Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Rescue Mission

This weekend the three of us went back for another try at Dovehouse pool. A nice little pool known to hold some good fish, and as we know from experience loads of Gudgeon.

We all started off with one rod fishing for carp or tench, Toby and I had both had other rods fishing waggle for the silvers. Chucking a few maggots out with every cast I didn't have to wait long for my first gudgeon of the day, here we go again I thought. My next fish a moment or so later took me a little by surprise as it was not a gudgeon but a Rudd. I recast, threw a few grubs out and waited for my float to dip under. Which it dutifully did a few minutes later this time a gudgeon again, quite a big gudgeon to fair. Next fish was a roach, then another gudgeon, then a Rudd. A pattern started to emerge well kind of, but you get the point. So im pleased to say that its not all gudgeon there are other silver fish too.

 The silver bashing was all very well and good but to be honest was not the reason we had come back to Dovehouse. With the weather starting to warm up, it almost feels like summer. This in mind we were hoping to get a bit of Tench action or a bonus carp. But our efforts so far had yielded very little result, using tactics that have been catching us fish elsewhere.

Not great at sitting behind a rod that is doing very little, Toby had gone off for a wander. While he was away Liam had a proper screaming run. He briefly connected to what must have been a good sized fish, (from the size of the swirl) before it snapped him off and left him cursing. After coming back to see what all the commotion was about, Toby asked Liam and I to follow him to take a look at something. So I brought in my lines and went off to see what Toby had spotted. We mooched round and Toby stopped and pointed at a small clump of reeds a couple of feet out into the open water, "watch this" said Toby chucking a few pellets just to the right of the clump of reeds. The reeds started to move towards the area that had just been baited. Toby explained that he had been watching this odd patch of reeds for a while, and had come to the conclusion that it must be somehow attached to a fish. We decided the best cause of action would be to try and snag the reeds, try and land the fish to set it free. This not only being very humane but also great fun on an other wise tough trip. Set up on lightish tackle nothing but a hair rigged bait band on the line, from free lining the margins. Toby managed to snag up the reeds and was into a good double figure fish, on 6lb line to reeds to what ever the fish was hooked up with. After a ten minute delicate fight we nearly had the fish at the net. But with what must have been the last of it's strength it flapped off again, freeing it's self and leaving  Toby with one hell of a birds nest.

Cutting our losses after what was turning into a hard session, we headed to Border fisheries on the way home for the last few hours before dark.  We had a go on Three Island pool for a change and it turned out to be a good move. Toby who is loving stalking the margins at the moment was on the look out for any movement in the reed bed or lillys like a hawk. Liam was having a go at getting to grips with fishing small pellets on the hook or a bait band. And alternated between cage feeder with the deadly half dark method mix half mixed pellets combo, with trusty old lob worm on the hook.  
The stalker Toby was the first to catch, good karma for his heroics earlier in the day. A really hard fighting Barbel from the margins that he thought was a carp. This was soon followed by a second and third all from the spot in the margins on the far side of the pool.

Liam fishing the waggler on peg 12, and was still struggling to catch despite his best efforts it just wasn't to be his day. We all have lean spells and this seems to be his, but the glorious 16th will soon be upon us, and the River Dane is Liam's stomping ground. It could be an omen when our friend finally did get a fish it was a Chub.

The river theme continued that evening. Not having much joy with the cage feeder to worm approach. I dropped a small loaded float into the margins over an area I had been baiting for a while with micro pellets, with a couple of pieces of corn on a quick stopped hair. My float sailed off and I was into what felt like a good fish.
 I had know idea what was on the the end of my line. Instead of trying making runs like the feisty little carp we have been catching at border, this was just moving around the bottom just in front of my feet. Not wanting to come up from the bottom of the pool, the fish I had hooked stubbornly moved round in a sort of figure of eight. My arm started to ache trying to persuade the fish up using my little 7ft light quivertip rod. After what seemed like an eternity I eventually landed a nice Barbel of about a couple of pounds. This has finally hit home that my little rod has no place with me on the Dane. It is a DAM mega match twin tip rod that is about 16 years old, that I love very dearly. It has served me very well up to now but as my friends assure me, it will get destroyed on the river Dane.

I finished the day off with a nice brace of carp from up against the island, on the feeder line with corn on the hair.  The first of which took me straight in to some snags, and I had a real struggle to free her. After much wrestling my line came free and I expected to have lost the fish in the snag. But no she was still attached and going strong, after another couple of mins the fish was landed. It was then I realised how lucky I had been, because my feeder had come off in what ever I was snagged up in.

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

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Gorgeous Grange Carp

This weekend it was time for a trip to a new venue and after much deliberation we decided on The Grange from our BMAC card.
Grange fishery is a small pool just over an acre with an island in the middle, it is known to be full of carp up to nearly 20lb. There are f1's, crucians, commons, leathers and some of the best looking mirror carp I have ever seen.

It was not a bad sort of morning weather wise quite bright but there was a chill in the wind. The fishing started really slowly too. Toby's swim was first to show any sign of activity, but it was a good couple of hours before my old mate finally caught a fish. Free-lining a halibut pellet in the margins netted Toby the first of some really pretty scaled mirror carp, another small carp this time a common fell to the same tactics about twenty minutes later. And then that was it for ages, the three of us really started to struggle for a fish. I was beginning to get a little fed up, but not as cheesed off as a couple of guys who fished the other side of the pool. Despite catching a few fish each the other anglers around the pool had called it a day by lunch time, claiming it to be a real off day for the place. Liam and I had started to discuss the possibility of making a move ourselves, he had resorted to float fishing single maggot for a silver or too.Toby however having been a lot luckier wanted to stick it out, so with that we carried on after lunch.
 I made a bit a change from maggot feeder to a cage feeder, that I was filling with a sticky mix of different sized pellet. This seemed to do the trick as my worm hook bait started to get a bit of attention, my little quiver-tip started to get a few bumps and knocks. But I was missing bites and starting to get frustrated with myself. Around 3pm my rod tip lurched round and there was no missing this bite, I was finally connected to fish. I declared to my chums that this didn't feel like much of a fish, thinking it might have even been a bream as I brought it close in fairly quickly. At this point however it started to give a better account of its self not wanting to come up to the surface for quite a bit. When I eventually did get her head up, I didn't expect it to be that big. Excitedly I got her in the sling to be weighed hoping that she was finally my double figure carp I have been after for ages.

 After being weighed twice and re-weighed just in case, my fish was declared to be 9.4lb. A very nice specimen but alas still not a double figure fish. It was however the fish that opened the flood gates as we all started to catch at regular intervals. Well I say "we all " but I mean Toby and I, Liam was still struggling to get his swim going even though there were fish around him rustling in the reeds. Both Toby and I had caught four a piece before our buddy's perseverance paid off with really great looking mirror.

 This was to be Liams only carp for the day unfortunately for him, but the good fishing continued for Toby and I. We soon added a fifth and six to our tally catching a couple of nice commons and again some very nicely marked mirrors. The majority of our fish were not much over 5lb but really good fun on quite light tackle as they fight like hell, your never really sure how big its going to be until its landed.
Darkness was starting to draw in sadly bringing us to the end of what had turned into a great session for us, and carp were swirling round near the surface in front of us. Being the only one with a rod left still set up Liam and I urged Toby to flick his free-lined pellet out over a good sized fish we had just seen surface, while we waited for him to finish packing up. He gave his pellet a little under arm flick and must have put it right on to the fishes nose, the take was instant and fight was good. With the last cast of the day Toby bagged himself not only the final fish of the day but the biggest!

It weighed in at 9.6lb just an oz heavier than mine, but it seems on closer inspection to be the same fish, just fattened on all the pellets we had been feeding!
What do you think readers is that the same fish I had earlier in the day? It sure looks that way and if it was I'm telling Toby it didn't count!

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

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Another 24 hours

This weekend I joined my mates at Crabmill flash. They had already spent 24 hours at the water and I was re enforcements for another 24. Their first night had been very quiet with no action for either of them, but a chap fishing a bit farther down had caught a 55lb Catfish. I started the day session fishing two rods one had a couple of big pellets on, the other my little quiver tip with a maggot feeder and lob worm. Unfortunately I didn't get a touch on either and it was turning into another rather elaborate picnic cum camping trip. As the day wore on I added another rod to the mix. This time trying a boom rig about 3ft off the bottom, with a big bunch of worms I was hoping to attract a cruising Wells.
 I then had to nip home as I had forgotten my sleeping bag, which on a night fishing trip should be seen as an essential really. I trudged back more than a little annoyed with myself just as camp chef Liam was serving our evening meal, which cheered me up.

So with better spirits and a full belly I changed my set up ready for the night session. Sticking with the boom worm rig for the Catfish and changing the pellet rig for a dead bait rig to double my chances. The small rod fishing the feeder was changed to a running lead with a big lob worm to target the Eels, and to be honest it was this rod I was most confident in catching on.

As darkness fell Toby and I were kept entertain by liam and his irrational fear of rodents. A water Vole was paroling along the bank side hoping to find a tasty morsel and if it could have heard Liam im sure it would have been very offended at being called  " A Massive Rat! "
We were having a good old laugh and Toby was just a about to turn in for the night when there was a single beep from my bite alarm, this soon snapped our attention as it had been a very rare sound all day for us all. Another single beep soon followed I excitedly got myself poised ready over the rod we had all expected would be the one with the most chance of any action, then my alarm screamed as line was streaming off the reel and I finally had a fish on.

My reward was an Eel of a couple of pounds which for the first time ever I had even managed to lip hook. Please with myself I reset my rods and turned in for the night with the faint hope that I would be awoken by one of the other rods and a huge catfish. However at 4am it was the smaller rod which had another great run and I was woken up by another eel this time much smaller more of a "bootlace".

All in all this time out it was a much better session for me at Crabmill where last time I had blanked this time I pulled out two Eels, I know that for some people that could be considered worse. Now a days the Eel is becoming increasingly rare and as such should be cherished and seen as a specimen species as far as I am concerned.

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

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Still searching for that double

It was back to Robbie's pool at border fisheries this weekend as it has been fishing very well of late, In search of a double figure Carp.
And the morning started really well, with my first cast I had a great take which resulted a lovely almost golden Carp of around a couple of pounds.

I had started the day fishing with a cage feeder filled with a 50-50 mix of pellets and groundbait and corn on the hook. This method has produced some good fish from the middle of the pool, it seems however that Toby's method of float fishing corn over micro pellets tight to the margins produces the bigger fish.

The fish above was another good sized fish of 9lb that Toby has had from the same margin that was home to three 8lb-ers last week, and a cracking 18.8lb fish for our mate Liam on the Thursday. All of which fell to the same method. But I am a bit stubborn so stuck to fishing out in the middle with my swim-feeder on, occasionally changing hook bait from corn to worm then I'd have a go with meat. But the fish didn't want to feed on what I was offering. So in the mean time I changed over to the float rod and fished for some of the Rudd, which would strip me of my maggots on the drop. I was only fishing at about 8 inches deep but if I hadn't gotten a bite after a minute or so, my maggots would have gone and I just hadn't noticed. The surface of the water would virtually erupt as I flung out a few maggots its great fun, the silvers are nearly one a chuck and are great sport when the Carp don't cooperate. I was bagging up on the Rudd and some really tiny roach with my little puddle chucker float, when I caught a good sized fish for the stamp and was unsure what it was. At first I thought it was a really big roach but on closer inspection I could not figure out what it was.

I have since decided that it must be a short of hybrid but of what origin I'm not sure, I'll leave you to work it out and if anyone has ideas please let me know.
Toby was still fishing the margins with great success and pulled out some great fish again, even managing to catch one on his new idea for hook bait would you believe it a wine gum! Eventually I followed suit and tried fishing the margins for a while with the float rod. I was just moaning to Toby that it wasn't fair as my bits at the inside didn't seem to hold any fish, when my float buried and I missed it!   In went another hand full of micros and I flicked my float out, I saw a fish rooting around in the rushes at the side of me and could barely contain my excitement as I expected the float to disappear again, I sat at the edge of my seat for a few minute hoping the float would go at any time and just as I settled back down to wait patiently off went my float, and this time I connected expecting a beast. Was a bit of shame it was only a few lbs but at least I had managed to bag one from the margins and it was one that I would have liked to get a picture of, but my side kick was far too busy catching fish of his own.

Despite some good fish and even one from the margin for me, neither of us is yet to bag ourselves a double figure Carp. But it is still early in the season and yet again we had another excellent day on the bank, even if my friend is enjoying the better fishing at the moment. While I was catching the loins share of the pike over winter he did say his time would come in spring when we started after the Carp, and it sure looks like that for the time being.

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

  On The Bank Technical specs