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.