My previous post saw me going Barbel fishing for the first time in a few years to one of my local rivers which was a joy because nobody fishes it and the fish are big. The fact that the fish are big makes them very hard to catch though because there are so few of them. I do like a challenge when it comes to fishing but I’m in that frame of mind at the minute where I just want to get my string pulled.
I’ve resisted fishing the Trent for Barbel for a while now because, if you look at social media, people are saying they’ve had god knows how many Barbel on their last trip with a gazillion doubles amongst them blah blah blah………. Well i’m sorry, but you’d have to be a pretty awful angler not to catch on some stretches of the river. In fact i’ll rephrase that, you’d have to be a complete numpty not to catch. So, all these reports of double figure Barbel caught from the circus of Collingham or Gunthorpe weir really do not impress me and do I really want to sit amongst a bunch of people getting pissed and smoking weed all day? No I don’t.
It’s fair to say my recent trips to the river have been pretty dire to say the least. On the odd occasions that I have been I have struggled. It’s easy to look for an excuse why you’re not catching. Rivers too low, rivers too high, too hot, too cold, too bright the list is endless. Generally I don’t take any notice of the weather because otherwise I would never go fishing if I waited for the perfect day. At the moment though it really is an effort to go fishing. I keep waiting for the frosts to come and for the perch to move to their winter holding areas but it just isn’t happening. The fish still seem to be spread all over the place making locating them very hard.
So, earlier this week after checking the forecast I decided I was going to have a couple of hours before work with the lure rod just to try something different. For anyone that knows me they will know i’m not exactly in love with lure fishing but I just had the urge to give it another go. My lure fishing generally consists of a Continue reading →
I was actively encouraged by my other half to go fishing for a few hours the other night. I won’t repeat the encouraging language that was used for fear of offending anyone but needless to say the say the car was packed and loading and I was setting off in 5 minutes flat.
I’d packed a few leftover worms that I had and took a pack of deadbaits. By the time I arrived at my chosen stretch dusk had already set-in. I had an hour fishing worm and lost count of the scores of Perch that I caught. No big one’s but a fair few “netters” upto a pound in weight. This stretch is going to hold some significant sized Perch in the future providing they are not predated upon too heavily. In fact I was getting that many bites I struggled to get the zander rods setup. After an hour though they were setup so I packed the worm rod away and put two deadbaits out.
I’ve never fished for zander before on this stretch of river but i’m confident that they are so widespread now throughout the Trent that you could fish pretty much anywhere upto Derby and catch them. As I said in a previous post, prior to this season I had always struggled to catch them to the point that I didn’t think they were worth pursuing but how my mind has been changed this year.
I cast both rods about a third of the way across river into about 12 feet of water. I’d just settled into my chair and had a kit-kat when the bobbin on the right hand rod slowly skipped up towards the rod butt. I hit into the fish and felt the familiar nodding of a zander on the end. Unsurprisingly the fish came off but I wasn’t that dis-heartened as it didn’t feel particularly big. Ten minutes later the left hand rod was away. Again I hit into it and this one felt a bit bigger only for the fish to come off again. I put that one down to the loop on the hair rig being a bit long. I should have changed it there and then but I fished on regardless on the presumption that the length of hair wouldn’t be an issue to a big zed.
I didn’t get another bite after that and waited until I heard the chimes of midnight on the local church clock before deciding to call it a day. It’s always frustrating to lose fish and it seems to be an all too familiar occurrence at the minute although I was encouraged that I had another new stretch of river on which to target zander. I’m sure my luck will change soon and the fish will stick. The rivers are desperately low and clear and the fish have become very finicky, that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it. It’s been a good year so far so I can’t complain but you can feel autumn breathing down your neck now and I for one can’t wait for cooler weather and better fishing conditions.
After success on my last Zander trip I decided to capitalise on my good fortune. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best with strong winds and bright sunshine to contend with. I can’t think of worse conditions really. I’ve never done well in those conditions. Still, you have to go with the hand you’re dealt.
I arrived on the bank at 4:30pm and started off in a spot I had never fished before. Mainly because it was a bit more sheltered from the wind. I’d also sat the rods on the rod rests nearer the tips of the rods to stop them bouncing around as much in the wind. After an hour or so I wasn’t at all confident after having had no bites and having the bright sunshine directly in my eyes. I persevered though in that spot until about 7pm and when the wind dropped a bit I decided a move was on the cards. I didn’t have to move my stuff far and after a couple of short walks was settling down nicely into my peg. I was expecting a bite straight away but when one didn’t materialise I just put it down to the conditions. Continue reading →
It’s fair to say my Trent Zander sessions have been fairly hit and miss. I haven’t fished for them now for about 5 or 6 years so I decided I was going to give them a really good go this year. The last couple of weeks of the closed season saw me preparing my gear although in fairness there’s not a lot to prepare. My zander rig is a fairly simple affair and I was shown it by Archie Braddock. As with all things zander it needs to offer very little resistance when a fish picks up the bait as they are notoriously line shy although in fairness I haven’t caught enough of them to quantify this yet. The hardest bit would be to source small roach to use as deadbaits so I was quite surprised when my local tackle shop had a few packs of 3 inch roach. Once I had chopped the heads and tails off they would be the perfect size.
I arrived at the river around 7pm to empty banks. I brought with me a pint of maggots in the hope of catching some fresh bait that I could use as deadbaits. My preference is for fresh bait but if I couldn’t catch any then the frozen one’s would do. As part of my preparations I had bought some bigger frozen roach and blitzed them in the blender at home to put in my swimfeeder. This was purely to get some smell in the water and draw the fish in.