Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Tench Dream's and Bream, Bream, Bream....

Sunday - Cicily Mill

  Sunday saw me arriving at Cicily mill at 5.30am to find the car park full already and another car behind me waiting to get in,  I quickly unloaded the car and started to walk around the pool, to my amazement a swim that I have had some cracking days on was still vacant so I so jumped on it.  With the place being so busy it was going to be a tough day as the fish wouldn't have to look far to find a decent meal.  My plan of attack was on my margin pole just off the tree to my right,  I also noticed the peg next to me had been removed so i had a fair bit of water in front of me, if i was quiet and baited properly I felt i had a chance.

the swim:

  I began to feed the swim with corn, only a few kernels, just enough to get the fish around my area, after around 30 minutes the float buried and i was into a carp it came straight to the top and turned towards the tree, as quick as I had hooked it, it was off,  Disaster!! from past experience a lost fish usually means a good wait for another bite as the place is so shallow it spooks all the fish around.  A few more bits of corn and i sat back expecting a decent wait for another bite, not this time though the float buried again straight away and straight away i knew i was into a crucian carp from its tough jagged determined dives for the tree.  The fish was no match for the pole elastic I had on and I am thinking of getting the 24 elastic replaced as it is really too powerful for what I need.

Crucian Carp

After this fish my swim got invaded by countless numbers of small roach gorging themselves on a early morning hatch of flies, not one to miss an opportunity I set up the lighter section of the pole and begin catching fish using punch bread, nothing of any size but was still fun.  By 8am a I overheard 2 lads behind me talking saying they couldn't believe every peg was taken!!.  Not alot was happening fish wise to be honest with only one person in my sight catching with any regularity, quick forays back over my baited spot with corn and meat brought nothing and I took the opportunity to watch a  pair of grebes methodically working the shallow water out in the middle of the pool.

grebes (not the best quality but they put on a real display for us all.:

  With the witching hours in the morning coming and going in a blur I decided to set up the method feeder out in the middle with instant results with the best bream of the day coming on the first cast.

First Bream:

  From then on it was bream, bream bream all the way I took pictures of a few of them but they were all of the same stamp and kept the tip going round enough to keep me interested till around 5pm when  I called it a day.



and more bream:

  Throughout the day I am sure there was the odd recapture, which isn't as uncommon as you think on this venue I have had big captures of crucians in the past years with the same fish coming 2 or 3 times!!, all in all it was good to be back on the mill again but I have to say I was gutted about the carp I lost early on and the tench didn't turn up for me.  It was also good to catch up with a good friend, Colin, who I have not seen in over a year due to me mainly fishing the rivers.

Tuesday - Rixton Clay Pits

  I did a short session on Rixton on Tuesday, my plan today was big fish or bust, I put my sleeper rod out to the right and float fished over a bed of hemp and corn out in front of me.  It turned out to be a day of what could have been with me missing 5 runs on the sleeper rod for one reason or another, I always seemed to being doing something when the runs came, from setting up my float rod to talking to the local bailiff,  it was just one of those days when had I been in luck and by the rod I could be sat here typing with 5 tench or carp to wax lyrical about, but it wasn't to be, but with angling its the what could have been's as much as the red letter days that keep us going back, and I will be back!!

  The short session ended in me catching a few skimmers spaced evenly throughout the short session and I probably learned more today about Rixton than I have the last few visits form talking to the bailiff and having a cast around with the depth plummet.  A few side note's from the trip,  I saw my first clutch of ducklings today, a sure fire sign that we are leaving the winter well and truly behind and also I finally found out the possible culprit behind the funny bites I have had on Rixton where I have had one beep on the alarm and nothing only to reel in to find the hook gone and line snapped, apparantly there is a few terrapins that live on there that must have a taste for boilies!!!, so if anyone reads this who fishes there make sure you test your bait after every run,  its not always a liner.

  No fishing for me now till Saturday where I am contemplating a visit to either Woodshaw, Rixton or C and D pools in Wigan, I would love to get a carp before the river season opens again.

tight lines


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Wigan pools and a trip to my local.......


 I awoke on Friday morning and with no work due to it being a bank holiday waking up wasn't going to be a problem today!!, with a new venue on the cards there was a certainty in the air that no matter what we caught it was going to be a "good Friday".
 With a really early start out of the question due to having to drop my brother off at football it was already light as both me and my dad loaded the car up and got on our way.  I had decided before I left that my angle of attack would be my white knuckle margin pole and my Drennan feeder rod on the method feeder.

  We arrived to find only one angler on  the water and in the early morning light the smaller of the two pools, pool C didn't look too promising so we set up on the larger of the two pools, pool D.  The great thing when pole fishing is the speed at which you can get fishing, quickly separate the sections and pop on your rig and your away.  I set up with the wind blowing in my face and began getting to work with the depth plummet.

Pool C and D:

  After pluming the swim it quickly became apparent there was no way i was fishing on the bottom more than 4 ft out as it just dropped away into oblivion,  so I decided to fish on top of the shelf on the bottom with sweetcorn,  to be honest not alot happened for the first hour or so so i decided to try a different method and draw the fish up in the water, so I shallowed right up and straight away I was into small Rudd and nice roach all coming to double maggot.

First fish of the Day:

  I continued to drip feed in the maggots and the fish kept on coming, everyone else on the water was fishing on the bottom and not getting a touch but I was enjoying pulling in the tiddlers with the odd decent roach, as long as that floats going under I don't care!!!  After returning a Rudd i threw a couple more maggots in and shipped the pole out, i didn't even see the float disappear and i was into a proper zoo creature which i knew instantly was a better fish,  i managed to get the fish to the top and a nice stripey graced the net its fins erect in defiance as i brought him in.

Good old stripey:

  I continued to catch fish all morning and was getting a bite every put in, most missed as they were so fast and i suspect small Rudd or roach,  but every so often a better fish would make an appearance.

  Around dinner time the wind changed and started to swirl around the pond, this had a bad effect on the fishing for me as all the fish seemed to disappear out of the warmed upper layers and the bites dried up.  i got speaking to the person next to me and he said that pool C was really good for the tactic i was using so i decided to give it a go, he wasn't wrong with a bite a chuck for roach and Rudd but it did lack the odd bigger fish i was getting on the bigger pool, but did i care??  I also had a little visitor to my peg in the late afternoon sun:


  All in all I will defiantly be visiting this venue again, it took me back to fishing as a kid at a small local pond and I know for sure it holds some real corkers, its got the depth and with a brick wall at one end, the features as well, although next time i will be taking my 17ft river float rod, all in all a venue worth the extra mile


  This afternoon me and my dad decided to visit a venue that is close to our hearts having fished it for so many years,  its only a small local pond but with its secluded location it gives you a chance to see some of the stunning local wildlife,  today alone I saw rabbits, crows, jays, heron, mallards and a pair of squirrels frantically chasing each other in a spring haze, I have also in the past seen stoats here as well.

local pond:

  We arrived to find a nice size carp dead in the side, not a nice sight to see at all, with the majority of fish in here being silvers with the odd crucian carp a fish like that would make a days fishing a memorable one.  We decided to fish the right hand side of the pool with my dad on the waggler and me using my margin pole we both from the off started to catch fish with either a small Rudd or Roach coming with every cast and every so often a larger fish would turn up.  After around an hour i decided to fish on the bottom top see if anything hard been attracted by any maggot that was luck enough to make it to the bottom, with instant result a lovely crucian carp.

Crucian Carp

  We decided to call it a day around 6pm, with the fish still biting I must admit it was very hard to leave!!,  still cant complain there is no better way in my mind to spend 3 hours than on a small local pond I reckon had be stayed on we could have doubled that, top fishing and great fun.

Net of fish:

  The next two days will see me visiting Rixton and Cicily Mill, hopefully i will get into some of the teddy bear eyed tincas that live there.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Frustration on the Crustacean and Sunday sun.........

  Aerial Shot of Rixton Clay Pits

This week while browsing Maggot Drowners (, a forum , I came across a thread about using prawns as a bait for tench in the spring and not being one who is shy of trying new baits and techniques I decided I would use this bait on my sleeper rod come the weekend.
  Saturday morning and we arrived at Rixton in the pitch black to find around 6 cars in the car park,  we quickly unpacked the car and was on our way around the pit looking for a swim, all the swims i had wanted to fish all were taken by people fishing overnight, including the swim from last week which i was really hoping we could have dropped on as i was looking for a mixed bag of fish.  We finally arrived at a vacant peg to situated towards the far right of the pit and began to set up.

The swim for the day:

  From the out-set it just felt different than the last few times i have fished Rixton there was very little evidence of fish feeding in the area and the bites I was getting were very tentative and to be honest I think the fish just were just not feeding as vigorously as they had been on past visits, there was none of the normal signs there and this resulted in a very quiet morning for both me and my dad,  to show how funny the fish were being one of the few fish I had caught by midday was a Rudd on the method feeder and it wasn't on the drop.
  In the afternoon I decided to move next to me dad so we could at least have a bit of a natter and I moved my two rods with me, from that moment on it seemed the skimmers really turned on and me on the method feeder and my dad float fishing right under his rod tip started to get into some fish with a skimmer coming around every 5-10 minutes.  Around 2pm me and my dad were talking about the fact he hadn't caught a tench yet this year and I questioned whether he thought the tench would come in that close when mid conversation my dad struck and his rod suddenly bend right over, judging by his calls of this is no skimmer, he had hooked either a carp or a tench which was not happy and doing all it could to get to the deeper water,  What followed was one of those close quarter battles where nine times out of ten the hook pulls under the strain of been hooked so close in, luckily it wasn't a really big fish and after a short battle my dad had his first tench of the year. 

Dad with his "monster" tench (3lb 3oz):

  After this a few more skimmers followed but around 3pm we called it a day and headed of home, the sleeper rod sat there the whole day without a touch despite being recast every hour, I guess it was always going to be a method that catches you a better stamp of fish and had the fish been more in a feeding mood I might of got a take but then again from what I read its a bait that varies in success from venue to venue but I have to admit I was gutted I dint get any takes on it.

My dog Pippa:

  Sunday came and with it come some really nice weather, so me and Lucy, my fiance,  decided to take our dog Pippa for a walk along the banks of the River Dee at Farndon.

A picture of the River Dee with Farndon Bridge in the distance:

  The place was alive with wildlife and the river was teeming with fish all the way across its width with small fish and the odd larger one taking flies of the top.  I'm a great believer in the close season for giving the fish a break but after the lack of action this winter due to atrocious weather conditions I have to say would have gave my right arm to have had a trot through.

Teeming with fish:

  The changes here in 2 months have been remarkable and basically one of my first posts on this blog was form a swim here and as you can see below the changes are truly amazing you would swear it was a different river all together.

1st March 2011:


  I love my spring course fishing but there is something magical about rivers and I cant wait for the river season to re-open after today!!, I have booked the three days off over Easter so there may be a few more frequent maybe less detailed updates over the next two weeks and a few more venues.

tight lines


Monday, 11 April 2011

Spring has sprung at Rixton Clay Pits...........

  After one of the busiest weeks I can remember in work the weekend finally came and with it came the promise of warmer weather for both Saturday and Sunday, this could only mean one thing from a fishing point of view and that was the fish would be alot more active than they had in recent weeks.   I spent Friday night giving my kit a good sort out and tying up a few rigs for my sleeper rod for the next day.

  Saturday morning and I arrived at Rixton car park around 06.15 to find around 7-8 cars already there, with all the first few pegs having people in them it was going to mean me fishing an unfamiliar peg further round the pit.  I eventually spotted a vacant peg and it looked a cracker it was in a secluded bay and commanded alot of open water in front with a nice tight channel to the right just perfect for my sleeper rod.

The swim for the day:

  The first hour and half passed away in a blur with not so much as a touch on the sleeper rod and only a solitary roach to show on the method feeder to the side of the island in front, but as you can hear from the video above the birds were in full song and it was clear mother nature was not going to miss out on the forthcoming good weather, you can really see why this is a SSSI site throughout the day, of the top of my head I remember either hearing or witnessing the following birds, Blue tits, robins, blackbirds, woodpigeon, woodpecker, jay, finches, Canadian geese, moor-hens, ducks and to top it of I was treated to a aerial display of two buzzards soaring the thermals in the mid day heat.  When doing a blog I have learned the hard way to take a picture of your first fish no matter how small as it may be your last!!!.

  From a fishing point of view it was turning into one of those days that really annoys you the conditions where spot on and I was doing my best to mess it up with a mixture of  inaccurate casting resulting in me having to set up from scratch again after landing, like it seems alot do from the amount of gear in the trees, in the island in front and not to the side of it.  It was after this and noticing that I had now spent two hours with only one fish I decided to set up the float rod and have a go on the waggler,  while I was threading up my float rod I was stopped half way up by one loud bleep from my sleeper rod and a load of slack line, I struck not expecting the fish to be still on and off it shot hell bent on taking me around the back on the island I was on, not good, I managed to turn the fish and like last weeks it dogged it out under the rod tip but with me using my 1.75 test curve barbel rod it was no match and it was only a mater of time before the fish tired and my first tench of the day was on the unhooking mat.  Tipping the scales at 3lb 1oz it made a quiet morning suddenly seem more productive.

3lb 1oz Tench:

  The tench was quickly weighed and it's picture taken safely returned to its home, being such a warm day already this is imperative.  I decided to get the rod quickly set up again and quickly had a PVA bag attached to it and back on the same spot and it was back to setting up the float rod,  this proved to be a master stroke and from 09.30 till 1pm I had some of the best silver fishing I'd had in a long time, with a fish coming with early every cast,  I was cursing the fact I hadn't packed my keep net because it would have been one hell of a net fish to have taken a picture of, the fish where a mixture or roach, skimmers and small perch with the best fish being a pristine 13oz roach.  The sleeper rod had two more runs on it but on reflection I think I was striking at line bites and with it being my first ever time using a bite alarm it was always going to be a learning curve.

13oz newly minted Roach:

  From 1pm onwards the whole swim went through a massive quiet patch with all signs of fish feeding disappearing, a pike moved in??? unfortunately its just one of those things that will always baffle us anglers.  Around 3pm I had another run on the sleeper rod and it didn't half shoot off and was how you expect the bite alarm to go off with a constant beeping,  I struck, fish on!!, straight away in knew i was into a proper bream, the fight was all you expect form a bream a dull tugging sensation and to be honest they are not known for their fighting ability, but welcome none the less.

2lb 8oz Bream:

  The rod was again quickly re-baited and recast in again and I began to pick up the odd roach and skimmer on the float again as the afternoon went on,  before I knew it, it was 5pm and time to start packing up, as I was packing away my float rod and feeder, the bite alarm screamed off again and this time it was no bream but another hard fighting tench, this one was alot smaller than the male tench from the morning but didn't fight any less and I couldn't think of a better way to end the day.


Rixton Clay pits.

Tight Lines


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

April fools day trip to Rixton

  After spending all Sunday, Monday and Tuesday last week with what my missus suspected as severe "man flu" I jumped at the opportunity of a days leave on the Friday when it was announced a space had become available.  My whole mindset for my two days left in work was to get rid of whatever bug I had picked up so I was well enough to make an early morning attack for the tench that resided in the murky depths of Rixton Clay Pits come Friday.
  The next two days in work flew by and I soon found myself making a late afternoon last minute dash to the post office on Thursday to pick up my new EA licence for the forthcoming year, after sharing a quick joke with the postmaster about the odds of ever being asked to produce this licence after purchasing one for the last 19 years and only ever been asked for it once I was on my way to the local bait shop for some red maggots for the trip the following morning.
  I woke up nice and early Friday morning, a necessity it seems for catching the better fish from Warrington waters in the warmer months it seems, car loaded and I was on my way.  A quick check of the weather and although the temperature was a steady 16 degrees showers had been forecast for the morning so a quick u-turn and in went the English fisherman's best friend the umbrella.
  I arrived at Rixton to find only 2 cars in the car park, straight down the gravel path and a quick glance over to find the swim I had hoped to fish was free,  my method of attack today would be solely on the method feeder with a ground-bait mix of sweetcorn and maggots with maggot on the hook.

The swim:

  With my 12ft Drennan power carp feeder already being clipped up from my trip last week it was a 5 second job to set the rod up and get fishing.  Nearly instantly I was getting little taps on the tip and I knew from experience this would be skimmer bream eating the contents of the method feeder and knocking it as they did so, surely it wouldn't be long before the culprit found the single red maggot stationed close to the feeder and the tip wrapped round, sure enough a few minutes later I was into a decent skimmer which turned out to be the best one of the day.

Skimmer Bream:

  When I fish the method feeder I like to get a decent bed of bait down so for the next 20 minutes I was only leaving the feeder in for between 3 to 4 minutes before re-baiting,  this definitely paid off as the first time I then left it in for a longer period the rod was nearly pulled off the rod rest and I was into what felt a first another skimmer but it all to soon became apparent that this was down to the fact the fish was swimming towards me and as it got into the margins near me I could not for the life of me move it off the bottom, this was certainly no skimmer bream the fish made numerous attempts to get me into the sunken trees to my left but after a series of hard heavy lunges I managed to get it to the top a quick glimpse of olive green before in dived again and I knew I was into my first tench of the season.  It wasn't long before I was pulling the fish over the lip of my landing net and it looked a real good fish and one worth weighing,  I was lucky enough to be bought some digital weighing scales for Christmas so I can now put a weight to the bigger fish I catch, this topped the scales at 4lb 3oz so this being the first tench I have ever weighed it became my new official personal best!!!

4lb 3oz Tench:

  With the capture of this fish the heaven's opened and it seemed to have a marked effect of the fishing with only 3 more smaller skimmers and a tiny perch, so small I didn't know it was on, came to the net although I did have another visitor throughout the downpour who greedily hoovered up any maggots I threw to her.

My company for the day:

  After around about a hour and half the rain stopped and I caught a few more skimmers, nothing to write home about and I decided to call it day around about 3pm as I  could feel my cough getting worse.  I really do love Rixton as a venue and the pegs that are in place are truly a credit to the club and the work volunteers put in, thank you!!!.
  I cant help thinking that this place screams out large perch!! the covers there as are the smaller fish for them to feed so they may well be worth a go for in the coming weeks.  I also made my monthly trip to Stapeley Water Gardens and picked myself up a cheap Fox Warrior bite alarm and some bits so hopefully can put my under used barbel rod to use as a sleeper rod for a bonus tench or carp next time I visit Rixton.

tight lines