Saturday, 27 December 2014

"Dad, I want to catch a chub....."

....were the words uttered from my nine year olds mouth this morning. We'd been talking about going fishing, and I told him in these conditions, his best bet was chub, pike or grayling. So after giving him a little fishing encyclopaedia, he decided on chub. 

Getting out after lunch, we set up, him with a trust john Wilson Avon and me with the drennan IM8 super feeder. I told him where to cast a big lump of meat, and just I was side hooking my bait he shouts over that something was dragging his rod in...."strike son". To his credit he played it well, and we soon slid the net under this chub of 3lb 10oz. He was over the moon!

After moving peg twice and me losing a big one in a snag, I had a consolation prize of 3lb 8oz (he's spent the rest of the day reminding me of the importance of catching the biggest of the day!).

Like I said before, bit of a new chapter in my fishing now as he's going to be getting a lot more involved. So far, so good! 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Waggler tactics for chub...

Armed with 2 pints of maggots, I intended to hit the river to try bag up on chub today with a mag and wag approach. Set up was a drennan float master, Preston pxr, 5lb drennan supplex and a 4lb supplex hook length, to a size 18 Kamasan animal. 

I got there to find the wind blowing a lot more than I'd expected, not ideal and I wished I had the feeder gear. Finding a sheltered peg (sort of), it was still a struggle on the float, I decided to opt for a me cope with the flow and wind. The first dozen casts resulted in 4 fish, two of them grayling and two trout. One of the grayling was a clonker, well over a pound, and just as I tried to take a photo it flipped straight into the river....never mind. 

I had a robin keep me company most of the morning, happy to gorge on the maggots.

After that the swim went very quiet for an hour. I paused the casting, leaving the bait out the water for 45 minutes or so whilst I trickled maggots in. I then scaled down to 3lb bottom and a size 20, as the water was freezing and bites were hard to come by. First cast in, I had a chub of 3lb 10oz, next cast I lost a 4+ at the net. Great fun on light float gear. 

I had to pack up after this, pretty bleak weather but happy to get a couple.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A cold biting wind and low temps - grayling time

Woke up this morning, with my alarm going off at 6.00, with a killer headache, blocked nose and sore throat - man flu....."potentially life threatening" I thought, so went back to sleep. After a good sleep in, I earned some brownie points by making a bunk bed for the kids and, at 1pm, left for the river. After getting there, I realised that my bait was tucked nicely away in the bottom of the fridge - crap. Drove back home, then back to the river, now 2pm.

Set up and wading for half past 2, I was using a drennan floatmaster, cheap centrepin, 3.2lb drennan floatfish, to a size 18 kamasan animal. Tactic was to wade a couple of feet downstream after every trot, with a pint of maggots in a bait pouch. For the short space of time I was there I was getting a bite every other cast or so, nothing special but a bend in the rod at least. I had about 15 grayling in the end (by the time it was too dark to see my float), with not one dropped. I'll be back after pike or chub next week (or even carp if the temps are decent), just fancied a quick change with a few bites after getting one fish in the last two sessions. Wind by the way - was awful. My hands were hurting by the end of it 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Deadbaits for chub

Over the last few weeks, I've hooked chub every time I've been piking. Most have been lightly hooked, mainly because I'm not giving them time to chew the bait, and have come off. I managed to land one today, 4lb on the dot, there isn't much that they won't eat!
In my experience, lamprey and smelt are taken with ease by chub, other baits tend to be ignored (though I've had a decent one on a whole sardine before now). Im certainly going to be adding lamprey / herring chunks to my armoury of chub baits, as they seem to be taken with gusto, and none of these quick bites either, they seem to sit there and chew the bait (as you can see in the picture), leaving a slow nodding on the rod tip. Today, I had a feeling it was a chub, so when I saw the nodding, I say and waited until the chub noticed it was hooked and bolted, which was about 20 seconds or so. Quite exciting holding the rod awaiting the slam of the tip, and knowing it's about to come. The use of baits that are rarely seen works very well with chub that are pressurised, and that have got used to the bread flake / meat / cheese paste / pellet baits. A clear sign of shy chub are quick, unhittable bites- if you are suffering from these, I would highly recommend a new bait, like steak or lamprey (or even pigs liver / heart). I've found that bites are, all of a sudden, very confident and unmissable.

That leads me onto my next point - how would I fish for chub safely, knowing the possibility of pike taking a bait. So, I'm going to give this stuff a try, apparently it can be knotted (dubious) but at the very least it's supple, which would be ideal for chub fishing. 

That leads me onto my next point - how would I fish for chub safely, knowing the possibility of pike taking a bait. So, I'm going to give this stuff a try, apparently it can be knotted (dubious) but at the very least it's supple, which would be ideal for chub fishing. 


Temperature - 6C, rising to 8Csteady. 

Air Pressure - 1010 hPa slowly rising

Levels - normal, a little coloured 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review of Fox PS Mk II drop back alarms

These alarms seem to get some bad reviews online, so I thought I'd share my experience with them. I recently bought a pair of them, with the line gates, and read up on setting them up correctly. If you just clip them on and think ", ok, good to go", then there is a good chance they won't work properly.

In essence, the correct way to set them up is so that the drop back arm sits just underneath the spool, with the line gate clipped on and set to a vertical position - this is critical, and offers the most sensitive set up. The rod sits on the back alarm, pressing a sensor which allows the alarm to work. This means that, when you have a run, lifting the rod will immediately disable the alarm as the sensor is released. 

A bite is indicated when a pull bob the line releases it from the line gate, allowing the drop back arm to fall. A single tone comes from the alarm - and this is key for pike fishing as it means that the fisherman is forced to check things, rather than just leaving it when there's only a single bleep on standard alarms. Pick the rod up, the alarm stops, and you hopefully hook and land a fish.

I have found them to be very sensitive, releasing under the slightest pressure. Volume and tone buttons help distinguish between the two set ups, and handily, the alarm and drop arm both light up with a run. Overall, I'm very impressed - I have a feeling the negative feedback is due to incorrectly set up alarms. Here's some pics - 

Learn how to set them up here - 

A difficult blank in search of pike

I had the afternoon free to roam the river today, but with a foot of coloured water in, I knew it would be difficult. 

Tactics involved roving the bank, spending 20 minutes or so in each swim, and using big oiley baits. To cut a long story short, I didn't get a touch (well there was one half hearted run that was dropped). However, the positives are that I saw an owl, a kingfisher and a woodpecker, and I got the opportunity to visit a new stretch of river, and what a super stretch it is (I can see more visits there).

Temperature - 8C steady. 

Air Pressure - 1014hPa slowly rising

Levels - +1ft, fining down slowly 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pike fishing on a coloured river

With the influx of rain yesterday, I decided that roving the miles was the order of the day. I was dropping a poor man's mackerel (aka bluey) into each likely spot, hoping that the high oil content leaking out would get me a bite, and I was fishing slack areas of water.

The river was not up much but chocolate coloured, and not the best conditions. After half a dozen likely swims, I got a take off this pike, nothing big but i was very please to hook something in these conditions.

I decided to switch to lamprey after a while, and hooked a very decent chub, which unfortunately got off after a spirited fight.
Nothing else to report, but a good morning exercise! 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A morning piking...

Met up with Darren this morning for a mornings piking on the river. The river was up a little, but nicely coloured and in general good nick. We both tried a number of swims with a variety of bait, I hooked and lost a chub on smelt, before the next swim produced a delicate take on lamprey. I hit into it and the fish tore off for the other side of the river,  making me think it was a big fish. It soon gave up though, and this nice pike of 7lb 1oz was landed. 

Darren lost a fish after having it on for ten seconds or so, and that was that. Not a bad morning, already looking forward to the next session! 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

First pike of the season

Decided on a roving session on my local river this morning, but covering more water with two rods and varying baits. Second swim resulted in this hard fighting pike of 11lb 1oz, which got me snagged up at one point (I put the rod in the rest and waited 5 mins for it to unsnag itself, which it did!).  

Four or five swims later, the drop off indicator released and line started pouring out the spool. I struck immediately and landed this longer but leaner pike of 12lb 1oz. 

Both fish swam away strongly after a quick snap. I also ended up with one leg in the river at one point after the bank collapsed, bugger.

Happy days 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A few hours on the centrepin

BA Decided, after looking at levels, that the upper river offered a decent shot for some fish having quickly fined down. I was after big grayling, but in reality struggled to find them. The water was coloured and up a little, plenty of trout to keep me busy (some excellent fights!), until eventually I got my target species, albeit small.

A nice evening to be out. Tackle was a drennan float master, 15ft, rapidex centrepin and 3lb supplex, with double maggot fished on a size 18 Kamasan animal (excellent grayling hook). 

A recent chub trip on the River

Had a few hours one evening last week, conditions seemed ideal, nice temp, coloured water. I fished pellet with soaked pellet in a feeder. The first peg produced nothing, so I tried two or three others in search of the hoped for barbel. 
In the last leg, plenty of chub were trying to run with the bait but not hooking. I wrapped it in paste and that did the trick, nothing special but it avoided a blank. 
Then I absolutely p'd it down so I ran for the car having got a soaking! 
Pictures on phone so not the best

Friday, 26 September 2014

First bass of the year

I always try to get out and catch bass each year, I just love the hit you get when it smashes into a lure and gives you a chill up your spine. And they are just the most awesome fish around.

With that in mind I went to a mark I love with a bit if a cliff descent. Getting there at dawn and chucking out expensive bits of plastic, it took half an hour or so before something grabbed it. 

Love it....

Friday, 19 September 2014

Fishing on the edge

I decided to attempt something a little different recently, so did some fishing on the edge of a cliff face in search of cod, under the guidance of a couple of mates. I fished from 3am to 8am and loved it.....the photos say it all. Bait alternated between frozen crab and runnydown. I'll certainly be doing this again!