Saturday, 15 October 2016

Recent chub success with Lamprey

After landing a decent chub a few weeks back on Lamprey intended for pike, I've decided to purposely target chub with small sized chunks of lamprey at night. Tactics are simply a link ledgered swan shot, through to a size 4 hook and chunk of lamprey. There has been no need to put any additional bait in; the lamprey seems to draw the chub in within ten mins of casting (if they are there).

Each trip (lasting no more than 2 hours) has resulted in decent chub, with bites being very confident pulls or drop backs. They seem to take the bait right back and are easy to hook. I've also managed a couple of eels, which seem taken by the lamprey as well.

I'll definitely be persevering this winter with lamprey to go alongside my usual steak, and hopefully it might get me a Tees or Wear 6lber.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Start of the River Piking Season

I got out on the middle tees for dawn today, on what is traditionally the start of the pike season (though obviously a date for such things is pointless as temps vary greatly year on year). Two rods out in search of pike, one with lamprey, other with smelt. After half an hour or so, the lamprey was taken but I realised what was hooked quickly after setting the hooks, and soon landed this nice chub of 4lb 6oz. They have a thing for lamprey, so it was no surprise - one of my favourite chub baits (along with steak), but not really what I was after.

Didn't get anything else despite trying three other spots. I noticed the dace topping which is good; they will soon be shoaling up and migrating downstream.

Air pressure was 1014 and rising quickly through the day. Temp 9C overnight

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Tees chub target smashed

Picked my brother up at 8pm and headed for the tees. We picked a swim with decent leg space for both, and one that I knew produced chub often. Good old steak was to get the first outing of the season. 

After half an hour of casting, and a few plucks, the bro landed a small eel, not our target but interesting all the same. Next put out, and he was soon bending into an unmissable bite, and soon landed a 3lb 15oz chub. A good start.

We had to wait an hour or so for the next bit of interest. We both started getting indications - little tap, slight drop back. Slight joking to each other as both our hands hovered over the rod, when mine hoofed round and I bent into a good fish. This one fought better than most, hugging the far bank tree line. My line started grating against a snag, and it put a right old bend in the rod to get it closer. 

Once landed, we soon realised this was a smashing fish, with a very thick belly. One the scales it went 5lb 10oz, I've had bigger but not off the tees, and a tees 5 was my target for this year so I'm very happy with that. We packed up and went home soon after. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Fun with the lures - perch and pike

Loving the lures at the moment, so with the river up I went to a local Stillwater for some perch and pike. Started off with tiny cranks, fishing with a light outfit and I was catching perch from the off. All of them were small, but it was great fun, and I was watching them chase the lure. 

After that, I put the light gear away and got the jerkbait outfit out. After half an hour of casting the lure got smashed and I landed this tail walking pike. Didn't weight it, 6lb or so. Great fun!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pike, stick float, tench, carp and bass update

A bit of a varied update! 

Can't beat a bit of stick float fishing, the perfect way to cure a number of blanks and tough sessions. I had a short morning trip with the stick float and caster approach, in search of the swale chub shoals. Constant trickling of caster and hemp soon got them feeding, and I managed a few small ones before hooking into one of the biggies; unfortunately it got away. I kept getting the odd chublet and trout, but nothing big, then an otter decided to cause havoc in my swim. Then I hooked a 2lb brownie which went berserk. 

It all went quiet after that, but caught a few small ones anyway - it seems that they must have had a successful spawning last couple of years on the Swale as there's a lot of small ones about.. 

Next trip was a couple of hours before work, the tide seemed right for some dawn bass on the lures. Although I managed to prize my head off the pillow rather than get the desired sleep before work, it was a lovely dawn to fish in, but it didn't result in the wanted bass. 

A trip out tench fishing at a loca Stillwater ultimately was a failure, though I did hook a fish. Fishing the bolt rig feeder, over a bed of caster and maggot, tench were soon feeding confidently and I got a brilliant run which I hit. Unfortunately this got off, and I struggled to get anything else. Nice to be out though...

Next trip, this time an overnighter at a local gravel pit in search of a decent carp. Two rods out, one with boilies, the other with meat, and I tucked myself away for the night, hoping to be rudely awoken in the middle of the night. You can imagine my dissapoint net when some geese woke me up at 6am. I nodded back off until 7.30, re-cast for couple of hours more, and left feeling despondent. 

I then had a fair few hours with the lures on Wednesday, targeting the river tees. In hindsight, I'd have done something else - I was expecting the river to drop overnight, which it didn't (actually went up a little more). 

It was hard going, fishing heavy jerk baits and walking the banks for a mile or two. I was getting tired a little, when suddenly a big pike followed it in, bow waved and turned at the last second. That was enough to get me interested again, but it didn't result in a fish. Still I know where it is for next time.

That trip got me interested in catching pike on big lures, So today, noting that there was a little water in the river, not much, but similar to last week I thought that the colour might make me struggle with the lures. So I decided to fish a local Stillwater that I have access to. 

I fished most of the morning with deadbaits on one rod and the other rod for carp, both fished on the marginal shelf. The rods remained untouched until 10am, so I decided to reel in and get the heavy lure gear out. 

The water is very clear, like tap water, so I could see the burt lure as I jerked it back. After half a dozen casts in different spots, I noticed something move and then follow the lure. She quickly took it, shook his head from side to side as I struck. After a short but spirited fight, I had this low double, a lure and Stillwater pb for me, so happy with that. 

She had a very big head, and capable of much more weight in mid winter I reckon. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Chub, Chub and more chub.

That's half a dozen trips to the River Tees since June 16th in search of the elusive barbel (which other people I know have managed successfully so far), and all i'm getting is chub. It's getting frustrating, though it's always good to get a bend in the rod. 

I've changed my approach recently, not starting fishing until the kids are in bed, and fishing until midnight or so. Tactics wise, i've changed to a double boilie hookbait (10mm Nutrabaits Trigga) to try and avoid the chub. Even then, they are still hanging themselves on my rigs, however i have noticed that less are hooking themselves, allowing me to ignore the chub pulls and hopefully soon allow a barbel to get to the bait. The problem is that tees barbel are not common, and seem to be very nomadic. It's a case of finding them, which is easier said than done (and when they do get found, angling pressure seems to move them on). Add to the fact that chub out number them massively, and sometimes bream, and you can see why it is such an interesting challenge. Why am I keeping at it? Simple - The average size of a Tees fish hovers around the double figure mark. 

Hopefully it will happen soon, dont get me wrong, in the middle of winter I would be specifically targetting chunky chub, but right now they are a nuisance!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Fishing update - Rivers back open

Since my last post, my quietness has been solely down to a lack of action. I've been fishing a tough Stillwater which has really tested me, but the rewards are potentially brilliant. Half a dozen trips including an overnighter have so far resulted in a boilie munching pike, but I am hoping for one of the resident bream or carp in the near future.

The rivers have been open 11 days now and I've had a few trips so far. The first one, on opening day was a disaster as I forgot some gear, got bothered by locals etc etc cans ended up giving up very quickly. An evening on the tees followed this a few days later, which although gave me plenty of knocks, didn't produce the wanted barbel. Another late evening followed, and again the chub were interested, or should I say, chublets, which kept attacking my 10mm elips pellet

I stayed into dark and was rewarded with the sort of run that gets the heart racing, as line quickly peeled off the baitrunner, but I soon realised the culprit was a chub, which when landed had the length to be a good winter 5, but at this post spawned time of the year, only hit 4lb 5oz.

My last trip was yesterday; I had a few hours spare during the day so took a couple of pints of casters to the river Swale to try and get a barbel on the stick. I quickly landed a decent grayling, followed by small face and chublets. 

Shortly after, the constant feeding had me hook into what I though was a boulder, as it didn't budge so I pulled hard to free it, and it went does treat as quick as a rocket. Chasing after, I got it into some slower water and played it for around 5 mins before, unfortunately, the hook pulled. A barbel was the culprit, and I went home despondent. 

Next trip will be another late one in search of the elusive tees barbel. Here's hoping....

Friday, 1 April 2016

Going over to the dark side....

I've realised there's something missing in my life, and that's a decent carp. I've invested in some gear, and will be targeting something decent in the coming months. 

Judging from the captures at Albert park recently, I could target that and probably get a few good fish but it's definitely not my style, and I couldn't cope with the hassle (done that before years ago before I could drive and it wasn't enjoyable!). I've selected a couple of waters, both very difficult, but both with fish over 20lb. The good thing is that both have good tench and bream as well, so I could be kept occupied at least during the long wait. The other important thing is that in both lakes, the fish look stunning. A bit of prebaiting will be involved as well. 

I'll keep you posted with how I get on, but am not expecting too many captures so apologies if there aren't many catch reports! 

Gear at the ready......

Saturday, 19 March 2016

One more chub, and that's it! Season end....

 Popped out for a couple of hours shortly before the season finished and the chub were very frustrating. I struck four times at solid bites without connecting (wasn't hair rigging either.....). 

A change to the set up (move the feeder up the line more and remove the mince from the feeder so all that was there was my hookbait) and I connected finally. Didn't bother weighing it but nice to catch...A bout of illness ruined the last few days of the season for me, I had some good plans as well. I guess it's time to dust the tench gear off in a few weeks time! 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Night time chub fishing on the river tees

After noticing that people were getting missed or subtle bites during the day, I put it down to cold weather and low conditions. I decided that night time fishing might be the way to bag a couple. 

I dropped onto the river tees for a couple of hours. I didn't want to be roving the banks much, so I picked an area and settled down, it was really pitch black tonight. Tactics were usual - steak, link ledgered with swan shot, allowing the flow to bring it to a settled position. 

First cast, after 15 mins the rod wrapped round, and I was into a solid fish, but the fight didn't last and the fish shed the hook. Next cast same again, 15 mins whilst the chub tracked down the blood scent and the rod flew round again. This one was landed. 

Same again next cast, rod wrapped round and another fish of a similar stamp. After another missed bite, I decided to call it an evening. My light was failing and phone battery low - I'm not a fan of stumbling about in the dark. Happy with that result in challenging conditions.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Smash and grab chub on the river Nidd

I had an hour to fish today, and working in Yorkshire decided to drop in on the nidd. Rod was already set up with link ledgered steak.

This is not an easy venue and after trying 4 different pegs without a touch (ten mins in each peg), the rod slammed round and I hit into a very hard fighting chub. Thought it would be bigger, but happy with this 4lb 5oz fish, my first nidd fish (only fished it a couple of times - lovely river though)

I'm hoping to get out pike fishing at the weekend. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Roving for river Tees chub

Decided to walk the miles this morning and travel light, using prawns, steak and cheese paste as bait, on the river tees. I was fishing a soft quiver tip, 8lb line straight through, link ledgering with 2 or 3 swan shot so that the bait settled in the crease of the flow after trundling around a little. After that, I just flicked out a couple of freebies and waited. 

The banks have been battered this winter, and the river has changed, but first swim produced a quick bite to steak (after the prawn was ignored), and the strike met with solid resistance. This one weighed 4lb 2oz

A little wander downstream and I found a swim where a crease flowed under a nice raft, screamed out chub. I started with steak this time, but after ten minutes of no action decided it was time to bring out stuthebroos cheesepaste - to say it stinks is an understatement. The chub love it though, and within 30 seconds the tip flew round and i was into my second fish at the same weight of 4lb 2oz.

The next swim didn't produce a bite, so moving further I found another swim that looked handy, and flicked out a piece of steak which was taken within minutes. This one fought better than the others, and I had to hold it solid to stop it getting in the roots. A nice tees chub of 4lb 8oz

On to the next swim, this one was a real hit and hold job as I was fishing under the roots, so it was a case of strike and bury the rod, not giving an inch. Eventually I coaxed the chub out, and it was another 4 at 4lb 3oz to steak.

Couldn't buy another bite, but happy with that result! 

Smash and grab chub...

On my way back from work earlier in the week, I quickly popped to the river Tees for half an hour on the bank. Didn't have long so tackle was already set up. Tackle was a 1.5lb speciality Avon quiver, couple with link ledgered steak and 8lb line straight through (using a couple of grippa stops to link ledger the swan shot). 

To cut a short story even shorted, I fished two swims and caught two chub, back on the road as quick as I arrived and had a nice beer with my tea! Smaller was around 2.5lb, biggest was 4lb 1oz.

Happy days - ps, the chub are finally feeding and are very hungry, with a particular liking for steak 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

River rising and temps on the up....

I felt there was a chance of a barbel at the weekend. I couldn't get out until Sunday after so decided a session into dark might offer me a chance. With the Swale carrying a few foot, I opted for a the Martin bowler Drennan big river rod, couple with a daiwa ss2600 and 15lb line. Bait was a big, smelly paste wrapped lone angler ocean pride boilie, that I'd made at home, adding a good dollop more flavouring than is recommended! 

Travelling light, I covered a few swims in 5 hours of fishing, but failed to connect with anything. The river was rising slowly, increase in temp from 42F to 43F. I wasn't the only one - others blanked as well (incidentally it sounds like I was a day early as people started catching on Monday....with temps at 45F). 

It looks like more of the same in the coming days (although sudden drops in temps overnight won't help), so I may be out again in search for a barbel. Keep my options open though until I know for sure what the levels are like. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A River Tees chub in freezing conditions on the new Acolyte Feeder rod

It's been a while since I update the blog, mainly because the rivers have been very difficult to fish the last 6 weeks or so. The river was finally fishable today, so I needed to get out, despite the temps. I didn't get to the banks of the Tees until early afternoon.

I was fishing with a drennan acolyte feeder rod, new daiwa feeder reel and 5lb drennan method and feeder line straight through to a size 8 hook. A small cage feeder was stopped by two float stops, so there was no swivel or additional weakness in the line. To counter the finicky bites, I used a very soft tip (1.5oz) and paid out a bow in the line. This way, the chub would feel very little resistance and bite more confidently - or that was the idea. 

After a couple of taps, the tip pulled round and I was into a nice Tees chub - the gear performed well, and a nice chub was soon landed. 

I couldn't buy another bite. I would have liked more but happy with this in freezing conditions.

The drennan acolyte feeder rod makes a good chub rod as well....I'd used it once before on a Stillwater and managed a small chub, but needed to try it with something bigger!

Some snow in the hills at the moment which I imagine will come down once the temps rise next week. Probably a grayling session next weekend on the upper reaches of the Ure....that's the plan at the moment anyway!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A morning grayling fishing the river tees, with the 14ft drennan acolyte plus

With freezing overnight temperatures and the River Tees fining down after last weeks flood, conditions seemed ideal for a spot of grayling fishing. There's something just awesome about the lady of the stream; they bite in the harshest conditions, fight hard and look stunning. I didn't manage anything massive, but happy to catch a dozen or so nice grayling to slightly over a pound this morning.

The 14ft Drennan Acolyte Plus is a great tool for the job....

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Avoided the blank in difficult conditions

Just got back in from a mornings fishing in difficult conditions. There was a good few foot of water in, leaves thundering through and wind / rain. Decided to use some smelly paste to try and tempt a barbel or chub, roving about and fishing the slacks.

The first few swims produced nothing, other than big piles of leaves. On the next swim there was a tree in the river upstream, creating some slack water and a crease, ideal place to find a fish. First cast and the rod banged a...s the bait came round in the flow before settling. Next cast the same happened again so I assumed that something was sat in the crease picking off food as it flowed by. I took the weight off, cast out a big lump of paste, and touch ledgered as the bait swung round the crease. This got me a strikeable bite straight away, not massive but a chub all the same, and I was happy to avoid the blank.

Left shortly after as the rain got heavy....

Water Temp was 49.5f

Monday, 2 November 2015

A November barbel and a new pb

Well that was an eventful evening. River was up a fair few feet after the rain of the last few days, and temps into double figures, so it had to be barbel as the target. I turned up in dark to find thick fog, making moving about difficult in the torch light. The banks were treacherous as well.

I had to try five different swims before finally getting the wrap round I was after, resulting in a new pb of 9lb 14oz after a brilliant fight.

The banks were really treacherous, had to be careful in each swim in the dark, and the fog just made walking by torch light very difficult. 

Returning to my car and trying to drive away, it soon became apparent that my car was stuck. After trying as much as I could, I ended up calling darren to help me, and then shortly after two anglers came walking by and helped push me out - cheers for the help everyone!  

Saturday, 31 October 2015

New Closed face reel on the market - Abu 507 MK II

Now this is something I am intrigued about, for various reasons. 

I've been using closed face reels on and off for years, since the old fella gave me his 1970's 506. As all of the original, Swedish built, Abu's this is a solid reel, built to last, and great for trotting a stick float. I still use it now. It's not perfect though - the drag / clutch system was useless, and most have had the anti reverse dog removed because of this. It's great for bagging up on dace, but quite often I would hook up on a decent chub and that's when difficulties arose. For some reason, I struggled to control them, couldn't back wind quickly enough or wasn't comfortable putting loads of strain on the reel. I usually landed them, but with difficulty. I've also tried a 501 which, for all intents and purposes is the same reel.

Abu then brought out a modern looking 706 - built quality was very plastic, but it performed, same issue with the drag though. The 506 MK II came out a couple of years ago, performs very well indeed, and incorporates a quarter turn mechanism to reduce the drag when playing a fish close in. The drag still wasn't up to scratch though. 

So today I noticed out of the corner of my eye when in the tackle shop, this 507 MK II. 

First thing I noticed was that's it's bigger than the 506 and felt more solid. Second thing is that it has a rotating drag on the bottom, that feels very smooth (when turning the spool by hand and altering the drag). You could feel the subtle increase in drag with each turn. I've not tried it yet, just bought it, but I think that the drag could, for the first time, be useable. When a fish takes line, the cup and pin remain stationary and the spool rotates, exactly how such a system should work. The older versions were just odd, the cup would rotate to give line, akin to back winding....

It comes with 3 shallow spools and 1 deep spool. I honestly believe that this well cover most of my river float fishing needs, perfect for trotting a float. The true test will be to see how it copes when dealing with a bag of chub on the river Swale, and I intend to try it out in the next week or two. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pike fishing - River Swale

I started my main winter campaign earlier this week, which is to try for a big pike from the river Swale. I've had a few over the magic 20 mark from the tees, and want to try and broaden my horizons. 

The plan of attack is to cover as much water this winter as I can. I've got access to many miles of water through various clubs. I reckon about 20 morning trips should cover it with a roving approach. 

On Monday, the levels were good and I decided to give it a try at the upper limit of the Swale I'll be fishing. It's pretty wild water up here, Rapids, pools, as well as some nice eddies etc. There are good pike, and I've had them to 19.04lb previously. 

Tactics involved fishing a smelt and lamprey deadbaits, two rods, roving between swims. The second peg produced a run within minutes, and I was happy to avoid the spaniard they call el blanco, even though the fish only weighed 5lb 6oz (this one took the smelt). I covered about 1.5 miles of water, but didn't get any further activity. Well, we have to start somewhere! 

I'm out again tomorrow morning, however spate rivers being as they are, the Pennines have been hit by downpours and the river is filling up with warm water. The pike will have to wait another week whilst the barbel rods are dusted off again. 

Here's a pic of my Swale pb which in hoping to beat this year.....

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Barbel o clock

There was a lot of water in the rivers earlier this week, and one in particular was just fining down nicely but carrying a little water and flow still. Perfect conditions for a few hours barbel fishing into dark.

I'm experimenting with baits and flavouring at the moment, and had made some pretty potent boilies that i'd had recommended, which I wrapped in a similar flavoured paste. The first swim I got too had a tree overhanging on the near bank with the flow pushing out towards the far bank. A cast into the flow and letting it swing round seemed ideal, and I threw in a couple of samples (no mass baiting). Within 20 mins, the rod slammed round and I was into a hard fighting barbel; unfortunately the hooked pulled out as it was fighting near the bank.

After sitting it out for a short while, I decided a move was in order. Next swim I used paste only, direct to the hook, and within 10 mins later the rod stated  pulling round and I struck instantly into what was clearly another barbel. Happy when this one was finally landed...

I said it last week and i'll say it again - the lone angler landing net handle is brilliant. Very solid, and ideal for tricky swims where you need reach and strength. I had to land this fish between a bed of reeds that I couldn't get near because of the extra water and it was just what I needed.

I'm happy that I've found a bait flavour that seems to work very well. Two swims, two bites very quickly. That shows to me they are finding the nice scent trail in the dark and being drawn to it. I think I will keep on it!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Night time chub fishing

I had intended to go bass fishing this morning, however things changed and I ended up having a few spare night time hours by the river. With it being low, I decided to guarantee a couple of fish and target the chub (i'm after another 6lber this season).

Tactics involved using steak on the hook and mince in the feeder; a favourite tactic of mine and one that rarely fails me. A greys prodigy 1.5lb rod, 12lb line and shimano aero feeder reel finished the set up (there is no point in going light at night time).

It didn't take long to get the usual indications as a chub try to get the mince out, and not long after the the rod hooped over to a battling 4lber. This happened two more times in the next hour or so, and I ended up with three fish of 4lb 4oz, 4lb 7oz and 4lb 9oz. Happy with that.

I have just purchased a lone angler landing net pole. I have a drennan twistlock, which is good, but can be unreliable in muddy or freezing weather, as the locking mechanism can be temperamental. The lone angler one is a lot heavier, but built to last, with a much simpler locking mechanism. Tried it for the first time today and I was very impressed to say the least. Definitely not one to be holding often to land silverfish due to the weight, but as a pike / chub / barbel handle, it seems spot on.