Monday, 28 November 2011

Coventry Canal, Zander

My fishing time has been limited of late but I have still been out in the fresh air having a good time due to this little beast. We have been using it to clear acres of brambles, nettles and even whole trees. The amount of controls it has means that it takes a considerable amount of hand/eye co-ordination but I have got it sussed, and it has been great fun.
An invitation to meet up with fellow bloggers for a roving Zander match tempted me away from my big toy this Sunday. The Jeff Hatt birthday bash(not revealing his age!) wasn't due to start until 3pm, a sensible time for Zander so I headed down to the brook in the morning to catch some fresh dead baits.
This diminutive watercourse is a stunning place to fish. Completely natural with trees draped over the water, overgrown pegs, long glides, little whirlpools and weed infested sections, all full of a variety of fish. I had bites right from the start, too quick in fact as I missed the first one but I got my co-ordination together and started to catch. I had Perch, all too big to be bait, Minnows which were too small, some Dace that were good, a Chub and a surprise Trout, also both too big. When the float went under you have no idea what is on the other end, a lovely way to fish. The best fish of the session was this 6oz Dace, which of course went back.
I ended up taking three baits which was never going to be enough but I had some shop bought Roach in the freezer so was not too bothered.
Ten bloggers including Phil Smith (has he got a book out at the moment?) gathered together in Coventry, a really good turn out, and the 3ish match finally got going about 3.30pm. A Le mans style start saw anglers heading off in all different directions and being a virgin on these waters (in fact it has been 23years since I wet a line in a canal) I followed Lee to the site of his recent pb. I chose to fish next to a boat that had obviously not moved for a decade and placed one bait alongside and the other over towards the far side, next to an entanglement of bushes. Within seconds the 'boat' rod indicated a bite, I left it for ten seconds and it carried on twitching so I struck. Thin air and no bait! That was one fresh bait gone already.
The far side bait twitched but not enough to strike at and after 5 minutes I brought it in, covered in teeth marks on one side and a plastic bag on the other. Darkness fell and with it the bites slowed down, I decided on a move to a different swim, meeting up with Keith on the way. We settled on one of the most comfortable swims on the whole canal. A park bench and this is the view:
The baits were cast in and Keith popped to the bar. I know it is not the right way to chose a swim more beercraft than watercraft but it was a social event. Needless to say we blanked. Word was going round of a few fish taken, Andy landing two and beating Danny to second place and at 7.30pm the match was wrapped up and all the fishermen retired to the local hostelry.
The banter was good, all fishing based of course and the evening finished with a revelation about a certain famous angler courtesy of Danny, ask him because I am not revealing anything!
Well done to all who caught and thanks again to all for a pleasant evening. Happy Birthday Jeff.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Kingfisher Trout

The river has been a very cruel mistress of late so I decided to play away from home this week and I pulled a couple of times. A quick internet search and I found Kingfisher Trout lake, a picturesque spring-fed lake just outside Bromyard, virgin territory.
I am still very much a novice with a fly rod so upon arrival I asked the boss lady what flies were working and if there were any hotspots. She said buzzers on a slow retrieve were good and that Boobies and Wagglers were banned. I assured her that I would keep my Boobies covered up and that I had no idea what a waggler was so probably did not have any.
I left the lodge none the wiser and headed for a quiet corner out of the way. Not because I thought the fish would be hiding there but so I could get my casting up to scratch before coming out in the open.
A couple of hours later I moved spots and having tried many different flies during the morning I finally had a take on a daddy long legs-a-like. I landed my first Kingfisher Rainbow weighing 2lb exactly and followed it up with a 1lb 9oz fish not long after.
I carried on thrashing the water to foam for a while after missed a couple of rises and went home content with a brace. Max helped me clean and gut them, in fact I think he enjoyed it!?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pike, Warks Avon

I set off for my weekly fishing trip with high hopes and expectations. Pike were the target and the location was my banker swim for predators. A peaceful backwater that is full of fry and predator fodder. When I arrived just after 7.00am the signs were good. Every minute or so there would be a spray of small fish leaping from the water to try and escape the Pike as they rushed the shoals. This is going to be like 'shooting fish in a barrel' I thought to myself. I put a Roach dead bait and half a Mackerel in the two most likely looking spots. Confidence was high.
My confidence started to wane more and more with each minute that passed. I could not believe the buzzers remained silent. I changed tactics to float fishing, I changed baits around and I swapped swims, still nothing.
All the way through until just after 2.00pm and finally the left buzzer indicated a bite. I struck but felt nothing, never mind at least they are feeding again. A couple of minutes later the other buzzer lifted slowly but surely as the Pike made off with my Roach, again the strike hit thin air. A fresh Roach went back to the spot, the buzzer will go again I said.
Sadly my chance had gone. There were no more indications of fish until dusk fell and yet again I went home a blanker. At least I had had bites this time. Next time a fish!
Come on, make some noise!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Stopped blanking-Just!

After the sound thrashing the Severn has given me over the last three weeks I decided to take a break and have a go on the Avon. I still wanted to nail a good Zander but also I was fearful of another blank so bets were hedged, one rod dead bait and the other Caster. My choice of swim was the familiar Chadbury weir were I have in the past landed Barbel, Zander, Pike, Roach, Dace, Bream, Eel and Perch. I had to catch something. 
All the best laid plans etc. I struggled for hours and the doubts started to creep in, was it me? the bait? the rigs? the conditions? I changed tactics to rolling meat, still no good. I tried pellet, nothing. As a last ditch effort to avoid the blank I fished a Roach sink and draw style. About twenty minutes later I finally nailed a Pike, probably the smallest I have ever caught but there has not been many as welcome. 36 hours fishing for this tiddler!
Next week I'm going to play Golf.