Grafham Water Delivers Some Christmas Crackers

Posted by Craig Barr on

Grafham Water is in scintillating form at the moment, and it has to be said, the quality of fish are nothing short of brilliant.

Having not been able to get there much this season due to Covid-19, I jumped at the chance to go yesterday(12/12) with fishing partner, Andy Axon.

We were faced with a NW wind of approx, 8mph, increasing throughout the day to around 15mph.

You would normally associate December with sinking lines, however Grafham offers sport with a difference, as fish, often big ones, head into the shallows to feast on the shrimp.

Andy started on a 3' tip line, with 3 shrimp patterns and a booby, and I started with a floating line, humungous and 2 shrimp flies. We headed to the bay, the south side of the Seat. With our finger tips near to freezing point, we were in need of a fish to raise the temperature a bit in the boat. 

It wasn't too long until Andy's rod arched over from close range to the boat, as a rocket grabbed his shrimp fly.

We worked our way to Sludge point, with just one more fish to the boat. Andy then went from1 fish to 4 fish, all on shrimp patterns. My mind was now ticking, do I switch to a tip line to match the presentation, or do I change tact altogether.

Like any fishing trip, I always do a bit of homework, and was aware snakes were producing good numbers, and quality of fish.

Thinking only back 7 days to my day at Toft Newton, I sought the same fly, and tactics - a snake on a floating line. What an impact !! From 4 nil down, to a 5-4 turnaround. Most people may associate snakes with pulling, however my tactic was to fish them on a slow figure of eight retrieve, once you get the fish interested, with an initial "tap" a faster figure of eight was enough movement to get them to hammer it !





We remained in front of the trees at sludge point for over 4 hours, covering a very small area. Tactful manoeuvring of the boat, going round in a large arc, as to not disturb the fish, paid dividends, as we had class fishing all afternoon.

Andy also soon swapped to a snake, and too started to catch steadily. We were targeting fish in less than 6' of water, and once hooked, they were fighting like bonefish in the shallow water, and cartwheeling at the same time- brilliant!

A great friendship banter came in the final minutes as Andy, Quote, said "just one more minute for me to get a late equaliser, as I led 11-10....With seconds remaining of injury time, Andy got his stoppage time equaliser, or so I thought ! As Andy played his equaliser, I had a last cast out of the back of the boat and got a fish tapping at my fly, without taking. Having then reeled in Andy took a last cast out of the back of the boat, hoping my fish was still lurking around - and it was - Andy got it reeling in....Lol, priceless....

The fishing was amazing, with absolutely stunning fish to boot. Get yourselves down there.

To get the winning snake, or chose from over 20 others, then visit

Remember, no two days are normally the same, so what happens one day, won't necessarily happen the next.

If you would like a guided day afloat with Craig, then email your interest to

Tight Lines


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