Wednesday 23 January 2008

An afternoon on the River Tame

I decided to take the afternoon off work to try and exploit the unusually mild weather we are having at the moment. I fished the River Tame near Tamworth to see if I could have some luck with one of the large Barbel that are resident in the stretch.

Water/ Air temperatures were High for Jan................

.............. and the water temp was rising !!

The temperature was very high for this time of year as you can see in these pictures.    Going up to 10C (50 f) after days of flooding and warm rain on a persistent south westerly low.
The perfect conditions didn't help me to catch however, despite a move to try my favoured snag peg I still couldn't tempt any bites.
This swim is where I had lost a big Barbel last year, hooking and playing it for a little while only for it to snap my Dacron hook length by shaking its head whilst on a powerful run.   There are only one or two good fish in here and not many Barbel overall, so if you hook one the last thing you want is to lose it to a snapped hooklength, I'd rather the hook pulled than that, easier to blame a duff hook hold than a broken line for some reason.  A duff hook hold can happen to anyone but a broken line just isn't cricket and just feels like I was guilty of being amateurish to my mind !
(This lost fish will be destined to haunt me until the day I can catch one of the beasts from here I'm sure ! )
I have never used that type of hook length since as I lost all faith in it, although others swear by it !

Snag Peg .....(The fateful scene of a big Barbel's escape in Oct 2006 )

Rest assured I will be back sometime in the future to try my luck again on the Tame!!

A plus point of the trip was the discovery of some excellent looking Perch pegs at the bottom end of the stretch.    I just hope they have a bit of depth to them as this section of river does tend to be a bit shallow, averaging only between 2 to 3ft.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

River Mease for Roach and Chub - Mon 7th Jan 2008

Fishing time 3:30pm to 6:00pm

Today I fished the River Mease with the aim of catching some winter Roach. I was greeted at my chosen peg by this little chap who boldly took a number of maggots off me, bravely coming within in a few feet !

The swim I fished first is on a bend with the main flow running on the opposite bank (the inside of the bend). The near bank sweeps into a reasonably deep pool. I fished a small cage feeder with mashed bread and some flake on the hook.

My first couple of casts produced no bites, but by about the 3rd or 4th cast I received a definite signal on the tip. It pulled round nicely and I struck but didn't connect to anything. This happened a few more times but I just couldn't hit any of them ? I must admit that I missed one of the bites due to my complete lack of reaction, striking milliseconds after I saw the bite happen too long in this game! In all there must have been at least four good positive bites, with each one pulling the tip forwards by about 1 mm, then making the tip vibrate before finally pulling it forward sharply by a good 1 or 2 inches. How I managed to miss these incredible bites I'm not sure? Maybe a lighter hook length is needed, or a smaller hook perhaps. I will have to experiment on my next visit. I may have been guilty of overfeeding the fish as the bites suddenly stopped coming. Therefore it may pay me dividend by not using the feeder for so long next time and to change it for a link ledger after a few initial casts, that way once a bed of feed is laid down, I can swap over to a small lead so as not to over feed the shoal.

As darkness descended I decided to switch pegs and try for one of the chub downstream at a known swim I have been successful in before. In complete darkness I changed my set up from a 2lb2oz hook length to 6lb mainline straight through incorparating a running link ledger and a size 6 hook baited with some of my own made red cheese paste.

After only three mins the tip tapped twice then pulled round sharply and I struck into a good fish that started charging away bullishly.

It put up quite a strong fight, but I was quickly able to haul it within netting range. I flicked on my head torch, and netted a lovely Chub of 4lb 6oz, my second largest ever to date. 

So a blank was saved and a few lessons learned (especially on the Roach front I hope). I will try and return soon to the banks of this lovely, intimate little River.