Saturday, 27 September 2014

Shall I.....or shan't I ?

Oh, Ok!

I just didn't think it was worth writing about it it, but as I've just got back from a week away in Dalyan, Turkey I thought, why not!
This was a sort of last minute holiday, not our usual choice of location, we've never been to Turkey though.
Dalyan is set on a river in an environmental protection area. A great place for riverside walking, and for a river trip. Very touristy.
Not certain there a great deal of culture, although there were some interesting tombs, and in excess of 130 restaurants to choose from.

I say,to choose from in respect of restaurants, because there's not a lot really, all menus are about the same, you just need to find one offering a better standard of cooking and freshness.
We tried different restaurants every day for lunch snacks and evening dinners and a couple that were a touch above the rest.
If you want our best finds, should you be visiting, they were the Heybe and Aubergine.
Bloody hot at about 30c in the shade from 9am.
Take an up to date Skin so Soft though, as there are many biting insects, who seemed to like me more than Pauline.
My bottle had a date of 4-10 on the base and was totally ineffective!

Our hotel is known as Club Alla Turka

It's  quite a good hotel,not a bad location and within easy walking distance of the river and the town centre. Food only average though, but I'm a bit snobbish when it comes to food.

Next door
Jim's house is now sold and we have new neighbours from Ely Cambridgeshire, a couple of about our age.
They have been spoken to about this, and are complying with our wishes!
The current view from our front window!
So, we  still have to deal with Jim's Trust Fund, but we now know the exact financial position.
We've lined up a local financial adviser to deal with that, a meeting sometime next month.
 Firstly, I think we've seen the last of the swallow's for this year, none about since Wednesday.
The swifts , now long gone had a very productive year locally, the house martins were scarce.
Hoards of sparra, they have done well this year, probably three broods, they have taken over our rear hawthorn hedge for an overnight roost and are constantly walking and bathing on the ponds water lilies leaves.
Both the hedge and the pond will need some work though, hopefully they will not be disturbed too much by that.We're starting now on the tidying up of the other shrubs.

Our fruit trees have been bounteous this year, the eaters are in storage, the plums eaten, or made culinary use of. Our cookers and conference pears aren't falling off yet, but we'll need to do something with them soon.

The grapes are ripening well, what to do with them?
The Car
I did think about getting a new car, and probably would have done, but after 167500 miles,an MOT and a full service all for a tad over £200, it didn't take much thinking about. The Octavia stays, after all it's only a tool!
My Oil and Gas company took off this week and is likely to continue in that vein for the foreseeable future.
Some of my holdings are now showing a 780% growth, overall as I keep topping up, an average growth of 166% as of yesterday. More holidays!
The other shares, mainly in the cancer research field, are ticking over nicely , with some showing a paper loss.News expected very shortly, with luck.
We're off to Rye for a long weekend to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary.
Not certain if I've mentioned it, but we're of to Boston for Thanksgiving and Pauline has booked us a trip across Canada for this time next year.
Off to a brewery visit on Monday with the boys from the pub.Bradford here we come!
On Thursday The International Drinking Society has another meeting in London a pub in Russell Square will be our starting point.
I've been a touch busy for any fishing, but will probably have a session or two down in the valley.
Very tempted to visit the rivers but they are low at present, never dodged a challenge though, so we'll see what October brings.

Friday, 12 September 2014

....and another!

Lens condensation!!
Grabbed a few hours last night down in the valley,arriving just after 5pm.
I decided to fish the fishier swim. By fishier I mean, it looks the mutts, lily pads, reeds etc etc.
BUT, fishing light I tend to leave this area alone, as there are so many rogue carp to take you through the pads!

Anyway I put the rod to the test last night and held every fish without giving line, right thumb firmly fixed!.
I am quite impressed with this hotchpoch of a rod, it would be interesting to find out what it's base before being rejigged was.
The butt section is 54 inches of which the shaped cork handle is 26 inches, the top two are 40 and 39 inches, so perhaps the top inch lost!

Different swim different fishy action. The evening was taken up by mainly carp up to I would say 8lb, but two small eel and my mate the deformed tench showed up for a bit of light weight work. 
Lot's of leaf debris on the surface as Autumn starts to show it colours made it a little difficult with surface wind, soon overcome by sinking the line..

 Just some of the carp.

I'll try the cockle and prawn approach here next. I'm sure there are some better roach and rudd in here.

The way back

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Another day!


I've started to use prawns and cockles a bit more and defrosted both and some hemp today for a four hour  'til dark session, down in the valley.Determined to top my perch personal best.

Had a cast of a lure around first to see if I could attract a big perch but they weren't having it, so I set up my hotchpoch cane along with my Heritage and decided to float fish prawn on a size 10 suoer specialist, over hemp doused with a sprinkle of aniseed oil..
My first bite, almost immediately was from a carp which I lost to a hook pull.
The second was what I was after,although it nudged the 3lb mark, it was just under at 2:14.

From then on I continued to catch carp, roach, rudd and a chub, more perch of lesser size and one of those fiddly bites that I just couldn't hit, it ended up as gudgeon, much to my delight.
I knew they were in there,well they were when I first fished the water, but hadn't seen one for a long time.

It was time to ring the changes as the bites were getting finicky, probably gudgeon, so I put on a cockle and was surprised to land what must be the second tench in this pond. the one I keep catching is deformed about the mouth so I know it's not the same fish.
More carp followed and a couple of crucian.

I packed up at about 7:30, quite happy with my varied lot, didn't bump into anybody, or spot any wildlife on the way back

Sunday, 7 September 2014

101 Squadron Commemoration day

Ludford Magna 7th September 2014


Saturday, 6 September 2014

So, what do barbel eat?

DIET STUDY on behalf of the Barbel Society

I thought my readers could find this interesting from the latest Barbel Society Newsletter.

Are angler baits and invasive crayfish important components of barbel diet in English rivers? 

The research project into barbel diet that we have supported is almost ready to be published, and is being peer-reviewed at present. Here is a summary of conclusions, which make really interesting reading!
Benthic macro-invertebrates are basically insect life, like shrimps, fly larvae and isotopes are forms of carbon and nitrogen that can be detected in the scales after being eaten as part of the diet, a dietary fingerprint of sorts.
We expect to support further as part of the two PhD projects we are also supporting both financially and logistically by providing funding. access to fisheries, and barbel scales we are collecting.
(Study completed at Queen Mary University of London and Bournemouth University.) 

The aim of the study was to assess how anglers baits - primarily fishmeal - based pellets - and invasive signal crayfish influence the diet composition of barbel in English rivers. Previous studies have suggested that barbel whilst being omnivorous mainly feed on benthic macro-invertebrates with small fish sometimes taken.
It was completed on four rivers the Rivers Kennet and Lee, where signal crayfish were present and the Rivers Teme and Hampshire Avon. where it they are largely absent! (or at least in very low abundance) .. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2013, when samples of macro-invertebrates and crayfiish were collected from each river (as appropriate) along with scales from angler - caught barbel.
To assess diet composition of barbel stomach, contents analysis was not used. This was because the method tends to be destructive  to the fish and can require large sample sizes in order for patterns to emerge. instead  a method known as stable isotope analysts was used. This uses material such as fish muscle, fin clips and/ or scales with  mass spectrometry to determine their ratios
of 12C:13C and 14N:15N. Allied with the same data from their likely food resources (i.e. macro-invertebrates, fishmeal pellets, small fish, crayfish)  then statistical models can predict the likely diet composition of the barbel with associated levels of confidence, on the basis of the differences in the isotopic values between the species. It’s an increasing ly common method used in ecology.
All the barbel analysed were  42 to 80 cm in length. i.e. no small barbel were used. In general fishmeal pellets generally made a large contribution to their diet (up to 59 % in each river!. In the Kennet and Lee, crayfish were also an important resource (up to 30%
of population diet). Importantly, the proportion of diet derived from macro-invertebrates (excluding crayfish) was substantially lower. Further modelling revealed considerable variability in barbel diet within  each river  In the Avon and Teme, where there were no crayfish, up to 79% of barbel diet 'was based on pellets. In the Kennet and Lee. where crayfish are present they effectively replaced and so reduced the contribution of pellets to individual fish diet.
In summary, the evidence from the stable isotope analyses revealed that from three of the four rivers (Teme Kennet, Avon) the barbel were heavily reliant (50%) upon angler-introduced baits, with the River Lee showing that invasive crayfish can also be an important dietary component.

Dr Robert Britton 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Had a dabble.

In the valley

I decided at the last minute to have a dabble down in the valley. On arrival I picked on the first lake  and fished from around 5pm to7:30.

As a result of my late decision, my bait consisted of sweet corn and dendrobaena. Every thing else that may have been of use, ie maggots, hempseed and bread were still in the freezer.
As it's harvest time I made a decision to take the "no heavy lorry" track down to the fishery, sods law I bumped into farmer George in his big tractor and trailer on his way to load up from the combine harvester.
I got in his way a bit on the narrow lane, he didn't look too happy, so an appreciative thumbs up was all he got!!
I fished with a three piece, all different lengths, cane rod I had picked up recently, it's not perfect but I thought I'd give it a test.
My reel, one of the two Young's Purist ll's I have.
Sweetcorn was the feed and I fished over it with the worm and occasionally corn
During the first hour or so, I was constantly alerted to kingfisher calls and managed just one distant shot.

Fishing was slow, but I didn't mind. 
I actually enjoyed my couple of hours or so, being serenaded by the birds, and from time to time, being kept company by a little owl just behind me in the wood.

The catch was a number of small rudd,roach and just the one perch. I also landed a small tench of about a pound, well known to me and probably the only one in the lake!
The carp were quiet,I hit two but was only on light line and both snapped me when I was trying to get a view of how the rod handled 8 lb fish.
It looked ok and certainly held them without any creaking.
As I headed back, guess who I bumped into again ? 
Yep, it was George, well it was his wife, headlights blazing down another little wooded track on the different way out.
 I couldn't see what she was trying to do,or that it was her, so I reversed back and as she passed with a smile I could see she was towing a truck. 

It was George's old, now clapped out by the looks of it, Toyota something or other...he didn't look amused....again!

After that an uneventful mile or so home,well apart from a sighting of both a stoat and a weasel.
I got home checked on my shares and decided to have a cup of hot choccy out of our new Tassimo coffee maker and type this off the top of my head. 
Excellent bits of kit these Tassimo by the way, serving consistent coffee and chocolate, to us confirmed tea drinkers.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Not a lot

Even less

If your looking for fishing, I'm sorry to say I haven't been. I'm still not inclined to visit a river, although the chub are calling me. It's just been too busy a time and the mood's not right.
Today is the day that our old friend Jim died last year, we've just sold his house, completion this Thursday, so a bit of a drink tonight to remember him, and to be relieved that just part of the job, probably the less certain part of looking after his wishes, is nearly done.


I've not commented for a while as investing in AiM  companies is not short term, unless you have money to loose. 
My cancer research company's are still getting nearer to the cure, but drugs and treatments have to go through the hoops before approval is given to treat the likes of  you and me.

News today on one, is that they have found something very effective for a form of lung cancer.

" Studies demonstrated a mean response with at least a 50 per cent reduction in the rate of tumour growth in an accepted standard cancer model.    
Furthermore, no adverse effects were seen during the course of the experiment, which comprised six weeks of continuous treatment at three differing dose levels. The Company believes that these positive and exciting results confirm the promise shown by the earlier reported cellular assay results."

This may not mean a lot to the layman,but it certainly reads alright and positive to me!

Another of my investments is in an oil company, working on an old oilfield in Trinidad that was abandoned in the 60's. Current technology has enabled this small company to work from a different angle, so to speak. It doesn't include fracking!
My holding is currently (today)showing a paper increase in value of 235.5%, but the real news on it's latest 4 wells is due to be drip fed during the next few weeks. It looks like I may have a substantial increase in the short term, to perhaps 500% or thereabouts. 
Long term even more promising.
I will use any gains to invest in the pharmaceutical/cancer sector something very close to my heart.
Which reminds me, are you guys as pissed off as I am with all this self glorification they call the ice water challenge? 
Me ? 
I do my charity stuff without coercion, nomination or guilt tripping, and will continue in that way.
So, don't even think about it!

The garden

We are inundated with fruit, far to much for just the two of us.
The Victoria plums have all been picked, most have been passed on to neighbours. Some are in jars steeping in the cheap vodka and making something special for around Christmas. The rest are in crumbles for immediate consumption and in pies for the freezer.

Our James Grieves are almost ready to pick, the cookers Howgate Wonder aren't far off,.
We've never had such a good crop of Conference pear. From experience, we know they wont  ripen on the tree, so we'll let them stay until the frosts are threatened to get some extra growth and flavour on them, before decisions are made on their distribution, or use.

This years failures have been soft fruits, with raspberry,gooseberry and blueberry showing little or no fruit.

More holidays!
Apart from our Turkey trip in a couple of weeks, we've booked a long weekend at a pub with rooms in Rye for our 41st wedding anniversary, a few days in Boston around Thanksgiving time, and we've also booked a 17 day trip across Canada in September 2015.
I think I need to keep a diary!

As already stated I've not been out wetting a line, but I think a trip to the Witham is due and down to the valley to see what the perch are doing. 
So, you may hear from me again this week as I think tomorrow is the day that I have spare.