Tuesday 30 April 2013

A change is as good as a rest


Fishing one method all the time can get a bit samey, and if you’re not careful can end up more like a chore than a pleasure. Although this hasn't happened yet with my lure angling, the changing seasons have triggered my need to revert back to some of my origins in angling.

As with most anglers starting out in the generations before the rise of the commercial water, one of the first methods I ever attempted to learn was to stare endlessly all day long at a little orange tip on the surface of the water anxiously waiting for it to disappear, pulled under by some unseen force. It was the strangely hypnotic action laced with the hopeful anticipation of the expected result that tapped into a basic need within me. This desire to catch fish has often been linked to a latent hunter gatherer instinct. Float fishing can be a bit like laying a trap then waiting to spring it at just the right time in order to catch whatever has fell for the ruse. It's the feeling that this simple event can give to the angler that sparks off a lifelong passion that some of us will never tire of.
Sometimes with fishing we will dip in and out from time to time getting a fix here and there only during the warmer months for some maybe, whereas others myself included, can barely go a few hours without thinking about where the next bite, run or take will come from and by what, and as importantly how it will happen. There are a myriad of different ways that have been concocted to catch fish and being humans we always like to keep it challenging, so we are forever devising more and more ways to stack the odds. Be it by totally new methods or tackle that sometimes stack the odds more in the favour of the fish. Ultimately though, as long as it scratches the itch or provides the necessary kudos we are seeking then we can find a method that works for us.

Sometimes however, I find it good to just sit quietly for a few hours casting a simple float no more than a rods length out into a small secluded pool, occasionally throwing a few hand full’s of ground bait and fishing kernels of corn on the hook to see what will come along.

Occasionally the float even disappears and the trap is triggered.


Sunday 28 April 2013

A bit of bitting and bobbing

Since my last post I've been struggling to catch anything significant, I've been out trying a few new areas on the canal and a few new ideas but with meagre results so far.

The weather through late March and early April was ridiculously cold and the fishing suffered for it all over the country. There were a few lucky sods who got amongst the fish but I struggled along with the majority of other anglers.

I've tried to wean myself off the lure fishing a bit so I can get back in tune with a float or feeder rod in time for all the other species that have starting to show signs of waking up for this year.  Managing an evening in pursuit of some elusive canal carp I have spotted a few times whilst out hunting zander with the lure rod, the session although a blank, was quite successful when my baiting up attracted a group of fish that gave away their presence by bow waving on the surface as they investigated my smorgasbord of goodies. I didn't catch during this evening session but I did get a strong run on a lump of spam that managed to somehow avoid being hooked. The excitement from that single run was immense but I failed to get any more takes. I want to have another go soon before I get my tench head on and immerse myself fully into the world of spomming beds of hemp, maggots and ground bait out before laying feeders over the top in anticipation of the rods flying off one after the other in one of those hectic tench sessions I look forward to every spring.

I promised Danny that I would show him some photo's of my worm bin, so I thought I'd post them up for anyone else to benefit if they were thinking about setting one up. If you are you will enjoy a constant source of bait year round. Useful for hook bait or as feed instead of using expensive or manually sourced lobworms.  I have kept a bin for about 7 or 8 years now, there is nothing too it really. You just need a bin with a lid such as a compost bin or even an old wheelie bin with a few holes put in the bottom for drainage. Now for some material to start it off like a layer of soil, damp newspaper or even some old rotting leaves. Don't whatever you do put any grass cuttings in, nor any citrus fruit or onions as they are far too acidic and you worms will snuff it quickly and turn to smelly mush. However, do put in plenty of potato and veg peelings and tea bags (yes tea bags and plenty of them the worms will love em !), soft fruit and veg like cucumber or banana is good too as are greens like cabbage, lettuce etc. Over a few weeks you will have a nice layer going and the worms will start to break it all down and begin the multiplication process ! ( Obviously a tub of worms from the tackle shop to start it off will be needed) I use reds in my bin, I don't know if brandlings or dendrobenas will work as I have not tried them, but it might be worth a go?  I don't think you can keep lobs in this way as they feed and live in different conditions to red worms. I'm not an expert on the subject but I do remember reading about the acidity levels and media type being crucial, like soil for lobs as opposed to rotting down veg being a factor or indeed a necessity. Reds, however are easy to keep in this environment and as long as you don't introduce the wrong types of food for them they will look after themselves. All I have to do is keep adding my peelings and veg waste and occasionally turn the mass over with a fork to mix it up a bit.

A Compost bin  - or a wheelie bin will do
The heap

 If you do try it for yourself, in a few short months you will be rewarded with thousands of these at your disposal.

I have caught a few jacks recently on the lure rods both on the canal and the small lakes and pools in the local area, but a nice perch or zander has eluded me. I have had a few follows from both of these though which has encouraged me to keep at it, especially during those sneaky little quick fire sessions that supplement my limited fishing time and have become part of my weekly routine nowadays.
 here's a few pics to round things up and bring me up to date.

Optimistic ...

Back you go ..

The Jet propelled jack above - broke my hook on a wooden post !

Last cast of a quick 20 min session on way home from work
Toads like to get jiggy with it - when it's warm enough !