Saturday, 23 March 2013

Seeing as its snowing yet again...............

.......... I might as well write a little bit about my thoughts on the season just gone and my hopes and plans for the year ahead! I can categorically state that I WON'T be fishing this weekend as I can barely drive up my street let alone get to the bankside!

For me the fishing year now runs from March 15th to March 14th the following year, this encapsulates the four seasons nicely and the end of the river season marks something of a turning of the page. Spring time is an exciting time as everything begins to wake up from its winter dormancy and from a fishing point of view its when the so called 'winter species' take a bit of a step back and allow the 'summer species' to the fore. From an anglers perspective spring is also a good time to plan ahead especially as it usually coincides with ticket renewal time.

So what of the 2012/13 season? My spring Tench campaign wasn't as prolific in numbers of fish as the year before but the quality of the fish was better and a 9lb5oz PB was a good result. The fact the water went private with no night fishing was nice and getting a swim was never a problem like it had been in years previously when Carp anglers used to stitch the lake up. Seeing as tickets are so limited I will certainly be renewing but I won't be fishing it as much because I have other plans for this spring which I will come onto later.

Ill be leaving these alone this year I think
I have to say my summer Barbelling was a big disappointment in terms of big fish and also that areas which have always produced for me in the past seemed devoid of them. I did however 'rediscover' the Trent and I'm looking forward to fishing there a lot more this year. My big target this coming season is a 13lb+ fish which is perfectly achievable considering I live within 10-15 minutes of the Trent, Soar and Derwent and 30 mins away from the Dove. In fact I'm trying to work out why I haven't been able to break the 13lb barrier already but that's fishing I guess, you just get the cards your dealt!

My 43lb Catfish from last summer was a highlight and this year I have a couple of sessions booked on other waters contain fish nearly twice that size but I'm under no illusions that ill have to be pretty fortunate to latch into one. I can dream though cant I? :-)

One was messy enough!
Although I have embarked on Perch campaigns in the past and had some good fish its been Chub which have been the mainstay of my winter fishing in recent years but last Autumn I decided to really go for it on the Perch front for a change. Calling on wealth of local knowledge built up from spending many many hours on the bank over the years I was able to identify areas which gave me the best chance of what I was after and that, combined with more than a little luck, led to some of the best Perching I've ever had. Although it was hard, very hard in fact with lots of blank hours put in, with a crowning glory of two 4lb fish the final results went way past my expectations.

A 3.12 from the winter just gone
That pretty much brings me up to date, I've already mentioned a couple of things with regards to future plans but just to throw something else in there I intend to beat my Bream PB of 11.4 this year also. I've identified a couple of waters which will almost certainly do it provided I can find the fish in the first place. I've never fished either before and info is pretty thin on the ground so its going to be a nice challenge to get to grips with.

My current PB, not for much longer though......
I also intend to do a bit more Carp fishing this year, nothing serious but I just fancy going out and catching a few. Ill be happy enough just to catch a couple of twenties but it won't be the end of the world if I don't. A couple of waters on my club ticket are starting to throw up some pretty fish to a reasonable size now so it should be interesting and help mix things up a bit.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Is Spring upon us?

After the icy cold weather of late things finally appear to be to be on the turn. I awoke on Saturday morning to glorious sunshine and, although I had some jobs to do in the morning, I made plans for an afternoon Carping session on a local pool. One or two fish had been out over the last week so they were obviously beginning to wake up and I quite fancied the idea of an early season twenty.
The lake had been flooded by the nearby river Trent in recent weeks and as such was still fairly coloured up and carrying a bit of water. I settled in a likely swim, positioned my baits and relaxed on my bedchair enjoying the uns warmth. As expected not a lot happened over the next couple of hours and soon enough I found myself drifting off into slumber. A phone call jolted me back to reality and I was surprised to see I'd been out for good hour or so. Suitably refreshed I set about actually trying to catch something a little more seriously. It didn't do me any good however because soon it was beginning to get dark and the temperature began to plummet due to the clear sky.
The club secretary turned up and as we chatted my right hander suddenly sprang into life and then stopped almost as abruptly before I reached it. I wound in and was gutted to find my hook had twisted awkwardly with the hair and didn't stand a cat in hells chance of a hook up. I made a mental note to always use PVA foam in conjunction with KD rigs in future!
Although a couple of fish showed as it got dark nothing else happened and I packed up with plans to hit the Trent for some Chub action in the morning.

The next day a hard overnight frost had me packing the cold weather gear but undeterred I headed to an area with some good form for cold weather captures. I started with a maggot feeder in a bid to build up some bait in the swim and get the Chub competing for the bait. The ploy seemed to do the trick as I soon missed a bite before hooking something substantial. The size 16 didn't hold though and I was left cursing my luck. That seemed to kill the swim stone dead and I didn't get any further bites for the next hour until the little chap below decided to put in an appearance. Time to move I thought.

I headed upstream and over the course of the morning and early afternoon I really struggled for bites. It seemed that the few pulls I did get I wasn't ready for and subsequently missed them. I rang Phil who was fishing another stretch downstream to see how he was faring and he hadn't even had a sniff all day!
Somewhat despondently I resolved to try one final swim before heading home. The swim I headed for wasn't one I'd fished before nor was it one that would jump out at you as a classic winter chub swim being quite fast and very shallow. The thing which drew me to it however was the amount of bird activity there, the only swans and coots on the stretch were concentrated within a 60yard area. The coots were diving and the swans up-ending constantly, a grebe was working the swim also, could it just be coincidence?
I was surprised to get a bite within minutes and I struck into a decent fish. God knows what it was though because it took off downstream like a train and the hook pulled. I was even more frustrated to bump a fish on my next cast, it seemed like I'd found a few but I felt I needed to up my hooksize, would it put them off?
The answer was a resounding no as I connected with my next bite and managed to hold onto it. After a remarkable scrap I was bowled over to stick the net under a sizeable Bream which, until it surfaced, I was convinced was a very nice Chub! The scales didn't quite make 8lb but it was still a good fish for a river Bream and well worth a pic.

I kept the bread mash going in through the feeder and the bites still kept coming. Most were little taps and knocks and largely unhittable but I did eventually manage to hook another fish. The heavy thumping on the end of the line meant that this was almost certainly a Chub and sure enough a nice fish of 4.10 was soon posing for a pic.
After that I thought that was all I could hope for from the peg but still the bumps and knocks continued, there was certainly one or two fish out there! It didn't take long to hook another fish and I was pleased to net another Chub of 4lb+.
Even after that I still continued to get a few knocks but the swans had finally homed in on my baited area and were making things impossible. Time to pack up then!
Some comparatively mild weather has been forecast for the coming few days although some rain has also been predicted. Without wishing to put the kiss of death on it, Hopefully things should be cock-on for the final hurrah!