Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fishing a flooded river for chub

An interesting day on the river! Got there first thing and the state of the river put the sh@ts up me. I've never been comfortable fishing in floods, and thats probably why I dont catch much. But i was determined to give it a right go today. The peg i wanted to fish i just couldnt get anywhere near. Massive shame, as im sure there would have been a lunker or two. However i found a part of the river where the main flow hit a row of bushes and a gravel bar, leaving some slack water downstream and a bit of a deep depression.

I was using a simple link ledger with 3 swan shots, attached via some grippa stops which allowed it to be adjustable at any time. 8lb line was used straight through (no point in going any lighter in floodwater). I tried cheesepaste and breadflake without success, and then put a nice lump of steak on the hook. After 10 mins or so I was suprised when the rod wrapped round and i was into a good fighting fish, equalling my pb of 4lb 13oz (when am i going to get a 5lber!!!). I weight it in the sling and it went 5lb 9oz, but unfortunately we sling weighed more than 9oz....damn!!
I really did try hard for a good few more hours in various spots, but couldnt bite another bite (even on my secret bait). The wind and rain were making it difficult, so i gave up! A good day out....

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A snowy morning on the river, with some fish to boot!

Dragged myself out of bed this morning at 5.45am, took the dog out for a quick walk and noticed we'd had a good blanket of snow, but given that conditions haven't changed much for a week or two i still felt I had a chance.

I had intended to walk a lot further today but the snow made it twice as hard so i only really fished a small section of river, one which i hadnt tried before. The plan was to fish away from my car for chub, and back towards my car for pike.

Given the conditions i wanted my chub bait to move around with the flow, so all I had was a link ledger with 1 x AAA and a size 8 korum hook, and starting off with my favourite cold water bait ;) ;D

The pic above was the first peg, which produced no fish. A move further and my next swim, i flicked the bait out towards the centre and after 5 minutes or so the rod wrapped round to an unmissable bite. A pleasing start, at 4lb 9oz...

Despite trying 5 or 6 other pegs no more chub were forthcoming other than the odd pluck. Away went the chub rod, and out came the piking gear for the walk back. Smelt was the bait (Again!!). The first two swims produced nothing, the i had a very slow dipping of the float which i hit and hooked. After a short tussle amongst the branches i soon landed this pike, not quite a double but a pleasing 9lb 8oz.

No more bites after that and I got back to the car happy with my efforts and supped a nice cuppa to warm me up.

The sort of morning I like!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A couple of fish in the snow...

Well that was the sort of morning I love, really hard going but with a couple of fish.

The river was cold, low and clear, so I knew it wouldn't be easy. I started off in my first peg (which is often a banker) but unfortunately nobody was at home (or hungry!). It was nice to see a couple of goosanders feeding (and no cormorants!).

I moved after an hour or so (giving the pike longer today because if the temps), this time just trying a float fished smelt near a slack bit of water and overhanging tree. To my delight, the float quickly darted away and even though it only weighed 6lb 8oz, and 26 inches in length, I was happy with the result - though my target of a Swale 20 continues.

I tried one more swim for pike with no success before moving to an area that I always catch chub from. Tactics were a single swan shot on a ledger link, size 10 hook and steak. This was cast to the middle of the river and allowed to flow back into the near side bushes. The first bite didn't take long (I'd prebaited the swim on the way to my first peg) and a 3lb 7oz chub was soon thumping against the drennan series 7 specialist Avon. Happy with that....

I moved a bit further downstream and did the same again. This resulted in a verry confident bite, and a big big chub hooked. I had it on for ages but it just wouldn't give up. I had to bury my rod to avoid some snags, but unfortunately it did snag and the rest, as they say, is history. Definitely a pb, but never mind!!

I went home shortly after this, happy with mornings work.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

On a cold and frosty morning...

It was a but of a frosty night, which had nearly lifted by the time I left. I was wandering the banks of the river tees, probably about two miles with nobody else in sight. I didn't have any bites in the first swim, but then a bit if slack water underneath an overhanging tree saw my float bobbing and disappearing from sight. After a determined tussle, which saw it explode out the water, I caught this low double.

Nothing else to report other than bulls, an otter, a water vole and a woodpecker. Lovely morning...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A pleasing start to 2013 river piking

Just had my first trip out to the river in over a month. Decided on a change, conditions seemed ideal after the recent floods and i had a particular peg in mind which always produces a couple of chub for me. After setting up my drennan avon 1.25lb test, with a light link ledger and cheese paste, i flicked it out, let the current take it under a tree and balled in some liquidised bread. I was expecting a bite pretty quickly, but nothing happened, and after an hour nothing had still happened to my surprise!

Fortunately good chub swims also make good pike swims and i was wondering if the chub weren't there for a reason. In came the chub rod, out went a float fished smelt. I was just pouring a cuppa when the float bobbed and disappeared. I struck instantly and a spirited tussle commenced. Fortunately it wasn't long lived and as I landed it i knew it was a decent fish in top condition. I was hopefully it might just push the needle past the 20 mark, but at 19lb 4oz i wasn't disappointed.

Shortly after, a move of swim and a change of bait to luncheon meat also produced a nice chub of 4lb 8oz. A pleasing start to 2013.

Friday, 4 January 2013

A detour to the sea

I've not been out much of late, having been out of the country. What I have done has been at the beach, albeit in the mouth of my beloved river tees. I've been practising my casting and tying rigs, catching small stuff like codling, whiting and rockling. Cold but enjoyable, however I'll be back out on the river this weekend!