Monday, 21 December 2015

A Small Window Of Opportunity: Stick Float Chub Fishin'

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  It finally seems like i am getting back into my blogging stride with plenty of content to keep me going i am hoping to get some drafts together ready to go live over the coming weeks.  The pike blog is a few weeks behind but with that type of fishing i think its a good thing as fish on the bank for a blogger is like content ready to go and be blogged about.

We are right in the festive period so there will be some of that in the introduction as well as a look at the unseasonal weather of late and we then move into the fishing in the update that saw us grab a small window of opportunity to get on the river and run a stick through.  A day when it would have been easier to go piking under a brolly but the river was worth a punt.

On with the update

A Very Merry Christmas To You All..

Well another year is nearly coming to a close and as we move into the festive period we begin to look back over our angling year and for me personally its been a year that has passed by in a blur.  My pike fishing has come on leaps and bounds there is no doubt about that and i also enjoyed getting back to my roots on the canal during the closed season.  Winter is a time i look forward to on the river and lets face it this year has been a none event so far.  Confidence i feel plays a huge part in angling and i think the biggest development in my all round fishing this year has been a huge increase in my confidence on the bank.  Whether pike fishing or running a stick float through a river i hit the bank confident in myself and my tactics and also in the decisions that i make, this can be huge especially with the pike fishing.

Away from fishing and looking at Christmas i have to say its been a while since i have been so excited about Christmas.  My daughter who is 3 years old now is brimming with excitement at the thought of Santa coming down the chimney with her presents and the little guy is just starting to walk and play with toys so i have got a little feeling we could be in for a very special family Christmas.

Well that is a little look back over my thoughts on the year and Christmas time and i would like to first of all thank everyone who enjoys reading this blog and follows my angling exploits and secondly i would like to wish you all a Very Merry and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year and tight lines if you are brave enough to sneak out to the bank over the festive period.  

Winter? What Winter?

So sat on the bank on Sunday waiting for the pike float to cock and slide away i sat back and took in the nature all around me.  This is something i do tend to miss whilst stick float fishing and your attention is so fixated on getting that presentation right you can miss a lot of the nature around you.  Sunday i was relaxed waiting for Mr pike and i noticed the green buds on the tips of the trees and then my eyes noticed a patch of flowers on the foot path.  The more i looked around the more i saw signs of change, green of daffodils breaking up through the soil and ducks all beginning to pair off, it was like spring had arrived.

A barmy 16oc and it felt wrong to be pike fishing, i am sure had i gone on the canal fishing on the pole i would have had a good chance of hitting a tench.  When the pike runs came it was hard to know how long to give them if I'm honest so early striking was the order of the day and thankfully all managed to stay on although i have to admit i did net them at the earliest opportunity.   It did leave me thinking if we will get a proper winter this year of will we just plod along till march and the official start of spring, surely we will get a cold snap of some kind.  If we do it could see snow and then the rivers would be in serious trouble it might be we don't get on the Dee again this season.

A Small Window Of Opportunity.....

Having fished nearly a good deal of rivers over the north west you get to learn the levels at which they are fish able and in some cases what the clarity will be like depending on how long they have been dropping for.  This only comes with time on the bank fishing all conditions and recording the levels on that day.  Sat in my uncles on Friday night most of the rivers where a mess, some not even in their banks and the ones that where dropping where still at the upper limit of what we considered fish able.

One river had been dropping for two days and sat in my uncles the sky was clear and no rain was forecast over night.  We knew this would mean come morning the river would be clear and at a speed that we where able to trot a float through.  We also had a look on the weather app and saw rain was due to hit at 7am so we would be fishing in the rain and the river being like it is this rain would eventually see the river rise on us with a high possibility of it flooding and becoming unfishable in front of our eyes.  How long we would get out of it was any ones guess but we both agreed it was worth it even if we only got a chub each.

Waking up the next morning at 6am the sky was clear and it was not until I hit my uncles and we loaded his gear up we felt the first drips of rain.  Already the countdown had begun and we where against the clock.  Arriving on the beat we raced to set up in  the rain and get a bait in the water.  I fed the swim heavily with good hand fulls of maggots and hemp to try and get as many fish in the swim as possible.  First trot down and the float buried, striking i felt the fish and instantly it was off.  Gutted a hook pull was the last thing i needed today.  Fortunately the fish had got straight onto the fact the river was rising and a few trots late the 6 number 4 stick zipped under and striking my korum 13ft rod arched round.  A chub for certain and boy did it feel good! Solid as a rock and what a fight.

The chub in the keep net as to not spook the shoal i dared to try again.  A dace that evaded the camera and went back in followed as did two ever greedy trout, never good for your swim as they flap and jump about in my opinion.  It took a good 40 minutes till i hooked into my next chub and again i thank my blessings.  The river was certainly gaining pace at this point and the swim was quickly becoming unfishable as the river zipped round the corner.

I gave it another 30 minutes but then decided enough was enough and walked down to see how my uncle was getting on.  He had caught three nice chub and was also now struggling to fish his swim with the extra pace.  We decided on a change of swim that we felt could take the extra water for longer, it was also conveniently on the way back to the car.  Time was certainly of essence now and but with the rods still set up i knew i had at least enough time get a bite.

Three hook pulls on the bounce it was quickly becoming a disaster.  This is when the rising river came to my aid as i knew the fish would have sensed this and as such would be heavily on the feed and not spook away for long.  Sure enough a steady flow of maggots and hemp got the fish back and over the next 40 minutes i picked up 3 chub.

After netting the last fish the first signs of trouble began to show.  A few bits of grass in the flow at first and then some driftwood.  When a big log came down and i noticed my basket that was on dry land at the start of the fishing now had its footplate fully submerged i knew the game was up.  In total i think we got 3-4 hours fishing in before wet through to the bone we beat a retreat.  A few chub on the bank we left happy anglers and shows if you put the time in and learn your rivers you can find windows of opportunity to winkle a fish out.

Till next time i wish you all

tight lines


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

River Flooding and Fishtec Top Pike Blog Recognition!!

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and that welcome thankfully is a lot warmer than the weather i experienced on the way into work this morning...Brrrr.  Winter is finally here and with the first frost hitting the windscreen last week it finally feels as if we might be heading into winter.  I just hope this winter is a lot more settled than last year, a nice over cast calm spell with temperatures just above freezing will do me nicely thank you.

On to the update and this weeks we look at a piece written by fishtec where the blog is picked out by Fishtec for recognition on a bloggers list, we look at the current state of the rivers and how they have effected my fishing of late and we finish up with a bit of bad experience i had lately while fishing for pike which could potentially ruin all my good work in the new spot to date.  The fishing is a session on the river dane where we again find the river on the rise but this time she doesn't stop rising!

Grab a brew and a rich tea biscuit and its on to the update...

Fishtec Top 13 Brilliant BLogs from British Pikers....

It was with real pride an excitement i read a recent email from Fishtec explaining that they wanted to feature my blog in a post they where publishing around blogs written by pike anglers.  I was more than happy for my blog to feature and my picture to be used in the post and it filled me with a huge sense of pride to have my blog featured among some of the biggest pike blogs in the UK, many of who i myself regularly read thier blogs.

It is always good to receive feedback as a blogger as you never truly know how your content is being received.  We all make decisions with our blogs that influence how the blog is perceived and navigated, one such one for me was to write a pike diary about the whole season, a decision that i knew would see it get less views but would also see it read as a story rather than weekly dribs and drabs in each post.  Pike fishing on this blog has only really been blogged about seriously for the past two seasons so its great news it is being seen in such high regards by a company like Fishtec and thank you to them for featuring my little blog in their list.

The final post can be found here on all blogs featured:

Flooded Rivers and Rollercoaster EA Charts....

Whether you feel the rain on your fingers or you feel it on your toes..the only way to sum up the weather of late is Wet Wet Wet (even laughed at this one myself, sat in work on my dinner hour!!)  it is safe to say our rivers have had the good flush through we all asked for and then some.  I have been keeping an eye on the EA charts on a daily basis and every time they have come down to a level that might be fish able the rains have come and up the river has gone again resulting in EA charts like this one for the dane below.

Last Friday the levels where just below the magical levels where we knew the river would be too high, fishing would be hard, we knew this, but we where willing to try the muddy slacks hoping for a fish.  I finished work at 4pm and as i did the heavens opened and a quick phone call to my mate who works close to the dane who revealed it had not stopped all day scuppered our river plans for last weekend.

This was the case a few years ago and after two or three weeks not getting out i decided to try my hand at dead baiting for pike and what a decision that turned out to be as it certainly has turned out to be a branch of our sport i really like participating in.

Seeing the charts as they are now though is a reminder to all how fast our lovely serene rivers can turn into raging torrents, just take a look at this chart here of the river in kendle,  forget the fact the river is up out of the chart take a look at the rise compared to time and how quickly it went from just a bit of water to off the chart, scary stuff.

Back closer to home and the rivers i fish and it could be another week before the likes of the Dane are at a clarity where its worth wetting a line and the river dee, well considering that has been in the fields for a week now it could see us not going here till after the Christmas period.

Bad Experience Pike Fishing....

Well i am now well into the pike fishing season and the goal this year of using my water craft and pike skills picked up over the passed two year to find my own pike was going well.  17 different pike with 3 doubles i was out there doing it for myself and catching.  Sadly a recent incident has put all that hard work in jeopardy.  Whilst fishing recently i was sat back sipping a brew and waiting for one of my pike floats to go when a lad appeared to me left on his phone.  Looking a bit shifty i just thought he was up to no good but ignored it.  Next minute his mate turns up and i clock the odd glance over to me whilst they where talking. 

Ok i thought, nothing in that might be looking where i have got my baits.  This is when a third person appeared 10 yards to my right, i suddenly felt uncomfortable.  It had a horrible feeling of something was not right.  A glance to my right i saw a dog walker coming my way, i took my chance and reeled in the rods.  Thankfully being the nice man i am i had spoken to this guy at length before so he stopped for an update on recent captures, i quickly explained and he thank fully hung around till i had packed the gear up and i walked with him to the end of the path to make sure he was ok.

Not a nice feeling at all and i am an angler that does get out before first light to be sure i have a bait in the water for those magical moments where the world comes alive around you.  Birds singing in the trees and the flash of a kingfisher out for its breakfast are all things i live for and moments in every fishing session i enjoy.  It has put me off the whole area now, having two kids and a family to support there is no way i could replace the tackle i had out that day with me.

Not a nice world we live in as is shown in the news all around the world but within our own society we are littered with people who think its ok to do this thing to people, not a nice feeling. 

On to the Fishing

New Spot Holds Great Potential......

So with the normal areas of the river not providing a solid chance of a days fishing we decided if we where going to take a risk then why not on a completely new section of the river.  So we headed of literally into the unknown to try a stretch we had been thinking about fishing for some time. 

Fishing or should i say sustainable "success" of catching fish only comes with hard work and time on the bank and many times over the blogs existence we have delved both feet first into the unknown, as anglers it really is the only way you learn.  You can read all the books you want, watch the angling videos and refine your rigs based on the latest killer fish catching rig but all of this is useless if you are not willing to get out there and fish the waters.

This trip was one of these steps out to the unknown and when i say unknown it looked like no one had been near this place all year with brambles, himilayan balsam and fallen trees all obstacles to get passed.  We walked the stretch at first with just rod rests to beat a track through and eventually found two swims that could hold fish.

Back to the car and it was travelling light to the spots that as always lay right at the end of the stretch.  I must say trudging through the undergrowth it was like the scenes a few years ago when we discovered all parts of the lower dee and it felt great.  Set up in a swim right before i bend i began to feed hemp and maggot as i set up the rod.

It took a while for the first bite to come and a nice dace i was made up.  I have said it a number of times before on the blog, i love catching that first dace as you know where there is one there is certainly more.  The second as predicted was not far behind that one although they where not coming easy and it took some holding back to get the fish to take.

The river when we arrived was already carrying some water and the last thing we wanted was rain but not ling into the session the heavens opened and we where hit with a heavy down pour.  At first i thought it would just be a passing heavy shower but when it persisted for around a hour i knew trouble would not be far behind.

The fish of course went mad for a short spell where it was a bite a chuck as the fish sensed the rise in the river and we both had some steady bites but soon there was the odd sign of things to come as first grass and then the odd large twig started to come through the swim.  When this was followed by some larger logs and the river had gone a chocolate colour i knew we where in trouble.

We had scouted out a new area and caught fish so its a spot we have earmarked for future visits, lets just hope we get a lull in the current weather conditions.

till next time its tight lines from me


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Right Time To Fish The River and Cold Weather Top Tips...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet and speaking of wet how good is it to finally see a bit of the wet stuff falling from the sky! more than overdue and will do our rivers a world of good.  The mild temperatures of late have seen the fish still spread wide and far as we eagerly await the first frosts of the year, all the signs of them coming are there with dew on the windows of the car of a morning but we just need to come out now and find that sparkle of a first glistening on the tarmac as we leave the house, i, like many other anglers can not wait.

In this weeks update the fishing see's us hitting the river just at the right time for it to fish its head off and we both bag up on a morale boosting session on the stick.  The introduction sees me looking at the upcoming weeks fishing i have planned and also an update or recap on my piking to date and we finish with a little bit on how i prepare for winter and cold days on the bank with a few tops tips.

On to the Update...

The Weeks To Come....

November is always a difficult month fishing wise i find as the fish we associate with summer and autumn begin to shut down for winter and the fish like dace, roach, chub and pike are all in transition into their winter quarters it is a time of change, as drastic as the arrival on spring if you look closely, which means fishing can be very hard to predict and as such very hit and miss.

From a river stick float point of view it can be a hard time with leaves coming down the river and with the ground still hard rain can have a huge effect on rivers and see them going from really low and on their bones too completely in flood, just look at the Ribble this past week.  The piker in me is unsure what is going to happen if i am honest with it being only my second full season targeting pike its a bit of a unknown for me as to what to expect as we go through this transition.

The coming weeks will see me targeting the new area i have found to unlock its secrets, im sure there is a pike there that could be very special and in the next week or so i have a social coming up on a huge piece of water with my mates Garry and Ste.  A session i am looking forward too but at the same time i know its a huge step up in my pike fishing, a huge one, just one fish would be a dream come true for me on the day.

River wise i am hoping to spend some time on the banks of the River Dane to again try and fisnd the areas the fish go in winter and best ways to catch them and i am also looking forward to trips on the Dee and other smaller tributaries.  I am certainly going top bite the bullet this year and have a session aimed at catching pike from the Dee.  Having moved away from fishing this river consistently i have missed my run ins with the pike that seemed such a regular occurrence in the past.

Piking Blog Update

The decision to move all my trips to one link is still one that is playing on my mind a lot as it does take a lot of pushing on social media for it to get noticed as there is no space to add links of tags to the post for it to show on search engines.  Actual views do not really matter to me but i do also put a lot of time into catching these fish and it does play a huge part in my fishing so i do want it to be noticed as it is kind of tucked away in the corner of the blog page.

The pike fishing for me is going great i am really enjoying the fishing and getting my teeth into the new challenge this year is presenting with 10 doubles my target and finding and fishing my own areas the next i could  not wish for it to go any better.  There has been an update this week to the blog and there is also one wrote to be added this coming week its great to see my hard work paying off with plenty of fish to blog about, the blanks will come but that's fishing.

I will go into more detail in the coming weeks about the new spot and how it is fishing but at this moment in time i have done 4 morning sessions on there equating to 2 full days fishing time and it has produced i think 9 fish with two of these double figure pike so its going better then the blank i envisioned.

Keep up with the pike blog here:

Preparing for Winter

A common question i receive on the blogs email is around what i do to prepare for winter fishing.  Tackle wise i don't really change any thing as i fish all year with light hook lengths and size 20 hooks so not much changes there and the main place you should be focusing your time on is on LOCATION.  Away from the actual fishing the other main area you should be spending time and investing in is in the stuff you wear on the bank at this time of year as it can be brutally cold at times on the bank especially if you are out in the sticks.

For me i wear thermal socks as well as thermal lines boots, your feet is always the first area to feel the cold for sure and keeping your feet warm is vital.  I do feel having a foot plate on my box really helps as it keeps your feet off the cold ground.  I wouldn't say my set up keeps my feet warm on the bank but i don't sit there thinking my feet are cold which is all you can ask for in the depths of winter.

Working up i probably look like i'm wearing a pair of jeans a hoodie, which i am, but under neath then jeans is a pair of thermal pants and under the hoodie is a tee shirt and a thermal top which at times can see me sweating like mad in the snow but its a lot better than being cold.  A buff for my face is normally just kept for the piking where you can be really inactive waiting for a bite and a thermal bob hat stops you losing heat through your head.  All in all it keeps me warm in the coldest of days on the bank.

Top Tip:  When pouring a brew from your flask fill it to the middle recess in the cup, this way you get twice as many brews and can spread the drinks through the day at closer intervals.

Cracking Session On Stick

From the moment we looked at the chart in my uncles house and saw the Dane was not yet showing the rise in level from the rain over night we knew we where in for a good session.  The river would already be starting to show a bit of colour and would rise during the session which the fish would get on to and feed well, we also knew there was not enough rain for the rise to be mega and push the fish off the feed.  The lovely red sky as we joined the motorway, a perfect start to the days fishing trip.

The main choice on the day was what swim to fish, one swim a fast glide around 4ft deep had the potential to throw up nice nets of roach and dace but on the other hand if the fish where not there it also had the potential to throw up a net full of gudgeon!  The other swim was a deeper swim on a bend that offered a nice slack on the inside, not as much a comfy swim as the first but did again offer the chance of a nice net of fish. 

The fact this swim held a bit more depth and also had a slack on the inside off a sunken tree to try if i was wrong about the amount of rise we would get i chose the second swim.  My uncle settled in a swim down stream, a new swim for us both and one that the extra water would see him able to run a stick through. 

My swim a uniform depth of around 5ft i opted for a 6 number 4 alloy stick and to sum up the autumnal feel of the day with plenty of cloud cover and grey skies the float sat nicely on a bed of autumnal leaves.

The rod set up i began to run the float through and the extra little bit of pace in the river was not yet evident, it would come.  One thing i have learnt about this river is the fact the fish can come right up on the feed so i fed the swim lightly and down stream of there i was casting so my float was settled by the time it reached the area i was feeding, planing to hold back to simulate bait falling through the swim here.  My hemp seed was placed further down stream where i thought the maggots would reach the bottom.

The customary madness of the first bites was instant as fish came quickly to the net, nothing of any size but it was frantic.  It is always like this on this river and the test would come if the bites continued passed the frantic feeding period.  This type of fishing is seen as a special art and although it takes practice to master the actually amount of gear you need is minimal.  This is my side tray for the session and apart from my float and bait that is all i use.

The swim eventually settled down and to my relief the bites started to come on my hemp but the bites where a bit hit and miss to say the least and the session was not looking good.  Around 10am i noticed the odd twig and bits of Himalayan balsam coming down and not long after this the whole flow on the river changed.  The trot gained pace and with it the bites came on strong, it was fantastic fishing.

The type of fishing i love where you can chuck your maggots in, then a good but of hemp and then the float and you hold back right on the spot knowing the bite will come, its stick float fishing at its best.  The float going down and i held the float back just a tiny bit right before my hemp, the finger released of the line and BANG the float would bury and this continued for the rest of the session as dace roach and chublets came one after to the net.

It was evident i had a big shoal of fish in front of me, not of any huge size and certainly nothing to warrant a landing net, but the bites where steady and it was more than i could have asked for.  My uncle down stream was also having a good day and i could hear him striking regular into fish and he had also caught a few nice chub.

The session moved on in to the afternoon and the bites would drop off a little as the shoal spooked but a good pouch hemp saw the fish coming back on the feed.  A session i really enjoyed and come the end of the day it was a shame to pack in.  These sessions go by in the blink of an eye they really do but we have to make the most of them.

My final net went over 14lb and contained quite a lot of individual fish to make that weight up.

My uncle had also caught well and had the extra fight of a few chub to boot.

All in all a session to remember and both rewarding in the fact we had put the time in to learn the river and fish the right swims at the right time to catch the fish and also rewarding  in the fact the fish also turned up.

Till next time

i wish you all tight lines


Monday, 9 November 2015

Tale of Two Rivers and Pike Blog

LA warm welcome to this weeks blog update and it finally feels like i am finding time to get stuff together with the blog.  I have found as the evenings have drawn in my evening jaunts have gone for pike so it has gave me scope to start getting back up to date.  As such i have one blog already ready to go this coming Friday and i am writing this one to go live the following week.  This has come at a great time for me as i do have quite a bit of fishing planned over the next month so finding time could again become a problem so its good to have some backed up.  Commitments to companies like Pondip have been full filled and i have again accepted a product review request from a company as i feel i have the time to put to it, i was declining some interesting opportunities but hey ho i need to be honest with them and myself, the times was just not there.

In this weeks blog update the fishing see's us travelling to two rivers in one day in search of silvers and what an adventure it was, a proper road trip.  The introduction includes a bit about piking in the form of how i am going to blog my pike trips this year and also a little on my thoughts on pike etiquette and how i see the unwritten rules being openly flaunted.  We finish the introduction with my dad going the extra mile for his son piking in the bitter cold.  I hope you enjoy the update so go put the kettle on make a brew and enjoy the update.

My Pike Blog....

I was thinking a lot this year about how to go about blogging my pike fishing and i mulled over a few ideas.  Pike fishing is a lot more relaxed than my river fishing and as such you can go into detail about rigs and different set ups for each location you are on.  The spare time waiting for a bite does also open up the opportunity for some video blogging which is also something i have looked at and hopefully will be able to do this year and include them in how i am going to blog my piking.

I have decided to move the piking onto its separate page within the blog and it will sit at the top bar of the page under 2015/16 Pike Season.  This allows me to write a smaller recap blog of each trip and hopefully document the whole season as it happens.  There are a number of potential stumbling blocks with this idea though and it might end up with some duplication on this blog and that one.  Potential problems could be if the rivers flood and i go out solely pike fishing that weekend away from the river then i would have no content for the main blog.  The other stumbling block could also be the sheer amount of writing on one page as you can not split the page down into bits it is one continuous living document with the most recent trip added to the bottom. 

It does though allow me to divide my different fishing up and allows people visiting the blog to go to the area that most interests them.  With no tabs or labels its going to have to be promoted by myself for it to be noticed as i don't think it will show on google searches like my other updates do.  Either way i hope you enjoy the diversity i am trying to put into the blog and enjoy reading about my adventures on the bank in search of pike, of course the ups and the downs will be featured.

The first few trips are live here:

The First Rule of Pike Club

As mentioned above i have toyed with the idea of putting together a few video blogs and putting them on here or Youtube but the number on thing that has stopped me has been the fact it would be nearly impossible to put together a decent video blog without compromising the locations i fish.  I have had many comments over the years that i should name the venues i fish and i don't for the safety of the pike and of course the fact that with piking there is a huge amount of hours put in learning good spots and tactics that work and i think recently some people are forgetting that we should not be naming locations where pike are caught.

I read only this week about a club member who had gone out fishing caught a few pike yet the report mentioned the exact location he had fished to catch them, why? the number one rule of pike club is you don't talk about the locations you fish publicly.  By all means report a member had a fish on such a location but then do not go on to mention the exact place.  This does no favours for the pike safely from people looking for areas to target pike for the pot and also is disrespectful to the anglers who put huge amount of time in and in fact goes to show how far these people are detached from real angling, wrong so wrong.

Love my Dad...

So I'm away fishing recently and sat there on the bank i was travelling light hoping to cover as much water as possible.  A quick look to my right and threes a guy huddled up sipping coffee while the guy to my left looked to be breaking out some refreshing soup!  The wind howling in my face and not even a chair to sit on i had no choice but to make the call, the call for supplies.  My dad answered and asked where i was, a despondent sigh at my out of the way location was received.  He said he would put me a flask together and run it through for me, what a star.,

Well 40 minutes later on the horizon i saw my shining night, carrier bag in hand.  He then began pulling from the bag all manner of tin foil parcels!  Got to say he went the extra mile for me, two rounds of door stop toast and 3 choccy biscuits i was one happy camper!  Washed down with a nice warm brew and even had a pike to grace the moment.  Fantastic stuff, the best dad in the world.

On to this weeks update

A tale of two Rivers.....

Autumn and its a time of year we always associate with pike but it is also a time where my trotting senses start getting into the mind set for Roach.  This time of the year roach seem to start shoaling up, maybe they are the first silver fish to do this, maybe not, the mystery of angling is where the magic is.  All we knew was there was a good head of roach in the River Dee and last year we had done well for them so we set the sat nav for the banks of the Dee and headed off into the night.

Arriving on the banks we where met with an angler, also eager to wet a line, but also it seemed eager to deter possible competition,  "fishing rubbish here passed few weeks only small dace" was his line.  My head was thinking he was very eager to get on the bank to chase these small dace given  it was still dark.  We unloaded the gear and made the 10 minute walk to the swims. 

It is an area of the dee that is super deep under your feet and my memory serving me right i was at the tip of my 17ft rod last year.  Pluming up this year i was finding depths of longer than my rod could manage so i was already not happy to not be fishing bottom.  The swim seems to be a huge depression in the river bed as the river does shallow up further out and further down the swim it seemed.  I plumbed up and found a run there i would be on bottom where i thought my hemp was hitting the deck.  It took a while to get the first fish but when it came and it was a nice fat plump roach my enthusiasm went up a few notches.

My uncle slightly down stream was getting plenty of knocks but nothing solid to strike at.  He then landed a Roach that was to say the least massive, easily the biggest roach i have seen.  The splash at it hit his keep net confirming a sizable bar of silver.  I managed to put a few more roach in the net but nothing like my uncles of the first fish i had caught early on.

The morning wore on and our swims completely died, there was not such much as a knock or even a sign of fish around and the river looked dead with no fish topping like they had earlier.  It was time to make a decision as even leaving now by the time we had packed up and loaded the car and reached the river it would be getting on for midday.  We decided to make a move and drop on the River Dane on the way home.  Mine and my uncles roach from the morning shown below.

Travelling down the A roads we where soon on the banks of another river and to be honest it looked as low as i have ever seen her and really clear, i didn't hold out much hope arriving in the middle of the day.  Setting up in the closest swim i had a snag to my left but the trot was just off rod tip around a sweeping slow bend with plenty of water and slacks that could hold fish.

I was into fish from the off with dace being the main quarry and i was amazed at the sport if i was honest i was expecting a really hard session and again goes to show how you think you know a place and them boom nature throws what you think out of the window!  The fish took some messing around to keep them coming like following them right down to the extremity of the swim and changing depth to try a deeper line kept the bites coming.

Feeding also plays a huge part in it as well and i love nothing more than throwing hand fulls of maggots at a swim and getting a positive response from the fish with a bite a chuck but on this session i really trickled the bait in, literally 3 maggots every run through.

The final net was quite good considering the short amount of time we spent on the actual river

Till next time i wish you all tight lines and i hope the fish gods are good to you all.


Friday, 30 October 2015

Roach on the Bolo....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  From a blogging point of view i am currently two trips behind schedule.  This is not necessarily a bad thing as a back log means i have plenty of content there stored ready to write about and also means when i do get some free time i can write a couple of updates at once and schedule them to go live over time.

At this moment in time i am into my pike season and loving it i have had some tough times already and had a nice capture already but most of all i am enjoying my pike fishing.  As you will read in coming blogs i now have my 17ft rod back in action and feel prepared now for any river we tackle.

In this weeks update i will be covering a very very special session by long time blog follower and good friend Garry had on the bank recently and we finish the introduction with a little bit on a gift i was sent by a fellow blogger to review and develop, a product i am really excited about. 

On to the update...

Pike Heaven for Garry...

Two years ago struggling on the canal to get a bite and with the wind howling in my ear i was close to giving up on my new pike dead bait adventure.  I was wet behind the ears in this branch of our sport and as always my blogs at the time where brutally honest in reporting the blanks i was going through.  It was not long after returning home i received a message from Garry offering to help me out and through a number of messages he got me to a stage where i was confident in what i was doing was right and given time i would catch pike.

Over the coming moths a few messages developed into actually going out on the bank together and again Garry was really help full in showing me how to tie my own wire traces and what knots i should be using.  Always happy to help i discovered he had helped many people over the years and with piking and it was great to see someone willing to give so much back into the sport.  I was very lucky last year to catch a fish of a lifetime and looking at the set up i caught it on it was so much more refined from the set up i was blanking on in those early day, hell i caught it on my own tied wire trace for one.

Garry's target since i have met him  has been to beat his personal best pike of i think 14lb 10oz and through the two years he has come so close with huge pike that where hollow to catching obvious 17-20lb pike that where low on weight due to hooks stopping them feeding.  Well on the 14th October at 5.30pm it all came together for him, it all came good, here is your blog mucka...

Leaving work at 4.30pm i was undecided as to whether or not to make the 40 minute journey through reams of traffic to see how Garry was doing on his day off pike fishing.  A early morning call on my break had revealed he was struggling and it was no surprise with temperatures rising to 15oc!  A quick text revealed he had moved from his morning haunt and when i arrived on the bank i was met with a man frustrated having tried every trick in the book to get a bite.  "last time i was here it was all tiny jacks" was a comment from me that in hindsight did little to improve the situation.  It seemed like i was there only a few seconds before Garry's left hand rod bounced once, causing a circular ripple to erupt across the surface in all directions around his bubble float, a slow move to the right and the float slid away.  A hard strike saw the float staying in the water and his rod bent into a nice curve, i moved his other rod into the margin and grabbed the net.  The fish at first seemed to just stay in one spot coming slowly up a little in the water columns.  I think this suddenly awoke the pike to the fact all was not well and in one long run the pike zoomed off taking line from the reel as it went.  This fish was not messing around at all and its size, unknown at this point, was added to by the fact Garry had no choice but to walk along the muddy banks with the fish to keep up with it.

"Got to be a nice fish Garry" and then she came up for the first time, "Jesus she wont fit in the net!" was the general consensus and this confirmed to me Garry was connected to a certain pb and at this point i knew it was at least a mid to upper double.  The fish came into the waiting net and her head about to grace the mesh she violently turned away on another run!!.  Holding the net i had flash backs of a lost fish where the hooks got stuck in the net and the fish flipped to safety, taking no chances we waited for the fish come in but time and time again the fish shot off at the sight of the net!. 

Walking back we knew we needed to get the fish in this time and walking back Garry eased the fish in and with a deep scoop she was in the net and Garry had his long awaited prize!.  The fish on the unhooking mat she was a fat fish with plenty of depth and width to her, to not be a personal best at this point she would have needed to been made of balsa wood, a proper pike.  It sent me straight back to a year ago for me and i wanted to make sure i captured as much of this special moment as possible for Garry so he had plenty of stuff to look back on and remember.  A few videos and a plenty of nice pictures we rested the pike in the net while we set it all up.  At 19lb 4oz he had demolished his personal best.

All the hours on the bank and numerous pike captures to get to this moment and i was privileged to have shared this moment with Garry given the fact he had helped me so much with my pike fishing. It was amazing to see such a nice pike on the bank but also see Garry bouncing up and down the bank full of excitement and jubilant at his new personal best.  It en captured everything that is so special about fishing for me, nothing in this wold can beat that feeling of walking on air after the capture of such a beautiful pike.

The session did not stop there for Garry as for the next hour his rods went mad with 3 more pike, 2 jacks and a pike of 15lb that would have been his personal best 30 minutes earlier.  Again another cracking fish.

Looking at these pictures I'm right back there on the bank with him sharing that moment and it was a privilege to have been there.  Well done mate and here's to the rest of the season to come!

Pike Float Perfection..

The blogging fishing world is at times just like one big community we all share the same passion for writing about our catches and all kind of have our own niche.  One fellow blogger, mike Cootes, writes a very good blog around his adventures on the bank but he also makes his very own floats.  All his floats till now have been stick floats or wagglers aimed at silver fishing but he recently we got into talks about me possibly looking at his new prototype pike float with a view of using it and feeding back any improvements.

As you can see from the pictures above the floats are as pretty as a picture and i was really excited to receive the float in post.  The float was fantastically packaged and protected so when i opened it up it was as beautiful as as the pictures suggested.  The float felt as light as a feather and at first i thought a little small, i was expecting it to be a lot bigger from pictures, i did wonder as to what the weight capacity of the float would be, the ultimate test being getting it out on the bank.

The line threaded through the float fine and sat on the line i could feel no weight at all on the line, everyone bangs on about resistance in this game and if that's the case no fish was feeling a thing from this float.  I went out on the bank on Sunday with this float for the first time and my usual 18 gram weight took the float to the red on the float so it gives me the option to fish on the bottom of a bait suspended.  You will read about the trip in coming blogs but as a sneak peak it has already claimed its first pike....

All in all i feel really privileged to have been sent the bespoke and personalised item of tackle it really does feel good to use it, my only worry now being losing the float!  A few more trips and i can give a full feed back report on the float but if you are looking for an item of tackle with that special touch whether for fishing a river or lake check out mikes blog on the link below!!

Mkes Blog:

on to this weeks fishing...

Roach on the Bolo!!

A new venue always gets the blood flowing with me and even more so when that new venue is a river!  Most of the fishing i do and new venues we fish is down to our hard working in scouting them out but on this occasion it was a nice tip off from a friend.  We hit the bank at dark thirty like we always do and with the mist rising from the river and the sun peaking over the horizon it was a magical moment to get on the river bank.

I only had my 13ft rod on this session and i just hoped and prayed the water in front of me was manageable for me.  Pluming up i found a nice run on the shelf dropping into a deeper channel around 10-11ft deep.  I started off on the stick and was instantly into fish and nice ones to boot which got me thinking if this was the average stamp we were in for a good days sport.

Although the float was going under regular i was missing or bumping a lot of bites.  I had a quick visit from Ste and despite speaking to him a lot on the blower and on Facebook it was great to have a face to face catch up and of course talk turned to the pike season.  I quickly changed over to a bolo float and as the sun was getting up and the sky was clear made up some ground bait to hopefully get some colour into the water.

The change over to the bolo certainly made all the difference with the bumping bites of missed bites suddenly being turned into fish on the bank and at around 5-7oz a piece some of the roach where a pleasure to catch.  I plodded along and was genuinely amazed at the quality of the roach as time and time again a palm sized roach graced my welcoming hands.

My uncle was having trouble with pike taking his fish so i decided to take a break from the trotting and see if we could land the toothy piscator from his swim.  A roach fished mid water was soon picked up and despite it not being the start of the pike season, it felt fantastic to be playing a pike again and had me looking forward to the October pike season.

The pike returned i returned to my peg and resumed my quest for roach and it was some of the best fishing we have had this year.  It really gives me great pleasure catching in deep water as it was large depths where i struggled so much in my early years so to be able to go a new venue and not be daunted by 10-12ft of water was a great feeling.  The roach continued to feed confidently and what was even better was they fed right on where i was feeding my spicy homemade chilli hemp, maggot being the hook bait.

The day drew to an end and it was time to look at the nets we had caught, with all the pike activity i expected a empty net with a hole in if i was honest! A 13lb net of red fins for me and 11lb for my uncle, a top days sport.

my net

 uncle net

Well that wraps up another week of fishing on the blog, till next time,

tight lines


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Stick Float Fishin' For Chub...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Life at the moment is about as hectic as it comes with the little mastering crawling at speed and also learning to climb its all go keeping tabs on him although my plan to test my delkims for the coming pike season by typing line to his feet and running it though the sensor seems a sound one!  Away from home and i recently applied to be deputy in work and that is just starting to involve my devoting my attention to this, all this along with making preparations for the coming pike season its safe to say every aspect of my life is really chaos at the moment, its good to be busy though.

Sometimes i have no choice but let this blog take a back seat, something has to give and as this is a hobby and does not really put money on the table as such it is always the first thing i have to drop, there literally is not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  As such it has meant my normal schedule for uploading on a Friday evening and writing my blog on my dinner hour in work is not possible so the updates for the foreseeable future will be a bit sporadic.

That bit of life trivia out of the way lets get into this update...

First Pike Social Booked!!

So we are literally days off the start of he new pike season and i had booked the 1st of October off work with the view of a early attack on the waterways that had produced for me last year.  The blog is there for me to share my fishing adventures with the world but it does also offer me and journal of my visits to the bank.  Although i do not share locations on the posts, through fear of it attracting the wrong type of people in poachers, i know myself where i have fished on each session so as such i can look back through my own blogs and look at locations that fished well at certain times of year.

Work came up to me a few days ago and mentioned that the leave was really low on the day i had booked so i agreed to come in on the 1st October and swapped it for the following Tuesday.  Garry, a fellow piker, is not able to get out on the bank till the 6th October so it will be a great social for us both to start our piking campaign.  Talks have been on going for the past week but we have settled on a location and a plan of action for the day.  I will of course be heading out with the same mentality i did last year, aim for one fish on the bank and go from there.  Writing this now i am really excited to get out and although it is not mentioned in this update the weekend just gone i managed a pike on the bank and it really has lit the torch for the piker inside to be released again!!

Pike Season Ahead - My Plans and Mindset......

So we sit on the cusp of the start of the new season and looking back over October last year i really did hit the ground running.  My fist session on the bank saw me banking 5 pike, nothing massive but with the target of 100 pike it got the ball rolling and i was on my way.  October was a month to remember for me with me breaking my Personal Best twice with one pike going over 20lb and shortly in November i had days where i caught multiple doubles in one day.  This is fantastic and great memories but what i have to do this year is keep my feet on the ground, continue to build on lessons learnt last season and always know that this season may be very different and it may be a season where i don't land lucky on bigger fish and i do not have half as much success as i did last season.  I have to remain realistic about it and be prepared to work a lot harder for my captures whilst also remembering to enjoy what has become a time of the year i look forward to so much now.

This season i will obviously be continuing to share the bank with my piking mates Ste and Garry and although Ryan has moved further afield now i am sure he will make the odd appearance on trips with his supermarket jumbo mackerel baits.  Towards the end of last season i was really happy to spend some time on the bank with one of Stes mates, Dave, a man who was coming back into fishing after a gap and was keen to try pike fishing.  Me. still wet behind the ears in my piking baptism, was happy to help him as much as i could and i was really impressed by his determination and passion for the sport and i can not wait to see him catch his first double.

The target last season of 300 or 400 pike, 30 doubles and 1 twenty pound pike did give us all focus during the season with us all working towards a common goal but i myself did find i was going places to catch numbers of fish rather than going places where the chances of less fish but of a larger size was possible.  The list also unavoidably took over and really at times did dictate locations i fished and also, especially towards the end where 100 was i sight, developed a unhealthy obsession with getting out fishing.

This season is slightly different as we have done away with the huge total target of hundreds of pike and also the twenty pound target has also been done away with and we have set a fun, but achievable goal, of 40 double figure pike between us.  That equates to 10 doubles each and this gives us all freedom to devote a days fishing to a 1 take but a big fish water without worrying the pike total is not moving.  Moving into my second year of piking i am really seeing this as a target i should be achieving but i fully know how frustrating piking can be so if i don't reach it then that's life as they say.  My own personal goals for the year are to have fun and utilise methods i picked up last year and put them into practise.  Here's to the adventures to come.

Chubbers Delight.....

Fishing for me now is like a ritual, its part of my weekly routine and as such it is very rarely that sequence is broken.  Saturday morning comes around and loading the car i head to my uncles to pick him up, a quick chat and we set of in search of new adventures on the bank.  This week was different as an opportunity of overtime in work saw my uncle missing the trip out this week.

Regular blog readers will remember my blogs about piking last year where i openly documented how i found it hard heading out on my own and spending time on the bank.  A big part of my fishing is the craic and laugh we have and the sharing of achievements or sussing out new areas, this session was different as the seat next to me was empty and the tackle fist easily into my boot with no need for tactile persuasion. 

No rain for a week saw all the rivers running low and clear so it was a case of picking the best of what was available.  It may sound unusual but i chose the part of the river where it was really shallow and running low and it was for good reason.  Why would you not head for the deep areas with plenty of cover from the sun? That is a very good question but think about it like this, when the river is at its normal level or has some water in the fish can be in any swim along the length but on a shallow river running low the  natural deep spots and dark areas where you can not see the bottom are where all the fish will be crammed into.  So you will have all the fish from one area of the river in one deep hole and this includes the trout, chub, dace and gudgeon.

Fishing these holes in the river you will get quick results but the fish will spook eventually but what you have straight away is competition for food and this not only helps you get the fish out with minimal disruption to the shoal but when they do spook you are literally running bait right through them, they have no where else to go so eventually the will to feed and not turn up a free meal takes over and the fish come back on.

I moved away from my normal mantra of taking my tackle box and sitting in one swim all day and decided to lighten up my gear and walk the bank trying to land on a nice shoal of chub, i would know it once i found the swim to stay in.  The first swim i arrived in i knew held some nice chub and setting up in the light of my head torch i could see the slow was going directly where i wanted it to and where i would expect to find the fish.  Feeding the swim as i set up the first trot through i eagerly awaited the battle of a chub.  Rivers are weird animals and despite fishing a 4 number 4 stick float the flow that looked steady held no power to even pull the float through the swim!!  A change of plan and a move to approach the swim from a different angle saw me trotting away for a good two hours with a dace and chub to show for my efforts.

Knowing the potential of the river and sat there knowing the chub where there i stubbornly remained in station before admitting defeat.  Moving on down river it was great to travel light with just a rod, landing net, keep net bag and pockets full of bits i was up and away in no time.  I hit the first swim, a short glide along some overhanging blackberry bushes i caught a few nice dace but after hitting a big trout and losing it i knew it was time to move on.

My hopes of fishing a deep bend where dashed by a herd of cows and a big bull in the field who i knew would not welcome my intrusion so i settled in on the bend upstream.  The flow right under my feet i had the option to run right along the inside snags but it was filled with risk.  Hooking the fish would be no problem but getting it out would be the main issue.  The fast flow on my inside had gouged out a deep run but it had also created a deep slack on its inside and i targeting this as my main point if attack.  In went a good handful of hemp and i began feeding maggots, building up the fishes confidence, first run though and a dace fell to the baiting up tactic.

The next few trots through the swim brought the ever confident but ever annoying bites from minnows as one by one i ploughed through these fish.  Its a game i first played on the banks of the river dane on the Warrington anglers stretch many moons ago, anglers would turn up with all manner of big baits like cheese paste, worm, bread, meat and so on and i armed with a few pints of maggot would head off.  I knew i would be getting bites every time down from minnows but i also knew that once the minnows went it was CHUB TIME!.  So these minnows although a irritant gave me great insight to what was happening below the water and sure enough all of a sudden the minnow bites went and i struck into the bottom or as us river anglers know them a chub.  The swim i was in allowed no room to give the fish an inch and like all chub it knew where safety was, in this swim, all the overhanging brambles.  Plenty of side strain and the tip of my 13ft float float well under the water she bent round in a smooth satisfying bend

The chub in the net i was one happy angler and after a quick picture it was into the keep net as not to spook the shoal that was down there.  I was proven not to be wrong either as the very next cast the bait dropped of the ledge into the deep dark water and bang under the float went and i was into another chevin.  A great battle with plenty of hairy moments along the way but with the drag set right and my 1.7 bottom holding i was in control and waited for that first opportunity to net the fish and reduce commotion in the swim.

These two fish came at 11.10 and 11.14 am and a good 20 minutes passed till the next chub at 11.37.  This marked a landslide of bites from the chub as fish came one a chuck to the net for the next half hour with chub coming at 11.45am, 12.01am, 12.08am, 12.16am.

After weeks catching dace and roach an not much else having the carbon bend double was an amazing feeling and boy did that feel good!  I decided to call it a day there as in the warm conditions i was fully aware that the chub had been in the net four a good 2 hours.  Releasing them i new would kill the swim completely so i packed down the gear and prepared my camera and unhooking matt for a quick picture of the net of fish.    Seven chub in total i was over the moon and even more happy as to how well behaved the chub where for the picture, a first time shot was acquired for the blog and back the chub went. 

Not out fishing for another week the maggots where looking a little worse for wear and certainly would not last till the next weekend so as a thank you gesture i deposited a good half pint of maggots into the swim.  They, and the minnows, would get through them in no time.

Well that's another blog update completed, i am a little far behind on trips, purely down to life away from angling.  Finding time to blog is so hard at the moment so please bear with me i will get them out as soon as possible.

Till next week

Tight lines


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stick Float Fishing for Dace On A Rising River

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  A huge thank you to all the people who emailed me this week with regards help with their fishing it was great to sit down on Sunday and write the replies to them all.  I do get out fishing a lot but i really do not see myself as one of these amazing anglers who knows everything, i try to reply to the questions with as much knowledge as i can pass on and it is great to receive the replies when people go out and catch from your help, it is so fulfilling.  There are of course the emails where people just get in touch to thank me for writing the blog and how they enjoy reading it and again these emails are what give you that boost to know you are doing something right.  Again thank you to all who emailed me this week made a angler and blogger really happy on Sunday.

On to this weeks blog update

Splitting the Hemp...

So my hemp order came in a week or so ago and coming home to a huge 20kg sack of dry hemp seed i knew the daunting but ever so therapeutic task of splitting it down into 1 pint session bags was on the horizon.  I still had one or two bags left from last years batch so i put this task off for a week or so, last weeks session saw the last bag boiled and used so there was no option.  It was out with the sack of hemp and with the early morning sun warming the patio it was time to set up the production line.

My little girl was at the front of the Queue her job to pass the bags to Lucy, her job to keep the bag open while i scooped and poured in a pint of seeds.  This worked a treat and in no time at all we had a pile of sealed food bags covering the floor.  These orders come in a hessian type sack and then the actual seeds inside are held in a card type bag and this is fantastic as you can literally use each bag to split the order, one for me one for you and we soon had them bagged up and over my uncles for him to use.

Pike Dead Bait The Order Of The Day....

So the start of the pike season is literally a few days away now and i can almost see that pike float gently moving to the rhythmic motion of the water as it waits to be ignited into life by a passing esox.  Like last year Garry was very generous in asking us if we wanted to be put in on his bait order on line as the bulk buy saves on shipping and also you can get some cracking discounts on bulk buy popular baits.  I was very selective this year in my bait choice and went for baits i caught well on last year in Smelts, joey mackerel, sardines jacks and roach.  These baits should be fine for the start of the campaign and see me right for the first month or so depending on how many times i get out and how many pike i catch of course.

I am sure Ste will join me here in thanking Garry for putting this order together and splitting it down for us, cheers mate. 

On to this weeks fishing...

With all the weeks of trying to work out the River Dane we had probably seen enough of this river to last us both a lifetime so we made a decision on the Friday that no matter what we would be fishing a different river the next day.  A quick stop in the tackle shop revealed my rod replacement section still being mark as awaiting delivery, a quick phone call by the shop owner and hopefully it will be here next week. 

To say it rained on Friday was an understatement and when this down pour continued into the evening i knew we would have a decision to make the next morning.  This time of year is great for that as we meet up around 5am and the EA chart for that morning are normally posted on their site to give us an idea of the levels of the local rivers.  All the charts showed no rises in the rivers, very odd we thought given the rain, but we knew the rise was to come for sure, there had been too much rain for it not too.

We sat for a second and thought about aborting the river session and going a local pond but we decided to go the river and the reason was this.  Fish go on a big feed when i river begins to rise as all food washed into the river comes down, we both knew the fishing would be good but also knew once the colour came things would change and the fishing on the float would subside.  At max we thought we had from first light till around 9am, 10am max, before the river would be unfishable.

Arriving on the banks of the river she was gin clear and running low with no signs of any extra water or colour in the system.  We quickly set up in our swims as we knew time was of the essence and i quickly fed maggots into the swim while i set up as i knew there was a chance of a chub in this area and where as other sessions where i was happy to wait for them to edge onto the feed i felt today i needed to enforce the message that free food was coming in upstream and almost push the fish into moving up.  The first few trots down brought no action at all as the float trundled through the swim time and time again.

Incidentally the float i used was a 6 number 4 stick float with 6lb line down to a 2.1lb bottom and a size 20 hook.  This set up seems light but you will be surprised just how much strain you can put on a chub with this set up.  I do hasten to add that the river is not really snaggy and in most swims its a case of keeping the fish out of the brambles on the surface and under the water than and severe sunken trees of even trolleys you find on other rivers. 

Around a hour and half into the session and still i plugged away with nothing to show as reward for my efforts.  It was during the next hour though things changed.  I began to notice a lot of debris coming down the river, grass cuttings at first and as time went on the off twig and branch and there was one big swell in the eddy to my right that confirmed a rise in the river was happening for sure.  A tinge of colour at this point, nothing more, and the first bite came with this cracking dace below.

As predicted the rise in river had triggered the fish to come on the feed and another dace followed shortly after.  This next half hour to forty minutes the swim went mad with fish solid on the feed right on my hemp.  I knew this would not last but with dace of this quality i knew we had made the right decision.

A hour into the rise and the colour was starting to show really bad.  I could no longer see the bottom at all on any part of the river and the colour was beginning to look more like milky hot chocolate than the weak tea of an hour or so ago.  The bites where also tailing off now as the fish sensed the rise in the river was too great and i think moved into the slacks out of the main flow. 

I decided to abandon my torrent down the middle that was once a gently glide and began to fish the slack to my right.  A few minnows at first but the fact i was getting bites was the main thing and then i struck into something a bit more substantial that went straight into the flow.  My line was perilously down the middle of the river and with logs coming down it was more a case of dodging the snags than the fish finding one as a game of line tetris was played out, oh how kids of today will never know the joys of a game boy :-)

The fish was the best fish of the day and although not big was the chub i was after.

Not long after this i saw the shape of my uncle coming down the field.  His swim was just a glide with no slack so i knew the game was up with regards fishing the river.  We both going fishing together and as a team we fish all manner of rivers and lakes but we also do work as a team if the fishing is good for one and not the other.  My uncle had caught well taking a few nice dace and a chub to boot he had a cracking net of fish that showed how valuable it is to know the rivers you fish.  We both knew we would catch and catch well but not for a long duration and i think i speak for us both when i say it was good to finally get some bend in the carbon.

We both left the river in a right mess but happy with our exciting but brief session.  That concludes another weekly blog update and i hopefully the next update will see us build on this one. 

Till next time

Tight lines


Friday, 11 September 2015

Pondip Blog Live and New Swim Trecks!

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well i arrived at the bait shop on Friday and unfortunately there was no replacement rod section waiting for me, no fault of the shops just no Preston orders had come in that week, fingers crossed for this week.  A tough start to the working week today as i feel the pain from a weekend trampling through the undergrowth and of course that monday morning blues feeling of no fishing for a few days.  A third cup of coffee of the morning just arrived on my desk so fingers crossed that this much needed caffeine gets me through this afternoon.

Since the birth of our children my fishing has remained structured but the writing of the blog has been all over the place but i finally feel that i am finding some much needed structure to my week with writing my blog on my dinner hour in work.  Jotting my ideas for the blog down over the weekend while fishing means i am now starting writing the blog on the Monday and hopefully this will see me starting to publish my blog on Friday evenings.

On to this weeks blog update..

Down at the Bottom of the Garden....

Now we all remember the famous program as kids called the poddington pea's,  respect to those currently signing the theme tune!! But this week i was literally down at the bottom of my garden amongst the birds and the bees, i didn't see a lot of Little people but i did find a gem right at the back of my garden that i never knew was there.  This gem is a elderberry plant and although not yet in full bloom it soon will be and for me as an angler it means i can now have a go fishing with elderberries over hemp seed.  A great little find!

I will be leaving this a few days to come into full bloom and hopefully i will beat the birds to this bounty, do they even eat them? sure they do.  The first session they are ripe i will be taking a few to the bank and trying them out.  The end of the garden is a right little Aladdin's cave of surprises though with a Apple tree currently laden with apples, any ideas on variety appreciated in the comments section.  There is also some form of berry tree as well and i am informed its not the best thing to make cherry pie from so i will be giving these a miss but the apples might get a look in if they are edible.

All in all with the bird feeders up the garden has been a real surprise this year.  What started out as a overgrown wild garden is slowly getting to a managed state and the wealth of wildlife is astonishing from robins, finches and sparrows to hedgehogs, frogs and squirrels.  These have mainly come from the bird table but most have had little don't to attract them in so i can only imagine the oasis we could have if we really directed some energy towards their habitat.

Natural History Museum.....Great Day Out!!

Bank holiday weekend and we decided to make a trip into Liverpool town centre to visit the Natural History Museum.  All i can say is WOW! what a fantastic day out and set up they have there it really was a great day out and i have to say it was done in the right way.  The exhibitions are set over 5 floors with aquariums, space rockets, dinosaur bones, preserved animals and a bug zone to name a few areas they had.  As an angler i was of course pulled by the aquarium bit and it was fantastic to see so many children fascinated by the fish on show.

We had recently visited the Blue Planet aquarium and it was a nightmare with every room containing children's rides or sweet vending machines, all these do is distract the attention of the children and you are left with kids crying to go on rides rather than looking at the fish, in short had we wanted to go the fair ground we would have gone Alton Towers.  This place had none of that and it showed in the fact all the kids where looking at the fish and reading the information on show.  This spoke volumes for me and it is a place where entry is free!.

Parking right outside the place and i think it was £3.00 for a few hours parking.  All in all a great day out and a place i fully recommend for taking the kids too.  I know its not angling related but thought it worthy of a share.

Pondip Blog Goes Live.....

My most recent blog for Pondip Tackle Boxes went live this week.  It is the second instalment of my canal baits series i am writing for them.  This blog looks at castors and hemp seed for fishing the canal and the results it can bring.  We all live close to a canal and even the most neglected of waters can hold a decent head of fish, in fact waters that are gin clear and you can see the bottom all the way across are not always the best quality for fish to survive.  Why not have a read of the blogs and try your local canal and even better drop me a email or message on facebook and i will feature it in one of the blogs.

link to Pondip  Blog:

On to this weeks fishing

What is going on!

So Saturday morning and we pulled up on the banks of the river dane and in the gloom of the early morning light the river was looking in tip top shape.  We walked the banks looking at all the swims before deciding on where to fish.  We are always out on the bank at first light and are very rarely beaten to a peg if we really have one in mind but on this river that is not even an issue as the gear stays in the car and we walk the banks looking at the swims before even getting the gear so confident are we no one will be on the peg when we arrive back.

By the time we walked back to the car the river was fully visible and she looked in mint condition in fact as rivers go she was bang on!  The river was carrying a little bit of water, had a nice pace but more importantly she had a lovely colour.  You could not see the bottom in the middle and the edges where just visible.  Having fished the rivers for a few years you begin to understand how they fish and in both mine and my uncles opinion it looked class and we expected a decent days sport.

I set up in a swim where i placed my basket actually in the water and fished a few yards into the river.  The main glide on this swim was on my side of the river so it was nothing more than a two rod length cast to be on the line i wanted to fish.  I fed the swim with maggots and fed it slightly down stream so i was confident the fish would not be right up on the feed and my float was settled by the time i got to the swim.  A few pouches of hemp seed and i was all ready to set up my 13ft float rod loaded with 5lb line and a 1.7lb hook length.

The fishing from the off was frantic as the fish moved right onto the feed and a shoal of chublet where obviously in residence as the early exchanges where dominated by these fish with their mouths laden with maggots.

At this point it was looking like we were set in for a good days sport as i could also hear my uncle some 50 yards down stream confidently striking into bites.  Chublet and the odd roach coming each cast you begin to think it could be a good days fishing with a decent net.  The float rarely made it to my bed of hemp seed at this point and i must admit alarm bells where ringing as the bites where beginning to feel frantic and not the settled swim you really want when trotting a float.  I persevered with it but slowly i could feel the bites ebbing as i went further down the swim and onto my hemp seed where i found the odd skimmer had taken up residence.

This was around a hour into the day and i will never forget this skimmer as it was literally the last fish i caught on the session as the swim died.  From a bite a chuck to nothing and the float going through the swim with not so much as a knock, "it can not be right this" i thought in my head "all these fish can not just go!".  This time i was determined to do all i could so out came the maggot feeder rod and ground bait and i began fishing on the tip where i had fed my hemp.

The tip remained as motionless as the float and i even decided to risk a cast right on top of a over hanging tree where there just had to be a fish lurking but still the tip remained motionless.  My head ticking over i could only imagine a predator had moved in so i set up a small live bait rig.  If any predator was in the swim it must have been blind as this live bait was doing all you would want it to do making a commotion and frantically moving all over the swim.

I have said in previous blogs this place is getting me down and i have to admit on Saturday i finally gave up.  I literally said stuff this and packed my gear away and went to see how my uncle was doing.  He was a good 50-100 yards down stream and his swim had literally mirrored mine and he was going through with not a knock.  I took a picture of my net and thought about what to do next.

Not one to waste time

We had plenty of the day left so we decided to pack in and do some investigation into some other areas of the river i had researched in the last few weeks.  The first was a stretch miles upstream and upon getting out the car we where met with head high balsam and nettles.  We grabbed the bank sticks and began hacking a route through to a point where we could at lease see the river.

like with most rivers you get through some of the under growth and you find big open expanses of bank behind it and so was the case with this.  The river was really neglected so a lot of fallen trees had gone into the river and had not been removed but the whole area screamed fish and had some really nice glides.  Getting the gear to the swims was going to be a nightmare so we made our way back the car and vowed to return another time to hack a route through and fish the swims we found and we headed off to another area we had explored the previous week with a view to seeing if it held any fish at all such was its remote location.

Armed with a shovel we began digging in some foot holes and a place to sit on the steep banks.

We fished the swim for a hour or so in the blistering heat, not the best time to be wetting a line on a shallow river but we knew these fish would not have seen a bait so we where confident of getting an idea of species present.  My uncle set up just upstream and we took it in turns to trot the swim.  Early trots down saw us catching bottom as the swim gradually got shallow but eventually we found a line and to our surprise some stinking dace came to the net!!

By the end of the hour or so on the bank we had caught a few nice dace that showed us this area does have some potential and is worth us dedicating time to this area.

We left again a little frustrated with the days action and we are yet to find an area that can sustain a day session and produce a decent net of fish.  Moving and picking around is not how we fish and its really becoming a problem.  Hopefully this coming weekend my rod will be here and we can make some moves to other rivers.

Till next week i wish you all tight lines