Monday 26 February 2018

3 bars of gold

Out for an evenings chub fishing, setting off later than I would of liked so I just headed to the one stretch instead of the planned two. Arriving at the river 30 minutes before dusk, I was in no rush to cast so I spent a good half hour flicking bait into the swim, hoping that the chub would gain confidence and compete for the bait.

I was expecting to get some interest fairly soon after casting and I did, a slow bite which immediately snagged me up! A quick re-tackle and the tip went round within a few minutes of casting, this fish was on longer than the first but not long enough to net, as the line parted just above the hook! I obviously didn’t strip enough line off after that first snag, lesson learnt and a good rod length of line was removed before setting up again.

I kept the bait trickling in as I was setting up and thankfully the fish hadn’t spooked and the tip went round within 2 mins of casting. I played the fish hard to avoid the snag which wasn’t there last time I fished this spot. A good 4lb plus chub was netted and sacked. Next cast even better, a probable 5lb fish from a very delicate bite.

After the second fish the cloud cover went, the temperature plummeted and unsurprisingly the chub switched off. Nothing happened whilst the sky was clear, the river was floodlit from the near full moon and it now seemed lifeless.

The air temperature must of dropped below zero as the net was solid and casting was becoming difficult with iced up quiver rings. Finally some cover returned and 20 minutes later I was into the third chub of the night.

5.03, 4.11 and 4.09lb and good evenings session including a new river best

I tried for another couple of hours but the freezing conditions had gotten the better of the river and my phone. The river seemed dead as was the camera flash on my phone, thinking the phone was broken I had a quick look online and apparently it’s a known problem with new iPhones. In cold weather the camera flash can fail to function, working again once the phone is warmer, not bad for a £750 phone !

Sunday 25 February 2018

Well the bad run continues......

Well the bad run continues. After a very early start and a 2.5 hour drive we arrived in Lincolnshire to find we had the stretch to ourselves. The water was heavily coloured due to the constant pumping, which is normal for this time of year, weather was reasonable, with fish topping as we arrived, things looked good.

I've only fished this drain once before, a difficult session in freezing conditions but we managed steady action from jacks throughout the day. Ben's fished it about half a dozen times, never blanked and the pike are always of a good average size.

Despite the promising conditions things seemed slow from the off, hard work catching baits and no interest until lunchtime. Ben missed a couple of runs before connecting with a jack, half an hour later another take for Ben a short fat fish just short of double figures. My only take of the day was aborted when a mass of floating weed hit my float and line, the pike sussed something was amiss and rejected the float paternoster live bait.

A couple more fish to Ben's rod, another jack and double both on float paternoster lives.

Just shy of 12lb, the largest of the day

Despite fishing well and trying hard I couldn't buy any interest, deads went untouched, popped up baits, free roaming lives and twitched baits all ignored. One of those days for me, which seems to be a regular occurrence lately and a good day for Ben.

A 5 hour round trip for a blank, a bit of a kick in the balls really but I was pleased for Ben as this will be his only pike session of the season due to work commitments.

The rivers have been at a consistent level for a few days now, so I'm heading out for a chub session after dinner. The plan is to try a couple of different stretches and fish for a few hours into dark on the second stretch.

Monday 19 February 2018

A patch of bad luck

Not a lot going on fishing wise this week, 3 days off midweek but as it’s half term I was busy with the kids.

The only times I’ve had the opportunity to get out on the bank the rivers have either been in a state of flood or heavily coloured from local rain. 

Today I had a few hours before work, levels seemed spot on and the colour had been dropping. As soon as I arrived at the river I knew my chances of catching were very low, as the heavy local rain put a lot of colour in the river.

Pike fishing this river is hard going in normal conditions, add some colour and most don’t bother trying. I’ve caught a few when the rivers been in flood before but it’s hard work and most sessions end in a blank. Today was no different, as expected no interest from the few pegs I tried before heading to work.

Unfortunately it’s not just the rivers I’m having bad luck with, a lost bank card, broken boiler, probable speeding ticket and a knackered exhaust all since Friday!

Hopefully my luck changes by Thursday as I’m out again, a local(ish) river if conditions allow, if not a long trip to Lincolnshire to fish a productive drain.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Hard going on a rising river

An off the cuff session with Mick, I was supposed to be heading down to Lincolnshire but due to a lack of sleep and the unfavourable conditions I didn’t fancy the 2.5hr drive. Mick had planned for a chub session but in the end we decided to meet up and chose a new stretch of river to try for the pike.

Only my second visit to this river and a bit of a late start, arriving after 9 to find the river pushing through fast and seemingly up a couple of feet. For the first couple of hours we fished a straight section of river with the downstream wind adding to the fast flow and rising water restricted us to the margins. Snow, loads of rain and howling NW winds drained our confidence so we wound in and went for a look down stream.

The inside of a large bend seemed more sheltered and the river was slightly slower, definitely looked more promising.

Around midday I had a take on a float paternoster bait, a screaming run but only very lightly hooked, Mick came over to help net the fish, then his rod went.

Mine went 9.02, Mick’s dropped the bait as he picked the rod up.

Occasionally our drop arms would be pulled off by debris coming down and the fast current made it look like a screaming run. We had a dropped run each then I had a take from a small jack, maybe 5lb, again very lightly hooked which saved me the trouble of netting it as it threw the hooks at the net.

I forgot to mention the catch of the day, a frog taken in 15ft of water on a smelt. Not the best photo but it appeared to have tried to take the smelt?!?

Anyway a hard session, but always good fishing a stretch for the first time.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Almost a hat-trick

Another session before work, further downstream than my recent sessions. A stretch that I rarely bother with and only chose due to the easy access.

One rod only on this part of the river, a relatively deep stretch so a simple running lead and deadbait setup.

First cast at 1130hrs and a take less than half an hour later.

10lb 3oz, very pleasing after a few blanks.

A change to a larger bait, 30 minutes with no interest and I decided to slowly wind the bait in to see if anything follows. Something did, I was running out of water so I give the bait a fast pull as it approached the bank and the following fish nailed it. 

For a seceond I thought it was the first fish again, until it powered off and put a good bend in the rod. A really good scrap with the fish staying deep for a lot of it.

18lb 2oz, the best of the season so far.

The fish was carrying some obvious otter damage, fresh wounds down both flanks and half of the adipose fin was missing. I haven’t seen otters this far downstream, but there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be here.

This fish was hooked just in the scissors on the bottom treble, with all three points embedded, a bit of a pain so I cut the barbs and points of to make things easier and the treble fell out.

A quick sort out of the gear before re-casting and I couldn’t find my cutters, I usually carry two pairs, but on a short session like this I try to minimise kit. I couldn’t find them anywhere and I was convinced that I’d left them in the landing net when returning the fish.

The margins are deep here so I couldn’t see anything, pissed off not wanting to recast without having the right kit I spent another 15 mins searching then decided to pack up and go to work early. 

As I was packing away I found them under some vegetation, It must of took me 10 seconds to get the rod out again!

The wind had picked up with some powerful gusts so I had to tighten the drop arm on the back biter, as I like to have them set very lightly to minimise resistance.

10 mins before I had to leave and 2 beeps on the delkim, then nothing, a couple of seconds later, a few more beeps, a nod on the rod tip, then the back biter went. I must of tightened the arm a bit much as I rarely get any indication on the tip, the arm usually drops without any movement on the tip.

As soon as I struck I thought to myself ‘that was a bit early’ and so it was. A low double on the surface, bait and both trebles easily seen, carefully edging it towards the net. As soon as the pike saw the net it rolled and easily threw the hook hold.

I tried another last cast but it was to no avail and I ended up late for work..... never mind.

Hopefully I can get out again ASAP, before any snowmelt makes it into the river and kills the fishing.