I've spent a couple of days on the road with Pete, trying to catch my first ever bleak, zander, motherless minnow and pumpkinseed. We nabbed 3 out of the 4 with only the zander evading us.
This takes me up to 30 species for the season - busting last years record of 24 - with four months still to go.
We started off on the Warwickshire Avon at Stratford where a fellow blogger Jeff reckoned we had a good chance of catching bleak and zander.
The bleak were quick to oblige, and it didnt take long before we got tired of catching them. Petes swim held a good shoal of perch and he must have had 2 or 3 dozen fish to about a pound and a half.
I got bored of catching tiddlers so filled a bag of PVA with 4mm pellets and a big 12mm pellet fished on a band had my rod tip crash round with this hard fighting little barbel.
We both had a decent eel - which was something of a surprise - but despite sitting it out all day with live a dead baits we couldnt get any action from zander.
The next morning we drove down to Viaduct Fishery in Somerset, which we knew contained Motherless Minnows - also called Sun Bleak. Fishing single pinkie on a size 22 hook it didnt take too long to catch yet another species to add to the list. A long drive for a couple of drams of fish.
The back up the M5 to Silver Springs fishery at Congresbury which we knew contained large numbers of pumpkinseeds. These pretty little fish lost all self control when faced with a maggot - so after about half an hour of pumkinseed bagging the novelty value wore thin.
So I swapped sides of the lake and sat facing into the wind, and filled my swim in with the rest of a bag of 4mm pellets and half a tin of corn. By the time I'd set up my Browning margin pole and plumbed up the carp were in a frenzy over the top of the baited area at the edge of the lily pads in the photo above. First put in saw me get a lovely common of about 6lbs followed by about 14 others during a mad two hour evening session. Great fun but a long run home followed up the M5 and M6.
This weekend its back to the Bitterling hunt, and the Salford Friendly Anglers Match at the River Irwell Old Course in Irlam.