Monday, 28 July 2014

Session To Remember And New Perch PB

A warm welcome to this week's blog update I hope I find you all well.  I would like to start this week's blog update with a picture that for me really does speak a thousand words for me and says a great deal about the reasons why i have joined Northwich Anglers.

Now this picture above to most just looks like a pile of rubble and in essence it is but its the fact that this pile of rubble is being used to resurface a road on one of Norwch's waters and to my shock its a River, yes believe it or not a club is actually investing time and effort in getting a road down to car parks on on river resurfaced, crazy or what.  To understand my shock you have to know the club i joined from, Warrington Anglers, stance on all things river related, they basically could not care less is the simple way of putting it.  Regular readers will have heard me mention this before but for newcomers i will recap, basically there is a stretch of the River Dee at Worthenbury that is superb fishing but the mile long track down to the river resembles more a lunar landscape than a track and a few of the river anglers asked the club for the materials to sort the road out, we were politely told its not the clubs responsibility to fix roads down to the rivers as they don't own the stretch. 

What a refreshing breath of fresh air it was to see that Norwich Anglers have either purchased or arranged for this road (that is no way near as bad as worthenbury) to be fixed and actually care about the well being of the anglers who actually sustain the club.  I have fished a fair few of Northwich waters this year and i have to say this care and attention is not just limited to the Rivers as every water i have visited on the card has been well maintained and looked after, stages built all around it and well bailiffed, this is in stark reflection to my time with WAA where i had my card checked once and how long has Rixton clay pits had only 4 proper pegs for now with the rest left unfinished??  As say i not here to bring clubs down but i feel i am bound to be honest and put across the truth of what i see and my experiences of being in both clubs.

Moving on and this week the weather has been baking hot with little or no respite from the searing temperatures, a busy week last week travelling far and wide with the family and fishing has left me watching my fuel gauge a little this week so chances to get out with some floating baits for some carp has not been there for me but that's life i guess.  That does move me nicely on to my plans for the month of August and although i am not one who likes to plan what fishing i am going to be doing so far in advance I am fully aware that the Carp Quest 2014 has fallen a bit by the way side since the opening of the season and I am hoping that during August i can really get my head together and begin to hit this quest again with earnest.  I have passed the carp water a few times on the way home from the river of late and have noticed the cars have drastically reduced and i have not seen Dumb and Dumbers car there at all, so all is looking well for getting back at it so what this space with that one, it is in my thoughts.

One big plus point that has come out of writing my weekly blog is the Social Media side of things and both on Facebook and Twitter the blog has a good following of really nice anglers.  I am a member of a few pages on Facebook and to see some of the problems the Admins have to deal with is scary and it makes me really happy when i think what a great group of people follow my blog on Facebook and Twitter as still to this day I have not had to delete any comments or people for any bad language or inappropiate comments which given what people are on others pages i see is fantastic.  Facebook and Twitter is a great place to keep up with the blog and I regularly post as i am fishing on both and many of the fish you see in this update where posted on Facebook and Twitter the night of their capture.  Feel free to come  along and join in on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your own captures on any of the walls, i love seeing how people who read about my fishing are getting on with theirs,  links to both are on the right hand margin of the blog of you can follow the links below:

Dannys Angling Blog On Facebook:
Dannys Angling Blong on Twitter:

Looking forward to this weekend's fishing i think we are going to have to certainly find some river with some shade in this heat and bright sunshine.  I will also be reviewing the product i was sent last week this weekend and putting together my review to hopefully be published in next weeks blog update so i am looking forward to the sparking delights of testing a water bottle that claims to make any water source drinkable! Really am looking forward to this review!!

On to this Weeks Fishing.

Session to Remember and New 3lb Pb Perch. 

I normally set my alarm for an hour before i am due to meet up with my uncle and set out to the river bank, this hour gives me plenty of time to get my stuff together and load the car, Saturday morning was no different as at 2am the Alarm awoke me from my slumber but for some reason after knocking my alarm off on my phone i must have drifted straight back off and it was a whole hour and a quarter later i suddenly woke, i do not know what woke me but i was soon rushing round getting ready and it was during this short period of frantically trying to find my clothes i noticed what had surely woken me as the whole living room was illuminated by lightning and a very close deep rumble of thunder had me very much awake.

Not one to ever let the weather dictate my fishing i carried on and loaded the car and set off on my way to my uncles, only a short 5 minute journey.  It was during this short journey the rain started coming down heavy, again not something that i even notice really as it does not bother me but something that really had me concerned was the amount of lightning and the severe electrical storm i was driving through, from starting to count after leaving my road i counted 35 individual lightning strikes and at one point i passed over a large clearing that gave me a view over the estuary and the lightning was happening all over the place at the same time, large forks across the sky all over the area.

Arriving at my uncles he was all set for the off quoting "you can only get struck once", he does make me laugh and it was me that suggested that with this thunder reported to be in all day we left our fishing trip till the Sunday.  The next hour the storm continued with no let up so i made my  way back home and get some more shut eye.  The weather man for once had got it wrong and from 4am till gone 11am there was no sign of the thunderstorms so a quick call was made and before we knew it, it was 1am and we were on the banks setting up.

We knew from past trips we would have no competition for a peg as lets face it we have not seen an angler on there in the fair weather never mind after a thunderstorm and out thoughts were proved right as we parked up and strolled right onto the pegs we had planned to fish a few hours earlier.  The river was carrying a bit of extra water but not as much as i had expected from the down pour but was well within fish able limits and what got me even more excited was the tad tinge of colour and the extra pace, it looked bang on.

No matter how good a river looks or how confident i am in catching a fish i always take a picture of the first fish as one time it will be the only fish i catch so always think it best to take a picture and on this river the first fish nearly always is a chublet, i guess their greedy nature pulls them in faster to the early offerings.  I did make a slight change to my tactics for this session and it was around  my feed as i chose to incorporate the feeding of ground bait to the swim and it has been the catching of skimmer bream all along this rivers length that prompted this decision.

There is a saying "dont expect different results if you keep doing the same thing" and it has been this that has been ringing in my head of late as searching this river and trying to crack how to keep bites coming all day and how to improve the stamp of fish is not going to happen if we are sticking to the same tactics of maggot and hemp each session, so my hope was to try and break away from the norm and feed the swim with ground bait laced with maggot and hemp seed.  At the start of the session i had a fair idea of where i wanted to feed but i wanted to wait till i knew this was the line i was going to catch on before i committed to putting my bait there.  A few bites and fish down the same line i was sure there were fish to be had so in went a few balls of ground bait and one down the far bank and the reason for this is i knew if as the evening came the shadow of a far bank tree would be where i would find the fish when bites died down middle, i also fed another swim hoping to attract in some of the big perch i  had seen caught on past trips.

After a few trots down i hit my first skimmer, would i have caught this had i not fed ground bait? we will never know but that's the magic of fishing is it not.  The fishing at this point was steady and i was getting a fish or a bite each trot down with small skimmers and roach making up the lions share of the fish.  It was very noticeable during this session that allot more of my bites where over the baited area than when i had been feeding hemp on other sessions.  As the session developed i started to get a few more variety showing in the swim with a lovely marked perch shown below, i did wonder if he rubbed shoulders with his older, larger relatives.

The session was going fantastic and even better was the lovely cloudy cover we had over head which kept the bright sunlight restrained to the odd brief spell.  The river and the issues we face with bites was summed up in the next two fish, one trot down i caught a nice roach and all was well but the very next i couldn't buy a bite and after 10-20 bite less trots i struck at a dip in the float to be met with a tiny gudgeon and the swim was like it was devoid of any fish.

With the swim all quiet i decided to keep feeding the swim and take a walk to see how my uncle was getting on.  He was in a swim around 10ft deep and was struggling with getting his bait down on the bottom but had just managed to alter bis depth bit by bit till he started to hit some fish with some regularity and they were certainly better quality roach than i was hitting down stream.  I returned to my swim and fed two more balls of ground bait and three over the far bank line to prime it for what i was sure would be my line in the coming hour. At this point i kept feeding but my attention turned to my perch spot, dropping a bait in i knew conditions were bang on for a perch, overcast and a tinge of colour in the water.

Dropping in a bait i could not have expected a better result as the float settled in the swim before two violent bobs on the float before it slowly slid away into the depths, striking i hit solid as the road hooped over and the drag began to give line as the fish head down and hugging the bottom made a hard run for freedom.  Trotting the swim all afternoon i had a fair idea of the location of one or two snags and boy did this fish know about them as i counted as he made runs for each one.  I knew this pressure was putting great strain on the hook length and i also knew from experience that once i got this fish to the top it would almost certainly dive again so i broke a cardinal rule of mine ad grabbed the landing net and had it prepared well in advance of the fish being ready.

The thudding of the tail let me know i was into either a Perch or an Eel but i knew deep down i was into a nice perch.  The fish began to tire a little and as i lifted it up through the water layers i began to see my weights and i knew the fish was not far below and in that moment up came a colossal perch, it was huge!  I was so taken back by the depth of the fish i got lost in the moment and i admit i  was shaking as the fish turned and dived for the bottom.  At this point i was in that horrible situation that all anglers hate being when you know the enormity of what you are attached too, my personal best at this point was a 2lb 5oz perch from the River Dee and was certainly bigger, i began again to make some line and up again she came and this time i took my chance and scooped her up, i always remember pulling that landing net back and holding the net between my legs to unhook her with those dark green flanks, perfect dorsal fin erect in the net and jet black back and mouth being the complete opposite to her white plump bell, she was as deep as my stretched hand and long to boot, she was perfect.

I dropped her and the landing net into to top of my keep net for her to rest while i got myself and the weighing gear together, shaking i grabbed my carrier bag and zero'd the scales, in she went and the scales settled on exactly 3lb, i lifter her again to check and take a picture and a new personal best perch was confirmed, a quick call to my uncle and she was rested till he came along to verify and take some pictures what a special moment.

The fish in the keep net as not to scare the swim as i fancied it for another fish i set about feeding the trotting line as it had been severely neglected over the past 10 minutes so in went some ground bait and i began to drip feed the maggots.  I don't know what prompted me to not start trotting my normal lines and go for another perch but i did and jesus was it a good decision as after letting the float settle and waiting around 1 or 2 minutes maximum the float shook again violently and again slowly slid away a firm strike and i was again connected with another perch that again was street wise to the snags in the area but i must admit at this point i was still floating on air from the previous capture and much of this fight is a blur to me as i can remember thinking is take your chance with this one and soon as it comes up nail it and as soon as that fish hit the surface she was scooped up in a erratic crazy stab that some how bagged the fish on the downward dive.  Needless to say netting it early had bad results in the landing net as it went ballistic but thankfully i had my unhooking mat and weighing gear still handy from the past capture so it was a smooth procedure to weigh the fish that went 2lb 2oz and take a quick mat picture before resting her in the landing net before releasing her into the keep net.

The fish rested and released i had to chance my arm again, who wouldn't? It was very quiet for the next 15 minutes and while i waited i kept feeding the trotting line and eventually moved back over to it.  The swim down the middle saw me put a few skimmers and roach but they were few and far between and cloud cover had broken and the sun was shining right down on the swim so i knew it was time to move over to the far line.  My experience of the swim taught me that the far line shallows slightly as you do down so i took on board what my uncle had taught me the last few weeks and altered my shotting pattern accordingly to allow my bait to trundle along without getting the float dragging under.  The first run down the float buried over the ground bait and a small roach was the reward.

Over the next hour or so i caught these roach solidly as time and time again these roach came to a single white maggot and a sprinkling fed upstream, this with a nugget of ground bait every few fish kept them coming and i knew if i kept these fish coming i would be in with a chance of catching over 20lb of fish. The fishing over the last few hours of the session was exceptional and stick float fishing at tits best as bites kept coming and coming and it was obvious there was some head of roach in front of me.  The float rarely went more than 10 yards down the river before i had a bite and it was one of those great sessions where you know when you are going to get a bite and can anticipate the bite, great stuff.

During one of the trots down i did not get a bite for one reason or another and the float continued to trundle another 10 yards down stream and i was just about to bring it back in when a huge lift bite saw me striking and hitting i initially thought i had hit a snag but then it started thudding really violently, it felt enormous but then all resistance went for a second and i made line before it stopped again and this battle was all along the bottom till right under my rod tip the fish surfaced........and eel! Lovely to see and to say my luck was in was an understatement as i can count on one hand the amount of times i have caught an eel, unhooked it and still had a fish able hook length after it.

I had in the back of my head that i wanted another crack on the perch before it got too dark and i was fully aware that with the weather moving in this was not going to be one of those ling evenings we have experienced of late where it is light till gone 10am so even though i was catching on the roach line i just had to have another go for mr perch.  I went in over the perch line and instantly getting signs of fish in the swim and in a bite that mirrored the previous two so i knew it was a perch and out of all three this one had certainly had its porridge oats as it easily out powered the first fish and my original plan was still in my mind of an early netting but the reality was far different as this fish went upstream and only heft side strain and pressure where i was certain i was going to lose the fish was applied and thankfully she saw my side of the argument, eventually.

The fish again being a perch knew the places i did not want it to get too as it gave me another tour of the snags, not getting in them but going hard for them and the fish breaking the surface i knew it was up there with the first as again it looked very big!  Sliding the net under the fish and into my lap i looked down and shook my head, what a session!!

On the scales she went 2lb12oz and again it was a case of a quick weigh and a photo on the mat before resting and releasing into the keep net and i have to say the perch sat on the bottom of the keep net as every roach was up in the next staying well clear of the three 2lb plus perch below.  There was not long left of the session at this point and i continued to pick up roach right till the last.

Both myself and uncle had caught well with my uncle having a note able better stamp of roach in his net.  The Final nets gave us plenty to think about around times of day and the use of ground bait.

my net

uncle net

After letting the silvers go i got a few pictures of the perch together and i have to say i wish i had packed in earlier as the light was bad at this point but as always i will have the memories of the session as well as the photos.

Just before releasing the fish to terrorise the roach shoals i took one last look at them and after my uncle had gone to pack up i sat for a moment alone on my basket and just took it all in, you have too, you realise that sessions like that are few and far between and moments like this you have to savour the moment and i took a second to take it all in, happy memories.

Till next week i wish you all tight lines


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