Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Swinging Brace

Yesterday I had the day off work and we had a good tour of South Derbyshire having a Kelly brew at Calke with a nice cake and then an impromptu barby for tea at Elvaston Castle. Arriving home at just after 1800 I secured a pass out and headed off for Triangle. I have been concious that I caught no tench on my last trip and only one on the visit before. Finding my favourite float fishing swim occupied by two carp anglers I dropped in next peg up and float fished for an hour or so without any offers. Then I upped sticks and made for another swim where I had previously hooked and lost a good fish on the feeder. This was again the method I chose using that most traditional of indicators the swingtip.
As darkness fell the tip began to register some interest. I think the combination of clear water and fishing pressure has made the fish a lot shyer than they were in May. At 2130 the tip shot up and I felt solid resistance and after several spirited runs the fish above came to the net. Recasting back to the same spot near some overhanging trees yielded another fish ten minutes later. This fish was smaller but put up a great account of itself, I was convinced this may be the 6lb'er I have been after from Triangle until I saw it in the net. Unfortunately seeing was now becoming a bit of a problem as I had yet again forgot my torch and start to whittle about un-hooking the fish safely so called it a day.
What a day it was as well, out in the South Derbyshire countryside during the day with my family, a few nuked snorkers and burgers washed down with a can of Bass for tea, and a brace of Tench on the swingtip to cap it off. They don't get much better than that.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Black Pool

This pool is one of the DRAC waters that gets rarely fished these days. I have fished it in the past but it was about 20 years ago. After some debate on the DRAC forum I had arranged to meet Chris yesterday morning to give it a go. I was feeling a little delicate after a few glasses Hardys Bin 53 to wash down some bubbly at a party to see some good friends of ours off to Oz. Chris was clearly more spritely than me and was eyeing up the swims as I arrived. He had already found a bulk spool of approximately 25lbs bs line to add credence to the rumours that the pool has been fished somewhat unconventionally by residents of the Ukraine Centre from whom DRAC rent the fishing.
The pool was also heavily weeded with a healthy growth of pond lilys. We struggled to find a couple of swims that were fishable and I would suggest any other prospective anglers took a weed rake. We ended up with Chris and I fishing at opposite ends of the pool in our chosen swims.
Maggots were my chosen bait as I often use on a relatively unknown water as a good prospective offerinf for most species. The pool was a lot deeper than I remember it dropped off pretty quickly to about 9' two rods out.
Bites soon came and I caught plenty of small rudd, perch, chub and the odd roach. I was joined by Derrick after a while who had wandered down to see how we were going on. That was a sign of course for the bites to dry up but we did notice some flashes below the water which could have been a predator at work.
Mt best rudd that was all of 4oz at best fell to bread after bites had all but disappeared on maggot. Chris pesevered with some bite to tempt a better stamp of fish and also fished a little longer. His dedication payed off with a nice bream after I had left. He has a picture of this and here is a link..


Derrick and I put the world to rights on our common interests of the great fishing available on the DRAC ticket, canoeists, and the demise of the DAA. Black Pool has a lot of potential but as all waters will require some time putting in before it reveals all of it's secrets.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A Busy Evening at Scropton

Unfortunately it was busy in terms of the number of anglers out and not from what I saw the number of barbel caught. I have not seen too many others on this stretch but there were plenty on last night. Of the five others guys I spoke to only one had caught a billy and he was fishing in the swim that I usually make for which I think is one if not the banker on this stretch.
I dropped in a bit further downstream just next the chap from Buxton who has given me some good advice but whose name I keep missing.
This was on quite a slow stretch with a run of steel reinforcements on the opposite bank. The river is not too wide here and I tackled it with my normal feeder set up and pellets. I caught two chub and the barbel above before packing up just after 2200. I did not weigh him but he would have been lucky to get to half the size of the one I caught a couple of weeks back, nevertheless a superb fin perfect fish though.
Plenty of talk on the way back to the car on it being pretty hard at the moment and not nuch coming out of Tutbury either. I think the rivers need a good flush through, the recent rain has given them some well needed colour but they could do with a load more.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Yesterday eveing I managed to get down to Triangle for the last couple of hours. On my last visit the water was absolutely crystal clear and I was pleased to see that the rain has given it a slight tinge again. Unfortunately there were no tench which I was hoping for. My hot bait this year has been prawns but for the first time in my favourite swim they failed to tempt a tinca. I did however catch a couple of greedy perch around 6oz and I suspect that from the way my float continually bobbed and dipped that a shoal was in residence.
There were two other anglers who had fished since mid afternoon and they too had struggled. One chap had a tench and the other had blanked.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

River Dove Scropton

After a day at work followed by a school meeting the cabin fever had built up sufficiently not to let a bit of light rain put me off. In fact it was pouring down when I left Chellaston but had slacked off by the time I arrived at Scropton just before 1930.
It was then pretty damp all evening and the fishing was not as productive as my last trip. First cast did yield a chub and then I followed up with another about an hour later. No barbel however and I finally retired at about 2215. That first barbel has really got me hooked but I may now start to explore some other swims or perhaps try Tutbury as one billy from 3 sessions does not stike me as brilliant unless this barbel lark is a lot tougher than I had imagined.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Trent & Mersey Canal

This morning I managed to prise my son out of bed and avoid any handily placed Nintendo DS, PSP, laptops, tellys, etc and we set forth for an hour or so on the canal. I have been trying to get him out for a while and hopefully we would get a few small fish to keep Sam interested on the cut. I know the boats are now unbearable at the weekend and it has changed so much since I was a schoolboy and I suppose it shows as a society how much more affluent we are with the amount of part time Captain Pugwashes'. The canal can provide some good fishing and I would guess that a lot of anglers circa my vintage learnt a good deal of their craft on these waterways. Just to put some scale to the amount of boats their are now Marinas at Shardlow, Mercia (Findern), Stenson, and Barton. 30 years ago the only one was Shardlow and that was just taking off.
Back to the fishing and second cast Sam had a small bream which made him pleased as punch. He followed this up with a perch and then a gudgeon all taken in about an hour.
I managed one bream and this was no surprise as the kids always outscore me on these trips. I've worked out there are two reasons for this. Firstly, my role is mostly as ghillie in charge of un-tangling and baiting up the hook. After getting Sam going I set up another rod and then also fish the near shelf so I can keep an eye on his float as well. I am convinced the second and most relevant is that the kids fish with an old 6' solid glass rod and consequently end up tight against the near bank. I fish with a 12' rod and am further out. Fishing right under your feet seems to yield more fish.
The picture below shows the perch Sam (quite robustly) landed, it looked quite shocked after being hoiked onto the bank for the crime of trying to procure two bright red maggots.
To get the best of the sport on the canal I would recommend either the first or last two hours of daylight and avoid weekends to give yourself the best chance of avoiding the boats. There are some fish to be had there but the boats do drive me potty.

Monday, 5 July 2010

My First Dove Barbel

This is the story of my first barbel for about 25 years and my first ever from the River Dove. Yesterday I did family duties all day to secure an evening pass out and headed off to Scropton. Fishing the same swim I did on Wednesday I began to wonder if I was fishing the right bit of the Dove for barbel as through the evening I caught five chub. These fish were not in good condition like the brace I caught last week though and the majority were quite tatty which could have been the rigours of spawning. They were between two and five pounds.
My pass had been secured on the basis of returning with chocolate for Mrs Squire and I was starting to get a bit twitchy about the closing time of Tesco Express as the clock passed 2200. One last cast I thought as I launched my feeder into the gloaming at about 2210. By this time the rod was up against what light was left to see the tip. No mistaking this bite however as the rod went hard over. Straight from the off this was a different stamp of fish and initiallY I just held on struggling to recover line. Slowly I worked the fish upstream hoping the hook would hold. The line was singing as the fish stayed close to the bottom. There was a big weedbed in front of me and I knew I must have the fish beaten to net over this. By now I was in the river but did not notice the water seeping over the top of my wellies. The fish rolled on the surface and my jaw dropped. Taking full advantage of this there then came a run of such power that the Mitchell's clutch screamed and the rod was nearly pulled flat against the water. Round the fish came eventually and in it went at first attempt. It had seemed an age but was over in minutes. It wasnt until I went to pick up the net that I realised what a specimen this was. Up onto the bank and quickly un-hooked it pulled Little Samson down to 8lb 12oz. After the fish was safely returned it was now dark and I was running round the bank whooping as if Frank Lampard's goal had been allowed. I made Tesco's and got the chocolate but it was too late for the Sunday license to allow me to purchase a celabratory Speckled Hen. The final twist came as I was unpacking my basket; Little Samson was malfunctioning and became progressively more difficult to deflect. I know he is not the most accurate measure and in some respects the weight is irrelevant but the net is 20" across so any other guesstimates are welcome. What a night, as Arnie said "I'll be back".

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Leuciscus Cephalus

It is many years now since I have been drawn to rivers for some coarse fishing and in some respects my interest in the many different types of angling does tend to wax and wane. This season I have felt an urge to get out and try some of our local rivers and after a quick recce I was out on the River Dove at Scropton yesterday evening. I was of course hoping for something with whiskers and torpedo shaped but ended up being pleasantly surprised by a brace of stonking chub. This fish kept me almost exclusively occupied during my school years with regular trips to the River Derwent at Borrowash. Fishing is still available here on the Earl of Harrington ticket but the extent has been cut back considerably since the late 197o's.
The chub is renowned as a willing feeder and I was glad of this last night. Second cast and my rod went straight over and a fish of 4lb 2oz was soon gracing my net.
The Scropton stretch is another great looking DRAC water and this was the first time I had fished it. I was trying out my latest Ebay purchase; an 11' Daiwa Specialist Avon rod. It says 'Made in Gt Britain' just above the handle which I like. It also handled like a dream and I am looking forward to testing it on something a little larger than these chub.
After quite a few knocks on the tip another good bite produced a real surprise. This was a great looking Brownie of about 1.5lbs. It was a bit overwhelmed though by an avon rod and 8lb Maxima. This would have been a different prospect on fly tackle.
As the light fell I managed the second chub which was an identical weight to the first to make a nice matched pair. I will be back though soon hoping for a barbel.
I have not done much legering previously and I guess i learnt two things last night. First, ignore the taps and knocks and wait for the rod to go hard over. Second, despite my cynicism hair rigs actually work quite well!
No picture of the brownie I'm afraid. I didn't want to cause offence as the 'fly' was hair rigged special recipe meat.