Sunday, 22 December 2013

On Canal and Commercial

With Christmas fast approaching I finished work early on Friday so I could head into town to do some shopping. Whilst in town I stopped by the tackle shop to get some maggots and as I waited I allowed myself to look at the various lure rods on display. A couple caught my eye and ten minutes later I was walking out of the shop with them! An impulse buy if ever there was one!

Obviously I couldn't wait to try them out and the following morning I took the lighter of the two, a Korum number, down to my local canal to see if I could catch something to put it though its paces. The area I chose was a fairly urbanised section between two sets of locks, I'd not fished there for years so I wasn't sure what to expect. As it turned out It didn't take long to find out because within a few casts a small pike put in an appearance.


As I worked my way down the cut I had a couple of Perch drop off before eventually catching a small one to round the trip off. The little rod had performed exactly as I had hoped and I'm looking forward to catching plenty more on it in the future.

We had a lot of rain on Friday which made a bit of a mess of the rivers so Sundays day out was to be a visit to a local commercial with Perch in mind. I awoke Sunday morning and could hear the rain and wind outside lashing the windows and was sorely tempted to stay in my nice warm bed. Phil was picking me up at 6.30 however so bed was no longer an option!

It was still pitch black when we arrived lakeside and after all the rain the place was a total quagmire. Not surprisingly we were the only god forsaken souls there and we quickly endeavoured to get setup in some comfy swims with our backs to the wind.

Prawns were the bait of choice and due to the wind I decided to fish under the rod tip where I had about 5ft of water. I began to get knocks and bumps on the float straight away and despite my best efforts I simply couldn't connect with anything. It was obvious that small fish were to blame and this was confirmed when I eventually hooked a small gudgeon with eyes bigger than its belly!


The knocks continued and after catching an 8oz Roach I decided to switch to maggot to see what was down there. Straight away the float shot away and I netted the first Perch of the session at around a pound, a most welcome capture. After persevering with maggots for a short while longer I decided to switch back to Prawn. Over the next half hour I had another gudgeon and lots more knocks on the float as the small fish pecked away at the bait. Suddenly the swim went dead and I hoped it was because something big and stripey had moved in. I missed a sailaway bite before hitting another on the drop on my next cast, this time my strike met a dogged resistance and a decent looking Perch breached on the surface before bolting into the dead reeds at my feet. A brief tussle ensued and finally a proper Perch was bristling in the bottom of the net. At 2.4 it wasn't as heavy as its gut suggested but it was nice to get a 2lber at last after the mornings struggles.

Morning soon became afternoon and I was really getting fed up with the small fishes relentless assault on my Prawns. I decided to set up a quiver tip and fish further along the margin to my left where I'd been trickling bait in all morning. It took a while to get a bite but I struck at the tiniest movement on the tip and the rod hooped over. The fish thumped away in the open water before making a mad rush into a dead reed bed and breaking my hooklink. Much cursing ensued because judging by the disturbance in the reeds it looked a good fish.

After this, bites on the tip rod proved to be pretty hard to come by but I stuck with it and managed to hook another Perch which transferred my hook into a snag, I was having no luck! I recast and as I tensioned the tip it carried on going round so I struck and hooked another Perch. All went well with this one and it proved to be identical in weight to my last fish, giving me a nice brace of twos.


That fish had strange growths on the lips which were almost bonelike, a feature shared with many other Perch in the lake. I don't know what causes the lips to go like that on these fish but I've not really come across it elsewhere before, maybe this is what causes so many hook pulls here. Anyway back to the fishing and after frustratingly losing two more fish to hook pulls over the next hour I decided to play about with my rig to try and put more fish on the bank.

A shorter hooklink and a larger wide gaped hook seemed to do the trick as I successfully landed my next fish. At 2.10 it was the biggest of the day and exhibited the same boney growths in its mouth as the previous fish. The growths are visible in both the pics below and make for quite a strange looking Perch!

That was about it other than another lost fish as it got dark. A hat-trick of 2lb Perch on a cold December day was a decent result but I still left feeling pretty damn frustrated at losing so many, still there's always next time I guess. Tight lines all!


Monday, 16 December 2013

Mild weather brings some fish!

As the weekend approached the weather, whilst turning a little damp, slowly became warmer with daytime temps hitting double figures. I gave my usual Friday afternoon overtime stint two fingers and opted for a lure session on my local river. I only had about two hours of daylight but I had recently purchased one of Savage gears 'real eel' lures and was desperate to give it a bash.


I headed straight to a known area which has been winning a lot of the matches lately so I knew the pike wouldn't be too far away. I clipped on the new lure, gave it a quick test in the edge to admire its action and then launched it towards the far bank. Three cranks of the reel handle was all I managed before I had a solid thump and found myself connected to a feisty jack of around 3lb, lures don't get much more instant than that!


After that fish I never looked back, I hooked a further five fish although I only managed to get two on the bank. I lost two which shook themselves off the hook as I had hold of the trace ready to glove them out and another to a hook pull mid river. I had quite a few follows which came to nothing despite my best efforts and several lure changes to try and tempt them. I had one jack t-boned by another Pike as I was playing it and although it looked a fairly nasty wound the fish seemed ok as it shot off upon its return.

All in all a really enjoyable little trip out with plenty of action and although I got soaked when the rain arrived at the end my head was full of plans to get back down again soon as one of the follows I had was from a very good fish indeed.


Sundays trip was to be a day out Grayling fishing on the Dove with my old mate Phil. We had booked onto one of our clubs fly fishing sections as they allow bait fishing to Trout ticket holders at certain times of the year and the stretch has produced the odd two pounder in recent seasons. I dearly wanted a 2plusser as my Grayling PB has always been somewhat poor and to me 2lb is the benchmark for a specimen, certainly around the midlands anyway.

Having never seen the stretch before we decided to have a bit of a recce and with it being a relatively short bit of river we were quickly able to determine the likely areas. Much of it was unfishable due to bank side foliage or too shallow to consider but there was four maybe five swims of interest to us so we quickly got setup. Straight away and almost simultaneously we both landed out of season Brownies, Phils being a netter and mine somewhat smaller. In fact mine was perhaps the smallest I've ever caught, perfectly formed and a great sign for the future of the beat.

Another much bigger Trout on my next cast had me a little worried that this might be the pattern for the day. Pretty as they are, We weren't there to catch Trout and if we continued to catch them we would have no choice but to move on. It's unfortunate that there's barely a bait that a Trout won't take and when fishing game rivers they are nigh on impossible to avoid.

My next cast brought a much gentler bite and my strike met with a more dogged resistance. It stayed deep on the light gear and I was well pleased to finally see a nice Grayling roll into the net. At 1lb10oz it was an encouraging capture from a new area to us.

A lost fish shortly afterwards pretty much killed my swim so I moved a few yards downstream and caught another Trout straight away. Bites were hard to come by again so I moved to the very bottom swim on the stretch. Within minutes I hit a decent fish which turned out to be a sizeable Rainbow Trout which did a great impression of a Dolphin as it repeatedly leapt out of the water as it shot upstream of me. My 2.10 hooklink never stood a chance. Phil had caught a couple of pound size Grayling but it was apparent that the Trout were extremely active in this area so we decided to head a few miles downriver to an area we knew pretty well in a bid to track down some Grayling.

The new stretch is a much longer bit of river and gave us many many more swim choices. I knew where I wanted to be so Phil and I both went our separate ways. There was one particular hole I fancied having a bash in on my way though as I knew it was often a good spot for a Chub or two. I was glad I did because within a couple of minutes my lobworm hookbait was snaffled by a solid chub of around 3-4lb.

I moved on to my target swim, it was a big area of water which meant I could pull fish in from all directions and my plan was to stay there and build it up with regular baiting of maggots. It took around 15 minutes to get my first bite and my strike met a solid resistance. After a somewhat hairy scrap I netted a decent looking Chub which looked well worth a weigh. 5lb2oz was its number, a good result on a size 18 hook and double red maggot.

The action continued a bit more sporadically than I had hoped for but a few grayling to over a pound plus a couple more Trout fell to my rod over the next three hours. Eventually though the swim dried up completely and I was starting to get a bit bored . Phil came by and although he'd caught a few he too was struggling to find fish in any numbers. We parted company again and I headed back upstream to a deep, steady and relatively featureless spot. Half an hour there gave me two bites, a Trout and a tiny Grayling which, like the little Trout I had first thing was a perfect miniature of its mum and dad.

Phil had gone some way upstream so I headed up to join him but on my way I spotted a swim which I'd never really noticed before but it really caught my eye. A tree had come down the previous winter on the far side and a tasty looking slack had formed behind it. There was a small bush overhanging some fairly steady water on my downstream margin too. I knew the area wasn't deep as I'd waded through there whilst fly fishing a couple of years back but it looked good for a cast or two.

I chucked into the slack and missed a bite immediately, next cast produced a Trout and then I couldn't buy a bite. At that point I had a phone call so I just lobbed the bait to the bush downstream of me. Within seconds I was into a nice Grayling of over a pound. The phone call was Phil telling me he'd found some fish and had just caught 1lb12oz Grayling which was good news. The rain clouds had really rolled in by now and although the wet stuff seemed to be holding off the light levels were almost dusklike.

Whether this had an impact on the fish feeding or not I don't know but suddenly I seemed to be catching a fish a chuck! At one point a large Goosander popped up next to my net as I netted a fish, I don't know if it had my fish in mind for its lunch but it soon cleared off when it spotted me. I thought that would be the death knell for any further action in the spot but the bites continued unabated.

I was bending into yet another fish when Phil came up behind me, "you found a few too then" he said, "yeah baggin up mate" I replied. The fish I was playing seemed very Chublike until Phil caught a glimpse of it and declared it to be a serious sized Grayling. To be honest it didn't look that big to me until I got it to the net and it filled it! The needle on the scales pulled around to 2lb9oz confirming that my old PB was blown out of the water! Chuffed was an understatement.

I fished on and caught a couple more smaller fish before the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain started, that was the sign to pack up but I was more than happy because I'd achieved my target at the first attempt this season. Question is, what do I go for next?


Friday, 13 December 2013


A couple of weekends back, somewhat unusually, I found myself with plenty of time to go fishing and was determined to make the most of it. I really wanted to get my string pulled and had already decided that Chub would be my intended quarry as they are usually pretty obliging.

On Friday Afternoon I headed straight to a favourite area of the Trent from work and although there was a chilly wind and an ever present threat of rain the river looked pretty good for a few bites. And so it proved! I made my first cast at exactly 1pm and was netting my first chub of the day at 1.05! A promising start indeed.

Nothing else occurred in that swim other than a couple of tentative knocks so I headed to the next pool. The new swim is probably one of my top five reliable swims for getting a Chub from and this occasion was no different. Two quick fire bites yielded a fish on the bank and another lost to a snag.

I never bothered recasting in that swim due to the disturbance and headed to a nearby feeder stream which I've always fancied for a fish or two. It can't be more than 8-10feet wide and certainly no deeper than 18inches so it took a bit of stealth to get into position but soon enough I was fishing. It took around 10 minutes to get any indications but after a couple of gentle plucks the tip smacked around and a chub of around 4lb was soon in the net.

Suitably chuffed it was time to move back to the main river and a swim I've always fancied but never caught from. I decided to sit it out and keep the feed trickling in to see if anything could be tempted. 20 minutes later and a solid bite gave me a small fish of around 2-3lb.

By now the weather was starting to close in a bit so I decided to try one more swim before hometime. I sat it out in the horizontal rain for around 20 minutes and missed three bites in succession before landing the biggest chub of the day at 4lb-odd. I was getting soaked so home beckoned.

The rain dried up overnight and I awoke next morning to fairly decent frost. I only had a few hours in the morning so I opted to head to the Soar for a quick session.

I parked up and was pleased to find I had the whole stretch to myself so I headed to the most popular swim on there to get it out of the way before the expected crowds turned up. It's a well known spot which can often chuck up some good bags of chub and my plan was to catch what I could from there as quickly as possible before moving on to a couple of favourite spots at the top end of the field.

The plan worked a treat because I managed to catch two Chub from the hot swim and another from just upstream. As I setup in my third spot I looked down to see two other anglers setting up in the swims I'd just vacated and they were making a right old racket shouting to each other and marching about along the top of the bank. Fortunately I was well out of the way and another Chub was soon being netted.

I sat it out for another half hour before deciding the field was getting a tad too busy. There was the two aforementioned anglers setup downstream and now there was two other chaps walking around with rod and net in hand looking for some chub like me. I headed to the next field down which is completely barren of sexy looking chub features and nothing like as popular as the area I'd just been in. Experience told me the bigger fish often frequented this area and I wasn't wrong, once again the biggest fish of the day was the last and I was soon headed into town to run some errands.

Sunday arrived and blow me if I wasn't out fishing again! Phil joined me for a trip to the river Dove and conditions weren't exactly great. Hard frost and very bright sunshine didn't fill me with confidence and it proved to be a real struggle. By midday we'd had nothing more than a couple of tentative knocks and we were deliberating as to what to do. Should we stay or should we be looking for fish elsewhere?

An hour later and we found ourselves back on home turf on the Trent. The remaining couple of hours of daylight yielded three small Chub for me and I lost a fourth, Phil blanked so it wasn't a great result considering the effort we'd put in, there always next week I guess.

In case you hadn't noticed the pics above are even worse than my normal efforts, this is because I killed yet another camera and am having to make do with a compact thing for now which is pretty poor. Ill wait till the new year now before I go and get another I reckon, just hope I don't catch the fish of a lifetime in the meantime and end up with crappy pics of it!


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Just playing at it

Since Chew ive had a bit of a hankering to get amongst a few more Pike this coming winter and With daylight hours now seriously reduced I have even less time to fish! I had a window of opportunity on Saturday afternoon and headed to a local bit of river which usually chucks a few up.


Upon my arrival there was a chap just starting to pack up and he had 4 small pike to 9lb to report. As I stood there talking to him he added a fifth fish to his tally, so, not being in an adventurous mood I decided to drop in there after he left. It was about 1pm when I cast in which left me with about three hours of daylight, plenty of time to get a run or two.
The first couple of hours passed fairly uneventfully other than a couple of chewed up baits, the result of what I can only put down to crayfish attacks.
A recast down the middle track soon invited the attentions of something a bit bigger, not much though! I thought I'd hooked a bit of weed but it turned out to be a jack of about 3lb.
I thought that might herald the start of a mad feeding spell but pretty soon I was headed for home with no more action to report.
On Sunday morning I found myself setting up on a local lake and again I had pike in mind. Phil joined me for something of a social and seeing as I had to packup at lunchtime we weren't taking it too seriously.
Phil lost a fish early on due to his hook burying in the bait but it was encouraging at least. I had to wait till late morning before I had any action and yet again it was a very small one but this time it dropped off within a few seconds.
Shortly after, Phil had another pickup and the fish looked a good size as it flared its gills and rolled on its side in the margin, certainly a mid- double. Unbelievably it managed to throw the hook at the net! We weren't having much luck!
Lunchtime arrived and I packed up my gear, as I went off up the track Phil shouted and a looked back to see him land a fish which looked to be about 5-6lb.
That was it for this week, next week all being well I've got all weekend to fish so hopefully I can start Piking proper rather than messing about at it!


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hopes dashed in the theatre of dreams

Theatre of dreams? Better known as Chew valley lake in Somerset, probably the best known big Pike water in the country right now and this week saw me make my now annual pilgrimage to the place.

As with last year, Rob Thompson was my partner in crime and after a 3am start we arrived lakeside for around 6ish. Fishing isn't allowed till 7am so we used the time to scout a few areas. The water level was around 6ft down on what it was last year and as such no matter where we setup we would be sat on what is normally the lakebed. The ever popular Nunnery point was already filling up with anglers and to be honest the rocks there looked absolutely deadly so we opted for the woodford bank to the right of the lodge.

There was a weedbed running the length of the bank in front of us to around 30-40 yards out but beyond that there was a nice depth of around 14ft at 60-70yards. A couple of sardines were soon in position and I sat back to enjoy the sunrise.


The Trout were very active and I experienced a lot of pickups over the next couple of hours and I was getting somewhat frustrated. The bright conditions weren't helping our cause but mid morning I received a slow but steady take on my left hander. Line peeled off the reel and I waited a few seconds to see if the bait would be dropped like it usually does with the Trout. It was quickly apparent that This was no dropped take so I closed the bail arm, wound down and struck to a most satisfying bend in the rod. Straight away the fish powered off away from the bank and line was ticking off the clutch, it felt heavy and my heart was thumping! Suddenly everything when slack as the hooks pulled and I was gutted! I very nearly threw my rod up the bank but then I saw the rocks and thought better of it, you don't get many chances at Chew and I had a horrible feeling I'd just blown mine.
Over the rest of the day I had quite a few more trout pickups but the Pike weren't playing ball at all. The bailiff came around and informed us the place was proving to be tough for everybody and that only a couple of Pike had been landed to the bank anglers all day. We later found out that the boats hadn't fared much better with only around half a dozen fish to 18 boats. One guy had caught a 30 though so it wasn't all bad news.
We packed up and i headed to the digs to get cleaned up prior to our much anticipated curry at The Sutton spice, very nice it was too!
The next day we opted to head to the walley bank next to the dam wall and in complete contrast to the previous day it was absolutely hammering it down. As we rushed to get setup a chap fishing just along from us came over to ask for assistance with photographing a fish he'd just landed, all 29.12 of it! What a magnificent specimen it was and it had us chomping at the bit in anticipation of a good day.
That was where the excitement ended however and other than the odd trout pickup we were destined to remain Pikeless for the rest of the day. Conditions looked a lot better than the previous day aswell, the rain cleared leaving lots of broken cloud and fairly dull light levels. It wasn't to be though and soon enough we were pulling onto the M5 northbound and heading on the long journey home.
I'm yet to bank a chew Pike but all my sessions on the water so far certainly haven't been in vain, far from it, I've learned a lot about the place and I'm confident I will get one eventually. As with most things in fishing, time and experience goes a long way and maybe next year will be when it happens for me, who knows?


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A Chubby interlude....

The Barbel proved somewhat elusive on Friday evenings session. I braved some horrendous weather in the form of gale force winds and horizontal rain squalls but I still managed a few bites. Three chub including fish of 5lb5oz and 5lb on the nose aswell as a bream and yet another Trent Trout all graced the net throughout the evening. The weed was a shocker still and the temperature had really dropped, I was glad to get home in the end to be honest!



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Quick session success

After last weeks success obviously I was keen to get down again to try and pick up where I left off. My only chance to get out this weekend was on Saturday evening and I got to the river for about 5pm. We'd had a little rain over the last couple of days but even so I was surprised to find the river carrying nearly a foot with a fair bit of colour in it. I really didn't think we'd had enough rain to make any difference. The stretch was also unusually busy, in fact I've never seen so many down there! I decided to head away from the crowds and create a new swim a field or so downstream.

Once fishing I quickly found that the dreaded drifting weed was back with a vengeance and recasting every 15-20 mins was soon starting to wear a little thin. A bite just before dark resulted in a huge framed Chub and I was genuinely shocked when the needle on the scales only went around to 4.12. It was a monster and looked way heavier than what it was.

As darkness fell I was getting getting so fed up with the weed and debris coming down the river I contemplated an early packup. In the end I decided to just leave the bait out there and see what happened and as it turned out I didn't have to wait too long. A hefty tug followed by a one noter on the delkim saw me connected to a Barbel which absolutely stripped the line off the clutch . After kicking about in the flow downstream for a minute or so it seemed to give up and I pumped it upstream and straight Ito the waiting net. At 7lb8oz I think it's the smallest I've had this season but it was still very welcome given the tough conditions.


An hour later and I was hooked into something altogether more substantial. It did the upstream battle thing so I knew it was a decent fish and once near the net It didn't seem to want to give up. I struggled a little as the flow kept sweeping the net away but I managed to scoop the fish out eventually. This one went 11lb2oz and seeing as I didn't fancy battling the weed any longer it rounded my session off nicely. The Trent seems to be really switching on at the moment and I can't wait to get back down as soon as possible!


Sunday, 29 September 2013

The magic of the mighty Trent

After last weeks taster I was keen to get down to the Trent again to pick up where I left off. All week at work I had been contemplating where I should go on the Friday night and I eventually settled on a theoretical swim I'd spotted last time out. I say theoretical because it wasn't actually a swim, in fact I had my doubts as to whether I'd even be able to make one there but there was only one way to find out, go down and try.

Friday arrived but Disaster struck on the way home from work. I had knocked off early with the intention of giving myself time for some swim creation but my car dashboard decided to light up like a Xmas tree meaning it was rather poorly. I limped it to the nearest garage and it turned out my alternator was kaput and they couldn't get another till Monday. This meant I had to wait for the wife to finish work so I could nick her car, I was going fishing no matter what.

Obviously all this delay meant I didn't get riverside till late and when I did I headed straight to the overgrown wood where I wanted to fish. Unfortunately, after about 30 mins of whacking down nettles, clambering over fallen trees and fighting Himalayan balsam I still couldn't even get near the waters edge let alone to where I wanted to be. The light was beginning to fade and I simply couldn't waste any more time in the woods, I left to find somewhere to setup promising I would be back with the Brushcutter and chainsaw to settle the score.

I'd already eyed up a couple of possible swims on my way up and after a brief pause in each I settled on a fairly featureless spot but I liked the way the flow pulled through, it had a certain 'look' to it.

The swim was a lot shallower than I thought it would be and seemed to be a level 3ft deep all over and quite weedy with a few rocks thrown in for good measure. I didn't put a great deal of bait out just boilies via PVA mesh bags nicked onto the hook. One rod went along the upstream margin and the other downstream, I was finally fishing!

It was dark by now and i set about making some supper in the form of a pot noodle and a cup of tea. As I sat there enjoying the food of the gods I had a couple of bleeps on the upstreamer before everything fell slack, blimey! A take! I quickly tightened down into the fish and was almost disappointed to feel a most unbarbel-like resistance on the end. My initial thoughts were of a Carp as it felt too heavy to be a Chub but lacked the raw speed and power of a Barbel. In less than a minute I could see the outline of a fish ready for netting in the water at my feet and upon switching the head torch on I was pleased to see it WAS actually a Barbel and a goodun at that! At 11lb2oz it was a great start and considering it wasn't much past 8pm there was plenty of lovely darkness left in which to catch some more.


The slugs had got to the rest of my pot noodle by the time I returned the fish so I had to make do with a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar. At around 10pm I started getting the odd bleep again on my upstreamer, something was sniffing around. 10 minutes later the reel went into meltdown as a fish decided it wanted to head up to Donnington faster than one of the cars on the racetrack there! This one certainly pulled well and considering that 90% of the battle took place upstream of me it had to be a good fish. A cracker of 11lb10oz was soon lying on the mat and I was well pleased, early doors fish are always welcome and if they're bigguns aswell its an even better bonus!
They were obviously having it and the hefty splashes out in the darkness told me there was a good few about too. I joked on Facebook about the possibility of making it a hat-trick of 11lbers and within minutes I had a one-noter on the downstream rod. I was actually gobsmacked when the scales spun around to 11lb9oz, that was the hat-trick then!

Another couple of bites over the next hour or so gave me a 4lb Bream and a lost fish which also felt suspiciously like a Bream. It was midnight now and I was getting quite tired yet the prospect of continuing action was too much to resist and I fished on.
I must've nodded off because I was suddenly jolted up by another screamer. This one pulled harder than any of its predecessors and led me a merry dance all over the place. As I lifted the net out of the water I stunned to find another double figure fish in there, the Trent was on fire tonight! 10lb15oz was its number and as I returned it my other rod bucked over and I found myself connected to another decent Barbel.
This one went 10lb12oz and after putting it back I sat there in a bit of a daze. This was certainly the best Barbel trip in terms of double figure fish I'd ever had and it was certainly a great result for the upper Trent. I really can't think of another river which, as it stands right now, could produce fish of that stamp in those numbers. The Severn perhaps and maybe one or two of the smaller southern rivers could do it at a push but I think the Trent, along its full length, contains more double figure Barbel than any other river in the country. A bold statement perhaps and I'm sure someone will disagree but I challenge anyone to prove any different.
Back to the session anyway, by now I was cream-crackered and although I was more than confident of catching more I decided that getting some sleep was more important. My results had already exceeded my expectations so I opted to keep the baits out of the water for the rest of the night and get my head down.
I awoke at exactly 6.30 and got recast still hopeful of another fish at least. With daylight though the Barbel had melted away and I never had so much as a tap. It was my wedding anniversary and I'd already promised the wife a days shopping in Derby so it was soon time to get packed up. As I did so my downstream rod was nearly pulled in! I grabbed it and found myself connected to a rather acrobatic Trout of around a couple of pounds, its amazing how hard they pull for their size! It was a happy end to a wonderful session.


Monday, 23 September 2013

Short and sweet

I found time for a quick overnighter on my local bit of upper Trent the other night. I fished what was a new swim for me and despite treading in Foxshit, despite getting eaten alive by mozzys, despite the drifting weed being a nightmare and despite my chosen spot being the rockiest and snaggiest swim in the Western Hemisphere I actually managed to catch a couple!

A clonking bream of 8lb and a Barbel of 9.12 were just rewards for laughing in the face of adversity. The weed was so bad I ended up fishing right under my rod tips otherwise I would've been recasting every 10mins. Fortunately I was able to feed the spots regularly and accurately seeing as they were so close and I managed to tempt a couple of fish in.

Some nice fish have started to show all along Railways water now according to reports filtering through the grapevine so I'm planning next weeks trip already, sod going to work when there's Barbel to be caught!


Monday, 16 September 2013

A mixed bag on the cut

I won't bore you with my usual excuses for not going fishing but suffice to say I'm still in the same boat as my last entry. I managed a night on the Trent last week on a rapidly rising river and even though I hooked two Barbel both were lost. I also managed to foul hook one as I packed up just to add insult to injury!

I planned an early finish from work on Friday and my idea was to head to a local stretch of the Trent and Mersey canal to try for some zander. I needed to catch some bait first so a stop at the tackle shop in Kegworth was made on the way to pick up some maggots.

Upon arrival at the cut I was surprised to find somebody fishing as, even though I've fished it several times with the lure gear, I've never seen anyone else bothering with the place. A chat with the guy revealed he'd caught some big chub recently from there to well over 5lb and I made a mental note to return with the bread in the winter. The water was chocolate colour and the boats were active but even so there was fish topping everywhere I looked, I was still dubious about whether I'd be able to catch some bait though.

I found a spot next to some reeds and got setup. Ive only ever bait fished it once before and that was in the depths of winter so i was unsure what to expect. A quick plumb around revealed a fairly uniform 4feet of water all over so I fed along the reeds and cast in.

Within a minute the float began to bob around and a tommy Ruffe was soon being swung in and was quickly followed by another. Next bite produced a plump Dace, then another and another, blimey this place was fish soup!

I was getting a bite a chuck right under the rod tip and the action never subsided despite a couple of boats coming past. The species count continued to grow, Roach, Chub, Perch, Bleak and Gudgeon, I really didn't know what was coming next. I'd almost forgotten that I was actually there for the Zander until I had a Perch attacked by what looked like a Zed as I was about to swing it in.

I quickly setup a float with a small gudgeon deadbait and chucked it along the margins to my left. I continued to fish on with maggots and the bites kept coming. The weather started to close in and it wasn't long before the rain began to come down, only lightly to begin with but getting progressively heavier.

I didn't have a brolly with me so I began to tidy my gear up and as I did so the deadbait began to register a bit of interest. The float bobbed a couple of times and I picked up the rod in anticipation. It bobbed again and then slipped away, I struck expecting the rod to take on a healthy curve but was most disappointed to strike into thin air, damn those Zander and their finicky ways!

I'm really intrigued now as to the possibilities of what could be in there. Nobody really knows anything about the place because its so rarely fished but I do know of some good Perch, Chub, Zander and Carp being caught in the past by the few in the know. It's a different kind of fishing to what I'm used to but it could be interesting especially when the rivers are out of sorts.