Friday 17 June 2011

More tales and some tench...

I've fished a couple of times since my last post but had nothing really significant to report, well except for my attempt on a new stretch of canal for zander. I spent most of the session watching carp bubbling all around me even under my rods whilst I was blanking for the zeds!! Then last Sunday morning getting caught out during the rain,  I landed a 5lb bream and whilst dealing with the fish, watched my chair get blown over by a gust of wind and my trusty camera that was sat on the chair roll off and straight into the lake. Unlike Jeff and his phone saga, I did manage to save it but it isn't really working now. I fear the cost to repair it might not be worth the expense, so I expect I will be looking for a new one soon instead of a new float rod or some reels ! I've had to resort to using either my phone camera or an old 2 mega pixel job, so you'll have to excuse any grainy looking shots for now.

Possibly the last shot ever from my trusty cannon A650IS
The reason behind the cameras demise !

 Yesterday however, I decided to give the tench lake another go for an after work session, after a short rest from it recently.  By 7:00pm I had the bait spodded out and the maggot feeders cast in position, all I could do now was sit back and hope the fish would play ball.   Thankfully it didn't take long to find out as one of the rods ripped off on a vicious take, the rod hooped round on the strike and I was finally into a tench again. The fish fought well for its size but was soon safely landed.

A lovely little 4lb honeydew tench, a colour of tench I've only ever seen in this lake.

The next fish came shortly after on the other rod, nicely christening my new (old style) fox micron alarm. Slightly larger than the first it was still a way off this years target of 8lb.

practicing my anglers serious face !
The new hook patterns and increase to the hooklength I'd made recently seemed to be doing the trick, with both runs connecting without a problem so far.   The third run then convinced me further still, I hope I've solved the problem of dropped takes that I've been experiencing this year ?

Fish number three took off down the lake to my left taking line off the clutch, leaving me worried it would head under the overhanging trees and snag me.  I tightened the clutch up and got it under control again, it came in as good as gold now and I soon had it scooped up in the net. This one looked a better stamp, a nice fat ball of a fish that looked ready to go pop any day now. At 6lb 6oz she is a years best and helped notch a few more points on the board for me.

That would be my last fish of the evening, but not the end of the action.....

As darkness drew in I started to get some stuttery bream takes but they just wouldn't connect for some reason?  A few of these takes were struck at and a few left to develop but none resulted in any fish.  I ended up swapping over to corn on both rods but this didn't change the results as they still managed to avoid capture.   As far as I know my line was as flat as possible, being kept slack and with flying backleads on.  I can only put it down to a problem with the hook and rig mechanics,  either that or all the takes were line bites ? I doubt it's the latter and think it's the former that was at fault here though.  I will have to have a tweek with the rig and see if I can resolve this one on my next opportunity. The rigs were all working fine on the other bream pool I've been fishing, so it's a bit of a mystery.

As I write the new season has already begun, and I know the draw of running water will soon take me away from these lovely fish again for a while.  There's my first river zander to catch, or maybe a river carp and not forgetting the obvious barbel, chub and grayling of course.  Bring it on ! but I still hope to stick at it with the  lake's beautiful tincas and bream at least a few more times though the summer.

Sunday 5 June 2011

Bream pool magic

I headed out this evening to have a go on a small quiet pool that hold a number of bream and tench. It's a pool that I've fished in the past but not seriously for bream or tench for a while as the draw of bigger and better sized specimens in venues elsewhere have colluded to keep me away.  However it is still one of the loveliest natural pools that I know of, and today was no exception. With the pool to myself again I selected the most comfortable swim and took in the view.

The first fish came quickly to the worm rig, and was weighed at 4lb 8oz, then returned straight away.

4lb 8oz

Soon a steady stream of fish hit the net one after another, mostly to worm with only two to the corn rig. I had taken my keep net in case I decided to fish for rudd if the feeders were not active. I had no chance of even getting the margin pole out of the rod bag, let alone set it up. The keep net came in handy as I didn't have time to mess about weighing fish or photographing them as they were landed, so in the net they went to be sorted later.

As daylight was starting to fade quickly due to some incoming cloud, I decided to take the fish out for a group photo before it got too dark, they must have been getting a bit crowded in the keep net anyway.

5lb 13oz

After the fish were returned I went on to net another one that was the largest of the evening, it came minutes after losing another fish to a hook pull, this fish actually fought back and I was convinced it was a tench until it did the old fosby flop on the surface as it came within a couple of rod lengths of me and then was safely scooped up in my net. These last two takes (again on worm) were both viscous rips more akin to tench takes, they almost shocked me compared to the previous diddly little bobbin dances from the earlier fish.  After landing this larger 6lb fish I wondered if the bigger fish were now coming on the feed as darkness closed in?

6lb 10oz

I packed up just before it got fully dark though because I wasn't really equiped to stay out any longer (no food, drink or shelter) and some rather ominous clouds had gathered overhead threatening a downpour. I'd had my fill really anyway, but it would have been nice to have been able to carry on to see if any of the bigger girls would come out. Not sure what the upper limit is but I've heard they go bigger than the fish I landed.  Not a bad little session though with over 37lb of fish, maybe I'll try it again soon.

Saturday 4 June 2011

On that canal again...!

Jeff on a mission

I'd threatened Jeff that I'd stop by on the way home after work one evening to have a go at plundering his hard found silver bream swims.  Luckily Jeff was more than generous and hospitable in accommodating me in my pursuit of a new pb, and so at 6pm we were heading down the towpath to find the swims and talk tactics.  Jeff put me in the 'most consistent' swim and he started fishing  a few yards up from me.  After looking through my float selection I opted to set up the rod with one that had 'far bank canal waggler' written on it and was lurking unused and unloved at the bottom of my box. Well I was aiming to fish the far bank on a canal after all, so it seemed a good choice to me !

First cast with a flake of bread on, the float settled then sailed under instantly resulting in this old stalwart of a roach weighing in at a reasonable 13oz.  A new years best and an increase of 8 oz to my challenge score.

Unfortunately that was to be my one and only bite all evening. I tried sticking it out in the same swim but I must have either over fed with bread mash or had spooked the shoal away up the canal into Jeff's swim !

Jeff fared better after losing a couple of bream whilst chatting to a passing native, he managed to land a nice male tench in another swim to my right that he'd pre baited when we arrived.

I carried on hoping the silver bream might come on the feed in my swim as dusk drew in, but it was not to be. The towpath behind me was busy all evening what with with bike riders, joggers and then Jeff traipsing up and down swim hopping till he'd managed about three bream and two male tincas to my one solitary roach.

Ah well there's always next time ..!

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Two bites of the cherry....

My Tench campaign has pretty much stalled at the moment, well it's ground to a halt really with just a couple of blank session to report of late.  I decided a quick change was needed, so after work and visiting my parents was completed, I made it to the canal and set up the rods in time for a quick Zed session, with only an hour left till darkness fell.

With the rods  both out fishing half roach each on the far shelf,  I was expecting some quick action but nothing had happened after the first half an hour.  I started to leapfrog the rods up the canal along some reeds on the opposite side.  I settled one rod in a gap between the reeds and was concentrating my gaze on the float rod about 10 feet further along,  when the bobbin on the ledger rod suddenly sprang to life,  a steady take resulting in a strong and somewhat weighty fish pulling back.
As is often the case, the fish rolled on the surface quickly, but then headed back down and hugged the bottom.  From the glimpse I got of her it seemed a good fish and I could feel it heading for the cover of an overhanging bush.  I tried to steer it away but the the hook pulled and the fish was off,  arghh. !

Now in my limited experience with zander,  you can often get another take from the same fish if you get the bait back in position quickly, which is exactly what happened.  Within minutes the bobbin rose up again in a steady jerking movement.  I  wound down into the fish then pulled the hook home hard, I felt a familiar solid weight again, then suddenly the fish was up on the surface again and I was slipping the net under her.

At 5lb 2oz its not a massive fish by any stretch of the imagination, but for the canal it's not a bad one and it's my second largest to date.  In fact the fish looked spawned out and felt pretty flat around the belly, so it could have been  nearer six earlier in the year.

With the river season imminent, I can't wait to get out there to try some river spots for a bigger and better stamp of zeds.