Friday, 12 September 2014

River Dee Fishing and First Pondip Article Published

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update I hope i find you well and your nets full.  In this weeks update we travel to the banks of the River Dee hoping to find the shoals of dace we found on our previous trips but things don't always go to plan so with a big decision to stick or move to be made will our choice pay off?? 

First Pondip Blog Published!!

Link to Article:

This week marked a huge milestone in my angling life away from the bank as my first ever piece of writing for another site apart from my own went live.  The long term sufferers of my blog know my stlye on here is very much a "as i would say it to your face" style with very little in the way of the normal This is how to catch fish or this is how you should be fishing information in there.  This is on purpose as I like my blog to be something that  comes across as relaxed and a blog people can read that is reflects myself as one everyday angler who likes to go fishing and share his experiences of the day and the fishing. 

The brief for some of the blogs i am going to be writing for Pondip is very different as they blogs are going to be more around my techniques and tips for actually catching fish and for me this presented a huge step away from my normal blog.   I decided to write the article on a type of fishing i have done all my life and where it all began for me, my local canal. I nervously submitted the piece last month and at the time i was unsure if the piece would be of a standard for them to publish so i have kept quiet about it on the blog and Social Media through fear it would fall flat on its face but early last week i received an email saying the piece had been published on their blog and they were really happy with it, i was over the moon and the day it went live was a really proud day for myself, i was over the moon and hopefully there will be more to come.

Royal Mail Problems!!

With the Pike fishing fast approaching my evenings when not fishing or writing my blog have been spent bidding on Pike terminal tackle on EBay and i have managed to snare the odd bargain.  Last week i mentioned that some of the tackle i have been ordering had arrived but the most important parcel had still not arrived in my possession and it was quite possibly the most important parcel of the lot as it contained the Crimps, Crimp Pliers and hooks to construct my pike rigs.  The Parcel reference entered into the Royal Mail order tracker revealed it had been posted fine and dandy on the 28th August and was in the Royal Mails possession.  Tuesday the 10th September i received the phone call the package had arrived at my home and about time it was too and although it was being delivered from Ireland in the past i have ordered stuff from China that has arrived in 2 days!! 

At this point i was just glad it has arrived and its contents where all as should be..

The Pike Trace Building Begins.....

All the component's ready and waiting I was like a kid in a sweet shop as late on Tuesday night after publishing the midweek blog update i say down at the table and laid all the different items of tackle purchased over the past few weeks out on the table.

Two items of the tackle have nothing to do with the construction of the rigs and are born from watching how a fellow piker, Garry, went about his piking last year and little tips picked up to make life easier.  Firstly a Rig Bin to store all my traces in, my god the amount of times i cut myself on rigs in those plastic packaging's or put my hand inside my tackle box for my forceps to be met with the tip of a stray treble!  Lesson leaned all my traces will now being stored in a spacious Fox Rig bin.  The next is the quick change swivels, a huge part of the appeal with pike fishing is how quick you can be fishing and i am an angler that loves leaving as much of the rod set up as possible and last year that included the trebles placed on an eye and the rod split in two, again loose trebles find everything especially when unloading from a car boot at home so this quick change link means i can easily unclip the treble at the end of the session and fold the rod up happy there are not hooks to catch anything and also on the plus side when setting up its a quick put together of the rod, attach trace and bait and I'm away.

 On a really short evening session after work that may only be a hour or hour and half this can make a huge difference.

My second ever attempt at a pike trace as i din one last year on the bank but this is my first on my own and apart form the trebles being just a bit too far apart i am happy with that as a first attempt and certainly a solid base to build from.

Mid-week Blog Goes Live...

The past few months i have been really fortunate to have not only got out on the bank quite a bit but also been lucky enough to have some really memorable trips along the way.  As such i have been in a situation where i have a lot of trips to write about but to put them all on a Fridays blog and it not be pages long would be difficult and as these trips where so different i wanted to try and capture the sesisons in full by writing an update for each.

These updates going live midweek some times go under the radar as they are only live for two or three days so i thought from now on i would include a link in the following Friday.  This midweek one was a trip to the River Dane where we hoped for a nice net of silvers, what we found was very different and more sinister........but great fun!!!


And with that its on to this weeks fishing.........

River Dee: Being Prepared to move...

Heading out to the river we had a fair idea of where we wanted to fish and arrived well before sunrise to make sure we were all ready for setting up in the headlamps of the car.  We had travelled to the same are i had fished recently and done well for a double figure net of dace.  My uncle set up in a swim i had fished in the evening a few weeks ago and had trouble with line across the river and i set up in the swim below a bridge on a fast bend where i knew i would find it difficult but if the fish where around i could get a few.  

My uncle fishes a stick different to myself and also feeds his swim differently so he was confident of not having to risk snagging on the line as he hoped to get the fish where he wanted them under his feet.  The dawn breaking i made my first cast of the session and almost as to fit with the beautiful scenery a kingfisher shimmered upstream just as my float came to rest. 

The light barely enough to make out a float i under shot the float so i could see quite a bit of the tip and began trotting hoping that the fast flow would induce a violent bite that would see the float bury.  The first few trots down all that came back was a snotted maggot and not a sign of a bite.  As the light improved i shot the float right down to a mere pimple and i began to see the bites and they where like lightning a swift dip on the float and that was all you got, reeling in revealed a bait with just the tip taken, a sure sign of small fish.

I did hit the odd bite and was proved right with really small dace coming to the net and in the space of 2 hours of a bite a chuck trotting i had converted it to around 10 fish in the keep net with one proper dace.
net of fish

The nature of river fishing means that you can sometimes be out of sight of the person you are fishing with and only see them two or three times during a session as you visit each others peg for a brew.  The first trip to each others pegs is always a litmus test for how the session is going for the other person, if the fishing is going well it can be a few hours as the with trotting you never want to leave a feeding peg.  It also works the other way and looking up the river form my peg i noticed my uncles peg was vacant ans i could hear the swishing of his waterproof pants as he approached my peg, i knew then he was having the same poor start as me.

My uncle had hit the snag twice and was also getting the same fast bites and hitting the odd small dace like myself.  It was decision time, do we stay and hope the better fish come or do we move to a new area of river all together?  A quick look in the margins at the hoards of fry answered the question for us as they devoured maggots, if that was going on in the river and we had a big head of fry in front of us we were going to struggle and neither of us had enough bait to feed them off so we decided on a a change of venue. 

A quick chat in the car and we set off for a new venue on the River Dee and settled for some crazy mad idea we settled on Eccleston Ferry.  It may sound silly me saying its a mad idea but i have to say before this session here it was certainly mine and my uncles bogey venue where i think we could count the amount if fish caught on one hand between the pair of us. 

We left the car in the car park and walked the bank and the first thing that we noticed was the fact the pegs had been taken out, a walker told us and i don't know how true it is but an angler slipped on them in the ice and sued the land owner!if true the so called angler needs his or her head testing this is fishing and you are not on a commercial now you are at your own risk, so thank you for ruining some very rare comfortable river fishing, idiot., you cant blame the land owner for taking that action and a classic case of the minority ruining it for the majority, a common theme on the dee it seems with the loss of almere being linked to idiots being abusive. 

Walking the bank we finally found a few signs of fish topping and they were in a tight 100 yard length it seemed.  I set up in the margins with my box in the water while my uncle set up down stream on a small tuft.  I had just folded my 13ft rod in half when leaving the previous area but plumbing up i instantly hit a problem as with my float as deep as it would do i still could not fish on the bottom, a very deep area. 

After all the messing around in the morning the last thing i felt like doing was setting up from scratch but it had to be done so it was away with the 13ft rod and out with the 17ft rod.  I also changed floats at this point from a 8 number 4 to a 3 gram bolo float simply due to the depth.  Around a hour and half into the fishing my uncle popped a long and he had been doing quite well with around 2o dace in his net with steady bites to boot.  I at this point had around 4 fish in the net but what i was catching was roach and nice ones to boot but just not as prolifically as my uncle was catching.

while my uncle was at my peg i connected with a better fish and my uncle clocked me playing it up straight away but it was certainly pulling back and although i made it look bigger than it was we were both happy to see a nice chublet grace the landing net.

After discussing the choice to set up in the main boating channel on the River dee we returned to the fishing and after messing around with my shotting to get the float to settle so just the tip of the bristle was showing i began to put together a few fish in succession and it was obvious that there was a decent shoal of roach in the swim and it must have been a shoal of just roach as this was the only fish i was connecting with.

The general stamp of roach i was catching was quite impressive, not massive fish but put up a great fight in the depth of water.

At around noon to 12.30 my uncle nipped along for another brew and at this point i had gone a hour without a bite and so had my uncle.  The normal reason on the Dee for this is a pike moving in your swim but in such a depth of water presenting a bait to them down deep was something i was not tackled up for so i continued to persevere with the feeding and slow trot through the swim.  The odd cast further out did bring one or two fish but it was a good two hours till i connected with my next flurry of bites as three fish came in three casts.  The magic and wonder of river fishing is how quickly you go from nothing to catching it can be like turning a light switch one.

Again the fish were roach but with the fourth fish in as many casts splashing on the surface there was a swirl over the bait and there was extra weight on the line, a pike had taken the fish, as the fish was up on top i could quite clearly see the pike and it was only slightly bigger than the roach it had taken and had in its mouth.  I continued to reel in but at the last moment it spat out the roach. 

The picture below shows what damage even a small pike can do to a fish and looking at the bigger picture it could have been this pike in hunting mode in the swim why the swim dies for 2 hours.  The damage done by this small pike to this roach was terminal and shows just how veracious pike can be and more than likely the pike would have returned to claim the fish after it has died.

Nature in its most raw and brutal form.

I mentioned above that it might have been the pike that killed the swim and the rest of the session went to prove it as no sooner had i cast back out the swim was alive with roach and i got into a rhythm of catching steadily and thoroughly enjoyed a good hour and half's fantastic roach fishing culminating in this plump yet oddly shaped roach that put up a great fight.

On our fishing session me and my uncle normally pack in at the same time but on this occasion i admit to indulging in some roach fishing as i fished on for another 20 minutes.

my net

The final net was one of the best nets of fish i have had from the dee of 10lb 5oz, i say its one of the best as for me fishing the river my nets are normally made up entirely of dace with the odd roach.  This entire net was roach apart from one dace and one chub and maybe the odd gudgeon.

My uncles net was the opposite and was entirely dace with a few roach and a small chub and just shows how one stretch of river can have such different results.

uncle net

till next time i hope you enjoyed my write up of my fishing and let me know if you like the new layout with the introduction and how its more broken up.

tight lines



  1. God blog mate. Might have to do one myself as I've been at the big chub lately.

  2. Cheers Stuart, you should do mate, if you do post the link and i will add it to blog list on here. Cant beat a big chub :-)