Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Target smashed, pb chub!

So I had my winter campaign planned out. Having successfully had six pound chub from the river Swale previously, one of my prime targets was to do the same on my more local (and preferred) river Tees. The problem is that this river just doesn't hold many such fish - it took me years to get a five pounder, which I achieved last year at 5lb 10oz, a special fish. I was aware of the existence of a couple of 6lbers that have been landed in recent years though, so I knew they were there.

Sunday evening, I decided to get out before dark and fish a few hours, initially for chub and then to target barbel late on. Arriving at dusk, I set up and got cast out, flicking the lamprey chunk into a likely looking run. I didn't get any sort of indication for the first 40 mins or so, and was considering a re-cast when the rod tip jagged, then pulled round confidently. I hit into what was obviously a very good fish, but one thing I've noticed is that 4lb chub on the tees really pull. The fish tried to take me into a snag, which I managed to avoid (just) and then it was a case of playing it closer to me. The fish hugged the bottom for a good while though, until finally coming into the net. I didn't see the size of it upon landing, so let it sit in the deep mesh in the water to recover, whilst I rebaited. It was only when I lifted it up and saw it that I realised there was a definite 6lber in the net, which I was gobsmacked at. I quickly zeroed the scales and recorded a weight of 6lb 10oz - this wasn't just over the magic mark, it absolutely smashed it and was closer to 7! In addition, my pb was broken by 1oz.

So now I'm debating what to target next - a 6lber from the Ure or Wear maybe?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Testing out the new Drennan Acolyte 13ft Distance Feeder rod

I was fortunate (very fortunate!) enough to enter and win a drennan competition with the prize being a drennan acolyte 13ft distance feeder rod. Received in the post this week, the rod is a 3 piece feeder rod, primarily designed (I believe) with deepish stillwaters and launching out above average size feeders, but also ideal for larger rivers as well. The good part is that, with a line rating of 6lb - 10lb and a fair amount of power in the blank, I'm assuming it will make a pretty decent chub and possibly barbell rod.

The blank is provided with 3 tips of 3oz, 4oz and 5oz, but there are also options to get as low as 2oz and high as 6oz as well. The tips are different to the other tips in the range in that the eyes are larger, I assume to help with the constant casting of slightly thicker lines and larger feeders.

I'm having a busy week this week with family and work, but could just about fit in an hour fishing last night after on the river tees. Upon arrival, I noticed a good mate marc was in the car park so I met up with him and we fished a peg for half an hour, with a few little pulls to show. I moved on upstream, chucking out a piece of lamprey under a raft, which was taking within about ten mins. This was a good test for the rod, as I had to hold the chub firm without allowing it any line to avoid it finding the roots under the raft; this it did very well, and a chub of around 3.5lb was quickly landed. Unfortunately I had to go, but initial impressions are that the rod is smashing, plenty of power, but subtle enough to be extremely enjoyable playing fish. I'm looking forward to trying it on the lower lengths of the tees for winter perch, and possibly summer barbel fishing (though I'll need to test the rod plenty more with chub first to make sure it'll cope!).  

Monday, 18 September 2017

Pike season has begun

The pike rods have been dusted off, new reels purchased (shimano 8000d's), rigs tied up and I was up and on the river tees for daybreak on sunday. I hadn't managed to get out midweek so I was pretty eager to get catching, and with a slight chill in the air and some autumnal colour in the trees, it seemed the right time to go chasing the predators.

Tactics involved moving around, spending an hour or so in a few swims, and offering the fish smelt or lamprey deadbaits. I was fishing slightly deeper areas between shallow flows of water. After some early rain, the sun shone through an all felt right in the world. Things got even better as my lamprey was picked up and I saw the pike float bob out of the corner of my eye. It soon started moving off, and I hit into it early. Well hooked, the fish gave a good account of itself with plenty of energy in the runs, but was soon netted.

Nothing big, but I love catching wild river pike, and hopefully the start of a productive winter chasing them (as well as chub!). The colouration on tees fish is fantastic as well.....