Monday, 30 May 2011

The jolly green fake giant......

  This week the start of the new river season has been occupying my mind alot, the thought of guiding a float down one of my favourite river swims trying anxiously to get the bait to flutter tantalisingly past a overhanging tree where a group of very large chub live had me daydreaming my days away. The reality is however the swims that were so worn in last year will have been reclaimed back from mother nature's three month grip upon arriving back and with all the floods last year the swims that produced so well last year may well look alot different now.

A typical river swim:

  The opening day of the river season is always said to be one of great disappointment, likened by many to a world cup final, a big build up but in reality a big non event, i right now would happily take a repeat of last years sport on the opening weekend with me and my dad taking 16 chub in two visits to the river Dane. Fingers crossed that opening day luck will follow me this year on the river i decide to tackle, a decision i always make the night of June 15th.

  On to this weekends fishing and there was only going to be one venue we would be visiting this weekend after the previous weekends big bag of crucians my dad wanted to have go on on the carp pool in wigan for himself.  A trip to Widnes Angling Centre on Friday to pick up the basics for this trip (pint of mixed maggots and some size 16 hooks) saw me purchasing a packet of artificial sweetcorn. This is a bait i have never used and i must admit i had little faith but i needed a smaller bait than my usual boilie's as i wanted to target all sizes of fish in the pool.  Also the fact that real sweetcorn is notorious for coming off on the cast and i needed to be confident i had a bait on the bottom if i was going to leave the rod to fish itself.

The jolly fake giant:

  Saturday morning and we were up well before the break of day, the ever present flask of coffee was made and the gear loaded into the car and were on our way out of our street at 04:10, with a decent drive ahead of us my dad caught up on some much needed sleep.

  With no cars in the lay-by's it was looking like we would have the place to ourselves and the pic of the swims,  unfortunately this was quickly dispelled with the sight of two umbrellas by the waters edge,  A quick chat with the anglers confirmed the comments made by the bailiff last week that the water did hold some decent carp and tench.

  I set up in the swim i had fished the previous week and my dad in the one next to me, my tactics where exactly the same fishing my margin pole a few feet off the bank using maggot on the bottom and feeding small amounts of corn every few casts while my dad was going to fish the waggler in the open water again using maggot and trying to get the fish  feeding up in the water.  I also set up my sleeper rod armed with one piece of fake corn on a hair rig popped an inch off the bottom with a handful of the real stuff for attraction.

  Its often said fishing is alot more than just catching fish and Saturday proved this, as i was setting up my pole rig the man fishing under his brolly to my right shouted over to me to look behind me, i quickly turned around and to my amazement there was a very a roe deer walking through the grass in the meadow behind me no more than 150 yards away.  When fishing i see so much wildlife and have witnessed some special wildlife moments on the bank but this was the best by far,  unfortunately i got so caught up in the moment i forgot all about my camera lying in my bag but i do plan to visit this venue again and after speaking to the guy who fishes there alot he said they are common place and if your really quiet they sometimes come to the waters edge to drink.  I will certainly visiting this venue again in the future so fingers crossed and i may even take a trip out there armed with my camera to try and get some stills, truly a moment to remember.

  Shortly after the deer departed the scene the heavens opened and with it the temperature plummeted, looking at the water through the rain you could have been forgiven for thinking it was winter not mid spring.  The fishing was no where near as prolific as last week with small roach and tench being the only fish coming in the first few hours, it was a far cry from last week.  My swim seemed to be full of sticklebacks and every put in on maggot saw the float flying under for me to find one of these on the end, it got to the stage where it was getting beyond a joke and i decided to wait it out on sweetcorn.

  It took a while for the bites to come but when they did it was a better stamp of fish with tench and Crucians making up the majority of bites which noticeably only came between showers. It was after one of these that my sleeper rod shot off and i struck into a better fish that didn't really have a chance with me using my powerful sleeper rod, it was only after i got it on the bank i realised it was on the fake corn.

nice crucian carp possible cross:

the fake corn clearly visible:

  The fishing on the pole was slow but the fish were of a better stamp when they came and by 1pm we were both well and truly fed up with the weather and called it a day. With all the rain i found it difficult to get pictures of the fish as i was catching them so decided to just take a picture of the net at the end and a separate picture of the better fish we caught.

Net of fish:

A few of the better fish:

  The sweetcorn defiantly counteracted the annoying sticklebacks and i think next time we go i will try sweetcorn from the off and pick a warmer day when i next target this venue.

  Today saw me making my monthly trip to Stapley Water Gardens to pick up some gear for the forthcoming river season including the bait for me to target the chub and barbel on the river river Dee and Dane.  I have decided to go with an all pellet approach inspired by the time bomb method shown by Matt Hayes on the Greater Rod Race.

All set:

  I of course also cant visit Stapley without going round the water garden centre to see the lovely marked carp they have in there, always worth the entrance fee and you can always tell who the anglers are in the crowd lol.

few videos of the carp they have:

Till next week tight lines


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Magic in miniature....

  This weekend saw me continuing mine and my dads pilgrimage around the still waters on the Warrington Anglers card, unfortunately my dad couldn't make it this week.  This closed season we decided to take in as many still water venues as possible for two reasons, one to find out where these locations are and two to see seek out waters that have potential and worth travelling too again, so far this season alone we have visited Rixton Clay Pits, Cicily Mill, Pool C and D, Woodshaw reservoir, Mow-pin Pool and the Bridgewater Canal.

  This weeks chosen destination was woodshaw reservoir, after reading reports in the week of it fishing well my hopes where high, but unfortunately after arriving at woodshaw around 5.45am and having only a single roach up to 8.30am i decided to up sticks and try the carp pool just up the road from woodshaw.

Woodshaw Reservoir looking a lot greener than our last visit where all the reeds where brown and dead:

  I arrived at the carp pool in Aspul around 8.45, it really is just around the corner literally,  there was one other angler on the water and with it being only a small pond i decided to set up on the opposite side to him in a corner swim with a tree hanging over in the margin.  Looking at the water it was like someone had been there 10 minutes before me and thrown in a couple of alka-seltzers as the whole pond seemed to be happily fizzing away.

The swim:

  I decided to set up my margin pole and try a few feet from the bank to my left as there was a few signs of fish feeding under there, my chosen bait was plenty of maggots and a few grains of sweetcorn to give me a bigger bait with the hope of tempting any better fish lurking in the margins.  The other angler on was far from impressed with his mornings fishing on there with only very small crucian carp and tench being forthcoming although he did say he lost a bigger fish earlier on.

My first put in did nothing to dispel his findings with this small crucian carp:

  After a few more small crucian carp the float shot under, a proper sail away bite, which i promptly struck into only for me to be left disappointed with the lack of a fish on the other end, or was there? upon bringing my bait in to inspect i was amazed with what was on the other end, a fish i have never ever caught before, a 2 spine stickleback and hooked fair and square in the mouth on a size 16 hook.

A welcome surprise:

  I was watching Stuart Bloors video( to his weekly blog this week and he summed it up beautifully when he said "angling is different for each and everyone, some like sitting and waiting for that one big fish and others are just as happy catching a big net of smaller fish" i find myself more towards the catching a big net of smaller fish end of the scale and that's why what followed from 10am till 12.30 was nothing short of a pond dream with crucian carp, the odd decent roach and a very rare small tench coming with every put in.  The bites where so frantic i had plenty of opportunities to capture it on film, here is an example of what it was like:

resulting in a nice plump hand sized crucian:

 Straight back in again

Rare capture small tench:

  As keep nets are not allowed on woodshaw i didn't pack it in, but to give an example of how many fish i was capturing i put the landing next in the margin and set the timer for 5 minutes as not to cause damage to the fish, with the following result.

  Although in the five minute time scale i was going as fast as i could to see how many i could catch, the bites didn't slow down and i had well over a 100 fish by 12.30.  The swim around this time just died completely and a quick change to sweetcorn showed the reason why, with a much bigger stamp of fish having moved in resulting in the following crusian carp weighing in at 1lb 5oz a new blog pb.

much better crusian:

  After this the swim took a while to start up again due to the commotion this fished caused in bolting around deep in the swim and only a few crucian's coming afterwards and i decided to call it a day around 2pm a very happy angler.
  I went today again armed with my keep net to try and repeat the feat but it was a very bad school boy error, just holding the pole was a challenge and a lesson well and truly learned, poles and 80mph gusts don't mix!!,  i did however have a chance to meet the bailiff and had a good chat about the water, with reports of other anglers catching tench to 5lbs regular and the odd larger carp lurking about i will be back, i suspect the reason i didn't get into these bigger fish was down to not spending enough time on sweetcorn but when that floats going under making a change is not in the front of your mind.

  All in all its a venue that we will certainly be visiting again with both me and my dad loving fishing ponds.  Next week will see us out on the road again with the possibility of a rare midweek trip on the cards, till then tight lines and i have also put together a mini video for this post below.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Blast's from the past

  Due to a family emergency there was no fishing this weekend, some things are more important and to be honest had i managed to sneak a few hours i don't think i would have enjoyed it anyway and like any angler knows fishing when your not enjoying it defeats the object.  On that note id like to wish Julie a speedy recovery as i know she secretly reads this blog. :-)

  During work today i came up with the idea of uploading a few pictures from before i started the blog so here goes:

Probably the smallest barbel ever photographed but its more the river it came from that makes it important, a River Dee baby barbel and proves they are indeed breeding successfully in there:

River Dane chub, having never caught a chub ever i set off to the Dane, i caught a few smaller fish in the first field and then landed this chub from the willows, incidentally its still the biggest chub i have caught from the River Dane if only i carried scales back then :-(

 And finally with this weekend in mind and also the time of year we are in the following are two tench from Cicily Mill, both in the margins on corn using my 13ft float rod and centre-pin reel,  just shows how different two fish can be in colour from the same water.

  Looking forward to this weekend a trip to rixton is well over due and also i reckon a trip to a wigan water may also be on the cards, till next week.

Tight lines


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Rain stops play on the Bridgewater Canal......

  With a birthday party to attend on Saturday night our chosen fishing venue would have to be very local and would unfortunately only be for a few hours.  I had on returning back home form a trip to Cicily mill the previous week stumbled across a length of the bridgewater canal close to Daresbury Labs with a nice lay-by close to the canal to park the car, it fitted all the criteria and this is where we decided to visit on Saturday. 

  As luck would have it there was a thread posted on the Warrington Anglers message board about this stretch, with an angler from Wales looking for a decent stretch of canal to fish, the response to his question as follows only wet my appetite further:

"down the middle lay on 6 inch with red maggot or caster, roach,perch,bream,skimmers,chub and pike.early morn or evening, plenty boat traffic at w/c ends although it still fishes. give it try you may be surprised what you can get out."

  Friday night and thunderstorms overhead lay seeds of doubt about what the mother nature had in store for us the next day.  A nice early wake up call and we found ourselves parked up in the lay by at around 6am, with the weather clear and a lovely view of Runcorn greeted us.

  My plan of attack was to leave the feeder at home and concentrate on the margin pole fishing down the middle track over depth, following the advice from the forum, i feel sometimes i take to many options with me and find throughout the day i swap and change quite a bit and in the end do neither justice, while my dad decided on using his float rod.

  We had a good look at both stretches left and right from the bridge, to the right was a very tempting reed bed which would mean the track left by the boats would be alot closer in, but it was very open and with a stiff breeze already blowing it was only going to get worse so we settled down to the left of the bridge opposite some small reeds.

The swim:

  The fishing from the off was difficult with the tow on the canal being so strong it took a while for us both to get the depth and shotting pattern right,  still it was good to back fishing a canal i had fished so much as a kid.  My dad was first to catch and a surprise capture it was, a gudgeon, a fish we used to catch so much on the runcorn old town stretch but due to the increase in jack pike a fish that has been missing from catches in recent years.
  The fishing, now an hour in was slowly getting better with small skimmers and roach coming with great regularity, nothing to any size but kept the float going under, every so often a plump gudgeon would make an appearance and it was no surprise to see the lonely figure of a heron patrolling the tow path a hundred yards down the path, try as i did to get a picture he was always one step ahead of me.  We were however lucky enough to be graced with the sight of a very large family of ducklings.


  The fishing continued to be consistent but none of the larger bream or chub made the appearance i had hoped for and around 10 am the weather changed dramatically with the wind swirling and black clouds creeping upon us, the eventual downpour came and it rained and it rained and rained,  although this didn't seem to stop the ever enthusiastic barges form ploughing through.

To wet even for the ducks:

  With the rain the swim just died completely , i think there is alot of truth in the thought that the rain messes with the fishes lateral line senses but my view is that the noise made by bait going into the water has alot to do with attracting fish into your swim and when it rains the noise of the bait going in is drowned out a bit, there are alot of theories out there and compared to some Ive heard mine is at least logical.

  The rain eventually stopped and it gave us a chance to pack up and get the stuff in the car,  the net of fish although not massive was hard earned and it is a venue we will be visiting again as i think it has some potential.

Net of fish:

  Next week, weather permitting will see us visiting Rixton or Woodshaw i think, I'm desperate to see what this pole can do with a decent tench the target.

Tight Lines 


Monday, 2 May 2011

quick update

 I have been out three times since i last posted on here,  broke my blog Pb for bream at my local pond with a 3lb 3oz fish, experienced a boring blank last night on Cicily mill using boilies and barbel rod on bite alarm and a ok session on there today taking a few roach and bream on maggot and corn.

Unfortunately my phone made its way onto the water late last night, i managed to fish it out but its completely died and from the looks of things I'm going to be very lucky to get my pictures off it.  The bream picture is the one I'm most upset about as it was a stonking fish from such a small venue, the fish was witnessed by my dad and a mate of mine who regularly checks out this blog, just hope i can salvage the pictures from it, i did take my camera today and will upload the pictures later this week.

Any how, work tomorrow so will be next weekend before I'm out again and after my past two visits to Cicily mill being hard work I'm thinking of trying a new venue all together next week with a possible venture to one of the canals on the card.

tight lines