Back on the bank but struggling (Entry 52)

Sorry for the lack of updates the past few weeks. I have been unable to get out fishing due to a major crisis and a small health problem but I can see the light at the end of tunnel for both so back to the bank I go!

Well it’s been hot hasn’t it? I’m sure the blistering conditions would have got the better of me if I had been out on the bank anyway. Thankfully my first session coincided with the wind swinging round to an easterly bringing a slightly, and I do mean slightly, fresher feel. So, as I headed to a club water in search of carp, everything felt pretty good indeed.


The water I chose was one I had not fished before. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. By no means a push over, the water seems to always have reports of ‘it’s fishing hard’ from local anglers. But I don’t let that put me off and as I walked the water several times, looking for signs of carp, it wasn’t long before my mind was drifting to what I may catch. Thats confidence for you! In one area I found three carp cruising in the upper layers. I watched them for a good twenty minutes as they took small flies off the surface. I was in no rush to get fishing. I really enjoy watching fish. It’s amazing to see double figure carp slurping down tiny flies trapped in the surface film. It hardly seems nutritionally worth it, but the carp must think so. With a lot of waterfowl on the water I didn’t feed any floating baits. Instead I just left the fish to it.


I had a lead around a few swims and found some good depths in a few areas. These areas also had substantial beds of silt. In the end, with no one else on the venue, I decided to bait a few marginal spots with small beds of chopped boilies. Not too much, especially in these very warm conditions, but enough to hold a fish for a while. I then walked between them regularly, hoping a fish would find them. I planned to present the rig (pictured above) if any carp visited. The disappearing bait would be my only giveaway. In one swim this situation began to unfold, within just two hours of the bait being introduced. I took a rod, set the trap and put a little more bait in, expecting the fish to return. I gave it over an hour, but with no action I conceded defeat. By now the light had gone and I packed away in the faint glow of my head torch. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable session all the same and I learnt a lot about the water. I also saw some lovely fish that I will enjoy trying to catch in the coming months.

Mid week I had another trip out, to the river I’ve been fishing since opening day. This visit was made as the river rose following some torrential thunderstorms early the same morning. I was happy to see a swollen river as I’ve never fished this river when it has been so high. I was hopeful any barbel would be taking advantage of the plethora of food items no doubt being washed down to them. Now, if only I could find one. I was confident that they would take my pungent 10mm halibut pellet wrapped with paste. To the gripper lead I also moulded some paste, providing more attraction for the barbel to home in on. I found a few slacker swims out of the main flow before I started fishing, three in total. In each, with a bait dropper, I introduced some pellets. With the swims primed, over the next few hours I tried a number of other swims, lowering my paste based rig into each and giving it 20 minutes or so. Trying to ‘drop the bait on a fishes nose’. Unsurprisingly I had no fish. Around nine o’clock I made my way to the furthest of my three primed swims.


I presented the same rig I had been using in the other swims. I gave it half an hour in the first, pictured above, and after ten minutes or so I had a confident pluck. It vibrated through the rod blank and up my fingers. It wasn’t debris, that was a decidedly chub-like pluck. Strange for a rising river. The bite didn’t develop and reluctantly, after 30 minutes, I headed to the second swim. This swim however was very quiet. Nothing happened at all. At ten o’clock I headed to the final swim. It looked like a blank was on the cards again. I made my final cast in the dim light. The rig settled pleasingly. After a few minutes I had a confident pluck which encouraged me. Again I toyed with the idea of it being debris. Three more plucks in quick succession. Definitely not debris. As any angler will know, there is something ‘fishy’ about certain indications. I guess it comes with experience but you learn to differentiate between the two. The swim teased me with indications; some fishy, some not. In the end I ended up staying much later than intended but no fish graced the bank.

I hope some crucian fishing will feature in the next update (as well as the obligatory blank on the river!) Thanks for reading this update. You might like to head over to my facebook page. Once there if you ‘like’ the page, you will get all the blog, twitter and facebook updates in one place! You can click the link at the end or hit like to the top right of the home page. Don’t forget to share this with anyone you know might appreciate it using the social media buttons below.

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Until Next time tight lines,



The evil hayfever (Entry 51)

Only one session to report on this week and just a short one. To be honest I have felt pretty unwell with allergies this week, which started on the session I will tell you about now

The session took place in the middle of the day. A bright, warm and windy day. Not ideal conditions but I had to make do. It was the only time I could spare and it was better than not fishing at all. Arriving at a club water with minimal tackle and bait, my plan was to enjoy a couple of hours float fishing and see what turned up. Boy, that sun was warm. I chose a swim offering me some cover close in and plumbed up a swim. Feeding in some small pellets I knew almost instantly that there was fish present. Small patches of bubbles appeared on the surface of the coloured water. They looked very much like crucian bubbles. I poured a drink and let them feed uninterrupted for a while. A bout of heavy sneezing followed and some scratchy eye itching. The dreaded hayfever. It really does spoil the ambience, I thought as I tried to subdue the relentless sneezing.

IMG_2287Sneezing over, at least for now, I hooked a small pellet onto the hook and lowered the rig in quietly. The float settled and it wasn’t long before it was lifting back out again.  I connected with a fish which jagged about determined. Golden flanks flashed below the surface. It looked and felt like a small crucian. Except it wasn’t a crucian at all but a small brown goldfish. Perfectly formed. In all honestly, it was a stunning looking little fish. I returned it and repeated the process. The float settled and lifted almost straight away. This time I was into a small crucian of maybe 4oz. I fed a few pellets and attended once more to another bout of sneezing. Once over, a good few minutes later, I re-baited and got the rig back in the water. I had a good run of small crucians and brown goldfish over the next half an hour, interspersed between my streaming eyes and tingly nose. I wasn’t enjoying the pollen one bit but was thoroughly enjoying catching these lovely fish. Most of the fish were under 6oz but were ‘fresh out of the mould’.

IMG_2293A nice surprise toward the end of the session came in the form of some quality roach that required the net. Lovely fish, close to the pound barrier, but not quite there yet. They fought harder than any of the other fish on the day and were a lovely change from the crucians and goldfish. Also they seemed to like pellet, and bizarrely, the midday sun didn’t seem to put them off either. I had four of them in total before the swim eventually died along with my enthusiasm, now well defeated by the evil grass pollen.

IMG_2297I did plan to get on the river mid week but, as I touched on in the introduction, the hayfever caused swollen sinuses. Which meant a few days of medication and no drive to prepare. I’m feeling a lot better now and I cant wait to head out again in the next few days.

Thanks for reading this update. I have recently set up a facebook page for the blog. If you head over there and like the page, you will get all the blog, twitter and facebook updates in one place! You can click the link at the end or hit like to the top right of the home page. Don’t forget to share this with anyone you know might appreciate it using the social media buttons below.

Click here to go to the NorthwestFisherman facebook page

Until next time,