Sunday, 23 June 2013

River Dane Chub Delight and ifishlocator Review

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and I am again privileged to have been approached about reviewing another product on my weekly angling blog, this time it is the iFishLocator App for the iPhone.

iFishLocator App Review



Product Information:

“iFishLocator is the first app of its kind to combine angling with social network tools.
“Truly unlock the power of your smart device and turn it into an angling tool.”

Technical Data:

Category: Sports
Updated: 13 June 2013
Version: 1.3
Size: 12.1 MB
Language: English
Developer: Ben Hanselman
© 2013 Ben Hanselman
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Price: £2.99


Twitter: @iFishLocator  

My Review:

The first thing you are asked to do after downloading the App is to register yourself and set up an email user name and password and add some basic information about yourself to build an online profile of yourself, I found this particularly useful with me writing a blog.   The registration was straight forward and simple and in no time I was registered and ready to go.

The ifishlocator asks very early on for permission to view your location and I fully recommend too accept as it opens up the full functionality of this application.  The home screen is the first place this location information is utilised to show you the weather at your location displaying wind direction, wind speed and temperature as well as a handy compass.  The home screen also displays the most popular fish captures, plots and lakes that are close to your location which I must admit I found really helpful as it displayed some waters I never knew about. 

Along the bottom of the App is a toolbar that allows easy navigation to the separate parts of the app.  The one I spent most time on during the review was the Lakes function which allows you to browse through fishing locations added by other users and this function isn’t limited to just the UK it contains information from all over the world.  The locations in the UK are then split down into the separate counties and this is where you add your lakes and locations.  The app allows you to pin point the location of the lake you want to add using GPS and a map that I am sure is straight form Google maps, from this you can then add your own personal information including pictures of the venue, known species and price to fish and it also has the added bonus of allowing all users to comment on the water you add to allow users to build up a real picture of the venue you are adding.

Once you have added a new venue you can choose to add “plots” to the location to single individual swims and this information can either be shared or kept personal.  The add plot feature allows you to add a picture of your swim using Augmented Reality which allows you to split the swim into squares to pin point the exact place in the swim you fished and the app then allows you to add more information such as amount of bait used, length of rig, fish caught etc.

There was a part of the app I didn’t use in the line length feature that allows you to measure out a set amount of line using the GPS feature.  With the type of fishing I do I didn’t use this but it is a feature I can see being popular with carp anglers.

In short I found this app really helpful to use and can see it only getting better the more users that sign up and add information to it.  The swim plotting will certainly be getting used next time we visit the sankey canal as I have the information on the swim I fished saved on this app.  I have been told it is shortly to be coming out on android as well which is great news.  Highly recommended and so much so I put together this short video to show off some of the functionality and screens.



On to this week’s fishing:

Saturday 15th Rixton Clay Pits

This week marked the start of the river season but before my mind turned solely into river mode I decided to have a quick trip to rixton Clay pits.  There were a few anglers on when we arrived but luckily I managed to get a peg on one of the decent pegs which came as a great relief as the weatherman had forecasted some rain for the morning ahead and let’s just say the pegs on rixton are not the best when its wet.  

I fed the swim with Silver x ground bait laced with hemp and pinkie with a white maggot for hook bait and I have to say the session was really difficult with bites very hard to come by.  Many anglers passed me on the way back to their cars saying how poor it had fished but I was determined to get to grips with why the fish were not feeding and decided to move over to double pinkie on the hook with instant results!! It was amazing how a swim where I had sat with a maggot without a bite could erupt into life by just using smaller bait and for a good hour or so till I packed in I caught well.



Monday 17th June – River Dee Worthenbury

Well with father’s day on the Sunday we left our first trip to the river till the Monday and we decided to go with a trip to worthenbury on the Warrington Anglers Card after hearing the road had been fixed.  A word to all on the card wanting to try here DON’T BOTHER!!! It is quite obvious the club don’t care about the river arm of this club as the road leading down to the stretch is a disgrace with some of the holes going right across the whole of the road.  The road is so narrow with deep side gulley’s that putting one wheel on the middle and one on the middle hump is not an option at all without severely risking scratching your car or losing it down the side gulley.  The club have been asked on a number of occasions about fixing this road but the official answer is always the same in that they will not fix the road for the farmer to rip it up in his tractor, this statement alone shows that no one high up in this club visit the waters as if they did they would know there is a good 30 yard straight on the road that has been done up with a good bed of crush and run and hard core that is totally fine and of course with this road being so narrow the farmer must drive his tractor on this to get to the bottom of the track so goes to prove the track can take his machinery.

A while back a few of us river anglers offered to even do the work on a work party all we want is the materials to fill the holes in.  This problem was mention in Frank’s column this week and as expected the danger was highlighted but no fix was mentioned and the only advice was not to try going down if you don’t have a 4x4.  I fished the river Dane on Wednesday and I decided to take note of the cars in the car park they were a Peugeot 407, Peugeot 206, my Ford Focus and a Ford Fiesta, my point being that the people who fish Warrington Anglers waters are normal everyday working men who own a normal run around city car not a 4x4, of course there are exceptions to this rule but as you know me and my uncle are on the bank every week and of course see the cars on the bank and its obvious the vast majority own city cars and I think it is about time the club put is members first, after all what is the point of having this water if most members cannot get to it?

Few pictures of the road, not the best as I was concentrating on not ripping the bottom out of my car.



The fishing in all honesty was not the best as expected with the dace shoals being spread far and wide we always knew it was a case of finding the shoals but it was great to be out on the bank.  The reality of river fishing hit home when I had to make my own peg what am i saying, i love it!



The fishing as I said wasn’t amazing but still a few fish in the net is better than a blank and I left feeling this section has so much potential for us to explore and I would certainly put my hat on this stretch containing some chub and barbel.

First fish of the season and how fitting for it to be a dace.



Not the best net we have ever had but still better than a blank.



Again if you own a normal run around car please avoid this stretch as once you are on the track down to the river there are no turning points till you reach the bottom.

We did see something strange in the river as well, I can only speculate as to what this is but it did had what looked like fan blades on the front, I have tweeted the image to the environment agency to see if they can tell me what it is.  



Wednesday 19th June – River Dane Holmes chapel

With a poor opening session on the Monday still running through my head I was desperate to replace those thoughts with something more positive and with that I booked a cheeky half day off work on Wednesday with the intention of fishing the picturesque River Dane.

Fishing in this day and age can be quite an expensive hobby what with a kilogram of good quality boilies costing you upwards of the ten pounds so I like to keep most of my fishing as cheap as I can and not forgetting you can still catch fish on what are now classed as old fashioned baits.

I also very rarely throw away bait and much prefer to freeze left overs and use them on a later trip so armed with a bad of liquidised bread that I had in freezer from a trip to flushing meadows a month or so ago and a £1.39 crusty loaf picked up for the local Co-op I was all set to go.



I always travel light on the Dane so apart from my rod and landing net I had my Korum rucksack and net bag for my keep net. I set up my trust 13ft forum float rod and paired it up with my centrpin  and as the river was dreadfully low a 6 number 4 float which would be more than enough for any swim I would encounter, size 14 hook and I was all set to go. 

While I had been setting up I fed the swim periodically with a few balls of liquidised bread hoping that the fish would be settled when I made my fist cast.  In all honesty I had a few factors going against me one, the weather, it was blisteringly hot and I could see at least half of the river as clear as a bell and secondly there where already four cars in the car park so the number of people who had already fished this swim was unknown and three I only had around 3 hour window for this session.

I began trotting a small piece of flake through the swim starting off with on a line that was quite safe hoping to draw the fish out of the snags but after half an hour it was clear any chub where tucked up tight in the snags so I decided on a more tricky to control dangerous line along the line of the snags and right as the bait hit an overhang I held the line back to let the bread flake flutter under the snag and bang! The float disappeared and I was into something solid but that early stage I was unsure as to whether it was a fish of I was snagged on the sunken tree.

The key to fishing these waters for the chub is to have strong gear and have faith in your knots the river is so small that even fishing the open water the fish more or less has you in the snag from the off so solid pressure on the fish and dunking your rod tip under the water to avoid the snags on the surface is the way to go and do not give the fish an inch in the battle there is no room here for a loose drag and that’s why the centrpin reel excels in this situation you lock your thumb on the spool and try and stop that first hard run.

The first run with a chub is always the hardest I find and if you can turn the fish and get them out of the snags and into the main flow you are near enough there, luckily this fish did that and moved into the main flow and in the clear water I could see this was a special fish and in true style if made some hard runs back for its home but thankfully its big white lips hit the surface and I slipped the net under a fin perfect river dane chub.





The chub fully rested I returned him to his home I was river the moon with this fish in what was a tough day on the bank.  I continued to trot the swim for the remainder of the time I had with a beautiful male grayling to show for my efforts which I weighed in the weigh sling so the weight of the sling will need deducting from the weight shown on this picture.



All big fish we catch from a river need some type of resting in the net and the amount of time it takes can differ from species to species for example the chub only took a minute or so before it was swimming upright and trying where the grayling took more like between 5 and 10 minutes.  The grayling is a good example so I took some pictures to show, picture one is the grayling when I first held it in the net its belly up and not really moving had I let this fish go straight away it would have certainly floated downstream belly up, not good.   Picture two shows the grayling fully rested its upright and holding itself in position of its own accord and it is ready to go back. 

Grayling picure 1

 Grayling picture 2


I know most experienced anglers who read this common practice but to any one new to the sport its good practice for them to read and follow and if it only teaches one person to rest fish then it is worth a few sentences.

Till next week its tight lines from me and I leave you with a short video of the chub resting in the net.



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