Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Warrington Angling Centre Consultant Role and Heatholder product review..

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and you nets wet.  We are now well into January and for me it has been more of a case of whats going on away from the actual fishing than time on the bank.  If i am honest time on the bank has been hard to come by what with overtime and other commitments and even then when i have had a window of opportunity mother nature has either dealt me a flooded river of a gin clear canal.

That is fishing and if blogging for over 5 years has taught me anything it is to take the rough with the smooth in the knowledge that all will come good in the end.  In this update i talk a little on a exciting role i have accepted, a product review and then a brutally honest look at the disaster that has been my post November pike fishing.  The fishing is a session on the River Weaver where it didnt go all to plan.

Angling Consuultant Role Warrington Anngling Centre..

I am excited and over the moon to announce that i have been asked to become an Angling Consultant working with Warrington Angling Centre.  Its a role i saw advertised over Christmas and thought on for a day or two as it is a huge commitment to take on especially with this blog being already quite time consuming as it expands onto Youtube but it was an opportunity that both excited me and one i just had a good feeling about.

I will be joining a small team of Angling Consultants of which there are two i know and have spoke to over facebook from time to time and are both fantastic anglers.  The team will give us all opportunities i feel to learn from each other in aspects of fishing that we might not try a lot.  For myself i am looking forward to the challenge of producing different content to this blog and trying to produce content for them that is more tactics and tackle i use based as opposed to the blog writing that is more about how i perceive the fishing and how it was on the day.

I will post links to any content that goes live on their page in these updates i would really appreciate any support you can  give them with  likes and shares.

Thermal Sock Product Review...

Product info

Price: £4.99
Link to Site: https://heatholders.co.uk/products/socks
Tog: 2.3

"A fit for purpose product to be proud of. 

It swiftly became our single-minded mission to make the warmest thermal sock on the planet.
What followed was two long years of experimentation and innovation, re-tooling equipment 
and routinely discarding yarn mixes until unique 3 stage knitting process was perfected.

Due to specially developed construction and our intense brushing process,
trap more warm air close to the skin keeping you warmer for longer!
Whether pursuing outdoor activities, working in a cold climate or simply for that extra confidence
and comfort in those cold winter months will help ensure NO MORE COLD FEET!"

On the Bank Review:

The morning of the review and it was away with my trusty Skee Tex Thermal boots and in came the thermal socks and to give them a thorough test i wore a pair of normal every day boots with them.  The day of the  test was quite mild compared to the recent snow flurries and frosts we have had but ti was still in low single figures, so it would be a test.

Adding to the test was the fact that i was pike fishing which by its nature is very much cast in and sit and wait for the pike to make the next move.  The session passed by without much activity on the pike floats but whilst i whittled away the hours hoping the float would move my feet remained OK.  I don't judge how well a thermal piece of kit does in keeping me warm by how warm my body is kept or saying "yes these thermals where amazing i was sweating buckets all morning"  I always judge them by one simple test and that is:

"Was i sat there thinking my feet are cold? And the answer
to that question was a solid No"

Not once during the session did i think my feet where cold so they certainly passed the test for me.  As a product they did the job they where asked too on the conditions provided.

The price of this sock i think is reasonable and i was impressed with how thick they where which made walking in the boots easier.  They will be fitting into my fishing come that period as we move into spring where its too warm for the skee tex but you still feel you cannot risk a trip out with a pair of boots with normal socks on.

All in all a solid product that does the job its asked to do in keeping your feet warm, they certainly have worked while i have typed this piece in my cold kitchen ;-)

Piking Hard Spell

For those keeping up with the pike videos on youtube you will have seen the video around the blanks coming to an end with a nice pike.  I thought this would be a line in the sand but quite frankly the piking has been really really tough.  In the few years i have been piking i can honestly say December to date has been some of the hardest pike fishing to date.  It has been a huge challenge to get a bite and when takes have come they have been tiny jack pike that have either come off or been of the micro variety.

The only consolation at the moment, small consolation at that, is that everyone is struggling so you can kind of not beat your self up as much about it.  It seems the pike, for one reason or another, are just not in  the normal spots.  I do believe they are still in the vicinity of the normal winter haunts but are not as yet tightly packed in and i think it has to do with the weather.

Extreme cold is certainly a factor in why fish shoal in deeper or sheltered areas and i believe the reason we are not getting numbers of pike is the fact the shoals of prey fish are still so spread out with the mild temps.  A few days of freezing and snow is soon replaced with barmy 10 degree temps.

Eventually the big girls will have to show up for spawning reasons but if that is the case its looking like a short frantic sprint towards the end of the pike season.

On to the fishing

Tough Session on The River weaver....

video of the following session is here to view: 

A freezing cold morning with all the puddles carrying a thick lid of ice as i loaded the car for a days fishing.  Sat in the drivers seat i began thinking of where to go on such a cold day.  It had to be a river as there was no chance the local canal and ponds would not be encased in a icy tomb.

The river Dee and River weaver where my two choices and knowing the circus that goes with the river Dee at this time of year i opted for a quiet day on the banks of the River Weaver.  I say quiet i knew the match stretch i was heading too would be far form quiet given its close vicinity to the main road.

 The gritters had certainly been slacking the night before as i made my way slowly to the venue, some of the roads completely iced white with the ice it made for a event full slow trundle to the river.

Arriving it was complete day light and i began walking the stretch looking at the pegs.  It was already noticeable there was little topping.  Fish topping was not a disaster in my opinion as i was fishing the bolo which by the very method you want the fish down deep to catch them.  The abundant predatory bird life gave away enough of a clue to the shoals below for me to get excited.

I had already fished a few swims on this beat so i decided to try a swim i had never tried before.  It was a swim where the river narrowed slightly so in theory i was thinking i was closer to the deeper water down the middle which would make for easier line control and an enjoyable days fishing, how wrong i was.

A 3gram bolo and my 17ft float rod set up i began to plumb up and found a deep run just this side of the middle with the river shallowing up along the far bank with also a deep channel under my feet where i had already spotted a pike grabbing its breakfast.

Feeding caster and hemp and with a red maggot on the hook  i began and the first run through brought a small roach to the net with the second run through bringing a slightly bigger roach in what was a great start to the session.

Unfortunately that is where the good news story ended as form that point till 1 pm i hit snag after snag after snag.  I tried a bit closer in on the middle line, a bit further out, down the far side and literally off the rod tip and every time i would trot through get a fish and then hit a snag.

This is river fishing of course so days like this do come along but i have to say days where you can not find a line at all are rare and i pitied anyone who got this peg in a match.

i thought about moving but you learn nothing by moving from a peg and was determined to learn the swim for future session and it paid off as around 1pm i found a line i could trot about a foot down stream of the Rod tip and it was clear.  I put together the final net of fish in between 1pm and 2.30pm where a pike marauding through the swim killed it.  I knew i had no where else to try in the swim so it was the killer to the swim that was impossible to remedy.

Not the greatest days fishing i have ever had but time spent after the session thinking it over saw me draw the positives and i knew in future to one try and avoid that swim and two if i have to fish it i know know a piece of the jigsaw as to where i can at least fish a line.


Monday, 9 January 2017

Happy New Year And Upper River Weaver Stickfloat Session

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope you are all well and your nets wet.  A few days left till i go back to work and i can honestly say i am dreading the thought of being confined 8 hours a day really doesn't fill me with the joys of spring.  A few trips to the bank before then hopefully will give me enough stored energy to survive till the next fishing trip.

On With This Weeks Update..

Happy New Year...

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all the people who read my blog and follow my adventures online a Happy new year and the tightest of lines for 2017.  It has been quite a good 2016 for myself fishing wise.  I ended the pike season with a nice pike then launched a mini series on fishing the local canal which has been well received and then spent some magical trips on the bank with my little daughter catching her first few fish.  Summer days chasing carp on bread and corn and then autumn roach sessions on the river have all made a fantastic years fishing.

From the fishing blog point of view it has been a year of steady increase with numbers of views each month on the blog rising to record levels, facebook and twitter continue to be increasing and more importantly is becoming a place to share your adventures more and more which is the reason i set it up and then towards the end of the year the launch of the blogs youtube channel which has added a whole new dimension to the angling blogs.

It has been great over the year to work along side some fantastic companies such as Octoplus and Stinky Stuff to name ones that really stood out and i cant wait to work with these again in the coming months. 

Looking to the future and what it holds for the blog and my fishing i can honestly say i am as excited as ever for the adventures to come.  This year has been far from easy on the new cards we are on but in the coming year it has give us a huge bed to build on from.  There are a few irons in the coals with little product reviews and possible opportunities and i am excited to see where these lead but the plan for this year is to be a lot more proactive with the blog and maybe tweak the updates to be more informative as to how i fish.

Any feedback on if you like it how it is now or changes you would like to see let me know via email of private messages it really is appreciated.

Upper Weaver Silvers Session...

A few weeks earlier we had visited this venue and been met with a hard overnight frost.  If i remember rightly the temperature was minus 4 when we arrived and did not get over that all session.  The fish where still there on the feed but with line freezing on the reel never mind the rod rings it meant once the fish moved out of pole range i was a little stuck with chasing them.

A video of the session is here:

In keeping with this mad winter we are having it was only a week or two later we where again on the same pegs and where met with temperatures more like spring that early December.  Basking in the early morning warmth we set about sorting the gear out and the river looked in fine fettle after rain a day or two ago she was carrying plenty on colour but more importantly the flow was steady.

A six number four stick float fished shirt button style down to a Bayer Perlon hooklength of 1lb.7oz line to a size 20 hook was my set up for the day and it was a test for my new drennan acolyte.  When people say test you automatically think about if the rod can haul big chub out of rivers, that is all to come, but for me i wanted to test how light the tip and action was for small species like roach.  This for me is as important as the power the rod has and will be more so when i try it out on the canals in weeks to come.

The swim was an even depth along its length and the key here is to feed the swim right to keep the fish where you want them down the swim.  The last thing you want on the stick float is the fish coming right up to the feed in front of you.

Hemp seed as a holding bait and red maggot on the hook was my plan of attack and that all important first run through the swim of the day thankfully brought a fish, always the result you want on any session!

My confidence in this rod was increased in two casts with the small roach not being bumped and the second fish being a few year sizes larger also being well hooked and played on the rods forgiving tip action, but with the power to keep it from the safety of the reeds.  It was starting to become a rod i was loving using.

My previous rod a 4 piece korum float rod had also been a rod i had enjoyed using and still do from time to time but this drennan acolyte was i have to say starting to show its extra worth when balanced with my shimano reel.  Trotting where you cant feel anything in your hands is a weird sensation indeed.

As with all fishing the swim builds over time and picking up steady bites from small roach soon turned into steady bites from better roach as they bullied in on the action.  As with all fishing its all down to the way they want it on the day and on this session it was held back just after the hemp seed, let the line go and boom under the float went.  The 6lb net from a few weeks ago was surely going to be beat today as the stamp was so much better.

As the session went on the fish did back off and i had to chase them down the swim but in my heart of hearts i knew better roach where around so i decided to give hemp seed on the hook a go and was pleasantly surprised as after a few trots down i was rewarded with a cracking roach, my first ever on hemp seed.

After this fish the fishing went from strength to strength and it was good fishing until we packed in. We normally call it a day around 3pm and start the pack up but it was well on to getting dark when we eventually packed up and although we had no scales we both had  double figure nets and a great day was had all round.

A video of this session is now live on the blogs youtube channel here:

Till next time i wish you all

tight lines