Friday, 28 August 2015

Week In The Life Of A Blogger And Dane Pole Session

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update, i hope i find you all well and you nets wet.  Well its certainly been a change this week in the weather and as most of the world around us curse at the rain arriving, i looked out of my window at the thunder storm overhead and like many river anglers rejoiced in its arrival.  The rivers will get a good flush through, clearing snags and dropping off new ones and of course giving the river a good run of clean fresh water what will reignite the life of the river.  The fish will go heavy on the feed as branches laden with insects fall into the water and those big black slugs get washed into the river making that unmissable plop that sees the chub go on a ravenous hunt for food.  All in all as an angler I'm looking forward to the good fishing to come.

I thought this week i would do something a little different in the introduction.  I always try and put as much of myself into the blog as possible so i had an idea this week to talk a little about myself in this weeks introduction, from a blogger and fisherman point of view.  The blog may seem to many like a simple 20 minutes writing but there is a lot more that goes into putting this blog together and getting it to a standard i am happy with.  I will also be going into detail at the work i put into my fishing a long side the blog, finding new locations and researching new methods to try.  So join me into the normal weekly life of an Angling Blogger.

A Week in the Life of a Blogger....

As this blog is testament to i am a great lover of angling and all things that go with it but away from angling i work a 9-5 job Monday to Friday and along with my very understanding and fantastic partner Lucy we also have two wonderful children to look after and find time for.  With so many commitments away from angling finding time to write a blog and put in time to find locations to fish can be quite hard and many times Lucy will remind me not to spread myself too thin.  In this update i cover my weekly life from a fishing point of view.

Saturday - After a late Friday evening adding the pictures i look at the clock and find its 2am, i normally get my uncles for 4.15am at this time of year so it was basically pointless me going to bed for a hour so i poured another Coffee and set about making up a few hook lengths for the session on the River a few hours later.  The rigs done it was getting on for 3.30am so a quick check on the EA Charts to see if the rain that had come down steady all Friday evening had showed on the Charts, a slight rise but nothing mad so it was still a session on the river Dane.

A quick load of the car and i was off to my uncles to pick him up and with that we enjoyed the fruits of all the work the previous weeks research and the session you will read about below.  The fishing is the meat an potatoes of the blog, without it there would be nothing to write about.  So getting it right is important, but, and this is a huge but, catching it never a priority as the blog will cover the fishing that week whether it was good or bad, i blank then its a blog about blanking.  In short the fishing is never ruled by the blog, i do my up most to make sure we are going the best location for the conditions we are faced with of course but if we blank then that's fishing and i will blog about it to give a true representation of my fishing. Returning home at 5pm im a shattered, a quick nap and its a evening with the kids before spending a few hours catching up with my brother on the xbox.

Sunday - I had planned on taking my daughter fishing but with thunder storms all evening and the rain still coming down we cancelled the session and settled for an morning relaxing in the house.  I reviewed the pictures on my iphone from yesterdays session and uploaded them onto the blogs Facebook page and on a few other pages i post on.  I love writing my blog and sharing it on all formats but i also love the interaction away from anything to do with the blog where i post my fishing from that day under my own name.  A simple post of my net and where i have been and sit back and enjoy chatting away in the comments.  A few jobs in the afternoon for my nan i get home and after the kids go to bed i set about publishing this week blog update, ideally i like to get it out on a Friday but with life so hectic any time over the weekend will do at the moment.  The blog goes live, i share it on a few pages and spend the rest of the evening watching the Carp catchers latest Youtube video and message the lads about all things piking.  (certainly got me in the mood for the season)

Monday - Up for work as normal, it kills me and leaves me wondering how i can be up at 3am Saturday but I'm scraping myself out of bed come Monday for work.  A quick few posts on the blogs facebook page and Twitter and a check on how the views are going on the blog after last nights update going live and its off to work.  12 noon comes round and my dinner half hour and i make a start on writing this weeks blog update.  There is no writing on the blog physically at this point just a pen and a scrap piece of paper to write ideas down as they come to me.   The current format of an introduction and then my fishing is a format that provides a great structure and diversity to the blog but as the months go on keeping it fresh with ideas is the challenge.

Tuesday - Dinner time and i begin writing my ideas down on the blog page, chipping away like this certainly helps but i have noticed one problem with staying at my desk blogging on my dinner hour, people don't know you are on dinner and you get piled with work! Getting home i do a bit of research on a local river i have been hearing a lot about, the river Alt, it throws up very little but is a project that is on the back burner at the moment.  I check up on the social media side of the blog replying to comments before turning in a 1am after scouting out a new potential area of the river Dane, parking being the main issue but there are certainly some deep glides from what i can see that have potential.

Wednesday - Another dinner hour chipping away and i also receive email around a possible product review in the coming weeks.  All these i take time to consider if they are relevant to fishing and if i can use them and give a review.  I night in with the kids watching TV before they turn in and i turn on the laptop.  Wednesday is my evening for replying to all the emails and messages i get via social media, private emails and comments on the blogs page.  I also begin to put together my monthly piece i write for Pondip Tackle Boxes.  (again on scrap before putting it onto a word document.)

Thursday - I make a point of taking this dinner hour away from desk.  In the evening i put my hemp into my flask before i go bed so its ready for Saturdays session.  Although nothing physical is done on the blog today i do check Accuweather for the forecast and also the EA charts to see what level the rivers are at.  My  mind is now fully looking forward to the weekends fishing on the river, after a week in confinement of an office i am dying to get out, craving that fresh damp breeze of the river as you approach it.

Friday - Finishing touches to the blog, all the words are in place as i add this bit to the blog.  All that is left is the dreaded spell check, in American haha and to add the pictures to the blog update this evening.  Working week is done at 4pm, my early dart, its off to the bait shop for two pintos of maggot and a pint of castor.  While there i finally order my replacement for my 17ft rod! The evening is spent with the family before publishing the blog on time and then the whole ritual of tying up rigs and preparing for the session the next day begins!

So there we have it a week in my shoes as a fisherman and blogger.  It does take a lot of my time but most of these tasks are hour here and a hour there rather than a huge amount of time that day.  I would say fishing is never too far from my thoughts.  I hope this gives some insight into how much time goes into these updates and making them as good as my ability can.  I do take on a lot of stuff, to much in fact, but it keeps it all interesting for me as a publisher and angler.

on to this weeks fishing...

Tandori Hemp and Red Hot Redfins!!

Its safe to say that stick float fishing is my passion when fishing the river, i just love everything about it from the decision about what float to use in each swim to working out the best line and more importantly feeding the swim to the conditions on the day.  Its a way of fishing that constantly keeps you thinking each and every cast and every swim is a new adventure. That said i fancied a change this week and for some time now i have been hoping to get out on the pole.  A small river like the river Dane offers only a few locations to fish a pole as many of the swims are fast running glides but there was one swim i have had my eye on for some time now.  A fast run down the middle with a big slack on the inside, winter floods have carved out a deep hole on the inside which looked ideal for a short pole to be fished.

You can never just reply on one method on this river so i set up a stick float rod as well but rather than fish it down the obvious line down the middle my plan was to fish it on the edge of the slack water so the bait trundled through slowly.  I fed the swim with hemp seed and maggot while i set up and i made a point of taking my time and getting both set ups how i wanted them.  My only problem was my float on my pole line was a 3gram bolo float and My concern was that was too heavy but with only canal floats to fall back on i had to make do.  Finally set up it was time to make the first cast.

The swim had been steadily fed with chilli hemp seed and maggot for a while now, more on the hemp in a bit! First put in and the float shot away and i had blue hydro elastic shooting out of the end of the pole tip, a nice fish first put in i just hoped it didn't come off.  With the pole you just dont know what you are connected too as the elastic takes all the movement from the fish out of the right and leaves you with just a feeling of a fish pulling.  When fishing the rod you can tell by the fight what  fish you are connected to, roach seem to have a jagged fight where as dace live up to their name and dart more form side to side where as chub are like hitting a brick wall of defiance.  You do lose this feeling with the pole, but i have to say i was over the moon with my first put in producing a roach of getting into the teens mark in ounces.  It was a fantastic start to the session and although one fish it had me thinking i had stumbled on a decent swim.

Next put in was a series of lightning fast bites what i kept missing as time and time again a strike was met with either a bumped fish or thin air strike.  I made a slight change at this point and reduced the amount of line between pole tip and float and instantly saw rewards for my change and i was shocked to see the fish where not the small fish i thought they were but more nice roach.

The early exchanges saw a number of these roach fall for the bronze maggot approach but i think it was the hemp that was getting them into the swim.  The hemp though was a story in itself as i had placed the hemp in the flask on the Thursday night with, what i though, was a suitable amount of chilli powder.  The day of the session and i emptied the flask and as i did so i could feel my eye brows burning as the heat from the flask rose and this sea of chilli red hemp flooded out of the flask.

The morning of the session and throwing the hemp in my finger tips where literally burning as i did so with the heat.  It might be an idea in winter to keep me warm haha.  The picture below shows the molten lava hemp i was fishing with.  The swim at times was bubbling and there was more than a few jokes around the origin of these bubbles.  Joking aside though the fish loved the hemp and it is something i am going to keep doing but maybe add a little less, for my sake.

I continued to pick up the odd dace and roach as the morning wore on.  I had made one big change on the pole rig though and instead of my normal size 20 hook i had gone with a size 16 and this was because i planned to feed and fish with corn on the pole line at some point.  I had been drip feeding the odd grain here and there and after a few hours i decided to try a piece on the hook.  I missed the first bite but there was no missing the second as i struck into a fish that was solid and then went out in the flow.  Not a mega fight but got the elastic coming out of the pole and my reward was a nice chublet, should i have gone on this earlier when the big roach where about? maybe.

The bites began to die a little on the pole line and i noticed a decent amount of fish showing in the main slack to my right so i began then to feed some hemp and maggot onto my stick float line in preparation of fishing it in a  hour or so.  The weather at this point was dark over cast sky's with the odd shower showing and i remember it being quite cool.  Thunder storms where predicted in the afternoon and i thought to myself if a warm front moves in then we are bang on for some storms.

The pole swim slowed right down and when a daddy ruffe came to the net followed shortly after by a gudgeon i knew the game was up.  A quick visit by my uncle and he was catching well and again it was roach making up his net.  Over to the stick and the float slid away first run down, another puzzle, why where the roach back there and not willing to move up into the pole line? Was some of my bait trickling down into that water and the fish had dropped back there to feed.  Either way  had found the fish again.

None of the roach i caught rivalled that early one but i was catching small roach with the odd better one thrown in and the better bites where coming when the float rose as my weights lay on bottom.  This seemed to pick out the better fish but in all honesty i was happy to be catching steady and the bites at this point where coming right on the hemp.

Around midday the sky completely cleared and a wave of heat came in, it was baking hot.  Compared to the cold morning it was heat you struggled to sit out in and a complete contrast.  The fishing at this point slowed right down and i think the fish just moved out the swim and into the far bank cover, certainly the roach did. 

I continued to persevere and picked up bites here and there but not with any consistency.  I quick turn on of the radio and listening to the match passed the next hour and half and we were there or there abouts for packing in time.  My uncle had done well with a 11lb net of nearly all roach and i ended on just over 9lb.  A net i was happy with given it was a new tactic for me and i felt i fished it well and only regret i might have is that i did not go down the middle but then again i would not be sat here saying i had tried something new then so its swings and round abouts.

A day on the bank where i added another piece to the jigsaw and tried a new method and caught well so i left a happy, if a little sun burnt, angler.

Thats about it for another weeks blog, i hope this blog has given a little insight into my world and how i go about my angling and all that remains is to wish you all tight lines and i will see you all next week.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Finally Comes Good on the River Dane!!

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well what a difference a week (and a bit of rain) makes!  We are still dat here on my dinner hour writing the updates but i am finding that to be working well so far.  I spent a bit of time over the weekend deciding whether or not to publish last weeks blog update, it was all ready wrote to go live Friday night but i was unsure if it would be what i wanted to publish on the blog.  Reading it through on Friday night i felt the same as i did when i wrote it but was unsure if posting a bit of a warts and all update on how run down this river had made me feel was what people would want to read.

I slept on it and decided to publish the update as at the end of the day this is a fishing blog update and my thoughts, emotions and frame of mind around a venue is all part of the journey and documenting it.  We can all write about a fishing session and hold up a fish but the updates like last week i feel give a more in depth view of how much time, effort and thought goes into my trips to the river.  That down on paper it will allow people who read last weeks update to then appreciate and understand the thrill i get when it all comes good like it did this weekend, although it still left us with a few questions but hey will we as anglers ever understand the feeding habits of a fish?

On to this weeks update,

Pike Season Creeping Up #Excited!

I would say this week for the first time the pike bug has really started to bite.  The season is slowly creeping up on us and to be prepared for it you really have to be starting to be making purchases now.  Last season i invested a lot of money into my pike fishing buying all manner of pike related gear and in some instances not really buying the right tools for the job.  Last years big bait order was a prime example of this as it contained a whole manner of different species, last season has give me an idea of the crucial baits i will need for the waters i will be fishing. 

This year my orders will be more specific and contain the baits i want to use and more importantly feel confident using.  There is no doubt making my own pike rigs saved me a fortune last year and that will continue into this years fishing, again i will be able to specifically buy the tackle i know i will need e.g buying more size 4 hooks than 6's as i use them more. 

We then move onto the pike fishing itself and how i am going to approach it.  I will be going into this in more detail as the season approaches but my thoughts at the moment are all about keeping my feet on the ground!  There is no doubting last year was a very good year for me with the piking and on many trips i got very lucky catching some spectacular looking fish but i am also being realistic in the fact i know it could have been so different.  Pike fishing is a art and picking the right pots is a part of that art but if last year taught me one thing about piking its these fish are not mindless eating machines, a lot of different factors have to come together for you to get a take for example you need to be in a swim with a pike in for starters, then that pike has to be on the feed and then once you get a bite you have the uncertainty of the fish staying hooked,  as i said this year could be a lot different and i am preparing myself for that mentally.  Pike fishing wise i am sure there will be some type of numeric target to aim at but along side that my biggest goal is to enjoy my fishing and the magical journey pike fishing takes you on and i can not wait for the first time i see this float below starting to move slowly off.

Warrington Anglers Licence

A question i get asked so many times via private mesaage is "am i still an member of Warrington Anglers and is my fishing on their Waters".  The answer to this questions is yes and no,  Yes I have renewed my licence every year with Warrington Anglers and No most of my fishing does not take place on their waters.  Many of you will notice i very rarely post locations is fish or pictures of the swim i am fishing on the blog and this is a conscious decision i made a few years ago on my part and it is down solely to fish welfare.  I think some parts of the angling world need to open their eyes and see that the people taking fish illegally from our waters are amongst us on the world wide web, on the forums and social media and they use this to work out and plan where they are going to target to take fish.  This week i saw a post of people being caught on the River Trent, had people not been raving all over the Internet how good this river is fishing and in some cases specific locations then maybe these people turning up in vans on prime fishing areas would not be so easy and i would hate for my fishing to feed into that activity so i keep locations and pictures of locations to myself.

With regards Warrington Anglers then i don't buy the card till this time of year as the waters they have river and lake wise do not appeal to me.  I have a number of friends who have the card and during winter i do fish with them on the odd very rare social session so i just leave buying the card till later on in the year and use the money for other purchases earlier on in the year.  None of my posts on here or captures will ever be related back directly in word to Warrington Anglers as i don't agree with the current structure of the club and treating of members only trying to improve the waters they fish, they had a perfectly good advertising branch on here with my blog where their club was advertised, for free, to thousands of anglers a month, i don't agree with how they treated me so why should i help them?  In short i would say 98% of my fishing on this blog is not on Warrington Anglers waters so please do not buy the card assuming my fish is reflective of their card as it is not and i would hate for it to lead people to wrongly purchasing the card.

Cutting In a Swim

Some of the blogs long term readers will remember me digging in my first peg on the river dane last year.  It was the first time i have ever done so and boy what an experience, if you want a good laugh then this post is for you!! 3am spade in hand collared by the coppers!!


Anyhow in the passed week and a half it has been great to see this peg put to good use as on a recent trip i stopped in to speak to a guy catching dace and perch and my mate Garry also got some use out of this peg this week! It needs some more digging in after the winter floods but still a great feeling to know others are getting the benefit of my work on there and hopefully it will encourage more anglers to get out on the bank as more anglers means more bait into the system and this can only be good for this developing river.

With that it is onto this weeks fishing

Effort Equals Success On The River Dane

Heavy rainfall on Thursday and some short down pours on Friday meant that come Friday evening a good amount of water was showing in all the rivers we fish and we had a decision to make.  River selection is always a fine balance between the weather in the week and the levels showing on the Environment Agency Website.  When you fish a river regular you begin to get a feel for the moods of that river and how rain will effect their levels and flow.  Over time travelling to the river you also learn how they fish in certain conditions and also, and i think more importantly, what the clarity would be like.

Every river is different in this respect for example the river Dee will be fish able to around 6.5m and the fish will continue to feed well in coloured water up to this point (we are talking stick float fishing for silvers here), where as the river Dane, from what we have found, does not take well to being well coloured at all.  We decided in the end to give the River Dane another go and the reason was to see what the effect the different conditions would have on the fishing. 

Knowing the river would be holding some colour the next morning i decided to mix it up a bit with my hemp preparation and i added a good bit of chili powder into the pan i was cooking my hemp seed in.  The thought process behind this was to get as much smell as possible into the water as possible and really try and utilise the sense of smell the fish uses to find my area and then hopefully take the float fished maggots.   We always need a plan don't we as anglers and at least if we have a method behind the madness then we are working towards something.

Arriving on the banks of the river in the last hour of darkness before the sun came up it was already clear the river was carrying a fair bit of colour and looking at pegs we had fished in previous weeks the river looked to be carrying around a foot of extra water, certainly my swim for last week was under water.  Walking the banks the first rays of light coming through to illuminate the river we could see the edges of the river where clear to the point you could make you little snags etc.  The rest of the river though was holding a lot of colour and i must admit i didn't hold out much hope for our chances of catching, in fact if i remember rightly my uncle didn't even put his keep net in.

Again on my 13ft Korum Float rod i tricked maggots and hemp into the swim as i threaded the line through the eyes in the early morning light.  One thing that was noticeable this week was the cold, boy could you feel it! My feet where cold and sat about to make my first cast i could see my breath in front of me.  I'm not saying summer is done and dusted but the signs are there that the seasons are on the change and we are not too far off autumn.  First trot down the swim and the float buried, so shocked was i, i completely missed a sitter of a bite.  Next time down i was ready and a nice fat plump dace was my reward, a great start and as i have said so many times before i love catching dace as i know there are certain to be more around.  I have to say i was relieved the fish where there as i was sick of the moving and dropping back onto ponds and other water ways, an act i had felt was a certainty at the start of this session.

The next few trots down brought bites but what really got my confidence was the fact all the bites where down the swim and not the frantic feeding right up the swim of previous weeks. Even this early on the session felt a lot more structured. As predicted then dace was followed by more and they where all of a nice stamp and fin perfect.  Another theme of the session was how the bites would change from species to species as different shoals moved into the swim.  The next species was roach and predictably they came as soon as the trot entered a slow slack towards the end of the swim.

At times during the day it seemed all fish moved out of the swim and this gave the chance for gudgeon to get in on the act and over the course of the day i must have caught countless numbers of these fish.  The key with small rivers is to try as much as possible to find two lines to fish this way you can rest one while fishing another getting more out of the swim.  So all session i was feeding a line right down the middle of the river but also i was sprinkling the odd bit of maggot and hemp down an inside line.  I came to fish this inside line and i picked up a few gudgeon and roach before i struck into a bite and honestly i thought the fish had come off so little was the fight.  Swinging it in i thought it was a gudgeon but looking closer it was a fine perfect baby barbel! My first river Dane barbel lets hope its not the biggest!

This slack slower inside line also brought with it some of the better roach during the session that where holding just inside the main flow.

As i said earlier the morning was really cold on the feet but the sky was clear and blue and i knew it would not be long before the rays of the sun where starting to creep onto the river.  The fish at this moment where coming right on my hemp seed which happened to be in the shadow on the river.  I knew this would not last and the test of  how good a session i was going to have would hinge on if the water was coloured enough for the fish to stay and feed.  The fish continued to come thick and fast and a little hold back on the float just before the hemp was killing it for getting the bites with bites coming as soon as the float settled after holding back.  The time was coming though i thought as the sun was now all over the swim.

The bites died off slightly but increasing the feed brought the fish right back up the swim.  The fishing from here went from strength to strength with some clonking dace and roach coming during the session.  The feed obviously did not go unmissed by the local perch who lived up to their reputations and bullied in from time to time.

I would say the fish of the day though was this dace which is a great sight to see on this river and really bodes well for the future as this fish will be breeding in the river year on year.

During the session i netted two more small barbel which again shows the fish must be breeding well in the river.  A good sign for the future of the river and who knows in years to come catching barbel here might be a regular thing.  There is no doubting the session was by far the best of this season on thus river and i hope shows why we have been so frustrated of late as we both know the potential of this river so when its not fishing well it really frustrates you..

We fished on through till 2pm enjoying the fantastic fishing.

My net went 17lb 10oz.

my uncles net went 12lb.

baring in mind we both returned a few graying at a pound a piece we easily had over 30lb between us.

Well that is another week on the bank done, i wish you all

tight lines


Monday, 17 August 2015

River Dane Troubles and Daughters Second Trip

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  A little change to the update this week as it will not be broken down into an introduction and then the fishing i am just going to use the beginning of the blog to talk about my fishing and where i feel i am with at it at this moment.  This will include what type of fishing and the blog and will be more of a ramble than anything but i am sure we will come out of the other side with a lot off my chest and hopefully a clear sense of direction.  So no script or brain storming with this update i am on my break and lets see where it takes us.

A Wee Ramble.....

The past few years fishing for me i have always had a set goal, a finishing point, a place i wanted to end up and was working towards.  These goals have changed from starting on a complete river and going out each week trying to work out the best spots and methods for finding and catching the best possible nets from a river to my pike fishing where i was learning from scratch.  In all these pursuits there has been a fitting ending with my first 20lb net on the river dee on the stick being a huge milestone and last year catching my first pike on my own trace or going form not knowing what i was doing dead baiting to being able to go out alone without garry or ste and feeling confident i could tackle it, these where all huge milestones and places i had worked hard towards and these where, not so much a fitting ending, but a nice closing point to move onto the next part of that adventure e.g first dead bait double, first wobbled pike.

The river dane has been our latest challenge and when we first tried this river i was full of expectation we could work this river out, find the hot spots, and then go from there with plans to work out best baits and places to go in winter for good sport on this river.  We knew starting out then it would be a hard road but with double figure nets being the norm we knew the target was achievable.  Winter came and we travelled out to this river time and time again only for it to be unfishable or the fish to not be feeding and it was a long hard winter struggling for a bite never mind a decent net on some trips.

We came out the other end and into the new season and we expected nets to again be improved as fish moved and fed in the warm sun, like last year.  To a certain extent this has happened this year but working out this river has been a slog to say the least, a river you walk along alive with fish topping can die once you fish it in a hour or so and die as in a light switch going off its a bite a chuck then boom dead as a door nail.  I cover a lot of things in this blog but i have not really been going into much detail as to my tactics on these sessions and boy have we tried them all, ground bait, feeder with corn, meat and even trying for a pike to see if one is moving in with all not working.   It has left me facing something i have never experienced as an an gler before and that is a feeling of being beaten by a challenge, i find my self becoming unmotivated to visit this river and when i do i know what will happen, bite a chuck then nothing and you winkle out fish over course of the rest of the day bit for the amount of fish in the river you know it should not be that hard, maybe we just need a break from this task and a move to somewhere different if only for a change of scenery.

Away from the fishing the blog continues to tick over, even without much pushing on social media, but with two kids and a 9-5 job i am finding it harder and harder to devote time to putting my all into writing these updates, i love writing my blog, it means a lot to me as it holds so many memories of great times so hence my want to put stuff fount there that is the best it can be.  I think as time goes on it is only going to get harder to do so maybe the format of the blog will have to change to where i update it just with the fishing or find a different way of putting it together, maybe like this in my dinner hour in work.  This may not be a healthy alternative though spending my only free time in work still sat at my PC.

So far this has been as bit of a doom and gloom rant but i am already feeling better for getting it off my chest.  I do still have plenty of ideas for the blog with plans to maybe do some videos when the pike season starts.  I do also have an idea to start taking a more specimen approach to my angling from time to time and maybe taking my barbel rod and big baits like luncheon meat and corn to trips.  I really would have nothing to lose as my uncle on the stick would certainly guarantee some fish on the blog that week regardless if i blanked or not and would serve to mix things up a little for myself.   As i have said before though i find it so hard sitting and waiting for a big fish when you can hear your uncle bagging up on the stick upstream.

Well i think i have just about got it all out and off my chest,  Hopefully it gives some insight as to where i am with my fishing at the moment, reading back the word lost is probably a good way of summing it up.  I have faith in angling that something will come along at reignite a spark that sends me off on another amazing adventure.  Till then all that is left is to plan this weekends fishing and i think a change of river is a must maybe a spot of chub fishing to get a decent bend in the old carbon.

With that it is on to this weeks fishing that See's us fishing the river Dane and then a trip out the next day with my daughter.

Same Old Same Old On The Dane....

Leaving my house to head off into the night to pick my uncle up i crossed paths with a rather large hedgehog, i have seen a number of these over the years but like most normally having met their end in the road or a fleeting glimpse as they trundle into a hedgerow.  Saturday morning was different as in the dark i looked down to see i was literally about to stand on one.  There it was rolled in a ball i waited a few moments and like a jack in a box up he popped and off on his merry way.  I can honestly say i have never heard so much noise in my life as he greedily ate all manner of food in the hedgerow, put it this way you knew he was there!  I left him at this point to go on his merry way and off i went to pick my uncle up.  Funnily enough it must have been the night for hedgehogs as he had one in his yard as i arrived!

Arriving on the banks of the river dane she looked dreadfully low and gin clear, walking the banks you could see the odd fish on the sand banks and there was already one or two topping.  I set up in a swim i had fished a few weeks earlier when i had stood in the river and my uncle set up in a new swim slightly upstream of myself.  We both knew setting up it was going to be a frantic mornings action till the sun got on the water and it would go quiet on the bites front as the fish spooked and seek the safety of cover during the day light hours.

The swim i was in i felt confident of a few bites and from experience i knew the fish would move over the far bank tight to the reeds.  With this in mind and knew i had a hard fish coming up i started off easy down the middle and from the off was picking up fish.  The first fish of the day was a dace, i love it when i catch a dace early on,  they are a shoal fish for one so you know where there is one there is certain to be more and secondly they don't seem to spook as easily as the roach do, one big roach and the shoal can be gone for a while.

A run of dace followed this fish and then came the Roach.  They started off literally as eyes with tiny fish coming thick and fast but eventually a better stamp of fish got their heads down.  This river is unlike any i have fished before with shoals moving in, you will be catching dace one minute and then roach the next but never a mixture its either one species and the same goes for perch.  The perch push all other fish out and for a while you just catch perch, its weird but interesting at the same time.

You learn how to change your approach for what is in your swim, dace like it to go though normal and will normally fall to you holding back right on your hemp where as the roach like it dragging bottom and the bait edging through the swim where as the chublets up in the water at the top of the swim like you to hold back as soon as your bait hits the water.  Its fascinating to learn and really keeps you thinking all the way through the session.

The fish, like i predicted, where coming thick and fast between 5am and 9am, but not settled if you get me? The bites where all over the swim almost as if the fish where in a feeding frenzy.  Trotting you ideally want to get the fish feeding where you want them, right on your hemp.  This way you can feed the swim to keep them there and also you can pre empt the bite and hold back to induce a take.  When the fish are all over the place it makes it hard to work out when you will get a bite.

As 9am approached we both knew it was going to slow down.  Looking at the clock i had just placed a nice roach in the keep net and gone back in and my uncle arrived behind me.  He was in a really shallow swim and it did not have the cover from the sun mine did.  I was not surprised to hear he had started off like a house on fire but had gone the last hour and half without a bite when the sun had come up. 

I was already chasing the fish over the far side and i knew my swim was on the same time line as his was as i could already see the bottom quite clearly 2/3 the way across my swim and as soon as sun reached mine it would be good night Vienna.  We gave it another half hour but then decided to call it a day, both nets testament to a mornings fishing, if only we could find the answer to catching all day it would be some net of fish.

my net

uncles net

We decided to call in on a pond on the way back home for a few hours, we caught a few fish but we spent most of the time chewing the fat trying to work out the river dane.   We left after baiting up a swim for my daughter the next morning as i planned a quick trip for her second foray into the world of angling.

Second Time Out In A Week.....

A week after our first fishing trip and my daughter was all up for another go at this fishing lark.  Picking her up on Friday afternoon after work we nipped through to the bait shop to pick up some bait for my trip to the river and for her trip on the Sunday.  She insisted on holding the maggots haha

Sunday came around and it was time to head off to a little pond close to us.  I thought it would be a really nice touch to ask the man who taught me how to fish to come along for the hour or so, that person being my dad.  You know what it was so special to take a step back and see my dad showing my daughter how to fish and all the memories came flooding back.

I must admit she was not as good at concentrating as the first trip out but as my dad said i have to remember she is not even 3 yet.  This into account she is doing really well and i am made up she shows such interest in both fishing and also admiring her fish as she catches them.  Again seeing her face when she caught her first fish on Sunday was amazing.

Again she got snapped by a carp! i bet if i went solely for these fish i would blank.

Well that sums up another week on the bank, till next time i wish you all tight lines


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Special First Trip to the Bank With Daughter and Terrapin Tangles

A warm welcome to this weeks update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well its been a funny old week or so and i have been dying to get some time to put this blog together as there have been some corking laughs in the past week and some trips to the bank that will last in our minds for a lifetime.

This weeks update i will cover two more product reviews that are available during ALDI's Angling event with the Day shelter coning under the microscope, later in the update i cover a surprise capture by my uncle this week that had us both bent double with laughter on the bank and we finish the introduction covering a my first ever trip out on the bank with my little girl as we set off on the hunt for her first fish.  The fishing this week see's us back on the banks of the River Dane where my day is saved by another big billy and we stop off on the way home on a pond to catch some silvers.

On to the update

ALDI Specialbuys Reviews

Day Shelter Tent Review

Product info:
Price: £19.99
Zip up Front, Carry Bag included, Sturdy Fibreglass Frame, Detachable groundsheet, size 205x125x100cm

My Review:
Sunday morning and me and my little daughter decided to do the first part of this product review, putting the tent up.  The first thing i noticed was how small and light the tent was when packed away it could easily fit inside my ruck sack for piking come winter without adding too much weight to the pack.  We set about putting the shelter up and following the easy to follow instructions we soon had gone form all the gear laid out to a shelter.  I would say the shelter took us 15-20 minutes to put up but this was the first time and i think once you know how the rods go and how it is supposed to look in the end then this shelter could be up in a maximum of 5-10 minutes.  Set up we pinned the shelter down with the multitude of ground pegs you get with this kit and my daughter set about testing the rigidity of the walls and fabric by jumping all over the inside and outside.

We left the tent set up in the garden all day and this was to test how the shelter put up in weather conditions as where we live the wind is really funnelled between the houses and causes a really strong wind to howl through.  I left the tent in the garden set up while we went shopping and i must admit a bit of me expected to come home to find my self knocking on doors finding which garden it had ended up in.  I need not had worried as returning home the tent was still solidly placed in place and a quick check inside revealed none of the heavy down pour had penetrated through the zips or seams.  This piece of kit will get a full test come winter when i plan to use it on my river trips to keep the wind and give me a place to be dry when out on the banks of the rivers and canals.  For the price of £19.99 it is a fantastic bit of kit and it really did shock me as to how good it was as when i saw the price i must admit i had low expectations but was genuinely surprised to the point i recommended it to a friend.

Tussles With Terapins

Fishing week in and week out on the river you do get to see some sights and during our years travelling along the rivers of the northwest we have seen some sights to remember and lets say some we would rather not.  One thing we always seem to do is have a laugh, no matter how hard the fishing gets, this light humoured approach to angling takes away the serious aspect of our fishing and although we do put a lot of work into fishing locations and trying to get the best out of them you can  always be sure there is been plenty of laughs along the way.

This week me and my uncle where fishing on the river dane and as action slowed i decided to go and see how he was faring.  He was catching well and steady with the odd chub and better perch coming and after a brief chat i left him to carry on trotting, returning to my peg i had just settled back in when i heard the sound of my uncles bib and brace coming along the bank a quick turn round revealed a bulging landing net and it looked big!

Coming down the peg i was sure he had bagged a big perch but what he pulled out of the net had me in bouts of laughter, he had only fairly and squarely hooked a terrapin clean in the mouth and not being one for risking fingers he brought it up to me to unhook!  Holding the shell all i could see was a head scrunched in with a rather sharp beak, it was beautiful and ugly as sin at the same time.

"put up a good fight azzer" was the call followed by all manner of turtle related comments.

i reached for the discoger as i attempted to unhook the animal but trying to do so through tears of laughter and a stitch in my side was a task in itself.  My uncle holding this shell and me at the other end trying not to be bitten we both at the ages of 50 and 30 could not stop laughing and comment like "zorro in a half shell" and "teenage mutant ninja azzer" did little to hold the laughter back especially as the terrapin was making lunges for us. .  I was finished off when the terrapin decided to bite the disgorger and clamped down hard which left us with two men a rod and a terrapin with hook in lip eating our disgorger! boy it had some power you could n ot get it out of its mouth, not a place to get your fingers for sure.

Finally we managed to free both the hook and the discorger and get a good look at this peculiar animal.  It obviously liked maggots as it had a gob full off them, was this down to being so hungry, it certainly looked healthy enough.  Of course i thought about keeping him but not knowing where to start i feared his chanced where probably better in the wild than under my guidance in a tank at home.

One last picture for my uncle and his new personal best terrapin

We left the guy in the margin in the lading net for a bit and he started to mooch about and look around and kick so we let him go on his merry way and the funny part was he went straight back downstream to azzers peg.

The adventures of fishing eh...

My Daughters First Fising Trip..

A week of my daughter saying "i going fishing this weekend daddy" had finally come to an end and the most special of days was finally upon us, mine and my daughters first trip to the bank.  It is a day i have to be honest that i have been looking forward too as much as Abby as i know the memories created during this day will hopefully live with her forever whether she chooses to go out on the bank during the rest of her life or not.

Choosing a venue was hard as i wanted somewhere where she would have a good chance of catching a fish quickly and maybe catch quite a few to keep her attention.  I did think of the canal but they can be funny old beasts at times so i decided on taking her to a little pond.  The place holds a good head of silvers but also the odd wild carp that really rocket off, i hoped we would not cross paths with these.

It was a real trip down memory lane for me as i sorted through my old gear in my bedroom at my dads and found a very old 4 metre whip or snatcher as we called them.  This type of pole was the very same type i grew up learning to fish in although mine was a black shakespeare pole with red circle etchings on each section.  These are certainly a great place to start as you simply tie your line to the ring at the end of the pole add a float and hook and weights and you are away.

All settled in on my basket she was away and fishing!

I have to say she was fantastic from the off she sat really still and kept her concentration and was rewarded by the float going under,  "strike" and lifting up the pole bent over double and a load zipping noise as the float zoomed across the water before the book length snapped!  Well she will certainly have a good story to tell when she gets older about her first fishing trip, snapped by a carp first put in.

A quick hook tied back on and plumb of the depth and she was back fishing and this time into fish more in keeping with a light whip.  My prediction was a perch as her first fish but in fact it was this palm sized rudd which claimed the prize as Abigail's first ever fish and i was made up when she needed no pushing to hold the fish in her hands, we may just have an angler in the making.

She really seemed to enjoy fishing and what i really loved was with every fish she took some time to hold the fish, admire its colours, features and scales before placing it in the keep net.  She was not afraid of the maggots in fact i had to remind her to concentrate on her float and not pick up maggots so little was she bothered by them.  Each time the float went under she would lift the pole in expectation and then if no fish was there, with my help, lower it back in before waiting for the next bite.  The rain moved in and Lucy and the little lad headed for the car and i asked her if she wanted to go in the car and her answer "no daddy, I'm fishing"
made me chuckle.  We stuck it out in the rain for a good 15-20 minutes catching some more fish and she ended with a lovely little net of fish.

For a first trip it was more than i could have hoped for and she has not stopped speaking about it since.  For now i think it will be really short trips to the bank 30mins to a hour till her concentration span is a little longer but one thing is for certain this will not be our last trip, one proud dad.

on to the fishing...

River Dane Stick Float Fishing and A stop off on a pond...

This week we continued our exploration of this intricate waterway as we targeted an area we had talked about a number of times but never really pulled up with our gear and wet a line.  The river had received a good flush through in the week and the river was still carrying a little bit of colour, not the muddy colour you get with the first flush through but that beautiful tea colour you get as the last of the sediment leaves the margins and leaves the main channel a dark black colour, she looked perfect.  My swim for the day was a sight to behold bu then again i don't think when god had rivers in mind he even thought about there being such thing as a bad looking swim.

Casting into the unknown week in week out and not knowing how the story will unfold is the magical part of fishing for me, that magical first cast where the tone of the day can be set, either the float goes straight under and you know the fish are there or on the flip side the float goes under and you hit your first snag of the session.  This session the float sunk and on the end was a small roach, perfectly formed in every way and more than welcome on the first trot down the river and more to the point with my new keep net i knew it would be in there come the end as opposed to previous weeks where mr pike had ripped a sizable hole in the net which meant the small fish escaped during the session.

These roach made up the majority of the early exchanges with roach of this size coming regular and it was clear i had a nice shoal of small roach in front of me.  I am an angler that is not too bothered about the size of the fish i catch, if that is floats going under regular then i an happy.  Do not get me wrong we all love having our string pulled by a big fish but when trotting a river i always feel that will come, as long as the small fish are coming then i always feel confident the better fish will arrive and if not, well keeping the smaller fish coming is an art in itself.

This river has a unique way of going from every thing to nothing and as soon as the smaller fish bites had died i knew something else was on the prowl.  The roach generally where taking the bait was it was falling through the water collums and i knew had the fish been a chub in the swim then it would have probably slipped up by now so i added a few inches to the depth meaning the bait had to be edged through the swim meaning the bait was almost trickled along the bottom.  This is great if you have got bottom feeders like bream, barbel or perch in your swim and it was the latter i had down as the culprit here due to the dispersing of the small roach.

My hunch proved right on the third trot down the float slid away and the pulsating fight of a perch was my reward as it made for the sunken branch under my feet i had it all on to stop the fish making the safely of the snag.  The fish was a prime example of the species, fin perfect and i am sure if this fish evades the cormorants and pike it has potential to be a big fish in the future, just look at the back on it.

This proved to be a blessing for the swim as it saw off the small roach and after i had placed it in the keep net the shoal of fish that moved in was of a better stamp. This period of the session was certainly a tome where i put the majority of the weight in my net as nice roach after nice roach came to the maggots.

One thing that always gets me about river fishing is how you can fish a line for a good two to three hours and not have a problem with snags and then all of a sudden there it is smack bank in your trot and you hit it two times on the bounce.  Setting up twice is never fun.  Changing the line you fish is the only option at this point and that's when on this session i started to hit problems as moving a line slightly further out saw me hitting another snag and this search for a line continued for a good hour with a number of hook lengths being sacrificed.  It was during this time i had a visit from my uncle with his terrapin capture which really did take my mind of the problem at hand, a welcome diversion.

I eventually found a line right down the far bank and with a 13ft rod it was not the easiest of fishes but it was producing steady bites small roach at first and then the odd better roach like to the one below.

It was not long after returning this fish that the swim again died and again moving slightly over depth saw me picking up the bonus fish but striking i was not expecting to hit such solid defiance, another snag i though momentarily, till it moved into the middle and i felt a kick of a tail.  Fishing with a 1lb7oz bottom i was not confident of extracting this fish from the swim, especially with the snag down the middle and one visible one under my feet.  The new reel certainly played a part here with its silky smooth drag ticking over and the soft action rod softening the deep runs and i soon had the fish through the mine field of sangs down the middle and under my feet where it went for the inside snag time and time again.

At this point i got my first glimpse of the fish and as i turned i caught a glimpse of the hook right in the top lip and if i could see it i knew it was a light hook hold to be that visible.  A big perch was to be my reward if i got the fish in and looking at it, well it had new personal best potential.   My heart was in my mouth for what seemed the eternity of time it took for the fish to grace the mesh of my landing net but when it did i was one relieved angler and even more so as the hook fell out in the net.

Picking the perch up she felt hollow so i knew it might not weigh it full potential but at 2lb 14oz it certainly rocked my personal best.  A few pictures and it was time to release the fish back to its watery home to wreak havoc with the roach fry that i am sure these fish gorge on.   After releasing the perch the swim never really recovered and after a hour or so without a bite and the sun shining down we decided to take a picture of our nets and stop off for a few hours on a pond on the way home.

my uncle had done really well picking up fish down the middle.

We both stopped off on a pond on the way home to use up the remainder of our maggots and it was an enjoyable few hours roach fishing with pent yo of bites and banter.

Well that sums up another weekly blog update i hope you all have a fantastic week on the bank and if you entered the blogs ALDI competition then good luck.

tight lines


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Aldi Specialbuy Comp and River Dee trip

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  A special update to the blog this week as i am again proud to have been asked to work along side ALDI with regards to them launching their fishing range this Sunday 02nd August. In this update i will be product reviewing two of their products with a further two to come next weekend and there will also be a very special on line competition for all followers of Dannys angling blog on facebook to enter and be in with a chance of getting their hands on some Aldi fishing tackle.  The fishing this week See's us visit the River Dee for the first time in a long time and although low and very clear one or two dace did show and also the odd small perch.

On to the update

Online ALDI Fishing Tackle Competition!!

This Sunday ALDI are are launching their Special Angling Event across all their stores nationwide.  I have personally used their tackle in the past and i was genuinely surprised by the quality of the tackle and price.

Check out the tackle on sale at ALDI stores nationwide here:

Working with ALDI and their team has been a real dream i have found their representatives to be fantastic to work with and share ideas between ourselves.  Early on ALDI agreed to run a competition on my blogs facebook page for a carp angling set up but after hearing about my hopes of getting a new angler hooked up with a starting angling set up they also agreed to help promote anglers to fish their local ponds and canals by running a second prize aimed at float fishing.  This for me shows great commitments by the team at ALDI who could have just agreed to the really popular carp angling prize.

The two prizes on offer are as follows:

Carp Prize:  Carp Rod and Reel, Buzz bars and bite alarm and landing net

Float Prize:  Float rod and reel and keep net

Entering the Competition is simple!!, Simply click the link to my blogs facebook page here: DANNYS ANGLING BLOG PAGE

once on the page simply like and share any of the competition posts on there to enter.  The winner must have liked and shared at .least one competition poast and also LIKE the blogs facebook page.

The Competition ends Midnight August 6th..............................Good Luck!!!

ALDI Product Review

Keep net Review

Product Info:
Specifications: A Fish Friendly 9 ring safe net for freshwater catches. Features Soft mesh to eliminate damage to your fish.  Suitable for Bream, carp, perch and silverfish. Adjustable tilt mechanism.

My Review:

I have to say the email from ALDI came at a good time for me as i had returned from the trip on the river dane having had my keep net attacked by a pike leaving ti with a big gaping hole.  The list of reviews to choose from the keep net was always on the list and this net joined me on the bank last weekend on the river dee and also on my daughters first fishing trip to a local pond, more on that in next weeks update.

My first impression of the net was how light weight it was and for me as an angler this is really important as on some of our river trips you can be carrying your gear 3-4 farmers fields to the river bank.  The next area i looked at was the mesh and just like the description said it felt really soft to the touch as if it would not be abrasive on the fishes flanks and damage them.  Length wise the net is about as short as i will go for a net as on some banks you can be quite high up from the water.  I was really shocked as well when i noticed the net came with a tilt mechanism, for the price i was sure it would have been a simple screw bolt.  On the bank the net performed well on the pond but i do think it will need added weights to the end for the river trips to get it down in the moving water.

All in all a fantastic and affordable piece of modern fishing tackle and easily worth more than the £7.99 price tag.

Field Boot Review

Product info:
Price: £12.99
Specifications: All weather lace up boot, Removable warm polar fleece lining. Waterproof sole. size 7-11.

My Review:

Waking up on my first trip to the bank using these boots i was really impressed with how comfy they where once on they really did feel comfy.  The second thing that instantly struck me about the boots was how light they where, on those long days in winter walking the canal pike fishing that can only be a good thing.  Walking around in the boots all day i was left shocked as to how good these boots really where, i always say the test of a boots is not in you sitting there thinking these boots are warm or these boots are comfy" but in the fact you are sat there not thinking your feet are cold or uncomfortable.  The ultimate test of these boots will of course come as the temperatures drop but first impressions are really good and amazing they are only £12.99.

On tot he fishing....

Finally back on the River Dee.....

Sat on Friday evening chatting to my uncle about where to wet a line the next day we went over all manner of possibilities from a local pond the a out of the blue trip to the River Severn.  We eventually decided on a trip to the River Dee and it was a trip that was well over due.  It has been a few months since our last trip to the river dee and travelling along the M56 it hit home just how long it has been since i was driving down this most motorway to what i regard as the most beautiful river we fish and who can argue with this as a swim!

The swim i set up in is a really fast flow on a bend with plenty of cover on the far bank and a huge slack on the inside bank.  It is a swim i have done well in the past for dace.  There are a lot of people who visit my blog and i do try to use the blog to help out as many people as possible but the blog for me is a huge help for my fishing as i have a complete record of trips to look back on and the night before i had a quick read of my previous trip and although i did  not go into much detail i did  notice i recorded that it took a while without a bite until the dace shoal arrived in the swim.

With that in mind i fed the swim heavily from the off to try and lure the fish up the swim.  The beauty of this swim is that you can not really over feed the swim due to how fast the flow is here the bait is constantly flushing through the swim.  Feeding heavily with maggot and hemp seed it was still a good hour before the first dace of the session came to grace my palm.

A dace is always a fish that i love to see coming to the net as you know with this fish that where there is one there is always more as they are a shoal fish.  This fish was followed by a steady stream of fish which all seemed to come over my hemp fed area.  It did become very clear on the session that it was the hemp not the maggots that was getting the fish feeding so every trot through i fed a few grains of hemp over my float as it went down and this seems to bring the bites one.

The beauty of fishing the river is you really dont know what you are going to catch and you really do catch what is in the stretch of river you are visiting that day, come back next week the shoal has gone and a swim full of dace can be a swim full of grayling and trout, that's river fishing.  It became apparent during this session that  had a sizable shoal of small dace n the swim as all this fish where quite small and the size did not really change until i tried a slack and picked up the odd perch.

I was treated during this session to a big salmon holding position right at my feet. It would go out of sight then slowly moved back into the slack behind a bug boulder but it was literally underneath my feet and estimated over 10lb it was a sight to see.  The fish seemed to be there all session and was not bothered by my rod going over its head time and time again.

The session was an enjoyable one back on the river i love, a river where it is impossible to leave unhappy due to its stunning views, we called it a day around 2pm.  The net is not the biggest net i have ever caught from the dee but on this session it did  not matter it was great to just catch a few fish and be out on the dee, although a man taking his pet pg for a walk did have me worried!!

Well that's it for another blog update please take the time to enter the competition and good luck,

till next time

tight liens