Friday, 9 May 2014

Evening Roach Fishing and Little Billinge Tench

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  I read with interest many reports on Facebook and angling forums about the problems people have been having in receiving their Environment Agency licence this year with some having ordered it over a month ago now and yet to receive their licence and some have also reported that their licence did not come away from the letter cleanly leaving white paper on the front of the licence.  I was very late ordering mine this year and it was midday on the Friday before the end of March I finally ordered mine and I have to I did not experience any problems in receiving my licence which arrived the following Wednesday but I did experience the problem with the front being left slightly defaced as the licence did not come cleanly from the letter.  The Environment Agency have issued a statement assuring all anglers who have received an on line confirmation email or had a receipt from the Post Office will receive a licence by the end of May and anglers should continue to use these in the meantime to prove they have purchased a rod licence.  The statement also confirmed the delay is down to a problem with printing.

Right now the opening of the river season officially is next month and although still around 6 weeks away just saying next month makes it seem a lot closer and as such over the passed few days I have allowed my thoughts to drift to that magical opening day.  I have of course booked the day off work,well i tell a lie my boss had already booked it in the diary this year before i even asked and i do have a trip planned for the opening day.  The next river season will see me fish the River Weaver and River Dane a lot more where i hope to connect with some of the better silvers in this river and in winter do battle with some River Weaver pike.  As always I am excited for the season to come and I cant wait for the new season to arrive.

Trips like this one a few weeks ago now just wet the appetite enough to make you start dreaming of silver darts and fat chub.


This passed week or two I have made a concious effort to get completely away from the Carp quest, clear my mind and just do some other fishing and that has taken the form of some pond fishing and tench fishing.  The decision to take a break was one that was hard to make as in my heart i wanted to be at the water side as many hours as i could but it is not till you step aside you realise you are just ploughing time and effort in the wrong areas and with tactics that are not working, you sometimes only realise this when you take a step away and allow yourself time to think and summarise where you are up to with it.  The break as you will read below proved to be just the tonic i needed and was certainly the right decision.

Moving on and looking forward to this bank holiday weekend and i am hoping to get out on the bank for at least two sessions.  One thing i normally do when wanting to target just bigger fish isto spend the morning on one venue and then drop back onto another for silvers around midday giving me the best of both worlds so over the two days i will almost certainly be fitting in some silver fishing and  some hours in pursuit of Mr cap and tench.  If your out this weekend then tight lines for your session and why not drop in on  the blogs Facebook page and let us know how you got on with your trip.

blogs facebook page:

on to the fishing:

Thursday Evening 5pm-7.20pm - Pond Fishing: Dog Roach on Corn..

After having only limited time the previous week at this pond i was eager to try and get a few more hours in there after work.  Now on the last trip i mentioned that the roach were strangely absent on that trip so i was eager to try and connect with a few of them.  I had hoped to try and get a full day on this water but to date i have not really had time to dedicate to this place.  I am quite an organised person when it comes to my fishing and although the exact location on the river trips may change on the night before the type of fishing i am doing is normally set in stone and this week i knew i wanted to devote a few hours on Sunday to my tench fishing.

I managed to winkle another early dart from work and as with the carp fishing, pole fishing, can be such a time forgiving vein of our sport as in not time at all i was at the side of a pond, pole put together and a pre tied rig loped to the end of the elastic and ready for my first put in.  I came armed with only the remains of the half pint of maggots from the weekend that where mainly casters by this point and a half tin of sweetcorn.  My plan was to start off on maggot and feed the odd bit of corn hoping to attract the better roach in and then fish corn for the last hour of the session.  The first put in on maggot resulted in a tiny perch, not the start i was after but my worries where soon put aside as the very next put in the float slid away confidently and a swift strike resulted in elastic melting from the tip, my prize? a plump roach above.

In all angling i believe the key to catching fish consistently, especially silvers, is feeding and you can get it so wrong.  My uncle is very good at trotting a float down  a river and catching fish but it is his feeding of the swim that keeps the fish coming.  I have sat there many a time and got off to a flyer when fishing but not fed the swim well and before i have realised it the swim is ruined or I have fed too heavily and the fish have moved up in the swim, its exactly the same on still waters, you need to keep the fish where you are fishing and feed to keep them there. A good way of thinking about it is to always be thinking in your mind you are there to catch the fish not to feed them.

I began drip feeding 2 or 3 maggots and the odd grain of corn, waiting for bites to dry up before feeding again to draw the fish from the safety of the cover.  The fishing in that first hour was patchy with one decent roach followed by a wait for a small perch, I knew the better fish where about as past experience of this venue has taught me that they really do shoal on here and once you hit one nice roach your in for a decent number of them.  I made one change at this point and it still amazes me each time how little changes can have such dramatic results.  A move over to a tiny piece of corn on a size 18 hook saw roach after roach come to the bank.

The quality and quantity of the fish even shocked me and i have fished this pond for many years now and this session put this tiny spit of a pond in a different league for me as roach and rudd between 6oz to a pound came with great regularity and yet another surprise came in the last few put ins with this roach bream hybrid below.

I really am going to have to dedicate a full day to this pond sometime to see just what weight i can out together.  Sweetcorn on the night was the killer bait and picked out the better fish time and time again and i would say the majority of the final net came in the last hour of the session.  My eye on the clock it was one of those sessions that passed by all to fast and one i did not want to come to an end.  I left it until as late as i could before calling it a day.  Leaving this secluded intimate venue after catching a nice net of roach i was more than made up with my few hours fishing.

Saturday: Morning Session On Little Billinge for Tench

The past week or so I have been preferring short sessions as opposed to the mammoth 12 hour sessions we do on the river and there is one good reason for this.  I hoped that i would get more out of my fishing if i fished with full concentration for a few hours rather than 12 hours where after around 8 hours of the session sat behind bite alarms i found myself not really enjoying it and actually wanting to go home.

Saturday morning and arriving at Little Billinge on the Northwich card whilst it was covered it a thick blanket of fog was very atmospheric to say the least, especially as the road where you park actually dissects big and little billinge.  I settled down in the swim furthest from the entrance as basically it looked the best swim with a marginally sunken tree and plenty of open water it looked like it screamed tench and carp.  I cast one rod along side the the tree and the other just up the nearside margin hoping to pick up any patrolling fish.

The morning brought all manner of visits from wildlife including herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, lapwings and wood pigeons the name a few and it was great to take in the world as it awakened from its overnight slumber.  I was amazed to see that i was the only person to visit the lake early that morning and only shared it with a lad that was on a night session, his unhooking mat hooked up to dry giving away some night time captures.  The rods remained silent all morning apart from the odd liner and it was not until around 12 noon when the bailiff arrived i was dropped a few hints on where the carp and tench had been showing of late i decided to move.

With only a hour and half of the session left I deemed it was worth at least a hour or so in this new spot before i called it a day.  Twenty minutes in and the alarm sounded out a short set of bleeps and the bobbin shot to the top, watching a few carp blogs on Youtbube all say this is you getting done over when the fish had sucked in the bait but not got hooked, being an optimist i saw this as a good sign rather than reminiscing on the fact i had not got a fish.  It was certainly more action than I had experienced in the morning.

The time slipped away and in what felt like no time at all i was looking at around 20 minutes of fishing time left before i had to leave.  Another blank was looking to hit the blog until right on last knockings as i stood to bring the first rod in it shot into life the alarm giving a complete one toner i quickly lifted into what felt like a really nice fish that had me in all types of trouble on the far bank as it went under my other rod, its all well and good having two rods in the water but i tell you what soon as you get a run you wish it wasn't there at all!.  The fish away from the bank came in like a wet lettuce with no fight at all to the point i felt like it had come off, very strange i thought as i slipped the net under a pristine looking female tench.

on the scales she went just over 5lb.

It wasn't till i lifted the fish from the weigh sling to put her back in the net for release i noticed her tail, well lack of to be more precise.  The tail had completely gone which must give this fish problems moving around but upon release did not seem to bother her one bit as she shot away.  The injury looked old and healed over and she was obviously feeding well at 5lb and in great condition.  Asking on the Internet the general consensus that this was a injury due to infection or disease that eats away at the tail when its young till the tail flesh is gone, sad really.

Well i leave you with a picture of Nemo the tench and until next week i wish you all

tight lines


(late blog this week due to problems getting pictures from camera)

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