Friday 10 October 2008

New stretch on Anker

Wed 8th October

I decided to try a new stretch of the River Anker I have discovered, so after finishing work early on wed this week, I was able to get down there around 4:00pm.
The Stretch of river looked good, with plenty of near and opposite bank cover and appeared quite deep in places (up-to 6ft at least I would guess at this stage.)There were a few pegs that looked good for a nice Perch or two.
I started off by baiting up a number of likely looking pegs along the stretch with a handful of pellets in each (Barbel being the target species). Then set up my gear in the peg where I thought there would be the best chance.
Twenty minutes later I had a vicious tap then the rod tip pulled sharply round. The initial fight had me wondering if it could be a barbel as the fish fought well and tried to stay down deep. However soon after I caught sight of a reasonable chub as it gave up its battle and came reluctantly to the net. At 3lb 7oz it wasn't a bad first fish to open my account I thought, I just need to get a barbel to take interest now.

I had one more bite on the next cast, which was more typical of chub tapping the tip hard twice then skillfully avoiding capture by plucking only the bait in its lips and not the hook. Striking at fresh air I made a mental note that in future I must leave the rod to wrap right round a bit more. I think that way you are more likely to connect anyway, and can hopefully choose to ignore a few of the nuisance chub taps you receive by 'sitting on your hands' a bit.

I decided shortly after to move to another peg upstream as the swim had gone a bit dead now, so just before dark set in I moved further along the stretch to another good looking swim. This one had bushes either side of me on my near bank, and a series of large bushes and trees on the opposite bank. There was also a nice raft of twigs and branches with a crease running off it from my right far bank diagonally across the river to my left near bank. I cast towards the raft to try to get in the slack water just beyond the crease but the feeder was quickly pulled back across the current to my near bank. I waited a little while to see if anyone was home, but after no response decided to try to get to bait nearer the trees on the far bank. Again the feeder was pulled across the current which must have been due to the extra flow caused by recent rainfall and subsequent rise in levels. I still fancied my chances in the first peg so after a 3rd cast to the near bank bush on my left I moved back to where I started the session in darkness to see if the Barbel had moved in onto the few handfuls of pellets I had baited up with earlier. I gave it a further half hour or so in the earlier swim but there was no further interest from any fish so I packed up and left.

I am looking forward to my next session on this stretch as being near to home it is an ideal venue with good parking right next to the river too. I may attempt a Perch session next we'll see what the weather brings over the next few days.

Sunday 5 October 2008

Jammed on a cold dark night.

Fri 3rd October 2008

Started this weeks trip to the Dove, by being caught in a traffic jam on the A38 for over an hour!
To rub salt in the wound I was only 1/2 a mile from the turn off for Rolleston when I joined the que. This obviously set me back a bit as it was fully dark while I was still waiting in the jam. I didn't let that stop me fishing though and still made it down to the river, and had cast my bait in by 8:00pm.

I was fishing a known Barbel holding swim, casting to a bush on the opposite bank. There was no visible moon again this week which made it very dark, so I had to try to cast towards the bush using my head torch which made thing difficult to judge accurately. With the river being up a slight bit and pushing through, this made keeping the feeder in position a bit difficult. After 3 or 4 casts leaving each one in for at least 20 mins, I decided to move down to another peg where I could swing the bait out near my own bank. This time I had only made 2 casts before deciding to pack up as the temperatures had plummeted and I had not received the merest hint of a bite all evening ( which was unusual). The weather report had said temperatures would be down to 5 deg C overnight which is quite a drop from 18 the previous week.

I would like to have checked the water temp with my digital thermometer but unfortunately I had forgotten to test the batteries, and they were dead, so I don't know if the water was as cold as the air temp yet or not. I felt my tactics and casting were ok, just that the fish were not interested probably due to this northerly weather that had been set in for the past 48 hours, making the conditions decidedly wintry.
If this had lowered the water temp it would explain why bites were non existent. It's never a good time to be fishing for Barbel just as temp levels are falling rapidly into a cold snap. By the light of my head torch the grass even appeared to be frosting over on the bank and it had taken on that distinct white and slightly crunchy texture as I walked along from the first to the second peg.

So it was back to the blanking again for this session, hopefully this will only be a minor set back caused more by conditions rather than my technique ? time will tell I suppose.