Monday, 29 November 2010

River Dee Crocs

Finally winter is here! Happy why I hear you cry! Because I can finally start catching fish!! I’ve reached that stage in my angling where what ever species I want to target I know a venue that suits my specimen needs. Some far away and some on my very door step, and on my door step is where I have been the past couple of weeks on Dee.

I do love fishing my local venues and my aim this winter is my first 20lb Pike out of the Dee, now this is a very realistic target because there are plenty in the Dee its just catching them.

Mink tracks

To get my head into the Pike fishing I decided to fish a non pressured area away from most people so I could get to grips with avoiding the trebles and the Pikes teeth. The Dee was just coming down in level after a flood though and the banks were very slippery, learning from my mistakes boots were put on straight away.

Apart from its Pike, Dace is the firm favourite of a lot of the anglers in winter on the Dee, as there’s plenty in the area.

Perfect for live baiting

To be honest I was enjoying fishing for the Dace more than the Pike, keep hitting that same spot with the maggot feeder and they crawl up the line, even put up a half decent fight if you let them.

Surprise Grayling catch on the maggot feeder

So the Pike, I had a really good first session managing to bag one of around 7/8lb

7/8lb Dee Pike

Which also gave me a bit of bother which resulted in this

Hazards of the job

And for my troubles and pain I was rewarded with this

13lb8oz, I’m always happy to catch double because they do put up a great fight.

The following week was once again going to be spent out on the Dee in search of the treasures it holds. Unfortunately Wrexham was hit with snow on the Friday evening and I wasn’t sure if I would have to give up a weekend on my quest.

Sure was a cold start

As you can see from the picture above I did go out fishing!! I,ve always wanted a really nice photo of a Pike in the snow so I couldn’t just sit back in the house. Although I think that’s what most people did because this very popular area was deserted.

I’m starting to hate swans more than cows now! Nasty little devils

I wasn’t alone for long though and sure enough the place was getting very busy. Match men lined the far bank and went about drawing peg numbers (“IT’S A 6, NNOOO ITS NOT THAT’S A 9, IT CANT BE A 9 BECAUSE I HAVE 9”…..) I do hate sharing.

Dace live bait doing its job perfectly

I spent the morning enjoying my Dace fishing with a float out in the margins for the Pike, It’s rather tricky to watch the quiver tip for the Dace and the float for the Pike and when my Pike float shot away from the surface its all hands on deck! For its size it put up a fantastic fight, but my aim for the day was a Pike in the snow and irrelevant of the size here she is.

That’s what we like!! Smiles from me and the Pike

Not long after catching this Pike I ended up moving to the area I fished last week hoping that less angling pressure could mean some extra fish, but as soon as I arrived it just didn’t feel right and I felt I should have been back where I started. I gave the area a couple of hours anyway because you never know, had some dinner (which I’ll tell you about later) and went back to the other stretch.

Lovely deep margins for the Pike to work their way up and down

I fished the last hour of daylight in a tasty looking swim with some overhanging trees and listened to the match men’s antics a little longer. Interestingly the match was won with almost 30lb of silver fish!! Why stay in bed or at home with weather like this you should be fishing!

Well I didn’t catch anything else, the Pike just didn’t seem with it. The week before I was constantly getting runs and this time around it’s as if the Pike stayed in bed.

Right next week! My mate Chris is coming up from Portsmouth to visit his family so he’s getting dragged onto the banks Pike fishing!! Haven’t decided were we are going yet because it all depends on conditions, lets just hope the fishing continues to be just as good and I can get my hands on a 20!

Until next time

A new found winter warmer! Chicken soup and a packet of super noodles, Quality

Thursday, 18 November 2010


First off id just like to say sorry for how long this has taken me to get up, Iv had it written a while but without the internet and limited use of a flash drive it makes things a little difficult

First pint in pompey

Well Portsmouth I really did have a brilliant time and I really didn’t want to come back to reality but all good things come to an end, but probably for the best for my health’s sake because we were on the pop everyday.

I didn’t actually do any fishing until a few days in, we spent the rest of the time around the town seeing the sights and basically just enjoying being out of work, on the Saturday though we did go for a day trip to London to see the landmarks and the pubs

Chris and me sampling some fine ale in a traditional English pub

Tower Bridge as the sun was setting

Right, the fishing.

Bury Hill

Home of mega Pike and monster Zander a well known predator lake in the angling world and one of the top venues in the UK to catch your first Zander, and as I am yet to catch a Zander as we don’t really have Zander up north that was my aim.

For the trip my mate Chris would also be joining me as he has a thing for Pike and I managed to help him catch his first Pike this season off the mere. Would also like to say that as a non angler he did very well at getting up at stupid o clock so we could get to the lake at the crack of dawn for first choice of swims and hopefully winkle a couple of Pike and Zander out before it got too bright.

Me setting us up with 3 rods

My standard Pike fishing set up

Bury hill is a little funny where they won’t let you use treble or barbed hooks for fishing, so single barbless hooks had to be used.

Bait selection - Prawns, Prawns soaked in crab liquid, whole roach and whole smelts

I decided on the prawns because I wanted to try and do something a little bit different to everyone else as I’m sure these fish have seen more dead baits than I have.

We fished it by having Chris float fishing and basically letting him do what he wanted with it, I had a float a couple of rod lengths out in front of me on roach heads or tails, and I also had a rod on my far left to a snagy area on a whole hair rigged prawn

Really does look the cats pyjamas

It didn’t take long before we started getting action, well not me but Chris!! Casting into a windy area his float was getting dragged around the swim and into feeding fish

Chris playing a Pike

Unfortunately with the barbless hook rule the fish managed to escape the net and also another fish after this managed to elude us.

The day its self was very grim but its exactly what I wanted, dark and overcast with dark rain clouds over us all day, luckily I thought ahead and I brought the oval brolly with me.

Me playing a Pike caught on half a roach tail, check out the fancy foot work

Result!! Pike of around 5lb and saved me from a blank

During the course of the day the fish were feeding in a pattern were we would get takes about 2/3 hours apart on each rod with no action in between.

That morning I went on to land another 2 Pike all on the ledger rod and then just what I’d been waiting for happened

Me just about to land……………………….

A ZANDER haha the face says it all

6lb7oz pb Zander and a happy bearded man

Well that just about summed up Bury Hill, I went to catch a Zander and I did, quality

Hampshire Avon - The Royalty

Well it shouldn’t need any introduction the famous day ticket section on the Hampshire Avon and I was targeting barbel. It’s not the first time I’ve visited as I did a day session on here last summer, I did blank then but at least it gave me some ideas to work on this time around.

Now for people who don’t the Hampshire Avon its very shallow in areas with gravel bottoms and steamer weed runs and you can at time actually spot the fish and specifically target certain fish.

I arrived just gone 7.30 and it was still very dark so I thought I would start in a deeper area of the Avon and that was the railway bridge swim.

Dark and overcast lovelyy Barbel conditions

I started off by fishing 1 rod with a large lump of meat with no other free offerings just to see if anything was knocking about. A few hours went by though without even a tap. So another rod soon found its way in with what I was hoping would be the winning formula

Known to only a few as “the magic mix” with added hemp and what Stu likes to call my “soy sauce”

I have full confidence in my mix and I know it can drive fish barmy but for some reason I just couldn’t get the Barbel on it! Grrrr. I was starting to contemplate a move as I know Stu would be shaking his head at me if he knew I spent all day blanking in 1 swim

No luck a move was on the cards

The peace and tranquillity in the railway swim, hmmmmmmm

I spent the rest of the day then moving about, trying lumps of meat, boilies and pellets but just couldn’t tempt a fish. I tried rolling meat, straight leads, Pva bags, stonze leads, feeders but nothing was having it, looks like it was another blank for me on the Avon! They aren’t stupid these fish

The final swim I fished, fishing PVA bags of pellets on the other side of a clump of streamer weed

Dorest Stour – Throop

Upon leaving the Hampshire Avon I was approached by a member of the fishing club that has the rights to the royalty and throop (Ringwood Angling) and this gentleman just so happened to be the manger on the Throop fishery which is famous for its giant Chub. Id already bought my day ticket for throop for the next day to save me going back to the tackle shop and I spent the next 30 minutes just picking the brains of the manager to get as much info as possible to give me the best chance of catching, his words “You don’t need half that shite” so no bag, 1 rod, chair and a few bits and I was on my way

When I first arrived at the venue there was already two other anglers on the fishery so I decided to walk as far as possible to try and get away from them to non disturbed water. I sat in the first interesting looking spot after my long walk and set up. It was only 7.30 and just the same as the royalty I couldn’t see the bottom and what I was fishing into, I could just make out some underwater cabbages and some weed. I didn’t want to fish into cabbages and get my rig masked so I decide to up sticks and move down stream

Upon standing up something shiny caught my eye in the water, a ghost carp of around 8lb was heading towards me, I kept watching it and my eyes started adjusting to the water and I noticed 4 other mirror and common carp swimming with the ghostie.

Back in the swim I was just fishing and I started introducing the magic mix. Before long mud clouds started to appear on the surface as the carp were ripping up the bottom after the mix. For an hour I kept my hand on that rod with my heart pounding as I knew the carp were in the area but I just couldn’t see them. Then from behind the weed a carp starts drifting towards the rig and into my line, it stopped the carp in its tracks as if it hit a pane of glass and it bolted into the depths. Chance gone

Typical looking stretch at throop

I went on to move several times and see a fair few chub but I was unable to catch anything. I was really disappointed as I was trying everything technical under the sun and the regulars down there were just fishing it like I fish the Severn, Groundbait feeders and nothing more and they were pulling the chub out one after the other. Lesson learnt I think

And that brings you up to date, I haven’t been out fishing since Portsmouth and I have around 50 meatballs in my freezer covered in crab liquid I need to get rid of because there stinking!!

with this drop in temperature looks like its once again a change with the seasons and its roach and pike for a while, Depending on the river conditions I could be out on the river dee in search of a river Croc

Until next time

Doesn’t take much to make me happy, Nice view, beer garden, ale and Zander