Saturday, 22 January 2011

The one that got away!!!!

With the river clearing and dropping its level I decided to get out and try and bag a larger chub for the challenge board. With a bag of liquidized bread, a few slices of thick cut white and my roving kit I set off to search out some chub. I settled first on a swim with a large overhanging tree on the far side but nothing showed any interest after about 30 minutes. So I moved to swim number 2 but again nothing felt like bread for breakfast!

Swim number 2
As I believe chub bite within this time if they are there I packed up and moved to a new swim number 3. I decided upon a deep near side swim which had a raft of reeds in it. Creeping up I plopped a small feeder full in, and sat back out of the way.

Swim number 3!

About 10 mins passed before my tip twitched then bent down into the water, I struck and hit into a solid feeling fish. I tried very hard to keep pressure on the fish to keep it out of the roots and reeds which it came from, bringing it to the surface. At this point my eyes really opened to see a real lump of a chub attached to my line.... at this point I checked my drag as without a doubt this was the largest chub I have every hooked into. As I did this the fish took off diving deep back to the right, directly into some roots. To cut a very short story even shorter I tried every think to free the line but eventually snapped up.....Gutted!!!!!!!
Though I did try a couple of other swims nothing came over the next hour.

Disappointed I drove back towards home, but decided to drop into another stretch that I have caught chub recently.
I went straight to my favourite swim and quietly set up. Within a couple of minutes my tip ripped round and I had a fish on. After a short fight I landed a cub which on the scales weighed 2lb 14oz. Not a monster but still saved the blank. I noted the damage on this fishes peduncle and to the rear of its gill, if that was a pike jaw it was a good one!

Could not do a self timed picture with camera as it appears to have given up the ghost so had to take it on my mobile.
On the way back to the car I stopped and had a chat with another angler who gave me information of a place that is throwing up roach around 2lb on a very regular basis.....perhaps, perhaps.....perhaps!!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New PB Pike....on the cut!

After watching the river level swell over the passed week, and also having struggled with the bread punch last week on a stilllwater. It was decided that myself and Dan would have a bash on the canal at a popular spot which has recently shown that pike can be caught there.
We arrived for day break and eagerly set up our rods, though windy the temperature and conditions felt very good, with there some cloud cover and a ripple on the water. I set up two rods, one of with was a simple float rig which a dead bait of roach was presented. the other was a running ledger rig that I presented a popped -up half of a lamprey. I cast my float into the opening of the nearby marina and cast the ledger towards a snaggy looking area.

I like to set up my pike ledgers with both an alarm on the front and a drop of indicator on the rear, to give me maximum bite recognition. I feel that the reason why some pike get hooked very deep is due to a lack of sensitivity in peoples gear, as quite often I am sure the pike pick up the bait and chew it before moving off.

After about 3/4 of an hour my bite alarm beeped a couple of times and the drop of indicator rose slowly, I picked up the rod, wound down and struck into the run. Fish on!!!!
I took it very slowly as I have only caught a handful of pike and knew that this fish had a good chance of being my PB. I passer by commented that he thought it was a large Zander, to which I replied, "if it is its a good one!". After a gentle, quite controlled fight the fish emerged right in front of the waiting net, that Dan scooped under the fish for me.
With the fish lying on its side in the net I could see that its was a double and would be a new PB. With Dans assistance the hook was removed from just inside the scissors, which was very satisfying. Into the sling and onto the scales she went, after a short conflab we agreed on 15lb 8 oz. A very happy chicken!
Nice big belly!

Big pike or small man?

Last thing they see!
Photos where taken and she was held in the the water for a couple of minutes, regaining her strength before kicking away back to her lair.
Later, as we spoke about our surprise than no Zander had made an appearance Dans right hand float started to drift across the canal, the result being a very nice pike of 11lb 3oz (see the lure of angling for further details!)
Though no more fish showed any interest I left feeling content that I had a new Pb for a pike and also a fish on the board for the challenge.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Marco Cortesi Centre pins on Dragon Carp

Hi all thought I would mention that I been able to order these centre pins tonight. They sell out very quickly, check the forums for write ups....for £30 each they seem excellent. They sell for more on e-bay!!!
I will let you know waht I think once I have used them....

Friday, 7 January 2011

Cheese paste - fully clothed chef!

As it has all been used up it was time to make a new batch of cheese paste to use on the river for the chub. I thought I would show you all how I make mine, not only as a guide but also to see if you guys make it differently (might improve my catch rate!)
First I start by making sure that my misses is out, as the smell is somewhat acquired.

My ingredients are a packet of Just roll short crust pastry, some strong mature cheddar, pack of danish blue, piece of Parmesan, and some food colourings. (red and yellow). I also have at the ready a couple of pairs of rubber gloves, a chopping board, rolling pin and three freezer bags.

To start with I break up the blue cheese into a bowl, adding the grated cheddar and then some grated Parmesan. I then put this in the microwave for about 45 secs to soften it up.
Whilst this is going on, I roughly roll out the pastry and form a kind of bowl.

I then add the cheese mixture into this and start to knead the ingredients together for about 5 minutes. the result of this is a block of dough which stinks to high heaven and is a bit larger than a fist.
At this stage the dough with have a slight gloss to it as the oils from the cheese rise to the surface.
I then make 1 ball into 3 about the size of oranges. I add yellow dye to one, red to another and leave the last one plain. Be careful as this point as quite often the dye squirts out as you knead it through the dough......should see my wall!!! The reason why I like to make a couple of couloured batches is so I have some variation in different coloured water.
After a couple of minutes on each the dye is uniform and I have three balls ready to put in the fridge. I will leave these over night, and perhaps add further colouring, or some flavours such as butyric acid or garlic oil to them.

If they are to stiff I will add a small amount of oil based liquid/marge to ensure that the paste is soft enough top strike through, as in the cold water the paste hardens up quite alot. Thought to be honest I usually leave them as they are for the first few outings as sometimes simple is best.....bring on the chub!
Let me know how you make a right ear bending just when the misses returned....You have been warned gents!

Monday, 3 January 2011

20 mins per swim

With alot of liquidised crumb left I decided to venue to the river close to my house for a couple of hours in the hope of snagging a chub or two. I only had a couple of hours so decided to keep very mobile employing a 20 mins per swim rule, if nothing happens then move on.
I had the same set up at yesterday with a 12ft feeder rod, my small bait runner and 8lb Guru line, to which I had a 20 gram cage feeder paternoster linked with a hook link of about 2 feet to a size 16 hook. I connected this with a Korum quick bead so that i could easily swap the hook link if required.
I started at a favourite swim in which I have had some success in the summer. It is a deep pool which is situated at the end of a fast narrow run. It also has some cover from the trees on either side of the river.

I introduced a couple of small bread balls which I hoped would trigger the fish into feeding, making them want to search out my piece of flake.
After about 10 mins I had a few small taps on the tip then it bounced back then hooped around, fish on! Taking my time to manoeuvred the fish through the reed rafts I slipped the net under a chub.

Not the best at the self timer photo!

On the scales it weighed 3lb 20z which pleased me as I was looking to start the year with a fish of over 3lb to kick of my chub challenge.
I moved swims 5 more times but nothing fancied flake on a hook! Will be back down there with some lobs!
Though I was aware that larger chub have been caught by other members of the challenge it has been my plan to get something in all of the boxes then work on improving them.
Having entered my weight into the table I was amazed to see that my chub registered the same percentage as Jeff's cracking canal pike at 33%., might be a chance of scoring a decent percentage on the chub.....

First session of 2011 - On the Avon

After having a chat with Dan it was decided that we would venture to the town stretches of the Avon in Stratford, which are target being the roach that have been caught around this area recently. As many know Stratford is a very frustrating place to fish, as though it does have some excellent sport, in fact arguably the best around, it does also have the highest population of visitors and boat traffic.

Due the the amount of boats, canoes and rowers it makes fishing very difficult as though we are both river users some "boat people" seem not to have any sense of consideration towards anyone else using the water for their selected pastime. Some not paying attention to where people maybe fishing and indeed at times deliberately directing their boat towards the areas that anglers may be fishing....more of this later!!!

I picked Dan up prior to first light and headed of up the A46.

On arrival the river looked in great order though carrying some colour and some colour it looked very fishy! I had already prepared a bucket of processed bread, to which I added some caster. With my aim being to fish a cage feeder on a paternoster style set up with a nice piece of flake on the hook, in search of quality roach.

I set up two identical rods onto my newly acquired Korum double rod roost...Merry Christmas!
I cast both rods out to around 3/4 of the way across the river, clipping up to ensure accuracy throughout the morning, with the aim being to get fish feeding in a specific area. Though nothing came in the first hour it did give me a chance to get some bait out due to regular casts.

After a while my right hand rod tip bounced back then twitched forwards and I was hooked into a fish. Due to the jagged head shakes I knew it was a bream and not my target species but all fish are welcome. The net slipped under a fin perfect fish of 3lb 4oz.

I quickly re baited with flake and cast to the clip in the same area, I did not have to wait long before the tip banged again and I was into the second fish of the day, once again the fight gave this away as a bream, in fact it could have been the twin of the previous fish. Slightly smaller at 3lb. Again fin perfect.

This is when my session was interrupted by some extremely annoying rowing club who not only interrupted the catching of fish but also prevented any rhythm from being gained. I think for the next two hours my rods were only in situ for probably 20 mins. I did though managed to hold in place long enough to watch my left hand rod tip twitch and then bend around. Striking into what felt like a better fish. Taking my time I managed to slip my net under a bream of 4lb 4oz, alot older looking than the previous pair, and also a pound heavier.
After a very kind rower ripped me out,without an apology (which was nice!) I eventually managed to snag another bream of 2lb 60z. Once again very pretty fin perfect fish.

My frustration was growing as the rowers, that came down the river at times 3 a breast taking up the whole channel, with their motor boat stopping mind channel directly in front of us, so casting was not possible!!!

This was very annoying as I knew that there were fish feeding on my baited areas but I was unable to get a baited line to them...never fishing here on a Sunday morning again!

It was about an hour before the rowers disappeared and whilst talking to another angler I did managed to strike into a small roach of 9oz. Though it was the species I had targeted, I was sure there was more to be had if circumstances had been different.

Oh well its two species on the board, though not big they were fish..