Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Change of Tact and New begining

With the pike now spawning, I decided that this should make the end of the season for them, so a change of species was in order.
Another chance to wet a line came my way and it was back to the pond for another crack at the roach.

The alarm didn't have to sound and I was up and out before dawn. After having a mooch about I decided on a spot were as it had been reported that the larger fish were starting to head there with spring upon us.

I arrived in the car park and not a sole was about, so I had my choice of swims and settle into one that had been kind to me this time last years. It was also a spot would give me shelter if the impending wind starting blowing.

Instead of the usual tactics of ten ball of bait crashing out into the depths, I opted for a little and often approach utilising just the 35g feeders. The bait for the feeders was to be kept simple too, brown crumb, a dash of maggot, and corn plus a lot of hemp.

Whilst I settle back and enjoyed the first brew, I looked out across the water and in front of me was a few grebes feeding and a buzzard cruising on the thermal.

The feeders were refilled and recast in 15-20 minute intervals. It was time for breakfast. It was a bacon butie sort of morning so the new frying pan came out for a trial session. I found this one in the camping section again, the beauty of it is the folding handle . I had suspected that I need to really build up the swim before the first bite would come, but surprisingly I didn't have to wait too long and soon the roach were upon the bait and the alarm sounded giving single bleeps.
With the bacon cooked, the first real bite came and massive drop back of the bobbin that I missed by a million miles.

The morning drifted on and there was sporadic bites on maggot and caster baits, but most of the time the bites were un hittable.
Morning turned to afternoon and I finally managed to get a roach landed.Not a massive roach by any means but a blank saving fish and this was followed up with a few more until the bait ran out.

 What was nice bout this special place is that roach was a species that some would say were in decline on this water, but since 2011 they having been making a come back and it does just go to show that natural can sort its self out if given time.

There is also something new on the horizon with respect to a angling publication. Two very passionate anglers have come up with a unique printed magazine which will appeal to anglers whether they are coarse, game or sea, if the fish for roach, pike, carp there will be articles that everyone will enjoy. So here is a taster of Catch Cult.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Long Time Coming

The blog has been neglected since the last post, this has been for a variety of reason including pike fishing most weekends, long hours at work, studying, DIY, pestering the Environment Agency (EA) with FoI/EIR's and writing for others.

Pike Fishing, So far...

I been fortunate to have been out most weekends for a day on the banks in pursuit of my favourite species since October, but I have been surprised but the lack of sizeable pike considering venues I've been targeting should hold bigger pike.

Most session have rewarded me with a number of pike, but sadly nothing bigger than mid double. This have been
Whilst the size may have been small the average per session is three or four, so that not a bad average considering some of the venues are very difficult.
One of the most memorable session so far was on a local still water. I ventured down for dawn and had decided that I need to catch a few pets to using during the session. It was a bitterly cold day with a heavy frost on the ground and I was expecting a slow day.
Out with a mackerel tail first in area were I'd caught being and a lamprey on a float ledger next to the reeds. The float was just settling on the float ledger when the alarm sounded on the rod baited with the mackerel tail. I wound down and I could feel a weight at the end of the line. After a short scrap a low double was netted. At little over 13lb she was not a monster but was most welcome. The mackerel was still attached so it got chucked out again.

I quickly tackled up the float gear and baited with a couple of maggots. After about an hour, I had a few pets in a bucket ready for the session and soon had one out underneath a float. This plodded around the swim for a while before the float started dancing and then when sailing under. Tightening up a lively jack was soon at the edge and as the trace only had a single treble which was neatly in the scissors it didn't take much to nick it out and release the jack.
Another pet was attached and cast back out.

The float had hardly settled being it was buried again and another jack was soon reeled in and attached. This scenario went on for most of the morning, sling a pet out get a run, attach another cast it out get a run.

It was then the turn of the mackerel tail to have another run and and another jack decided that it would try to swallow a bait half as big as its self. This was soon returned without its meal.
The final run of the day was late in the afternoon on another pet. This time the pike was not a jack but another low double.

Finished the day with seven pike landed and two runs missed. Nothing huge  but very entertaining.

Pestering the EA with FoI etc

For the last year, in the region where I reside, its been noticeable that the EA are simply not spending money on the rivers in these parts. So I wanted to find out more. Que FoI and EIR for some answers and answers is what I got. F*ck all. I'm not going to go into depths as this is forming evidence for a show down with EA, but quite frankly it is a disgrace how much of the rod license money is not going back towards improving the rivers or angling.

Writing for others

I have also been trying to get some answers for an article I've written for Pikelines,which is the Pike Anglers Club quarterly club magazine. The article is about Windermere and its declining pike populations. I was asked by the Club's Secretary, John Currie to find out as much as I could about the water going into Windermere from United Utilities treatment work. The article was published in November 2016.

This has been quite time consuming article and it wasn't helped by the long time its take to get answers from both the Environment agency and United Utilities, but the end result was very rewarding and enlightening.

There is also a new magazine on the horizon so watch the news stand for Catch Cult which is being producer by Rob Shallcroft.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Afternoon & Evening

Haven't had time to write a blog entry as been busy with writing for others and a nasty summer cold so the fishing has taken abit of a breather over the last month.

I did manage to get out for a short afternoon session last weekend in search of some specimen roach.

I arrived at the lake around midday and had a mooch about to see what was about. The weather was warm and overcast with a light blustery westerly wind and soon I found a spot to fish.
Back to the car, grab the gear and mooch back to the swim to set up. With the ground bait prepared at home, was easy to get ten balls rolled and catapulted out about 40 yards were the weed becomes less dense.

It was to be a two rod on buzzer type of day, one on a maggot feeder heli rig and one on a ground bait feeder paternoster rig. Hook bait would be mixed up during the session to see what preference the roach had.

The first rod out was the heli baited up with a couple of maggots and no sooner had the bobbin been attached than it was jumping about with a snared roach attached. This happened a number of times over the next 15 mins and I was surprised the number of baits by the roach, but when I looked out across the water I could see that the roach were boiling over the baited area.

Once there was a break in the action, the second rod was baited and cast out with a couple of casters on the hook.

With the rod settled the kettle went on and the first brew was in my hand, but not for long.
The caster rod was away and a nice roach of about a pound was landed, happy days.

The action on both rods was frantic and not what I expected. In the first couple of hours I must have landed 8lb of roach which on rods on buzzers is quite noisy. With the stamp of roach not being huge, it was time to switch things around and put on some bigger baits to try to limit chances of smaller roach snaffling the bait. So off with the maggot and casters and on with the corn and mini boilie.

The bigger baits did have the desired effect to a point, but whilst the micro roach didn't get the bait even with double corn on a size 12 hook the 8-10oz roach were able to take the bait with relative ease. Meanwhile the boilie remained untouched but I was hopeful that something would take it before it got dark.

Alas nothing did, but it was great to be back out.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Feeling Rather Proud

Feeling rather proud today, it has been announced that I will be the recipient of the Pike Anglers Club Colin Dyson Award for 2016 in recognition of my work in pike conservation.

I will be presented with the award at the Pike Anglers Club convention 2016 on Saturday 17th September at Kettering conference centre.

Full details of this and the other award winners can be found here:- Pike Anglers Club Awards 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016

Like Buses

The weekend couldn't come fast enough as I was eager to get back out on the bank and fish again.

This time I was more prepared and got down to the waters edge for dawn and spombed the usual sweet mix into my familiar swim.
I did contemplate a different swim on arrival, but having seen more tench in this area then anywhere else on the lake, why go else where.

The morning was warm, but overcast and no one else was about. Perfect. The spombing was efficiently done after abit of raking was undertaken, the swim was rested until everything else was setup and ready.

The rigs were to be the same on the rods, but the bait on the boilie rod was to be the new handmade bait given to me by the bailiff to try whilst fishing fake maggots on the inline feeder rig.

With both rod now baited and cast out, it was time to boil the kettle, prepare bankside breakfast and enjoy the first cuppa of the session.
With the kettle bubbling aware the inevitable happened. The bobbin on the boilie rod was jangling , then swiftly lifted to the rod. Stumbling down the bank, I grabbed the rod as the reel started to spool. Lifting into a moving fish I was confident that this was a tench and that it was making off at pace across the lake. The fish fought well and gave a good account of itself before appearing in the upper layers. It was no tench, but one of the bream the resident bream.
After netting, unhooking and muttering about the slim it was slipped back to continue to pester the tench.

The bait was still intact and it was cast back out and I went back to enjoying the breakfast that was slowly getting cold. Alas it was to go cold, because no sooner had the next spoonful been put in my mouth and the Delkim was bleeping, bobbin was rising and the reel churned. This was certainly no bream. The line sung in the breeze and a paddle tail slapped the surface as it boiled and turned over before taking line. Weed floated to the surface as the tench made a bid for freedom down the margins. The tench turned for open water and was doing its best to shake the hook, but it was within the range of the net and soon in its folds.
Not a monster, but a good size for the water and another over the 5lb mark for the season.
It was soon unhooked and returned with a slap of the might paddle, but yet again it had mouth damage.

The early morning drifted along and the day was turning pleasantly warm. The float rod was un packed and soon I was watching the tip for shy biting roach or hopefully tench.

The float was soon dipping and I connected with a number of hungry rudd, roach and hybrids, nothing to write home about in relation to size but good fun.

Whilst enjoying the float fishing it was evident that there was alot of bream in the area, the bobbins lift and the alarms bleeped, only for the same to happen in reverse on repeated occasions. In between this there would be proper bites and a number of bream graced the net.

Mid morning came and I had a decent run again on the boilie rod, from the head shaking it wasn't another bream and a second tench was hooked. This one played out like the first heading along the margins disturbing the weed beds and then making for open water. Being slightly smaller it was soon in the net.

The pattern of bream to tench is on this water very high, a ratio of 1:10 won't surprise me and they home in on the bait very quickly. On a dawn you can see them rolling out in the middle of the lake, feeding or ascending insects, only for them to move quickly over the baited area with 15 to 20mins once baiting up has finished. These bream do seem to feed first and once they have had their fill, move on which allows the tench and occasion carp to pick up the scraps.
If I could isolate a single component of the mix that was particularly favourable to bream, I'd remove it, but its a simple particle mix with a additional 1/2 pints of dead reds, corn and pellet.

But its not just the fish that like the mix, the resident water fowl likes it too and they too home in on the sound of the spomb hitting the water and it become a game of cat and mouse with them.
I can usually get away with the initial eight spombs, but that next five area the ones where the duck get there fill. There is also the inevitable mix that get dropped or spilt in the margins and this is soon snaffled by the old bill.

The day was becoming hotter and I could feel the burn on the neck through the collar. With the rising temperature the bites steadily dropped off and by early afternoon even the float had stopped dipping so I packed and headed for home.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Long Time Away

Its been well over a month since I wet a line due to ongoing work,life, home balancing act that us anglers have to endure, so it was finally nice to get to the bank.

I had set my stall out for a afternoon/evening session on a local water in the hope that the tench would still be about in the weed beds, so a banquet of spomb mix was mixed up the day before and left to ferment in a sealed bucket ready for bank side.

Upon arrival, there was only one car parked up and I hoped that it wasn't a lone carper with their lines spread all over the place. Thankfully it was a single rod pleasure angler who was happily catching on the float rod.

I setting into my usual swim and started the sweet, sticky spombing process. The spomb is underhand swung out to about 5 rod length out into the weed bed abit like a bait dropper but on a grander scales.
Ten spombs later and the bucket is 90% empty and I can rest the swim before putting the hook baits out over the top.

After a cuppa was brewed, drunk and a chat with the old boy along the bank, the rods were finally baited and placed out over the dinner table. First out was the inline feeder with the fake maggots attached, then the double hair rigged boillies on a bolt rig, with a pva bag with a few free offerings.

I noticed on the last outing that a number of the rigs hooks had become blunted or the link a bit frayed, so it was time for an overhaul.The evening before and whilst home alone, I had decided to ditch the year old tied rigs and re-tied a whole set of new ones in braid, stiff and supple hooklink material in various length, hook sizes and fake bait.

The afternoon was a mixed bag of wind, rain, sun and more rain so the brolly was erected to make the affair more comfortable and allow the stove to cook my lunch of rice and chicken in white sauce.

The third rod was kitted out with a float on the lift method, this was to be fished a couple of rod length out with abit of corn on the size 15 hook. I was hoping that if the tench got muscled out of the baited area that they might be up for taking small morsels of bait closer in and away from the masses.

With the baits out and the sun on my back it felt quite pleasant bar the odd spot of rain, infact it was so nice the Ray Band copies had to come out!

The first fish of the day fell to the float rod and the float lifted like a rocket and lay flat on the surface. I struck and a fish was on, but it wasn't a tench but a plump roach which was quickly subdued and netted. Not exactly what I was after but rather nice to see.
The fish roach was quickly followed by a second and third before the rain came and I decided to sit under the brolly for a bit. The rain fell heavily and ironically the bites started on the maggot feeder rod. The bobbins danced around for a bit before being swiftly lifted to the top and the baitrunner churned. The rod hooped with progressive curve and the fish on the other end made an attempt to pull my string, alas it wasn't big enough to take line and plodded about before hitting the surface and coming in like a wet sack. Alas no tench, but a reasonably sized bream which was unhooked in the net and release without getting covered in slime.

The feeder was refilled and cast back out, whilst I got steadily wetter in the heavy shower, hopefully this was only a passing shower and not a prolonged thundery storm as forecast by the Met men.

Rain was still falling when the boillie rod was away and just as the kettle was boiling too.
The baitrunner was churning nicely and I thought my luck was in with the tench. Again the rod hooped over and again something pulled back, but again the fight was short and un tench like and again it was a bream.

The bream had mashed the double boilies and they were unusable so were replaced with a fresh pair from the pot and cast back out to the dining area.

By this time the rain had abated and I pulled the seat out from under the brolly and recast the float out whilst settling down with the cuppa tea after reboiling the kettle.

I love float fishing especially on the lift method and it fills me with alot of joy, I'm just abit lazy and when the rod was a three piece it hardly came out of the bag. So with the new rod effectively being a two piece, it stays tackled up in the quiver so it can be thrust into action more frequently.

The float settled nicely and I scattered bits of corn around the tip of the float and waited. I didn't however have to wait to long and a small hybrid was soon swung in, unhooked and returned. This was followed by a couple of 8oz roach before things settled down.
The rain came again and went again, this was to be the pattern for the afternoon and  whilst I did land a few nice roach up to 1.1/2lb, no real monsters appeared. As with all roach fishing, the commotion did grab the attention of fishing with a predatory nature and whilst playing a 12oz roach a pike bolted out from the cover of the margin bushes to grab one for their dinner.

More bream came came to the boillie rod and maggot feeder, but alas no tench. But they did give their presence away with some area of pin sized bubbling, so they are still about and feeding.

The bailiff came around for a chat too and he confirmed that the tench were still coming out to the carpers and in particular to higher protein fresh baits which he rolls himself in various sizes.
Upon packing up, a damsel baring gifts appear at the umbrella, the bailiff had sent her up with a kilo of frozen boillies to try on my next session.

They smell quite good, so I look forward to giving them a try.