Saturday 31 October 2020

All the gear.....

Date fished Halloween 

7am until 12.30pm 

The weather was looking pretty awful for today and there had been heavy rain since my last outing. I was uncertain if the rivers would even be fishable. I had double and triple checked the river levels on line but I was still not sure if it was a good idea to give them a try seeing as storm Aiden was also due. I  finally decided to stay local, I could then scarper home quickly if conditions turned bad.

Ryton and District Angling Club consists of two lakes. I have only fished one of them,  Tilcon in the spring and early summer this year, catching some nice Bream and Tench. The other lake called Stargate contains many species including larger Carp and Pike. I do enjoy fishing for Pike so this was going to be my target today. 

I would fish fairly light with all my tackle fitting in my Ridge Monkey bucket seat so I could rove about quite easily and more likely avoid the heavy downpours! 

I had a new Pike rod ( Korum cult snapper deadbait) to christen, plenty of dead baits and an array of tools to use if required. I packed my small umbrella in too. I was ready! 

Arriving early I parked the car and went to look at the lake. It's a stone's throw from  Tilcon but I have never even seen Stargate before today. It's a fairly large lake, tree lined but with minimal features. The weed beds are fairly dense but of course that won't deter the Pike. The carp were very active. I saw them breaching and crashing about in the middle of the lake alot. I presume the mild weather helped, they certainly were awake! 

I started with float fished deadbait on one rod and the other one I set up to wobble a dead bait. Thinking I could cover more water this way. There are big, deep areas to target a lurking Pike, so I hoped our paths would cross. 

I caught alot of weed on my first few casts so decided to change both to float fished baits. I was soon set up, both rods in likely looking areas as I sat and watched the floats. Mesmerized by their lack of movement, it was really pleasant. When the wind stopped blowing and the sun made an appearance, it was actually very mild. There was a heron fishing on the bank opposite, I watched for a while and it was blanking too! 

Soon the rain came, coupled with the wind it was time to hunker down under the brolly and think about why we come fishing!? 

Am still thinking why? But I think the answer is, because we can!! 

I was leap frogging around the lake now. Not actually! But moving the left hand rod 10 or 15 metres further to my right every 15 to 20 minutes. It all sounded very scientific, but in essence I was fishing my way back to the car. I tried a good few swims but sadly no Pike were feeding. Every time I moved, I wound the rod in slowly hoping for a Pike to take the bait being reeled in. It seemed they were not after a moving or a static bait.

I was soon at the jetty, which was exactly in front of the car. I cast out and waited patiently for a bite. A few heavier spots of rain came now and I took that as a sign. I packed up and was back in the car before the heavens could open. 

Today was a bit of a "recce with rods" trip. I had been meaning to visit Stargate but would feel naked doing that without tackle. In hindsight conditions were not ideal but it was nice to get out anyway. Hopefully there will be some Pike to show you next time, but for now this is the only snapper that got it's photo taken.

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Only Fools (and Horses) would fish today!

Date fished 28/10/2020

7am until 3pm 

Its back! 

Late October means the start of cheese paste. Looking back at my blog posts from this time last year it also meant a new Pb 
I caught a 5lb 8oz Chub on cheese paste on 29/10/2019, Lovely Jubbly!

I had a cushti mid week day off work this week, so decided on a fishing trip. As I mentioned in my last blog the days are shorter and after the clocks going back last weekend, a "full day" could incorporate dawn and dusk - 7.04 - 16.38. This was my plan.

I decided on a section above the bridge. Now I have walked and observed all of the stretch at Morton, sometimes I am confused at where to go. I need a spinning, wheel of fortune type approach to pick me a section! 

I arrived early and didn't need any help in picking some breakfast treats from Ronald. Eating in the car, I was soon fuelled and ready to hit the river. 

As I got to the River, I realised how much extra water was in. I had checked the levels yesterday and all seemed ok. This morning however there was a lot of extra water and it looked to be rising still. I had made an error. The bits I wanted to fish were underwater. Ledges of bank I had previously sat on, were a good few feet under. I fished some slacks and tried to formulate a plan. I checked the levels again.

I messaged a local angler and informed him I had been a real plonker! He replied, calling me something else, that I won't repeat here! 

I tried likely looking spots and walked some of the river just to see how full it was. I had walked downstream turned around and was now back to where I started. Another angler appeared from across the field.  We chatted, and I found out that he is the Secretary of another club that I am in, so we had a really good chat about all things fishing and the rivers. I said goodbye (Bonjour) and I left him to his Pike fishing and headed off up stream. 

I fished slacks behind and in front of bushes. I assumed the Chub would be tight in and feeding only if the water started to drop. I was fishing tight to snags and in some cases too tight! I went through quite a few hook links today! 

I covered over 20 pegs worth of distance, which is quite a lot on this stretch, during the war we walked all over the river to find the fish.  I got to the teens and saw no more likely bushes, so I turned around and headed back down stream. I stopped back in the swim that I had the PB in last year that I mentioned above. This had to be a good spot. This time last year I felt like a millionaire I thought to myself. 

You know it makes sense to stick to a swim you know, so I settled in and had a few cups of coffee and my lunch. It may seem like a long time had passed, but it was only just after 12.

The rod suddenly made a different movement, and slowly bent round. I struck and was into a fish. I played it quickly to the net. A quick few pics and the weight at 3lb 12oz and it was back into the cold water.

I fished on but unfortunately no more interest. The river had started to drop now like a chandelier falling from the ceiling.

I didn't manage to fish the whole day and as I walked back towards the car, I was glad I had persevered. After all, he who dares, wins!!

Sunday 18 October 2020

Real time Fishing

Date fished 18/10/2020

7am until 1.36pm

With "good" weather and favourable conditions, I thought it made sense to get fishing again. The rivers may be unfishable come the winter so I should make use of the mild October. This time I headed to the Tees. I was armed with meat, worms, pellets and some spinners and hoping for some Perch and if I was really lucky a Chub.

It's 7.38 and am sat on the bank. I have 2 issues. 

1. The river is high and I can't fish with spinners in my Perch and Chub banker swim.

2. I left the worms in the car.

I tried to fish below the weir but could not even wade out to my usual spot. I had a few casts but really they were just token gestures. Am now sat in the swim I caught a 4lb Chub in November 2019. Here's hoping. 

8.03 Come on! Lets walk back and get the worms! 

8.16 With worms now on the hook, I am feeling optimistic. 

8.28 The birds are up and about now and I am watching a woodpecker just above me, looking for breakfast. I hope the fish are doing the same! 

8.48 You know the feeling when you find a swim and you wished you had brought maggots and float fishing gear??

9.10 With lots of noise and anglers on  the far bank, I think I better check there is no match today! Not here, but a few other places. Phew! 

9.14 What fish could resist this? 

9.29 I have double and triple checked, am not in the match venue! I did check last night, but scared me when all these match anglers rocked up.

9.39 First knock of a bite. Something was liking the worm. 

10.00 The match men have started to bait up. 

10.30 I watched a guy catch about six fish in six casts on the float. I had a few knocks but no real bites. I have walked further upstream and hopefully will catch something myself. 

10.39 A proper bite missed because I was watching a match angler!! 

10.49 Constant knocks as fish attack my worm. Just couldn't connect. I am still in 4lb Chub "swallow the lot" mode. I suspect these are micro perch or minnows tugging at the worm. My size 12 hook is too big, hopefully them buzzing around the bait attracts something more sizeable.

11.17 As I eat my sandwich, the constant knocks stopped. In my head it's because a 2lb Perch has swum about and scared the little ones away. 

11.34 I left this swim biteless but no longer hungry. I continued my adventure upstream. I thought I had walked this far in the past, but I think this is new territory for me! 

12.00 And I am crouched under a tree, very Mr Crabtree. Ledgered meat by a fallen tree. No Chub yet but they must be hungry. It's lunchtime!!

12.23 I think a match angler just told me I couldn't fish opposite him or anywhere on this side. I did not think that was a rule?? Also I couldn't be sure he was talking to me. I moved on and have found a swim further upstream. 

12.40 Not quite sure if I got to the end of the beat, but I thought for today that is far enough. I will turn around and head back downstream. I will fish a few more spots, but as it's a school night I may call it a day and have an early bath! 

12.54 No trolls, so it was safe to cross the bridge. I slipped on here a few years ago and bashed my arm. I always walk over it now whilst doing a crab impression! 

13.01 Last roll of the dice now. One last swim for 20 minutes and then I will call it a day. 

13.36 That's me back in the car, ready for home. I have enjoyed blogging in real time today, but it's probably a reflection on the fishing that I was able to sit and type all of this. Oh well, there is always next time! 

Saturday 17 October 2020

Not a sausage

Date fished 17/10/2020

7am until 3.30pm

Sometimes you just have to try a new bait. Keep going with it, even if you are not catching and test it to destruction. Today I thought I would do just that.

The days are getting shorter now, so a trip can easily consist of dawn and dusk. These are the best times for catching some fish or are they? I have caught plenty of fish in the middle of the day, and as far as I know, no matches except carp (24 plus hour) are fished at the time to catch those crepuscular critters! Anyhow, I do like fishing in autumn and winter when the session can in effect be the whole hours of daylight. Today's trip daylight stats are thus:

With Ellis working elsewhere in the country, it was down to me to tackle the Swale. I had failed in my last attempt so didn't want a repeat. Did I dare tackle up with the float rod again?!

In short, No! My love affair with catching a proper Chub on the float has not gone away, but its easier to target them with a static bait (in my opinion). Don't worry though, I will catch on the float again, maybe December is the month like last year!

Arriving early, it was still very dark. I tackled up by the car, using the light from the open boot to see the eyes on the rod. It was just getting light as I made my way to the river. I went in the swim where Ellis caught a Chub the other week, was I to be lucky?

No fish fancied an early breakfast, so as it was now light, I set off down stream. The river was carrying alot of extra water, but it was dropping fast. I stopped in every likely spot, my sausage was dangled in every slack, every crease and within inches of every bush! (Don't start!!) The fish were not interested in sausage.

You can not tell me that there was not a hungry Chub hiding in here????

They were not having any of it. I was soon nearly at the bottom of the stretch and (thankfully) out of sausage. 
I got to a large bend, the flow goes from right to left as you look at the River but here was a huge eddy and the flow in front was left to right and it snaked it's way across the river. I took off the weight, threaded a large bit of meat on the hair and cast in. I let the line peel off the spool until the bait found a natural hold. I held the rod and watched the line. Suddenly the line began to tighten, I flipped over the bail arm and struck. I was in. I quickly played the fish to the net and as it slipped over the front, I looked at the time. 1201 my phone said. See, dawn and dusk, just like I said!! 

A lovely Chub at 4lb 9oz. Defo not a minnow blank saver! I carried on to the lower limit but caught nothing more so did a 180 and headed back upstream. I was going to walk all the way back, but of course I stopped at the big eddy swim. No Chub this time so I was soon marching on. I walked all the way back to the first swim and stopped here for a rest, in the guise of fishing it again! 

The river had dropped over a foot I think. There were sections of the far bank that were covered a few hours ago, clearly visible now. No Chub this time either so I moved on.

I now met a fellow member, so stopped for a socially distanced natter. It turned out that this guy used to live in Ascot where I was born, he also knew one of my old secondary school teachers! What was going to be a quick natter turned into a much longer chat! It was nice to reminisce about all things Berkshire, but soon it was time to move on. I fished one more swim near to the car, but no more fish came to the net.

It was somewhat tough conditions today even though they looked so good. The water was very cold and I can only assume a cold sausage didn't quite cut the mustard. Now there's a thought for next time!.......... 

Saturday 3 October 2020

Non hooked Pike capture!

Date fished 3/10/2020
7.30am until 3pm

Another day, another River. It was back to the Swale for today's trip. I had "persuaded" (don't  think he was as keen, knowing the conditions) and arranged to meet Ellis, obviously within current restrictions. No swims were within spitting distance, even during persistent rain!!
With a pretty miserable forcast and potential for the river to rise, a trip today was going to be spectacular in either a good or very bad way! Just you wait!

We met, eventually, both of us waiting in different car parks and made our way to the river. We had plenty of bait for today's trip with maggots, worms and meat.

The river looked a little up from the other day and still quite clear. I think we were going to be ok. We found some swims and started fishing. My swim smelt fishy, an otter having eaten Ronnie and pooped out Reggie!

Ellis was in first, catching a Trout to get off the mark. I soon followed, although I am calling my session a blank!

We walked a bit downstream and eventually came to an area with 2 swims a few metres apart. It was where I caught a Chub the other week. Ellis picked the upstream swim and I dropped in below him. First cast and Ellis was into another fish. A Grayling this time.

I noticed Ellis was tangled so here was my chance to catch a fish. I fished on and got bites but sadly didn't land any. We were both feeding and trotting through and there seemed to be a few fish about. Ellis caught a second Grayling. I turned to see him net it and a large splash erupted centimetres from the bank. That was no Grayling! A large Pike had grabbed the Grayling when it was going to the net. Ellis played the fish on 3lb line as it slowly swam about still holding the Grayling. I was soon ready to see if we could net it. Ellis played the Pike for a few minutes and sadly it let go. The Grayling was completely munched  so I told Ellis to tempt the Pike again. Ellis dropped the Grayling by the bush and the Pike simply took it in its mouth like a dog holding a bone. Ellis again skilfully lead the Pike around on his size 16 hook. I made way with the net, which was clearly too small and after a lunge in which the Pike was in the net and then out, I managed to net it. At 10lb 14oz it was a great non hooked Pike!! 

After a quick weigh it swam away, none the worse for wear, back to the bush. We were amazed at how laid back the fish was, Ellis just lead it into the net. Who needs trebles!?

We continued down stream and after no more fish decided to walk back to where we started. The rain had not been as bad as forcast but after some long dry patches it was now drizzly and was not stopping. 

We had both been float fishing maggots, but spurred on by his Pike, Ellis changed kit to try ledgering meat for the Chub. He dropped in a nice looking Chub swim whilst I moved on to trot maggots some more. I had just had a few casts when I heard the tell tale call of Ellis. Of course, he was in!! An unweighed but easily 4lb plus Chub his latest catch!! 

We fished on. Me still flogging the dead horse with the maggots on the float. I am going to keep trying as I really want another proper Chub on the float. I don't find it easy though. I don't know why you need to feed 3 pints of maggots to get them feeding while 1 large bit of meat does it easily!?!?

Eventually I gave in, and rigged up for meat. With just a hook and no hair, I would give it a go. We found some cover on our bank and I cast in expectantly. After a few minutes, my rod slowly bent round and I struck into thin air. Sums up my day! 

I tried one last throw of the dice, casting to a fallen tree where I have caught before, but no Chub today. The drizzle had been with us a few hours now and we were wet to the core. Both of us having pruned hands so it must have been bad! 
We had remarked only a few weeks ago how neither of us had recently, (Ellis had as a boy) had our catch grabbed by a Pike. And as is usually the way, it happens the very next trip. 

It's great to be making memories on the bank, and is always something great to blog about. Am not sure I approve of this not even hooking the fish!?! Ellis is so skilful he won't even use hooks next time! 

It was a good day to be on the bank, the drizzle not dampening our spirits, just our "everything else". 

Friday 2 October 2020

Two Roach, No Perch. Keep moving

Date fished 2/10/2020
9am until 3pm

After a restful Thursday it was back to the fishing. My legs were sore from Wednesday as it was spent hunched down on wet slippery banks, today I took the chair and thought I would find a nice little spot to trot maggots for whatever came along.

It might not seem like a big deal, but the last time I took my chair to fish on the river was............... I have no idea! As I usually rove about, it's just extra weight I could do without carrying. But not today, I was going to a club water, it's a short walk from the car and I wanted the comfort.

After the last Tees trip, I asked some people about shotting Chubber floats. The large SSG weights always tangling around the light hooklink. I was told to get some olivettes,  I found one in my tackle box but would buy some more from the tackle shop. Armed with this one now I was ready to go.

I had to drop the kids off ( actually, not a euphemism) in the morning, pop to the tackle shop for maggots and then I was heading to the river. Later than my usual start, but I was still hopeful for some early fish. I had the float rod, closed faced reel loaded with 4lb line, 2 pints of maggots, a few worms and a little bit of terminal tackle.

Bought from the tackle shop

I settled into a swim and put a few maggots in as usual whilst I was tackling up.

I was hoping to fish a line a little way out from under the rod tip. The river was flat calm, like a pond. I set up a 2.5g bolo float and with the olivette I already had plus one shot to hold it and the swivel between reel line and hooklink, the float was sitting perfect.

First trot through and a little chublet took the bait.

I put it in the keep net and carried on fishing. Feeding on the same line, I was soon catching regularly. All chublets of various sizes. The olivette was doing it's job, after a million casts I had only one tangle! And I think that was down to user error.
As I fished on, the wind picked up. Soon the float was going upstream in the Wind, then the line was being blown back on the spool and finally the loose feed maggots were being blown back to my fall at my feet!!
The wind was relentless, I came in under the rod and continued to catch. Eventually getting a slightly bigger chublet that got me reaching for the landing net.

I have mentioned it before and I am fairly confident that I was catching all chublets, and not dace. It's amazing how many small chub are in the Tees, they kept me busy. Soon, I caught something different though, a Roach interrupting the Chub party.

As I continued to battle with the wind, another club member set up in the swim next door. He was after larger Chub and was going to be sitting it out until dusk. I on the other hand, settled on calling it a day at 3pm. The bites had dried up and there was no sign of a perch anywhere!

I carefully took the fish from the keep net and had a look. I had caught 29 fish, if I had been counting as I went along, I would have tried for 30! I landed every fish that I hooked, which was good. No bumped fish, although the missed bites counter would be large. I really did have alot of fish going for the bait until the wind came and blew everything everywhere!

I said farewell to the other angler and trudged up the hill to the car. I was thinking about my catch and the thought of " Two Roach, No Perch, keep moving" got into my head.
You know the song? The kids song of "one finger, one thumb, keep moving"??
The tune got stuck in my head and all the way up the A1 I have been humming it. They say to get rid of a song from your head you have to pass it on. Sorry peeps!!

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head 
Stand up, turn round, sit down keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head 
Stand up, turn round, sit down keep moving
One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head 
Stand up, turn round, sit down keep moving
We'll be happy and bright!! 
Thanks you lot x