Posts Tagged ‘Carp’

The River Exe winds it’s way across Devon and Somerset for more than 50 miles before reaching the Sea at the substantial Exe Estuary ria in Exmouth. This large body of flowing water is home to a large number of coarse, game and sea fishing species making it a challenge to anglers all year round. The River Exe always has been, and still is, a favourite among those who fish it – not really surprising when it contains legendary fish like the 64lb Salmon Richard Voysey caught in 1924!

As mentioned previously I have an Exeter Angling Association annual permit granting me access to a great number of fisheries in and around the Exeter area. The Countess Wear Fishery is 1 of 4 fish-able stretches on the River Exe included on said permit. Located a couple of miles up stream from the Exe Esutary it is influenced by the tides in terms of fish species and water levels. Changing conditions make the fishing a little more challenging and often requires a change of tactics upon each visit.

Within the short stretch of the River exe from the Countess wier bridge up to the first bend it contains a real mixed bag of species. You can expect to catch Bream, Mullet, Carp, Chub, Dace, Brown Trout, Eel, Par Salmon and Roach offering you a better than average chance of catching a lot of fish.

This particular fishery is less than a mile away from where I live, an ideal place to fish in the evening after work or whenever I have only a few hours to spare. I set up around 5pm, 100metres up stream from the bridge. Please be aware of the overhead power cables, they are a lot lower than you think. I have witnessed someone cast right over the top of the cables without realising until they saw a swim feeder swinging 7ft above the water surface.

I decided to take my two Chub Outkast Twin Tip rods fitted with the 5oz quiver tips and Shimano Exage 4000FA reels. The flow of water between low and high tide can be somewhat rapid, using a heavier tip and feeder allows me to fish through the periods of strong flow. The end tackle is very simple, A Drennen Oval 2oz feeder that can run freely up and down the mainline on a Korum Feeder Bead. The main line is attached to a swivel with the knot protected by a Drennen swivel stop bead. To finish a size 12 Drennen Super Specialist hook is tied to a 2ft long fluorocarbon 3lb hook link.

I started with 2 maggots on the hook, clipped up my reel and began to feed the swim by recasting every 5minutes for the first 4-5 casts. The tide was on it’s way in and the action was instantaneous, as soon as the bait hit the water the rod tip would start to twitch. During the first 20 minutes I had to resort to using one rod as I simply couldn’t keep up with the bites! Brown Trout, Chub, Par Salmon and Dace made up the majority of the catch. A hard fighting brownie of 1lb and a Chub of 1.5lb made an appearance along with some decent size Dace. The par salmon looked wonderful in the setting sun, each spot on their flanks glistening like a ruby.

River Exe - Brown Trout

River Exe - Brown Trout

River Exe - Par Salmon, beautiful

River Exe - Par Salmon, beautiful

As the tide reached it’s highest point fewer bites gave me the opportunity to change one of my rods over to a large chunk of luncheon meat and 1oz lead. I cast this out with the hope of catching something larger and allow me to keep up with all those bites when the tide started to turn. If you are going to fish the River Exe when the tides are large you will need to wear waders, the entrance to the field gets submerged under a few feet of water cutting off  access to the car park.

River Exe - Entrance to field floods when tides are high

River Exe - Entrance to field floods when tides are high

The tide began to turn and once again the bites came thick and fast. After landing another Brown trout the tip of the rod baited with luncheon meat slammed round. Frantically picking up the rod and reeling into the fish I felt two very powerful lunges before the line went slack. Probably a 30000000lb mako shark, oh well better luck next time.With the sun well below the horizon darkness closed in rapidly, I packed up and went home wondering what took that luncheon meat in such a hurry.

For more information take a look at the Exeter Angling Association Website.


View River Exe – Countess Wear Fishery in a larger map

River Exe - Countess Wear

River Exe - Chub Outkast Twin Tip

RIver Exe - Countess Wear

RIver Exe - Countess Wear

River Exe - Countess Wear

River Exe - Countess Wear

River Culm – Coarse Fishing in Exeter

0, August 16, 2009
Posted by james

The River Culm has provided me with many hours of enjoyable fishing and is one of my favorite places to fish in the winter. I hold an Exeter and District Angling Association permit giving me access to 3 stretches of the Culm all of which contain a good head of pike, dace, chub, roach & gudgeon, brown trout, the occasional carp and if you are very very (I am placing an emphasis on very) lucky some barbel. I have had great success fishing for pike during the winter months with my biggest being a little over 17lb. I have had a number of 1lb+ Perch and Roach with some nice chub up to 3lb. This Sunday afternoon I had a few hours to spare so headed out to see what I could catch.

Being an impromtu decision to fish the Culm I didn’t have my favorite baits of Worm and Maggots so settled for some Halibut pellets of varying sizes, luncheon meat and bread flake. The river looked great, not too low with a little colour to the water. Looking below the bridge I could see a few chub and dace, none of which huge but fish I wouldn’t mind catching. I walked down the left side of the River to the first bend. This spot has a large area of deep slack water, plenty of cover, and other features making it ideal for pretty much all species.

Today I would be using a Chub Outkast Twin tip rod along with a Shimano Exage 4000 FA reel. Both are awesome pieces of kit, the Outkast Twin tip I use for 90% of my coarse fishing.  As the name suggests the Chub Outkast consists of two tip sections. One a full length Avon top and the other quiver tip carrier section making it extremely versatile and great value for money. It has a great amount of power when needed but also can be very sensitive detecting the smallest of bites. The Shimano Exage 4000 FA is a front drag reel, extremely smooth, robust and reliable. A perfect combination.

River Culm - Chub Outkast Twintip

River Culm - Chub Outkast Twin tip

River Culm - Shimano Exage 4000 FA

River Culm - Shimano Exage 4000 FA

When fishing a river for the first time it is a good idea to keep the end tackle as simple as possible. My first visit to the River Culm resulted in losing a great deal of end tackle before I found the areas free of snags. I started with an 8mm halibut pellet and a small PVA mesh bag of smaller pellets.

River Culm - End tackle

River Culm - End tackle

From the picture above you can see everything is very simple, 1 ounce fox lead that can run freely up the main line, a bead protecting the swivel, a 4lb fluorocarbon hook link and a Korum quick stop size 12 hook. The halibut pellets are pre-drilled and fed onto the quick stop with a small needle that comes supplied with the hooks. I like to use a snap link & swivel so I can quickly change the lead or swap it over to a feeder. I used the carrier section of the rod with a 2 ounce quiver tip.

My first cast was into a tree, the last time I cast a lead was at Morecambe bay and that was a matter of casting it as far as I could so trying to be accurate over a few meters was hard to get back into. The next cast was a lot better, placing the rig nicely under an over hanging tree. I waited for a around 30minutes, a few bites but today it seemed like a change was in order. I pinched some bread onto the hook and cast to a different spot just before a fallen tree hoping that the bait would waft gently just below the branch. As soon as the bait had settled the rod tip started to twtich non-stop, an abundance of small fish had great fun chewing the bread.

After some very small chub and roach I moved a few meters down river so I could cast across into a deep channel with a lot of cover. I also decided to try luncheon meat, although the bread was getting bites it simply wasn’t robust enough to stand up to the 10billion strong gudgeon and minnow assault. I made a few more casts into some trees and bushes but was soon into a decent sized chub. The end of my session was drawing to a close, it felt good to be back on the bank of the River Culm.

The River Culm offers some great fishing to the mobile angler, bating up a few swims with some bread mash and then fishing each spot for a short period of time often is the best tactic. Trotting can be productive but finding a long stretch of river uniform in depth and free from snags can be difficult. I prefer to fish during the autumn and early winter when the water is high and the River banks are not as over-grown. Chucking a big worm into a back eddy when the water is coloured is great fun, pike, perch, chub and roach all seem to love it. For pike dead baits are reliable (sprats, brown trout, roach all work) and preferably I only use one set of trebles striking as soon as I get a run to avoid deep hooking. I even caught a 5lb eel on a sprat while fishing for pike.

Please take a look at the Exeter and District Angling Association website for further information about this stretch of the River Culm.


View River Culm – Killerton Estate Stretch in a larger map

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

Coarse fishing in and around Exeter

0, August 5, 2009
Posted by james

Having made a post in every other category on my blog the coarse fishing section is looking rather neglected so this is going to be a place holder of things to come. Exeter and the surrounding area has a large number of coarse fishing venues, each of which can provide the keen angler with a wide range of species and opportunities to catch them using different techniques.

I first cut my teeth on the Exeter Canal, a free permit can be obtained from the council (here) allowing you to fish from the Basin to the Double Locks. This large stretch of water contains pike, perch, carp, tench, roach, eels and bream. Carp (up to 40lb) and pike (up to 30lb) have been caught in the past making it a stretch of water extremely rewarding to those willing to put in the time, or a shock to those hooking into a fish of that size without realising what the canal contains. I started off by catching roach and perch, progressing to pike of varying sizes. Although I don’t really fish the canal very often I do like to catch perch on the fly when I have a few hours to spare in the evening.

After rekindling my passion for angling I started to research and explore other locations. I eased myself back into carp fishing at Darts Farm which although quite small in size still holds some very big carp (30lb+). On one occasion after becoming frustrated with catching eels and being rained on  I landed a 20lb common carp in perfect condition. I had great fun fishing Luccombes Ponds in the summer months, catching fish after fish off the surface on light tackle. Luccombes again is not very big in size but the 5 ponds are well stocked with some nice carp to 20lb. Over the period of about 2 months I targeted a number of different fish from each pond, including Koi, ghosties, commons over 10lb and mirrors to 14lb.

During the Autumn I decided to purchase an Exeter & District Angling Association permit for the insanely cheap price of £36 (for 1 year). The permit allows you to fish the entire stretch of the Exeter canal,various parts of the river Exe, a large section of the river Culm and a number of ponds. I really recommend this to anyone in the Exeter area, it would take you the best part of a year before you had even scratched the surface of the fishing potential.

Using the Exeter Angling Association permit I found that I had a particular soft spot for the river Culm, and spent a good few months exploring the Killerton stretch. Containing a good head of pike, perch, chub, roach, trout, and the occasional Barbel. One sunday I was fishing for Perch  when I spotted an exceptionally large salmon making it’s way up the shallow part of the river, the Culm is full of suprises. Again even though the Culm is small in size it contains a lot of pike from tiny jacks up to 20lb’ers. Fishing is best when the water level starts to drop after a flood, in one day I caught 6 pike in around 3 hours, the largest of which being 17lb.

Over the next 2 years I visited most of the fisheries and stretches of river, spending a great deal of time trying to catch all the different species each location had to offer. I plan to revisit a lot of these and share my findings both new and old. It is also a good time to thank Exeter Angling and the staff for all their expert advice which has always been offered so enthusiastically.

River Culm Pike

River Culm Pike

12lb Luccombe Pond Carp

12lb Luccombe Pond Carp