With a week of work it was always going to be too much to cram into one blog update so again its a case of three blogs going live in a week on the blog. I have put some thought into maybe saving some of these extra blogs up for publishing later on in year when the new baby arrives and i find time to go fishing hard to come by but i feel posting them now i am more able to put across how the session went and the emotions i went though in the session when it is fresh in my mind, with that its onto the update.
Tuesday 15th July - Big Fish or Bust on The Dane
With the lost big fish on Saturday still very much in our thoughts we decided to make another to the area we had found with the intention to go all out for big fish. My tactic for the day was to go all out with bigger baits so the night before i added some sweetcorn to my hemp and also put some spice mix on some cubes of luncheon meat, my hope that by morning it would all amalgamate together and let the flavours mix to give the most attraction possible. I also had what maggots where left from the session on Saturday as a back up plan.
My set up for the session was my 1.7lb test curve Shimano barbel purist rod loaded with 7lb main line and a size 8 hook on the end of a long ESP striptease hook length with the last few inches of the braid stripped back hoping for it to move naturally in the flow. That was my plan and it has worked for me many times on other stretches of the dane for chub so i have to say i was confident.
Arriving in the first swim i was confident as i had seen a a few fish on the previous trip and been snapped by a nice fish so i had a fair idea of where i wanted to feed the swim and with an overcast morning forecast i had everything in my favour. I started off by introducing a bed of the corn and hemp and broke the meat down into smaller pieces and fed that gradually through the morning. The first swim was really shallow down to a deep hole so my plan was to get them up in the swim where i has seen them the previous session but for the next few hours i sat looking at a stationary tip and when the cloud broke and the light began to break through the trees i could see quite clearly a few speckles of corn on the bottom and the odd cube of meat and no sign of any fish.
It is quite easy to sit in a swim with dark banks waiting like a heron for that tap on the line when you cant see the bottom and your hook bait but when you can quite clearly so nothing in your swim its very hard to stay motivated to stick in that swim so after another hour i decided to go for a wander and was amazed to find a great swim with over hanging far bank cover that just had to hold a fish or two.
Now i get a lot of questions from friends and family on what i get from going fishing, you know just to throw them back, well this video sums up a bit of why i go fishing as sat at the bottom of a few farmers fields with only the noise of the birds and the bees busily going about their business, there is a saying that the silence was deafening well after this video it went silent, no noise of cars, people shouting or anything and it got me thinking just how many people spend their whole lives rushing from here to there whether in work or during their free time and just dont take a second the experience the beauty of pure silence, fantastic.
The swim sadly did not produce and with the sun bright in the sky i knew i could count on catching something nice from a really fast flowing boiling shallow piece of the river further down stream. The local area had produced some nice trout and grayling on other trips so i was confident of snaring a game fish or two. With only a few minutes of the session left it was going to be a case of last chance saloon to end on a fish so i was piling the maggots in and hoping to prey on the greedy nature of the grayling or trout.
The swim primed for a few minutes it was time for a trot down and instantly the float shot under in the fast flow as the weights caught on the rocks. A few more trots down saw me getting the knack of holding the bait back and straight away the float buried and i was into a fish, its species given away by a rainbow of colour breaking the surface as its dorsal fin protruded from the shallows. The fish was all you can expect from a game fish, holding in the fast water and shaped by nature to make the most of the current with as little effort exerted as possible, great fight, a fight that was only beaten by the superb colours once it was in the net and on the bank, is there a more beautifully marked fish?
River Weaver Pole Fishing: Good Solid Session to Build on
The next time i got out on the bank was on the Friday and it was for a session on the River Weaver that i had arranged many moons ago with Gary, a local lad to myself who some of you will remember was a great help over the winter with my still water piking and it was a session i have been looking forward too for some time.
Hulses Island was out chosen destination and as we met up in the carp park the rain was already coming down quite heavily but there was no hesitation in unloading the gear and getting on the bank. We both set up in an area that looked to have a bit of flow from the near by locks with the hope the oxygenated water would have brought fish to this area after weeks of bright sunshine.
After weeks fishing my stick float it felt a little weird unpacking my pole from my holdall but this is no river dane or river dee and i knew from the outset that it would be a day of exploration and discovery where i would have to overcome many obstacles, live with getting my tactics wrong and strive to work through them to catch some fish. I am an angler that does set some casual goals in my fishing, for example my hope is to catch over 20lb from the dane this season and on this session it was no different and i set myself a target of just getting my feed right and catching a few fish steadily through morning to give myself something to build on in later sessions.
My bait for the session was 2 pints of maggot, 1 pint of hemp mixed with corn and a kg of ground bait bulked out with brown crumb. The night before the session i set about putting together a rig and expecting some deep river i set it up the length of my top 4 kits which i thought would be more than i needed, how wrong i was. I plumber the depth and just adding two sections of pole to the number four section saw me being unable to find bottom so i was dealing with serious depth of water, a depth that would have scared me a few years ago but years fishing 10ft to 15ft deep on the river dee has seen me more comfortable with this depth.
Knowing I had more than enough water to catch any fish that swims i set about plumbing up at the end of the number four section, basically under my feet. There are a few benefits to this as you can really accurately feed your swim which i fed both loosely with maggot and also periodically fed the swim with maggot, hemp and ground bait via a bait dropper, this was so i was certain i had some bait on the bottom. The early flow from the locks that i had seen early on had disappeared with the closing of the lock gate so there was a very very slow right to left movement, hard to notice.
My first put in saw a small perch come instantly to the net, always nice to get a fish straight away and some small roach followed him into the keep net. It was quite steady fishing from the off with signs of fish and bites coming at a nice pace and it was only around 30 Min's into the session when i lifted into something that felt a lot better and was keeping deep and it did leave me at first wondering what it was but soon the heavy pull of the fish was replaced with the dull long head pulls of a bream and i was really pleased to slip the landing net under a nice bream.
After returning that fish i was really confident as in my mind there was no way a fish like that was alone and i was over the moon also that my confidence to fish under my feet had worked quite well so early on and i could not wait to get the float back in the water. The next put in the float slowly moved down the swim and slid under only for me to find a really solid snag that cost me my hook length. My hands were shaking trying to make up another rig as i knew there was a good chance i had some nice fish in the swim, i would later catch this snag again and managed to come up with a fresh water mussel so it was clear fishing on bottom was going to be a problem, but in my mind that was where the bream where so i carried on.
The next bream i struck into was the best fish of the day and boy was i made up with its capture, a proper bronze bream and although not massive in the bream world at 3lb10oz it was great fun playing it on the pole and i can only image how much fun it would be catching these fish on the stick when the river had some flow to it. Over the next hour or so i caught two more bream as well as some smaller skimmers, small roach and gudgeon.
After that bites where really finicky with flurries of two of three fish being separated by sometimes quite long lulls and it was noticeable that bites where a lot more confident when there was a bit of flow generated by the locks being opened. It was also great to be visited by two EA officers although the sad sight that they now look more like police officers with their batons showing the sign of the times and the type of people they are finding on the banks, very sad indeed. I continued to fish on till around 2.30-3pm and ended the session with a total of 10lb of fish with most of that being bream and hard worked for silvers.
final net pic
All in all i achieved what i wanted from the session in that i put together a nice net of fish and also managed to get some of the better bream in the bank. This session really gave me a great deal of confidence to tackle this venue again. I again have to thank Gary for a fantastic days fishing, a top quality angler and great to wet a line with, cheers mate.
Till next time its tight lines