Saturday 30 March 2019

The Evening Rise (non eupho!)

Date fished 29/3/2019
8am till 7pm

All week I was planning a trip to a pond in North Yorkshire. Tackle was ready, I just needed to buy some maggots on Thursday after work. Cue Aidan messaging me Thursday early afternoon saying he was up for going to Lonsdale Park. I had fished it before and it's a tough but rewarding water. There is many species to go for including Pike and Carp, so I was more than happy to switch and head there.

I changed my tackle box and sorted pike gear and the hybrid feeder gear that worked well last week. Bait wise, I took the lot!!

Arriving early, I loaded the on site trolley and headed to one of the lakes.

Trying both set ups, no fish were coming to say hi. I soon upped sticks and headed to a different lake. I soon saw carp under the surface, so set up in a likely looking corner. Aidan soon arrived from work, and we were soon all set up, cast to perfect looking spots and fishing!!

Alot of chat passed and soon it was early afternoon. The carp were crashing all around us, but none were on the feed. A highlight was watching a frog swim across the lake on the surface, both of us watching to see if Savage Gear base their new lures on any scientific evidence!
We decided to move again. Third time lucky for me!?

Finding a great spot on the main lake, where we could cast to large sections of the lake, I decided to cast it 2 metres along the bank about 40cm from the bank!! But I kept feeding this area, so maybe, just maybe!
Aidan cast his pike rods close to areas he had caught double figure pike recently. It was all looking good.

After a few hours of nothing, I started getting bites. Knocks, then proper bites. Striking into one with the baitrunner still on was not a great plan as I nearly flew backwards into the lake. I carried on the feeding and soon there were constant bites. Aidan suggested switching pellets to corn, being softer and easier to strike out. He suggested Roach were the culprits.

Changing to corn brought immediate action. Bites, and proper bites. I was trying to hit these lightening quick bites and eventually got one right. A fish was on! We thought it was a chub, as a large silver fish splashed in front. We quickly realised it was a nice sized Roach, Aidan was right. Neither of us having an idea on weights of Roach, we weighed it. Settling on 10oz it was a good sized fish and looked bigger! I soon realised it was a Roach PB for me and I was buzzing!

Continuing with the feed, the swim was soon buzzing. Constant bites and action. I should have switched to a float to catch more, but I liked the ledger as it was frantic action. No more fish were caught but it was great fun. As the bites continued, it was clear carp were down there now, as we saw larger swirls and bow waves.
As we planned a new approach, bleep!!!!!
Aidan's alarm sounded. He wound down and struck. Fish on. Fish off!! As soon as he felt it, it dropped the bait and was off. We were now ready for all eventualities!

As the evening drew on, fish topped everywhere. The lake came alive. Aidan commenting on the "evening rise" as fish showed themselves.

The Roach bites continued, but I missed them all. Suddenly a large swirl around my corn, and a large Pike was coming in to see my Roach!! It's tail waving as it swam right through the swim.
Soon we both had pike baits in the Roach swim!!! Priorities!

Nothing happened though and it was soon time to pack up. A great day that consisted of 10 hours fishing, £10 day ticket and a 10oz Roach PB. All in all a 10 out of 10 day!!

Sunday 24 March 2019

Blown away!

Date fished 24/3/2019
8am till 3pm

Today with the rivers being closed, I was heading to a lake. Ellis was busy with the boat. We will both be painting it soon ready for the new season, but I was not needed today so I went to find some carp. Now,when I say carp, I mean carp, but it has been along time since I last hit commercials, so what I actually may mean is F1's. I am honestly not sure, other than thinking their parents were rubbish at names!!

I decided to be new and improved! I was Fishing a new venue and I was improving the method.

I picked Eden Grange, about 40 miles from home. They have a catfish lake, which I would love to fish one day, but today was not the day. I was going to be using the Guru hybrid feeders I won in a competition. I was excited to try them out.

Arriving at the fishery after passing through a village called "Greenfields" ( ironic there Davey!?!) I went into the on site shop to buy some pellets. I bought small ones for the feeder and larger ones for hook baits. I had watched numerous Guru videos on line, so I knew what I was doing.

On reaching the lake, Runswster it's called, there were 2 other guys fishing. I chatted with them, they had fished before and caught plenty so I took their advice and fished opposite them.
Setting up was easy and I was soon ready to fish. The lake is not massive, and a small chuck had the feeder in a perfect position. The rod was on the rest, and the set up looked good.
Suddenly the rod twitched and wrapped round, I was in. A plucky little effort was my reward. A great start.

The lake soon filled up, there was 8 of us on it, all hoping for a great day. The fishery is described as peaceful and picturesque. It really is in a lovely setting and soon I was sat back waiting for the peace. There was no peace though. There was chat, and laughter and discussion. The match was setting up on the next lake and they were busy "matching". It was great to hear so much action, I was glad that so many anglers enjoyed the matches here, it's great for fishing!

Settling in and enjoying the surroundings, two things happened. I started catching more fish, and the wind increased!
I was sitting with the wind blowing into my face, I think this helped the first thing as no one else seemed to be catching. I was quickly on 5 fish and grinning from ear to ear. Unfortunately the wind did not stop, and it was bitter cold. I had not brought winter wear, and was soon frozen. A brisk walk to chat with a guy on my left and I was warming up. It turned out, he is also an Adam and he told me about a local club with a couple of stillwaters. I had looked at it before but never committed. I think I may join, so I have somewhere close by for the closed season or when the rivers are unfishable.

I had lost a few fish by now, and was still getting bites. A few other anglers were also catching. It was smiles all round.

The hybrid feeder method was great, I soon got into a good routine with loading, maybe a few bait boosting glugs or sprinkles, and casting just to the exact spot. Without the wind, this would have been a perfect place to continue to practice this method. I battled on. Keen to catch more, these fish had incredible strength, several of them had me fooled that they were much bigger such was their power.

As the wind continued, the lake emptied. People keen to go home and warm up. Soon I was the only one fishing. Seeing where some other anglers were feeding and needing a warm up walk, I moved swims. Finding a spot near the  car, where I could dash to if the rain started.

Again, the setting was magic and soon it was joined by my rod. A few quick casts got me in the right place. Suddenly the rod pulled round and the biggest carp of the day lay on my mat.

It was a great day, it's always nice to catch. Today was all about trying new things, I would say it worked. New venue and new method, tick!

Saturday 9 March 2019

The Flood King

Date fished 9/3/2019
8.30 till 17.00

Today's trip to the Swale at Northallerton started long before I left the house at 6am. It was started in the week, on the prep. Speaking to local club members, looking at the weather reports and looking at the river levels all said "it's gonna be tough, if you bother"
Ellis and I went back and forth about if we should go or not. Finally deciding that because the season was closing next week, we should go anyway. So we did!

Leaving Hexham at 7 degrees, the roads dry, I was happy. Slowly the weather changed, I drove through light rain, torrential rain and then snow. The A1 being covered in slush as I approached the junction. I knew Ellis would be keen with his heated seats on full blast!! The king travels first class.

A quick stop to get fuel for Ellis and I of the sausage variety, and I was soon sat on the warm seat in Ellis's car. Eating our way through the muffiny goodness, we looked at the worsening weather. Ellis announcing " when the snow came, I nearly pulled over and called you to say I was going home!!"
That's the keen spirit mate!

Eventually the rain lightened and we set up. It was actually not too cold and if the rain stopped, it would be nice. A quick walk and we saw the river. Well, we saw it long before you normally would as there was much more of it!

Deciding to ledger in the slacks, we both started with large ish weights and cheese paste. Stood watching the rod tips, we heard a splash, looking up to see a large chunk of the bank on the opposite bank and over 100 metres away, break off and slip into the river. I gulped. Ellis proclaimed " the fish will all be over there eating the worms from that chunk!" Haha, but the king did have a point.

Nothing occurring in the first swim, we headed off. The sun had now come out and I was annoyed my sunglasses and cap was still in the car!

The next swim also produced nothing, so I moved to fish against a bush. Ellis saw this manoeuvre and countered it by taking his lead off and free lining his cheese paste by a large floating raft and tree line.
This proved a smart move for the king, as his line tightened and he struck into a fish.
A nice looking chub of about 3lb his prize.

I was quick to jump next to the King and fish against the tree line. A small pluck on the line was all I could muster. We moved on.

The next swim proved snaggy and a few hooklinks lost had us wondering if free lining was the right way in all the swims? Some of them seemed better with a lead on.

We carried on our way. The next swim, I did not like the look of. I suggested I did not "feel it" in here.
I fished with a lead this time. As hunger crept up on me, I reeled in so I could eat and Ellis could fish in the swim.
He was free lining cheese paste. Ellis started to explain that the cheese paste would roll around the crease in the current and sit against the overhanging bush in a natural way moved by the current.......... wow! Went the shout as his rod was nearly ripped out his hand. Another quick fight and I netted the kings second chub. This fish looked much bigger, we weighed it. An honest King gave himself just under 5lb, but it was close enough for me to be a five. A cracking fish no less!
I was free lining in the spot before the king even turned around!

After no more bites, and with a laugh at the perfectly demonstrated chub capture, we carried on. We walked and fished slacks all the way to the top end of the stretch. More just to see the swims, than trying to catch.
Nearly at the top, we about turned and walked downstream. Fishing in a new swim, we both sat and waited. Soon enough and with a royal shout, Ellis's rod hooped over and he was in. As he played it to the net, disaster. The fish got off. I think that makes the King only a Prince now!?

It got us thinking, as I have lost a lot of fish recently when ledgering or using a swim feeder. I am sure the weight between rod tip and hook has an impact and fish can use the bouncing weight to shed the hook. Answers on a postcard please.....

As the Prince and I fished our way back to the car, we were in our final swim. My rod bouncing with the flow. Suddenly it gave a fish type bounce, I was sure of it. Reeling in, no bait on. So was it a fish? Maybe, just maybe but we will have to wait till June 16th to see who lives in that swim.

Reviewing the season, a pb Chub for me in the summer and 6 Morton Chub for the Prince since 2019 makes us both feel like kings!