Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer Predators

After an enforced blogging layoff due to a balls-up at the not-so-wonderful institution that is BT i finally find myself able to get back online and post something. My shiny new fibre-optic connection still isnt what it should be and i await an engineers visit next week but for now i do have an internet of sorts so here goes....

Summer has finally arrived over the last week with wall to wall sunshine and soaring temperatures, a complete contrast to the extreme wetness weve seen in previous weeks. Hot conditions have never been kind to me Barbel-wise in the past and not having the time nor inclination to stay out till the early hours i decided to get the lure gear out and try for a few Predators.

In the early part of the week the local rivers were still carrying a little bit of extra water and colour so i headed to a local canal for an early morning assault in a bid to beat the boats. I went straight in with my favourite Mepps to which id whipped on a few red fibres around the hook to hopefully increase its appeal. I dont know if the red stuff made a difference but i had a hit on my third cast from a small Jack so i wasnt complaining!

I had several taps and bangs on the lure over the next few casts so there was obviously a few interested fish around. Someone had obviously opened the locks around half a mile away from where i was stood as there was suddenly a strong tow in the water heading that way, i didnt have long before the days first boat came through. The canal is very shallow and it quickly becomes the colour of chocolate once the boats start stirring the bottom up, not great for lure fishing in my experience. With so much fish activity though another hookup was inevitable and soon enough a small Perch was soon posing for a quick pic.

Youll notice a common theme in most of my pics this week and that is the grey Musky armour gloves i recently aquired. Although thin, they are brilliant for use on fish with teeth and other sharp bits. They allow a very firm grip without fear of raker-rash or spikey gill plates, id recommend them to anybody.
Back to the fishing anyway, i had another Perch drop off before the first boat appeared around the corner and as i expected it killed the fishing stone dead. I stayed on for a short while to no avail before heading for home.

On my way back from that session i stopped off for a quick butchers at the Trent and although it was carrying a bit i reasoned that it would be good for a few chances by the time my next session came around in a day or so.........

.......... which is how i found myself stood on the banks of the great river on Weds evening. The area i was in is a favourite summer haunt of mine and is usually a good bet for having your string pulled and there always a chance of a decent fish aswell.  My second cast saw a confident pull and i struck into what turned out to be a nice sized Perch. It was worth a weigh and at 2lb6oz it kicked off the evening nicely. Apologies for the picture quality, i literally placed the camera on a nearby fence post and the results speak for themselves!

The Perch were certainly very active and i went on to land a succession of smaller samples to around a pound and even a couple of small Chub. It was still early evening and very hot and sticky, this coupled with the thick undergrowth and the myriad of flies, midges and mozzies made for some pretty uncomfortable fishing. The fish were feeding well though so my comfort was of little importance and i pressed on sweating through the nettles. Heres a couple more Perchy pics anyway,  as you can see the Mepps was slaughtering them ..........

As the evening drew on and no more big Perch seemed to be showing i decided to switch to fishing with Shads in an attempt to latch into something a bit bigger. I found a swim with a deep slow margin on the edge of a crease with some much faster water and as i worked the lure along the bottom a slow but heavy pull told me a Pike had decided to put in an appearance. At around 7 or 8lb it put a good bend in my light lure rod and was a perfect end to a great evenings sport, or so i thought at the time anyway.........

Another crap pic im afraid, travelling light i dont carry a tripod so i kind of lodged the camera in the fork of a nearby tree this time! On my way home i passed by one of our club carparks for the river and noticed a car parked outside the gate. Past experience tells me that usually means someone is fishing without a ticket so i pulled in to do my bailiff bit. A couple of cars were in the carpark and i recognised one as belonging to Rob, a mate of mine. As i made my way to the river i was passed by a young couple who werent fishing but who confirmed the offending car belonged to them. With that cleared up i headed back to get my tackle and then made my way to where Rob was fishing.
Rob and his friend Mike were both about to pack up and had caught several nice Perch to well over 2lb on quivertip tactics although they had experienced several bouts of Pike trouble. Seeing as they were packing up and it was starting to get dark i took the opportunity to have a cast or two. I chose the most garish coloured shad i had (see pic below) to make it as visible as possible and cast it out. Third cast in and i felt the familiar tug of a Pike and struck into a heavy fish. After a brief tussle Rob netted a fine fish of 11lb6oz which really did cap the evening off nicely!

I had a pass for another evening out on Thursday and rather than lure fishing i had a mind to catch a Zander or two. After a brief stop to catch some bait i made my way to my favoured Zedding area and got tackled up for around 6pm. I had around a dozen small Bleak and Roach to use although they were smaller than i wouldve liked theyd have to do. 
After around 20 minutes my downstream rod tip slowly nodded as a fish showed an interest. I picked up the rod and held the braid between my fingers, the line plucked decively and i struck. Straight away i knew it was a Zander from the perchlike jag jagging on the rod and soon a small one of around 2lb was lying on the mat.

Sadly it wasnt to be the first of many, another bite shortly afterwards resulted in a small Perch, only the second ive had on deadbait from the Trent. A missed run just as darkness fell was the only other action i had which left me scratching my head a bit. Conditions looked perfect and there was small fish showing everywhere, i did expect the Zeds to be more active than they were but there always next time i guess.

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