Friday, 26 July 2013

My first night session - A night to remember!!!

In keeping with the weather this week I would say it’s a scorching welcome to this week’s blog it is safe to say it doesn’t come much warmer than it has this week with temperatures in the office I work in tipping over the 30 degree mark, absolutely sweltering at times.

What does this mean for the fishing? Well it in my experience normally means quite good fishing on the drop for silvers with the better fish like bream and carp taking the opportunity to replenish their vitamin C levels so the picking your species, time of day and particular days to fish in can be the difference between catching fish and watching fish.

The extended heat wave we are experiencing at the moment comes as no surprise at all to me to be honest and to understand it you really have to look at the bigger wider picture with a mind-set that mother nature is in full control of things.  Some people may thing what am I taking about but look at it this way this time last year we were suffering some of the worst flooding this country has ever seen, this was shown in my weekly blog form that week where we visited a swollen river Dee that was only in its banks.

All this flooding of our rivers and the cool rain keeping the temperatures down on out still waters meant the fish never really got a chance to spawn fully and the ones that did manage to spawn where soon hit with one of the worst winters temperature wise we have seen in a long time this no doubt would not only have seen the fry struggle to survive but also would have seen the fish struggle to recharge their batteries fully after spawning before the hard winter hit.

The hard winter certainly had a knock on effect on our rivers, I witnessed this first hand, as the fish just didn’t show in their normal pre- spawning areas this year till almost the last weekend of the river season, a good month or so later than you would normally expect to see them shoal up.  The seasons and the fish have been a good month or so behind leading into summer this year but this prolonged warm spell has meant most of the rivers have been low and clear and the temperatures on the still waters have been consistent meaning not only have the fish had plenty of time to spawn but the high water temperatures mean an abundance of fly and larvae life for the fish to feed up on and it should mean that the fry percentage survival rate should be well up this year and the spawned fish should have plenty of food to help them replace the weight lost due to spawning and set them up for the harder months ahead.

The warm weather not only brings out the fish but the so called anglers it would seem and I guess the sun makes these people as lazy as the fish they are chasing as yet again litter raises its ugly head in my weekly travels.  As you will see in the rest of the update I fished Curlston Mere on Sunday and this place is basically a farmer’s pond I was put onto by a farm my uncle was working on, now the understanding is fishing is allowed as long as the place is kept tidy and there are signs up to that effect around the water so it really upset me to see the following hanging from a tree as I arrived.

Now you could slightly understand this if it were say a mile or so trek to the car like some of our river trips are but that’s not the case at all on curston mere you can literally park your car behind your peg and in fact the person leaving this could literally have parked his car next to the tree the bag of crap is hanging from, its uncalled for and basic lazy anglers who clearly don’t care about the place they are fishing.  I took this rubbish home with me like I always do but I guess that just re-enforces them to do it all the more when they arrive next time and its gone, at least I can sleep at night eh.

On to this week’s fishing.

A Night to remember……….but not for the fishing.

The title of this part of the blog, “a night to remember” was never in doubt and is quite and brings up deep feelings from my childhood as the film a  night to remember, a film about the titanic sinking for those who don’t know, was a film I spent many an hour watching with my granddad.  Unfortunately he passed away when I was around 11 years old so I never got to know the man himself but have very fond memories of the time we had together so I guess this is a little tip of my hat to him.

For some time now me and my uncle have toyed with the idea of night fishing and have come close a few times to a night session on the River Dee but for one reason or another it has never materialised. Regular readers of the blog will know around 2 weeks ago we had a good session for chub and barbel on a river but since then this relentless heat wave has taken its toll leaving the river running dreadfully low and gin clear so a day session on there was out of the question really so we got our heads together about a night session on the Friday and after some careful deliberation about if we were equipped to take on such a trip we decided with a favourable warm forecast to bite the bullet and go for it.  

 I have never spent a night on the bank ever so I had all manner of emotions going through my head as I packed the car on Friday evening.  If I was being honest I would have to admit I was slightly apprehensive but at the same time really excited to experience the sights and sounds of a night on the banks of a river.  The river we had in mind for our night session has very good access and nice big level swims so it was ideal for this trip and with a nice short walk from the car we could really take as much gear as we wanted so in went the Calor Gas Grill to go and the Dusk till dawn bivvy lamp, both products I have wote reviews on this year.

I have decided to write this night blog in a diary format as I took notes during the session and events fit nicely into 2 hour slots.

8pm – setting up
We arrived at the water and settled into a nice big open peg and set about getting all the gear nice and orderly.  Checking with a few of the lads on the beat the fishing was slow with some of them not having a bite all day.  The temperature was amost unbearable amongst the ferns but eventually we were both set up.  my uncle made a start on the float rod trotting till he could no longer see his float while I stuck to my trusty lead set up with a halibut pellet.

10pm – darkness begins to set in.

The far bank began to become blurred as the once vibrant green trees on the far bank began to be taken over by the encroaching darkness.  We had the first visit of the night from a group of resident bats that silently navigated between our lines scoffing up flies as they did so.   Unfortunately our rods whereas silent as the bats but we were both getting plenty of knocks and rattles.

Midnight – eely eerie

Midnight came and my uncle had put two fish on the bank, both eels and both a nightmare to unhook.  The one aspect of fishing at night I had not planned for and thus expected was how hard the simplest of tasks we complete in daylight are for example I o#put on a halibut pellet around 10pm and it took me around 2 minutes but changing it for a fresh one at 11pm took me around 20!  All a learning curve and least we hadn’t blanked.  

2pm -  We have a visitor!

The swim wehad chisen was situated along a forested walk path and the swims run off that path so the path is around 5 yards from the back of the swim where I was sat.  You can see it better in this picture below:

Well at exactly 2am I heard a single crack of a twig close behind me to which I naturally turned round to investigate and to my utter amazement there was a man of quite a stocky build stood there with his arms folded just looking at us.  Now in the daylight I wouldn’t have even worried about it but at 2am in the morning it’s a different kettle of fish, anyhow, my mouth went completely dry and in my head I just wanted to say “alright mate” but I just couldn’t.  My uncle could only see an outline of the man from where he was sat but he also had fell silent and with that the man just then quietly and calmly without saying a word just turned and walked off into the night! 

Three things about this have confused me and uncle, one, given the fact we could hear mice, rats and foxes all night all along the path and the undergrowth scurrying along, how didn’t we hear him coming and how long was he actually stood there for? And two, just what was he doing on the bank at 2am in the morning and three why did he not say a word?

4am – daybreak

The temperature dropped considerably before daybreak as a cold mist came down the river valley.  I had added a perch and a few dace to the total so not a great nights fishing but in all honesty it wasn’t about the fishing this time but more about the experience of spending a night on the bank for me.   We both got some sausages going on the grill to go and sat back and enjoyed a delicious sausage barm on he bank before loading the car at 7am and calling it a day.  The grill will certainly be a god send come winter when we are on the river dee in the freezing cold!

Enjoyable few hours on curlston mere

Saturday was spent recharging my batteries from the night before so it was inevitable I was going to wake up nice and early on Sunday morning, a quick breakfast and I was out on my way to the bank again this time chasing a net of silvers with the hope of picking up an odd carp or two.  I arrived at the water around 9am and spent a few minutes assessing the water and there had been some big changes in this water since my last visit as the shallow back bay where the carp normally bask in the hot weather had completely dried up meaning all the carp and silvers where in the main body of the pond.  There were plenty of signs of fish about with silvers topping all over anf the odd patch of bubbles popping up in sporadic places in the pool giving away the fact the carp were also on the munch.

The fact the place was alive with fish really didn’t surprise me at all as the temperature was considerably lower than the whole of the previous scorching week so knowing the carp and silvers would have been basing most of the last week I half expected the fish to be up for a feed and I set up full of expectation.

The set up I went with was a blue hydro elastic set soft to a 1lb 7oz line fish all the way through to a size 20 micro barbed hook, bait wise, I had one bait and that was around 2 pint of white maggot. 

Plumbing the depth I found it to be the same depth at 4 sections of pole as it was at 7 so for an easy fish I set up on the close line and gently fed the swim with a few maggots to feel my way into how the place was fishing.  I fish on the bank most weeks and if its taught me one thing its feeding can be the make or break of your days fishing so starting lightly and only upping the feed based on the fishes response is always the way to go.

The first put in resulted in a tiny perch but the bite was almost instant so I fed again straight away and back in I went but this time the float didn’t even settle before I was into another fish, this time a small roach.  This is the way the swim went for around the first hour and I was thoroughly e joying myself.  As the swim built up the inevitable happened and the tell-tale bubbles of carp feeding started to appear around the fringes of the swim.  It wasn’t long before I struck expecting a few ounce roach and was hit with solid resistance and elastic strung half way across the pond.  As soon as the fight got going it was over as the elastic shot back at me and the hook had pulled, unfortunately this happened two more times but I knew moving over to the white hydro elastic would see me bumping most of the silvers and given the fact the silvers where steady I was reluctant to move over.

Eventually the temptation took over as the bubbles around my float from the carp gave away the presence of a good number of carp as you can see from the picture below.

 I moved over to a heavier elastic for the last two hours of the session and managed to land three carp in that time  but as predicted I bumped a lot of small silvers at the same time so as fun as it was it was quite frustrating.

I called it a day at 1pm and was very happy with a net of silvers just over 9lb and 3 stunning carp.

Till next time I wish you all tight lines


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