Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Final day action

Out on the river for a second day, similar conditions as yesterday but the river was falling.

15 minutes after the first cast Mick was in, the fish weeded itself on the now submerged bank side vegetation but after some steady pressure it swam out. 


3 hours later and a move further downstream it was my turn. A vicious take that almost took the rod into the river, and good scrap but hard work netting the fish on the steep, slippery banks


A good end to the season for us both, given the conditions and the lack of fish showing recently we weren’t expecting much. 

Neither of us usually target barbel at the back end of the season, preferring to fish for chub or pike but given recent river conditions we didn’t have much of a choice.

After a quick check of my diaries, today’s barbel took my total for the season to 30, a nice way to sign off from the rivers for a while.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Change of plans

Having worked it so my days off tied in with the last two days of the season, I was aiming to spend the time on the bank roving for pike during the day and switching to chub when it got dark.

Those plans were thrown out of the window with the last of the snow melt working its way down and a day of heavy rain.

Instead I’m currently sitting it out for an unlikely end of season barbel. Plenty of extra water, 10ft up on normal levels, but with water temps of just over 4°C it’s going to be hard going.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Smash and grab chub

With the final day of the season looming, I am trying to get on the bank as often as possible. Today I thought I might get a couple of hours before heading to work, I ended up just getting an hour.

Two pegs, half a dozen casts, two bites, one chub.


I tried for another from the second peg and fancied my chances but time was against me.

Always a bonus to catch on these very short sessions, hopefully out again soon.

Monday, 5 March 2018

One before the thaw

The river levels have been stable but with working solid for the last 6 days, (not much fun with the weather we’ve had up here, but like most I’ve got plenty of bills to pay!) I haven’t had a chance to get out. I was tempted to go for a chub session last night, even had the gear ready, but ended up having a beer and watching TV instead.

After checking the levels this morning, it looked promising, no sign of any extra water, locally or further upstream. All optimism faded as soon as I saw the river, even from a good distance I could tell it was heavily coloured, not a good sign when pike fishing on this river.

Unexpectedly I had some interest in the second peg of the day, a margin fished lamprey was taken, a good positive take, a quick strike lead to a solid fight. With the rod bent well, the fish staying deep, I thought I was into a good one. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed when the fish surfaced, I was expecting at least a mid double after the fight it gave.

Just shy of 11lb, felt bigger in the water
Unfortunately the fish has had a rough life, a damaged jaw and a few fresh wounds on its flanks, I’d also managed to catch the top of its gut with the lower treble.

The trebles on this trace are purposely spaced slightly further apart than my usual traces, around 4.5 inches, usually these are used on large mackerel, sardines or a whole lamprey. It took sometime but I managed to remove the trace, resting the fish for a few minutes a couple of times during the unhooking procedure. I find it easier to remove all points and barbs from both trebles whilst dealing with a deeply hooked fish. Thankfully the fish went back fine.

The rest of the session was uneventful, the river was slowly on the rise, the water more heavily coloured than when I arrived and most of the snow on the riverbank had disappeared. It’s safe to say that the river will be out of sorts for a while, which makes it pleasing to get one on this session, fingers crossed the rivers are fishable before the 14th.

Monday, 26 February 2018

3 bars of gold

Out for an evenings chub fishing, setting off later than I would of liked so I just headed to the one stretch instead of the planned two. Arriving at the river 30 minutes before dusk, I was in no rush to cast so I spent a good half hour flicking bait into the swim, hoping that the chub would gain confidence and compete for the bait.

I was expecting to get some interest fairly soon after casting and I did, a slow bite which immediately snagged me up! A quick re-tackle and the tip went round within a few minutes of casting, this fish was on longer than the first but not long enough to net, as the line parted just above the hook! I obviously didn’t strip enough line off after that first snag, lesson learnt and a good rod length of line was removed before setting up again.

I kept the bait trickling in as I was setting up and thankfully the fish hadn’t spooked and the tip went round within 2 mins of casting. I played the fish hard to avoid the snag which wasn’t there last time I fished this spot. A good 4lb plus chub was netted and sacked. Next cast even better, a probable 5lb fish from a very delicate bite.

After the second fish the cloud cover went, the temperature plummeted and unsurprisingly the chub switched off. Nothing happened whilst the sky was clear, the river was floodlit from the near full moon and it now seemed lifeless.

The air temperature must of dropped below zero as the net was solid and casting was becoming difficult with iced up quiver rings. Finally some cover returned and 20 minutes later I was into the third chub of the night.

5.03, 4.11 and 4.09lb and good evenings session including a new river best

I tried for another couple of hours but the freezing conditions had gotten the better of the river and my phone. The river seemed dead as was the camera flash on my phone, thinking the phone was broken I had a quick look online and apparently it’s a known problem with new iPhones. In cold weather the camera flash can fail to function, working again once the phone is warmer, not bad for a £750 phone !

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Well the bad run continues......

Well the bad run continues. After a very early start and a 2.5 hour drive we arrived in Lincolnshire to find we had the stretch to ourselves. The water was heavily coloured due to the constant pumping, which is normal for this time of year, weather was reasonable, with fish topping as we arrived, things looked good.

I've only fished this drain once before, a difficult session in freezing conditions but we managed steady action from jacks throughout the day. Ben's fished it about half a dozen times, never blanked and the pike are always of a good average size.

Despite the promising conditions things seemed slow from the off, hard work catching baits and no interest until lunchtime. Ben missed a couple of runs before connecting with a jack, half an hour later another take for Ben a short fat fish just short of double figures. My only take of the day was aborted when a mass of floating weed hit my float and line, the pike sussed something was amiss and rejected the float paternoster live bait.

A couple more fish to Ben's rod, another jack and double both on float paternoster lives.

Just shy of 12lb, the largest of the day

Despite fishing well and trying hard I couldn't buy any interest, deads went untouched, popped up baits, free roaming lives and twitched baits all ignored. One of those days for me, which seems to be a regular occurrence lately and a good day for Ben.

A 5 hour round trip for a blank, a bit of a kick in the balls really but I was pleased for Ben as this will be his only pike session of the season due to work commitments.

The rivers have been at a consistent level for a few days now, so I'm heading out for a chub session after dinner. The plan is to try a couple of different stretches and fish for a few hours into dark on the second stretch.

Monday, 19 February 2018

A patch of bad luck

Not a lot going on fishing wise this week, 3 days off midweek but as it’s half term I was busy with the kids.

The only times I’ve had the opportunity to get out on the bank the rivers have either been in a state of flood or heavily coloured from local rain. 

Today I had a few hours before work, levels seemed spot on and the colour had been dropping. As soon as I arrived at the river I knew my chances of catching were very low, as the heavy local rain put a lot of colour in the river.

Pike fishing this river is hard going in normal conditions, add some colour and most don’t bother trying. I’ve caught a few when the rivers been in flood before but it’s hard work and most sessions end in a blank. Today was no different, as expected no interest from the few pegs I tried before heading to work.

Unfortunately it’s not just the rivers I’m having bad luck with, a lost bank card, broken boiler, probable speeding ticket and a knackered exhaust all since Friday!

Hopefully my luck changes by Thursday as I’m out again, a local(ish) river if conditions allow, if not a long trip to Lincolnshire to fish a productive drain.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Hard going on a rising river

An off the cuff session with Mick, I was supposed to be heading down to Lincolnshire but due to a lack of sleep and the unfavourable conditions I didn’t fancy the 2.5hr drive. Mick had planned for a chub session but in the end we decided to meet up and chose a new stretch of river to try for the pike.

Only my second visit to this river and a bit of a late start, arriving after 9 to find the river pushing through fast and seemingly up a couple of feet. For the first couple of hours we fished a straight section of river with the downstream wind adding to the fast flow and rising water restricted us to the margins. Snow, loads of rain and howling NW winds drained our confidence so we wound in and went for a look down stream.

The inside of a large bend seemed more sheltered and the river was slightly slower, definitely looked more promising.

Around midday I had a take on a float paternoster bait, a screaming run but only very lightly hooked, Mick came over to help net the fish, then his rod went.

Mine went 9.02, Mick’s dropped the bait as he picked the rod up.

Occasionally our drop arms would be pulled off by debris coming down and the fast current made it look like a screaming run. We had a dropped run each then I had a take from a small jack, maybe 5lb, again very lightly hooked which saved me the trouble of netting it as it threw the hooks at the net.

I forgot to mention the catch of the day, a frog taken in 15ft of water on a smelt. Not the best photo but it appeared to have tried to take the smelt?!?

Anyway a hard session, but always good fishing a stretch for the first time.