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View From Your Swim


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A few types of "swims" where we're fortunate enough to fish..   The Exeter Canal before first light (Tench blowing everywhere on this morning).. The tidal Exe     First light at Hopes

I'm guessing I was about 14 when this was taken.That would make it 43 years ago. Eek ! Its possible I had hooked the bottom rather than a fish:)   This one was taken at the same spot yesterday a

Moved further down south recently the canal is a 5min walk so after years of barrowing around a ton of carp gear around packed lakes started fishing light. Drop shotting for perch and pre baiting like

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A pike out of the bottom pond. I actually stocked this pike as a 6 incher the year before. I was very young at the time, but managed to catch it on a live perch almost off the surface. Pike, at the time were considered vermin, so it's always been tough for them. Before i moved a couple of pike to there they were only one pike in there, i saw it but i never caught it. Eventually someone foul hooked it and i weighed it at 12 lb, but it looked much, much bigger. I don't think there's any pike in the bottom pond today. but I will stand corrected.

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Me playing a good carp in the top pond, around 1997-98. Today there's too many snags, but in those days I caught with regularity. Where I'm stood there used to be a stream run in and there was shallow sandy spit running out into the top pond where a shoal of gudgeon used to lie all the time. The streams gone now, so has the sand and so has the gudgeon.

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Well, I might have a trip eeling up there this year if i get chance.....might bump into you on the

bank. :victory:

You may do! Iv only managed time for a couple of trips there so far this year so far but it's well worth the trip, I don't know anywhere that has eels like this place it's a very special place!

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I remember in the mid 80's seeing someone catch an eel that was almost 5lb, on sweetcorn of all things! I started fishing for them on worm, but switched to deadbait. My biggest came to a skimmer bream half. Eels were hated by the locals back then and most that were caught were killed with a bankstick. i had a few arguments over the years about it.

One thing that was very unusual was that every summer almost the entire ponds population of tench came to the surface and stayed about a foot from the top in over 15 foot of water. Many big bags came for lads fishing 2 foot deep with a waggler and double maggot, and spraying the water with bait. Nowadays the tench have declined and there isn't many of them, but the few bream that are in there seem to have taken their place and they too can be seen sat in the middle.

When I used to fish it, there were many dozens of characters, it was a proper great place to grow up. I can remember it being very busy, in fact one time i couldn't even get a peg. Caught my first coarse fish from there, on a piece of cotton and half a maggot on a size 18 mustad hook when I was fishing for sticklebacks as a young boy. That was a very big deal! After that encounter with the stripey leviathan that must have weighed 1/4 oz, I simply had to get a proper rod and learn how to be a proper fisherman.

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It's a massive Shame some people look down their noses at eels and kill them, I just can't understand why - they are amazing. They are so rare at these sizes and very old. I hear they only grow 1 lbs every 10 years? And travel miles through the sea and up rivers to get to where they are. Iv also heard stories of them crossing land to get about during rain - filling their gills with water so they have some oxygen for their journey. Your photos are superb they make me want to go there again right now. I would if I didn't have a night shift to do ha ha!

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Very nice fish! It's a great feeling getting carp from places like this. The feeling they give when you get them is not even close to catching 100 of the same size in a commercial fishery.

It didn't even weigh 10lb!!

I have a piccy of one of the last chub somewhere, I'll try to find it. The chub were the true trophies and I only ever caught them on the surface, mainly using naturals like wasps, bluebottles and suchlike, though i did manage the odd one on floating maggot. That was my secret killer bait and that's what I caught most of the fish on. I also had them on caster too, but it was floating maggot that really made my name up there. I discovered it by accident, one morning i went and fished the top pond and my maggots had gotten wet in the nights rain. So as i threw them in the bigger percentage started floating. Carp then started going mad for them so I tackled up and , i think, i got snapped three times before I beefed up my tackle and caught one. From that moment on I never looked back. You see, back then, everyone thought you had to use fine line for those carp, I remember seeing people trying for them with 10oz bottom! It was mental! My standard tackle was 3.54 lb bayer, a size 18 carbon feeder hook and either freeline or a crystal waggler.

In all my years fishing there I never saw a perch bigger than a pound come out.

The rudd were stocked in about 1990-91 and were from Larkfield damn and had made their twilight journey via dustbin!

The bream were stocked by the water authority in about 1992, 98 skimmers were stocked, about 6-8 oz each.

 

This is the same fish I had at 15lb, but at a less spawnbound weight of 13lb.

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Iv found a couple (old) photos, please forgive the quality I'm not much of a photograph person....

 

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And one of the smallest eels iv caught from there...

 

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I don't normally take pics these are off a mates phone.

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