Monday, 21 December 2015

A Small Window Of Opportunity: Stick Float Chub Fishin'

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

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

On with the update

A Very Merry Christmas To You All..

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

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

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

Winter? What Winter?

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

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

A Small Window Of Opportunity.....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time i wish you all

tight lines


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

River Flooding and Fishtec Top Pike Blog Recognition!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flooded Rivers and Rollercoaster EA Charts....

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Experience Pike Fishing....

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

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

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

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

On to the Fishing

New Spot Holds Great Potential......

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

till next time its tight lines from me