Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Small baits, small fish.
I really do enjoy all sorts of fishing but sometimes I feel as though I need a change. This week I decided to have ago for a big perch so my first activity was to catch some reasonable sized livebaits. Typically, the livebaits proved difficult to come by but after an hour of float fishing I managed a couple of five to six inch dace and a roach - pathetic I know but that's the way it was. I set up a simple paternoster with a small lead and a size 6 circle hook. On went one of the dace and I lobbed it out. It was about two seconds before the line tightened and the rod bent - pike! Fortunately I had used a short wire trace so I wasn't worried about being bitten off. I played the pike (about 4lb) in and took its picture before unhooking it. On went another dace, again the line tightened at once but this time it was a snag and the bait came off. One bait left so I crossed my fingers and had another go. No bites so after a couple of minutes I reeled in to inspect the bait. As it skittered towards me across the surface a bigger pike slashed at it. No point trying to catch perch with that in the swim so I dropped the bait back in and it was taken at once. Again I played the pike and took its picture before releasing it. What to do next?
Rather than struggle to catch some more decent baits I decided to resort to minnows for bait. The perch loved them and as fast as I could catch minnows I caught perch. Unfortunately none of the perch were any size and despite the big fat minnows the predators ranged from about three inches to about nine inches long. I caught a perch on virtually every minnow and in fact one bait produced four perch on the trot. It was amusing but not quite what I'd hoped for.
I couldn't face another minnow bashing session so the following day I decided to try fly fishing for chub. As I've often said I'm no great fly caster so I wasn't too confident with the low clear water and bright conditions. I tied on a big, fuzzy dry fly on a size 12 hook, plastered it with floatant and set about trying to find a chub. For perhaps an hour I could only get bites from minnows and I was unable to hook them (or I might have been tempted to leave one on the hook and see if anything took it). Anyway, I was just about deciding to give them best when I came to a gravel shallow with a deep run under some bushes on the far bank. there was a bit of a downstream wind and lots of willow trees behind me so casting wasn't too easy. Eventually I resorted to a sort of roll cast which flicked the fly across to the bushes. On about my third attempt there was a big, bubbly rise and the rod bowed to a decent fish. I leaned back and tried to stop the chub burrowing beneath the bush and, amazingly, I succeeded. Eventually I landed the fish - a four pounder - and unhooked it. I thought I'd have another go with the time delay on the camera but, for some reason it came out fuzzy and overexposed. Anyway, it was a nice fish to end my session and - it made a change.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pike no 1.
Pike no 2.