Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March 2013 part 2

Friday March 8th 2013
The Secret River
After my previous session on the river with those massive Perch I needed to get back there to have a proper go for the Roach. I stopped off at the garage on the way to buy a white loaf for bait. As ever I craned my neck as I passed over the bridge, trying to see what sort of state the river was in. I was in luck, it still had that bluey/green colour of a winter chalk stream. Level was ok too.
I set up two tip rods and fished one with a small feeder filled with bread mash and flake on the hook. The other was a simple swan shot link also baited with flake. Dead easy this. Just fold a small piece of bread over a size twelve hook and pinch it together. You'll be surprised how long it will stay on for. I didn't have to wait long for my first bite. A nice Roach of a pound came to the net, wait what was this? It was a blooming Rudd! I didn't even know there were any Rudd in the river. Half an hour later I had two more in the net as well as losing one at the net. They were all the same size weighing a pound exactly.

I continued fishing throughout the afternoon, picking up a few small Roach but missing more bites than I hit. It seemed I had a swim full of small fish. The river rose steadily after about three o'clock and I had to move back up the bank to stop my feet getting a soaking. The river didn't colour up though so I was still in with a chance. At around six o'clock I started packing up. I had almost given up hope. I had dismantled one rod and was just putting it in the holdall when the other one whacked round. This wasn't a small one. A roach of 1lb 10oz. And despite stopping another half hour after that it proved to be the last fish of the day. Sorry about the photo my phone was handier than my camera.

Thursday March 14th 2013 (last day of the river season)

The Secret River

I wouldn't have gone anywhere else on the last day now would I? Unusually for me I was there early. As I pulled up alongside the river the eight o'clock news came on the radio. This hadn't stopped somebody beating me too it though. A pike angler was taking up nearly all of the roadside pegs with his three rods. I got out of the car and we had a chat. He was a lovely bloke and a garnered as much info from him as I could. While we were talking he landed a fat fourteen pounder. Turns out he'd had two bigger ones the previous week from the same area. I knew they were there but didn't expect them to be that big.

The river didn't look great. It was that horrible brown colour but the level seemed ok and I unloaded the car full of enthusiasm. To be honest it was only the rain that had stopped me coming back for nearly a week. I was soon in my favourite spot and the river was standing still. Ideal to get some bait down. I put in about five balls of groudbait laced with maggots while I set up. One rod on maggot the other on worm.

A few small dace and roach came fairly quickly to the maggot while the worm rod remained untouched. After a couple of hour the river started to move. As soon as it did the Perch made an appearance. The first one was 2lb 13oz. Another followed it on the next cast 2lb 6oz.

I had swapped my other rod over to bread in the hope of getting a bigger stamp of fish. It proved successful but not in the way I intended. I struck at a tentative bite and was surprised to feel a real heavyweight on the end. It soon became apparent that it was no Roach or Perch as it charged all over the place. A few minutes later a Pike of around seven pounds was nestling in the net. It was hooked right in the scissors. Probably struck out at the bread as it fluttered around in the flow.
A couple more Perch came to the worm before the river really started motoring. By early afternoon it had dropped nearly two feet. Both my new Pike fishing mate and I were hoping it would come back up and slow up as the tide turned. I knew I wouldn't get a bite while it raced by. I'd fished it too many times in those conditions to know that. As it was the river didn't slow up and I packed up at around four o'clock. Still, a good end to a great couple of weeks on the river. Till next season.......
Friday 22nd March
Partney Brick Pit
Two seasons ago you'll remember I caught a big Pike from Partney. It was time to get re-acquainted or maybe catch a bigger one. Everyday that week I dropped in five or six small dead baits into the same spot. By the time Friday came around I was bristling with confidence. Two hours without a touch soon dampened that! "Doing owt?" said the man in his van. With my winter gear on I hadn't realised he had pulled up behind me. "Nothing," I replied. "Ah piking are you?". "Yep." I answered. "Buggers have probably taken them all out, seen dead eight pounders just thrown in the hedge up there." He added. Now I've had this all winter. Scaremongering about Cormorants, Otters, fish kills and now pike haters! Do me a favour, if you see me or anyone else fishing try and be a little bit positive. Fishing is all about confidence and if you don't have it then you may as well be sat at home. Half an hour later I packed up.
Wednesday 27th March 2013
Neals Pit, Old Bollingbrook
Bitter easterly winds had been with us for days. It was turning out to be a colder month than January. By the Wednesday the wind had dropped enough for me to venture out. After my previous trip I decided to try somewhere I knew nobody would bother me. In fact I wasn't even sure I was meant to be there at all as the lakes shut in the winter for shooting.
I made my way down the treacherous lane and parked up. The bottom lake looked lovely and I opted to fish in a spot I have always fancied on the west bank. This would also see what remained of the wind of my back. Not that it mattered as the bottom lake is heavily sheltered. I set up two tip rods again. One with maggot and one worm. Tony's words began to ring in my ears again- "Big Perch in here Phil, used to be a nuisance to be honest, so big they'd bite you off on the pole"

It was a beautiful afternoon and although cold I thoroughly enjoyed it sat on an old weed bed. I caught a few Roach but nothing special. It's the mystery of this place though that keeps me coming back. I didn't get a bite on the worm but I wasn't too disappointed. If the Perch are still there I'll come across them sooner or later. A did have a bit of a giggle to myself later on when the temperature started dropping. Seemed as if one of the Chaos Twins (my Labradors) had been at my gloves. They had eaten my left thumb!

Till next time...............................

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

March 2013

Tuesday March 5th

River Bain

I had planned to crack the Secret River in my week off. As it panned out it took me a day and a half to do some pressing jobs around the house. With only a couple of hours to spare on my second day off I thought the Bain would be a better bet than the Secret River. After finding a new place to park I wandered downstream with my trusty telescopic rod. My plan was to trot breadflake down a few likely looking glides for the elusive Bain Roach. I was pleased to find the river looking lovely on the sunniest day of the year-

First off I tried the weir pool at the top of the stretch. No joy there. For my regular readers you'll remember I had a few Roach bites from the glide below the tree and after trying a couple more spots along the way I ended up there, full of confidence. A biteless hour later soon numbed that! In desperation I got rid of the float and tied a quick link leger. I tied the same hook on from my float rig and cast slightly downstream. Two minutes later I had a real whack around bite. Culprit? A Chub of two pounds. My old tele rod really isn't suited to showing bites on it's stiffish tip and I was ruing the fact that I had been lazy and left my holdall at home. I then missed a couple of bites which really had me kicking myself.

Despite the unsuitability of my equipment I carried on, basking in the unseasonal sunny conditions. I soon snared another one. At 3lb 10oz it was a cracker and lifted my mood no end. Imagine how I felt then when an hour later I was wondering whether I had caught my first Bain five pounder. At 4lb 11oz I was agonisingly close again. One day.........

Wednesday March 6th

The Secret River

I finished off my last diary saying I was going to catch something from the river. After seven or eight blank visits I had declared war on it. In fact I'd not had so much as a bite all winter on it. "Did you catch anything?" Mrs P would ask on my many fruitless returns. "Nope.". "Why do you bother going?" She would enquire. She had a point (don't tell her). Anyway I didn't want to go either. It was a drab day and had been raining in total contrast to the beautiful day before. I had to employ a certain amount of willpower to direct my car towards the river valley instead of heading to the Bain again.

As the river came into view my heart sank. It was high. As I drove around the waterworks I parked up on the bank and wandered down to the waters edge. It may have been high but for once it had that beautiful greeny/blue tinge of a winter chalk stream. Then something caught my eye in the distance. It was a comorant in flight, tracking down the river. It reminded me what a local had told me a few weeks before- "There are loads of comorants nesting in an old tree upstream, cleared the place out they have.".  Despite this I still felt relatively optimistic. The target was just to get a bite. Just for all my non-fishing readers. A two pound perch is a great fish.......a three pound Perch from a river is super rare and any angler would be made up to catch one in a lifetime.

Why do I bother going there? I'll let the pictures explain.......

A few roach to start..............then the Perch turn up!

3lb 4oz
3lb 2oz

2lb 12oz and 2lb 10oz
2lb 8oz

Success at last!

Till next time...........................................

Friday, 1 March 2013

February 2013 part 2

Tuesday 19th February
Woodlands Lakes, Spilsby.
Just a quick afternoon session after the Perch on Hawthorn. Fished peg 15 for a change and had a one dead on two pounds within an hour. I struggled after that first fish. Some other chap was bagging up on Roach and Skimmers though. Young Jack came down down for a natter towards dusk. I thought as the light faded I might have snared another. We both watched for bites expectantly but it wasn't to be. Eric (the owner) was as welcoming as ever and I'll be going back for one more try for a 'three' before the Carp start waking up mid-march time.
Thursday 21st February

River Bain.

I decided to try a new stretch of the river closer to Conningsby for a couple of hours. A had worms for the Perch and some bread and cheese as back-ups. I tried a few likely looking spots on the worm to no avail. Nothing doing on bread either. A switch to cheese produced a fish within five minutes. A nice Chub just under four pounds. That , once again, was the only bite of the day.

Tuesday 26th February

Withern Mill, Withern.

I've written loads about my Perch and Chub exploits hence the brevity of the last two entries. Not wanting either you or I to get bored I decided to go Trout fishing. A quick dig about in the shed revealed my- untouched for three years- fly fishing gear. Back when we used to have a proper close season I used to do a bit of fly fishing. There is no mystery to it. I could teach you in half an hour. A bought a few new flies from the tackle shop in town. It has recently been taken over and the stock levels are immense. They have all sorts in there now. Well worth a look if you are passing.

Withern Mill has been taken over recently too. I perused their website and was eager to get down there. Five lakes sit beside the Great Eau and you can fish either the lakes or half a mile of the river. Trout fishing has always been thought of as a bit elitist and I have to say I was a bit unsure how I would be received. A rugby match a few days prior had left me looking a bit rough. Anyway I needn't have worried. The owners gave me a very warm welcome. I bought a two fish ticket (£20) and made my way to the lower car park.

I decided to fish the lakes first for Trout and then have a go for the Grayling in the river. I took me a while to get my casting right, not helped by my aged fly line. A couple of follows kept my spirits up as I plugged away. After an hour or so I found a few fish in lake three. I lost two before finally banking a couple. Both fantastic fish, full finned and tremendous fighters. Shame I knocked them on the head. 'Didn't you feel bad?' Mrs P asked later. I had to think about that one. I never normally kill my catch but these fish aren't wild, they're farmed. Besides I'd be eating them and it's a reality of life as a meat eater. If I'm honest I did a bit but then again I am bloody soft!

With my two fish limit reached I could have carried on and released any others but I was keen to try the river. I stopped off at the riverside hut. Tea and Coffee are provided and I must say it was rather nice touch despite the worlds slowest boiling kettle. I peered into the river wondering how many big Roach I had walked past during the afternoon. Refreshed, I headed down to the mill pool to try my luck. As you know the river hasn't been kind to me this season and today was to be no different. I think the Grayling must move around a lot. What I really wanted was a pint of maggots! It was a cracking day though and one I can thoroughly recommend. Maybe one day I'll strike a deal to coarse fish the river there.



I did sneak a couple of other short sessions in. The first was to Partney after Pike. No luck there. The second was yesterday. I went down the the Great Eau a short distance below the Trout Farm. I can't tell you exactly where because as always I'm not entirely sure I should have been there. Anyway I picked a lovely looking glide and trotted maggots for a good two hours with not a single bite. I've lost count of the blanks now but mark my words it is not going to beat me. I will catch something from the Secret River by the end of the season. It's bloody war!

Till next time..............