image Luckiest session ever!

This session was probably the luckiest ever, for various reasons. First of all, fish was feeding really well, and along with many roach and smaller perch on the feeder rod, I caught a huge one as well. But what’s even better, on the river bank I walked into angling celebrity and writer of several books, John Langridge. Exciting session!

Last week I couldn’t wait to my first session of the season on the Thames, at Hampton Court. Usually I try to go on the 16th of June to open the season, however weather related issues often come in – same happened this year. Not sure I can recall a day from the past two months it wasn’t raining. But that’s it, I can’t wait any longer – I thought and decided to go for it, even if it rains. The day before the session, as my usual routine, I went down to check the condition of the river so I can pack the appropriate gear. For the recent rainy period, the river seemed surprisingly clear, with a medium current – I decided feeder fishing will do me. Waitrose sandwich for later, coffee on the way, and taken the 9:07 train to Hampton Court. The journey is a comfortable half an hour from Vauxhall, just enough to finish your coffee and rethink your technic you’re going to use.

After re-baiting the swim front of me by 7-8 fully loaded feeder cage, I begun to fish. Fish wasn’t shy that day: they let me know by plenty of jumping they’re about. And they weren’t just about: they were hungry as well!


First fish of the day

After few minutes of waiting, a shoal of hungry roach proved to stop by my strawberry syrup infused Old Ghost Bream groundbait. I caught five in a raw, one after the other – when after a very short break, different species appeared in the swim.

I leave my hooklenght rather long, if there’s a current in the water, sometimes even 1 meter. The floating kind of movement of the bait will drive fish crazy!
Another one of the many roach I caught that day

Probably thankfully to the added maggots to the groundbait, perch started to bite – they tend to chase other fish away, especially if a shoal of larger ones are around. They love maggots, but I prefer to move to worms when this happens. Perch go crazy for large worms!

First hungry guy
A smaller one – of this size there are plenty in the Thames

After several smaller perch and a couple of dace, larger fish arrived to the swim. If you continuously feed, this is likely to happen as I noticed. And I walked into some really beautiful and great fighter perch. Catching them was real fun. Here was the biggest one:

One of the few larger ones
Another hungry guy
Just loving them!

Fishing for perch is a real fun on river. You never know how big you will catch next. Catching the big ones is really rewarding as they fight real hard. Perch from natural venues also look beautiful.

As I mentioned earlier, what put the absolute cream on the top of the cake that day was that towards the end of the session, I bumped into John Langridge writer, who caught a beautiful eel (!) just “next door” and asked us to help him taking picture of it. If I can arrange it with him I will upload it here soon. After a little chat we took some pictures together. It was an awesome day! Thames, I’ll be back soon!

John and me, with the beautiful palace at the background


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