Wednesday June 16th
I opted to fish opening night this year as hadnt done so for a number of years and thought it would give me a chance of getting my season off to the best possible start. The Carp on my local river were to be my target and i arrived at my chosen peg along with Phil at around 7.30pm on the 15th.
The weather had turned overnight from being cool, overcast and breezy to calm, bright and sunny. This, combined with the current low and clear condition of the river would surely make for some tough fishing i thought.
By the time it started to get dark, everything was just about ready, swims plumbed and baited, rigs tied, houses in place and cold beer cracked open, all we had to do was wait till midnight.
The magic hour finally turned and after a bit of awkward casting in the dark the rods were soon positioned. Both of us had a couple of liners straight away and soon enough my right hander, which had been placed along my downstream margin, picked up a Bream of about 4lb. Soon after, Phil also had a similar sized Bream. I really hoped we wouldnt be plagued by these all night but i neednt have worried, other than a few more liners, we had no further action for the rest of the night.
It was bright sunshine when i awoke and there was no signs of fish to be seen along the whole stretch other than the odd Bleak jumping. I decided to pack up and head to another section of the same river armed with some Perch gear.
Trying for Stripeys
After falling asleep on the sofa when i got home it was much later than i had anticipated when i finally arrived back at the river. As i drove into the field it was obvious that no-one else had been down yet as the grass was right up to the car windows!
I quickly found a likely looking spot and set about catching some livebaits. It turned out to be proper bite a chuck stuff as a succession of small Roach,Perch and Bleak soon filled the livey bucket up. The sun was really burning but i still fancied my chances of a decent stripey especially with the small fish being so active.
Yet again i was destined to be thwarted though. Despite dropping in 4 different swims i couldnt even muster a half hearted pull on even the juiciest Roach i had. This was very unusual for the area i was fishing because normally in the past the takes come thick and fast, so much so that i often run out of baitfish and end up having to catch more to keep up.
I eventually packed up quite dispondently. Maybe the Perch had moved to faster flowing more oxygenated water? I had just the weirpool in mind..........
Thursday June 17th
Weirpool perch? i dont think so!
I arrived at the weirpool at about 7am and, like yesterday afternoon, i set about catching some livebait straight away. Again, like yesterday, it was a bite a chuck and soon enough the paternoster was out there doing its thing.
Within 10minutes the rod-tip banged over savagely and then sprang straight, i reeled in a very dead Roach which bore the usual hallmarks of a perch attack, stripped scales and a tattered tailfin. I rebaited, recast and then set up a free roaming rig on my other rod. This was basically just a chubber type float set to 3/4 depth with the shot bunched up about 12 inches from the single size 4 hook which was attached to a short length of fine wire to counteract any rogue Pike which might be about.
I liphooked a livey and trotted the float down the weirpool. It got to the end of the run completely unmolested so i slowly and deliberately wound it back up the run. It got about half way back when a Pike suddenly erupted clear of the water behind the float with my Roach in its mouth! The thing led me a merry dance, tailwalking all over the pool before throwing the hook.
After this i headed across the weir to try a run or two down the far side away from the disturbance. After about 3 trots down i found myself connected to another Pike . It didnt look very big but it was a fiesty one, again tailwalking everywhere but the hookhold was much better on this one and soon a fish of about 6-7lb was on the bank.
After this i couldnt raise any more takes so i packed up and planned an evening trip to the mighty Trent in search of some Zander.
First Zander trip of the season
Phil joined me for this trip planning to fish the stickfloat to see what he could pick up. Niether of us had fished the area before but it looked good for a bite or two. The weather was still hot and sunny with a gentle breeze but i have caught Zander from this river in these conditions before so i wasnt too concerned.
I rigged up half a dead Roach and cast it along my downstream margin into about 10ft of water. As i was setting up my second rod the bobbin on the one id just cast started to bounce before steadily climbing towards the butt-ring, my subsequent strike met nothing but thin air. Typical Zander i thought. These fish are usually very finicky at the best of times and ive pulled out many a hair in the past trying to convert these positive looking takes into fish on the bank. Ive tried hair-rigging and allsorts to no avail. The best hookup rate ive found is with a simple scaled down pike snap-tackle arrangement but this tends to result in a lot of dropped takes too so even now im still trying to find the ultimate Zander hooking rig!
I recast and then placed my second rod in the central channel about a third of the way across the river in around 12-15ft of water. The whole stretch is very deep with a steady but very powerful flow to it, an environment i think the zander are well adapted to.
After about 10minutes the rod in the channel was away and a Pike of around 7-8lb was duly landed. Once i rechucked it was another half hour or so before i saw any more action, the channel rod banged a couple of times and the bobbin dropped, i hit it and felt a heavy thumping on the end, i got it near the surface and got a glimpse of something very zanderlike but it came adrift before i could get a decent look, bugger! Just after that it was the margin rods turn. The tip wrapped around and line was pouring off the baitrunner but again my strike met no resistance!!
I recast to the same spot and as i tightened up i was met the strange sensation of something pulling on the other end! It stopped so i put the rod down see if it would develop and sure enough the line began to pull off the reel again. I hit it, nothing, talk about frustrating!!
After that flurry of action i had one more take just before dark from a small Pike of about 3lb. Considering ive not fished the stretch before it certainly gave up so action so Ill be back there in the very near future for sure.