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 ).

Thursday 7 October 2010

On a lake in Autumn

After catching a new Pike pb while Zander fishing recently, I was keen to try my luck on a local lake to see if I could catch one by design.  The day had been fine but now cloud was just gathering across the sky to blanket the previously bright sunlight.  Ideal conditions I thought, the baits were cast in on float rigs and the lake was scanned for activity from any diving birds or topping fish. 

A shoal of fry erupted from the surface a few feet in front of a marginal tree, some unseen  marauder terrifying them en mass (a perch perhaps or jack pike ?). The floats remained still, aside from the occasional drift when the depth was not set for the bottom.  Various baits were tried but nothing could raise the interest of my intended target.  Perversely the cyprinids were completely on the feed, rolling Bream occasionally seen in a corner of the eye, and bubbles fizzing on the shelf of a nearby bar 40 yards out.  Scenes witnessed rarely when I'm fishing for them, funny that !

Eventually darkness fell and the lines were reeled in, baits thrown to the waiting ducks and decisions made about where to head for part two of the evenings predator session.  The Coventry or Fazeley Canal ?  The Fazeley just edging it as the drive was shorter and I had plans on a new swim.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, culminating in one take which happened just at the point I'd decided to take a leak !  The fish was taking line well, so that even the baitrunner had started to kick in as I got to the rod. I disengaged and lifted expecting to feel a force of some kind but there was none, the pair of single hooks missing their target yet again.   I wondered if I still had any sea hooks at home, being that little bit larger they may be better for presenting sections of or even whole baits without the point being masked or compromised in any way? Seems Jeff had already tried with some good results.

That was to be the evenings only take and soon a text from the wife tempted me home with news of fresh homemade pizza in the oven.