Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Short small river session

With Christmas out the way I was itching to get out on the river again yesterday. I had been given a new rod for Christmas from the wife, so was eager to back out into the countryside to give it a test. I headed out at dawn to the small local river that I usually fish every winter in search of some roach and chub.

On arrival the weather was calm and mild with clear skies. The water was a bit clearer than I had expected since all the recent rain, but I was still hopeful of some action.  I baited up the reliable chub hot spot with some bread mash but then headed to another area upstream where the water is usually a bit more coloured, in the hope of finding some roach.

The new Drennan Red 9' 6" mini carp feeder rod was put into action. It comes with a 1oz and 2 oz glass tip,  perfect for this type of fishing in confined areas.

The swim is on a high bank with a drop of at least 3ft down to the surface, so a long handled net is essential. The shallower gravel run drops into sandy clay in slightly deeper water of about 3- 4ft just in front of a raft that bridges across the river  here. The roach are usually found in the deeper water a few feet in front of the raft.

Fishing 4lb line straight through to a size 10 hook and a sliding link ledger, I started getting bites on bread flake from the first cast, the tip of the 1oz feeder rod tapping away then giving a confident pull forward of about an inch or so.  I missed the first few of these bites but then hooked a roach of about 6oz that fell off at the net.  It seemed to kill the swim for a while, but then I found the bites again a further foot or so towards the raft and into the near bank.  The first fish to be landed was a small chub of less than half a pound, this was followed by four more exact copies. Obviously a shoal of small chub had been attracted and were beating the roach to the bait.  I gave it some more time but no larger fish turned up.

After a while I decided a move was in order so I started heading to the chub hot spot. On the way I could see that someone else had arrived and was heading that way too an was infront of me.  Plan B was a small pool on a bend.  I have never really done that well on here before although there are certainly fish here to be found. Unfortunately I never managed a proper bite in the hour I had left in the spot, just a few slight taps of iterest from small fish I expect.   I made a mental note as it does look good for a pike in the hole below the tree where the water drops down to least 5 or 6 feet deep. That will have to wait for another visit though.

Finally a short book review for you ...

I've just read this book on zander that was one of my stocking fillers from the wife.
Zander, How to catch them, by Barrie Rickards 2011.

A great little book full of history, tips and methods on all aspects of Zander fishing, and for about £10 it's well worth a look at.   I found it confirmed the methods I'm already using are pretty much what Barrie recommends although he made some very interesting and considered arguments on hook choice that I think I'm starting to be swayed towards.  The list of big zander was a surprise to me in the fact that there are quite a lot more massive fish from the Severn in that list than I was aware of - maybe I'll  be looking at a new ticket this year !! ..hmmm.

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