Saturday, 30 June 2012

Picking another couple of Olives......

The race is on! The Tench in the waters I am fishing haven't yet carried out their annual love in, probably due to the poor weather that we have endured over the spring and early summer months so at the minute the green machines are still my targets as they are still gaining weight, an 8lb fish is still the goal.
I drove up the M6 this morning in the now usual conditions of spray & rain, every time I head for this water it is like groundhog day, wet and windy! After enduring the crap journey I was happy to find that I was alone as I unlocked the car park gate, a choice of swims would be mine and I quickly got the gear out of the car and set on my way to choose one. I sat on the windward bank for 5 minutes to see if anything popped it's head out to present me with an obvious choice but nothing did so I settled in a swim in the middle of that bank.
Usual methods employed, method with rubber corn on one and magg feeder with red magg/caster on the other plus half a dozen balls of particle enfused groundbait over each spot and I was ready to rock. It took just over an hour for the magg rod to rip off and after a manic scrap a fish was in the net but not before a good Pike tried to nail it just prior to netting, the Esox is a fish that I will be returning for in the winter months to try and lure onto my hooks as A 6lb Tench for it's dinner tells' a stroy in itself! Anyway the first Tench of the day was a long lean female of 6lb on the button, not exactly spawn bound either so maybe my Tenching will continue into July......

As per usual this fish was wearing battle scars, I dont think I have caught Tench from any other water that are as battle damaged as these fish, they have lived a relatively quiet life as the water in question has not been coarse fished before the current club aqquired it 2 years ago so I am not sure what the hell they have been up to!
The rest of the session passed fairly uneventfully until it was packing up time and the corn rod ripped off, again a great scrap ensued and a large male fish hit the net without any Esox on it's tail this time. At 5lb 14oz it was the largest male Tench that I have caught from anywhere and if the story is true about doubling the males size for the optimum female then I know that my water choice is bang on.....

I would like to hear from you fellow Tinca hunters in relation to what your 'local' waters are doing in regards to spawning as the two waters I am currently fishing seem way way behind the norm.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A quickie for a Tench

I had a few hours today at my disposal so I nipped up the M6 and had a crack on a club water with Tench in mind. On arrival I was happy to see only 1 other car in the parking area so swim choice should be at an optimum. I loaded my newly purchased Carp Porter and headed off up the path, what a difference this thing made, not the usual huffing & puffing on arriving at a swim and I am very glad I bought it. The wind was a WNW so it was along the bank it was blowing into and I settled into a swim fairly quickly, 2 rods on alarms, red maggots in a blockend and rubber corn on a method feeder accompanied with 6 balls of groundbait over the top laced with hemp, dead red's, caster, pellet & corn. I recasted each rod every half an hour to keep the bait going in and it was after about two hours when the RH corn rod ripped off, after an average scrap a male Tench was in the net and went 4.13 on the scales, a real old warrior with scars on both sides of his body, not an unusual thing to see on the Tench in this water.

Apart from a couple of line bites that was about it on the fishing front although I did see a Pike swirl at a mallard so it must have been a decent fish to contemplate having a crack at a duck!
The weather did what it always does when I fish this water, big wind and rain amongst sunny spells and that was the pattern during the session.

I will stick with the Tench for the next couple of weeks as I don't think they have spawned yet, at least not on the waters I am fishing for them, an 8lb-er is the target and I think I only have a short time to try and catch it.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Josh on Sky Sports & One proud Dad

I have been taking Josh fishing now since he was 4 so that is around 5 years, how time flies.......

He has caught some nice fish in his short fishing career, the first of note was a Tench of 5lb 3oz that he landed on his 4m whip on one of the pools at the Packington estate.

The picture above was sent to both the Angling Times and to Keith Arthur on Tight Lines @  Sky Sports, the picture won the weekly award in the AT and the little man had a new Shakespeare reel in his hands a week or two later. I didn't have a response from Sky/Tight Lines which I thought a little strange as a 5lb Tench on a 4m whip caught by a 5 year old is an accomplishment if you ask me but there again I would wouldn't I..........

Josh's second shoot towards fishy stardom was with a 6lb 2oz Bream caught from the River Severn, this fish won him the Junior picture prize in the corresponding club quarterly magazine, a £100 tackle voucher again dropped through the letter box a few weeks later.

So once again I sent in the picture of Josh's 3lb+ Chub that he caught on the Warks Avon last Sunday, as soon as I saw the picture after taking it I knew that it just looked right, it has taken some time but he is now getting to grips when he holds fish up for the camera.

This time however I received a response from Sky/Tight Lines requesting further details on the catch, bait, rig, tactics etc so I was quietly confident that he may make it on the big screen this time!  I Sky + the weekly showing of Tight Lines so after the initial intro's at the start of this weeks programme the Young Angler section wasn't mentioned so I thought it would be next week.................I was wrong though and when Keith stated that the show had only received one picture of a river fish since June 16th I knew what was coming next.

It makes me so proud of Josh and what he has acheived at the young age of 9, the same age when I started fishing incidentally so he hasn't done too badly and his 5 year head start should hold him in good stead for the future. There are so many distractions for the younger generation nowadays and I really do hope that he sticks at this wonderful sport we love called fishing as I already have ideas of what we can do as he gets older, Catfish on the Ebro, Tiger Fish in Africa, Southern chalk streams for Roach & Grayling and probably a few days in France for a whacking great big Carp.  The targets for this season are Dace and Gudgeon as the little guy hasn't caught these species yet, I would dearly love for him to catch a Barbel on the float also but I won't push him too hard. All in all I think that his fishy apprenticeship is going in the right direction and long may it continue to reach the full professional!

If only every day at work was like this.........

As a service manager for a large company producing Construction machinery I get out and about across the UK quite a lot. Last week was one of those days and I found myself travelling towards Ludlow from Coventry, I had been told by the customer I was visiting that he was working alongside a river installing a hydro/elec generator to provide power for a large country estate that the river meandered through. My thoughts of the exact river in question were confirmed as I travelled through various locations that were all located on the banks of the Teme and on viewing the river at various locations along the latter part of the journey it was obvioulsy still holding a bit of water after the recent downpours thyat we had suffered. On ariving at the site it was indeed located on a weir, the hydro/elec equipment being installed on the side of the weir where a run off would provide the water flow to operate the generator.

The weir pool looked as good as it get's and after a quick chat to the customer it was a definate NO NO to any fishing within the estate, a shame as I bet there were Barbel crawling all over the pool that would be ready for a pellet or two.......
A shame indeed but a very nice place to be and it made a pleasant change to the usual locations that I have to visit to meet customers and their poorly machines!

I will probably be back on site this week so I may just ask the question to the estate manager this time about the fishing!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

June 17th Warks Avon

Another session on a slightly lower river on Sunday evening, around 18 inches had dropped off since my early afternoon departure the day before and it looked in good trim, still holding a bit of colour but a slower current speed. Josh was accompanying me on this session and he absolutely loved the route down to the peg, his new chest waders getting the proper use they deserve!

I decided to fish the swim that had produced the Chub the day before and again just 5 minutes after casting in the rod tip was pulling around, a brief ruck and Josh pulled a Chub into the net, on looking at the fish it soon became apparent that it was the same fish that I had caught from the same swim on the same bait just 33 hours earlier!  Weird or what but Josh was a happy chappy so that was all that counted.

A further hour in the swim didn't result in any further action so home we sloshed...........

June 16th Warks Avon

The opening of the 2012-13 river season was upon us and not without swollen rivers for most of the country! My local Warks Avon was around 4 feet up when I arrived on it's banks on the morning of the 16th, well I didn't arrive, it was more of a slosh as I waded through knee high water to get to my first peg, the river doesn't take much to burst it's banks up on the upper reaches I fish and it had done so with some gusto in places.

My first peg was a notable one in high water conditions and the bait was dropped just off the submerged pallet off the rod end onto a crease line, I sat there for an hour and a half without any indication of fishy misdoings so I moved downstream to see what other pegs looked good to fish. The answer was none particularly as it was either damn near impossible to get to a fishable spot or the river was pushing through too quickly but I did eventually walk into a spot that I knew would be fishable due to the high bank and depth of the river in  normal conditions. Just five minutes after my first cast in to the second peg and the tip was bouncing to a fishy tune, the hope of a first day Barbel soon evaporated and a Chub of around 3lbs was drawn into the net, a very skinny fish that had obviously not long finished spawning. A further hour in the peg resulted in nothing, another move was on the cards....... I then fished the peg below my first swim for half an hour then moved back into the first swim, an hour in and it didn't feel right so I sloshed around up the bank again.
My final 45 minutes was on the inside of a bend that although it didn't look very good it was good enough with the prevalent conditions, again nothing doing so at least the first day didn't end on a blank but the waders had earned their crust!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A new venue

It was another first time venue for Josh and I last weekend, again it was about an hour’s journey from Coventry which most venue’s we fish tend to be with the exception of the very local upper Warks Avon.

Two friends of mine were already fishing at the venue and early signs looked good with a Tench lost and one caught,  apparently they had both raked their swims for 15-20 minutes prior to fishing as the weed growth was quite heavy in places but prior knowledge meant that our rake was in the boot of the car and would be put to use if required. On arriving at the venue I was pleasantly surprised with how the place looked, heavily tree lined along two of the banks, gin clear water and set in a fairly rural quiet location, great!

The wind was hacking down the right of the lake but I did note that my two mates were fishing on the opposite bank some walk away, with the little man in tow I plumped for a peg at the windward bank to see how things progressed. The first swim we chose was a rocky bank with some very large rocks in the immediate margin but with a very definitive drop off directly behind them. A couple of chucks out with the rake brought in very little weed but what was apparent was the angle of the rope of the rake when it finally settled on the bottom! The first cast with the method feeder resulted in a drop of around 5 seconds so I estimated that I was fishing in 12-15 feet of water which if I am honest was a little too deep for margin patrolling Tench but I did know that some fish were caught in the area just 7 days ago, we would give it a couple of hours to see what unfolded.  What actually unfolded were calls & texts from my two mates from the opposite end of the lake telling me that fish were being caught/rolling etc so I knew that a move was in order…….

A quick chat with Josh resulted in a bit of gear being deposited in the car on-route so the load would be lightened so his chair, extra groundbait and a few other bits were put in the car before we hiked around the far bank. On arriving there I noticed what a much more scenic lake it looked from this bank, glad I had moved just for the view!  The rake was borrowed from Danny and between Josh and I (me throwing with Josh retrieving) we took about 15 minutes to remove as much weed from the peg as we could. The new peg was a little less deep as the rocky margin with what I would guess as around 6-8 feet of water and 2 rods were cast out, method feeder with corn on the hook and in-line feeder with red maggot.  Out of my 2 mates fishing the next two pegs down to the left, Danny (middle out of the 3 of us) was the one catching and funnily enough it was one of his two rods that was providing him with the majority of the fish even though his baited hooks were probably only about 10 yards apart. John had earlier lost a good fish and then bathed that wound in glory with a gorgeous Tench of 7lb exactly, Danny had also just hit a new PB with a fish of 6.02 (below).It was obvious that there were fish in the area but our rods just 30 yards along the bank were untroubled apart from a couple of bleeps.

I took some time out during the late afternoon and explored further along the bank, the lake seemed to relatively uniform in the way of a shallow marginal shelf running out for a rod length before a definitive drop off, the water did look as though it was down about 2-3 feet and if brim full (fat chance at present!) then the nearside shelf would probably be a viable option for the Tinca’s.
                                                        Josh with Dan's 6.01

 The rest of the session past uneventfully as far as the fishing was concerned with the bites dropping away for the other anglers on the lake that were getting any bites to start with and it was about 8.30pm that we trudged back to the car beaten on the day but not beaten in the war. I will definitely be back on the water even though the running stuff is available in only 5 days time, the Tench on this water plus another I have been fishing are far from spawning and most of the females have some weight to pack on, I may stick at the Tench until mid July at this rate which isn’t a bad thing.