On Sunday I met up with Carl and Alex, the youngsters that appear in the Anglers Mail, who had contacted me to create a video for the Nash Peg One website. Travelling up from their Sussex home we met around 9am in my favourite swim on my local river Wey. The earlier frost was just beginning to disappear when they arrived and I was keen on trotting a float through the swim as I had been priming it with maggots for around an hour. A couple of sneaky trots earlier had, as expected revealed the fish were feeding, even though the river was low, clear and cold. The lakes had frozen the previous night such was the coldness and my target was a dozen fish in these conditions and come an hour and a half later two chub, one trout and eight quality dace were in the net and with the minnows hitting everything in sight and other anglers beginning to arrive we decided to move upstream. Every swim I fished produced fish, dace and small trout mainly, and come 1pm we had enough footage to produce the video. This also gave the two lads an hour to fish themselves and from the email received they both caught some quality dace plus a modest chub to Alex. I have since seen the video and was amazed not only with the speed they produced this but its quality. Obviously these guys know what they are doing with a video camera. Keep an eye out as I’m sure the video will be available to view soon.
Monday evening I had a customer that wanted to try and catch a big winter rudd. Anyone that’s been keeping up with my blog will know that I have been having a real head-banger of a winter targeting these with just a few to show for the countless hours that I have put in, yet having caught a few days before felt we had a chance. The weather has been slowly getting milder during daylight, however the temperature soon dropped at dusk and come 10pm just one chance was forthcoming which unfortunately failed to materialise. Although Mark went home fishless the amount of preparation and attention to detail he picked up throughout the session will certainly put him on the right track for the future, and as my policy states, if we return home fishless then a FOC return will be provided, yet I think this will be in the summer now!
Tuesday I was looking forward to a days piking on the Wye but reports are that the rivers fishing badly and as I was teaming up with angling friend Chris who had just blanked there over the whole weekend decided to head to the river Loddon instead. Arriving in the early hours to a ground frost Chris hadn’t even managed to get his second rod out before a run developed that produced a very long double. Thoughts were that we were in for plenty of action, yet come 5pm, and with the temperature now reaching 14 degrees, and after covering two dozen swims between us, just one small jack had shown, once again to Chris’s rod.
On Wednesday I had a customer booked in for a barbel feature finding session, yet due to a breakdown in communication this had to be re-arranged at the last minute leaving myself on the river bank with a few to myself. Trying something different I fished four swims over a five hour period, managing one modest chub which is a result on this stretch.
With the rain finally arriving and temperatures well mild I should be out on the bank, yet a freelance photojournalistic job sent from Anglers Mail needs producing so it’s of to Bedfordshire for the day. Hopefully I will be able to get on top of the job and free some time up on Friday, yet with everything looking spot on, what species will it be?
Everything went to plan, yet by the time I arrived home and manipulated the images it was around 6pm, so l decided to have an early night and set the alarm for 1am, yes 1am! The reason why is with the temperature so good and hopefully with some warm rain water in the river the barbel should be crawling up my rods. I also guessed that other anglers would be on the bank in the evening and felt I would try and fish when the banks were quieter. The stretch I headed for is difficult, a section where one bite is a result, yet on arrival found three bivies in the big fish spots, so much for it being quiet. Covering four swims between the hours of 2.30am and 7.30am produced just one slight rattle. This was my last chance of a massive Loddon barbel but unfortunately one of the big girls didn’t have my name on her. Home by 8.15am I grabbed a few hours sleep before writing up the Anglers Mail article. Although I didn’t catch I did face one of my fears full on. Many will recall a couple of years ago I fell in the Loddon during daylight and struggled to get out, and that was when I had far less clothes on, as it was in July. Since then I have always been apprehensive at roving around a river bank during the dark, yet I have to say I really enjoyed the session and glad that I made the effort.
Having everything set up for rudd fishing and plenty of maggots in the fridge I grabbed the gear and headed to Frensham. Dropping in a new swim I managed to spod some bait out albeit dark, drop the rigs over the top and sit back for a few hours before having to pick the girlfriend up at 11am. Not expecting much I was surprised when one of the bobbins sprung into life. Picking up the rod I instantly new the culprit was a rudd and half way in the other rod signalled a bite. Somehow I managed to net both fish which turned out to be my target species weighing 2lb 1oz and 1lb 15oz. Two more smaller rudd fell before it was time to leave, yet at least Frensham said goodbye for another three months in a nice way.
Last week I mentioned a gadget called the Ball Maker, well I have taken a picture so you can see exactly what it creates. It’s not in the shops yet but is expected to arrive within the next couple of weeks. I suggest you place your order now as they are going to be in big demand when they arrive.