Friday 31 December 2010

My last fish of 2010

Went out to the small river for a last blast in 2010

not so frozen this time !

Fishing first for roach, I had a little success with link ledgered breadflake...

The roach swim

Roach about 7 oz
The bites soon became very finicky and impossible to hit - my Greys barbel rod is a bit too stiff even with the 2oz tip on - think I need to invest in a lighter rod for this sort of fishing.

Next onto the chub swim downstream...

Chub 4lb 11oz
and this fine chub obliged late on to my three season old cheesepaste (it stinks).

Happy New Year everyone - Roll on 2011 

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Reasons to be cheerful....1 2 3

Venturing out on Boxing day to fish ....

1. The first river I visited was completely frozen over but I got some nice wintry pics.. ahh

2.  River two (the Trent), and a blank fishing one rod for chub and one for pike.  Forced to find a spot with less of the margin ice,  I discovered a few new swims that look good for future visits.

Margins frozen with thick ice,  over a rods length out

This sweeping reed lined slack drops to a nice depth,  predator heaven ? 
3.  Today, and the snow is quite noticeably thawing, which although might scupper the rivers for a bit, the lakes and canals might just be fishable again while we wait for the snow melt to run out the rivers  !

Just think in three months time it'll be spring ! (OK that's four but you get the gist)

Wednesday 22 December 2010

More snow ...

 We finally got a proper dumping here this morning ..

I postponed my plans to go for a mornings chub fishing - I'll more likely be taking the kids out sledging instead !  

a pond - somewhere?

Pond aerator  - that doubles up as a handy kids golf putter !

6cm  and it's still coming down.

Have a great Christmas !

Monday 20 December 2010

In the snow ...

I've had two short little sessions in the snow so far this winter, both have been blanks but it hasn't put me off trying again while the severe conditions persist.

Today's little trip out to the River Anker was with the intention of trotting for a few roach, but with a sleeper rod out in the deep margin for any pike that might be stirred from the bottom by an hors d'oeuvre of sardine or roach.
Most of the margin was covered in ice to more than a rods length out in places.  Luckily I found a swim where there was good depth and cover to my left where it would be safe to land any decent fish hooked.

The ice froze in my rod rings and without any glycerin I was forced to try the grease from my face and nose to fend off the ice. Surprisingly it worked a little but soon the ice returned and the process had to be repeated again.

On the way home I stopped by at my parents where I managed to get a bottle of glycerin from mom, bless her, she said she'd had it years and couldn't think of when she would ever use it anyway. It was probably past its best for icing but would still be ideal a rod de-icer.

Just needs a 2lb Roach and this picture's complete !

As dusk started to draw in,  I called it a day and headed back into the warm 


Victims of the ice...

Just a little mention in honour of my two koi that sadly died over the last week. The garden pond has been frozen over for a number of weeks now and this has coincided with my pump packing up just before the cold weather kicked in.  Interestingly it's only the Koi that have been affected, the two commons and an orange ghostie are fine at the moment, as are the tench and all the goldfish.  I have stepped up my efforts to aerate the water though by maintaining several holes at intervals throughout the day.


A cold and sobering morning on the Dove

Waiting in vein
I fished the Dove on the morning after our bloggers night out.  After arriving about 8am I soon discovered I had forgotten my reel that I'd taken the trouble of reloading with new 3lb line,  ready for trotting a float after grayling.  Thankfully I'd bought  a feeder set up which was cast out with maggots in earnest.

A pike rod was also cast out after a while into the slack opposite me and also down the margins, but neither rods produced any sign in the two hours I spent fishing. 

Sunday 28 November 2010

Freezing ...

I woke up at 6am this morning all ready to go out to the River Dove after some grayling, but on stepping outside and checking the temperature I decided -8deg C was a bit too much to be out for a mornings fishing. So having chickened out, I drank some of my flask of coffee and headed back to bed to snuggle back up against a nice warm wife.

Frozen river !
At about 3pm I headed out again to try a small local river for a nice winter chub, but this was not to be as most of the limited swims were frozen over on this fairly inaccessible stretch.  I walked the whole area to seek out somewhere with enough running water to allow a cast,  but in the end I decided against it as mostly all the accessible areas were frozen nearly all the way across, just being out and enjoying the frozen landscape was enough for me today.

When I returned to the car as darkness fell I checked the temp and found it was -8 deg C !
I hadn't felt cold at all and only my hands had suffered from the biting cold,  gloves had soon revived them. I'm sure I would have easily coped with the cold this morning after all. Whether the fish would have been feeding is only left for me to wonder!

I had a trip out with Jeff earlier this week on the canal but drew another blank, I think we'd picked the first night of the rapid temperature drop so four rods over 3 hours failed to attract a single bite. 

Sunday 21 November 2010

Timing it right

I've been struggling for fish over the past few sessions, so I've not really bothered to report on them. I think it's just down to timing my sessions during a feeding spell, especially now the temperatures have dropped to low single figures and the first few frosts of the year have already happened.  Choosing the right conditions are definitely more important at this time of year as the fish will feed for shorter periods at a time.

My latest session was this morning, and with an air temp around 3 deg I hoped this would not put off the fish.   I started the morning hoping to catch some more baits from the nearby pool but I couldn't even get the roach to feed.  I also had a float fished lobworm out for any perch that might be lurking next to the weed bed on the left. After an hour of complete in-action I gave up and moved back onto the canal to try for a morning zander. 

That should be - " No Chance of Catching " in my case
Despite my best efforts it was a futile session ending with another blank. I tried all the known spots with no results, I just hope I can do better on my next trip out when I meet up with Jeff again.

These are all pretty reliable areas - but not today  !
Even this mouthwatering roach kebab was not enough to entice !
  My set up never really changes, in fact its pretty easy to catch zander if your location is correct.  I think my conclusion over these past few sessions is that there's no real way of knowing if the fish will be feeding or not, it's ultimately a case of right place and right time.

Saturday 30 October 2010

A security incident and the missed feeding spell

After leaving work about 5:15pm I was soon heading up the M1 towards the river Trent.  With the radio on it was apparent there was an international security incident unfolding at East midlands airport, which is off the junction I was heading for!  Sitting in the tailback on the motorway I noticed a convoy of both marked and unmarked police vehicles rushing past on the other carriage way, lights ablazing.  I hoped I'd be able to get to the river before dark, as it turned out I didn't. The reports went on to say that a suspicious package had been taken away for scientific examination.  I wonder what was in that convoy of vehicles I saw ?

I was fishing for both zander and barbel with a rod out for each, what with the recent mild conditions I figured I had a reasonable chance. A roach head was cast under a overhanging tree to my left in about 6 ft of water and a lump of meat was cast to a near middle crease just out of the main flow.  To cut a long story short neither twitched nor moved for about three hours despite several bait changes on both.

I had a number of 4 or 5" roach left in the cool bag and wanted to make use of them so decided to cut my losses and head for the canal on the way home. Arriving about 10:00pm, I found parts of the canal covered in autumn leaves so decided to try a bait under a large raft of these first. One was was cast under the leaves, and the other to the shelf under a far bank tree. After 20 mins  - nothing so I moved back down towards the marina stopping along the way to try the occasional likely spot.

I eventually ended up at the hot spot in the marina, but even here a take could not be enticed. The fish must be already past their evening feeding spell was my conclusion, as I have experienced this two or three times before.  I think you have about three hours after dark then the fish seem to go off the feed.  I'm not sure if they have another go during the night as I've never stayed out past about 11:30pm to try.  I know there is another spell before and into dawn but again I have rarely tried at this time either.  If I can get a pass out I might just forgo my extra hour in bed tomorrow (Sunday) due to the daylight saving ritual and try a dawn session for them.

On the way home the radio reported that President Obama had confirmed explosives had been found in packages loaded onto planes at East Mids, Dubai and at an Airport in the US !

Saturday 23 October 2010

A new area - a new PB

I met up with Jeff for a zander session on his stretch of the Coventry Canal, so after a quick pint at the meeting point we decided to try a new area that he'd not fished before further up the canal towards Bedworth, I wasn't fussy as it was all new area to me.

I fished my usual sliding light lead and bobbins and Jeff was using his home made floats.  My first rod had a two hook pennel rig, both singles, which soon produced a small fish of about a pound.

The other rod was fished with a half bait of  rudd tail or head end on one of the Mustad ultimate bass hooks, I was eager to see if they would perform better than my pennel rigs which have so far been very hit and miss in terms of successful hook ups.  Jeff has been using the bass hooks for a bit longer than me and has been having some good success with them and more importantly less deeply hooked fish (this is an aspect I'm most interested in, after a couple of deeply hooked fish lately on singles).

Meanwhile,  back at the pennel rig, I hit a run that met with a solid force, the rig sprang back minus the bait though as the hooks had dissapointingly missed their target.  I attached a fresh rudd and cast it back out near to the boat channel, more due to a fluffled cast than any other reason.  The wind had picked up a bit by now and was gusting down the canal making the bobbins swing sideways pendulum fashion, they could really do with bit of putty or blu tac to make them heaver in this situation, thus aiding stability.

Shortly, I noticed the bobbin rising up again but in a more staccato fashion, I waited a second to make sure it was still moving before lifting the rod. It met the same solid resistance as before however this time the fish was on and on the move.  It stayed deep and I could feel it was probably quite a decent fish.   Jeff realising it might be a better one had picked up the net and after a bit of a tussle she was safely landed.  My reward, this new PB, and a really solid, plump fish.

6lb 10oz
A short while later we decided to move up the canal back towards the pub as the bites had dried up a bit,  Jeff was soon into a fish, landing one of around 2lb in this new spot.  He managed another one slightly bigger  after another move when the bites had dried up again, but my action was over for the night as it transpired.  Not that I was bothered, it was good just chewing the cud with Jeff about all things fishy and for me to go home with an new PB was totally unexpected.

One of Jeffs fish

Thursday 14 October 2010

Night time on the canal

 I fished with my Dad for the first time in ages, he's not an angler but he'd kept saying he would come down with me on my next canal visit, as it's not far from his house.

After casting in the first rod I told Dad to keep an eye on the bobbin while I sorted out the second rod. He was mesmerised by the little glowing stick and warned me of every slight movement.  I quickly pointed out that he would know if there was a fish taking line as you couldn't mistake it !

Soon both rods were in and fishing, and we both sat back to wait for the action to start. The blue bobbin was first to show signs but only for a dropped run. Shortly after and the red was away with a fish between one or two pounds.

Red was to be the leading rod tonight with the another fish of  2lb 11oz taken that fought well above it's weight. The blue rod finished the session with another small zed around 9 pm, Dad acting as ghillie to expertly net the fish and swing it onto the bank.

It was time for Dad to go after this last fish, but I stuck it out for another 45 mins, the fish however were not interested in any more of my baits by now. 

Best of the night

Sunday 10 October 2010

Pike and bait session

The bait freezer was running decidedly low on contents, so I headed down to a pool that I know contains lots of Rudd and Roach to stock up.  The morning was overcast at first and a cool breeze was blowing into my face, I was glad I had a jumper and fleece on.

I used a margin pole for ease and started getting bites soon after starting.  The first fish was a 4" Roach followed quickly by another, then the Rudd started to make an appearance.  I continued catching throughout the morning and soon built up a good number of fish to restock my deadbait supply. 

I initially thought a Rudd/Roach
There was a surprise when I landed this hybrid which for some reason I thought might be a Rudd /Roach at first, (I expected the anal fin to be longer in a bream/roach - i.e. more bream like)  but then after studying Jeff's picture of a Bream/Roach, it's most definitely a "Broach" or a "Ream" - (make your own mind up on that one). 

I had also brought a Pike rod along so decided to set it up and cast it to an area in my periphery vision, so I could continue with the pole but have the pike float just a half glance away.  There was a sunken weed bed to my right so I cast in front of this with a fresh caught Rudd live bait to roam around in front of the weed.

The  Rudd and Roach continued to come on the pole, but soon the Pike float had started to stir too, it bobbed and moved off ,  I wound down and pulled into the fish.  The first Jack Pike was landed and after a quick snap was taken it was returned.

Jack one
I put on another livebait and cast it back to the same area,  it was soon away again with another fish a twin of the first.  After returning this second fish I decided to try a sprat deadbait to see if they would spark any interest.

Jack two ..... Like peas in a pod
 Meanwhile on the margin pole the bites had dried up a bit, I had been fishing up in the water and getting consistent bites, but now it was clear the fish had dropped lower down now that the sun had burned the clouds away and was glaring down onto the water, and into my face.  I adjusted the float and caught a few more fish from the bottom, but not as consistently as before. 

The sprat was being ignored so I wound it in and packed up the Pike rod to concentrate on getting a few more baits before it was time to go home to get mower out and cut the lawn (whoo hoo, domestic chores ).