Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Good And Bad of Rixton Clay Pits

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and this week my mind has been drawn to the fact we are just over a month away from the start of the river season and with that I have been on the internet purchasing some bits and bobs for the forthcoming campaign.  The first purchase was the bait runner reel below.

This reel was on offer on I was attracted to it for a few reasons, first of all was of course the price which was 29.99 and also the fact it comes with two spools which will allow me to use one spool with 8lb line for my upcoming river campaign and also use the other spool with some 10lb plus line for my carp fishing thus giving me the option of using two rods on trips.

The other major purchase was line for the upcoming season and it is all change with that as well.  The past few years I have always used 3lb line for my river trotting with a lighter hook length and that has served me well for my dace fishing but this coming season we are looking to spend more time on the very powerful River Ribble so I feel the line strength needed to be bumped up a bit so I decided to go with the 4lb 4oz breaking strain in the ever reliable Drennan Floatfish line.  The rest of my order was made up with a bulk buy of small hooks, some cheap leads and some bits and bobs for my carp fishing.

With that covered I would like to move onto the meat and bones of this week’s blog introduction.  I normally try and make my blog introductions really positive and around subjects that either promote angling or help to highlight companies or individual plights within angling that are doing their best to promote this great pastime we all love but this week I find I find myself really frustrated and downright annoyed with a problem I found on my visit to Rixton Clay Pits on Sunday. 

Rixton Clay Pits is a water on the Warrington Anglers Card and is a venue on the card that for me keeps me purchasing the card because of this venues beautiful location and abundance of wildlife that call this pit home, it’s a place I always look forward to visiting once spring arrives and is one of those places that every angler has in the arsenal, a place they connect with.  I arrived at my peg on Sunday and was again taken back by the beauty of this location, the video below shows just how atmospheric and beautiful this venue is.

As you can see the place it a picture, that is until your eyes begin to look towards the ground to unpack your gear and you spot the odd crisp packet floating in the margin, then you spot another bit off rubbish in a groundbait bag then an empty packet of hooks, empty sweet corn tins thrown in the bank side shrubs.  Lazy anglers leaving litter is unfortunately something it seems we all have to live with when signing up for this club but what I found next made me feel physically sick, a whole spool of line just thrown on the peg in a clump.

As I have mentioned earlier this place is a heaven for wildlife and during my session on Sunday I was treated to countless avian families passing my swim with their new chicks and I have no doubt that come the anglers leaving of an evening all these ducks, swans and geese move onto the pegs and had I not moved this line form my peg on Sunday what would the consequences have been? I can accept people making the odd mistake and leaving the odd bit off rubbish by accident but the scale of what I saw on Sunday is inexcusable and leaves me to think it is not just one angler but a whole mentality of a number of anglers that this is OK!! 

The thing with Rixton clay pits is it’s a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Importance) and this is clearly mentioned in the Clubs Licence which leads me to believe the people who are leaving all this rubbish on the pegs just don’t care what damage they do the environment around them and I personally think enough is enough now and the club need to take action on this by spending time finding out who these culprits are and handing them out a ban.  I regularly read Franks Column and he mentions the litter problem a lot and that bans will be handed out to offenders, well I think it is time bailiffs spent some more time on this water before rights to fish it are lost.

It was upon leaving for the day I was left in complete shock as when I walked through the car park I decided to take a wander along the top path behind my peg and what I found I have to say didn’t surprise me, anglers who take the time to put all their rubbish in a carrier bag on their peg to only take it all the way to the car park to then dump it in a pile behind the crush and run silo, just how lazy can you get! It is easier to put it in your car boot than walk along the path to dump it! 

I am sorry this seems like I am ranting but it’s a subject that’s really winds me up in a big way it’s a problem that in my eyes should never be a problem at all and I really think something needs to be done on this subject, its unacceptable.  I personally was always brought up by my dad to abide by the rule that the only thing you should leave after your session, that wasn’t there before, are your footprints

That off my chest it is on to this week’s fishing trips.

Rixton Clay Pits – Sunday 05th May 2013

After all these weeks of relentlessly chasing this 10lb carp I decided to spend the bank holiday weekend having a big of relaxing fun and with two morning sessions free I started by visiting the picturesque Rixton Clay Pits with a view of targeting the silver fish shoals whilst also putting a sleeper rod out in hope of my first tench of the season.

I arrived on the banks nice and early and managed to secure one of the bigger pegs which allowed me enough space to set up my seat box and also have plenty of room to put out the sleeper rod to my right.  My tactic for the day was the fish on the pole just over the marginal shelf where I knew from previous sessions there was a plateau and bait for the day was to alternate between maggot and corn over my special mix of ground baits and additives.

In went a few Jaffa balls and I left the swim to rest while I set up the pole and sleeper rod.  I fished the sleeper rod on a popped up boilie with a scattering of freebies and put it to one side to fish itself using a bite alarm for indication.  I started out on the pole fishing with a pole and the highlight of the early exchanges was this nice skimmer bream.

The bites where coming thick and fast on the pole line but hitting such shy bites was really difficult even with the float set to its maximum shot capacity with the merest suggestion of a ripple causing it to dip under the water’s surface.  The bites where coming so fast and frequent I decided to bring the sleeper rod in and concentrate solely on the silver fishing and set about changing my whole rig for my ever reliable polystyrene ball set up and bites that where being missed so easily before where starting to be connected with and what astonished me was just how nice the fish where I was missing.

How often is it we miss lightning fast bites and automatically think it is from smaller fish I know I have subscribed to this was of thinking over the years but Saturday’s session really made me question my thinking and that’s what I love about fishing how nothing is ever set in stone and how each session can make or break even the strictest of rules.

As the morning went on the bites came and went in spurts and I decided to put out the sleeper rod again and topped the area up with a good handful of boilies and almost instantaneously the tell-tale cauldron of fizzing bubbles started to appear in the area and I knew a tench had homed in on my baited area.  The fizzing crisscrossed the whole area before the bite alarm eventually came to life and line began oozing from the spool, lifting into the fish it didn’t feel too big and the fight left me thinking how on earth a bream had managed to get two boilies in its mouth this was until the fish got under the rod tip and came to life and made long hard determined runs for the dormant Lillie beds to my right leaving me in no doubt that I was connected with my first tench of the season.

Armed with my 1.75lb test curve barbel rod and 10lb line it wasn’t too long before the tench began to see my way of thinking and thankfully began to tire giving me a chance to slip the net under her olive green flanks.  

The tench weighed and returned to her watery home I took a moment to sit and chill out a little and was rewarded with my first family of ducklings passing me bye, a tench and a whole family of ducklings it felt like spring had well and truly arrived in style.

That’s was it from a tech point of view but I continued to pick up some nice roach and skimmers on the pole in the final hour or so of the session and was more than made up with my final net and a lovely brace of roach.

Short session Stalkin’ Carp – Monday Bank holiday

On Monday me and my uncle decided to visit a local fishery and decided to ignore all the silver fish and go all out for the carp on big baits, my uncle managed a few carp early on in the session but was rewarded mid-morning with this nice carp below

I lost two nice carp through the morning and it wasn’t until an hour before packing up an opportunity presented itself for me to connect with a carp.  I was all out for a bit of fun with my 13ft float rod and 3lb line and it was a group of carp basking in the dappled light of a overhanging tree that presented themselves, in went a few pieces of bread and the bigger of the two carp greedily slurped down the soggy offering.  In I went with my offering laced with a size 16 hook and in true carp fashion the bait floated straight over their heads without even a twitch of movement form the dark shadows below, typical.

I re-baited the hook and again free lined a crust of bread and this time the carp did make a mistake and sucked the bread in first time I waited for the carp to turn and set the hook all I can say it was great fun it was playing this carp on light gear and well worth waiting for.

The carp did make a lot of disturbance which caused the other carp to disappear but I knew they would not be far away so free lined a piece of luncheon meat under the tree and sure enough it wasn’t long before I was into another carp.  Two carp in the space of 20 minutes I was more than made up with my few hour’s work.

Till next week I wish you all

Tight lines



  1. Nicely laid out and written blog - full marks.

  2. thank you very much for your kind words travelling man, thank you and well done on your blog mate top read.

  3. Nice write up Danny, can't wait to get out for a full days fishing in the upcoming weeks! It's always a shame to see litter, especially if it consists of fishing tackle like line or hooks; does nothing but damage the wildlife.

    Thankfully from the pics you've posted all the fish look really healthy, that tench was a stunner at just over 4.5 lb



  4. went there on Tuesday rubbish all over the place and dead fish mainly pike, no doubt noddys miss handling fish

    while I was there 2 guys turned up with pike gear but no landing net or matts and no unhooking gear,
    went round to talk to them but they had scarpered

  5. I have just left that message above .
    I have been a warrington anglers member for over 35 years probably longer , and like you was appauld by the amount of rubbish left on the pegs stuff like disposable polysterene cups , beer cans sweetcorn tins stuffed in the foliage and again fishing line which a picked up and took home myself... I must add I have just retired from work and will be visiting that venue on a dailey basis , and I will be taking in who is fishing where and when and what they are leaving on there pegs and believe me they will be told and reported and named and shamed ....sorry to sound a bit angry but there is no need for this behaviour which is being ruined by a few idiots that need weeding out....

  6. Hello Danny, I am a local resident of Rixton, and live close to Rixton Clay Pits. We have a huge litter problem. I am currently trying to gather together volunteers to keep the area clean. I would really like to chat with you about this problem. I do not fish, but I am very concerned about the situation. Could you please "drop me a line", pardon the pun, on my email address, so we can discuss this issue. I hopefully look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, Alison.