Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Autumn predators on the plastics

Well, what can I say? It appears I have neglected my blog for far too long once again! No I've not packed in fishing, far from it in fact but, as usual, life has got in the way and some things have fallen somewhat by the wayside.

Throughout most of August work was manic leaving me with little time to fish but I did have a cat fishing social with some lads from our little Facebook group on Office lake fishery in Notts. In the event it was tough going and the only cat caught was this little fella whilst we were trying to catch livebaits!



I had a blistering run in the middle of the night and hooked something heavy and powerful which wiped out my other rod before weeding me up and shedding the hook. I was totally gutted by this as you can imagine especially seeing as it was the only run our group had between us! It's a nice lake though and I will certainly head back there next year to even the score.

The bank holiday weekend after that was a busy one too as I had organised our fishing clubs inaugural Barbel match on the river Trent and I was fishing the zandermasters lure match on Rutland water also. The barbel match went really smoothly although I was disappointed that the barbel didn't play ball after all the effort I'd put in. No barbel were caught by the competitors and only a few chub were caught. It was decided that the prize money went to charity seeing as nobody could claim it and I got some great feedback from the lads, most of whom said they couldn't wait to come back and do it again next year.

The Zandermasters match was something I'd been looking forward to for a while and was to be a totally new experience for me considering I'd never fished a match before in my life! Organised by Steve Collett in association with the lure company Ecogear it was held on the mighty Rutland water with the aim of the game being to catch the longest combined length of Zander possible.

The match gave me an opportunity to rub shoulders with some really good anglers and the atmosphere was fantastic. Our boat partners had been drawn prior to the event and my partner, Tony, was certainly no slouch in the lure fishing stakes having already qualified for this years british lure angling champs final.

I have to admit was somewhat nervous about whether I'd end up blanking and making a tit of myself in front of all these experienced anglers but after five minutes in the boat with Tony all that was long forgotten and despite the horrendous weather we had a right laugh. It didn't take us long to find a few fish either with my dropshot tactics soon putting a couple on the scoresheet up in the North arm. Tony switched to dropshot too and quickly added some fish of his own. I even managed a Rutland PB of 60cm which helped my cause no-end!



We tried a couple of other areas and although it was tough going we managed a few bites and pretty much matched each other fish for fish. By the end of the match Tony had beaten me by two fish which had edged him in front of me by 31cm. I finished with six fish for 2.37m which I was more than pleased with especially as, when we arrived back at the boat dock, we found out that half of the field had struggled to catch 1-3fish with some even blanking altogether. It was a tough day as the results below show but it's great to see Tony made the top 10 which also means I wasn't too far behind!



The match really whetted my appetite for more of the same and since then I've been making plans to fish further matches with my next one being fished in early October.

August rolled into September and throughout the whole month I've nothing but lure fish! I just can't get enough of it at the moment and my bait fishing has taken I real backseat. Part of me feels a bit guilty because I know I could be out there catching fish for the bloggers comp or kicking my Barbel and Perch campaigns into gear but the simple truth is that I'm having too much fun with the lures and I'm not ready to stop yet!

I've been trying some new swims on my local Trent and Mersey canal with some success in a bit to overcome my mental block of catching on lures in coloured water. I know I've mentioned it before but I just can't get my head around how fish can be caught on lures, which, on the face of it is very visual method in water with little or no visibility. I did catch a few Perch but to be fair the water wasn't THAT coloured and I figured that I needed to do it properly if I was to conquer this thing.



I decided to organise a trip with my mate Carl who fishes (and catches from) the eternally chocolate coloured Ashby canal to try and get a few pointers and build confidence. On the day our first port of call was the Oxford canal which was fairly coloured but still had 8inches or so of visibility which meant we found some decent early success with some nice perch, a good start.



Pretty soon though a couple of boats went through and the water went pretty mucky but Carl assured me the fish would still feed. The perch were quickly conspicuous by their absence but they were soon replaced by a string of Zander, obviously switched on by the turbid conditions. Visibility was reduced to around 4inches by now.


The boat traffic soon became really busy and the visibility was reduced to zero as was our bite rate so we decided to up sticks and head to the Ashby canal instead. I was immediately disheartened to see that the water was as chocolate coloured as it possibly could be with zero visibility but Carl said press on so that is what we did. Half an hour later I was just chatting on my phone whilst casually bumping my dropshot on the bottom under the rodtip, at that point two boats passed each other right in front of me and I groaned inwardly at the futility of my chances when all of a sudden there was a kick on the rodtip and I found myself connected to a Zander! Well bugger me, the biggest of the day too!


How that fish found my lure I will never know because visibility was absolute zero and I can only assume the vibration of the weight hitting the bottom must've brought it in to investigate. My confidence was transformed and although it was soon packup time I already had plans to try other similarly coloured canals.

The following weekend saw me hit the Oxford and Ashby canals again aswell as the Grand Union and despite all being coloured I still caught a fair few fish. I quickly found that the dirtier the water the slower the bait needs to be fished.



In between my canal trips I was also having quick sessions on my local rivers with the dropshot gear and absolutely slaughtered them on natural coloured baits.


September also saw me back on Rutland again twice possibly for the last time this year but as usual it didn't disappoint and although the fish weren't huge there was plenty of them and the last trip in particular was very productive indeed. That will have to wait till next time however as time is short as usual and I must go, tight lines y'all!