I'll do it as a bit of a diary entry....
18/10/16 - River Ure Piking
I decided to try piking on the River Ure, a river i'd not fished before. I have a target to try and get a river 20 from another river other than the tees, something that is proving to be a little tricky! Tactics were to fished two ledgered baits (one a smelt, the other lamprey), and rove around fishing various pikey looking spots. After a mile or so walk, I found a good looking spot and after ten minutes had a bang on the rod. Despite waiting for a short while, it didn't come back (I learned shortly after that an angler had been there a few days before, bagging a few doubles, so they may have been nervous). I tried four or five other swims for the rest of the morning, without a touch, before the weather came in and a p'd it down (I beat a hasty retreat!). Result - a blank. I'll be back....
27/11/16 - Bass Fishing at the tees mouth!
After a few weeks of either blanking or not fishing, I got wind of a load of school bass falling to bait locally (bear in mind here that I normally manage one bass a year to lures!). Tactics were explained to me, the mark was described and I was soon casting out a free running 2oz lead using a 2.5lb test carp rod and ragworm to a 1/0 hook, 20 yards out into the surf. I soon started getting knocks, and decided to try hit them - which amazingly worked (it was like hitting chub bites on my local tees). The bass weren't large, biggest about 1.5lb, but numerous fish were to follow and it was great fun sea fishing with light gear and bringing them in the surf. A new experience for me, and i'll be trying again at some point.
03/12/16 - A River Tees Grayling trip
With conditions being cold and the river pretty low, it was either chub or grayling so I decided to have an afternoon after the latter on what I class as the upper tees (though in reality its middle, but on the upper limit of water I fish on). Tactics were to trot maggots through some likely runs, hoping to contact some of the better fish than can go to over 2lb.
The first swim was one that I've had success with before, but it took a while to get the first fish interested. This fought well on the light float gear, as they often do, and was soon landed at a little over a pound. A couple more followed of a little smaller size before bites tailed off. A move didn't produce any other fish. The grayling fishing this winter is so far a little disappointing on the tees, though I've heard that the cormorants are causing havoc....
10/12/16 - After a Swale Barbel
With a couple of foot extra water in the swale, and temps on the up, I felt that barbel would be worth a shot. I decided to rove around with boilies and paste, giving each swim half an hour or so. Despite trying a fair few swims, the only interest I had was from chub, which I didn't strike at. The most interesting thing to happen was a friendly robin....
11/12/16 - Roving for River Tees Chub
After the previous blank, I needed a bend in the rod so decided on roving the river tees, fishing miles of relatively unfished water (I didn't bump into anyone on the day!). Tactics were very simple; raw steak, link ledgered with 2 or 3 SSG shot, and just let it swing round in the flow until it settled.
Bites came from the off, with most pegs producing a confident wrap round that I connected with. Unfortunately I lost two fish (including a very good one), but landed others with the biggest couple being over 4lb. Great fun, and great fighters.
15/12/16 - Gravel pit Piking
With the river out of sorts, I decided to chuck a couple of deadbaits out at a local gravel pit. Tactics were ledgered smelt / sardine, cast to a drop off to deeper water, and sat on alarms. With the first rod out, I turned to set up the second when the alarm sounded as the indicator dropped a little. I assumed that this was the line settling so tightened up again, turned away and the alarm sounded once more. This time I struck, and soon had this jack in the net.
I thought this would be the start of a good mornings piking, but unfortunately that was the only action I had. Can't complain though...
19/12/16 - River Tees Night time chubbing
I've been doing a fair amount of night time chub fishing lately, usually mid week trips in the dark for a couple of hours in search of a tees 6lber. I've had them to 5lb 10oz now, so getting closer. This was another of those trips, but after roving in the dark, the first four swims produced nothing (surprisingly). A final swim final resulted in a bite to link ledgered steak, ending in this tees chub of average size.