Sunday, 12 January 2020

Schoolboy error

Date fished 12/01/2020
8am until 1pm

After last week's success, I thought I would take Tom to Broken Scar again so we could try for some more Grayling and maybe a Chub. Tom was keen to catch a chub so brought some ledger gear in the hope that we may tempt one. We could not have been more wrong!!

In true Calamity fashion, I did not check the river levels after saturday morning, even with all the rain yesterday and wind I did not expect it to be as bad as it was!

Arriving at 8am to a raging River, I was soon raging at my stupidity.  Armed with only trotting gear and with no other tackle to try a carp lake, we were stuck to try or drive back home.
We gave it a try, well Tom gave it a bloody good try. I gave up pretty early. One of those things, put it down as experience or learning.

We found a few swims, but the river was up alot. An area I jumped down to net the big Grayling last week, where the drop was probably down to my chest, was over the bank today and covered the bank by some way!

We fished some slacks and some open areas but the river was too fast, too deep, too annoying!

As I have been saying for a while, the river levels don't mean much out of context. Last week the level was 0.8m today was 1.4m. So an extra 60 cm of water. But as I said above,  an area I was stood last week was underwater by over 1.4 metre!! So why is the level not at 2.2m??
Maybe this is what kids should learn at school, I should have asked the teacher, afterall there was not much fishing going on!!

It was dropping fast, but with no bites we decided to pack up early and head home.
A day to remember and learn from. Not to be disappointed with as without the terrible days, the great days have no comparison!

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Tackle Tart

With a few days off and no fishing planned, I did some sorting of my tackle.

These lures I had sorted a while ago, not so many now. The soft plastics are mostly gone. Will need to buy more.

This next was a picture to illustrate the kit I would take on a session. I have all my kit arranged in a cupboard in small boxes. I can then just take bits I need for that session, and blog about the things I left at home!!

This next one was some bits I won in a competition on face book for Angling direct. It got me using the hybrid feeders and I love them now, so easy to use!!

When the river was flooded, I used the big round weights. At 5.5oz in weight, I think they are beasts . Am sure people use larger,sometimes over 8oz on the Trent I think!

You can never have enough "winders" or reels as we call them.

All those reels? You ask.
Surely you only use 1 or 2 at most, at a time?
I do.
I only ever use 2 rarely, mostly I use one.
It really depends on the number of rods you have???? 8 in the pics, 3 more  ( 1 duplicate and 2 that are over 20 years old) not shown plus a pole!


Am pretty happy with what hook to use with which bait. Am happy with feeders for certain situations. Am less sure on length of hook length for feeder fishing and the holy grail.... What stick float to use when??

I wish that was all I have, but there is plenty more kit in the cupboard. I will show you that another day.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Teacher Knows best!

Date fished 2/1/2020
8.30am until 2.30pm

Today was a little different, I took my friend Tom aka 'The Tyrant of Hexham pubs' to the Tees to see if I could teach him a few things about trotting. Tom fished years ago and is getting back into it, and as a teacher he is always keen to be taught!

We were going to fish at a commercial as he wants to catch a carp, but after the cold snap, I suggested the river instead. He had never caught a Grayling, so that was our target. The carp will wait till the spring, they ain't going anywhere!

Armed with float rods and maggots we headed to Broken Scar. A quick stop to lay some pipe at the Durham services, alot of nice new buildings being built around there, and we arrived at the River about 8.30.

Tom set up his loafer float and was ready to go. I gave him a brief lesson in trotting and feeding and set him on his way. We fished two swims where I have caught many times before, so I was hopeful for an A*.

We swapped swims and carried on the feeding and trotting. About half an hour went by with nothing, so I was thinking of a move when I heard Tom shout "fish on".
I got to the net and quickly netted his first ever Grayling, and at 1lb 2oz it was a cracking fish. I warned him how hard they are to hold, being lean, eel like and strong and he learnt well for some great pics. Ooops!!

What a start. Chuffed to bits, we fished on.
Soon it was time to move on, we headed downstream to a deep pool section. I had never fished it, the conditions always didn't look right. But teacher knew best and the pool was to be fished!
Firing out some maggots in the catapult kept him happy while I fished on. Eventually a Grayling for me, but only a small one. They are much easier to hold when small. Ooops!

I missed a few bites, but not Tom. He was casting to the right spot every time, feeding with the catapult. It was looking great. Suddenly his float buried, he hit the bite and was in. His first wild trout lay in the net!

The dinner bell rang and we stopped for food. 
Getting back to it, Tom was soon into more fish. Finishing on 2 trout and 2 Grayling from this pool alone!! Not to mention the first one! 
The second trout being a great leaper, coming clear of the water several times.

Sadly it was time to move on for next lesson. We went to explore another deep fast bend further downstream. As we left the loafer hanging from a tree, we made our way to another swim. This was a different class, the water was faster here and harder to control the float. We gave it a good go, but no fish were caught here.

Walking back towards the car, we had another quick go in the first swim. Ever hopeful for another big Grayling. Unfortunately the wind had picked up and was blowing upstream so hard that even on the faster water the float did not travel down but was being blown upstream!! Trotting was impossible here.

Happy that we had caught some fish, we decided to head home and give ourselves a merit point, I mean pint! 

What a great day teacher had, and I was glad I could say "I taught him everything I know".

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Tees Happy Bream

Date fished 1/1/2020
8am until 3.45pm

A New Year meant new targets, so it was a trip to the Tees today to see if I could get off to a flyer.
Unfortunately the car thermometer said minus 4 degrees, a flyer this was not! So I settled for driving and headed to the Tees.
I was hoping to fish at Bowesfield with maggots and groundbait feeder to tempt a Tees Bream.
After parking up, a quick walk got me to my peg. This one was called "36". Getting my kit ready, I was thinking how positioning with a feeder rod was important. I was going to set it up properly, fish properly and catch probably, I mean properly!

I mixed my groundbait, added some maggots and set aside.

I got my chair level, positioned the rod and got the rests in place.

Arranged the net and was all set. I moved the bank stick with the camera holder on the top and crack. Snapped it. Not the best start, let's hope for no more breakages.

A few casts to a posittion marked by a bush on the far side with a large feeder got some groundbait down. I did not clip the line on the spool as I was not sure how the depth of water affected this. Surely if you clip up but you are fishing in 20ft plus of water that will have a big difference? I will look this up and practice another time.

I attached a hook link and cast out.
Where I was positioned, I found it hard to tighten the line and set up everything correctly. I thought about this and fished on. I reeled in and there was a wiggle on the line. There was a fish on. I will openly admit, I was not aware, saw no bite. It was a fluke.
A nice Roach to avoid a third blank in a row.

I had to change a few things with the positioning. The rig was fine,  but the rod was not. I moved the rest towards the river and changed the angle. Now, I cast and was able to tighten down and feel like I was fishing.

Several casts later and with the swim building nicely, I got a bite. A proper pull. I struck and missed the fish. The maggots were smashed and were just skins. I was happy the fish were there and I was actually getting it right.
I carried on.

A little while later, the rod trembled and pulled round. A proper bite, I struck and played my first Tees bream ( yes a skimmer) into the net. I had tried, adapted, persevered and succeeded! I was so Happy!

I was soon into a good routine, recasting to the same spot, letting the feeder settle, tightening up and putting the rod on the rests. I was enjoying the fishing.

I had several more bites, missed most of them but I did hook a few. I didn't land any though as they were only hooked for a short time. One fish that I played closer to the bank went under a snag. I was stuck but could feel the fish on. I let the line go slack and waited. After a while, I tried to pull free and changed the angle. Eventually it just came free, feeder attached, hook attached but no fish attached! Weird. All looked ok, so I cast it back out.

Still the bites came, so in what can be described as a "practice" I really was happy. 

Thinking about feeders, I had cage feeders and block end. I had a cage feeder on because I liked the look. Then it dawned on me, a cage feeder releases feed all the way down and a block end feeder keeps it in until the bottom!! I never realised. So I changed feeders to pretend I knew what I was doing. 
Still bites came, but still I missed the fish. Still Happy! 

It quickly got cold as the afternoon drew to a close. I had tried hard and caught a target. I am determined to catch some more, bigger bream. If I had hit all the bites today, I would have ended up with a dozen fish, but not to worry, I still left Happy! 

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

2019 review, plus new targets

As the year ends, it's time to review 2019. So, how did I get on?

Looking at the above,
tickish (4lb 2oz),
not even close,
BIG tick,
only used it for about 5 casts so no!

I have also had a 10oz Roach, 3lb 8oz Bream, 5lb 4oz Tench and a 5lb 8oz Chub.

It's really been a great fishing year. I have fished the Thames, Wharfe, Swale and Tees with several stillwaters too.
Ellis and I have seen more of the Tees than before and really got to grips with the Swale, well on our preferred banker peg anyway! Seeing it in all conditions has helped us grasp it at different times or not!

Of course there have been blanks, my last 2 trips of 2019 were blanks.
A big perch from the Tees has eluded me, although I have witnessed Ellis bag a few, I sadly have not.

I have learnt alot this year, my trotting and feeding on the river has improved. I still need to pick a good swim on the right day (watercraft), so hopefully I can keep trying with that.

I have caught on float, feeder and lure. I will carry on with my baitcaster and would love to catch with that, plus a proper fish on the closed faced reel.

I have met new people, made friends, fished with the family and continued to blog. It can only get better from here.

That brings me on to 2020, what shall I target this year?

1lb 8oz plus Perch will remain, same with the baitcaster reel catch.
I am adding a Tees Bream of any size caught on the feeder by having a proper match style approach.
I may also have to travel a bit, as I would like a 6lb plus Bream. For this I may need to head a little further south.
I am still thinking of joining a Tyne club either this year or next, so if I do I will be hoping to catch some local river fish!

Tight lines for 2020 all.