Dizzy’s 2014 in pictures and video

December 21, 2014 | By | Reply More

After 2013, I thought 2014 would be a quiet year. How wrong I was 🙂  …

January…

The London boat show was great fun as always, not much fishing stuff, but always worth a nose around. The Hobie stand was looking good, and for the 2015 show, they are hoping to have some fishing tackle on the stand.

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First article of the year in Blade Kayak Fishing magazine; this featured the Hobie Worlds trip from 2013 – always a bit of a coup for a pommie to write about an Aussie event in an Aussie magazine…

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February…

February saw me visiting “The Big One” tackle show at Farnborough. Sure, there is alot of carp stuff there, but there was a fair share of lure gear too, and I gt to meet some celebs…

Jeremy Wade…

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Bob Nudd (One of my fishing heroes)…

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And Lozz and Steve and David… happy days…

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First Sea Angler article of the year was about our Aussie Red Snapper trip in 2013…

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March…

The Llangorse competition was a real laugh as always. I experienced some exciting fishing before the event including a couple of decent perch and pike, but couldn’t repeat it in the main event…

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April…

I made my annual pilgrimage to Wimbleball Lake with Alistair – we picked a stunning day for a spot of fly fishing, and the trout were biting too. I always look forward to fishing this special venue…

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Then there was an early trip to Dorset for the bream. Facebook had been buzzing with reports of decent fish, and my trip did not disappoint. I managed to catch quite a few fish over 3 lbs, including a new PB of 4lbs 2ozs, and some rays as well.

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May…

A month of highs and lows.

The highs…

A crazy few days, saw me travel to Tywyn, where I met up with James and the gang. I caught a nice tope and some huss…

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Then straight from Tywyn to the OK Classic at Swanage, with a quick stop to pick up some bait…

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The best bream fishing I think I have ever experienced… any thoughts of amassing comp species went out the window, as I just sat back an enjoyed the bream fishing.

Perhaps the lowest point in 2014 was the passing of a friend, and a great fisherman Cam Clearie on May 6th. Anyone who had met Cam, would never forget him, he was a larger than life character who had a real passion for fishing and was always willing to pass on advice. I will miss him, and I know lots of people reading this will feel the same way. Richi’s words at both the OK Classic and Cam’s funeral were heartfelt, and sincere; let’s hope he’s up there having a good laugh at us all 😉 One of my biggest regrets of 2014, is not getting down to Christchurch harbour to fish for the sea trout that Cam loved so much. I bought a salmon and sea trout licence, but never got around to it. Si and Ken, I hope to rectify that in 2015 😉

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June…

I made a conscious decision that this year, I would concentrate on freshwater fishing from the kayak. My aim was to catch a decent pike, a decent perch, and a zander. The reasons were two-fold. Firstly, I live 2 mins from a river, and spend most of my time on the salt, despite it being over 2.5 hours away. Secondly, there were 3 big lure fishing events occurring in 2014 – all of them freshwater based – all of them in Holland (more of that later).

So opening day of the coarse fishing season, saw me down at my local river kayak fishing. An encouraging start, but I knew there were more rewards to be discovered…

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The first of the big competitions was the World Predator Classic 2014 in Hellevoetsluis in Holland. This amazing tournament saw boat, street and kayak fishermen from all over the world compete in a 3 day event. The venue, accomodation and organisation were top drawer. The potential of the venue is vast, with massive perch, pike and zander – sadly, I didn’t manage any of them ! But I learned alot, and I will be back in 2015…

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July…

A busy kayak fishing month, which had an exciting start. I managed to make it on to the front cover of Blade kayak fishing magazine. I was chuffed as hell…

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This was followed up days later by another Sea Angler article charting the success of my bream trip back in April…

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July was the month when I felt like I finally cracked the river.. it had been a long time coming, and lots of hard work, but now it was paying off with massive chub and some nice perch and pike from the kayak. Best of all, I got to enjoy it with 2 great friends – Steve and Charlie…

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I know one person who would have smiled if I had told him I caught them all on crank baits ;)…

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It got to the point where I thought I should ask the Hobie guys down to the river for a day. It turned out to be a great occasion. Rob brought his Son, both Steve’s were there,as was David. Everyone caught fish. Lots of them. I was catching pike on livies, like there was no tomorrow. Even the sun shone…

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August…

Another Sea Angler article documenting the OK Classic earlier in the year…

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And more fun on the river with big perch and chub on light line lure tactics…

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September…

The Hobie stand at the Southampton Boat show with David, Rob and lure fisherman Matt Boast. Matt is a great fisherman, with a wicked sense of humour; something told me we are going to have a laugh..

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Then, something I have wanted to do for a long, long time on the kayak. Ever since I saw James’s and Zippy’s report about kayak fishing for squid at Weymouth. Well, my time came with a trip to Weymouth. I was on my todd, but the conditions were perfect. As is so often the case, the fishing was slow, and I started to wonder what I was doing wrong. Eventually, things clicked into place, and I managed to land 4 or 5 squid on 4lb line and ultra light rods and reels. Great fun…

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Then, a trip I always look forward to – Ladram. It never disappoints, and it was great to meet up with everyone. I even managed a few fish, but not the red mullet I was hoping for… Mark caught them all :-)…

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The highlight of the month (maybe the year) was another trip to Holland. This time, it was the Hobie European Championships. I decided to go over a week early with Rob, and get some fishing practice in with local expert Daniel Van Der Post. Daniel is a great guy, and a big fish magnet. The first thing he asked me was “What are your aims in terms of fish ?”. Well, I told him that I would love to catch a decent perch, and a zander of any size, and pike were just a bonus. Well, he put me right on the fish.

In an incredible space of about 10 minutes I had 4 perch all over 2.5 lbs, on small hardbaits. This was very technical
fishing, and the Hobie Revo 11 really excelled. The fish were packed into an area no bigger than 3 feet wide, with heavy cover on one side and a moored boat only feet away. Exciting stuff, and it felt great to beat my perch PB 4 times in the space of as many minutes…

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Then the zander. First day with Daniel, and I managed a small one. I was over the moon; the size really didn’t bother me, I just wanted to catch one. I will be honest, we fished the venue hard, and gave it everything. On the last day before we had to leave for the Euros, I managed a really decent zander on a soft plastic lure. It put up a great scrap, and yet again I was as pleased as punch…

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So on to the Hobie Euro finals; I met up with David and all of the other Hobie Euros guys, who by now were fast becoming close friends. These guys really know their stuff when it comes to lure fishing. I had learned so much this year, and honestly, we are a long way behind in this country. I had taken a big gamble, I had decided not to concentrate on dropshotting as part of my arsenal. It is not my thing, and when you see how good some of the Europeans are, its really not worth spending time on any lure method in a limited time competition scenario, unless you are very accomplished at it. I decided to concentrate on what I knew best – micro crank baits on ultralight gear, and medium soft plastics, with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits as a backup (you really need to check out chatterbaits). On the practice day, I saw plenty of fish; on the first day of the competition proper, everyone followed each other. I did my own thing. For a while I thought I had done the right thing. I caught some Ide and then a cracking Asp on a micro crank…

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… sadly, the Asp did not count, and I returned at the end of the day to see mixed results. Some guys had caught massive perch and some decent pike and zander were also landed. The following day, I decided to do my own thing again, and concentrate on what I knew. It paid off.. I caught a perch, and a 75cm pike. I met with David who was over the moon with the capture of his first zander. Then, with only 30 minutes of the competition left, I hooked into something special, ironically on my ultralight rod and 500 reel. Right from the outset I knew this could be the fish of a lifetime. I was pretty sure it was a big pike, and I knew I had a finesse 10 lb wire trace on the end of a tiny 2 inch soft plastic lure. It took me a long time to get the upper hand, and I needed the help and encouragement of Danish competitor Thomas. Without pinching his net, I dont think I would ever have landed that monster. Even my competition measure was not big enough to measure the brute, so the camera boat had to come out and measure it for me. It went 106cms… somewhere between 20 and 30lbs. My previous PB (from a boat was 26lbs) and this creature felt bigger and stronger. All caught on video – one of the most memorable battles I have ever had with any fish; boat, shore or kayak…

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To catch it in a competition, with my mates around me, made it even more special. I was starting to like Holland, and the craic was fantastic; we made so many new friends and learned so much…

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October…

The result in the Euros meant that I had won a place at the 2014 Hobie World Championships – also in Holland. This would be my 3rd Hobie Worlds event. The venue was cool, Rob had joined me, but it was strange not having David around. In the event, we had a laugh – in a floating house with Rob, Gianluca and Pierluigi and Daniel sleeping in the outhouse !!!

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Rob had a stormer, catching a lovely pike – he ended up with 7th place – a brilliant result. My best fish was caught during a spot of street fishing in a 3 foot wide ditch right outside a tackle shop – the funniest thing you have ever witnessed. The locals didn’t really know what was going on, when some crazy Italians, and an Englishman start fishing at the end of their garden…

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… Once a fisherman, always a fisherman !

For me, the disappointment of the fishing was more than made up by the quality of the banter, and getting to fish alongside some of the best lure fishermen in the World; and of course meeting up with the Aussies again and Merv Low and so many other characters.

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At the final presentation we all had to vote for the “Sportsman” award. This is the first time the award has been presented, and somehow, I managed to win it. It took a few moments for it to sink in – I thought it was a wind up. The award gave me entry into the 2015 Hobie World Championships and pays for my accomodation too, so I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

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Also during october was the trip to Ravensthorpe lake organised by Terry. If anyone ever deserved an award for services to kayak fishing, then Terry would get my vote. He has opened up so many freshwater venues for kayak fishermen; he’s nothing short of a miracle worker in my book. Anyhow, Ian Pickering had already nabbed a near 20lb’er a few weeks before, so myself, Dane Wood, Mark, and Ian needed no encouragement to have another go…

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All I could manage were trout on big lures, but one of them was a cracker…

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Everyone caught fish and had a good time. I hope to join the guys again soon for more freshwater lure action.

November…

I had been writing articles for Sea Angler magazine for several years, and after the retirement of long term editor Mel Russ, I was thinking it was time to let someone else have a crack at the whip. I am sure I will still write the odd article, but from what I can see, Snapper and Gary Robinson are doing a fine job spreading the kayak fishing word.

A new magazine beckoned… I had always liked Pike and Predator magazine, so jumped at the opportunity to write for them…

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And another Blade article…

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December…

Another article in Pike and Predator magazine…

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And one of my favourites; the Poole flounder meet…

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I was very pleased with second place.

Then, just as I was starting to think about 2015 and the year ahead; a quick lure session on the river, with my good friend Charlie, lead to perhaps the most unusual capture I have ever experienced… My first barbel, 12lbs, on lure – crazy stuff !

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Then a mad dash down to Cornwall to fish with my great friends Ian and Steve. What a day we had. I managed a new PB pollack of 12 lbs, Steve had a 10 lb coalfish, and Ian had a massive 21 lb pollack… the stuff of dreams…

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What a way to end 2014 – 32 species from the kayak and 9 personal bests…

And what of 2015 – well I have a new Hobie Outback to fit out, and I am looking forward to kayak fishing some new exciting venues. I hope to see you all on the water, or in the bar.

All the best for 2015 – Dizzy.

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Category: Fishing, Fishing Venues, Holland, Kayak Fishing, Kayak Fly Fishing, Kayak Shark Fishing, Pike Fishing, River Fishing, Stillwater Fishing

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