This weeks update i will cover two more product reviews that are available during ALDI's Angling event with the Day shelter coning under the microscope, later in the update i cover a surprise capture by my uncle this week that had us both bent double with laughter on the bank and we finish the introduction covering a my first ever trip out on the bank with my little girl as we set off on the hunt for her first fish. The fishing this week see's us back on the banks of the River Dane where my day is saved by another big billy and we stop off on the way home on a pond to catch some silvers.
On to the update
ALDI Specialbuys Reviews
Day Shelter Tent Review
Zip up Front, Carry Bag included, Sturdy Fibreglass Frame, Detachable groundsheet, size 205x125x100cm
Sunday morning and me and my little daughter decided to do the first part of this product review, putting the tent up. The first thing i noticed was how small and light the tent was when packed away it could easily fit inside my ruck sack for piking come winter without adding too much weight to the pack. We set about putting the shelter up and following the easy to follow instructions we soon had gone form all the gear laid out to a shelter. I would say the shelter took us 15-20 minutes to put up but this was the first time and i think once you know how the rods go and how it is supposed to look in the end then this shelter could be up in a maximum of 5-10 minutes. Set up we pinned the shelter down with the multitude of ground pegs you get with this kit and my daughter set about testing the rigidity of the walls and fabric by jumping all over the inside and outside.
We left the tent set up in the garden all day and this was to test how the shelter put up in weather conditions as where we live the wind is really funnelled between the houses and causes a really strong wind to howl through. I left the tent in the garden set up while we went shopping and i must admit a bit of me expected to come home to find my self knocking on doors finding which garden it had ended up in. I need not had worried as returning home the tent was still solidly placed in place and a quick check inside revealed none of the heavy down pour had penetrated through the zips or seams. This piece of kit will get a full test come winter when i plan to use it on my river trips to keep the wind and give me a place to be dry when out on the banks of the rivers and canals. For the price of £19.99 it is a fantastic bit of kit and it really did shock me as to how good it was as when i saw the price i must admit i had low expectations but was genuinely surprised to the point i recommended it to a friend.
Tussles With Terapins
Fishing week in and week out on the river you do get to see some sights and during our years travelling along the rivers of the northwest we have seen some sights to remember and lets say some we would rather not. One thing we always seem to do is have a laugh, no matter how hard the fishing gets, this light humoured approach to angling takes away the serious aspect of our fishing and although we do put a lot of work into fishing locations and trying to get the best out of them you can always be sure there is been plenty of laughs along the way.
This week me and my uncle where fishing on the river dane and as action slowed i decided to go and see how he was faring. He was catching well and steady with the odd chub and better perch coming and after a brief chat i left him to carry on trotting, returning to my peg i had just settled back in when i heard the sound of my uncles bib and brace coming along the bank a quick turn round revealed a bulging landing net and it looked big!
Coming down the peg i was sure he had bagged a big perch but what he pulled out of the net had me in bouts of laughter, he had only fairly and squarely hooked a terrapin clean in the mouth and not being one for risking fingers he brought it up to me to unhook! Holding the shell all i could see was a head scrunched in with a rather sharp beak, it was beautiful and ugly as sin at the same time.
"put up a good fight azzer" was the call followed by all manner of turtle related comments.
i reached for the discoger as i attempted to unhook the animal but trying to do so through tears of laughter and a stitch in my side was a task in itself. My uncle holding this shell and me at the other end trying not to be bitten we both at the ages of 50 and 30 could not stop laughing and comment like "zorro in a half shell" and "teenage mutant ninja azzer" did little to hold the laughter back especially as the terrapin was making lunges for us. . I was finished off when the terrapin decided to bite the disgorger and clamped down hard which left us with two men a rod and a terrapin with hook in lip eating our disgorger! boy it had some power you could n ot get it out of its mouth, not a place to get your fingers for sure.
Finally we managed to free both the hook and the discorger and get a good look at this peculiar animal. It obviously liked maggots as it had a gob full off them, was this down to being so hungry, it certainly looked healthy enough. Of course i thought about keeping him but not knowing where to start i feared his chanced where probably better in the wild than under my guidance in a tank at home.
One last picture for my uncle and his new personal best terrapin
We left the guy in the margin in the lading net for a bit and he started to mooch about and look around and kick so we let him go on his merry way and the funny part was he went straight back downstream to azzers peg.
The adventures of fishing eh...
My Daughters First Fising Trip..
A week of my daughter saying "i going fishing this weekend daddy" had finally come to an end and the most special of days was finally upon us, mine and my daughters first trip to the bank. It is a day i have to be honest that i have been looking forward too as much as Abby as i know the memories created during this day will hopefully live with her forever whether she chooses to go out on the bank during the rest of her life or not.
Choosing a venue was hard as i wanted somewhere where she would have a good chance of catching a fish quickly and maybe catch quite a few to keep her attention. I did think of the canal but they can be funny old beasts at times so i decided on taking her to a little pond. The place holds a good head of silvers but also the odd wild carp that really rocket off, i hoped we would not cross paths with these.
It was a real trip down memory lane for me as i sorted through my old gear in my bedroom at my dads and found a very old 4 metre whip or snatcher as we called them. This type of pole was the very same type i grew up learning to fish in although mine was a black shakespeare pole with red circle etchings on each section. These are certainly a great place to start as you simply tie your line to the ring at the end of the pole add a float and hook and weights and you are away.
All settled in on my basket she was away and fishing!
I have to say she was fantastic from the off she sat really still and kept her concentration and was rewarded by the float going under, "strike" and lifting up the pole bent over double and a load zipping noise as the float zoomed across the water before the book length snapped! Well she will certainly have a good story to tell when she gets older about her first fishing trip, snapped by a carp first put in.
A quick hook tied back on and plumb of the depth and she was back fishing and this time into fish more in keeping with a light whip. My prediction was a perch as her first fish but in fact it was this palm sized rudd which claimed the prize as Abigail's first ever fish and i was made up when she needed no pushing to hold the fish in her hands, we may just have an angler in the making.
She really seemed to enjoy fishing and what i really loved was with every fish she took some time to hold the fish, admire its colours, features and scales before placing it in the keep net. She was not afraid of the maggots in fact i had to remind her to concentrate on her float and not pick up maggots so little was she bothered by them. Each time the float went under she would lift the pole in expectation and then if no fish was there, with my help, lower it back in before waiting for the next bite. The rain moved in and Lucy and the little lad headed for the car and i asked her if she wanted to go in the car and her answer "no daddy, I'm fishing"
made me chuckle. We stuck it out in the rain for a good 15-20 minutes catching some more fish and she ended with a lovely little net of fish.
For a first trip it was more than i could have hoped for and she has not stopped speaking about it since. For now i think it will be really short trips to the bank 30mins to a hour till her concentration span is a little longer but one thing is for certain this will not be our last trip, one proud dad.
on to the fishing...
River Dane Stick Float Fishing and A stop off on a pond...
This week we continued our exploration of this intricate waterway as we targeted an area we had talked about a number of times but never really pulled up with our gear and wet a line. The river had received a good flush through in the week and the river was still carrying a little bit of colour, not the muddy colour you get with the first flush through but that beautiful tea colour you get as the last of the sediment leaves the margins and leaves the main channel a dark black colour, she looked perfect. My swim for the day was a sight to behold bu then again i don't think when god had rivers in mind he even thought about there being such thing as a bad looking swim.
Casting into the unknown week in week out and not knowing how the story will unfold is the magical part of fishing for me, that magical first cast where the tone of the day can be set, either the float goes straight under and you know the fish are there or on the flip side the float goes under and you hit your first snag of the session. This session the float sunk and on the end was a small roach, perfectly formed in every way and more than welcome on the first trot down the river and more to the point with my new keep net i knew it would be in there come the end as opposed to previous weeks where mr pike had ripped a sizable hole in the net which meant the small fish escaped during the session.
These roach made up the majority of the early exchanges with roach of this size coming regular and it was clear i had a nice shoal of small roach in front of me. I am an angler that is not too bothered about the size of the fish i catch, if that is floats going under regular then i an happy. Do not get me wrong we all love having our string pulled by a big fish but when trotting a river i always feel that will come, as long as the small fish are coming then i always feel confident the better fish will arrive and if not, well keeping the smaller fish coming is an art in itself.
This river has a unique way of going from every thing to nothing and as soon as the smaller fish bites had died i knew something else was on the prowl. The roach generally where taking the bait was it was falling through the water collums and i knew had the fish been a chub in the swim then it would have probably slipped up by now so i added a few inches to the depth meaning the bait had to be edged through the swim meaning the bait was almost trickled along the bottom. This is great if you have got bottom feeders like bream, barbel or perch in your swim and it was the latter i had down as the culprit here due to the dispersing of the small roach.
My hunch proved right on the third trot down the float slid away and the pulsating fight of a perch was my reward as it made for the sunken branch under my feet i had it all on to stop the fish making the safely of the snag. The fish was a prime example of the species, fin perfect and i am sure if this fish evades the cormorants and pike it has potential to be a big fish in the future, just look at the back on it.
This proved to be a blessing for the swim as it saw off the small roach and after i had placed it in the keep net the shoal of fish that moved in was of a better stamp. This period of the session was certainly a tome where i put the majority of the weight in my net as nice roach after nice roach came to the maggots.
One thing that always gets me about river fishing is how you can fish a line for a good two to three hours and not have a problem with snags and then all of a sudden there it is smack bank in your trot and you hit it two times on the bounce. Setting up twice is never fun. Changing the line you fish is the only option at this point and that's when on this session i started to hit problems as moving a line slightly further out saw me hitting another snag and this search for a line continued for a good hour with a number of hook lengths being sacrificed. It was during this time i had a visit from my uncle with his terrapin capture which really did take my mind of the problem at hand, a welcome diversion.
I eventually found a line right down the far bank and with a 13ft rod it was not the easiest of fishes but it was producing steady bites small roach at first and then the odd better roach like to the one below.
It was not long after returning this fish that the swim again died and again moving slightly over depth saw me picking up the bonus fish but striking i was not expecting to hit such solid defiance, another snag i though momentarily, till it moved into the middle and i felt a kick of a tail. Fishing with a 1lb7oz bottom i was not confident of extracting this fish from the swim, especially with the snag down the middle and one visible one under my feet. The new reel certainly played a part here with its silky smooth drag ticking over and the soft action rod softening the deep runs and i soon had the fish through the mine field of sangs down the middle and under my feet where it went for the inside snag time and time again.
At this point i got my first glimpse of the fish and as i turned i caught a glimpse of the hook right in the top lip and if i could see it i knew it was a light hook hold to be that visible. A big perch was to be my reward if i got the fish in and looking at it, well it had new personal best potential. My heart was in my mouth for what seemed the eternity of time it took for the fish to grace the mesh of my landing net but when it did i was one relieved angler and even more so as the hook fell out in the net.
Picking the perch up she felt hollow so i knew it might not weigh it full potential but at 2lb 14oz it certainly rocked my personal best. A few pictures and it was time to release the fish back to its watery home to wreak havoc with the roach fry that i am sure these fish gorge on. After releasing the perch the swim never really recovered and after a hour or so without a bite and the sun shining down we decided to take a picture of our nets and stop off for a few hours on a pond on the way home.
my uncle had done really well picking up fish down the middle.
We both stopped off on a pond on the way home to use up the remainder of our maggots and it was an enjoyable few hours roach fishing with pent yo of bites and banter.
Well that sums up another weekly blog update i hope you all have a fantastic week on the bank and if you entered the blogs ALDI competition then good luck.