Friday 31 March 2023

Out With The Old....

The river season went out with a whimper, all the hopes and plans in ruins l, thanks to a flooded river. Not quite the end of the world though.

I've been waiting for some settled weather to get down to the canals in the camper, but the relentless rain and crap weather had made me put it on hold.

In the end we decided to go for a short two-three dayer. Let's see how many essential items I've left at home this time.

Bully said he was travelling light. " Just a pole and float rod ". Hmm.

He then proceeded to show me a couple of lovely Sportex ( I think ) tench rods he's bought with him and enough bait for a month. Nothing wrong with being prepared though.

First session started slowly, with Bully having a roach and me blanking. This is never good because within half hour tops I'll be bored and itching to move.

Out of nowhere the float shot under and the elastic ( yes, I'm a pole expert now ) done it's job as a decent sized, but as yet unseen fish darted about. Turned out to be a cracking rudd over the pound mark.

Next put in another. Then another and in about twenty minutes I'd had seven or eight clonking rudd, the best two going 1.07 and 1.05.

Pity the photo is totally out of focus, no idea what happened there.

Next day we tried a pre baited swim that was totally dead apart from a rogue bream.

Back for lunch, my speciality, dirty omelette. It's messy and magnificent. Onions, chorizo, cheese and piri piri sauce. Or it would have been if the sauce hadn't had six months of mould on it.

We then decided to try a different canal nearby. The wind was howling, but we found shelter. Comfortable but fishless. 

I tried another swim. Nothing.

Bully tried in the windswept hotspot and had a lovely perch of over a pound and a roach. I concentrated on gripping my pole ( oooooh matron ) as the wind tried to rip it out my hands. I wasn't enjoying it one bit. Luckily Bully suggested a move back to the GUC and we spent the evening having a bite a chuck. Nothing big but welcome anyway. 

Back to the camper and it was cheese, biscuits, crisps, nuts, Crunchies, beer and wine. It's the law when you're in da camper.

Great music was played, tales exchanged and the world was put to rights.

Bully surprised me saying he'd always wanted to go to a rave and, erm, indulge. He's almost seventy you know. I mean, he didn't want to go that evening, which was handy as we were at a farm in Warwickshire in the arse end of nowhere.

He contented himself with dancing around the farmyard, dressed only in crocs and five day old Y fronts, whistle in mouth, hands in the air like ya just don't care, shouting " Anyone in the house got some Vera's? Loooovely "

Actually he didn't. Thankfully.

Next day we woke to yet more rain.

Bully left early and I, being a hungry bastard, had to have one last go. Four nice rudd, two skimmers and half dozen silver bream in just over an hour made it worthwhile before  I made the journey back home.

We'll be back soon.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

It's Coming

Yes, it's bloody cold and grey and miserable but spring is sort of here.

The fish know it. At dusk the river is full of topping roach.

Tonight it was freezing but there was activity everywhere. I had a couple of roach and missed loads of bites from a couple of different swims.

I was feeding sweetcorn and the roach were on that too, though they prefered bread.

I went to reel in to re cast, only to find something that was definitely not a roach attached to the line.

It was a pig of a chub, in pristine condition and a very welcome addition to the roach.

After that, the wet net froze rigid, the rings iced up and my fingers stopped working, so I packed up and went home. Looking forward to the next session already.

Wednesday 1 March 2023


Much as I love the chubbing, I was keen to find out if I could get a winter bream from the "forbidden" stretch and if you know bream the way of doing that is give them a bit of bait.

Of course, the pre baiting coincided with much colder weather, but if you don't try you won't know. I'm sure that most fish still feed in very cold temperatures, but only at certain times and for shorter periods.

Those times are often around dusk and that suits me.

I picked two swims. First one a very deep run with cover on the far side and reeds on the near bank and the second a wide, featureless, shallower bit. Why ? Because bream like wide bits in small rivers. I know that sounds daft but it's often the case.

I've now baited and fished them four times with mixed seed and sweetcorn.

First swim, not a bite. There are roach topping which are probably on the bait though.

Second swim. After the first baiting I arrived just before dark for an ultra short session. First cast the tip went round and a lovely winter bream around 4lb was the result.

I also had some roach. A great start.

Next two sessions just roach and yesterday I decided to fish in to dark for an hour. It started slowly and after twenty minutes ( I'm an impatient sod ) I started thinking about a move. 

Then a had a tiny bite, the tip barely moving, just like a bit of debris had slowly hit line. I left it and when I wound in the worms had been shredded, so had obviously been in the fish's throat.

Next cast, again a very slow small movement on the tip which I hit and yes, "the rod hooped over". Decent fish too and in lovely condition.

6lb 13oz but looked bigger. Not huge by national standards but the best I've had off this river for a very long time. Well chuffed.

I had a couple more of those bites. I don't think they are shy, I think with it being cold they are barely moving when feeding.

I just hope we get some milder weather before the season ends because I think there's a chance of a fish or two if it does. 

Also, it's very clear with no flow at the moment. If we get flow, colour and warmth we could gave some top fishing.

As always, time will tell.