That is fishing and if blogging for over 5 years has taught me anything it is to take the rough with the smooth in the knowledge that all will come good in the end. In this update i talk a little on a exciting role i have accepted, a product review and then a brutally honest look at the disaster that has been my post November pike fishing. The fishing is a session on the River Weaver where it didnt go all to plan.
Angling Consuultant Role Warrington Anngling Centre..
I am excited and over the moon to announce that i have been asked to become an Angling Consultant working with Warrington Angling Centre. Its a role i saw advertised over Christmas and thought on for a day or two as it is a huge commitment to take on especially with this blog being already quite time consuming as it expands onto Youtube but it was an opportunity that both excited me and one i just had a good feeling about.
I will be joining a small team of Angling Consultants of which there are two i know and have spoke to over facebook from time to time and are both fantastic anglers. The team will give us all opportunities i feel to learn from each other in aspects of fishing that we might not try a lot. For myself i am looking forward to the challenge of producing different content to this blog and trying to produce content for them that is more tactics and tackle i use based as opposed to the blog writing that is more about how i perceive the fishing and how it was on the day.
I will post links to any content that goes live on their page in these updates i would really appreciate any support you can give them with likes and shares.
Thermal Sock Product Review...
Link to Site: https://heatholders.co.uk/products/socks
"A fit for purpose product to be proud of.
It swiftly became our single-minded mission to make the warmest thermal sock on the planet.
What followed was two long years of experimentation and innovation, re-tooling equipment
and routinely discarding yarn mixes until unique 3 stage knitting process was perfected.
Due to specially developed construction and our intense brushing process,
trap more warm air close to the skin keeping you warmer for longer!
Whether pursuing outdoor activities, working in a cold climate or simply for that extra confidence
and comfort in those cold winter months will help ensure NO MORE COLD FEET!"
The morning of the review and it was away with my trusty Skee Tex Thermal boots and in came the thermal socks and to give them a thorough test i wore a pair of normal every day boots with them. The day of the test was quite mild compared to the recent snow flurries and frosts we have had but ti was still in low single figures, so it would be a test.
Adding to the test was the fact that i was pike fishing which by its nature is very much cast in and sit and wait for the pike to make the next move. The session passed by without much activity on the pike floats but whilst i whittled away the hours hoping the float would move my feet remained OK. I don't judge how well a thermal piece of kit does in keeping me warm by how warm my body is kept or saying "yes these thermals where amazing i was sweating buckets all morning" I always judge them by one simple test and that is:
"Was i sat there thinking my feet are cold? And the answer
to that question was a solid No"
to that question was a solid No"
The price of this sock i think is reasonable and i was impressed with how thick they where which made walking in the boots easier. They will be fitting into my fishing come that period as we move into spring where its too warm for the skee tex but you still feel you cannot risk a trip out with a pair of boots with normal socks on.
All in all a solid product that does the job its asked to do in keeping your feet warm, they certainly have worked while i have typed this piece in my cold kitchen ;-)
For those keeping up with the pike videos on youtube you will have seen the video around the blanks coming to an end with a nice pike. I thought this would be a line in the sand but quite frankly the piking has been really really tough. In the few years i have been piking i can honestly say December to date has been some of the hardest pike fishing to date. It has been a huge challenge to get a bite and when takes have come they have been tiny jack pike that have either come off or been of the micro variety.
The only consolation at the moment, small consolation at that, is that everyone is struggling so you can kind of not beat your self up as much about it. It seems the pike, for one reason or another, are just not in the normal spots. I do believe they are still in the vicinity of the normal winter haunts but are not as yet tightly packed in and i think it has to do with the weather.
Extreme cold is certainly a factor in why fish shoal in deeper or sheltered areas and i believe the reason we are not getting numbers of pike is the fact the shoals of prey fish are still so spread out with the mild temps. A few days of freezing and snow is soon replaced with barmy 10 degree temps.
Eventually the big girls will have to show up for spawning reasons but if that is the case its looking like a short frantic sprint towards the end of the pike season.
On to the fishing
Tough Session on The River weaver....
video of the following session is here to view:
The river Dee and River weaver where my two choices and knowing the circus that goes with the river Dee at this time of year i opted for a quiet day on the banks of the River Weaver. I say quiet i knew the match stretch i was heading too would be far form quiet given its close vicinity to the main road.
The gritters had certainly been slacking the night before as i made my way slowly to the venue, some of the roads completely iced white with the ice it made for a event full slow trundle to the river.
Arriving it was complete day light and i began walking the stretch looking at the pegs. It was already noticeable there was little topping. Fish topping was not a disaster in my opinion as i was fishing the bolo which by the very method you want the fish down deep to catch them. The abundant predatory bird life gave away enough of a clue to the shoals below for me to get excited.
I had already fished a few swims on this beat so i decided to try a swim i had never tried before. It was a swim where the river narrowed slightly so in theory i was thinking i was closer to the deeper water down the middle which would make for easier line control and an enjoyable days fishing, how wrong i was.
A 3gram bolo and my 17ft float rod set up i began to plumb up and found a deep run just this side of the middle with the river shallowing up along the far bank with also a deep channel under my feet where i had already spotted a pike grabbing its breakfast.
Feeding caster and hemp and with a red maggot on the hook i began and the first run through brought a small roach to the net with the second run through bringing a slightly bigger roach in what was a great start to the session.
Unfortunately that is where the good news story ended as form that point till 1 pm i hit snag after snag after snag. I tried a bit closer in on the middle line, a bit further out, down the far side and literally off the rod tip and every time i would trot through get a fish and then hit a snag.
This is river fishing of course so days like this do come along but i have to say days where you can not find a line at all are rare and i pitied anyone who got this peg in a match.
i thought about moving but you learn nothing by moving from a peg and was determined to learn the swim for future session and it paid off as around 1pm i found a line i could trot about a foot down stream of the Rod tip and it was clear. I put together the final net of fish in between 1pm and 2.30pm where a pike marauding through the swim killed it. I knew i had no where else to try in the swim so it was the killer to the swim that was impossible to remedy.
Not the greatest days fishing i have ever had but time spent after the session thinking it over saw me draw the positives and i knew in future to one try and avoid that swim and two if i have to fish it i know know a piece of the jigsaw as to where i can at least fish a line.