We knew opportunities to get out on the river come the Saturday would hinge on a dry day on the Friday and with that we said a little prayer to the rain gods and prayed for a window of opportunity, in all honesty i feel like i am writing a winter blog here not a summer one, ridiculous weather we are having.
On to the update:
New River Season Preperation..
I have to say with all the stuff going on in work with over time and loads of jobs being done in the house the new river season really did creep up on me. This season is without doubt the most unorganized i have ever been for the start of the rivers, normally by now i have spring cleaned my tackle box, replaced some weights and give my reel a through clean.
The beauty of the rivers is in their simplicity and in short its only a few components that come together to make up the stick float rigs i use so much and with my gear levels looking in an ok state i think i was only a new packet of weights away from being ready to go, so not too bad.
Although time to prepare for the season has not been there physically the mental thought processes have been working for some time and i did have a few changes i wanted to make in how i approach the rivers this season. The main one is cutting down on the amount of gear i take with me, it has been ok carting my big Preston Onbox with its metal footplate to the banks of the river Dane these past few season as the walks have been quite short. This season will be a lot different and long walks over rough farmland terrain are looking like being the norm, a wild river with wild surroundings will mean i will be lucky to have the luxury of having a peg where i sit on my basket at all.
The cutting down of gear started with me utilizing the Octoplus infinity box i was sent to review a few weeks ago, this box bos light and robust will be ideal for those river trips. Its deep storage will spread the load i carry more evenly between my box and my net bag and should mean a more enjoyable walk to and from the river and if a swim is box friendly then i have a nice comfy box to sit on.
Of course terminal tackle would be an issue and i invested in a small tackle box above and in it is all the terminal tackle you need to fish a stick float. This box will of course be built upon or joined by another box when we hit areas where bigger fish like barbel might be on the agenda but for my first session out this little box was ideal. A huge reduction in weight carried losing the huge heavy box and the mountains of terminal tackle i carry but never use when fishing the river on the stick.
A Stinky Delivery...
I have really enjoyed the passed few weeks working with Stinky Stuff Bait Spray and incorporating it into my fishing for carp has been very interesting and rewarding. Sessions where the flow on the lake has been towards the snag it gave me the confidence to know that smell was lapping into their hiding space and hopefully drawing them out. Future blogs will show just how good this bait has been for the carp and it was great last week to receive a delivery from Stinky Stuff of two more bottles of their other products in the Stinky Stuff Match and Stinky Stuff Bubblecream. The bubblecream is a really interesting one having spent most of my childhood next to a sweet making factory it brought back quite a few memories of summer nights where the streets where full of this sweet smell.
Excited to get out on the bank and a little teaser of sessions to come the Bubble cream is just as good as the crayfish for catching carp.
Glorious First River Session - Chubbin'
As mentioned in a previous blog June 16th passed by for me on a local lake fishing for carp, not the ideal way i wanted to spend the glorious 16th, but with rivers flooded it was better to be catching fish than struggling on a swollen coloured river. Truth be told i had a nice day catching carp and thoroughly enjoyed my morning fishing for them and that will be covered in an upcoming blog.
Thursday gone and it was straight into a days work on Friday. Looking out of the windows in work it was hard to judge temperature, dam air con, but i could see that the sky was cloudy but thankfully we had received some strong winds that kept the clouds passing over us and not dropping their rainfall. It filled me with hope for the rivers the next day.
Fridays for me normally follow a set routine that see's me nipping into Widnes Angling Centre for my maggots and terminal tackle bits and pieces but seen as i already had 2 pints of red maggots left from the no go session the previous day it felt weird to fall out of this routine and not nip into the shop on my way home.
During the closed season hemp seed has featured in my canal fishing but i have to admit that despite having close to 10kg of hemp under my stairs i did take the easy option and buy some tinned stuff. It splits nicely and is convenient for the canal sessions where you are not really using that much hemp seed. The rivers are an entirely different animal and less care needs to be taken in the preparation for the rivers as i dont use it on the hook. This coupled with the fact the batch we have at the moment is terrible and will not split well for us meant that come Friday night the kitchen was "high" with the smell of hemp seed on the boil. I have to admit though i was in bad books as upon finding half a packed of chill mix in the cupboard and dded said mix into my hemp i was was soon busted by her in charge who had that put away for Saturdays tea!! House stinking like a drug den and using spices ear marked for meals i was not in good books, if the chub liked it though surely its acceptable. :-)
A quick sort of the tackle box and all the essentials loaded into the Octoplus box it was a chance to make up a few hook lengths and get the gear in the hall ready for a 2am wake up call the next morning, no rain i was excited to say the least. Over the past few years we have really put the time and effort in and now have quite a large portfolio of waters to choose from. Time spent on these rivers in both high and low water and also time spent away from the bank studying how fast these rivers drop all pays dividends in the end when it comes to the fine lines between un fishable and fishable levels. This info can not be gleamed just form the EA chart as it only gives you a number which means very little if you have nothing to refer that too as in how the river will be and fish at that level.
From huge spate rivers to tiny brooks all where looked at and we came to a decision to fish a river we knew would hold its colour and have some pace but we could also find a few fish willing to take a bait. The walk to the river was quite a long one and i instantly felt the benefits of the new box, so much easier and lighter to carry than my preston seatbox. Looking at the river in the darkness we could see she was still carrying a bit of pace, unexpected pace if we were honest, but we knew as the morning would draw on this river would drop and with it the pace would settle. Setting up on opposite inside bends of an "S" shaped bend in the river we both had slack on our inside with the river moving fast around the outside bend. It presented us with 2 main areas to catch, one just off the main flow as the river would naturally flow and two in the deep er inside slacker water under our feet, both i knew would bee good areas.
Setting up my 13ft Korum float rod i fed hemp right in line with some overhanging brambles as this is where i thought maggots fed at the head of the run would reach bottom. A few hand fulls of maggots i knew would get the chub on the feed and in the flow, this huge influx of bait does quicken the process i have found on this river.
The set up a dave harrell 6 number 4 wire stem stick float was the chosen float and with the extra turbulent flow i went with the dome top as i felt this would give me more control in the flow. A size 18 hook to a 1lb 7oz hook length i was all set to go and it came a no surprise that second trot down the float buried and i was rewarded with my first chub of the season, it was great to be back on flowing water.
The chub in the swim and having had no pressure over the passed months i felt sure the next chub was not far behind. Low and behold hald way down the run i was again into a aggressive and hard fighting chevin that made for the overhanging cover time and time again before giving me plenty of grief under my feet, not a huge chub but two in the net in the first 10 minutes it was a great start to the session.
When the chub are in the swim every thing else barring trout i have found clear off and it was the same on this session you could tell when the chub had spooked or moved out the swim as i started to pick up smaller chublets and dace. These are great to see as these are the next generation of fish coming through the ranks and although they dont always show its reassuring to know they are around and ready to make the jump into the main chub shoals when big enough.
The dace and chublets came and went like the wind and after a few trots though without a knock i knew the chub had moved back in. It took a few goes down but eventually i sussed it out and just holding the bait back slightly on my hemp would see the signs of a bite develop with shudders on the float, letting the float go would see it sail under with unmissable chub bites. I can only liken chub bites on the stick to the bites you get from carp on commercials.
The action from these chub then was solid taking four on the bounce in what was crazy fishing as the cub really bullied in on the swim.
Fishing the swim i did i knew i was fishing for one shoal of chub as there was no way a shoal was moving through the rapids above and below this deep run. The chub went and in came the dace and chublets again until eventually bites dried up completely. My uncle had the same issue just down stream and had also had some chub and some nice roach.
The session finished for me with a 18lb9oz net of chub, dace and chublets and it was an excellent first session on the river. Plenty of bites and had a few chub pull back so i left a happy angler.
Early Morning Carping Fun off the top......
The next carp session i got out was just after my 18lb pb and at this time i was treating carp fishing as something i would do when i wanted a challenge but at the same time some fun. Armed with a loaf of bread and my floater rod i headed off to the lake. Arriving at first light it was cold and many would be forgiven for dismissing floater fishing but i knew the carp would be in the shallows form the previous evening and being shallow i knew there was a good chance of them finding my free offerings of kingsmill.
upon arriving i threw in a few bits of bread all over the swim and under my feet. Setting up the net and the floater rod it was a case of waiting for the carp to start taking. Sure enough the rods was not even of its rod wraps before i heard the first swirl and slurp as a carp came up for its break fast.
I arrived at the water at 4.30am and i had to be leaving at 7am to get back, washed and showered before a full days overtime in work so it was a short session. These short approaches seemed to see me do well with the early mornings also keeping the ducks away as they didn't seem to come to life till later in the morning. The water colored i sprayed the crusts with some stinky stuff bubblecream to add some extra smell.
A cracking hour or so's fishing later i was leaving for work with 4 carp under my belt to just over 10lb.
Well thats another few trips on the bank caught up with and this format i think will continue for the next few weeks with carp trips added to the end of my other fishing, I guess it adds loads of diversity to the blog as if you like rivers or carp fishing there is something there for everyone.
till next time