Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Something Alarming! - Part 1

The official Pike season is only a few weeks away so my thoughts have drifted in the direction of the toothy ones in preparation.
For a couple of years I've been using bobbins fastened to the back rest as drop back indicators but I've been thinking about an electronic version of the same. I've had a quick look around the Internet but with cash being as bit short I couldn't find anything cheap except for the 999 alarm from Zandavan. It works on the principle of a tilt switch as the break in a simple circuit, when the bobbin drops the tilt switch makes contact, completes the circuit and a siren sounds until it's switched off, simple.
(isn't it always the best)
I've always dabbled in electronics, taking things apart and re-soldering to fix something that was broken or finding a way for modifying a circuit to do another job.
I thought I'd have a go at making my own electronic drop back indicator. I had a good grasp of how this circuit works and set about building one, A few simple parts were sorted from my electronics box and purchased from Maplin. After a bit of planning and testing the circuit was ready and put into a project box, I doubled up parts of the circuit so I was able to use two bobbins off the same sounder and save on parts, I ended up just using the one battery and one buzzer.

The cobbled alarm, version one.
The bobbins were the hardest to work out as I didn't want them to be fastened permanently to the box, this would cause a weak point in the cable where it exits the case and could cause problems later should the cable fail at this point, I opted for a connection more commonly found on the back of your hifi, a phono connection. The tilt switch was housed in a section of plastic from a pen with some old line clips glued into the end.

Hi fidelity connections!

Now, where did I put that pen?
I used a couple of Sharon's hair elastics to temporarily fasten the alarm to a bank stick for testing down the canal, it seemed to work fine although I think the alarm could be mounted slightly higher. With regards to detecting bites, they work a treat.

Fastened with hair elastics.
The Zed's I had nibbling the baits gave the bobbins a good shake and after a little adjustment they detached from the line and dropped to the floor with the alarm screaming.

The smaller of the alarm testers.
I missed a couple of takes adjusting the clips and concentrating on the alarms performance and not the fish.
Slightly bigger but not much.
I'm thinking of adding a vibration sensor to the bobbin with an LED that lights up when the bobbin is moved however the wind factor could make this a problem.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Boilie or Fly?

The mornings are getting a tad chilly now so in theory the Carp should have their heads down bulking up ready for the winter cold spell, but no, they don't play by the rules. After a lousy day sat behind bite alarms at Ryton, spending the whole day willing one of the alarms to sound or at least the line to twitch, the session turned into a blank. we felt we had to change to fly fishing for them. The boilies will have to wait a few more weeks.
Sunday morning we went to Jubilee for a couple of hours of fly fishing, a match was being held on the horseshoe pool so we settled on the Island pool at set about feeding a few swims to bring the fish up in the water. I had a couple of fish show including one fish with a head like a horse, when this fish started picking off the biscuits I thought I was going to connect with a new PB as this fish was huge, there was no slurping the biscuits down like the usual suspects, this thing just opened it's mouth and engulfed them, if the biscuits were the size of a satsuma it would have swallowed them, no problem. I had two refusals off this fish which really got my heart pounding, I'm sure Barry could have heard it the other side of the lake. Barry managed one Carp but it was tough going, all I could manage was a nice Roach.
A nice Roach to the fly.
We returned in the afternoon/evening and I was hoping to have another go for the horse but someone was in that swim, one for next time me thinks. Horseshoe pool it was and it wasn't long before we had several fish up on top feeding away but they were being so cautious, I lost count how many flies I changed before I connected with a half descent fish that gave me a 'stripped back to the backing' scrap, this fish had loads of energy but I didn't think it was that big when I saw it rise for the fly. On the matt, I could see that it was one of the usual suspects, one I've had before with the kink in it's back but it looks like it's put on a bit of weight.
Wonky Donkey!
I completely missed the second bite of the evening, I was too busy taking a picture of the sunset in front of my swim and felt the line pull through my fingers, I dropped the camera into it's bag and pulled up the line and lifted into the fish, it wasn't big but it still pulled the string hard.
The Sunset!

The Fish!
Barry had a fair bit of action with plenty of takes and several lost fish but he did get his net wet.

Barry applies some pressure.

Blog Drought.

There's been a bit of a blog drought on these pages of late, this isn't from not having time to write about my fishing adventures, I either haven't been fishing or just plain blanked.

The summer jolly trip to North Wales with plenty of planned fishing trips didn't quite go to plan, with a death in the family the week before, the trip turned out to be a rather sad affair. Eventhough the chances to go and wet a line were plenty I just didn't feel like going.

The Snowdonia mountain range, a perfect backdrop.
We had one sunny day which was spent on the beach where we used to go camping a few years earlier, the big Mullet were still taunting anglers inside the harbour and the tide was just perfect at the estuary entrance for a spot of Bass fishing, I put a rod out whilst playing and crabbing with Cerys on the sand but forgot about the wind this stretch of coast had had the week before, this stirs up the weed for a week at a time and my rigs were being wiped out by the stuff within a few minutes of being cast out, needless to say, I blanked.

I'm sure my nanna would have wanted me to go fishing more that week as it was my grandad that got me into fishing as a kid, I can't believe he's been gone for thirty two years.