Friday, 20 January 2012


Last weekend was a bit of a non-starter with regards to fishing as the only free time i had was spent attending a work party on a couple of our clubs lakes . It was good to meet up with a few familiar faces and we got lots of work done in the process . The Trent looked bang-on and i was left wishing id brought some kit along so that i couldve dropped in after wed got done on the lakes .

Friday 20th January

It was Thursday evening and I had spent all week at work with Chub on the brain and after not fishing last weekend i was really up for a trip somewhere. A Friday after-work session beckoned provided i could get finished early enough so i packed some kit into the car in readiness .
I awoke the next morning and looked outside, rain, quite heavy too by the look of it . All morning at work i kept casting baleful looks outside and the rain never stopped, i was starting to get a little concerned about what all this water would do to the river levels . To top it all off i was involved with a real bugger of a job which meant an early finish would be out of the question too, a fishing trip was looking less and less likely by the minute.
In the end i thought sod it and managed to wind things up and get gone for about half two, a couple of hours later than planned but it still left me with a bit of daylight, certainly enough to put a Chub on the bank . It was still chucking it down and even as i made my way to the Trent i was still in two minds whether to even bother .
Soon enough i found myself pulling into the carpark and then walking across the fields with my gear . My Igloo suit did a good job keeping the rain at bay but i was sweating like mad by the time i got to the waterside . I was slightly put off when i saw that the river was carrying about a foot and starting to colour up a little as this meant my fancied swims were unfishable due to the extra flow on the river.
After walking downstream for a few minutes i came across an area that is usually quite shallow and fast but with the extra water it was actually a lot more steady than normal and there was a nice eddy along the margin with a bit of a bush overhanging. Based on what i knew of the swim at summer level i guestimated there was about 5ft of water in the eddy, plenty deep enough to hold a fish or two.
After casting in it was around 10 minutes before i had an indication, the tip plucked slightly before smoothly pulling around . I struck and soon had a nice winter chub in the net of 4lb4oz.

It was nice to get one so quickly and with the weather being so horrible i decided to stay put in the swim and see what else, if anything, might be lurking down there . I didnt have to wait long to find out as the next bite came on the drop and an identical Chub to the last was landed, another four pounder.

This was starting to shape up into a good session and after missing a bite and then bumping a fish over the next 20 minutes i was confident of catching another. Soon enough another slow pull on the tip met solid resistance on the strike and i soon slid the net under a slightly bigger fish of 4lb10oz.

Three fish from the same swim over such a short time had me convinced they were somewhat stacked up down there and on my very next cast i missed another bite! I recast and was pleasantly surprised to see the tip bounce over on the drop, another fish on . This turned out to be the smallest of the day and missed out on the 4lb mark by 2oz.
By now it was getting dark and i was very damp so i decided to call it a day, id had a good result for just an hours fishing on a wet day in January . That swim has certainly been noted for future reference!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mixed Fortunes on the Perch front

Saturday 7th January

Canal Perch - Nothing but bones!

I had a small window to fish this morning so i decided to take my lad Lewis for a wander along the canal with the lure rod for an hour or so. The weather was overcast with a light wind and the water clarity was pretty good indicating that no boats had yet been through.
I was hopeful of getting at least a pull or two but despite working the stretch pretty hard nothing was forthcoming . Lewis took it all in his stride through and seemed to be enjoying himself  especially when we came across the toothy remains of a small Pike on the towpath . Sadly that was to be the nearest we would get to a fish of any description and it wasnt long before we were headed home.

Sunday 8th January

Commercial Perch - Its coming together nicely!

Todays session was to be a visit to a local commercial with my old mate Phil seeing as the rivers were still out of sorts . After cracking the method late-on in my last session i was keen to get back down and have a proper go at them. We arrived at the complex for first light and made our way around to our respective swims. The weather was the same as yesterdays and once again i fancied our chances.
Bites proved to be really hard to come by in my first choice swim despite careful feeding so when the wind picked up and changed direction making for uncomfortable fishing a move was required! Phil felt the same and seeing as we had the whole pool to ourselves there was no shortage of swims.
Once settled on our new spots we began getting bites straight away and after a procession of Roach to the maggots it was time to switch to the Prawns. It was a while before the fish responded to them but once they did we went on to land some nice fish.  The action was slow but steady and we found we had to fish tight into the edge in mere inches of water to get the Perch . Being heavily stocked with Carp, the water is quite coloured which worked in our favour for fishing practically under our feet as we were.  
Phil had the biggest Perch of the day which went an ounce shy of 3lb and was a new pb for him . Nothing huge for me but i managed half a dozen including some nice 2lb plussers so i certainly wasnt complaining! Hopefully one of the lakes biggies isnt too far away for me now although it looks like i might have to play the numbers game as there seems to be more mid sized fish in there than i originally thought.

Monday, 2 January 2012

A trip to the cut

Monday 2nd January

Today was the last day of my Xmas hols so i was determined to get out and do some fishing . The weather had turned very cold overnight and the sky was clear which meant bright sunshine aswell, not great conditions . Id heard some good things about a local canal and had been hankering to give it a go for while so i decided to meet my mate Rob down there for an afternoon of lure fishing . This was to be the first time ive fished a canal for as long as i can remember and i wanted to see what ive been missing out on .
The water was fairly coloured when we arrived due to boat traffic so a bait with a big commotion was required to get the fish to spot it . I borrowed a spinnerbait body off Rob and attached a jighead with a 3inch curly-tailed grub, and even though it looked the part I couldnt believe it when the lure got hit on the first cast!

The fish was just shy of the 2lb barrier and provided a most encouraging start, i could get into this canal fishing lark . A couple of miles of canal later with nothing else to show for it soon brought me back down to earth though! Rob too was struggling so it wasnt just me . A few more boats had been through which had turned the water to chocolate colour and i dont think that helped matters . Still, i had an enjoyable day in good company and even managed to avoid the dreaded blank . Ill be back down for another go soon enough although i think itll be an early morning attack to try and avoid the worst of the boat traffic .

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A new year begins - Goodbye 2011

I begin the first post of of the new year by wishing everybody a healthy and prosperous 2012 . As i write im feeling decidedly worse for wear after last nights boozy shenannigans and much as i would like to be on the bank fishing it simply aint happening today !
Before i discuss my fishing hopes and aspirations for the new year lets have a look at how i rounded off 2011 ......

Commercial Perch - Another piece of the jigsaw

I had originally planned my last session of the year as a Chubbing trip to the Trent but heavy rain pushed the levels up again and put a lot of colour back into the water so i made a last minute decision to head back to the commercial i fished the other day. I felt that i hadnt fished it very well last time and that id been side-tracked by the Roach somewhat.
I got to the venue at around 8ish just after the lake was supposed to open its gates but was gutted to see a long queue with no sign of anybody coming to open up. After a 20 minute wait a few people drifted away to fish elsewhere and i decided to take matters into my own hands. After a bit of a hike and some jungle warfare i finally got the waterside and fishing for about 9am, at least i had the lake to myself though!
A prawn baited maggot feeder was soon in situ and i eagerly awaited my first pull. I didnt have to wait long to get a few knocks and twitches and eventually i had a hittable bite. The rod hooped over and after a good scrap i soon banked a Carp of around 10lb, a nice fish for a grey December day!

Unfortunately this seemed to kill the swim stone dead and i never had a touch for the next hour or so. I put small bits of Prawn on the hook to tempt a bite or two and eventually started getting amongst a few Roach. This was all well and good but i was there for the Perch so i setup a float rod with maggots and decided to have a mooch around to see if i could find any concentrations of baitfish.
After a short while i found an area in the shallow water on the back of the wind where i was getting a bite a chuck from small Perch and Roach so i relocated all my gear around there. The margin was about 2ft deep and part of me was thinking that it was way too shallow for a big Perch but if the baitfish were there in numbers then why not the stripeys?
Out went a Prawn and almost imediately i began to get slight knocks on the float, small fish i probably. By now it was getting late in the day and time was starting to run out, i had about an hour before darkness fell. The float suddenly bobbed a couple of times and shot under catching me by surprise and i missed it. This repeated itself a couple more times and i still convinced it was small Roach pecking away at the Prawn that were responsible.
I hooked the prawn slightly diffently on my next cast and once again, after about 5 minutes the float bobbed a couple of times and i struck, half expecting to hit thin air. This time the rod hit solid resistance and i was well chuffed to see a spiky dorsal break the surface and i got the net under it pretty sharpish! It wasnt huge at 1.10 but as the title of this article suggests it represented another piece of the jigsaw that will hopefully lead to the capture of its grandad .

I was slightly miffed to have discovered the winning method and area so late on in the day and i only had a couple more chances before i had to pack up both of which i missed . I do think a lot of the little knocks were small fish and the trick is to spot the difference between them and proper bites from the Perch . Its not often Perch bite in such a finicky way and i realise now than the quivertip was the wrong way to go about things, i was probably getting pickups and not even realising it.

2011 - A good year i reckon

Looking back over the last year i think its been quite a good one all in all . The blog seems to be doing pretty well with over 10,000 page visits to date so many thanks to all you guys for supporting it and continuing to visit!
The year started with some good Chub sport on the local rivers which continued as the new season unfolded too . Lots of big 4s and a few 5s culminating in a new PB was more than enough to keep the interest up .
 The closed season brought with it some great Tench action and although i narrowly missed out on a PB i was well pleased to catch fish to over 8lb . I really enjoyed my Tenching last year as ive not done a great deal of it in recent years.
I started the new season with another somewhat neglected species on my mind, the Barbel . My target was a 12lber and despite catching quite a few fish at a good average size over the summer, it wasnt until the autumn that i started hitting some doubles and eventually that elusive 12lb+ fish . In between all this i managed to find time to catch a few reasonable Perch to 3lb+ aswell as PBs for both Roach and Catfish aswell!
I wanted to do more Pike and Zander fishing this year but my other fishing commitments meant that they had to take a backseat . Sometimes this multi-species stuff really gets in the way of itself in terms of finding time to fish for everything so you have to try and prioritise what to fish for often at the expense of other plans. Speaking of plans, what of those for the year ahead?

2012 - More of the same please!

Hopefully ill be able to build on what i learned last year and put even more fish on the bank (we can all hope cant we?!).  As i touched on earlier, time is the real enemy for me and seeing as i cant fish for everything all of the time i intend to keep an eye on conditions and choose my target species and venues accordingly.
This year will see me fishing even more new venues as i think ive gone as far as i can with some of my old ones and its time to move on. I already have a couple of brand new tickets in mind but i will have to be careful not to spread myself too thinly .
A number of commercials with big Perch potential have come to my attention recently so that is something i hope to be pursuing more this year . Tench and Barbel will also feature prominently once again the coming months. All this aside, my main goal in 2012 is to continue to enjoy my fishing and everything that goes along with it, ive not got any properly set plans, im just going to go with it and see where i end up.