Monday, 26 March 2012

New PB Bream saves the day

We had a really bright and warm week here in Cheshire and I was really looking forward to getting on the bank, to target the Carp and Tench at a water that I have never fished before called Bentley pool in Tarporley.

It is a lovely secluded spot set in a small wooded valley. There is an island in the middle and the water is stream fed. From the looks of it at the moment the water level is down quite a bit, but it has been a very dry winter. We started the morning fishing at the dam end of the pool, which despite the low water level was still between 6-10ft deep, thinking that this would be where the fish would be hiding, before moving into the shallower areas as the day warmed up.
It had been our intention to give the old lift method a go today, with maggot under a stick float, but due to the depth of the water we chose to fish the feeder, Toby switching between cage filled with groundbait, pellets, corn and hemp and maggot feeder, while I just went with maggot feeder. unfortunately we couldn't get a bite on either method, we toyed around with different hook baits and had the occasional cast around to see if we could locate some fish. I even tried a bit more of a technical carp rig for a while, trying a couple of pellets on a hinged stiff link, again to no avail. A couple of guys who were fishing against the island on the other side had a bit more luck with a big Bream and a 14lb common.
So with that we moved round to find some shallower water where the fish were now showing, I changed back to maggot feeder and put a big fat Lob on a size 12 hook, on my first cast into this new swim, I was just organising my seating arrangements when my 7ft quivertip bent double with a cracking take, and I was finally into a fish which was putting a good fight on 4lb line, that is until the hook pulled and I lost the fish. I found out when I retrieved what was left of my rig that it must have been a good sized Bream, from the tell tail sign of a big blob of slime on the end of my line. Know that bream are a shoal fish I quickly retied a hook and cast back out into the same area with another big worm on.
I was beginning to think that I was going to end the with nothing more than a great tan and a tale of "the one that got away". then I had another great indication as my tip bent round and I was into a fish again, It felt quite a lump and was unsure as to what it was for a while, so taking it nice and steady I was a good couple of minutes before Toby had kindly netted, what I then saw straight away was a new personal best Bream, which weighed in at 4.11lb (although I thought it was bigger!)  

For more information on rigs, set ups, bait and tackle please have a look at our brother blog

Monday, 19 March 2012

Final Pike sessesion of the season

This weekend saw us head back to Longbarn in Warrington, for what was to be our final session after Pike. We intend to give the Pike a rest now until October and target fish more comfortable in the warmer months.
We arrived at the pool at about 7 o'clock and were fishing by half past, using the same set up that has been so successful for us. A simple float ledger rig with a fresh Smelt on the bottom is irresistible to the Longbarn jack Pike

I had to wait quite a while for my first fish, it came with the excitement I always get as my pencil float cocked itself and started off on a run, only to be stopped by me setting the hooks.
It felt like a good fish as it tugged back, and took a while to get to the surface, but alas it was just another really hard fighting Jack of around 4lb, that made another break for freedom, as I had him at the inside about to grab the little fellow. Successfully landed and a quick picture taken the fish was returned none the worst for wear.
There was another long interval before the next bit of action, as Toby was enjoying his lunch he noticed a small float appear, on the far side of channel between two islands. I had a good luck at it with my binoculars and saw that it was a massive waggler, which we presumed was a lone float wandering on the wind, until Toby watched it shoot under only to reappear a bit closer to us. Now convinced there was a fish attached, Toby attempted to cast his line over the float to snag it, which he very skilfully did on the second try, and connected to what was now most definitely a fish!
Putting up a good struggle we thought it was a good sized carp at first, due to the over sized waggler it was underneath, but as Toby continued to play the fish when it got closer we saw that it was a Pike. Now our thinking was, somebody had been using regular waggler tactics and a Pike had hit a fish they were bringing in, which could well have snapped them off. When the fish was finally landed after a very careful fight, all became clear as we tried to unhook the fish from a two treble hook rig, which had been attached to perfectly shotted 4AA waggler, on about an 8lb main line. Toby worked magic with the forceps, while I held the fish, she went back into the water in a big specimen net for a while to recover before we grabbed a quick pic and returned the Pike to the water, now able to feed and without a float and about 3ft of line attached to live a healthy and happy life.

I had another couple of fish (as you can see below) before the day was out, one to a lamprey section injected with a bit of salmon oil, and the bigger of the three, a good 5lb falling to the old faithful Smelt. It was quite a long fish and when I first saw it in the water I thought maybe it could have been close to the double figure fish I have so longed to catch from this water, but no it was a long lean and quite mean jack of nearly 6lb.
Never the less it was a good fish, and a great way to end our first season of pike fishing, which only started in December, Since then I have landed 11 Pike including a good double of 12lb, they may all have been from what are fairly easy waters, but I now have some great experience and knowledge in catching and handling these fantastic creatures, which come this winter I will be putting to good use in attempting to catch a specimen from a river and having a go with some lures and spinners.
 But for now we turn our attention to Tench and Carp, and some sitting behind the buzzers waiting for a monster 

For more information on rigs, set ups, bait and tackle please have a look at our brother blog


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Final Fling

This week would see us heading to the Dane, for the last session before the river season, for us course fishermen comes to an end. We travelled light along the BMAC Manor Farm stretch, dropping in on various pegs, chucking out a few pellets, then casting ledgered meat on top. Toby had a bit of a knock on the first peg we tried, so we gave it half an hour or so to see if anything developed, but alas the tip of Toby's rod stayed motionless. Undeterred we carried on along the river, varying hook baits slightly, changing hook lengths and casting into different types of swims. And we still couldn't get so much as even a twitch.  I have now lost countless bombs, a couple of feeders, a float, god knows how many hooks in trees and branches, about 4 pints of maggots, 3 tins of meat, 2 tubs of pellets and 20 man hours fishing and am yet to see a fish from The River Dane. Yet I know they are there, and I will catch one, but my first river Barbel really will have to wait until the summer now.

Deflated by another unsuccessful morning on the river, we headed down to Border (our local club complex) to fish closer to home for a couple of hours. Toby had been on the Friday and fished the canal again, and had a great session catching some of the fairly newly stocked F1 carp, which he told me "really hang on!"
That sounded like great fun to me and after a quick change of tackle, we were fishing again by half past two.
Unable to get on the peg that Toby had fished on before, we started off on pegs in the lower numbers.
My side has a great knack of being able to put his bait onto fish with his first cast, and yet again he was into a fish with the first chuck on the Meridian. The small hybrid flapped around wildly on the surface as Toby fumbled for his net, then just at that critical second bumped itself off the hook. That little fish must have swam back and told its friend not to bother because we really struggled to get another bite.
I moved round the canal a bit, to a section that was a bit more sheltered, thinking that the ripples on the surface might have been making it difficult to see the shy bites of the F1's, and switched from pellets which I was finding difficult to keep on the hook (no bait bands), to a bit of chopped worm in the hope of nabbing at least a couple of silvers, while the little carp evaded me.

This roach was my only fish of the day and fell to the old faithful chopped worm under a little waggler, on what was a pretty frustrating weekend of fishing. I even went back solo for a few hours on Sunday morning, still couldn't buy a bite. It really wasn't going to be my weekend
I did get treated to quite a performance by the new F1 carp, who paroled up and down in front of me, in big shoals just under the surface. But never once did they get there heads down to feed on my offerings. When they have settled down a bit it's going to be some fantastic angling, if I can ever hook one,  and I'm sure the big resident Perch are already enjoying their new guests, and might even start to pack on a pound or two.

For more information on rigs, set ups, bait and tackle please have a look at our brother blog

Monday, 5 March 2012

Swamp things 2

We went back to Longbarn in Warrington this weekend, for a final Piking session of the season, and to try and break Toby's duck with Longbarn Pike, having lost a couple and missed as many last week.
The weather forecast was pretty good and it was a nice bright morning, a pleasure to be on the bank.
Toby only had to wait about ten minuets after his first cast, for his pencil float to stand to attention and start of on a wander, after a very short battle Toby had his fish. A nicely marked 2.5lb Longbarn Jack Pike.

I had my first pike not long after, using what seems a favourite of the hungry Longbarn Jack, Smelt float fished hard on the bottom. Giving a good fight, I wondered if this was one of the big old girls that must live there, but it was just a tough Jack of nearly 5lb, that gave me the run around.
As I said it was a lovely morning, and there was a few dog walkers doing the morning rounds, some of which would stop and chat to us, as they walked past. A familiar face had stopped, and Toby was telling the chap about the fish in the pool, and as if on cue, my float righted itself and started to wobble around. As I played the fish I was trying to put a name to face I was sure I recognised, Toby chinned  my pike which we guessed was around the 4lb mark. Our onlooker admired the fish and then they both went on their way (although in different directions). We took a quick picture of the Pike, we didn't however get a picture with, who we eventually recalled was the character Ashley Peacock from Coronation St

After that bit of excitement, it was lunch time. And in typical fashion Toby had just poured himself a cup of soup, when his float cocked itself and tanked off towards an island in the middle. Toby soon landed his second fish of the day a Jack of around 3lb. The good weather didn't last too long, the heavens opened and we had to quickly grab our umbrellas, to avoid getting drenched, with the rain came a bit of a thunder storm, and I was glad to be in my insulating wellies.
The passing storm, however brief seamed to have a massively detrimental effect on our afternoons fishing. Despite moving round and changing baits, we just couldn't pick up another bite, on what is a fantastically productive venue for Jack Pike.

For more information on rigs, set ups, bait and tackle please have a look at our brother blog