It is a weird feeling writing this weeks blog update as it is the first for a number of weeks that has been back to the old rambling update as the past two updates have been based around two exciting product reviews that i have thoroughly enjoyed completing. To be frank the world in the back ground of the blog has been quite frantic of late with both the Water to Go and Pondip reviews sandwiching a on line Social media competition i have been running for ALDI and the launch of their new Fishing range. I am not one to really blow my own trumpet but i was really proud of myself when dealing with ALDI as they asked if i would be interested in running a competition, i agreed of course but when sent the list i was met with all manner of prizes from small bivvys to spinning rods and rather than picking the most expensive prize i proposed a prize that would allow an angler or someone new to the sport to get out on the bank with all the kit they needed, baring bait of course, so the prize was a carp rod and reel loaded with line, bite alarm set, unhooking matt equipment and landing net. The winner of the competition was Ian Johnston and it gave me great satisfaction that i had put a prize together that could put a new angler on the banks of one of our fantastic lakes, what a feeling that from just a mere angler writing about his fishing that some good can come from it.
Moving back over to the Pondip Tackle Box supporting the blog and i am pleased to announce that I will be submitting a separate update to them each month for review and possible publishing on their website. The content will be more around how i do my fishing using the contents of the box and not around the adventure involved in the whole picture of the day. I will post any blogs that are published on their page in that weeks update so please take the time to check it out when they go live!
The pike season looms large and it has seen me slowly putting some gear together for the upcoming season. The first thing i purchased was my Warrington Anglers Card as with a baby due in winter my venues for the short piking trips will certainly have to become more localised, although i am sure the odd trip to the River Weaver will sneak in there. Along with the licence i have also been picking up the odd bit of tackle in the form of some Grey Wire, Treble sleeves, sinkers and needle for injecting oils this along with a bargain of Ebay of a Carp Holdall for £10.00 means a steady start to building up my pike set up has begun.
The pike season does sit on the horizon at the moment but before then i am hoping to get out on the banks of Warringtons waters chasing some of their carp to add a nice end to the carp quest which i will be writing up this Winter with the mount a water i am keep on getting on before winter.
Speaking of piking its got me thinking about all those wonderful winter sessions to come where the grass is glistening with an overnight frost and those long mornings where the sun barely makes it above the yard arm, the rivers are like a plane of glass and your stick floats dotted down to a mere pimple, dreams of plump fist fulls of dace and pike bungs lazily sliding away allowing you to hold the sinister green mottled frame of a pike in your arms you know what i can not wait!
On to this weeks Fishing
Roving Session on the River Bollin....
The timely lull in workloads in work saw me rushing home an hour early to load the car and pick up my uncle and an hour may seem like a waste of time but in the world of motorway Rush hour traffic jams a hour can mean the difference between a half hour journey and an hour and half journey say in a jam. The gods thankfully shone on us as we were blessed with an empty M56 motorway as in no time at all the car was unloaded and ready for the short walk to the swims.
The plan for the day was for me and my uncle to swap swims we had fished the previous Saturday, it is something we do allot on our trips and even more so if there is a swim that is really productive to give both a chance to fish it. I set up just upstream from a willow and my uncle on a bank with a shallow run down into some deep dark water.
The river was very different to the river we had left on Saturday as all the colour had dropped out of it and it was gin clear with all the gravel runs and streamer weed clear to see. To the casual glancing eye these open clear stretches looked devoid of any fish life but giving it a few seconds for your eyes to adjust you could see some serious sized chub and dace crammed under every shadow offered by a tree or streamer and the sheer number of fish that had crammed into one space astounded me.
My tactic was to go all out, seatbox and all, to stick in one swim knowing the better fish were under the willow and would hopefully come out to my steady stream of trotted maggots and corn. The truth be told two hours in i had about 60 or 70 minnows in my keep net, it was time to make a decision. My choice was to stick in the swim and put all my eggs in one basket and hope that the fish came on as the light dimmed but with not a single dace for a hours fishing i was dubious or to nip back the car grab the essentials and rove up and down the river. The fact i had no hooked a single dace made the decision for me so i quickly nipped back the car and off i went with a landing net, net bag, rod and few bits of terminal tackle.
Stopping in on my uncle he had been having the same issues as me with minnows and small dace but he was getting the odd better one thrown in to keep him ticking over and i left just as he was landing a nice dace. With around 2 hours of the session left i walked the banks and fed three swims with a plan to fish these in rotation and return to the most productive on at last light.
The first swim i tried was a really shallow run that dropped off into a big black deep hole where you could not see the bottom it just had to hold a fish or two and i hoped a nice chub. Feeding the swim upstream so the bait was going directly into the hole i dropped down stream and noticed no maggots where coming out of the flow behind the deep depression, something was eating the maggots!
The swim was a hard trot as you had to hold back tight to get the bait to skim across the rocks without pulling under and then release the float so the bait feel nicely into the depression the first few casts i struggled but then holding back at the right time if dropped in and BANG under the float went and i was connected to a nice sized fish that kept deep i was convinced a chub as it went for the inside cover and then it started jumping clear of the water as time and time again it tried to throw the hooks. When i eventually got it in i was met with a fantastic trout that has some amazing colours and for its aerial aerobatics i named him Marlin!
With all the disturbance in the swim it came as no surprise that the next 20 minutes was spent bite less i really do love the look of trout and grayling to say that but the crashing they do in the swim when you are dace and chub fishing can be a real pain. After the minnow fest in the last swim i was just glad to have a decent fish on the bank and i called it a day in that swim and moved onto the next.
Dark water towards a far bank lined with brambles leading down to a nice pool and some over hanging dark trees was the next swim to grab my attention, it screamed to me both chub and dace and just teasing the float back induced a few bites, as you can see on the video below that a little hold back on the float is the killer.
the result a nice nice silver dart
This swim produced a few more nice dace and as i knew i was not spending long in the swim i kept them in the landing net in the margin and sure enough after 10 Min's the commotion of the few fish saw the swim die off so it was time for a quick picture before moving on to he next.
The next swim produced some small dace and i also lost what felt like a chub to a hook pull. I persevered with the swim and took a few more nice dace but it was getting to that time of day where the light was just starting to do and i knew i still had unfinished business in the first swim that i had fed with corn before leaving. Arriving at the swim it looked mint and i made one big change to the last time i dropped in the swim in the fact i left the maggot tub in my holdall and it was out with the corn, big fish or bust time.
The tactic worked straight away with this fantastic example of a dace, plump and long with pearl like scales, a fish i am hoping to meet again next February with her winter spawn added.
The swim gave me a few more dace before i called it a day and released them all to fight another day and made my back up to my uncle.
Arriving at my uncles peg he was catching steady on the stick, had caught a nice chub and some nice dace. I dropped in down stream for a few casts on corn and was rewarded with a chub first cast, a nice way to end a rare roving session for me.
My uncles final net showing the benefits of sticking to the one swim and both results combined shows what this small little river has to offer the angler willing to explore its shallow depths, not bad from a river you can jump across.
River Dee - Tough Return To An Old Stomping Ground
Driving along the M56 motorway with the head lamps pointed towards the Welsh border was a surreal feeling to say the least as it has been a whole 9 months since we last set foot on the River Dee's banks. With good fishing on the Warrington Anglers card not worth the risk to your car we headed to a upstream beat we head fished once or twice before and found some nice dace. In the early morning light the river was like glass and with the banks being really open myself and my uncle were soon picking up the odd dace or two.
The session was going well till the the sun came up over the tree line and was shining down right where i had put my hemp seed and was getting steady bites. This bright light on the water made seeing the float impossible and any bites well you could just not see them. This made for a frustrating hour or so's fishing for both myself and my uncle who was experiencing the same issue. Eventually the sun rose to an angle where it was no longer an issue but by then the early morning flat calm had disappeared and was slowly being replaced by a swirling downstream strong wind.
This down stream swirling wind made presentation impossible to entice the better dace, they were there all right but in the wind it was only the silly this years fry falling for our bad presentation and catching these was a lottery given their ultra fast bites that more times than not resulted in you retrieving a snotted maggot like the one below.
As is always the way the conditions improved right on packing in time and i would say for the last half an hour we put together some better fish but the nets bared no resemblance to the 20lb nets we had caught her previous.
My net and my uncles net marked a OK return to the river but all in all a hard days work on the river.
Well that's the fishing for this week i wish you all