Saturday, 27 September 2014

River Dee Fishing: Dog Roach On The Bolo and Pole

A warm welcome to this weeks update i hope i find you all well and your autumnal nets wet.  General observations this week are that summer is not going without a fight as temperatures of 26oc being still a common midday temperature which has presented a few problems in my fishing of late but more on that later in the update.  Before we move onto the main update i would just like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have taken the time to email this week either to comment on their liking of the blog or for some hints and tips on how i go about catching the fish on my blogs.  These emails are very welcome and if you have sent one this week i will do my best to get back to you ASAP but this week the email has gone made but i will get to them all.

Pondip Time and My Second Blog......

The 18th of the month for myself is fast becoming associated with a small Brown box called a Pondip Tackle Box as its the time when i come home to the box of goodies on my door mat.  There certainly is a lot of fun with these boxes and i am loving how varied the boxes are with Septembers containing items that cover all aspects of coarse fishing from pole fishing margins or commercials to night fishing a river.  This months blog was all around the contents of the box and writing about them  and as soon as i opened this months box it just screamed Autumn fishing to me either fishing into darkness for that special big fish or using a fine hook and pole float on a slow river for roach and bream it looked a fantastic little box of fishing tackle to really get out there and tackle an autumn session.   A link to my review is below.

Link to my Pondip Blog: http://blog.pondiptacklebox.com/2014/september/coarse-tackle-box-autumn/

Full Steam Ahead....

It has taken the best part of two months buying a bit her and a bit there and of course a huge bait order but this week i finally got to the stage where i now have two pike rods rigged up ready to go.  The sessions pike fishing are ones i love but not only for the fishing but the fact i get to leave my heavy seat box, clunky net bag and chunky holdall behind and just grab a landing net, my ruck sack and two made up rods and i am away for a days pike hunting.  Pike fishing and my silver fishing are so far apart in this respect but in reality they go together like cheese on toast as the sheer act of silver fishing a river attracts the pike to you,  any how i do digress it feels great to know that at any moment from now on i am only a few minutes away from finishing work to being on the road to a pike swim.



Hitting The Ground Running....

With all the pike gear set to go i am planning on hitting the ground running next week as i have booked off two days from work on the 01st of October and the 3rd October and at least one of these sessions will be dedicated to just piking with the other i am hoping to sneak in a cheeky pole session as well as sneak out a pike rod with all being well. 

These two days off work will make the start of a bumper few days as i will be fishing my normal river session on the Saturday and will finish the few days off with a session piking on a water with fellow piker Ste on the Sunday.  The weather at the moment is far from ideal, in fact for piking its diabolical, but i am hoping for us to put a few pike on the bank and as always with a few social sessions planned a some great banter a long the way to mark the start of my first full season in the pursuit of Esox Lucius.



Fail to Prepare, Prepare To Fail.....

There is a well know saying "Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail" and it is so true.  How many times as anglers have we fished a session and at its end said well i should have done this or got to the venue and found you have no tackle to fish the swim in front of you, this all comes down to preparation.  Over the past few months i have been reading up and trying to understand the world of the pike, how and where they feed, underwater videos of them taking baits so i know where is best to put my hooks and general tactics that other anglers have published on the Internet to how they go abut their dead baiting for pike.

I am also very fortunate that in the past year i have met three guys who are well into their pike fishing and share a mutual enthusiasm for the species and targeting them in the coming months.  It is safe to say that my piking has come on leaps and bounds in the short time i have met this group of piking pirates, from tying my own rigs to general help and tips on piking it really has seen me at a stage where i am feeling not only prepared but confident when i load up the car.

All in all from where i was last year struggling on the canal and not really knowing if what i was doing was right or wrong it feels good to be looking forward to a season knowing i am prepared as i can be,  i will go more into my terminal set up as the season progresses but for now, lets get out there and have em!!

Piking Gods Look Down On The Piking JetSetter....

As i mentioned above the rods set up it is now a quick run in the house to get changed and grab my gear and i am away for me now for my piking and this was certainly the case on Monday this week.  I knew two of the lads where out piking on a local river from first light and although the news from them i received on my break was bad in only one run and that coming off i was dying to get out and wet a line for an esox. 

I pondered my annual leave sheet in work for a few seconds before making the decision that in the year of our lord 22nd September 2014 was not going to be a day Danny spent a whole day in work and a hastily booked the afternoon off.  Eventually the clock creeped its way round to 12.30, i am sure someone makes time go slower when your looking at the clock, i was off out the doors or work and on my way home to load the car and before i knew it i was walking the bank to place my two floats alongside the four already in position. 

With 6 baits in the water spread evenly along the length of water and pike in the area was spoilt for choice as a banquet of the best sushi in the world dangled tantalisingly in their faces.  The midday temperature was 26oc and there was a few clouds in the sky but nothing that was making any difference.  A hour in and we had not had so much as a tap on any of the rods despite a few recasts so we settled down and Garry began to go through some rig making with me as i had come across one or too issues making them myself at home. 

Just about to thread the hook onto the line and Garry twitched and a urgency appeared in his eyes as out of the corner of one of them he spotted the slight movement on his left hand rod.  Another dip on the float confirmed the presence of a fishes interest before the fish fully committed and the float slid away, 1, 2, 3 and strike and his rod hooped over as he connected with a feisty fish that we all thought was a lot bigger than it was on the bank.  The fish obviously still full of life in the warm weather had energy to burn as it made run after run and continued to fight in the net and on the bank.  The pike was a welcome start to the fishing and we all gained confidence from this capture as the fish might just be going on the feed.



At this stage we were all spread along a short area, it was a bit of a social after all, but with bites not forthcoming and no activity on the floats we decided to spread out a little.  Garry was again first to reap the rewards of a move as in the space of half an hour he banked another two pike which both grabbed his baits as he was bringing them in.  Three pike in a short spell and Garry was having a good session indeed and getting a very good send off for his upcoming break with a pike of 6lb and another smaller jack pike. Great to see so many in the area.




These pike released i returned to my rods.  I placed one static on the bottom in front of a reed bed but having seen them taking a moving bait i shallowed right up on my other rod and began casting and slowly reeling in the bait.  It took a number of casts but eventually i felt a aggressive tug on the bait as a bike lunged out and grabbed the dead bait.  Letting the line go slack so the fish could take the bait for a second i watched as the float sunk away and just as i was about to set the hooks the float shit right back up in the water, dam the fish had spat the bait out!.  In hindsight maybe i should have stuck as the float was moving and not waited for it to go under but i guess that's fishing.  I cursed as i thought my chance had almost certainly gone!

In all honesty i was just about to move back down to the main group before this fish struck but the fact i knew i had a feeding fish in my swim spurred me on to stick it out.  I kept twitching the bait back with no success so i decided to shallow up and cast the bait fight tight along the reeds when the fish had struck.  When fishing shallow you are always susceptible to the bait drifting so it was only the fact i saw the float moving slowly towards the reeds that alerted me to the fact a fish was having a go at the bait and sure enough the float slid away as the pike took its dinner back to its dark lair. 

I struck and was met with one of the most energetic pike i have ever hooked, only a small jack pike, but Jesus did it fight with tail walking and head shakes galore during the fight.  The tackle you have to fish with for pike does make you the boss in these fights with small jacks but still great fun and i was glad to pick up a fish.



We stuck the session out till dark hoping for Ryan to pick a fish up and i have never seen a guy put so much effort into it, he had been fishing all day and even on last knockings he was still going strong, if ever a man deserved a fish it was Ryan on this session.  There are plenty of more sessions earmarked in the coming months together so i am sure Ryan will have his day where he catches and catches well and we all struggle, i only hope i can match his enthusiasm.  Great day out and a nice catch up with Garry and Ryan and looking forward to the sessions to come.



River Dee Dog Roach On Pole and Bolo.......Smashing Session!!!

Saturday morning and i don't think i have ever done so much preparation for a session in my life before as i set about making up pole rigs to fish a swim i knew was around 15-16ft deep.  This depth equated to the bottom of my number 5 section of my pole and a swim this deep certainly called for some heavy gear so i set up with a 3 gram float fished with a Olivette 2ft from the hook with a hook length of 1.7oz Bayer Peron.

Inspecting my pole at this point as i put it away i did notice a little tiny crack in the bottom of my number three section but it was a knock that had been there for some time so i didn't pay it too much thought and continued to pack the gear away. 



Walking the banks of the river in the dark we were both startled but a own flying low to the bank close in as it turned and a ghost like flash of white let off a terrible racket as it flew off upstream.  I settled into a swim and my uncle set up just down stream form myself, its been a while since we have fished close enough to have a natter all day so it was good to have a nice social fish.

A rare sight for regular blog readers, danny fishing a river with a pole, but i guess with the River Weaver on the card its a sight that we will be seeing a little more.



Setting up in no time at all i was feeding the swim and running a float through in no time at all and it wasn't long before i got my first bite on the pole which saw me land this nice little roach, i always take a picture of the first fish of the session as i know one day it will be the only fish of the update.



The next few put in saw similar small roach and perch but after that i connected with the first fish of the standard i had hoped for in a fin perfect roach that must have been up around the 1lb mark it was a stonking roach.  In fact this first roach marked the start of a precession of 3 roach that all came on the pole rig and i was excited for a good, if not exceptional, session ahead.





The next bites after the three nice roach saw some smaller roach come to the pole rig.  I was fishing away over the moon with me really getting to grips with a new method and i was delighted that my plan to eradicate the missed bites you get striking upwards on the bolo was coming into fruition.  Fishing 67 sections of pole i was comfortably fishing just over the ledge and to land fish it was simply an act of removing one section of pole and it was then fish to hand unless the net was needed.

Sadly whilst striking a bite i heard an almighty crack and upon inspecting my top two section i noticed a split right up the blank, that little crack was not a big crack and this certainly marked the end of the session on the pole as this was the only top kit i had packed, gutted was not the word.  At the time i was more upset at the fact i knew i was doing well and was on for a nice weight of roach had it continued, of course later on you are upset at the financial loss.

I took a second to lick my wounds before setting about making up my 17ft trotting rod, set up wise it was the same weight bolo float just moved over on to running line.   Moving over to the rod and fishing so deep does have its problems both with presentation and also with the line wrapping around the tip all the time, both very frustrating.  It took a while to get the bites going again as i struggled with accuracy of the line i was trotting.  Eventually my persistence was rewarded as i began to again pick up some nice roach.  In fact once i got to grips with the swim and putting the float through i caught some cracking roach steadily for the next few hours with palm sized roach coming between a few smaller roach.  A few are below and looking at the pics i think a few could be mixed with chub.





From 12 noon till around 2 pm the swim completely died of death as the roach just seemed to do a disappearing act.  It has been a while since we have been on a river where pike trouble is a regular occurrence and as such i spent a long time thinking i was doing something wrong rather that having my mind homed into the fact there was a pike in the swim.  It all clicked when right down the swim i connected with a small fish that suddenly went really heavy.  I had the fish on for a while and in typical pike fashion the jack spewed the bait at the last minute.  What a mess even a jack makes.



I knew in the back of my head this pike had no clue it was being fished for so i quickly reached for the pike rod and presented a bait at 12ft as to miss the snags.  It did not take long for the float to bob away and i knew from the erratic bobbing and the fact the float would not go under i had a small jack at the bait, i struck, but again the fish was too small to turn the bait as it had clamped across the fish and just spat it out, very frustrating.

After this fish come off i moved back onto the bolo and it must have been this fish that was putting the fish off as over the last hour i picked up a few more nice roach.



There really is not enough space to post all the separate roach i caught that i took pictures of and there was a few i did not photograph and it really was one of those sessions you look back on when you write your blog and think that was some session.  I put a little video of all the fish i took a photo of on the little slide show below.



My final net went just under 14lb.  I have had some of the best fishing of my life on this river and some nets of dace that i could only dream if years ago but as i took a second to look at this net of roach i knew i had just had a special session, i was on cloud nine.



My uncle just upstream also had got into the roach but had also connected with a nice shoal of dace as well and this will certainly be an area we visit again.



till next time thank you for reading,

tight lines

Danny








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