This time of the year is always a difficult time of year for myself as its when my mum sadly passed away and this year marks the fourth anniversary of her passing away, not a nice time of year and its mad how time flies bye. The Friday booked off i just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and be beside a water where i could just take in natures beauty and chew the fat with my old man. Many people deal with grief in different ways mine is to get away from things. I have said it before and i will say it again fishing offers the lucky few who enjoy this fantastic past time so much more than trying to catch a fish.
I would say i am a regular reader of the Anglers Mail and this weeks i read with great interest their piece on an indoor commercial fishery. The introduction of a fishery like this was always only a matter of time away as the competitive market that is commercial fishery's seek ever elaborate ways to keep the money coming in all year round in this case providing warm, dry and clean fishing indoors, another example of this was the introduction of flood lights to a fishery to allow evening matches during the week to continue to take place as the nights draw in.
I actually thought the incentive for the first fishery of this type would be as i mentioned above, money, but it was great to read that the thought behind this was to help develop the anglers of the future by giving them access to quality fishing that not only allows them to fish all year round but also stay safe and warm and i really do believe this can only be good for angling and its a big hats off to the developer of this idea as i do believe the way this has been done will develop the anglers of tomorrow as one of the hardest things in angling in winter is catching and we all know when kids are not catching they soon lose interest and can often drift away from the sport.
The flip side of this is also the fact we are all part of a sport where new ideas and ways of doing things soon become the norm across the board and its when this idea is developed on a larger scale it may prove to be less appealing i mean like where does it stop a warehouse with a lake in side it? how long will it be before pulling up to go fishing resembles the pulling up to a go cart indoor track or a large angling centre. I just worry that we risk tarnishing how our sport appears to the public looking into our sport as a major selling point for me of our sport to the outside world is the fact it gets you outside in the great outdoors amongst the fantastic British wildlife, fishing inside a warm warehouse in a lake overstocked with fish so we can be guaranteed of a catch does make our sport seem a little silly i mean like how far along the line is a conveyor belt system in front of each peg taking food to each peg in a yo sushi'esque fashion, i jest of course but its the way i feel our sport is going.
Looking forward towards the end of the month i will certainly be purchasing a Northwich Anglers Assosiation card for the upcoming season reasons behind this are quite simple and they are money and flooding. The cost of going fishing each week as we do is not cheap on the old petrol tank and this year i am making a conscious effort to reduce the money i spend on my fishing, both on bait and on travel and with most of the Northwich card being local its the ideal option, flooding is another major issue with our fishing as our main location, the river dee, seems to flood each season and as it has such a large area it stays in flood conditions for at least a week after the rains stop and we hope to still be able to still get on a river when this is the case and bar travelling to the river ribble which drops quickly as it is a spate river the river weaver is the next best option. I must say i am looking forward to targeting the silvers in this river and the carp and pike it also holds in good numbers over the coming year.
on to this weeks fishing:
Saturday - Putting in the Hours deadbaiting for pike
Saturday saw me rising at the crack of dawn with my pike head well and truly on and it is when you load the car for this type of fishing you get an idea of why i love this type of fishing so much as you can literally take two rods setup as shown below, a landing net, unhooking mat and a bag pack containing deadbaits, terminal tackle and of course the most important items of tackle in a pair of decent forceps and bolt cutters.
This staying light approach i feel will become vital in the colder months as the fact you are not sat hunched up on a chair with loads of gear to cart round means you are more inclined to keep mobile and work not only an area but also to pack up and move to a different location, this mobile approach i think is the way to go with pike fishing where in the colder months i feel you may have to find the fish that in my eyes may be lying hard on the bottom and not moving very much.
There is no getting away from the fact that i am quite inexperienced when it comes to winter dead baiting and it is going to take time to get to know the good locations, methods and of course baits that are going to be my go to bait for these varying locations. This is of course going to take more that just one season to achieve and my goals at the moment are to put the hours in and get one fish on the bank and then from their try to build on that and increase my knowledge in the areas above, one thing is for sure if i dont catch it wont be through lack of effort and i am not being big headed here or blowing my own trumpet but i dont think i will ever fail at anything in my fishing life through lack of putting the time in, in all conditions.
The first swim i tried was just off a set of reeds that had completely died off from my trips walking the bank in summer and this is where time on the bank pays dividends as anyone just going out to chuck it and chance it without doing their homework would not know this weed bed even existed. I fished two rods in this location with different baits utilising both the the conditions and the contours of the bottom to place baits where i thought the pike would be holding up.
The baits introduced we sat back and poured the first brew of the morning and myself and my dad chewed the fat on what we hoped to achieve in the coming year with our angling and i cant wait for march to come for my dad to get his Ea licence and start getting back out on the bank with us.
I was just recasting the second rod when my dad said he thought he had just seen the other float move and with that my attention was locked on the float and within seconds it came alive and like the shudders on the float the excitement fizzed through my veins as the float started to slowly move across the surface, MY FIRST TAKE!! I let the run develop to the point the float went under and i knew from my river piking that the moment had come to strike so i wound down and struck hard and felt the fish on the end and no sooner had i felt the fish did the bait come straight back at me, i am not going to beat around the bush or lie here i was slightly upset that i had missed my first big chance and i knew inside that that particular fish was probably well gone given the fact i connected with it momentarily.
The bait was straight back out in the same location but as i thought my chance had gone and after a hour i decided to move to my second swim of the day but this again failed to produce any bites at all and this was the same for the final location of the day as well which was disappointing. Looking back after the session i drew positives from my third session on the bank and it was around the run as it gave me great confidence that what i was doing worked and i was targeting areas where pike where holding out, granted no one likes to blank but with winter piking i think these will go hand in hand with the success that i am sure is just around the corner.
Sunday - Lets just catch some fish
Sunday saw myself and my uncle faced with rivers that where in their surrounding fields and an overnight frost that killed any chances of us targeting the local canals or stillwaters, we were left with only one option and that was to target a local fishery in flushing meadows in Acton Bridge. The sheer numbers of fish in the waters in this fishery means it does not fish like natural venues as the volume of fish in these waters mean that the fish feed in the coldest of conditions so we left confident of a bite or two.
As predicted the bites where not long in coming to maggot and bread tactics and we both enjoyed plenty of bites from perfectly formed roach and skimmer bream. Over the next few hours we lost count at how many fish we caught but left the fishery having scratched an that itch of seeing the float go under time and time again. The over night frost put pay to our chances of a rogue carp or barbel but it was a session that as anglers we all need from time to time and gives you that boost to go again and take on hard sessions on the rivers when they are at a reasonable level again.
That is it for this week, with a three day weekend booked now and hopefully three sessions out on the bank, at least two for pike i hope i will be able to put my first pike caught dead baiting on the bank.
till next time its tight lines