River Dane Daisybank 07-09-13
The plan was to fish 3 swims in the horseshoe, base camp as always would be Shrinkers swim and we’d double up when Penno arrived and fish one rod each.
I arrived at 1pm and set up in Shrinkers leaving room for Penno who arrived about an hour later. I walked up to meet Phil and tried my new (to me anyway) chair out that he’d kindly picked up for me earlier in the week. It’s the recliner version of the JRC X-Lite and although it’s a bit heavier than my normal non-reclining version it’s worth carrying for those long night time sessions when you can kick back and relax watching the night time activities unfold.
We fished Shrinkers for 4 hours, Phil was on meat straight through to a size 8 cast to the far bank between two runs of streamer weed and I was trying a variety of baits further downstream on the inside. As we expected in bright daylight the rods remained silent apart from a definite chub bite for Phil which he sadly missed.
At around 5:45pm we decided to put some more hemp and caster along with some pellet in and rest the swim for a couple of hours, this gave us the opportunity to go roving around a few other swims in the horse shoe so armed with a rod each and a bucket containing a selection of baits we set off upstream in search of a bonus bite. I dropped into a swim opposite and started with bread flake the centre pin and 3 SSG shot free running weight doing it’s job and bringing everything to a gentle stop amongst streamer weed about 30 yards downstream.
A couple more casts on bread followed by a change to cheese paste which also didn’t produce so I dug out a prawn and hooked it like a soft lure in the hope that a chub would fancy something fishy.
Penno popped back for a chat and said he’d found a couple of lovely looking glides so was going to stick with bread flake, the same set up as me, the 3 SSG shot being just enough to trundle along the bottom and let the long hook link flow naturally downstream amongst the streamer weed.
I eventually moved back to Shrinkers around 7:30pm and settled in for the night. As before I took the inside line and Penno cast to the far bank again on meat where I’d had some success in previous visits.
It wasn’t long before a couple of plucks resulted in the usually wrap around followed by line peeling off as a barbel headed off downstream at a rapid rate of knots.
I finally brought it to a halt some 20 yards past the tree and started to reel it back to the waiting net. Surprisingly it was no more than 4lb but fought well above its weight. Penno took a quick blurry photo (Doh!!) and back it went swimming off strongly into the gloomy depths of the Dane.
Phil left about 9:30pm and I continued into the night trying a free lined slug but the tip didn’t stop still as the eels just played with it and I eventually reeled in for fear of a bootlace eel swallowing the rather large hook.
The swim fell silent around 11:30pm and I should have conceded however being an optimist I continued until 1am before packing up and heading home. The Dane has an intimacy you don’t get on bigger rivers and I’ll no doubt be back next time for more of the same.
River Dane Daisybank 14-09-13
I heard on the grape vine that another member had an 8lb barbel mid week from a swim on a section down stream of the concrete path, I hadn’t been down that end of the river since last season so decided it was time for a change and headed straight for said swim.
Once settled in I could see the streamer weed in a shallow section to the right of the island was where the barbel would approach from and the deeper run in front of this was where I suspected they’d feed particularly in the evening. It was even more obvious from the top of the steep bank and I scattered a few handfuls of hemp and caster in to kick start the session.
My tactics remained the same with meat or pellet on the tip rod and bread crust or flake on the pin which along with 3 SSG shot would be cast out in front of me and trundle down the swim until it settled of it’s own accord.
Around 7pm after a recast I’d just sat down and finished a cup of coffee when the tip on the pin rod swung right around and immediately sprung back, I lifted into nothing and reeled in.
Rebaiting I was starting to realise that chub fishing is a different technique to barbel fishing and more attention needed paying to proceedings. This time I held onto the rod and as the crust submerged about 10 yards down stream I felt a pluck, pluck bang! Instant take and it was game on, despite making a few dives for cover I soon had it under control and it wasn’t long before I slipped the net under a rather nice looking chub and my first caught by touch ledgering.
To say I was pleased is an understatement and it also proved that chub are bold as brass when feeding as I’m sure this was the same fish that ‘did me’ a few minutes earlier. I rested him in the net and he held in the flow until swimming out under his own steam.
As darkness fell I was hopeful of making contact with that big barbel that came out mid week. For the next 3 hours I tried every barbel tactic in the book but eventually I started to pack up happy that my chub had saved a blank. With only the tip rod to reel in I watched the tip flicker and thought I’d knocked it but a few seconds later it was off and I lifted into a fish!! It initially felt like another chub but the determined runs under the rod tip told me it was indeed a barbel. After a short battle I had it in the net, not the 8lb specimen I was hoping for but a fin perfect 4lb was just as welcome and on very last knockings as well.
I’d learn’t another valuable lesson which was chub will take your bait when you least expect it and ‘never say never’ when looking for a last minute fish.
River Dane Daisybank 21-09-13
All good intentions………
Best laid plans of an early visit to our new stretch at Tanyard Farm on the River Bollin postponed due to the fact that I couldn’t get out of bed at 6am so fully refreshed I headed for my favourite River Dane and at 1pm settled into the same swim as last week.
I started off on bread crust but after 2 casts changed onto flake, within minutes of it settling about 30 yards downstream, as had happened last week I had a very firm pull around on the rod tip, unfortunately I missed it so recast to the same spot and this time rested the rod butt on my knee.
There wasn’t much activity after that for a good few hours and Penno arrived about 3pm so we had a chat, he fancied a nice looking swim further downstream on a bend, keen to catch his first barbel on his new rod I wished him luck and settled back down for the afternoon.
Despite trying numerous bait combinations I resided myself to it switching on in the evening when really I should have either moved swims or just gone and done a bit of roving whilst it was still light. In the end I did get the gear together and about 6:30pm wandered off downstream calling in on Phil on the way. He’d been snapped off by a big barbel earlier and was licking his wounds as he’d almost had it on the rim of the net however that had given him renewed hope and he waited patiently for the actions to start.
I walked a further 100 yards down to a likely looking spot and cast a piece of flake in, as soon as it disappeared into the depths I had a twitch on the rod tip, promising I thought so reeled in only to find a minnow attached (Grazy never known to blank!!) unfortunately it had a size 6 hook buried in it’s mouth which had then exited via it’s eye and a few seconds later it expired. Now I know chub are ferocious predators so I recast with minnow attached and sure enough had a pluck as it once again went under the overhanging tree.
I didn’t connect with said chub but proof of concept was successful even though I had to unhook and return the minnow as a freebie.
It was 7:30pm and with darkness looming I put the head torch on and went back to my original swim. Shortly after I had a text from Penno who’d managed a small chub so it game on and I recast the bread flake watching the tip like a hawk, bang it swung around and I struck but nothing there!! A few expletives later off I set the flake again this time holding onto the rod and line firmly in my right hand, I could feel the 3 SSG shot bouncing along the bottom and then almost rehearsed a gentle pull as it settled, I struck more purposefully this time and it was fish on!!
After a confident fight it was landed and I was chuffed, a 3lb chub on bread flake touch ledgering and once again it worked!!
That was it for me but Penno hadn’t finished and short while later had his first barbel to christen his new rod, only an average size for the Dane at 5lb but he was pleased with the result and packed up about 9:30pm. I on the other hand stayed a further 4 hours with nothing more to show for it but that’s fishing and I declared the day a success for us both.
River Dane Daisybank 27-09-13
With a busy weekend ahead and no possibility of squeezing some fishing in I decided to go for a Friday evening on the Dane. I arrived at 4pm shortly followed by Ash who said he was travelling light, by that I think he meant he’d left his chair at home!!
We wandered down the concrete path as the farmer was ploughing the fields and arrived at the swim I’d been fishing for the last couple of weeks. Ash dropped in and I headed for the next swim down stream where Penno had been snapped off last weekend. After baiting up I left making the first cast till 6pm as it was quite bright and the river was running low and clear. I was trying out a new ‘barbel’ bait for a mate, the dumbell shaped hookers where broken up and scattered around two spots. I cast the pin rod in on bread flake slighty upstream and made my first cast with the tip rod on the new bait, it landed straight in the tree ahead but fortunately I managed to retrieve it, second cast and I snagged solid in the trees to my left…..it was going to be one of those sessions!!
I re-rigged the rod and finally managed to cast into the river, nothing for the first half an hour so I moved slight down stream just the other side of the over hanging trees with the centre pin rod and roving gear and spent the next half hour trundling bread flake through a very chubby looking swim but apart from a couple of plucks I had no takers. the foot prints in the sandbank indicated an otter had been about so maybe that’s why it hadn’t been too productive.
I walked back upstream and had a chat with Ash, he’d had nothing either so I continued on and found a nice looking swim with easy access and a large bush on the far bank about 20 yards down stream. Bread flake seemed to be the best option and the first run down resulted in a firm pluck close to the bush, next cast and I was ready but it didn’t come immediately so balancing the rod on the front rest and touch ledgering I waited patiently, sure enough a couple of minute later a short pluck followed by a firm pull saw me strike and I was in. The trouble I’ve found with a centre pin is when the fish comes straight back at you it is difficult to wind like fury and keep tension on the line, fortunately I managed to do it but as usual the chub went screaming passed and dived under the near bank, a short struggle later and his was under control and head up and in the net.
Hearing that wonderful ratchet on the pin Ash made his way around and rekoned it was a good 4lb so we settled on that and a few photos before resting it again in the margins and watching it disappear into the gloomy depths.
After seeing how quickly the bite came Ash went back and got his rod to join me as we continued on upstream. Although extra care has to be taken at night especially on the steep banks of the Dane it is possible to drop into a number of swims and spend no more than 20 minutes just searching it out with ledgered bread flake, I figured that the chub are either there or they’re not but either way you can cover a lot of ground in two hours using that logic.
We ended up in Shrinkers for the final swim of the roving session and Ash had left his gear on his last swim so first cast and I just knew it would end in a take, this it did but so quick are the bites I missed it. In it went again with a new piece of flake attached and within minutes pluck, pluck followed by a pull and I struck this time connecting. As I stood up I offered Ash the rod and he gladly accepted, first time on the pin and struggling to keep up with the chub but he eventually gained control and drifted it into the waiting net.
Didn’t put a weight on it but somewhere around three to three and a half however it was a feisty little devil and decided at one point to slip between Ash’s legs before the photo then proceeded to dive head first into my bait bucket after the photo, it was completely unharmed and safely returned but it did make us laugh and brought the evenings chub fishing to a very nice end.
I should have done the sensible thing and packed up but I was confident that the pre baiting of the original swim would have drawn the barbel in under darkness so I returned to give it a go for another hour. With just the tip rod out I had a few signs of interest but I was fishing for barbel and chub plucks were not what I wanted to see. Another 3 hours later at 2am I conceded defeat and made the slow journey back to the car. It was a lesson learn’t that even if you’re set up for the night in a swim you need to be prepared to move, sometimes the fish just aren’t where you think they are!!
Pike School Bridgewater Canal 29-09-13
A great day was had by a small number of members who benefited from one of the free of charge coaching days by the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain. The well organised event had four different areas where trace making, rod set up, lure fishing and dead baiting were demonstrated by the experts. I took Adam along and we both enjoyed the day so much so you will hopefully see us take up piking this winter!!
If you want to follow Bob aka Grazy and his mates on their fishing exploits as they unfold I usually put a post up on Facebook when I’m out so click the button below.
Till next time tight lines,