Saturday, 26 February 2011

Take two on the cut!

I had a couple of hours to spare on Saturday so I decided to take my left over bait to the canal with my focus being on predators. I set up two rigs, in being a dead bait with a Drennan Zepler and a light bullet sinker, with roach and a single circle hook pattern. The other being a weird one which involved pellet waggler, float stops, a bullet sinker, and a size 6 hook to a short trace...not the norm I know but when fishing for the perch I have been snapped up on lots of zander as they can easily cut the mono.

I put the deadbait on the far reed bank and the perch rig down the nearside under a boats hull, adding some choppy to get things started. The rig can only have been in the water for a matter of seconds when the float started to move and they slide away, I had my first perch on the bank after being at the swims for no more that 5 minutes in total, a very nice fish which weighed 2lb 1oz. Luckily the boat owner was talking to me at the time so took the picture for me....doing my bit for angler and boating relations!!!

Nice hat!!!!

Moments latter the deadbait rod started to to show signs of fact the float raced down the far margin before sinking fast down into the water, a great bite. The culprit of this was a small Zander of 1lb 10oz. Though not a big fish it really wanted that bait.

I had now been there perhaps 10 minutes! Whilst talking to the barge owners the nearside worm rig was away again this time a smaller perch of about a 1lb. Then once again it slipped away to a Zander of just over 2lb....(later from the photos it may seem this was a fish I caught last week in the same area??)
With only around 20 minutes gone I had banked 2 Zander and 2 perch. This seemed like a red letter day.....but there was a sting! The boat started up and bloody well moved! Gutted just as things started off so well it was all over.

I moved down to the next boat which looked empty about 50 yards away, and set up in the same manner... to my surprise I had an immediate take, excellent another 2lb plus perch! I was a bit concerned at this point as something looked familiar about it..there was a damaged area between it dorsal fins, and on of its anal fins had a spotted pattern on it....It was the same fish that I had back only a matter of 30 minutes earlier!!!! Doh! I thought I had done the brace but I really can not count one fish twice.

This swim seemed die as quickly as it started, and this was the only fish that I had for the next 3 hours, though I was getting runs I did not bank anything. One of which pulled my rod round into the water and still managed to get away! I found myself back at the swim where I had started the day, as the rain came down and the light fell I started to think of dinner and a beer.

But, As with all fishing situation...just one more cast then I will be off.

The inside line had gone quiet but the far margin one had not, with my newly adapted Zepler now adorning a small nightlight, It bobbed and moved around constantly, with what I suspected were small Zander picking up my roach but not committing to taking it. When one did it unfortunately spat the hook when its head shook on the surface. Just on last cast... I watched more of the Zepler ballet for the next 10 minutes before it ripped up the canal, diving under the water..I wound down and struck into a much better sized fish...only to loose it after a short fight..bugger!
Though I did put the deadbait out again for a further 10 minutes my mind was now thinking Budweiser and my belly that of balti, so at around 6 I headed home. I will be back!

At the mill, but no whiskers

Thursday saw me met up with Keith at Lucy's Mill in an attempt to bag one of the barbel that have been caught in recent times from this area. As I knew there was a chance of it being busy I arrived very early in order to get the swims that are to the the left of the main weir.

The river was up and coloured and really motoring, perfect conditions for barbel as the evening temp had been good and the level was actually dropping. Though nice conditions, the flow was very difficult indeed, in fact I had purchased some new larger cage feeders the day before and I still could not get them to hold....

To cut to the chase neither of us bagged a barbel even though we fished into dark, I did though manage 4 bream for around 18lb on liquidised bread and flake. The largest of which went to 5lb 6oz, though not a big fish it still added some percent onto my previous fish.
I caught one fish when I added some extra lead to make my total 5oz...I might called this rig" the bollocks!"

We will need all the percentages we can get as the moment as a certain Mr Hatt is producing some quality fish.....can we stop giving him lifts now please!!!!!!

Windrush Grayling Hunt

Danny, David and I had arranged to fish the Windrush in the quintessential Cotswolds, in the search of the grayling that live there. We met at the "Little Thief" for breakfast and a chat about tactics and approaches for bagging some fish, Danny had already printed off maps of the beat, and as he had fished it previously had some good information on various glides and fish holding areas.
We had a spring in our step as we hot footed to the Orvis shop to collect our tickets for the day, where we were met by a Brummy version of Amos Brearly. He went into detail of exactly where we could and could not fish and mentioned that not many Grayling had been caught in recent times.....great!

On arrival at the usually clear river in was very evident that the recent rain had changed the depth and colour quite significantly. We all set up our centre pin trotting tackle, I selected my 13ft Preston Excel rod with a centre pin which was loaded with 4lb Drennan float line, a small chubber float with a bulk shotting pattern and one dropper shot 6 inches from the hook, a Drennan Red maggot size 16 hook. My approach was going to be to regularly feed a long glide with red maggots, looking to trot through at a pace just slower than the normal flow, holding back at intervals to flick the double red up.

Though everything was working perfectly I when bite less in my first swim, in fact we all did. It w\s so annoying as the colour and pace had it seemed pushed the fish into slacker water. With this in mind I moved upstream to a swim on a large bend with a slack eddy at the outer edge. At I would have struggled to cast my float to this areas, I set up a feeder rod, with a small cage feeder and 2ft hook link, this was loaded with liquidised bread and a nice piece of flack. It was in position long before I had a good bang on the tip, which I thought could be a chub. It turned out to be a brown trout of around a pound.

By now Danny and David had moved up towards me, as soon as they did my tip banged round as I was in to a better fish....this though did not last as my link broke....trouts teeth me thinks!
After moving around a few times in the town stretch we decided to cut our losses and move to the stretch which included a small weir pool at it base, where we would later meet up to target at the end of the evening.
Throughout the afternoon I spent time in "fishy looking" areas but was unable to register a bite. I was not alone with this as both Danny and David also failed to land anything on the bank, though David did have a small trout on in one area.

I found myself at the confluence a very shallow winter run off ditch and the main river, in which the river ran away from me towards a bend in the river at about 35 yards away. It was not long before I noticed a fish top in the shallow water to my left. Seeing this I shallowed my rig right down to about 10 inches with a vain hope of tempting what ever it was. Almost immediately I had a bob on the chubber and I was in to what I first though was a dace, but after a short erratic fight, it had transformed into my first every grayling...though no specimen it still ticked a box at 3oz!!!

I continued to fish this glides as I was getting regular bites but I could not seem to connect with the fish, perhaps some minnows had moved in? I did though manage to winkle out a small brown trout prior to joining the others at the weir pool.

With Danny and David both set up I only had one real choice which was a very wet looking peg in the centre of the reed bed, not great but c'est la vie! I put both feeder rods onto the roost which liquidised bread filled cage feeders and a nice piece of flake. An hour later I hit into a bite which transpired into a small chub of around 10oz. Not what I as after but on as day that fishing was extremely difficult, any action was gratefully received.

On last knockings I decided to try a maggot feeder with half a lob worm. As I was seeing to a call of nature I noticed the tip vibrate a bit....bloody great nothing for ages, then whilst I am peeing, i get a bite! Luckily the fish was still on, a short bit of hassle with landing the fish over reeds and A lovely looking roach was bagged.

Davids scales registered 1lb 7oz, a nice way to end a very difficult day. This this was very long for its weight, I am convinced it would go 2lb easily if it had a stomach.

Thanks To Danny and David for a nice day out....just a shame the fish were not really playing out!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Trying to earn my stripes

After myself and Danny had fished a new stretch of canal last weekend, and he had kicked my rosy red butt. I decided to venue back in search of perch for myself.
I had not bothered with any roach gear this time and packed only my pole, a light 9ft feeder rod and a pred rod just in case the Zander started to feed.
My bait was simple left over maggots and caster and a large pot of worms. Incidentally the kids parents thought I was absolutely mad at the mid week football whilst they patrolled the sideline cheering on the little lovelies, I had noticed that their constant walking in one area had caused a delude of lobs to appear on the surface so though I should have been coaching the team I spent more time with an empty drinks bottle picking up lobs!!! (might take a container every game!)
Anyway I usual!
I got to the canal for about first light and started to set up my gear, eventually casting my first lob out at about 7.10.
With the feeder rod swung out just down the near shelf, I then sorted my pole rig for the session, as soon as I picked up my top section to do this tip bent round and I had missed fish number one...but things looked promising!
I quickly sorted the rig which was very simple 3lb 6oz Preston rig line, Drennan pinkie .50 float a .30g Olivette and two number 8 dropping stots, to a size 18 Drennan red maggot micro barb hook ( I only used these for perch due there mouth being so hard and head staking action during the fight). I laid this on about 3 inches.
To get the area going I cupped in a very generous mess of chopped worm, caster and maggot.... It immediately worked and I was into fish. After a couple of perch around the pound mark, I hit into a much better fish only for my loop onto my pole connector to get caught up some how though I tried to free it the fish managed to snap me at the loop, this must have been the weak link! I was gutted with this as I had spent time making this rig especially for this peg....ou couture! I busily looked for the same float in my box and a new Olivette, just as I started to tie the new rig my old one appeared right on the spot I had cupped into, this did baffle me some what, I was looking as a Drennan pinkie float in my hand and there was one floating in the water...when my brain had sorted the issue I used my pred rod to hook up the rig, I was relieved to say though the fish was not attached every think else was..including the worm!
Through out the session I landed fish both on the feeder/bomb rig and the pole the majority of which came from no further than 4 metres out, in fact some came from under my keepnet!
As I was on my own some of the pictures are not great, but I finished the session with....
1 Zander of 2lb 1oz.....

16 perch...

6 of which where over a pound.weighed in as 2 at 1lb 3oz, 2 at 1lb 40z, 1 at 1lb 5 oz ,and...

1 of which weighed in at 2lb 2oz.

Sorry about pictures!!! Though my DSLR has millions of pixels, looks great and takes great images, the self timer is not that easy to use! (might be time to buy a cheap compact)

This improves my challenge score a little and I am pretty sure most of larger fish are different from those caught last week....lets hope it holds a 3lb er!

Local have told my all sorts of tails about this stretch bream, huge roach and pike....only time will tell!!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Worm beats the bread!

I arranged to meet Danny at a stretch of canal that I have recently walked, and spoken to a couple of anglers that regularly fish it in my club. They have had some good catches from there, so the focus being on the quality roach that it holds.
After about an hour of fishing the punch over liquidised breadon the pole, and only having one small roach to show it became evident that tactics might have to change....
This was assisted by the fact that whilst I was waiting for roach, Danny had landed a cracking perch (see Lure of angling).
With this decided to change to fish worm down the inside, whilst not necessarily in an orthodox method it produced four perch, the largest of which I have pictured below as it scaled 1lb 8oz. though I will hopefully improve on this it has at least given me some challenge points.

At the end of the session I helped Danny to picture some of his catch, which I have to say were belters, in fact I suggest you have a look at his blog.I will be returning soon to beat Dans weight set!!!!
Tight lines.