Sunday, 24 July 2011

Back to business as usual

Wednesday 20th July

After spending a long weekend in Wales followed by a couple of nights staying with some friends in Wiltshire i was gagging to get back on the river and after arriving back home i didnt waste any time in doing so! After unpacking i was sat on the banks of the Trent within two hours!
The river looked really good to be honest, wed had some rain whilst id been away and id been informed it had got to around 2ft up at its peak. Today it had 3-4inches on it but still carried a nice bit of colour, the slight flush through seemed to have cleared some of the dreaded drifting weed out too and there was none of the usual great clumps of the stuff in evidence.
I got setup in a likely spot and it wasnt long at all before the tip banged over and a very tatty looking Chub of around 3lb was duly banked. Whilst i was down in Wiltshire i took the opportunity to pop into Hinders at Swindon and picked up a 10kg bucket of Elips pellets and it was one of these i caught the Chub on. I was hoping that might be the start of some frantic action but as ever, i found myself twiddling my thumbs and biteless for the next couple of hours. I was picking odd strands of weed up on the line but the situation was ten times better than it was before i went away.
About half an hour before dark i switched one rod over to boilie and within ten minutes i found myself connected to another Chub. At 5lb2oz it was new best for the season so far by an ounce and really brightened my session up . I packed up shortly afterwards. The pic below really doesnt do the fish justice, it was incredibly thick across its back.

Thursday 21st July

After last nights Barbel failure on the Trent i headed to the ever reliable Derwent for a morning session today just to get one under my belt for the week if nothing else. The river was fairly clear with nothing on it when i arrived although it mustve been up recently because one or two snags had been dislodged and some swims had tide marks indicating the river had been up around 18inches to 2ft.
I dropped straight into a known spot which ive caught from already this season and after a biteless couple of hours i was scratching my head and thinking about a move. The swim looks like its had a bit of hammer recently judging by the empty luncheon meat tins and beer cans strewn everywhere. I headed downstream to a couple of other swims a bit further off the beaten track.
When i got there i didnt fancy either of them, ive caught Barbel from both in the past but i couldnt put my finger on it, they just looked wrong somehow. I carried on downstream, hacking through the thick Himalayan balsam until i came to a spot which really caught my eye. Id fished it about four years ago and lost one, ever since then its always been one ive walked past in preference to other swims yet this time it seemed to call out to me strange as it may sound.
I cast in and sat back more in hope than expectation and after an hour of absolutely no indications whatsoever i was getting a little dispondent. Suddenly the baitrunner went into meltdown and i hit into a fish which flat-rodded me straight away such was its speed. I can honestly say ive never had a battle with a Barbel like the one i was now experiencing, it just wouldnt give up. One minute it would be on its side looking ready for netting and the next it would be half way across the river again hugging the bottom, brilliant stuff! I managed to net it in the end though and at 8lb8oz it was no monster but with its tatty dorsal fin and other scars it looked a right bruiser and it had certainly given me a good kicking!

I didnt even bother recasting in that swim after that, instead i had a walk even further downstream. As i did so i casually looked in the river for signs of fish like you do and after a short walk i suddenly froze. I couldve sworn id just seen a Barbel flash in the murk, sure enough, after a minute or so it did it again only this time it was accompanied by another, this was my next spot then!
The run the fish were in was only about 3ft deep and surrounded by streamer weed, fortunately the first cast was smack on at the head of the run and i quickly followed that up with a pouch of freebies to pull them up to the baited rig. After about 20minutes i was just starting to get little plucks and twitches which normally indicates theres a fish or two around the bait when the resident dumbass Swan appeared. He decided he didnt want to swim upstream anymore and that hed fly instead which is fine exept that his runway happened to be my nice Barbel filled gravel run. Obviously after hed clattered his way through it the fish were well and truly gone and he landed a mere 50 yards upstream wiggling his backside giving me the swan version of the two fingered salute, Gutted.
I decided to pack up after that as i was now miles from the car and the sky was looking dangerously like rain. Spotted these Goosander on the way back, i wouldnt like to be a Roach in the Derwent these days .......

Friday 22rd July

I spent the morning wandering around some of the less fished areas of the Trent with the lure rod with the intention of finding a suitable area for tonights Barbel session with Keith. The weed seemed quite bad in some areas compared to others but eventually after much legwork i found an area that made me confident of catching just by looking at it. It was slap bang in the middle of nowhere and it was obvious that nobody had been near it for years yet there was some lovely Chub to be seen in amongst the streamer weed and i felt sure the Barbel wouldnt be too far away.
That evening myself and Keith tabbed our way up there full of anticipation, there was lots of fences to negotiate and lots of foliage to batter down but we got there in the end. Its one thing getting to these places with just a lure rod and a small shoulder bag full of bits but when your encumbered with a full rod bag, a big rucky and a chair aswell as a net and a coat its a completely different ball game as my now knackered shoulder will testify!
The fishing wasnt as good as we were hoping with just one small Chub to my rods. Both of us were getting a few Chubby knocks on the tips throughout the evening and Keith lost a good Barbel as it was getting dark which was encouraging. Some big fish rolled in front of us too so ill definately be back there soon. 6oz was needed to hold bottom but the drifting weed was practically non-existent in the swims we fished so the baits held position for a good amount of time.
As we trudged back to the car the heavens opened and we got well soaked which just added to a fairly disappointing evening. Its all part of fishing though and your never gonna catch anything sitting at home. Time for a bit of a change for my next trip i think, i fancy breaking out the liveys for some Perch i reckon .........

Sunday 24th July

Today was to be my first trip for Perch with livebaits this season and i headed for a local stretch of the Soar. The conditions really didnt look great for it, very bright and quite hot with the river itself being very low and clear . Still, i had the maggots and they needed using so i headed down just for the morning before the sun got too warm . 
My general method of fishing this way is to fish a swim as normal trotting with the stickfloat and feeding it up and to have the livey paternostered on a second rod at the tail of the run.  The idea being that the feed attracts the small fish which in turn pull the bigger Perch into the swim and hopefully the first thing they come across will be my bait.
I managed to catch a small Dace on my first run down and out it went in readiness as i continued to build the swim. I caught loads of Roach, Dace, Bleak and Perchlets over the course of the next couple of hours but the bigger stripeys didnt seem to be having it at all. Suddenly the rod tip on the paternoster started tapping as the bait was obviously agitated by something, within a minute the tip slammed over and a Perch was on .  I saw it flash deep down in the water before suddenly it came off! wounded! it looked half decent too.
I hooked up another bait and recast, this time the bait was hit within seconds and a chunky fish of  1lb12oz was quickly netted. Out went another Dace  and again it was hit almost straight away, another lost fish! After that the shoal must have dispersed because no more takes were forthcoming.
An hour or so later and i had a Gudgeon kicking around on the paternoster which was violently taken by something. That too came adrift purely because the hook had turned around and was masked by the livebait so the Perch was never hooked. I usually hair-rig my liveys to avoid deep hooking but the trouble is it does allow the hook a certain amount of movement which can work against me on occasions.
It didnt take long to get another bite and there was no mistakes with this one as a nice 2lb6oz Perch slid into the net. That was to be it for the remainder of the trip, the sun was starting to burn so i made tracks pleased at getting a 2lber in tough conditions. Id like to have fished the evening instead but i had things on so it wasnt possible, i might try and squeeze an evening in one night after work this week.

1 comment:

  1. Thats a handsome Perch Leo, I love catching Perch as they give a great tussle, And useing livies is a lot of fun,