Friday, 19 September 2014

Short Sesison on Dane, Evening Piking and River Dee tides.

A warm welcome to this week's blog update I hope i find you well and your nets wet.  In this weeks update i cover a session we did at the weekend on the River Dane and a few evening trips for pike i have been doing of late, a little early but the urge to get out was too much! Also featured in this weeks update is some information around staying safe on the banks of my favourite river the River Dee.

The feedback i received from the change in layout of last weeks blog was all positive so i will be looking to continue with the blog in this format for the foreseeable future.  The breaking up of the Introduction and my rambling can only be a good thing haha.  With that its onto the update and i hope you enjoy....

Something Fishy.......

Pike fishing is something that has always captured my imagination and are a species that do get me excited when i know i am heading out fishing for them.  Last year my dead baiting for pike only started in the new year and that is something i am looking to change this year as i aim to be all set for October 01st.  Looking ahead pike fishing is certainly going to feature heavily on this blog this winter and my hope is to dove tail short pike trips with my normal stick float and pole fishing on the rivers. 

A while back on a trip for pike with a friend i was asked if i was interested in joining his bulk order for bait he puts in every year as it would save me a Lot of money buying in bulk and also would get me Free Postage.   With a lot of piking planned on both still waters and rivers and also knowing the price i was paying last winter for individual packs of bait i was more than happy to take up his kind offer.

On Sunday i left the order in his experienced and capable hands with a limit of between 20-30 pounds.  Wednesday morning and a picture arrives of my order and i was taken back by the sheer amount of dead baits that came for the money, flowers where ordered on the way home for my other half with a nice note about her now not having a bottoms shelf in the freezer.

Thanks again mate, now to see these in a pike mouth as it comes to the surface to be netted!!

Troutin' About.......

Late on Sunday night with nothing really to do and a pint of maggot left over from the previous days session myself and my uncle decided on visiting a remote out of the way part of a local river that a friend had whispered to us could hold a nice fish or two having been seen off a few times on recent visits.  The venue being a nice stroll from the car and with unknown fish it was going to be a risk to devote our full Saturday river session too so this short two hour scouting mission was aimed at filling in a few blanks for us to judge its potential for a full days fishing.

The river was low and clear but seemed to go into a deep hole and then continue round a bend.  The swim afforded a snug fit for two people trotting and the result of the session was a nice selection of perch, dace and gudgeon with the ever present minnow but we also had a trout a piece and i was left gutted at leaving my scales at home with the beauty above which was certainly a personal best trout.  I also had a hook pull on two better fish so plenty of potential for a full trip soon.

The Tide is High Don't Get Left Holdin' On..

I make no attempt to hide the fact that the River Dee is by far my first love when it comes to rivers and one of my hopes is this blog in some way makes up part of the jigsaw that See's anglers being interested in my captures to get on her banks and enjoy her beauty and plentiful fish stocks.    I always love to hear form anglers who have made such a decision based on reading my adventures on the bank and that they have normally been left surprised by their experience of such good fishing.

I do worry sometimes though that a lot for a lot of these people it is their first trip to the River Dee and I don't think i do enough to promote the dangers that go with this river.  One of the main dangers on the river dee are the tides and i am filled with fear when i read comments on forums where people say not to worry about the tides as they don't reach as high as Farndon! The not only reach farndon but go above it.

Whenever i know i am visiting the River Dee the first thing i check is the Tides chart at Liverpool and i use the link below:-

River Dee Tides:

A simple rule is that if the tide is higher than 9m on the chart above then it will incoming tidal bore will reach over the weir in Chester and start to back up the river.  A lot of the swims as you move up the river can look very appealing, a shingle bank at Almere ferry is a prime example when you can get caught out easily.  

My best advise if you see tides over 9m:
1. Know what time the tide is expected
2. Be sensible and if swim is low don't take too much gear to peg
3.  Place a stick on the water level when you arrive so you can spot the rise happening
4. Don't be put off by the river backing up and flowing the other way this can offer some of the best sport.
Congratulations On First River Dee Barbel.......

A good month of two ago i received a message on social media from an angler who had put in a few sessions on the river dee hoping to connect with an elusive river dee barbel but was just after a few pointers on tactics and if he was going about it the right way.  The question around river dee barbel is one i get asked about a lot as i have been quite fortunate to have crossed paths with one or two in my tine fishing the dee.  These fish are spreading more and more each year but still remain a challenge for any angler looking to put a tick next to the River Dee barbel box.

I have receive a lot of emails around river dee barbel and past experiences of anglers asking for exact swims, bait, length of hook length and even where to cast in the swim left me wondering just how much effort they have already put into doing it like i did for myself.  Some emails anglers had not even done a single session or even fished the dee just wanted the glory of saying they had caught one, where is the achievement in that?

Ian was different this guy had put in more than a few trips to the dee for these fish, blogging his trips through facebook and on his email he didn't want to know any of the above that others had asked only if what he was doing was right and if i thought he was in the right area, he was ban on on both counts and i knew it was only a matter of time.

This week after i think it was 6 blanks in the same area he got in touch with the news of his capture, a well earned fish and i know Ian said to me he know wants to catch a proper one but no matter of size this fish is a priceless capture, well earned and well deserved.  Well done mate a fish caught the proper way and a lesson to all about how to go about achieving goals you set and i am sure Ian would agree had he been told the exact swim etc etc and not had the blanks the capture would not have felt as good.

Piking Sessions With Some Bite......

In the past week or so I have managed to get out on the bank for two evenings pike fishing with Garry in search of some pre season pike action.  The first session the dead bait rods where left at home and this was simply down to the hot conditions.  The day time temperatures where still well into double figures and with plenty of fish topping it just felt like deads where going to be a waste of time.  It was a one rod approach from me and Garry went armed with a pike rod and a lure rod hoping to lure a fish to the shimmer and dazzle of his trusted lure, the Judge!

I don't know what it is about pike fishing but as soon as that bait hits the water i am expecting a instant reaction from a pike.  I guess this comes from my pike fishing rivers where most of the time i am fishing for a pike that has found me not the other way round.  The first two swims showed no signs of fish despite our exquisitely placed baits in obvious pike lairs but alas the pike where conspicuous by their absence.

We moved swims again leap frog style and eventually a pike was coaxed into following a lure in and pulling away at the last minute.  A hungry pike in the area both rods where placed in the margin and the lottery of which rod would go began.  The pike gods shone on my bait as the float slid away and i struck into the fish only for it to let go, line relaxed i waited for its return and again the float went and this time i gave it a little longer before striking and thankfully the fish was on.  Only a jack but it was more than welcome.

We fished on into dark but we only managed one more take and it took until it was so dark we could only just make out the floats in the darkness.  The run went to Garry and he had the fish on for a a while before the fish spat the hooks.  I must admit i was gutted as when a few of you head out you always hope you all get a fish for your efforts.  Thankfully a few days later he was out again and i nipped up to meet him with my daughter and he settled the score with the pike and put this nice jack on the bank, a capture my little girl loved and called "Big Fish!!"

The next outing we had came on the Wednesday and it was a right spare of the moment session arranged in the afternoon in work.  We travelled light and with one dead bait rod each a lure rod for Garry and a simple wobbled sprat rod for myself we set about covering some water we had done well in last year.  The evening really warm and the midge flies out in force biting us at will we persevered through the pain barrier in search of an esox.  The warm sticky evening left me feeling less than confident in the deads but i was optimistic on the wobbled sprat but alas it was not to be and it was "the Judge" lure that again sparked a reaction from a pike as it nailed the lure.  A epic feisty fight endured with a pike that had quite clearly had its weetabix and then some.  Some pike you can just tell they are going ti be trouble on the bank, you can see it in their eyes and this one looked full of mischief and i was not wrong as he did his best to make a mess but confident and assured handling and unhooking soon saw this jack tamed on the bank as it had in the water and ready for its picture.

It always great to see the pike feeding so well but it has been obvious from speaking to pikers and also our experiences on the bank that the pike are not interested in deads at the moment and are still up for a moving bait.   We endured the midge fly bites into dark before calling it a night and checking my face in the car mirror i looked every bit like the elephant man.  A great catch up session and one of many this season i hope.  The next day in work my best friend was a tub of Anthisan and Germolene, i was itching off and bit all over, even on my legs through thick jeans, how is it even possible?

Short Dane Session.....

Saturday saw us returning back to the banks of the River Dane for our normal fishing session and we chose to target an area we had done well in earlier in the season.  This river is so quiet with anglers we took our time selecting our swims for the morning session we had planned.

All set in i settled in a swim i had done well in before while my uncle tired a new swim further down stream hoping to discover some new fishing.  knowing the depth quite well from recent trips i set up my 17ft rod and the reason for this was simply down to control.  Experience in this swim has taught me that from first light till around 9am it can be a bite a chuck but from then on in you need to be fishing right far over to get the fish.

The early exchanges for me where good, bites wise i was getting a bite a chuck, only problem being the fact the fish where small chublets, you know the ones you cant tell if there dace or chub there that small. The problem with a big group of chublets in front of you is the sheer amount of bait like maggots they can eat.  A decent shoal in your swim and very little of your bait, if any, gets to to the point down stream you are putting your hemp.

The only way around this i could think of was to mix up some heavy ground bait and lace it with hemp and maggot.  This was fed where i was feeding my hemp and this combined with casting a bit further down stream saw me starting to pick some different species up as they settled in bed of bait, one such fish was this perch shown below.

When you can get a better bed of bait down on the bottom on this river you start to attract the better fish as the session goes on and the inclusion of ground bait i have found brings the bream onto the bait as well.  Over the next hour or so the skimmers started to come with regularity, never one a chuck but the odd one sprinkled between roach and dace.

The swim continued to tick over till around 9am when all action completely died and it is happening a lot on this river, whether its pike or the fact the low conditions spook the fish i am left with no solid evidence to this only it happens more often than not.  The odd fished being picked up was nothing compared to the fish i was getting earlier on and even the small chub on the far line had dried up.

There is one fish that you do not catch too often on the river and to be honest its a fish that most river anglers never like to see as it is synonymous with a completely dead swim, that fish is the Ruffe.  The fish is very much like a perch only smaller and lighter coloured.

We decided to call it a day not long after this capture as no more fish where forthcoming.  My final net was quite a good result for the short session on the river.

As i was bringing my net out there was an almighty stink coming from it and it was one of those smells that makes your instantly feel sick.  Looking in my keep net i saw a unusual fish in the mix that was almost pink.  Looking closer revealed it to be a part digested fish and i can only imagine it was spewed up by one of the small perch in the net.  The fact the perch where not massive and had spewed up such a fish shocked me but there can be no other answer.

Well that's it for this weeks blog, i wish you all tight lines this weekend,



  1. Good blog again this week mate. Here's a link to mine as requested, hope you like it

  2. Good blog to know the fishing in Australia.