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...............................