Monday, 12 August 2013

A day avoiding 'natural' landmines

Whist I am sat here nibbling on a chocolate digestive I’m finding it quiet difficult to conjure up a good header for this post, so I may as well get on with writing up the actual days fishing.

Ian asked me last week if I’d like to tag along  fishing with some of the LAS regional chapter lads on a river, obviously I couldn’t turn down a day somewhere new, so a time was sorted for Ian to come collect me on Sunday morning. We arrived and met up with just Pete and Neil , I was a bit surprised that it was only us four that turned up as I expected a couple more of the lads to be fishing with us. We started fishing along the bank going upstream and Pete pointed out a small pike sulking in the margin telling me he just caught it. 
The river itself is a jewel, the water was clear and you could see shoals of baitfish a couple of rod lengths out under the Polaroid sunglasses, there was plenty of vegetation in the water & along the margins that held numerous shoals of small fry. The only problem with this was that you had to avoid the landmines laid by the local cow heard with the neighboring sheep. 

The River
I was using a two rod approach than my usual approach of carrying just one rod, I had both my 10g-30g 7ft Bushwhacker and my 3g-18g bushwhacker both paired with 2500FC exage reels. Before I had done this approach, the thought of carrying two lure rods came across to me as cumbersome as you’d have to carry more lures to cover both rods and any additional terminal needed. But surprisingly on Saturday night I had organized my bag to where I carried the exact same amount of kit if I were to use one rod but to where I had a decent selection of soft plastics, crankbaits, spoons, and jerkbaits to cover both the heavier lures and lighter lures. I'll admit this approach is one I will be doing more often for the sessions yet to come.  
We were all having a lot of interest from some smaller fish and even Pete managed to have a jack take on one of his small home made jerk baits. We got nearer the end on this stretch of river and we focused near and around where a dozen or so boats were moored up  I had a cast near some overhanging features towards the far bank and after a couple of turns of the reel handle I felt a sudden stop for a split second I had thought I caught some underwater vegetation or a snag until it started pulling back. I was pleased to say it is a small yet welcomed pike that fell for a MH 70mm crank ‘n’ shad, the fish was a lovely little thing in such a pristine condition and beautiful marking to go with.  

A little Pike
Pete had caught a jack that nailed his home made jerk bait in a space between two boats. And boy it did nail his lure, much to the extent I gave a helping hand in the tricky unhooking process as the rear treble was nipped in near the delicate gills. It was like a game of operation as you had to carefully remove one shank of the hook to help release some pressure on the other without toughing the red gills of the fish. Pleased to say it all went well. Neil also managed to get a fish in his net too.

Pete's Pike
 After Ian missing a take of a decent fish we headed back to the cars for lunch, Ian was showing Pete a map of his local water, we were all talking fishing whilst sat between two cars. After our lunch we went in the opposite direction going downstream of the river, I had stopped by a chap reeling in a eel (first one I‘ve ever saw in my life) on his float rod and I had a little conversation with him whilst he swapped from float rod to his pole. Further down the bank and swims got more and more difficult to get to due to the nettles and bankside growth. I had managed to get a treble in my index finger and surprisingly despite it being barbed it came out just as quick without me realising, from them on blood just kept pissing out of the minute wound. I was finding it difficult to clean the area and get a plaster on it I had to ask Ian for help so I could get back.  Pete and Neil soon caught up with us and before we turned back due to the inaccessible swims, Pete had one last trick up his sleeve for us, he made a small track between bramble, nettles and think dense bankside to lead us to a bend on the river. Pete knew I hadn’t caught a chub yet so he decide to place me in a area to advised me to cast in a certain area under and in between some growth and trees on the far side after a dozen or so casts with a small alphabet bomber I was beginning to get restless and Pete told me to carry on in the same area. But I changed the small bomber for the MH crank ’n’ shad I used in the morning after the second cast I had a knock and tug.  I was in on a fish, I didn’t know if it’d be a chub, perch or pike. It was a chub, I tried to keep it from getting caught up in the waters vegetation but somehow it happened, with a little help from Pete we soon got the little fish free. 

Lunch break
My first Chub(let)
I was chuffed to bits with this small chub, Pete was chuffed for me and after releasing the little fish I carried on casting in the same area before being joined by Ian casting in another area not far. After a few minutes, Ian had banked himself a nice perch on a small sebile crankbait, Pete managed to get a photo likely for the magazine report. Before we called it a day I went over to were Pete was fishing, he had just missed a pike and had a small jack following his lure but missing as it struck at Pete’s lure.

We marched our way back to the cars and after we packed up Pete presented me with a storm jointed minnowstick for the best chub, Ian with a soft storm lure and himself with a storm swim bait. Prizes kindly donated by Michael Barrs For best Chub (me) best Perch (Ian) & best Pike (Pete).

Walking along the river
Prize for Ian, me and Pete
All in all a very good session in good company whilst wandering a beautiful stretch or the river for some fish.



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