After yesterday’s mostly fishless day, I still had the urge to feel a bend in the rod so I popped down to the local River Dearne. A short session, again with barbel in mind but also to be content with anything.
I arrived ready to fish at 7.45 and stopped by my favourite ‘barbel banker’ swim from last season. The overhanging were trees long gone and had been replaced with reeds and bushes. I don’t think I’ll find many barbel here again now their cover has gone.
Worth a cast though, right? You never know what might be lurking under the steadily paced surface.
I did have three casts here, same set up as yesterday. The first chuck with a pva bag of mixed pellet, the second two with just loose feed. I gave myself 20 mins a cast and ended up with a lost chub that slipped the hook and a landed chub that didn’t…
I decided to move on after an hour and headed down to the slightly deeper water below the footbridge. The river is looking really low and there’s long stretches that only look a foot deep. This time last year I was spotting shoals of bream, chub and carp with my polarising glasses. I haven’t seen a single fish in the shallows this year.
Swim number two:
Same approach here, 8mm spicy sausage pellet hair-rigged to a size 12 Guru MWG, I started with a 3ft hooklength but reduced to 2ft after getting lots of plucks and taps on the tip. The bites weren’t developing into hook ups, as you can see here:
Would you hit that?
The shorter hook length made the difference, I had two chub from here between two and three pound.
One was a slow steady pull, the other bolted downstream stripping line off the baitrunner. Nice to be into some action at last. The next bite was a fairly confident one, I assumed it was a chub for a few moments, only to be surprised to see this had taken the 8mm pellet.
To be fair to the roach, it’s mouth was pretty much 8-10mm wide. I eat pizzas bigger than my head and nobody complains.
I wanted to be home by 11am, so I decided to have one last cast at 10.45. I set a timer for 7 minutes and started packing some bits away. With 2 minutes left the tip bent over and I was into my last fish. Alas not a barbel, nor a chub, it fought like a bream but wasn’t. I was very pleased to slip the net under what was my biggest ever Ide! I weighed it as it seemed really long, it was 4lb 4oz and a cracking fish to finish on.
So a decent first trip to the Dearne. The barbel will be a whole new challenge now the landscape has changed but thats all part of the fun. I won’t be fishing it quite as much but I will look forward to every trip.
We've all had those moments, you get a bite, strike and all of a sudden the reality hits back you've got something out of the ordinary, special, humongous even, on the other end.
You play it in taking care, looking around making sure the landing net is to hand, thoughts running wild with what is it, what to do next, how long will it take to get in, being under tackled for it, playing it too hard or not enough. The adrenaline pumping as you realise this is the one, and the moment of disbelief and disappointment as the hook pulls and the monster from the deep parts company
I had it happen twice in the same session within a short period of time the other day. I'm sure it was the same fish, possibly a Pike or even a catfish, whatever it was felt very heavy, a lot of weight behind it and no chance of stopping it when it tore off, then gingerly playing it back in, only for it to happen again, and finally part company.
Up and out early this morning and after a very painful fuel stop I arrived at statham pool for 5am. The sun still hadn't broken over the trees on the Eastern bank and the pool had a thick layer of mist across its surface. Unsurprisingly I had the pool to myself.
After choosing a swim on the southwest of the pool, I went and unloaded the truck, deciding to travel lighter than usual as the narrow, high track around the pool may have been awkward for the barrow.
even though i was travelling lighter than usual i knew i still needed a few things to make the day more comfortable. With a drainage ditch (like a swamp) runnig through the wood to the east the pool, it holds quite a few mozzies. It was also going to be bright and hot.
The carp rod was setup first as I noticed them in the pads to the right of my swim. I soon had them slurping bread but I never actually got to fish for them as I noticed others were also spawning.
It worked a treat. It even gave a few clues as to what lay beneath the surface...
After the swim was raked I baited a spot along the edge of the pads with scopex flavoured micros and a few maggots before leaving it to settle down. My float rod was setup in this time. The setup consisted of a 10ft rod and 3000 size reel with 5lb mainline. A 2bb float on an adapter and hooklengths/ hooks from 12-18 and .15-.16ø depending on bait.
It wasn't long after setting depth and adding bait that small roach and perch began to show. One a chuck on maggot and worm.
BUT NOT ALL WAS WELL...
After around 30 minutes of catching an almighty explosion went off in the swim when retrieving a small roach. I assumed it was the spawning carp, until i lowered my polarising glasses. Then I saw it...
From that moment on every silver became a target from multiple little demons on both sides of the swim. One roach was stolen along with the hooklength and I ended up having to swing them in and throw them between the pads to get them back safely.
A few minutes later the stolen roach surfaced obviously injured and on its last fins! This gave me an idea...
HUNT THE HUNTER
I had a small lure hanging from my rear view mirror in the truck as a garnish. I went and got the trace, removed the lure and attached a size 6 carp hook to the snap link on the trace the now deceased roach was hooked and the trace attached to the carp rod. Time for the predator to become the prey...
He was safely relocated at the other end of the pool and the float fishing was back on. Unfortunately it didn't last long before a new villain would show up. Again the same roach was used to trip him up.
A few good fish followed...
But unfortunately so did the Jack's. I repeated the procedure with another two pike before deciding to call it a day when I spotted a fifth larger one move into the swim. I didn't think it fair to have them keep running the gauntlet.
All said and done it wasn't what I had expected but it certainly wasn't a bad day either. I now know my winter pike venue plus I also managed to get a few nature shots in...