Friday, 19 June 2015

The Glorious 16th - New River Season Arrives

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well its finally here! After 3 months of the closed season the rivers this week finally opened again.   I love my closed season as it gives me an opportunity to dedicate my efforts at campaigns away from flowing water.  In this weeks update we look back at the closed season and then forward to the rivers by looking at my preparations in build up to the season opening and we finish the introduction with a look at a special purchase i made recently.

Before we get into the update i would just like to say a huge thank you to all the people who week in week out share, like and favorite my posts on Facebook and Twitter and also the people who take the time to email me with questions and sharing their angling experiences that are similar to mine on the blog, thank you.  I would also like to say a huge Tight Lines and Good Luck to all the anglers heading off this week to fish the Rivers, Lakes and Canals that all adhere to the closed Season!!

With that it is on to the Update...

Looking Back At The Closed Season....

The closed season is always a time i look to try some different angling away from flowing water.  My uncle is a real lover of the river and during the closed season he always goes into a sort of fishing hibernation where he devotes time to getting big jobs done around the house.  I for the first time had a mini break after the rivers closed and the pike season came to an end and i did feel a lot better for that time.  Next year though i will be utilising this time by not fishing but pre baiting up some spots to fish when i do get back at it.  The break is certainly something i will be looking to continue and saving up some pike trips to cover the blog in this period.

During past closed season's i have set myself mini challenges, blogs on my first 10lb carp and last years where i aimed to beat it all where enjoyable but very pressured times.  As you go through life you also learn a lot about yourself and i know i am a very obsessive person and once i get my head onto a challenge it really does take over and with a little boy just arrived and another little girl i owed it to my family to be there a lot more this spring and summer and i knew targeting small trips on the local canal would fit in nicely.  A few hours in the morning before the boats started up and back home for dinner with the whole weekend ahead for family time.

So looking back the closed season was spent fishing the local canal.  After the first few trips i got into the swing and to keep the trips interesting for myself i set myself a target of working out how to fish the swims and what baits where best for getting the best out of the swim.  I feel the blogs are some of the best i have done as they chartered not only the fish caught but the thought processes behind why i made changes to the set up.

Canals are also venues i am very passionate about, having grown up on the banks of one its hard not too, and because of that i found it all the more upsetting when i returned to the banks that where once lined with anglers to find i was literally the only on on the banks.  It really saddened me that a venue that offered such good fishing was barren and devoid of anyone fishing.  Canal fishing can be really hard work and the rewards do not always mirror effort put in but his canal is fishing its head off and the fishing is far from  complicated, at least i thought.

Asking around on forums and receiving a number of emails and private messages around canals it was clear canals where being seen as hard places to fish and places that almost scared people off as they did not know how to approach them.  I decided then to change my philosophy with my blog and write in a style that showed people how i fish, regular readers will have realised telling people how to fish is not how i write my blog as i feel angling should be a voyage of discovery where challenges are solved by the individual by trial and error and that way the results are ever so sweeter.   The canals i made an exception and began a series of blogs breaking down how i view canal fishing from tackle to location it was all covered in the blogs below.

I do hope these blogs some people to think about trying our canals as they offer such a wide variety of fish and lets face it these blogs have only scratched the surface on canal fishing.  A lot of canals in the country now contain big heads of carp and tench that can be targeted via a pre baiting approach.  Some canals are also areas that are used for people to get rid of unwanted pets that have got to large for their tanks so they can hold some real surprises like catfish and goldfish that surprisingly do quite well in the quiet surroundings of the canal.

The Build Up To Opening Day.....

The weekend before the start of the season and i have to say i have never been so under prepared for the start of the season.  I had a reel needing new line on it, no hook lengths made up and my basket was a right mess and really unorganized.

We decided on a trip to the tackle shop on  Saturday to stock up on some line and also pick up some feeders and maggots for the trip on the opening day.  We decided to get there an hour early and spend some time walking the banks of the local river.  Armed with just a loaf of bread it was not long before chub where topping taking bread off the top.

The sight of chub after chub taking bread off the top was continued in most of the swims we stopped off at and boy did it raise the excitement levels.  It killed me to watch these fish going mad as i knew had i been there with rod in hand and a pint of maggots the fishing would have been exceptional, it had to have been, that bread was mullered 5-10 yards down the swim and in 3-5ft of water i reckon that's as far down as your float would have gone before it zipped under.  The river season was nearly here and i was raring to go after this.

Tackle shop visited i left a bit unhappy as i had only managed to pick up 6lb line instead of the 4lb i had hoped for.  The session we had planned was one for chub and big dace so i was hopefully i would get away with it, only time would tell i guess and i was sure this line would be too thick for the dace on the dee despite having a 2lb hook link.

I got home and spent the afternoon giving my fishing box a much needed clean, it was rammy, I normally give the box a spring clean after the river season ends to wash off all the mud that accumulates on it from a hard and rough season on the River banks.  This year i had not bothered at all and i was left with a box that looked, well quite frankly disowned.  A bucket or warm soapy water and a bunch of elbow grease late i had something that resembled a tackle box.

A quick glance inside the boxes trays revealed a mess that would rival Kevin's bedroom from Kevin and perry, it was shocking.  Floats all over the place, bits of ground bait that had dropped in after shipping the pole back in and all manner of castor shells and dead flies.  Lets just say it needed a clean and again a good sort out throwing away empty hook packets and weight tubs and then replacing them with new i was soon on my way to looking like i was remotely organised.

A hour later, who said men can not clean!!!

All that remained after that was to make up some hook lengths and boil some hemp but i left that task for the night before the session.

A special Purchase....

With Stick float fishing being my main branch of our sport where i use a normal open faced reel i do normally stray away from making an expensive purchase as i feel the very act of trotting where you constantly are turning over the bail arm an excessive amount of times during the session, that you are in fact just breaking the product as such.  With this mindset i normally buy a cheap reel in the 15-30 pound bracket and then used it for that following season.  I had been going through a reel prob every year and i was just taking the hit on the price.

Most of my fishing up to last year was mainly for dace and chublets so the reel was never really tested on better fish like chub in the 3lb plus bracket so i never really had any problems, this was until last season.  Last season regular blog readers will have noticed a step up in my river fishing and a lot of trips included big nets of chub, these fish certainly tested my tackle and all in all my knots and hook lengths stood up to the task but i lost a lot of fish due to a sudden surge for the snags by chub and the reel either sticking or not reacting quick enough or smoothly enough to prevent a hook pull.

With a recent voucher for some work i did around the blog i decided to treat myself to a decent reel for my trotting.  The reel i went with was a Shimano Tecnium reel which when it arrived i was instantly impressed with as you could just tell from the build quality and feel of the reel it was well made.  The front drag had numerous drag settings which i presume means you have a much finer drag and i can not wait to get out and try this reel on the 16th.  I will do a full review in the coming weeks but early impressions are good.

Lets get into the session and the first trip to the river....

The Ever So Glorious 16th June!!

The night of the 15th of June and i had just completed a long day in work, to say it dragged was an understatement as at times if felt like the clock was winding backwards.  Eventually evening came and with the house quiet i settled down to the tasks at hand that included boiling up a pint of hemp seed and making up a few hook lengths for the next mornings attack on the river.  The heady smell of hemp seed cooking in the air and with all the components needed to make my rigs set out on the table the excitement levels where high and that feeling that only comes with special events was in the air, it really is like having Christmas right in the middle of the year for me.

The walk along the river from a few days ago was still clear in my mind and although it was not this area we were heading to the next day that feeling of being by the river again made the wait even harder.  I had planned on a midnight attack on the river but looking at the money available at the moment then i could not justify the extra purchases to allow us to hit the river in the dark.  It was not until 3am that i packed the car and headed off into the dark to pick my uncle up.

In the early hours of the morning i had loaded all the gear into the hall and was set to go and put it all in the car around 3am but i made a decision at the last minute to change the swim i was planning to fish and i knew from experience it was no place for a big seat box so i quickly put together a box of essential buts and conveniently enough it all fit inside my new cool box.  It turned out to be a revelation as with no seat box so much weight was lost and all i had to carry was my holdall, net bag and a cool bag.  This might be the way forward for me in future, although it means having to stand up all day trotting, the lighter tackle was a real bonus.

The closed season is a time where my uncle relaxes and does not really go fishing so it was weird to find myself heading down his road again to pick him up, i guess year on year this will become part of the ritual of the 16th and part of what will make it stand out more as a special event on the calender, the build up the night before and then the feeling of travelling down an old path to pick my uncle up for the first session.

"I Walked Across An Empty Land
I Knew The Pathway Like The Back Of My Hand
I Felt The Earth, Beneath My Feet
Sat By The River And It Made Me Complete....."

For most people the verse above from Lily Allen's version of "somewhere only we know" conjures up nostalgic feelings of winter and Christmas time but for me this very first verse of the song always reminds me of that first walk along the river bank of the season.  The gear on your back and you walk over that final hill, below you the river, and that blast of freshness hits you and its almost as if the dirt and staleness from 3 months next to still and stagnant waters is washed away in that very moment.  You feel your body waken as you feel the freshness of a new season.
Approaching the river you begin to stop in swims you left 3 months earlier as brown, dead patches of earth that over the winter you had manicured and pruned to fit in with your task of fishing that are now hip high with nettles, thorn bushes and Himalayan balsam.  You just want to get set up and get a line in the water but you know housekeeping is needed before the task of fishing can even be considered, nature has awoken in your absence and defiantly claimed back their space.
A bit of flattening out here and a few overhanging trees teased back it was beginning to look like i could get a line in and have a comfortable days fishing.  Threading the line though my 13ft Trotting rod, my hands almost trembling as i rushed to do so, you always take longer when rushing but you can not help it, not today.  Eventually the rod was threaded and the 6 number 4 stick float was attached, a quick hook length attached and i began pluming the depth, bang on first time, it was like i had never left!!  A hand full of hemp down the swim and a sprinkling of maggots slightly upstream i was set for the first cast of the day and the season..............down the float trundled and BANG straight under it went, in all honestly i expected to be a bit rusty but the bit was unmissable and after a short fight a greedy chublet earned the crown of the first fish of the 2015/16 river season..

The Swim was a short 30 yard deep run coming off a shallow bend that started to shallow up again towards the tail of the run is a classic spot for trotting a float.  Its uniform depths and bank side cover mean it can hold some nice chub in winter and to be honest fishing it this time of year i did not not know what to expect.  Winter had brought chub only nets to 27lb so this chublet had me thinking "where have you been all winter".  I get many questions about my chub fishing and asking where i go and the sort answer to it is that it is private fishing.  My uncle, a builder by trade, did some work for a farmer who owns the land with the river on it and during the work he noticed my uncle would walk to the river to see the chub, he never allowed anyone to fish it but did give my uncle and myself permission for us two to wet a line when we wanted.  Its a privilege that might not last forever but for the moment we are two lucky anglers.

The next trot down the swim and again the float went under, again not a massive fish but it was pulling a bit in the flow, i thought chublet, yet i was amazed when i saw a flash of silver jagging through the swim and the silvery flanks of a dace slapping its tail defiantly on the surface as it came to the net.

The next 3 trots down brought instant bites and it was a hectic start to the session and the season for myself.  The average size of the dace shocked me if i was honest.  They must have been over 8oz maybe up to 10oz in size and did not look out of place with the chublets.  Again from a swim where big chub had been the order of the day in winter so it posed more questions than answers as to where these fish where in winter as species like chublets and dace generally can be caught all through the year in the coldest if conditions, this season is going to be so interesting.

Not long after the swim went a bit quiet and i thought the chub might have arrived but not come right onto the bait yet, they can sometimes hand right back in the swim, so you can imagine my excitement when i thought my hunch had been proven right when the float sailed under and something with a bit more fight was on the other end of the line.

The fish came upstream right in front of me before moving down stream in one long strong run and i knew there it was not a chub.  My theory was confirmed when a flash of brown and yellow leaped clear of the water, a trout.  Trout are great when you are not getting a bite and can save a blank on some sessions but right when the swim is building a trout bombing through the swim and splashing all over the place is a real nightmare, it can really put you back to square one. Lovely fish though.

After this trout had done its worst to ruin the fishing the swim predictably went quiet and sat among the undergrowth i wound the rod in and fed the swim with no lines in the water.  Sat flicking the odd maggot and grains of hemp in the swim was a killer trick i learnt in winter and it was great just sitting back and watching the wildlife go bye, first a king fisher then a swallow bladed low through the swim and it was great to be back on the river.

The time felt right for another trot through and there is no better feeling than when you get it right, although only the first session it makes you feel like you really are almost at one with the river you are fishing and you have learnt something from the previous sessions.

A plump fat dace was my reward and i was over the moon.

This resting of the swim proved to be a master stroke as the fish came heavy back on the feed, i was getting bites most trots down, missing a few, but also connecting with the odd fish including some more chublets and dace.  I was working for them but when i got the presentation right i got some form of a result.  A rogue trout again saw me resting the swim for another 15 minutes but i knew by then the plan would work a treat.

A good rest and feeding and i was again ready to run through, right at the end of the trot the float buried and i struck to set the hook.  The strike was met with a stubborn solid and defiant thud as a chub held its ground.  It is almost like they are working out if they can do you right away and working out how strong your set up is from the off as this chub held firm the all of a sudden bolted for the roots.  Lurching over the river i strained to keep the line from the sharp roots.  The shimano reel ticked over a dream and i did notice on a number of occasions the hard runs that had seen hook pulls last season where not present, yet.

When the chub move in they move in and it was no surprise the first chub was followed by 3 more all coming in successive casts.

The time was 8.30am and i ad caught steady during the morning, arriving at the bank at 4am in the morning i had been fishing for a good 4 hours and the sun was just coming onto the river.  At this point i could see my bait going straight through the swim and down stream untouched and it was clear the chub and dace had returned back to their snaggy homes.  I also had work the next day so i trotted a float through for another hour before calling it a day.

The final net went 10.5lb and i was more than made up with the mornings efforts.

The rest of the week ahead me in work i knew it would not be long before i was sat waiting again for that clock to come round to 3am and the start of another adventure on the bank.

till next time i wish you all tight lines


Friday, 12 June 2015

Canal Session Broken Down and Knowlsey trip..

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well as of writing this we are only a few days before the opening of the river season and if i am honest i have never been so un-prepared for the start, this hit me on Sunday and i decided to do something about it, more on that later. 

This weeks introduction See's me visiting Stapley Angling centre to stock up on gear. There is also a piece on a trip recently to Knowsley Safari Park with a few pictures and videos and we finish the introduction with a few pictures of a family that visited my peg during this weeks session on the canal.  The fishing this week is a session on the canal but blogged with a difference as i break the session down a little on how it went from hour to hour.

On the the Update..

Disappointing Trip To Stapley Angling Centre....

With the river season right upon us the realisation that i was totally unprepared hit me on Saturday night.  The forecast for the Sunday was for warm weather and a nice sunny day so a nice family trip out was the order of the day.  The plan was to head to Stapley Angling Centre then a nice hour with the kids on the Farm adjacent and then a nice drive back home with a surprise stop at Snugburrys Ice cream farm.

I have been making the long trip to Stapley Angling Centre two or three times a tear since it was situated back on its old site that included the Garden Centre.  When the shop moved location it actually knocked a good number of miles of the trip for me so it was great news and with the move the amount and depth of the tackle seemed to have moved with it.  Stapley has always been a place i love going to just because you can walk round at your own leisure and look in depth at tackle before you buy.  It was always a place i could guarantee i would get what i wanted for my trips and also have a good look at all the latest tackle.

Around 3 months ago i had a trip down to stapley for some bits and pieces for the rivers and was a little threw then by the lack of items on the shelves for the coarse angling side of things and i left with a few items missing from my shopping list, i thought nothing of it though.  The trip this week was a different matter, i had a list that was quite short, bayer perlon line for my hook lengths, greys clip lock bait box, drennan float fish line for my main line and a few stick floats.

Walking in and to the coarse section i quickly picked up my box but i was genuinely shocked at the little amount of tackle on the shelves.  The Guru stock was brimming and could not be faulted but every thing else left a lot to be desired.  There was one spool of float fish in 2lb breaking strain, no bayer perlon and one solitary stick float in a really light 4 number 4 pattern.  I grabbed the bait box and left.  Second trip there now where i have not got anywhere near what i wanted so this will be my last unless they have the bank holiday sales on, just not worth the long trip and risk of not getting what you need.

Knowsely Safari Trip....

I like to include as much form my life away form angling as possible in the blog and our yearly trips to Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park offer a great opportunity for this.  Wildlife is a huge part of the reason why i love getting out on the bank and going fishing.  I of course go fishing to catch fish and admire the beauty of the fish as you get to see them up close but along the path of these journeys i get to also enjoy the other love i have with the outdoors and that's the wildlife.

There is a special offer on at the moment with the park where you only pay £10.00 per car if you go during the week.  A sneaky day off was booked and we made our way to the park.  I Have to say it was one of the best times we have been as it was quite quiet which meant we could spend a bit of time pulled over without having cars behind you waiting for you to move.  These three male lions where really active on the day and amazing to see so close.

The pride in the enclosure where also equally as active and thought nothing of coming right closer to the car!! Although the older heads knew better and just took it easy.

It was a day enjoyed by all and held so many happy memories with close encounters with rhino's, giraffes, camels and of course the adorable sea lions.  A great trip that all the family enjoyed including our little girl.

Early Visitors On The Canal

One of the things i love about getting out nice and early in the morning to go fishing is how you get to see things the rest of the world that is still asleep just misses out on.  When fishing the river out in the sticks it can be the sight of a fox or a badger scurrying home after a nights feeding or if you are really lucky a barn own.  Walking the fields normally in the dark you can always guarantee a halo of bats swooping around your head.  All these are part and parcel of my angling life. 

Saturday and whilst sat on the quiet and tranquil banks of the Bridgewater Canal i glanced to my left to see a beautiful sight of a pair of swans slowly working their way along the canal with their family of cygnets.  There was only me around at this silly hour so the birds made a beeline over to myself and i took the opportunity to down tools and enjoy their company.  They stayed around for half an hour before moving on up the canal in search of their early morning breakfast.

After the story a couple of weeks ago about the eggs of another pair being smashed this sight held so much more power.  Almost as nature was showing its defiance at these sick beings and saying look at us.  The sad part for me about the rivers opening is i generally move away from these waterways and don't see the family growing up week on week but who knows we may cross paths again when the pike season starts.

On to this weeks Fishing...

In Focus Session on the Bridgewater Canal....

3am - Wake up call - The alarm buzzing away in my ear was met with the groggy reacting it gets in the week until the realization set in it was the weekend and time to get out fishing.  Amazing how quickly and easily you get out of bed, showered and get a breakfast down you when its time to go fishing compared to a days work.

4.20am - Ready for the Off - The local Canal was my chosen venue so there was no rush at all in getting the gear into the car,  These
trips to the canal involve minimal packing with just a seat box, rod holdall and a net bad to put into the car it was all soon in and ready for the off although in typical fashion i got to the end of the road and remembered i had left my bait in the fridge!!  I always forget something at least this time i remembered before i got to the bottom of a farmers field.

4.40am - All set!! - As i said it was a local trip for me so in no time at all i was pulled up and unloading the gear from the car.  The birds in full song in the bushes behind me and the canal like a plane of glass it was a peaceful and beautiful time to be on the bank.  
Many people i work with are amazed about my love for peace and quiet as i am quite vocal in work but i really do work and live for these few hours of tranquility on the bank, pure bliss.

4.45am - The Bait Plan - The plan of attack for the session was a simple but i was hoping effective attack fishing Hemp and Castor on two lines.  One line would be at the bottom of the inside shelf and the other was at the base of the far bank margin shelf.  These areas have been where i have found the better fish in past trips and i was hoping today would be similar.  Recent trips had shown the tench had possibly moved on after spawning and nice shoals of roach bream hybrids had shoaled up in their absence.  I fed two cad pots of hemp and castor on both lines before starting to fish on the inside shelf line.

5am - Understanding Caster - It normally does not take to long to get the fish biting on the canal and i knew had i fished pinkie or maggot on the lines i would have certainly been into fish a lot earlier than the 15 minutes it took on castor.  The size of fish was nothing to shout home about but i knew they would come.  Castor is a bait that will pick out the better fish but only when they arrive, you have to see past the early exchanges with these fish, then hope the better fish you expect move in.

5,30am Better fish come - It took a while but eventually the better stamp of bream hybrids moved in,  There is no denying though it was hard going and taking a short break i remember replying to a post on the blogs facebook page stating it was slow going.

5.35am visitors - Not long after returning this fish i had the visit from the swans and their family and as mentioned above i spent a good half hour just enjoying having this family so close to me and admiring the beauty of these birds.  I firmly believe wildlife knows who hey can trust and there was no spitting or raised feathers at all from the parents and after they left i got back to the fishing.

6.30am - Pike... - Returning to the swim i fed a pit of bait on each line and again settled in on the inside line.  The inside line is a weird line on this section of canal as it does seem to die really quickly.  Its not a line that sustains a great number of fish and for a long time i have thought that pike are to blame.  Again on this session the fish where coming steady and then nothing and then the presence of a pike was confirmed to me, not by a pike attack but a look down at my keep net.  All the fish right up in the neck of the net, a sure sign a pike is about.

06.40am - Amazing - Not a touch on the inside line and fish up in the keep net i shipped out over my far bank line and instantly i was back into fish again.  Bringing the fish in over the top i expected a swirl at any minute.  The attack never did come all session but the pike was there for sure.  The far bank line had been rested for some time and the bites where steady on this line.  Not a bite a chuck but steady bites.

 8am - switching lines - The sun coming onto the water made the bites go really finicky and i spent the next hour moving form line to line picking up fish before moving over to the next one.  This rinse and repeat saw me putting a few fish together and the odd better skimmer. At this point i was expecting a big bream or tench to show every time to float went under as the swims where building up a nice bed of bait.

8.30am - Wind Wind Wind - The wind had been steadily building from around 7am, the odd ripple at first and then it had slowly built to a right hoolie.  The far shelf line was producing the better stamp of fish  but it was getting almost impossible to fish this line as each gust made it impossible to hold the pole against the wind without risking it snapping.

9.15am - Tough - The ever increasing wind which was swirling in all directions made presentation on the far bank line a real battle.  when the wind dropped the bite was instant but during the gusts it was hard work.  It made the fishing a chore and not enjoyable and in fact had me looking at the clock to see how close to 10am and wrapping up time it was.

10am - Great little Chat - Around 10am i had two anglers arrive at my peg both getting ready to start fishing.  These anglers where regulars on this stretch and it was great to share experiences with two anglers who fish here on a regular basis.  Our results had been similar barring a few differences and it was great to learn and share some information with two like minded anglers.

10.30am - Packing up time - The time came to pack in and see how much i had caught.  The net went just under 13lb of mainly bream and hybrids.  I had planned to write this one blog like this before i fished the session and i must admit it was a session where i picked up bites here and bites there which left the session with little structure to work on.  A bit of me wishes i had done this with the previous sessions where i moved lines and stayed on the final far out line.  I guess that is fishing though.

This weekend marks the last session before the opening of the river season so i am hoping to get out on Sunday for one more crack on the canal or local pond.  One day will be spent though sorting my gear out and giving it all a good clean and sort out ready for the season ahead.

To all the anglers out there venturing onto the banks of the river in the coming week its a huge tight lines and stay safe out there.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Bridgewater Canal Fishing On The Waggler...

A warm welcome to this week's blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  The weather of late has been so up and down it has been a lottery deciding what area to target.  On this weeks session i was looking to change things up a little and fish the waggler instead of the pole and for this i was hoping i would get a nice calm day and this horrible wind would drop a little.  It would also be good to see the difference in results from the pole to the waggler.

This year has been a huge time of change for me and my family and only now does it seem to be calming down a little so in this weeks introduction we look at what my plans are for the coming months with the blog, some good news around me getting some of my fishing gear replaced and fixed and then we look at plans to drastically change a local water to me as the concrete jungle closes in.  As mentioned above the session is a quick morning on the canal fishing the Waggler.

On to the update.

Getting Back Into The Swing...

The passed few months i have been really struggling balancing moving house, work, devoting my time to my family and also keeping my standards up with regards the how in depth my blogs on here are, you then add to that other commitments to companies like Pondip its been a real strain.  It may not seem like much has been going on as i think the last few weeks blogs have been some of the best i have wrote but it really has been hard work finding the time to put them together and to be honest there have been times when i have thought about just putting the blog to one side for a few weeks and coming back to it when the river season opens. 

I am so glad i stuck at it and stayed up late at night making sure i got the weekly blog out as you really do get out of the swing of blogging when you take a gap, it can be really hard to get back going again.  This past week or so though as we have moved into June i really am beginning to feel like the new routine is falling into place and it is so far so good with this week already getting out my monthly blog for Pondip and also a little surprise that might be coming in the next few months with Pondip so keep an eye open for that.

So all in all there is a lot to look forward too in the coming weeks and months with both things settling down and the new river season opening and then beyond that the start of the pike season.

Replacing Some Gear...

As i said above i am just coming out a mad few months and during that time money has been really tight indeed, canal trips have really helped with the saving on petrol with them being local and the bait costs being really cheap.  With that it has meant any accidents that happen can not just be as simple to remedy as just going online when you come home and buy a new one as with a house to decorate you can not justify £60.00 on a replacement section of rod.

In the past 3 months i have manged to snap the tip off my 17ft trotting rod and also seen my number 8 section of pole go rolling into the drink on the canal so its not been a great time for me trying to keep costs down and look after my gear.  These two items will both send me back over £60.00 so when i chance of two days overtime came up- last weekend i jumped at the opportunity, both days battered it meant no fishing but as it has meant i have been shattered all this week so that session on Saturday can not come soon enough on the canal.

The Ever Encrouching Concrete Jungle...

I logged into my own personal facebook this week to be met with the news that a local water is being ear marked for further land development.  The venue is Pheonix Park on the Warrington Anglers Card and although it is already situated in the middle of a densely populated suburb these plans show development will be right up to the waters edge.

Looking at this it is going to almost certainly mean more development all around this lake till the whole bank is houses and although there is huge demand for housing it just seems that the little oasis's among towns are now being eroded away. 

There is of course always two sides to the story and i can also see that these houses are needed on a national level and maybe it is better to build within the town boundary than encroach further out into the countryside.  There is also a part of me that looks at theses and thinks. well they are getting built anyway what a house it would be for an angler as you could literally fish on your front door step! Deep down though i would much prefer it to be the green area it is now.

On to this weeks fishing..

Waggler Fishing on the Bridgewater Canal

Fishing the canal as a kid with my dad all our fishing was done on either a small whip we called a "snatcher" or on the float rod.  Poles where in angling at this time but where a far cry from the poles we see today that are built for taming big carp.  The modern day poles we see today actually hold their origins in the match fishing scene where they where built for catching roach on the canal and this is where they got their name "roach pole".  A few anglers around our area had poles but they where very expensive and me and my dad certainly never fished on the pole.

This session i decided to go back to the old ways and leave the pole in the holdall and go all out for a session on the waggler.  I knew results would not be as good as on the pole as you lose all the accuracy you get with the pole as you can feed right on the same spot every time and then lay your bait right in the middle of that small patch of feed every time and this just is not possible with the waggle where feeding is a lot more spread out and you certainly lose accuracy in where you fish each cast.

Casting in with the float meant a move of swim for this session for a section that was a lot wider which allowed me to cast right against a far wall between a willow and a overhanging tree and then quickly sink the line and fish right up on the far bank shelf.  The bait for the day was maggots left over from last weeks session and in all honestly this session was a spare of the moment session on the bank that i only settled on the night before.  Like all previous sessions it was a early morning session from sunrise till around 10am.

As you can see from the swim pic above the canal was in top condition with just a tinge of colour and i was hopeful for a few bites i did however know from experience that the overhanging willow was a magnet for small jack pike in the 1-3lb bracket so i expected a few visitors during the morning.  As always the early exchanges where dominated by smaller fish and it seemed a good while the roach fed in the swim

I was catching steady over the far bank but the quality of fish just was not there.  I was not expecting monsters as i was fishing maggot but some of the fish i was catching were the stamp i would expect on a pinkie line and not a far bank maggot line.  I began to feed right far over against the wall almost and the stamp of fish improved.  It was really hard fishing as it meant casting right over tight and then quickly mending the line and winding hard to sink the line.   It seemed the better roach and odd bream where right over tight and when i got it right i was rewarded.

The session was no where near as prolific weight wise as previous pole sessions but in all honesty this session was not about that.  This session was a session back watching a self cocker float dotted right down shoot under and  strike into a fish, on some occasions.  It served its purpose as well and while the net dried i managed to get a few shots for a upcoming blog for Pondip so i left the bank a happy angler.

A typical mixed canal net that fed my angling addiction for that weekend and the weekend just gone where i was on overtime.  I hope this blog shows you don't always need a pole to catch a few fish on the canal.

Till next week its tight lines from me,