Tuesday, February 26, 2013

IT Came from..... Peg 55

Well after posting notice of my intending 2013 targets from Salford Waters i decided to hit the Irwell in seach of my first fish.

First cast with a sardine as bait on two single hooks i was into a fish that could have pushed the target weight close when the trace seperated from the swivel.... damn, i had tied it the night before and maybe i had not added the glue to compliment the twist and burn i use to secure the wire.

With optimism high taking the "run" on the first cast from a Irwell swim that had done a 20lber to a lucky fellow in previous years i was hoping to re-hook the pike and de-hook it and break my record,

Well, 3 * 2-3 hours sessions later, 1 short chub session a mile or so down stream into Broughton and 2 short sessions on Old River accounted for no action, except.....

this bloody umbrella, when i thought i was in.......

must have been there a while because it was totally covered in silt/crap, and blood worm(or joker wouldnt know the difference) but it had a new style connector, the plastic screw type not the metal ones of yester-year.

I managed to recover 2 spinners and traces from the umbrella and they were totally black with the silt,

Disapointed not to get a repeat take on the Irwell even after putting in some free offerings before i left each time, Old river, well its fished hard on the 2 matches, but i was hoping for dad to get a livebait,

I find it outfishes deads 5-1 on the Old river. Absolutely no sign of the perch on my second worm/prawn rod,

Next time i am at the waters edge will be early March so unless i read a change in Old river fortunes then i may be time to give Drinkies an early season "whirl"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Highs & Lows

2012 can best be described as a local water learning curve.....

it came from the Irwell
River Irwell

High - definately Dads Sea Trout, truly unexpected and magnificent catch, only bite of the session, on worm,

Low - too many blanks and not enough watercraft.

2013 Target - 10lb+ pike and 3lb+ chub.

Old River Irlam

2lb perch on prawn
Taken on live bait 14lb

Highs - 14lb pike, 2lb perch on prawn, and my grandson catching his first pike

Lows - after deciding to take piking more seriously and kitting myself out with all the right safety tackle including the Bob Roberts discorger, my last pike of the year swallowed the bait including both hooks (back a treble and front a single) and it was so deep in the stomach i couldnt remove them, the bite was struck into in less than 10 second, so be warned, i now use singles and never hook baitfish in the mouth


2013 Target - 2lb+ perch and eel.

Other Highs

Broads Bream in June,4lbers and some good roach.

Duchy Ponds, little gems,
How many baby tench have you caught, i had 3 in 3 casts, never had any before!!!

Salford Quays - many blanks for me and only a few perch for dad.
Drinkies - made a mess of my first ever sessions, and missed some bites on worm that could have been decent tench or bream, only 1 tench for lots of effort over numerous sessions.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas wishes - a pike or two

Christmas wishes to you all,

you cant catch a pb from your bed - even blanking in my last two short sessions piking in the terrible rain can not dampen the spirits

even when the following day was perfect conditions!!!

ho ho ho.....

get out there and give it a go...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Men with Red Faces!!!!!

It was Mick Brown who penned this as a chapter title in his book the Practice and the Passion, describing the winter pike fisherman, obsessive or mad!!!

The lads who attended the Salford Friendly Anglers working party at Irlam Old course on Sunday were definately a bit of both, with red faces initially caused by all the hard work breaking down the masses of bushes to clear pegs,

then those that fished afterwards would have started to get the winter burn after a few hours on the bank, it was freezing!!!

For me i arrived with dad at 10.30am due to grandkids duties, helped make a swim fishable for one hour hard graft then it was time to think about fishing for a few hours

The water was iced over so first it was off to tesco to buy a tow rope where i attached my car jack and started to break the ice to make a swim for me and dad, the rope was only about 3m long to we had to fish near in....

dad had a few bites on pinky and got a couple of roach, me i had a prawn on one rod and a deadbait on the other,

it was about 1 hour in when dad got a me livebait, now i have no problem using lives... but i do hook them carefully, if i do not get a pike i aim to put the baitfish back alive,

So 10mins with the roach on and i was in, a nice 5lb+ graced the net, i retained the live bait so it went back out and within 15mins and other run and a 4lber was the culprit,

but i lost the baitfish, it didnt float so hopefully it had a lucky escape, so i put on a dead and waited only 10mins, and another run, i was into another jack but it must have had the roach side on and the hooks not held firm cos after 5 seconds of it showing it was off.

I would normally take a strike after 5-10 secs of seeing the float move in winter and no more the 5 in the summer, if /when i have pike fished,(but i dont usually fish for pike in the summer),

so with only 1metre from my float to the ice it really was strike straight away and hold on, then nothing for 2 hours on sardines, dad got me another roach so on it went then within 10mins a run which saw me catch a branch under the water and i could see it tangled and it aided the pike to throw the hooks.
Then for another 15minutes it was mental, 3 more runs, was it the same pike? i guess maybe, but each take was very shy, just moving off with the  baitfish and not turning it, cos each strike and the fish was on for 5 second or more where i could see it near the surface, if not the same fish they were jacks for sure,

So on the 7th run of the session i let it go the full 10 seconds right to the edge of the ice, then i hit it and this time a 4lber was in the net, and guess what it was so lightly hooked they came out in the net.

It definately was live outfishing the deads.............

A thoroughly enjoyable day!!!! no pics as the batteries were dead after a long period in my garage!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter Fishing - Bring it on!!!

For once I was really glad to miss this weekend fishing, although the virus was not welcome the time to reflect certainly was,  this got me to thinking of past captures and future targets, then a realisation set in  that over the past few years I really have wimped out in winter. 

“So what” I hear all the fair weather fisherman say, well for an angler that combines pleasure with a bit of specimen fishing albeit to catch the biggest of the type I am after on the water concerned. Indeed so what. 

In winter it all slows down and catches are worse right….. 

In reflection, no !!! 

So for Tench and bream ok.... I have always targeted them in May onwards thus not focusing on anything else, ok so hard waters have taken catch rates down but a 7lb tench and 7lb bream pb from Blackleach Res, not many can say that (cos not that many can catch there these days).


Carp are associated with summer, but I have rarely gone for these by design, there crucian cousins yes, and taking fish to 2.4lb from Fir Tree Flash which is more of a park type lake  this going back some 5 years ago was  great,  Many crucians and tench albeit smaller than the Blackleach variety. Note to self, i must find the crucian photos in the garage, time before digi cameras.

Barbel and chub, I have targeted far less than I would have liked, down to once a year, 7 years ago on a day ticket stretch in middlewich I would drop in once a week and then do a Sunday session, taking barbs to 7lb in late summer and autumn, and I have had a few good last hours dropping off the m6 on my way home from a meeting to target chub into the dark, best of 4lb. 

A big surprise for me was getting to the bank at 5am on the River Glaze in winter  with Dad to catch his favourite, 5am would get the last peg on the 100m stretch, pole to pole tempting roach to 1lb though I now they went bigger than 2lb and some say upto 3lb, it was a dream 2 years winter fishing, until the new bank work killed the annual route of the silvers. I would get 8-10 lb roach in 2 hours before work, and some locals would say that was bad fishing….. they haven’t been to Blackleach then, again i must find the photos....... 

The cold January day would see an annual trip to the River Ure, piking, where my biggest went to 15.5(main blog photo) In freezing temperatures, not massive and I am sure my local rivers hold a new pb for me this winter, but it was while I went to check on a friend that the Red Letter day thoughts sprang to mind. With me asking whats that in the water near the bushes and him saying, dunno not got my contacts in I thought it was twigs.. In fact they were rows of decent size perch in formation largest at the front, though it was near dark a couple of 2lbers were taken with freelined worm, on return saw my “last hour” fishing this to get a fish at the head of the shoal weighing 3.5oz(this blog opening pic), non were feeding, this was aggressive response to food dancing by.  A few months later that very tree was washed into the river in a storm, moving those perch on to find new habitat, damn...
that’s the only reason to stop me driving for 4 hours roundtrip each week during the winter.

While we all enjoy warm days at the bank dreams can come true in winter

So bring it on!!!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Old River Predator hunt

I think it was Martin Bowler who said he treats a blank as step closer to his next big catch and that he learns more blanking than he ever does when catching....

that said then i should be the most knowledgable angler in Salford.......... 2 more attempts predator fishing at my dads favourite water, and blank...

last weekend, weather ok but bright, peg 5th from the pub, tactics 1 deadbait  and 1 floatfish prawn, worm for the perch, dad was just maggot fishing, nothing between us in 2 hours,
the pole anger on the first peg had a few bits, assume it is getting peggy with the change in temperature,

today out at first light for 3 hours, we managed the first peg, same tactics as above but dad put in a deadbait rod too....

well dad had nothing on the mags, i mean i do not expect him to catch as much as a pole angler, for obvious presentation and catch effectiveness of the pole, but i would have expected a bit or two on the mags...... he was on 2.5lb bottom, so maybe he could go down to 1lb,

then at 10,30, i saw a good double size pike nose out of the water near dads float by some lillypads, "give it 20mins" i said, and sure enough, a take.... the float did not go under as he was fishing on the bottom and fish had maybe moved upwards.... for a few seconds the flost travelled then stop (which i took to be the point where the predator is turning the half of herring), then it moved off again, "go on dad strike" - he did and he was in, but five or six second later it was off..... dad blamed me for telling him to strike and not letting it swallow the bait.. but i would rather take it early and loose it than risk deep hooking.... anyway it could have been a mouth hook up and a good shake of the head could have pulled free from the front treble.

But in terms of general fishing, it was poor......maybe the cold nights have turned the fish off until they get used to the lower temperatures, maybe dads presentation and line diamater wasnt ideal to tease these silvers.... or maybe the fish were frequenting other pegs..... i do not know this water that well so do not know the winter shoaling behavior or if there are other influences like a hot water pipe or some other attractor.

Well Mr Bowler what would you have learnt from todays blank???

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Predators - the Old River

Each water has its own stories, some will be true, others not so, i have done a number of short sessions on this water of late and heard stories of huge pike, 6lb eels and 3lb plus perch.

This water could hold a truly massive pike or two, but i would doubt there are too many due to the high number of jacks, usually if there are many 20+ fish they would regulate the numbers of small jacks, and this water is overun with them.

It certainly has potential for big eels, land locked to a degree, deep, plenty of food, i look forward to having a go next year,

Big perch, an immediate target of mine, i have had 2 fish over 3lb from rivers and i can tell you they are truly stunning.

But big perch normally thrive when they are top of the food chain, but with all these jacks i was surprised when i heard these stories until i banked 2 over 1,5lb, but that does not mean there are many of them.

So my next attempt piking and perching, weather was glorious for Oct, but on this water my experience tells me silvers switch off on bright days, and when they do so do the pike.

That and the other 8 anglers on the water of which 5 were piking so added to me and dad that was 7 using about 10 rods, had they heard the stories too??

I lost a jack about 5lb in a snag in the first hour, i had it on surface but bent down to get my net when it pulled me into a snag juts under the water which i couldnt see,

So while the 2 pole anglers near me did get a few roach and perch it was not a good day, dad managed 2silvers and 2 also dropped off as he was bringing them in , me well,  i got a another decent perch on prawn at 1.5lb, i had 3 great bites in a row, the third and i was into this fish in the pic.

Overall, pike did not come out, 2 jacks caught between all these rods on the water all day plus the one i had on and lost not a good return....especially with the number of rods nearly every swim was fished at somepoint.