From the water’s edge

Artificial

 Lite

July 2013 - Nooks and crannies

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.

The switch to the rivers has highlighted something that maybe I ignore too much on the canals. The average angler bait fishing on a river looks for a swim that will give him a nice long trot down with the float or where he can pull fish out from beneath a large feature if he is on the lead. I was reminded today of just how small a feature can hide perch and pike, and how in the past I have had some big fish from tiny gaps in the weed or from under my feet where a few plants overhang the water.

Every swim on this river has an obvious spot, but most of them have nooks and crannies that will produce fish if we bother to drop a bait into them.

 

This pike came from a shallow space between some reeds hardly big enough to accommodate it, but the underwater scenery can be very different from that which we see from above. It pays to put your lure into any corner you can find, upstream or down, near bank or far, fast water or slow. In even the fastest current, there are dead spots that fish will set up home in.

These perch came from fast water, but I am certain that they had found quiet undercuts and back eddies which enabled them to hold station without too much effort, but close enough to the current to pounce on anything going past that looked like food. As usual it was the 1” kopyto that caught the most, if small, fish

 

 

The two in the pictures both took a big hammer shad in a favourite clear water colour of mine- black and copper. Because I was using a fluorocarbon leader, I wanted to use a smaller hook and bait but not having this colour in a 2” size, I simply cut a lump off the front. The long flexible tail still worked just as vigorously and I shall be cutting a few more of these down in the next week or so.

Quite a busy day to day, helped by the fact that number of bait fishermen present is already declining after the initial enthusiasm at the start of the season. It doesn’t take them long to realise that they could be catching 100 lbs of pigs on a small pond a lot more easily. Only the die hard stick float men are still there, skilfully catching some nice chub and barbel. Good for them I say.

Saturday was supposed to be a day out with the camera but one of our number was ill and so Loz and I went fishing instead. He got me a ticket for his club’s gravel pits promising a crack at some good perch. I have fished these waters for years on and off, but I had hardly ever seen one of any size, but as usual, loz was right. Cast there he said, cast there I did. A few turns of the handle and I was dragging something around that suddenly woke up and started shaking its head at me. I knew straight away that it was  decent perch and in the clear water we could see it working away at the end of the line. Bull-dogging I thing they call it in the US. A good description as it shook the bait around like a terrier with a rat. But the hold was good an it was in the net soon enough. Loz dropped it on the scales at 2-6. Another one for the cut-down hammer shad.

We had a couple of pike on but both came unhooked at the edge. Loz was disappointed at first. I was delighted. What are you going to do with a small to average pike anyway? Weigh it - don’t think so. Trophy photograph? Of course not,. So why would you want to land it anyway except to get the hook out? I like them to fall off once they have stopped scrapping. The take is all for me, the scrap can be enjoyable but the unhooking? More trouble than its worth. Crushed barbs and slack line - works every time. No snot on the net, no nicked fingers and a bit less stress for the fish in this blistering heat.

The weather eventually slowed the sport right up. The sun was beating us down and the fish just crept out now and then to goad us on, but we gave it up soon after lunch having and a most enjoyable morning. I wouldn’t mind joining that club but its a lot of money for a couple of trips - I shall just have to keep blagging day tickets off my mates. People reading this must think I am really tight but I’ll have you know I bought Pete a pint once. :)) Mind you he has been paying for it ever since.

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