Thursday, 23 September 2010

If they won’t come to me, ill come to them

12/09/10 – Vampire nights

Sunday evening I decided to target a local stretch of the River Dee which is fast becoming a river that is on my mind frequently. There’s not a lot known about the fish in the Dee after the fish kill so who knows for sure whats in its depths and for that reason alone I cant help but keep off there. So Sunday evening was going to be spent fishing a tasty looking marginal raft hopfully for a barbel or maybe even a carp

Both rods out on the Dee

Now up until this session I was having full faith in Sonu baits soft hook able pellets which I hair rig on, but for some reason every time I was reeling in the pellet was gone, not sure if little fish were just constantly eating away at it but I just couldn’t get them to stay on. I decided to switch both rods over to some 10mm boilies but before I had chance I had a screamer on the right hand rod, initially I thought it was a small chub but was soon greeted with an eel!!! Now I don’t usually mind eels but I hate bootlaces and I hate trying to unhook them

My attempt wasn’t very good and mr eel found his way all over my chair

Grrrrr pesky critters!!! Didn’t even give the feeder time to empty!!

I haven’t done a lot of time fishing the dee for its barbel so was playing it the same way with the severn hoping that they come on the feed into dark, that means warm cloths, head torch and isotopes

Lovely place to be in the dark, only person for miles around patiently waiting for the one

I fished from 6pm until 11pm with only the eel for my troubles but I don’t regret going because its only 20 mins away and iv got the chance of catching something special, I just have to sit it out a little longer.

And that brings me to the end of summer, whilst I was out there was a constant stream of leaves heading down stream which means autumn is on its way which for me means more barbel fishing into dark, bream fishing also in the dark and maybe a few more carp stalking sessions before they shut shop for the winter.

My indulgence for the end of summer, Fruit cider and sponge cake what could say goodbye better.

18/09/10 - If they won’t come to me, ill come to them

Saturday was set to be my main fishing adventure this weekend and I was planning on heading down the severn. With doing loads of over time in work id only been to the gym once last week so I wanted to spend the day moving from swim to swim to try and burn a few calories. Id planned on starting at 6am on a stretch I know produces in the morning then move onto another stretch just up the road and work my way along there

So to get down the river and fishing by 6am meant a 5am wake up

On the river before the sun was up. Best time of day to be out

The river was tea coloured and up by a couple of feet but it had been up a lot more the past few days so i was just on the end of the flood, these are my favourite conditions for barbel though and you can often catch them all day in floods

Couple of rubber ducks that came down in the flood

On this stretch I had 3 areas to target and decided to spend an hour in each swim to see if I could tempt any fish to take big meat or pellets. With the recent floods though a couple of swims I did want to get to were inaccessible because of the steep banks and slippery mudd which proved to be a problem throughout the session

This lark isn’t for you carp boys

By 11am the sun was blazing down and I scrambled my way into the very last peg on the stretch. The river really narrowed up hear and the river went straight underneath a tree that was hanging into the water, so a cast mid river would hopefully has my feeder swing around and settle right underneath it and into the barbels lair!!

The result of my fine casting, what im going to class as the start of my barbel season

4lb of bullet shaped autumn gold

I sat it out a little longer to see if there were anymore shoal fish hanging around before jumping in the car and moving upstream and the next part of the session

My attempt at travelling light, small chair, net, 2 rods and bag

Now I don’t know this section very well but I do no of a couple of areas that I really fancy to throw up a couple of fish so I intended on jumping in those first. But the best layed plans

That’s those swims out the window because I’m not going through there

Rats!! So upstream I went in search of better fortune but I never found any. The next few hours really was a grueler. The further upstream I went the less I fancied the swims, the banks were getting steaper with more vegetation so they were exactly difficult to get to with made up rods

The sort of swims I had to venture into to fish, it doesn’t look like it but on the right hand side lead to this

Fishy bliss and barbel heaven
The weather report for the weekend was bob on and by 4pm the rain kicked in and this teamed up with the canoeists to dampen my spirits I decided to call it a session

Im classing one barbel off the upper though in the day an achievement. I spent lots of hours now blanking in the dark on the upper so just one fish is magic


barbel really are now on my agenda so more trips to the dee and severn no doubt teaming up with my angling guru and co Wrexham supporter Mr Stu Maddocks. Bream though I do need a think, there’s always lake55 to see what bream will show there, there’s the flash for the big shoal of doubles or there’s always old one eye on the sindy lake. But he really is a crafty one so I will need to put some time and effort in for him. Until next week

I remembered why I fish in the dark

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

My Snags moving!?!


Well to keep me out of a straight jacket a break from the catfish really was in order and a few weeks back I found out my mountaineering buddy mark had lived in preston a few years and being a fisherman he had never fished the Ribble!! Mmmaarrrkkkk tut tut tut, the ribble is home to some barbel of epic proportions and with it being 15 minutes from his home I was egger to get him fishing it, once he feels the might of this barbel I know he would be down every weekend ;)

Id arranged to meet mark at his for 7.30, and with Google maps telling me it was hour and 15 minutes away the alarm was set for 5.30am am, leaving me enough time to get out the house by 6 and get on the motorway

What a way to start the morning, sunrise and Hendrix

With me being a human Satnav I arrived at marks earlier than expected which gave us time to visit mc donolds for some breakfast before heading off to fish the day ticket stretch at Rib Chester Bridge, Not sure how well known the stretchis but the one most people knew about was “tickled trout” but with it being right on the motorway I voted against it hoping for some peace after a manic week in work.

We pulled up in the car park just gone 8am and we decide to scout out likely looking fishing areas

A Deer on the far bank, you won’t see him on the motorway stretch ;)

Mark with mc donolds finest coffee

We finally decided on what I thought was the best looking barbel spot on the whole river so we made are way swiftly back to the car to grab the gear and got to see some comical signs

Those chickens will leave there dogs running around tut tut tut :D

10pm and after running mark through the basics of barbeling we were all armed up and ready for take, i tried to cover as many things as possible hopefully to catch us one, mark was using groundbait feeder chopping and changing between meat and boilie mid river, I was also fishing a groundbait feeder with a small pellet mid river and I also had a rod out in-between streamer weed on a lump of meat near the margins

With barbeling though it has a lot to do with watercraft and that’s why I choose the swim I did, it was walking pace water, looked fairly deep with no boils just smooth glide and down stream of some rapids, it really was just the rule book swim for a barbel

The swim on Ribble

12pm and not a lot was going on, I know from my river severn antics that on my sections of severn they only really feed at dusk into dark. But all rivers and sections are different iv had barbel out of the severn, dane and teme midday in bright sunshine when you wouldn’t expect to catch anything, so sitting it out all day for mark was the best way to try and figure out when these fish are likely to bite for his next trip

Rib Chester Bridge

Ill admit, I didn’t have a lot of faith in us catching until dusk but I didn’t want to put a dampener on marks trip so tried to get him to regularly recast his feeder hoping it might entice a big un to feed, whilst I had several naps with a tea towel over my head because it was roasting and I forgot my hat

But whilst I was sleeping there was plenty for mark to see to keep him entertained

Dragon Fly

Geese just about to land in our swim, at one point we had over 100 in front of us

Gone midday and we were still to catch until mark wound in his feeder

Yay fry for mark stuck in the feeder lol never seen that before

not having a fish in weeks I was keen to get on the action netting this badboy

Look at them rolls n wrinkles, getting right old

We put the world to rights for a good few hours before mark was to get his first proper river fish, just about to make a recast and mark thought he had hooked a snag, we had this problem a couple of times earlier in the morning because there was some proper boulders in the area, but no marks response was “whys my snag moving!!!” lol yyyiippiiii fish on. I excitedly rushed for the net just in time to slip my net under a nice chub

Marks first fish out the river a quality looking chub, not a single mark on it

Lovely fish but I was a little bit disappointed it wasn’t a barbel i had been promising, the chub was followed by what looked like a proper barbel take on my rod, which I was also letting mark hit because I wanted him to get one, but what was reeled in was big dace, which was probably just under a pound. But for a dace it was clonker

Dusk came which is the witching hour, I got my head screwed on and started regularly re casting with the feeder hoping to sound the dinner bell for the barbel. But with me on a bad luck streak at the minute mark had yet another take on his rod and which followed put me in a laughing fit for a while

Eel for mark haha it put us in a right mess with the net being used as my river chub net it has some right holes in it from getting caught in barbed wire over and over again which meant the eels was able to fall through the holes several times, twist around and get line and slime everywhere

But with marks sharp eye he was able to get a quick strike on the take and hook the eel in the bottom lip, meaning easy release (Although I did hold him in the margins for a while because I do think there’s something special about the little critters)

We sat it out for another hour into darkness finally packing up with the score being mark with 3 rod caught fish, me with nill lol

Great session mate and iv promised a winter chub and grayling trip on the same section

05/06/10 -- “Lake55”

Well this venue has had me excited for weeks, 10 minutes from my home and contains some big bream and also some very large carp. Great thing about it is the club has a policy where you have to be in the club for 2 years already before you can fish it.

Luckily for me I have time severed (not in prison the club) so Sunday morning I delicately opened my letter hoping not to lose any bits revelling my pass and in big letters from my mate Russ on the committee


Music to my ears, sounds right up my street I don’t do easy ;)

You couldn’t have got me down the venue quicker but I had already made plans to take my sister to Manchester airport so the lake which ill refer to as “lake55” just had to wait until I got to grace its banks at 4pm. three downsides to the venue

1. Rat infestation
2. Main bypass right next to the lake and railway behind
3. I have to be off by 7 unless im doing the night

The noise on the lake

All 3 bug me a little but it’s exactly the sort of venue I want, close to home which contains some big carp (30lb+) which I can stalk in the margins

So carp was the main target for my 3 hour session and I fished it the same way I caught my pb carp of 33lb, fishing the lift method close in with a big bunch of maggots

Centerpin, crystal waggler, swivel covered in putty, hook with bunch of maggots

I decided to try and fish a few areas just so I could get a feel for the place and see if I can see any fish moving around, I put bait into likely looking margins and rotated between them to see if I could bump into a few lazy fish, but I didn’t spot any fish moving around or have any indication on the float

I know you’re out there somewhere!!

Time on the bank is always well spent though and I know what to expect next time I venture down, im not to dishearten about not catching because I wanted this to be more of reccy trip after hearing so much about it (that’s why excuse for not catching)


Really enjoyed my trip with mark and love the look of “Lake55”, thinking a night session after bream down there on Friday could be well on cards, them catfish are making me sad so lets see if breams can put a smile back onto my face, I cant believe though how much bad luck im having on the fishing front, before I started this blog I had loads of fish under my belt, it’s a bad omen this lol o well until next week keep on searching :)

There’s always one!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

My time will come

Friday night and that once again meant the catfish. For a few days I’d be stewing over the best line of attack for the catfish for this weekend. Bait wise I decided to stick with the fish cocktail, and also try a lump of spam on the other rod.

This week though I decided to go knocking on the catfish’s front door, which I was hoping would be the dark, weedy tree lined bay at the very bottom of the flash, which for me meant a hike with all my gear on barrow, and I am the worst barrow man ever, all my sh*t always falls off lol

At the bottom end of the flash

After such a long hike its always nice to sit back for a few minutes and just have a think and see if there’s any fish moving about, you’ve done the hard part why rush into getting setup.

I didn’t realise until I started casting in just how weedy the flash is. There are a few sand patches that have been cleared in the weed by fish or birds but with the sunlight fading its hard to see through the water to find the patches. So the next best thing was to bombard two areas with balls of pellets to try and flatten the weed so I could fish ontop of it

Just look at it, if I was a catfish I’d be right snug down there

With the rods out all that was left was to get some tea and avoid the cows.

Pan fried burgers at dusk, Nom Nom Nom

Next morning I was up crack of dawn to hopefully get the traps set with fresh bait to intercept the catfish as they left their hidey holes in search of food. Each spot had a couple more handfuls of pellets and each rod re baited. With that done it was time for breakfast which was another two burgers because I forgot to bring my sausages.

Grebes, moorhens and mallards which inhabit the flash

11 o clock had come around and from what the bailiff had been telling me late morning was the best time for the catfish to feed, and he wasn’t wrong! Because a few yards up the bank I could see another angler slipping a net under a catfish. From the way he was playing it I just knew it was a catfish and later on I found out it was a 35lb cat.

I was absolutely gutted, the catfish were on the prowl but I either wasn’t in the right spot, using the right bait or just not lucky enough. Really disappointed, it’s not to bad leaving the water when you know nobody else has caught but when you know they have it’s horrible. A well, I was chuffed for the angler and did stop to give my congratulations as I left. Why, because it’s the blank session that make the capture that little more special. Will be my turn soon.

So with it being the bank holiday as well, a long weekend I should have got another session in but I didn’t. Saturday saw me celebrating a friend’s birthday in the heart of Wrexham, then Sunday I was up bright and early sampling the Matthews Street Festival in Liverpool, which was fantastic. Such a surreal sight seeing all the streets closed and thousands of people carrying cans and crates around the town lol I was merry to say the least, then straight to Chester after that to hit the Chester night life……. So, bank holiday Monday was spent recovering, it was a lovely day and it wasn’t wasted with me falling asleep in the garden on a deck chair and getting sun burnt.

This song sums up my mood over the weekend, just makes ya want to boogie

Next week what will I be doing I hear you cry!! Well I’m not sure to be honest lol I had an offer a few hours ago for a trip up to Preston to fish the river ripple for barbel, but that depends on if I have to take my sister to the airport which I completely forgot about, but also my angling club as from Wednesday has acquired a specimen water just 10 minutes down the road so it would be rude not to do an evening stalking on there and get a feel for the place.

Until next week ;)

Just sit it out and keep on searching!!