Saturday, 10 February 2018

Blanks continue

Date fished 10/2/18

Today I was back on the Swale, this time at Morton. I was fishing both the Stockton water and the Northallerton sections. My intended target was chub and pike.

The weather was described as blustery with sleet! But it was a day I could go fishing, so fishing I was going!!

I  had dead baits,  cheese paste and curried meat. All taken out the freezer just before I was leaving, put in my well used cool bag, into the boot and off. However, today was different. My bait did not defrost all day, that's how cold it was... frozen meat all day, non eupho!

It was cold when I arrived, just before 8am. Firstly I was going to target pike. I had lamprey as bait. It is my go to choice as pike bait. Has also caught me some big chub on the Swale and Tees.

The float looked perfect in the slack water, waiting. I tackled up the other rod, ledgering with a meat spike (bait anchor). Hopefully my cheese paste would stay on this. As my first attempt, it's not quite right, last time out it was not staying on the hook properly and was crumbly instead of a paste.

The float laying flat, suddenly tilted up, then sailed away. I struck instantly, connecting with the fish, I saw it in the water, it looked bronze and did a complete 360 and the line went slack. It looked like a chub, I  put the bait straight back there. Nothing. I inspected the bait and there were small tooth marks across the middle of the bait. It must have been a pike, just grabbed the bait and was not hooked. I have seen the white underside as bronze before, I put it down to the water colour making the white look bronze because of the sediment in the water. I wonder how often we mis-identify? Only   knowing once it's safely in the net.

It was good to be having bites, but in this cold, I needed to be catching too.

I fished on, but with no more interest, I went downstream to try a swim I have caught from before. No pike here, just a huge mud slide which had defrosted by now making it not only treacherous but fun!! No pike though.
I fished on my way back to the car, opting for chub on meat and cheese. The cheese stayed on better, but think that was because it never really thawed.

As the wind picked up, I decided to call it a day. Another blank, well a half blank, a bla.

I will be out again next weekend, to hopefully break this barren 2018 start, conditions are tough but I see some fish being caught. Please leave me a comment about when and what was your last fish caught of 2018, if nothing else it will keep me from going mad with the picture close ups!!


  1. Definitely tough going at the minute, I think most that are fishing northern rivers are finding it hard.

    I would have been tempted to drop back in on that lost pike, they usually don’t move far.

    1. I stayed there a while Darren. I was going to, it was the other side of the car and was so cold I took the easy option!!

  2. Im having the same kind of days I'm afraid, I've fished different pegs on the Swale from firstly Topcliffe upto Skipton on Swale and like yourself, blanked. I will be back for more this weekend I'm sure and maybe even have a bite or better still catch the Swales elusive fish lol

    1. Thanks for your comment Adrian, I feel your pain, but that's why we get out there and keep trying!!