Monday 30 January 2023

Breaking News - Spring On The Way

In the groove now and grabbing afternoon-evening sessions every day or two.

Two in the first two casts the other day.

Of course the next two hours only produced one fish. Funny old game eh ?

Took Bazza chubbing yesterday to break his duck, he had three chances and missed them all, but he'll be back I'm sure. 

I wandered downstream after some roach and ended up with a nice chub. When did I start to look like a fecking gnome ?

Couple of gumbys 

Magnificent sunset too, how lucky we are.

The amount of geese and wildfowl along this part of the river is staggering and the noise at dawn and dusk when they're on the move is amazing.

Back very soon, I want some roach.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Little and Often

That's how I've been fishing recently. Lots of short sessions and doing pretty well for chub and pike. Nothing spectacular but nice fish which are for the most part in absolutely lovely condition.

One weird thing that seems to be happening is that the chub are not always in the same places and some real banker swims seem fishless. This is happening time and again and is not something I've come across before.

Me and Bully fished today in slightly milder conditions today, but it was a bit hard. He had one chub about 2lb and I managed two, one of 3lb plus and another of exactly 4lb. Chuffed with that one, it was from a "new" swim I found whilst piking, a deep bend with seven or eight feet of water and a nice snag on the far bank. I fancy it for roach too.

Forecast to get milder next week, going to pre bait a few swims and see what happens.

I'm told my other stretch, the unfished bit with no form that I really like, is now owned by a new farmer who doesn't allow fishing. Gutted. But I'm going under cover of darkness. I think you can fish it until you're asked to leave, can't you ? 

I have big chub and roach to catch.

Monday 23 January 2023

Sunday Social

The Mighty Turdster picked me up at dawn, with Bo, the retired wildfowling dog.

A ten minute drive to the spot with the car  thermometer reading -5 deg C, yes it was a bit nippy

We walked across the frosty frozen fields, starting in a banker swim, expections high as usual.

After twenty minutes the float bobbed and tweaked and TMT wound in to the fish which  mysteriously avoided getting hooked. This happens frequently in this swim, I've a feeling some of the phantom bites are from chub.

We moved on upstream to a lovely wide bend where I found about nine foot of water and best of all it was in the sun. Bloody booooodaful.

An old boy and his wife came over for a chat, they walk the river every single day and have lots of interesting tales to tell. He's a fisherman too, so keeps his eyes peeled and regularly has useful snippets of information.

Huge flocks of geese wheeled overhead, their calls magnified in the windless valley. Lots of wildfowl too, plus an otter and a welcome lack of watercraft. The benefits of being about early.

A cast in the "deep hole" resulted in a proper run and a mint condition pike of eight or nine pounds made a short visit to the bank. Cracking fish.

A ruddy faced old fart with a lovely pike

Three swimmers ( yes, in sub zero temps ) came by and we headed home for a monstrous breakfast, a fitting end to a lovely morning.

Sunday 22 January 2023

Toughing It Out

Blimey, it was cold. Strong northerly wind and  temperatures around freezing, but the river looked it great nick.

There are three or four fantastic looking swims in the first couple of hundred yards, huge rafts, overhanging trees, the works. Weird thing is you rarely catch from them.

There's so many places the fish can be, I can never quite decide where to fish. Tried them all today and not a touch so I moved downstream to a lovely bend, with steady water on the inside and snags on the far bank. It's a real " banker" but not a touch here.

I walked five minutes further downstream into an extremely snaggy, deep slow swim. After quite a wait, maybe ten minutes, I struck in to a fish that headed straight under the near bank cover. It's a right pain here as you can't walk out too far on the reeds as it's a vertical drop into eight foot of water.

I bullied the fish out of the reeds into the net, the good old 6lb Maxima doing it's job and it turned out to be chunky one of 3lb 8oz. Very nice.

Next swim I had a bite seconds after casting out which turned out to be another nice one.


I then tried another "new" swim at the beginning if a thin stretch lined with far bank snags. First cast, the tip went round and fish on.

Well pleased with that. Three bites in consequetive swims, all hit and all decent sized churrrrb.

I continued into dark with no further action and whilst walking back with ice crunching underfoot, I went arse over head and ended flat on my back, humiliated but unharmed.

Another enjoyable session.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Frozen Borderline

Bloody cold but the river looked spot on, flowing steadily and with visibility of about twelve inches. 

OK, it was -4 deg last night and has been for several days but I thought I was in with a chance.

It was lovely sitting in the sun but as soon as it dipped beneath the trees it was freezing. Ice in margins too.

After the first four swims I was biteless. I was surprised, but in the fifth swim I started getting rattly, roachy bites. Off with the size 6 and on with a size 10.

Next cast I made contact with a decent fish. Monstrous roach or a chub ? Yes, chub, albeit a welcome one.

I tried four other swims but this turned out to be the only action of the session. Quite surprising, I expected a few more fish, but an enjoyable session nonetheless.

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Fining Down....

I had a look at the river today. After the relentless rain finally stopped, the river, though still high had a nice colour and there was no muck or debris in sight.

The temperatures have plummeted, but I'm not worried if the river levels and clarity are right and they will be for the rest of this week, if the forecast is correct.

I'll have an hour or so chubbing tomorrow into dark and see what happens.

I bet by the weekend it'll be spot on for a bit of piking too.

Looking forward to getting out there.


Sunday 15 January 2023

In The Bleak Mid Winter

C'mon, everyone sing along.

Dicky invited me to a winter hotspot on the river Waverney, a river I last fished over twenty five years ago and fifty miles from Loafer HQ.

He kindly drove me there and I used the trip as an opportunity to pick his brains about fishing various rivers in the Netherlands, as he goes every year with his mates and does very well.

We arrived to be greeted by bitterly cold gale force winds and temperatures that had plummeted overnight.

No matter. I've been fishing long enough to know that things rarely go to plan and was just looking to have a good poke round, learn lots and catch a few fish.

I sat on my seat trying to tackle up, hampered by fingers so cold they wouldn't move. I eventually tackled up a simple feeder rig baited with worm and cast out to the main channel. Half dozen feeder fulls of maggots and we were ready to go.

First cast and a lovely ruffe.

I'm not being ironic, I love ruffe. Second and third casts also resulted in more ruffe. OK, that's enough.

I then somehow missed four slack line bites. After changing to a finer wire hook I connected with the next bite, a bream around 2lb.

The conditions were bleedin' 'orrible but we were getting enough action to keep us interested. Dicky had a cracking hybrid just short of 3lb which fought like a barbel. Well, almost. Lovely fish in immaculate condition.

I had a good run of bream of various sizes with the best probably 3.5-4lb, plus a few perch.

The weather then got even worse. It started to rain and the wind veered round so it was now right in our faces.

"Give it another hour ?" Said Dicky

"Yep, that'll do"

Next cast I stupidly left some weed on the line which jammed in the tip ring and a loud crack rang out as I snapped off.

"Time to go" said Dicky.

I talked to some anglers fishing in the dyke on the way back, all of which were catching lots of roach on their poles. This place is stuffed with fish.

Really enjoyable morning which would have been much better with half decent weather.

I'll definitely have some more trips when conditions improve.

Friday 13 January 2023

A Silver Lining

Popped down the river hoping, but not expecting, it to be fishable.

Main river was out of sorts, but a couple of backwaters and feeder streams were OK. My go-to little dyke was fishless....again.

Then I tried "the trotting swim". Two little roach.

Finally the feeder stream. As I left the car park, a bloke came running up to me, "Are you a local, mate ?", followed by fishy questions. I gave my usual polite but unhelpful replies. The bloke followed me to the swim and then it became interesting.

It was @AnglingwithShaun ( take a look at his Facebook page ), he's got 13,000 followers and is on a campaign to catch a fish from every one of the UK's cities.

He was on his twelth day of a tour around East Anglia, fishing and then sleeping in his car, surrounded by tackle and bait. What a character he is.

I told him about a few spots and we walked up river to the little feeder stream, me in wellies and Shaun in trainers. Fine normally but the meadows were covered in flood water. He didn't give a feck ! 

I failed to catch anything but we continued our chat and it turned out to be a great day. He's an inspiring character with lots of great stories and if ever a bloke lived by the phrase " Carpe Diem" it's him.

So, crap fishing but a great day nethertheless.

When the river levels drop he's coming back down for a bit of chubbing. Hopefully the rain will stop soon and we can crack on with it.

Monday 9 January 2023

On It

Got a fire in my belly since I started on this very lighly fished ( I almost said unfished but not quite ) stretch.

It's got no "form". In the very many years I've fished the river I've never heard of anything big from it, apart from a few carp ( long departed ), a nice tench I had about thirty years ago and rumours of big roach.

I suppose that's what makes it interesting.

It has some pretty deep water ( going to plumb it soon ), loads of dense cover and fallen trees and just screams big chub to me.

The level was rising today and I tried several swims without a touch until I tried a swim where the water narrowed and slowed. It was ( Im guessing ) maybe eight foot deep, surrounded by cover.

I missed a couple of roachy bites, changed to a smaller hook, flicked out a bit of flake and immediately hooked a decent chub ! Lovely fish, but I was hoping for a roach.

I cast again and this time had a rattly roachy bite, struck and was just about to net the fish when it found a snag. Lost it. Bollocks ! Felt like a roach.

Another cast, same type of bite and I gently played the fish before the hook pulled. Gutted.

I'm convinced they were decent roach. I just hope I get a chance to catch the feckers and they don't disappear.

Heavy rain forecast today which will mess it up for several days.

There are bream in here too and before the season is out I'm going to catch a few of those too.

I've got a plan...

Friday 6 January 2023

More Chubbing

Trying to hit the river right, in between heavy rain, ain't easy.

This week it's been pushing through hard, but the colour has been pretty good and imoroving daily.

The fishing hasn't been easy though. To be honest I like it like that. I've had a few out each trip ( three sessions this week ).

Bully has had a hard time of late, blanking twice consequetively on the mighty Stour in pretty good conditions.

We went out yesterday and I had two chub and a tatty brownie, which had been through the wars a bit. Bit of cormorant damage, bit of otter I think.

The river looked spot on, I expected more but at least I had a bit of action.

Tried a different stretch today for an hour at dusk. Really fancy this bit of river for a big one, although to my knowledge it's never produced anything decent. never know.

I had three chub all from the same swim, nothing big, but a start at least.

I will give it another go very soon, I've got the hunger for it at the moment