Sunday 26 January 2020

Better than a day not fishing!

Date fished 25/01/2020
8am until 4.20pm

Not really sure about today's blog. Not because it was a bad day fishing. Any day fishing is a good day! But, because I have not stopped thinking about the trip and still haven't figured it all out yet.

Ellis was back and we decided to fish the Tees. We agreed on an Association water that we have only fished once before, but saw enough to want to give it another try. Seeing some good Pike caught recently we decided to target Pike. As many of you will know, deadbaiting for pike is like watching the tv with it off! Not always enjoyable. We decided to take some trotting gear and maggots so we could alternate with some action, or so we thought!

On route to the venue, I got to a T junction and had to stop for a car.  Across in front drove Ellis. We had now turned our trips into sychronised driving too!
Parking up, we got the gear ready and walked a short way to the river.  Finding a perfect swim was easy, we just used the internet.
It looked superb and we were both soon sat behind rods baited with Lamprey. Finding a great slack section in front, we float ledgered our dead baits.

There were fish topping, large swirls and it all seemed very positive. We just had to wait.
We waited enough and soon we needed to be a bit more active and trot the floats down the river.
Ellis picked a yellow domed float, completely invisible to us! I picked an orange light one, completely not heavy enough to be cast to the flow. This trotting was not going well!!

Ellis fished upstream and kept a few pouches of maggots going in as we trotted. Soon, it worked and Ellis was playing a fish. Grayling he thought, Trout I said, Chub it was! A great start with a perfect chub of over a pound on the float. Unhooked, a few pics and back into the water in a matter of moments.

I changed my light float so I could cast to the faster water. Choosing a 4 SSG chubber float, I still don't think this was the right one! My line kept tangling, I was not fishing properly. A few metres up and Ellis was fishing properly, his rod bending again. This fish got under a snag though, he let the line go slack and waited. A few minutes later the fish came out and it was quickly brought to the bank. A nice Grayling being the snag finder!

Then the action stopped. Ellis plugged away on the float and I concentrated on the Pike. Suddenly my pike float bobbed, sat up and moved. I struck immediately and the rod bent over. I was playing with the drag as a small pike really started to take line. I eventually got it set right and played the fish towards us. We both saw the Pike spiralling under the water, it was about 4lb. Unfortunately it spat the hooks and was off. Obvioulsy I was using semi barbed trebles, with the barbed one in the bait. It was annoying the fish did not come for a photo, but to loose a fish coming off the hook is preferable to it being tethered or retaining hooks. So happily, I cast the lamprey straight back out.

After a few hours of nothing much happening. It was time for a change. I went back to trotting and was on my third float of the day. A few trots down and my float bobbed. I was in, well nearly. Does this constitute a non blank??

Ellis now fancied a move, so he set off downstream. He fired out a few maggots and cast out. Snag, lost his hooklink. Next cast, same. Third cast, lost the whole lot. He came back 15 mins later, not the most successful move!!
"At least you can put on an orange float and see it now!!" Was my offer of sympathy!

Another minnow to me, no pic, but trust me. I am not gonna lie about minnows. This one was maybe only 3 maggots long!!
As the afternoon drew on, Ellis went for another move. This time slightly more succesful. In his first few trots down, the float buried. He thought he was snagged, but the snag pulled back twice with big pulls! We will never know what was pulling but it was either a Tees Barbel, a Sturgeon or a killer whale!

The weather turned cold and we sat chatting as we watched the pike floats. Ellis had changed to mackerel as bait now, but I think we could have had cavair and lobster out there and still the Pike would snub it.

The cold got down to the bone and it was soon time to head back. As we came out the trees, the cold wind chilled us even more. Am glad we were sheltered from that during the day.
Back to the cars, we met some other anglers, they had one dropped run between them all day. The river looked spot on, but of late has not been fishing well. Not really sure why, and that's what keeps me thinking.

We discussed the day. Ellis did not need to bring the pike gear,  I didn't need to bring the pike net or the trotting gear!
Ellis concluding " if that's the case, we didn't need to come fishing at all"!!
Steady on mate, let's not think like that!!

Sunday 12 January 2020

Schoolboy error

Date fished 12/01/2020
8am until 1pm

After last week's success, I thought I would take Tom to Broken Scar again so we could try for some more Grayling and maybe a Chub. Tom was keen to catch a chub so brought some ledger gear in the hope that we may tempt one. We could not have been more wrong!!

In true Calamity fashion, I did not check the river levels after saturday morning, even with all the rain yesterday and wind I did not expect it to be as bad as it was!

Arriving at 8am to a raging River, I was soon raging at my stupidity.  Armed with only trotting gear and with no other tackle to try a carp lake, we were stuck to try or drive back home.
We gave it a try, well Tom gave it a bloody good try. I gave up pretty early. One of those things, put it down as experience or learning.

We found a few swims, but the river was up alot. An area I jumped down to net the big Grayling last week, where the drop was probably down to my chest, was over the bank today and covered the bank by some way!

We fished some slacks and some open areas but the river was too fast, too deep, too annoying!

As I have been saying for a while, the river levels don't mean much out of context. Last week the level was 0.8m today was 1.4m. So an extra 60 cm of water. But as I said above,  an area I was stood last week was underwater by over 1.4 metre!! So why is the level not at 2.2m??
Maybe this is what kids should learn at school, I should have asked the teacher, afterall there was not much fishing going on!!

It was dropping fast, but with no bites we decided to pack up early and head home.
A day to remember and learn from. Not to be disappointed with as without the terrible days, the great days have no comparison!

Saturday 4 January 2020

Tackle Tart

With a few days off and no fishing planned, I did some sorting of my tackle.

These lures I had sorted a while ago, not so many now. The soft plastics are mostly gone. Will need to buy more.

This next was a picture to illustrate the kit I would take on a session. I have all my kit arranged in a cupboard in small boxes. I can then just take bits I need for that session, and blog about the things I left at home!!

This next one was some bits I won in a competition on face book for Angling direct. It got me using the hybrid feeders and I love them now, so easy to use!!

When the river was flooded, I used the big round weights. At 5.5oz in weight, I think they are beasts . Am sure people use larger,sometimes over 8oz on the Trent I think!

You can never have enough "winders" or reels as we call them.

All those reels? You ask.
Surely you only use 1 or 2 at most, at a time?
I do.
I only ever use 2 rarely, mostly I use one.
It really depends on the number of rods you have???? 8 in the pics, 3 more  ( 1 duplicate and 2 that are over 20 years old) not shown plus a pole!


Am pretty happy with what hook to use with which bait. Am happy with feeders for certain situations. Am less sure on length of hook length for feeder fishing and the holy grail.... What stick float to use when??

I wish that was all I have, but there is plenty more kit in the cupboard. I will show you that another day.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Teacher Knows best!

Date fished 2/1/2020
8.30am until 2.30pm

Today was a little different, I took my friend Tom aka 'The Tyrant of Hexham pubs' to the Tees to see if I could teach him a few things about trotting. Tom fished years ago and is getting back into it, and as a teacher he is always keen to be taught!

We were going to fish at a commercial as he wants to catch a carp, but after the cold snap, I suggested the river instead. He had never caught a Grayling, so that was our target. The carp will wait till the spring, they ain't going anywhere!

Armed with float rods and maggots we headed to Broken Scar. A quick stop to lay some pipe at the Durham services, alot of nice new buildings being built around there, and we arrived at the River about 8.30.

Tom set up his loafer float and was ready to go. I gave him a brief lesson in trotting and feeding and set him on his way. We fished two swims where I have caught many times before, so I was hopeful for an A*.

We swapped swims and carried on the feeding and trotting. About half an hour went by with nothing, so I was thinking of a move when I heard Tom shout "fish on".
I got to the net and quickly netted his first ever Grayling, and at 1lb 2oz it was a cracking fish. I warned him how hard they are to hold, being lean, eel like and strong and he learnt well for some great pics. Ooops!!

What a start. Chuffed to bits, we fished on.
Soon it was time to move on, we headed downstream to a deep pool section. I had never fished it, the conditions always didn't look right. But teacher knew best and the pool was to be fished!
Firing out some maggots in the catapult kept him happy while I fished on. Eventually a Grayling for me, but only a small one. They are much easier to hold when small. Ooops!

I missed a few bites, but not Tom. He was casting to the right spot every time, feeding with the catapult. It was looking great. Suddenly his float buried, he hit the bite and was in. His first wild trout lay in the net!

The dinner bell rang and we stopped for food. 
Getting back to it, Tom was soon into more fish. Finishing on 2 trout and 2 Grayling from this pool alone!! Not to mention the first one! 
The second trout being a great leaper, coming clear of the water several times.

Sadly it was time to move on for next lesson. We went to explore another deep fast bend further downstream. As we left the loafer hanging from a tree, we made our way to another swim. This was a different class, the water was faster here and harder to control the float. We gave it a good go, but no fish were caught here.

Walking back towards the car, we had another quick go in the first swim. Ever hopeful for another big Grayling. Unfortunately the wind had picked up and was blowing upstream so hard that even on the faster water the float did not travel down but was being blown upstream!! Trotting was impossible here.

Happy that we had caught some fish, we decided to head home and give ourselves a merit point, I mean pint! 

What a great day teacher had, and I was glad I could say "I taught him everything I know".