From the water’s edge

Artificial

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June 2013 - Just hanging around

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

 

I love it when a new method catches my attention; a new one to me that  is. I mentioned last week that some drop-shotting paraphernalia was on the cards and it arrived from AGM almost before I had ordered it. In fact the packing was so good it took me nearly as long to get out of the packet. As usual I had taken a stab at ordering what I thought would do and it turned out to be all wrong but that’s another story. I made up a few rigs, ultimately using some long shank fly hooks that I already had rather than the hooks I had incorrectly ordered. They worked just fine, which is more than I can say for my first efforts at this promising method. I wanted to fish a lure in one spot, not necessarily under the rod tip. Dibbling is fine for that but I wanted to hold a bait out on the far side, behind mid-stream onion beds and just off the ‘shelf’ on the canal. This method had to be the answer and to some extent it was. To a much larger extent, due I am sure to my incompetence, lack of knowledge and practice, it wasn’t that effective. I had sneaked out to the canal for a try out at the first opportunity, but little happened. I was able to fish the lure exactly where I wanted it, no problem there, but I was completely ignorant of what action my rod movements were imparting on the lure and whether they would attract or repel the fish. I did have two definite takes on a 4” white Senko worm, but they just felt like tiny perch licking the end of the lure to me  I missed anyway so I shall never know. The wind was a pain and several things became immediately apparent.

 

Eventually I decided that a change of swim was called for and I moved up stream to the next one. First cast , my 10.5 gram lead hit the water and there was an almighty explosion in the shallows and a huge bow-wave roared off downstream. That was the fish of the day departing no doubt. No takes down the side so I decided on a speculative effort behind some rubbish against the far bank . In went the lead out came a 4 lbs chub hot-footing(?) it out of the swim. Second best fish of the day spooked. Not too clever that . No takes at all and I was getting fed up already. I don’t know why but suddenly I remembered those brown trout that we had a few weeks ago and how much they liked the 1” red and pearl kopyto so I changed rigs. That’s another drawback with drop-shotting as well by the way. You can’t just change hook size to suit a bigger or smaller bait whenever you want and you can’t change techniques either without a full break down and re tackle.

Anyway on went the kopyto. Cast out - donk - perch . Put it back, cast out again - donk - perch. Donk perch. Donk - perch. So that’s four in four casts (although one fell off).

Move swims. Donk - perch. Donk - perch. You get the idea. That’s four more for the tally. Fifteen minutes 8 perch on. Two hours drop-shotting - one landed three missed and only two leads lost. Back to the drawing board for me, but I will get it right. It looks too useful a technique to write off just yet.

Further down the river I found a delightful spot where the current came strongly off the shallows into a pool where it raced alongside the bushes on the far bank and then hit the near bank before being pulled over the shallows and away. Loads of holding spots here so I sat down on the bank and started working through them. Although I tried other lures it was the 1” kopyto that caught the fish again. A nice chub of around two and half pounds took with the usual, casual violence of the breed to a deep and very slow retrieve after about half an hour. I let the current take the lure where it wanted really and I was surprised how well it fished  and how deep I could fish it even in a good current on a 2.5 gram jighead. Already I have left the 25 gm rod and 6gm jigs at home and I’m back on the Grey’s g-lite 8-12lbs and 1 - 3.5 gm jigs.

 

 

When dibbling with a jig the action that you impart on the lure begins when you feel the weight of the lure on the rod tip and you raise the lure. With drop-shotting, feeling the weight of the lure signifies the end of the lures most significant action. In both instances of course there is some residual action due to current, shaky hands and wind movement on the line, but I didn’t initially find the the difference between the two methods as easy to get to grips with as I thought I would. I was however convinced that I would catch and actually I did the next day when we got back onto the river. Find attached right a portrait of my first ever drop-shot caught fish. I spent a couple of hours in a likely swim that contained all the features that I expected, even hoped that the method would help me fish more effectively. I lost two leads striking at takes. The leads were of the kind that are secured by twisting the rubber insert along with the line. I twisted them until I couldn’t budge them on the line and they really were very useful when it came to altering depth easily. It’s just that striking hard made the rubber untwist and the leads fell off. I wouldn’t mind but I missed both times. I am not sure that the takes are going to be easy to hit with the line held taught, it looks like an obstruction to the fishes efforts to get the bait into its mouth to me, but then one did ok. Maybe it needs bigger, greedier fish or a slightly less taught line. Time will tell.

The chub was followed soon after by a nice perch around a pound and a quarter. I cast against the far bank bush-line, let the lure sink and began the retrieve. Half way back I stupidly considered the retrieve over and the lure to be out of the zone, so I just wound it straight in and up to the surface where I could see it was being tailed right through the fast water by a decent perch. Muppet. I cast in again and did the job properly the second time and the fish duly obliged. A bit undeserved that one.

We finished with two dozen fish between us by dinnertime and the only other incident of note was when I was asked by a float fisherman to try and catch the pike that was camped on the end of his keep net attacking everything he hooked. I dropped the shad in felt the resistance and struck hooking it neatly in the arse. The guy was impressed to start with but it fell off. So I cast out again and hooked it in the right place this time only to have it promptly fall off again. When I left it was sitting at the end of his keep net once more attacking all his fish having resolutely ignored every lure in my box. My lure-angling reputation such as it was, by now in tatters.

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