Friday, 26 October 2012

Long awaited fluff chucking session

Sometimes things just seem to go against your plans, Ive been meaning to get out with the fly rod for pike recently but every time I've wanted to, something has not been right. Anyway I finally got a couple of hours earlier this week, and all though I'd have preferred just a touch more clarity in the water than was available it didn't mean the end of my chances. The sport was still very slow on the stretch of canal I fished but I did manage a couple of fish, nothing big but cracking markings.

Theres another stretch I will probably fish next week that usually fishes better but its a more challenging stretch for fly fishing due to the marginal vegetation and high banks. If its not too cold I want to also give this stretch a go from a wading point of view. I've never waded this canal before but think it will give me a good stance if i just wade out a little past the vegetation, i can also then fish the margin more effectively.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Perch Portraits

I just can't help myself when out fishing for perch, I just have to photograph them regardless of size, they are such a fantastic looking fish. I'm always trying to capture the 'essence' of perch, the aggressive spiky dorsal, the blue sheen on there cheeks or the subtle greens and golds in the body.
I had a reasonable hour or 2 today with over 20 fish, nothing special but a few needing netting. I'd have done allot better if the boats hadn't have spoiled things!
I messed around with the camera trying to capture some of that perch 'essence'


Exploring Canals

On Sunday I was up bright and early to meet up with Paul from River Piker  the plan was to start early so we could get to our chosen spot and be there for when the sun started to rise. So at 5:30am we was on our way, the sun didnt really make an appearance for a good few hours which was just aswell because we had to make numerous divertions to get there and the thick fog in places made it difficult to see.

Finally tackled up, ready to go and the light starting to improve we made our way to the waters edge to explore some new stretchs of canal. Our aim was to fish with Kopyto shads as we knew the canal produces allot of perch and theres always the chance of pike so the kopyto's gave us the best chance at either and there great to work new areas and get a feel for contours and what structure is on the bottom. Im really enjoying fishing with just kopyto shads, its one of those lures that can produce anything at anytime as i've found out recently with perch from 2 oz upto and over 3lb and pike upto 21lb! even trout and chub can't resist.

It was'nt long before we started to get interest, I'd missed a solid take on the drop so cast back to the same spot and this time I was ready and hooked the fish. We was'nt sure what it was, either a smaller pike or a large perch but it ended up being neither as a nice chunky chub came into view. A pleasent surprise and a good start to the session.

Paul was then into some action with a string of missed takes from small pike in the margins, finally a better fish was on and he was off the mark too. We continued exploring and after knowing there were chub about i started casting under far bank bushes and such places that chub might hang out. This payed off as another nice fish was tempted.

We then hit abit of a dead patch and didnt see anymore fish for awhile so we pressed on exploring and finding lots of great features that would probably fish better in the warmer months. We then came to a lock and enjoyed some much needed sport in the form of lots of small perch that were hammering the kopytos on every cast.

My thoughts started to wonder towards getting a treble so after we had enjoyed the perch and pressed on from that area we slowly made our way back to where we started to see if I could find a pike and if Paul could find a chub he'd also be onto a treble. My luck was in as after a short while a little pike obliged to make my treble.

We fished for abit trying to find Pauls chub but it didnt happen. I was feeling pretty ill throughout the day which was getting worse so it was decided to have a quick go at a familiar spot before calling it a day. Nothing further showed up and I eventually go home for some much needed sofa time! An enjoyable day despite the ill feelings but when its fishing you have to push on through it!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Still enjoying the perch

Any time soon the perch will be a forgotten memory until late spring next year when they start to show there faces again. I always like to enjoy them at this time of year when there at there best and fully fed for winter. I've noticed in previous years that as soon as you feel your fingers tingling with the cold its not long after that the perch seem to disappear.

So today I was out again looking for some perch and again I was distraught to find the water very heavily coloured, Ive proved to myself just recently that this doesn't signal the end but it certainly cuts down your chances of getting more fish. Today the visibility was down to about 4" but on top of that it was cold with a very strong wind that made the fishing difficult and not enjoyable to be out in.

I soon started to get the odd knock here and there and sure enough a few fish followed. I was also lucky enough to get one of those takes that makes you think you've snagged something, before checking your rod tip and seeing it bounce away, a very enjoyable feeling! The fish came into sight quite early and was surprised that it looked a very good fish and also that it didn't fight for that long. Another 3lber had made it all worth while suffering in the wind, it was a very long fish and had it been a barrel bodied fish like allot of the big perch can be it would have been closer to 4lb. I casted back to the same area after releasing the fish and soon enough another whack round on the rod tip and another good fish was shaking its head, sadly it didn't stay on for long and whatever remained of the shoal had now moved off as try as i may i couldn't latch into anymore.

I went on to bank about 10 fish which I was pleased with given the conditions of the water and the weather, the smaller fish were in full bristling colour with vivid orange fins and lit up blue cheeks. Such a magnificent looking fish!


Sunday, 14 October 2012

First Czech nymping session of the cold season

Things are slowly downhill now for winter and the temperatures are all ready starting to plummet, for me this usually signals the time when i start to think about grayling sessions with ice and snow on the ground and bloody cold legs!
Although not quite that extreme yet it was still cold overnight and was a good time to get out and have a go Czech Nymping for the first time since last winter. I met up with my mate Steve and between us we must have been pushing 40 fish, with Steve taking the higher majority, Most were of a good reasonable size and your soon reminded of how hard these fish fight for there size, even when you eventually get them in your hand there still fighting, they remind me of eels the way the squirm.

It was nice to be out in the river catching and trying a few flies out. Look forward to many more sessions into the colder seasons.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A string of perch save the day

Making the most of good fishing while it is good makes sense really so the other day I went in search of some big perch again. I find this the best time to target perch as they feed up for winter.
I was disappointed once again when i got on the bank to find it really coloured, this time much worse than I've seen it for some time, probably less than 6". This clarity doesn't really bode well at 16 odd feet down so I'd have to hope the fish were switched onto there other senses.
Things were slow as expected and i only managed to find 3 small perch in a couple of hours, but this was about to change. I must have landed on a shoal of bigger fish as i had 3 good sized perch in short succession. The best was probably close to 3lb so this made up for a few hours of struggling.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Another crazy pike session.

I was out today again fishing with small kopyto's hoping for a fish or two, things were very slow and allot of water was fished with not allot of activity. i dropped a few fish but really nothing was showing, not even the pockets of small perch.
With an ever increasing back pain from all the walking with a rucksack on, It was decided to head back. Finally a fish was on and a lovely conditioned pike was landed, thinking back to my session the other day, I cast back out to the same spot. Low and behold another fish was on and a better pike was on the bank, another cast and another pike! That was 3 pike in 3 casts to the same spot in the same swim. The 4th cast didn't produce but the 6th or 7th did and yet another fine pike was on the bank.
That was to be all the action I would see for the day, a crazy spell of pike from one swim and the rest of the day with allot of nothingness.

I went home half pleased with the days events but was pleased when i looked back at the photos and saw what really well conditioned and clean pike they were.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

New PB pike on a crazy day

I was out the other day in hope of some good perch with my mate Paul, we fished some area with not allot showing and kept moving up the canal in search of more features to fish.
Eventually we came to an area that was producing some fish and had abit of fun with some small perch before Paul finally locked onto a bigger one, it gave him a great run around on the light tackle and when finally netted and weighed it went 3lb 2oz

After more smaller perch we headed abit further up and I was into a better fish at last, thinking I was into the mother of all perch I took it steady and for once I was actually disappointed to have caught a pike as I'd hoped it was a large perch, never mind it was a lovely feisty jack.
We some more time in this area and things started to get a little crazy, we were getting takes from pike left right and centre in only a small area and all of them where like peas in a pod. I think in a very short space of time I had taken 4 and Paul had taken 3 and we had lost a few off too. It was crazy fishing not only because of the thick and fast action but mainly due to the fact that we were targeting perch and had opted for our lightest set-ups having a maximum rating of only 3grams, very soft and whippy actioned they were certainly put through there paces with these pike.


It was soon time for Paul to go and I had decided to fish on, we had only took the one big net and I was left with just my trout pan net for the perch so i had to stick to areas that i didn't think I'd have the risk of hooking into a pike, the banks were not easily accessible to get to the waters edge to chin a pike so I'd struggle in most places to land one without the net.
I fished on picking up a few more perch before a boat came through so decided to call it a day and walk back, half way back i came to a clearing where the bank was clear with good access to the water and there was a bench behind me, I don't know why but i suddenly thought 'I can use that bench if i get something worthy of a photo' So i thought I'd have a quick and what would probably have been my last cast. It looked a really perchy swim and i had a good feeling about it, half way across the canal and all went solid, Christ another pike i thought! It felt a better fish but started to get closer to me, in fact it was swimming right at me. Holy cr*p!! it swam right in front of me, I saw it and it saw me! It bolted for the middle of the canal, i let out a little shriek as it was huge.
realising i didn't have a net I decided the best thing to do was jump in, so i did, the water filled my wellies but I didn't mind i was in for a mega battle, remember I still have the 3gram rod...
At one point i had to tighten my drag up abit as the fish had nearly emptied my little symetere 500's spool. An epic battle, finally I got the fish in close and went in for the chin, typically i had to chin it left handed (I'm really cack handed on my left side) my hand disappeared into its gill! safely on the bank i rushed to take the photos so abit disappointed with them as the tail was curled around and it was dimly lit and raining. Not the best but i got a snap and didn't want to mess about much. I stripped off quickly and chucked my hoodie in the canal and made a make shift sling out of it, which actually worked really well...

The result was my first 20, with my scales being in 4oz increments i just called it 21lb dead as it was there abouts.

Absolutely chuffed to bits but to be honest still shaken up about the experience! 3gram rod! What a rod i have to say!

i jumped back in the canal with the fish and spent a good amount of time with it before letting it go, and when it did go it had one more moment of making me sh*t myself, I had it by the tail and was reviving it and thought I'd slip me hand under its chin to support it more as my back was aching leaning over, as i put my hand under it bolted off at an almighty pace kicking up water everywhere, I fell backwards, luckily onto the edge of the bank!

shame I didn't bag a big perch but after the days events i don't really care!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Quest for a lure caught Ruffe

Never being one to turn down a challenge or shy away from the most difficult areas of fishing to catch a fish, I was inspired the other day to seek out a new challenge.

I was lure fishing for perch on a favourite canal when along floated a fish on the surface, looks like a perch? I thought nothing more of it then 10 minutes later this same fish came floating past again in the opposite direction, this got my attention and after having a closer look I was pleasantly surprised to see it was a Ruffe. Now i can only vaguely remember catching a few of these in my youth so just seeing one dead or alive was a nice sight. It had only just died by the look of it and still held an amazing array of colours, most of which don't show well in the photo below.

Obviously my next thought was going to be "I'd like to catch one of these......... on a lure!"

Nothing wrong with a challenge but with the numbers of these fish diminishing I'd imagine it to be a very difficult challenge indeed.
My first port of call would be to ask any bait anglers I see in the area to see how many if any get caught on bait, this will give me an idea of numbers and rarity in that area.
The next thing I would do is go fish some areas with worms and hopefully catch one or two, if this is the case I'll have abit of an idea of areas they frequent. I could then target these areas with small artificial works jigged on the bottom slowly.

I would never assume it to be that easy, but there is always a chance and its exciting to try something new, for now thought the biggest challenge would be breaking away from the big perch hunting as its the best time of year for it and I'd like to get a few 3lbers before the cold sets in.