Saturday, 25 February 2023

Bookended by rainbows

I got out of the charabanc and thought it felt 5 degrees warmer than at home and a lot brighter but wisely donned the big coat just in case. Go to the stile by the Noddy Train bridge and glanced upstream. This didn't bode well... it came swooping down the river, mean stingy rain, almost hail and mainly horizontal. Cold wet and nasty said two caught out walkers.


I nearly went straight back to the charabanc but in the end pressed on down river to a likely run of nearside cover. The river was painfully low and clear as gin so any hidey hole would be worth a go. Half sardines the go to as per. Nothing either side of this used to be reliable banker (a nice deeper hole above the tree).

I checked down by the dogwood and came across this odd patch of bristly hair, origin unknown, slightly ginger at the tips.

Like the banker swim I've always done well in the dogwood swim and several decent pike and the odd chub have had the grin and bear it treatment in front of its lovely winter colours. I hooked a big pike once on quiver tipped meat that took me through it and the willow below it twice, finally I got it back above the outstretched net to drift it back in but the poxy net was too small and one final shake of its massive head and the 6lb line snapped. It hung there for an agonising age but I just couldn't get it all in the net and it sunk way. A Noddy train was passing with open windowed carriages of waving kids and their grandparents taking in the bucolic scene and reminiscing about the golden age of steam. I'm ashamed to say those children went home having learnt some new and fascinating words. The pike?  A good 25 plus. I did catch one twice in month in and out of spawn at 26 and 24 lb a couple of years later on the stretch and it was comfortably as long.  Different net obviously.

Today? I snared the sardine head in the tree to the left on a "one last cast" and got every thing back bar the sardine head but the rig was bolloxed . The sky was getting darker so away went the rod and I decided  to pack away the rod with the tail swung under that dogwood after one last twitch, got up to do just that when the float bobbed  and shot away. A pre twitch take....More like 5lb but plump and game anyway and a glimmer of hope of finding some more before the last day.

I saw this and decided that would be that, too late to avoid a soaking though.

Friday, 24 February 2023

Brief interlude

I had an hour to kill so off to the aquarium. A whole pint of reds had turned into a sticky goo due in part to the measly amount of profit sapping maize meal Dangling Indirect had lightly dusted them with but I had a few older dry ones  I could use up. Dad and lad in the chublet spot but room to the right and I managed to snag three along with some small dace, wasps and a few even tinier roach.

Nice to catch on trotting gear, they certainly use the depth (10 foot) as they dash about in search of sanctuary until you see those white lips of surrender.. 

Dad and lad  had more dace than me on the pole, some quite decent and a perch of about a pound. All in all very enjoyable we said.

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Dahn Sarf (wold)

Last day of kids hols so down to Suffolk we went. Southwold always worth a go, beach, pier with left of centre amusements, nice pubs and a boujie harbour too. 

And a sweet shop. Happy days.

Think we'll stop off in Beccles next time for  a wander round on the way, it's always been a drive thru, not a drive to for us.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Just the one Mrs Wembley

Windy, stormy looking clouds but mild enough not to get the coat out of the car for my quick session drowning half sardines on Golden Pond. 2 foot of water and more of silt, something to keep the bait visible at least was required even with a light lead.

I'd gone on my Island Paradise even though it was facing the wind (one rod out the back out of the wind too) so I could look out down the Pond for fishy movement, predatory or otherwise and there were the odd patch of bubbles, some small stuff flipping on the surface, the odd mud pig bosh and a couple of fry scattering raids so it seems the Pond is waking up nicely.

No frantic pike action, just the one Mrs Wembley just after I'd twitched a bait, this pike must have been waiting for something to happen as it snaffled it up straight away. Thin as usual for the Pond, very rarely do you get a porker.  Adapted to the shallow water perhaps, the tench are the same. Perhaps 7 or 8 pounds anyway.

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Plunged back into doom and despondency

Buoyed by last weeks three hook ups after  a disappointing year or more pike wise on the river I dropped a  couple of hundred yards or so down to seek out some new fish and yes, halved sardines poked into likely cover given the clear, low river conditions. It was at least almost dark like by three thirty but mild enough. The river seemed lifeless today and not a fish moved, even at dusk. Perhaps they are all in yesterdays aquarium 'swim'.



I had a try in the tail of the weir but it was to shallow and clear so I put the heavy stuff back in the car and hot footed it across the meadow to the lock before anyone else beat me to it. Deep and at this time of year often a harbour from the main river. Less boot prints than before so perhaps it had gone a bit quiet?

Down went the 5AAA and the twin reds on the B560 #16 a good 10 foot. And down went the float.  A small dace was swung to hand followed by several more and the odd (slightly) better roach and  the inevitable hook swallowing wasps. A pleasing interlude in the  gathering gloom.

A few fish were topping  to the left of the footbridge over the lock so I did the decent thing and had a go for them. Well, I piled in some reds and started on the slightly less deep deck (9 and  a half foot) and  bingo, the chub(lets) were there. Nice dashing about little battlers too, every one dashing into the shade of the bridge. Lovely bursts of brass and coral in the net (just large enough most not to be worth risking a rod tip busting swing in. These two were either twins or the same fish caught three minutes apart according to the SD card.

A few more mates showed up too before curfew fell. Lovely ole job. No big coat either.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Crimp or twist?

I haven't much patience and lure fishing  tests what little I do have. But, a bit like swingtipping I try it once a year or so and then remember why I don't do it all the time. I'd chosen a low, clear section and that didn't help. But I can see how it might appeal, and  it certainly gets the steps counted. For those that do count steps.

I lost this yellow/green thing in a snag and opened up a packet that has been in my car(s) boot for about 4 years. Nice little action in the margin, and out went one of them. 

Unfortunately not attached to my line. I'd  blindly accepted the ready to fish advice and hadn't checked the supplied trace. The crimp on the snap lock end had failed.  I used to be a fervent twister, we all were and even had the ET twiddle stick gizmo. But I disliked the untidy nature of the twisted scruffy loose ends that often caused a tangle. I reasoned that as the loop of the trace was passed through and  back over the eye of the hook or swivel it would be secure anyway. So I made friends with the crimp and have never had one fail. I looked at the evidence that's plain to see in hindsight  in the pic. The wire had simply been  been passed through the eye and the crimp not squeezed at all.  Cheap skates.

Sunday, 5 February 2023


I got Wordle in two goes today and hoped it was a chub producing omen. So much so that I did go chub fishing on the Suffolk/Essex Stour. Having first had a decent pint in the Black Buoy in BoHo Wivenhoe with the the Old Man and brother. The Deli has had a lick of paint.

Second swim and the tip did the classic, tap, tap and  pull round and a lovely little chub was expertly scooped up by my lens man the Loafer. A right result. And Man City lost. Very pleased that the Gooners and Liverpool lost yesterday as well.



Saturday, 4 February 2023

Middles for diddles

Haven't had a pike for ages now, and as I couldn't face Cyanide Straight today I headed down  a mile or so to the lower beat of the syndicate. River is low and clear and I wasn't surprised to see no roach or dace on the exposed gravels. Being a creature of habit the hapless victim being drowned was a halved sardine, tail up and head down.

The head rod soon developed a twitch, but this petered out so I recast (the bait not really marked) and in quite short order the taps on the tip became quite vicious and as I picked up the rod the float began to head to the tree roots  so I wound into the fish which looked a decent pike but  it wasn't on long so I gave it 15 minutes more then moved down  below the willow and a gap in the long dogwood tangle in its winter redness. Another 20 minutes for a one short tap tap, again to the down stream head section. I'd moved the tail section below the dogwood and I heard the buzzer sound and could see the red topped float heading briskly down the straight. A decent tussle twice out of the net and rapped knuckles  I don't use the clutch, having grown up on Mitchell  300s.  It had looked lean in the water but heavy to lift up the steep bank and I upped my 11 or 12 pound estimate which was confirmed on the Korum Digitals as being a solid 15.01   Quite a pale fish with leeches on it's head.

Happy days?

I'd put a whole sardine back where the tail had been taken as I rested the first fish and thought I'd be getting a brace shot but a jack of 4 or 5lbs spat out the hooks and I took that as a sign to quit..