Friday, 2 March 2018

Tail end of the season - March 2017

I've now idea what happened, but suddenly it was March and the end of the river season was looming so a few short sessions down the local river seemed like a good idea.

One of my favourite trotting swims - this can produce anything on the day
The weather was unusually mild, the river colour and level ok, so I was hoping I might get a bite or two. I was not disappointed.

March 3rd - a few fish from trotting, including one better chub

A rare upside-down chub

March 9th - I tried dragging some bait along the bottom of the weir pool which produced chub (in the 3-4lb bracket) and a good perch (among others) and a few dozen small perch further up, thanks to a tip from another angler.

This perch went 1lb 8oz

A couple of quality chub

March 14th - buoyed by my success on the weir pool on the previous visit I was dying to give it another go, convinced there were bigger perch to catch. Only to find the peg was occupied. 

I fished some of the swims above and below and managed to bag a few fish as well as this chub that went nearly 5lb

The angler on the weir pool finally moved on after bagging a near-2lb perch, so I thought I was out of luck. 

But a short while later, the stick float went under and this little fella appear - a pb perch of 2lb 13oz. And that as they say, was the river season well and truly wrapped up. Result.

Arran's Lake 30-12-2016

I've had a few good sessions at Arran's. I'm happy to admit it's easy fishing, but it makes a nice change and in the depths of winter it's nice to catch a few fish.

So in the depths of a cold day there I was, bait and tackle at the ready with high expectations.

Man, it was cold, I think it just crept above freezing, but not much with a cold mist penetrating everything with cold. Brrrr.

A cold day on the far end of the lake

Apparently, it had fished well the day before, the owner had used a JCB to break the ice and the anglers had bagged a fair few carp.

My experience was somewhat different. After a slow start I started to put some nice silver fish in the net - mostly roach up to 8 oz in side responded well to maggot, but pellet was ignored.

Cold and misty, quite atmospheric if truth be told

I carried on with maggot hoping that the carp would show at some point and muscle the smaller fish out. They never came.

I had one carp at 11m that I hoped would signal a change, but it was a false dawn. I saw a few swirls on the 3m line later in the day, but nothing seemed to be working. So I chalked the day off and will be a little more selective when I go next time in the depths of winter.

A solitary carp, not quite what the doctor ordered
Still managed abut 100 silver fish which combined with the carp probably went the best part of 30lb though.


Sorry, it's been a while. Not enough fishing and certainly not enough chance to do any updates. 

Hopefully a few catch-up posts will follow. 

Tight lines .

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Jubilee River 18-8-16

With the summer quickly disappearing and with me not get enough fishing in, I decided to have a go at a new water – the Jubilee River near Maidenhead. I’ve looked at the stretch a few times, usually while cycling, so I knew what it looked like, but information on the stretch was very light on the ground.

The Jubilee River

I picked a peg a few below the bridge, set up a waggler (it was flowing very slowly) found the depth (deep, about 8ft) and started fishing a few rods lengths out whilst pinging maggots over the top.

The action was almost instant. From bleak.

So it was a case of feeding one area, casting to another and then once the bait had got to a decent depth running the rig through the baited area. This started to work and produced a string of roach.

First roach of the day

Nothing massive, but nice fish in the 4-8oz band in absolute mint condition.

The water was surprisingly clear close in, and as you looked down into the margins you could see a myriad of fry rushing about. This is a good sign for the future, I suspect this stretch could be something special in the future.

Crystal clear in the margins. There are some fry in this picture, but they are very difficult to see.

Later on a tried another peg further down on one of the canal-type sections where there is an island in the middle of the flow. This was amazingly deep and I found that I had nearly the same depth as the rod length under the rod tip. Fishing close in produced a few nice roach, dace and perch before the swim died. What I would have given for a pole at this point and some groundbait – lesson for next time. 

Fishing underneath the rod tip

Final swim for the session was above the bridge on the outside of a bend where the current swung towards me. A hefty cast out into the flow (which was still quite slow) followed by a could ‘pult of bait produced some more roach before this swim finally slowed down and I called a halt to my short session.

Quality roach from the Jubilee

Quality roach, barely a soul to be seen – I think I may have to have a few more goes at this venue. 

Needless to say, work put paid to that, but then there’s always 2017.

Another view - it's starting to look like a proper river
Getting back to the car park I happened to bump into a regular on the venue and got lots of tips on what’s present along with how and where to fish it. So hopefully, next time will be even better.

Total catch: about 40 fish (mostly roach) for 7lb odd.

Arran's Lake 20-7-16

I decided to treat myself to a day out and wanted a big bag of fish. So off to Arran’s I went. Now I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I wanted to try a few things out.

First a smaller landing net head. For years I’ve used a large spoon, which made it easy if you hooked a big double, but was heavy and slow. Plus I thought it slowed down unhooking and could lead to trashed rigs in the net. So based on some advice from MaggotDrowners I’d got a smaller net to try.

Second a change in bait. For years my go to bait has been an 11mm expander on a size 8 hook, but having read a theory that a hard pellet would catch the bigger fish (Nathan Watson off MaggotDrowners) I turned up with a load of 8mm pellets instead. Not to mention that you get a lot of liners at Arran’s and not having to rebait after each knock could make a difference.

So what can I say? I set up on the near end of the lake, an area I’d not fished before and started feeding as I got my gear together. In went the rig and (wait for it) nothing.   

Eventually fish started to show, and I started to catch. But, by Arrans standards it was very slow. I was fairly sure this was nothing to do with the gear I was using, the fish were just not there. I tried a few things with the depth, the feeding and general presentation, but nothing seemed to work consistently

Anyway, I pushed on, kept feeding and eventually the fished arrived and then other problems started to occur. When there are many fish in front of you, and they’re on the surface how to you fish when there are no floating baits allowed?

Needless to say, after a frustrating few hours I got into a sort of rhythm, fishing shallow just to side of the main group I could pick off some nice fish. Indeed, at one point I hooked an absolute lump. This lump proceeded to bottom out my 22 elastic and find a snag before shedding the hook. This is the first time I’ve hooked a big fish at Arran’s (no doubles to date, 9lb being the best) but this was a proper fish. The owner reckons they could go up to 30lb in the lake, but they don’t show too often. 

Well, this might not have been that big, but it was no stickleback either.   

Back to the fishing. It took a while but I started to catch quickly and was having the two (or even three) fish in the landing net problem, but the hourly catch rate starter to climb.

At 4pm I packed up. Exhausted, soaking wet from the knees down from unhooking fish with an absolute mass of carp in front of me. 

And a new PB for highest weight caught in a single sitting. 1111lb

My bagging needs satisfied, I can now focus on something else.

250 carp (commons and mirrors)
3 rudd
Total weight: 1111lb

Local River 8-7-16

So this time I would focus on fishing the quivertip rod for a change. Not my usual tactics, but if it weedled me out a few bonus fish then this would be great.

It was a short session of mixed success. On the plus side I picked up some nice roach on the disabled swim. I’ve been told many times that there are good fish there, but whenever I trot the flow I pick up nothing. But drop a maggot feeder into the flow and it was a completely different story (or a least while it lasted). I may have to have a rethink about this peg – not to mention a visit with the pole gear in the early season.

And I also I picked up this little chap:

Not the biggest barbel in the world, but hey it’s a barbel. Wo-hooo

So I tried a few pegs, picked up a few fish (nothing else substantial though) and went home.


Total catch: about 25 fish (typical river fish) for 5lb odd.