Friday, 30 August 2013

River Dee Piking And Big Month Ahead

A warm welcome to this week's blog update and i have noticed that the past few blog introductions have not been as positive as i normally write and i kind of want to apologise for that but also at the same time say to remember that i am quite passionate about certain things and as much as my passion for angling comes out in my blogs for positive stuff the negative stuff will evoke just as much and even more so if it involves my family as they after all are the dearest thing to myself.  So this week i am going all out to fill the introduction with positivity and hopefully it will even out the negativity of the past few weeks.

Firstly i would like to give a big shout out to two guys on Twitter caller Richard Penny @Richspur and Lee Power @power_mr who are aiming to raise money for the Stacey Mowle Appeal and are looking to hold a Carp anglers social get together on the 13th to the 15th of September and it will be held at Barston Lakes in the West Midlands. The price of a ticket for the weekend is £45 and the owner is only charging for the first 20 anglers so any they get over the 20 the whole £45 will go to the appeal.  This is certainly a great cause and good luck to the guys in raising as much cash as possible and i hope this plug goes some way to helping you guys out.

The Angling Gazette has again shown its links with the community by already running this story on their website so full details on how to enter or donate money is available on the following link:  Angling Gazette Barston Charity

Moving on to news closer to home for myself and looking forward to the next few weeks and it is looking like it is going to be a really busy September for me with a few days away with my family to kick it off followed by a few things relating to the blog that will certainly be occupying my time on my return. Some of the things i cant go into much detail on now as the date for them has not been set in stone but needless to say i am really excited for one of them that relates to what i have been writing on my blog and i see it as kind of recognition for the effort i put into writing my blog to a certain standard every week so i am super excited for that is September.

The second thing i cant go into much detail either only to say i was contacted in the past week by a company to do a product review for them.  This year i have had quite a few companies contact me with regards reviewing their products, some i have accepted and others i have declined and it all comes down to a strict criteria i set on my part in 1) is it something i would generally use and this would be able to give a honest review on and 2) is it something that actually grabs my attention and something that i think the readers of my blog would find interesting.  The past year i have turned down a few opportunities because they have not met this criteria, some would say that is silly and you should take all you can for free but i feel it is important to be honest to the company who are going out of the way to give you something if you cant give it the honesty it deserves.

The company who contacted me this past week are looking for me to review a cool looking gadget that is yet to go on general sale to the public.  The power point presentation they sent me was professional and the product looks really interesting in its concept and i cant wait to test it out and give it a review on the blog, more on this review during September if it all goes through smoothly.

So with a small get away coming up it will mean a week with no blog, or does it?  I have a little idea of a update i could write from my phone as a bit of a fun update from our trip and if it comes off lets just say it will certainly be different to anything you will have seen on my blog before.   All in all i am really excited for the coming few weeks for the bog and i hope you all like what is in store.

On to this weeks angling adventure:

Being Adaptable Puts A Few Fish On The Bank

The past weeks we have have gone with the formula of fishing a river in the morning and dropping back on a still water on the way home for a few hours and to be honest at this time of year with the fish stocks on the river being spread far and wide its a formula that i can see us adopting a few more times this year till the first proper frost arrive.  Its fair to say me and my uncle do more fishing than the average angler and with that comes a certain amount of planning, there has to be, some of that planning is based on past years experience such as time of year, weather, wind conditions and this week tides.  The tides on the dee that brought the dolphin up around Chester last week where still hanging around this week and we knew that this would mean the fishing at the destination we planned to visit would die off around midday when the tide hit so we made a plan to fish the River Dee till midday and then drop back for an investigatory visit on our local Bridgewater Canal.

We arrived on the majestic River Dee just as it was getting light and was greeted with the sight of a river in fine fettle she looked as beautiful as i have ever seen her, she was flowing through at a steady pace and had a tinge of colour that was not enough to stop you seeing the bottom in the margins but enough for me to know we should be in for a few fish.  I have to say i never get out of my car on the banks of the river Dee and am not taken back by the beauty of this river, having fished her for a few years now its like a second home for me of a weekend any after the pollution events of yesteryear's i cherish every moment i spend on her

I started off on the stick float and decided to fish it right under my rod tip as the swim i was in was a slack behind a tree.  I knew from experience that i would have to  build the swim from scratch which normally means a fair few gudgeon but sticking with it can produce some nice roach and if i was really lucky a nice perch.  As normal it was a maggot and hemp approach and straight away i was into the gudgeon which gave me a great deal of confidence as although its a fish that is never going to fill your net when you catch a gudgeon with a few maggots in its mouth it lets you know your doing it right as your bait is going down the same line as your free offerings.  The endless line of gudgeon was followed eventually by some better fish in some small perch and one or two small roach and dace so in my eyes the swim was building nicely for me and i was expectant of a steady mornings sport.

None of these fish where the better fish i was expecting to turn up but in all honesty given what was about to happen it was never ever going to be the case.  The plop of two roach hitting the keep net in quick succession marked the end of my silver fishing as from there on out i could not but a bite the swim died instantly where there was knocks on the float all the time form when it settle there was the eerie sight of a motionless float sliding through the swim.  A few more trots down and still nothing, deep inside i began to feel that sense on inevitability that was only compounded by the dimpling of the water in my keep net where all its inhabitants had come to the top then a small shoal of roach shimmered close in tightly knit like sheep marshalled by a farmer's collie, all the signs where there and this week my senses where honed into the river and i instinctively had set up a pike rod the previous evening.

The float rod was retired for the day and i decided there and then with the clarity of the water and the presence of what i thought was a number of jack pike i was going to have some fun trying for a late summer pike or two for the remainder of the session.  A small roach bait will always be my go to bait for pike as i think the light shimmers better of the fish and they are a bite i have real confidence in and that confidence was boosted even further as no more than 5 minutes after introducing the bait i was locked in battle with a really hard fighting pike that tried all the tricks in the book to escape from trying to spit the barbless treble hooks to tail walking and when that failed it made long hard runs for the tree to my left.

A year or so ago i was given some really sound advice from a fellow dee pike angler who pointed me i the right direction for what strength line and rod i should be using so i was more that equipped to deal with this pike that i estimated as still being in the "jack" category and knowing how hard these fish fight in summer i began to exert some pressure on the fish the reduce the length of the battle as there is a fine line between having fun catching the pike and prolonging the battle so long it endangers the pikes ability to recover later on.  I quickly got the pike in and the hooks being barbless came out really easy, it was then quickly placed on the scales for a reference point for the rest of the season and a few pictures taken before i took it a few swims down and rested the pike in the margins in the landing net till it was holding itself upright and showing me some of that tigerish attitude it had demonstrated in the fight.  At this time of year if you are fishing away from weirs or rapids the oxygen levels in the river are really low so it takes the fish a while to recover and we really do owe it to the fish to give it the respect it deserves and who knows that fish in 10 years time could be that 20lb fish of your dreams.

At 6.5lb this fish has got some growing to do till its boxing in the heavyweight class but it certainly has every chance of making it in such a rich river.  The fish returned safely it was back to the pike fishing and i did not have to wait long for another take although this one certainly had eyes bigger than its belly as it hounded the bait before grabbing it across the flank.  In the water with its gills flared it looked a bigger fish but in reality on the bank it was a really small jack pike but goes to show that even at this young age they are more than equipped and the only thing on a pike this sizes mind is getting big enough so its not on a bigger pikes menu.

I returned this pike downstream just as the local church bell sounded out that it was 11.30 and it was time for us to think about packing away and making our way to our second venue but before we did broke camp i decided to have a cheeky try in my uncles swim for a pike as he had also had a period of inactivity from the silvers and with the pike obviously in the mood it was rude not to try for a third.  I have done a fair bit of pike fishing in my life on the local canal and on the river in the past few years and i can honestly say i have never seen a pike take a bait like i did on Saturday as the pike came up from beneath the fish grabbed it, came out of the water and turned in the air with the fish in its mouth it was breathtaking stuff to witness.

This pike was pretty much in the same bracket as the first one and at first i thought it maybe was the same but on closer inspection of the pictures they are separate fish.  The fish again gave a good account for itself but as with the first i tried to reduce the length of the fight as not to endanger the fish going back so it was quickly netted, had a picture taken, rested and returned and with as quick as the pike darted back into its lair we jumped into the car and headed back towards home.

The canal beckoned and although this venue is not normally prolific fishing it can have its days but what it offered us on Saturday was a nice easy fish only a small walk from the car.  We set up the customary 12 yards apart and both chose to fish the far side on the pole to avoid the heavy boat pressure, this was a bank holiday weekend after all.

The reed bed between us offered some structure that we hoped hold some fish and we was not disappointed as we both caught steady for the full two hours we were there and my uncle even got snapped by a rogue fish which had it snapped before he even had chance to ship back, a rogue carp or a tench where at the top of my betting sheet. As i mentioned we both caught steady for the few hours we where there and that showed in the combined final net.  I have promised myself to return before our holiday for a proper go at this canal with ground bait and pinkie.

well that's just about it for this week and i leave you with a tweet from twitter that made me chuckle this week.

"its 50 years since martin Luther king said that famous fishing phrase,I HAVE A BREAM!"

till next week its tight lines


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fishing in Willy Wonker's Chocolate River.....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and i have to say its been a week that has made me see the real bad side of the angling club of which i am a member.  Many of the regular followers of this blog will have remembered that when this blog first started my dad used to come fishing with us quite a lot and of late he has not been coming with us as much.  The reality of this is that my dad came out of work this year and this coupled with one or two other side issues has meant he has not felt the urge to come fishing with us and as such has not renewed his Warrington Anglers Licence.

I arrived at my dads last Friday evening to the news he had received a letter from Warrington Anglers informing him that he had not renewed his licence.  Initially i thought how thoughtful it was on WAA to contact my dad to inform him he hadn't renewed and that if the licence lapsed till Christmas it would mean he would have to pay the joining fee again but no as i read on it became increasing disturbed by the letter which went on to say that under rule he was obliged to pay the fees this year as he had not informed the club he was not renewing and the club have paid rents on waters based on the fact they expected him to renew and the letter also went on to ask him to contact the club to discuss.

My dad rang the club and explained he had come out of work and had no interest in renewing his licence to which he got the reply "the club have paid rents based on us EXPECTING you to join this year and that he has till November to pay the £40.00" needless to say my dad said he could not pay.  I checked the licence and there is a rule in the book saying about informing the club you are not renewing but in reality how many people inform the club they are in they are not renewing? well i was intrigued so i decided to pop the question on a popular forum i visit, needless to say the comments where far from complimentary to the club with the following quotes taken from the site:

"I too have had issues with this club and have been appalled by their ethics, so much so it has been 30 years since I have been a member."

"This is not a legal contract so tell them to stick it."

"???? What a way to run a club... I help run a club (Chairman) and we aim to "help" our members, not screw them over.... We run the club (and matches) for the members benefit and try to listen to their points of view and change / adapt were possible.. As stated above a polite letter saying thanks but no thanks should suffice, and let this be a warning to us all on how NOT to run a club.... even if I was a member of this club I think I'd tell them to poke it on principle.. What a disgusting way to treat members / ex-members..."

"if it is the club i think it is, run by mr L, tell them where to stick it, like i said for £40 they aren't taking him to court.
I think they have a cheek asking for anything other than membership card and key.

As you can see the actions of the club on this where not seen favourably by members on this forum and one member went on to ask a very sensible question in what would have happened if this was a Widow who's partner had passed away? it is not a very nice letter to receive is it and would the club still ask them for the £40.00?  So in effect the club are now asking my dad for 40 pounds to fish the club waters for what is soon to be 3 months which i think is utterly disgusting.  It does also beg the question that when i receive my licence next year if i don't pay for it and go fishing in the clubs waters and by some out of the blue reason i am eventually asked for my licence (not been asked in three years so far and i do a fair bit of fishing as this blog shows) can i just say "well the club have already paid the rents for me to fish here so i will save my £40.00 and pay it when the letter comes in September", 

I know quite a few people have let the licence lapse this year, mainly due to the loss of Almere and others down to the way the club is run and they have all received this very letter this week and since me speaking to them and explaining what its all about, all have no intention of paying so what a waste of time it is for the club to try and bully this money out of people it calls valued members.  All i can say is my dad will not be paying the £40.00 and i suggest if you want to take it further you put something official in writing and in the event it does go to court and they settle in the clubs favour, as my dad is on a means tested benefit you will most likely be paid back a pound a fortnight if the court rules that it is feasible for my dad to pay the money, the clue is in means tested, i.e what they are already paying him is what it is deemed the lowest amount of money it is he can live on, i.e no money spare to pay you back!  Just as a side note maybe the money wasted on this scheme could be better spent on improving waters on the card that have fell well below the standard you would expect for an angling club such as The moat in frodsham, finishing the paths on rixton, finishing the paths on cicily mill, fishing the road to the river dee at Worthenbury, actually building the road at dog kennel farm on the river dee which is written in the club book as agreed to be built X years ago, actually bailiffing the sankey canal in widnes that is a free for all and the list really does go on and on. 

I am really sorry that i again find myself wasting my introduction on this club but as you can no doubt tell from the above i am really annoyed with these actions my dad has been through a tough few years and for what is basically an angling club to try and bully and basically con money out of my dad who is a honest as the days long is bang out of order and really annoys me and the fact this rule  is even in the card sums up the ethics of this club.  

Moving on away from that to the more light hearted story that really captured my attention this week in the fact a dolphin had made its way up the River Dee as far as Chester! The dolphin was soon given the name Dave and was seen by many people who lined the river to catch a glimpse of this rare visitor to the estuary of the River Dee.  The officials at the environment agency monitored the situation all week as the "dave" fed in the river and travelled between Queensferry and Chester Weir.  The officials stating that they thought the high spring tides where behind the dolphin finding its was so far inland and that their worry was that a really high tide could see the dolphin travelling above the weir in Chester.

The Environment agency and the RNLI became increasingly worried about the situation as the dolphin began to get stranded momentarily on the sandbanks as he tides receded and on a number of occasions had to be helped along.  It was hoped the dolphin, which was only 4 miles from the sea at one point, would just go back out to sea but its thought strong tides again pushed it back into the river and today (Thursday 23/08/13) the RNLI decided not to help the dolphin back into the water in the river Dee when it became stranded but to capture the dolphin in a safe manor and they released the dolphin off the coast at Rhyl. In a last minute twist the dolphin named Dave turned out to be a female and was quickly renamed Davina! 


On to this weeks fishing:
 "Fishing in Willy Wonkas Chocolate River"

This week both me and my uncle where united in the fact we wanted to fish a river although the exact water cause we would fish remained up in the air as late as us joining the motorway.  We just could not decide wether we wanted to fish the River dee for Dace or another River where out quarry would be Chub and barbel , in all honesty both options where as appealing as each other but both had their downsides in that the river dee would no doubt provide us with plenty of bites but its open nature would see us fishing into gale force winds while the barbel river would not give us the volume of bites but would mean we were more protected due to the rivers secluded location.

We decided to go with the barbel river and leave the dace fishing for this coming weeks trip and it wasn't long before we were in our swims setting up waiting for first light to make that magical first exploratory cast of the session.  My uncle chose to trot a swim feeding white maggot and hemp while i chose a more robust approach in fishing a straight lead down to a fluorocarbon hook link tipped off with a size 8 korda wide gape hook with two halibut pellets as bait, i also attached a tightly packed PVA bag with 4ml pellets and a few of my hook bait pellets and tied this to the lead hoping for it to hold before finally releasing its contents down the flow towards my baited hook.

As you can see from the above picture the river was still running off from the recent rainfall the day before and although it had run off most of its excess water it was still carrying a fair amount of colour so much so it at times felt like i was fishing a river of chocolate.  i am the first to admit i am far from the most competent barbel angler as i am still learning but one thing i have picked up from reading up is that this is supposed to be a "tasty" looking river for barbel.

My uncle had a few dace early on trotting a swim upstream of me but they turned out to be just a flurry of early bites as the swim died after the last of the dace and although this can be a sign bigger fish have moved in nothing was forthcoming for the rest of the morning.  I set up downstream and was confident after receiving a few quite violent rattles on the tip so i was optimistic of a fish of some kind before we left.

The rattles on the tip continued but eventually the tip wrapped round and i was soon battling a fish that from the way it was fighting could only be a chub, it just didn't have the power that the barbel possesses.  The extra flow on the river probably gave the chub more power than it would have usually and it did give me a bit of trouble with a near margin snag that it went to great lengths to get me in but thankfully the chub slid into the net.

The chub in reality was not breaking any records  but was more than welcome to steer of the thoughts of the dreaded blank.  We came with a plan on the day to fish the river till midday and then drop back onto Curlston mere on the way home for a bit of fun catching some silvers and hopefully the odd carp and we stuck to that plan and broke camp around 11.30 and headed off.

Arriving at curlston mere it was bowing a right hoolie and it was straight into my face and it was far from comfortable fishing but after fishing this place quite a lot over the past few months i have learnt they really do follow the wind on here.  The one thing that really does amaze me is the quality of fish in this pond as it not only contains a lovely strain of carp but some of the best silvers fishing i have experienced on a still water of this size.

Both myself and my uncle where mirrored in out approach with us both fishing the float in the margins.  The main thing with fishing ponds i have found is to target the margins as this is normally where most of the fish are  and my thinking behind this is simple, margins are where the food comes into the pond from as bugs and insects fall into the water from the overhanging trees.  The swim was primed with some Dynamite Baits Silver X ground bait laced with white maggot and i really fed the swim as in summer on this place you can be really aggressive with your feeding and it only improves the fishing.

The fishing for us both was frantic with both of us getting a bite a chuck from perch and roach coming with great regularity.   As with all our fishing we always have a plan and we both had a few worms to try as a large hook bait for the last hour and it did not disappoint us with my uncle taking a better stamp of perch and losing two carp and myself landing the carp shown bellow and having the hook pull on two others.

All in all it was a very enjoyable few hours on Curlston and really tipped of a mixed days fishing with the combined net paying testament to how good the fishing was.

till next week its tight lines,


Friday, 16 August 2013

Best Laid Plans On The Sankey Canal

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update, I hope I find you well and your nets brimming with fish. This week there have been some slight but noticeable changes in the weather as we move slightly on from the relentless scorching sunshine into a period of more changeable unsettled weather in the form of heavy showers and periods of really humid weather. This extra water has been a blessing for our rivers and I have been keeping an eye on their levels and although none have flooded all have had a good flush through which will do them no harm at all and should see sport on our rivers improve drastically.

I use a calendar on a daily basis I work but that didn’t prepare myself for the shock that hit me this week that we are already in the month of August, just where have the months gone this year. My weekly fishing trips and subsequent weekly blog do give my life structure but still it doesn’t seem like yesterday that I wrote about my joy for the river season reopening and that most magical of days was two months ago now. I guess it also hits you more when you realise the fact that my little girl is 1 year old next month and time really does fly bye.

With regards my fishing I have been for some time now at a cross roads of uncertainty around what direction I want to take my fishing into as I really do enjoy building up net of silvers but slowly that urge to sit and wait it out for bigger species is creeping into my mind and thoughts of a net of silver darts are slowly being eroded with thoughts of loading the car with just a feeder rod and a few pellets and heading off in search of some chub and barbel, is this just an itch that needs a scratch or is it a sign of things to come? I guess only time will tell but there is certainly a sense of change in the air and I feeling of certainty that trips for species like barbel and pike could be on the card in the coming weeks.

For the time being at least I have been resisting the urge to grab my trust barbel rod of an evening and spending that time walking the local canal to my house, the Sankey canal. I must say with the hustle and bustle of work of late that comes with a new project of work the walks along the canal of an evening have proved to be a great mind clearer and isn’t it amazing how problems that twist our thoughts can be so easily unravelled by some fresh air and a good dose of British wildlife.

Along these trips, being the wildlife enthusiast I am, I of course made a few friends and in true Danny’s Angling Blog fashion they just had to be in white with long necks, the ever featuring swans.

I must say the sight of these swans took my mind back to a breeding pair of swans I used to cross paths with on Almere Ferry every year. Year on year this same two of swans would pair up and breed on a nest constructed in the branches of a half sub-merged tree, great memories and sad to think I will never cross paths with these most proud of parents again, hope they are doing well.

Along my walk I also had the opportunity to witness countless wild flowers in bloom and the swarms of busy bees working tirelessly to relieve the flowers of their sweet nectar. The walk along the Sankey Canal also revealed the vast amount of fish this venue holds it was absolutely alive with fish of all sizes from this year’s fry to some nice sized carp, maybe I should have brought the rod along I cursed as I continued my walk.
As you plod along the path of the Sankey Canal it opens up in a few places to give big wide views of the Mersey estuary and the vast array of birdlife that call this place home. Later on in the week I went for a stroll around a local nature reserve and took this picture of a seat overlooking the Mersey estuary, I wonder how many people have sat in this seat trying to clear their thoughts.

On Thursday night the back-up account on the Warrington Anglers Facebook page was threatening to bear fruit and I was hoping to bring you some news on the new stretch of the River Alyn that WAA has reportedly purchased but it seems that the club has purchased a stretch of river and no one knows where it is!!! The party who led negotiations are saying it is around the Molde area and reports from the higher up members close to the committee suggesting it is around the Weir in Rossett. It really baffles me how you can announce you have purchased rights to a beat and yet not know what water you have bid on. More news on this as and when the club decide which postcode they have purchased rights too. J
Onto this week’s fishing trip

“Best laid Plans”

I like to keep my fishing quite varied and as such I never like to do the same thing more than two weeks on the spin there are of course times when the fishing is just too good not too keep going as for instance the dace fishing on the River Dee in winter time but even then after a few weeks I like to at least change species and target the pike. We have fished the river Dee the past two weeks, same peg and same tactics, so this week I was more than ready for a change of both scenery and direction and not to forget the financial benefits of fishing a local venue on the old petrol tank once in a while.

I really fancied a session on the local Sankey Canal and this feeling was there very early on in the week, I think the introduction to this week’s blog gave that fact away. I grew up a stone’s throw away from the Bridgewater Canal in Runcorn and during my childhood I spent many a weekend fishing with my dad while my mum was out doing the weekend shopping, I never really knew the finer details of why we caught the fish only that if I fished with a small “snatcher” whip and light pound bottom hook lengths I caught my fair share of fish and I guess these childhood memories are why I still have a massive passion for this facet of my angling.

I spent the week looking at tactics for canal fishing and soon came across a cracking video on Youtube featuring the greatest silver angler of all time, Bob Nudd. When you ask most people who their favourite anglers are and why the reason they give for liking them is normally down to the size of fish they have caught or how many big fish they have caught. I really like Bob Nudd because no matter what fish, big or small, he always gives the impression he is over the moon with it and really seems like he appreciates every fish he catches from a small gudgeon to a pound roach.

The video I watched:

In this video above bob uses two distinct tactics in he fishes a bread line close in and then a maggot and groundbait line across to the far side and I really wanted to try and replicate this approach for my session this week. I ordered half a pint of pinkies, a pint of white maggot and some dynamite silver X ground bait form the bait shop and spent the rest of my Friday evening liquidising some bread for my nearside bread line and making up some delicate rigs.

I only really have one top kit on my main pole for silver fishing in my blue hydro elastic match kit as I see my other match kit that is loaded with white hydro as being too heavy for canal fishing so I was left with a bit of a dilemma as I really didn’t want to be swapping and changing rigs all session when moving between lines. I came up with the idea to utilise my very first pole I purchased in my White knuckle margin pole to fish the bread line and I just hoped it was long enough to reach a decent depth of water as the sankey canal has got really shallow nearside margins.

As is the norm with our fishing we arrived on the banks as the moon was just about departing and I have to say the sky looked terrible and to make things worse my uncle had miss placed his umbrella so all the chat to the pegs was around when not if the rain would arrive.

As mentioned above we normally arrive on the banks under the cover of darkness and depending on how far we have to walk we time our arrival at the pegs to co-inside with first light so we are ready to fish that magical first hour of daylight where you have the feeling that you may hit that special fish at any moment and not only that we fish a fair few new stretches of river during the year and anyone that’s done any exploratory fishing will tell you if you want to find out if there is any fish in a stretch then first light and the hour into dusk is the time you will see any fish if there is any about.
As always there was a beautiful sunrise on the sankey canal and we were treated to a glorious sunrise, some of the pictures we have captured on this venue I am seriously thinking about developing for a big picture in my house as I find them so thought provoking and just make me want to go out fishing.

The rigs where all pre tied so when I arrived at the swim it was all about getting myself comfortable and ready to fish. As soon as my box and bait tray was in place I quickly set up my margin pole and plumbed up and to my joy a found a nice depth at around 7m and I potted in two balls of bread crumb so it was settling and starting to attract some fish while I set about rigging up my long pole and mixing up the ground bait. I took my time and made sure I was happy with all my bait before I began to fish. My bait tray seemed to have a tonne of bait on it compared to my normal canal sessions but I was confident in my plan of attack and fully expected to make full use of the bait at hand.

I potted out three balls of ground bait laced with pinkie over my long line at around 12-13m and the plan was to fish the bread line for the first hour or until the bites dried up whilst topping up the far line with loose fed pinkie and another ball of ground bait every 20 minutes. I would say apart from how I prepare for my dace fishing this is the most rigid I have been with a session and I was determined to stick to the plan.

The far line topped up and settling I set about the bread line and for the first few minutes not a lot happened but I remained confident and like I had seen on the video I began to impart some movement myself on the float and you know what it worked as the float slowly sank away and I lifted into the first fish of the session in a small Rudd, it was a start and I was happy the fish had showed on the bread line and at this stage was thinking that the swim would develop over time and the better fish would move in as the peg matured.

The other reason I chose to fish bread punch was the fact that if the rivers flood come winter we will be looking to fish this as a back-up venue and bread punch will be a vital weapon to have in my armoury. The bread line produced a steady stream of bites but they were all small rudd. I did also notice that I got a lot of small knocks on the float and fast bites that where hard to hit but I put this down to small rudd. I persevered with the bread line and caught steady for the first hour and a quarter of the session before the bites completely dried up, all the fish where rudd and I never really got any signs that anything better had moved into the swim.

While I was fishing the bread line I had been feeding the 13metre line and there were signs that fish where feeding in the form of bubbles in and around the baited area. There are a fair amount of quality bream in this canal as well as a good number of skimmers that could have been responsible for the bubbling but I have noticed on previous sessions that you also get these bubbles when there is an eel about.

Shipping out to the 13 metre line I hadn’t even flicked the line out over the swim before a rudd had taken the bait, not a good sign I thought. Back out and this time I got to the swim and before the float even registered any shot it had zoomed off and I was into another rudd. The only way I can sum how many rudd I caught and how hard it was getting through them was it took an hour and a half before my float settled and I realised I had over shotted my float.

The amount of rudd in the swim didn’t bear thinking about as time and time again a rudd would take the bait on the drop, 3,4,5 maggots on the hook made no difference to these ravenous fish. I began to get into a rhythm and put together countless numbers of these rudd but fishing at 13m it soon became a labour of love so I set up a waggler float and this just speeded up the rate at which I put these fish in the net, below is a video of the bite a chuck action on the waggler.

The session soon became a numbers game and the challenge changed from if I would catch a better fish to a game of how many I could put together. My uncle a few yards up the bank was still getting troubled with rudd but was actually getting through the rudd and getting a bait on the deck and actually picked up some solid roach with the best shown below.

The final nets bore testament to the hard work we had put in, I ended with just under 10lb of rudd and my uncle just over 11lb of rudd and roach, I don’t think I have ever worked so hard for a net of fish, it was a bite a chuck and boy did I know it.

My net:

Uncles net

The session taught me that although you can lay down the best plans possible you can never plan for what is in your swim on the day. The positive I took from the session was that I put some time in on the bread punch fishing and I think I made the best of a bad situation.

Till next time
I wish you all
Tight lines


Friday, 9 August 2013

Hungry ‘Jacks’ Hunting For ‘Roachy’ Snacks

A warm welcome to this week’s angling blog update and what landmark week it is for the blog with at the time of writing this update it is fast approaching the 100,000 views mark a number that I still have to glance twice at to believe and I guess no matter where this blog leads to from this day forward I will always be proud of what I have achieved with this blog to this point, I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I have not met one bad person through writing this blog and it has been an absolute joy to not only share my angling adventures with people but also hear about other people’s fishing trips who get in touch.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited my blog, sent me an email, messaged me on twitter, messaged me on facebook or even just dropped into my peg and said hi on the bank, thank you.

I also owe a big thank you to my dad and uncle for putting up with me on the bank when things are not going too well and also for putting up with my “one last cast” which leads to them waiting on me to pack up!  I guess the biggest thank you I need to say though is to my partner Lucy, I know how lucky I am to have such an understanding missus, I mean I don’t think there are many women out there who would be ok with their fella going fishing every weekend and then also putting up with them disappearing into a side room through the week to write an angling blog, I really do know how lucky I am and I know she secretly reads the blog so THANK YOU LUCY J.

Here’s to all the adventures to come and let’s see where the next 100,000 views takes us too, if its takes me through half as many adventures as the first 100,000 I will be a very happy angler.

Moving on to this week’s update and whilst browsing the internet this week I came across and interesting story on the Daily mail website and although the Mail has some of the worst transfer rumours in regard the summer transfers the story I read was full of information and really got me thinking on my dinner hour when I read it.   The story I came across was about information that had been obtained from the environment Agency via the Freedom of information act.

Basically picking out the bits that are of interest it state that the top 10 water companies in this country have been responsible for 1000 separate incidents of polluting our rivers, harbours and streams since 2005.  It also goes on to mention the average fine for these companies was a mere £10,800 which the article is suggesting is quite low considering the fact the companies made a grand total of 10.5 BILLION POUNDS!.  The article then goes on to suggest a minimum fine for deliberate polluting of our waters should be imposed and that should start at £750,000.  The article then gives all the major companies a chance to reply against an allegation that these fines are seen as part and parcel of them releasing sewage into the rivers, an allegation they all reject and go on to state they have spent money on increasing defences against leaks and the fact that pollution incidents have reduced every year since 2005.

As regular readers will know major pollution incidents have featured a few times over the past few years on my blog, off the top of my head I remember a few incidents on the river Irwell in the past year where the river was transformed into something resembling a bath full of bubble bath with the whole river covered in a thick layer of foam, I also remember Mark from the Fishing for memories blog mentioned about pollution incidents in his area and let’s not forget the major incidents that happened on the River Dee where no one was ever fined for a pollution incident that wiped out all the fish stocks in the river! These are only a few incidents that I can remember off the top of my head but even these ones mentioned are too many in my opinion. 

The information released in the article is astonishing to be honest the average fine really shocked me as it is really low and It does make me question how much of a deterrent a fine like that can have and I do think the suggestion of a minimum fine of £750,000 would be a great idea.  In all debates like this though I always try and see the other side of the coin as well and I grew up living next to one of the most polluted rivers in this country, the River Mersey, a river made famous for its 3 eyed “glowing” fish and bank lined factories.  When I was growing up the river had a really bad name and you would often see slicks of chemicals running along the top of the river and I always remember the river as being quite devoid of birdlife.  The river today is a complete turnaround there have been reports of salmon being seen running the river again, otters living in the estuary and as I cross the Runcorn to Widnes Bridge on my daily commute to work I often see anglers fishing along its banks so it is a river that has transformed its image and water clarity immensely over the past 20 years so much so you now see a multitude of birds working the sand banks of low tides proving what abundance of fish must now call this once polluted estuary home.

The vitality of this river now runs through its course with many angling clubs owning rights to its banks as you go upstream and into its tributaries with Warrington Anglers being one club that now holds regular matches on the stretches around Warrington BUT there are of course still the regular incidents we hear about on the tributaries like the River Irwell, Goyt and Tame that still tarnish this image and its these small secluded rivers and streams where wildlife and fish stocks will thrive and find sanctuary to increase their numbers a populate down the river where these pollution incidents do most damage these areas are the nursery grounds for all the smaller species of fish to thrive and these areas need protecting more than ever. My only hope is I never have to live through and witness some of the horrific scenes I hear talked about by other anglers on the river Dee when they recall the day they saw thousands of fish dying in front of their eyes we live in a time where technology can do so many things and I hope the proposed changes marks an end to the deliberate polluting of our waterways, mistakes will always happen but there are no excuses for deliberately releasing pollution.

In other news this week I have heard a rumour that Warrington Anglers have acquired a new stretch of the River Alyn, not much information on the actual beat yet but seen as the stretch Warrington currently have that stops just short of the confluence of the River Dee is really shallow I imagine the river further upstream is just as shallow and the fish species will be mainly trout and grayling.  I will release more information on the stretch as and when an official announcement is made on the clubs website or on the clubs Facebook page, the good old second pseudonym account might just prove to be worthwhile after all.  As with all aspects of life it always pays to think ahead and while I am on the subject of Warrington Anglers Facebook page it makes me laugh so much when I drop in there and read that people are asking the same questions about the road at Worthenbury, the track at dog kennel farm and the fact another angling club now have Almere ferry that my “official” account was kicked off there for, guess it wasn’t just me who had the same feelings on certain issues eh and I must say the argument that broke out about the rumour the club are losing cicily mill to prince Albert sums up how silly this page can be, rather than deleting the post surely responding with an official yes or no puts it all to bed rather than how it is now with the question still being up in the air, they did the same with Almere Ferry and that went in the end, makes you wonder.

Any way that’s enough time wasted on that onto this week’s fishing:

Hungry ‘Jacks’ Hunting For ‘Roachy’ Snacks

In the light of our thunder filled session on the Dee last Sunday there was only ever once place we were going to fish this weekend and it was of course the exact same swims we were perched in last week.  The abundance of roach in the river at the moment is really pleasing to see an with reports of roach being caught all along the lower River Dee it will surly make for an interesting winter when they all shoal up to see if the roach feature as much once the huge shoals of dace start moving in.

The river at the best of times is never really busy so we took our time as we navigated along the quiet B Roads that meander alongside the river dee.  We had both come with a game plan this time, mine was to loose feed hemp and caster with the hope of avoiding some of the really small fry whilst my uncle also was equipped with castors and hemp he chose to also bring along a tin of the trusty sweetcorn, jolly green giant of course as all fisherman will tell you, the fish can tell the difference.   We both brought a few pints of white maggot as well as we do normally for our river trips.

We both started off on castor and could not buy even a knock as the float just drifted through the swim time after time after time even the ever reliable holding back hard on the float could not induce a bite from the fish.  It became quite clear castor was not going to work so we changed over to maggot and instantly we both started to get bite and not from small fish either with this surprise chub around a pound coming on only the third cast after the change to maggot.

The pair of us enjoyed some steady bits for the next few hours with mainly roach coming to the net.  My uncles swim stayed pretty steady all through the day but mine seemed to change dramatically a few hours in as all the steady bites from nice roach I had been getting disappeared and was replaced with sharp lightning fast bites that I put down to being really small roach and dace.  These bites drove me mad to put it bluntly anyone who has done any amount of trotting will be able to relate to me here when I say you know when you have struck bank on and nailed a bite but my strike was met with no fish on the other end and time and time again the float would go under but no fish on the other end.  I of course made all the changes I could think of but the bites continued to be frantic and all other the swim, something was not right.

The Swim to my left occupied by my uncle was still fishing well with nice roach and the odd perch coming to his maggot and hemp and that’s when it all clicked in my head.  Had we been on the river for a few weeks solid maybe it would have hit me sooner but the obvious answer to this situation was that a silent speckled green hunter had skulked into the swim, a quick look at my keep net to see every fish up in the water around the next of the net just confirmed this diagnosis even further.   I decided to persevere with the trotting approach in hope I was wrong about my feelings that a pike had moved in but all this do was confirm my suspicions as half way down the trot I struck into a fish that felt half decent before it suddenly felt a record breaker as it all went solid and the slow determined run of a pike made its way into the middle of the river before its sharp teeth cut through my think hook length.

I was fairly sure the pike had not felt like it was hooked and unfortunately for mr pike I had also left my pike rod in my holdall so it was a quick scoot to the car to set up to try for my first pike of the season.  All set up I introduced a small roach into the swim and set about waiting for the pike to move back in, it didn’t take too long before the floats rhythmic motion became a bit more frantic as the bait sensed trouble was about and I knew to expect a bite at any minute and with that there was an almighty splash as the pike took the bait and headed off into its lair in the middle of the river to digest its midday snack.  The fish was only a jack pike of a few pounds but it didn’t half put up a good account for itself. 

In summer, more than ever, we must always remember to give the pike to rest in the margin by either retaining them in your net or holding them upright in a slack till they recover the pike gives it all in the fight and the low oxygen levels in summer means it take the fish longer to recover.

The one thing that always amazes me about the river is how quick after moving a pike on its way out of your swim the fish move back on the feed as it was my very first trot down after all the commotion from the pike I connected with this lovely plump roach above.  A quick glance at the clock revealed it to be around midday so I decided to rest the swim and get on with cooking us both some dinner on the Calor Grill to Go.  I this bit of kit given to me by Calor Gas to review a few months ago would get some solid use as we moved onto the river and I can see it being a real essential addition to our gear as we move into the colder months.  Sausage barms on the bank, the smell, the sizzle I really don’t know what I have been missing.

Our stomachs seen to I got back to the trotting and it was like going back to the swim I arrived at in them morning with solid bites met with the solid resistance of a fish and for the next few hours we added a steady stream of fish to our haul included in this was a nice eel my uncle caught that did a complete disappearing act as I took its picture so well that I don’t have a picture lol. We ended the session with a solid net of fish each.

My net

Uncle net.

Of course at the end of every session there is that wait while the keep nets dry out and I decided to take full advantage of this by having another cheeky go for a pike but this time in my uncle’s swim.  To say it wasn’t long before the easy meal was pounced upon was an understatement as the small bait was soon taken by a hungry jack that fought like a demon, tail walking on a number of occasions and was certainly one of those pikes you don’t trust.  It seems weird to say you don’t trust a fish but you do get a feeling with pike about their temperament and how they are going to behave on the bank and this one certainly had a glint in its eye that said be extra careful.

Thankfully once he was tamed and on the bank he was was good as gold and soon had his picture taken and was happily resting in the edge.

That’s was it for the session and we both left happy with the session but we both agreed we needed a change of venue the following week so where this weekend will take us is anyone’s guess.

I leave you with a picture from Sunday morning of me and my little girl watching Catching the impossible she really does love her wildlife and I hope wildlife makes up a big park of her life.

Till next week

Tight lines


Friday, 2 August 2013

River, Stillwater, thunder and lightning i love fishing!!

A warm welcome to my weekly blog update a few weeks ago I mentioned about me working with a company about getting the blog featured on another format and I am pleased to announce that Dannys Angling Blog will now be featured in the blogs section of the Fishing Uk phone app.  It will involve me finding time to update the blogs onto the App but I am hoping to at least get a few of the most popular blog posts over there in the coming weeks if I can find time but for now I am really pleased to have been approached about this opportunity and look forward to working with Fishing Uk to make this part of the app as good as possible.

As I mention quite often on this blog I receive a lot of emails from readers of the blog and really enjoy spending time replying to all the questions I am asked and reading what people think of the blog I write.  I received one such email this week that made me feel really proud, it was an email from Adam Liversage who wrote to me expressing how much he had enjoyed the blog and how it had inspired him to write his own angling blog.  I have to admit that although the stats clearly show the blog is quite popular I don’t ever imagine people reading my blog as I write it so the fact that someone not only reads my blog but is inspired by what I write to start their own meant a great deal to me.

The blog he writes is well written and is updated very regular with 10 posts in June and 14 in July and I am sure if he keeps that level of posting going along with such detail he will have a really successful blog on his hands in a few months’ time.  I wish him all the luck for the future with his blog and I personally look forward to spending time reading and being inspired to go fishing by his
Angling adventures.

Here is a link to his blog:

News that caught my eye this week was the reported capture of a new British Record Eel at 13lb 8oz from a commercial fishery.  The owner of the fishery and capture of the eel was apparently fishing for carp at the time when he hooked into the fish of a lifetime.  There has been much speculation on the internet forums and facebook as to whether or not this fish is a record fish but I know first-hand with my uncles near record dace last year how a much a picture can be scrutinised and I say if the guy has caught this fish and put it on some scales and that’s what it read then so be it and leave it to the British record rod caught fish panel to either honour or disprove this claimed record eel.   Below is a link to the picture of the eel for those who have not seen it and want to make their own mind up on it.

Later on in this blog update you will read about mine and my uncles trip to the River Dee on Sunday and although I really enjoyed the fishing session there was something else that pleased me more than catching a nice net of fish and that was the variety of species and the size of the fish we caught.   Below is a picture of the final net of fish from the Sunday session.

Now when I say the size of the fish most people automatically think I am talking about a pristine net of 2lb roach and although I would be over the moon with a net like that this net fills me with just as much joy as it contains fish from this year’s fry through to mature fish approaching maybe 10-12 ounces.  This is a great sign that the river is in good condition and year on year is building fish stocks naturally and is in fact now a self-sustained fish population and you know what it is great to see.  Also included in the net are some stonking gudgeon and again a fish that it is great to see as in winter they don’t really get a look in with the big shoals of dace about but encouraging to see them not only surviving but actually thriving in this river and in all it bodes well for the future.  The one thing to remember is to appreciate times like this as we know all too well just how fast things can change and the Dee has first-hand experience of major pollution incidents so fingers crossed lessons have been learned and we don’t see the likes of that again.

On to this weeks fishing

Nice session on Rixton clay pits

  Work has been so busy of late with a new project going live and at times its seemed the systems would never be ready come go live but thankfully all has gone to plan but it has meant many a ling evening in work getting it to this stage and this coupled with being an person who is addicted to angling has meant I have not been spending as much time as I would like with my family so I rectified that with a well-deserved day off work on Friday and boy did it feel god to just take a day away from the hustle and bustle of work and just let my hair down and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

With Friday out of the way my mind obviously turned towards where I would be wetting a line at the weekend.  My uncle was not available to fish in the Saturday so a cheeky evening session was planned with him for Sunday afternoon and I was torn between Curlston Mere and Rixton Clay Pits.  I made my mind up to fish rixton as I wanted a steady silvers session and had I gone Curlston I knew the carp would move in on me and I was not in the mood for the messing around that goes with targeting silvers and carp.

Arriving at Rixton car park I quickly unloaded the car and made my way to one of the ready made pegs and quickly set about getting ready to start fishing.  I set up in line with the edge of the island in front of me to give me a feature to line up with to make sure I was fishing the same line all day.

I am often asked what makes me decide when to fish the pole and when to fish the float rod and I normally answer that unless one method is more adaptable to the situation i.e I wouldn’t use a float rod if I wanted to fish tight to a far bank margin shelf on a commercial, then I would normally fish the pole on a Stillwater as I spend a lot of my year trotting the river with a float rod so I like to make the most of using my pole at any opportunity during the summer months on the still waters.

The set up for the day was to fish blue hydro elastic in the pole with a 3lb line down to a 1lb 7oz hook length with a size 20 hook.  The bait for the day was a pint of white maggot fished over a bed of Dynamite Baits Silver X ground bait which I hoped would catch me a mixed net of silver fish.  I always find it best when silver fishing to feed the ground bait in the pole cup to get a nice bed of feed tight to the area I am fishing and then use the catapult to feed the maggots as this generally spreads the bait over a wider area and draws the fish in.

As is always the case with silvers fishing its always the small fish that turn up to the parry first and on this session it was a mixture of small skimmer bream and really small perch.  When I have fished this venue before the better fish have always moved in as a bed of feed is built up but on this occasion it took a good few hours of catching small roach, skimmers and perch before the first few better bream started to show.

The swim was building nicely and I was getting some of the better bream every few puts in but then the swim completely died on me and I thought that a tench might have moved in.  Patience is a big part of fishing and if you haven’t got it then you are always going to struggle, luckily it’s a virtue I have been blessed with so once the bites dies I kept plugging away and I thought I had been rewarded when I lifted into a fish that was slid on the bottom and had elastic oozing out of the pole.  I thought for the life of me it was a tench or carp so I dipped the pole tip under the water to increase the pressure on the fish and with that the fish jumped clear out of the water and revealed itself to be a jack pike I guess around 5-7lb and with that it bit through the line.

I reset up and fished over the same line but it was obvious the pike was still about as the bites where lightning quick as if the fish where darting in and out which suggested to me mr pike was still hungry.  I decided for the last hour to move my line closer in and found a nice depth on three sections of pole and fished the last hour of the session on that line.  I ended the session with a nice net of just over 9lb and I thoroughly enjoyed it although it was very weird going fishing on my own after so many trips with my dad and uncle.

                                                            “Electric Roaching on the Dee”

We experienced one of the most surreal feelings in fishing this week as we travelled along the M56 towards wales on a Sunday afternoon to fish the River Dee.  We normally choose to hit the bank in time for first light for our fishing so navigating the queues of traffic was an alien feeling for me but eventually we hit the main road towards the river dee and with that we hit some serious weather that was causing some localised flooding on the road we were travelling down and seeing the drains bubbling over had me worried about what we were traveling too.   Along the road we travelled through two or three storm showers but was absolutely amazed to arrive at our destination to scorching hot and humid conditions which were not helped at all by the suffocating Himalayan balsam lining the swim.

Setting up the heat and humidity was almost unbearable the air was heavy and uncomfortable but eventually I was at a stage where I was ready to make my first cast at a balmy 4pm.  The tactics are will be well known to regular blog readers but I will go over them again for new readers to the blog, I used my trusty 17ft trotting rod with my Diawa open faced reel loaded with 4lb 4oz line and this was fished down to an old school Bayen Perlon 1lb 7oz hooklength tipped with a size 20 micro barb pattern hook, my float was a 10 number four wire stem stick float.

The session started off with some pristine gudgeon, a fish most anglers would turn their nose up at but on the river at this time of the year the fish are really spread out and it can be a good hour or so before you start to see some of the dace and roach show up.

The gudgeon and odd dace where rolling in as quick as the black clouds, the temperature dropped dramatically and you could feel the freshness of a front of rain moving in even before it hit us and the ferocity of what was about to move our way was given away by the loud rumbles of thunder we could hear In the distance.  The inevitable rain shower arrived and with I the thunder and lightning and I was in no hurry to be attached to 17ft of electricity conducting carbon so it was down with the rod and I waited for the storm clouds to pass.

Must be mad eh:

The rain eventually passed but I had been constantly feeding the swim during the rain and it paid dividends as first put in resulted in this lovely redfin.

The fishing after the storm was really surprising as at this time of the year it is very rare to have such a consistent day on the river but I wasn’t complaining as it soon became very apparent I had a good shoal of roach and dace in front of me, not all massive fish but that float was going under every trot down the swim.  Some of the bites where as fast as the lightning that had just been overhead which suggested to me these where the smaller fry just tipping the maggot and in hindsight castor might have been the bait to combat these and get through to the better fish with more regularity.

To be honest with how our river trips have been so far on the dee it was refreshing to be getting a few fish and my only wish on the day was to have had the whole day ahead of us getting these bites as it would have been a very impressive net come the end of the day.   The lull in the rain was short lived as yet another band of rain moved in and with it some really dark clouds.

The low light levels these clouds provided brought the better roach out to play and me and we picked up some better roach as this picture shows below we had some really nice roach during the session.

The rain moved over again and we were again basking in baking how sunshine, the fish where still biting but we decided to take the opportunity of this gap in the weather to make a move for home as we could see some serious weather in the distance heading our way.  The final net was a joy to witness as it contained a variety of species of fish at all levels of development and it was really reassuring to see a net of fish like this.

We closed the car boot just as the rain started again and thankfully the road we travelled along on the way was clear of flood water.  On the way home the talk was all about what a great session we had just experienced and how good it felt to finally get amongst a decent shoal of fish on the river Dee and we both agreed we couldn’t wait to get back.

Till next time, tight lines