In past weeks i have covered the RiverFest Tournament in great detail and it was great this week to see it got s mention on Tight Lines and even better that that video is making its way around the angling world via all the social media sites. All the anglers interviewed, whether they fished the match or not, agreed that this competition will go from strength to strength and i firmly believe this will be the case and with plans already in place for next year i am sure even more sponsors will jump on this competition given the excellent manner at which it was received and promoted this year. The video is available on the link below:
This competition, as i have said before on this blog, is a breath of fresh air to the river angling side of our sport it is literally history being made in front of our eyes as never before has a competition been held on running water for such an amount of money and as participation increases and the need for more venues past the 20 is sought who knows we may see rivers like the River Dee used and maybe just maybe the tales my uncle tells of the meadows of the dee lined with anglers may become a reality in years to come, the river dee certainly has the fish in the autumn moths to produce good weights and make for a fair competition before the fish shoal up making the match winning location a formality.
Still on the theme of next year and followers on Facebook and Twitter will no doubt know this but i have been mentioning a lot about next years Quest for the blog. The quest will almost certainly centre around Carp fishing and i have been busy drawing up a list of items so that i am fully prepared for this quest this year in terms of mentality and of course tackle. I will go a lot more into my tackle choices closer to the time when the quest is a lot closer but for me being able to put together a in depth blog post each week involves a great deal of planning and forward thinking and also lessons have to be learnt and built upon from the previous quest. The previous quest was a steep learning curve and maybe i bit off more than i could chew asking for a 10lb fish from a non commercial, natural water for my first double but i did it and one thing you can guarantee from myself is dedication.
One of the biggest factors i noticed in the first quest was the amount of times i saw two spots i wanted to fish but only fished one rod, that has been addressed now with the purchase of two new carp rods and this weekend i also visited Stapley Water Gardens and picked up some bank sticks and bars. I am no tackle tart as long as it does the job it will do for me, money spent on the tackle under the water is money better spent that money spent on how your gear looks above it. Sunday saw me taking a step into unknown territory again:
These purchases are also an investment in my wider vision for the all round type of angler i want to be as these rods bank sticks and future bite alarms will also cross over into my winter pike fishing and also my tench fishing, both areas i want to get more involved into and learn more about so i am able to just grab a ruck sack and a chair and head off for a relaxing day by the bank and it will no doubt see me being able to capture more wildlife for the blog and add some much needed variety.
Moving back to the quest and it is looking like next years quest will be sponsored by a local bait company, all being well and it is the first time i will be working directly with a a company that wants to sponsor an idea of mine and i have been approached in the past by other companies to do such things but opted against the idea but this time the guy who runs the company is a guy that has been around my blog since it started many years ago and someone i have shared many emails and location conversations with and is someone who's type of fishing is quite similar to mine and all these together made it the right thing to do from my point of view.
It also got me thinking about opening this up to other companies as well, of course not bait related, but if you have a item of tackle, terminal tackle, PVA bags systems or leads you want featuring in this quest by all means feel free to contact me on the blogs email address, facebook or Twitter.
Moving away from the quest on onto the impeding festive period where we all get a chance to relax and reflect on the year gone by and as is customary with the blog i will be putting together a few highlights of 2013 from the blog in next weeks blog update. Christmas falls at a nice time of year this year for any angler as Christmas is sandwiched right in the middle of two weekends so it should see me getting out at least twice over the festive period. I also aim, if i get the missus's present bought that is, to spend some time refreshing the look of the blog, not so much the colour but the layout and removing some dead blogs that are on the list that do not get updated and also updating some of the links to companies that i feel really help me out on twitter and really help the blog to grow like it has over the past few years.
These people help me out for no monetary gain for themselves of self promotion but just because they like reading my blog and believe me i read a fair few angling blogs in my weekly breaks and its amazing how many blogs i promote on my page that do not even have the courtesy to have me mentioned in the sidebar or blogs they follow list. I spend a lot of time on my blog and i see the regulars who comment, comment of facebook, re tweet, mention me on their blog and really help me out and i think i should be doing more for these people and companies to scratch their back. There will be also more added to the still waters, rivers and commercials i fish sections if i get time.
Moving along but still on the theme of Christmas i have put together a little fun video for the blog to say Merry Christmas to all the people who take time to read my weekly blog. Merry Christmas and a Safe and happy new year from Myself, Dad and Uncle.
The weather of late has really surprised me and how mild it is of late was confirmed by the fact Martin Bowler commented on his Facebook page this week that he had just released his fourth barbel of the day back to the river and also another angler i keep in contact with who follows the blog got in touch to say he had caught his first still water barbel from Flushing Meadows Fishery, again in December which is crazy!! The temperature has creeped down towards freezing but it has not stayed low for ant considerable amount of time, certainly not for more than two days with the daytime temperatures reaching up around the 7oc mark, methinks Santa might be delivering his presents this year in his under crackers at this rate.
and with that we move onto past fishing trips:
Winter and that hunt for Dace Perfection
Expectations of winter normally fill the mind with images of snow covered fields, iced rod rings and friendly visits from plump red breasted robins but this year has been unique as although the pages of the newspapers seem to be full of horror weather reports of the worst storms since records began the reality has been much different. the morning commute to work has seen me met with fiery red skies with the early rays of sunlight providing a claret tinge to the morning clouds.
The majority of the country wakes and breathes a heavy sigh of relief as yet another promised overnight frost fails to materialise, myself, my heart sinks as yet another day passes by with mild temperatures and rain free days. The rivers wait in expectation of their yearly refreshing winter deluge of water and subsequent cleansing floods but its a wait that has seen our rivers run clear and low for the majority of the winter of 2013. We now are fast approaching the middle of winter and the day with the shortest amount of daylight hours is right there in our sights and the majority of river and still water predator anglers hope and pray for the second stanza of winter to be glistened with jack frosts ice cold touch.
My angling confidence of late has been as changeable as the seasons of the year with it being as high as a buzzard in the midday summer sun a few weeks back too it being as low as i can remember of late and the past two sessions i mention in this update have been some of the most difficult sessions i have been on in a long time. My tactics have not changed from previous dace trips to the river dee and although there has been some really nice fish to remember these session for, such as this pristine roach below that weights just over a 1lb, in reality the sessions as a whole have proved frustrating.
The first session i was well prepared for the fishing to come with hook lengths lined up like soldiers next to a hard boiled egg all waiting to be called upon to be dunked into the murky depths. The session started off great with me straight into fish and nice ones to boot. The roach mentioned above was one of these fish that came early on in the session and for the first hour or two i put a decent weight of fish in the net, so much so it had my uncle coming over to check my progress as he was struggling. I ended the session with 9lb off fish and i would say around 7lb of that came in those two to three hours as from 3 hours in i could not buy a bite, it was like someone had knocked the switch off altogether. The fish where there but i could not catch them and when preceded to occur was the odd fish capture here and there over the rest of the session.
I say the odd fish here ant there but the fish when they came were worth catching as they were generally fish over 6oz the frustration came in the fact i could not keep more than one or two coming. The river dee and especially dace fishing on this river is always an ongoing battle with the pike that love to sneak into your swim but i really think this was down to me not doing something right and the answer does not normally show itself till you are back home thinking over the session and this was the case on Saturday.
The reason i feel i struggled after 3 hours of the session was bad feeding of the swim, i basically fed too much which drew the fish up the swim and up in the water and as they where drawn up in the water so my bait was passing down the right line but not the right area of the swim so rather than changing float and line during the session maybe i should have changed depth and not fed as much maggot to bring the fish back down over the hemp where i had caught them in the first few hours. Over feeding a swim is something i suffer from quite a lot with my fishing as i am an angler that really likes to attack the swim i am in and even more so when the fish are coming thick and fast but in reality once i have the fish in the swim my feeding should change from feeding a lot to drip feeding it into the swim to create competition for bite, fishing is a journey where we are constantly learning in my opinion and although this may not be the reason i caught next time i am in that situation i will have another option to test rather than plodding on with the way i was doing for the first few hours.
My uncle is the master of putting together a net of fish and his feeding and way he catches the fish is a joy to watch and this was the case on this session as although he did not catch much for the first few hours he had almost doubled my net by the end. The dace on his swim where strangely coy for dace in the river dee and he found that he only got bits when he trotted really close to a downstream snag, he had no bites anywhere else in the swim all day. Normally when dace fishing the fish grow in confidence and you bring them up onto the feed where you want them during the session but on this occasion these fish where not leaving the sanctuary of the snag.
My uncles net:
First light came and i set up my box in the swim and set about getting my float rod ready for fishing, line threaded i went in my box for a float and that is when the nightmare began, no float tube!! I began searching in my side tray for a float and the heaviest i could find was 6 number 4, not ideal and with the wind gusting through i knew i was in trouble but as always i was optimistic, i very rarely am not confident with my fishing especially so when dace fishing the river Dee.
The wind at this point was just coming in gusts with prolonged gaps where i managed to catch some nice dace and roach but it did not last long and by 9am the wind was so strong it was bending the tip of my float road around towards 90 degrees at times. It was time to make a change so i went to my holdall to get my feeder rod but alas the feeder rod was not to be seen and that is when i realised i had left it on the table at home with my float tube, things could not get any worse surely, or could it as from this moment on the wind got so hard it was blowing the float and rig into the edge as soon as it hit the water, i wasn't even going down the river but trotting back into my bank, side wards haha.
I persevered for 3 hours on the float rod without a fish to show for my efforts before a gap in the wind saw me in with a chance, i quickly trotted the line further out and hit a fish fist time, a nice dace as well, well lets just say it WAS a nice dace as no sooner had the fish broke the surface a pike came from the depths and took the fish and bit straight through the line which shot into the air and into a birds nest around the float. Enough was enough, there where all manner of better things i could be doing than struggling on the river so i called it a day and spent the afternoon with my fiance and little girl.
This makes the session sound all doom and gloom when looking back at the better fish from the session it was not so bad.
Well that concludes another blog update, this week i doubt we will get on the dee with this rain but i am sure we will be on the banks somewhere in this wonderful country of ours, might even get on the canal for some piking!!
till next time