Thursday, 29 December 2016

Frosty morning chasing River Swale Chub

Well thats the sort of fishing I like. A cracking morning to be out, following a hard overnight frost, and a misty morning. I decided to fish the River Swale, and given the conditions I picked roving for chub.

Tactics were a paternostered feeder with mince, and raw steak on the hook, using 6lb line and a feeder rod. Arriving at dark, a bite was had within minutes of casting which resulted in a chub of two pound or so. I sat it out in this peg until I could just about see where I was going, then moved downstream to another likely looking spot with a nice crease in the flow. Similar as before, I was getting knocks pretty quickly but with the daylight they weren't taking the bait down. A quick pull on the line to move the feeder slightly resulted in an instant wrap round which I hit, catching a slightly bigger fish of 3lb or so.

The next peg performed similarly to the previous, but this time a nice swale chub of 4lb 1oz was landed.

I then caught up with a mate who was fishing the downstream section, and had landed a nice fish, and we leap frogged a couple of swims but without action. I had to leave at this point, and there was a long walk back to the car, but I decided to drop in to a peg where I had missed a bite earlier. Result - another 4lb chub.

Just as I was packing up, a load of hounds came to inspect me, followed by the horses, which was great to see in the fog / frosty conditions.

On another note, I tried a new rod today, Greys x-flite, which I recently got at a bargain price, and it's definitely a smashing bit of kit.

Happy days

Monday, 26 December 2016

A catch up!

It's been a while since I've updated my blog, for various reasons, but mainly just been too busy (and there is no decent app for updating blogs these days!).

I'll do it as a bit of a diary entry....

18/10/16 - River Ure Piking

I decided to try piking on the River Ure, a river i'd not fished before. I have a target to try and get a river 20 from another river other than the tees, something that is proving to be a little tricky! Tactics were to fished two ledgered baits (one a smelt, the other lamprey), and rove around fishing various pikey looking spots. After a mile or so walk, I found a good looking spot and after ten minutes had a bang on the rod. Despite waiting for a short while, it didn't come back (I learned shortly after that an angler had been there a few days before, bagging a few doubles, so they may have been nervous). I tried four or five other swims for the rest of the morning, without a touch, before the weather came in and a p'd it down (I beat a hasty retreat!). Result - a blank. I'll be back....

27/11/16 - Bass Fishing at the tees mouth!

After a few weeks of either blanking or not fishing, I got wind of a load of school bass falling to bait locally (bear in mind here that I normally manage one bass a year to lures!). Tactics were explained to me, the mark was described and I was soon casting out a free running 2oz lead using a 2.5lb test carp rod and ragworm to a 1/0 hook, 20 yards out into the surf. I soon started getting knocks, and decided to try hit them - which amazingly worked (it was like hitting chub bites on my local tees). The bass weren't large, biggest about 1.5lb, but numerous fish were to follow and it was great fun sea fishing with light gear and bringing them in the surf. A new experience for me, and i'll be trying again at some point.

03/12/16 - A River Tees Grayling trip

With conditions being cold and the river pretty low, it was either chub or grayling so I decided to have an afternoon after the latter on what I class as the upper tees (though in reality its middle, but on the upper limit of water I fish on). Tactics were to trot maggots through some likely runs, hoping to contact some of the better fish than can go to over 2lb.

The first swim was one that I've had success with before, but it took a while to get the first fish interested. This fought well on the light float gear, as they often do, and was soon landed at a little over a pound. A couple more followed of a little smaller size before bites tailed off. A move didn't produce any other fish. The grayling fishing this winter is so far a little disappointing on the tees, though I've heard that the cormorants are causing havoc....

10/12/16 - After a Swale Barbel

With a couple of foot extra water in the swale, and temps on the up, I felt that barbel would be worth a shot. I decided to rove around with boilies and paste, giving each swim half an hour or so. Despite trying a fair few swims, the only interest I had was from chub, which I didn't strike at. The most interesting thing to happen was a friendly robin....

11/12/16 - Roving for River Tees Chub

After the previous blank, I needed a bend in the rod so decided on roving the river tees, fishing miles of relatively unfished water (I didn't bump into anyone on the day!). Tactics were very simple; raw steak, link ledgered with 2 or 3 SSG shot, and just let it swing round in the flow until it settled.

Bites came from the off, with most pegs producing a confident wrap round that I connected with. Unfortunately I lost two fish (including a very good one), but landed others with the biggest couple being over 4lb. Great fun, and great fighters.

15/12/16 - Gravel pit Piking

With the river out of sorts, I decided to chuck a couple of deadbaits out at a local gravel pit. Tactics were ledgered smelt / sardine, cast to a drop off to deeper water, and sat on alarms. With the first rod out, I turned to set up the second when the alarm sounded as the indicator dropped a little. I assumed that this was the line settling so tightened up again, turned away and the alarm sounded once more. This time I struck, and soon had this jack in the net.

I thought this would be the start of a good mornings piking, but unfortunately that was the only action I had. Can't complain though...

19/12/16 - River Tees Night time chubbing

I've been doing a fair amount of night time chub fishing lately, usually mid week trips in the dark for a couple of hours in search of a tees 6lber. I've had them to 5lb 10oz now, so getting closer. This was another of those trips, but after roving in the dark, the first four swims produced nothing (surprisingly). A final swim final resulted in a bite to link ledgered steak, ending in this tees chub of average size.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Recent chub success with Lamprey

After landing a decent chub a few weeks back on Lamprey intended for pike, I've decided to purposely target chub with small sized chunks of lamprey at night. Tactics are simply a link ledgered swan shot, through to a size 4 hook and chunk of lamprey. There has been no need to put any additional bait in; the lamprey seems to draw the chub in within ten mins of casting (if they are there).

Each trip (lasting no more than 2 hours) has resulted in decent chub, with bites being very confident pulls or drop backs. They seem to take the bait right back and are easy to hook. I've also managed a couple of eels, which seem taken by the lamprey as well.

I'll definitely be persevering this winter with lamprey to go alongside my usual steak, and hopefully it might get me a Tees or Wear 6lber.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Start of the River Piking Season

I got out on the middle tees for dawn today, on what is traditionally the start of the pike season (though obviously a date for such things is pointless as temps vary greatly year on year). Two rods out in search of pike, one with lamprey, other with smelt. After half an hour or so, the lamprey was taken but I realised what was hooked quickly after setting the hooks, and soon landed this nice chub of 4lb 6oz. They have a thing for lamprey, so it was no surprise - one of my favourite chub baits (along with steak), but not really what I was after.

Didn't get anything else despite trying three other spots. I noticed the dace topping which is good; they will soon be shoaling up and migrating downstream.

Air pressure was 1014 and rising quickly through the day. Temp 9C overnight

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Tees chub target smashed

Picked my brother up at 8pm and headed for the tees. We picked a swim with decent leg space for both, and one that I knew produced chub often. Good old steak was to get the first outing of the season. 

After half an hour of casting, and a few plucks, the bro landed a small eel, not our target but interesting all the same. Next put out, and he was soon bending into an unmissable bite, and soon landed a 3lb 15oz chub. A good start.

We had to wait an hour or so for the next bit of interest. We both started getting indications - little tap, slight drop back. Slight joking to each other as both our hands hovered over the rod, when mine hoofed round and I bent into a good fish. This one fought better than most, hugging the far bank tree line. My line started grating against a snag, and it put a right old bend in the rod to get it closer. 

Once landed, we soon realised this was a smashing fish, with a very thick belly. One the scales it went 5lb 10oz, I've had bigger but not off the tees, and a tees 5 was my target for this year so I'm very happy with that. We packed up and went home soon after. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Fun with the lures - perch and pike

Loving the lures at the moment, so with the river up I went to a local Stillwater for some perch and pike. Started off with tiny cranks, fishing with a light outfit and I was catching perch from the off. All of them were small, but it was great fun, and I was watching them chase the lure. 

After that, I put the light gear away and got the jerkbait outfit out. After half an hour of casting the lure got smashed and I landed this tail walking pike. Didn't weight it, 6lb or so. Great fun!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pike, stick float, tench, carp and bass update

A bit of a varied update! 

Can't beat a bit of stick float fishing, the perfect way to cure a number of blanks and tough sessions. I had a short morning trip with the stick float and caster approach, in search of the swale chub shoals. Constant trickling of caster and hemp soon got them feeding, and I managed a few small ones before hooking into one of the biggies; unfortunately it got away. I kept getting the odd chublet and trout, but nothing big, then an otter decided to cause havoc in my swim. Then I hooked a 2lb brownie which went berserk. 

It all went quiet after that, but caught a few small ones anyway - it seems that they must have had a successful spawning last couple of years on the Swale as there's a lot of small ones about.. 

Next trip was a couple of hours before work, the tide seemed right for some dawn bass on the lures. Although I managed to prize my head off the pillow rather than get the desired sleep before work, it was a lovely dawn to fish in, but it didn't result in the wanted bass. 

A trip out tench fishing at a loca Stillwater ultimately was a failure, though I did hook a fish. Fishing the bolt rig feeder, over a bed of caster and maggot, tench were soon feeding confidently and I got a brilliant run which I hit. Unfortunately this got off, and I struggled to get anything else. Nice to be out though...

Next trip, this time an overnighter at a local gravel pit in search of a decent carp. Two rods out, one with boilies, the other with meat, and I tucked myself away for the night, hoping to be rudely awoken in the middle of the night. You can imagine my dissapoint net when some geese woke me up at 6am. I nodded back off until 7.30, re-cast for couple of hours more, and left feeling despondent. 

I then had a fair few hours with the lures on Wednesday, targeting the river tees. In hindsight, I'd have done something else - I was expecting the river to drop overnight, which it didn't (actually went up a little more). 

It was hard going, fishing heavy jerk baits and walking the banks for a mile or two. I was getting tired a little, when suddenly a big pike followed it in, bow waved and turned at the last second. That was enough to get me interested again, but it didn't result in a fish. Still I know where it is for next time.

That trip got me interested in catching pike on big lures, So today, noting that there was a little water in the river, not much, but similar to last week I thought that the colour might make me struggle with the lures. So I decided to fish a local Stillwater that I have access to. 

I fished most of the morning with deadbaits on one rod and the other rod for carp, both fished on the marginal shelf. The rods remained untouched until 10am, so I decided to reel in and get the heavy lure gear out. 

The water is very clear, like tap water, so I could see the burt lure as I jerked it back. After half a dozen casts in different spots, I noticed something move and then follow the lure. She quickly took it, shook his head from side to side as I struck. After a short but spirited fight, I had this low double, a lure and Stillwater pb for me, so happy with that. 

She had a very big head, and capable of much more weight in mid winter I reckon. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Chub, Chub and more chub.

That's half a dozen trips to the River Tees since June 16th in search of the elusive barbel (which other people I know have managed successfully so far), and all i'm getting is chub. It's getting frustrating, though it's always good to get a bend in the rod. 

I've changed my approach recently, not starting fishing until the kids are in bed, and fishing until midnight or so. Tactics wise, i've changed to a double boilie hookbait (10mm Nutrabaits Trigga) to try and avoid the chub. Even then, they are still hanging themselves on my rigs, however i have noticed that less are hooking themselves, allowing me to ignore the chub pulls and hopefully soon allow a barbel to get to the bait. The problem is that tees barbel are not common, and seem to be very nomadic. It's a case of finding them, which is easier said than done (and when they do get found, angling pressure seems to move them on). Add to the fact that chub out number them massively, and sometimes bream, and you can see why it is such an interesting challenge. Why am I keeping at it? Simple - The average size of a Tees fish hovers around the double figure mark. 

Hopefully it will happen soon, dont get me wrong, in the middle of winter I would be specifically targetting chunky chub, but right now they are a nuisance!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Fishing update - Rivers back open

Since my last post, my quietness has been solely down to a lack of action. I've been fishing a tough Stillwater which has really tested me, but the rewards are potentially brilliant. Half a dozen trips including an overnighter have so far resulted in a boilie munching pike, but I am hoping for one of the resident bream or carp in the near future.

The rivers have been open 11 days now and I've had a few trips so far. The first one, on opening day was a disaster as I forgot some gear, got bothered by locals etc etc cans ended up giving up very quickly. An evening on the tees followed this a few days later, which although gave me plenty of knocks, didn't produce the wanted barbel. Another late evening followed, and again the chub were interested, or should I say, chublets, which kept attacking my 10mm elips pellet

I stayed into dark and was rewarded with the sort of run that gets the heart racing, as line quickly peeled off the baitrunner, but I soon realised the culprit was a chub, which when landed had the length to be a good winter 5, but at this post spawned time of the year, only hit 4lb 5oz.

My last trip was yesterday; I had a few hours spare during the day so took a couple of pints of casters to the river Swale to try and get a barbel on the stick. I quickly landed a decent grayling, followed by small face and chublets. 

Shortly after, the constant feeding had me hook into what I though was a boulder, as it didn't budge so I pulled hard to free it, and it went does treat as quick as a rocket. Chasing after, I got it into some slower water and played it for around 5 mins before, unfortunately, the hook pulled. A barbel was the culprit, and I went home despondent. 

Next trip will be another late one in search of the elusive tees barbel. Here's hoping....

Friday, 1 April 2016

Going over to the dark side....

I've realised there's something missing in my life, and that's a decent carp. I've invested in some gear, and will be targeting something decent in the coming months. 

Judging from the captures at Albert park recently, I could target that and probably get a few good fish but it's definitely not my style, and I couldn't cope with the hassle (done that before years ago before I could drive and it wasn't enjoyable!). I've selected a couple of waters, both very difficult, but both with fish over 20lb. The good thing is that both have good tench and bream as well, so I could be kept occupied at least during the long wait. The other important thing is that in both lakes, the fish look stunning. A bit of prebaiting will be involved as well. 

I'll keep you posted with how I get on, but am not expecting too many captures so apologies if there aren't many catch reports! 

Gear at the ready......

Saturday, 19 March 2016

One more chub, and that's it! Season end....

 Popped out for a couple of hours shortly before the season finished and the chub were very frustrating. I struck four times at solid bites without connecting (wasn't hair rigging either.....). 

A change to the set up (move the feeder up the line more and remove the mince from the feeder so all that was there was my hookbait) and I connected finally. Didn't bother weighing it but nice to catch...A bout of illness ruined the last few days of the season for me, I had some good plans as well. I guess it's time to dust the tench gear off in a few weeks time! 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Night time chub fishing on the river tees

After noticing that people were getting missed or subtle bites during the day, I put it down to cold weather and low conditions. I decided that night time fishing might be the way to bag a couple. 

I dropped onto the river tees for a couple of hours. I didn't want to be roving the banks much, so I picked an area and settled down, it was really pitch black tonight. Tactics were usual - steak, link ledgered with swan shot, allowing the flow to bring it to a settled position. 

First cast, after 15 mins the rod wrapped round, and I was into a solid fish, but the fight didn't last and the fish shed the hook. Next cast same again, 15 mins whilst the chub tracked down the blood scent and the rod flew round again. This one was landed. 

Same again next cast, rod wrapped round and another fish of a similar stamp. After another missed bite, I decided to call it an evening. My light was failing and phone battery low - I'm not a fan of stumbling about in the dark. Happy with that result in challenging conditions.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Smash and grab chub on the river Nidd

I had an hour to fish today, and working in Yorkshire decided to drop in on the nidd. Rod was already set up with link ledgered steak.

This is not an easy venue and after trying 4 different pegs without a touch (ten mins in each peg), the rod slammed round and I hit into a very hard fighting chub. Thought it would be bigger, but happy with this 4lb 5oz fish, my first nidd fish (only fished it a couple of times - lovely river though)

I'm hoping to get out pike fishing at the weekend. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Roving for river Tees chub

Decided to walk the miles this morning and travel light, using prawns, steak and cheese paste as bait, on the river tees. I was fishing a soft quiver tip, 8lb line straight through, link ledgering with 2 or 3 swan shot so that the bait settled in the crease of the flow after trundling around a little. After that, I just flicked out a couple of freebies and waited. 

The banks have been battered this winter, and the river has changed, but first swim produced a quick bite to steak (after the prawn was ignored), and the strike met with solid resistance. This one weighed 4lb 2oz

A little wander downstream and I found a swim where a crease flowed under a nice raft, screamed out chub. I started with steak this time, but after ten minutes of no action decided it was time to bring out stuthebroos cheesepaste - to say it stinks is an understatement. The chub love it though, and within 30 seconds the tip flew round and i was into my second fish at the same weight of 4lb 2oz.

The next swim didn't produce a bite, so moving further I found another swim that looked handy, and flicked out a piece of steak which was taken within minutes. This one fought better than the others, and I had to hold it solid to stop it getting in the roots. A nice tees chub of 4lb 8oz

On to the next swim, this one was a real hit and hold job as I was fishing under the roots, so it was a case of strike and bury the rod, not giving an inch. Eventually I coaxed the chub out, and it was another 4 at 4lb 3oz to steak.

Couldn't buy another bite, but happy with that result! 

Smash and grab chub...

On my way back from work earlier in the week, I quickly popped to the river Tees for half an hour on the bank. Didn't have long so tackle was already set up. Tackle was a 1.5lb speciality Avon quiver, couple with link ledgered steak and 8lb line straight through (using a couple of grippa stops to link ledger the swan shot). 

To cut a short story even shorted, I fished two swims and caught two chub, back on the road as quick as I arrived and had a nice beer with my tea! Smaller was around 2.5lb, biggest was 4lb 1oz.

Happy days - ps, the chub are finally feeding and are very hungry, with a particular liking for steak 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

River rising and temps on the up....

I felt there was a chance of a barbel at the weekend. I couldn't get out until Sunday after so decided a session into dark might offer me a chance. With the Swale carrying a few foot, I opted for a the Martin bowler Drennan big river rod, couple with a daiwa ss2600 and 15lb line. Bait was a big, smelly paste wrapped lone angler ocean pride boilie, that I'd made at home, adding a good dollop more flavouring than is recommended! 

Travelling light, I covered a few swims in 5 hours of fishing, but failed to connect with anything. The river was rising slowly, increase in temp from 42F to 43F. I wasn't the only one - others blanked as well (incidentally it sounds like I was a day early as people started catching on Monday....with temps at 45F). 

It looks like more of the same in the coming days (although sudden drops in temps overnight won't help), so I may be out again in search for a barbel. Keep my options open though until I know for sure what the levels are like. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A River Tees chub in freezing conditions on the new Acolyte Feeder rod

It's been a while since I update the blog, mainly because the rivers have been very difficult to fish the last 6 weeks or so. The river was finally fishable today, so I needed to get out, despite the temps. I didn't get to the banks of the Tees until early afternoon.

I was fishing with a drennan acolyte feeder rod, new daiwa feeder reel and 5lb drennan method and feeder line straight through to a size 8 hook. A small cage feeder was stopped by two float stops, so there was no swivel or additional weakness in the line. To counter the finicky bites, I used a very soft tip (1.5oz) and paid out a bow in the line. This way, the chub would feel very little resistance and bite more confidently - or that was the idea. 

After a couple of taps, the tip pulled round and I was into a nice Tees chub - the gear performed well, and a nice chub was soon landed. 

I couldn't buy another bite. I would have liked more but happy with this in freezing conditions.

The drennan acolyte feeder rod makes a good chub rod as well....I'd used it once before on a Stillwater and managed a small chub, but needed to try it with something bigger!

Some snow in the hills at the moment which I imagine will come down once the temps rise next week. Probably a grayling session next weekend on the upper reaches of the Ure....that's the plan at the moment anyway!