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...........