Tuesday 28 February 2017

Rays and Hail

Monday's forecast severely dented plans for a tea and pike social on our East Midlands still water so keeping local to dodge the forecast pulses of organised heavy showers (what?) I trudged  up to Kings Beck, having had to wait for a more local Danging Indirect to open up for some replacement unhooking gear.

Egret country

First move and barely had the bait runner been set when the half bluey was heading out of the tight marginal cover and into the main push. A protracted scrap in the decent flow and on the mat, all leeches and toothy attitude. Battle with the new Billy Big Balls forceps but hooks out quickly. Too big to manoeuvre in the pike's mouth and no ratchet or grip mechanism. Pile of shite I say.

Anyway, looked good on the mat. Tiny fins. Any relation of the Trumpster?

13 13 on the scales. A long time since I've been able to say that.

Wind building and sky darkening. Down to the Church and I had just poured the first tea of the day when the darkened sky dumped it's load on me in a pretty organised way. Don't take a brolly so got quite wet. Iin a break squelched  down into Shangri-La. Bait in the spot. Time to send a take inducing text to Lord Lite.  

It had worked before I even sent the text, another long surging fight and a tail walk and head shake and it spat out it's dummy. 

A surprisingly up beat text did get sent. Think the kingfisher cheered me up.

Last move to the big bend. Large group of roe deer over my shoulder then another deluge of hail and sleet. Dog walker wondered who was the wettest and stupidest between us. False hope in the sky and under dips the float, it was small but it also spat out it's dummy. Over my shoulder (deer gone) arced   half a rainbow

Head for home, hands so cold the ground felt like perma frost had  a grip on the bank sticks. Two hoodie clad Urban Anglers taking a chance in a lull, winkling out a brace of jacks on their Ondex's by the apartments. They are just in hoodies, tee shirts, joggies and trainers. Madness

Home, and wet, muddy stinking kit everywhere.Wet to my under crackers. Commander in Chief issues stern advice about  the correct use of soap. My ears ring from the wind.

Get any of those Lord Lite?

Sunday 26 February 2017

Chase the dace

Break in the weather  and  after a detour to get some quite decent red maggit from Dangling Indirect set up in the shelter of the bridge and embankment for a couple of hours on the pin. First trot and this lovely dace set the tone for the afternoon. All had skin as rough as sandpaper so spawning time not far off.

As I slid it back the downstream half sardine woke up and a right royal battle ensured  much to the delight of the driver of the passing noddy train and various passers by. One of whom took a few reasonable shots (especially of the surrounding kit strewn about). Such as the high tech, low vis padded camera case for my new Nikon. 10.04

Lurking menace. More if him/her later.

Steady sport from hand and  a half sized dace proved too much for scar head above who grabbed 4 decent fish on the way in, all of who escaped fairly lightly. Dazed and confused perhaps?

A smaller cousin of scar head sadly flipped my  prized  long artery forceps into the drink hence the  small forceps pressed into service for  this middling pike.

Small dace and even smaller roach barely featured today though I did have 4 chublets.

Pretty obviously a chub  that one but some of the dace do look  a bit strange as below.

Last shot taken by the long eared hat wearing Robbie of the North and some(well most of the ) time Urban Angler. No point being secret squirrel about this spot, given how many people strand and gawp at the massed hordes of 6lb+ chub on the gravels come Easter. Give them some Polaroids to gawp even more and they nearly fall in.

Grass carp Dave had filled his boots with some stonking roach in the adjacent Res as well so spring is springing alright.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Never rmind the quality, feel the width

You're getting double bubble tonight you lucky bleeders.. 

I've been dodging the 42 inch net police for several years, managing I thought well enough with a couple of 36 inch nets, whch eventually sucumb to  either angry pike/carp or the cumulative effect of lots of little cuts to free snagged trebles. For about 25 quid fair dos and my current net will still be pressed into action until the inevitable collapse. Which is not long awway.

However enquiring glances from the afore said 42 inch net police and  a couple of lost fish have turned my head.  Think the last two lost at the net would have gone in first time with a bigger net,and if I can find a robust extendable handle even better. Why a standard 6 foot handle, always?

Now I am not going to fall for the must have 190 quid jib (I kid you not). No a 25 quid job again! (Good old Eric's Angling). It came today and it is a thing of beauty. Light, graceful and yes, six inches bigger. Though considerably less in the girth.

Beer and  all that..thougt it was about time to head over to the beer tasting tent and dish up #6 I think of  the tasteathon. Proper beer in a proper bottle with  a proper label. Lancaster Amber it says here.

Smooth malt, balanced with tangy and spicy hops blah, blah, blah. Come on chaps , it is simply a nice easy drinking session beer ( 3.6%) with that lingering get me more taste. Splendid. Shame I only had the one bottle.

Sunday 19 February 2017

Not the best of days

Following yesterdays good trotting session I thought I'd use the extra couple of hours I had for some piking.  Despite adopting the Billingsgate method I came home empty handed.

It wasn't untill I got to the big 90o bend that I had any interest at all. The flow is directed right into the near bank and clears out a decent run of deeper water down most of the straight. First rod in was away and  good fish surging off on the strike. Stayed deep, then off. Must have dug the half herring out of a clump of weed which had masked the hooks. Then two fish in short order that were on when I picked the rod up to twitch back, one small fish was off quickly. The next  one more substantial seemed firmly hooked, until it saw the net.  Taillwalked and out came the bait. Oh bugger I said quietly to the passers by who declared they never realised fish grew so big or could jump so high. And that as they say, was that.

Did take some nice photos and saw reasonable quantities of fish topping at the bottom of the straight but if youre are going to blank it is always better to come home without a wet net to sort out. 

I prefer a little less water with mine....

The small fish  lost sulked around for a while close in but I couldn't tempt it again.

Must come back to take a few on the tripod as the church is lit up beautifully at night.

Does look very roachy here a few of us think. But are not brave enough to try. Those fish topping were the first I'd seenn for ages. Never sure what the pike eat up here to get so  fat.

Pigeon-chested from Venus and Mars

Saturday, temperature mild but with an edge if not sheltered from the wind. Snow drops and aconites and second time round Cherry blossom. Camellia about to burst buds. What does a Bureboy's mind turn to in the early spring? Trotting into the backend that's what.

Up onto the iron bridge for a look see, buzzard mewing. In the depression sits mossy green, long, mean and green with the 60 mile smile. Behind, respectfully line up dace and roach, and in front haphazardly across the flow (eyes wide open perhaps)  two groups of smallish chub, 8 in total and 2-3 lbish. Minnows for this stretch. Cunning plan hatches.

Set up on a nice glide above the feeder, deepening and quickening with the feeder's scour. Drennan 13 footer teemed up with the centre pin. 5bb stick and a pair of red maggot on an #18, one hooked through the blunt end and one thought t'other. Prime the glide.

Onlookers point out mossy green. In with half a herring and up on the bridge to check. Mossy green has swung back down into her pit to think about a snack.. decide not to twitch it but see what develops. onlookers melt away, Noddy train puffs and toots over  the bridge.

Feed and swing out  for the first trot of the day. Over depth but stick stabs under, not drags and the first of the afternoon, a lovely plump roach.

Settle into a reasonable feed,swing and trot rhythm, mostly coming up trumps in a couple of predictable spots on the trot, mostly dace, with the odd smaller roach in the deeper bits. The flow good enough, and the float big shouldered enough to peel the line off the pin. 1:1 retrieve means batting in the bits but with a better fish winding seems  less painfully slow. Love the bend in the responsive tip section of the rod.

Anything that got as far as the scour seemed to attract the gonks.

The Drennan piker bob is bobbimg and the alarm sounds. Not mossy green but fun enough in the shallow and fast water below the feeder steam as walker's feet pound above on the iron walkway.

Back on the pin and head torch man appears, with his trusty hessian Roys bag, baiting a few spots. A intercepted fish and a tussle is on. Get to the net wielded by head torch man and the pike shakes out the roach, all black spot and now tatty scales and fins.  Repositioned half herring is coming back upstream and after a tussle is in the net, A solid if small 4 ish whilst head torch man shows me a nice double from the Beck on the ubiquitous shattered phone screen. We wonder if they are beginning  to group up for  spawning, I suspect the pike are here for the dace, some of which are certainly developing that big backend pigeon chest if not the sandpaper skin yet.  This one, the last landed of the day had also gorged chub-like on my loosefeed.

The last trot and  the best roach of the day is snatched across the back and a better pike is on. The roach escapes it's jaws in a shower of spray and scales  (it is a much better one) and the pike is after it in a flash, twisting and hunting like a dog in inches of water and right under my feet. Given the slashing and twisting the light hooklink is severed and off it slinks with my prize firmly between its flat and flared jaws. Quite a lot of roach extends either side of those flat jaws.

Think this one (excuse the blur, DSLR's are not really suited to in the hand shots) has had a brush with an otter rather than a pike.

Kingfisher  splashes in from the big point bush and I head off in the gathering  gloom very satisfied with a good couple of hours backend rotting behind me.

As Commander in Chief enrages the Trumpster by preparing a meal from that place he will build a wall against the litle'uns are captivated by the brightest and reddest objects in the early evening sky. A dazzling Venus and  a small but visibly red Mars just above and to the left. 

For those who listen to the Archers  looks like Neyul Carter will be hiding in the piggery as Soosan signals his weekly chore is due. Chilli  tonight Neyul?

Saturday 11 February 2017

Once, twice, three times a loser.

Three days of temperatures struggling to stay above 0 and snow that wouldn't lay. Saturday was just miserable and damp. Two hours max and a trip back to the big old girl's lair. Decided to work an area just upstream first. The usual text to Lord Lite resulting in a take and a decent double was surging around when the hook pulled.
Dropped a bait in Shangri-La with a  prompt response. An even better fish, darker and leaner than the one I lost last week but looking upper doubles. At the net and disaster, hooks pulled. Made a desperate lunge,  fish in the net then gone.  Curfew aproaching and repositioned a bait further into the big slack. Must have landed right on a pike's nose as the float  never settled before heading downstream. A much more powerful fish that stayed deep and made it back to the slack three times before a sickening boil and slack line.   Even worse, knot had failed and left a set of trebles in the unseen fis

Monday 6 February 2017

Different gravy

Sunday and a dash around the coast with the little uns whilst Commander in Chief did battle with some beef. Always get good gravy from beef..best bit. Especially with some madeira and horseradish mustard to deglaze the pan.

Morston and Brent geese. From the car window. That's Blakeney church way up there

That hedge takes some upkeep.

Only had an hour or so late afternoon and with such low water up by the Church far more sinky mud between me and any fish to net so opted for  a large bend, with lots of far bank "structure" and as importantly firmer standing  for netting. One of those banker areas I tend to fish infrequently to keep it that way. A good deal deeper and one spot I would plump for float paternostered livelies if I could be arsed with all the catching and carrying  (on the same day from the same water obviously).

Had only just got the second half sardine in when the downstream rod was away. This one really tore about and it was with some relief when it slipped over the drawstring. Hooks out easy and a very respectable 12.14. Dorsal strangely shaped and I did wonder  it was the same one from a week or so ago which also had a pointy, not round dorsal. Feasible as between two mills  but 2 lbs lighter? Several different markings so no. And neither fish  were Keith. Plump but not statuesque like last night's fish.

I do have some decent hold and pose shots but won't give them an airing just yet. Why not?  I have left my unhooking mat in a bag that doubles as a sitting on mat somewhere. Along with an ET Pike Tube that must be at least 35 years old.  I say left somewhere: I think Commander in Chief is slowly chucking  out all  my tackle.

Anyway, I had the fish above in the net as no pike tube waiting for the self timer/remote release shots when the upstream rod was away. Good fish on that rolled heavily, exposing a very deep long flank. Just sizing up the options for netting with other fish still in when the hooks pulled. One point had burred over. Oh poo I think I said. From what I saw definitely different gravy as they say on Soccer AM and at least a 20. That's why I won't be releasing the instantly recognisable location until I have been back and put the big old girl on the smaller, non sitting on mat.

Sunday 5 February 2017

Fat as a butchers dog and a half

The Commander in Chief and I took the little uns to Cromer for an ice cream on Saturday morning.

Fair bit of damage to the front after the recent surge

Still a nip in the air, especially on the pier.

They say there is a light that never goes out.....

A bit of  a spring clean on the syndicate pool in the afternoon left me with a couple of hours once the chainsaw gang had gone.

Not a breath of wind and fairly low light. Couldn't get the roach to settle on the bait but enough to make me think of a more sustained effort.

Dusk fast approaching and a drop in temperature. Too dark to really see the float.

The so far dormant sardine rod to the right shows a stuttering take,, blue LED blinking. Decent fish, flying treble caught in net. Struggle  to get in and over the reeds. Only torch not really working, unhook the fish but not the net so decided on a mat shot and not  the scales but a low double?

Checking later and hadn't really considered the bulk of the fish, just the length. Very fat and probably in spawn rather than just had a post ice-up  nosh given how far back the extra weight goes..

Friday 3 February 2017

Tough job #4

Amarillo and Summit. Not sure why  a beer from Oakham needs Yakima Valley hops. Or why a Scarlet Macaw. Says gooseberry on the tasting notes. I got grapefruit without looking.

I don't really want grapefruit beer again