Thursday, 24 March 2016

Homemade weed rake

During the warmer months a few of my tench waters are often choked with weed, leaving very few fishable areas. Occasionally a rake is available to clear swim but more often than not these communal rakes disappear, sometimes snagged on the bottom but usually they end up in the boot of someones car.

I had needed my own for a while but after struggling to find something suitable online I decided to make my own.

The box section, threaded bar, nuts and washers cost less than a tenner, a mate welded the box section for the price of a couple of pints and I 'liberated' the cordage from work. The main cost was time, it took a lot longer than to finish than I first hoped it would, not having the time to complete it in one go, I had to squeeze in 10 minutes here and there. I finished it earlier this month and tested it last week.

Not the most complex designs, but it works well and its built to last

Friday, 18 March 2016

Just a jack

Well the 'final push' didn't really materialise, the session planned for Thursday morning didn't happen as the river rose 6ft overnight and I was too pushed for time on Monday, that just left Sunday.

The plan for Sundays session was to head to a few stretches that I hadn't fished for a while and cover as much water as possible. The morning didn't start too well as I managed to sleep through my alarm and as the kids were staying at there grandparents I didn't wake until after eight. Usually I would be over the moon with a sleep in but not when I'm supposed to be fishing.

It was well after nine when I eventually pulled up at the first stretch, a couple of cars were parked up and usually this is enough to make me turn round and head elsewhere but I decided to make my way down to the river and hope the areas I wanted to try were free.

I bumped into Marc (who I know through a local forum), he was chub fishing, not a sniff, no fishing rising, dead, was his response when I asked if he had caught anything. Not really what I wanted to hear but the despite the recent flood the river looked in decent enough condition so I was still fairly confident. After a lengthy chat with Marc and a decent walk to the pegs I had in mind it had gone half ten before I had a bait in the water.

The river was still pushing through at pace and although it was still carrying some colour it had around 18" to 2ft of visibility which isn't too bad for this river, water temps were up from my last visit, just over 5°C. Decent conditions and I was quietly confident that I would find a few fish.

Four hours on the first stretch and six pegs covered, not a touch. I decided to head downstream, again to a stretch that I hadn't fished in months. Due to road closures and hoards of Sunday cyclists it took about an hour to move stretches and be fishing again.

This stretch is a lot narrower than the first with many more near bank features, often the pike are found in these areas. First peg, first cast a whole float fished lamprey was taken. Just a jack, but enough to avoid a dreaded final session blank.

Blank saver !

Encouraged by the capture I fished on until dark, but despite covering a fair amount of water I didn't have any further success. Not the most successful final session of the season I've had, but I didn't blank!

An enjoyable day with plenty of wildlife on show, a mink on the far bank stalking a moorhen, woodpeckers doing their thing and a treecreeper coming within a few feet were the highlights,a lovely day to be out, spring is definitely here.

A quick photo snap of the mink

Once the rivers are closed I usually continue to fish for pike until the end of the month, normally I fit in a couple of sessions before my pike season ends, but I'm busy for the next few weeks so I'm only planning the one session, probably on a canal over the Easter weekend.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The final push

As the final week of the season approaches most river anglers are planning their final sessions of the season. I'm no different, a busy weekend meant no fishing, but I'm planning two, possibly three sessions before the season closes. Thursday morning (after a night shift), a full day Sunday and possibly a short session on the final day. My local rivers have been in a state of flood for most of the winter, with very few settled periods so fingers crossed for the week ahead.

My most recent session was last Thursday morning after a 12hour night shift, as usual conditions hadn't been great, so I packed a rod a piece for the chub and pike. Thankfully the river dropped overnight and although it was pushing through fast it wasn't too coloured so I targeted the pike.

The pace of the river limited my choice of pegs but I managed to find a few deep slacks to drop a bait into. No interest from the first two pegs, but the third looked promising, about 10ft of depth and snags either side. Twenty minutes past without interest in the float fished smelt, this peg had to hold fish, so a change to lamprey and a quick recast for five minutes before moving. Less than five minutes later the float slid under.

The pike went 11lb 6oz and was obviously carrying some spawn as river pike of this length are usually below 10lb. My first double in a while, blank avoided, very pleased.

Twenty minutes in a final peg but nothing to report, not a bad 2 hour session, hopefully next Thursday's session will produce a similar result.