Drove all the way to a fishery in Gloucestershire, intent on creating mayhem among the pike population of a fishery more famous for its Tench. Alas the mild weather meant there were still rakes of sub-surface weed around, and being a gravel pit with contoured bottom it was impossible to find the deeper, weed free holes. Gravel pits are no doubt one of the best places to get big fish of many species, but you really need to be in with local knowledge, as to the exact drop off, gravel bars, and generally weed free spots. So by lunchtime, several hours of heaving Sardines and Sprats around on float gear had waned into the dreaded blank. In fact with the first few casts I had that gut feeling I would be blanking, I imagine a lot of you out there can also get the negative vibes quite quickly. So I sacked the lot and drove back down to Lechlade where I could grab an hour or so on the River Thames. Still low, leaf filled, but quite clear, I thought the predators would be all over the small lures. There was a heavy wind, but it was off my back so more than fishable. Moving around I eventually had one Perch on the lure. So a blank-saver, but a very long drive and a disappointing outcome. Best to take it on the chin and move on. Its fishing, not catching!
Next session was a couple of hours on a small river with Mike. He was on the dropshot, while I opted for running a freelined worm down with the current with just a bb shot pinched on the line. Mike had a nice pike plus some perch. I managed plenty of small perch, but no Chub. It was slow, clear and very good for pike. I decided to go back for a full day and twitched sprat. A good Pike at the top end that might have gone low doubles but it was going blind, And was long and thin. Good start, but that was it.Two bumps from tiny jacks for the entire day, so yet another disappointment. So the Pike gear has been put away and it’s time to start looking at the beach fishing. Just as I was planning, along comes winter storm “Barney” to put that plan to bed. As all shore anglers should know, getting straight out after a winter storm can give great fishing for Cod and Whiting, but this low just sits up off Scotland, spinning away, dragging the gales right along the Southern coastline!! Just can’t seem to win. So it’s into the Totally Awesome workshop to do some more filming for Mike’s sister channel, The Totally Awesome Outdoors Show. Much of my contribution is making stuff out of pallet wood…FOR FREE !!!!….It keeps me amused, and at least doing something constructive when I can’t get out fishing.
I’m planning the beach trip, which over smallish tides might not be great, but I am banking on the churning waves to blast food items out, roll them around close to shore, and bring those Cod and Whiting to within casting Range. Baits will be big as I’m not messing around scratching out pin whiting on half a worm. It’s going to be whole squid, and I’m going to try tying my paternoster rigs almost like a dropshot style as I find any long flowing traces get balled up in rough conditions. Perhaps the tight snoods might alleviate the tangles and a nice Cod actually hooks himself against the tight line. Trouble is all the rain forecast will push up river levels (much needed) but also might flood them. So I think the next week or so I will concentrate on putting a few beach sessions in.Spring tides at dark, with just a bit of wave movement would be ideal, with a squid and black lugworm cocktail.
The films have been going well, and its satisfying to see that a lot of anglers are going back to view our previous films on the playlist of YouTube. That tells me there is not much on television, and some of the comments go right back to our earlier films. And plenty of anglers writing in to thank us for passing on the tips and telling us of their new personal bests. Makes it all worthwhile. With not so long until Christmas contact Mike if you want any of our DVD’s, or Sidewinder lures, or even Braid. I used the 40lb Sidewinder braid recently catching Jacks from the shore, and was pretty pleased with its durability.
I’m giving it a try on an Akios MVR AK100SELECT fixed spool reel from the shore. The reel doesn’t have a particularly long spool, but its casts well, and has an incredible drag setting. It can record up to a staggering 30 kgs of drag, which is well over 60lbs in old money. It has 11 ball bearings and a ball grip on the handle so you can get a whole fistful of power on it when you are cranking back lures. I used it for throwing heavy wedges out for Jacks and Tuna. I never got the Tuna, but the Jacks at least gave me a sample of how it could perform. That drag setting is really smooth under pressure, and can be adjusted in tiny increments to get it just right for the fish you are after. Its heavy in construction which means it should be durable under saltwater conditions. I did get the option to try a couple of other makes my compadries were using and for quality I really couldn’t see the difference. For speed cranking though the retrieve was quite a bit lower than the specialist, expensive reels.
But then again I caught loads of fish on it. I look forward to using it for British beachcasting,and see how it contrasts to my current distance casting favourite, the AKIOS SCORA 80 has excellent line lay, and has been used on loads of our shore fishing films. Check some of them out and you will doubtless see it somewhere. This one looks like it will go the course under most conditions, but it has to chase down my old Biomaster reel which is now in its 30th year without a service. Can’t be bad. I have a couple of original Shimano baitrunners with sticky drags that need servicing, and wish I could find someone who does a bit of part time servicing. I can strip down my big game lever drag reels but don’t want to approach the old baitrunners for fear of springs leaping out at me.
We have plenty of brand new films scheduled, so why not help us spread the word and tell your friends to hit the “subscribe” button. It all free, and you get immediate notice when our latest films are up. Have a good one, and keep an eye on the weather to get out in any gap you can.Once it gets really cold and freezing a lot of the species will get lockjaw. Now is the time to put some time in, with the run-up to Christmas…..Graeme
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It was nice to get out for a short dropshotting session last weekend. Despite the fact that the weather was yet again, awful. It does annoy me, as being a teacher, during term time I am restricted to fishing weekends. Which means that when I decide to fish on a Saturday or Sunday, the weather is generally crap. Any ‘good’ weather windows tend to come about as I’m half way through teaching a Geography lesson. But, as Dad said in his blog, you have to take it on the chin and go for. And this time I’m glad I did! Just a short 2/3 hour session on a small river, and I caught around 7 Perch and a nice Pike. You can watch the episode below. The Pike was caught on a small FishAction Attractor Shad DS 3″ lure. My go-to lure for dropshotting, but I also did well on the Roach DS from FishAction, in light pink.
I have another month left of work, and then I am finished for a couple of weeks. As Graeme says, it would be nice to focus on a bit of beach fishing over the winter months, I am yet to catch a decent Cod from the shore, so this will be one of my targets at some point. Lets just hope the weather plays ball! I also plan to be doing more Perch fishing, as well as some Pike lure fishing. This is all weather permitting…..