Saturday, 21 January 2012
My plan was simple, to fish a single rod and spend twenty minutes in each likely looking swim. Hugh Tempest Sheringham wrote "A float is pleasing in appearance, and even more pleasing in it's disappearance". Like Sheringham I like to use a float wherever possible, so I fished my deadbait well over depth with the sliding float lying flat on the surface.
Like many rivers nowadays I had the stretch to myself and the wildlife. This part of Northamptonshire is a stronghold of the Red Kite. I watched one of these magnificent birds soaring up and down the valley in the strong winds. It wasn't hunting but seemed to be just out enjoying the windy conditions.
Unfortunately my day was cut short mid afternoon when my landing net broke, the metal thread connecting it to the landing net pole had sheared. As the banks were not suited to chinning a fish out I called it a day.
Although I have spent many days in the past piking on stillwaters, and been lucky enough to catch a sprinkling of twenties, frankly I find it all a bit boring! For me, winter fishing is all about rivers and after 30 years I think I have finally found a way to enjoy catching pike. Next winter I will target a twenty pound pike from the Nene.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
I am never in a rush to get on the riverbank at this time of year, and it was late morning before I arrived on the banks of the Upper Welland. Although overcast and unseasonably mild I suspected the clear low water would provide difficult fishing.
As expected I fished the first four swims without a bite, although I nearly hooked a fully grown labrador. The dogs idiot owner threw it's ball into the river just off my rod tip, which was naturally retrieved. Thankfully the labrador somehow avoided tangling itself up in my line.
This was followed by an altogether different bite, the bobbin rising in a jerky manner. Perch thought I , and a nicely conditioned perch of 1lb 7oz was netted. The next perch fell off which as I expected killed the swim.
My next swim was a massive flood raft, Mr Crabtree would have marked this with an X for chub. As expected a chub resulted and a good one too at 4lb 14oz. It had the length of a five but was hollow. Revisiting three of the swims I fished earlier through dusk and into the darkling resulted in three further chub to 4lb 8oz.
What a lovely day on a delightful little river, I somehow think that Mr Crabtree would have approved.