Monday 26 August 2019

Fishing that makes you smile

Date fished 24/8/2019
9am ish until 7pm

It was  back to normal today, full of incident but as I say, " normal".

Ellis and I planned a day on the boat lure fishing. Arriving at 9 o clock, there was already a car at the gate. One I didn't recognise, it drove in as I arrived. Thinking this was not Ellis, I parked up and waited. A few mins later, Ellis came walking up to " see what's wrong?"
It was him in the car, and he was sat beyond the gate waiting while I waited on the other side. It was one of those days!!

Loading up the boat, Ellis flipped the switch to lower the outboard. It didn't sound good. The power was draining, the battery was flat. It turns out some switches were left on, so this is clearly Ellis's fault!!
With no other option, we had to wait until someone else arrived who may have jump leads. As we waited we had a few casts off the jetty but no fish were caught.

Soon we were on our way, another member quickly starting us, without giving too much of an electric shock to Ellis!

Needing to give the engine some charge, we powered down past our usual stops. We then stopped a few times but the fish were not stopping for us. Eventually getting to the Leven mouth, we stopped for a serious go. With lots of fish topping, but no perch I got Rupes whip and started fishing maggots. Quickly I was catching small Roach and soon had Ellis joining in, the pole fishing, not catching!!
We decided this was great fun, and we described it as " fishing that makes you smile".

Suddenly there was a UK Navy destroyer bearing down on us, 4 heavily armed soldiers watching our every move! No, not really. It was our friendly EA fisheries enforcement inspectors out to check rod licences. It's been along time since I had my licence checked, so was good to see. They pulled along side and checked our credentials. Ellis did not have his licence on him, but giving a few details and a quick phone call, the Inspectors were able to confirm we were licensed and they left happy. I was going to ask for a pic for the blog, but thought Ellis and I have far too pretty faces for prison!

As we continued with the poles, I got snagged and pulled to free the line, sadly the angle was wrong and I snapped the end of Rupes whip off! It seems I may be going to prison!

Moving on, we fished some amazing spots and soon were up at Worsall, an area I have fished before from the bank. It was surreal to go so far up the Tees on the boat and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was time to turn around now and try some places we had motored past earlier.

We stopped at " the ramp". A strange spot. We always catch here, but it does not look like we should!! The drop shot was out and Ellis was catching perch. His rod suddenly bent a lot more than a perch and he was expertly playing a small pike. I got the net, the broken %$#@ net and tried to land it. Credit to Ellis, he played the fish well on no wire trace as I repeatedly missed with the net.
 "This net has to go"! I concluded as I finally landed his fish.
To make amends, I held his fish for him, and was rewarded with gill rakes across my knuckles that bled for hours!
A few quick pics and the pike swam down strong to torment some more little fish.
We were both soon catching perch in this hotspot and all was great.

I cast my lure and waited for it to sink. As it hit bottom, a few cranks of the handle brought the lure alive. We both then saw fish being chased further down so stopped to watch. My lure must have been laying still on the bottom. Suddenly the rod was shaking and line being pulled, a fish was attacking my static lure. I have never had this before and was so funny to experience. Sadly I lost that fish, shame as I wanted to meet who was doing that!

The wind was stronger than realised and we were now blown onto the ramp! Stuck fast, I had to jump off to push the boat away, and then follow along the bank to a bit where Ellis could land the boat and pick me up. Am sure he was secretly hoping to leave me there!?

Many boats past by that day, other anglers, speed demons and paddle boarders asking if we had any beers on board! We wish!!

It was a great day on the river, plenty of fish in the end, but none in our favourite snaggy swim. As we arrived back, we noted the quality of the river. Always amazes me how much life both fishy and human we see on the river.
No seals or otters seen today, I am not anti these as many anglers are, but I understand their consequence. It was nice to see that the Tees has Beavers on it now, they have built quite a dam. We will be sure to keep an eye out for them in future!!

Sunday 25 August 2019

Shaun the Shrimp, RIP

August 2019

Something a bit different for this blog. I was down in Dorset with the kids staying with my parents. There was defo a days fishing on the cards, but the weather was doing it's best to scupper it.

Eventually we found a day with a bit of sun, so in true family style we all set off to visit Washingpool lakes and try for Carp.

I had obviously prepared well, opening my bag to find hair rigs and no pellet bands but all the pellets had no holes! Thanks Ellis for the pellet drill a few months ago, I sat on the bank and started to drill some holes.

The kids were soon fishing and excitement was being shown. We saw a few big carp cruising just under the surface, but our sweet corn was float fished on the deck.

It was great to be fishing together, but sadly the fish were not so committed.

Davey being the only one lucky enough to tempt a small Rudd.

A few days later and we were at West bay, saltwater and after a more leggy creature. We were crabbing!
Bait and stones placed in a net bag in the middle of a deepish round net, lowered to the bottom of the Harbour. After a few minutes, pull up, catching any crabs feeding unawares and unable to scurry out the net.
Sounds easy, but it left Davey scratching his head!!

After a few tries, nothing was happening. We carried on and soon Rupe did catch a few crabs and all was happy. He ended up with 5.
The last one caught in the net had a shrimp in with it. This was named Shaun the Shrimp and was a loved pet (for about 10 seconds). I dropped the crabs in and they sunk below the water. I dropped Shaun in too, not accounting for his lack of weight, when he got to the water he began to swim down. Unfortunately at the same time a gull dived down for him.

Poor Shaun, today's lesson was "The circle of life" saves taking them to see Lion king again!!

A Swale Barbel!!

Date fished 25/8/2019
9am until 4pm

After a great meal last night at Ellis and Caroles house, it was going to be a second day fishing. This time on the Swale at Morton. We were hoping for some nice chub, but with maggots as bait, we were after anything that came along.

The second day was as hot as the first, so with plenty of water and sun cream we parked by the road bridge and walked upstream.

We didn't walk far, and soon found a couple of swims we liked. Me in one I had fished before but never caught, and Ellis trying a new area along some trees. Ellis was soon catching fish, and me? Well. I was "trying".

A quick walk down to Ellis to see if I was doing it right, and sure enough, I was. We both had the same size float on, 5 number 4's!  I went back to it. Soon my float was disappearing too and a little dace was my first fish.

Next a bigger fish got hold, was this to be my chub?? No, but a cracking trout was the reward.

It was time for a move, for no real reason other than we wanted to try different areas! We really have tried to walk the swims even if not fishing them, just to get an idea on river  levels each time. Now, we both feel we could tackle different swims in different situations, given the chance!!

Next stop, a little spot in the shade of some trees. Perfect as it was now approaching midday. The trotting here was easier and we were both catching dace, little chub and the odd Grayling. The best ones being caught by Ellis.

Then it changed. The minnows happened. Bite after bite from minnows. It was getting frustrating. My float buried and I struck to see the latest minnow, only this time the line was solid. A much larger fish, holding bottom, slow. Was this my chub? It took line and was running me all over the place. Ellis came to net it, a lovely 2lb Trout my prize! When I un hooked it, and took my hook out it was coupled with another hook and line. I was glad to remove this and return the trout after a rest to the depths.

It was time for another move. Dropping into a few swims we had not fished before, Ellis catching a few fish whilst I just watched the water. After a bit more exploring it was time to go back to the second swim. I was confident the chub would come eventually, so it was worth a shot.

The minnows continued, but the occasional larger (small) dace and chub kept us interested.

My float buried once more, again a larger fish, keeping low. Was this my chub?
I played the fish, but did not see it. Eventually it came to the surface, this was no chub, this was also no trout. This was my first ever Swale Barbel!!! I went to net it, but my (#$%#) net, again was not up to the job and the fish was not safely in it!! I called to Ellis and he quickly came over and netted my fish!! I was so happy. Exclaiming " I am throwing that net away and buying a new one!!"

Size isn't everything!!

As we fished on and the cows started wading through the river, we knew if we caught one of them it would be a pb!

Deciding to pack up early as we were boiling hot and exhausted from fighting those minnows, we walked to the cars.

It was a great day to be on the river, we thought, as we passed by some people blowing up a lilo, dance music blaring, bar b q smoking away, right in the swim I had been in a few hours before.
" That's no fun" said Ellis as we walked on by,
" They don't have any alcohol!".
I totally agree with you Ellis, and here's to my River Swale Barbel.

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!

Friday 2 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"