Sunday, 13 May 2018

The little Tinca's

Date fished 12/5/18

As I write this now, titled "net for sale, used only once" I think of all the blanks I have had and will have. Its really not the catching that is important, but the doing, trying and being out. I think after I write I may change the title, now lets see what unfolds to determine this................

I was back to Lonsdale Park, this time to target the Tench (Tinca tinca) to be precise. My friend, Aidan had fished here last week and had 5 tinca's to 5lb 9oz. Having never caught a "weighable" tinca, I was up for this.

It was an early start, at the lake at 6 something. I was going to start float fishing with pellet and corn. I set the float to fish over depth, with a weight near the hook. I started by baiting a spot near reeds. Bubbles surrounded my float but I caught nothing.
Moving after a tip off from my friend, as in "this swim, this bait, cast here" I continued on the float. This produced plenty of liners but nothing took my bait. It was so enjoyable sat watching the float amongst the fizz and liners, a tinca would have just been a bonus.

It was colder in the morning, but soon the sun came up and it was hot again. I walked around the main lake watching the carp on the surface. A few casts with bread had plenty of takes but no fish.
I went back to the first lake, again with the float. Same outcome. Plenty of bubbles and liners but nothing took the bait.

I fished till early evening and then packed up for home. I am enjoying fishing at Lonsdale, gathering info and data, storing it on the Finygo app, my blog and my head. It will give me a history which I can use on future trips. Something I need to develop on the rivers too come June 16th.

In my head it's easier on a manmade lake as it's less changeable than on the mother nature owned rivers, I guess no one told the fish that. They really can be little tinca's.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Net christened

Date fished 7/5/2018

Today I decided to go back to Lonsdale Park to try and increase my pb again. The weather was hot and with it being a bank holiday, the Lake was a lot busier. When I arrived at around 7.30am the main lake was a bivvy paradise.  The swim I wanted to fish was taken. With a few anglers all looking like they had the middle covered, I opted for a swim where I could ledger and float fish the margins.

With the rods in, I sat back. Hopeful for bites. Nothing came, I wondered about the pressure caused by all the lines in the water, so I made good my escape and headed for the Lake on the other end of the site.

Although I saw plenty of bubbles around my float fished boilie ( random I know, but I tried it) no fish graced the new net.

It was time to up sticks again. This time another lake. On arriving at this lake I saw three stocky carp, like bouncers drifting around the shallows. After showing them my    I.d, I set to work with trying to catch them. I tried the lot, float fished, ledgered, free lined and bait thrown with no line! They were not having it.

I was on the move again. Yes, back to the first lake, but a different swim. I chatted with another angler who had caught a double earlier in the day. He suggested I try a particular swim. Ignoring this, I sat in a swim close to where I started.

I love the three foot twitch of ledgering and the mesmerizing nature of the float, but my favourite fishing technique has to be surface fishing. Watching your bait while fish swim all around it, is amazing. The problem comes with trying to catch them!!

I tried floating bread. First cast and a fish swam straight to the bait, engulfed it. I struck, not a thing!!
Second, not a thing.
Third, still not a thing.

They were happy to take my bait, but I had missed three quick bites. Now, they avoided my bait like the plague.

I continued in several swims, watching the fish, casting around them. They eventually started to feed again, but again I missed them. It was not going well.

I went to some Lilly pads and this was full of Fish! They were under them, in them, all over the pads. I had to catch!
First cast perfect, engulf, strike, not a thing!!
This was getting frustrating, they were feeding, I was getting bites. I just couldn't hook them.

Well done if you have read this far, in this heat the day was getting like this, tiresome.

Suddenly it got good. This time on my strike, it stuck. The lilly pads erupted. I had to steer the carp away from the snags. It was too late, it was stuck fast. I pulled, all the lilly pads drifted towards the bank. Then I remembered, bail arm off and leave it for 5 mins. It worked! The carp was free, quickly it was in the net. The hard work had paid off.

I did not weigh my prize, but had weights between 4 and half and 10 offered. Remember the net is not the xl.
But today I learnt a lesson, "if you only have the large net and its hot and sunny, keep moving till you are nearly back at your first swim!!"
I didn't say it was a good lesson, but it was worth learning.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Perch Needle in a Watery Haystack

Date fished 27/4/18 to 28/4/18

For Giles's Annual Birthday fishing trip, he invited me to Ullswater to fish for Perch with lures, light rods and a roving approach that would require cars. At 7 miles long, half a mile wide and up to 60m deep, Ullswater is one big haystack.

We met at Pooley Bridge at 10am after both dropping the kids off at school ( non eupho),  no such dawn raid on this incredible water. We parked up and started with small lures around the old pier structure. Trout all around us taking the emerging flies off the top. We both changed to spinners, casting right on surfacing Trout but they were all preoccupied with the flies and none wanted our lures.

We continued, wading out to where the ledge started, plunging from waiste deep to 20 or 30 feet plus. Switching back to paddle tails, I was first to have a follow. A Trout following right in to the clear shallows chasing my lure. A few casts later, I was in. The rod shaking as I did battle with a small but strong fish. We both hoped Perch. A Trout of about half a pound came in, darting around. Unhooking itself just as I bent down to pick it out the water.

We then walked to the new pier where Giles worked a drop shot rig in and around the structure, only to be interrupted by the steamer coming to collect passengers.

We then went back to the cars to try a different spot. Driving to Howtown, remembering to pause the Finygo App that was recording me. This time we arrived at a different pier, again working our lures around the clear water that suddenly turned dark as it dropped into deep water. Here we were happily fishing until once again the steamer arrived! It seems we were on the wrong timetable, maybe the Finygo App could include local ferry timetables in its database?!?!

Eventually we left to find a new spot, where the water and wind were warmer, because although the sun was shining, the air was bitter cold. We fished under the trees, again casting to surfacing fish. No Perch came to see us. We wondered if they were still in the deeper water, maintaining a constant temperature.

Birthday boy had to head back, but I fished on. I had booked a bunk in Helvellyn YHA so could benefit from evening and the following morning. I drove to the West Bank and fished as many of the parking areas as I could. There were plenty of Trout still surfacing but as the wind got colder, these soon stopped. It was time to pack up. No further fish were caught.

A bite to eat and a pint in the pub, followed by reading my magazines in the common room made for a nice evening.

Saturday was expecting to be cold and wet. I woke early, looked out the window, no rain but the wind was bitter. I checked out and made for the water. I saw two other anglers set off on a boat, I assumed to fish for the Perch. This gave me renewed hope, so I continued to thrash the water. Nothing, not a sniff.

It was too much, my tummy was rumbling, so I headed for Patterdale shop for a legendary Cumberland Bagette. There were no problems with the photography this week!

For the lure anglers that measure their catch not weigh, this bagette was 28cm!

I fished the day in reverse. Up the West side and finishing back at the Trout spot at Pooley Bridge. A different outcome and no additional Trout caught.

As I headed for home, I thought how hard such a big water was to fish. I like the view of my Finygo App showing my distance traveled, although mostly that was driving. As I stored my trip, I hope the info can help other anglers. It dawned on me that having "winning" methods on a particular water is always the place to start when trying to find your needle!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Fish Selfies

After the weekends success, I thought I would share a near failure and hopefully get some advice from people as to how I can improve.

Fishing alone has its disadvantages, namely assistance in landing fish and Photography! There has been a lot of chat on social media about taking pics and I will add my two pence!

Foremost is the fishes welfare. I have had a few pike that no one has seen but me because I felt they needed to go back straight away. Thats not for any suspicious reason, more just time unhooking or poor bank conditions. I caught a nice pike once in a swim that was so muddy, I could not stand for too long, let alone set up a great shot situation!

I have a mobile phone like everyone else, I brought a clip for it and have the screw for bank stick adaptor. I don't use the whistle app that people talk about, instead relying on the 10 seconds of time to get into position.

I also have bought a Samsung camera with a flip screen that is similar to the phone set up. The bank stick attachment fits the phone and camera and I also have a mini tripod that fits the camera. I feel I am equipped to take a good pic. But my success rate is not the best.

I am determined to practice on the field in a crouched position with the bank stick and bits and try and have the distance stored in my mind so I get a good pic. But until that time, I live on the edge of disaster...

On Saturday I used the camera on a bank stick. Set up while the fish was unhooked in the net. Set up above the mat, I was ready. Unfortunately it did not go well. 10 secs seemed a long time to hold the fish low but steady. It flapped towards my chest. So I put it back on the mat. No one told the camera to stop counting, but it made me smile, and I saw the funny side.

The second pic, which needed me to put the fish down and press the button again was no better. I think the fish wanted to wear my jumper, coming in for a cuddle and just being covered by my hands.

As I mentioned, by now I wanted to return the fish so after one quick try again, I was too eager to get close to the camera. Successsfully removing most of my head.

Not a bad pic of the fish, but I deserve to be in the pic too!!

By now, I had decided to return the fish and it was in the net. A man suddenly appeared from around the lake and I asked him to take a pic. He agreed and in less than a few seconds I had my shot, but would I have been happy with the 3 above if he had not come by??

In truth, seeing the fish swim gracefully and strongly away in the clear water was enough to make me smile, and as for you lot!? Well, you will have to come fishing with me and we can share the picture duties!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Prawn to Checkmate

Date fished 14/04/2018

This is a different blog today, as this is a live blog. I am currently sat on the bank. I am at Lonsdale Park in Cumbria, a holiday park that allows day tickets at certain times of the year. As the title suggests, I am using prawns as bait. Is the first time I have tried using prawns, so in my own stubborn way, I am not giving up till it works. No fish yet, but they are crashing around and showing all

over, so I will get back to it...
Is ok though, I am not alone

Plenty of bait too!!

First fish 13Lb 12oz and a new Pb!! Pic and details to follow..

I continued with the prawns and swapped the other rod with meat, paste and bread. As the sun got stronger there was quite a few carp cruising the surface. My mate who told me about Lonsdale told me to take a loaf of bread to try for Floating but I only had a small roll with me.

 I tore a few pieces off and baited an area. It was slow but the fish came. I tried with some on the hook but nothing. An hour later I saw a carp about 10 ft from the bank, feeding on the surface. 
 I cast the bread and waited. Perfect cast. The larger piece was completely engulfed. I waited. The line started to tighten. Strike. I was indeed "in". Now the Carp turned into a train  the strength was clear. Slowly I started to win and when it surfaced I knew it was a good fish. As I got it to the net, I knew it was going to break my current 9lb odd Carp pb.
It weighed 13lb 12oz! New pb. I was so happy!!! After a few pics, back she went.

I fished on, stalking and changing baits but with no luck. You can see from my Finygo map recording, I covered the whole lake.

I will update the pics later but this is the best I have at the moment.

Today was all about trying a new bait and perseverance with it. However, it shows that in fishing you may have to go back to what you know and keep the perseverance for another day, Checkmate!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

No fishing so let's play with the tackle

As I look at the weather outside and ponder that indoor fishing greenhouse and pond located at Cast North West , I wonder what I can do.
Of course my mind turns to my tackle. I have ordered a replacement net and whilst looking at other bits of tackle, it got me thinking about making tackle. I see lots of FB, youtube and the like posts about people making floats, rods, lures and weights. It means you can be enjoying your hobby whilst not actually doing your hobby. A bit like me sat indoors writing about fishing, and that makes me happy!!

I assume you just need the moulds and then you cast the soft plastic lures, or the craftmanship to cut and shape hard plastic? I have seen videos of people shaping and sanding wooden lures and drilling holes to put weights in plastic lures called Burts. Is that really all you need to Do?
Recently I was given some home made weights, they are superb, again I think you just need moulds, coatings and bits? Am not much of a diy guy.

But the satisfaction of catching a fish on something you made yourself, the actual tackle not just the rig, must be obvious to all.

I have visited the health food shop too, and bought "stuff" for making pastes, baits and boilies maybe for the warmer climate. Again, the satisfaction of catching on a homemade creation, albeit copied from a book or magazine is definitely appealing.

Rods seem a lot more in depth, I tried to look at how you do that but that definitely was over my head. So as I try and decide what I can make, I asked my fishing companions Dave and Ellis.
Ellis had already showed me a super rod holder cabinet that he made, a lot better at diy than I will ever be. Ellis then told me about some spool bands he makes, I was intrigued. They go on the spool to hold the line from spooling off and make taking line off easy. It actually worked. I slipped a few in my pocket and made off.

If you want to read more about these clever spool bands or buy some, I have added the link  Here

It seems I am not designed to make my own tackle, but I have certainly enjoyed watching others that do, maybe I am the marketing guy to their creative ability!?!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Clear water, clear loss

Date fished 24/2/18

With the river levels a lot lower than in recent weeks, when it came to deciding where I would fish if came down to a coin toss. Tails was river Tees obviously, and heads was the Swale. The coin tossed and heads it was, I was off to the Swale.

With the lost fish last time, I would go for Pike and Chub again. Deadbaits and meat or paste for chub, and I would try something else for them too.

Arriving at the river at 7am conditions looked good. The river had dropped a lot and I settled into a swim for Pike. As the sun got up, it was apparent I did not need beanie and gloves, it was more a cap and glasses day! As it got lighter I realised just how clear the water was. If I had tossed the coin into the river I would have been able to see the side in 6ft of water and maybe the date on the coin!!! It was gin clear with added finings for clarity! (Google it)

It was going to be tough.
After nothing on the Pike rod, I tackled up for chub. Having caught Chub whilst on deadbaits, I cut some Lamprey into chunks and used a meat spike to present it under likely looking trees and rafts. The majority of time it had to be right under or I could see the bait.

I wondered where on days like this the fish would be. Where they would shelter from predators. I have seen the water this clear in summer, lower too and always seen fish swimming about. Today I saw nothing, the river cupboard was bare.

After walking the stretch and counting stones on the bottom, I thought I was better off having an early bath and giving up. After packing up and driving off, I heard a clumping noise. Thinking it was the frozen puddles, I stopped looked in the mirror and seeing nothing, drove off.

As I was unpacking the car and seeing no net in the boot, I realised I had left the net propped against the car as I drove off. Completely oblivious as it's a piece of kit I have not been using since 2018 started!!
Annoyed at myself for the loss, I got settled down to watch the Rugby, do some on line retail therapy and generally curse some more, (the rugby score and out of stock net)

Who needs to be old to be grumpy? I am doing just fine!?

It certainly beat a day not fishing........just.