Thursday, 25 July 2013

An enjoyable day...

I already did a pre Holiday blog but i managed to get out for a couple of sessions since then.

Yesterday I went for a few hours to try and bag a load of perch at a favourite spot, its been very hit and miss this year. I was hoping things had improved as its been awhile since Ive been there. The water clarity was good and things were looking up, first cast i could feel lots of little nips which was pretty much the story of the session. The area was packed with both fry and very small perch, i went through just about every lure and size and still they wouldn't take confidently enough.
I saw some fish rising so switched over to the fly rod and managed to save the session with a few roach, most of a small size but a few better ones mixed in that i didn't photo. It was great fun on the dry flies, the water was that clear and the with the sun light, i could see them coming up and sipping the flies down.

While i had the fly rod set up i thought I'd try a few bead head nymphs hoping to tempt the little perch and for a moment i thought i was going to bag up as a few little stripeys obliged straight away, but it soon dried up. A good little session on the flies in the end.
Today I had more time to fish so thought I'd go try some spots abit further away i hadn't been to in awhile. The rivers had filled up with colour with the heavy rain, but it ran off really quickly and the very next day the rivers were surprisingly clear, well there was abit of colour but it was clear enough to feel confident of catching.
I was mainly fishing small cranks in water likely to hold chub or trout, to be honest it was chub i was more interested in but i wouldn't turn my nose up at a trout. I fished about an hour and a half before i finally got a take, which turned out to be a modest chub after initially thinking it was a small trout. I was happy with that and it was in mint condition.
I kept seeing things moving on the rocks out of the corner of my eye, but every time i looked i couldn't make out what it was, finally i happened to be looking at the rocks when a little millars thumb came right out of the water climbed up a rock and sat there looking at me! It was having a little bask in the sun, i was very surprised as i didn't know they did that, especially coming out of the water. I saw a few doing in the end so it wasn't a one off. The little chap even let me gently pick him up for a photo.
I went on to take a couple of chublets from the same swim before it all dried up and i was ready for a move, so back to the car and onto the next spot.
I was really starting to enjoy the day now and just love wading in the river and getting that lovely wild water smell up my nose, theres nothing like it!
I was wading downstream in quite a shallow section when i felt a good tug on the line, i knew it was a fish so cast back into the same area. From previous experiences i know you can often get another solid take if it was a shoal of good chub so i was expecting it but still got that big surprise that only chub can give you by the sheer force they take the lure with. A good fish was on and initially it took abit of line, but t soon started to give in like chub do, its a shame they don't fight to the death like trout do as they'd be the best fighters going if they maintained that force from the take. I was chuffed to bits to get a decent one as i love chub fishing with cranks and its really got to be done in summer so there isn't a great deal of opportunity in the year. 
Now you know how easy chub spook so i don't always expect another from the same shoal but sometimes you do get them. I cast again to the same spot but nothing, another few casts and then the rod was ripped round once again, this felt a little better and when i got it in i could tell it was but only by a little bit. Not sure whats going on with its eye, it looks abit pop eye but it was perfectly ok on the fish itself, must be the angle of light reflecting from the flash of the camera as it was quite dark where the camera was so the flash went off. 
Both fish were in top condition and i was really pleased to have got some more chub. I went on to fish a few more spots but nothing was doing so took one last look at the river before getting out and heading home for a well earned bath, like most chub fishing sessions, they always end up with your arms covered in nettle stings, scratches, fish slime and muck!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pre Holiday update..

I'm due to go on holiday down south very soon so thought I'd do a quick update of what Ive been upto.

On Sunday I had a session wading along a river with my mate Steve, we had fished this river before on previous years and it always produced a good day and some nice fish. We usually get quite a few perch of a very good average size, a chub usually shows an appearance and Steve usually gets a pike or two, funnily enough I've never had a pike from this stretch yet. There is also the good chance of a trout too so I'm always excited about fishing here with the prospect of a mixed bag and possibility of all four species.

The session started off pretty well with us picking up the odd perch here and there, most were small and not the usual stamp we have come to expect, this was one of Steve's better fish and it still put a great big smile on his face, its always good fun catching fish of any size.

We also, including myself for the first time on this stretch, picked up a couple of jacks along the way but the majority of fish caught were perch, most falling to small cranks. Towards the end of the stretch we came to a familiar couple of spots that we knew always held chub, things didn't go well though. Firstly the river was so low we didn't even expect the chub to be in the first spot, the water was only 1foot deep, i was first to wade towards the spot and it was too late when i noticed them. They had obviously seen us long before we saw them and it was game over for that shoal, chub are so spooky at times!  We headed towards the second spot that usually held chub and just before we got there I hooked what i thought was a snag, soon realising it wasn't. A nice stocky pike was on and it was acting very strange, it was using its weight to hold back but wasn't really fighting much, not until i got it in close anyway. It then started to jump and eventually the hook hold came away.. bugger! To add to that, when we looked at the chub spot someone was already fishing it! we had waded all that way to get to the glory at the end and it was going to be no cigar today!
We got out the river and walked further up where the water changed abit and it generally becomes more trouty with faster water and more features, we expected trout and chub from here. Again we fished our way upto the best spots and along the way nothing at all was showing, even in areas that looked really fishy. Eventually i got a take which i thought was a small trout but it ended up being my best perch of the day and something along the lines of the usual stamp we get.
That was pretty much it for the session, we caught a few fish but generally abit disappointed with the quality of fishing given the better conditions, i think the oxygen levels being so low with no rain for a long time must be effecting the fish to some degree.
The only other highlight to mention was the nice brown trout i caught below from the last stretch we fished, it was a lovely dark brown colour and matched the water colour really well. I just love catching trout from different water systems as they differ so much which is a result of there surroundings and water condition.
On the lure building front Ive done a few nice things recently, firstly i was asked to re-finish a couple of lures. the first was a cobbs jerkbait and the other a manta, both lended themselves to a pike pattern and this is exactly what was wanted. I'm rather pleased with how they turned out.

Along with the pike re-sprays i also did a small shoal of little 3.5" perch jerkbaits, these have been foil finished too. I love doing foils when Ive not done any for awhile.

I might get one more session in before i go away, between you and me though..... I will be sneaking a rod or two into the boot when the Mrs isn't looking, you never know what your going to come across on unfamiliar land and an opportunity is not to be missed!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Beans bonanza..

Here's a whole stack of bean lures i have just finished all at 2.5cm and around about 2g

These little lures have proved really deadly for those small jungle shallow streams, they work very shallow so there perfect for not clipping the bottom in the shallowest of streams and fish absolutely love them. I've adapted these ever so slightly from previous ones by moving the hook position slightly nearer to the back of the lure, when worked through the water the treble kind of drifts back and upwards so it sits just behind the back of the lure waiting for anything to attack from behind.

I just love adding new patterns to this size lure...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Too hot for fishing...

I just got back from a short session for pike on weedless hollow bodied frogs. I wanted to check out a small river to see if it had bank access and whether or not it had weeded over, which would make it perfect for surface frog fishing.

It was ridiculously hot and i made the stupid mistake of leaving my drink in the car because id just grabbed a 2litre bottle of water in a rush on my way out. Not wanting to carry it i left it behind. I walked about 3 miles up the river casting the frogs about and it wasn't until i started to walk back that i realised my mistake. It was now mid day and the sun at its highest and hottest. My mouth was dry and I was sweating buckets. the closer i got to my car the further away it looked, i could see the mirage of heat billowing off the roof when i eventually got closer. Each step seemed to be slower than the last, all i wanted was a drink.....

Finally back at the car, Ive never appreciated a drink of water so much in all my life and i supped a full litre without even taking a breath, i only stopped as i feared for drowning! I poured a few glugs over my head and i felt allot better. I had just past a big shoal of fish including lots of perch but i just didn't feel like fishing anymore, I'd had enough! not often i can truly say I've had enough but this was one of them, it was just too hot to carry on.

As far as the fishing went there wasn't allot of action but enough to keep me happy, i think i had 8 takes on the frogs all together, landing 3 and just loosing the biggest off at the net as i had to reached over the margins to get to it because of all the weed, it wasn't anything special but would have been nice to have got it. Nothing special photo wise i really just rushed a couple of snaps for the blog and got the fish back asap with the heat.

Just look at that sky, it could have been Australia!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Trolling in the heatwave..

Yesterday I had planned to fish with my mate Neil on his Bote, It was going to be a day of trolling our way up and down a river with small deep diving lures. Its more of a numbers game than looking for big fish so its always exciting at the prospects of a fish filled day which really does have the potential to do a tally into the treble figures.

I've only been trolling with Neil a handful of times since he got his boat last year and its a totally different experience which i love. The change of being able to sit down is quite refreshing with lure fishing but you still have the freedom to move about and explore because your in a boat so for me I don't get 'itchy feet' sitting in the same place looking at the same scenery.

Since doing abit of trolling I have started to make my own deep divers, i generally always look to start making my own lures once i start getting into a new field of fishing. I made the lures below especially for deep diving/trolling and finished them in time for my day on the boat with Neil.

I got up at 4:20am which incidentally is the time i get up everyday for work, so to be doing it on my weekend off felt a little odd. I shot over to Neils and we were on our way by about 5:15am.
The first thing Neil said when we got in the boat and launched off was 'we will just troll down past these few boats and if we get a fish that means its going to be a good day'. The water was really clear so we were both quite excited. True to his word, it wasn't long before we set off that i got a fish followed not long after by another 2. The average stamp of perch is good here and this set us up for the what we hoped was going to be a belter of a day.
We fished the first bit as Neil suggested, then turned around and headed upstream, things didn't go as well as we had thought after the initial few fish and it was a little while before Neil found his first.

We had pondered on the way if the recent hot temperatures and bright sun would put the fish off to some degree which is why we made the initial decision to go that little bit earlier than we usually would. The more we trolled and the more water we covered with any fish it felt like our worries were starting to become a reality. We reached an area that we knew from the past would always throw up some fish and we had a good little spell here with a flurry of fish, Neil found the best of the day so far with a nice perch.

The day did improve to some degree throughout the day and we started to build a tally of fish, it was slow going on the troll and we kept stopping to cast around features on the drift which picked up a few more fish, the average stamp of perch was good but it took a while for the pike to start showing.

Neil even managed a pike off the surface which was very much enjoyed followed by a micropike that had a go and was hooked momentarily. By this point we was heading into town with more structure and we had a good tally behind us but with all the boats that the hot weather had attracted it was becoming abit of a nightmare, far too busy and lots of idiots that would not slow down!
Neil had some good perch around the town and a pike that gave him right old run around on his light gear, it was some time before we actually got to see it as it was staying low and kept running.

After some time we had had enough of the busy town so thought we would troll our way back, we added to our tally again and we had really had a decent day with a final tally of 54 fish, probably 60% of which were perch and 40% pike. At some points it felt like we was covering too much water with no action at all so it was a funny day, a good days fishing but with that little bit of disappointment in the back of the head that it could have been allot better. i do sometimes think we expect too much but we are not daft and know that there is much more potential to double that kind of tally so it will be really enjoyed when everything does come together.
The lure of the day for me was one of my deep divers, after initially testing a few it was evident that we needed to play around with tuning them. I usually do this in the bath with my shallow cranks but its just not deep enough for these kind of divers! The boat is the perfect way of testing them because the sounder will show you what depth it is when they are tripping bottom. In the end we didn't fish with many of the ones I'd made as we were too keen to fish and didn't want to mess about tuning lures. The one below didn't need tuning so i used it abit and it caught me more fish than any others on the day.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Getting what I went for...

Its well into summer now and i still hadn't caught a proper river chub. One thing i love about summer river fishing is the chub, you cannot get better than an aggressive chub take, they literally nearly tug the rod out of your hand.

I've been wanting to fish for them for a few weeks now but it hasn't happened and Ive been abit put off doing the mileage to get to them because last time i was out that way the rivers were quite coloured despite hardly any rain.

I manged to find out from a mate that the river was low and clear and i had a good after noon and evening to go at them so off I headed.
On arrival the river was not actually as clear as I'd have liked, but there was good visibility just not so good in the deeper areas. I set about casting shallow cranks in likely looking areas but the chub were nowhere to be seen. I fished this river about two years ago when conditions were not the best and always found chub in these areas, in fact i was hoping today i would actually find them more widespread because the previous visits had shown them to be in the one area and then nothing at all for miles of river either way.

Eventually i got a good whacking take literally as the small crank hit the surface, i knew it was a chub and it went low so i thought it would be a good one. It surfaced and it was a nice one, this lead into me excitedly scrambling to the waters edge to net it before the hooks pulled. Brilliant! a chub, exactly what I had come for which made all the planning and driving worthwhile with just this one fish.
There wasn't really anywhere to stand my camera so after abit of messing about i took a quick photo then put the fish back without checking my camera. sadly for what ever reason the photo had come out all bleached and so bright you could hardly make anything out. Ive managed to make something of the photo by turning it black and white and adding allot of contrast, just enough to be able to pick out the fish which was a belter. A shame i didn't get a photo to show it off better but never mind.

I carried on downstream hoping for more fish of the same calibre, the river looked really good in areas and very 'chubby' but no fish were showing at all. like previous visits the fish seem to be only in that one area. I walked and fished for a few miles only managing to pick up a few small perch and pinging off a couple of micro jacks before getting hold of them.
It felt pretty pointless going much further as nothing was improving, I thought I'd have another go in the hot area before going past it and fishing upstream. This proved a good decision at first because in the hot area I was running my crank really tight to a nearside tree when there was a massive swirl and again the rod was nearly yanked out of my hand! Another chub of a good size! What a shame the rest of the river does not produce more of these...
Up stream also produced nothing other than a few small perch and another tiny pike that did not want to stay hooked for very long. This river produces really good chub to baits but really this particular stretch is not all that productive to lures, I did get two nice ones but allot of river was fished for nothing in return. I think next time i get out for chub I'll explore some other areas or a different river well known for them.
I had just enough time to go fish another area on my way home, hopefully i would pick up a decent pike or maybe a good perch to add to the chub I'd caught.
The rivers are very strange this year, we have hardly had any rain at all yet the rivers are out of sorts with colour. The river i stopped off at on the way home only had about 6" visibility and its 20ft in places so it was kind of going to be like finding a needle in a haystack trying to tempt a fish. I did get a fish in the way of a decent perch but that was it.
I went home smelling of chub, with my arm hairs matted together with slime and tingling from all the nettle stings.... now that's what chubbing is all about!


Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Today i headed for a little river with sole purpose of getting a quad of species on lures. I have had trout and jacks from this little river along with the odd perch before but all though Ive seen the chub I've not managed to tempt one yet. The chub are super weary and they just ignore lures.

I wanted to try a new stretch of river that i thought would lend itself more to chub, perch and pike and knew there would always be the odd trout about so wasn't worried about finding one of those.

Well my quest for a quad nearly got off to a great start when i popped my head over a wall of nettles to see a shoal of small chub mixed in with an odd one of 1-2lb I cast beyond them but as the small spinner i was using passed them, they all spooked! One of them did have a quick nip at the spinner though and i was just about to strike when it spat it out and fled.
It was only early days so carried on down stream, a found a nice pool and expected chub to be there but it was full of small perch, I caught a few then moved on to find some other species.

Moving on downstream further and changing lures regularly finally got me a take from a decent trout, it jumped a couple of times before the lure pulled out! I knew I'd find more trout so wasn't too concerned about loosing that one although it would have been nice.
I did allot of hiking through really tall grass which was like running through water, it was really energy zapping and i was finding myself out of breath, luckily though it wasn't effecting my hay fever thanks to the tablet i took before setting off. I didn't really find many more fish for an hour or so but most of that was hiking looking for spots to fish with deeper pools.
I was walking along the edge of the reeds when i saw a fish spook out from under the reeds, it flew under the other bank, it looked like a trout. I cast along side the vegetation with a small crank and out it shot taking the lure, It was a pike of a few lbs, sadly as i was unhooking it, it had a tantrum and went back into the water before i could get a photo. I could still count it but i wasn't going to count it unless i got a photo. Hopefully I'd find another along the way, that could have been three species already but i was still only on a perch.
I found a deeper hole and noticed a few chub right down at the bottom only a pound or so but they would do. I put a 1" kopyto on and flicked it out, after a few retrieves a fish took the kopyto, Bugger another perch and it spooked the chub, that would have blown my chances at one of them.
By now i had gone as far as i had planned to go and fished all the spots where i could have expected a pike or chub, so i headed back upstream in hope of a trout at least. I cam to a nice narrow run that had overhanging bank vegetation, i must have missed this spot coming down so thought it looked good for a pike. A flick along the bank and slowly retrieving the lure saw a bulge appear behind it followed by a vicious take, was this a pike.... well no, but it was a trout and a half decent one too. i had to balance my camera on a stick for a photo as there wasn't anywhere else to position it.
By now i wasn't much hopeful of doing the quad and the hay fever was starting to set in, despite having more time to fish I wasn't really feeling it so thought I'd head back and fish along the way and call it a day. I was now into pretty much trout type water and wasn't expecting any pike but still thought a chub could appear. I waded upstream casting in front of me as i went, nothing much doing really when out of know where i got a take. it felt small so was hopeful of a chub but really expecting a small trout. Surprise, surprise, it was a small pike, that's 3 species now, all i need is a chub for the quadruple!
I was nearly back at the car now and running out of water all though i did pick up one more trout.

It came down to the last pool, i saw a few small chublets swim past me, could i do it, right at the last minute? I cast a few different lures with nothing showing before i thought about it more. The chub were very easily spooked even by the sight of lures so i looked through my waistcoat pockets and found a pack of 1.75" twintails in a kind of clear smoke colour, i thought they looked really natural and could probably pass as tiny craws or something. I rigged one up and had a cast around with it but again nothing was interested, just as i thought it was all over i got a take out of the blue from something small, expecting a perch i got excited when i saw a flash of silver then grabbed the net when i saw it was a small chublet! this wasn't going to get away from me and i was terrified of loosing or dropping it before a photo was taken. My luck held out and i got a quick snap which completed my quadruple...great stuff... I was chuffed to bits with that after setting out to do one despite not many fish all together and nothing of any size other than the trout.