Thursday, 31 March 2011

First visit to Snitters of the year...

Sunday myself and Danny decided to meet up at Snitterfield Ressie and target the roach that have in previous seasons fed well in Feb/March, with the average stamp being around 8 oz it makes for some pleasant fishing. We had also heard of some slightly larger fish coming out so might be interesting...

I got there before Danny and started to set up at on e of my favourite pegs, I say set up it was more like a full on fight with my on box which was being decidedly awkward, as the footplate had dropped out and for the life of me I could not get it to set level...sometimes more tackle and kit is more of a pain in the arse, than just a chair and rod! Just as I finished the duel, Danny arrived and set on the peg next to me.

On arrival he said that he had something for me....I thought this was going to be another sample of the cookies that his girlfriend makes for us on a regular basis..but no! He reminded me that on a recent visit to the Windrush when we met up with David to target Grayling, we had agreed on the "pound for the biggest challenge"! On this occasion I won, with what has to be said was a very small specimen but on a hard day was the only one caught..David prior to departing walked over to me and paid he way....but Danny I thought was trying to relent on his bet! This was until he produced "the pound for the biggest award". After receiving this illustrious award from Mr D Everitt from The Lure of Angling, we got down to fishing...for which we agreed the award would be straight back up for grabs with roach being the target!

I had set up my pole with two swims, one at 10 meters with a deep pellet rig consisting of a Drannan 1.0g Lake float, olivette and size 16 G point pellet hook, my tactic on this swim was going to be to cup some 2mm expanders in then fish a 4mm over the top. The second was a top three kit for the inside line, with a Drennan 0.5g pinkie float with number 10 shot shirt button style for on-the-drop fishing to a size 22 team England hook. On this line my tactic was going to be to start with liquidised bread with punch, then introduce pinkies at a later stage.

The other rod I set up was a light feeder with 5lb line onto which I put a Preston Pellet feeder with a long link to a size 16 pellet hook, on which I would use the 2mm in the feeder on the 4mm on the hook as the bream in the ressie love those pellets!

I was struggling to settle on the inside line as it did not quite feel right and though I did snag a few roach after an hour or so, it did not really kick on and bites were extremely quick and finicky.

So, I tried the feeder and had an instant response by bagging a few nice bream which averaged out at about 1lb 8oz and some very hard fighting roach/bream hybrids. But, with roach as the target I knew I would have to do something different to catch them.

Hard fighting hybrid

I changed my light inside line rig for a blob float with only one number 10 shot on, focusing my efforts on bringing the fish up in the water at 10 metres by spraying 5-10 pinkies over the top every 20 seconds. Again this was met with some interesting results as it became evident that the fast bites were Rudd, doing a hit and run on the bait. After a while I had bagged some very pretty fish that were fin perfect. Including a nice Rudd of about 8oz and a roach of 120z, which ended up being this fish that retained, "the pound for the biggest" award!!!!

My best roach of the day

The major award

At dinner time we called it time and though the conditions had been great for roach and silvers we were a little disappointed with our haul, I ended up with just over 10lb of silvers...not bad for march but should have been more! Did not take a bloody picture though!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Jeffs advice pays off!

After putting on yesterdays blog that my girlfriend would kill me of I fished tonight, I decided to take Jeffs' advice and dance with proved to be good advice. I have a hospital appointment this afternoon in which they have decided to extract 3 off my wisdom teeth in about 7 weeks...great news! But it did enable me to be home for just before 4pm. With the though that my local pools will close today I only had one thing in mind...apart from the fact that my boxer had left me a present in the conservatory!
I headed to the pools with carp on my mind and had packed a very light set up to hopefully do the job. Two Avon rods with 1.5lb tips, 12lb line on a pair of baitrunner 5000s, a couple of Preston method feeders, a mould, a pack of size 8 hooks to nylon with hairs at 4 inches, some ready made method 3000 by Sensas, baiting needles, a meat punch, unhooking mat and landing net....I think that was it! oh and my chair!
I quickly got mt rigs into the water in a peg that is called suicide corner as for most of the season the carp are very difficult to get out of here due to the over grown reeds and vegetation etc, but at the moment it is ok and with the water temperature not that high I thought it was worth a crack.
It did not take long before my left hand reel started to pay line and I was into what felt like a good fish.. after a very spirited fight I slipped the net under a very long and think mirror carp, which I was very pleased registered 14lb 10oz...more points on the percentage chart! She was a nightmare to photograph but I think they came out ok?

I have made this all sound very easy, when in actual fact as I lifted the fish out it managed to snap my landing net head at the spreader so I was a little bit up the creak now!
I was quickly back in position wondering what to do if I hooked another carp...soon I found out, when my tip bent round again and I was into another solid fish. This one though was somewhat sluggish compared with the last and came up quite quickly. At this point I got nervous as a man had appeared behind me to watch me land the fish....but I only had a broken net head....trying to act relaxed I asked if he would mind assisting me as I had just had an accident...I knew he was a member of the club so pushed my luck a bit...he willingly accepted and in a flash he was lying face down on the platform with his arm outstretched into the lake with my broke net head in his hand....I had a Gilly!!! I guided the fish in his watching grasp, and was very pleased to see a beautiful fully scaled common carp. these fish are not like the name suggests in our club waters as the predominant carp are mirrors. On the scales she went 11lb 3oz. A real healthy looking female in prime condition, a bit a of a shame I could not get a good picture with her. I thought about asking my Gilly but he had walked off.....sacked!

After I had taken two fish on my left hand rod it was the turn of my right. But this was a different type of bight with a couple of bangs on the tip then a steady run, the culprit was a male bream of about 4lb ish with his breeding bumps and lumps all over him.

Though my girlfriend did arrive with a replacement landing net head it was not needed as after these fish no more eat at my table. Very pleased with three fish in just over 32 hours fishing, but sad to see the pools will soon be the 16th!!

Tight lines

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Strange session on the river and pools

Today I had decided to focus my efforts on the river avon, in an very close to some pools that I fish. I had a fair amount of liquidised bread that i had left over from an earlier river season at Lucys Mill, so not to waste it I opted of a simple running cage feeder and bread flake.
After about 30 mins I had a good tap on the tip then my rod slammed round and I was in to a chub that went berserk trying to and succeeding in running me into the reed bed that was on the near side bank. From the picture that I have included you can see how tight and weedy the small swim is.

As a result I had to let the line go very slack and hope for the very best....which was the fish swimming into mid river all of its own accord! result...
After a short battle a pristine chub was banked. At 3lb 9oz it improved my percentage by a couple of ounces...

After this I knew that the swim would take a while to settle so I decided to go up to the pools and try my luck. After changing the hooklink to a light 3lb bottom and a size 18 I was getting regular bangs on the tip, which evidently where small skimmer bream, of which I netted 5 in a short period of time. As quickly as they came they went...odd I thought, until the tip slammed round and I was into either a carp or tench. Unfortunately I gave this fish to much respect with the light link and it managed to find a snag only metres from my feet...bugger! The fish was lost...c'est la vie!
At this stage it started to rain and the wind got up right into my face..not very pleasant and comfortable, so I moved up onto the middle of the three pools. I set up a float rod to aim for some silvers, which immediately started to show with regular bites from roach and rudd of around 6 - 8 oz. This was until I hit into something that did not want to come in...the culprit was a male tench of 3lb 7oz ... Shortly followed by a fish that could have been his twin brother!

Peas in a pod!

Whilst fishing for the silvers and tench I had thrown some bread in on my left hand side...which was being sucked up at regular intervals by feeding carp....interesting for March! I could not sit and watch this without having a bash. So I changed my feeder rig to a size 8 straight through free line style. It did not take long before I watched a dorsal find breakthrough the surface seconds before my line went tight and I was in to a carp.

5lb 3oz off the top in March !
Though I do hope I catch a larger one for the challenge. It made my day include the following ...chub, perch, roach, rudd, bream, tench and carp. Nice for my last session before the end of the season on the river and the pools.....Unless I can get there for a couple of hours tomorrow, but she might kill me!!

Friday, 11 March 2011

First ever night session...

After speaking with Danny early on in the week we decided that we could fit a midweek session in on the canal and fish into dark. Even though I have fished for years I have never fished past dusk, so this was something new for me.

I had purchased a lot of lobs for last weekend but ended up far to hung over to fish on Sunday....of course "never again". So with lots of worms at the ready I set up one perch rod with a rig that I have been working on recently,and a floating leger dead bait rig for zeds or other preds!!! Though I persevered for about an hour with the chopped lobs nothing showed any interest, this though was not the case for my dead bait which after about 15 mins started to bob and then slid away with a small jack pike taking my small roach. A good start in the new swim.

I re baited and cast to the same area. Due to no attention on the worms, I decided to change the set up and put a low resistance leger rig together with a single hook trace. Whilst doing this the float on the dead bait started to bounce once more, I picked up my rod and waited for ages for the bite to develop before slowly winding down to feel resistance. The culprit was the second pike of the evening this one being slightly bigger at about 5 lb. As I unhooked the fish Danny arrived, which I have to say felt good.

Danny had decided to fish in an area that we both thought would be a definite fish holder, this allowed me to concentrate on an other area that proved to be slightly more productive. By the time darkness fell I had landed two more fish, both of which were small zander, in fact one of which Danny described as a pilchard!!!!....better than nothing...:-)

Later on after missing two cracking runs on the legered bait, the float went away once more to produce my new PB zander. Though not as big as many anglers zander records was pleased to hear Danny say 3lb 8oz. I can only imagine how large the fish that Jeff caught must have been as though this fish only weighed in at the size of a small carp is appeared a lot larger. New Pb and something to work from!!

Shame that my face was not under full control during the photos!