Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Small River Adventures - Part Two

That big Perch had me thinking all the way home and it was the first thing I thought about when sorting through my gear the next morning. Getting a pass to go fishing was tough but I managed to swing it and I was back on the river again for and afternoon session. 

Different plan today, choose a swim and fish it for a good few hours, I chose a spot on a bend that looked particularly fishy and started to feed maggots to try and tempt a few larger residents out from the far bank cover, it was deep, almost six foot but the fish were there. I started to catch small Dace and Roach as well as a few Chublets and then bingo, I hooked into something much bigger, I had visions of a huge striped beast rolling into my net but it turned out to be a Chub of three pound and four ounces.

Chub with scars from a previous encounter
It was a good start, so the maggots kept being fed and the fish kept coming but I was hoping for one big stripey, I had a few smaller Perch but the big ones kept themselves hidden. Before I made a move I had a new species, I don't ever recall catching a Ruffe before and was rather pleased to have met one, looked very similar to the sea scorpions I used to catch in the Menai Straits.

Spiky beast
I moved back upstream a few pools to where I'd lost the Perch the day before and saved all my best worms for this pool, it only took a couple of trots through to connect with the first Perch and after a good high speed thrash around the swim it was safely in the net. It wasn't anywhere near as big as the fish I saw yesterday but it was an improvement on what I have at the moment at one ounce over the pound. 

A pound and one ounce

I gave the swim a rest and just fed maggots for around ten minutes before trotting a worm through again, I was sure that the thrashing from the first Perch would have spooked the swim but I kept getting bites and it was a few trots later that I connected with another good stripey of exactly the same size, it may have been the same fish!

Small River Adventures - Part One

I like fishing new stretches of water, it's that element of the unknown that brings excitement into fishing a new venue with only reports and pictures to go on and a Google Earth view to look at and ponder over. In reality, each swim was worthy of a dangle with a bait, there were a few well worn spots giving an impression that this place was well fished but it looked mostly untouched as I walked through the knee high grass.

I looked for a swim with deeper water, a bit of a flow and plenty of cover, with the water level being so low I felt this was the best approach. We'd had some rain through the night and into the morning, I was in two minds whether to take the brolly but I put my trust in the weather forecasters predictions and went with the waterproofs, I was expecting the river to have plenty of colour but it was surprisingly clear.

I started with red maggot on a float to see what I could tempt and brought a couple of other baits as a reserve, as usual I was over gunned for such a small venue fishing with two rods, there was no need for the second rod, however, fished as a sleeper on the bottom with a big lobworm on the hook this rod did take a bite from a very good Perch which threw the hook at the net. This was a kick in the teeth for this session and just to rub salt into the open wound, I witnessed the capture of a much bigger Perch later in the day.

On a plus point, I doubled my Dace weight for the challenge, it's now two ounces!

A Whopper of a Dace!

It was a good day with plenty of fish, Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, Chublets and Perch, I even caught a small Pike on red maggot! 

Spot the maggot.

On my next visit I'll stick with the one rod and just float fish.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Jolly Time!

First week in July and time for the first summer jolly of 2011. Westward Ho! with the intention of kicking back and relaxing, spending some time with Cerys and maybe a spot of fishing to hopefully bag a few Smoothies. 

The holiday went basically like this:

Most of the time was spent doing a lot of this.

Out on a recce

After spending several hours collecting enough bait for the week I managed to spend some time doing what we all love, wetting a line.

Back on hound alley

Sadly, this year I didn't catch any of these.

2010 Hound

After a couple of good days, the wind swung round making rock fishing for Smoothhounds a bit tricky.

Rock to beach panorama

So I headed for the gulley's at the entrance to the estuary to fish for these.

Well below legal size

When the tide was out it looked like this

Where's the water gone?

But as the water level rose, the 'south gutt' filled up and in moved the shoals of Bass.

Ah, there it is!

It looks lovely and sunny in most of these pictures but a fair bit of time was spent with my back to the wind and heavy rain showers. 

Go on, rattle it again and I'll av ya!

Even though I fished hard, the Bass didn't get much bigger than this.

Bass like worm down here!

Roll on the next holiday.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

An early start.

Little Cerys is becoming more and more active and demanding now and even though I'm finding time to squeeze in a few sessions I'm finding even less time to sit in front of the computer to write about them, the next few are a bit of a catch-up.
Three weeks ago I was having one of those sleepless nights, Cerys had settled down and was asleep but we kept being disturbed by intermittent barking from the dogs next door, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't block it out, when half past three rolled around onto the clock face I went for another pace around the house and noticed the sky starting to turn blue, there was some fishing planned for the next day and I had bait ready to go, so, what was going to be an evening session turned into an early morning stint and by half past four I had my first fish on the bank.
The venue was the Sowe just down the road (10 minute walk) and the first spot I fished was in the park just down from the Chase Hotel, it's usually filled with people playing football or walking their dogs but at this time of the morning everything was still and quiet. I fancied the run just down from a pipe that crosses the river and when I peered over the bank side overgrowth I saw a couple of silver flashes in the deeper run, I was using my trotting rod with red maggot as bait and on the second run through I had my first fish on, a lovely Roach. It only made five ounces but the condition was immaculate. 

First fish of the day

I moved around a fair bit and could have done with a machete to get to some of the parts I'd fished earlier in the year, this stretch isn't fished much. As soon as the dog walkers started to appear I headed back for breakfast, I lost count of how many Roach I'd caught but as the morning got lighter and warmer they disappeared and I started to catch more and more Minnow's and Gudgeon.