I had planned to go Perch / Grayling fishing on the Dove and despite the recent snowstorms hitting the country I headed out anyway in the sub zero temperatures. I had planned to arrive just before light, which is about 7:30am at the moment, but due to the icy conditions on the roads it was nearly 8 before I had parked and walked to the chosen stretch. Negotiating the ruts and cows hoof holes on the solid frozen ground reminded me of hopping over slippery rocks when rock pooling in the summer.
The depth changes frequently along the margin
The plan was to fish for Perch for the first hour or so, and then trot a float for Grayling until lunchtime. I set up both rods and began the session fishing a new softbait shad I had just bought.
A menacing enigma has been eating into the fish stocks on the River Blythe near Coleshill this week. The photo below was taken by a mate on the 15th Dec on a stretch "above Coleshill ".
Approx 10lb (ottered) common
I've not fished there since late season 2007-08 but was planning to return to this lovely stretch very soon. It's a small river with stocks of Barbel, Chub, Pike and Perch etc, and I'm sure anyone who has ever fished this river will be concerned for the welfare of these fish now !
Lets hope they have as much success as I normally do on there, give up and swiftly move on before the water is devastated - if only they ate the crayfish !!!
I set the alarm for about 6 ish, and sneaked quietly out of my pit to go for a couple of hours lure fishing on the canal this morning; leaving the family happily dreaming away in bed. Arriving before first light about 7:00am, I started off fishing with my new thunderstick fire perch pattern crank-bait plug; eventually swapping over to a jigged softbait shad in a similar pattern (perch) after about half an hour's in-action.
I've never really done much too lure fishing in the past so I'm on quite a steep learning curve at the moment, and I consider any capture to be a significant breakthrough still. It tells me that my technique and watercraft is on the right track at least. I've only ever caught two species on lure in my life, one being the obligatory Jack Pike and the other a small Bass.
My lures for the session
After moving further down the canal to where it widened out by a private mooring, I proceeded to catch a small Jack of about 4lb on my first cast there, which I think is my first Pike to a jigged softbait lure.
The 4lb Jack caught on a perch pattern jigged softbait
I read an article in the AT while standing in Tesco's the other day (well its not worth buying it anymore is it!) by a young kid who fishes practically no other method, and his results seemed very good so I decided to give them a fair try this morning.
A December morning on the canal
Of course once the Pike was landed I stuck with this jig pattern and proceeded to catch nothing else on it all session ! On the plus side my "jigging" confidence has improved at least, so much so I may have another go at it later in the week and see if I can tempt one of the elusive Zander that are avoiding all I throw at them for the moment ? Surely they must still feed in a water temperature of 6 c (positively mild for this time of year ?)
To sum up the session not much to report but at least I avoided a blank for a change! and "got my arm in" working the jig method. I did spot a Jay land in tree behind me which was good to see, no more Muntjac this week though !
At 3:30 pm after an unsuccsesful day trying to finish my surveying assignment for my Uni course the wife suggested I go fishing, not one to pass up an oppurtunity I was walking up the Cov canal tow path by 4:00pm.
I fished an old clay pit near the canal first to try for some live baits (namely small Rudd) but couldn't temp any fish despite them topping all around the lake. Soon after as the light failed and I struggled to see the pole float's tip any longer, I gave up and went back up the track to the canal again and started fishing for Zander in earnest.
It was fully dark by the time both rods were in. The water temp was hovering around 5.5 to 6 C and this may have put the fish down a bit as there was no sign of fish topping or moving anywhere. I tried three or four different areas including the nearby marina but never had a touch all session. By 7:30pm I'd had enough and tea was calling me, so I packed up and went home empty handed again. I think I might try for Perch or Roach next if the weather stays this cold. Of course depending on the river levels Grayling might also feature in my targets again with the weather getting into full winter mode now.
This blog is two years old this week and there have been a few decent fish and PB 's reported during that time, hopefully I can improve on these results and maybe add new species to the list in the coming months .. fingers crossed.