A Tough Plan B Session

Silverfisher

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Well the plan today was to get back out on the Thames for the first time in 3 weeks back when I had my last good Thames Roach session of the season before the cold weather arrived. However whilst it had got back to the temperatures that we had in the autumn it had got a hell of a lot wetter as well so the river had absolutely flown up in the last 48 hours. So most the morning was spent moving from stretch to stretch trying and failing to find somewhere that was both fishable and not a mud bath before giving up to plan b of the canal. I hadn’t fished it since a trio of short afternoon sessions quite early in the summer so didn’t mind the change of scenery having exclusively fished rivers since the start of July. It looked spot on colour wise and for the time of year you couldn’t ask for much better weather but the water was still very chilly from the cold spell so was always going to be tough. Not really worth a report tbh but got to be consistent with reporting both good and bad sessions.

After touring the various river stretches it was about 10 before fishing commenced and as it expected it was quite slow but just about acceptable to start with given the cold water. In the first two hours I had a dozen fish most being just about acceptable roach with a couple pretty decent skimmers. Around 12 the swim just died though and no matter what I did I couldn’t but a bite before giving in to the boredom and packing up around 2. Was a little 6 man 4 hour match on as well and whilst a couple guys did ok ish with 5lb somethings I believe the best other than that was not much more than a couple pounds which was probably equivalent to what I had so at least everyone was struggling. General consensus was that despite the mild day it would need a couple more mild days to get the water temperature up enough for the fish to feed consistently rather than just for a short spells which makes perfect sense really as no one could catch consistently for any real length of time. Still it was nice to just get out on the bank again after the 3 week break.

Not that it was very successful but the tackle for the day was the 13ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1g drennan loaded crystal insert waggler to a size 20 to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon set up to fish dead depth in probably 3 and bit foot of water. Could have fined down more I guess but bit risky with the big perch and hybrids that frequent this stretch. Only successful hook bait was single red maggot over loose feed of red maggots and frenzied hemp groundbait.

My grandad was back with me again today after missing the last Thames Roach session before the freeze. Fishing the same method he probably caught a similar amount of roach but a bit more spread across the first 3/4 of the session before his swim died as well and instead of skimmers he had a couple good perch probably either side of a pound and a half.

So all in all bit of a tough session to say the least and I expect our late arrival saw us miss the best of the days fishing. But still as I say was nice to get out again after the cold weather and can’t really expect the fishing to be as consistent now as it was pre the cold weather. I’m off work tomorrow so tempted to give it another go in the hope that the extra mild day might pick up the sport a bit but do think it’ll need another couple mild days given how cold the water was so will see how I feel in the morning. Won’t be going to the river that’s for sure probably be next weekend before that’s dropped enough for my sort of fishing let alone tomorrow!

Just a pic of the swim today and one of the skimmers.

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tipitinmick

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Nice one. Well done on getting out there. That pad across ……. Thats @Total’s second home is it not ? 🤣. Seriously though. Well done fella. Great write up with some great pics. Thanks for sharing. 👍
 

Silverfisher

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Nice one. Well done on getting out there. That pad across ……. Thats @Total’s second home is it not ? 🤣. Seriously though. Well done fella. Great write up with some great pics. Thanks for sharing. 👍
Thanks mate, like to report as many sessions as I can so to show the reality of the balance between good days and bad days. Thankfully have far more good days than bad days in the summer and autumn but in the winter and even early spring it tends to go the other way 😅

And yes nice houses arent they there’s 4 across there so I tend to rotate between which one I sit in front of as the swims are much of a muchness. Not very private though can see right in! Thames side houses work as its wide enough to have some separation between them and the far bank but the canal is narrow enough that you feel like you’re in their gardens 😂
 

Silverfisher

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I dare not ask what you do when you need a pee. 🤣🤣.
Thankfully there’s a hedgerow behind so just go in amongst there. Much trickier up in the marina though as it backs onto the train station so no choice but to pee up against the wall with your head above the parapet so to speak which must look very odd to people arriving on the trains 😅
 

tipitinmick

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I used to fish Trent winter league matches on the Beeston canal right in the middle of Nottingham. Main road only 20m behind you. Bus stops, shops all bloody sorts. I’m sat fishing when I can hear a trickle of water to my right. I looked across and it’s an angler peeing down one of his pole sections into the canal. 🤮🤣🤣. Well, when you’ve got to go you’ve got to go. 🤣🤣
 

Silverfisher

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I used to fish Trent winter league matches on the Beeston canal right in the middle of Nottingham. Main road only 20m behind you. Bus stops, shops all bloody sorts. I’m sat fishing when I can hear a trickle of water to my right. I looked across and it’s an angler peeing down one of his pole sections into the canal. 🤮🤣🤣. Well, when you’ve got to go you’ve got to go. 🤣🤣
That is pretty inventive! Reminds me of when people pee over the side on charter boats. Will just be fishing away minding your own business when you hear what sounds like someone pouring a drink over the side only to turn around to see a bloke relieving himself over the side right behind you!
 

Dropon

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Seen a few top anglers use a pole section, mostly when the big matches were fished on Trent embankment.
 

Silverfisher

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Well had another tough session on the canal today not worthy of its own report so thought I’d tag it on here. Was going to go to the Thames given it’s now dropped from its near flood last weekend and has been mild all week especially as I’d heard a few positive reports from it for the first time since later November. But the temperatures have started dropping again in the last couple of days and an easterly was forecasted today (which didn’t really materialise in the end) so with the prospect of sitting on an exposed muddy river bank with fish possibly now back off the feed again I wimped out and went back to the canal. Now in hindsight probably not the right decision but you live and learn.

Basically like last weekend I only caught about a dozen fish but this time over more time so it was even slower! Again it started well then shut up shop. Not sure if it’s short feeding spells in the cold, not many fish in front of me or me messing it up but it’s certainly been tricky last couple weeks. My grandad was with me again and had a bear identical catch so whatever the reason it clearly effected both of us. Was never going to be easy with such cold water but it has been unusually hard given the weather on the fishing days themselves hasn’t been too bad even if it was much colder today than last weekend. Didn’t help today that the surface was covered in leaves which lead to many a fluffed cast and missed bite mind you. Whilst it was pretty much the same amount of fish as last weekend today it was different in its make much with the mostly roach and a few skimmers of then changing to just a couple roach and mostly perch and skimmers this week. That figures given the colder weather although doubt there was much difference in the water temperatures. One redeeming factor was that a couple of the skimmers were a really nice size certainly closer to proper bream than they were typical skimmers.

So all in all a bit of a struggle again but whilst you get far more good days than bad in the summer and autumn you got to expect the opposite in the winter months I guess. Probably would have done better on the river really but never mind. At least did have some genuinely nice fish this time though. Plan is to be back out Monday certainly river fishing but rather than the Thames possibly the Avon as been quite a few positive reports this week and with the temperatures continuing to drop it’s generally not as badly effected by the cold as the Thames. Will see quite what the weather presents first though!

Pic of the swim which as you can see is next door to last weekends one and one of the bigger skimmers.

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Ivan heaphurst

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Nice one. Well done on getting out there. That pad across ……. Thats @Total’s second home is it not ? 🤣. Seriously though. Well done fella. Great write up with some great pics. Thanks for sharing. 👍
I bet you have to fish with the little pinkie pointing out, fishing op a posh place like they facing you.
 

Silverfisher

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I bet you have to fish with the little pinkie pointing out, fishing op a posh place like they facing you.
There’s 4 houses along there with a right missmash of residents. The one in the first picture has a fairly typical I suppose sort of middle class family and the one in the second picture an old American lady. Then at one end there’s a funny looking quite scruffy looking couple and at the other end I think an Asian family. I wouldnt really say any of them are posh. The American is probably closest if there’s such thing as a posh American 😂
 

JLK

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Loads of colour in that canal or it looks like there is. Ours are crystal clear at this time if year.
 

Silverfisher

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Loads of colour in that canal or it looks like there is. Ours are crystal clear at this time if year.
Yeah it’s got quite a nice colour most of the time. If you hook a decent fish you can see them pushing a couple foot down at times but you can’t see through it very well otherwise so probably about a foot of proper visibility. It’s next to a marina so there’s always a few boats moving any time of year which I guess stirs it up.
 

tipitinmick

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I bet you have to fish with the little pinkie pointing out, fishing op a posh place like they facing you.

Can you imagine living there mate ? …. Sat in your garden fishing, missus fetching you a beer now and again, float going under, swinging nice silvers to hand. Oh bliss. That’s my pic of heaven is that. 😍
 

Silverfisher

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Can you imagine living there mate ? …. Sat in your garden fishing, missus fetching you a beer now and again, float going under, swinging nice silvers to hand. Oh bliss. That’s my pic of heaven is that. 😍
Wouldnt be bad at all would it especially as there’s a good pub and train station within walking distance! There’d be better fishing and scenery and more privacy from a Thames side house but that would cost twice as much and pose the risk of flooding so there’s a lot to be said for living canal side from that point of view.
 

tipitinmick

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Wouldnt be bad at all would it especially as there’s a good pub and train station within walking distance! There’d be better fishing and scenery and more privacy from a Thames side house but that would cost twice as much and pose the risk of flooding so there’s a lot to be said for living canal side from that point of view.

I’d have to be on poor pensioner Ukzero1’s money to buy a place like that. Nah, unless those six numbers come up it looks like I’m staying put. 😩🤣🤣
 

Silverfisher

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Well had another plan b or technically plan c session today and again it was a tough one on the canal not worthy of it’s own reports so thought I’d just tag it on here again. Plan A was to fish a big natural lake but after blanking on one yesterday I thought a repeat was probably likely so I had decided to try a commercial. As it’s not that far away I thought I’d try bishops bowl as its looks quite nice on its website so went to have a look. However either it looks very different in the nicer times of year or they have very good photographers as tbh the place just looked like a dump. So I scrapped that idea and with the rivers if anything getting higher again after starting to drop it was back to the canal.

Eventually started fishing just before 10 in mild fairly calm weather and the first hour by this canal in winter standards was reasonably productive. Then about 11 it absolutely tipped it down for ages to the extent that I spent the next hour stood under a tree! By the time it had stopped enough to resume fishing the wind had got up and whilst it wasn’t particularly strong or cold being a southerly (would have been a decent upstream trotting breeze!) it was completely stuffing up presentation so very little was caught over the next two hours. Last hour it dropped off a bit so had a few more fish up until packing up just after 3. Probably had less than 20 fish, mostly perch and skimmers with a few roach and hybrids so continuing the theme of this canal in winter of it being hard. Didn’t even get any bonus fish today although the stamp was still good so was far from all bad and certainly can’t complain about being cold given how mild it was even if rather wet and windy.

Given the sustained mild spell I really thought it would fish a bit more like it does in the warmer months today. Well I’m sure it would have done for a better canal angler I just can’t keep the fish coming seems to just be brief spells if bites. The wind certainly hampered it at times but still shouldn’t have been that hard. I even tried fining right down at times today to no avail unsurprisingly given there was zero visibility after all the recent rain. Even so whilst I’m sure that (along with tiny baits) would bring more tiny fish at other times I don’t think it would bring many more good stamp ones at least not enough to be worth the inevitable break offs from the usual appearances from bigger fish. Taking the lack of visibility into account I even added a bit of sweet fishmeal groundbait to my usual natural groundbait today to add a bit more smell given I suspected it would be more skimmers than roach but didn’t seem to do much either. Well at least nothing good!

So all in all bit of a struggle again on what is a bit of a head scratcher of a venue at this time of year. But it was still nice to be out in such mild if a little wild weather this time of year and on the canal is still the next best place to be after the rivers even if it is a lot harder to fish! Well the big lakes are nice as well but not so much this time of year it seems after yesterday as even today was good compared to that.

Theres still more rain forecast so can’t see any river fishing any time soon so next session will be on the canal again. Tomorrow is looking soaking so will see if I can get out Monday as it currently looks fairly dry and only marginally cooler than today. Looks to have more west in the wind as well which would be less directly up the canal which could help a bit. Bit of a temperature plummet after that so hopefully it’s dry enough to go monday!

Pic of the swim, a perch and a couple skimmers.

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tincatim

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That’s a decent result really from a winter canal. If yours is anything like the one near me then it’s always hard work in the cold.

I can’t help but wonder if the people in that house across think you’re spying on them 😂 it does look a great place to live though, I’d be fishing every day if that was my garden.
 

Silverfisher

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That’s a decent result really from a winter canal. If yours is anything like the one near me then it’s always hard work in the cold.

I can’t help but wonder if the people in that house across think you’re spying on them 😂 it does look a great place to live though, I’d be fishing every day if that was my garden.
If it was proper winter weather then I’d consider it a decent result but given how mild it is it should surely be fishing much better so think I’m just getting it wrong somehow 🤔

And yeah I have to keep rotating between the houses I sit in front of to make it look like I’m at least spying on all the houses rather than just one! Would be a great place to live. The main benefit would be being away from the walkers and boats that side as could fish more in the warmer months when the fishing can be great but is a bit too busy on the towpath side most of the time then.
 
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Silverfisher

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Was another match on there today with an even worse result than the one a few weeks ago so maybe it’s not just me making it look difficult perhaps it just is difficult this time of year for no apparent reason 🤔

Was set on trying again tomorrow but that’s made me less enthusiastic. I probably still will go there though as with the rivers still stuffed after more rain today there’s not many other options that offer some shelter from this relentless wind. I think on balance I’d rather catch less for free than pay to get my head blown off somewhere to maybe do well 😅
 
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