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



  1. Well done Danny, She's a beautiful girl, can't wait wait for the Pike season myself.

  2. Similarly, I'm getting the Pike feeling as well, good luck!