Cwm Hedd Fishery Report October 2014

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A couple taken for the pot

Overall it’s been a cracking week at Cwm Hedd, with a hundred per cent catch rate Thursday-Saturday. Another hundred fish were delivered by Exmoor Fisheries on Friday, including a smattering of blues so the stock levels are excellent, with another top up coming soon. For those of you in need of more good cheer, the four hour ticket is now a five hour ticket, which will give you more time to find the fish and settle in for some good fishing.

Don’t forget to check out our facebook page for photographs: https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014.

Even if you are not fishing the comp feel free to come along to the lodge with your nearest and dearest from 10am, where tea/coffee and cakes will be available for purchase via donation, with profit going to the British Legion. Any contribution to the raffle or cake table will be gratefully received.

Please contact me if you would like to come along and help in the lodge or with the comp.

Places are still available in the comp, but you need to enter soon to be sure of a place: £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Free bacon roll, tea/coffee on arrival for competitors. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms at the lodge or on www.cwmhedd.co.uk or download at http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events

Top anglers this week

One of this weeks top anglers was regular Ken Bowring, back to full form, taking one and retuning nine in less than three hours on a cats whisker and an intermediate line. Ken recommends short strips or fast figure of eights. Others on catch and release and also reaching their 10 fish total limit were Kens long time friend Roger Martyn (who also hooked a fabulous blue on a cats whisker and intermediate line); Roger Jones found success on a pink blob (floating line), Luke Thomas chose an olive lure (intermediate line), Graham Davies dazzled with a black and green fritz while Ken Pascoe scooped his limit on a diawl bach.

Plenty of others on catch and release took one and returned four or more, such as Bill Williams (daddy-long-legs), Lee Ashcroft (damsel, orange blob), Russell Evans (goldhead cats whisker), Rob Collier (black buzzer) and Ian Oxley.

Ian’s comment on facebook was very welcome: ‘great sport at Cwm Hedd today most [anglers] fishing in the morning but I had a very good session in the afternoon with seven fish all taken on a floating line with 12 ft leader and using damsel nymphs and had my largest fish all over 2.75 lb on an orange hopper. Almost all the fish were no deeper than two foot down and their condition was excellent and all fought well and returned apart from the first one as fishery rules -a policy I welcome as it stops fish becoming hookshy as many people now practice c&r’

Not surprisingly Sunday was the most difficult day with the pesky wind causing problems, so most anglers chose more clement days where they could more easily fish their favourite platforms and the hotspots, mainly the far bank and the main island, but also the bay and behind the main island.

Windswept and interesting

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One Sunday afternoon angler on his second visit of the week was Wales International Kieron Jenkins. Morning anglers had struggled with the wind and opted mainly for more sheltered platforms, so there were some inevitable blanks. Kieron would probably have a go at fishing in a hurricane and at 3.15pm he headed straight for the far bank where the wind was at its worst and of course where the fish were to be found. Kieron had already taken one and released two when I rang him to ask if he could take another four for family who fancied taking a rainbow home for tea. By 5pm, Kieron had caught them all (on a black and green lure and an Airflo 40+ Intermediate fly line) and had also gutted and filleted them, so with five taken and two returned it was a great finale to the week.

Untitled 1 Cwm Hedd Fishery Report October 2014

Filleted Trout for Tea

It’s all in the planning

Others have also been in the right place at the right time for some speedy catching: on Wednesday, Terry Williams took five rainbows in under 2 hours on a cats whisker, orange fritz and a black fritz.

New faces

It’s always good to see new faces alongside the regulars: Andy Gill took one and returned two on a small damsel and a slow glass. Shane Malson and David Price each took one (cats whisker and black daddy); young Kieron Martin gave dad Peter a hand to take one rainbow on a cats whisker and novice angler Gareth Neale took one on a blob on an intermediate line. Congratulations to another novice angler Dan McGhee – who took his first rainbow this week in quite tricky weather conditions. Dan was on the tip of the main island, using a cats whisker and a floating line.

Legend

It was also a pleasure to welcome legendary rod builder Owen Caudle this week, fishing Cwm Hedd for the first time. Owen took three rainbows on goldhead cats whiskers and intermediate lines, saying that the fish had obviously ‘had their Weetabix’!

Angling development

I’m hoping to get some angling development sorted out, with my thoughts being that the following might be of interest/benefit, but let me know if there is anything else, so I can plan, as it needs to come from what you anglers or budding anglers want!:

Taster/beginner sessions (juniors)
Taster/beginner sessions (adults)
Novice development for juniors
Novice development for adults
Master classes e.g casting general/casting into the wind/ fly tying

This is in the very early stages of planning, so I don’t have any details, dates or cost yet. I’m hoping to provide some free or at a minimal cost on a non-profitmaking basis though.

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday-Sunday: 8am til sunset; last admission: 2 hours before sunset. We’ve got one of those widget things on our web site now that tells you the sunset times for Cwm Hedd; I’ll see if we can get one that does the weather and wind speed as well. By next Sunday sunset will be 4.45pm, so last admission will be 2.45pm from Wednesday-Sunday this week.

 

Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

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Do you dream of one day catching a carp so big it defies imagination?

Or a catfish so huge it makes every other fish you’ve ever caught look like a tiddler? And how about the legendary Arapaima, the ultimate freshwater predator and one of the biggest freshwater fish on the planet? Why not make your day dreams a reality with the angling trip of a lifetime?

We’re talking about Thailand – so pack your carp fishing gear, here’s our brief guide to this stunning tropical destination, home to some of the most monstrous freshwater fish in the world.

Why Thailand

Thailand Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: Iakov Kalinin
A fisherman’s paradise.

The only country in South East Asia never to have been colonised, in the days of Empire, Thailand formed a buffer zone between the competing great powers of Britain and France. A constitutional monarchy, Thailand’s head of state, King Bhumibol has reigned since 9th June 1946, making him the longest serving monarch in the world.

Travel to Thailand and you’ll be treated to a welcome that’s hard to beat; it’s not for nothing that Thailand is called, the “land of smiles”. There you’ll find exquisite white sand beaches, teeming cities, a kaleidoscope of exotic street food, and most importantly, some of the best fishing in the world.

But do check the latest Foreign Office travel advice before you go. Attacks on tourists are rare but they do happen. In May this year, the Royal Thai military seized power and imposed martial law. Planned and spontaneous political protests in Bangkok and other major cities have turned violent. Tourists are currently advised to stay away from the South of the country as well some parts of the Eastern border with Cambodia – but if you heed advice, your trip should be a happy and trouble free experience.

Where should I go?

Jungle Fishing Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: Patrick Foto
Fancy a spot of jungle fishing? Thailand’s your place.

Jungle fishing, river fishing, lake fishing – Thailand has it all. If you’re not ready to go it alone, you’ll find a plethora of fishing guides advertising their services online and many reputable companies that can lead you to the best fishing spots.

But do bear in mind that for all the majesty of its inland waters, Thailand’s rivers and lakes are seriously threatened by poor fishing practises, overfishing and pollution. Subsistence fishing is a necessity for many Thai families but large scale netting has greatly reduced fish populations in some areas. Fishing tourism provides a valuable income for local people and when fished responsibly, aquatic ecosystems may even benefit from the increased economic value your custom brings to the waters.

Keen to fit a fishing trip into a busy family holiday? You’re in luck. With over 300 fisheries within easy reach of the capital city, Bangkok, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But the quality of the experience does vary, with some fisheries being little more than fish farms that let you cast a line for a fee. Word of mouth is invaluable, and online you’ll find forums full of feedback on other people’s Thai carp fishing experiences. The message here is simple? Do your homework before you go.

What can I catch?

Now for the good bit! Thailand might be a longhaul flight away, but your first giant fish will more than make up for the 12 hours or more you spent sitting on a plane.

Thailand offers a multitude of species well worth catching, here are just a few of the biggest…

Giant Siamese carp

Giant barb Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: Lerdsuwa via Wikimedia
The largest on record is 661 lbs.

The national fish of Thailand, the giant siamese carp is listed as critically endangered in the wild, but fishing parks are well stocked with captive fish. Don’t expect giant Siamese carp to give themselves up easily – you’ll need every bit of cunning to trap one of these monsters. And monstrous it really is – the biggest species of carp on the planet, the biggest ever recorded specimen was netted in the wild at a reported 300 kg or 661 lbs. While you probably won’t catch one of those proportions, 30 – 50 kgs is doable and some fishing parks contain fish closer to the 100 kg mark, but they are fiendishly difficult to catch.

Giant Mekong Catfish

Giant Mekong Catfish Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: Ginkgo100 via Wikimedia
A local fisherman netted a 646 lb Giant Mekong Catfish.

Critically endangered, it’s illegal to fish for giant mekong catfish in the wild without special permits. Giant Mekong catfish is perhaps the biggest freshwater fish in the world – in 2005, one was netted by local fishermen at 646 lbs and sold – as a requirement of the village fishing association’s permit – to the Thai department of fisheries. The eggs were harvested but the fish died before it could be returned to the water, and was given back to the villagers to eat. Thanks to the government sponsored breeding program, many lakes in Thailand stock giant Mekong catfish, although sadly, the fish doesn’t breed in ponds. In captivity, a catch of 100lb would still be an experience to treasure for a lifetime.

Arapaima

Arapaima Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: Cliff via Wikimedia
The largest ever caught is 339 lbs.

Native to the Amazon basin, Arapaima is revered as one of the biggest and most ferocious freshwater fish on the planet. The record for the biggest ever caught goes to a specimen landed in South America and stands at a colossal 339 lbs. Successfully introduced to the lakes and fishing parks of Thailand, they are notoriously fussy eaters. If you’re lucky enough to hook one, you’ll be in for one heck of a fight from what is one of the most wiley, aggressive fish out there. Good luck – you’ll need it!

Snake head

Snake head Want to catch big carp? Head to Thailand!

Image source: মৌচুমী via Wikimedia
Snake heads can grow up to 30 kg!

Razor sharp teeth, speed and aggression make this freshwater predator a pretty special catch for anglers visiting Thailand. Giant snake head grow up to about 30kg and because the fish favours underwater snags and sunken tree branches as the perfect place from which to ambush its prey, you’ll have to practise patience as well as accurate casting if you’re to get into one.

Cwm Hedd Lakes Fly Fishing Report – Opening Week

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cwmhedd1 Cwm Hedd Lakes Fly Fishing Report   Opening Week
Opening weekend fishing report 19th October 2014 (posted a few days late!)

In contrast to a wild and windy Sunday the near perfect conditions on Saturday brought a great turnout of keen anglers to Cwm Hedd for opening day. The season got off to a flying start as rain held off on a mild and mainly overcast day with the occasional glimpse of sunshine and a fairly gentle breeze.  The quality fish stocked in the last two weeks by Exmoor fisheries have been finding their way around the lake and provided good sport for anglers.

Although some rainbows opted for tentative takes followed by a hasty retreat, and some anglers were simply unlucky, over a hundred rainbows were brought to the bank over the weekend, with the hotspots being the tip of the main island and the far bank. Top rods reaching their ten fish limit on Saturday were Mike James and Carlo Bertorelli, with Mike taking two and releasing eight on an orange fritz, an apps bloodworm and a damsel (all on a midge tip fly lines), while Carlo opted for black and silver mini lures to take one and release nine.

As regulars know well, fishing Cwm Hedd can test the skills of the even the most experienced anglers, so it is always a pleasure to see young anglers prepared to take up the challenge and being rewarded for their perseverance. Thomas Morgan and Luke Jenkins both took fish, each using floating lines: Thomas on a montana and Luke on a white and yellow cats whisker. Well done!

Top rod on Sunday was regular John Belcher, one of the hardy few who braved the high winds to take two rainbows and release seven on his own green and white lure with an intermediate line. Taking a breather at the lodge to fortify himself with bread pudding and tea, John reported that an immediate retrieve with a fast figure of eight produced the most success.

With the temperature due to drop further in the next few weeks anglers can look forward to some great fishing at Cwm Hedd. Let’s hope that the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo doesn’t wreak too much havoc!

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday-Sunday: 8am til sunset; last admission: 2 hours before sunset. Sunset this week is approximately 6pm (5pm on Sunday as the clocks are going back on the weekend)

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Only 15 places left!

Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms on www.cwmhedd.co.uk or download at   http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events

Entry forms also available at Cwm Hedd lodge from this weekend.

Thanks to those who have kindly donated prizes for the raffle – all prizes gratefully received!

Croesheolydd Farm, Bassaleg, Newport, NP10 8RW. 5 mins J 28 M4
www.cwmhedd.co.uk | email: info@cwmhedd.co.uk | Cwm Hedd Facebook Page

2015 TF Gear Babes Calendar

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It’s back! The ever impressive TF Gear Babes calendar has arrived at our warehouse and is ready for sale, along with a dozen beautiful images of our favourite babes, and carp of course!

It’s just 9 weeks until Christmas and many have started their shopping already, but what do you buy an angler who already has all the carp fishing tackle under the sun?

The 2015 TF Gear Babes calendar is the ideal stocking filler to spruce up an office, garage or fishing tackle room, with a beautiful babe holding Common and Mirror carp for every month of the year!

Price: Just £9.99!

Click here to purchase the TF Gear Babes Calendar!

TFGear Fishing Babes 2015 Calendar 1 2015 TF Gear Babes Calendar

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014

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Alan dabs at Seabrook Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014


Alan Yates with a bag of dabs and a goer bass which won him a match from Seabrook’s Princes Parade with 8lb 4oz.

Midway through October and still the weather is mild and relatively settled. Yes we are enjoying an Indian summer and for the shore anglers it’s been a long spell of mixed fishing with the crossover of summer and winter species somewhat prolonged this autumn. Could be that this is now becoming the norm with the mixed fishing lasting later into the winter every year due to global warming. Whatever, it’s welcome for sure. Only this week I landed a mixed catch of dabs, bass, whiting, codling, smoothhound and dogfish from my local pier and beaches. Fishing the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover harbour the anglers next door landed two smoothhounds, mine was just a goer, but the specimens landed by Kyros Andrea from Tottenham both topped the 6lb mark, both took a large squid bait. Kyros is a retired trucker who regularly travels to Dover to fish and these were his best ever smoothhounds.

Kyros Andrea Totenham 6lb hound Prine of Wales Dover Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014
A surprise bass amongst the dabs at Seabrook whilst using braid line on the new Continental beach caster caused me some excitement and those codling seem to be showing all around the UK, even in the sunshine and so it’s going to be a shock for many anglers when the weather does eventually change to winter. Looking at the continuous south westerly storms that are buffeting us, that all too familiar winter weather blocking pattern will soon introduce more easterly and northerly winds and lower temperatures. Anglers in the North Sea will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of onshore winds and more cod and here in the south when its calm nothing beats a calm sea and a frosty beach to spice up the night time whiting fishing..

However, now is a time to get serious with your beach fishing and going out prepared for the weather is an important factor. The waterproof thermal suit, a beach shelter or brolly, chest waders, warms socks, a hat and a flask are all essential to survival when the weather gets mean. Also important are the means to continue fishing when the wind blows and the sea swells. I pack a few heavier grip leads in the tackle box, those 7oz Breakaway green tops in fixed wire take some beating, although if it gets extreme then it’s a Gemini yellow head 7oz and nothing sticks like they do. Lots of anglers forget that the importance of a heavy lead apart from it anchoring to the sea bed is that it punches through the wind and tows baits far more efficiently than lighter leads. Which go off course in the wind. Bait clips also help you gain extra yards by tucking the bait snugly behind the lead for a more streamlined rig and bait. Now is the time to get your sea fishing tackle right. Make up a few rigs for extreme weather – the Pulley Pennell is a great choice for wind and sea both on rough and smooth ground and it’s the easiest clipped rig to make yourself. Lots of anglers also boost up their rig hook snood line to 25lb to combat conditions and that chance of a bigger cod.

One of the biggest winter mistakes made by many sea anglers, especially beginners is using too big a bait. OK big bait, big fish – that’s true, but a large bait is of no use if you cannot cast it far enough to reach the cod. So compromise between bait size, bait clips and lead size to maximise distance with your biggest bait and don’t fall into the giant bait fished in the gutter trap!!!!

The other common mistake of the novice is to recast a washed out bait. Replace your hook bait fresh every cast, fresh worms etc means a fresh scent so the bait scent trail the previous cast set up is continued. Casting timing is also important, keep an eye on how long your bait lasts against crab and small fish attacks and set you timing between casts around that.

The major problem once the cold weather arrives is obtaining bait. Lugworm prices go up every year as the worms become hard to come by. The problem is that the army of part time summer diggers cannot dig or pump enough worms to make it worth their while and generally it’s only the real professionals that dig all winter. Thus fewer worms and a bigger demand make bait scarce and easy for diggers and dealers to hike the price. One solution is to collect your own, although many will quickly find out that’s easier said than done. Winter lugworm digging in stair rod rain, frost and decreasing daylight is not easy. (Try it and you may not complain about the price or how small the worms are again!)
There are a few solutions and one is to freeze your lugworms. Black lugworms freeze best and when using them, tying them on with bait cotton makes keeps them more intact and on the hook because they do go soft. Frozen baits can be used to extend a limited supply of fresh although lots of anglers swear by frozen on their own. One tip – Treat frozen bait like you would your food, would you eat sausages that have been in the freezer for four years!

Sort your frozen bait in terms of how long it’s been frozen. Frozen lugworm from the spring tides can be used a week or month later when the tides are neap. That’s the way to manage frozen bait and not keep it for years!

Frozen squid is easy enough to buy earlier in the year in bulk, it’s cheaper. Break down into smaller amounts and store in the freezer and on some venues it’s all the bait you need, although for the current crop of codling fresh yellowtails or blacks take some beating.
You can obtain a supply by looking after your dealer – How many anglers buy their gear on the internet and then only visit the dealer when they are desperate for worms, small wonder he has none he will be looking after his regulars. So keep it in your mind to keep in with the local fishing tackle shop and with luck you will get a supply.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

7 Surprising carp facts

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How well do you know your carp?

Here are some fun carp facts to help you become a font of carp wisdom.

1. Carp originate from the Black, Aral and Caspian Seas

Carp origin map 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Maps World
The carp is now endangered in their native waters.

The common carp has its origins in the Black, Aral and Caspian Sea basins. From there the species spread east into Siberia and China, and west into the Danube. The Romans were the first Europeans to farm carp, a practice that probably developed earlier and separately in China and Japan. The later spread of the fish throughout Europe, Asia and America is purely a product of human activity.

In the US, the Asian carp is a menace, devastating native fish populations, in Japan, the Koi carp is revered as an ornamental fish. Here in the UK, we love our carp and always put them back, travel to Eastern Europe and you’ll find them on the menu. Carp are plentiful everywhere, except their native waters, where they are now endangered.

2. They arrived in Britain in the 15th century

Treatsye of fysshynge wyth an angle 474x395 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Budden Brooks
“He is an evil fish to take.”

It wasn’t the Romans who brought carp to Britain. In fact, the fish hasn’t been here nearly as long as some might think. The first reference to the fish appears in the, “Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle.” There carp is described as:

“He is an evil fish to take. For he is so strongly armoured in the mouth that no light tackle may hold him.”

There is some debate as to when the manuscript of the Treatyse was first written – the text is late 1400s, but the introduction is almost certainly a copy of a 12th century manuscript – but the fact that Chaucer makes no mention of the fish in his 14th century works makes it likely that carp came onto the menu sometime in the 15th century.

3. Carp are part of the minnow family

Minnow family 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Fish Tanks
Who’d have thought the mighty carp was related to a minnow!

Carp can grow to monstrous proportions, but the fish we love to catch is actually, a minnow. The biggest carp ever caught (Guinness book of records) was a 94 lb common carp hooked by Martin Locke at Lac de Curton, France on 11th January 2010. He nicknamed the fish, Lockey’s Lump.

The reason why carp grow so big may be an evolutionary one. Carp don’t have a true stomach, instead, their intestine digests food as it travels its length. As a result, carp are constantly foraging for food. Eating a lot promotes growth, and growing quickly helps young fish avoid becoming prey. The result: a quick growing fish that eats a lot – potentially 30 –  40% of its body weight a day.

4. Carp caviar is popular in Europe and the US

Carp caviar 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Danube Caviar
Europe and the US can’t get enough carp caviar.

Carp was originally introduced to America in the 19th century as a cheap food source.  Overfishing of native species from rivers and lakes, as well as the appetites of European settlers encouraged the US department of fisheries to begin a concerted campaign to breed carp in 1877.

To begin with, carp were prized for the table, but over time, as they escaped into North American river systems, the fish became an invasive menace, out eating its native rivals and destroying fragile ecosystems. Carp are now hated, but nevertheless, like in Europe the US market for carp caviar is booming – proof that if you can’t beat it – you may as well eat it!

5. It’s tricky to know their gender (unless it’s mating season)

Carp gender 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Trekhrechie
“Hey Carl!”, “It’s Carly!”

Sexing your catch isn’t easy, especially outside of the mating season, but there are some clues about whether your prize specimen is a boy or a girl. First off, males tend (though not always) to be a little slimmer than females, and their genital opening is concave and less noticeable than that of the female, which is larger and may even protrude slightly.

During mating season, it’s a whole lot easier to tell male from female. Females’ abdomens swell with eggs and their genital enlarges to resemble a small fleshy tube. Males, meanwhile develop “tubercles”, small bony lumps around the head and gills, and they lose their mucus coating, becoming rough to the touch.

6. Carp are considered a good omen

Kwan yin carp 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Yunnan Adventure
A statue of Kwan-yin overlooking a natural water fish lake.

Some love nothing better than to set off for the pond, carp fishing rods in hand, others wouldn’t dream of catching their favorite koi. But whether you’re a European who loves to catch carp, or an Asian who rears them to look at, what we share is our love of carp and an ancient belief in the good fortune they bring.

The Christian tradition of eating fish on a Friday originates in the pagan mythology of the Norse and Germanic peoples of Europe. The day’s name comes from Freyja or perhaps Frigg, both goddesses, and possibly originally the same deity. Freyja was the goddess of fertility – and her symbol is the fish.

Travel east to China and you’ll find carp associated with the “Great Mother”, Kwan-yin. Associated with, among other things, rebirth and fertility, Kwan-yin is often depicted in the form of a fish.

7. Koi carp can fetch over a million dollars

Expensive koi fish 7 Surprising carp facts

Image source: Pets4Homes
Koi carp can fetch insane prices.

Japanese Koi carp are among the most expensive fish on the planet. A symbol of prosperity and status, it’s impossible to say exactly how much the most expensive fish are sold for since negotiations usually happen in private.

It’s thought that at the peak of the Koi “boom” in 1980s Japan, the most highly prized specimens could fetch as much as $1,000,000 – or around $2,800,000 in today’s money. The buyers were rich corporations who displayed their “catch” in ornamental tanks in office atria.

Cwm Hedd Lakes – 2014 Opening

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cwm Cwm Hedd Lakes   2014 Opening

Hope you are all looking forward to Cwm Hedd re-opening this coming Saturday 18th October. Rain forecast for the weekend might dampen enthusiasm to some degree, but will at least be conducive to good fishing, so bring your waterproofs! I am pleased to report that I’ve taken the water temperature this morning and it’s now averaging a very respectable 12 degrees, having dropped over four degrees in the last fortnight. Exmoor Fisheries put in the first of the season’s stock last week and are bringing more of their tip top stock before this weekend.

In a few weeks once anglers have experienced the ups and downs of the new season I’ll be able to tell you what’s been working best in terms of tactics, fly lines and flies and all things fly fishing at Cwm Hedd. In the meantime I am very grateful to Wales International Kieron Jenkins for responding promptly this morning to my request for advice to anglers as a starting point this season: ˜As the water temperature continues to drop the fish will tend to become more active and aggressive when it comes to feeding. Anglers who use large, mobile lures such as cats whiskers, dog nobblers and zonkers will tend to have more action and in turn, catch more fish. A medium-fast sinking line such as the Sixth Sense Airflo Di 3 sinking line will be ideal for reaching the deeper coolest water and the sensitivity from the sixth sense lines will ensure you feel EVERY take. A mixed pace retrieve will put as much life into the fly as possible and grab the attention of nearby fish.”

Ticket prices
As I said in the previous info in case you missed it ticket prices haven’t changed for a few years, so I have had to bite the bullet and put them up this year to ensure that the standard of the fishery can continue to improve and so that it will be sustainable in the long term.

New ticket prices:
All tickets include the first fish, which must be killed to ensure regular stock turnover. 10 fish limit on catch and release. Barbless hooks, no boobies.
Standard ticket: catch and release, four hours: £17.50; day ticket £22.50.
Concessions: over 65s, under 18s, students (proof of age required, photo ID for students) £15.00 four hours, £20 day ticket.
Under 18s accompanied by an adult angler paying a standard or concession ticket: each child/young person: £7.50 for four hours, £10.00 for full day. First fish included

Catch and Kill
As above, £5.50 per extra fish

New opening times:
Monday and Tuesday – closed
Wednesday-Sunday: 8am til sunset
Last admission: 2 hours before sunset.

˜Poppy fish”: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Over half the places have gone, so don’t miss out! Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms on www.cwmhedd.co.uk or download at http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events
I’ll also have entry forms at the lodge from this weekend

Address: Croesheolydd Farm, Bassaleg, Newport, NP10 8RW. 5 mins J 28 M4
Info@cwmhedd.co.uk | Cwm Hedd Website | Cwm Hedd Facebook

Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

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celtic league match winners 525x277 Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

Nymphomaniacs – League winners 2014

For the past 8 years, many Welsh anglers have been competing in what’s called the Celtic League match, a competition devised by competition anglers to get us out on the water more often, different times of the year, and fishing with anglers of all abilities. One of the best ways of anglers learning to ropes of competitive angling.

The competition is based on a catch and release basis, with your fourth fish being timed and your total catch verified by your boat partner. In previous years some competitions were being won with over 30 fish a day!

Chew Valley has been a great venue for the past two years with many quality trout being taken all throughout the year on a range of methods, fly lines and flies – A great top of the water venue if you’re looking for some nymph or dry fly fishing.

The last comp of the year was held last Sunday with favorable conditions for most of the day. A misty start saw many anglers head to Villace Bay and Woodford bank, a popular area for both boat and bank anglers and some five boats headed north towards the Dam. By 11am the mist had lifted and a slightly chilly northerly breeze had arrived, the fishing was good for the first two hours until the chill put a dampener on fly hatches, towards the end of the day there was a slight rise in temperature and the fish switched on somewhat, giving anglers a chance to get a last fish or two!

The results were as tight as always and many were keen to know the outcome. In such a competition where your final scores are dependent on each angler of the teams performance, positions can change drastically. A blank will give an angler maximum points, a disaster if the team is just a few points ahead or behind another.

As main sponsors, Airflo, gave an impressive goody bag to each angler who fished the league throughout the year, fishing reels as prizes for the first three teams, a fly rod for individual and a free fly line for each heat winner and runner up.

Teams

1st – Nymphomanicas
2nd – Team Cwmbran
3rd – Harvey Angling Margam

Individual

1st – Mark Thomas, Harvey Angling Margam

Full results aren’t available as yet, but will be uploaded when posted.

 

Brilliantly brainy fish

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It’s often said that the oldest and biggest fish in the lake make the greatest adversaries.

That’s because they’re shrewd, wiley and having found themselves on the wrong end of rods and fishing reels many times before, know how to avoid capture. But now there’s concrete evidence that fish are far more intelligent the ‘goldfish’ brains we’re led to believe they are.

In fact, it turns out fish are equally as clever as many mammals and in some cases outdo their land dwelling cousins. Just because fish are the oldest of the planet’s vertebrates, doesn’t mean they stopped evolving, just that they’ve been evolving for longer.

Intelligent as chimps

Chimp Brilliantly brainy fish

Image source: Creative Creativity
Chimps and trouts both utilise teamwork.

Some fish are so brainy, they compare favourably to chimps, and among the cleverest of the lot are coral trout, and their close relative, the roving coral grouper. Just like chimps, both fish use teamwork to hunt for prey. But while chimps hunt in troups for meat to supplement their diets, trout and grouper team up with moray eels in the hunt for food, each benefitting from the particular abilities of the other.

Using head shakes and handstands, the fish signal to eels the location of prey. The fish the moray eel fails to catch are sitting ducks for attack by the fast swimming trout, the fish the trout miss flee for crevices in the coral and rocks, that the moray eel can wriggle into. Both gain, but the fish are the brains of the operation, repeatedly choosing to do business with only the most successful hunters among the eels.

3 second memory = myth

Goldfish Brilliantly brainy fish

Image source: Practical Fish Keeping
Capable of remembering for months.

Far from possessing the feeble three second memory attributed to the humble goldfish, new research shows that fish are perfectly capable of retaining information, not just for seconds, but for up to five months.

When scientists trained fish to associate certain sounds played through an underwater loudspeaker, with a particular action, like feeding, they were encouraged to discover that the fish would gather expecting food whenever they heard the noise. But they were amazed to observe that even months later, the fish remembered the sound, so that when it was played again, they gathered expecting fee grub.

What’s the time Mr. Fish?

Time Brilliantly brainy fish

Image source: Word Stream
Need the time? Ask your goldfish.

Think fish are stupid? Think again, because it’s not just their intelligence and memory that make them cleverer than previously thought. Now, scientists from Plymouth University have proved your goldfish is so bright, it can even tell the time!

Fish were placed in a special bowl into which food was released only when the goldfish pressed a lever. The fish soon got used to food on request, but when the rules were changed so that food was only released once a day at a particular time, the fish quickly adapted.  At dinner time, they clustered around the feeding point, ready to press the lever.

If that isn’t amazing enough, if the researchers chose not to release the food at the appointed time, after an hour, the fish gave up pressing the lever, proving they’re capable of understanding that time was up.

Now you’re talking

Talking Brilliantly brainy fish

Image source: LA Reef Soceity
Some fish love a good old natter.

What sort of sound does a fish make? For a long time, scientists thought fish were dumb creatures who couldn’t communicate with each other. But now, research shows that fish live in complex societies, enjoy the company of other fish and use pops, clicks, grunts, and displays to communicate a wide range of thoughts and emotions.

Researchers in New Zealand used microphones and motion detectors to listen in on tanks of fish. They were stunned to discover that some fish kept up a continual chatter. It’s thought the sounds fish make by twanging their swim bladders are used to alert other fish to danger, point to food sources, attract a mate, and are even a way of orientating themselves around reefs. Of the fish studied, gurnard were the most chatty with cod being the strong silent types, only getting vocal around breeding time!

Walk the walk

Walking fish Brilliantly brainy fish

Image source: HK Silicon
No, your eyes do not deceive you, that is a walking fish.

Fish can do more than “talk the talk”, it appears they can “walk the walk” too! It’s called “developmental plasticity” and fish have it. Researchers know that 400 million years ago, in the Devonian period, fish adapted to survive on land, eventually becoming land dwelling creatures; our earliest ancestors. But scientists wanted to see what would happen if they took a modern polypterus, an African fish that has lungs, and forced it to remain largely on terra firma. The results were stunning.

In under a year, the fish learned to use its fins to ‘walk’ effectively, bringing its fins closer to the midline of  its body, raising its head higher and even learning not to slip and slide in the mud. And crucially for scientists studying evolutionary biology, their shoulder joints and spine adapted to the task of carrying the fish’s body on land, demonstrating the likely process through which the switch from sea to land was made.

The TF Gear 60” Brolly

Don't be shellfish...facebook The TF Gear 60” Brollytwitter The TF Gear 60” Brollygoogle The TF Gear 60” Brollypinterest The TF Gear 60” Brollystumbleupon The TF Gear 60” Brolly

I have written of the TF Gear Poncho, explaining the total-protection nature of its material and design. Now I feel compelled to shout about the TF Gear 60” Brolly having sheltered under my own for more than a few nights this year.

Our weather has, generally, been good for some time – although August was like a mini-winter! Up until that month, and certainly since, the climate has been kind to those of us who willingly shun our beds in favour of a sleeping bag by the river. Fortunately, I have had no need to employ the over-wrap: my nights under the stars have merely been long and damp. I cannot then, in all honesty, sing the praises of the 60” Brolly’s stability or rain-repulsion qualities, though it is clear to anyone who has erected and used this superb refuge that those criteria would be well served.

For me, the TF Gear 60” Brolly provided a roomy yet cosy sanctuary from the damp and the night generally; there was sufficient room for the largest bed-chair (though I chose to sleep on the ground-sheet) and loads of space for one man’s gear, (personally, I prefer to use a brolly over a fishing bivvy because they are easier to transport) but even with active cooking-gear, this brolly would have accommodated and shielded a stove from all but the most awkward, ‘straight-in’ winds – largely thanks to the amply-proportioned wings at either side of the brolly entrance. With the wings (or side-flaps if you prefer!) level to the ground I initially perceived the entrance to be too low, but this was an illusion brought about, I believe, by a lifetime with brollies of standard size.

On entering my ‘cave’ I found little need to bend more than was necessary to effect a stoop – loadsa room! And as for stability, the six good quality pegs and two storm-rods made it patently clear that the TF Gear 60” Brolly would be going nowhere if a gale blew up – it hugged the ground like a limpet! With no centre-pole and an abbreviated rib-boss my 60” Brolly experience was a good one, and I can easily imagine the sheer luxury within once the weather really turns and forces me to use the over-wrap – bring it on!!