So when the weekend came and I had the chance to put some of learning points gleaned into affect on my second trip to the river of the season. Whilst I have fished this river a bit on an off I have always felt like I'm not fishing it effectively and have not capitalised when I've found the fish.
So with the car loaded I head up for a good hours drive to the river. I wanted to fish the opposite bank to last week, but after an hour walking the bank, I admitted defeat with 8ft of marginal reed hampering my efforts. Whilst I did have some tools that would help create a swim, I did have the tool that I needed aka a throw able reed cutter. So it was back to the layby swim for me because time was getting on.
The ground bait bucket was out and after consulting the book I mixed up a couple of kilo's of crumb and black Supercup laced with hemp, maggot, crushed caster and some pellets. Rather than balling out a load at the started, I put in five balls to get the fish going, the rest would go in via the feeders.
Next on the list was the rods, gone was the still water tip rod and out was the Avon rods with a 2oz tip. Both coupled with 400 reels and 6lb mainline. Rig wise it was to be a paternoster and a semi running rig nicked from a Nisa video on river feeder rigs. In essence this was a sliding float stop, followed by a link swivel, I then formed a loop to connect the hook link to. Two size 6 shot was placed just above the loop knot to form stop and help pin the mainline to the bed of the river. A 14" hook link of 3lb material was added This rig can be used as either a bolt or running rig so is quite adaptable depending on the fish being finicky or not.
The big changes were the change of hook thickness and rod positioning. I opted for a thin gauge long shank 16's and 18's for the maggot/caster of The rods were how vertical beach caster style with the tips slightly under tension to form a shallow curve so that both pulls, taps and drop back would be shown.
I was all set up, feeders clipped on, hooks baited and out they went. The right hand rod had the big baits on, a corn and caster cocktail, the left hand rod had the standard double reds. I didn't have to wait to long for bites to start and soon a small roach was netted with after a confident bite on the tip which was easy to see. The small roach was soon followed by further roach and small perch too and bite continued nice a steady during the first 2 hours. A couple of 4lb bream took the corn/caster cocktail and I soon had 10lb weight of fish in the net. I took a break for a brew and head back to the rods, with a streaming mug of tea. The rod ere recast and action was resumed for another hour or so whereby a ten skimmers came along in quick succession. This was shaping up to be a good morning.
This problem was quickly solved with the baitrunner being engage to allow a hooked fish to run if hooked.
Morning was soon midday and I must have had near 20lb of fish in the net. Lunch was soon consumed with anther mug of tea and then back to the action. A large worm replaced the double corn and I continued with the worm/red cocktail on the other rod.
Now eels arnt my thing really and on light tackle they are a pain in the area, so imagine my job as the nodding tip was a sure sign one had been hooked. As it came in it dive and ducked, spun and coiled before I managed to get it to the edge unhook without it leaving the water. There was simply no way this snake was going to get its slime on the keepnet.
The afternoon pushed on and further bream graced the
net and added to the total. The rain started as a drizzle and this didn't put the fish off and for a further hour I had another 10lb of fish ranging from small skimmer to a couple of 4lb bream.
On the horizon the rain clouds gather and with the wind continuing to blow into my bank I decided enough was enough and this along with running very low on ground bait made my decision for me.
On loading the last bits on the gear into the car the heavens opened and it lashed the car as I drove off of the bank and onto the road.
The final net weight was near 30lb of roach, skimmer, perch and bream plus a slippery eel which didn't get into the net. This has to be my most successful day on any UK river with regard to overall weight and the constant action on the tip rods was a welcome change to sitting behind a bank of rods on alarms.