THE TOTALLY AWESOME FISHING SHOW – LATEST NEWS
12th FEBRUARY 2015
Well don’t say I didn’t give you some good suggestions last week. I mentioned that the action was good at Dever Springs in Hampshire when I dropped in there for a chat. So I decided to take my own advice and took a day off from the property roundabout of work to actually grab some of the goodies. In fact the day started with a clear blue sky, temperatures slightly above freezing, but feeling about 5 below due to the effects of the easterly that was blowing all the way from Siberia. There was only one other angler and he seemed to finish and leave about half an hour after I started. It was around lunchtime before I rocked up, but I worked on the assumption that few hardy souls would venture out in such a biting wind. I kept any breeze to my back as anything side on sent the fingers numb in ten minutes. I did not want to strip fly line with gloves so I suffered the chill. There would be no insect life about in mid-winter so any food for the rainbows would be in the shape of the roach fry. For that reason I wanted one of Sid Knight’s Damsel patterns with the tungsten bead head to get it down a foot or so on the floating line. Leader was 8lb fluorocarbon (all I had, I don’t like fluoro), 9 feet long, and 9ft 6 inch 6/8 flyrod. It was all carbon, so stiffer and better for pinging out a long line. Being spring fed, the lakes are always clear, but in winter they are like Gin and I could see the fly coming back through the water if I stripped it in near the surface. I got the first Rainbow, a 5-pounder after about ten casts, but then I had trouble locating any more. In cold water the rainbows are way more active, covering the whole lake as cold water means high oxygen content so they will always be on the move. Eventually I spotted a couple of swirls, though whether they were chasing roach fry I couldn’t be sure. If you see moving fish you should really cover the area immediately, and after a couple of swim moves I was in again, this time over 6lbs. Way better than working and although cold it was great to get a bend in the flyrod. I was filming as well so look out for an upcoming fly film. I finished with another two rainbows later in the afternoon so it confirmed that my hunch the previous week had been a good one. If you are “fish hungry” why not give Dever a go. It certainly re-charges the batteries.
Perch are also coming out all over the place. Largely because they are turning into the species of the moment, and drop-shotting for them is so easy. Travel light and enjoy your fishing. Seems more and more anglers are getting the mobile approach.
Only today I talked with a seriously hard core big carp angler and he told me he had just become marginally obsessed with Thames Barbel and had set up with all new Barbel gear. Nice to see the change from standard carping to other species. And his mate was on his second day Perch fishing instead of sleeping in a bivvy waiting for Gerty the Thirty, or One-eyed Jake to hook themselves and wake them up with a buzzer. I think our all-round angling films has slowly forced the angling market back to the good old days forty to sixty years ago, when obsession for a single species wasn’t the be all and end all of life. Most of the top specimen anglers could reel off a list of several different species of creditable weights, not just a list of balloon bellied “named” fish. I reckon two generations have missed out on real coarse fishing, but there is no doubt by our own emails from viewers that coarse anglers are trying sea, and big fish hunters trying the more skilful art of floatfishing rivers. Great to see, and I am sure it will be to the benefit of angling as a whole with more youngsters wanting to rack up as many different species on as many grades and types of tackle as they can.Variety,as the saying goes, is the spice of life.
UPDATE: Also took a last minute Pike trip down to the Dorset Stour, despite rumours that it had been hammered by anglers and Otters. It was a peculiar day. Not a breath of wind, overcast sky, very low water level, but I had a problem Mike had found on another small river. The flow, despite lack of rain, was really fast. I guess the lower level had make it speed up, and there were a lot of boils and swirls, which made it difficult to twitch the Sprat through at the depth I wanted. I covered a huge amount of water, and every spot I would normally stop at had masses of boot and wear marks by other anglers. I mean it looked like a platoon had been through the swims on manoeuvres!! There was a certain clarity about it, for the Stour anyway, but an almost imperceptible brownish tinge as though something microscopic was being carried in suspension. I took only three Pike, biggest about 7lbs, and turned over nothing larger, despite putting double SSG shot on to get down. While I did have another few takes, I missed three in a row on the strike. Smaller Pike I’m guessing but I don’t think they liked that extra SSG weight. On a 3 mile “yomp” up and down the river over a 6 hour period I did not see a single angler, which considering it was in good level and near the end of the season meant maybe other anglers knew something I didn’t. That’s now the second time I’ve struggled down there, and a few days earlier an angler up my way had been down there and seen a 16 pounder up on the bank in the bushes. Seems the work of an otter, and a double figure Pike must take some years to get to that size, which is one hell of a waste when it doesn’t eat the rest of the fish. So I think I’ll give that stretch of river a miss for a couple of years. Seems like good numbers of Pike for a day’s fishing is getting harder and harder to find. I’m almost looking forward to the end of the season when the rivers close so I won’t have to worry about the Pike fishing.
Have a good one, and crack out as many trips as you can between now and when the season ends. There are always some really good fish of a variety of species falling to anglers at this time of year…
It’s been a case of get out when I can this past week. I went for a dropshotting session last Saturday, and as Graeme mentioned, the river was low but pushing. The clarity was also a little coloured, which was odd given that we have not had much rain at all lately. I guess it’s because it is so low. It did mean that the whole dynamics of the river have changed. Swims that were previously good Perch holding spots are now occupied by fast water. I did manage to find a few slacks and flicked the new Roach DS 3″ from FishAction on the money. Lucked out on two fairly nice pike. One just above 6lb and the other 7 1/2 lbs, which is a new P.B for me on the dropshot gear. The 10lb fluorocarbon held up fine. There seems to be a debate going at the moment as to the dropshot fishing technique. Most people absolutely love the technique. But there are those out there who wished to see it abolished. They say it’s a danger to the Pike as you are not using a wire trace. I can say that I’ve hooked and landed over 6 Pike on my dropshot gear, not because I have targeted them, but because Pike and Perch generally operate in the same areas. I have found that every Pike I have caught has been hooked right in the scissors of the jaws, with the lure incredibly easy to unhook. I feel that this is because you are in constant contact with the lure and because it is generally and up and down motion, the lure is already rising up as the Pike snap at it. The fluorocarbon is tough material that has good abrasion resistance qualities and providing that you play the fish with the right amount of reel drag and keep it away from snags, you will most likely be able to land them. I did also manage 4 small Perch on that session but it ended ubruptly when I realised I forgot to bring more dropshot weights.
I have been pretty busy with the teaching lately. Writing exams, marking exams, refereeing rugby games and teaching health related fitness lessons in PE. But now that the evenings are starting to draw out, I will be keeping a weather eye on the river conditions to look for some cheeky evening drop shot sessions. It’s well known that dawn and dusk are when the predators come out!
Being an avid rugby fan, I was most pleased with England’s 21-16 win over Wales. The first 15 minutes were shocking, and I honestly thought we were in for a cricket score. But the second half was a whole new game! The defence was awesome, coming up in the line quickly and pressurising the Welsh attack. Given that it was our “B” team, I think they played brilliantly and I hope that we continue with it against Italy this weekend!
Good luck to anyone out fishing this week. I have a half term next week and have lots of fishing planned. The first of which is the filming of episode 2 of our new carp series “Bite Time”. Check episode one out here.