Simply about being there (Entry 63)

And trying to catch a few fish too. It’s been a few weeks since I have been out on the bank. I’ve been busy but also have had a few issues going on. They still are but I’m trying to not let them get in the way of going fishing. So a session of simply ‘going and doing’ and seeing what turned up was in order.

IMG_3009I made my way to a small club water I used to enjoy fishing a lot when I was younger. It’s full of small crucians and goldfish, with some surprisingly nice roach mixed in too. There’s the odd tench and chub and I’m told by some people some big old eels but I’m not interested in these. I’ve just realised I’ve still never actually caught an eel. Despite IMG_3008fishing rivers frequently and ponds that are flanked by such waterways. Anyway, not having to fish very far out and with it being a lovely still day I set up as I used to do with a pole float on a running line. Just heavy enough to get the rig to where I needed to fish. There was no wind to deal with at all, so sinking the line was not needed. I shot the float to a dimple on the surface and fished just an inch over depth. These are finicky fish at the best of times but come autumn they are even harder to tempt. They may be small but they don’t give themselves up any easier. I fished a very light bottom just a pound breaking strain with a diameter of 0.07mm. A small size 20 hook completed the rig and a caster was duly selected, the hook pushed inside to stop the hook snagging on any bottom weed. I only had casters with me. No, I tell a lie I had a few small 3mm pellets too, but I never used to use these years ago. Today they would stay in my bag then. A few casters were fed. By a few I mean three. Yep, just three. My rig followed them in, sinking slowly through the crystal clear water. The lighter coloured casters sinking quicker than the darker ones. With the float now settled I began the wait for any signs of crucians or goldfish in the swim.

IMG_3029-EditAfter a few minutes the heavens opened. Up went the brolly and out came the coffee. This was one heavy shower. So heavy that the rain drops made my float sink. I reeled in and waited for it too pass. I took in the surroundings whilst I did the same with the coffee. Some twenty minutes later, coffee finished, I sent the rig back out into the swim. Almost immediately concentric circles rattled from the tip. And again, before it started to glide across the surface. I struck into my first fish of the day. Actually, I didn’t. I missed the bite! Three more casters fed and in the process was repeated. Another twenty minutes went by before the float moved again, this time it moved beneath the surface. That’s what I like, unmissable bites!

IMG_3016It was a lovely 8oz roach, rich with dark blues and creamy yellows. Roach in clear water are stunning fish indeed. Carrying the black spot I remember so vividly. It’s larval stage of some form of parasite ingested when the fish feed on water snails (where the parasite had been waiting in the liver of the snails – nice). The fish always appear healthy and I remember reading that there is no lasting damage done. In fact they are often absorbed by the fishes immune system. I carried on fishing, feeding a few casters every fifteen minutes or so, and began to catch a few pristine brown goldfish of around 5-6oz. I also lost a few that found the sanctuary of the weed before I had chance to do anything about it. They don’t half fight for little fish. Especially when you are on light tackle.

IMG_3020Four hours later I had caught around ten brown goldfish, one small crucian and one roach. It had been totally absorbing trying to coax these little fish. I wondered where the time had gone. Yes, I had certainly enjoyed this session. A little journey back to my childhood where I had been similarly captivated in trying to catch these chunky, golden fish.

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,

NorthwestFisherman

A fisherman’s tale (Entry 62)

I had a break from the river carp this week. I didn’t go to a different venue though. Still on the same river but on a different stretch. This served two purposes. The first being it allowed me to still keep some bait going in over the spots I’ve been fishing for the carp. The second is that I am thinking about fishing this river for perch come the colder weather, when conditions are favourable, and I wanted to see if I could find any potential swims, areas and hopefully catch a few fish along the way. Not really after anything specifically, just being there and enjoying myself. And boy, am I glad I did. Nothing to do with what I caught but what I saw.

I wasn’t alone today, my old man was with me and it was nice to have some company. I’ve been keeping him up to date with my carp venture and it must have got his spirits going again. If you’re off to the river I’ve got some casters in, just in case. Well, I knew he would put them to good use and was sure, even with the river being so clear and the flow lacking, that he would get some roach feeding and catch a good number of them. Whilst he set up I wandered off to feed the carp swims. When I returned a good hour later he was already catching plump 4-6oz roach with surprising regularity. He hardly bothered looking up as I stood behind him talking. Who could blame him?

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I eventually settled into a enticing swim. It certainly looked the part. A fair amount of marginal cover that could prove invaluable given the clear water conditions. It offered a good depth fishing just over the ledge. I fished a stick float set up over depth, cast out into the flow (what little there was), and allowed the rig to swing back onto the shelf on a tight line. There the rig held stationary, presenting a dendrobaena and caster cocktail. What passing bream or marauding perch could resist?

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It turned out that quite a lot of these little perch couldn’t resist. Over twenty in the first hour. But me being me, I wanted something a little bigger. Just after dinner I bait dropped a good amount of dark groundbait, chopped worm and caster into the swim. After a quick bite to eat and a cup of coffee my first cast produced a nice 2lb bream. The next cast I hooked another bream that quickly shed the hook and signalled the end of any more bites. Even the little perch had gone. I sat it out for a while longer before I packed up and went and sat with my dad. Here is where the story gets interesting.

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Thinking about it now I should have got a catch shot of my dads roach bag but for some reason I didn’t. It was a lovely catch of fish, maybe 10-12lb of prime river roach with a few perch mixed in. Oh, and a little gudgeon. With the fish safely returned he spread his keepnet out to dry. That’s when we saw the gudgeon was still in there. It must have got stuck in a fold. My dad saw to it he went back like all the other fish had. Sure enough he swam off, slowly, into the clear water. This hadn’t gone unnoticed though. There was a dark shape underneath him, just inches from the bank. At first I though a jack pike had been drawn in by the commotion of the other fish being returned. In the split second the fish bolted up to the gudgeon and engulfed it, I realised how wrong I was. Not a jack pike but a huge perch. This fish was enormous. I have never seen a perch so big. Its dark green back was so wide it was almost carp like. It’s mouth could have engulfed a golf ball with ease. I am not going to put an estimated weight on this fish. Lets just say if I was ever lucky enough to catch this fish it would probably be my PB for a very, very long time. It certainly makes you think about the potential of the waters we fish and the fish that live there.

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,

NorthwestFisherman