This weeks blog is session on the river where we fishing a new area of river we hit the bank hoping to learn a little about this new area, an enjoyable session but ruined by an unwelcome visitor. After the river session is another one of the short trips i did recently for carp. These carp sessions have been well received and thank you to all who emailed me to say they enjoyed this diversity in the blog.
The introduction looks at some purchases i made last week when all the over time came good and my reasoning behind the purchases. I have also made the decision to start reviewing the tackle i use form day to day. I have done many reviews on the page for company's but i think it will be fun to write some reviews based on the tackle i use day in and day out.
on to the update
New Purchases - Overtime Comes Good....
As i mentioned a month or two ago i have been hoping to replace my obsolete pole and also pick up a new trotting rod. The budget of £500 i knew was not the greatest but in all honestly i have no need to spend a fortune on a new pole given how much i use them.
First up was the pole and i had the choice to either spend the whole £500 on just a pole knowing i would prob get a pole slightly lighter and certainly with more top kits for my extra money but i would have to sacrifice a new float rod. After looking through the Internet at all the reviews of numerous poles and more importantly taking into account when they where released i went with the MAP 101 2G 13m pole.
The main reason for this, apart from price, was the fact that this pole was only released in 2016 so i know i will have a good number of years where i will be able to get spares for this pole, my main problem with the one i have now is the fact i can not replace lost or broken sections.
The MAP 101 2G is an entry level pole and with that i knew i wasn't getting the best pole in the word but, for me, its all i need. I fish the rivers most of the year and when not doing that i am normally piking. I only really use a pole in the closed season where i fish the canal or this year a commercial. I will go into more detail when i write a full review in upcoming blog but it comes with 2 power kits and a match kit so i will be purchasing one more match kit and then i am set for all the angling i do with two top kits for each.
I enquired at the tackle shop if they price matched and they said they did although i don't think they where ready for the price match i had found on line, a whopping £50.00 quid off the RRP. This extra cash gave me the scope to go from the bottom end of the pole market to purchasing a creme De la creme of stick float rods in the 14ft Drennan Acolyte Plus float rod.
from the first moment i held this rod in a tackle shop i just fell in love with it, so light and a lovely sort action. Weighing in at 4 grams at 13ft and i think 5 grams at 14ft its feather light to hold and i can assure you having fished with this rod all day Saturday just gone its a beautiful rod so light you could trot with it for a week and not have your arm ache. There are going to be some fun times ahead when i hit chub i can tell that but what a great piece of kit.
Two pieces of kit bought for just over £500 in the MAP 101 2G and the drennan Aculyte plus i think i did well to get them both for the price and am over the moon. The pole i was out on the canal on Sunday using and as said above the rod i used Saturday. The hours and hours of overtime where well worth it, house sorted and now a cracking addition to the fishing gear.
On to the Fishing..
Pike Ruins Second River Session On Stick
The second weekend pf the river season and finally it seemed like the river we wanted to get on would be at a fish able level. As ling time readers of the blog will know we never really let our feet settle too long in one spot we love to find new areas, try and work them out and then move onto the next adventure. A lot of time over the passed two years has been spent at the lower end of the river Dane but this year we have moved up into the middle reaches hoping to find better and ore consistent sport and also there is a good chance of me connecting with a barbel, a species i have wanted to target for a while now.
Heading off i again slimmed my gear right down to the bear essentials. The octoplus infinity tackle box contained all i needed tackle wise and bait wise for the session ahead while my rods and bank sticks in the holdall and my nets in a net bag meant i was travelling as light as i could for a comfortable days fishing, or so i thought!
Assessing some of the swims i decided on fishing a nice glide leading down to a overhanging tree. It looked fishy although not the comfortable peg i had hoped for and it soon became apparent on getting to water level i would be standing using the bait waiter.
Muddy under foot i knew i was in for an uncomfortable day but hey the passed few years we had been spoiled with the comfy fish on your basket swims. This was back in at the deep end and that was no joke as literally off the end of that mud it was a good 4-5 feet deep! Joking aside it was good to be back sliding down banks and making swims as we went, it really can be the beauty of fishing a river, the freedom and the feeling of that is a good spot i will make a peg there.
The good news was i got a sure footing and the first fish was not ling in coming, always a good sign
As i always say on these blogs, i love catching a dace early on, reason being is with dace where there is one there is most certainly more. The swim an even depth all the way across i started out down the middle loose feeding maggots in front of me and hemp at around 2 oclock. It soon became obvious there was a snag or some streamer weed right where i wanted to get my bites as the float would slide under and all would go solid before it would pull off.
With trotting its all about building a picture of the swim as you go, swims can change from session to session and seasons to season, over the first hour of the session you do begin to find a line you can fish where you avoid the snags and can get from point A to Point B in one go. This might need you to hold back over rocks or even mean you fishing a line you never thought you would right close in but over time you do build that picture. you also build a picture of how the fish are feeding on that session or "how they want it" and that can be the difference some times between catching and not catching.
Holding the bait back just on the hemp was killer on the day and soon chublets with gobs full of chub where coming.
The swim building nicely with fish coming thick and fast i has ideas of a fantastic days fishing. Getting into a bagging up rhythm of cast in feed maggot sprinkle hemp hold back, let go hold back let go and then strike. This type of rhythm you soon start putting a weight in the keep net and all the time i was thinking about if those better chub where knocking about ready to move in.
The bites then died a little and i thought here we go. A change over to corn to see if i could pick up a better fish but alas a float that had been zooming under time and time again was trundling through untouched. Right down the swim i finally struck into a bite and up through the swim i reeled in a dace twisting and turning in the current. All of a sudden form no where a flash of green and gold came from nowhere as a pike struck and missed its target. One lucky dace in the net.
After this it was like the chains ad been released form the pike i next disturbed it in the margin down from my keep net as i think me moving spooked it, all i saw was a bloom of bottom come up. 10 minutes later with not a bite i saw another swirl at my keep net and it was clear this pike was not giving up. Sods law i left my pike rod at home as that is one down side of going light and splitting your gear you leave stuff. I always carry a pike rod for this reason, catch the pike and move it on upstream away and you catch again.
This pike was to put it bluntly a right pain in the £$££ trotting away it would take around 20 mins get a bite and on two occasions this veracious pike claimed it as its meal. I had him on twice but both times the line was bit through. After the second attack i tied another hook link on and trotting away i could see him lying at the tail of my net. I called it a day at this point as there was no way he was giving in and the whole swim was spooked.
It was a case of what could of been and next time the river is fish able i will be on the bank but this time armed with my pike rod for sure. Packing away i was consoled by a very inquisitive heard of bullocks in the field opposite who seemed to stand and stare for an eternity. Second trip back on the river and an optimistic back to raw river fishing induction, love it.
3 and half Hours Manic Carp Fishing...
By the time this carp session came round in the closed season it was safe to say the carp fishing bug had bit but i dont think it was actually the carp that was drawing me back more the exploration and fun of catching fish on a new water. When a water gets under your skin it takes over with me and in this scenario i always want to keep on going to try and get the best i possibly can from that water. In this case it was a case of the venue being so atmospheric and the fish being so much fun to catch.
I was keeping my tactics simple and i do think this is lost hugely in modern carp fishing, its all very complex and in depth when in reality does it really have to be? To this point and to be honest continuing at the way through i was fishing two rods, one on the top on crust and one on the bottom in a method feeder and corn with the addition of stinky stuff being the added attractant i wanted in the coloured water.
On these early morning sessions i would always start off by introducing some free offerings of bread in the margins and likely looking spots to see if the fish would come up. The norm was then for you to hear a slurp long before you had even set up the landing net. Like with the trotting above you soon build up a picture of a water and although you are not making a mind map of the bed of a river with carp fishing i feel like you tap into the day to day lives of the fish within the water. you learn by how they take the bread if they are having it proper or not and you learn things like how the better fish seemed to go around together so if 3lb carp where slurping up the bread you knew it was a good idea to move.
In the first swim a few fish come up erratically taking the bread swirling as they took, cagey and on edge i knew these would be hard to hook. There was one fish though coming up slowly taking the whole crust of bread confidently, she was right at the back of the group and i knew if i could get a bait on her line she would be a nice fish to start. A peach of a cast and rod in hand i was not at all prepared when the line shot across the surface and the rod hooped round. Making a hard run for the snags i was in trouble from the off, i kept the rod low and prayed and god knows how but she appeared right at my feet swimming right under all the trees, when your lucks in eh! On the mat a nice 11lb mirror carp.
Taking pictures i could hear the carp behind me slurping down the remaining bread so out went a few more freebies to keep them occupied. Mainly smaller carp,again swirling at the bread i noticed a fish right in the margin under my feet taking bread confidently and it looked a double. In complete contrast to the first long distance cast this was a stay well back from the water and placing the bread right on the edge of the Lillie's. The crayfish stinky stuff colouring the water around the bread it was not long before the carp came out of the Lillie's and seconds after returning one carp i was into another fighting double. Arriving at 4.30am it was not even 5am and two doubles had graced the net i was buzzing, 3 weeks earlier both would have been a new PB!
This early success was a fantastic start but i was learning on here the smaller carp do move as a shoal and before i knew it 3 smaller carp to 8lb had bullied their way in. Madness as 3 weeks ago they would have tickled my pb and i would have been really excited.
A move was in order and i decided to try and target the bigger fish. In went a few crusts of bread laced with the crayfish stinky stuff and i sat back and waited for the carp to find the free floating banquet. Soon enough the swirls started and excitement levels increased as i realised these where proper carp feeding well.
I noticed if the bait was presented tight to an overhanging far bank bush and left to drift down to the waiting fish i soon was getting bites. Getting the cast right would result in a chance of a fish but hooking up was proving the issue. A slight refinement in the placement of the surface float turned chances into fish. Over the next 2o minutes i picked up two more commons both doubles at 11lb and 14lb respectively.
A morning of doubles and leaving a happy angler i tipped my hat to an angler just arriving on the pool, my thoughts where of how much action he had missed and was baffled by his comments of how bad the water was fishing! Agreeing a headed off on my way...
Till next week