Over the past year i have had loads of emails asking if the written blog would be making a come back as they enjoyed the weekly blog. All through last year i tried and tired to put blogs together but lack of time to do so and also a lack of inspiration, the words just would not come if you get me. Over the new year a spark lit with me and this sudden urge to get back blogging kicked in, so here we are the first full week of the new year with a blank canvass so lets get this show back on the road.
These really come down to yourselves the readers and you getting your thoughts out there on social media and in the comments section below as to what you like and what you dont like about the blog. In the past it has had many identities and themes from me answering questions i receive in to me posting my thoughts on things i see in angling, rants and all, before getting into the main part of the blog the fishing.
As a content creator if none are forthcoming then i am thinking of the blog being more like a written diary, just the fishing sessions in written form trying to capture the sessions that i fish, the sights and the scene and the session as a whole. Either way i want it to be something that you yourselves want to read so let me know please.
So lets get straight into it:-
Winter Pond Silvers on The Waggler...
Friday morning and with the incessant rain still tapping irritatingly at the window of the living room i sat, feet up, watching yet another repeat of Home Alone on the box. A great film no doubt but after a long Christmas period rocking around the Christmas Tree has just lost its appeal and truth be told the sound of rain incessantly falling had me feeling more like banging my head against the Tree than dancing round it.
Cabin fever well and truly set in i just had to get out and wet a line the next day so plans with my uncle where made and we made one promise, we would find somewhere to wet a line.
Saturday morning and a clear crisp morning met me as a loaded up the car for another adventure. The rain had meant silver fishing really had taken a back seat of late as the ease and versatility of conditions you can pike fish in had seen me targetting these camouflaged predators more often than not, it meant me delving right to the back of the fishing room for my box and drennan acolyte rod.
Our journey to the river my heart sank as we passed all the local ditches and run offs that where grey and carrying plenty of road run off. I knew then the river we where travelling too would also be "on the edge". You can look at the charts on the rivers all you want but the simple equation is, if the side streams and upper reaches are a mess then the main river is also going to be similar.
Arriving at the river as day light broke we could see straight away the over night rain had really come into the system in a big way, no way would we be float fishing today. A quick chat and a video of said waterway done for the blog we decided to drop back on a small pond. When picking winter venues to fish its never easy but one thing i would say is always looks for one with some depth and as small as possible. Simple physics then mean fishing the deepest but you are not too far away from any fish.
The pond surrounded by by old trees their forks bare from their summer foliage and the pond now also free from the chocking summer weed had a black tinge to its crystal clear depths. A tough day was in order for sure with such clear conditions but i set my sights on 10 to 20 fish. A solitary fishing topping right in the middle of the pool sparked some excitement as it meant the fish where at least on the move.
Tackle for the session was my 14ft Drennan Acolyte coupled with a shimano Techium reel loaded with 4lb drennan float fish line. A simple waggler was attached via a float rubber to the line and this all lead down to a 1.7lb Bayer Perlon hooklength and a size 18 micro barbed hook. The shotting pattern was strung out number 8 shots.
My bait choice was simple in the form of around a pint and half of white maggots that i planned to drip feed the swim with. The swim in front of me was like any pond, shallow margins dropping into a deep bowl, i plumbed up at rod tip just where the bowl levelled out and spent a good amount of time making sure the float was shotted down as much as i could to register even the faintest of bites.
The first cast and the float settled nicely with just the bristle breaking the glass surface of the pond. More fish began to top around the pool but my float remained stagnant in its position. I kept feeding the swim with two to three maggots and on every few feeds recast in the hope the fish where intercepting the feed on the drop.
Eventually the first bite came in the form of a small roach and despite the air being quite comfortable the roach stung my palms as it graced them such was the harsh coldness of the fish, bitter! I knew there and then bites would be at a premium and feeding had to be careful as these fish, although feeding, would not need much to be overfed.
It took around half an hour for the first bite but then like the kingfisher that past me so came a flurry of bites as the first fish was followed by two more. Many who will have watched the videos on youtube will see my thoughts on feeding and with a few bites like that it is easy to think they are having it but you have to be restrained and not go mad and over feed so i continued to drip feed the swim with 2-3 maggots at a time.
By midday a pattern had shown in the fish would move in, you would catch one or two and then would follow a period of quiet before their return, i was happy with this on the day as a good bit of banter was had with my uncle during the lean spells, i would say by midday i had around 10 plump roach like the one below in the net.
Into the afternoon and the swim completely died for a good hour and all signs of fish in the pool seemed to cease as an eerie silence came over the pool the birds seemed to have lost their voices and even dying reeds to my right ceased their whistle as the wind dropped. A solemn calm in a world crammed with impatient people clambering to get their mundane tasks completed, a moment of utter peace and tranquillity in the middle of an urban landscape, a world few of these people who partake in this modern rat race stop to even acknowledge.
The calmness was broken when my float slid away and likes its action the whole swim descended, into chaos that is, as the drennan acolyte bent smoothly into a better fish. The camera grabbed to capture this moment on film it was utter shock when up through the clear depths came the olive green flanks of a tench!!, The camera went down and all that mattered was sliding this fish into the waiting net. A winter Tinka a real surprise given the cold conditions.
The tench was a real surprise on such a cold day and i guess goes to show that these species do not just sit there dormant all winter till spring comes, a nice addition to the days sport. The disturbance of this fish did kill the swim for a bit but eventually a few roach moved back in but in reality it was not until the sun sank down onto the horizon and its oily watery winter gaze jeweled through the trees that a few better roach started to top and out of the blue right on last knocking a real beauty of a roach made an appearance,
The roach was a fitting end to a nice day on the bank with my uncle and hopefully the net below goes to show that you dont need 20lb nets of roach to have a good day on the bank, a few bites with a mate can lead to some of the best and most memorable days on the bank. A special session on a special water, see you in spring.
Till next time
You can watch a video of the session on the blogs youtube channel on this link below