Sunday, 30 March 2014

The first spring tench and a go with the new Drennan Acolyte 14ft plus

I managed to get a few hours fishing in yesterday afternoon so popped over to a local pond to see if I could bag my first spring tench.

A walk round the lake first found that, other than a few bits, nothing much had been caught all day.

After plumbing the depth at about 5ft, I started on maggot to a size 18 wide gape pellet hook and 3.5lb drennan supplex hooklink with the new drennan acolyte plus rod in 14ft. I missed a couple of bites on the drop (silverfish in the upper water), using a float with a long, sensitive tip to show any movement clearly as bites were cagey. I didnt get any interest after that so eventually switched to double caster which brought an instant bite, and after a short but spirited tussle on the new acolyte I had my first spring tench in the net - only a little'un.

The rod, a stepped up version of the much coverted acolyte ultra, is brilliant (I went for the 14ft model). Tippy enough to enjoy the fight of small fish, with plenty of spare power in reserve. Its got more of a through action than the ultra, which is designed primarily for silverfish. I reckon I'm going to enjoy targetting chub (and even barbel) once the river opens. Weighing in at only 156g, its suited to lines of 4lb to 6lb+ and hooklengths of 3lb to 5lb (in comarison, the acolyte ultra is 2lb to 4lb and <1lb to 3lb hookliength).

Sunday, 16 March 2014

End of season highlights...

After a poor last day of the season, without much to write home about, I thought I'd share my highlights for the 2013 / 2014 season. It's been a bit up and down for me this year, with certain targets achieved and others failed (notably, another year without a 5lb chub). 

Ironically, the biggest chub of the year came right at the start with a 4lb 12oz fish, and there have been a fair few other 4lb specimens (11 in total this season - which represents a big improvement on last year), including a river pb of 4lb 10oz. My favourite capture is probably the 4lb 4oz river tees chub that I caught in pitch black on boilie, simply for the experience of hooking and landing fish by torchlight (exhillerating). A target for this summer is to do more into dark sessions on the river, in search of chub and those elusive barbel. I also intend to be a bit more patient, and try for multiple catches of chub on the wag and magg rather than the usual roving approach.


A big success story for me this year is with the river grayling. Prior to this season I hadn't caught a grayling over a pound, now I hace numerous pound + specimens, including a personal best of 2lb 4oz. The nice thing is that I caught these with the centrepin, which is a great way of fishing. My target for next year will be to continue this, and hopefully capture another  2lber.

I have done very little piking this year compared with the two previous. I suppose the reason was that I didnt think I could better my personal best for the river, even though I know there are one or two fish that could do it. This coupled with difficult winter conditions meant that other species to precedence. I did, however manage a trip in between floods in the christmas holiday, and managed a fabulous pike of 24lb 13oz, just 2oz shy of my pb. My target for next season will be to bank another 20, a feat I've managed in the last three seasons - there is little to beat the feeling of a 20lb pike going over the cord of the net.

The perch fishing has been frustrating for me, simply because I know that the river tees is a fine perch river with fish to over 4lb. I did manage to up my personal best to 1lb 13oz, which I'm happy about, but clearly there is plenty of room for improvement. I have a couple of very specific pegs at very specific times of the year in mind for next year, and I hope to give them a good try. My target is a 2lb+ fish next season.

I always try to do a bit of plugging for bass in the summer, simply because of the challenge. Sometimes I can go for half a dozen trips without a take, but when they do hit the lure, its a brilliant experience and fight from the shores of the Yorkshire coast. Imagine my delight then when the first trip out provided two wonderful fish to the lures - well worth the 3am wake up call! I will be trying again when it warms up!


As well as the above targets, my aim is to really target the river next season. My first tees barbel and a 5lb tees chub are my ultimate targets, and I think the key to this will be switching from my usual fishing at dawn to fishing into dusk in summer.   
Now its time to get the fly gear out - just cant keep away from those rivers!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

A couple of trips on the River

2 March 2014

River conditions seemed ideal for a grayling or two, so I decided a trip to the upper river was in order. Back in October I was getting a bite a cast from tees grayling so I was hopeful.

I was using a Drennan floatmaster, coupled with an Okuma Sheffield and 3.2lb drennan float fish to a size 16 kamasan animal hook. Two pints of maggots as bait and feed. Standing in the river, I was having a dozen casts into each likely pool, but was really struggling - where were the grayling??

I finally managed a bite, and realised pretty quickly it was a trout given the athletics it showed. Nice to get a bend in the rod though...

This was repeated in the next bit of water, with a bite straight away (its interesting that, whenever you move to a new part of the river, trout are always the first to bite - very aggresive feeders)..

I didn't get the grayling I was after - wonder where they are hiding?? Still I've got a few locations for trying the fly during trout season.

9 March 2014

After have one or two too many real ale's at the pub last night, I didn't manage the usual 6am start today! I wasn't going to go but felt better after a good breakfast so grabbed the gear and popped to the river in search of Chub. The river looked spot on, and with the mild temperatures I was hopeful. It was good to take in some fresh air anyway!!

I had two rods in use, the first a drennan specimen barbel 1.75lb, with hair rigged pellet and scolded pellets in a feeder, more hopeful than anything just cast into the main flow. The second rod was a drennan series 7 1.75lb avon quiver, using cheesepaste as bait (and pallatrax cheese liquid attractor).


After spending an hour in the first swim without any indication, I moved on and found a nice chubby looking swim. The barbel rod got constant attention but without a positive hook up - this often happens when chub are mouthing the bait. So I brought it in and concentrated on the cheesepaste. The first bite was one of those that in hindsight I should have hit. A recast brought a very positive bite within minutes and I soon had this nice 3lb 12oz chub in the net.


I moved on and tried different stretches, but didnt get any more bites in the bright conditions. Took a few photos to pass the time, as you do...




One more trip till the rivers close.....