Friday, 15 June 2012

Big lesson learnt on Rixton and the rivers loom

Welcome to this weeks angling blog and as of this blog being published I am probably uncontrollably excited about the prospect of gracing the banks of the river the following day.  The hemp will no doubt we boiled and ready to go and I will have tied more hook lengths than I know what to do with, my pole which has been a feature of all my fishing recently will have had a good clean and will be safely stored away for future trips to Flushing Meadows and I will be all set for this years river campaign.

With only around 11 weeks to go now till the arrival of our new baby girl the next month or so is going to be full of me trying to cram in as much of the river as possible as my chances to get on the rivers far and wide will be greatly reduced the closer we get to that delivery date, for obvious reasons.  This means an exiting month or so is ahead for the blog in terms of both the rivers and my continued quest for this elusive 10lb carp which believe you me still is a big part of my fishing radar for the summer.

I would now class myself as a River angler at heart a big part of me is missing when I grace the banks of the still waters on the card, it is hard to explain in words what it is about the river that captures me but ask any river angler there is something magical about the river bank that conjures up that fire within.

As the river season has drew closer I have been looking over last years blgo entries and one or two spring straight to mind, that winter pike session, my first aimed directly at fishing for pike when I caught three in an hour culminating in my first river double figure pike at 13lb will live long in the memory and if I can get any where near that this year I will be a happy man.  Trips last season to the river normally included a session targeted at dace and one fish always springs to mind is that big dace I caught mid way through the season, a fish I regret not weighing now and a fish that put me in touch with a fellow blogger who I had the pleasure to meat and fish with later on in the year, again a great experience to share the bank with such a genuine angler who had an obvious love for the sport.

Looking back over last years river campaign I feel I progressed so much as an angler from my last year on the bank and I have both my dad and uncle to thank for that so I would like to say a big thank you to them both, publicly on here for all they have taught me over the last 2 years and beyond, thank you and here is to this years memories yet to be made..   I doubt I will see that level of improvement this year so my hopes and targets for this year are really to elaborate on last year.  I hope to try and be more consistent with my trotting for dace and being a bit more outgoing and trying to fish further out using the catapult to bait up accurately in a hope of luring some of those chub on the Dee, I also hope to improve on my barbel personal best and to also spend more time in winter actually targeting the pike on the river Dee.  I am also looking at tweaking some of my bait with the addition to the mix of some of Halfbeans Baits Hemp ground bait which I have high hopes for come the winter.

As much as I love spending time on the banks of the River Dee I will also be looking to build on last years trip to the River Severn with trips to other waters on the Warrington Angler Card and it fills me with excitement when I think about the plans I have for the coming weeks with regards my angling adventures, lets hope the weather starts playing ball!!

So the gear is set the baits ready and by any luck I will be watching England do a job on Sweden to give us three river hungry lions a good send of on our way, so to all you river anglers out there good luck for the coming season and I hope she brings you all you desire from her, tight lines!!

Away from angling, my evenings in the past week have been dominated, not by the football but by the amazing program that is Spring watch Live.  Now I know this program has its critics for it not being totally live but what a program to showcase the Wildlife of Great Britain I must admit to being addicted to watching the Peregrine Falcons and those barn owls are something else.  Having seen one close up on the river Dee in the pitch dark last year they are such a elegant bird in flight and really shocked me as it flew bye as they really do not make a sound in flight. This program is well worth a watch, if the mountain of football gets too much for you.

Link to Spring Watch Webcams:

On to this weeks fishing:

 A week of torrential rain saw parts of the country flooded by local Rivers being unable to deal with the amount of rain all at once and subsequently bursting their banks,           worryingly the area most effected was Wales and with us looking to visit the Dee sometime soon it was starting to look a bit ominous for the start of the river season. With rain coming down like this it was always going to be a bit of a damp affair no matter which day or destination we chose to fish at the weekend.

Luckily for us my car was due in for a Service so Saturday was written off as a no go for fishing and we made plans to go out really early on Sunday morning, this proved to be a wise decision as it rained cats and dogs on Saturday, all day it poured down and its not often I look out the window and am glad I am not fishing but Saturday I surely did, a dyer day to be out even by our mad minds.

We made a plan to get up really early and see if we could get on one of the decent pegs at Rixton and if not make the short journey to either Cicily Mill or the a Wigan water.  Pulling into Rixton car park we where greeted to the sight of one van parked up in the pitch dark, more than likely an overnight carp angler we thought.  Our initial feelings where true and luckily they where only occupying one of the three “decent” pegs so my uncle settle on the lilies peg and me and my dad set up on the adjacent peg, phew the extra early dart had paid off.

This early dart of an hour before we would normally set off really was a master stroke as within the first 20 minutes of setting up no less than 5 more anglers turned up with the same idea of getting on these pegs.  It is a real shame that such a large prolific and beautiful venue is seen in this way.  The site is an ex clay pit and this means after any rain the paths and pegs are as muddy as I have experienced any where including the rivers.  There are 4 pegs and the path joining them that have been done up and proper paths put in and to be honest this has been like this since I joined the club 3 years ago.  I have noticed work has started now on rejuvenating the pegs on Cicily mill in the same fashion but surely it makes more sense to finish one venue before you move onto the next.  So with only 4 decent pegs a precession of anglers arrived and left the venue during the day when they realised the pegs where gone.

I am not one to moan without offering a solution if the club was as pro-active at advertising work parties and paying contractors to rejuvenate its waters as it was the buying and stocking or carp endlessly into its waters then surely there wouldn’t be as many incomplete or “dead beat” waters on the card, I have said it once and I will say it again its about time the rest of the club took note of the great work the Wigan team do with the Warrington waters up there neck of the woods.  Well that’s off my chest and I hope things do change as the club has too many waters with so much potential for nothing to be done.

As I said we set up in the made pegs and for one reason or another I just didn’t get going and it seemed to take an eternity for me to get a line in the water.  My tactic was on the pole and my dad was on the rod and my uncle on the float rod as well fishing the lift method. 

 My uncle enjoyed a electric start to the day taking a nice bream very early on just off the lilies and then backed it up with a hard fighting tench that had him all over the swim from under the sunken tree to his right to under the massive bed of lilies to his left, a real scraper of a tench that weighed in at 2lb 15oz, not a massive tench for this venue but still you cant complain two nice fish in the first hour of the session.

I was starting to get a few bites on maggot on the pole as was my dad on the float, I adopted the same tactics as a few weeks ago on this venue but only closer in on a two plus two line.  When I plumbed up I found that it was the same depth at two plus two as it was fishing up to my number 7 on my pole so being one for an easy days fishing I settled in on the two plus two line.  I was getting the off fish but they where all roach and it was really noticeable the skimmers where not there at all and it showed in the catch rate, all would become apparent later on in the session and I learned a great lesson.

While we were struggling for bites from small fish in maggot my uncle fishing a bigger bait was having a bit of a red letter start to the session as he connected with a really nice bream which from where we where sat fought like it was a tench and both me and my dad where convinced it was till it came to the net, a cracking fish of 3lb 15oz.

I continued to try and piece together a few roach on the drop but it was proving really difficult to put together bites with any regularity, one minute you would think you had nailed it with a flurry of bites only for it to die just as quick.  This was not helped by the kingfisher of an uncle in the next swim to us striking into his second tench of the session, the guy was on fire!!

It wasn’t long after returning this beauty that he was again hauling in another green eyed tinca, it seemed a great number of tench where taking refuge under those lilies and we later found out from the carp lads doing a 48 hour session that quite a bit of bait had been put in and a lot of tench caught the previous day so this made my uncles success even more rewarding as there was no doubt a lot of bait in the area so did well to snare so many nice fish and what a way for him to pay farewell to his still water campaign which has seen him bank quite a few decent tench and crucian carp.


My uncle continued to catch silvers throughout the day on maggot on both the float and the ledger, back over to my swim and I had got to the end of my tether with the lack of bites I had tried everything to pull fish into my swim and keep them there, it was time for a change.  I got a few extra sections of pole out of my holdall and armed with my trusty depth plummet I began scouting out a swim a good 3 metres further out than my last swim.   I found it was exactly the same depth, as I had confirmed earlier but I still wanted to be sure.  The depth sorted I began the same as I had don’t the previous swim and introduced some micro pellets and maggots into the swim.

The swim fed I began by fishing a single maggot and wham!! A nice bream straight away back in again and the float buried again with another nice bream and this continued for around a hour with bites coming thick and fast with either roach, bream or skimmer bream to blame.  The swim eventually died and I picked up a few stragglers that had backed of the feed throughout the remainder of the session. The best of the net is shown below.

This was a big lesson for me on the pole, I always knew depth played a major role in catching skimmers and bream but I thought if the depth was the same then the fish would naturally be there at that depth and would move in over the bait especially as it was in such close proximity with the swims being only a few metres apart and on the same line at 12 o’clock.   Granted had the swim further out been a different depth or next to a feature it would have made more sense but no exactly the same depth one swim no bream the other full of them, maybe there was a submerged feature that I couldn’t see what attracted them but still you would expect them to move in over m6y closer line as if was fed well throughout the morning.  Fishing is a strange sport sometimes just when you think you have a venue and tactics nailed on something comes along and changes it all a big lesson learnt on Saturday by me and one I Will not forget.

The final net weighed in at 12lb 3oz with the majority coming in that spell.

Well that’s this weeks blog update and I hope you all had a great week on the bank and I wish all you river anglers all the best this coming weekend as I write this now the sky is grey and it is raining so I have my fingers and toes crossed it all blows out by Saturday and we get fishable conditions on the river for me to try out my Dave Harrell river floats which I bought a month or so back and I have been dying to get out and use.

Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines


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