Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Acolyte River Fun, Margin Carp Stalking and Canal Roach.....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  It has been a mad week or so in work so finding time to blog has proven difficult to come by.  Again plenty of content to catch up means i have no end of trips to choose from and rather than write an introduction around topics in the angling world that have taken my fancy i have gone with a different update this week, all out fishing trips.

So in this updates its fishing trips from start to end and i still do not think i am going to be anywhere near up to date.  I guess with the car in for a job for the next two days and the idea i might not make it out this weekend if the job is not done then this is not such a bad situation to be in at all.  All i will say before we get into this update is my fishing at the moment is some of the most exciting fishing i have done.  Searching out new rivers, carp on the top, carp on the bottom, canal session and of course a cheeky few trips out for barbel.  Its been a great adventure.

So on with the update, we start on the banks of a river in search of anything that swims, any fish would be a bonus on the new drennan acolyte rod.  We follow this up with a one cast one fish carp session where stealth was the order of the day and we finish up with a trip to the canal on the pole.

A New Stretch A New Challenge....

We hit the banks as always at the crack of dawn hoping to find out normal haunt on the river at a nice level to fish.  We was met with a river in spate and totally un fishable on the stick float.  We had a back up option and this was to try a new stretch much further up the system where we hoped to find some clear water.

We arrived at the stretch and made the long walk to the bank expecting to find head high balsam and nettles.  What we found was quite well walked in paths and some nicely positioned swims, a luxury for us considering the past few months making our own swims with shovels before fishing.  Back to the car to collect the gear, again i traveled light with my octoplus box and minimal gear in my holdall, contained within the holdall was my new 14ft Drennan Acolyte Ultra rod and i could not wait to get out and give it a go.

The swim a gentle run with a sunken tree on the far bank it screamed fish and although it can be the wrong thing to do before you plumb up and run through i couldn't resist feeding the swim as i set up.  Holding the new rod in my hand it lived up to its name it was so light! Adding the shimano reel just balanced it perfectly!  The line threaded through the eyes it was clear that care was going to be needed with the ultra light tip section of this rod.  Red maggot and hemp where the baits of choice and i was soon ready to make my first cast in earnest.

A small river but plumbed up i found around 6ft depth in front of me and on a hot day was glad of it.  The first trot through brought a small chublet.

Trotting right down the middle of the river i soon found out that there was some streamer weed or a snag right on where i thought my hemp was settling.  Always the way eh.  A quick change of line and i found around the same depth at rod tip so i began feeding this line.  It was a harder trot involving me to hold back to get over what i think was a rock in the swim but doing so saw me picking up small roach and chublets at a steady pace.

The swim then died completely and i knew it was either big fish or a predator had moved in.  Till i see signs of predator activity i am always reluctant to try for the pike so i worked on the assumption it was a bigger fish in the area.  I then bumped a better fish right on my hemp before then striking and making contact with a better fish the very next trot down.

The acolyte i have to be honest felt light weight in power during this battle but being so light it might have been down to the fact i didn't know at this stage just how much strain i could impart on the fish.  A long tussle later a nice perch was in the net and surely this was the reason the "snack sized " roach had decided to vacate the area.

After the perch was caught i settled into a steady routine of trotting and feeding the swim and i caught steady but in spells if you get me? Long periods with no bite was followed by a good spell of steady bites fishing down the inside line.

The final net will not set any records but as first sessions go it provided something to build on and with my uncle hitting a nice bream on the feeder it provided plenty of food for thought.

Margin Carp Stalker...

A deluge of rain over a three day period saw me travelling to the lake not knowing that the level had rose a good few feet and the pegs where now under water.  Luckily for me i had donned my usual wellingtons so i was well equipped for the situation.  Access to many pegs was almost impossible so i set up on the banks of the first peg and contemplated whether or not to even set up.

Scanning the water for signs of fish i noticed movement right on the edge of the peg, carp being inquisitive they had obviously moved into the margins and onto the grassy areas looking for worms and insects caught out by the rise.

Feeding some corn and micro pellets close in i soon saw the water close in look agitated and what i call nervous water.  It was clear a carp had moved ting under my rod tips onto the bait.  A tail then come clean out of the water as a decent carp tipped up on the bait.

A method feeder loaded with micro pellets and corn on the hook all sprayed in Bubblecream Stinky stuff was carefully lowered onto the spot.  Short steps into the flooded peg the operation of placing the bait on the spot with little disturbance was achieved and the rod placed on the rod rest it was a waiting game.

It took a while but eventually the rod hooped over as the carp bolted out of the swim heading straight for a margin Lilly bed!  Straight onto the peg and into the water i went to apply side strain on this fish.  All my battles with the better carp in here had been played out mostly in the middle of the lake with a bit of a scrap under the rod tip, this was far different,  huge hard lunges for snags tested my gear to the max and it was pure power each time the fish went.  I can remember early on in this fight my arm aching and we thinking i was in trouble on more than one occasion.

The fish eventually began to tire and taking a huge breath of air i knew the time was close for netting,  Into the carp net she went and thank god for the flooded margin to me left as i left her in the net in the shallows while i got my breath back.

A nice carp of 13lb 8oz was on the mat and what a lovely prize she was...

She turned out to be my only fish of my 1 hour short session but i left grinning like the cheshire cat as i headed off to work for overtime.

MAP 101 2G Pole First trip on Bridgewater Canal...

The day previous i had been on the river using my new drennan acolyte but with a good pint of maggots left i just had to give the local canal a go early doors on the Sunday.  A early rise i was soon on the short drive to my peg and for some time now i had my sights set on fishing this bit of canal but with only half a pole i felt it not worth while as i always like to fish a line well over out of the boat lane.  With this new pole i could not do that and what a fantastic canal swim i had chose to christen the pole in.

A lot of reasons you hear fro people not fishing the canal is accessibility and where as this can be true on some canals on the bridgewater canal if you do your homework you can get close to the water and in this session i was closer than you would get on most commercials.

I only had a few hours and with only one match kit set up i decided to go all out right across the canal up near the boat.  I fed some ground bait and a good bed of red maggot via my new cupping kit, what a revelation this is, but i admit i had made a cardinal sin.  I fed right away without first fishing the swim for a bit and i could not for the life of me get the float to settle.  I knew it was shotted to go down to the tip but it would settle on one put in and not the next and others i would go solid then pull off.  After a hour or so of messing around i had put a few small roach in the keep net.

Not long after a guy come along, thank god he did, as he mentioned that it was good that they had been along and cut the weed back.  Apparently the weed on the far bank had covered a third of the canal recently and it seemed a lot of it had been left under the water.  All the float not settling made sense now but luckily it was not to late to re plumb up down the middle and feed the deeper line with ground bait and maggot.  On the session i found feeding two large jaffa sized balls from the off then little nuggets here and there was the way to go, a clear canal i think the colour in the water really helped and as the swim grew so the better roach showed.

Feeding lightly with hemp seed seemed to get them going again when the bites died but i was really impressed with the average stamp of roach on the day and fantastic to see such silvers are there to be caught if only people would go out and fish for them.  I continued to pick up roach steadily over the ground bait and it was great fun on the new pole.

The pole itself is certainly lighter than the old model and seems a lot stiffer, one thing that i thought would do my head in was the side puller elastic being visible on the side of the top kit in my eye line but i have to say i did not notice it and actually when the elastic was loose after a better fish it was simple to tighten it back up on the side pullet than looking for the internal puller kit on my old one.  The pole i am sure will do me fine for my fishing and i cant wait to get some elastic in the power kits for some fun with the carp.

The final net was a 10.7lb net of silvers and a fantastic few hours on the local canal.

Packing up it was a joy to be joined by a lovely family of swans and their cygnets, fish and wildlife on the local cut...bliss.

till next time i wish you all

tight lines


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Pike Ruins Play on River and New Purchases

A warm welcome to this weeks angling blog i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  This week we left the month of June 2016 behind, officially the wettest June since records began, boy did us river men know it.  No doubt this weather has been fantastic for the anglers out there chasing the big barbel and chub but for anglers wanting to run  a stick float down the river in June its been a nightmare.

This weeks blog is  session on the river where we fishing a new area of river we hit the bank hoping to learn a little about this new area, an enjoyable session but ruined by an unwelcome visitor.  After the river session is another one of the short trips i did recently for carp.  These carp sessions have been well received and thank you to all who emailed me to say they enjoyed this diversity in the blog.

The introduction looks at some purchases i made last week when all the over time came good and my reasoning behind the purchases.  I have also made the decision to start reviewing the tackle i use form day to day.  I have done many reviews on the page for company's but i think it will be fun to write some reviews based on the tackle i use day in and day out.

on to the update

New Purchases - Overtime Comes Good....

As i mentioned a month or two ago i have been hoping to replace my obsolete pole and also pick up a new trotting rod.  The budget of £500 i knew was not the greatest but in all honestly i have no need to spend a fortune on a new pole given how much i use them.

First up was the pole and i had the choice to either spend the whole £500 on just a pole knowing i would prob get a pole slightly lighter and certainly with more top kits for my extra money but i would have to sacrifice a new float rod.  After looking through the Internet at all the reviews of numerous poles and more importantly taking into account when they where released i went with the MAP 101 2G 13m pole.

The main reason for this, apart from price, was the fact that this pole was only released in 2016 so i know i will have a good number of years where i will be able to get spares for this pole, my main problem with the one i have now is the fact i can not replace lost or broken sections.

The MAP 101 2G is an entry level pole and with that i knew i wasn't getting the best pole in the word but, for me, its all i need.  I fish the rivers most of the year and when not doing that i am normally piking.  I only really use a pole in the closed season where i fish the canal or this year a commercial.  I will go into more detail when i write a full review in upcoming blog but it comes with 2 power kits and a match kit so i will be purchasing one more match kit and then i am set for all the angling i do with two top kits for each.

I enquired at the tackle shop if they price matched and they said they did although i don't think they where ready for the price match i had found on line, a whopping £50.00 quid off the RRP.  This extra cash gave me the scope to go from the bottom end of the pole market to purchasing a creme De la creme of stick float rods in the 14ft Drennan Acolyte Plus float rod.

from the first moment i held this rod in a tackle shop i just fell in love with it, so light and a lovely sort action.  Weighing in at 4 grams at 13ft and i think 5 grams at 14ft its feather light to hold and i can assure you having fished with this rod all day Saturday just gone its a beautiful rod so light you could trot with it for a week and not have your arm ache.  There are going to be some fun times ahead when i hit chub i can tell that but what a great piece of kit.

Two pieces of kit bought for just over £500 in the MAP 101 2G and the drennan Aculyte plus i think i did well to get them both for the price and am over the moon.  The pole i was out on the canal on Sunday using and as said above the rod i used Saturday.  The hours and hours of overtime where well worth it, house sorted and now a cracking addition to the fishing gear.

On to the Fishing..

Pike Ruins Second River Session On Stick

The second weekend pf the river season and finally it seemed like the river we wanted to get on would be at a fish able level.  As ling time readers of the blog will know we never really let our feet settle too long in one spot we love to find new areas, try and work them out and then move onto the next adventure.  A lot of time over the passed two years has been spent at the lower end of the river Dane but this year we have moved up into the middle reaches hoping to find better and ore consistent sport and also there is a good chance of me connecting with a barbel, a species i have wanted to target for a while now.

Heading off i again slimmed my gear right down to the bear essentials.  The octoplus infinity tackle box contained all i needed tackle wise and bait wise for the session ahead while my rods and bank sticks in the holdall and my nets in a net bag meant i was travelling as light as i could for a comfortable days fishing, or so i thought!

Assessing some of the swims i decided on fishing a nice glide leading down to a overhanging tree.  It looked fishy although not the comfortable peg i had hoped for and it soon became apparent on getting to water level i would be standing using the bait waiter.

Muddy under foot i knew i was in for an uncomfortable day but hey the passed few years we had been spoiled with the comfy fish on your basket swims.  This was back in at the deep end and that was no joke as literally off the end of that mud it was a good 4-5 feet deep!  Joking aside it was good to be back sliding down banks and making swims as we went, it really can be the beauty of fishing a river, the freedom and the feeling of that is a good spot i will make a peg there.

The good news was i got a sure footing and the first fish was not ling in coming, always a good sign

As i always say on these blogs, i love catching a dace early on, reason being is with dace where there is one there is most certainly more.  The swim an even depth all the way across i started out down the middle loose feeding maggots in front of me and hemp at around 2 oclock.  It soon became obvious there was a snag or some streamer weed right where i wanted to get my bites as the float would slide under and all would go solid before it would pull off.

With trotting its all about building a picture of the swim as you go, swims can change from session to session and seasons to season, over the first hour of the session you do begin to find a line you can fish where you avoid the snags and can get from point A to Point B in one go.  This might need you to hold back over rocks or even mean you fishing a line you never thought you would right close in but over time you do build that picture.  you also build a picture of how the fish are feeding on that session or "how they want it" and that can be the difference some times between catching and not catching.

Holding the bait back just on the hemp was killer on the day and soon chublets with gobs full of chub where coming.

The swim building nicely with fish coming thick and fast i has ideas of a fantastic days fishing.  Getting into a bagging up rhythm of cast in feed maggot sprinkle hemp hold back, let go hold back let go and then strike.  This type of rhythm you soon start putting a weight in the keep net and all the time i was thinking about if those better chub where knocking about ready to move in.

The bites then died a little and i thought here we go.  A change over to corn to see if i could pick up a better fish but alas a float that had been zooming under time and time again was trundling through untouched.  Right down the swim i finally struck into a bite and up through the swim i reeled in a dace twisting and turning in the current.  All of a sudden form no where a flash of green and gold came from nowhere as a pike struck and missed its target.  One lucky dace in the net.

After this it was like the chains ad been released form the pike i next disturbed it in the margin down from my keep net as i think me moving spooked it, all i saw was a bloom of bottom come up.  10 minutes later with not a bite i saw another swirl at my keep net and it was clear this pike was not giving up.  Sods law i left my pike rod at home as that is one down side of going light and splitting your gear you leave stuff.  I always carry a pike rod for this reason, catch the pike and move it on upstream away and you catch again.

This pike was to put it bluntly a right pain in the £$££ trotting away it would take around 20 mins get a bite and on two occasions this veracious pike claimed it as its meal.  I had him on twice but both times the line was bit through.  After the second attack i tied another hook link on and trotting away i could see him lying at the tail of my net.  I called it a day at this point as there was no way he was giving in and the whole swim was spooked.

It was a case of what could of been and next time the river is fish able i will be on the bank but this time armed with my pike rod for sure.  Packing away i was consoled by a very inquisitive heard of bullocks in the field opposite who seemed to stand and stare for an eternity.  Second trip back on the river and an optimistic back to raw river fishing induction, love it.

3 and half Hours Manic Carp Fishing...

By the time this carp session came round in the closed season it was safe to say the carp fishing bug had bit but i dont think it was actually the carp that was drawing me back more the exploration and fun of catching fish on a new water.  When a water gets under your skin it takes over with me and in this scenario i always want to keep on going to try and get the best i possibly can from that water.  In this case it was a case of the venue being so atmospheric and the fish being so much fun to catch.

I was keeping my tactics simple and i do think this is lost hugely in modern carp fishing, its all very complex and in depth when in reality does it really have to be?  To this point and to be honest continuing at the way through i was fishing two rods, one on the top on crust and one on the bottom in a method feeder and corn with the addition of stinky stuff being the added attractant i wanted in the coloured water.

On these early morning sessions i would always start off by introducing some free offerings of bread in the margins and likely looking spots to see if the fish would come up.  The norm was then for you to hear a slurp long before you had even set up the landing net.  Like with the trotting above you soon build up a picture of a water and although you are not making a mind map of the bed of a river with carp fishing i feel like you tap into the day to day lives of the fish within the water.  you learn by how they take the bread if they are having it proper or not and you learn things like how the better fish seemed to go around together so if 3lb carp where slurping up the bread you knew it was a good idea to move.

In the first swim a few fish come up erratically taking the bread swirling as they took, cagey and on edge i knew these would be hard to hook.  There was one fish though coming up slowly taking the whole crust of bread confidently, she was right at the back of the group and i knew if i could get a bait on her line she would be a nice fish to start.  A peach of a cast and rod in hand i was not at all prepared when the line shot across the surface and the rod hooped round.  Making a hard run for the snags i was in trouble from the off, i kept the rod low and prayed and god knows how but she appeared right at my feet swimming right under all the trees, when your lucks in eh!  On the mat a nice 11lb mirror carp.

Taking pictures i could hear the carp behind me slurping down the remaining bread so out went a few more freebies to keep them occupied.  Mainly smaller carp,again swirling at the bread i noticed a fish right in the margin under my feet taking bread confidently and it looked a double.  In complete contrast to the first long distance cast this was a stay well back from the water and placing the bread right on the edge of the Lillie's.  The crayfish stinky stuff colouring the water around the bread it was not long before the carp came out of the Lillie's and seconds after returning one carp i was into another fighting double.  Arriving at 4.30am it was not even 5am and two doubles had graced the net i was buzzing, 3 weeks earlier both would have been a new PB!

This early success was a fantastic start but i was learning on here the smaller carp do move as a shoal and before i knew it 3 smaller carp to 8lb had bullied their way in. Madness as 3 weeks ago they would have tickled my pb and i would have been really excited.

A move was in order and i decided to try and target the bigger fish.  In went a few crusts of bread laced with the crayfish stinky stuff and i sat back and waited for the carp to find the free floating banquet.  Soon enough the swirls started and excitement levels increased as i realised these where proper carp feeding well.

I noticed if the bait was presented tight to an overhanging far bank bush and left to drift down to the waiting fish i soon was getting bites.  Getting the cast right would result in a chance of a fish but hooking up was proving the issue.  A slight refinement in the placement of the surface float turned chances into fish.  Over the next 2o minutes i picked up two more commons both doubles at 11lb and 14lb respectively.

A morning of doubles and leaving a happy angler i tipped my hat to an angler just arriving on the pool, my thoughts where of how much action he had missed and was baffled by his comments of how bad the water was fishing!  Agreeing a headed off on my way...

Till next week

tight lines