Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Weather begins to turn

Thursday 23rd September

Short and Sweet
I decided upon a quick evening session after work tonight. With the nights drawing in much more these days i was really up against it timewise and so i opted for a spot of livebaiting on a local stretch of the river Soar.

My gear was already made up so i was able to get fishing really quickly upon arrival and it didnt take me long to catch a dozen Bleak and Chublets for bait. Out went the paternoster and within five minutes a small Perch hanged itself on the hair rigged Bleak.

I had hoped i wouldnt be plagued by these small Perch but my hopes were in vain unfortunately as i proceeded to take a succession of them to about a pound. After an hour of this, the contents of the livebait bucket were running dangerously low and i was literally down to my last two. I put the larger one on the paternoster to my left and the smaller went out to my right under a tree as a free rover beneath a chubber float.
It wasnt long before the chubber sailed away and my strike met with something a bit more solid than the smaller perch previously and sure enough a better fish was soon wallowing in the net. At this point the paternoster rod decided to lurch violently towards the river and i was forced to grab it and try and secure the netted Perch at the same time. The rod stealing culprit turned out to be a turbo-charged Jack of about 5lb which tailwalked several times before i got it near the net. The drama wasnt over yet though because, just as i was about to net it, a much larger Pike shot in out of nowhere and T-boned it straight across its middle! The big croc swam out to mid river with it before letting go and i then netted the poor jack as quickly as a could before the big one moved in for a second attack.
All this time the Perch, which looked to be over a pound and a half, had remained in the net and the hook had actually fallen out so i was quite lucky it seemed.

After this i packed up as it was getting too dark to see and i had no more baits anyway. Thatll be the last of my after work evening sessions for a while i think as it will be dark to early to make them viable. I may have the odd Barbel trip though.

Sunday 26th September


I really wanted to fish the Trent today but with its current weed problems it would have been a nightmare so i went out to a local day ticket lake instead. The lake is extremely deep and has some great Perch and Roach fishing holding numerous specimens of both species. Ive only ever fished it for these species in the depths of winter before and had done well so i was hoping for a good days sport in the current Autumnal conditions. Phil joined me as he hadnt done much on the lake before and was keen to get amongst them.
I went straight in with feeder tactics and after steadily building up my swim with bait via the feeder for half an hour or so i soon started to catch a few. Phil was also catching too but we were getting well pestered by a young swan which simply wouldnt take no for an answer in its attempts to deprive us of some bait. Even a couple of gentle prods with the net handle didnt send it packing so we just had to put up with it unfortunately.

Several nice Roach, some Skimmers, Crucians and even a small Tench put in and appearance before bites suddenly slowed right down. Neither of us could work out why and put it down to the usual midmorning to midafternoon lull which seems to affect us wherever we go.
I did notice that i was getting a few plucks though as the feeder was dropping through water after casting and this gave me an idea. I wanted a much slower descent of the bait than the feeder would allow. Due to the range being fished and the 25ft of depth i was fishing in, float fishing wasnt an option, or was it?
I rummaged through my box for the biggest waggler i had and set it up in place of the feeder on a link about 2ft up from the hook. I then bulked all the shot directly below the float and added enough to only just sink it. This big float with all the shot could be cast to my feeder area quite easily and with it being on a paternoster off the mainline i would be in direct contact with the hookbait and not pulling through the float when bites occurred. The idea was to cast out and let it sink slowly on a tight line waiting for the tip to wrap around.
It worked a treat, i found i had to turn the reel handle very slowly to stay in contact with float due to the wind but the bites were mostly unmissable wraps on the tip and i went on to bagup with a succession of decent Roach, perch and Skimmers. Phil set the rig up too and also did well with it.
By the end of the day both of us had taken around 30lb of silvers apiece and even though the real specimens had eluded us it was a great feeling to have used a new technique to such deadly effect. Phils best fish of the day was a Perch of 2lb on the nose and mine was the Crucian/Goldfish looking thing pictured below which also went 2lb.

The weather has really started to turn quite cold over the last few days and a change is definately in the air. It wont be long at all before the trees start losing their leaves, the first frosts arrive and all my favourite methods and baits begin to come into their own.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Roach city

Saturday 18th September

Todays session was to be a bit of a fact finding trip to a top secret bit of river with form for some monster Roach. The idea was to go down and get the lie of the land for possible future trips over the winter, swim depths, layout and features would all be noted. The venue is very close to a town centre (hence the cryptic title of this entry) and fishing isnt strictly allowed as far as i know so a covert early morning strike was to be the order of the Day.
I was joined by my mate Paul and both of us knew the rewards were there but with everything against us it wasnt going to be easy. After negotiating some railings and parking our gear on a narrow ledge on top of the steep bank we quickly commenced fishing.The water was painfully clear and even in the dawn halflight the bottom was quite visible over much of the area.
We both caught several Perch to around a pound fairly quickly but no Roach even though they were topping fairly regularly out there. The sun was coming up rapidly and one or two people were starting to appear ,dog walkers and joggers, time was running out. Paul decided on a quick move downstream and i stayed put hoping my mashed bread would attract a monster redfin. Pauls move paid off somewhat with two chunky Roach falling to his breadflake almost straight away, in my swim however the minnows had moved in with a vengeance.
With the raised light levels it was plain to see that the big Roach werent in residence today apart from one that looked about 2lb which soon melted away to wherever its brothers and sisters were hiding. The public were out in force by now so we decided to head for home with quite a bit to ponder on. Wed only been fishing for about 3 hours but it was plenty of time to find out what we needed.

This was to be my only chance of a trip this weekend due to various commitments but it was most enjoyable fishing in the complete unkown and tempting a bite or two with the added danger of being chucked off at any minute!
Below is a pic i took earlier in the summer of a couple of Roach in the stretch, i know its a bit crappy but the pic does give some idea of how clear and shallow the water is. Both fish were 2lb+.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Nothing to report

Sunday 12th September

I had a pretty poor weekends fishing this week although it wasnt for lack of trying. On Friday i found myself on the banks of the Trent with the Barbel rods cast into its murky depths. I tried a couple of spots including the ones i recce'd last weekend and caught nothing more than a tiny Chub of about a pound. I stopped into dark and then the rain started proper so i headed for home.

Sunday arrived and after hearing from a mate about the condition of the Dove and it not being great for Perch fishing i decided to head for the Trent in pursuit of Zander. Ill be honest, the river looked cock-on for a Zed, carrying a few inches with a nice tinge of colour. Small fish were topping and i settled down ready for some rod bending action.

Three hours later i was still waiting for a bite, by now it was getting dark and i was getting worried about the possibility of a blank. Suddenly the downstream started banging violently and i ran down the bank to hit it only to result in a big fat nothing. Oh well at least something was feeding i thought, unfortunately the bait it robbed must've filled it up cos no more runs were forthcoming and i packed up fishless.

Im experiencing a real lull at the moment with my fishing and i cant fathom out why. Others seem to be getting a few, do i need to try harder? a change of venue? i dont know. I do know however that my favourite time of the year is fast approaching and hopefully some decent kippers will come with it, fingers crossed it cant get much slower!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Into Autumn

Friday 3rd September

Barbel Blues

Todays session was planned as quick overnighter on the Trent in pursuit of some Barbs. I was somewhat pushed for time and didnt want to go through the rigmarole of setting up a full-on camp so i headed for an area where i could set up and fish from the back of the car. The car itself was to be my bivvy for the night which meant all i had to do was throw a sleeping bag, a pair of rods, a net and my kit bag in the back and i was ready to go.

I was on the bank and set up in no time and i began by droppering in 2 pints of hemp and a pint of casters. Both rods were cast along the same line and i sat back to begin the wait. Despite getting several bangs and taps on the rod tips i didnt get any proper bites until darkness descended whereupon a small chub of about 2lb was banked. This was followed by another slightly bigger sample around an hour later.

Sadly that was all the action i was to get for the rest of the night and i packed up in the morning feeling quite dispondent and wondering what id done wrong. There was some decent fish in the peg because i heard several good crashes out in front of me during the night and the peg has got past form for producing Barbel in numbers. I did have a recce of a couple of other possible areas after id packed up and saw a couple which look well worth a future visit. Im gonna head there for an evening session one night this week i reckon.

Sunday 5th September

Perch Power

After my last trip i was in need of a bit of a pickmeup so rather than heading back out after Barbel i thought id give the Dove a go with the lures. Id never lure fished this river before and apart from that Perch i caught last week id never caught a predator of any discription from there (unless you count Trout and Chub?) so i was totally unsure of what to expect.

When i arrived about mid morning i was most surprised to find that i had the entire stretch to myself, thatll do me i thought, pukka! I made my way to the first likely looking spot and made my first cast. After a couple of cranks on the reel handle the tiny Mepps was hit by a fiesty Perch of a pound or so. It was as broad across its back as it was deep and had obviously been gorging itself on the vast shoals of minnows which inhabit the Dove. A lovely fish, now all i needed to do was to catch its dad!

A couple of casts later and i was in again and a slightly larger Perch was soon angrily flaring its gills and shaking its head at my feet. I could get used to this i thought. After returning it in the peg upstream, i made another cast into the same peg and unbelievably found myself connected to another Perch! This one was a fair bit bigger than the other two and required me to get the scales out. At 2lb4oz it was a nice fish and another step closer to a real biggie.
A few more casts into the same spot told me the fish had moved on which also meant it was time for me to move on too. Id love to be able to tell you stories of a real red letter session after such a promising start but the reality is that i never had so much as a touch over the next three hours! I packed up without any more pulls whatsoever. I must have just landed lucky with the first spot thats all i can say. The river is really starting to intrigue me with its Perch potential now, next time i may have to go in with the liveys ......

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Expanding Horizons

Sunday 29th August
Todays session was to be on an area of the Trent which i hadnt fished before. I was to have a companion for the day in the shape of my mate Phil whos idea it was to fish the new area. Hed fished it before with some success and it sounded well worth a go.

We arrived to find the river fairly coloured but running at its normal level, there didnt seem to be much weed and rubbish coming down it either which was a bonus. My intention was to fish for Perch during the morning and early afternoon before switching to Barbel later on into dark. Phil was going all out for Barbel.
I started off with the baitcatching rod and was getting a fish a chuck from the very first cast although all were too big to be of any use as livebaits. The wind had picked up considerably too and was causing real problems with regards to casting and baiting let alone presentation. Then to add insult to injury the heavens opened and at that point i gave up on the Perching idea and moved to the comfort of the brolly and set up the Barbel gear.
The afternoon passed uneventfully with nothing more than a couple of half hearted bangs on the rod tips and soon it began to get dark. At about 9oclock a shout from Phils peg told that hed hooked a fish and i quickly made my way over to lend a hand with the netting and weighing. At 11lb8oz it was a stunning Barbel and a new pb for Phil aswell.
Soon afterwards we packed up with nothing more to show for our efforts but Phil was well pleased and for me the fish more than highlighted the potential of the area. I will be back soon! I would have put a pic of the fish up but i havent managed to get one off Phil yet.
Wednesday 1st September
I found myself with a day off work today and once again decided to join Phil for another river session. Todays adventure was to be on the river Dove near Uttoxeter, an area we had fished before but never during the warmer months and never when the rivers been at its normal level.
It was running clear with a very slight tinge of colour but there was lots of fish topping and rising when we arrived and we were looking forward to a productive day. Having not seen this stretch in these conditions before i was struck by what a stunning piece of water it actually is, Shallow fast riffles next to deep slow moving pools and lots of lovely overhanging trees, heaven!
Our plan was to rove about with float gear and maggots just to see what came along. After tackling up and donning my bait apron i arrived at my first spot, a lovely deep boily run on the outside of a bend coming off a shallow area. Within minutes of starting i found myself connected to what felt like a decent fish in the flow and sure enough a pristine fat Perch was soon netted. It was around the pound and a half mark and was a bit of an eye opener for me. Id never associated the Dove with decent Perch before and this got me thinking about what else might be lurking in there Perchwise.
After that me and Phil really started to get amongst the fish and we spent the rest of the morning moving from spot to spot taking a succession of mostly Trout and Grayling with the odd Roach and Dace thrown in for good measure. All the fish were truly pristine specimens the highlight of which be a Grayling of 1lb10oz which fell to Phils rod, another pb for him, the mans on fire!