Thursday, 28 August 2014

Chub Session To Remember and My Simple Feeder Set Up

A warm welcome to this midweek blog update i hope i find you all well and you nets wet.  Well the session below happened last Wednesday and ever since that session I have been dying to write the blog update for it, it really was one of those sessions where everything came right with the conditions and a plan paying dividends so lets get on with the fishing.

Chub Session To Remember and My Simple Feeder Set Up
The Rain had battered down quite heavily at times during Tuesday morning and into the afternoon and gazing out of the windows in work i knew that our trip the following evening to the tiny River Bollin was in serious jeopardy given the fact its quite a small river and from what we have witnessed on previous visits, a river where even local showers can see a rise in river levels.

Thankfully the rain stopped during the afternoon on the Tuesday and for once the weatherman was right as only a few small showers arrived later that day and into Wednesday, certainly not enough to make a difference as it barely wet the tarmac on our street.   Going into work on Wednesday i knew in only had to suffer in work till 3pm before i was homeward bound to the River and the freedom it offers, it certainly makes work go faster knowing you will be on the banks in a few hours.

We have done a few trips now to the Private Stretch of the River Bollin we have been allowed to fish and during these trips we have found pockets of dace and chub all along its length and for such a small river i feel we had done really well catching both the numbers and quality of fish we have been catching but there is one swim that stands out.  The swim i mention is a lot deeper than the surrounding areas and has plenty of cover for the fish so it offers all day round sport but more importantly both myself and my uncle have had 3 chub at least during our time visiting this swim and on the last occasion i dropped in for the last hour and had three chub to add to the 3 my uncle had caught fishing it during the morning so my plan was to go all out in the deeper part of the swim with a hope of catching a decent haul of chub in the one visit.

There was one piece of tackle i loaded into the car that will come as a shock to regular readers as it is an item of tackle not really featured on my blog and that is the Feeder Rod.  Before i was taught how to fish a stick the feeder was the only way i really fished a river so i am quite a confident and competent feeder angler but have just fallen away from it with the thrill of seeing a float going under doing it for me.

My Setup For the Session Ahead:

Float Set up:
Rod: 13ft Korum Kinetics Float rod
Reel- Shimano loaded with 4lb line
Float: 4 number 4 Wire Stem Stick Float
Hooklength: 2lb 1oz Bayer Perlon To size 18 Kamasan Animal Hook.
Feeder Set Up
Rod: 12ft Puddle Chucker With 1.5oz Tip
Reel: Shimano Baitrunner with 7lb line
Hooklength: 6lb Krystonite Fluorocarbon to size 16 Kamasan Animal Hook

In Fridays Blog i covered this weeks Pondip Coarse box and some of the tackle in those boxes are already being used in my angling such as the Krystonite Flurocarbon, Feeder and Float stops and although these items come in a box they get you thinking out side of that box as well with new ways of working and using items of tackle a different way than their intended use  Below is my Simple River Feeder  Set up.

Set up comfortably in the swim with my basket in the water allowing me to be able to dot my float right down i began feeding the slower inner line on the swim with hemp and maggot and also fed corn and maggot along the deeper line to fish a feeder later on.  As always on the river bites where instant on maggot from dace, minnows and gudgeon and in the first hour fishing i probably had around 3lb of fish in my keep net.  The second hour saw the big fish move in and the first was this lovely roach below, a perfect example of the species and a pleasure to catch from a river.  At 1lb 3oz it was certainly the fish of the session even with what was to come.

My heart thumping from the roach capture and my head racing at the thought of the possibility this specimen was not alone i began to run the float through again and right on the hemp the float buried, my hands shaking i struck and the best fish of the session was followed by the smallest in a dace who was dwarfed by the maggot it had eaten.  The next few 10 minutes the swim was thick with chub as in two casts i landed the two chub below and also lost one fish in a snag and had a hook pull at the net on another, crazy fishing and they were having it.

chub 1

chub 2

I never like losing fish even is it is only a size 18 hook and some thin line that a fish like a chub will have no problem in removing so i put the float rod down and grabbed the feeder and there and then made the decision i would stick on the feeder for the remainder of the session.

The small feeder loaded with hemp and maggot with maggot as a hook bait was cast into the deeper run and within seconds the tip wrapped round a unmissable bite for most but for me being so rusty on the feeder i managed to miss, i had not pricked the fish so i hoped they had not spooked.

Back in with the feeder and hand on rod i waited for the wrap round and sure enough within a few seconds i was bent into a hard fighting chub that knew exactly where the snag was the previous one had done me on but this time i knew in the 7lb line i had the power to hold and steer the fish away from the snags and into the middle and what a sight it was as through the dark water came a flank if bronze and big white clean lips and that memorable last dive for freedom as the drag gives way before teasing the fish back up to the surface to be netted.

chub 3

Over the next 30 mins to 1 hour i can only describe the fishing as dream fishing and certainly chub fishing like i have never experienced as this small river showed what potential it has as I landed 4 more chub and also missed quite a few bites.  I am sure the fact i was able to get the fish out of the deep flow and upstream was a factor in not really disrupting the swim.  Fantastic fishing and 3 hours fishing like i have never experienced.

chub 4

chub 5

chub 6

chub 7

The session nearly at and end as the light closed in i was very conscious of the time and getting some nice pictures for the blog and i was relieved to see my uncle appear packed up at the back of my swim.  He also had been busy with plenty of dace and also 7 chub himself.  As is the way though his phone camera had conked on him and being so far apart there was no way of him getting a message to me to come down to take a picture.

The silver fish released i kept the chub behind in the keep net to get a picture and thankfully they all played ball and in just a few seconds i had my pictures for the blog and the fish were released into their watery home.

Well that concludes this mid week blgo update i hope this again goes to prove the potential this water has and also a little insight into a part of my angling i don't do too often in feeder fishing.

Keep an eye out for the main update going live this weekend where i travel to the river dee and find the dace hungry.

Till next time

Tight lines


Sunday, 24 August 2014

River Bollin Discovery and Step up to the Plate WAA...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update I hope i find you well and your nets wet.  I thought i would get straight to the point this week and get the bad or should i say disappointing news off my chest straight off the bat and unfortunately as with most of the few and far between bad news stories on this blog it centres around Warrington Anglers.  I have done without the delights of the Warrignton Card for the best part or 2014 and i can't say i have particularly missed the litter and human feces strewn pegs that surround the pits and the carp filled puddles that they own that much but as winter approaches and the arrival of our little boy grows near you have to start thinking a little more local and incorporate shorter sessions and the miles of untouched canal with its pike fit the bill perfectly for me so rather than listen to the hordes of people on the public forums who claim you don't need a licence to fish the canal as you never see a bailiff i chose to purchase one and put it to one side for the months to come.

Anyhow licence in the bag i settled back into my Free and Northwich anglers card fishing and basically forgot about the warrington card altogether and lets face it as a river angler the numerous rivers on the Warrington card are not worth the paper they are written on with a list like Barnton River weaver, River bollin, numerous river Severn and the newly acquired and really really shallow river Alyn being pretty much a waste of time due to either poor river location, low or nill stocks or impossible to access areas of the river.  As i have said before it all looks good on the card but in reality, well i will let you travel to them but just think how many times you see reports from these waters from the club. p.s if anyone does go barnton to fish the river weaver do let me know if you do actually to see the river as last time we went well lets just say a machete would not have got you near. 

  Anyhow i do digress and the main point i wanted to make was around the fact that this week i received my begging letter from the club stating that i had not renewed my licence and as the club had purchased leases and stocks EXPECTING me to have signed up again then would i kindly cough up the full price of a year card for 4 months fishing.

Now my gripe is not so much with the letter being sent out, although it most certainly screams of desperation and i can only imagine in horror the amount of widows that receive this terrible letter each year and have to go through the torment of letting something as insignificant in life as an angling club know of their sad news, but is around the spending or more wasting of money on this act of mailing everyone who has not renewed to cough up for their spending through the year. Add this silly cost to the fact it would seem from this that the secretarial skills of this club are about as up to date as their "diverse" fish stockings it leaves a lot to be desired.  I mean another year and how many silvers stocked this year?  I have been off the Facebook page for over a year now and still the 1000's are being spent on carp and the silver anglers get what?? fairness and equality is all i ask for, hell at this point i would settle for them stocking the value of one 20lb carp of silvers into one of the rivers, alas what am i talking about, what would i know about rivers and the fish stocks in WAA waters, only wasted my time fishing all the rivers on the card barring the Wye and i can tell you compared to free fishing and other smaller clubs their rivers leave a lot to be desired, i am a big river man and i certainly would not recommend this card for the rivers and yes there is more to rivers than the river mersey match length, which could quite possibly be the only river where keep nets are not allowed, well apart from matches of course and then its a roll of the dice for who plonks on and lands 2 or 3 bream to win the match.

Take this blog update for example and although when i get going i can rant there is logic behind it, it is my belief that this club owes it its river men to provide at least one of their rivers that can offer the river man a solid days sport with plenty of chub, dace and roach, perch, gudgeon and dare i say the B word.   They have the potential available already on the card to do this as take the tiny small and insignificant river bollin that this club openly admits to only keeping in case the fishing ever becomes good, well i am sorry powers that be but....rain check!...if the fish are not there it is not going to get any better what are we talking here waiting for a passing heron to lose a male and a female fish from its grasp? or eggs to drop from a ducks feet? come give me a break its not as if we are asking you to build an ark here just to stock some fish into a river.   And before the old rubbish answers like "not everyone wants to sit in one swim and catch silvers" or "its up to nature with rivers" or "its up to the ea" or "cormorants will have em if there not 3lb carp" any of the other gems raises its head, you take our money and as such both carp and silvers should get a fair whack. And guess what also happens with stocking fish into river? well these amazing, hardy and weather worn men called river anglers hear fish are being caught and guess what swims are built through the Himalayan balsam to create swims and as such the river is reopened to anglers by anglers, bait starts going in year on year and before you know it you have thriving river, 

So what can be done with this little, insignificant, tiny and useless river bollin?? what could the potential results be?  well take a long hard look at last weeks, this weeks and the midweek blog update to come next week and you will see what can be done as all these nets come from the river bollin and this is a river that does need a stocking from scratch just think what could be done with an already established river like the river alyn near rossett which is perfect barbel country,  enough of the excuses, rather than make excuses i get out there and provide the FACTS about what is possible with the rivers on this card the only unfortunate thing is i have to fish waters not on the card to prove it.

Moving on to the good news and it was great to receive my Pondip Tackle Box in the post recently, arriving home from work to the two boxes on the coffee table i was excited to see their contents.  I started with the carp tackle box and was pleased to see yet again the box followed the theme of providing a box that all comes together to make a use able rig, this week is was probably the most used rig of all the bottom rig and i was also pleased to see that the company has got the confidence to provide quality over quantity as the bulk of this weeks boxes cost was made up with some quality Vardis sinking coated braid.  It would have been so easy for them to fill the box with a lot of cheaper items but i am certainly all for quality over quantity and with hooks, lead, quick change links, fluoro carbon leader and a free sample of CC Moore baits again you not only have a box of tackle but a usable box that comes together.

Moving onto the coarse box and this box also contained a spool of 6lb line from Krystonite which i instantly had plans for a future chub session as the diameter compared to the line strength was impressive.   It was also good to see that the boxes also seem to follow a theme from month to month with a hook tie in last months and two sets of spade end hooks this month.  Also contained in the box was a set of three pole rigs, size 9 stot refill, a collection of depth plummets and bandit corn method rigs.  Again i was left impressed with the coarse box as in my opinion it is the hardest box to put together as coarse fishing covers such a vast area of angling compared to carp angling and it was great to see as many areas of angling where provided for as possible in the box, carp pole fishing, silver fishing and heavier duty fishing on rivers with the thicker line, all in all a great two boxes to recieve this month.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly Pondip Tackle Box check them out on this link you wont be disappointed: Pondip Tackle Box

In either the midweek blog or next weeks blog i put to use some components of these tackle boxes to put together a rather special net of chub.  I am also currently writing a guest blog for Pondip each month on all aspects of angling so if my blogs are selected i will post the links to it on my social media pages or the following weeks blog update so keep and eye out for that in the coming months a really exciting and nervous experience to actually write a blog to be published on another site but will be really proud should one of my blogs get published.

Finally before we get into the fishing, come on i have missed a few introductions with product reviews there is a back log haha, i thought it would be nice to share some pictures from recent trips we have been on when we just loaded up the car, armed ourselves with a bag of bread and headed off for a walk along the river or around some local ponds with our daughter.  I must say she is coming along great and its crazy to think she is 2 years old in September, how time flies! what is great is the fact she is certainly showing an interest in fishing and recently we have spent some special moments at the computer looking through Daddys fishing pictures, that time is near!  I am sure at this point she would be able to hold a small pole and lift it but i want to wait that little bit longer till she can relate the float going under to catching the fish and experience the magic that comes with that small float moving away and lifting into her first fish, i can not wait.

All set for a days feeding ducks and stomping in puddles!!

Our first trip was to Ackers pit to feed the Ducks.

and then we had a walk along the River Tame to see the wildlife and the big weir.

On to this weeks fishing escapades:

River Bollin Stick Float Fishing: Change of Tactic

Last week i decided to rove the banks of a Private stretch of the River Bollin we have been given access too and was quite success full taking a few fish from each swim before moving onto the next but it was the first and the last swim i fished that i fished that grabbed my attention with its big dace and not forgetting late on it produced a chub for me.

Selecting a venue to go to is really providing us with an headache each week and that is testament to what a fantastic season we have had so far on the rivers and each week we have to choose between the Dane where we are getting solid 10lb plus nets as well as the odd big perch or the Dee where dace nets are on offer with the chance of a pike turning up or the Bollin where we are slowly learning there is some quality fish, its a good headache to have i am not going to lie.

As always we arrived on the bank with the moon still high in the sky.

This arriving and setting up in the dim early light with torches and lamps does offer a more advantages than just getting the swim you want to fish it also means you are fishing near enough in the dark and making the most of that early morning darkness where the better fish are expected.  I do not set up a feeder for these early exchanges but feel for the bite with my finger tips as i trot the float down, with chub and nice dace you feel the bite more than see a float go under and its also a great way to get your mind focused for when its light enough to trust looking at the float.  The fish below was caught near enough in the dark as you can see.

With my sessions i always have a plan for the day ahead and today it was to fish the first swim till bites dried up and it is to be expected with such a small river as eventually either through the commotion of fish being caught or the light levels increasing too much the fish eventually spook and sometimes they can just either go right of the feed or move completely out of the swim, sometimes of course it can be the opposite and its just bigger fish have moved in once this happened i planned to move up to below my uncle where the cover offers more protection from the light.

The first dace of the day always gets my confidence level heightened as you never find a dace on its own so i was confident of crossing paths with a few more of its shoal.  A few more plump dace and then the float slammed under with an unmissable bite, striking it was solid and then came the dart for the cover which saw my hooping the rod over and down under the water to try and keep the line out of the far bank brambles.  The key here is to keep the pressure on as much as possible and don't give an inch in the fight on these tiny rivers and eventually the fish will move back into the flow.  Once the fish is out in the main flow my mind then turns to minimising disturbance of the swim so the rod was hooped back over to my right to try and coax the fish up the swim and not play it on the top only lifting when the fish is under my feet and scooping it up, it worked a treat and in the early morning light i took a moment to admire this chubs brassy flanks.

The thing it seems with chub on this river is they are very much like their dace friends they share the river with as they are rarely alone and as not fished for very much do not seem to spook out of the swim like they would on say the dane and this was proved again as very next cast i was looking down at another chub in the net between my legs, very similar in size.

The chub joined its friend in the keep net and it was back to into the rhythm of casting in, feeding and running the float through and although it was not one a chub fishing what i was catching was quality and believe it or not the dace below is the average for this tiny waterway.

I probably started fishing about 4.45-5am on the day and by 8am i was starting to trot the swim with not a touch so i knew the time to move was close approaching and i was literally about to pull the float back at the end of the run when it zoomed under and at first i thought it was another chub till all hell broke loose with a trout jumping clear of the water and flapping on the top right over my hemp it was making a right mess, eventually i got this slippery customer to the bank, took its picture and put it back into the river.

Lovely fish but boy do the make a mess and i knew then that there was no coming back for the swim after than, i did trot through a few more times but even the minnows had gone. I placed my rod down and set about photographing the fish.  The 3 hours work had produced 8lb of quality dace and two chub i was more than made up with the sport.  It is not a river you can spend all day on unless you travel the banks but for fast paced action it takes some beating.

I slowly moved up the bank to below my uncle and plopped my gear quietly down and i knew with the light the fish would have moved further  down the river to a piece out of reach of my uncles swim.  I checked in with him and he had caught well with a few chub and dace and i think he said he had caught a perch.  We knew this was only ever going to be a morning session so i quickly to back to my peg and began introducing some bait as i set my box up.

My uncle had been trotting down for the past half hour without a touch, similar to me in the other swim, so he decided to go for a wander for the hour we head left.

Well what can i say apart from it was a great feeling to have read the fish so well as first put in i banked a 3lb 5oz chub and was easily the biggest we have had out of this river so far and then i went on to catch two more chub in the next two casts for three of the best succession of bites i have ever had it was explosive and i could not believe it. That was it on the chub front but for the remainder i put together some nice dace to pass the time between us leaving.

not a bad bit of work for the last hour or so of a session.

My uncle returned having fished two more pools taking a chub in each and a solitary trout.  He let his fish go from the morning and again it was a quality net.  Hard to believe so many fish from a river you could jump across and i go back to the introduction on this blog, open your eyes WAA it is possible with the right mentality and not being scared to stock silver fish into our rivers, cormorants do not eat every silver fish in our rivers.

till next time i wish you all tight lines and look out for a midweek update from this river which blew me away..

Tight lines


Tuesday, 19 August 2014


A warm welcome to this midweek blog update, Tuesday has for me now become a day where i start to think of the possibility of a sneaky midweek trip after work tomorrow and with the nights slowly beginning to draw in time for a river session after work is surely running out and we must take advantage of this time as before long we will be depressingly coming and going from work in the dark.

Work of late has been getting me down i have to say as the repetitive nature of my job leaves me craving freedom at times and i guess that is why i love the serenity, calmness and peace and quiet of the river bank so much.  We recently moved offices and for most the extra walk or the new surroundings worried most folk, for me, well it was the fact the new building contains only  9 windows, 9 planes to view the outside world where i am now lucky to catch a glimpse of a passing seagull  as opposed the wealth of nature we used to witness around our old building where you would see the swallows arriving on the fields and then departing so anonymously with the impending winter, V flocks of Canada geese and the occasional gliding buzzard all now not part of my yearly life walking into work or glancing out of my desk window but i guess most of all i miss seeing the seasons change the coming and going of the leaves , that crisp first frost tickling your face as you left your car in short there is a lot to be said for the loss of a desk side window lol.

Looking out of the 9 panes now writing this weekly blog update on my lunch break i can feel that suffocating feeling i did last week like an animal in a zoo i can smell the freedom of the outside world beyond the small windows, last week i could take now more i had to get out and with it a evening session was arranged on the banks of the serene and open banks of the River Dee,  her banks i knew off me the natural antidote for my most urban of illnesses.

"An Evening On The River Dee"
The drive to the banks of the Dee on a week day was a brand new experience for me an even more so given the lack of visits to her bank over the past 9 months but driving there i was back on autopilot the car knew the way, her wheels had worm down this path so many times before it was like she was bounded by her own tyre tracks. Passing Chester we headed to an area we had yet to wet a line in and given the few swims in this area we did not know until we passed the last bend if the pegs we had chatted about along the B Roads was free or not.  My heart sank as a parked car on the grass verge had me thinking we were out of luck but thankfully the parked car on this occasion belonged to a dog walker and not an angler.
Like two naughty children skiving from school to go fishing we unloaded the car and began setting up our swims.  The time we had set up the time was 1pm and i knew we were due a tide this afternoon but was unsure just how much it would effect us being just that little bit further upstream.  The river quite low i trusted to luck and set up on the lower flat part of the swim with a good foot or so down to the river surface, surely i was OK up here i thought as i plumed the depth and in front of me i found a nice depth for trotting, plumbing up further down i noticed it shallowed up on the inside about half way down the swim but as the flow came round a sweeping bend and of the outside of a tree above my swim i hoped i could hold a line about a 3rd of the way across as i had miles or river below me to trot into, surely i would draw fish into my swim from here and catch a few i thought.

My uncle settled in upstream on a peg that was not really ideal for trotting but with a tide due the other shingle bank peg was a no go and in all intents and purposes it was a feeder peg he fished situated between two trees fishing the float it was an all or nothing attempt to catch the fish under his feet. 

Trotting a stick down between a third and half way across the river feeding hemp and maggot i was soon picking up the odd dace along the fast glide.  The first fish of the session was a nice dace which was closely followed by a few of its family members and all looked well for a steady session.

I was optimistic of a good session ahead for us both as i could hear the striking and subsequent splashing of my uncle picking up a few fish above me.  During sessions fishing a river for silvers you do hit those points where you get a few bites and your confidence is high and you feel like you are nailing it, of course its an amazing feeling that all us anglers crave and love...but we all know that can all be dashed as quickly as that confidence was built and catching a decent snag can bring that feeling on really quick, but for a brief second i thought i had sorted it was the line slowly started coming towards me and i lifted to see me line clear of the water attached to a whole length of line from a snag on the inside right across the whole river to the far bank trees.  I can only presume someone on a feeder had snagged on the far bank and pulled for a break and their line had snapped at the rod end and the whole lot of line had sunk and snagged on the inside snag in effect putting line across the whole river, quite possibly, barring setting up on a sunken whole tree, a trotters nightmare.

It was not long after hitting this snag and then hitting another one against the far bank that i first noticed the river backing up a bit.  Over the next 20-30 minutes the river backed up and backed up and its level rose higher and higher.  In the picture above you can see the whole of the peg is under water where before the level was down the bank a good few feet.

After a while the river began to flow back on itself and this is when i got my better, love it when you know a bite is coming and you can really strike into it.

It was during this spell i put together a few decent fish including this very nice roach below, easily one of the highlights of the session

Unfortunately the tide began to ebb and after a few moments the normal flow of the river was resumed and with it the trials and tribulations with the snag.  The problem was not knowing exactly where it was situated as i guess the flow of the river would cause it to flow and i did go on to catch it a few more times before the session was out, very frustrating!

I made a big change to my plans and it was similar to my uncles where i tried to get the fish really close in almost in the slack in front of me and it did seem to work as a few small dace came quickly to the net and then it died and died solid for a good half hour.  Feeding the swim gently i began to get a few knocks of feeding fish and then the float slid away confidently, striking into the fish i was instantly in trouble with snags all around me and a tree to me right still half submerged i was connected with something solid and with a 1lb 7oz bottom on i was not confident.

From the feel of the battle i instantly ruled out a chub or barbel as is had not made a solid run yet and  then with a few flicks of its tail instantly knew i was into a billy and a nice one to boot.  The past fights on the dane have put me in good stead for dealing with perch and as soon as the fish came within sight it was scooped up, no second chances, they go mad in the landing net but at least you bank the fish. 

a 1lb 13oz perch and what a year for perch it has been for me!

After this perch i picked up a few more dace and roach but nothing really to shout home about and hitting another snag 30 mins before wrap up time i put out the pike rod for the last part of the session but nothing showed on it.  My uncle had a steady session catching some really nice roach and dace.

my net 

uncle net

All in all it was just what the doctor ordered and great to fish yet another new stretch of this fantastic river.

till. next time,

tight lines 


Friday, 15 August 2014

River Bollin Roving and Hard Day on the River Dee

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets full.  This week started off with some really great news in the form that myself and my partner found out the sex of our unborn child due in December.  The scan revealed that we are expecting a baby boy later this year which we are both really excited about and i can not wait for the fishing trips to come with both my little girl and boy i will have to start looking for pink and blue seat boxes! Honestly i can not wait to meet the new guy and continue our family adventure and at the moment my head it just full of all the future fishing trips to come, exciting times.

It is a weird feeling writing this weeks blog update as it is the first for a number of weeks that has been back to the old rambling update as the past two updates have been based around two exciting product reviews that i have thoroughly enjoyed completing.  To be frank the world in the back ground of the blog has been quite frantic of late with both the Water to Go and Pondip reviews sandwiching a on line Social media competition i have been running for ALDI and the launch of their new Fishing range.  I am not one to really blow my own trumpet but i was really proud of myself when dealing with ALDI as they asked if i would be interested in running a competition, i agreed of course but when sent the list i was met with all manner of prizes from small bivvys to spinning rods and rather than picking the most expensive prize i proposed a prize that would allow an angler or someone new to the sport to get out on the bank with all the kit they needed, baring bait of course, so the prize was a carp rod and reel loaded with line, bite alarm set, unhooking matt equipment and landing net.  The winner of the competition was Ian Johnston and it gave me great satisfaction that i had put a prize together that could put a new angler on the banks of one of our fantastic lakes, what a feeling that from just a mere angler writing about his fishing that some good can come from it.

Moving back over to the Pondip Tackle Box supporting the blog and i am pleased to announce that I will be submitting a separate update to them each month for review and possible publishing on their website.  The content will be more around how i do my fishing using the contents of the box and not around the adventure involved in the whole picture of the day.  I will post any blogs that are published on their page in that weeks update so please take the time to check it out when they go live!

The pike season looms large and it has seen me slowly putting some gear together for the upcoming season.  The first thing i purchased was my Warrington Anglers Card as with a baby due in winter my venues for the short piking trips will certainly have to become more localised, although i am sure the odd trip to the River Weaver will sneak in there.  Along with the licence i have also been picking up the odd bit of tackle in the form of some Grey Wire, Treble sleeves, sinkers and needle for injecting oils this along with a bargain of Ebay of a Carp Holdall for £10.00 means a steady start to building up my pike set up has begun.  

The pike season does sit on the horizon at the moment but before then i am hoping to get out on the banks of Warringtons waters chasing some of their carp to add a nice end to the carp quest which i will be writing up this Winter with the mount a water i am keep on getting on before winter.

Speaking of piking its got me thinking about all those wonderful winter sessions to come where the grass is glistening with an overnight frost and those long mornings where the sun barely makes it above the yard arm, the rivers are like a plane of glass and your stick floats dotted down to a mere pimple, dreams of plump fist fulls of dace and pike bungs lazily sliding away allowing you to hold the sinister green mottled frame of a pike in your arms you know what i can not wait!

On to this weeks Fishing

Roving Session on the River Bollin....

The timely lull in workloads in work saw me rushing home an hour early to load the car and pick up my uncle and an hour may seem like a waste of time but in the world of motorway Rush hour traffic jams a hour can mean the difference between a half hour journey and an hour and half journey say in a jam.  The gods thankfully shone on us as we were blessed with an empty M56 motorway as in no time at all the car was unloaded and ready for the short walk to the swims.

The plan for the day was for me and my uncle to swap swims we had fished the previous Saturday, it is something we do allot on our trips and even more so if there is a swim that is really productive to give both a chance to fish it.  I set up just upstream from a willow and my uncle on a bank with a shallow run down into some deep dark water.

The river was very different to the river we had left on Saturday as all the colour had dropped out of it and it was gin clear with all the gravel runs and streamer weed clear to see.  To the casual glancing eye these open clear stretches looked devoid of any fish life but giving it a few seconds for your eyes to adjust you could see some serious sized chub and dace crammed under every shadow offered by a tree or streamer and the sheer number of fish that had crammed into one space astounded me.

My tactic was to go all out, seatbox and all, to stick in one swim knowing the better fish were under the willow and would hopefully come out to my steady stream of trotted maggots and corn.  The truth be told two hours in i had about 60 or 70 minnows in my keep net, it was time to make a decision.  My choice was to stick in the swim and put all my eggs in one basket and hope that the fish came on as the light dimmed but with not a single dace for a hours fishing i was dubious or to nip back the car grab the essentials and rove up and down the river. The fact i had no hooked a single dace made the decision for me so i quickly nipped back the car and off i went with a landing net, net bag, rod and few bits of terminal tackle.

Stopping in on my uncle he had been having the same issues as me with minnows and small dace but he was getting the odd better one thrown in to keep him ticking over and i left just as he was landing a nice dace.   With around 2 hours of the session left i walked the banks and fed three swims with a plan to fish these in rotation and return to the most productive on at last light.

The first swim i tried was a really shallow run that dropped off into a big black deep hole where you could not see the bottom it just had to hold a fish or two and i hoped a nice chub.  Feeding the swim upstream so the bait was going directly into the hole i dropped down stream and noticed no maggots where coming out of the flow behind the deep depression, something was eating the maggots!

The swim was a hard trot as you had to hold back tight to get the bait to skim across the rocks without pulling under and then release the float so the bait feel nicely into the depression the first few casts i struggled but then holding back at the right time if dropped in and BANG under the float went and i was connected to a nice sized fish that kept deep i was convinced a chub as it went for the inside cover and then it started jumping clear of the water as time and time again it tried to throw the hooks.  When i eventually got it in i was met with a fantastic trout that has some amazing colours and for its aerial aerobatics i named him Marlin!

With all the disturbance in the swim it came as no surprise that the next 20 minutes was spent bite less i really do love the look of trout and grayling to say that but the crashing they do in the swim when you are dace and chub fishing can be a real pain.  After the minnow fest in the last swim i was just glad to have a decent fish on the bank and i called it a day in that swim and moved onto the next.

Dark water towards a far bank lined with brambles leading down to a nice pool and some over hanging dark trees was the next swim to grab my attention, it screamed to me both chub and dace and just teasing the float back induced a few bites, as you can see on the video below that a little hold back on the float is the killer.

the result a nice nice silver dart

This swim produced a few more nice dace and as i knew i was not spending long in the swim i kept them in the landing net in the margin and sure enough after 10 Min's the commotion of the few fish saw the swim die off so it was time for a quick picture before moving on to he next.

The next swim produced some small dace and i also lost what felt like a chub to a hook pull.  I persevered with the swim and took a few more nice dace but it was getting to that time of day where the light was just starting to do and i knew i still had unfinished business in the first swim that i had fed with corn before leaving.  Arriving at the swim it looked mint and i made one big change to the last time i dropped in the swim in the fact i left the maggot tub in my holdall and it was out with the corn, big fish or bust time.

The tactic worked straight away with this fantastic example of a dace, plump and long with pearl like scales, a fish i am hoping to meet again next February with her winter spawn added.

The swim gave me a few more dace before i called it a day and released them all to fight another day and made my back up to my uncle.

Arriving at my uncles peg he was catching steady on the stick, had caught a nice chub and some nice dace.  I dropped in down stream for a few casts on corn and was rewarded with a chub first cast, a nice way to end a  rare roving session for me.

My uncles final net showing the benefits of sticking to the one swim and both results combined shows what this small little river has to offer the angler willing to explore its shallow depths, not bad from a river you can jump across.

River Dee - Tough Return To An Old Stomping Ground

Driving along the M56 motorway with the head lamps pointed towards the Welsh border was a surreal feeling to say the least as it has been a whole 9 months since we last set foot on the River Dee's banks.  With good fishing on the Warrington Anglers card not worth the risk to your car we headed to a upstream beat we head fished once or twice before and found some nice dace.  In the early morning light the river was like glass and with the banks being really open myself and my uncle were soon picking up the odd dace or two.

The session was going well till the the sun came up over the tree line and was shining down right where i had put my hemp seed and was getting steady bites.  This bright light on the water made seeing the float impossible and any bites well you could just not see them.  This made for a frustrating hour or so's fishing for both myself and my uncle who was experiencing the same issue.  Eventually the sun rose to an angle where it was no longer an issue but by then the early morning flat calm had disappeared and was slowly being replaced by a swirling downstream strong wind.

This down stream swirling wind made presentation impossible to entice the better dace, they were there all right but in the wind it was only the silly this years fry falling for our bad presentation and catching these was a lottery given their ultra fast bites that more times than not resulted in you retrieving a snotted maggot like the one below.

As is always the way the conditions improved right on packing in time and i would say for the last half an hour we put together some better fish but the nets bared no resemblance to the 20lb nets we had caught her previous.

My net and my uncles net marked a OK return to the river but all in all a hard days work on the river.

my net

uncle net

Well that's the fishing for this week i wish you all

tight lines