Friday, 26 July 2013

My first night session - A night to remember!!!

In keeping with the weather this week I would say it’s a scorching welcome to this week’s blog it is safe to say it doesn’t come much warmer than it has this week with temperatures in the office I work in tipping over the 30 degree mark, absolutely sweltering at times.

What does this mean for the fishing? Well it in my experience normally means quite good fishing on the drop for silvers with the better fish like bream and carp taking the opportunity to replenish their vitamin C levels so the picking your species, time of day and particular days to fish in can be the difference between catching fish and watching fish.

The extended heat wave we are experiencing at the moment comes as no surprise at all to me to be honest and to understand it you really have to look at the bigger wider picture with a mind-set that mother nature is in full control of things.  Some people may thing what am I taking about but look at it this way this time last year we were suffering some of the worst flooding this country has ever seen, this was shown in my weekly blog form that week where we visited a swollen river Dee that was only in its banks.

All this flooding of our rivers and the cool rain keeping the temperatures down on out still waters meant the fish never really got a chance to spawn fully and the ones that did manage to spawn where soon hit with one of the worst winters temperature wise we have seen in a long time this no doubt would not only have seen the fry struggle to survive but also would have seen the fish struggle to recharge their batteries fully after spawning before the hard winter hit.

The hard winter certainly had a knock on effect on our rivers, I witnessed this first hand, as the fish just didn’t show in their normal pre- spawning areas this year till almost the last weekend of the river season, a good month or so later than you would normally expect to see them shoal up.  The seasons and the fish have been a good month or so behind leading into summer this year but this prolonged warm spell has meant most of the rivers have been low and clear and the temperatures on the still waters have been consistent meaning not only have the fish had plenty of time to spawn but the high water temperatures mean an abundance of fly and larvae life for the fish to feed up on and it should mean that the fry percentage survival rate should be well up this year and the spawned fish should have plenty of food to help them replace the weight lost due to spawning and set them up for the harder months ahead.

The warm weather not only brings out the fish but the so called anglers it would seem and I guess the sun makes these people as lazy as the fish they are chasing as yet again litter raises its ugly head in my weekly travels.  As you will see in the rest of the update I fished Curlston Mere on Sunday and this place is basically a farmer’s pond I was put onto by a farm my uncle was working on, now the understanding is fishing is allowed as long as the place is kept tidy and there are signs up to that effect around the water so it really upset me to see the following hanging from a tree as I arrived.

Now you could slightly understand this if it were say a mile or so trek to the car like some of our river trips are but that’s not the case at all on curston mere you can literally park your car behind your peg and in fact the person leaving this could literally have parked his car next to the tree the bag of crap is hanging from, its uncalled for and basic lazy anglers who clearly don’t care about the place they are fishing.  I took this rubbish home with me like I always do but I guess that just re-enforces them to do it all the more when they arrive next time and its gone, at least I can sleep at night eh.

On to this week’s fishing.

A Night to remember……….but not for the fishing.

The title of this part of the blog, “a night to remember” was never in doubt and is quite and brings up deep feelings from my childhood as the film a  night to remember, a film about the titanic sinking for those who don’t know, was a film I spent many an hour watching with my granddad.  Unfortunately he passed away when I was around 11 years old so I never got to know the man himself but have very fond memories of the time we had together so I guess this is a little tip of my hat to him.

For some time now me and my uncle have toyed with the idea of night fishing and have come close a few times to a night session on the River Dee but for one reason or another it has never materialised. Regular readers of the blog will know around 2 weeks ago we had a good session for chub and barbel on a river but since then this relentless heat wave has taken its toll leaving the river running dreadfully low and gin clear so a day session on there was out of the question really so we got our heads together about a night session on the Friday and after some careful deliberation about if we were equipped to take on such a trip we decided with a favourable warm forecast to bite the bullet and go for it.  

 I have never spent a night on the bank ever so I had all manner of emotions going through my head as I packed the car on Friday evening.  If I was being honest I would have to admit I was slightly apprehensive but at the same time really excited to experience the sights and sounds of a night on the banks of a river.  The river we had in mind for our night session has very good access and nice big level swims so it was ideal for this trip and with a nice short walk from the car we could really take as much gear as we wanted so in went the Calor Gas Grill to go and the Dusk till dawn bivvy lamp, both products I have wote reviews on this year.

I have decided to write this night blog in a diary format as I took notes during the session and events fit nicely into 2 hour slots.

8pm – setting up
We arrived at the water and settled into a nice big open peg and set about getting all the gear nice and orderly.  Checking with a few of the lads on the beat the fishing was slow with some of them not having a bite all day.  The temperature was amost unbearable amongst the ferns but eventually we were both set up.  my uncle made a start on the float rod trotting till he could no longer see his float while I stuck to my trusty lead set up with a halibut pellet.

10pm – darkness begins to set in.

The far bank began to become blurred as the once vibrant green trees on the far bank began to be taken over by the encroaching darkness.  We had the first visit of the night from a group of resident bats that silently navigated between our lines scoffing up flies as they did so.   Unfortunately our rods whereas silent as the bats but we were both getting plenty of knocks and rattles.

Midnight – eely eerie

Midnight came and my uncle had put two fish on the bank, both eels and both a nightmare to unhook.  The one aspect of fishing at night I had not planned for and thus expected was how hard the simplest of tasks we complete in daylight are for example I o#put on a halibut pellet around 10pm and it took me around 2 minutes but changing it for a fresh one at 11pm took me around 20!  All a learning curve and least we hadn’t blanked.  

2pm -  We have a visitor!

The swim wehad chisen was situated along a forested walk path and the swims run off that path so the path is around 5 yards from the back of the swim where I was sat.  You can see it better in this picture below:

Well at exactly 2am I heard a single crack of a twig close behind me to which I naturally turned round to investigate and to my utter amazement there was a man of quite a stocky build stood there with his arms folded just looking at us.  Now in the daylight I wouldn’t have even worried about it but at 2am in the morning it’s a different kettle of fish, anyhow, my mouth went completely dry and in my head I just wanted to say “alright mate” but I just couldn’t.  My uncle could only see an outline of the man from where he was sat but he also had fell silent and with that the man just then quietly and calmly without saying a word just turned and walked off into the night! 

Three things about this have confused me and uncle, one, given the fact we could hear mice, rats and foxes all night all along the path and the undergrowth scurrying along, how didn’t we hear him coming and how long was he actually stood there for? And two, just what was he doing on the bank at 2am in the morning and three why did he not say a word?

4am – daybreak

The temperature dropped considerably before daybreak as a cold mist came down the river valley.  I had added a perch and a few dace to the total so not a great nights fishing but in all honesty it wasn’t about the fishing this time but more about the experience of spending a night on the bank for me.   We both got some sausages going on the grill to go and sat back and enjoyed a delicious sausage barm on he bank before loading the car at 7am and calling it a day.  The grill will certainly be a god send come winter when we are on the river dee in the freezing cold!

Enjoyable few hours on curlston mere

Saturday was spent recharging my batteries from the night before so it was inevitable I was going to wake up nice and early on Sunday morning, a quick breakfast and I was out on my way to the bank again this time chasing a net of silvers with the hope of picking up an odd carp or two.  I arrived at the water around 9am and spent a few minutes assessing the water and there had been some big changes in this water since my last visit as the shallow back bay where the carp normally bask in the hot weather had completely dried up meaning all the carp and silvers where in the main body of the pond.  There were plenty of signs of fish about with silvers topping all over anf the odd patch of bubbles popping up in sporadic places in the pool giving away the fact the carp were also on the munch.

The fact the place was alive with fish really didn’t surprise me at all as the temperature was considerably lower than the whole of the previous scorching week so knowing the carp and silvers would have been basing most of the last week I half expected the fish to be up for a feed and I set up full of expectation.

The set up I went with was a blue hydro elastic set soft to a 1lb 7oz line fish all the way through to a size 20 micro barbed hook, bait wise, I had one bait and that was around 2 pint of white maggot. 

Plumbing the depth I found it to be the same depth at 4 sections of pole as it was at 7 so for an easy fish I set up on the close line and gently fed the swim with a few maggots to feel my way into how the place was fishing.  I fish on the bank most weeks and if its taught me one thing its feeding can be the make or break of your days fishing so starting lightly and only upping the feed based on the fishes response is always the way to go.

The first put in resulted in a tiny perch but the bite was almost instant so I fed again straight away and back in I went but this time the float didn’t even settle before I was into another fish, this time a small roach.  This is the way the swim went for around the first hour and I was thoroughly e joying myself.  As the swim built up the inevitable happened and the tell-tale bubbles of carp feeding started to appear around the fringes of the swim.  It wasn’t long before I struck expecting a few ounce roach and was hit with solid resistance and elastic strung half way across the pond.  As soon as the fight got going it was over as the elastic shot back at me and the hook had pulled, unfortunately this happened two more times but I knew moving over to the white hydro elastic would see me bumping most of the silvers and given the fact the silvers where steady I was reluctant to move over.

Eventually the temptation took over as the bubbles around my float from the carp gave away the presence of a good number of carp as you can see from the picture below.

 I moved over to a heavier elastic for the last two hours of the session and managed to land three carp in that time  but as predicted I bumped a lot of small silvers at the same time so as fun as it was it was quite frustrating.

I called it a day at 1pm and was very happy with a net of silvers just over 9lb and 3 stunning carp.

Till next time I wish you all tight lines


Friday, 19 July 2013

Slurpin Carp and Angling Gazette Top 10

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and I am really proud to announce that the blog has made it into the Angling Gazette’s Top 10 blogs for June 2013.  This is the second time the blog has made the shortlist with the last time being when the blog had around 60,000 views.  The Angling Gazette where very generous with their praise and had the following to say on the blog:

Danny’s Angling Blog - Sat on My Perch
Danny’s blog made our list way back in March.  We love his sense of humour and we love the way he writes.  However, what makes Danny’s blog stand out is not just the fact that he talks about his ups and downs of fishing, but that he talks about other things going on in the angling world too (even us !).
He’s a genuine guy and that comes across in his writing and he represents 80% of anglers out there in the UK right now.  If you like to fish, don’t mind admitting when you blank, get excited about hooking a big one and are in angling for pleasure, you will love Danny’s blog.

It is feedback like this and the generous praise I receive form people who contact me via the blogs email address that, not keep you going as I do the blog because I love writing it and of course going fishing, but make it feel like what you do is worthwhile and that people do enjoy reading what I write.  So thank you to the Angling Gazette for their praise of the blog and well done to the other 9 blogs that joined me on the list for this month.

There is a big iron in the fire at the moment regarding the expansion of the blog and discussions are on-going but it is looking good at the moment that this will go ahead and mean the blog will be featured on another format but there will be more on that in the coming weeks should the agreement come together.

This week I have to admit I have had little time for all things angling related as work has been so busy and when I have come home it has been so warm I have wanted to do little else than just chill out and spend time with my missus and little girl.  The system I have been working on goes live on Monday so after that point I should have some more time on my hands to get out in the week and wet a line.  I have been meaning to make the most of this bright sunshine and get down the local canal with a floating setup and see if I can nab the odd carp or too, maybe I will do that one night next week or over the weekend.

Away from my fishing there has been little that has caught my attention this week and you may think that to be a strange comment given the fact it was the weekend on the Fish-o-Mania final but the reality is this first year in what I can remember that I have not had Sky Sports to watch the final on.  It is, being honest, purely down to a cost issue with it as it has become so expensive now to add these extra three channels to your existing package that I just cannot justify the extra money to buy them although when I was sat there on Sunday thinking about what I was missing (we all know the International Event on the Sunday is where it is at lol) I was very nearly tempted into a rash decision but alas it will no doubt be left up to the new footie season to start to see me totally crumble.

I did think about easing my pain on Sunday with a trip to the river after those barbel  and chub but given how hot it has been and the lack of rain I just knew the river would be dreadfully low and clear and given I had planned an afternoon session I must admit to getting a bit lazy in my old age and decided against it, but who knows what this weekend may hold, so far so good.
On to this wee’s blog update.

“Waking the Neighbours and Bread Slurping Carp.”

You may have noticed the past week or so we have been avoiding our favourite river the river Dee and this has been with good reason as it really has not been fishing well.  Myself and my uncle spend have spent a fair amount of time on her over the past two years and over that time have built up some really good friendships with fellow anglers who also love fishing this river and all the reports I have been getting in have been confirming what we have been finding that the river is just not fishing at the moment so with that we drew up a shortlist of ideas from the crazy of night fishing to the sensible of having a lie in and fishing a commercial.

We ended up doing a mixture of the two as we came up with a great plan of fishing the tiny River Gowy in the morning and moving onto a local carp pool around 7am to try for a few carp off the top.   This plan would give us an idea of how the river Gowy was fishing by fishing the best part of the day when you would expect any big fish to show up if they were about and also meant that by spending only a few hours on there you were in fact gathering information for free as the water we was visiting didn’t open till 7am any way so we got the best of both worlds.

Arriving at the car park at the nags head we unloaded a single rod and a few essential bits and pieces and made our way down the very overgrown path down the river.  I had decided not to fish and to watch my uncle fish the swim we had chosen this was a decision that was made just because of the little amount of time we had before moving on and also it is always great to see how my uncle would tackle a brand new river for example the line he fished was completely different to where I would have fished, lesson learnt.

We were as quiet as possible setting up and getting into position but still managed to wake the locals up, never a great start on a relatively new venue but thankfully they settled back down.

The fishing was as we thought it would be very slow and for what seemed an eternity the delicate 6 number 4 stickfloat trundled down the swim without any interest.  The one thing I learned from this session bears no reference to the fishing but to our noisy neighbours across the river, I never in my life knew just how much these animals coughed and I mean it sounded like they were right behind us each time they did it.   In between these bouts of bovine throat clearing my uncle did put a few fish on the bank in the form of small perch and a single gudgen.

The end net would have not done the session justice and I suppose we packed in having caught around 12 perch and a single gudgeon for hour short session but we left with the though “where there are small perch, there are big perch”

As we pulled out of the Car park we were greeted by this lovely summer scene of fields upon fields of bails of straw waiting to be collected by the farmer.

We left the river behind and made our way to a local carp pool where given the forecast of a scorching hot day we were odds on to encounter a carp or two.   I committed the cardinal sin of any angler though and had already decided how I was going to fish before I had even arrived at my peg the plan was to fish luncheon meat and hemp seed on the inside shelf and feed it on the heavy side hence the fact I travelled with two whole tins of luncheon meat ready cut into centre metre cubes. 

Pulling into the car park at 7.30am it we already warming up and it was obvious from the crystal clear blue skies we were in for a really warm day so I knew I only had an hour or so if my plan was going to work before all the carp where up on top.  I fed the swim with two big pots of bait and then left it while I set up the rig for the session ahead.

The first put in over this line resulted in plenty of knocks on the float which I instantly knew where skimmer bream and eventually the float buried and my initial thoughts where proved right as a 5oz skimmer graced my palm.  That is pretty much how the swim continued to go for the majority of the morning with a continuous line of small skimmers making a trip to the bank I suppose they would have made up a cracking looking net had keepnet’s been allowed.  I persevered with this line until the bites dried up but I was over the moon to have connected with one of the better skimmers in this bream below which at this point of the day I was more than made up with as the carp had failed to turn up to the party.

As the session moved on and the sun began to rise further in the sky its rays of warmth drew the carp up in the water and I began to see the jet black ghostly shadows of carp cruising just under the surface.  Its times like this in the past I have cursed my luck and thought if only I had some bread with me now but I have certainly been there and done that and I suppose it is only time on the bank and experience of these situations that’s make you think more about the session ahead and with that out came the good old Warbutons Super Toastie crusts.

There are many rigs out there which will swear to you they are the must have item for surface fishing and make you feel like you will not catch without them which I suppose may be true in some situations but in most the good old methods work just fine and you cannot go wrong with a simple hook tied to a good long piece of line attached to the end of the pole, simple and as cheap as it comes and boy does it work.

I took 9 carp in total with the best of the initial group shown above and all put up a really good scrap on the white hydro elastic.  It is always the case with any type of surface or shallow fishing that the fish do wise up, well the better fish at least and and the more the session goes on the harder it gets I find and I guess that’s what separates casual anglers from the greats as they know how to keep the fishing coming.

The best fish on the day was saved till last for me and it was through pure skill I managed to hook the fish as I delicately placed a crust that had been out for some time and was completely saturated with water right on top of a passing carps mouth and she slurped it down like it porridge oats down a sink.  The fish in this place a rumoured to go over 20lb but I have found the vast majority to be in the 3-5lb bracket with a really good fish pushing 9lb and this was certainly the latter as I could not for the life of me get it off the bottom and try as I may the fish just lazily but purposefully swam around the swim at its leisure.  The fist one of these carp you hook your heart is in your mouth but now after catching I few I knew it was time to let the elastic do the work.

The fish must have taken a good 5-10 minutes to get in but I was in no rush to bully the fish, I do use a pulla-kit but believe it is there to give you more control when the fish is in close and not too exert maximum pressure on the fish to get it in quicker, I let the elastic do the work and enjoyed the chess like battle that goes with a better fish on the pole as you guess and counter guess the fish’s next move.  It was soon checkmate and a stunning 8lb 5oz carp was in the net.

This fish topped of a very enjoyable surface fishing session for myself and I called it a day around 2pm as the fish where not playing ball and also I was beginning to flag after over 24 hours without a sleep.

Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines


Friday, 12 July 2013

Barbel and Chub Fishing...just what the doctor ordered

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update and what a difference a week can make and as I mentioned in last week’s mini update you have to stick with it and eventually your luck will change and those bad trips become trips to remember, more about that later on in the update.

Firstly this week I would like to declare utter astonishment at the fact Warrington Anglers have managed to negotiate the lease of a new water, sorry 3 waters in a complex.  I have to admit I nearly choked on my breakfast reading the news on the Warrington Blog on Wednesday morning but then I read further and it all became clear why Warrington would be so interested in this water, firstly it is not very local with it being situated in Flintshire, secondly they have leased the water without knowing the stocking levels of the waters and thirdly they were asking for volunteers to clear out the overgrown swims so it seems it ticks all the boxes needed to be a quality Warrington anglers water.

Joking aside it is great to see new waters on the card, admittedly I would have preferred any new water to be of the “flowing” variety but the club need to be commended for being positive in looking for new waters for the card.  I really do hope the club decide to make these three pools into a mixed fishery venture that accommodates the all year round fishing and don’t just continue with their policy of filing the place in with 3lb carp.  If my blog has proved anything over the past few months it is that nature can cope with the predation from cormorants, there are plenty of waters where silver fish are thriving and there is no reason why these three waters wouldn’t be any different given the right amount of cover and stocking levels.

For those interested the water is called Offa’s Dyke Fishery situated in Flintshire, I have done a little bit of research on the internet for anyone looking to go once its open.  The first report was slightly worrying in saying it used to fish well till the owner suffered a major fish kill one winter but then I read further down and there are some positive reports with on saying:

“Had a look at Offfas Dyke pools today, looks a nice piece of water, very fishable. 
Talking to one chap there said he had been smashed up a number of times with big carp 
and had landed a few doubles, at £5 a day is not bad

That aside the other bit of news that humoured me this week was the story in the news about the “jobs worth” Environment Agency officer that ironically “opened a big can of worms” (sorry couldn’t help myself) by fining a carp angler for not being in full control of his fishing equipment! I had a quick glance at my calendar whilst reading this story on the Angling Gazzette news page to make sure we hadn’t gone back in time to April 1st but alas no this was a true story and the angler in question had been charged with this offence.  I am not a night angler myself but knowing how much my dad likes to take a nap whilst fishing I can see him struggling to keep his licence for a full season.

Aside from humouring myself with internet news and spending time with my little girl I have been fortunate enough this week to have shared along walk with the new internet sensation that is “Otto” a dog that has his own blog that is written rather wittingly as if through the eyes of a young German shepherd and his thoughts on the walks his rather eccentric owne takes him on.   I and my little companion Pippa decided to join otto on one of his adventures this week and it was a joy to discover a part of my local area I never knew existed.

And with that on to this week’s fishing:

The River’s to this point had offered little to remove the thoughts of another failure on the bank from my head I was torn between venues and low on confidence and it seems when you are in this frame of mind you can fall into the trap of either trying too hard or jumping from one bad decision straight into another and I must admit it was the latter that entered my head as I went about completing my homework on a new stretch of river.

The word was the stretch held a good number of chub and barbel and also a good number of dace, roach and perch to keep the day ticking over.  I had seriously thought about giving the fishing a few weeks off to let the rivers get a good flush through but I decided to go with the old adage that a change was as good as a rest and with that on Saturday morning we headed off on another aveture.

In the murky light of dawn we stalked the bank trying to assess the potential of each swim as we arrived in it.  The dark hided the lack of depth in the swims but we both settled into a swims we thought would produce a few fish.   We both started on our standard trotting setup of 4lb 4oz main line down to a 1lb 7oz bottom with a size 18 hook on the business end.

The first four trots down my swim resulted in four new rigs being tied with me finding snag after snag with great ease and more annoyingly was the fact I hadn’t trotted down the swim once without hitting a different snag, frustrated wasn’t the word.   Whilst setting up for the fifth time I saw a few fish jump in the swim which gave me a real confidence boost to keep going as I knew it was just about getting the float going through the swim where I wanted it and not let it go down the snag entwined inside line.   I decided at this point to get in the river as it was only shallow beneath my feet and wow what a difference it made as the float disappeared right over my bed of hemp, a snag for sure I thought as I struck into solid resistance, you can imagine my relief as I felt the fish kick.

The fish thudded for the far side in a short direct pulls which instantly gave this fish away as a chub but with a 1lb 7oz bottom where was little room to bully this fish so I took my time and made sure I got the fish in and boy was I made up as a big pair of white lips slip over the rim of my landing net.  The fish in the net I was amazed firstly by the condition of the fish apart from an old scar on its back it was in good nick but I was more impressed with its dark almost mahogany colouring across its back which gave way to a tail fin that was as black as coal a real lovely looking fish, 4lb 3oz of British wildlife at its best right there in my hands.

The chub rested in the landing net and it was put into the keep net for safe keeping, a quick look at the watch and it was a bleary eyed 6am, most of the world was still in bed if only they knew what they were missing.  A quick call to my uncle upstream revealed he had been snapped twice and lost a small chub at the net so obviously the fish where about.

I continued to trot away happily with no reward for the next couple of hours hoping the fish would move back in but as time moved on so my concentration lapsed and my mind wandered from the task in hand.  I placed my rod on my bait waited and grabbed my phone to ring home, no answer! A text would have to do so as I began writing the text I saw the tip of my rod was suddenly pointing upstream and my rod was fast on its way to finding a new watery home!! I grabbed the rod and felt the fish on the other end but it was solid and in one run the fish torpedoed upstream and the line just snapped as the fish made off. Whatever it was it was big.

I set up again and with plenty of practice that day it wasn’t too long before I was back trotting again and first trot down BANG I struck into another fish that again snapped me clean, clearly it was time to do away with the bottom and after all it wasn’t as if I was catching and small species.   So with 4lb line all the way through I set about trotting again hoping I hadn’t ruined my chances of another big fish encounter.  My uncle appeared in the swim with his flask in hand as is the norm on our trips and I explained what had happened as I continued to trot away, as luck would have it I struck at a lightning fast bite which I was certain was the bottom will it accelerated out of the swim and peeled off a good 20 yards of line as it bolted upstream, clearly another good fish which at the time I said I thought was a carp. 

With the lightest of hands I played the fish under the tuition of my uncle and prayed it stayed upstream and in front of me away from the snags downstream, I certainly didn’t want the fish coming near in while it was still fresh.  The fight now a good few minutes long was no nearer its conclusion as the fish kept deep and made its way up and down the swim in long hard runs that went from line oozing from the reel to me reeling like a mad man to catch up with it as it swam towards me, just don’t come off I prayed!  Eventually the fish came up in the water as she tired and a flash of bronze and orange confirmed it was in fact a barbel and easily the biggest one I have ever caught.

Eventually the fish tired and came up to the net and like a scoop though a soft ice cream my uncle scooped up the fish and I took a second to compose myself.

The fish was again in beautiful nick, not a mark on it or a scale out of place and again I was taken back at the beautiful colours of the fish with its deep bronze flanks and giving way to a white belly.  I don’t catch many of these fish so I took a quick second the savour the moment before quickly taking my pictures and weighing the fish, 5lb 5oz.

As I mentioned I don’t do much barbel fishing but it pays to do your homework on these fish and I knew from reading the literature on the internet that these fish are similar to grayling in they give all in the fight so time must be taken to ensure the fish I rested.  As you can see below the first picture is the fish when it was first in the edge resting and the second is the fish upright supporting its own weight and pushing against the mesh to swim off, fully recuperated this took a good 10 minutes for it to get to this sage but us anglers have a risibility to treat fish with the ultimate respect and I know this fish went back in exactly the same condition as it was before I caught it.  

Rest pic 1

Rest pic 2

The fish returned it was time to get back to it I didn’t fancy the float rod to not only produce another fish but get another in, it was finally time for my Shimano Purist BARBEL rod to be used for its intended purpose….catching barbel as over the years it has been the most versatile rod I own catching me carp, tench, pike and of course some other barbel from the river Dee.  I cast I over my bait and sat back expecting a relaxing last hour to the session little did I know just 10 minutes later the tip of my rod would wrap round almost 90 degrees and line would rip form the bait runner.

I lifted into a fish that I knew instantly form the previous fight was a barbell but this time I was calling the shots a bit more as I was armed with a bigger hook and 10lb line so this fight was certainly a lot more controlled than the previous one but still had plenty of long runs that peeled line form the reel.  The fish was obviously bigger than the previous one and it looked in my eyes to be a good two or three pound bigger as it was so long and deep so I was amazed when it went just a few ounces bigger at 6lb exactly.

That was it for my fishing and we called it a day not long after.  My uncle added two nice chub to this tally but lost a few fish to being snapped like I had on a light hook length.  Still we both agreed we couldn’t complain and would certainly be back to this new stretch.

I must admit as I walked the bank back to the car I was on cloud nine and the past weeks tough sessions left my body they just flowed away just like the water through the very river I had fished.  It is amazing what one session can do to your mind set.

Till next week its tight lines from me and even tighter lines from Boris the barbel.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

The highs and lows of angling (short update)

A warm welcome to this blog update and it would seem my updating of this blog has been as productive as my fishing of late.  This update is just a quick one to blog what I have been up to the past two weeks. 

The start of the river season this year has been some of the hardest fishing I have ever experienced; our lack of success has not been down to any lack of endeavour on our parts as we have travelled literally far and wide to get out angling fix with little to show for our pioneering efforts.

The time spent travelling to the venues and what it takes out of you just left me feeling low on enthusiasm add to that the fact the past two weeks have been hectic in work with a new system about to go live and my inbox being full to the brim with jobs to do the time and just wasn’t there to write and edit the weekly blog. 

Writing a weekly blog shows you the up and downs of a fishermen’s angling life, from the highs of catching a 20lb net of dace to the luck that comes with an opportunistic capture of a 10lb pike to the lows like what we are going through now it’s all there blogged for all to see and with the blog being weekly it is really hard to work through the tough parts but from experience I know we will come out of it the other side and we will start to find the fish and long trips will not be such a waste of time, it’s all part of the true documentation of my angling life.

The blog has been running now almost continuous for almost three years now with the odd break here and there and this break I must admit came at a good time, to put in short, I needed a break from it to regain my thoughts and recharge my batteries ready to go again.  That’s enough about me and my excuses for not writing a blog for two weeks let’s talk about the fishing.

The River Dee – Searching the water.

So far this season we have tried Worthenbury on the dee with little success so it was time to try another beat in Caldecott hall.  The track down to this water it a little hairy but nowhere near the levels of worthenbury road but parking is the issue here as the sheep pen has been bolted by the farmer so there is no side bay to park in, luckily the main farmers field gate was open to turn round, had this not been the case or the ground had been saturated it would have been a hairy drive reversing back up the really worn farmers track.  The road isn’t long so it may be worthwhile walking the track first to make sure the gates open before venturing down in your vehicle.

The fishing was poor really with only a few small dace to show in around 4 hours fishing,  There was a report that week on the WAA wekly blog of 20lb coming out which goes to show the difference of being on the fish and not being on the fish on this river during the summer months, your results can change from day to day.

So it is safe to say the start of our river dee campaign has not been the greatest, it’s a river we have developed a great knowledge of so I am in no doubt that we will crack it.  As the carp catcher on Youtube says “never easy, always fun”.  Bonus points to anyone that reads this and gets that link, come to think of it I should have started the whole update with a WOTCHA.

River Severn – ST Helens Anglers Beat at Shelton.

With the River Dee campaign on its preverbal backside it was time for a change of scenery and I suppose looking back we just threw ourselves from one tough river to the next as he severn is hardly renown for its dace fishing with most reports being about big barbell and chub.

There will be a video going into the river section of the blog shortly showing the beat but as a description I would say it was really shallow with me standing nearly in the middle of the river and still not being in risk of a welly fully.  

We had a few chublets and dace between us before moving th montford bridge on the warrignton card where I stuck it out for a big fish on pellet while my uncle trotted the day away with this trout his reward.

We did see an unusual hole in the bank on the st Helens beat and have no idea what has caused it, I did ask on twitter and the general consensus was a otter.

As said this is only a short update blog to basically check back in before normal weekly service is resumed this Friday.

Before i forget i contacted the EA on twitter asking what the floating station was in the last update and its a salmon and sea trout trap for monitoring and tagging fish to asses growth rates and population.

I hope I find you all well and you nets brimming with fish.

Till next time

Tight lines