Sunday, 13 March 2011

Final week on the rivers

Monday 7th March

After the Roach success over the weekend i was keen to get back on the rivers because the last week of the season has usually been pretty successful for me in the past. If i had known what it was going to be like this week beforehand though i dont think id have bothered!  The weather given for Monday was not good for fishing, an overnight frost accompanied by sunshine and clear blue skies made for some incredibly bright conditions.
I started the day on the river Derwent fishing for Perch and despite trying several swims i couldnt get so much as a sniff. The water was as clear as tap water which didnt help. A move to the Trent had me faring no better although the water there did have a little more colour to it. In order to save the trip i dropped in on the Soar on my way back and scratched out a Chub of about 4lb on breadflake.

Tuesday 8th March

Headed for the Trent with Chub in mind but conditions were identical to yesterday and i couldnt buy a bite. Bread, cheesepaste and worms couldnt tempt a sausage so i headed for the Soar again. I missed a bite first cast and then that was it, total blank!!

Wednesday 9th March

Feeling like i was in a bit of a rut i decided to head to the Dove for a change. The weather was somewhat different to that of the last couple of days being cloudy with a stiff breeze. I fancied it for a Perch or two but after a couple of hours of dropping lobs under any likely looking bushes and in various slacks i was still biteless. The wind was making bite indication tricky cos i only use a 3/4oz tip for Perching and it was being blown about all over the place.
Eventually i had a couple of decent plucks and connected  with what felt like a good Perch to start with but turned out to be a Chub of around 3lb.

After that i headed back to where id started and within minutes the tip slowly pulled around and i hit into a decent fish. I could feel the line grating through some overhanging branches and a large boil followed by the glimpse of a stripey flank was all i saw before the hooklink parted, gutted. No more action came after that and i headed for home somewhat disappointed.

Saturday 12th March

I decided to grab a quick evening session on the Derwent on Saturday, target Perch. Ive not fished the Derwent much at all this season mainly because ive not had my usual Derwent tickets which is a shame cos ive had some really great results from there in past years. I aim to redress the balance next season but anyway back to the present, i arrived at about 4ish and there was a couple of anglers already there without a great deal to report. Conditions looked spot-on, very overcast, mild and no wind whatsoever, i was very confident of some action.
I settled in a spot where a large raft of debris had collected around a semi-sunken tree and placed my legered worm alongside it. I kept a steady trickle of maggots going in and knew from past experience that although this area usually only yeilded a couple of bites a session they were usually good fish. After a while the tip jagged quickly and i struck too soon and missed it, cursing myself i placed the bait again and waited.
By now it was getting darker by the minute and i knew time was running out, it had started to drizzle aswell which wasnt pleasant. Just as i was thinking of calling time i had a pluck on the tip and my hand automatically moved into hover position over the rod. Ten minutes later nothing had developed and it was too dark for another cast so i packed up scratching my head somewhat. The other lads downstream reported a couple of nice fish but they too said it had been hard going.

Sunday 13th March

I was in two minds as to what to do today on what was to be my last trip of the river season. After a gruelling week i really wanted to make the last session count. The given weather was dull and wet in the morning before brightening up for the afternoon. I thought about heading back to the Derwent seeing as it had produced one or two Perch to other anglers but after the time ive put into the Dove this season and the disappointment of losing a couple of biggies, i was drawn back to it in a bid to settle the score.
I got up a bit later than id planned and i had to sort some bits for the kids but even so i was pleased to be headed up the A50 by about 8.30. Even as i drove i still couldnt decide where to go but as i approached the turnoff for the Derwent i found myself putting my foot down and driving past it, the Dove it was then.
I was pleased to see only one other car in the carpark and i headed straight to the scene of my last Perch encounter. It was drizzly and overcast and i was well confident. As is usual with the Dove it soon knocked me back down to size and i was fighting an uphill struggle to get a bite. A couple of small Grayling fell to the worms though which boosted me a little cos id not caught Grayling on lobs before. The temptation was there to switch to maggots and start hauling but i was there for a Perch and nothing less would do.
I wandered downstream and found some likely spots but some rather over-friendly bullocks had decided i was far more interesting than eating grass and wouldnt leave me alone. As soon as i sat down i was surrounded which isnt great when your trying to be a bit stealthy!

In the end i had to leave that field altogether, even a tap on the nose with a bankstick didnt deter them. It was a first for me, ive never been cowed off the river before!
By now it had brightened up considerably and i was convinced my chances of a Perch had gone. I sat down next to a nice looking slack and cast in whilst i pondered my next move. I was taken completely by surprised when the tipped suddenly pulled around hard and stayed there. I picked up the rod and it became apparent i was connected to a nice Perch and i soon had it ready for netting. Trouble was, the net was still sticking out of my rod bag which was  out of reach at the top of the bank! I had no choice but to pick the fish out of the water by hand, no mean feat when your 3ft above the water, good job im a lanky bugger! At 2lb12oz it turned out to be my best from the Dove so far.

After photographing and returning it i had another put-in whilst i tidied my kit up and couldnt believe it when i had another bite straight away. I bent into it and it headed towards to middle of the river whereupon the hook pulled. Bloody hell theyre like buses! I chanced another cast and had a repeat performance, this time however i managed to stay connected to the fish and soon had it ready for netting, it was a similar size to the first one .  As i reached for the net there was a huge swirl where the fish was and i was gutted to see a very large Pike slowly swimming away with my Perch firmly clamped in its jaws. I was still connected to the Perch but there was always only going to be one winner in this tug of war and i was soon winding in minus my hook.
I retackled and stayed in the spot for another hour but unsurprisingly any remaining Perch had melted away and i had no more bites. The Sun was out in force now and i decided to call it a day happy that id finally had a half decent Perch from the Dove.

Well, thats another river season done and dusted . I really enjoyed the Chubbing and learnt a lot which will be put to use next season for sure. I didnt do nearly enough Perching and i wouldve liked to have done a bit more Barbel fishing but theres always next time around. Im looking forward to it already!

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