Friday, 28 December 2012

Commercial Perch - they're in there somewhere!

For today's session I decided to revisit a pool I discovered around this time last year. I never had anything overly big last time around but the potential was definitely there so it had to be worth another look especially given the current state of the rivers. I was joined by Rob once again and when we arrived at the lake it was hammering it down good and proper. There was a nasty wind blowing across the water so we squelched our way around to the far side so it would be off our backs.

The water level had risen dramatically since my last visit and whereas before most of the platforms were around 2-3ft above the water level, now most were about 3-4 inches below it! We soon found a couple of spots though and quickly got fishing.

Seeing as this is one of the mere handful of waters I've ever come across where the Perch respond to Prawn hookbaits, my attack centered around floatfished Prawns in the margins. For some reason I've never done any good with Prawns for Perch on anywhere but heavily coloured commercial waters. It must be something to do with the fish being forced to look for food using their sense of smell due to the almost total lack of clarity in the water. Whatever the reason, I've found that where Prawns do work they seem to outfish the traditional baits like worms by a considerable margin.


Back to the session anyway and after a blank hour in my first swim I had itchy feet already. Something didn't feel right and I liked the look of the next swim along which gave me access to a nice reedy corner. Within minutes I was setup in the new spot and straight away I was getting problems and regretting the move. The combination of wind and undertow was making it very difficult to present my bait where I wanted it so it wasn't long before I was contemplating yet another move much to Robs amusement!

Rob had started to get a few bites in his swim so I had a mooch around the pegs to his right and found a likely candidate. Around twenty minutes after arriving in this new spot I had my first bite and promptly missed it. A few float tremblers later and I finally had another hittable bite which resulted in a small Roach, at least I hadn't blanked.

Bites dried up after that and over the next couple of hours I only managed one more Roach and my swim looked dead. Rob too had got fed up with watching a motionless float and came trudging past with his kit in search of pastures new. This was all the encouragement my itchy feet needed and I stood up to scan the lake and ponder my options. It was lunchtime already and Between us we had covered pretty much most of the calm sheltered water on the lake which meant the only thing to do was to head down the windward end and battle the weather, oh joy. There was only around three hours of daylight left would the move be worth it?

I found a nice swim which allowed me to comfortably sit with my back to the wind and fish along the margin to my left in around 5ft of water. There was a good chop on but by fishing tight to the reeds I was able to control the float pretty well. I had a bite within minutes and bumped a fish which was both encouraging and demoralising at the same time! A couple more missed bites on my next two casts and small fish showing out in the chop had me texting Rob to let him know I'd found some fish. He was setting up in the next swim along within minutes!

I continued to miss bites and decided to up my hook size to a 10 whilst decreasing the size of the lump of Prawn I was using by about half. I connected with my next bite straight away and was pleased to see Perch of about a pound and a half roll into the net. It had that horrid washed out look about it caused by the coloured water of its environment but a Perch is a Perch and it boosted my confidence no end.

A few very Roachy looking missed bites later and I connected with another Perch and after a dour battle out in the waves I finally netted something worth weighing. At 2lb9oz it was a nice fish and after a quick pic I realised the light was fading fast so I hurried to get cast back in for what was left of the Perch witching hour.


I struggled to get another bite and it was getting to the point where It was becoming difficult to see the float. I was contemplating packing up when I connected with the smallest Perch of the day at around a pound. It had been an interesting trip and it really hammered home the importance of winter fish location. Although the lake is fairly small the fish were very grouped up in the one area despite being on the end of a cold wind. I ended up fishing four swims and rob fished three yet the Perch only came from one.


I hate sessions where I struggle to settle but being a restless and impatient angler I always feel I should be doing something to help me catch and to me Moving swims creates new opportunities . Whilst it could be argued that I might be moving off fish and missing out I feel that the amount of times a move has literally saved a session for me in the past then its something that can't be ignored and should be an option that's always on the table.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Xmas Perching

As I write this the EA river levels site is showing my local stretch of the Trent to be running at over 3m. By my calculations this means the rivers got nearly 8ft of extra water on it! It's not surprising then that I found myself on a local lake for my most recent session, target Perch.

Rob joined me with the intention of fishing for Roach and whilst we both opted for a two rod approach, he fished bolt feeders with maggots and I went for groundbait feeders with lobworms.

After a fairly uneventful morning with nothing more than a couple of Roach to show for my efforts I decided to move swims in a bid to find some Perch. A couple of blank hours later and I was regretting the move. My wanderlust returned and I went for a look in the lakes tiny overflow pool. I was surprised to see some small Fish near the surface and not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth I returned within minutes armed with a float rod.

Ten minutes later I had half a dozen 3inch rudd in my bucket and I returned to my swim and setup a couple of paternosters. I'd never used liveys on the lake before and I was a little unsure as to what to expect but seeing as the worms had been ignored all morning I had nothing to lose.

Not long after positioning the rigs I was just telling Rob how I thought it might be a bit cold for livebaits to work when my left hander signalled a slow but deliberate take. I struck and the rod took on a healthy bend as a nice Perch made a bid for freedom and At 2lb7oz it certainly brightened up a tough day. After the quick action I was hopeful of a bit more but as is usually the case for me when that happens nothing else was in mood to oblige and it was soon time to pack up.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Xmas social in search of Roach

The other week myself and a few of the lads at work were talking fishing and decided that a Xmas trip to a local pool would be good for a few laughs. Much banter ensued over the next week or so about who was going to catch what and a lot of time was spent discussing the days menu which pretty much consisted of bacon with a side order of bacon topped with liberal doses of more bacon!

The day finally arrived and in the event only three of us turned up, all of us being somewhat jaded from a few too many ales the night before. As daylight began to creep in we quickly realised the lake looked rather frozen and were gutted when even half a house brick couldn't make a dent in the icy barrier. A walk around to the other side was a bit more encouraging though as the ice had cleared enough to enable the three of us to get in comfortably. We had to put up with a cold wind in our faces but at least we were fishing.

Steve and I fished for the Roach whilst Tim had his sights set on a Carp or two. I kicked things off with a couple of 8oz roach straight away and the action continued throughout the morning. Steve and I matched each other fish for fish and Tim even managed a couple of redfins on his Carp gear. Considering how cold the weathers been of late the fishing was outstanding, the quivertip was rarely still for more than a few minutes and a few of the Roach were easily getting on for the pound mark.
Just after Tim had cooked lunch in the worlds largest frying pan (it had two handles!) Steve, who was stood in my swim, spotted his quivertip move slightly and made like a man possessed back to his rod in time to strike into a good fish. A nice Perch appeared from the depths and upon netting it looked well worth a weigh. At 2lb6oz it was a new PB for Steve and added nicely to an already enjoyable day out.

Bites slowed up as the afternoon progressed and we decided to pack up around threeish. Steve and I both had double figures in our keepnets and Tim, although he found some very greedy roach, never did manage that carp. It had been a good day out though and its certainly fired me up to get out there again with renewed enthusiasm.
Incidentally, since my last post I've discovered a new App which is compatible with blogger and allows much greater control for editing posts and adding pictures. For anyone else who uses a tablet or phone to blog and who has experienced the same issues as me check out Blogsy on android and itunes, its well worth a look.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Winter blogging blues

I have only fished once since coming back from Chew and that session ended in a blank. I fished a water near Leicester in the hope of a Pike or two. Just about every other local water was either flooded, coloured or frozen and this lake was pretty much the only one I could think of which would give me half a chance of catching.  Once at the lake it turned out that the fishing was so hard that one chap had only caught 4 jacks since October! Most depressing indeed, as was the seemingly endless stream of Cormorants which visited the lake throughout the day. It was nice to be out on the bank though and the sun even came out so it wasn't all bad.

I'm having some real problems with blogger at the minute. I mentioned in a previous post that my laptop has packed up which means that I'm now totally reliant on my iPad to put posts up. This is fine for entering text but I'm finding putting pictures on to be a total nightmare. If I try and use blogger via the web I keep getting messages saying that my browser (safari) isn't compatible and I'm unable to scroll within the text box. The blogger app for iPad is ridiculously clumsy and extremely limited especially for adding pictures and the whole thing is very frustrating indeed.

I attempted to freshen things up the other day by customising my blog layout and template but things got very messy. I ended up having to settle for a crappy generic template to get by with for now and I'm far from happy with it.  I'm hoping to get setup with some kind of netbook or something soon so hopefully ill be back on track but until then please bear with me!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Odds and sods

I'm not usually one for blaming the weather for my failings as an angler but after having a few poor sessions of late I'm certainly inclined to believe the prevailing conditions have played a huge part in them. We seem to be in something of a transitional period between Autumn and winter and its mild one day and freezing the next with everything else in between. I guess it's no surprise that the fish have been a little reluctant to feed in the varied conditions as they prepare themselves for the really cold stuff ahead.

No more big Perch have troubled my scoresheet since my last post although its not for lack of trying. Two more trips to the Derwent last weekend resulted in just a couple of small fish to around a pound or so and to be honest my heart wasn't really in it. The weather had gone bitterly cold and I ended up just sat there with my teeth chattering waiting to go home. I even put a Pike rod out on one trip and that didn't raise a sniff either. The pretty little fish below was the only highlight really.

This weekend I headed back to the scene of  the four pounder and I had high hopes with the weather turning a bit milder. I was surprised to get quite a few knocks and taps from small fish straight from the off as usually the area is a bit of a grueller. I ended up striking at thin air on several occasions before reasoning that if the bits where there then the big stripeys certainly weren't. A move soon had me fishing a nice swim with a slack and some bushes on the far bank. I had to point my rod skywards to get the line over the bulk of the flow in a bid to hold bottom and I soon worked out how much slack I had to pay out to get it to do so.

After around 20 minutes  I missed  a lovely slow pull on the tip due to not paying attention thanks to a kingfisher which was working the far bank. It's colours were radiant against the backdrop of decaying reeds and fallen leaves. I recast and had another bite within minutes, the rod hooped over and a good fish tried its best to get into the snags. I bullied it a little hard and was left cursing as the hook pulled. My next bite resulted in an exact repeat performance and I was gutted at losing two on the bounce. I changed my hook and after a short wait for another bite I managed to catch a small Perch of around 8oz. It was getting pretty dark by now and no more bites were forthcoming, I packed up promising to come back and even the score the next evening.

The following afternoon I found myself back in the same swim and it didn't take long to get a bit of interest. A positive bite resulted in a small Chub of around 2lb on the bank which was a little disappointing as This suggested that those fish I lost the previous day could've been Chub instead of Perch. This was hammered home ten minutes later when a bigger Chub of around 4lb hit the back of the net. A move was in order.
In the new spot I was getting lots of little knocks and I even missed a couple of half hearted bites but the light was fading fast and I was running out of time. I assumed the swim was full of small fish but as I took a phone call from a mate the tip finally hammered around and a nice fish was hooked. Another nice Chub of around 4lb was a good end to the session and I went home pleased at actually catching something for a change.

Apologies for my lack of posts lately but my laptop has gone tits up so I'm relying solely on the iPad which is useless for blogging. Blogger has been updated in the last week to allow for iPad usage but its extremely limited and adding pics is a nightmare so please bear with me over the coming weeks till I've got the hang of it!