacturing company that produces only the finest hand-painted, hand-assembled baits. RidgeMonkey About RidgeMonkey: Formed in early 2014, RidgeMonkey® is a think tank of like-minded anglers, striving to bring to market a range of thoughtful products that make a difference. Sonik About Sonik: Founded in 2008 by Ian McCormack, Sonik was created as a company of anglers with a passion for developing great tackle that makes the whole experience of going fishing more productive and enjoyable. Sunline About Sunline: Sunline is a Japanese fishing line manufacturer established in 1977 that produces every conceivable type of fishing line. Wofte Clothing About Wofte Clothing: Wofte Clothing was born from the depths of the murky underground carp fishing scene in the South East of England. One of the pioneering company's dedicated exclusively to outdoor and fishing clothing formed in early 2011. Yum About Yum: YUM use the latest technology in coordination with extensive research and constant quality control to ensure the production of the most effective and reliable baits in the industry.
2 months ago
What is Career Mode?
In Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour’s Career mode you will play as an angler looking to work your way up through the ranks and become an elite angler. Standing in your way will be over 100 real world anglers including Scott Martin, Ali Hamidi, John Crews, Dave Levy, Jacob Wheeler, Ian Russell and many more. Starting as an amateur angler you will decide which career path you want to follow. With bass, carp and predator tournaments to compete in you can choose to focus on one tour or to take on the challenge of all three. You can change which tours you are competing in at any point throughout your career. Your finishing position in each tournament will award points towards your season standings. If you consistently place high up in tournaments, you will earn a promotion to the next league. As you become more successful in tournaments your career earnings and your social media following will grow. Over time you will attract interest from potential sponsors and start to receive sponsorship offers from over 50 licensed partners such as Korda, Booyah, Mainline, 13Fishing, RidgeMonkey and Evinrude. When a contract offer is received you can accept the deal or opt to try and negotiate for better terms. Be careful though as this may lead to the company withdrawing their offer! As you improve your relationship with a sponsor company they will offer a higher payout if you sign with them again later on. Over time you will also be invited to exclusive tournaments hosted by your sponsors. Become the ultimate angling champion and prove that luck has nothing to do with it!
2 months ago
What Is Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour?
Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour is available now! Xbox [] PlayStation 4 Europe [] PS4 US [] Steam [] Dovetail Store [] Take on 100 of the world’s best anglers as you chase the dream of becoming the ultimate fishing champion. Standing in your way are “real world anglers" such as Scott Martin, Ali Hamidi, John Crews, Dave Levy, Jacob Wheeler, Ian Russell and many more as you compete in a multiple tournament career path, going from amateur to elite status, gaining social media following and earning sponsorship deals from over 50 licensed tackle companies such as Korda, Booyah, Mainline, 13Fishing and RidgeMonkey, all linked to your ongoing career earnings. Fishing Sim World Pro Tour has 10 lakes to choose from, including the famous tournament venues, Lake Guntersville and Lake Travis as two of our five vast US lakes. European venues include Gigantica Main Lake in France, Manor Farm Lake from the UK’s top day-ticket water complex Linear Fisheries and a section of the Grand Union Canal in London. With plenty of variety in the environments, different styles of fishing and hundreds of trophy fish to catch, there are always new challenges to face, that will test your skills to the limit. Take your fishing online and challenge your friends in multiplayer sessions where you set the rules. Choose how the session will be scored, what species will be counted, time limits and weather conditions. Customise even further, so you are targeting a variety of species with different rulesets for each additional competitive round you add. You can also test your skills against anglers from all over the world in our Dovetail Fishing League. Different tournaments are set each week for you to take part in that contribute to your global rankings as you aim for the coveted Angler of the Month title. With 29 different species of fish to catch including Bass, Carp, Walleye, Muskie, Pike, Barbel, Zander, Tench, Bream, Brown and Rainbow trout, each with its own unique AI and behavioral system, making sure you have the right tackle setup is of the utmost importance. Every item of equipment you require for each style of fishing or species of fish targeted is available from our licensed partners. From end tackle by Korda through to lures from Booyah and boats from Bass Cat, Fishing Sim World Pro Tour features some of the biggest names in the fishing industry.
2 months ago
Player Profile - Gary Spiers
* Gary Spiers * Carp & Coarse Angler * Location: New Forest UK * Current Gaming Platforms: – XBOX One – PC/Gaming Laptop * Gamer Tag: – SCUBA GAZ * Age: 44 (old school) * Current games: – Fishing Sim World - Euro Fishing * Hours spent on line: Too Many * Hobbies: Gaming, Coarse Fishing, Sea Fishing, Golf, Football (Reading FC for my sins) * First console: – SPECTRUM ZX81 * Current Job Role: – Technical Building Assessor * Children: Jack: Aged 5.5 * Married: Yes, to Samantha for 11 years (partnership 22 years) * Fishing Locations: UK, Norwegian fjords, Turkey, Spain, France Coarse fishing has been a part of my life since the age of 10, spending most of my weekends and summer holidays as a child beside the banks with friends, fishing various lakes and rivers around Hampshire and Berkshire counties. Currently reside in The New Forest, which offers many coarse fishing venues, I’m very fortunate to have two venues with multiple lakes within 5 mins drive from my property, offering a wide range of fish. With a busy working career, which meant I spent many months working away from home, and the arrival of my son Jack, unfortunately fishing has had to take a back seat for the last 5 years with only hitting the banks a handful of times. The introduction of a realistic fishing game on the PC and XBOX came as a pleasant surprise, allowing me to enjoy the fishing with friends in between writing reports for work in hotels rooms across the UK. I was introduced to Euro Fishing by a close friend (Strongbow) this was followed by Fishing Sim World, and I have never looked back, and the great outdoors of fishing became reality in the console, allowing me to fish with gamers from around the world from the comfort of my home on the XBOX or PC. In my opinion, Dovetail have developed an incredible fishing platform for likewise gamers to be connected across the world, offering many types of fishing and venues and species. Fishing Sim World has allowed me to make new friends, some with disabilities, which does not allow them to leave their homes or who are unable to get to venues to fish in real life. I feel Fishing sim world offers an incredible fishing experience for all, allowing the community to connect. I am currently running a social fan group [] on a well-known social media site, with the help of admins from around the world, which has reached 1000 members during the month of April and is growing daily. It is always a pleasure to see new post from members with constructive feedback about the games, which I’m sure the team at Dovetail appreciate and have taken positive actions to make the games even more realistic from the feedback posted. The game goes from strength to strength, I am looking forward to 2019 and am excited to see how the game will progress! Tight Lines all SCUBA GAZ
3 months ago
Clint Walker - Pike fishing with Deeper Sonar
I went pike fishing again this week, and blanked. I missed a run within the first half an hour, but otherwise, my indicators stubbornly refused to move all day. All was not lost though, as I met two anglers, one of whom was also fishless in his pursuit of predators, and his son, an exceptionally polite and well mannered fourteen year old. After a quick chat with dad, I spent a few minutes with the younger angler, and watched as he flicked a lure up the side of some pontoons in search of perch. We discussed the merits of dropshot and jig fishing, and I was pleased to see him pick off a solitary perch, indicating that it may be an area worth further investigation, so with that in mind, I said my farewells, and resolved to return later in the week… I have only ever fished with bait at this venue but wanted to find out if perch were worth targeting on lures. Determined to kill two birds with one stone, a few days later I was back at the water with the brand new Deeper Sonar™ Christmas package to do some product photography for one of my sponsors, and put the kit to the test. I’ve been using Deeper for a while now, and the new Deeper Pro+ is a real upgrade on the previous incarnation, with connection issues resolved, more features, and a greater casting range achievable. I tend to use it solely to confirm or locate underwater features, rarely utilising the fish finder option, but I wanted to try both for the required images. Whilst deadbaiting the water for pike, I’ve suspected an area of weed amongst a relatively clear lake bed, and this was an ideal opportunity to prove that fish were indeed holed up in cover. The Deeper is so easy to use; simply install the app, drop the sonar into the water (water activated battery) and wait for it to connect. At this point, I should point out that turning off mobile data gives far better connectivity, and within a few seconds, an image will appear on your phone or tablet which clearly depicts the environment below. Once stabilised, the picture will scroll across the screen, so you can pick out features, fish, temperature, depth, and plenty of other variables; it certainly makes mapping a water a far less laborious evolution than constantly casting a marker float. You can also store the information in the form of a GPS accurate map, add your own notes, and even add a photograph of the exact spot where you stand! Brilliant! Camera tripod locked in place, remote control in hand, I set about getting the requisite amount of shots for social media and marketing, including screen shots of actual use, and after an hour of repositioning, deleting, retaking, and viewing of images, was happy I’d got enough to work with; it was time to map some spots. My Deeper is attached to 50lb braid and it was quickly hurled out as far as I could cast it. I’d be lying if I said I could it to the maximum stated range of one hundred metres, (although I have used it to map river swims as it trots downstream) but then I don’t tend to fish deadbaits at that range either, so knew I’d have my spots covered. I waited for the picture to clear, and slowly wound in, pausing every few seconds to let the Deeper hover over areas of interest. I picked out a known snag with ease (pesky thing) and marked it on the GPS, then continued to retrieve over the potential weed patch. It was vegetation, but I was surprised just how far off the lake bed it rose. What I thought was perhaps a thin sheen of silkweed turned out to be substantial growth and a good depth of silt beneath. My baits had perhaps been landing in the silt which spread some distance from the focus of the weed, but at least I could confirm that the obstruction was there; noted for future sessions! I did have the fish finder turned on too and wasn’t surprised to find a good number of fish within cover. Vast areas of the reservoir were completely devoid of fish, a change in the weather had certainly stirred them up and at the base of the shelf, where I’ve caught a good number of pike, there were none! The majority were either in the weed or patrolling in mid-water near a shoal of bait fish, identified as a scatter pattern which was studded with ‘proper’ fish reflections. I spent another hour mapping the whole bank, finding depths to almost thirty feet, the remains of an old dam, another snag, and more fish, before packing away and having a quick fling with the dropshot rod under the floating pontoons. It proved to be slow going, with only a handful of perch caught, but the chill wind put paid to any further fishing, it was just too cold! I moved off to a tiny local river, determined to bank something worthy of a photograph. I’d changed the dropshot set up for a 3g jighead, loaded it with a pink Spro lure, and slid into the cramped swim beneath the trees. I’d seen a fish rise whilst approaching, so was confident of a hit on the lure. The river contains chub, trout, pike and perch, so it’s a real ‘lucky dip’ which is part of the reason I enjoy it so much. I prepared my first cast, carefully checking that my braid wasn’t looped around the end of the rod, my bale arm was open, that the backcast was clear of obstructions, and that the spot I wanted to cast to was accessible. All clear, I fired the lure out and it went straight into a tree which had a single branch hanging down! With 6lb braid and 5lb fluorocarbon, snatching it back in isn’t an option, so by the time I’d gently pulled the branch towards me, I’d made far too much noise to have any chance of a fish from the tiny swim, so scrabbled back up the bank to try the next glide. A classic small river swim, with fast water running into a widening, deep pool, it’s one of two spots here that are ‘guaranteed’. I know every nook and cranny and can tell you at any time of the year where fish are to be found, I’m that confident! The pink shad was twitched across the bottom, repeated several times, but without success. A change to a similar pattern lure in a different colour bought an instant bite, a handsome perch of around half a pound the culprit, and this continued with a number of fish banked. As I watched the rod tip, I noted a splash against the far bank, just a few yards distant, and watched a long dark shape slip by beneath the water. The clear water gave me a good view of the intruder, and I quickly realised that it was a mink, which I watched surface and swim to its home within the roots of a tree. We watched each other for a while, the mink’s pale snout clearly visible in the dark confines beneath the tree, and I have to admit that I was enthralled to see an apex predator up close. I know they are killers, but what an impressive animal, and a real treat to witness! I didn’t want to risk conflict, hooking a fish to be snatched and fought over, so moved upstream to a steady, shallow glide. I could see the river bed clearly, patched with coloured autumn leaves and flicked the lure under the roots of a tree on the near side. I watched it skip across the debris, and then it disappeared. I couldn’t spot it, and then all went solid; snagged! A small amount of pressure was applied to free the hook and suddenly a huge bow wave erupted as a pike leapt clear of the water in a shower of spray! I hadn’t seen it, perfectly camouflaged as it shot out and whacked the lure, and although it was only a jack of about 4lb, it gave a superb account on ultralight tackle as it sped around the confines of the river, desperately trying to dislodge the hook. Safely netted, it was quickly returned sulkily to the river, and that ended my session. An hour on the river had resulted in a number of handsome perch, a close up encounter with a mink, and a finely conditioned pike to finish; it doesn’t get better than that does it? The new Deeper Sonar Christmas package is available from 1st November (rrp £209), and contains the Deeper sonar, spare night fishing cover, smartphone mount, neoprene carry pouch, charging lead, and a bonus Gerber™ multi-tool with twelve handy functions! Check it out!
3 months ago
Clint Walker - Single Hook Pike Rigs
After targeting carp last week, I’ve done much the same this week, taking a total of ten double figure fish whilst fishing the ‘tip. Why? In truth, I spent plenty of time during the session taking photographs for clients prior to scheduling on social media, and to accompany other forthcoming copy. As a full time angler and writer, I often have to plan weeks (if not months) in advance, and having a library of relevant images is of vital importance. I fished in company with a mate and was pleased to have a proper ‘subject’ for the required images, rather than the usual ‘selfies’! We storyboarded and took a huge number of images, so the trip was an opportunity to get some ‘in the bag’ for when times are hard and I need a specific image! Having the opportunity to get the images was a great help (thanks Andy!) but I couldn’t help but keep an eye on the weather, looking forwards to a predator session just two days later… I think that pike angling has, over the last few years, definitely become my favourite facet of angling, and at this time of year, it’s just an absolute joy to be on the banks. I wanted to continue my exploration of my single hook theory, so was keen to hit the banks at my favourite Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society club water with a cool bag full of deadbaits, and a head full of ideas! I arrived bright and early, and it turned out to be one of those mornings that leaves you simply stunned… I’ve been trying the single hook rig for a number of reasons, the main one being to offer a way for relatively new pike anglers to safely handle and unhook these fine fish without the anxiety of dealing with a pair of trebles. I know that many anglers would like to catch pike, and although information is readily available, it still boils down the fact that some anglers are terrified of being unable to remove deeply embedded trebles, and as a result, sensibly, have never fished for pike. I want to try and remove that fear from the equation, by proving that a single hook can work, that it has the potential to cause less damage, and is much easier to remove. So far, my findings have been encouraging… My first trial run with Kato circle hooks, purchased in Australia on a whim saw me miss my first run through my own fault, but then hit both subsequent takes, bringing a brace of double figure pike to the bank. Both fish were firmly hooked in the scissors, and because the barb had been crushed with long nosed pliers, both were safely unhooked within seconds; a good start. I wondered whether crushing the barb was enough though, whether things could be made even safer and resolved to try a different, barbless hook pattern. I used the same 35lb PikePro wire, twizzled the trace exactly the same way, and used an identical lead arrangement. The hooks to be used however, were not circle hooks, and this had a huge effect! My first four runs with the new hooks all ended in disappointment, with not a single contact felt with any of the protagonists, and each time, the bait was lost. Not only was I missing bites, I was getting through bait at an alarming rate! I don’t expect to re-use baits, but I don’t want to lose them every cast either! I wondered whether the missed takes resulted from smaller fish picking up baits and dropping them, but my deadbaits were only small roach, so considered this unlikely. Reverting back to the circle pattern immediately saw a double figure fish banked which went some way to proving it was the hook, not the bait size at fault. More food for thought, so another session beckoned… The club venue is padlocked, with entry forbidden before 7am, so just after, I unlocked the gates, and drove up to the car park to unload. All was quiet, despite a breeze being forecast, and as I sorted my gear, I looked across the reservoir to see the breaking dawn mirrored in the still dark waters. Every second brought new colours to the tableau before me, and as the sky lightened, a hazy mist was unveiled on the fields and woodlands surrounding the lake. The fog rolled slowly down onto the water until the sky and water became one; it was hauntingly beautiful, and a sight I’m struggling to describe with mere words… I couldn’t concentrate on setting up as the minutes passed and the scene became even more alluring; rarely have I seen such a stunning morning unfold. As the sun rose, the mist became backlit, and everything was coated in a golden glow. I took some simply superb images, none of which required any filters or editing, and they are already in the printers to go up on the wall! Such beauty instantly put me in a wonderfully good mood, and I couldn’t wait to get started again! Within a few minutes, both rods were tackled up, baits mounted on the circle hooks, and deposited into around fourteen feet of still, dark water. My bobbins were set, alarms switched on, and I sat back to absorb the surroundings. I noted a flock of lapwings wheeling together over the far bank, and high above, a buzzard being harassed by crows which sought to protect their nest. Behind me, a Jay paraded on the high wall, cackling, and I watched rabbits disturb the mist as they warmed up in the weak sunlight. It was one of those perfect mornings, and everywhere I looked, I saw something to delight me… Bleep. A single note grabbed my attention and I watched the white head of the indicator twitch upwards as the rod tip shook. I removed the line from the clip, and as it continued to disappear, wound down and lifted the rod, hoping to connect. I’ve found that a ‘strike’ isn’t required with circle hooks, instead I prefer to just tighten up until I feel the fish, but on this occasion, I felt nothing; the bait came back unmarked too, so I was unsure whether the bait had been picked up, or if the pike had just brushed the line. The roach was recast to the same spot, and as I replaced it in the clip, it pinged out of my fingers as the bait was taken again. Once more, I wound down, and failed to engage with the bait stealer. Retrieving the bait, I inspected it for damage, and again could find none; now I was scratching my head! There was obviously a fish down in the depths, but why wasn’t the hook turning into its jaws, and why wasn’t the bait damaged? I discarded the roach, and threaded the hook into the tail of a new one, ensuring that the hook point was free of any scales, and was still sharp. It went back out into the same area, I felt it hit the lake bed, tightened up, and returned to my enjoyment of the morning. As I poured a mug of tea, another bleep preceded the red light of the alarm, and this time the indicator fell away as the fish moved off. Closing the bale arm, I let the fish run against the tension, then wound down to set the hook; fish on! I could feel instantly that it wasn’t a monster fish, but the pike gave a good account of itself before it slid into the net, the circle hook easily visible in the top jaw. The crushed barb had gone through, so rather than try to reverse the hook hold, it was simply exposed, then snipped off with sidecutters so that the hook fell out. Unhooked without getting my fingers anywhere near those teeth or gill rakers, and without causing any harm to the fish; easy! I missed the next couple of takes, then hit two more, leaving me with four missed, three hit which might not be seen by some as a good return. Personally, I’m not too disappointed. Since using circle hooks, in four sessions I’ve had six double figure fish from eleven runs with all of them safely and easily unhooked without damage, and in two of those instances, I’ve missed them through my own fault, so it could be scored as six from nine which is a better tally. The other hook pattern has so far failed miserably, missing four from four, but I’m considering using a hair rigged bait to see if completely barbless hooks offer even greater ease. I’ve suffered no net traumas either, no flying trebles catching in the mesh, and certainly no deep hooked fish nor awkwardly snared pike with a treble in each jaw. The circle HAVE made things much simpler, and in future, it will be only single hook rigs for me from now on. So, there you have it. My investigations thus far lead me to believe circle hooks are effective, are far easier to remove, and have less potential to cause harm to either me or the predators. If you have never tried pike angling because of a healthy disdain for trebles, then why not check out the Pike Anglers Club handling guidelines, find an experienced angler with whom to go, and try my single hook rig? You may be pleasantly surprised!
4 months ago
Clint Walker - Looking for dace on the River Trent
On my way back from a session elsewhere, I recently checked out a free stretch of the River Trent, hoping to be able to find some areas in which to cast a line, and absorb a little bit of information from any anglers who were there. The stretch in question isn’t that long, and my investigations revealed only a couple of fishable pegs, but it looked nice, so I decided to have a crack at it later in the week…after all, it looked absolutely perfect for dace on the stick float! A few days later, I returned, and was delighted to find that the peg I really fancied was vacant… in fact there were no other anglers to be seen anywhere, so I spent a good few minutes watching the water, spotting the flash of dace over the gravel, and the dark shadows of chub in the deeper water beneath an overhanging willow. I was itching to get started, having heard tales of gudgeon to 1lb 2oz (I know) and roach to 3lb 15oz (!) in addition to big chevins and other monsters! The reality I surmised would be somewhat different, but as I love small river fishing, I quickly got the float rod out and started to tackle up. As I threaded the line through the guides of my rod, I glanced down at my bag to see an empty space. It took me only a few seconds to realise that my session was about to change drastically; I’d forgotten my floats! Ahhhh! I really didn’t fancy fishing the ‘tip for lightening fast dace, but with no other option, I dragged out the leger rod, set up with a 2oz insert to counter the flow, and put out a bit of groundbait upstream to stir things up. A size 16 hook held a couple of maggots, and with the addition of a small bomb, it was gently lobbed out and left to settle. The tip curved around as the flow created resistance, then it pinged back as the lead moved… and moved again… and again. I’d obviously misjudged the current under the willow, so swapped to a gripper lead to give more surface area and greater friction. The rig went back out, and settled nicely… I always struggle to hit dace on the ‘tip, they are just so fast, finicky, and fleet, so it was a case of waiting for a definite pull before striking. I was so off the pace though and missed so many bites, that if I’d been in a gunfight at the OK corral, I’d have had six holes in me before I’d shot myself in the foot through my holster! Eventually, I got into the swing of it, and managed to hit perhaps two thirds of the dace, with a steady stream of nicely conditioned fish soon on the bank. I’d dropped down to a single maggot on a size 18 hook to get better indication, and for the next couple of hours, caught nothing but dace from the swim amassing a reasonable total of shimmering silvers. I continued to bait the swim every few minutes with a nugget of groundbait, and a pinch of maggots, and whilst expecting yet another dace, was surprised by the ferocity of a take which almost had the rod off the rest! Connecting with something much heavier, the rod hooped over as I tried to steer the fish away from a mid-stream snag. I didn’t get chance, the light hooklink parted within a few seconds, but not before I’d seen the golden flanks of a nice chub as it belted away from me, sadly for good! Although I hadn’t hooked any of the big gudgeon (!) a chub was a welcome distraction, and I have to admit I was less than pleased with the lost fish… With chub in the swim, I stepped up the tackle and put on a heavier link, and a bigger size 14 hook. The tail of a worm was added, and it was cast back out into the darkness beneath the tree. I had to wait almost fifteen minutes for the next bite, another lurching wrap around take, and was pleased with a perch in absolutely pristine condition. A few more followed, although sadly no chub which appeared to have been spooked downstream by my loss, and as I contemplated packing up, a flicker of the tip caught my eye, and I watched as it gently trembled… I lifted the rod and winched in a slender sliver of purple and gold… a gudgeon! Not the monster fish I’d had described to me by a fellow piscator (1lb 2oz indeed!) but nonetheless a joy to behold as it’s delicate cloak of colours glistened in the late afternoon sunlight. After a disastrous pollution incident in recent years, the humble gudgeon was a wonderful indicator of a river on the up, of clean water and good times to come. I had a very pleasant day by the riverside, and I’ll certainly visit again, but I’ll try to remember my floats next time… it’s easier to catch dace that way!
4 months ago
Clint Walker - Looking for Zander
Something different for me this week, and it’s in pursuit of something I’ve thought about getting around to for a while… I love my lure fishing, it’s quick, easy and fun, but despite catching chub, trout, pike and perch with some regularity, the zander has so far eluded me this year, so I was determined to find some! I set out fairly early, keen to miss the morning rush hour to head for a spot which needed a drive of at least an hour. I won’t divulge where, as I know that the zander is still misunderstood by some anglers, blamed (unfairly in my opinion) for a lack of silver fish in venues across the UK, and harvested by the Canal and River Trust for profit. Frankly, I, and many other anglers I know, are constantly appalled by the indiscriminate culling and removal of these fine fish from waterways by the so-called custodians of our sport, and I was even more astonished to find that if they cannot be rehomed, then they are sold for food to top restaurants; not much incentive to look very hard for a new home then is it? Not if there is money involved? What upsets me even more is the fact that these same authoritive bodies make little effort to rid our waters of a true parasite, the Signal Red Crayfish, (amongst others) and refuse to allow others to make inroads on their behalf to dispose of or make use of these voracious predators, but will willingly destroy a true asset to the angling scene…shocking! Anyway, I digress… I arrived at the waterside, had a quick cup of tea in the back of the van whilst I got my thoughts together, then broke out the tackle. I wasn’t sure if pike were present (I suspected they were) so a wire trace was joined to my braided mainline, and a mid-sized lure added. I intended to ‘sanitise’ the area for pike first, then switch to a fluorocarbon trace whilst fishing for zander. An hour of wandering the banks bought nothing from pike, so I returned to my starting point, and tackled up in the hope of a zander. My Sonik Magna rod, twinned with matching reel loaded with 8lb braid, was quickly pieced together, and I tied up a fluorocarbon trace, terminating in a 3g jig head. My contact, who had kindly given me details of the venue (it pays to keep things quiet sometimes, a bit of integrity can unlock some fine spots indeed!) had also advised that the margins were a likely spot to tempt a first zander of the year, so with a small rubber shad affixed, I began to explore the area in front of me. I’d seen some decent perch caught from the swims too, so twitched the lure around in the hope of either species. I’d chosen a white lure to start, hoping that it would show up well in coloured water, especially as I know the zander hunts predominantly by eyesight, but despite an hour of dropping the tempter into likely spots, hadn’t had so much as a follow by anything remotely fishy! Time to change. My next lure was a Fox Microfry; I love the thumping paddletail, and if the fish couldn’t see the bait, perhaps they would be able to feel it as it moved through the water? Another fruitless hour followed, I suspected that I’d missed perhaps a single tentative bite but had nothing solid to connect with… this was proving to be harder than I thought! One of the joys of lure fishing is the ability to travel light and cover a fair bit of distance. After two hours of casting though, I’d got a bit of back ache (arthritis), so retired once more to the van for more tea and to reconsider my options. I’ve done well for perch using the Ecogear Paramax lure in the past, particularly the 3” pink option, so decided to see if the swimming action would prove enough to provoke a reaction as I went back over the same areas. I locked up the van, and went back to work… The 3g jig head was easily heavy enough to reach about 35 yards, so I made a start in covering the water with a series of casts in a fan shape to try and hunt over as much as possible. Changes in retrieve rates, a change of depth, and even allowing the lure to rest on the bottom bought little more than an odd ‘nip’ so I began to cast along the bank, hoping that fish would be laying close in. Wham! Working the lure close in certainly gave a result when a fish slammed into it within a few feet of the bank, and after gently guiding it to the net, I was delighted to find a zander of a couple of pounds safely nestled within! Excellent! I took a few seconds to admire this beautiful creature, the large eye staring balefully back at me, greens and greys shimmering in the sun; how can you not appreciate the zander? It’s a stunning fish, and worthy quarry indeed. After a quick photograph, I moved to a different area and began the pattern again. Thump! A startling strike made me think I’d finally run into a pike, but no, it proved to be a smaller zander which went mad when it felt the hook…great sport. As I returned this fish however, I was shouted at by a gentleman who ponderously jogged towards me. “Zander mate?” I replied it was, and in fine condition too. “Can I have it? I eat every one I catch”. It took me a second or two to register what I was hearing. I had to ask him to repeat his remarks. “I eat them, I fish off my canal boat, and take them when I catch them”. The fish instantly splashed back into the water… He appeared incredulous. “What are you doing?!” I stood up and told him that I would never kill a zander (or any other fish for that matter) and he had no chance of getting one for the table off me. He then launched into a tirade about them being an invasive species (not true if considered established, which they are here) and I was wrong to return it, before describing me in less than complimentary terms. Hearing this from an Englishman of mature years, indeed a pensioner, I was sometime taken aback, so returned some compliments with equal friendliness as I attempted to advise him of his folly. He wouldn’t have it though and stormed off up the bank muttering further sweet nothings as I returned to my fishing. The attitude of some ‘anglers’ towards conservation, protection and indeed the fish they seek to catch astounds me sometimes… Not too disheartened by the encounter, I decided to have a final fling around before the long drive home. Again, the pink Paramax splashed into the margins, and once again a resounding whack saw me engaged in another fish. This one took a little longer to subdue, but eventually, a fine fish of around 4lbs was floundering on the surface ready for the net. Unhooked, it was gently paraded for the camera, admired, then rested until strong enough to slink back into the depths. I’d had three bites, and banked a trio of smashing zander, and aside from a briefly bruising brush with an idiot, I was happy with my tally. I believe that the zander offers real hope to waterways neglected by the authorities, encouraging lure anglers to join clubs in the hope of capturing these handsome fish. Indeed, I joined a club with the promise of such fish, only to find that within a month or two, the waterways had been electro-fished, and the zander removed. They were not rehomed, just left to suffocate in a bucket… do you remember when we used to do that with pike? Because they ate all the roach? Before we realised what an asset they were to keeping a healthy, clean, disease free fishery? Hopefully, attitudes will change, and the zander will be better thought of in years to come… after all they are here to stay!
4 months ago
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