Thursday 30 August 2018

Fishing Filosophy 2 years on

My blog is 2 years old!

The more I write my blog, the more I enjoy my fishing. It can be social, it can be a time to reflect on life on your own, but above all it should be fun.

A great philosopher once told me:

One thing is for certain Adam is that we will never find out what the fish think or act on. That’s why we keep on going back to the river bank, admiring the scenery, getting cold and mostly blanking but still wanting to go back for some more punishment the following week.
(Hutchinson, 2018)

And that is what keeps me/us going back, and continuing to blog about it after.

Saturday 25 August 2018

Sparkling success (ish)

Date fished 1430 on 24/8/18 to 1430 25/8/18

How do you measure success? Just in your fishing trips, I can't be accountable for all your successes and failures!

Not freezing to death cos you didn't think you needed your sleeping bag when night fishing?
Not being attacked by frisky sheep at 3am?
Not blanking?
4 1/2 hours "sleep"?
Realising great food can be cooked in one pan?
Weather in 24 hours containing wind, rain and blistering sun?
Dead mice?
A heavy dew that literally you watch soaking you as you sit up till 1am like a gnome?
Sharing a beer?
Catching 4 Barbel each?
Finding out David Beckham has a (very tasty) whiskey brand?
Chatting and laughing with a friend?
Sharing kit?
Sitting in the car to warm up!?
Finding out that sparkling water hurts when you drink it?
Having a "snore off" without knowing you are?
Hot cups of coffee at 0530?
Struggling to put up a bivvy with more poles and holes than.... ( you can finish that one) ?

Ok, so not all these are true, and there was plenty more that didn't make the pre watershed edit. But, Ellis and I visited Cundall on the river Swale, targeting Barbel and doing a 24 hour over night trip.

We targeted a likely looking area, opposite over hanging willows and unfortunately the false success above was the " catching 4 Barbel each".

In fact we did not catch any Barbel. We both caught perch on worms to avoid the blank and Ellis hooked a Barbel, but his drag on his reel failed to work, so as he was trying to backwind the Barbel took him in the willows. When his reel finally worked, the fish had gone and left Ellis snagged.

So in truth, we went to target Barbel, but did not catch Barbel, but hand on heart I can say this was a really successful trip. It's not the catching (always) it's the doing and the other little things along the way!

Wednesday 22 August 2018

No fluke, Lucky Lures!

Date fished 22/08/2018
0700 to 1200

A short morning session on the Tees was today's plan. I headed there on my own but Dave was off work too, so was going to join me for a few hours.

Like everyone, I too, am a creature of habit. Same places, same swims, same bait, the sames could go on. But not today!! Instead of going right, I didn't go wrong, I went left!

A new area to fish lay in front of me. Coupled with some (assumed) Environment Agency spraying of the Himalayan Balsam meant there was a lot of river to target.

Now, I did start with the same lure. I was hoping for perch, so started with small shad style paddle tails in pink. This is my go to choice for perch, but you may remember I caught pike on this small lure a while ago on the canal.

No such fluke today, and quickly my perch count was at 2. The quality of the perch coupled with their eagerness to feed has got to make perch one of my favourite species of fish to catch.

As I moved from swim to swim, I found myself under a tree. Perfect timing to play hide and seek as Dave arrived. I continued to cast as I caught up with Dave, he has had a great season, already catching at least 20 Tees pike! My count was still one!!

As the lure came towards me, in a blur it was gone. My reel screaming as the clutch took the lunge from the pike! Yes, the fluke had happened again, making it skill, surely?? It was great battling the fish tight under the tree, and the predator net christened by a carp was eventually going to be used for what it was made.

The pike slipped into the net and I was grinning. My second Tees Pike and the first from the bank. Happy happy flukey, I mean skilled boy!!

I let Dave find me, so he could take the pics and then we headed further into the unknown to find more swims.  We fished a good few swims, my perch count trickling up until Dave joined in.

A pike, taking his soft plastic trout lure, actually splitting it with the force of the take. Soon the pike was ready for the net. River fishing is wild, no manicured pegs or swims and this was no exception. We always make sure we can land a fish from a swim before we cast, but no one told the pike this.

It wrapped itself round floating debris, then got stuck in my net, then I had to use Dave's net to net the fish, which was still in my net!! It really was a pike of mischief! The fierce take meant the hooks were a little deep, but within seconds Dave had snipped his trebles to pieces, removed all the metal and the fish was back in the net resting.
A quick pic and the fish was ready to go. Well not Mr mischief. As I slipped it out of the net it swam off, turned around and promptly swam back into the net!! This fish did not want to leave us.
Eventually, the pike got bored with us, and with a quick splash, was off on its way.

As we fished our way back, my perch count increased but no flukes.

As we got back to a spot where I lost a lure snagged to the bank, I was telling Dave the detail. "Like this lure?" He said, as he bent down and pulled up my lure, lost and left weeks before!!

I believe in luck and flukes, 2 pike now on small fry lures and my lost lure found.

I chuckled to myself driving home, "I'm the flukest, I mean "most skilled" angler I know!"

Monday 20 August 2018

Lovely Chubley a Mc"Source" PB

Date fished 20/08/2018

Today I was fishing with Aidan on a stretch of the River Wharfe he knew very well, but I had never fished before. We headed to Boston Spa at 6am on a Monday morning, happy that we had the day off work to be fishing!!

In fact, I had never fished any of the Wharfe before and as our target was Barbel, I was hoping for one of these amazing creatures from a third river! We would not be hampered by Chub, Aidan confirming " aye, it's just Barbel in here!"

After a quick chat under an open window in the street, we loaded the car and headed off. The 2 hour journey flew past as we chatted all things fishing. Only stopping to get some Mc sausage delights from Ronald.

We parked up and Aidan got us day tickets for the stretch we were going to target, at £4 it was a bargain!

A quick walk along a picturesque path and we were at our swim. It looked amazing, just Barbelly perfect. The river was up a few feet from what Aidan usually has seen, but the colour looked good even though the river was bombing through.

Aidan gave me first dibbs on swim position, I picked the down stream part of the swim and we tackled up. Both of us ledgering two rods. Me using pellets and Aidan with boilies. Aidan was using small pva bags, and he had let me know before, so I too was armed with these.

We cast our rods. It was hard to hold bottom with the weights we had. We tweaked slightly, adding two weights, doubling up on baits and altering hook link lengths. Suddenly it all was perfect.

It was about to become even better.
After a few patient hours, Aidan had a "bite" it was more a drop back bite with the fish then swimming towards him. He picked up the rod, wound in and thought the fish had gone. As he wound in, the fish did it's best to pull back!! Aidan was in. A superb looking silvery Barbel of about 5lb was his reward.

This gave us both the buzz, we tinkered and tweaked. Me trying different baits and pva bagged goodies, Aidan confidently keeping to his source boilies. I had never heard of these, but a quick Google and click and my letterbox will soon be consuming some!!

A short while later as I sat filling pva bags my rod started to twitch, bend over and the baitrunner started singing! I was in. Again, a perfectly torpedo shaped Barbel lay on the mat. At just under 6lb, I was a "three river" Barbel man!!"

Another angler appeared on the opposite bank and started fishing just below our lines. Not sure if we were encroaching, we decided it was time for a move. The river was dropping and we thought we could hold bottom in a swim we had seen on our walk in.

We quickly set up, Aidan not giving me first dibs on the swim position this time. Very telling me thinks!!

Another strange "bite" on the source, (with these weird bites, I genuinely thought Aidan was on the other sauce!!) and Aidan was playing a . . . . . . . . . Chub!
Just like he said, not in here! It was his first proper chub, and at 3lb 13oz it was great to share this pb with him. His grin really saying it all as he sat down exclaiming "lovely chubley!"

As the rain came, we tried to tempt a few more. Not even Aidans "sauce" was enough...... then a real bite. Aidan watched as his rod performed the famous 3 foot twitch, and he was in again. Another Barbel and we were happy.

Finally we packed up. A 3-1 home win for Aidan! It was a great day, sharing tips and tales as we hardly stopped nattering. I learnt alot, found some great new tactics and will be sat by my door waiting for my "source" or maybe "sauce" to arrive!

Sunday 5 August 2018

Silver place

Date fished 5/8/18

The fourth fishing trip in a few days saw me fish on board The Big Elbow, with Ellis and a new guy to the Facebook group, Jordan.

Jordan, younger than us, enjoys lure fishing and was keen to show Ellis and I how to do it.
As we met at the boat and sorted the kit, Jordan had a few quick cast with his mepps spinner, and soon had a perch on the bank!!

Ellis and I were gonna struggle against youth.

All the kit aboard, we went off up stream. Looking out for fish showing on the top. Ellis had forgotten (must be old age) his pole and maggots aka the ghetto blaster so there was no silver bashing  (dancing) at disco corner to get us off the dreaded blank.
We soon came to a spot where we could all safely cast our lures.
Straight away Jordan was in again, a good sized perch quickly changed into a nice chub! He had 2 fish, 2 species and Ellis and I had none.

As we carried on fishing and motoring up stream, Ellis was soon into perch. 2, 1, 0 was the score.
We got pushed into the bank area by the wind as we slowly drifted, and were soon all fishing about 10 cm from the boat at the perch that were under us. I quickly made it 2, 1, 1.

We came across an area that had been good in the past. We tried our luck. And mine changed, it was now 2,2,3. I had made a come back.

As we turned around and made our way back, I extended the lead to 2, 2,5 only for Ellis to pull out the big guns!
Ellis is a master at drop shotting, and with a crazy overcast 10 mins the score was suddenly 4, 9,5

Time was the eventual winner and it was time to head for home. It was great to be back on the water, and watching perch and chub chase our lures at such close quarters. Jordan had plenty of lures and skill with them, but it was nice that age won out in the end.
Tight lines both, glad there was no fireworks!!

Saturday 4 August 2018

"Drier than a ships biscuit"

Date fished 4/8/2018
Time fished 14.00 to 17.00

This is a bit different because I was not fishing! This is all about teaching and making memories. I have joined my son up to a local angling club, that has a small lake in Hexham owned by the EA. Firstly so he can be involved with  a club and secondly so I can get him fishing more. He has fished before and enjoys it.

He always wants to come with me on the rivers, and I always think it's potentially dangerous on the rivers and a long way from home if he is bored. This lake in Hexham has solid platforms and is a stones throw from home.

Armed with his 4m whip and maggots, we picked a swim. 30 seconds in, his float buried and a roach headed our way. I unhooked it and was handing to him when a quick flip saw it go straight back into the water! His next one was going to have a picture entitled "my first Hexham fish"

We needn't of worried, because soon after, another roach came our way, then another and another. When you are 8, numbers matter and he kept note of everyone. We ended on 16!

It was great to spend a few hours teaching him how to fish, and I hope in years to come he can look back on the memory as I do on 26th December 1990.

By the end, he was unhooking his fish, throwing in maggots and telling me to get the net to land the 2 bigger roach he caught. It's amazing passing on hobbies to your kids and he commented on how he enjoys doing hobbies with mummy and daddy.

As he sat eating his packed lunch, and playing with the empty net, I had to smile as he exclaimed "that net's drier than a ships biscuit!!" I still don't know if that is supposed to mean wet or dry, but to say he is "my" son is an understatement!! If only he knew what a euphomism is.

Puddle chuckers

Date fished 3/8/2018

Today I had taken the day off work to take a non fishing friend to do some fishing. Mark (Herbs) had asked before, and I had taken him in winter to a difficult venue, we had both blanked but he was keen to try again!

This time, we went in summer and to a venue neither of us had fished before. We headed up to Felton Fence fishery in Northumberland. I was thinking sun, floating bread and carp, unfortunately it ended up being rain and both huddled under my brolly drinking hot drinks from flasks. It was August after all!!

I arrived at 8am and saw another angler just weighing a nice carp of 6 and a half pounds. This pond would do for us. I settled in a swim, put on a new float, called a puddle chucker and started to fish. Feeding maggots, I was soon into small roach. It was nice to be catching. Suddenly the float dipped and as I struck the rod bent double. A much bigger fish had taken the maggots. A quick ping later, and the hook had come out. My smile quickly turned upside down.

Herbs then arrived. I set him up in a seperate swim with a puddle chucker and pellets in the margins and we both fished on. Herbs suddenly yelling "fish" as a large carp popped it's head out just inches from the bank right in front of him, giving him a stare before disappearing back into the water.

Herbs fished well, but was not lucky. I caught a few miniature perch, and some more silver's. It was fun.

Then it happened. The heavens opened and Herbs had to hurry over and squash under the brolly. The rain was torrential, biblical in its pursuit to drench us. In my opinion, this made the day. We were sat together and able to natter. I thoroughly enjoyed the social side, we were now chatting and catching. We really were chucking in the puddle now!!

I swapped so Herbs could have a go with the maggots, and after a few missed bites, he was in. Catching his first fish, a lovely skimmer. He now had the bug. He was fishing hard, missing bites but smiling lots. Suddenly my ledger rod jumped forward, and a nice little carp graced the net.

All of this whilst we sheltered from the rain! Then it stopped. The sun came out and we could feel our arms burning!! We stayed in the same single swim, again chatting and fishing.

Soon the sun had the carp cruising on the surface. I showed Herbs how to fish floating bread. We took it in turns to try, as the carp frequently took our bait, unfortunately we missed all the bites, it was a nice end to a good day though.

It really was a great day, the rain made it by making us sit together and actually share it. Thanks rain!!