Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Barbel for me, perch for Wanye

Wanye fancied another crack at the weirpool, I'd hoped that we'd get into our first choice swim this time, there were a couple of anglers fishing the weir itself, and another couple on the Beeston side. but the spot I wanted was free. Wayne was having no takers on floatfished maggots, so after an hour or so switched to a maggot feeder, further out at 30 yds or so.
I was fishing with boilies and bags again, casting to a new spot every hour or so to search out the pool. As the flow form the hydro plant released the upstream lead began to struggle to hold botttom and bounced back a few times, resettling with an increasing bow in the line, I lifted the rod and gently tightened... then felt a tap as a fish took the bait, I instinctively struck and picked up a fish which hooped the rod over, before the clutch gave a few yards and and the tussle was on.

At about 5 or 6 lb the barbel was nice enough, but it was to be the only run i'd get. The chaps at the Wier hooked at least three good fish, and I think landed two.  Wanye managed a succession of perch and a nice dace on the feeder. We packed up once it got dark... those long days are now rapidly slipping away.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

lone bream

popped back to the Soar after work today, this time in a different spot below the lock. Spent an hour or two nattering to the Lee the bailif, who is a decent lad and confirmed that the carp are about. I wouldn't see them though, packed up about 22:30, an hour after this single 4lb bream, the only bite of the night.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Soar thumb!

I reckoned I had found a carpy looking bit of the Soar, and with the Trent being so difficult this summer decided to give it a try.

  This area has seen quite a bit of work to the pegs this year, with steps cut and some swims dug out and levelled. I arrived at about 6pm, fishing using stocking bags and boilies, 2kg of vitalin and crumb groundbait went out at the start , mostly to a spot upstream amd in the middle of the river, a small downstream patch, closer to the margin was also baited with three apple sized balls of bait. this was the spot I was expecting to produce a carp. Things were slow to begin with, there were lots of small fish topping and rolling over the baited area, but no bites. I spotted a large fish slurping at the surface on the opposite bank, so recast to this spot for an hour, before topping up the groundbait by balling in another couple of kg and putting another pva stocking out on the downstream rod.
It was just after 11pm when the downstream rod regestered a pick up, I lifted into a reasonable chub, that was compliant at first, until it reached the reeds at my feet and powered between them. I smiled to myself, as this is actually one of the things I like about night fishing... I tend to keep the head torch turned off while playing a fish, relying on well adjusted night vision and sharpend senses to understand what the fish is doing... its times like this that the ability is tested, and all too often is found wanting.

The chub, of about 4lbs was followed at 11:30 by a bream, again, of 4lbs,  this time from the upstream baited area, taking the popped up source boilie. The source boilie would also account for this chub at about half past twelve. I popped this one on the scales, it had a good head and shoulders and in the headtorch beam I thought it might have a chance of scraping 5lb. At 4lb 9oz my guess was a bit optimistic...

As I returned this chub disaster almost struck, My feet slipped from under me.  Falling backwards, I instinctively reached a hand back to break my fall, but instead of my hand taking the load my whole bodyweight fell on my outstretched thumb. In the explosion of pain which followed my first thought was whether I'd be able to drive back with a broken thumb... though as the initial pain subsided and I tentatively manipulated the swollen joint I suspected a bad sprain, rather than broken bone was the problem.
I fished on, another 4lb bream took the spicy prawn boilie on the downstream rod at 1am, and it began to rain, very light and drizzly at first, in stops and starts. By 2am it was becoming a heavier drizzle and I was weighing up whether to call it a night. By 2:30 I had decided that I'd pack up at 3. At that moment another 4lb bream intervened, again falling to spicy prawn on the downstream rod, It was 2:40, my thumb was killing and it was starting to properly rain. Sometimes you need to listen to what the Gods are telling you so I decided to call it a night, once I had walked to the car and driven back to and across Nottingham.... It would be late to bed tonight.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Cormorants at Colwick

It was another bright day, though showers were forecast. I headed down to the sluice gates at Colwick. Again this is part of doing the legwork and trying to pin a location on the river carp. I had taken a couple of rods to keep me company while looking for any signs of fish basking in the shallow rocky water below the gates. Of fish I saw no sign, fishing with maggot feeder I went for the whole 3hours without a single bite.

It has been a very curious few days, again even the minows were ignoring maggots tossed into the shallows. Atmospheric conditions, perhaps, the colossal solar flare & geomagnetic storm maybe. perhaps (probably) the 13 cormorants I spotted have got something to do with it  whatever the reason I've had a dire few days fishing!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Giving the dead horse one last slap

I spent a few hours in waders chucking s big spoon along the wall at the pads. I wasn't that suprised to get no takers, it was a hefty mouthful for any fish. I was planning on following up with the fly rod to see if anything smaller was around, but the awful gusting wind made me put that idea aside. Instead I was tempted back into my dead horse swim for a few hours. Same story as ever, not a sniff. the bailiff spotted me from the pit and popped over to let me know that Malc had fished it the night before without a touch. I gave it until about 22:30 before knocking it on the head, wondering what logic made me decide to giver it another shot!

Friday, 5 August 2011

A wandering man

With another day off work I continued my search for the elusive Trent and tributaries carp, With the good weather I suspected that there would be a reasonable chance of spotting one in the Erewash canal. I travelled clad in knee length waders with the fly rod in one hand, float rod in the other and a landing net. A small backpack held a couple of pints of maggots, half a loaf of bread, fly box and a few sundry items of tackle.
To create a circular route I headed north, wading up the river Erewash,  exploring the river upstream of Dockholme bridge. Apart from a handful of 1-2 lb chub above the bridge I didn't find any significant fish in the stretch. Mostly from ankle to knee deep, there were one or two slightly deeper areas that required diverting out of the ever and onto the bank. Overall though the habitat was disappointing when compared with the meandering river further downstream. At Sandiacre lock I crossed over onto the Erewash canal,  finding a dozen or so bream backing in the sun. I spent half an hour or so watching them with free offerings of crust and flake sitting just inches from their noses... None had any interest in feeding. I kind of thought that a carp would eventually show itself... It didnt and eventually I had to move on from the well placed bench.

Carrying on up towards Sandiacre town centre I spent a while flicking a fly at the rudd and roach shoals I spotted. Whilst I was able to get a bit of interest I was unable to raise a take, I thought the maggots would be a dead cert, but again I struggled, the crystal clear water let me watch them delicately peck at the decending maggots, without swallowing, until they eventually ended up dropping out of sight below the cabbage layer, or lay ignored on the bed of the canal. I returned to Dockholme via the canal, still struggling to get bites, even on a single floatfished maggot.

I hopped back in the car and dropped down to Toton park, hoping I would find a few more fish here. I started off fishing a soldier palmer with the fly rod, getting nothing from the first swim, and failing to impress the 3 chub resident in the next peg down. They were interested, but not enough to open their big fat lips. Switching to a green goldhead damsel nymph didn't help, so I carried on downstream, eventually collecting a tiny chublet and bumping the hook on a bigger perch.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Line bite and loach

It was a fairly warm and still evening, though the temperature has dropped significantly from the 24c of last night. I rolled up at the pads at about 7pm, optimistically targeting the carp once more with boilies over pellets. Of course it was to be another fishless evening, interrupted by a solitary, but significant line bite. The main purpose of the session was surveillance, the conditions were quite still, and I had a 150 degree vista of 3/4 mile of river.

If fish were rolling anywhere I would have seen them. it just reinforces the results that people have been getting at this end of the river... for whatever reason the fish just don't seem to be around.

 As well as long range surveillance I was also on a micro species lookout, highlight of the evening was the capture of a spined loach, albeit only via the waterproof camera... At the time I thought it was a stone loach, but a closer look at the photos, in particular the regularity of the markings on its sides makes me 90% sure its a spiny.

 I'll need to start bringing the size 32 hooks to have a chance of wrangling that one... even then, since they feed by filtering mud for microscopic invertebrates its probably an impossible task, maybe the only UK fish thats impossible to catch on rod and line. Still they are a pretty scarce and geographically limited fish, so even if this is the closest I ever get to catching one I'm still pretty happy.

After watching the moonset I noticed a very faint but strange flickering in the sky at around midnight, barely noticable really. There is an active sunspot at the moment - hints of the aurora borealis perhaps?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wanye at the weir

I took Wanye down to the weir after work. The peg I had hoped for was taken, so we fished the tail end of the weirpool. Wanye was on a maggot feeder and I fished a pair of rods on the alarms with boilies.

 It only took 20 minutes before the rod baited with a spicy prawn popup screamed off and I was connected to a strong fish. Only for a few seconds though... The line went slack, and once retrieved revealed the hook length had parted in the middle. Sharp rock? Swan mussel?... Whatever it had failed with a fish running on a fairly slack clutch. I tried to push to the back of my mind the possibility that it may have been a carp... Much more likely to be a barbel.

With Wanye not raising much interest to his feeder I tried trotting a pair of maggots down on a chubber float, picked up a few minnows and a chublet. Eventually Wanye started getting some bites, picking up gudgeon, dace and perch.

As the sun lowered we were harangued by biting midges... Ultimately they were to send us packing by 21:30.