Stalking For Pike

I haven’t had much time to get out recently with work and other things going on so I decided to go on a little micro adventure  stalking for pike with the Dog and convert a dog walk into stalking for pike along the river.

It’s very difficult to balance everything sometimes and sometimes something has to give and it is important to keep that balance in our day to day lives.

I head out along the river after a real heavy night of wind and rain and I am very thankful that we cancelled the previous nights camp out as the weather really did turn for the worst.

stalking for pike

My stalking equipment basically consist of a small spinning rod, telescopic net and a ruck sack with a few lures in it.

The lure I was using this day was a small (6cm) rubber shad with a single hook.  These are very productive along this stretch of the river and the previous week I had a good catch so I thought i’d give this a go again.

The tide was really low and I don’t think i’ve seen it this low before.  My thought where that the fish would be very concentrated in the main channel but this wasn’t the case.

The method I use is casting out, allowing the lure to hit the bottom, the retrieve a little jigging the lure then allowing it to drop to the bottom.  I find that a lot of the time the fish are taking the lure on the drop.

Not very productive fishing session only had one but it got me out for a while.

Due to to limited time I head to head back home after one fish but managed to head out the next day for a little down time.  Post to follow.

Link to my youtube channel

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Beach Fishing – Micro adventure

Growing up on the Suffolk coast I have always been interested in beach fishing, there has been many years of biking home and not being able to feel my fingers due to the cold.

I always remember going to the bait shop on a Saturday and buying scrap lugworm as I couldn’t afford fresh bait, waiting for it to start getting dark and head down to the North Beach and try my hardest to catch something.

Learning to fish

I had to teach myself how to fish from the beach.  From an early age I started to enjoy fishing and with no one in my family that had this past time it was a case of reading books, watching John Wilson every Thursday night on ITV (God rest his sole, Flags at half mast) and learning by my mistakes.

Nowadays its a lot easier with all of the content on YouTube

As a teenager earning £4.50 per week on a paper round it was really quite expensive to go beach fishing due to the price of the bait and having to keep buying weight due to the hefts in the area I used to fish.

Living in Cyprus

Whilst living in Cyprus I worked as a Scuba Diving instructor and spent a lot of my spare time spearfishing for Octopi and boat fish for Tuna.

micro adventure beach fishing
My years in Cyprus gave me a great opportunity to fish around the sunny coast of Larnaca.

So when I relocated back to the UK in 2007 the first thing was to get myself some sea fishing gear and start fishing the winter of the Suffolk and Norfolk beaches.

micro adventure beach fishing
First Cod back in 2008 just when I had moved back to the UK.

The first year was brilliant loads of Cod.  I was regularly filling the freezer with fish and then it started to dwindle to the point when I didn’t fish last year at all.

 

 

 

First Day this year on the beach fishing.

So last Saturday I was free from work my eldest has been nagging me to take him out beach fishing.

We finally got out onto the beach.

Fishing is a great way to participate in a micro adventure whether its all day, all weekend or just a few hours out walking the dog.

The weather was forecast sunny with a 10mph Easterly wind which was ok for the beach we where to fish from.  We where heading to Kessingland beach.

After collecting bait, servicing gear and making a few traces up we headed to the beach around 15:00 for a 17:30 High tide.  I always like to fish the tide up and down.

We arrived at the beach to find the wind slightly stronger than 10mph and looking at the sea it looked really rough.

I thought “Well we are here, we’ve got bait so lets drown some worms”.  There was no chance to delay it a day as the weather was changing for the worse so we got on with it and headed North along the beach.

There was a few people beach fishing and looking at the state of the sea I didn’t think the gear would hold bottom.

Talking to someone fishing already he said he was catching Whitting and Bass so at least they where catching.

Setting was quite difficult as the wind was onshore but we got the shelter up, rods setup and started to fish.

We where getting a fish every cast mostly Pin Whitting.  We managed to take home about 12 decent sized Whitting.

Jan caught a small Bass and before we knew it it was time to light the lamp and start fishing in the dark.

This fishing is my favourite.  I love fishing of the beach in winter, yes its cold but as long as you have the right clothes there is something magical about winter night fishing.

Here’s the video of the session we had.

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Hiking the Birch Forest

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Hiking the Birch Forest.

Today was time to head out hiking the Birch Forest.  The weather has been perfect recently for foraging for fungi so I headed out into the woods to see if I could spot any.

As we started to walk into the birch forest i could see there where many slippery jacks but not fresh that morning.

We had a good walk around saw some birch polypores these are inedible but have some use in bushcraft and emergency situations:

Birch Polypore
Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) is also called Razor Fungus and can be used as a strop to give a blade a Razor sharp edge.

As well as giving your blade a super sharp edge it can also be turned in to a plaster. By slicing out a piece of the underside of the fungus and peeling it off you can make yourself a bushcraft plaster!

 

Funny how nature works the same thing that keeps your knife sharp also keeps your blood in when you cut yourself!!

hiking the birch forestI enjoy hiking the birch forest we had a look around but no fresh fungi so decided to stop and make some breakfast and coffee.

I was using a small bush box for the fire and was using a flint, steel and birch bark to start my fire.  Camera messed up so missed filming starting the the fire.

The area I stopped for food was full of slippery jacks so I marked the area on my view ranger app for a time when conditions would be better for fungi.

More on foraging

I had recently been playing and designing a foraging pouch which can be clipped onto a belt and is rolled up in a leather holder (below).

First attempt was ok but I need to remove some of the clasps and turn them around so the bag could be removed from leather holder.  Also so that the top of the leather holder could be clipped to inside of bag.

 

Foraging pouch
Foraging Pouch

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Foraging for edible Fungi

A day out in the woods after a very damp couple of days means foraging for edible fungi if conditions are good you are sure to find some fungi.

foraging for fungiBefore I start this isn’t a post to help you identify fungi, I know what I know and I keep to that.  If you are not sure then leave them in place.

If you want to learn about edible fungi then get on a foraging course, buy a book and ask for assistance on some of the Facebook groups or online forums.

I stick to what I know and keep to that.

A day off means walking the Dog and doing some king of micro adventure, today was foraging and a great day it was.

Perfect conditions, rain recently, damp and warm over night meant there was fungi everywhere.

I started off in an area I have been foraging for fungi previously and I had seen fungi there a couple of days previously.

Straight away I was onto Slippery Jacks.  Its really frustrating when you find a perfect looking fungi only to cut it and find it maggot riddled.

So the trick with fungi is to harvest them as early in the day as you can.

Walking deeper into the Birch forest I started to see hundreds so started to carefully select the best.

There was also some Penny Buns around, I love the smell of these and they can grow quite big.  So after filling the cloth bag full I decided to harvest some fatwood from a stump and get a brew on the go before heading off back home for the daily chores.

Searching for edible fungi

If you are interested in foraging for edible fungi there are plenty of videos on Youtube but I cannot stress enough the need to be 100% sure what you are picking.

Please have a look at some fungi identification books.

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