Monday, 20 February 2012

A really hard fishing trip

A second night of frost and a good chance that fishing might well have been adversely affected but the great results of the last two days and my thought that I'd like to investigate some of the swims further downstream tempted me out again. But it was a really hard day's fishing.

Walking down to the river, it was immediately apparent that it had dropped another inch or two. I wonder if any people other than river anglers really appreciate the true scale of the current draught? Also the water had cleared a little more and many of the shallow swims at the upstream end now had gravel bars visible on the bottom. Low and clear and getting colder - not good conditions?

Baiting today was with a small amount of mashed bread and an equal amount of a white/brown crumb mix. Some of this was placed in the slacker, near-bank water and not so much in the areas I have been fishing in the last few weeks. A quick walk downstream about 300 yards suggested 3 possible new swims and I baited each of these. Hookbait would have to be flake from a Hovis "thick" white loaf, as I'd forgotten to bring a bag of crust with me!

My starting point again today was the inside glide swim where I had so many bites on Saturday. Today it was all quiet and peaceful and 30 minutes later I was off upstream to the "Hawthorns" where I'd had the fish on Sunday with the ultra light leger set up. Would I get another today? And perhaps the surprising answer was, yes! Again I used just one swan shot and let the flake swing in to the near bank. Result? A really nice looking fish of 3-15.

But from then on, things were very quiet. I tried the two deep swims and the 3 new ones in rotation, fishing 20 minutes in each, then rebaiting and moving on. But not a touch. A second cycle in every swim then has the same result. By 5:00, I am back in the first swim having completed two cycles and was pondering on whether I should have just waited a few days, given the much better forecast for later in the week.

I had been alternating baits between flake and small bits of crust off the sliced loaf. Finally, in the inside crease swim, I had a second bite of the day on crust and this produced a much bigger fish, weighing 5-01. Its possible this was a re-capture as it had a very distinctive set of deformed scales on one side and I seem to remember seeing this before. So the five hours of hard fishing finally paid off.

Not a great photo. It was just beginning to get a bit dark and I had to use a much wider aperture, which messed up the depth of field and resulted in the background being in the best focus.

I fished on till near 7:00pm but no more bites anywhere. The forecast for Wednesday night is that it will be 10C higher than last night. I am no longer planning to fish tomorrow, but might go out Wednesday morning for a couple of hours float fishing again. But Thursday will be a very serious fishing day. I am pondering on fishing corn over hemp, with maybe some meat bait as well. The temperature rise might just tempt barbel to feed and they wouldn't be so keen on bread.

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