Sunday, 13 July 2014

River Dane Fishing: Perch Heaven and Exploration

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  The past few weeks i have managed to get out on the bank on a number of occasions during the week and as such i have decided to break the sessions down into a midweek blog update, as such it has meant that the main weekly blog update for that week has not been live on the front page of the blog for long at all.   I thought it might be worth including a few links to the
past few updates since the season has started.

Chub Fishing on the River Tame:
Session to Forget on Dane and how i prepare Hemp:
Busted by the coppers on the bank:

As of writing this introduction section of this blog I am just about to start a week and a half break from work and at the moment the only plan i have is to get out on the Dane on Thursday and of course our Saturday stint where i think we have got plans to get our discovering boots on to hike a few farmers fields discovering those never fished before swims hidden behind the walls of Balsam that suffocate the river further upstream.  After Saturday I have no idea what I am doing fishing wise, a bit of me wants to put some hours in on the carp quest but I am a running water man at heart and the lure of those rivers pulls hard for me when setting off in the car but its something i need to get my head back on track with so i may find my way out for a few evenings for the carp and maybe a sneak trip to the Tame, either way its going to be an exciting week to be off work and on the bank.  Born to fish Forced to Work.

This weekend is always a weekend i look forward to so much and that is because it is the Fishomania final.  As regular readers will know Saturdays are my normal fishing day so i will be setting a recording on Sky Plus for the match on Saturday but it is the Sunday International match i look forward too more and i guess that is down to the fact it is more similar to to the fishing I do in the way they target all species and the emphasis is not so much on carp catching methods and you get to see baits like worm and caster used.

Fishomania has been a great success and we can only hope that one day the Riverfest gains as much popularity that it also gets a televised final on Sky although the logistics of filming such an event along a long stretch of river bank may a problem.  The hope that this will on day feature may not be far off being a reality though in future years given the fact that every match in this years competition has sold out and the competition is attracting some big sponsors this year.

Away from the actual fishing i have this week been contacted by a company with a view of me writing a review of their product on my blog.  As i have said before on the blog i get many of these emails asking me to review all types of products and it may seem silly to stare a gift horse in the mouth but if i can not relate the product back to my fishing in some way then i politely decline, in past years there has been some "out there" ones like Hammocks and a full head to toe mozzy clothing!  As said may seem mad to  turn it down but it is what it is and if i can not find a use for it and relate it back to my fishing in some way then how can i give it a true review.

Speaking of past reviews i to this day still use most of the products i have done reviews for on the blog.  The lamp get used every week when walking the bank in the dark and to thread my line through the rod rings in the dark and the grill to go get used on the few sessions where you can get close to the car to name a few.

Before we get onto this weeks fishing I thought i would just go into where i feel we are up to this year with the river fishing and write up a bit of an update.  When i set out my plans for the season it was aimed predominantly around discovering what the river Dane has to offer and not just in the popular well fished areas.  I feel in the past few weeks we  learnt a lot about the lower reaches of the Dane in that it offers us a steady 10lb net of fish at least on most sessions when the river is in low summer conditions and looking back to the winter sessions it seems the chub stick around but in winter the better fish seem to shoal up as you would expect in certain areas of the river.

The steady nets available here and the good fishing we have found i must admit has halted our exploration upstream and this has been remedied a little in this update but in all honesty i had in my mind that we would have began moving a little earlier but it is so hard to branch out to other spots when you have such steady fishing with easy access already there and as such hacking your way through brambles upstream to fish the same river makes you think twice.  Then there is the River Dee, a river both me and my uncle love to fish but a river that seems to have fallen by the wayside of late but i am sure that will all change come winter and then there is the River Weaver that i planned to fish and i am pleased to say that i have a session planned on the Weaver next Friday so that will feature as a midweek blog during the following week as it will be too late for that nights blog so keep an eye out for that.

on to this weeks fishing.

River Dane Fishing: Perch Heaven and Exploration 

The idea this weekend was to take advantage of the dry conditions and head for a section of the River Dee that fishes really well for dace at this time of year if the river is at the right level so all day Friday whilst i was in work i had in my head we would be heading off to my beloved River Dee the next day.  All the bait bought as i headed home from work i had a quick glance at my phone and it showed that the next day we were in for some rain, not a problem for us as we go out all weathers, it was the predicted high winds that drew our attention as the venue on the dee is very open and does involve you to fish right down the middle of the river so these high winds would make line control and presentation of the bait difficult.  With this in mind we went back to the drawing board and looked through the venues we had at our disposal and we decided to scrap the idea of fishing the river Dee and decided on a early start on the River Dane at a very sheltered spot.

Waking in morning to the sound of rain tapping against the window i set about my normal morning routine, cup of coffee, round of toast, bait out of fridge and into my basket and all set to load the car.  The time come to load the car and in the pitch black and with the rain bettering down i loaded the car as one or two of the younger neighbours stumbled home from a drunken night out, been there done that and i was glad i was going fishing although i did wonder just how many anglers had set their alarms, woken up and saw the rain and turned back over.  You think it does not happen but when you see how quiet the banks are on these days it makes you realise it does effect a lot of peoples decisions to go fishing although this nature is not confined to angling as dog walkers, bikers and ever boats on the local cuts numbers are drastically reduced, at least until mr sunshine comes back out. Heading out along the roads with the window wipers doing double time we chatted about the session ahead and what we expected.  The river Dane is a river that shows the effects of rainfall quite quickly and even after a good month of hardly any rain we knew she would be carrying a little bit of water and we thought maybe a bit of colour too.

Walking the banks in the early morning light with the rain coming down we quickly scouted out two pegs and set about getting out gear set up, now i did say before fishing in the rain does not bother me but i must admit setting up in the stuff does as everything it soaking we through before you start so priority one for me was to get my basket down and the brolly set up over it and as we had chosen our venue wisely there was no wind so the risk of my box getting blown in was eliminated totally.  Putting the landing net in the margin i noticed the water clarity was quite good and i could see quite a bit of the keep net in the water even in the dim light.

Tackle and Bait

Rod: 17ft Preston Carbon-active Float rod  Line: 5lb Drennan Float Fish 2.2oz Bayer Perlon (hooklength)
Float: Dave Harrell 8 number 4  Hook: Size 20 Kamasan Animal
Bait - 2 Pints of white maggot 1 pint of hemp

We had timed our arrival well as no sooner had I set up it was light enough to run a flat through and as normal with this venue the fish had come straight onto the feed i had put in while setting up and the very first run down the fish where there.  I always take a photo of the first fish of the day and in this case it was a small roach.  The rain was still coming down at this point but with fish coming quite regular and my brolly up i was as happy as a pig in muck.  The great variety of this river was shown in the first three fish of the day which were a roach, dace and a chublet and this variety is what draws me to this river, not knowing what the next fish is or what is in the river that day just makes the session for me.

Having fished this river since the season has opened we have began to get a feel for how she fishes and it has been very noticeable that the swim starts with smaller fish and builds in both number of fish and the odd better fish start to show and it is normally around a hour or so into the session.  It has also been a huge feature that the swims build and build and then completely die so although i was catching very well i knew to make the best of it as it would almost certainly not last.

After around a hour and a half the better fish had started to show on my peg in the form or a few nice skimmers and perch.  It is around this time that my uncle normally visits my peg or vice versa to see how the other is fairing and when my uncle visited he brought the news he was having a session similar to mine the previous week where nothing had gone right to the point he had not even cast in yet with a mixture of getting caught on the trees and stuck on bottom first cast accounting for two hook lengths, needless to say he was far from happy and i would have been exactly the same, well i was the previous week so i knew how he felt.  A quick brew and he was back on his way to his peg and i got back to my peg and set about trying to get as many fish together in the early bumper period as possible.

The session moving along nicely i was catching some nice roach and even had one or two better chublets coming on my trots down the swim.  It was great to also see some nice perch showing if the float dropped into a slack on the far side of the swim and although we have caught perch on here before these where of a better standard.

Another reoccurring feature of our trips so far on the River Dane has been the appearance of some really nice perch both harassing small fish as they come in and also stalking the fish in our keep nets.  I knew they were ever present on the peg in was on so i had set out with a game plan and ever since setting up i had been feeding a margin line with bait and around two hours into the session i saw the first signs of predators in the area with all the silver fish coming up in my keep net and i was sure i saw the flash of a perch following my feed down.  The swim in front of me was starting to die off a little with fish coming in dribs and drabs and having to be worked for so it all pointed to it being time to try for the perch.

In i went with my bait and no sooner had the float settled was it sliding under and i struck into a fish that left no doubts to its identity as it went straight for the margins and feeling the pounding of its tail down the rod blank i knew it was a perch.  When the fish surfaced i was taken back as to the size of the perch it was massive and with that i started praying for it not to come off and playing the fish with a lose drag i managed to get it to the top only for it to dive time and time again and with every dive my heart rate increased till eventually i managed to slide my net under its crocodile skin flanks.

On the unhooking matt it looked huge and i thought it was for sure a new personal best but on the scales she went exactly 2lb and her stomach felt quite hollow.  I was in no way upset i was over the moon in fact and this fish was the fish of the season so far and could quite possibly be the fish of the season.

over the moon!!

As i was landing this fish my uncle appeared at the back of my peg and after taking some pictures and returning the perch back we got chatting and my after my uncles late start the fish had been poor and i concurred that the fishing down the swim had got worse over time so we decided to photograph my net and go and spend a few hours discovering an area we had scouted out upstream.

The Discovering Continues Upstream, 

Heading of upstream to discover what the fishing was like on an area we had scouted out a few weeks back filled us both with excitement and although we only had around 3 hours of fishing on the new stretch we knew it would give us a good idea of the potential of the area.  What would we find?  What species were present? and would we find the location of the better chub that we know must be in this river?

My uncle set up in a swim that had a deep run on its inside that led down to some really fast water and it was at this really fast water i set up in a swim.  This was not the plan but the upside of setting up in these swims would ultimately give us a chance to see what fish species are up here as you would think we would encounter fish that live in slow glides as well as the fast runs.

The great news is that although we did not break any records with the weight if our nets what we did catch gave us great confidence.  We both had a good few silver fish in roach, dace and even a perch while we both caught some nice grayling one of two i caught is shown below and was two fish of a 13 fish haul of grayling i caught and returned.

 We both caught chublets and my uncle also had a better stamp of chub than we had been catching down stream which really pleased us both.  The highlight of the short session for me was two brown trout i caught which both put up an epic fight in the fast water.

The two final nets although not going to set the world alight weight wise will give us the push to search out other areas around here and let us know that dedicating a full day to this area will be worthwhile.

till next time its tight lines from me,



  1. That was a very enjoyable read Danny and some nice nets of fish, that 2lb perch is simply beautiful mate.

  2. Have you noticed the unusual striping pattern on the larger perch? Compare it to the smaller one. Interesting.

  3. Cheers Mark for your nice comments mate, i can still remember watching your perch video on the last weeks of last season i think it was when you had that fantastic catch of perch that was dream fishing that mate and lived long in the memory!!

    i did notice the unusual stripes on this fish when i caught it Jayzs and also noticed how small their mouths were considering they are obviously eating the small roach in the river, i expected its mouth to be alot larger

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