Sunday, 16 January 2011

Winter Warmers

Sunday 16th January

Will someone tell me whats going on with the weather? After all the snow and ice of the last few weeks everything seems to have been turned on its head this week and weve got mild winds, lots of rain and daytime temperatures comfortably over 10 degrees. Double figures in January? im certainly not complaining about that one! On the flipside however, the rains raised the river levels dramatically and put lots of colour into them which put paid to any Chub opportunities i was hoping for this week. I didnt fancy a grueller chasing winter Barbel so with the lakes de-icing themselves nicely over the last week i decided to target Roach and Perch on a little gem of a pool i know just down the M1.

Phil was to be my partner in crime for today and we both had high hopes for a good days fishing. The place is known locally for its specimen Carp but its also a pretty special silverfish water and with this in mind i went straight in on a bolt-feeder setup with maggots. I began by catapulting half a dozen tiny balls of groundbait in, i didnt want to introduce any via the feeder as i didnt want to overfeed the swim. the only thing going in the feeder itself would be maggots and even then it would only be every third cast, upping it to every second one if they were having it.
I didnt have to wait long for a bite, probably about 10 seconds to be precise! the tip went around and a skimmer of around a pound was soon languishing in my keepnet, hopefully a sign there was a few fish feeding. Sure enough, over the next hour or so i went on to land a succession of Roach, real quality fish too. As you can see from the pic below, you dont get many to the pound! 

The bolt feeder was working a treat with every bite rattling the rod in its rest as the fish hooked themselves, all had to do was land the fish, rebait and recast, easy! After a while though the sun made an appearance the bites stopped abruptly. After a bit of headscratching and seeing a couple of fish jump in front of me i had a feeling the fish had moved up in the water column in response to the increased light levels and the bait falling from my feeder on the cast so i tackled up a float rod set shallow.
Immediately i was back amongst some fish and even managed a couple of nice Perch which surprised me considering how shallow i was fishing. Soon enough the bites on this line dried up, probably due to the fact i was fishing at range and the wind made baiting up with the catty nigh on impossible. Back to the bolt feeder it was then.
As morning turned into afternoon the action slowed quite a bit compared to this morning but even so i was still getting bites. This time though i was getting a lot more tentative plucks instead of rod wrenchers. The sky began to cloud up just after lunchtime and it wasnt long before the first spots of rain began to fall. I put my brolly up only to have a strong gust of wind destroy it by turning it inside out and ripping a big gash in it, serves me right for buying cheap crap i guess.
I continued to catch a few throughout the afternoon by alternating between the float and the feeder including a nice brace of 2lb Perch the biggest of which went 2.5.

The rain got heavier and heavier and it was getting dark so we decided to call it a day. I lifted my net out and was pleasantly surprised to find id had around 20-25lb of mostly Roach, the biggest of which was pushing a pound. Phils net turned up the biggest fish of the day in the form of a 2.10 Perch which was PB for him. All in all a pretty good day for January! 

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