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.