Saturday, 20 July 2019

ESSEX JELLYFISH

So a few weeks back i was returning from a nice walk with the dogs and as i was crossing a tiny little tidal creek i glanced down and saw, quite to my amazement really, a solitary jellyfish 'swimming' along with the current. Now i,ve seen plenty of jellyfish whilst on holidays down in the South West as well as when i have been out boat fishing, i,ve also seen the odd one washed up dead on the shore but i have never seen a live one swimming up a creek in Essex.

I had to get a little film of it so out came  the trusty iPhone and i captured a couple of minutes of the wee beauty and put it up on my Youtube channel. The link is below if you fancy a looksie.
Cheers guys, tight lines and have a good weekend......

Saturday, 15 June 2019

LOCAL DANGLING

So lately i havn,t had a lot of spare time to go fishing due to work and the ongoing attempts to complete the extension i,ve built on my house, this has meant that i havn,t been to my syndicate for a few months so the limited fishing i have done has been very local and only for a couple of hours at a time. Now i,m not complaining too much about fishing short sessions locally as there is some not too bad waters nearby, and i have caught ok, but its meant i,ve had to scale my tackle down considerably to allow me to be more mobile and chase fish down rather than wait for them to come to me. This has been good fun as i used to be very mobile when i first started fishing and its quite nice to do so again.


With two waters being within 1 mile away, another around 3 miles, and miles and miles of  the River Roach and the River Crouch starting within 2 miles away i thought it would be a good idea to kit out the old mountain bike to use as my mode of transport for fishing these venues. I purchased a set of panniers for the back and also some luggage straps to hold the rods and set about converting a knackered old bike into a prime fishing vehicle. The bike needed a bloody good service first as it hasn,t been ridden for nearly 10 years, so once that was done on went the panniers, front and rear lights, mudguards, new pump and my now scaled down carp kit. I was ready for the off the following weekend to the local park lake.
A little after first light saw me gently cycling around the water before pulling up to my chosen swim and damn near falling off the bloody bike as i swung my leg over the back and got caught up on the rolled up unhooking mat. Fortunately there was no-one around to see this minor mishap as i chuckled to myself whilst setting up my rods. I could see a few carp moving 20 yards out in front, hence me choosing this swim, so out went a ronnie rigged Eclipse Virus pop-up coupled with a small pva bag off crumbed virus boilies in hope of attracting a carp down in the water to have a munch. Once that rod was sorted i started to catapult out some mixers as this water is always good for a bit of surface action. After 15 mins or so i had a couple of carp regularly feeding on the mixers that the masses of ducks weren,t nicking when my alarm sounded and the clutch started to tick. Leaning into the fish i thought i,d have a small carp attached as it wasn,t really doing much when all of a sudden up popped a bream of around 4lb with my bait hanging out of the side of its mouth. Not my chosen quarry but at least i had caught, unhooked, returned and back out went the rig.

I was having a lot of trouble with the parks ducks getting to my mixers before the carp, and even going for my bait, so i had to put the old thinking cap on to try and stop the little thieves. The end result was a virus pop-up super glued to a Fox floater hook and then attaching a pva mesh bag with 6 mixers inside to the hook and casting this to any rising carp. This resulted in the ducks not really noticing that there was any freebies floating around, also i was catapulting some mixers of to my left to help deter the beasts from my hookbait. This worked well with a few rises to my bait but no hookups until i had a couple of bleeps on my alarm which i glanced over too before turning back to see my floater rod nearly disappearing over the reeds it was resting against. Grabbing the rod and leaning into the fish just made mr carp very angry.

FISH ON GAME ON...


After a cracking fight on my 9ft Sonik stalker rod i finally landed my prize, a lovely mirror carp of around 12lb. Unhooked, a quick piccie and he was slid back into his watery home. This disturbance basically killed the swim so after another 30 mins of firing out mixers and very little showing i decided to pack up and head home for some breakfast.

A nice little result for a couple of hours dangling.....

THORNIES

Around May time thornback ray start to show up in catches from the shore and boat, in my local River Crouch, as they migrate into the shallower water to spawn i believe. This gives us the chance to catch a few for a couple of months before they drift away to wherever they go to. For the past few years i seem to of  been too busy to fish for them locally and on the the odd occasion that i have had the time to wet a line i havn,t been able to connect with one. Well i thought i,d have another try a couple of weeks back as the weather was due to be nice and i just fancied having a dangle in saltwater. Weighed down with all my kit i stumbled the mile  or so along the sea wall to my chosen marsh area that i thought might produce the goods. After nearly falling 'arse over tit' over a bramble and then having to 'hop' over a small adder as it crossed my path i finally dumped my gear down at my chosen spot and sat on my bucket a huffing, puffing sweaty old man.

After a few minutes i,d gotten my breathe back and set about getting my rods tackled up and fishing. When the tide isn,t pushing through too hard here i like to fish with 3 rods to give myself a better chance of catching something. I set 1 rod as a close in rolling rig with 2 hooks baited with cocktails of worm, squid and herring, and drop this out no more than 10-20 yards so it can fish at the bottom of the rocks and quite often catches some nice bass when they are in the river. The other 2 rods were baited with herring  and squid on pennell rigs and cast from 75-100 yards out in hope of a thornback or even a decent size bass.

The sun was strong and there was a slight breeze which was lovely to sit in but like most fishing situations not great conditions. After 3 hours of tide up and another hour of tide down i hadn,t even had a rattle on the rod tips, most disappointed was I. Sharon had come down with the dogs for a walk and had just walk further along the bank when my distance rod baited with a nice big herring fillet registered a nice tap followed by a steady pull down. I grabbed the rod and lent into whatever was on the end of the line, half expecting it to be a big clump of weed, and whatever was on the other end pulled back.

Fish on - Game on..

After a few minutes of  giving and taking line, i played it like a pussy as i was sure it was a ray and i didn,t want to lose it, up popped a nice little skate at the bottom of the marsh drop-off. I hand lined it up the clay and lay it on the marsh before unhooking the lovely prehistoric looking creature. I,ve not caught many thornback rays but always admire the beautiful patterns across their back and the evil looking thorns along the length of their tail. Fortunately Sharon had returned from her walk and took some nice pictures before i slipped the wee beauty back to its watery home. Before anyone asks, yes you can eat them, sold as skate wing in the chippy,  but i don,t like the taste of fish and would much rather return them to grow on and breed to produce more fish to catch at a later date.
I fished on for an hour or so after the capture and possibly had another bite that didn,t materialise into anything before packing and going home for dinner.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED...........

Sunday, 31 March 2019

FISHING BUDDY CHOCCIE

So any of you who have read my Blogs before will know that i have 2 spaniels, Paddy a Sprocker and Choccie who is a Working Cocker. Well i,ve always wanted a furry fishing buddy so have decided that i will have a go at teaching Choccie the ropes at being a 'carp dog'. He has the right temperament for it as he is very obedient, doesn,t roam too far and can quite happily keep himself entertained. i,ve taken him, along with Paddy, on a couple of sea fishing excursions on the local tidal river and both have behaved well so thought it was time to take it to the next level.

Instead of just throwing him in at the deep end i thought it best to ease him into fishing so i took him along for a mornings walk around my syndicate as i marker float around a few areas to get an idea of whats under the water. Well i have to say i am really impressed with him as he settled in nicely as i spent time casting around various areas, i did originally think he might be jumping up at anything i was trying to cast but he wasn,t bothered really and just looked on with a 'what ARE you doing Daddy' look on his face. Obviously his favourite part of the morning was walking between fishing areas but he was quite content with snuffling around and chewing sticks while i thrashed the water to a foam. I,m really happy with how he handled the day and will be taking him with me soon for my first carp session of the year.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

ROCHFORD, RIVER ROACH

So just up the road from where i live is a small public park with a nice lake of a few acres which is run as a day ticket water. I,ve fished there a few times for the carp as it is relatively easy fishing and you can always manage to winkle out a fish or two in a couple of hours dangling. Alongside this lake is a small stream, the River Roach, which is only shallow and  an be jumped across quite easily, but at the far end of the lake the is an inlet from this stream to keep water flowing into it and to do this a small weir has been built. above this weir is a small pool of no more than 50ft long and 20ft wide which also flows out of a small tunnel beneath the railway track above.

I,d heard rumours that there was a small head of silver fish in this pool and thought that i would have a little explore one morning, so armed with a little ground bait, a pint of maggots and my feeder rod i made my way along the path from the road, then along the lake itself and finally over a small railing to an area that i could set up and fish comfortably. The water was pushing through quite fast as it exited the tunnel and all manner of debris was floating by so i opted for a small swim feeder approach stuffed with a little grounbait and maggots with a size 18 hook loaded with 2 maggots. First chuck to just in front of the tunnel resulted in a couple of knocks on the tip followed by a good pull down, which i missed. A couple more of the same gave me confidence that there was indeed some fishy life in this small pool.


I concentrated more and when the next rattle happened i struck and was met with a good little bit of resistance which turned out to be a lovely pristine roach. A few more tidily roach followed being another half decent roach ended up in my hand. I was pleasantly surprised with the results for the first half hours fishing as i was getting a rattle on the tip almost every cast and the roach that i did catch were in a beautiful, bright silver condition.
I decided to flip the feeder along my bank tight to the wall of the bridge to see if there was anything lurking there and found it was a bit deeper also. After a couple of minutes i had a rattle and set the hooks into something that just powered around the small pool, i began to think it was a really big roach when up popped a small carp of 1.5lb or so, who,d of thought there would be a carp in this tiny river but being next to a lake stuffed with the things i guess its possible. After the disturbance created by this little brute the bites went quiet for a while and i was contemplating going home for a bite to eat but thought i,d have a cast to the opposite side of the tunnel first.
The feeder had hardly settled when the tip wrapped over and i was attached to another powerful fish running around the pool. I presumed i was playing another small carp but i could,t believe it when eventually a big pair of white lips appeared just in from of my landing net, it was a chub and a half decent one at that. On the bank and it weighed around the 1.5-2lb mark as it was a proper little fatty and, as with the roach, it was in mint condition. After a quick photo and a final admiring look i slipped him back into the pool before packing up my gear and heading back to the van.




So from a tiny little stream/river that no-one but the ducks pay attention to that runs alongside a park lake a stones throw from a town centre i managed to catch a couple dozen beautiful silvery roach, a chunky little common carp and a pristine gorgeous looking chub and its only half a mile from my front door. What more can i ask, i will return...

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........