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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Solihull Throop??

Today I had yet more time on my hands and really needed to get some fish in the net after three blanks on the trot.Yesterday afternoon whilst returning from work I decided to pop in and have a look at acouple of free fishing venues.One being a little weedy pool which contains literally allsorts from goldfish to chub .The other an irrigation pool set out in the wilds of the borough of solihull.I have yet to fish it and so have no idea as to what lies beneath ,it is literally a crater at the top of a field and is very small indeed .As I walked around it yesterday (i could of jumped across it literally) I noticed some bubbles despite the bitter wind and rain.I will keep this one for another day for now.

Back to the weedy little pool that lies on the edge of the village of Hampton in arden.Along side the pool runs a very narrow stream like stretch of the river Blythe .The river is in its infancy here and very close to its source .On this free piece ( it only has two pegs tops)there is a deep hole that forms under a railway bridge and it has a lot of current deviations and looks very fishy.

I decided to drop on the river blythe stretch today and give it an hour just to see if there were any fish in the little eddy under the bridge.There had been localsied rain over night and the river had some colour to it which gave my confidence a lift.

I set up in a very comfortable area of open grass at the head of the pool and this gave me lots to aim at and bouncy a worm around.The set up was a simple 2 aa paternoster, 5lb hooklength ,12 hook and a lobworm with the head nipped off to allow thejuices out.

I eventually got comfortable and repositioned myself so that the current was gently lifting the worm around the swim and in to slacker water.I kept the rod high which allowed the line to pick up some water but not put too much pressure on the tip.Second cast ( the first found a snag!!!) and the tip trembled before hooping over .The fish put up a really solid fight as I pulled it towards me against the current .Once in the net I had a long lean chub which oon the scales went 2lb7oz.

Fantastic a fish at last and a better chub than I had on the % chart.I flicked out again going slightly longer with the cast to the back of the pool .The tip moved rythmically as the shot bounced across the pool then ....BANG again a fish was hooked .This time though it parted and on inspection of the hook I could see that the worm ahd doubled over masking the point and preventing penetration (story of my life!!).

I repeated the same proccess and once agin the tip went round and immediatley I could feel the fish was bigger .It stayed deep and came in to the near bank plodding around .It surfaced and in the net I could see it was a really top heavy chevin .On the scales it went 3lb 10oz my best chub from the blythe and my best chub of this year .

All this for free......FANTASTIC!!!!.

I packed up strigtht away as I wanted to leave the swim for another day .The plan was to head over to the Leam at Offchurch and catch a 5lb chub .

I balnked !!!....but wasnt bothered in the slightest.

All the best.


Monday, 14 February 2011

Blank expression on my face

Over the past 3 days I have had the pleasure of being able to fish 3 times in a row .Saturday I had a short pike spell at Ryton pool and then yesterday I attempted to fish Longbridge sewage works and saxon mill on the Avon before heading up to the leam at Offchurch.

The weather conditions were the main contributing factor to yesterday's moving around and also to the blank.As I have said before I cannot abide the mix of wind and rain in equal portions .I find it very uncomfortable to fish under an umbrella that is being battered by wind .

On arrival at the Warwick stretch of the avon at the sewage works I thought that the steep bank down to the river may of offered some cover from the howling wind .How wrong I was as the wind was coming across the flat meadows from the M40 and in to my face .I tried in vain to set up but just couldnt settle .What to do now I thought ,I new that the wooded island below saxon mill weir would offer some cover and I would be on the opposite bank of the river so the wind would be behind me .Again I blanked at the mill so decided in desperation to try the Leam for a bite .

By the time I had trudged around at offchurch I was despondant and just couldnt settle .I decided to head home for a cuppa and the Sunday papers followed by a hearty beef dinner.

This morning the weather filled me with optimism despite a slight chill the wind was still and the sun was out.I had decided to push on with my pike angling and popped up deadbaits .I am fishing the deadbaits on 18inch traces with the bait popped up just touching bottom by the tail .This is attatched to an 18gram sinker and float fished over depth .

I set up in the log swim and tried Roach,sprat and Lamprey through out the day but to no avail.The pool looked life less and unwelcoming and the three other gents fishing the pool did'nt seem to fair any better either.

The idiots from Saturday morning had left behind their litter and a stool as well as the tree branches they had damaged to fashion in to rod rests.

Oh well tommorows another day .


Saturday, 12 February 2011


I will make this brief .I went to ryton today and fished dead baits on the float .

I caught nowt but only managed a couplle of hours as it was more of a learning excercise .I have been tying my own traces and have got my popping up of dead baits sorted (i think).

Thats about it really ,nice to be back there amongst the barking dogs ,women joggers and T***s drinking special brew whilst out for the early morning stroll with the dogs .

Not that theres anything wrong with special brew by the way .

Perch /chub tommorow????


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Stolen afternoon

I had a few hours spare after dinner today and so decided to grab my chub bag. I also some left over liquidised bread and half an ageing loaf!!

I couldnt think of an out and out chub venue off the top of my head and so decided it would be fun to tackle the jungle of the upper leam at cubbington.I have only fished it once before but the water was very low and so it fished very hard .My reasoning for picking this stretch was simply because i remembered back to one summer walking along there and spoting 3 very large chub .Also this stretch looks very chubby with lots of rafts and features etc.

I set up the rod at the van and made my way to the nearest swim to the layby to start.The swim has a deepish inside bend and I couldnt see the bottom through the healthy green tinge .I had set up with a tiny cage feeder and a fourteen hook .Not really chub gear but I wanted a light approach to get bites to start with and then would step up if needed.

I flicked the feeder out midstream and sat back to tighten the the line gently .As I wound downthe slack the rod tip rattled and shot round ,I struck and hooked a fish which duely parted and sent a bow wave across the surface .Not to be undone I rebaited and recast ,again the tip rattled and and shot round .I felt the fish kick and steadily wound it upstream towards me ,it felt like a small chub but I then did a second take and noticed a nice sized roach .On the scales it went 12oz and my day was made already as it had doubled my roach percentage .

After doing the weighing and photos etc I recast and caught several smaller roach until a jack pike emerged and began regularly following my feeder in .

I went on to fish several more swims along the stretch and received lots of bites but failed to connect .In all the afternoon was a real joy and the birds were in fine tune as well as warm conditions .


Monday, 7 February 2011

When the wind blows!!!!

As I said yesterday I had found a swim fairly out of the wind and was being plagued by bites that I just couldn't hit.When I did connect I caught 2 roach and felt that there may of been a fair few fish down the end of the swim.

I vowed to return today with the plan of fishing a float down to the tree where the bites were occuring.Looking out of the window this morning I really didnt fancy it .Of all the elements ,I just cannot abide fishing in the grip of gale force winds .Wind hampers presentation ,comfort and is also dangerous to anglers that are usually with in killing distance of a tree.

I turned on the work mobile and checked my in box but by 9:00am nothing had arisen and the day was mine.I grabbed my pre prepared gear and liquidised bread and headed down to Baileys for a couple of pints of maggots .Once purchased I added a capfull of solar sweetener to the maggots as I beleive that sweet flavours appeal to roach (I said I believe I don't know for a fact).

On arrival at the car park it felt that the wind was stronger than yesterday and mixed in with it was a light hint of precipitation, GREAT!!! wind and rain the death knell of any good Roach session.I gathered the gear and trudged off across the car park and round over the bridge in to the wooded riverside.As I ventured up along the stretch I spoke to an elderly gentleman who was endeavouring to run a waggler through his swim .He informed me that he was having a bite a chuck and catching some nice sized dace.I exchanged pleasentary's and bid him good day. Then I continued my walk to the roach haunt.Now though I was some what lifted with the knowledge that fish were in the area and feeding.

I arrived at the swim and settled down on the natural seat created by a wall of some description dating back to god knows when.The swim is ideal and even offered some relief from the incessant marauding gusts.I set up my 13/15ft ron thompson float rod and a small reel containing 2.6lb drennan float fish line .The float was to be a 4BB wire stem stick.A wire stem is usuall only appropriate in fast paced water I know but my theory was to use a float that would cut its way through the upstream wind and offer stability at the same time .The oval body also had a shoulder on it that would help to stabilise the float .I undershotted the float as well to give it extra buoyancy amongst the white horses of the now very lively Warwichshire Avon .

I plumbed up at a comfortable 7 feet and fished on depth.After the preperation was finished I introduced 2 golf balls of liquidised bread and followed it up with a generous sprinkle of sweet bronze maggots.The first few runs through were uneventful and the presentation wasn't great with the float being battered but standing firm and unrelenting .

At around the 5 th run through I let the float trot to the exact spot where I had been dropping my feeder the day before and it bobbed then buried .A fish was hooked and amongst the rippled surface I spotted the lovely blue silver flank of my first roach of the day.The next trot produced exactly the same ,not huge fish but every single run through I was hooking roach of a similar stamp occassionaly a better fish of around 5-6ozs was landed .

I went on to catch around 30-40 roach like peas in a pod and had a really enjoyable couple of hours (I wished i'd had a keep net for the money shot!!!)The wind however got the better of me and beagn to swirl wildly from all angles towards the end which really hampered my presentation.I will return to this swim before the river season ends as I think that with more delicate angling and some alternative baits it may offer a better roach for my challenge tally.

I am now naming this swim the "Roach Throne"!! in honour of its regal nature and the many treasures that reside in the waters beneath it.

Until next time gents .

Tight lines


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Much a do about nothing!!!

Having started a new job recently the fishing has had to take a bit of a break (such is life).

I have consoled myself by cleaning all my carp gear down and re lining my reels. Also tying endless rigs in preperation for a return to ryton again this year.

Something that in my 28 years of angling that has always been pushed to the back of my mind is pike fishing.I have the up most respect for the pike and its prehistoric ever prescence in our water ways .However I have always believed that pike fishing is somthing that must be done with a whole hearted approach and as with all fishing the safety and welfare of the fish must be paramount.

This year I have gathered together all the necessary gear and pike safety equipment (pliers ,mat barbless trebles)etc.My intention is to try to catch a pike by design and get to grips with the basic aspects of this discipline of the sport.

I went on my first pike outing last weekend and boy did I struggle.......!!!!!

The conditions were good the weather was cold but bright and the river was in fine fettle ....I however was a paranoid pike literature obsessed twitch pot.

I have decided to keep my pike fishing down to the safest tackle and basic flost rigs .Eventually the rest will follow and no doubt could lead to more bites but first things first.I set up two soft action carp rods and baitrunners with 30lb fox braid .The rigs were identical long cigar floats to minimalise drag by the flow of the river and 18gram bulk leads .The traces were 15inch 20lb semi barbless size 8's.

As mentioned before I really like to read up on different aspects of the sport and like to go in to things prepared and equipped when targetting different species.I set the floats to what I think was overdepth and set about attatching some rather large (in my opinion ) dead roach which I had purchased from Baileys of warwick.In to the roach was inserted a medium fox balsa stick to pop the bait up.The edges of the river were deep and dark and I struggled to see how the bait was acting before I cast it.

I tossed both rods out and let the bait settle down strem of me,keeping the rods high and line direct to the float.

To cut a long story short after around 4 hours I was packed up and on the way home as I could not settle and didnt feel I was fishing right and presenting my bait in the right way.

My next pike outing will be on a stillwater where I can take time looking at popping up baits and fine tuning my very basic skills .
This morning I decided to give the river a bash .My plan was to go to Bretford in search of monster chub but on arriving at the stretch I wasnt sure what bank you could fish and so decided to head for somewhere sheltered for comfort more than anything.
I set up at the top end of saxon mill and set about fishing a piece of flake on the hook and a cage feeder of liquidised bread to accompany it My 2oz tip was being blown backwards with a really strong up stream wind and bite detection baecame hard .I did however get a pull round and a chub of around 4oz was swung to hand .Several more bites followed and so my spirits were high ,however the wind was becoming a real pain.
After a couple of casts I decided to head down in to the coppice and fish swim that is made from an old wall and is very sheltered .Slightly down stream is a protruding tree that gives somthing to fish to .
Almost immediatley my tip rustled ,twitched and then pulled slowly round .I struck thinking it was a dead cert but the fish was not hooked.This then happened another 5 or so times so I decided to shorten my hooklength and tie on a smaller hook .Out went the feeder and round went the tip with such vigor that surely this time the fish would be hooked but again nothing .
Eventually I did connect with a fish and was not suprised to see the blue shade of a 6oz roach in the clear river.The fish was returned and I recast again only for the same frustrating proccess to happen again and again and again.The bites were every single cast the tip would curve round perfectly and the strike would be met with nothing .I used a whole loaf worth of liquidised bread over the next hour or so and only managed another smaller roach.
I am meant to have the day off tomorrow and have vowed to return with my float rod and 2 loaves of liquidised bread and put these fickle roach to the sword.
Never have i enjoyed so much not catching any fish!!!