Monday, 30 December 2013

A small window of opportunity...

I knew that this morning was my window of opportunity, the one I've been waiting for since I finished work for Xmas. The rivers are up and down like a yoyo, and with further flood water currently piling it's way down the wild river, I had to get out. The fact that gale force winds and torrential rain coincided with it didn't help! 

Arriving in dark and parking up, I had a bad start with car becoming stuck, which I had to rock out, but eventually after a fair walk, I slid my way down the bank into my peg. Float ledger fished smelt, my favourite tactic, was the way forward, balanced so that any movement on the bait would be indicated. I flicked out to some slack water adjacent heavy flow, alongside a nice crease, and waited for my chance. Ten minutes later, the float moved away before stopping. I held the rod, heart thumping, and waited. It seemed like forever, but in reality about thirty seconds later, the float laid flat, bobbed, and started moving away. I held the rod, waited for the thump thump of a fish, and hit it. All hell broke lose, the fish dictated everything, and using braid I could feel every movement. She went on run after run and It took a lot of coaxing, but eventually I'd tired her and she came over the arms of the net. A beast of 24lb 13oz. 

There's very little that's beats river piking in winter. Once returned, I sat in the rain, wishing I had a cigar and a whiskey, with a grin on my face. A great way to see off 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013

A frosty morning trotting for grayling on a local river

After last weekends success with grayling, I decided to try the same tactics on a different river. Chris had a similar idea, and we had soon hatched a plan to meet up on Sunday morning. From the response I got when I mentioned about meeting up at 6.30am, I can only assume he wasn't aware of such a time in the morning!

Anyway, after meeting up and walking to the peg I had the best start possible when I realised that line had been gently peeling off my centrepin for the last 150m of walking - at least I knew the way back to the car now.

The fishing was slow to begin with, but regular changes of pegs soon had us both hitting into the odd grayling or suicidal trout. Mr Vimes had 3 grayling to my 2, of a decent stamp as well, and vice versa with the trout. 

It was a good morning, hard work but a nice bend in our light float rods. And as for the scenery...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Grayling fishing with the pin after the first frost

I was on my way back from the lakes going over the pennines and I drove passed the river Greta and the upper tees, and saw signs to the upper swale, and I just started thinking about grayling, especially given the frosts. A few brownie points later I had my pass stamp for a few hours on the river, armed with a pouch full of maggots, float rod and centre pin and chest waders. A grayling trotter float, 3.2lb drennan float fish and size 16 Kamasan B911x finished off the rig.

After a few small trout, which were quickly photo's and released, I eventually hit into a very solid fish, clearly a grayling and a good one at that. What a fight on the centrepin, and I was chuffed once it was eventually landed at 1lb 10oz, my second best grayling to date...

Nothing else happened on this peg, so I wandered on.
The next peg was ideal, two separate flows of water causing a big crease in the current, which just shouted out to be trotted. 
Second cast and i had a fish on, another clonker and a long drawn out, twisting sort of fight. Landed, and at 1lb 8oz, another good grayling...

Next cast, same again, this time at 1lb 5oz...

It went quiet after that, so another move soon had me hitting into a very good grayling, this time at 1lb 9oz 

A final fish of 1lb 2oz rounded the short session off nicely!

I was a happy man!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A challenging but rewarding morning on the river

It was really challenging this morning on the river. The river was still up, chocolate coloured and the leaves flying through. I opted to try for chub with meat and cheesepaste, an after finding a swim with a nice crease, but of slack and overhanging tree, I was soon setting up the drennan big feeder.
This swim produced pretty quickly, but the culprit was this chublet so I moved on to try others..

After walking a good mile without success, I started making my way back to try the swim I'd caught on. This time I tried some smelly cheesepaste, and the bite was again pretty quick, this time a much better fish had to be coaxed out of the snags at an ounce under 4lb. 

Then it was time to go, happy with the days work!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Chub, coal fish and sea scorpions!

Had a nice morning on the river. Fished cheesepaste for the chub, first cast under a tree resulted in an instant bite. I spent a minute or so desperately trying to persuade the fish to come out of its lair but it was just too much and the inevitable happened.

A move to a different peg, and the link ledgered paste was taken pretty quickly again. This time, a similar fight under a tree saw me win and it came begrudgingly over the net, not massive but a welcome fish. Didn't bother weighing it...

And that was it, because te water very quickly rose after that and I couldn't tempt anything else, try as I might.

You can tell I'm not catching wen I start taking other photos 

During the week, I had a late night session fishing for cod off Hartlepool headland. Using size 4/0 pennell pulley rigs, with worm / razor cocktail, casting to a deepish gulley I managed a coal fish and this sea scorpion, which is a first for me...

I like to mix my fishing up a bit and try for different species and methods as you can probably tell!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Night time chubbing on the river

Night time fishing rivers is a new experience for me, so to roll up to the river at 8pm when all was dark was certainly a different game! Fortunately I wasn't alone, because those trees looked creepy to me.

Tactics involved a double 10mm boilie hook bait combined with a small pva bag of pellets, cast somewhere towards the far bank tree line. Once the headlamp was off, stars were out it was certainly an exhilarating experience, especially when the bait runner started screaming off. I had hoped for a tees barbel (yeah right!), but was certainly happy with a 4lb 4oz chub.

Ronny had two further chub of a similar size on sweet corn, a great evening and something I'll be doing again soon. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Morning on the River

Driving in the dark and misty country lanes this morning, I nearly got lost it was so thick. Eventually I rolled up to the spot at 6am and quietly walked through the woods, and the cold mist and an owl put the shivers up me. I stumbledy way down to the first peg, not being able to see the water much, I noted that the inside wasn't moving much but the flow kicked in two rod lengths out. A float fished sardine was flicked to this bit, whilst I sat back and awaited dawn. 
The float lifted, dipped than shot off to the middle, stripping line. Big pike I thought! But the fight felt otherwise, and I soon netted a good chub, a tees pb for me at 4lb 10oz, with a whole sardine down its throat!

I could now make out what I was fishing in, and it turned out to be streamer weed in 6 inche of water! Time for a move.
The next peg saw me fishing a roach deadbait, paternoster style in mid water, so the bait wafted in the current. I was contemplating packing up, when the float was suddenly gone! I hit into solid resistance, a definite pike. And exciting minute or so ended abruptly when me and the fish parted company. I was guttered. Absolutely guttered. 
No more action after that, and I stumbled back up the bank happy, but deflated. It's almost the official pike season, and I'm determined to get some action soon.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cheese paste

I've just knocked up a batch of cheespaste for the winter chubbing. Absolutely stinks! Should work a treat...
People do it differently, I tend to use dry stinky cheese, short crust pastry and garlic powder, with a knob of butter to soften it. Works a treat for me when balanced on the hook with bread crust!

Ready for the freezer

Be interested to know how others do it?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A morning chub fishing on the river

I had a great morning on monday, not because of amount of fish caught, but just walking lightly over a completely new stretch to me and investigating some new areas. 
Tactics were dead simple, 6lb line straight through (maxima), size 10 super specialist hook, drennan medium feeder and a series 7 reel. Using a sliding rig with one or two swan shot, and a bunch of worms. I was spending about 10 mins in each likely looking peg and moving on; I probably could have baited one swim and had a fair few fish but I wanted to cover 2 miles of water just to see it. 
In one swim, I'd been flicking out worm sections  for a short while and on my second cast, after flicking out towards a tree, this chub took the bait on the drop and surprised me! It came in at 4lb 4oz, but was skinny. Certainly got a lot of winter potential

It was hard going, especially when I inadvertently walked into a private wooded area. I wasn't too concerned until I heard a load of hounds coming near, was well relieved when I got over the barbed wire fence!! Went a different way home after that (ie, I went the proper way round!).
Some great looking swims, I'll be trying it a fair bit.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

A pb perch from a small overgrown river

Well that was good fun. I decided to try a 'small overgrown river', where I'd heard of one or two surprises in the shape of perch. my brother had had them to 1lb 7oz recently. Myself and my brother decided to do things the proper way, and his makeshift minnow catcher soon had us plenty of baits.

Tactics involved an 11ft 10" drennan drx river feeder, 6.9lb series 7 line straight through to a size 12 hook, where the live minnow was lip hooked ad kept in place with a single red maggot. After each catching a few small perch to 8oz, we were confident the minnows were working. The bro stayed in a nice deep section, whereas I decided to rove about (I'm not the most patient person!). First cast near a tree and the rod flew straight round. After the usual dogged perch fight, I was very happy to catch a pb perch at 1lb 13oz.

It's amazing what these small river throw up. I went home a happy man. Next target must surely be a 2lber? I reckon this one will make 2 well into autumn. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

A review of the new Drennan Acolyte Ultra

I didn't need a new rod. But when I picked up the new drennan acolyte ultra 13ft it was one of those moments; like when Harry potter picks up a wand for the first time.

At 4.75oz, and as wide as your little finger I was impressed. It felt very tippy, crisp, and fast actioned. When couple with a compact float reel, it balanced perfectly, raising the tip slightly above the horizontal - feeling almost like an extension of my arm, I knew I could hold it all day no problem.

So I had to buy it!

I had intended to give it it's first outing on the river tees, using a stick float for the shoals of dace and roach. And yet, somehow en route, I inadvertently took the wrong exit and ended up on the river swale. Oh well, I thought, lets see how much backbone this rod does have. 

Tactics involved a drennan big stick (4 1/2 bb) to a size 18 drennan super spade, with drennan 3.2lb float fish as the mainline straight through to the hook. Caster was the bait of choice, two pints of it for a mornings session. 

Constant feeding whilst setting up meant that the first trot through ended in a bite, the culprit an 8oz rod, and I was impressed by the ease of which the rod dealt with it.

Next cast I struck into a solid lump. I always find that if you are patient, you can retrieve very big fish on light gear, they don't always know they are hooked. This one though had other ideas, and I had to put a serious curve in the acolyte. And it proved to me that it has plenty of backbone in reserve! Eventually landed, the rest of the morning was bliss as I lande three more 4lb plus chub as well as some smaller specimens an a grayling.

To conclude: What an awesome rod

Saturday, 27 July 2013

A morning fishing the stick float an caster on the river

Decided to fish with stick float and caster (two pints of them) this morning. Got to a stretch at 5am to find the gate closed (how dare they!) so a quick think and decided on a different part.

Set up was quite simple, stick float, 4.4lb drennan float fish (as some snags were there) straight through to a size 18 spade end. The swim was only 3 feet or so and steady so a small stick did the trick. 13 ft float rod and closed face reel finished it off

After trickling in caster whilst setting up, first cast and I was into a heavy lump on single caster. I proceeded to get me snagged up, twice, but each time patience and pressure got it out. Finally landed, a great start with a chub of 4lb on the dot.

After this, there was a bite a chuck from dace. Good fun all the same, and it didn't matter how much I stepped up the feeding, the bites from dace kept coming. I then struck into something solid which went upstream with purpose, before the hook sprung out. my heart tells me it was a barbel :(
Two chublets to 8oz followed, then I lost another big chub in some snags. 
Overall, a great morning. Two pints of casters didn't even scratch the surface either.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

First bass session of the year on the brilliant yorkshire coast

Well I decided on a dawn raid on our brilliant yorkshire coastline for a change today, as the rivers are a struggle at present.

I was up by 3am to fish the ebbing tide from high. Got to the coast which involved a rope descent, and started fishing with shallow diving plugs. 

Bearing in mind if I get a couple of bass in a whole summer it's standard, imagine my surprise when this bass hit my lure 3rd cast, this being my first session of the summer...

This one was about a pound and a half.

I kept plugging away with the successful lure and a short while later a bigger fish hit my lure. By the way, a bass hitting your lure is one of the best experiences in angling in my opinion, absolutely brilliant and a good fight. This one took a bit longer to get in, and I was happy with this one of 2lb 5oz.

And that was it, the tide went too far out for this part, and we went home, up the rope!!

Going for a nap now...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Nice chub and perch from a new stretch of the river

I tried a new stretch today, that involved a good 45 minute walk from the nearest parking spot.
I started on the float, flicking maggots and caster in whilst I was setting up. Within 30 seconds one of the fish I was feeding got chomped by a big pike (noted for another session ;) ) and then, shortly after, a mother and baby deer crossed the river downstream of me. Interesting. Start!
The first few chucks down I had a few hand sized dace, and then it slowed down a bit. I rested the swim whilst topping up the feed,. The 5 minute break did it some good, as I struck into something lumpy an solid. Brilliant fight on the stick float and 2lb line, but the soft cushioning action of the rod let me feel in complete control still. Eventually this chub of 4lb 1oz came into the net.

Not bad for a single maggot on a size 20!
The float action slowed right down, so I got the feeder rod out with lobworm. This was cast I the far bank and within minutes a nice perch was landed...

As the sun rose, the swim went quiet and I moved on. 
I was trying various different swims with lobworm on the long trek back to the car, and eventually landed this nice perch of about a pound. 

And that was that. Battling through nettles, hogweed and himalayan balsa over a few mile walk was exhausting, but well worth it.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A big lady from the river

Well that was a great morning.

I got to the river for 4.30am, the idea being that I would struggle once the sun got up properly. In my first swim, I set up a quiver rod but it was soon clear after getting constant knocks and skinned maggots that this wasn't the tactic for the day. Up went the drennan floatmaster with a big stick, and after feeding for half an hour, I started trotting maggots. 

I was in immediately with a lovely wild brownie, then not much else.

A move slightly downstream and I was in straight away again, this one feeling a bit heavier, as it turned out to be..

This was quickly followed by a nice dace of 6 oz or so..

So far so good I thought, and was really enjoying just trotting the float down. However, no more bites came so I upped and moved once more.
Patient feeding in my new swim allowed them to get in the mood, and on the first trot down, another brownie came to the net, beautiful fish they are

On the next trot down, the float slid under and I struck into something solid. It felt big, I couldn't budge it (I was only using 2lb line) at first, but eventually it started moving. Thoughts of a nice chub  came to mind, but I was even more pleased when I realised a big grayling hit the surface. I carefully played it, fortunately the soft rod cushioned every movement, and after a good 5 minutes I finally netted her, and what a fish she was!  It weighed 2lb 4oz, and long term achievement succeeded, and beating my old pb by nearly a pound.

I didn't get anything else as the sun rose higher, and called it a day at 10am. 
Plenty of these being taken by trout in case anyone is interested....

Happy days!!