Monday, 20 February 2012

Lots of miles for little reward

This week i seem to have walked miles in pursuit of the fish with not a lot to show for it other than sore feet and aching legs. Ive found several new swims though and discounted some others which i had earmarked from previous forays into the wilderness.
The weekend itself started badly as my car decided to develop a terminal engine fault a couple of miles down the road from leaving work on friday. I got a chap coming to look at it this week but the knocking sound inside the engine block doesnt sound at all healthy and im fully prepared for the worst!
Because of this setback, Fridays errands had to be done on Saturday which meant my planned days Chubbing on the Derwent became a couple of hours chucking lures about on the Soar. I took my heavy Jerkbait gear in the hope of picking up a decent Pike but in the event i never even had a follow. It was a good opportunity to have a play with some new lures ive recently aquired though.

On Sunday i managed to get on the Derwent with the Chub gear, wed had an overnight frost but the sun was out in force making for some incredibly bright conditions. The river had a real pull on it but was quite clear and i struggled a bit for bites. I had headed for some new swims which id seen from the opposite side last week but when i saw them up close i was a bit disappointed .  They turned out to be shallower and much more boily than they had looked from the other side, the grass isnt always greener as they say!
I did get a couple of pulls in one swim but i missed them and couldnt get any more interest so i decided to head to another stretch. This new area was another one id spotted from the far bank ages ago and id been meaning to try it for months. Unlike the previous new area, this one didnt disappoint and there were some cracking looking swims along there. I didnt have much time as i was needed back home so i picked the swim below, a sunken snag in about 6ft of steady water, there simply HAD to be a Chub in there somewhere!

Of course there was! within a few minutes of casting out a firm wrap around of the tip signalled an urgent need to strike and a fish was on. Much as it tried, it never made it to the snag and instead it found itself posing for a quick pic in the ulta-bright midday sunshine. It went 4.8 on the scales and had one hell of a paddle for a tail.

I had a quick recce of some more swims before i packed up and was pleased to find several more possibilities worth exploring in the near future. I also came across the mangled Swan in the pic below which left me wondering how it had met its maker, Fox perhaps?

I had Monday booked off work with the intention of going fishing but the car business nearly put paid to that seeing as the wife needed hers for work. Fortunately my old mucker Phil had the day off too and kindly offered me a lift. I took him to the Derwent with promises of big Perch and Chub ringing in his ears. As it turned out i wasnt far wrong cos within a hour or so of setting up Phil was holding a new PB Perch of 3lb4oz up for the camera! a right result from a tough stretch.

Things didnt go according to plan for myself however and by the time early afternoon arrived and we had covered a fair amount of water i was still biteless. The weather had closed in a bit and the wind had really got up so we decided to head somewhere a bit more sheltered, some bright spark then suggested the Trent and Mersey canal!
I really wasnt confident when we arrived as canals are quite alien to me, i didnt have a clue where to begin and i dont think Phil was any the wiser either! We setup downstream of some lock gates as a couple of small fish topped nearby providing the only visible sign of anything living in there. We were both surprised when i had a bite within seconds of casting in, it was a good pull aswell but i still managed to miss it! we both had a few more tentative knocks over the next half hour but couldnt connect with anything.
The first boat then came through the locks and bites slowed dramatically, it was a british waterways vessel pushing a large empty barge in front of it and much hilarity ensued as the driver first managed to crash into the bank some way down from us, then he veered across the cut into the other bank before jacknifing across the canal and getting stuck. The lock keeper had to go down with a big boathook and untangle him. The next couple of boats were obviously blind to the fact we were fishing and decided to use my peg, literally where i was sitting, to pull in and disembark so they could go and open the lock gates. One silly old bat actually trampled through my rod rest and across my landing net as if they werent there! i was gobsmacked! and people wonder why anglers and boaters dont get along .........
I did eventually managed to catch a fish though, a strange looking creature that looked to me like a Roach/Bream hybrid but Phil suggested that it might be, dare i say it, a Silver Bream? now wheres Jeff Hatt when i need him........


  1. That is a nice looking Chub there Leo and that pb Perch is simply stunning, what a brilliant photo.

  2. Its about time you did a blog on your motoring disasters kid, you'd have no shortage of material!

    Cracking perch pic, peg looks familiar lol!

  3. Leo, the large eye is right size for silver bream but it's not a pure silver bream.

    I thought this fish of yours was a rudd at first. It might be a rudd hybridised with something else. Then, again it's got a discontinuous lateral line which might mean it has more vertebrae than it should, or less! .

    I've had something very similar from the local cut and I have it down as a hybrid, probably a roach x silver bream as all the canal roach x bream I've had are very different in appearance to this.

  4. Lovely dark old perch and the chub looked magnificent in the bright sunshine old chap..


  5. Cheers for the comments lads!

    Jeff, the photo doesnt show it but the fish had a blueish tinge to it when it caught the light which made be think it was a hybrid. The stretch of canal in question is pretty much unfished so it wouldnt surprise me if it had a few surprises including some proper silver bream somewhere!

  6. I didnt see the broken lateral line until Jeff pointed it out, it does look ruddish.

    Leo, Id like a bit of advice, I have started a blog inspired by the many blogs I have read over the last few months. How do I get a counter on my blog, i cant find it anywhere in the set up, any help would be much appreciated.

  7. Hi, im pretty sure theres a total pageviews gadget that can be added in the design section of blogger. its ben ages since i did mine so i cant remember, ill have alook when i get a mo.