Sunday, 20 January 2019

One chance...

I took a risk and hauled my creaking back over some stiles to check out a new section of river on Saturday. At last there is some water in the river but that brings with it restricted access due to the unmanaged marginal growth. 

I worked several bends with smelt and pollan where I had gingerly established the floating mats would at least bear my rather large frame should  I need to net something. I'd  got down to the last stile when I was presented with the dilemma of encroaching swans and dog walkers all converging on the pinch point of the bend and the stile. I avoided a 4 swan tangle on the upstream rod and as they scattered down all flailing wings and hissing I sunk the line of the downstream rod just in time. The float shot under and a pike was on amongst the swan maelstrom. I turned to locate the net and it was being chewed by a dog. Needless to say I slackened off inadvertently and  my only chance had gone. 

Monday, 14 January 2019

Offaly good stuff

I'm crocked with a seized lower back so a planned quick raid on the Wissey for some plump roach and even plumper perch had to be put on ice, rather like me. Move over Murray.

Still, managed to sneak  this  little snack for lunch.

Kidneys on sourdough. Not especially devilled but  much better than a Greggs vegan roll. Bit rare to be fair and a certain air of piss as bought to the table but devoured none the less.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Gloom. Cold. Pike. Leeches.

Despite the Solstice the days have been dark and frankly cold so far this this year. Today was no exception and  the stinky and battered old wax coat was donned over the thermals and fleece. I  headed off down below a favourite bridge to where an old drainage ditch, a stile and the start of a long stretch of reed cover on the far bank caught my eye. Two joeys were placed to near and far margins.

I'd just sent this phone shot of the swim on Instagram when the far bank joey was away.  Even through the chop the fish was plain to see in the clear water, darting  and twisting down in the deepish margin. Heavily leached (only on the other flank) and a plump pike indeed. 

Despite several leapfrogs  that was  my lot and by 4 I was off the river and longing for the charabanc heater to start pumping out hot air.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


Have access to some city centre free parking at the moment and it's a groundbait dropper's reach from the river...lovely jubbly. Fishing is free within the city limits but a lot of the riverside access is problematic in that there are high walls and often safety railings. I found a nice recessed bank and  found about  4 feet down the edge. The river is tidal to the works just above and there had been about 18 inches more water on the top of flood judging by the watermark  on the piling opposite. I'd packed a tip rod  in case perch were the only option but started on the pin.

First trot with double red and the float buried  abut 15 yards down. Nice way to get the year off and running. A touch of urban graffiti as a bonus.

I've been faithful to the Kamasan B520's for a while but they've either made the gape narrower or my gumby hands have got more sausage like as I find them harder to unhook without a disgorger so I picked up some wider gaped B560's today. I can still see a #20 spade  unlike the  Essex Loafer but tend to  go for #16's if there's a chance I'm going to try a small dendro or caster. Just maggot and its  an #18.

You can't beat  a roach.

I didn't get into a proper rhythm in the heavy showers and might have done better with some brown crumb to localise the fish but even  so it was a useful couple of hours spent prospecting as some of the roach put a proper bend in the 15 footer. Think it will be worth having  a float pat rod set up as I'm sure one or two pike would home in once you'd got the roach going. 

A litlte bigger than I thought?

Had enough small perch to think the back up or even first line worm would be a cert but none was above wasp size today. 

Urban fishing certainly has its attractions, especially when the fish come river for the winter months away from the big salt incursions. However, its pretty full on even by day. I had houses behind and offices in front and that pint of IPA had to go somewhere..... Further down and the Riverside complex and the cattle market that is Prince of Wales Road and the burgeoning night time economy would really bring into question even contemplating fishing into dark.  And then there's the footie crowds......

Monday, 31 December 2018

A turkey is not just for....

Every year these bad boys spring up  around Fakenham and the surrounding area. I've been searching for one that's close enough for another out of the Charanbanc window shot. Found one today....

Norfolk Black natch.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

One of those days

Got to the parking spot and discovered I'd left my moon boots at home. If I'd  been fishing close to car and not expecting  a mud bath might have risked the Vans but decided I'd better go back to get them. Passing The Little Bit More Water nearly stopped but someone was in the banker so carried on.

Huffing along the muddy path felt a tug then heard a snap, snap and realised I'd shortened the tip of one of my 12 footers quite a bit.

I have actually turned back before if I've left the camera and or scales at home  "just in case" so it took a bit of self persuasion to soldier on and fish with "just one rod. I know, sad isn't it. Having cast out the  "one" rod reassessed the situation and jammed the short section with the tip ring in the blank and it would do for the session at least  so out went a tiny joey down the near margin.

A couple of bleeps on the upstream rod made me think Ronnie or Reggie might be on the nosh but  my attention soon fixed on the much shorter rod as the bite alarm signalled a more toothy critter was inspecting the joey. The float submerged and began to trundle over to the far bank phragmities. Winding into the fish  the tip section held and after  a couple of reasonable head shakes I was bringing the fish through the strong flow to the outstretched net. Being the Thing of Beauty with it's carbon arms it was hard to sink and the pike kept diving under and eventually the trailing treble caught in the spreader cord. As I dragged net and fish in the second treble was ejected but the pike had beached itself in the reed mat and I chinned it in. Looking at it now think I under estimated it a bit. Blank saver either way

As the wind increased I continued to leapfrog down the long straight and given the successful rod repair  made plans to repair its triplet that had succumbed to the Charabanc boot lid a while back. Did that over and across  smelt  rod  tap?Two sharp dips of the float then nothing. Picking the rod up to reposition in the next gap in the phragmities  it became clear that something had the smelt in it's jaws and as I tightened down the rod slammed over and the fish surged downstream then back up and over. The line made that lovely whine in the wind and the fish sent up boiling vortices's as it bored  down in the margin. I made a more concerted effort to sink the net and in she went, a great moss and primrose flank upping my low doubles estimate. A two handed heave and on to the mat.  The hooks were just in the upper jaw and popped out easily. Not quite saddle  that donkey but the scales banged round to a net deducted 20.08. A lovely clean fish and a joy to behold. Nice way to end 2018's angling.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Good to get out

Half a day pass out so headed off first to the Mill. Water coming over the second weir so a nice near bank eddy round to the white water. Set up the 15 foot Greys with an Avanta Ikon pin. 4lb straight through to a #16 in case I decided to try a small worm. Double white suspended under a 5 bb Drennan Big Stick. First run through and the stick buried as a lovely little roach grabbed the grubs just the eddy turned under the first sluice.

With the swirling current loose feeding was a bit hit and miss but if the float hit a sweet patch, held back quite hard a bite usually occurred. Mostly dace, and all put up a good account of themselves in the heavy push.

Some were starting to get pigeon chested too.

Managed a couple of little spotties as well. This one had an electric blue sheen to the head, and almost rainbow magenta flanks.

I lost a much bigger one on a worm bounced round the tail of the flush, a good 3lb which jumped out of the net after  a long  deep fight round the pool. It was a heavily marked fish, again with an almost magenta flank and a deep butter yellow belly. 

Think I will try a much heavier float next time as there were certainly fish in the faster water.

Satisfied I headed down to the lowest end of the beat for the last 90 minutes with some very stinky cheesepaste and  a festive tipple.

Fed liquidised bread in 4 swims then worked down with a decent lump of the stinky paste with one half hearted pull for my efforts. Always a next time