All of a sudden the closed season is upon us and, for me at least, that time when something is badly needed to fill the angling void between the rivers shutting and the weather warming up for the summer species. Ordinarily I'd turn my attentions to bream and tench at this time of the year but a total lack of preparation and a reluctance to revisit waters of the past has conspired to put a dampener on things a little. Instead I decided to split my time between carp and lure fishing until hopefully a flash of inspiration or a better offer came along!
It's not for lack of trying though and although they've started to show on my regular water they've proven incredibly hard to tempt. Some Other anglers have reported catching one or two but the vast majority, myself included, are going home with dry nets which is most frustrating! Whilst we have had some warm sunny days it has still been very cold at night and the sunshine I think has put me into the mindset that everything should be feeding but in reality I think they are still only just waking up after the winter.
On a trip last weekend I suffered a lot of liners which told me there was fish moving about around my baited area but it wasn't until the evening when I finally received a proper take which turned out to be my first tench of the year, which was nice, but it wasn't my hoped for carp!
Even the lure fishing has been tough! I don't know what's going on with the perch of late but they certainly aren't in their usual areas and seem to be very finicky when it comes to feeding. I've caught a fair few of course, mostly on the dropshot, but certainly not as many as I was expecting from the conditions. Other lure anglers I've met on the bank have been struggling too so it's not just me.
The canal I mostly fish has been very coloured up due to the sudden increase of boat traffic brought on by the warmer weather. As a result bites have been hard to come by and lure fishing in coloured water never fills me with confidence at the best of times. To this end I started to think about what other attraction could be used to attract the fish to my lure besides action and colour and decided to experiment with rattles. Obviously, to get the loudest rattle, I would need to go down the hardbait route and after a bit of research (and asking those in the know) I settled on a couple of rapala and bill Lewis patterns to try.
My most recent session was to be my first with the new lures and upon arriving at the canal it looked fairly coloured and good test for the lures attraction. The first cast gave me an opportunity to check the rapalas action which proved to be what I can only describe as a rapid shimmy! On the next cast I was just admiring the feel of the lure through the rod when a gentle tap had me striking into a nice fish, result! It proved to be a Zander of around 4lb but as I fumbled about with the landing net it threw the hook leaving me somwhat disappointed! I needn't have worried though because a hefty thump right at my feet on my next cast saw me land another Zander of around 2-3lb .
After that I began to struggle with all the debris which was floating in the canal because my lure was like a magnet for it! More often than not I was bringing back twigs and other rubbish so, having already proven my rattle theory to myself, I decided to switch to the dropshot setup and went on to take around a dozen small perch over the course of the morning.
I've got a fair bit on at work and home over the next month so time will be limited but fishingwise I've got a few ideas in the pipeline so I'm hoping things take a bit of an upturn and I can start banking a few more!