The past few months have been hectic and although I have been updating the blog on a weekly basis I feel I have been neglecting some of the other pages I have set up, mainly due to spending all my free time during the weekend fishing, but I have been toying with a few ideas of late that I hope to put into fruition in the coming weeks that I hope some of you new and old to fishing may find helpful.
On to this weeks fishing....
Saturday 15th October
After a week of thinking about nothing but the coming weekends fishing my plans changed form day to day but eventually my schedule for the weekend was firmly set in stone late on Thursday evening when the weather forecast predicted some late autumn sun. The plan was simple to get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and try and winkle out a final few carp from flushing meadows before returning home before 1pm to catch the derby match between Man United and Liverpool whilst Sunday would see my on the banks of the River Dee again.
The alarm clock echoed in my ear with its pulsating unforgiving monotonous tone but unlike in the week where this noise would be greeted with a groan and a moan as I strived for the compulsory "five more minutes" this was a Saturday morning and the noise was met with me shooting out of bed as the electric buzz that only comes with the excitement of a days fishing shot through my veins and after a quick breakfast and my flask of coffee made it was off into the darkness on my way to the fishery.
My arrival at the car park at flushing meadows was greeted with an icy cold blast as I began unloading the gear from the car, my breath clearly visibly showing me that we were not far off our first frost of the year. The icy cold air was obviously down to the lack of cloud cover through the night and from experience I also knew this lack of cloud cover would see us basked in sunshine once the sun rose from its overnight slumber.
My method of attack for the day was my 13 metre pole and would see a final outing for of the year for my black hydro top two kits as after Saturday I will only be using my pole for silver fishing on the river and local canals as we move deeper towards winter. Saturday also saw the first outing for my new pole sock and I have to say what an ingenious piece of kit it is as up to this point I had been using my bank stick and I have to say it made the fishing so much easier, highly recommended.
I set my target for the morning at two carp and with the cold weather I expected to find the fish on the bottom of the nearside shelf so I started out on a top 5 rig and lightly fed a mixture of corn and meat although my feeding was not as heavy as on previous visits due to the conditions and my short time schedule, I wanted to attract the fish in and catch them quickly and was in essence fishing for one fish at a time.
The early morning came and went in a flash and before I knew it the sun was creeping through the gaps in the tree to my right its glow warming my face and lighting up the far margin which was showing signs of activity with carp cruising up in the water and the unmistakable sound of a carp sucking against the far bank giving them away.
The Far margin:
After a little reorganisation of my pole roller I was ready to to fish at my poles maximum length of 13 metres right up tight against the far bank, you almost have to imagine the far bank has a really undercut bank like cave and you are trying to get your bait right inside their where the carp feel safe. My bait had not been in position more than 20 seconds when the float slid away and eventually sunk into the carps underwater labyrinth, a sharp lift of the pole and I was connected with my first carp of the session. Having now lost count at the amount of carp I have caught on the pole all the apprehension of breaking my pole has gone and I am now at a stage where I just enjoy the fight and boy did this pint sized carp fight, half way to the target...
First carp of the day
Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth it was straight back over to the far side again to see if I could winkle out another fish as although the last fish put up a valiant fight it did so down the marginal shelf towards the middle of the pool so I hoped its initial run had not spooked any of the other residents of the far bank shelf. When I fist started pole fishing at distance the pole felt really heavy and clumsy but you quickly learn there is an art to holding the pole and I think I have got my stance well tuned as while waiting for my next bite I had a chance to admire the wealth of wildlife on show at this fishery in total I remember counting two birds of prey in the resident buzzard and a really hungry kestrel which working a nearby field as well as countless species of birds from the local heron to my first robin of the year, no doubt encouraged by my overflowing pot of maggots as I have said before British wildlife is a big part of a days fishing for me.
Caught in the bliss of the moment surrounded by all the songs of the wild I failed to notice my float going under and the only thing I knew about having a fish on was the feeling of my pole moving in my hard as the carp erupted from the swim causing bow waves across the whole pool the fish like all the fish put up a spirited fight but at around two to three pound was soon worn out and in the net and a quick glance at my watch revealed the time to be 10.45am and it was mission accomplished.
With the mornings target in the bag anything now would be a bonus and with all the commotion of the previous fish I knew the far margin would be quiet for around half an hour so I tried the nearside margin but it was unusually quiet. During a session on the fishery you can almost guarantee a fish from under your feet but today was different as the normal signs of carp stirring up the bottom as they gorge on the bait that has fell in as you are baiting up was non existent which reflected in me spending the next half an hour hunched like an expectant heron in vein.
A quick look over to the far margin showed the fish had moved back in over my bait and it was back over to the far margin and it wasn't long before my piece of luncheon meat coated in my special spice mix attracted the attention of a carp and what a lovely marked carp it was with a full set of scales across its back and I couldn't help thinking what a cracking carp it will be once it gets around 10 to 12 pound in the next few years.
Midday came and went and it was a case of one last cast syndrome as one last cast turned to five as the the race against the clock to bag a last gasp bonus fish got out of hand and just as I was about to call it a day I connected with another carp which thankfully didn't put up too much of a fuss and was soon in the net and having its picture taken.
With the fish returned to the water all that was left was the unenviable task of packing away all the gear which is never the best part of the day as we all know but after all was done I was home just before the match kicked off, my only comment on it is I wish I had stayed fishing such a boring game.
Sunday 16th October
In past weeks my fishing on the river Dee has taken up the bulk of my blog report for that week so this week I decided to devote the bulk of the blog to the carp fishing which would allow me to put my full concentration into trying to get to grips with trotting the deep stretches of the river.
Farndon was our chosen destination again and we set up in the same swims as last week hoping for similar results, from the off the fishing was a lot slower than last week for both of us and for some reason the "flow" of the swim changed dramatically throughout the session which made fishing the same line very difficult as no sooner had I got a line going than the flow changed and I found myself putting my hemp in another location.
I always say with river fishing that when the fishing is hard make sure you learn at least one lesson from the trip and on Sunday I learned a massive lesson in that no matter how slow the trot you can still catch some really large fish and it was after again watching my uncle trotting that I returned to my peg and stuck to my guns on a slower trot and the after a few smaller fish my perseverance was rewarded with some nice roach and dace.
My final net did not contain as many fish as last week but what it did contain was a better stamp of fish than the the previous week:
My uncle in the next swim also caught a decent stamp of fish with one real stand out roach showing the potential of the river and also had another of a similar size taken by a pike on last knockings which engulfed the fish whole so also shows the potential of this stretch to produce a large pike of which I have witnessed a 23lb pike banked last year.
My uncles final net of fish:
The weather this week is due to change dramatically with rain and sleet due to be coupled with a drop in temperature, if this is the case next weekend may see me visit the intimate river Dane for its chub which would be a good change of scenery. If the weather doesn't materialise I am hopefully going to travel light on a tributary of the river Dee for grayling or try the main river for a barbel.
Don't forget to follow the blog on twitter to find out first hand where I decide to go and get a glimpse at some snippets of the blog before they go live.
till next week