From the water’s edge

May 2014 - On the bounce

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 was very ready for a day by the water today. Yesterday evening had involved more stress than I am comfortable with, but that was behind me now. Fishing, beer, food and gardens. One day in heaven for me and I couldn't wait. I am rarely late for anything, and today was no exception, I was banging on Pete's door with fifteen minutes in hand. It is no bad thing at the moment to be rattling down the lanes in my old truck with time to spare. The boat traffic has been building steadily for a few weeks now and in our heads at least, boats restrict our fishing, and yet today would add more doubts about any perceived negative impact that they might actually have.
After a few fruitless casts in my previously favoured areas, I quickly moved up to the lock gates. True, Pete had lost a fish first chuck in open water, but my mind was firmly focussed on last weeks torrent of takes from the white water.

Still in DS mode, to begin with at least, I needed structure to fish to. I still can't find the confidence to use this technique as a searching method and any enthusiasm I have for the method requires a known holding spot to fish on. I rigged up my usual lake fork tail-less shad-like thing in orange and flicked the clumsy but allegedly productive rig into the mouth of the lock.
As seems to be the way, I had two fish in two casts. Both small but perfectly formed 6oz perch. In fact, as is not usual, the takes continued, but I found them hard to hit until I struck on the idea of not striking at all. I enjoyed watching and feeling those little fish rattling away on the end. Sometimes it resulted in the tip pulling slowly round and another stripey swinging to hand. Sometimes they gave up and a bit of movement would be necessary to get them going again. I reckon I had half a dozen before it all went quiet again, beneath the surface at least.

Pete was struggling with the standard methods, so I can confidently say that this was the first time ever, the DS has shown me any real worth. Now I look at it and realise that I need to get my hand in my pocket. When takes dry up, I have no different, effective lures to turn to and the hooks I do have don’t really fit those all that well.

We set off up the canal to the next lock just as the boaters all got out of bed and within minutes, they were doubling up in the locks again and established wisdom suggested our day was already over, nevertheless we pressed on.
The next lock produced late in the day for us a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't so helpful today. A couple of bumps and one small zander aside it produced next to nothing. We turned and headed back the way we had come, but we really had killed the first spot and with two hours left before opening time we needed plan.

That plan was to move past the car and further down the flight to a lock that has produced dozens of small perch on occasion but which has been utterly useless of late. Today looked like being no different. Just odd taps on the DS, nothing on the straight retrieve and my mind was off on its own somewhere. It may have been following the lady joggers in their tight trousers as they jiggled, hopped and bounced away into the distance or merely, less interestingly pondering why it is that the lock gates are always operated by women while their gallant husbands urge them on from the comfort of the admiral's bar stool by the rudder. We are still a nation of Nelson's it seems, even if the flagship is a pencil thin, floating sliver of suburbia. I wonder if anybody has ever sat in the lounge of their home-from-home, corridor of a boat, watching their satellite, getting-away-from-it-all tv, and laughing at programmes about little Japanese men sleeping off a night on the town in a tubular hotel module. Would they see the same comparison that I can? I’m jealous really, I often design canal barges in my head that have casting platforms, rod racks and sideways-facing fish finders!

I was snapped back to a less prosaic reality by a call from Old Pete, lifting a netful of perch from the water. At last, a goer, not huge, maybe a bit over a pound but welcome none the less. I nipped up,the bank for a look and to get a quick picture. Pete had switched to dibbling a small grub on a very light jighead which had produced immediate results from an hitherto dead swim.


I watched him bouncing the lure vigorously up and down (rather like a jogger’s bum!) under the rod for a while, thinking to myself, ‘I wouldn't do it like that’, only to see him netting an even bigger one a few minutes later. 1-10 this time and within a few minutes during a period of heavy boat traffic and from water so dirty, that even a short while ago we would have given up on, he had put two nice perch on the bank.
 I am not proud, I just want to catch fish, so under the pretence of congratulating him, I dropped a small yellow crayfish in the side of his swim while he was looking elsewhere, and it was taken on the drop. A third decent perch. So perch are harder to catch in dirty water - true, still is always will be I guess, but impossible - not at all. The problems are in the head. Maybe they move, maybe a vigorously working bait that isn’t covering any distance (bonkers style in Footy parlance) across the swim is the answer. It certainly was today. Working it hard on the spot; I shall be doing more of that. Hang on. Isn’t that something that drop-shotting might be good for?

artificial lite

Internet explorer>Favourites>AGM discount fishing tackle>drop-shotting lures.

Ping>inbox>you’ve got mail>lloyds bank>you cannot be serious. Ah well, back up in the loft.


journal 2014.





journal 2014.

journal 2013.