Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A brief round up

I've not posted just recently as Ive had allot on, more lure building than anything that will all be on here when its finished!

I do like to post about every session i have though, if nothing more than a record for myself to look back on so i know where and what i was catching at different times of the year.

I won't go into detail about a couple of sessions i had last week, just more of a brief round up.

So last Thursday I went to fish a small drain with my mate Paul, we had a few short spells of catching and a few longer spells of not catching but between us managed 10 pike, nothing special but they all count and fun to catch. We also had a look at a new stretch that was so over grown we could not even get to the water side due to the brambles and steep banks. We managed to trample it down in some spots though and Paul a pike in 3 of the 5 swims we tried so it looks like it has potential being neglected. It does look allot deeper and really fishy, we both thought it looked like it was the kind of place to throw up a big fish or two.
I've since heard that Paul has bought a machete to take next time we go!

On Sunday i had some time to fish but wasn't too bothered about getting up early i was just going to take it as it came. I wanted to try somewhere new and thought I'd try a canal i haven't fished for a few years, and each time i have fished it has been around spawning time. I've always seen pike there but never actually winkled one out.
It was looking like it was going to be one of my bogey waters when i had tried various lures and nothing was producing. I then thought I'd try something that once worked for me on a river when i was struggling. Something abit different, that you wouldn't normally do can often get you out of trouble. So i clipped on a 6" kopyto, let it sink to the bottom and then jerked it really hard, like a long but fast sweeping jerk, then i swing the rod back round to start position and reel up the slack line while doing so, then repeat the process again. I suppose its abit like sink and draw but jerk and draw and allot faster. It certainly did the trick as i caught within a few cats and then within a few casts i was in again. i started to get follows too of a couple of better sized fish. In all i had 3 pike and missed a few others that took. i was pleased with that result from a water i had previously not caught from and id proven to myself again that doing something different can really make a difference.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

That time of year..

Yep its that time of year when it starts to get cold, wet and darker earlier. Less fishing opportunities but more time spent indoors building lures. I have a lot of ideas and new things in the pipeline so I'm really looking forward to those dark nights in.

On the fishing front, the big pike Ive had recently has left me with a real enthusiasm to get out after pike now the time is just about right. I got out on Sunday with Neil for a session on a small drain. It started off slow but things quickly improved and it was pretty much action packed. If we wasn't getting takes we was getting follows, we had about 16 pike all together but lost about the same amount again. Nothing huge, most jacks with an odd double chucked in and some high singles. the biggest fish of the day slid down the wet grass and back in before we got a photo!

It was a good day despite not catching any monsters

I'm always looking to make my own, what ever it is that i need more of. It gives me something to do, something to sell for abit of extra pocket money and i get them exactly as i want them along with the joy of making them myself. At the minute I'm full of ideas and things i want to do.

One thing i have been working on is big spinnerbaits, its proving to be a nightmare at the minute sourcing all the parts cheap enough and knowing what size i need etc. I have plans to make them double bladed eventually and experiment with all the factors that make a spinnerbait but for now i just sourced a few bits and bobs to give them a go.

I started the whole process carving the heads that i wanted to mould myself, i still have ideas to improve on these and do different designs but these were the first ones i tried.

i then set about moulding them so i could produce them in lead, below are my first tests

 Next i painted them, just gave them a basic colour as the carved detail does the rest.

 And the heads with a coating of epoxy, i still need to work on this as the detail kind of gets lost after the epoxying, i did do it with thick 5 min epoxy though, it might turn out with a thinner coat and put on a turning wheel.

Now i still haven't sourced and bought any skirts yet so to give them a go i tied them with synthetic hair and bucktail.

 I had a couple of hours fishing last night with Neil who caught the only fish of the session on one of them

Still allot to work on with what i want to end up with, the main reason being sourcing all the parts i want.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Like Buses....

Well never did i expect to be writing about anything like this again so soon...

On Sunday i went to explore a few ponds that a mate had told me about which sounded promising, it had been a long time since he had been and looking on google earth it looked very weed clogged. I had my hopes up anyway after last weekends mega session. You always seem to get a feeling from time to time albeit rare that your on a roll. I kind of knew and expected high things from today.

Well after reaching the ponds and spending a few hours walking about it was evident i wasn't going to catch, most places were about a foot deep and the whole place was weed choked meaning i couldn't fish much else other than frogs. In the clear areas i could see down to the bottom and see there was no fish about.
I was soon feeling like it was going to be one of 'those' days and not one filled with big fish. I had another bit of water to explore before my last resort which was a canal in hope of some perch. I set off walking and i was actually enjoying just being out in the nice weather for October! I had kind of settled on the fact that today was going to be a day of just being out exploring new areas so i forgot about any expectations knowing id more than likely save a blank on the canal at least. well after a long walk and not even finding the last pond i was looking for, i headed back and got lost amongst all the farm fields which seemed like forever getting back to a tread able path.

So it was to be last chance on the canal, i had a few small perch and a couple of jacks when I'd decided to call it a day. I thought I'd go guns for glory and stick a slightly bigger shad on in hope of just getting a big perch to make the day worthwhile, nothing much was doing so thought if i was going to get another fish it was going to be a better stamp or nothing. I set off back and thought I'd just walk troll the shad down the margin, something i have often done and picked up a bonus fish. I tripped across something a few times which got me thinking it was a fish only to find some cabbage leaf on my shad. Still walking along only a foot or so from the bank when everything went solid, oh great a snag, you can guess whats coming... 'the rod started nodding'   First thoughts were a big perch, then at my surprise the fish woke up and tore off across the canal, my reel was ringing loud. I was targetting perch so had my customised spro ultralight rod and was on 10lb sunline, general finesse gear so it was abit arsey clenchy! I got a glimpse at the fish and it was a good one. A fantastic battle and my wrist was aching, my rod and reel felt tied and was creaking. Finally the fish succumbed and a nice mid double was on the bank, i was pleased with that and a good result in the end.

Pleased that the technique had worked i set off again doing the same, i remember that it wasn't far along the canal when i noticed a patch of cabbage and dying lilies so i slightly raised the rod so the shad came up in the water and over them, letting it drop again on the other side. No sooner had i turned away when all went solid again, and again i thought I'd snagged on the lilies deeper down letting it sink too soon. This time the fish that was on came right up to the side of me and just swam slowly next to me in the direction I was walking, it stayed deep and i couldn't move it at all on my tackle. What the hell was on the end of my line I thought, I'd just put a mid double back and this was something else!   I must have walked quite a few paces before i decided i couldn't carry on like this and had to try and either wake the fish up if it didn't realise it was hooked or just try and raise it. I put a small amount of side pressure on the fish bearing in mind i was on 10lb sunline. Well it certainly woke up! it tore off like the other fish but my reel never stopped screaming, i must have been playing it 10 minutes before i even got a look at it, and when i did i remember seeing the angle of the line yet the tail was a long way behind it!
It then kept coming up to the surface a long way out and lunging across the surface, not tail walking but just skimming its under body on the surface. I kept having to switch hands because my wrist was killing me and i feared for my reel which must have been worn out by this time. Eventually it started to tire and i got the better of it....eventually! The shad was so far down its throat and close to its stomach there was only a few inch of trace outside the mouth which just shows that a trace does need to be 12" or preferably (which mine was) more. Even with the long nose pliers i had to put my hand slightly within teeth's reach to get the hooks out.

My 4th 20 in a week

I was over the moon with that result and did not expect it all, i spent a good amount of time with the fish and despite it wanting to go a few times i held onto it to make sure it was strong. These light rods are more than capable of getting these fish in but its not ideal and you need to take care of that fish after a long fight.

I was that knackered and full of adrenaline I decided to just go home, i was more than happy and couldn't have asked for more.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

My best days fishing by a long mile....

Earlier in the year I took a fellow lure angler John to a spot i had been fishing and done well for trout there, he ended up getting his PB river brown trout on lure. We then talked about getting together on a spot he knew of that sometimes throws up big fish, and until recently we had never got it sorted.

Through last week, John was sounding more and more confident that he was going to put me onto a nice fish, but i know in the past when you start to think about it and get excited, it never usually happens. So i tried to not think about it and just treat it as a normal outing where i would hopefully catch a fish or two.

We arrived at our first swim on the river and John sounded like he knew the place well, telling me about the depths and where I'd probably get a fish, he didn't even start fishing at first and just told me to cast into this certain spot. I think i had about 5 casts and a change from a jerkbait to a savage gear 4play got some attention when a boil came on the surface met by a solid take. Not knowing i had my drag set pretty loose, I said "don't think its anything special" then it came into view and i was completely wrong! 20lb dead and my second ever 20 on a lure within 5 casts, top guiding from John!!

We cast about the same area for abit chatting but nothing else was moving so went up river to the next swim, I was chuffed to bits with the 20 so thought I'd play around with a few different lures and clipped on one of my jerks, it was in fact the very last one that I'd kept for myself and never even fished with it.
First cast downstream and after a couple of handle turns everything went solid, the fish headed towards me and again at first it just felt average. Then it moved some water before tearing off.


When it came into view again, we could see it was bloody huge! looking down on a pike from above while it is flaring its gills and shaking its head in what seems like slow motion, its unbelievable how wide there heads are. John told me they had big heads on this river due to the food diet of big bream, and they certainly did have big heads. I was willing the lure not to come out and eventually it was in the net, John lifted the net and the noises he was making got me excited, then i looked into the net and could see it was quite abit bigger than my 20 and fat with it too (shakey knees time). My new PB of 24lb caught and christened on one of my foiled jerks and also caught on the rod i had just built, can fishing get any better?


A stunning fish in top notch condition.

I was starting to get that awful feeling when your doing well and your fishing partner isn't, its like you don't want to catch another until they've had some fortune. To be fair, John was still spending more time guiding me than fishing. next fish however fell to John, and saw him off the mark with a nice clean fish.

What happened next was the only real spoiler of the day, John got another fish on which took right under his fish after following in and John gave the lure a jerk and it took it. It bolted off and was giving a really good scrap when it must have swam under a branch, you could hear the line squeaking and see the fish right in front of us yet Johns line was pointing the opposite direction wrapped around the branch, it looked as though it was raising up in the water and i thought there might have been a chance to net it, sadly it gave one last kick and the line gave way, worst of it was it was easy another 20 and we'll never know just how big. Really a gut wrenching moment.

We stayed in the area and i missed another decent fish that took the jerk and spat it out straight away before John had another big fish, possible 20 come for his lure but not fully commit, it then sat in the margins nosing our lures but not taking before swimming off.

I cast back upstream close to the far bank and just as i start to turn the handle another fish is on... bloody hell this is crazy! In the net and weighted, 18lb i was having a brilliant day!

We thought about moving on from this area and coming back for a possible chance of getting the fish that followed and maybe even the fish that snapped John off.

So downstream we headed, the action continued for a short while with smaller pike, a couple each i think we had with John having the better one.

The action then dried up for quite abit of river despite it looking fantastic and very pikey in places, after a few hours had passed we thought it a good time to head back for the fish we had stirred earlier.

Within a few casts back at the productive area i was in yet again on my foil jerk which i had put back on after fishing downstream with a variety of different lures, I knew they liked it so clipped it back on. The fish came into view and my first thoughts were 'No, surely it can't be...' It was! another 20 and 21lb exactly. I just could not believe how well my day was going and I was really enjoying it after getting abit fed up through the week at not being able to get out as much as I'd have liked over the last month.

Love this next photo with the open mouth 

Back she goes....


John finished off with his best of the day that confused it when it came flying in after his lure with another following it, i don't think he realised until the first fish turned away and the second one took the lure!

We fished abit more upstream and had another mid double have a go a few times but not manage to get it.

Im still not sure its sunk in what a brilliant day ive had and its all thanks to John with his guiding and sharing his excellent river spot with me.