Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Right Time To Fish The River and Cold Weather Top Tips...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet and speaking of wet how good is it to finally see a bit of the wet stuff falling from the sky! more than overdue and will do our rivers a world of good.  The mild temperatures of late have seen the fish still spread wide and far as we eagerly await the first frosts of the year, all the signs of them coming are there with dew on the windows of the car of a morning but we just need to come out now and find that sparkle of a first glistening on the tarmac as we leave the house, i, like many other anglers can not wait.

In this weeks update the fishing see's us hitting the river just at the right time for it to fish its head off and we both bag up on a morale boosting session on the stick.  The introduction sees me looking at the upcoming weeks fishing i have planned and also an update or recap on my piking to date and we finish with a little bit on how i prepare for winter and cold days on the bank with a few tops tips.

On to the Update...

The Weeks To Come....

November is always a difficult month fishing wise i find as the fish we associate with summer and autumn begin to shut down for winter and the fish like dace, roach, chub and pike are all in transition into their winter quarters it is a time of change, as drastic as the arrival on spring if you look closely, which means fishing can be very hard to predict and as such very hit and miss.

From a river stick float point of view it can be a hard time with leaves coming down the river and with the ground still hard rain can have a huge effect on rivers and see them going from really low and on their bones too completely in flood, just look at the Ribble this past week.  The piker in me is unsure what is going to happen if i am honest with it being only my second full season targeting pike its a bit of a unknown for me as to what to expect as we go through this transition.

The coming weeks will see me targeting the new area i have found to unlock its secrets, im sure there is a pike there that could be very special and in the next week or so i have a social coming up on a huge piece of water with my mates Garry and Ste.  A session i am looking forward too but at the same time i know its a huge step up in my pike fishing, a huge one, just one fish would be a dream come true for me on the day.

River wise i am hoping to spend some time on the banks of the River Dane to again try and fisnd the areas the fish go in winter and best ways to catch them and i am also looking forward to trips on the Dee and other smaller tributaries.  I am certainly going top bite the bullet this year and have a session aimed at catching pike from the Dee.  Having moved away from fishing this river consistently i have missed my run ins with the pike that seemed such a regular occurrence in the past.

Piking Blog Update

The decision to move all my trips to one link is still one that is playing on my mind a lot as it does take a lot of pushing on social media for it to get noticed as there is no space to add links of tags to the post for it to show on search engines.  Actual views do not really matter to me but i do also put a lot of time into catching these fish and it does play a huge part in my fishing so i do want it to be noticed as it is kind of tucked away in the corner of the blog page.

The pike fishing for me is going great i am really enjoying the fishing and getting my teeth into the new challenge this year is presenting with 10 doubles my target and finding and fishing my own areas the next i could  not wish for it to go any better.  There has been an update this week to the blog and there is also one wrote to be added this coming week its great to see my hard work paying off with plenty of fish to blog about, the blanks will come but that's fishing.

I will go into more detail in the coming weeks about the new spot and how it is fishing but at this moment in time i have done 4 morning sessions on there equating to 2 full days fishing time and it has produced i think 9 fish with two of these double figure pike so its going better then the blank i envisioned.

Keep up with the pike blog here:

Preparing for Winter

A common question i receive on the blogs email is around what i do to prepare for winter fishing.  Tackle wise i don't really change any thing as i fish all year with light hook lengths and size 20 hooks so not much changes there and the main place you should be focusing your time on is on LOCATION.  Away from the actual fishing the other main area you should be spending time and investing in is in the stuff you wear on the bank at this time of year as it can be brutally cold at times on the bank especially if you are out in the sticks.

For me i wear thermal socks as well as thermal lines boots, your feet is always the first area to feel the cold for sure and keeping your feet warm is vital.  I do feel having a foot plate on my box really helps as it keeps your feet off the cold ground.  I wouldn't say my set up keeps my feet warm on the bank but i don't sit there thinking my feet are cold which is all you can ask for in the depths of winter.

Working up i probably look like i'm wearing a pair of jeans a hoodie, which i am, but under neath then jeans is a pair of thermal pants and under the hoodie is a tee shirt and a thermal top which at times can see me sweating like mad in the snow but its a lot better than being cold.  A buff for my face is normally just kept for the piking where you can be really inactive waiting for a bite and a thermal bob hat stops you losing heat through your head.  All in all it keeps me warm in the coldest of days on the bank.

Top Tip:  When pouring a brew from your flask fill it to the middle recess in the cup, this way you get twice as many brews and can spread the drinks through the day at closer intervals.

Cracking Session On Stick

From the moment we looked at the chart in my uncles house and saw the Dane was not yet showing the rise in level from the rain over night we knew we where in for a good session.  The river would already be starting to show a bit of colour and would rise during the session which the fish would get on to and feed well, we also knew there was not enough rain for the rise to be mega and push the fish off the feed.  The lovely red sky as we joined the motorway, a perfect start to the days fishing trip.

The main choice on the day was what swim to fish, one swim a fast glide around 4ft deep had the potential to throw up nice nets of roach and dace but on the other hand if the fish where not there it also had the potential to throw up a net full of gudgeon!  The other swim was a deeper swim on a bend that offered a nice slack on the inside, not as much a comfy swim as the first but did again offer the chance of a nice net of fish. 

The fact this swim held a bit more depth and also had a slack on the inside off a sunken tree to try if i was wrong about the amount of rise we would get i chose the second swim.  My uncle settled in a swim down stream, a new swim for us both and one that the extra water would see him able to run a stick through. 

My swim a uniform depth of around 5ft i opted for a 6 number 4 alloy stick and to sum up the autumnal feel of the day with plenty of cloud cover and grey skies the float sat nicely on a bed of autumnal leaves.

The rod set up i began to run the float through and the extra little bit of pace in the river was not yet evident, it would come.  One thing i have learnt about this river is the fact the fish can come right up on the feed so i fed the swim lightly and down stream of there i was casting so my float was settled by the time it reached the area i was feeding, planing to hold back to simulate bait falling through the swim here.  My hemp seed was placed further down stream where i thought the maggots would reach the bottom.

The customary madness of the first bites was instant as fish came quickly to the net, nothing of any size but it was frantic.  It is always like this on this river and the test would come if the bites continued passed the frantic feeding period.  This type of fishing is seen as a special art and although it takes practice to master the actually amount of gear you need is minimal.  This is my side tray for the session and apart from my float and bait that is all i use.

The swim eventually settled down and to my relief the bites started to come on my hemp but the bites where a bit hit and miss to say the least and the session was not looking good.  Around 10am i noticed the odd twig and bits of Himalayan balsam coming down and not long after this the whole flow on the river changed.  The trot gained pace and with it the bites came on strong, it was fantastic fishing.

The type of fishing i love where you can chuck your maggots in, then a good but of hemp and then the float and you hold back right on the spot knowing the bite will come, its stick float fishing at its best.  The float going down and i held the float back just a tiny bit right before my hemp, the finger released of the line and BANG the float would bury and this continued for the rest of the session as dace roach and chublets came one after to the net.

It was evident i had a big shoal of fish in front of me, not of any huge size and certainly nothing to warrant a landing net, but the bites where steady and it was more than i could have asked for.  My uncle down stream was also having a good day and i could hear him striking regular into fish and he had also caught a few nice chub.

The session moved on in to the afternoon and the bites would drop off a little as the shoal spooked but a good pouch hemp saw the fish coming back on the feed.  A session i really enjoyed and come the end of the day it was a shame to pack in.  These sessions go by in the blink of an eye they really do but we have to make the most of them.

My final net went over 14lb and contained quite a lot of individual fish to make that weight up.

My uncle had also caught well and had the extra fight of a few chub to boot.

All in all a session to remember and both rewarding in the fact we had put the time in to learn the river and fish the right swims at the right time to catch the fish and also rewarding  in the fact the fish also turned up.

Till next time

i wish you all tight lines


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