Saturday, 3 August 2019

Itch scratched!

Date fished 3/8/2019
6.50am until 16.30

After the blank on the Wharfe, where Aidan and I both missed fish, I was keen today to catch some fish. This called for a visit to a stillwater. I decided on Moulton lane pond. I managed to catch a few different species last time so was hoping for more of the same.

I decided to leave early doors and see if I could catch them sleeping. First cast, my rod twitched and a little carp was caught napping.

Second cast and a bigger carp wanted breakfast. Barely 7am and I was happy to have caught. At 7lb 12oz it was a good sized fish for the venue, where they actually go to 27lb!

It seemed it was not just the fish that were now waking up. Other anglers started to fill the pegs. After 20 mins on my own, there was now maybe 20 of us trying our luck. It is a very different scene to the quiet river and I enjoy both! It was good to see kids, families and groups of people enjoying a day on the bank.

My tactics for today were Hybrid feeder and pellets. It was a simple, tried and tested approach. Casting to different areas in front of me, I steadily caught bream, skimmers and more carp. It was soon a squeeze as anglers all cast to similar looking spots. I thought I was going to add a Yorkshireman to the list of captures!

I cast towards some reeds, hoping for something big. My rod jumped up off the rests, the bait runner spinning. This was it, I thought. Only to wind in a roach of about 5 oz, he must have had 3 weetabix! I didnt even take a picture. Next cast to the same place and the rod twitched about an inch. I struck for the next twin Roach, but my prize was a much better fish....

It was now afternoon and 2 older anglers came and sat either side of me. This was when the social started. We were soon all chatting and having a good giggle. Mickey taking, laughing and making a racket. Even sharing bait, some home made curried pellets, smelt delish and the fish liked them too!!

Carrying on, I caught a brown goldfish, or so I thought. One angler said it's a crucian, and Ellis also agrees, he has only seen the picture. Any advice is welcome!

As I began to feed up an area close in, I dropped my feeder in hoping to get a Tench. Sure enough, a little Tinca obliged.

Packing up earlier than the feeding fish would have expected, I was ready to go. I had wanted to catch fish and I had. My itch was scratched! I hadn't expected to enjoy so much and have "bantz" too.
Fishing really is full of surprises!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Chances missed

Date fished 1/8/2019
11.30am until 20.15

Before I start with the blog, I must apologise for the current river levels and flooding. I can only assume that my decision to have 3 days off this week and potentially do 4 days fishing on 3 different rivers has prompted the deluge!!

Having written a Swale trip off from Wednesday due to the heavy floods, the planned Wharfe trip on Thursday was going ahead. Literally spending the day before glued to the river levels website, the level had dropped and looked fishable.

Packing the kit included some large 5.5oz weights, strong tackle and of course Doritos, Lucozade and pasties!! Yes, I was fishing with Aidan!

Picking him up after work at 10 (ish) it was a chatty 100miles to the river. Aidan has fished this stretch on many occassions and knows it well. He always gives me great advice and puts us on the fish.

The river looked good. High but dropping off and a good colour. We baited up our rods and cast out. I started with cheese paste and garlic meat, Aidan was on pellet and boilies.

After little interest, I swapped to double pellet on one and meat close in on the other. It was now after 1pm and we were getting to grips with the flow, rig position and hoping for some fish. I just thought I would have a drink of coffee. Flask out and pouring, it happened.
My rod arched over and line started peeling off the baitrunner. Dropping my cup, I was on the rod. I was in. The double pellet doing the trick. I felt the strong pull of the fish, definitely a barbel. And snap. My hook link snapped. Gutted.

The river was dropping quite fast, an area in front of us full of fry was quickly receding. A pike keeping the fry trapped until she was ready to lunge at them all making a splash. The kingfisher whizzing back and forth along the tree line.

Aidan was casting about, as we were holding bottom easily now. He must have had extra Lucozade today as every cast was dropping perfectly inches from the trees on the far side.  I nearly called the blog " The Cast Master".

A few biteless hours passed (6) and then Aidans rod bounced in true chub bite style. He was in. Quickly bringing the fish to our side of the river. When it got close, it woke up. Suddenly lunging down and diving deep. Unfortunately this was enough and the hook pulled out. We were both on a downer, like the river!!

As the evening drew on, conditions looked perfect. The hatch came alive, the wind dropped and the river looked calm. We fished on but sadly no more bites.

As we packed up, we remarked on the day. Aidan sure that the Barbel would have fed heavy as the river rose, and would be holed up somewhere now.
Me?, well I was just glad to be out. We agreed that although we " were happy just to be on the bank" a fish certainly makes the drive home more palatable. After all....

"A  week day blanking is always better than a day at work not fishing"

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Swipe left for a troll

Date fished 14/7/19
8am until 3.30pm

3 men in a boat today!

Dave, joined Ellis and I aboard Big elbow for a day lure fishing. Ellis and I were after perch and if a pike came along, we would be happy. Dave was targeting pike, quick to point out " if I get a Jack today, I'll be happy!"

Setting off down stream, we were soon casting in our usual areas. Me missing 2 quick hits on the small pink paddle tail. Ellis also missed a bite so we were confident of catching later.

Dave wanted to troll his lures, which means slowing the boat down and pulling the lure behind the boat using the boats speed. It was Dave that caught first, a large branch was his prize!
A bit further on, he was in again. A good sized pike soon rolled on the surface but the hooks came out. No prize this time.
A little bit further on and he was in again!! This was turning into a rout, no perch for us but Dave had managed a pike.

We carried on, and soon Ellis and I were missing fish in other areas too!! We saw fish follow the lures, had knocks but no fish. It was looking deperate.
As we travelled on we said "morning" to a few open water swimmers. There were anglers on the bank pleasure fishing, match anglers, anglers in boats, rowers, swimmers and people strolling the bank. It was good to see so many people enjoying the river.

Ellis soon got into the act with a perch on drop shot. We alternated between trolling so Dave could target Pike and then stopping for us to fish for perch.

A few more perch for Ellis then a bigger fish took his drop shot lure. It's normally me that catches the little pike, but today I let Ellis have the prize.

I really was just making up the numbers, as after a few more knocks I still had not caught anything. In truth to Dave's first branch, Ellis and I had both caught a few big branches now too!!
I spotted a great looking swim, we stopped and started to cast. I cast under a tree, nothing. Ellis cast under the same tree, his rod hooped over and a much larger pike was pulling back.

The final nail in the coffin was when we got to our usual snaggy spot where we always catch, 2 people were fishing in it, so we had to leave it for today.

We tried everything as we approached the boat yard, but today was not my day. A blank on the boat!

The final final nail was getting back to the boat yard and being told that we could not leave the club till 19.30 as the roads were closed for a bike race. We are sat in the club house drinking tea/coffee that Dave has made!

Three men trapped in a boat club more like!!

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Shocking trip!

Date fished 13/7/19
7am until 3pm

What can I say about this trip? It was shocking in so many ways. Ellis and I went to the Tees to fish the stretch that I had success on 2 weeks ago. We were targeting chub, perch, dace, roach and pike. Yes, pike. Read on!

We met at 7am and walked the quick way down to the river, I started in the same swim as last time and Ellis fought his way to the water and found a cracking swim upstream of me. I started feeding and soon was catching small fish. Alot smaller than last time, was this a sign? I hoped not.
A steady flow of perch and small chub and the keep net was getting used. The river was a similar height to last time but was alot clearer, I could see the snags this time! It didn't stop me catching other snags, and 6 hook links later I was still catching.
Feeding and casting was soon a routine. I cast, moved the rod to my left hand, fed with the right and switched back. This time though, my right hand bashed the rod in my left and it flew into the river!! It didn't sink, but started to drift away. I managed to catch it with the landing net at full extension, I was certainly lucky. Shocking!

Ellis was catching too, casting to a deeper area just off the main flow. We both had our keep nets out and would be weighing in at the end. I was getting hungry and it being 11 something, it was ok to eat my lunch. I went to see how Ellis was getting on. As we chatted and I ate my lunch, we heard splashing from down stream. " it's just the swans" I told Ellis.
As I walked back to my swim, I realised I had not seen the swans this trip!
Getting to my swim, I disturbed a large fish and it splashed away. I carried on fishing. Looking down at my keep net, it had moved. Alot!
As I fished on, I suddenly saw the fish. A large Pike was sat next to my net. At 1 metre in length, it was easily a double figure fish. It was sat watching the fish in the keep net. I called Ellis to come and see, we watched in amazement as this fish could not be disturbed. Eventually it swam away as I scared it. 2 minutes later it was back. I was unsure if I should try to catch it, but for now I carried on with maggots.
Curiosity of the weight finally got to me, so I walked back to the car to get some pike gear. On returning I tried with lures but the pike was having none of it. She just sat there, swam away and came back. For the next three hours, she was my companion. I touched her with my rod, put maggots over her, left a lure in front of her. She was not moving!!
It was shocking to see this, but also awesome.

I carried on fishing for small fish, but there was no fish in the swim!! Shocking. Apart from the large Pike a few feet away. This was not going as planned.
Suddenly my phone bleeped, Ellis-"  I snapped the top 6 inches of my an hour ago"
 Leg? Arm? Rod? Head?
I replied with "rod"!
Yes was the response!

It was turning in to an interesting session, so we decided to weigh our fish and move on. I weighed in at 4.75lb and Ellis 4.73lb - nearly identical weights. Shocking. Some cracking Perch made the weights honest.

We walked upstream to have a look at another swim. As we stood chatting, my rod dropped on the electric fence. Shocking! Was an understatement. I was not able to answer Ellis's question as the shock went up my Arm!!

Walking down the slope to the swim, I slipped and fell on my bum. It was time to end this session before anything else happened.

Walking back to the cars, I noticed something odd on my car. Now Ellis thinks it's cos I am a "fun guy" I just think it was an apt end to a shocking day!!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Hexham Tench

Date fished 30/6/19
7am until 11am

I decided to get up early (late) and try the local lake in Hexham for Tench. After seeing the beauty that Rupe caught last week, daddy thought he would try and catch one!

I had sweetcorn and a few worms. Feeding the corn with worm on the hook, I baited a few areas by the reeds. Soon I was catching Rudd every cast, mostly them taking the sinking worm long before it got to the bottom. I was almost fly fishing for them. Casting repeatedly in a likely area and catching a Rudd a chuck as the worm sank. I got into a good routine.

Realising I was not going to catch a Tench like this, I  put some weight close to the hook to fish on the bottom. The float bobbed a few times and slid away. This felt bigger. I had achieved my target, not as big as Rupes but it was my first Hexham Tench.

Plenty of Roach and Rudd followed, I soon had at least 30 fish in the net. Running out of worms, I was soon catching on sweetcorn.

Back home after a few hours, happy to have caught my intended species. It really was a learning day too. I can now sort Rudd and Roach apart like cats and dogs! Never knew why I couldn't tell them apart before!!
2 Roach

Roach above Rudd ( I think!)

Saturday, 29 June 2019

10lb 11oz

Date fished 29/6/2019
6.30 am until 12pm

When your alarm goes off at 4am you know the day is going to be special!
Leaving the house before half past, I was heading to the Tees. I was going to a spot Ellis and I have fished once before and the blog  for it has a "blank" in the title! Am sure I said this was going to be special.

Ellis was working today, so I was on my own. Parking up, it was a walk to the river. As I got there, the vegetation was in its summer mode and I could hardly see the water. Walking to the end I wanted to fish, I carefully set off down to the water. Eventually I managed to create a swim and flatten the nettles around me. It looked perfect.

This is where I would normally have a landscape picture, but not today. I was too busy with fishing to take scenery pics, this was special.

I had 2 pints of maggots with me and a few worms. I was adamant that I would feed properly. Too often I would walk back with maggots. This is bad and not just because it's up hill. I don't think I feed enough. I had been given good advice about this. I was going "matchman" style.

I fired out a few maggots and set up. Setting a bolo float, for no reason other than I like the name and Ellis used one on the Swale the other week! Adding weights, I was ready to go.
I just needed to flatten some more nettles. As I pushed down a patch, it knocked my bag over on which was resting the open shot pot and the maggots! Fortunately only the shot fell off, so if any one has any spare number 6's, I have none now!!

First trot looked good, second was better. A little chub. The phone deciding to make out I was taking the picture in 1432 or 1932!

It was still very early and everything just looked right. I fed, cast and trotted. Just like normal, with more feed. But unlike normal, I caught fish. Proper fish. I caught no minnows, and nothing smaller in length than my........ middle finger!
The smallest one did not go in the keep net, but the rest did. One of my targets for 2019 was to have a session on the river with maggots, float only and a keep net to see what I can catch. It didn't say it had to be special.

The trotting was perfect, the bites were coming, I played fish, netted them,  fed more. I was loving it. I changed to worm on the hook and caught perch and chub. I looked at the time and it was still only early (pre 9am) and I had caught Dace, Chub, Perch and Roach - some lovely fish too.

I had caught a Tees chub on the float. Not a massive one, but good enough. I will be continuing with this target but it's a half tick.

The catching was steady. I was also getting snagged on something a little way out. It now owned 6 of my hook lengths!
Soon I was getting low on maggots. I was doing it right. I finished off the last few and I was still catching fish. I packed away happy and excited to look in the net.

Pulling in the net, it was stuck. It was not so heavy I could not lift it? No, it was snagged on a branch. Moved into it with the flow. I tried to free it with the net and pole but it was jammed. It called for a special rescue. Off came the shoes and I was in. Wading around the branch, I eventually freed the net. Now I struggled to lift it!! Not really. Trousers and socks wet, I clambered out.

I quickly weighed the fish, and put the smaller ones back. Counting over 40 as they all swam off. 10lb 11oz of river Tees fish.
I put a large dace back without realising, which is a shame. I would liked to have taken a pic. I kept a few of the larger fish to have a proper look at.
In truth, I have never caught such a quantity of fish (over 50) on the river with as many nice fish. The roach were superb as were the perch and chub, although I have caught bigger, never on trotting gear. It really was special.

As I walked back (the shorter way) I realised I had not even eaten any lunch. Wow! that really must have been something special.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Mini me PB

Date fished 22/6/2019
1pm till 5pm

A few hours with Rupe at the local pond in Hexham was needed. Martha was off for an audition, so we went to audition some fish. We have fished Wydon Water a few times, caught Roach and Rudd. There is some nice Tench in there too, but we have yet to catch them. Rupe has always wanted to catch one, so I keep trying for him.

His younger brother came for an hour and we were soon throwing in "magnets" and attracting plenty of ducks! Eventually Rupes float went down and he landed the first 4 inch silver. He wanted to use my keep net, so being a great dad, am now cursing at the drying of 10ft of net, I obliged. We now had a 4 inch fish swimming in a 10ft net!!!

Soon it was followed by more, and when we saw the Rudd topping and we cast to them, the net was getting "filled". All three of us had caught fish, it was going well. I was now able to tell Roach and Rudd apart too!! We had caught plenty of both.
Rupe asked if he could put some food in the keep net for the fish!! How, I remember asking my dad the same 30 years ago!

Soon, it was just Rupe and I. I had explained to him about just feeding an area and keep casting in it, instead of chasing fish.

He was now using his 4m whip. In the same place, feeding dead maggots and corn, with worm on the hook (Rupe says thanks, Ellis) and his float disappeared. Rupe struck like normal, his whip bent double and he held on to a monster! I helped him with the whip, playing the fish. Then I gave it back to him and gave advice. A few minutes of battle with the reeds so close, we got a reward. 3lb 12oz of Rupes first ever Tench!

What had started as a afternoon killing time, had turned into a memory for a lifetime. That's what makes it all worth while. He didn't fish for the last hour. He just watched his dad trying to join the Tench gang. Of course I didn't though, I am a considerate dad too!!