Monday, 28 July 2014

Session To Remember And New Perch PB

A warm welcome to this week's blog update I hope I find you all well.  I would like to start this week's blog update with a picture that for me really does speak a thousand words for me and says a great deal about the reasons why i have joined Northwich Anglers.

Now this picture above to most just looks like a pile of rubble and in essence it is but its the fact that this pile of rubble is being used to resurface a road on one of Norwch's waters and to my shock its a River, yes believe it or not a club is actually investing time and effort in getting a road down to car parks on on river resurfaced, crazy or what.  To understand my shock you have to know the club i joined from, Warrington Anglers, stance on all things river related, they basically could not care less is the simple way of putting it.  Regular readers will have heard me mention this before but for newcomers i will recap, basically there is a stretch of the River Dee at Worthenbury that is superb fishing but the mile long track down to the river resembles more a lunar landscape than a track and a few of the river anglers asked the club for the materials to sort the road out, we were politely told its not the clubs responsibility to fix roads down to the rivers as they don't own the stretch. 

What a refreshing breath of fresh air it was to see that Norwich Anglers have either purchased or arranged for this road (that is no way near as bad as worthenbury) to be fixed and actually care about the well being of the anglers who actually sustain the club.  I have fished a fair few of Northwich waters this year and i have to say this care and attention is not just limited to the Rivers as every water i have visited on the card has been well maintained and looked after, stages built all around it and well bailiffed, this is in stark reflection to my time with WAA where i had my card checked once and how long has Rixton clay pits had only 4 proper pegs for now with the rest left unfinished??  As say i not here to bring clubs down but i feel i am bound to be honest and put across the truth of what i see and my experiences of being in both clubs.

Moving on and this week the weather has been baking hot with little or no respite from the searing temperatures, a busy week last week travelling far and wide with the family and fishing has left me watching my fuel gauge a little this week so chances to get out with some floating baits for some carp has not been there for me but that's life i guess.  That does move me nicely on to my plans for the month of August and although i am not one who likes to plan what fishing i am going to be doing so far in advance I am fully aware that the Carp Quest 2014 has fallen a bit by the way side since the opening of the season and I am hoping that during August i can really get my head together and begin to hit this quest again with earnest.  I have passed the carp water a few times on the way home from the river of late and have noticed the cars have drastically reduced and i have not seen Dumb and Dumbers car there at all, so all is looking well for getting back at it so what this space with that one, it is in my thoughts.

One big plus point that has come out of writing my weekly blog is the Social Media side of things and both on Facebook and Twitter the blog has a good following of really nice anglers.  I am a member of a few pages on Facebook and to see some of the problems the Admins have to deal with is scary and it makes me really happy when i think what a great group of people follow my blog on Facebook and Twitter as still to this day I have not had to delete any comments or people for any bad language or inappropiate comments which given what people are on others pages i see is fantastic.  Facebook and Twitter is a great place to keep up with the blog and I regularly post as i am fishing on both and many of the fish you see in this update where posted on Facebook and Twitter the night of their capture.  Feel free to come  along and join in on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your own captures on any of the walls, i love seeing how people who read about my fishing are getting on with theirs,  links to both are on the right hand margin of the blog of you can follow the links below:

Dannys Angling Blog On Facebook:
Dannys Angling Blong on Twitter:

Looking forward to this weekend's fishing i think we are going to have to certainly find some river with some shade in this heat and bright sunshine.  I will also be reviewing the product i was sent last week this weekend and putting together my review to hopefully be published in next weeks blog update so i am looking forward to the sparking delights of testing a water bottle that claims to make any water source drinkable! Really am looking forward to this review!!

On to this Weeks Fishing.

Session to Remember and New 3lb Pb Perch. 

I normally set my alarm for an hour before i am due to meet up with my uncle and set out to the river bank, this hour gives me plenty of time to get my stuff together and load the car, Saturday morning was no different as at 2am the Alarm awoke me from my slumber but for some reason after knocking my alarm off on my phone i must have drifted straight back off and it was a whole hour and a quarter later i suddenly woke, i do not know what woke me but i was soon rushing round getting ready and it was during this short period of frantically trying to find my clothes i noticed what had surely woken me as the whole living room was illuminated by lightning and a very close deep rumble of thunder had me very much awake.

Not one to ever let the weather dictate my fishing i carried on and loaded the car and set off on my way to my uncles, only a short 5 minute journey.  It was during this short journey the rain started coming down heavy, again not something that i even notice really as it does not bother me but something that really had me concerned was the amount of lightning and the severe electrical storm i was driving through, from starting to count after leaving my road i counted 35 individual lightning strikes and at one point i passed over a large clearing that gave me a view over the estuary and the lightning was happening all over the place at the same time, large forks across the sky all over the area.

Arriving at my uncles he was all set for the off quoting "you can only get struck once", he does make me laugh and it was me that suggested that with this thunder reported to be in all day we left our fishing trip till the Sunday.  The next hour the storm continued with no let up so i made my  way back home and get some more shut eye.  The weather man for once had got it wrong and from 4am till gone 11am there was no sign of the thunderstorms so a quick call was made and before we knew it, it was 1am and we were on the banks setting up.

We knew from past trips we would have no competition for a peg as lets face it we have not seen an angler on there in the fair weather never mind after a thunderstorm and out thoughts were proved right as we parked up and strolled right onto the pegs we had planned to fish a few hours earlier.  The river was carrying a bit of extra water but not as much as i had expected from the down pour but was well within fish able limits and what got me even more excited was the tad tinge of colour and the extra pace, it looked bang on.

No matter how good a river looks or how confident i am in catching a fish i always take a picture of the first fish as one time it will be the only fish i catch so always think it best to take a picture and on this river the first fish nearly always is a chublet, i guess their greedy nature pulls them in faster to the early offerings.  I did make a slight change to my tactics for this session and it was around  my feed as i chose to incorporate the feeding of ground bait to the swim and it has been the catching of skimmer bream all along this rivers length that prompted this decision.

There is a saying "dont expect different results if you keep doing the same thing" and it has been this that has been ringing in my head of late as searching this river and trying to crack how to keep bites coming all day and how to improve the stamp of fish is not going to happen if we are sticking to the same tactics of maggot and hemp each session, so my hope was to try and break away from the norm and feed the swim with ground bait laced with maggot and hemp seed.  At the start of the session i had a fair idea of where i wanted to feed but i wanted to wait till i knew this was the line i was going to catch on before i committed to putting my bait there.  A few bites and fish down the same line i was sure there were fish to be had so in went a few balls of ground bait and one down the far bank and the reason for this is i knew if as the evening came the shadow of a far bank tree would be where i would find the fish when bites died down middle, i also fed another swim hoping to attract in some of the big perch i  had seen caught on past trips.

After a few trots down i hit my first skimmer, would i have caught this had i not fed ground bait? we will never know but that's the magic of fishing is it not.  The fishing at this point was steady and i was getting a fish or a bite each trot down with small skimmers and roach making up the lions share of the fish.  It was very noticeable during this session that allot more of my bites where over the baited area than when i had been feeding hemp on other sessions.  As the session developed i started to get a few more variety showing in the swim with a lovely marked perch shown below, i did wonder if he rubbed shoulders with his older, larger relatives.

The session was going fantastic and even better was the lovely cloudy cover we had over head which kept the bright sunlight restrained to the odd brief spell.  The river and the issues we face with bites was summed up in the next two fish, one trot down i caught a nice roach and all was well but the very next i couldn't buy a bite and after 10-20 bite less trots i struck at a dip in the float to be met with a tiny gudgeon and the swim was like it was devoid of any fish.

With the swim all quiet i decided to keep feeding the swim and take a walk to see how my uncle was getting on.  He was in a swim around 10ft deep and was struggling with getting his bait down on the bottom but had just managed to alter bis depth bit by bit till he started to hit some fish with some regularity and they were certainly better quality roach than i was hitting down stream.  I returned to my swim and fed two more balls of ground bait and three over the far bank line to prime it for what i was sure would be my line in the coming hour. At this point i kept feeding but my attention turned to my perch spot, dropping a bait in i knew conditions were bang on for a perch, overcast and a tinge of colour in the water.

Dropping in a bait i could not have expected a better result as the float settled in the swim before two violent bobs on the float before it slowly slid away into the depths, striking i hit solid as the road hooped over and the drag began to give line as the fish head down and hugging the bottom made a hard run for freedom.  Trotting the swim all afternoon i had a fair idea of the location of one or two snags and boy did this fish know about them as i counted as he made runs for each one.  I knew this pressure was putting great strain on the hook length and i also knew from experience that once i got this fish to the top it would almost certainly dive again so i broke a cardinal rule of mine ad grabbed the landing net and had it prepared well in advance of the fish being ready.

The thudding of the tail let me know i was into either a Perch or an Eel but i knew deep down i was into a nice perch.  The fish began to tire a little and as i lifted it up through the water layers i began to see my weights and i knew the fish was not far below and in that moment up came a colossal perch, it was huge!  I was so taken back by the depth of the fish i got lost in the moment and i admit i  was shaking as the fish turned and dived for the bottom.  At this point i was in that horrible situation that all anglers hate being when you know the enormity of what you are attached too, my personal best at this point was a 2lb 5oz perch from the River Dee and was certainly bigger, i began again to make some line and up again she came and this time i took my chance and scooped her up, i always remember pulling that landing net back and holding the net between my legs to unhook her with those dark green flanks, perfect dorsal fin erect in the net and jet black back and mouth being the complete opposite to her white plump bell, she was as deep as my stretched hand and long to boot, she was perfect.

I dropped her and the landing net into to top of my keep net for her to rest while i got myself and the weighing gear together, shaking i grabbed my carrier bag and zero'd the scales, in she went and the scales settled on exactly 3lb, i lifter her again to check and take a picture and a new personal best perch was confirmed, a quick call to my uncle and she was rested till he came along to verify and take some pictures what a special moment.

The fish in the keep net as not to scare the swim as i fancied it for another fish i set about feeding the trotting line as it had been severely neglected over the past 10 minutes so in went some ground bait and i began to drip feed the maggots.  I don't know what prompted me to not start trotting my normal lines and go for another perch but i did and jesus was it a good decision as after letting the float settle and waiting around 1 or 2 minutes maximum the float shook again violently and again slowly slid away a firm strike and i was again connected with another perch that again was street wise to the snags in the area but i must admit at this point i was still floating on air from the previous capture and much of this fight is a blur to me as i can remember thinking is take your chance with this one and soon as it comes up nail it and as soon as that fish hit the surface she was scooped up in a erratic crazy stab that some how bagged the fish on the downward dive.  Needless to say netting it early had bad results in the landing net as it went ballistic but thankfully i had my unhooking mat and weighing gear still handy from the past capture so it was a smooth procedure to weigh the fish that went 2lb 2oz and take a quick mat picture before resting her in the landing net before releasing her into the keep net.

The fish rested and released i had to chance my arm again, who wouldn't? It was very quiet for the next 15 minutes and while i waited i kept feeding the trotting line and eventually moved back over to it.  The swim down the middle saw me put a few skimmers and roach but they were few and far between and cloud cover had broken and the sun was shining right down on the swim so i knew it was time to move over to the far line.  My experience of the swim taught me that the far line shallows slightly as you do down so i took on board what my uncle had taught me the last few weeks and altered my shotting pattern accordingly to allow my bait to trundle along without getting the float dragging under.  The first run down the float buried over the ground bait and a small roach was the reward.

Over the next hour or so i caught these roach solidly as time and time again these roach came to a single white maggot and a sprinkling fed upstream, this with a nugget of ground bait every few fish kept them coming and i knew if i kept these fish coming i would be in with a chance of catching over 20lb of fish. The fishing over the last few hours of the session was exceptional and stick float fishing at tits best as bites kept coming and coming and it was obvious there was some head of roach in front of me.  The float rarely went more than 10 yards down the river before i had a bite and it was one of those great sessions where you know when you are going to get a bite and can anticipate the bite, great stuff.

During one of the trots down i did not get a bite for one reason or another and the float continued to trundle another 10 yards down stream and i was just about to bring it back in when a huge lift bite saw me striking and hitting i initially thought i had hit a snag but then it started thudding really violently, it felt enormous but then all resistance went for a second and i made line before it stopped again and this battle was all along the bottom till right under my rod tip the fish surfaced........and eel! Lovely to see and to say my luck was in was an understatement as i can count on one hand the amount of times i have caught an eel, unhooked it and still had a fish able hook length after it.

I had in the back of my head that i wanted another crack on the perch before it got too dark and i was fully aware that with the weather moving in this was not going to be one of those ling evenings we have experienced of late where it is light till gone 10am so even though i was catching on the roach line i just had to have another go for mr perch.  I went in over the perch line and instantly getting signs of fish in the swim and in a bite that mirrored the previous two so i knew it was a perch and out of all three this one had certainly had its porridge oats as it easily out powered the first fish and my original plan was still in my mind of an early netting but the reality was far different as this fish went upstream and only heft side strain and pressure where i was certain i was going to lose the fish was applied and thankfully she saw my side of the argument, eventually.

The fish again being a perch knew the places i did not want it to get too as it gave me another tour of the snags, not getting in them but going hard for them and the fish breaking the surface i knew it was up there with the first as again it looked very big!  Sliding the net under the fish and into my lap i looked down and shook my head, what a session!!

On the scales she went 2lb12oz and again it was a case of a quick weigh and a photo on the mat before resting and releasing into the keep net and i have to say the perch sat on the bottom of the keep net as every roach was up in the next staying well clear of the three 2lb plus perch below.  There was not long left of the session at this point and i continued to pick up roach right till the last.

Both myself and uncle had caught well with my uncle having a note able better stamp of roach in his net.  The Final nets gave us plenty to think about around times of day and the use of ground bait.

my net

uncle net

After letting the silvers go i got a few pictures of the perch together and i have to say i wish i had packed in earlier as the light was bad at this point but as always i will have the memories of the session as well as the photos.

Just before releasing the fish to terrorise the roach shoals i took one last look at them and after my uncle had gone to pack up i sat for a moment alone on my basket and just took it all in, you have too, you realise that sessions like that are few and far between and moments like this you have to savour the moment and i took a second to take it all in, happy memories.

Till next week i wish you all tight lines


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pole Fishing the River Weaver: Bream Provide Something to build on....

A warm welcome to this mid week update to the blog, i hope i find you all full of the joys of summer basking in the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing and making the most of the rivers that although could do with some rain are in a much better state that they were last year when they were flooded, keep your rain dances to yourselves as you may get more than you care for :-).

With a week of work it was always going to be too much to cram into one blog update so again its a case of three blogs going live in a week on the blog.  I have put some thought into maybe saving some of these extra blogs up for publishing later on in year when the new baby arrives and i find time to go fishing hard to come by but i feel posting them now i am more able to put across how the session went and the emotions i went though in the session when it is fresh in my mind, with that its onto the update.

Tuesday 15th July - Big Fish or Bust on The Dane

With the lost big fish on Saturday still very much in our thoughts we decided to make another to the area we had found with the intention to go all out for big fish.  My tactic for the day was to go all out with bigger baits so the night before i added some sweetcorn to my hemp and also put some spice mix on some cubes of luncheon meat, my hope that by morning it would all amalgamate together and let the flavours mix to give the most attraction possible. I also had what maggots where left from the session on Saturday as a back up plan.

My set up for the session was my 1.7lb test curve Shimano barbel purist rod loaded with 7lb main line and a size 8 hook on the end of a long ESP striptease hook length with the last few inches of the braid stripped back hoping for it to move naturally in the flow.  That was my plan and it has worked for me many times on other stretches of the dane for chub so i have to say i was confident.

Arriving in the first swim i was confident as i had seen a a few fish on the previous trip and been snapped by a nice fish so i had a fair idea of where i wanted to feed the swim and with an overcast morning forecast i had everything in my favour.   I started off by introducing a bed of the corn and hemp and broke the meat down into smaller pieces and fed that gradually through the morning.  The first swim was really shallow down to a deep hole so my plan was to get them up in the swim where i has seen them the previous session but for the next few hours i sat looking at a stationary tip and when the cloud broke and the light began to break through the trees i could see quite clearly a few speckles of corn on the bottom and the odd cube of meat and no sign of any fish.

It is quite easy to sit in a swim with dark banks waiting like a heron for that tap on the line when you cant see the bottom and your hook bait but when you can quite clearly so nothing in your swim its very hard to stay motivated to stick in that swim so after another hour i decided to go for a wander and was amazed to find a great swim with over hanging far bank cover that just had to hold a fish or two.

Now i get a lot of questions from friends and family on what i get from going fishing, you know just to throw them back, well this video sums up a bit of why i go fishing as sat at the bottom of a few farmers fields with only the noise of the birds and the bees busily going about their business, there is a saying that the silence was deafening well after this video it went silent, no noise of cars, people shouting or anything and it got me thinking just how many people spend their whole lives rushing from here to there whether in work or during their free time and just dont take a second the experience the beauty of pure silence, fantastic.

The swim sadly did not produce and with the sun bright in the sky i knew i could count on catching something nice from a really fast flowing boiling shallow piece of the river further down stream.  The local area had produced some nice trout and grayling on other trips so i was confident of snaring a game fish or two.  With only a few minutes of the session left it was going to be a case of last chance saloon to end on a fish so i was piling the maggots in and hoping to prey on the greedy nature of the grayling or trout.

The swim primed for a few minutes it was time for a trot down and instantly the float shot under in the fast flow as the weights caught on the rocks.  A few more trots down saw me getting the knack of holding the bait back and straight away the float buried and i was into a fish, its species given away by a rainbow of colour breaking the surface as its dorsal fin protruded from the shallows.   The fish was all you can expect from a game fish, holding in the fast water and shaped by nature to make the most of the current with as little effort exerted as possible, great fight, a fight that was only beaten by the superb colours once it was in the net and on the bank, is there a more beautifully marked fish?

River Weaver Pole Fishing: Good Solid Session to Build on

The next time i got out on the bank was on the Friday and it was for a session on the River Weaver that i had arranged many moons ago with Gary, a local lad to myself who some of you will remember was a great help over the winter with my still water piking and it was a session i have been looking forward too for some time.

Hulses Island was out chosen destination and as we met up in the carp park the rain was already coming down quite heavily but there was no hesitation in unloading the gear and getting on the bank.  We both set up in an area that looked to have a bit of flow from the near by locks with the hope the oxygenated water would have brought fish to this area after weeks of bright sunshine.

After weeks fishing my stick float it felt a little weird unpacking my pole from my holdall but this is no river dane or river dee and i knew from the outset that it would be a day of exploration and discovery where i would have to overcome many obstacles, live with getting my tactics wrong and strive to work through them to catch some fish.  I am an angler that does set some casual goals in my fishing, for example my hope is to catch over 20lb from the dane this season and on this session it was no different and i set myself a target of just getting my feed right and catching a few fish steadily through morning to give myself something to build on in later sessions.

My bait for the session was 2 pints of maggot, 1 pint of hemp mixed with corn and a kg of ground bait bulked out with brown crumb.  The night before the session i set about putting together a rig  and expecting some deep river i set it up the length of my top 4 kits which i thought would be more than i needed, how wrong i was.   I plumber the depth and just adding two sections of pole to the number four section saw me being unable to find bottom so i was dealing with serious depth of water, a depth that would have scared me a few years ago but years fishing 10ft to 15ft deep on the river dee has seen me more comfortable with this depth.

Knowing I had more than enough water to catch any fish that swims i set about plumbing up at the end of the number four section, basically under my feet.  There are a few benefits to this as you can really accurately feed your swim which i fed both loosely with maggot and also periodically fed the swim with maggot, hemp and ground bait via a bait dropper, this was so i was certain i had some bait on the bottom.   The early flow from the locks that i had seen early on had disappeared with the closing of the lock gate so there was a very very slow right to left movement, hard to notice.

My first put in saw a small perch come instantly to the net, always nice to get a fish straight away and some small roach followed him into the keep net.  It was quite steady fishing from the off with signs of fish and bites coming at a nice pace and it was only around 30 Min's into the session when i lifted into something that felt a lot better and was keeping deep and it did leave me at first wondering what it was but soon the heavy pull of the fish was replaced with the dull long head pulls of a bream and i was really pleased to slip the landing net under a nice bream.

After returning that fish i was really confident as in my mind there was no way a fish like that was alone and i was over the moon also that my confidence to fish under my feet had worked quite well so early on and i could not wait to get the float back in the water.  The next put in the float slowly moved down the swim and slid under only for me to find a really solid snag that cost me my hook length.  My hands were shaking trying to make up another rig as i knew there was a good chance i had some nice fish in the swim, i would later catch this snag again and managed to come up  with a fresh water mussel so it was clear fishing on bottom was going to be a problem, but in my mind that was where the bream where so i carried on.

The next bream i struck into was the best fish of the day and boy was i made up with its capture, a proper bronze bream and although not massive in the bream world at 3lb10oz it was great fun playing it on the pole and i can only image how much fun it would be catching these fish on the stick when the river had some flow to it.  Over the next hour or so i caught two more bream as well as some smaller skimmers, small roach and gudgeon.

After that bites where really finicky with flurries of two of three fish being separated by sometimes quite long lulls and it was noticeable that bites where a lot more confident when there was a bit of flow generated by the locks being opened.  It was also great to be visited by two EA officers although the sad sight that they now look more like police officers with their batons showing the sign of the times and the type of people they are finding on the banks, very sad indeed.    I continued to fish on till around 2.30-3pm and ended the session with a total of 10lb of fish with most of that being bream and hard worked for silvers.

final net pic


All in all i achieved what i wanted from the session in that i put together a nice net of fish and also managed to get some of the better bream in the bank.  This session really gave me a great deal of confidence to tackle this venue again.  I again have to thank Gary for a fantastic days fishing, a top quality angler and great to wet a line with, cheers mate.

Till next time its tight lines


Sunday, 20 July 2014

River Dane Fishing: No Work and All Play And a FREE Days Fishing!!

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  I start this weeks update off with the news of a fantastic incentive being offered by the Environment Agency to support and promote National Fishing Month.  For those not aware National Fishing Month runs from the 18th July to the 31st August and to celebrate this the Environment Agency are running an offer for any angler to take a friend or family member with them for one days fishing between the 18th July and 27th July.  You can cut out the voucher that will be in all the angling press this week or you can go to this link and download a voucher

I think it is great to see the Environment agency supporting this incentive to get not only try and get children into angling but also offer an opportunity for adults to get "hooked" on our fantastic sport and who knows just how many new anglers there will be to our sport after this incentive, great stuff and fantastic to see.

As i mentioned in last weeks update i have been off work for the last week and i have to say apart from the fishing trips you will read about later on i have loved getting out and spending time with the family.  The first stop for us was to Alton Towers to take our little girl to CBeebies Land.  I have to say i was really impressed with it and she loved it, highly recommended.  In the middle of Alton Towers is a huge lake and it straight away had my angling senses buzzing so whilst eating my sandwiches i decided to see what lived in such a lovely lake and it didn't take long for my offerings of pieces of salmon butties to attract interest from some really nice looking and hungry carp.  My missus comments of "can we not take you anywhere without you finding fish!!" drew a laugh from myself, she knows me too well and i think she was on to me as soon as i wandered down to the water. 

Regular reader of the blog will also remember a scathing review i gave to the Blue Planet Aquarium on a recent blog where i was really disappointed by their lack of thought in putting games and rides in every room you go into which i feel really distracts children away from the main thing they have come to see, the fish.  There was a sea life centre at Alton Towers and seeing my little girls face in the video below as she is taken back by the sheer number of fish and amazed by them really goes to prove my point and how the reactions of a child are different when the flashing lights of the ride in the corner are not there to take away from the experience. 

During the week there were also many visits to the local park and a few of the followers on Facebook may remember me posting a picture a few weeks ago of a pair of swans on a nest, well these swans have done a sterling job and now have a healthy family of cygnets with them as well now and it was great to catch up with these on a recent visit back to this town park lake a few days ago. 

 Nature is a huge part of my life and respecting it and appreciating all the wildlife around us is something i hope to pass onto my little girl as she grows up to hopefully enjoy and appreciate the wildlife that is all around us and it really is everywhere and there are some really great sights to be seen and it can be as easy as getting in your car around evening time and going for a drive down some of the quieter areas of town that have overgrown banks for cover, you will certainly have a chance of seeing some rabbits, foxes and if you are lucky like i was on a trip this week a family of pheasants wandering the margins of some thick scrub land.

Before we get on to this weeks fishing i also spent some time on Sunday writing the blog update and also watching some of the International Fishomania and i have to say what a fantastic show it was as the English pair or Will Raison and Des Ship really put on a master class of match fishing and how to really put together an big weight of fish by catching everything that swims.  It also shocked me to see that these anglers and the ladies team were having to sell raffle tickets and put the prize money they earn back into the pot to fund them going out to the World Championships to defend their titles as World Champions.  When you think at the millions of pounds wasted every two years for our disgrace of a football team to go and humiliate our nation in World Cups and European championships when we have THE WORLD CHAMPIONS of the most participated sport in this country then for me its a disgrace they should be held aloft and celebrated for their amazing accomplishments. 

On to this weeks fishing:

Thursday 10th July:  Striking for Stripeys on the River Dane

As many of you will know last Thursday there was a national strike for all Civil Servants and such is my job i am not allowed to go into detail on my views of the right and wrongs of this on the Internet but I am a person that if i believe in something i think i should show my support and as such Thursday i decided to join the strike action.  My work place is in such a location that it does not allow an official picket line so with no official line to attend i turned to a different type of line and i was definitely planning on doing some striking.

The swim i chose was a swim i had fished for a few hours a week or so ago  and done quite well in.  The swim stands in the shadow of a large tree which offers the angler a line to run the float down all day out of the sun light which i feel is a big factor on this river.   It is a swim that has done bites through most of the day on past visits and does not seem to die like the other ones we have fished.

The set up does vary for this swim to account for the over head trees so the 17ft rod was safely tucked away in my holdall and i chose my really under used 13ft Korum float rod, a rod i rarely use now as the extra length of the 17ft and the control it gives you always  sees me fishing this rod if the swim allows, regardless of depth or width of river.

Setting up my basket i positioned it as such so that i would see the float in the shadow of the tree where i expected to get my bites and this is a part of river fishing i feel people go wrong before they have even started and is a lesson i have learned the hard way, setting up so your comfy is not the best way.  I now sit on my basket before even setting up and try to imagine where i am expecting to get bites and try my best to set up so i am trotting down over water where i can clearly see my bites when the float is dotted down to a mere dimple.

The peg has been good to us recently for some roach and small chublet nets so it was no surprise that the first trot down brought a small roach.  The slack on the inside i feel has a lot to do with this and it is very noticeable on the rivers that no matter how slow the flow is roach will always sit in the slack as opposed to the dace and chublets that you seem to get in the main flow most of the time.

The small roach and dace come steady through the first few hours and it was great to see a few dace showing up as well as the odd skimmer which offer some variety in a days sport on the river.  As the session moved on the fish naturally backed off towards the far bank and it was during this time i started to struggle with line control and hitting the bites as the pick up of the line to the float was poor due to the 13ft rod.  I tried my best to try and improve what control i could get on the float by upping the weight of the float from a 6 number 4 to a 3 gram bolo and it worked to a certain extent.

The swim on our previous visit had seen my uncle hounded by a jack pike in his swim and going into the last hour i noticed the fish in my keep net going mad and this coupled with the swim dying i knew it was time for a change.  If you ever see this activity in your net on the river and you do not have a big fish like a perch or a bream in your keep net to disturb the silvers in there then chances are you have some sort of predator about.

I had been waiting for these signs and i had no intention of trying to catch mr pike as i was hoping mr perch was about and i had fed a line in a slack hoping for a perch later on in the day.  With the swim dead a few pound of silvers in the onion sack i moved over to the other line.  Dropping a bait in over the spot it did not take long for the float to slide lazily away, striking into the fish i could feel the pounding and direct downwards fight of the fish letting me know i had a decent perch on the other end.  At this moment you are just hoping the knots and hook hold is good and me personally am always looking for an early opportunity to net the fish.

After a short fish i saw the dark green and black flanks of a perch break to surface and i took my chance and scooped the fish into the net and not a second too quick as the hook came out in the net.  The fish in the net i knew it was a nice perch but not in the same league as last weeks 2lb fish.  On the scales he went 1lb 12oz and with my uncle not around for pictures it was just a simple hand shot of the fish.

It was just about time to call it a day after this fish and from four hours fishing i had put together a combined net of silvers and the perch of 9lb 6oz, not a bad result at all and i left refreshed for the next days trip to alton towers refreshed and buzzing from another nice perch capture.

Saturday 12th July - River Dane -Exploration Time. 

The exploration the previous week where we caught such a wide variety of species saw us both setting of the the river on Saturday with a spring in our steps.  The exploration of  a new stretch or even a completely new river is a big reason why i go fishing, i love the unknown of it and this is probably the same reason that fishing for carp caught so many times they have their own names does not appeal to me so much.  The previous week we had caught Roach, perch, dace, chublets, grayling, minnow, gudgeon and trout so we knew that all the species we had found else where on the river where also present up here and its our hope to find an area where there are good numbers of silvers but also the better chub.  It may be that such an area does not exist but till you have put the hours in and that involves walking field after field knocking down thick walls of Himalayan balsam and getting stung countless time by nettles creating and fishing new swims, not everyone idea of fun but we love it!

As always it was an early start....

In the week leading up the the session we had discussed an area we wanted to target so i had spent a few hours on Google Earth trying to find areas that looked to not only have the depth but the cover for the better chub this is so valuable when searching and creating new swims as believe me from experience its no fun knocking a path to the river bank through thick vegetation to find a stretch of river a foot deep and no good for running a stick through.

I do not normally post my swim on the blog, i put in too much effort for others just to read the blog to find some easy and prepared fishing but i make an exception with this one as if people who are just reading my blog for a free ride to good fishing find this swim they will have done a fair amount of work. The swim had a nice gentle pace to it and setting up i was confident of drawing a few fish from one or two snags further down stream and on the far bank.

The set up was the same as the trip above apart from i swapped my 13ft korum rod for my 17ft Preston carbon active float rod, again for control.  What happened from their on in left me more frustrated that happy with the session and followers on Facebook may remember me posting up how frustrated this river was leaving me.

Basically we have been finding that we are getting bites solid for a good hour or so of the session and then its like a light switch comes on and that is it done the swim dies completely and you can not buy a bite.  sussing this and how to keep the bites coming is the key to unlocking this rivers full potential.  This session started with a bite a chuck, all chublets and all ravenous for the bait with fish coming one after the other.

Then after around a hour or so i went through with out a bite and then again and again.  It was over 2 hours of feeding the swim and trotting through, making slight changes to depth and bait,  before the float zoomed under over my hemp and i struck into what i thought was a snag until in one fast run the fish zoomed from under my feet into a far bank snag, so fast my drag had no chance of keeping up and i was left with no option but to apply side strain to stop it getting to the snag but it was futile as my hook length went, gutted but happy at the same time as it shown better fish where in the area.

It was a good hour or so later i connected with another fish that felt a bit better in the chub shown above but it was not in the league of the previous lost fish and by this point i was struggling with my concentration after going through the swim so many times without a bite.  I had a few trips to my uncle who was trotting some shallow water down to a deeper hole and he had put together a nice net of fish and had some better chub and had also been seen off by one or two better fish but the swim being so snag ridden he had it all one getting a decent chub out with big snags to his inside and far bank and also running down to a deep hole level with a sub merged tree.

my net

uncles net

We left feeling like we had found what we were looking for but needed to work a bit on our swim selection to give us a chance of drawing the fish and also getting them out, it also got us thinking about another trip on heavier gear just for the better fish.

Arriving home i began to unload the car and turning round i was met with the sight below of my little girl sat on my fishing basket.  I cant help but feel our first trip to the bank is nearly upon us as i think even now she would be able to hold a pole but i want to wait till she knows fully what she is doing so she experiences the full magic of seeing that float go under and a little billy perch being on the other end :-).

There have been at least tow more trips out this past week so look out for a midweek update.

till next time tight lines


Sunday, 13 July 2014

River Dane Fishing: Perch Heaven and Exploration

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  The past few weeks i have managed to get out on the bank on a number of occasions during the week and as such i have decided to break the sessions down into a midweek blog update, as such it has meant that the main weekly blog update for that week has not been live on the front page of the blog for long at all.   I thought it might be worth including a few links to the
past few updates since the season has started.

Chub Fishing on the River Tame:
Session to Forget on Dane and how i prepare Hemp:
Busted by the coppers on the bank:

As of writing this introduction section of this blog I am just about to start a week and a half break from work and at the moment the only plan i have is to get out on the Dane on Thursday and of course our Saturday stint where i think we have got plans to get our discovering boots on to hike a few farmers fields discovering those never fished before swims hidden behind the walls of Balsam that suffocate the river further upstream.  After Saturday I have no idea what I am doing fishing wise, a bit of me wants to put some hours in on the carp quest but I am a running water man at heart and the lure of those rivers pulls hard for me when setting off in the car but its something i need to get my head back on track with so i may find my way out for a few evenings for the carp and maybe a sneak trip to the Tame, either way its going to be an exciting week to be off work and on the bank.  Born to fish Forced to Work.

This weekend is always a weekend i look forward to so much and that is because it is the Fishomania final.  As regular readers will know Saturdays are my normal fishing day so i will be setting a recording on Sky Plus for the match on Saturday but it is the Sunday International match i look forward too more and i guess that is down to the fact it is more similar to to the fishing I do in the way they target all species and the emphasis is not so much on carp catching methods and you get to see baits like worm and caster used.

Fishomania has been a great success and we can only hope that one day the Riverfest gains as much popularity that it also gets a televised final on Sky although the logistics of filming such an event along a long stretch of river bank may a problem.  The hope that this will on day feature may not be far off being a reality though in future years given the fact that every match in this years competition has sold out and the competition is attracting some big sponsors this year.

Away from the actual fishing i have this week been contacted by a company with a view of me writing a review of their product on my blog.  As i have said before on the blog i get many of these emails asking me to review all types of products and it may seem silly to stare a gift horse in the mouth but if i can not relate the product back to my fishing in some way then i politely decline, in past years there has been some "out there" ones like Hammocks and a full head to toe mozzy clothing!  As said may seem mad to  turn it down but it is what it is and if i can not find a use for it and relate it back to my fishing in some way then how can i give it a true review.

Speaking of past reviews i to this day still use most of the products i have done reviews for on the blog.  The lamp get used every week when walking the bank in the dark and to thread my line through the rod rings in the dark and the grill to go get used on the few sessions where you can get close to the car to name a few.

Before we get onto this weeks fishing I thought i would just go into where i feel we are up to this year with the river fishing and write up a bit of an update.  When i set out my plans for the season it was aimed predominantly around discovering what the river Dane has to offer and not just in the popular well fished areas.  I feel in the past few weeks we  learnt a lot about the lower reaches of the Dane in that it offers us a steady 10lb net of fish at least on most sessions when the river is in low summer conditions and looking back to the winter sessions it seems the chub stick around but in winter the better fish seem to shoal up as you would expect in certain areas of the river.

The steady nets available here and the good fishing we have found i must admit has halted our exploration upstream and this has been remedied a little in this update but in all honesty i had in my mind that we would have began moving a little earlier but it is so hard to branch out to other spots when you have such steady fishing with easy access already there and as such hacking your way through brambles upstream to fish the same river makes you think twice.  Then there is the River Dee, a river both me and my uncle love to fish but a river that seems to have fallen by the wayside of late but i am sure that will all change come winter and then there is the River Weaver that i planned to fish and i am pleased to say that i have a session planned on the Weaver next Friday so that will feature as a midweek blog during the following week as it will be too late for that nights blog so keep an eye out for that.

on to this weeks fishing.

River Dane Fishing: Perch Heaven and Exploration 

The idea this weekend was to take advantage of the dry conditions and head for a section of the River Dee that fishes really well for dace at this time of year if the river is at the right level so all day Friday whilst i was in work i had in my head we would be heading off to my beloved River Dee the next day.  All the bait bought as i headed home from work i had a quick glance at my phone and it showed that the next day we were in for some rain, not a problem for us as we go out all weathers, it was the predicted high winds that drew our attention as the venue on the dee is very open and does involve you to fish right down the middle of the river so these high winds would make line control and presentation of the bait difficult.  With this in mind we went back to the drawing board and looked through the venues we had at our disposal and we decided to scrap the idea of fishing the river Dee and decided on a early start on the River Dane at a very sheltered spot.

Waking in morning to the sound of rain tapping against the window i set about my normal morning routine, cup of coffee, round of toast, bait out of fridge and into my basket and all set to load the car.  The time come to load the car and in the pitch black and with the rain bettering down i loaded the car as one or two of the younger neighbours stumbled home from a drunken night out, been there done that and i was glad i was going fishing although i did wonder just how many anglers had set their alarms, woken up and saw the rain and turned back over.  You think it does not happen but when you see how quiet the banks are on these days it makes you realise it does effect a lot of peoples decisions to go fishing although this nature is not confined to angling as dog walkers, bikers and ever boats on the local cuts numbers are drastically reduced, at least until mr sunshine comes back out. Heading out along the roads with the window wipers doing double time we chatted about the session ahead and what we expected.  The river Dane is a river that shows the effects of rainfall quite quickly and even after a good month of hardly any rain we knew she would be carrying a little bit of water and we thought maybe a bit of colour too.

Walking the banks in the early morning light with the rain coming down we quickly scouted out two pegs and set about getting out gear set up, now i did say before fishing in the rain does not bother me but i must admit setting up in the stuff does as everything it soaking we through before you start so priority one for me was to get my basket down and the brolly set up over it and as we had chosen our venue wisely there was no wind so the risk of my box getting blown in was eliminated totally.  Putting the landing net in the margin i noticed the water clarity was quite good and i could see quite a bit of the keep net in the water even in the dim light.

Tackle and Bait

Rod: 17ft Preston Carbon-active Float rod  Line: 5lb Drennan Float Fish 2.2oz Bayer Perlon (hooklength)
Float: Dave Harrell 8 number 4  Hook: Size 20 Kamasan Animal
Bait - 2 Pints of white maggot 1 pint of hemp

We had timed our arrival well as no sooner had I set up it was light enough to run a flat through and as normal with this venue the fish had come straight onto the feed i had put in while setting up and the very first run down the fish where there.  I always take a photo of the first fish of the day and in this case it was a small roach.  The rain was still coming down at this point but with fish coming quite regular and my brolly up i was as happy as a pig in muck.  The great variety of this river was shown in the first three fish of the day which were a roach, dace and a chublet and this variety is what draws me to this river, not knowing what the next fish is or what is in the river that day just makes the session for me.

Having fished this river since the season has opened we have began to get a feel for how she fishes and it has been very noticeable that the swim starts with smaller fish and builds in both number of fish and the odd better fish start to show and it is normally around a hour or so into the session.  It has also been a huge feature that the swims build and build and then completely die so although i was catching very well i knew to make the best of it as it would almost certainly not last.

After around a hour and a half the better fish had started to show on my peg in the form or a few nice skimmers and perch.  It is around this time that my uncle normally visits my peg or vice versa to see how the other is fairing and when my uncle visited he brought the news he was having a session similar to mine the previous week where nothing had gone right to the point he had not even cast in yet with a mixture of getting caught on the trees and stuck on bottom first cast accounting for two hook lengths, needless to say he was far from happy and i would have been exactly the same, well i was the previous week so i knew how he felt.  A quick brew and he was back on his way to his peg and i got back to my peg and set about trying to get as many fish together in the early bumper period as possible.

The session moving along nicely i was catching some nice roach and even had one or two better chublets coming on my trots down the swim.  It was great to also see some nice perch showing if the float dropped into a slack on the far side of the swim and although we have caught perch on here before these where of a better standard.

Another reoccurring feature of our trips so far on the River Dane has been the appearance of some really nice perch both harassing small fish as they come in and also stalking the fish in our keep nets.  I knew they were ever present on the peg in was on so i had set out with a game plan and ever since setting up i had been feeding a margin line with bait and around two hours into the session i saw the first signs of predators in the area with all the silver fish coming up in my keep net and i was sure i saw the flash of a perch following my feed down.  The swim in front of me was starting to die off a little with fish coming in dribs and drabs and having to be worked for so it all pointed to it being time to try for the perch.

In i went with my bait and no sooner had the float settled was it sliding under and i struck into a fish that left no doubts to its identity as it went straight for the margins and feeling the pounding of its tail down the rod blank i knew it was a perch.  When the fish surfaced i was taken back as to the size of the perch it was massive and with that i started praying for it not to come off and playing the fish with a lose drag i managed to get it to the top only for it to dive time and time again and with every dive my heart rate increased till eventually i managed to slide my net under its crocodile skin flanks.

On the unhooking matt it looked huge and i thought it was for sure a new personal best but on the scales she went exactly 2lb and her stomach felt quite hollow.  I was in no way upset i was over the moon in fact and this fish was the fish of the season so far and could quite possibly be the fish of the season.

over the moon!!

As i was landing this fish my uncle appeared at the back of my peg and after taking some pictures and returning the perch back we got chatting and my after my uncles late start the fish had been poor and i concurred that the fishing down the swim had got worse over time so we decided to photograph my net and go and spend a few hours discovering an area we had scouted out upstream.

The Discovering Continues Upstream, 

Heading of upstream to discover what the fishing was like on an area we had scouted out a few weeks back filled us both with excitement and although we only had around 3 hours of fishing on the new stretch we knew it would give us a good idea of the potential of the area.  What would we find?  What species were present? and would we find the location of the better chub that we know must be in this river?

My uncle set up in a swim that had a deep run on its inside that led down to some really fast water and it was at this really fast water i set up in a swim.  This was not the plan but the upside of setting up in these swims would ultimately give us a chance to see what fish species are up here as you would think we would encounter fish that live in slow glides as well as the fast runs.

The great news is that although we did not break any records with the weight if our nets what we did catch gave us great confidence.  We both had a good few silver fish in roach, dace and even a perch while we both caught some nice grayling one of two i caught is shown below and was two fish of a 13 fish haul of grayling i caught and returned.

 We both caught chublets and my uncle also had a better stamp of chub than we had been catching down stream which really pleased us both.  The highlight of the short session for me was two brown trout i caught which both put up an epic fight in the fast water.

The two final nets although not going to set the world alight weight wise will give us the push to search out other areas around here and let us know that dedicating a full day to this area will be worthwhile.

till next time its tight lines from me,