Thursday, 31 January 2013


I needed to test lures today and was hopeful I could get abit of fishing done at the same time, the wind was really strong all day while I was driving around at work so knew it would be hard fishing.
When I arrived on the bank, not only was i met with bad colour again but also lumpy water

This photo doesn't even show the half of it, allot of the time there was waves and white water which kept getting airborne and blowing in my face. Not being one for giving in, I thought it was better to be out in the elements trying than being at home.

As expected it was really hard to keep in any contact with the soft plastics I was fishing, the wind and water movement would put a big bow in the line which was pulling my lure away all the time and the strong wind was blowing the rod so any sign of a fish was very difficult. It was bloody freezing and it wasn't long before my hands were suffering.

I managed to find abit of water that was slightly shelters and blowing from behind me so I thought i would try a different tactic. If I had any chance of catching today, I thought it would come by fishing lures extremely slowly to give the fish the chance to see the lure and for me to keep a taught line so I could see any interest. I chose a big worm and rigged it in a way so that i could basically drag it along the bottom very slowly. It was awhile coming but eventually a fish picked up my worm and it felt like a good fish, with only just getting the new rod, i wasn't actually sure about the fish or its size as I've not used the rod enough to be able to judge things like this. Finally a nice perch surfaced and I scrambled down to net it in a panic as it was a very nice one!

I didn't weigh it but it was most likely in the 3lb bracket and it seemed a very long fish. I was really happy with that result as i could have not bothered and gone home instead but I was rewarded for persevering in the harsh weather.

I fished on till i had to leave to pick up the rug rats from school, and managed a little greedy beggar just before leaving.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Another Handfull

As I previously mentioned, I've been working on small jerkbaits recently for use with my light baitcaster, although its not the best time of year for it, I can't wait to give these a go in the warmer months!
I've just finished another batch and I'm really liking and enjoying the direction they are taking me. Its a good thing when you are full of ideas and cannot get on with things quick enough.

First up are some I did in a bright pattern, again I'm still experimenting with abit of carving and i really like the simplicity of the 3D carved cheek detail on these ones, nothing too fancy but just a suggestion of detail.

The next ones were another go at carving gill detail and laying foil over, I really like these ones and the foil runs right down the body so they will give off allot of flash.

I did these ones alongside the carved/foiled ones above but wanted to do the same 'minnow' colouration but by spraying gills etc with stencils

And last up is a few 5cm 7.5g cranks I did ready for the summer chub, these are shallow running and have a very fast wobble when retrieved. When i get round to making my own tiny rattles these should really make allot of noise with rattles inside.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Light Baitcasting

Today I was trying out my new light baitcasting outfit, which comprised of a Major Craft Volkey VKC-652ML rod with a casting range of 3/16-1/2oz in grams that is up to about 14g this is also paired up with an Okuma Komodo reel. I could have gone allot lighter than this but wanted to get something that would cast the light weights and also cast abit heavier so it would be more versatile.

First impressions of the rod was very good, it was really light and well crafted, it also felt very comfortable in the hand, the grip moulding just disappeared into the hand fitting like a glove.

With the recent snow melt and rain, I didn't really have a local venue that i thought I'd have a chance at catching on but chose a canal that I might have a slim chance at finding a perch or two. This would give me the chance to use the rod with the lighter end of its casting range as i wanted to fish 2.5" kopyto's on a 5g jighead. I also wanted to try out the little jerks I've been making recently, so whether the canal was fishing well or not I still wanted to try things out.

On arrival at the canal I was met with the most horrendous colour, near enough 3" visibility, I knew straight away that catching in this deep venue with this colour was highly unlikely. I set about trying so cast the kopyto's across the canal expecting to get over runs straight away with the light weight and the super fast spool of the Komodo. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use and no sign of an over run to start with, I did however find that the casting was allot different to that of a bigger heavier baitcasting outfit or that of a fixed spool outfit. The angle was totally different, you have to kind of aim abit higher. To avoid the over runs I set the braking system at 6 and thought I'd work down from there as I went along.

With abit more time I was finding it much easier and I kept knocking the braking system down abit further each time. The first thing I noticed about the Volkey after using it for abit was just how light it was, as i was walking about I hardly noticed I was carrying it!
The rod was also very good at transmitting, I could feel so much more than I have done with any other rod Ive had before, even noticing when i was working the Kopyto over what felt like a gravel bar. Incidentally it was over these gravel bars that I was surprised to get my first take, and after a short fight I had christened my new outfit with a lovely perch.
I had come to realise that even with this very coloured water, the Volkey was giving me something extra, It enabled me to stay in contact with the bottom where i expected the perch to be, i could also feel for any difference in bottom structure and it was surprising just how much more I could feel. I was working my kopyto's very slowly over the bottom and on the next couple of occasions I noticed that when I felt a gravel bar this was met with a take. This trend didn't last unfortunately, but I was more than happy with the 3 perch I caught in very poor conditions and even happier to have caught on my new outfit. From the 3 modest perch I caught, I could also see that the rod had some power further down the blank that might stand me in good stead when I encounter something much bigger.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Jerkbaits for light baitcasting.

I finally got round to ordering my Major Craft Volkey light Baitcaster the other day so I'm looking forward to that coming (and the weather improving hopefully!) so I can give my new lures a go.
Ive been busy making tiny jerkbaits for use with the outfit and finally got round to finishing my first batch. As previously mentioned this batch was more about trying it out and getting to know the materials and process of making a much smaller scaled jerkbait. I finished them all in a basic pattern so that I could compare the slightly different things I tried with each one, some I'd like to explore more and some probably not.

These are made from Limewood, they weigh between 12-13g with hooks and rings included and they measure 2.75" long. When I get a minute and some 'wet' water I will try and take a video of there action.

Can't wait to chuck them on my new rod at jacks, perch and chub.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Future Lurebuilding Plans

Ive allot on my mind at the minute where my lure building is concerned, so many things i want to do and lots of ideas. I've been in the process of buying a new light baitcaster outfit, so my lure building thoughts have been on things I can build to use with my new outfit. I wanted a baitcaster for casting Kopyto's at perch, small cranks at chub, and small lures of various types at local jack populations.

I wanted a casting range of somewhere between 5-20g so not fully ultralight, but still on the light side of 'light'. I'd been asked by a few on the LAS forum to build some really small jerkbaits, with the light baitcasting becoming popular at the minute I thought id give them a go. I have plans to make a few different sizes and want to really explore how small and light i can make a jerkbait. That is not where I started though, preferring to start 'small' before working to 'tiny' !

I had in mind that i also wanted to use smaller 3D eyes like i do with my other larger jerkbaits and basically wanted to make smaller versions, along with this I wanted to try abit of carving. This sort of ruled out Balsa wood as its abit too soft. The eastern Europeans use allot of lime wood in there 'wobelry' and also carve some detail with the use of lime wood.

I got hold of a small bit of lime wood to experiment with and try it out with a few different lures. I ended up making a small number of jerkbaits just under 3" and weighing between 10-20g although the exact weights are not known as i have not completed any yet. I tried different ways of carving and shaping them to get used to the properties of the wood. I wanted to get an idea of what would work best, what i liked the look of and what is practical time wise when making a small batch.

Below is a couple of photos showing a few different things I tried, i also did a couple uncarved/shaped so i can try out more stencilling at such a small scale, at the minute its all about trying things out and learning the best way of going about it.


I've also been finishing some small cranks that i started last year and never got round to finishing, which is another thing Ive been thinking about recently. I fished with a mate at the end of last year on his boat that he had just purchased, it made me realise that I didn't have enough suitable lures for that area of fishing. I don't have allot of deep diving cranks for casting and trolling as i generally fish shallow venues. So I have plans on making deep diving ultralights that will be useful on his boat. I've done a few in this batch below that are deeper divers than i would usually make, The cranks i usually make and fish with are for use on moving shallow water when in pursuit of chub and trout.

I've always been interested in trying new things and trying to do something a little bit different so try to experiment where I can. with the lures below I have used some holographic material that i found awhile ago and never used, you tend to buy things when out and about that might come in handy one day! And you often find it in the most unlikely places. This material wraps round the lure profile really well, and once coated with clear coat it just blends into the lure. It worked really well and gives off a nice twinkly effect when the lure moves.

Something else that's been on my mind is incorporating rattles into all aspects of my lures, I think a rattle is a definite bonus at times and by not having one as an option your limiting your chances to some degree by not taking advantage of the fishes ability to sense vibration and noise.

A simple way of adding rattles that I've thought about is getting hold of some brass pipe/tube, cutting the ends and folding a section over to seal a ball bearing inside, you can get brass tube in very small sizes as well as bigger sized so you apply the same to bigger lures as really small lures. I'd like to experiment with placement too to see where you would get most rattle going my the lures movement. I'd imagine you could also use the rattle addition to incorporate the ballast of the lure. That's something else to try and think about anyway, I did say I had allot of things to try!!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Still not a blank in sight!

To say its the middle of winter, snow on the ground and minus temperatures I'm having a half decent start to the year really.

Today I headed for a small river that I have blanked on many times in the past as its becoming a really tough venue, the problem is the conditions. The only way to find out if its fishable is to go and have a look, more often than not you can find it in flood and coloured despite most other rivers being in good nick. Today was one of those days where I was hoping it would have reasonable visibility going on the fact that most other rivers where looking good. I arrived to find the river quite high and very coloured, not very promising conditions at all for lures.

With the water being so high and the temperatures being so low the fish would be sat hard on the bottom, the only way I was going to raise a fish was to fish as low as i could while not catching bottom as this would only result in the hooks being fouled with weed and debris. I didn't think I'd have much chance but thought I'd give it a go as I really wanted a photo with snow on the ground.

I fished for awhile and thought the best bet would be a spinnerbait in the conditions so clipped on a savagear da bush spinner bait.

The lure choice proved a good one in the end as a fish showed an interest and gave me the opportunity to get a photo in the snow! It was a really nice fish with a very light colouration.
That was the end of the action as i couldn't tempt anything else, and again I went home happy to have caught in the most unlikely of conditions which just goes to show... you always have a chance!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Four sessions in

On Saturday I had my first session of the year in pursuit of pike. With my local venues still slowly sorting themselves out I've not had much in the way of realistic chances of having a good session on the pike, so have spent the last three times out after the perch.

The rivers have been in really good nick over the last week, and i have to say i panicked abit on Thursday when it decided to rain, i thought my chances of getting on a river would follow in the same vain as last year, colouring up and flooding just as i was due to fish them. Luckily the rivers where still in good condition come the weekend, well at least the big rivers were.

I started off on a small local river that i have waiting to get on for some time now, it is fed from drainage off the fields so it suffers for a long time after good downpours, and last year was pretty much a downpour! I was hoping the river had cleared by now like the bigger rivers had but i got there to find it hadn't. Not to be put off and to make the most of the new year, I thought I'd try my luck before moving on. The flow was quite steady which made working lures in shallowish water quite difficult and i couldn't work the lures where i wanted them for long enough, I tried in vain but couldn't find any fish.

So I was now heading for my second spot, a much bigger river. On arrival I was pleased to see it clear and a good level so i set about chucking big lures about, knowing that there was monsters about! I fished around for over an hour with nothing to show before I phoned to arrange a meet up with Paul from River Piker. I headed back towards the car so that I was easy to find when Paul arrived, it came close to the time we had planned to meet and I'd just switched onto a savagear 4play rainbow trout liplure. I was working it slowly as it swung back into the side of the river when i was met with a solid take, I did the usual look up at the rod tip to see signs of a fish on but nothing was showing. I was basically winching in what I presumed was a log or a fertiliser sack as i was getting no feedback what so ever, when to my surprised up pops a pikes head! It gave a couple of really pathetic head shakes before i slipped the net under her. Oh yeah...that's right.... NOW you decided to wake up! It was more of a wrestle than anything as it thrashed about in the net. I'm glad the bank was high and I couldn't chin this fish as the hooks where not in the best place and I dare say if it had kicked off like it did with my hand being in close proximity to those hooks, I could have been in trouble!

A quick photo of my fish pike of the year and back she went, nothing special, just a fat lazy pig of a pike and one to remember being my first of 2013

A couple of minutes later and Paul turned up so we headed off up the river in the other direction to see what we could find. There was less features this way and not allot to give away any locations of pike or prey so it was quite hard going and probably like trying to hit a needle in a haystack so we headed back to the car area to try again there. Not long after getting back I had realised i had left my net a long way back up the river so we had to drive round to get it back! This more or less made us decide to call it a day on this bit of river so Paul headed back to one of his local spots for a last hours fishing and i headed home towards a canal for a few chucks.
I still had the 4play clipped on so set about chucking that into likely looking areas of the canal, nothing was doing here either and it was quite dimly lit now so i thought I'd switch to one of my very brightly coloured Tailbaits.
This change of lure did the trick as i got a good solid hit that didn't connect and i looked over to see a big swirl where my lure was, this was encouraging so i continued casting and working the tailbait. Not long after I got another good hit and a pike was on, despite it being a smaller fish than the river fish it certainly had more energy and fought well for its size, it took the jerkbait right in which you don't see very often with jerkbaits, especially with it not being a good sized fish.
That was pretty much the end of the action for the day, I went home feeling satisfied despite fishing for a long time and only banking two fish, at this time of year its just nice not to blank. I'm doing OK at the minute with 4 sessions in and not yet having a blank!


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Surprising early perch action.

I've been surprised this year how good the perch action has been so early on, they don't really tend to start showing much until at least spring time. I've been enjoying a couple of good perch sessions just recently.

It has been abit milder than previous weeks though, I'm also wondering if the fish have really been up for it after all the bad weather we have been having. The river fish must have been sat hard on the bottom while the rivers were in full flow with strong flooding water. I'd imagine once this settled down that they would be really going for it on the feed.

Today I was back out for perch again with my mate Paul, the conditions were not as good as previous visits, it was allot more coloured and there was allot of rubbish floating on the surface. Things were slow but we did find a few fish including some nice ones.

Here's a few photos from the last couple of sessions



Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New year optimism

The year pretty much ended in the same fashion it had been all year, wet with flooded waters! I've not been able to get out fishing much this winter as my local venues have suffered with all the rain we have had and Ive just not had the time or opportunity to drive further away looking for fishable venues.

I've been keeping my eye out on a local canal that despite being river fed has been clearing up quite nicely, I missed the best time when it had really good clarity but with abit of extra colour this last week it was still looking fishable. The reason I haven't fished it before now is the fact that its a perch venue and in recent years the perch all but disappear once you get a few frosts, this had made me reluctant to get out and try.

Today the opportunity and time finally came to get out and have a go, so off I went for some much needed fresh air. Things were slow as expected but I was pleasantly surprised to get a fish quite early on and this trend continued with a few more fish here and there. The shoal seemed to move about abit so it was a case of finding them and casting back to the same spot as soon as releasing a fish, I did this and managed a few each time before the takes dried up and the shoal moved on.

I was fishing with the ever faithful Kopyto shad and working them extremely slowly along the bottom, finding many new snags along the way that had previously not been there.

I enjoyed a final flurry back towards the car casting under a bridge that seemed to be packed with much smaller fish taking shelter and i was enjoying a take a chuck although not everyone stuck. In the end I was disappointed being disrupted by a fox hunt as I'm sure i would have gone on the build a really good tally for the time of year, although the 21 I did mange was not to be sniffed at.

While I'm out I'm always taking photos of fish for reference in my lure building and I got a good close up of a freshly dead roach that i found in the margin, Its given me a few more ideas for lure finishing.

All in all I really enjoyed my session and fish of 2013 and I'm feeling optimistic for the year ahead, hopefully a better fishing year than the last!

Happy New Year!