Sunday, 29 July 2012

busy busy busy times............

no full blog update this week due to a hectic week, with less than a month to go now till our baby girl is due and with over time in work its been none stop this week.  We did get out fishing last saturday on the dee with my uncle catching a decent net of roach, dace and chub.  Me and my dad picked up a few decent dace trotting the glides but it seemed the shoals of dace that where so prolific in this stretch last year are yet to recover from the recent floods and move into the glides.  

uncles net

quality dace shows the signs are there of them moving into summer areas

here a few more pictures from the session, fishing is so mush more than catching fish the beauty of the scenery and the feeling of isolation from the busy world we live in is just magical.

Walking to the river with only our head torches for light, little did we know there was a fully grown bull in this field!!!

Arriving in the first light of the day he dee with a cool mist on her looked beautiful:

Sunrise on the Dee is there a better feeling??

A memory of the day was the amount of thistles in the field it was covered

In the sea of purple though were two poppies standing high and proud, not another to be seen all around though

The damage to the tree shows the damage force at which the floods come down mixed with high winds can do a reminder of how dangerous the river can be

the river has other dangers as well and negotiating past these young bulls was to be one of ours, boy they were stubborn and things will only get worse with them as they get older through this summer.

there counter to us moving them on was to flank us :-)

That is it for this weeks update next week will certainly see it back up to usual standards, fingers crossed.

till next time i wish you all

tight lines 



Friday, 20 July 2012

Hardest fishing trip of the year so far...........

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update in a week that saw the England team win the Fisho-mania Home nations match at Cudmore Fisheries for the second year in succession.  I didn’t watch the Fisho-mania Final as I mentioned last week’s update I was out on the bank while that was on but I made sure I was free the following day to watch the Home nations match.

I really think the commentators did a great job over the course of the event to keep it interesting and informative as lets face it live match fishing does not have great prospects of being spectator sport for television viewers but as I have said I thought they all did a great job and I picked up loads of little hints and tips from listening to what Tommy and Keith had to say during the match.  I could think of only one idea to improve what sky sports do in this event and it is to have a few anglers available on the Red button where you can just watch that angler for the entire duration and see exactly how they feed and go about fishing a match of this calibre.

Match fishing is not something that has ever interested me to the extent where I would want to take part in one but I do love seeing these anglers applying their trade and it was great to see that a lot of the anglers on the commercial scene actually started their fishing on rivers with one of the Welsh lads holding the River match record of over 300lb of chub!!! What a haul that is a catch of unimaginable proportions.  I look forward already to next years fisho-mania final as it’s a great event to have in the calendar.

On to this weeks fishing:

To be honest this weeks fishing was really tough, there where times where I just felt like knocking it on the head and heading home to watch the fishomania final and writing the fishing off completely, it was tough both mentally and physically the toughest days fishing ive experienced since writing the blog.

All week the river had been running off nicely down to a level that would finally see us on the better stretches of the river fishing some of the lovely dace glides we discovered last year.  All week the texts where full of the joys of last years trips where we bagged up on fat dace and stream lined grayling and our thoughts turned to this years tactics and trying to lure some of the chub shoals we know also live there, in our minds we were already there on the bank, our plan was set and with only Friday to go we knew our day on the river wasn’t far away.

Friday morning and I set off from my house with that Friday feeling we all get that there is only one more day till two days of freedom. A joy that was cut short abruptly 10 minutes from work when from no where the heavens opened and it started raining quite heavily.  I at first just thought it would be a shower but it rained and it rained and it rained and before I knew it, it was 4pm and I was leaving work with the soul wrenching persistent tip tap of rain hitting my umbrella, each drop making that trip to the river even more and more unlikely.

The EA river level site was my constant companion all through Friday and it wasn’t till gone 1pm that the River Dee showed the levels increasing and that was only a minimal increase at that.  Work finished and with another update in levels due around 5pm it was off to buy the bait bought in the form of a pint of castor and maggot, that done and I was all set baring the task of cooking my hemp seed.

The next few updates showed an increase to around 5.8m and a quick check of other levels on local tributaries showed them all to be flooded so a fair amount of water was entering the system, the next morning we set off into the gloom not knowing what we was heading too.

We arrived at the tributary we fished 2 weeks ago to find the river running through fast and the colour of chocolate but we decided to set up and give it a hour or so to see what it fished like, in hindsight we should never of entertained the idea the flow was far too fast and although the levels where fishable with the river rising the flow was ferocious and after a hour or so we decided to move to the much wider and deeper part of the river hoping to find some slower water or a slack where the fish might be holding up out of the flow.

I quickly set up on a peg I had done well on in winter that I knew was relatively shallow but the flow could be relied on to be steady as it is situated between two trees with the flow running gently down to a tree at the bottom of the trot.  As you can see from the picture above the levels where up and rising with the peg already under a few inches of water.

The river as I imagined was quite shallow compared to the deeper sections and the trot was delightful with the float going down and a lovely pace that just screamed bites, as you can see on the picture above a dream of a trot but what it made up fro in looks it lacked in fish.

What became noticeable from the off was the river was rising and it was rising at an alarming rate with it almost now reaching my footplate, this was certainly not going to be a swim I could fish all day.  I continued to persevere hoping to pick up a few fish and both me and my uncle did pick up some small roach holding in the slack like the one shown below but was certainly nothing to make it worthwhile fishing a river that was certainly on the rise and we decided to call it a day and pick a still water venue for the rest of the day.

As you can see from the picture above the river had rose significantly since my arrival and with my uncle fishing an even more precarious swim upstream we decided to admit defeat on the river and headed for High Legh Fishery on the Warrington Anglers Card for the rest of the session, no one can say we don’t try!!

When you arrive at high legh you go thorough a farmer’s gate and the fishery is in the middle of the field, there is a gravel track covering half of the field and the rest is across rough ground.  The rough ground is exactly that and we decided to park the car half way to the fishery and not risk the path.  Anyone who wants a true idea what to expect from access tracks to Warrington anglers waters need look no further than this picture below, deep ruts that would certainly see your car stuck and need pushing or pulling out, no wonder the fishery was empty.

We walked the small distance to the fishery and I decided to set up and fish a method I had not fished in a long time in the waggler and my uncle fished the pole to some reeds in the margin.  Feeding castors regularly over the top via the catapult with the odd pouch of hemp I was straight away into rudd both on the drop and on the bottom.

The greedy rudd kept me busy for the whole day greedily hovering up my free offerings as they kit the surface.  As the swim progressed I began catching some lovely small tench and I fully expected the swim to keep developing and for the carp to move in but alas it just never materialised for me but I thoroughly enjoyed my dad fishing for bits on the waggler.  The one strange thing was I didn’t catch one roach or bream all the silver fish where rudd.

My uncle, also on maggot and castor, was picking up small fish but was also hitting the odd carp which, on his light gear was making short work of his hook lengths so he stepped it up with impressive results with him taking 6 carp in total with the best ones shown below.



That was it for the day really and I have to be honest one of the hardest days on the bank for me I really cannot wait to get back trotting on the river I just hope this weekend we have a change of luck and we can get into those dace shoals on the River Dee.

Till next week

I wish you all tight lines


Friday, 13 July 2012

Wetter than An Otters Pocket

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and I start by congratulating a fellow anglers achievement in regular blog reader Baz capturing his first ever double figure barbell from the river today, well done mate I know you have been chasing it for some time now, congratulations and a great looking fish.

This weekend all attention turns to Cudmore fisheries for the final of Fishomania, you may remember last year I stayed local with my fishing to get back in time to watch this event on sky Sports but with the river season so far being such a washout and conditions being so much better this weekend i am aching to get on the river so although my mind will be on Fishomania on Saturday I will be on the banks of the River while it is on, my hope is for the Hatman of Maggot Drowners Forum to bring it home for the forum he is such an active member on.

Looking back on last week’s weather I cant remember the last time it rained hard for a whole day solid but that is what happened last Friday.  I arrived at work soaking wet after getting drenched on the way in, sat at my desk and for the whole day worked with the relentless noise of rain hammering against my window as I have said I cannot remember the last time it rained so hard for a whole day.

The River Dee didn’t really show any signs of rising till around 1pm when a slight rise was registered on the EA website, still optimistic both me and my uncle continued to plan our fishing trip to the river the following day.  The rain at the window should have been enough for us to know better but with the last report of 6.5m registered at 10pm we decided to make the journey through the following morning.

Well what can I say the river levels raised overnight and they raised fast, we arrived at a tributary we were hoping to fish to find the river creeping up close to her rim, running chocolate brown and absolutely bombing through.  The river was not only unfishable from a trotting point of view but with close to 15ft of sheer banking covered in floodwater at our feet, fishing this venue in these conditions was actually quite dangerous.  With a few hours to burn before the fishery we had chosen to fish opened we chose to take a few videos and pictures from local venues and I have out them all together in the short video below.

On to this weeks fishing

As mentioned above the river was totally unfishable and with the rain still teeming down we made the decision to do some comfy fishing on Flushing Meadows.  The bait we had prepared for the river session was a pint of castor, around a pint of hemp, a pint and half of maggot and two old tins of corn that had accumulated in the bottom of my box would we get through to any carp knowing the vast amounts of silvers this venue held??

With time on our hands we had plenty of time to nip home and change over our river gear for the more commercial friendly pole gear and after a catch up with my dad, myself and my uncle set off on our short drive to Flushing Meadows just in time to greet the farmer opening his gates.

With a pic of all the pools we decided to fish on the Canal pool as although it holds a lot of silvers you can sometimes feed them off and get the bait to the bottom for the carp to move in on.  The weather had already broken and we were greeted to the warm glow of the sun unmasked by any cloud as we set up our gear.  How different commercial fishing is from the river you could literally fish out of your car window you are that close to your pegs a far cry from the longs treks that are part and parcel of our river campaign.

Not knowing that the glorious weather would last all day I decided to stick to two defined swims, one was at the bottom of the shelf on my top two and two and a swim literally at my feel on my top two power kit.  I started by potting in quite a bit of corn and hemp on my top four line and left the fish to settle on it while I began building up my margin swim which I was planning to fish as my number one swim with the much deeper and harder to fish top four swim as a back-up if they were not having it close in.

The top two swim I fed heavily with castor and hemp hoping to create a bed of bait to attract the carp in and also feed of the smaller fish.  The margin swim from the off was full top to bottom with Rudd, roach and Ide all show below and were literally coming one a chuck on the drop and when the bait managed to get through to the bottom.

I could have stayed on this line and caught fish literally all day but after a while it does get literally too easy so I decided to move over to my top four kit to see if anything had moved in over my bed of corn I had been introducing at regular intervals whilst fishing the margin line.

When I purchased my pole over a year ago I decided to go with blue hydro and white hyro in my match kits and black hydro in my power kits.  The white elastic is now in need of a change I think and I am beginning to think more about the fishing I do and what elastics I actually need with my fishing, a year ago I had no clue as I had never owned a pole.  I now have it sorted in my head and I think I will be putting pink hydro in my match kit and taking the white hydo out and outing a new white hydro on a pulla kit in one of my power top and keeping one with black hydro in.  I really am not getting any use out of my power kits at the moment as both my match kits cover all my fishing.

Back to the fishing and as soon as I dropped in over my top four line I was getting the indication of fish in the swim and it wasn’t long before the float began jolting around and ultimately going under, straight away I knew this was bream and from the look of things a lot of them as bream after bream like the one shown above graced the landing net.  If you are local to Acton Bridge and want to get your children into fishing there is no better place to learn the place it rammed top to bottom with silvers.

The bream continued to come regularly and it wasn’t long before all the commotion attracted the attention of a hungry carp, you fish with the constant expectation that a carp will be your next fish but when that float buries and the elastic starts zipping out of the end of your pole it still takes you by surprise, why this is I don’t know but it is one of the great feelings you get whilst taking part in the great sport we all love.

My uncle was fishing similar baits to me but started on the float rod close in and was catching regular on maggot but like me soon connected with some of the carp in the venue and actually landed the best fish of the day shown below.  The fish weighed in at 5lb 12oz and put up one hell of a scrap on my uncles 13ft trotting rod loaded with 3lb line.

I continued to catch steadily throughout the morning and into the afternoon with countless bream and other silver fish coming to the net with the odd small carp thrown in for good measure swapping between both lines but what happened next really restored my faith in old style baits still having a part to play in commercial fishing.

With around two hours to go and with around a quarter of a pint or castor left and a full pint and half of maggot I began to introduce the bait far heavier than I had done through the day, I disregarded my top four line as I knew with small fish up in the water I had more chance of bait getting to the bottom on my margin line so all attention went over to that.

I began picking up the obligatory rudd and ide but I continued to feed heavily both by hand and with my kinder pot initially with castor and hemp and all of a sudden the bites from small fish died away and I hit my first carp and it just exploded from there with carp coming thick and fast for the next hour and half, so much so I have put them together in a video below.  I ran out of castor eventually and moved over to maggot which saw the carp action intensify with me losing as many fish as I caught.  It filled me with such joy to see a under used bait like maggot do so well.

Looking ahead to this weekend it looks like the river should be there or there about so I am looking forward to a day trotting the river, comfortably and hopefully put together a nice net of dace.  Fingers crossed for the rain relenting and us finding the river in a decent state unlike last weekend.

Till next week I wish you all

Tight lines


Friday, 6 July 2012

Confidence in the Confluence......

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update which again comes after a week of unseasonable wet weather, one bit of brightness to come out of the past week came from the Twitter account which saw an weekly increase of around 30 followers which took us over the 300 follower milestone.  Don’t forget if you like keeping up with our blog adventures you can follow the blog on twitter by following  @SATONMYPERCH and you can also keep up with myself during the week on the blogs Facebook Page, both get regular updates about my angling adventures as they happen and all things going on in the angling world.

Some sad news reached me this week while I was on the bank and that was the rumour,  and I stress at the moment this is only a rumour, that Warrington Anglers may be about to loose a stretch of the River Dee come November, this is due to members behaviour during the early hours of the morning on the opening morning of the season, if true it is a really disappointing way to loose a bit of water and as with most things in life it’s the actions of the minority that can ruin it for the majority,  I do hope these rumours turn out not to be true and are just that, a rumour, but with no Official words coming from the club I guess only time will tell if this rumour holds any substance. 

 Just to clarify in response to comments made in Franks Weekly column, in the last paragraph of the update (link: ).  I am not willing to go out of my way to write an email to club the secretaries or chairman to reinforce a point I have already made them aware of on a Social media site that 1) they are an active member on 2) they chose worthy to delete and 3) only Warrington Anglers members, who have been allowed access by an admin may I add, can view,. The club as high up as the Chairman are now obviously aware of the “rumour” for it to be posted on the Chairman’s weekly blog which was all the post on Facebook was aimed at doing, to raise awareness of a possible future issue that by all accounts they wouldn’t be aware of till it was too late. The post obviously generated a number of views from members who fish the water in question, if the club feel it not right to release an official message to all the paying members that commented on this thread to ally their worries then we all have to respect their decision. I am and angler that is on the banks of Warrington Anglers waters probably a great deal more than most as I am on the bank week in week out and I will certainly not be going out of my way anymore to relay information on such “rumours”, these two paragraphs are my last comments on the matter.

On to this weeks update

Arriving on the banks of the river we quietly parked the car up and for a few seconds sat back and just took in the atmosphere around us, these mornings on the bank where the wildlife loose all fear under the cover of darkness are truly magical, from the small bats scooting around low to the fields capturing a quick last minute snack before retreating to their roost to the ghostly figure in the distance of a Barn owl swooping down into a meadow in its relentless task of feeding its chicks ever demanding appetites no doubt these all are parts in the massive jigsaw that is angling. 

It is amazing how you get used to the not so nice visitors you come across as well as not too long after setting up I was visited by a decent size rat, a year or so back I would have been running for the hills screaming and shouting but over time you get used to their early morning scuttling about in the undergrowth cumulating in them following their nose to you bait tubs and the inevitable head popping up and the uncomfortable moment where you come face to face both faces etched with a sense of shock before normally the rat clears off,  thankfully Saturday was one of these times.

As the light of the new day filled the sky completely the final acts of the aerial display came out in the form of countless swallows which gracefully glided inches above the river grabbing an early morning drink before heading off in there day time pursuit of insects, these birds have to rank as one of my favourites just for the fact of the huge migratory patterns, how such a small bird flies to England for Africa amazes me every time I see them and always imagine how different the banks of the River Dee must look as opposed the African Plains although I suppose they could always travel 2o minutes down the road to Chester Zoo to help them thorough our so called summer.

The plan for the day fishing wise was to spend the morning chasing the bigger specimens and the afternoon trotting. I started on my Shimano Purist Barbel rod utilising that bait for all seasons, the halibut pellet.  The river was a great deal lower than last week but boy she was bombing through at a crazy pace and there was no chance of holding bottom any more than a third of the way across with the gear I had packed.  The upside of the river pushing through so hard is the crease in the river is moved a lot closer in and was easily accessible with a small underarm flick and this is where I chose to lay my trap.  The bait as I said was a 14mm halibut pellet and it was used in conjunction with a open end feeder filled with 6mm pellets and plugged with the heady smelling halibut method ground bait, I felt I cast accurately and regularly enough to warrant my actions being rewarded with a better fish but alas by 10am I was blanking in style, not even a knock.

I went to visit my uncle to see how he was getting on but not before locked my bait away in my box away from Mr rat.  My uncle on the peg below me was catching roach steadily on the float and seemed to be on course for a steady day with both castor and maggot taking fish.

I decided to set up my much underused Korum 13ft Float rod, since purchasing my 17ft float rod a few years ago this rod has become a bit redundant in my fishing with me favouring the improved float control of the 17ft rod.  The one thing that was immediately apparent is how much quicker it is to thread up the 13ft rod I was set up in no time at all.  Whilst setting up I began drip feeding my swim with hemp and castor to begin the process of building up a few feeding fish in the swim.

Today would be my first time trying out the Dave Harrell 10 No4 Dome top float I purchased a month or so ago so that was attached to the line with the customary three silicon rubbers and I teamed it up with a bulk shot of number 4 shot with a few dropper shot, the business end was a number 18 barbed Animal eyed hook.  I have to say before we go any further I was more than impressed with the float which given the right shotting can be shotted right down to pick up the slightest bites which proved to be essential on this session.

First trot down produced the lovely roach above and its amazing how much confidence a bite first cast down can give you, you know the fish are there and being a roach you know they are not alone.  The bait continued to be applied well upstream of the trott allowing for the float to run down amongst the free offerings and I was soon getting to the stage where I could predict when the float would go under.  Roach mixed in with the odd small chublet where the quarry that was coming to the net in the early exchanges and this mix continued till I decided to try the much slower outside trotting line and I instantly hit a much better fish that flew out of the tributary and straight into the main flow of the river, initial thoughts where I have connected with a barbel or chub although the former was less likely as a chub would no doubt have stuck it our solidly in the tributary flow.  The fight continued I was very conscious of the fish getting into the main fast flow as on 3lb line there was no way of bullying it upstream against the flow.

The battle of wills continued and in one massive jump in the air the fish revealed itself not to be the barbel I thought but either a brown trout or sea trout.  A quick phone call to my uncle to help with the net was answered and between us we managed to get the fish into the net by letting he fish run downstream into the waiting landing net.


The fish in question was a new personal best trout for me but given the fight it had put up and us being quite a bit up fro the water we decided to rest it in the landing net held in the keep net for it to recover rather than releasing it to the mercy of the flow and I cant believe I actually forgot to weigh the fish when we packed in at the end of the day.

After this fish the Dace moved into the swim and I began picking up dace of all sizes from small fry to fish approaching 5-6oz in size, these fish really are in great abundance through the whole system and provide food for all predators along the rivers course from herons and cormorants to the greedy pike they all rely on these silver darts.

It was not long after hitting the dace I began a series of bites where I struck into what felt a decent fish only for my line to come flying back at me and it wasn’t till after I had put on three more hook lengths and while I was speaking to a good friend on the river the answer made itself known as when I connected with a nice roach a big swirl of oily green and yellow was seen beneath the surface as a pike grabbed hold of the fish in its jaws.

The pike was on for a good 5 minutes before it knew it was hooked and I made a hasty estimate at the fish’s size being around 6 to 7lb mark.  As the pike was approaching being beat it let go of the fish and swam off, this is a common ending in these fights with only a few ending in you actually catching the pike but this pikes card had well and truly been marked as I am sure it was the same one that took my uncles fish last week.

Fishing the rivers you have to learn to roam the fields along with the other animals that live there and although most are wild there are some more captive animals you come across like the farmers cattle and when you have fished a stretch for long enough you begin to realise just how much these animals are creatures of habit, they will be in the same part of the field at the same time every day and on this stretch midday is always the time these cows come down to drink and no one was getting in between these cows and a drink of water.

As the cows came and went in groups of two or three I began about the task or rebuilding my swim that had been no doubt devastated by a pike thrashing around it.  I began by introducing some handfuls of hemp and a few sprinklings of castor to build the fishes confidence.  The new fishing box I use has plenty of space for winders so I always have a few hook lengths made up ready to go so it wasn’t long before I was back in after the fish.

 A few trots down it was soon apparent something was drastically wrong, the float was going down a dream but the missing the vital part of the equation, the float being buried, was missing and it wasn’t the pike that was missing for sure I knew that girl or one of her mates was still around.  It hard to explain but trotting the river for so long you get a feeling when things are not right and I put away my trotting rod and pulled out my pike gear, it was time move this pike on away fro the swim.

The float had not long settled before it dipped twice and buried and starting heading for the snags on the far side of the swim, a quick application of side strain steered the fish away from the snag and back into open water, as with all summer pike the fight included plenty of aerobatic leaps as the fish tried to throw the hooks but thankfully they held in place as the fish angrily made persistent deep runs for the far bank cover.  Armed with a reel with a decent smooth drag and loaded with 10lb line the fish was soon tiring and ready for the net and I duly obliged, a nice pike in great physical condition was on the net and ready for a picture.


There was some signs of scale damage to the rear of the pike when it seemed to have a red tinge which I think may be down to when these pike have spawned.  It being a summer pike it is even more important to rest the pike in the margin so I took the pike a good way down stream and gave her as long as she needed in the net to recover before she swan away strongly, thankfully in the opposite direction to my swim.

After returning to my swim there was a definite change of weather in the air as the relatively clear skies where being replaced with dark heavy rain laden clouds straight off the welsh mountains, you could literally see the weather closing in and I managed to capture this picture below illustrating the change in weather.

The next hour or so we were treated to some lovely refreshing downpours that really didn’t bother me as the morning had been so warm the rain actually brought myself some relief.  The fish also didn’t seem to mind the rain as they came back on the feed no sooner than I had returned back after releasing the pike.  The fish were steadily getting better as well and as the afternoon wore on and the steady stream of bait continued so the average size of the fish improved culminating in this nice chub around a pound and to add even more variety a surprise capture in this prickly perch.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day on the bank, it was a pity no really big fish showed up as for moments in the day it felt I was going to connect with a decent fish at any moment but I suppose with that pike lurking around it was always going to be difficult to keep the swim active long enough for the better fish to move in. Final net was 11lb of fish and a very enjoyable day.


Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines