Thursday, 13 February 2014

Prospecting the slacks

Its quite evident these days that we seem to get more rain and in turn for us fishermen that means flooded rivers and poor fishing conditions, especially for us lure anglers that rely allot on clarity and sight.
Its one area of my fishing that I'm continually trying to get to grips with and adapt. Understanding your rivers, timing, weather influences and conditions all go in hand and is something you need to understand to get the most out of your opportunities. Some rivers flood and colour up badly, some flood but stay relatively clear, it all depends on there sources and what kind of ground is on the source.

On Tuesday myself and Neil was all set to fish a river that we knew was up in depth but was falling nicely into place. When i fish rivers i make notes on clarity, depths and weather so that i get an understanding of what to expect. As i mentioned I had been looking at the levels and knew it was dropping and also knew from previous trips that the chosen river was fishable at this depth and also relatively clear.
We were not set to fish until about dinner time so i was very annoyed at the fact it rained all morning and at times quite heavy. Once again the conditions were perfect, but were they to be spoilt just before I got my chance to fish, more often than not this is the case! After debating it on the phone with Neil, we made the decision to just fish, not really knowing the true extent of the river after the rain. We knew that there would be slack areas to target, and these areas offer refuge for fish trying to rest out of the fast currents, so despite the river seemingly looking unfishable, using your watercraft can actually get you a result.

We arrived at the river to see the main flow quite strong, but the clarity wasn't too bad at all so we set off prospecting the slacks in hope of perch and pike. I was fishing drop shot for the perch and Neil was targeting the pike with shads and smaller shads for perch.

Despite there being allot of really fishy looking slacks, none of them were producing fish. we were more or less in the frame of mind that we were not going to catch and used the time so wander about and explore the river for visits when the conditions were more suitable. On the way back I chose to fish a couple of swims that had a bit more flow but allot more steady than the main flow, I nearly didn't bother but thought there is always a chance and wanted to at least rule out the possibility of fish being there and just walking past them. I chose to switch to a 10cm white pearl Cannibal shad and first cast along the seam and a thumping take! At first i thought it was a small pike but then got the glimpse of a huge chub, This fish was quite big, it certainly had the size and frame of a 6lb fish but it had not fully bulked out. I was not disappointed at all when the scales read 5lb 2oz.

I fished a few more swims until we more or less reached the last swim, it was a very small bit of water just off the main flow with a small over hanging bush, only a small area but again it just looked fishy and thought with it being surrounded by much faster water that it might be refuge for a fish. I cast the cannibal shad through the swim a few times until something took it, it came to the surface quite soon and started thrashing away, it was a decent out of season brown trout, i was a little surprised as i didn't assume there was many this far down the river. It was such a nice looking fish, we took a few quick photos, not the done thing with it being out of season but it never left the water and Neil took the photos while i revived the fish so it wasn't unduly done by. it gave Neil a chance to try his underwater camera which he had just bought, this will be something he can play around with which will be great in the warmer months for getting some interesting photos.

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