Friday, 1 March 2013

"One a Chuck" on the River Dee

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and thank you to all the people who contacted me this week in support of my introduction to last week’s update, it came from the heart and was written at a time when my emotions where high about the subject.  A week on I am still upset about the loss of this water but with a river laden heavy with fish I am positive I will find new spots on the other venues I visit and with the loss of Almere which was a water I spent a fair deal of time on I will have more time to dedicate to other venues on the River Dee, both free and on the WAA card.

Another decision that has to be made in the coming months is the decision around what card we want to go with or should I say cards.  I am sure we will decide to give the Warrington Anglers Card one more year, one to see what the other waters on the Dee produce and two we have at least one venue we want to visit on the River Ribble that we want to visit.  There are other cards on our radar as possibilities to add to the WAA card and they are the Winsford, Northwich or Dee anglers card and in principle they all have their pros and cons so a bit more investigation is needed before we decide for certain and I guess it will all come down to the quality of the other WAA waters on the Dee.

The past few week s my blogs sub-page where I am on the hunt for a 10lb carp has been playing on my mind, last year I had plenty of enthusiasm to get out there and managed to pre bait a few spots well but I found finding time to fish the spots quite hard to come by, a lot of this was of course down to me and my partner expecting our first child, there are many reasons to be unhappy in life when you cannot make it to the bank but the arrival of our beautiful little girl, well let’s just say the carp could wait for another year, this year?? Let the adventure begin, well I say begin its already began as this week the pre-baiting begins!!

I had planned to begin my baiting up a few weeks ago but just when it seemed like the weather was changing it look a turn for the worst and the temperatures plummeted which would have saw the carps movements slow down and thus their digestive system slow down as well and I want to  bait up at the right time when I know carp will be on the move a little more and have a chance of finding my spots.  My plan is to attract anything that swims into the swim, bream, roach, perch, rudd as I am a firm believer in what the excellent blogger Stewart Bloor says “A crowd attracts a crowd” and I think my chosen mix of liquidised bread, corn, chosen boilie and any bait left over from out weekends excursions should see the fish becoming accustomed to being fed in a certain area. 

As I have said before on the blog, for my carp skill level, a ten pound carp is a big target and I know I could go any commercial with a decent head of fish and fish the margins on my pole and no doubt catch a 10lb carp by just wading through the numbers but I want this quest to have some type of story to it and to have worked for it but I think  more than that I want it to be a “wild” fish and I feel I have found a location where I can get to regular and also fish of an evening after work or for a few hours on a Sunday without it costing me anything in petrol.

To see how I get on and keep up with my pre baiting and sessions etc you can either select the link form the tool bar at the top of my blog of find it on the link below.

On to this week’s trip and with the river spot on it’s a trip I have waited a few weeks for!!

No rain, No snow, No Flooding…........time to catch some Dace

I managed to catch the end of Countryfile this week and for once there were no reports of snow or rain, I admit I had to rewind it a watch it again just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things but no it was definitely being reported that there would be no rain or snow in the coming week.  The river Dee last week was only a tad too high for us to risk a trip to her so a week with no rain would certainly see the sediment drop out of the river and her levels continue to drop as the week progressed leaving a near perfect river, well at least that’s how I imagined it.

My hands shook with excitement as I threaded up my 17ft carbon active float rod using my new Dusk till Dawn lamp to illuminate the area, a product which I am currently reviewing for Sports Direct and that review will be part of next week’s update.   I don’t know what it is about fishing that gets me like that but the excitement when I first arrive at the bank is a buzz that I hope I never loose, I guess the day that happens is the day I think about calling it a day.

It is always a great feeling when you are in tune with your water and arriving at the river on Saturday morning the river was just as I had dreamt the previous night, the sun rising revealed the true beauty of this river in its winter colours the water a dark tea colour with a good few feet of clarity she was flowing at a gentle pace with no breaks in the trot to give away any submerged snags, in truth the swim looked like a perfect dace swim and I was really confident.  The light gave away one more secret as well, the fact I wasn’t the first person on the river that morning. 

One of the great things about a river that has recently been dropping is the face its wet banks give away the creatures of the nights presence, I have never seen mink on this stretch bit I know they are on the river in numbers my guess is a mink but I could well be a rat as I saw some proper “splinters” here last year.

With the river only carrying a few feet on summer level and the prospects of a decent day ahead I decided to stick to a method I was confident with and decided against fishing the 3 gram bolo and went with a 10 No 4 Dave Harrell stick float and fished it shirt button style.  A few pints of maggots and same of hemp and I was ready to really attack the swim.  The swim had been fed since I picked the swim and come my first cast I expected the float to bury and I was not to be disappointed as the float had barely cocked before it went for its first dunking of the day and as predicted it was a dace on the other end and boy was I pleased to see a river dee silver dart, holding her in my hands I looked down and it said one thing to me, welcome home.

From there the day just got better and better and with bites coming thick and fast, so fast in fact on a number of occasions the float was under before I had time to feed the swim with maggot or hemp, it truly was the dee river dee at its best and the phrase “a bite a chuck” was banded out as me and my uncle both caught steady.

The river had a slight change in level around midday, a tide I thought but on reflection there was no tide showing on the EA levels that night so I am guessing it was a release from Bala lake either way it really messed up my trot and this reflected in my catch rate, I can only imagine the net had it carried on like it had started for the whole day.

During this lull in the action we did still catch a few fish and one in particular that stuck in my mind was a dace that in my opinion has to be the luckiest dace in the Dee.  The lacerations down its flanks testament to a near miss with a large pike with some towards its tail end really deep, so deep in fact I am amazed the fish not only survived the attack but also lived to tell the tale as the fish would have been bleeding severely after this attack and I can only imagine tis down to luck the pike did not track its escaped, injured meal down to finish it off.  The dace does have loose scales along its flank for this reason to escape the jaws of its predators, not as loose as a bleak but they are still loose enough to give the dace a chance to escape the jaws of the pike as the pike momentarily loosens its grip to turn the fish head first to swallow.

The day wore on and my uncle moved over to the pole which he fished to a slack behind a tree, this saw the bites keep coming for him.  My swim, being very open, lacked that luxury and I continued to winkle out fish from all over the swim.  The levels eventually settled and the fishing picked up again for the afternoon and we both continued to bag up on the stick float.

The end of a great session drew near and it was time to compare nets, we both knew we had done quite well but just how well we didn’t quite know.

My uncle was first to weight in and it was a dace bag of 16lb

My net was next and I was amazed to see the scales go round to over 17lb, I really didn’t think I had done so well.

Well that’s it for this week, I am off to continue my pre baiting for the carp campaign and to thoroughly enjoy my new found freedom of an evening after being relived of my duties as WAA Facebook page’s picture amnesty villain, least with me gone the pictures will now roll in (no excuses now) and will save the club begging for pictures of carp for shows eh, what is it they say about every cloud and silver linings??

Till next week I wish you all

Tight lines



  1. A peaceful day and one a chuck it's what fishing is all about #quality

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