It’s good to be back on the river.

DawnIt’s been a while since I last posted, mainly because I haven’t been fishing with the exception of a weekend trip to Chew with “The Perchfishers”.  The company as usual was great but the fishing for me was terrible coupled with a dodgy engine on the first day and a broken anchor on the second saw me pack in early and driving home chuntering under my breath that I never want to see the place again.  Obviously i’ve calmed down now and will be back there next year.

The main reason for having not been fishing is the fact that i’m waiting for the water levels to come up a bit coupled with some cold weather to flush away the weed that can be a pain at this time of year.

Yesterday however saw me at another fabulous day out arranged by The Perchfishers.  I spoke to Mr C and asked him what time he wanted to meet up.  5:30am was his response.  That meant leaving home at 3:30am to get to the river.  Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but we arrived at a new stretch of river that neither of us has fished before, it  was dark and there was thick fog.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well it didn’t take long to find out.  We set off on a path that we thought was correct only for Mr C to realise 10 minutes later that he had left his net bag at the car.  At this point we also realised that we were lost in the middle of a field following a back water to our right when we should in fact be following the main river on our left.  We traced our footsteps back to the cars and took a footpath to our left where we eventually found the main river and continued upstream.

Eventually we came to a likely looking spot where a tree had fallen in the water and looked very Perchy.  Mr C setup to the left of the fallen tree and I setup to the right.  By now there was just enough light in the sky to be able to see without the headtorch on.  I started out on one rod fishing chopped worm in an open ended feeder and fished 5 feet from the bank in a deep hole under the fallen tree.  If ever a place screamed fish then this was it.  After 10 minutes the tip pulled slowly round.  Now before you get excited it wasn’t a big stripey but the dreaded red clawed crayfish.  They are prevalent in this particular river and I knew I would encounter them at some stage but I was hoping that I might last a bit longer than 10 minutes before getting plagued by them.  I switched the feeder to a small bomb and cast a bit further out  hoping that a single warm would be less of an attractant than a feeder full of worm.  How wrong can you be?

I decided to move 50 yards upstream where there were a few smaller fish topping.  The plan was to catch a few small livebaits and then move back down to the tree swim.  While I was there Mr C shouted up to say he’d had a 1.14 and lost another good fish on the pole.  By now i’d caught a few small fish that were ideal for livebaits so I moved back to my original spot.  I lowered a small paternostered Dace into the hole a few feet from the bank.  I also setup on the pole and fished a whole lobbie a bit further out suspending the bait about a foot from the bottom.  This brought an immediate response in the form of a 1lb Perch.  I then missed another sailaway bite before the tip on the livebait rod pulled over and I struck into what was a rather disappointing 6oz Perch.

It was now approaching lunchtime and we decided that we would up sticks and move further upstream and fish a couple of different spots.  After walking for quite a while we decided on a couple of Perchy looking holes again with bankside cover and deep looking water.  The water was also alive with Bleak.  Catching livebaits wasn’t going to be a problem so rather than try and catch them on a feeder I set the float rod up.  First run down and I caught a Bleak which went on the left hand rod.  Second run down and another Bleak went on the right hand rod.  I was feeling ultra-confident in the new spot fishing in a deep slack with cover.  It wasn’t long before the left hand rod was away and I struck into another small Perch.  A short while later the left hand rod started bouncing away again as another livebait was taken.  This time it was a better fish that I nearly didn’t weigh as I estimated it at about 1.10 and was pleasantly surprised when it pulled the scales around to 2.5.  I expected better to come as 2 fish in a short space of time got me thinking that there must be quite a few fish down there.  A chat to the bailiff confirmed that some good fish do come from that particular spot.

The fishing quietened off on the livebaits so I decided to catch a few Bleak and Dace on the float rod for the fun of it before the right hand rod was away.  Again another small Perch.  I really was starting to think I could do with some bigger livebaits as I was only getting small fish.  On previous trips when I have been trying to catch livebaits i’ve been putting 5 inch Dace back because I thought they were too big.  How wrong can you be?  In future I will definitely be using bigger livebaits if possible so I don’t get plagued by little Perch.

Anyway back to the fishing and as the day drew to a close I managed another couple of small Perch but a biggie never materialised.  It was a real eye opener being the first time I have ever given livebaits a real go for the Perch.  With winter fast approaching I may struggle to catch livies but next Summer I think they will be my first line of attack.

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