Friday, 1 March 2019

SOUTH FAMBRIDGE


So as i was still convalescing i decided to take the dogs out for a mornings fishing for dabs and whiting at a local mark i know. I didn,t realign have high hopes of catching anything as the sun was shining and there had been a good bit of rain for the previous couple of days. Also i,d opted to fish low water, which i,ve not done here before, and the local reports were that next to nothing was being caught locally. Sod it, thought i, i,m going anyway.

Well the sun was definitely bright and there was also quite a breeze blowing, bit nippy too to be honest but i, and the pooches, were dressed for the occasion. I set up three rods and cast them at different distances and areas with different rigs and bait on each. On rod had a whole squid with a fillet of mackerel whipped to it thumped as far as i could cast in hope of an early season ray or maybe a bass. The second rod had a 2 hook flapper set up and bait with lugworm and fish strip and was cast around 50 yards out. And the final rod was a flowing trace and light lead set up baited with lugworm and tipped with either squid or mackerel and was flipped out 20 yards so it could roll around just past the rocks and hopefully pick up anything that was swimming close in.

Well in a nutshell i blanked big time, i don't even recall seeing a knock on any of the 3 rod tips. I was quite disappointed to be honest as i was hoping to at least catch a tiddler but the fish weren,t playing ball. Its a very hit and miss venue to fish as you,ll blank as much as catch for some reason. It does throw up some really big fish at times but i think its just a case of being in the right place at the right time, most frustrating. I,ll still fish it though as its a beautiful place.




I did have this trawler dredging for shellfish constantly, while i was there, a few hundreds yards away from me so maybe there was too much disturbance for any fish to come near. There must of been some good shellfish off that point as this boat was proper going to town in this area.....

Thursday, 28 February 2019

PIKING.......


So i,ve been suffering from an Incasserated Ubilical Hernia since christmas which basically stopped me from doing much, fishing, walking, working, so i have basically been moping around the house. Fortunately i had an op to repair the hernia mid January which was good but meant that for a couple of weeks i was even more house bound as the wound healed up. I was meant to stay of my feet for a couple of weeks and no activities for a couple more, but i could,t wait and as soon as i was fit enough to walk i packed my pike fishing gear and headed of to a local water for a 'gentle' couple of hours dangling.

Upon arriving in my chosen swim i dropped a float fished half herring in the near margins and turned round to set up my other rod, my rods were already tackle up but just needed the rod sections putting together a trace clipped on and bait hooked. I,d just finished hooking up a small roach deadbait, horizontally so it could drift around the swim, when i noticed my margin float start to slide away. I gave it a chance to get the hooks in its mouth as it was playing around with the bait a bit before the float then disappeared and i set the hooks home, or at least i thought i had. A good scrap ensued as the fish powered up the margin and it felt like a good fish when all of a sudden the hooks came out and i was left with that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that you may have just lost a decent size pike, BOLLIX.....

Well i fished that swim hard for a couple of hours but to avail as nothing even sniffed at my array of mouthwatering deadbeats whether they were static, drifted or wobbled, so i upped sticks and moved to another swim in a small bay which I've been meaning to fish for years but never got round too. One bait was cast to some reeds and the drifted roach was dropped in the near margins where it slowly drifted on the breeze underneath a lovely over hanging bush. As soon as the drifted bait touched the outer branches, so to speak, of the bush the float shot under and after a spirited fight this little fella popped up to save me from a blank. That was it for my couple hours fishing but i wasn,t complaining as it got me out of the house and into the fresh air again.  As always i learnt a little more about this water which again is stored in the memory banks for my next visit whenever that may be. One thing i did learn was to not wear my welly boots when i have to walk up and down wet, muddy slippery slopes as they are shite for getting a grip. Three times i lost my footing and ended up on my arse, and not just little slips either, proper legs up and out and crumpling on the ground like a sack of old potatoes. Lucky there was none else fishing because i must of looked a right tit......


 As usual i was having a mooch around the banks, while i was waiting for the bites that never came, and i found this half a shell of a swan mussel. Look at the size of the thing, its definitely the biggest that i,ve seen, and i used to sell them many years ago. I wonder how old it was before it died, i,m not sure if you can count the rings on the shell to tell its age, i,ll have to look it up.





Anyway i had an enjoyable couple of hours and it blew the cobwebs out. Roll on next trip.....

Saturday, 12 January 2019

SMALL RIVER ROVING



With Christmas out of the way and copious amounts of food consumed i needed to get out in the fresh air and stretch my legs so of down the local tackle shop i went and came out with a couple pints of maggots and a box of lobworms. A good few years ago i had a little explorative walk along a small river 15 or so miles away from me, as i had heard a couple of chub had been caught, and thought it would be worth a try at some point but had never really got round to it. Well i had an itch to roam a river and seeing as the River Chelmer is such a shadow of its former self a new venue was needed, and seeing as i didn,t have the time to venture upto Peterborough and fish the River Nene this tiny little water would be my chosen venue.

 I arrived on the banks at first light after a short walk and set up a chubber float to fish a tiny little weir pool, of off the main river, which fed a tiny stream which ran through a nearby golf coarse. First trot down and the float sinks away and i,m into a nice roach, happy days. Countless cast produced countless roach and small perch to my float fished maggots, i was a happy bunny but it was time to move on and try my luck for something a bit bigger. Big perch and hopefully a chub were firmly in my mind.

A short walk along the river and i came across a nice looking fallen tree which screamed perch so i set up a link ledger and settled in above the fallen tree, slid a nice fat lobworm on the hook and flicked it out to the opposite bank close to some reeds. Just as the rig was about to land in the water a small silver fish flicked out of the water a couple feet away from my bait, a good omen i thought. I,d only just tightened down and set a slight bend in my rod tip when it rattled away and i struck into a fish. Only a small perch but i was happy that my swim choice had been good, after all i,m really not a river angler more of a stillwater kind of guy. On went another lobworm, out went the cast and on went the kettle. With a latte in hand i was happy, looking around at the local wildlife and revelling in how quiet it was as the low hanging mist stayed for most of the day. As i was daydreaming the rod tip pulled and after spilling my cuppa down my leg i struck into a bigger perch of around half a pound. This little tyke put up quite a scrap before being netted so i opted to fish the down stream side of the tree to rest the area i had already fished. First cast against some reeds just out of the main flow and i had a very quick heavy pull down which resulted in me getting snagged up. It was shame as i had felt a couple of heavy thumps as i picked the rod up. A quick re-tackle and dropped another juicy lobworm in against some over hanging branches a little further downstream. After a couple of minutes the rod tip pulled down and i was attached to something pretty powerful and very angry. After a spirited fight in the stronger current up popped a cracking perch of around 2lb with dorsal bristling in defiance, i was now a really happy bunny. My aim had been to see if there was any decent perch in this tiny river and my hunch had paid off. I could of packed up there and then but i wanted to try my luck see if i could tempt a chub as well.





After a couple of pictures i packed up my tackle and walked another half mile or so up river to what looked like a chubby looking area where the current run across to the opposite side of the river leaving a nice long near bank slack which ran along some nice reeds, perfect thought i. In goes another juicy lobworm and straight away i started to get little plucks on the rod tip. Small fish thought i, but every now and then there was a bigger pulldown which had me striking at mid air. This kept going on for 15 minutes before i had an odd little quiver on the tip followed by a couple small pull downs which i stuck at and was rewarded with a heavy thump as whatever i was connected to did its best to snag me in the nearby reeds. Initially i thought i,d hooked into a good sized perch as i didn,t really think i,d actually catch a chub. Imagine my surprise after a minute or so of give and take when a big pair of white lips appeared beneath my rod tip followed by the body of a good 3 lb chub. After another short tussle i slid the net under my prize and released a sigh of relief. I couldn't weigh the chub as the battery was flat in my scales, schoolboy error i hadn,t checked it when sorting out my kit, but my guesstimate was 3-3.5lb. A beautiful looking fish it was too and after a couple of pictures i slid her back into her watery home. I was now walking on air. I fished another few areas with just a few plucks on the rod tip but caught nothing else, not that i cared.

Overall my hunch about this little river, you could jump from one bank to another in some areas, containing some decent perch worked out and actually catching a chub, a good one at that, really put the icing on the cake. I will return to see what else i might be able to winkle out from this tiny waterway but to be honest i,m not actually that bothered as i,m more than chuffed with what i have already caught.

Monday, 7 January 2019

DOGGIES........

End of November i had a week of work to do some work around the house and as the weather was due to be mild, for this time of year anyway, i thought it would be a good idea to have a mornings fishing on my local River Crouch for the whiting that reports had said were there in numbers. And i thought it would also be good to take my pooches along for the session as they love it down there. After dropping the other half at the train station first thing i drove the 5 minutes it takes from my house to Fambridge with tackle and dogs in the back of the van ready for our little adventure. Loaded up with my gear and two nutcase dogs running amock in front of me i trudged the 2 miles, yes my chosen area was

2 flipping miles from the van,  to a nice bend in the river which narrowed the river quite a bit and also had deep water at the bottom of the wall. i,d walked the dogs to this area a few weeks previously when the tide was out and it scream fish as the river narrows up considerably at this point as it bends slightly, and also theres a big shallow bay type area to the left which also looks good for a bite during the summer. Out with the rods and on with the kettle and it wash,t long before my right hand rod started to knock. Leaping up to the rod it was rattling away like a goodun by now and a switch strike and couple of steps backward had me connecting with something fish like thumping away at the end of the line. 
It had a bit of weight to it so my thoughts were either a good size whiting or possibly a sea unicorn, cod to those not in the know, but i wash,t expecting a writhing dogfish 'Doggie' thrashing away on the surface. I was really happy with this catch as although i,ve caught hundreds of dogfish of off boats when i used to boatfish a lot back when i was younger, i had only ever caught 1 doggie from the shore and that was further up the River Crouch at Wallasea Island. Rebait and a recast and the other rod was rattling away now as tightened down to the lead of the recast one. Same procedure, strike walk back a couple steps and reel down to feel for some weight, and i was into another fish. Low and behold in comes another dogfish, i could,t believe it. Over the next hour i had rattles on my rods regularly with a few more dogfish being landed. High water saw the bites stop for an hour or so, i,ve often found this anyway, before action resumed with more doggies chewing on my worm and squid baits. Action slowed so after another hour i packed up and made the long walk back to the van.

In total i had 9 dogfish, if i remember rightly, and had at least twice as many bites. I was really surprised that no other fish were landed, maybe the pack of dogfish that was in front of me had scared them off. All in all i had a great session, as did Paddy and Choccie, and also had a seal follow us as we were walking to the spot. It an amazing area along the River Crouch and i intend to explore more of it with rods pooches over the coming year........

CATCH UP

 So since my last post not a lot has happened on the fishing front unfortunately. I have managed a few early morning 'before breakfast' trips in search of pike to a local and have blanked twice and managed a couple small jacks on a third trip. Its strange as the conditions seemed bang for all of these trips but the pike have had other ideas. Ive fished this water on and off for over 15 years and have caught on nearly every trip, even if it was just a small jack, but since trying back there over the past couple years i have been struggling. The only thing that i can think of that is different is that i used to fish late afternoons to last light instead of the first light sessions i do now. I reckon i,ll switch back to the afternoons and see if that will help me catch more than i have been. I know of a good few areas which i have pike in the past which i have been fishing again so maybe switching to the afternoons is the answer. I,ll keep you informed on how i get on.


 Although i,ve struggled catching pike on my local the couple i have had, and the odd aborted take, have come to my good old favourite technique of drifting a deadbait long the wind lines and into likely looking areas. The way i do this is to set the float at roughly half to three quarters of the waters depth and put on as light a lead as you can get away with to cock your chosen float with your chosen deadbait. I then hook my bait so it hangs roughly horizontally, slightly head down i favour, in the water so it looks a little like a slow moving injured fish. I personally like using coarse deads, pierced to release more juices, for this to 'match the hatch' so to speak, but i,ve had good success with smelt as well. Its not the best casting technique but plenty good enough for 30 yards or so. When the wind is putting a good chop on the water is best as it jerks the bait up and down as the float rides the waves. Its my go to method nowadays.


Staying on the pike fishing theme, i had a day chasing Esox on the big water mid November, my first pike trip there and what bagrueller it turned out to be. I arrived before first light, as i like to do, in my chosen section of this behemoth of a water and took the long walk to the first area to try. This was at the entrance to a bay area where a small point jutted out into the water so i could cast into the entrance to the bay to my right and out into open water in front and to the left of me. As the sun was coming up the open water was alive with silver fish dimpling and splashing as well as some bigger fish 'rolling', possibly bream or big roach, and my expectations were high as the pike had to be close by to all this activity. After a little marker float work i found out it was a gentle slop from margin to deeper water with a little drop of 15 yards or so out. Soon as i could i had a ledgered deadbait cast as far as possible towards the fish activity, which was slowly moving further away from me, another rod  with same technique was flicked to the right along the slight drop and the third rod was set up as a drifter as the wind was blowing over my shoulder away from me, perfect. Well i fished hard here until midday using everything in my arsenal to catch a fish but to no avail, i did have a little run on my rod cast 



 to the right but there was no teeth marks in the bait and there was a lot of grebes around so maybe one of them had grabbed it. I moved further along the bank, i say further but should say a lot further as it was over a mile trudge with all my kit, and fish the mouth of another bay for a few hours but again had no joy. The wind was stronger here and was great for drifter fishing but no pike wanted to play ball. An hour or so before sun set i made the long walk back to fish in the bay nearest to the van for the final light. And boy was it a long walk. As the sun was slowly going down and the bay started to get pretty dark as it is surrounded by trees one of my alarms burst in to life making me jump and spill my coffee. Unfortunately whatever had picked up my bait had also dropped it without the hooks taking hold. Bait checked and re-cast to the same area and just as i was clipping up the drop off my other alarm sounded. being on top of the rods this time i watched as a slow trickle of line run through the rings before i picked up the rod and struck into mid air, Bollix. Well i fished until it was too dark to see before walking back to the van and setting of for home.

It was a cracking trip on such an amazing water but the conditions were against me as it was very bright and sunny which has never bode well for me. As with all trips though i learnt a little more about the water and hopefully i,ll be back there soon chasing the toothy critters. One thing is for sure even if i don't catch anything fishing here it should keep me fit doing so as i,d walk just under 6 miles in search of fish while i was there........


Monday, 12 November 2018

NEW CHALLENGE

Earlier in the year, Easter weekend to be precise, myself and 'she who must be obeyed' dropped in on a large body of water with the intentions of having a nice leisurely stroll along the banks with our two pooches. I,ve heard of the place on and off over the years but never actually got round to visiting the place. Rumours have it there were some good sized pike swimming around beneath this inland sea and seeing as pike are my favourite species it was on the bucket list but the place kept falling out of the memory banks. 

Well after months of research, finding out not a lot about the fishing on this 350 acre beast in the process, i bit the bullet and handed over my hard earned for a years permission to fish this behemoth. My research had pulled up a few details and pictures of average sized carp and pike that have been caught over the years, as well as a few blog posts about the good tench fishing and the large roach to be had. Nothing particularly exciting i will admit but you have to understand that this is a huge body of water to find your quarry in with depths ranging from a couple of feet to nearly 50. As i mentioned the stocks of fish present weren't what was exciting me but the surroundings around where they live. The place is a wildlife paradise, it must be 75 percent tree lined with plenty of small bays and numerous other features dotted around its banks. Theres also plenty of areas designated as wildlife sanctuary which just teem with various flora and fauna.

Well at the beginning of october i finally arrived at my chosen swim for a weekends fishing targeting the mythical carp that live there. Overnight temps were down to low single figures but day time temps were in the low twenties, very odd for October. After watching the water for a couple of hours i set about finding three sexy looking spots to place my rigs and hopefully snag me a mudsucker. Over the course of the first day nothing happened except the odd single bleep on the alarm possibly caused by one of the squillions of silver fish that were topping all around me. The sun started to set so after a big boy lump of sirloin steak i settled in for the night hoping that i might be rudely woken by a screaming alarm. Well would you believe that is exactly what happened about 10.30, i was away with the fairies when my left hand bait was snaffled by a carp. i know it was a carp as after i picked up the rod it hooped over and whatever was on the other end started to take line, theres only 2 fish in this water that could run like that and it definitely wasnt a pike. Standing in the dark with my knees knocking and my heart pounding, i could,t believe  that i was attached to a carp on only my first attempt targeting them. Then horrors of horrors, the line went slack. I could,t believe it, from riding up high i was now stumbling all low, my price had spat the hook out.

The next day passed quickly and quietly without anything interesting bar a visit from another member i had previously been speaking too who popped in to say hello. Upset about losing a fish but happy to have hooked one i packed up early afternoon and set off for home.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

MORE FLOATER FUN

 So i had a few hours fishing one evening on a local park lake last week as i felt the need to get the tackle out. It had been scorchio for the week previous with most days getting close and even hitting 30 degrees but i just fancied a quick and easy trip with the chance of having my string pulled..
The temperature was still in the mid twenties when i got to the banks of this water and started to walk down the side i wanted to fish as the wind would be over my shoulder here and not effecting the water for a good 20 yards out, just how i like it for floater fishing. Unfortunately most swims on this side were taken by day anglers, a very loose term for them, so i walked around to the other side with where the wind was in my face. I was particularly happy about this as although the wind was warm it was also quite strong and i try not to use floats when i fish on the surface.

Well i catapulted a few pouches of mixers out as far as i could whilst i set up my gear with a Korda surface float and  just as i finished tying the hook on i noticed a big old pair of lips nick a stray floater 3ft from my feet. "Oi Oi says i, whats all this then." I flicked a few more mixers along my margins and within a couple of minutes a few carp started to slurp them down. Of came the controller and with just a size 8 Fox Floater hook and a pellet band i dropped my bait in front of the next carp i saw.  With an almighty boil my bait was taken and my Sonik stalker rod was nearly wrenched from my hands. After a spirited fight of a few minutes my first carp was on the mat.

I didn,t weight the fish as i hadn,t brought my scales but it was a scraper double mirror, good size for this water as its teeming with pasties. There was a willow to my right with a big clear spot beneath it and i had noticed a couple of rises there so thats where my bait went next. After a couple of failed takes another mirror carp fell to my oiled chum mixer. After a hard fight beneath the willow i managed to net the beast and was surprised at it only being a low double figure fish, thought it might of been bigger as it fought like a goodun.

After all the commotion i moved a swim along and proceeded to bait the margins as previously and within minutes there was some carpy movement inches from the bank. After following the largest carp around with my floater i finally got the perfect drop in front of its nose and straight away it sucked down my mixer before powering of beneath a nearby bush. After few tense moments where the fish got stuck in a couple of branches the price was finally mine. Another scraper double mirror, well happy was i...

Another swim move but with less action saw me living dangerously and hanging the bait over the top of a branch as the fish were a bit spooky here, i think they were actually the same fish from the previous swim that had been patrolling between the two areas via the bush which seperated them. After a frustrating half hour a common, again a scraper double, slurped down my hookbait and tried to escape beneath the bush it had been hiding under. Walking along the bank away from the bush with the rod tip held below the water surface with steady pressure applied soon had the fish out of the danger area and into open water. Another good scrap for a few minutes and it was in the net.

I moved around to a vacated swim on the opposite bank just as the sun was getting low and proceeded to fire out some more mixers and after 10 minutes or so i got the fish feeding really well. These carp were further out in the open water though, just within casting distance of my freelined mixer, but everytime i cast to a few showing fish they would bugger off to the other side of the swim. This got really frustrating until i could barely see my bait in the gloom and just as i reeled in to pack up i saw a bigger boil than normal some ten yards away from where my mixers actually were. A quick cast there just for the hell of it resulted in a right old tussle with what turned out to be a lovely common, although it had a bit of a gammy mouth, around the mid double size, largest of the trip.

All in all i had a fantastic evenings surface fishing for the hungry carp there and ended with 5 crackers all just into double figures, which is a bloody good average size for this water as when i,ve fished it before i,ve normally only caught fish around the 5lb mark. I will be back for some more before the cold weather arrives....