Sunday, 23 June 2013

Super Moon - Super Quiet

17th  & 23rd June - Middle Trent

Following Sundays Barbel from the weir I was feeling the urge for some predator action... My home bait fridge/ freezer is out of action due to an earth/wiring issue (Probably due to rodent action on the subfloor cables) Therefore any baits would have to be fresh... but I didn't anticipate any problems with this, it is a rare occasion that I struggle to find small silvers on the Trent or its tributaries during the summer months. I dropped into Matchman supplies for a pint of maggots on my way to work, and by about half four I was dodging potholes as I trundled along the track to the Ferry field.

Of course I might have guessed that the day that I go predator hunting without backup baits would be the day the baitfish failed to show. After two hours of regular feeding the peg I had chosen still hadn't come to life, and an hour in each of the immediate upstream and downstream pegs fared no better. Left with no option I went to plan B, thinking of the parallels between this evening and my last session in this peg in the autumn as I baited up with prawn boilies and settled down behind the rods to enjoy the what remained of the evening. I blanked - not only that but I didn't even see a single sign of a fish, Nor any grebes, herons, kingfishers, cormorants or terns.

Not to easily be beaten I tried again on Saturday evening, the night of the so-called "Supermoon".  It was almost a carbon copy of Mondays events, except that I tried floatfished maggots beneath every overhanging tree and in every peg - Nothing.  I then tried a maggot feeder for a while with exactly the same result.  Not only that but not a single rise, dimple or splash to indicate any fish anywhere. I fished big bunches of maggots overnight in several locations between margins and midriver - careful inspection the following morning revealed not one had even been sucked. The only nod to there being any life on this stretch of the Trent was a midriver splashy jumpy "rise" that I suspect was a jack pike and a solitary tern that made several stoops towards the water surface near the far bank, but failing to identify a target worthy of getting wet it didn't dive.

So week one of the season has seen me fish four times and blank on three of them. Maybe time to move again. Perhaps somewhere with less water...

Sunday, 16 June 2013

If at first you dont succeed... MOVE!

So the new coarse season was upon me & Marie had taken the camper to Download festival... so I would be back to slumming it in the bivvy. Once most of my stuff was accumulated in a big pile in the middle of the kitchen I still wasn't certain that I knew where I was going to see in midnight. A quick text to John revealed that he was fishing the pads, so I thought I'd be sociable and see how this stretch, that I didn't fish once last year, was looking.
Its wasn't far off 8pm by the time I arrived, bringing the tally of blokes fishing the stretch to 5. I set up in the woods, putting a few handfuls of pellets in and getting the rods ready for the off, before popping to the opposite end of the stretch for a natter with John. Once I'd polished off a couple of IPA's, not long before it properly got dark, I returned to the bivvie to get out of the strong gusting wind and have a bite to eat...
Next thing I knew it was 12:20am, I'd only got comfy and dozed off for a hour or more, missing the starting gun, not that I was that bothered. This evening the actual fishing played second fiddle to the joy of just being back on the riverside again. Now well rested I sat and watched the rods for a few hours, it was still windy and none too warm, but the stars sparkling between the patchy cloud suggested a pleasant morning would follow as I huddled in my duckdown coat and heated a tinned chicken curry up on the petrol stove.
Dawn arrived and the wind had dropped to a pleasant breeze which rippled the water, tinged with just a little colour from Fridays rain. I could see a big shoal of bleak in mid river, feeding off one of the numerous hatches that the morning brought but there was no indication of anything bigger in residence. Later, with my fourth cuppa of the day in hand I wound in the rods and took a steady walk up the stretch, finding out if anyone else had a more eventful night. They hadn't, no bites to anyone other than John, who had managed a bream as the reward for his efforts.
  Slowly I packed away and returned home for lunch. Doing some odd jobs before preparing for my second fishing trip of the day... I had decided that I would fish sundown at the weir, aiming for an early season Barb to kick things off. It was 7:15 pm by the time I arrived, once more the winter floods had re contoured my favourite peg, making it a bit more comfortable, but seemingly shallower than in previous years. I had decided to stick to one bait, Spicy Shrimp & Prawn, but to fish single boilies on one rod and doubles on the other.

The rods registered a few dropbacks through the evening, possibly fish but more likely due to the strong and turbulent flow, after sundown however the upstream rod jabbed unmistakably in the twilight & I lifted into a powerful fish. The fight was strong and steady, not charging off anywhere but refusing to yield either. I was pretty confident that it was a decent barbel, a suspicion confirmed once I got a look at it. I could probably have bullied it in quicker, however I had already decided to call it a night once the fish was landed so I was in no hurry and let the fish come to me in its own good time. Maybe my mental scales calibration is out, but I fancied it for a double particularly as it had a substantial girth. The scales on the other hand said substantially otherwise, not quite giving me 9lb as the measure of the beast. Still happy though as the season isn't even a day old yet...

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A long walk for minnows

The river had been up and down... mostly up, and conditions weren't really right for anything other than barbel, that and the coldest winter we've had for a while kept me indoors for pretty much all of the winter. As the last days approached I headed out with a couple of pints of maggots and the trotting gear... Initially to find out if there were any decent roach along the ferry field. I spent 20 or so minutes trotting through each peg, working downstream. There are some nice runs, and some big eddys which made for interesting trotting. I was halfway up the section before i had my only bite... The float buried and i was connected to a fish significantly bigger than any roach. The size 16 stayed in for only 15 seconds or so, long enough for a flash of a brassy flank to leave me guessing at a decent chub after the rod pinged back and the fish was off.
  With no further bites from the remaining pegs I hopped back into the car and headed over to Fairham Brook. I roamed a couple of miles upstream of Ruddington, running the float through every likely looking run, of which there are few. The poor light didn't help with fish spotting and, eventually the float dithered and after a series dithers that failed to connect my suspicions of minnow were confirmed by hooking a couple. I soon moved on, pushing well up into the fields on the edge of town but there is little cover here, and the clear shallow water would be far from inviting for daytime feeding.
My overdue return to the water was far from eventful.