What a change the space of 2 weeks can make to the fishing and the weather!
We have gone from cold days with gale force northerly winds from Siberia blowing us off the bank to a glorious heat wave that have really turned the fish on, unfortunately not onto feeding as they’re just turned on for each other and have gone into ‘spawning mode’.
I did get out 3 times last week, once onto the cut and two visits to commercials with mixed results.
AIRE & CALDER CANAL (Great Heck)
On Monday I paid a visit to the Aire & Calder canal at Heck. In April this place was on fire and good nets of roach were being caught along the entire length but a lot of these fish have moved down the canal, into the ‘ressie’ or the ‘Junky’ as they always do to for spawning. I set up 4 rigs (2 squatt, 1 maggot & 1 hemp) and my whip to fish at 3-4 meters and also made up my usual 2 groundbait mixes that I have been using this year.
I also took a quick video to show people that are new to our fantastic hobby how it is important to be just as prepared on the bank before you start and have everything to hand and be comfortable as it is to prepare your gear such as rigs and hooks at home beforehand:
As it has been for a while, the wind played a major factor today and as usual at the start of the day it wasn’t too bad but built up to make the canal resemble the North Sea as the day went on. I started on the squatt line at 8 meters and caught small perch steadily for an hour, so I decided to cup another couple of balls in to try and fetch the roach and skimmers in and went onto the maggot line (13 meters) while it settled and first drop in had a skimmer of about 6oz. I was catching skimmers and the odd roach every drop in but gradually the wind increased and made it impossible, so back onto the squatt line. I was getting Skimmers and roach now on the squatt line but like on my long line the wind was making this difficult to fish too, so now I was left with no option but to come onto the whip.
I then had a couple of hours of great fun, catching plenty of Perch, Skimmers, Roach & Hybrids on pinkie over groundbait before I hit into something solid. I managed to get the fish to the surface and it was a slab of about 3lb that I unfortunately pulled out of and made a right birds nest of my rig as I was bringing it to the net, damn. So I decided to call it a day and finished up with 7-8lb of fish which I was pleased with after a short morning session.
So I got home from the canal and checked out the weather forecast for the rest of the week, surely the met office had made a mistake with their forecast of the guy putting them on their website had been on the ale? Because it said Tuesday was going to be a lovely sunny day with temperatures approaching 24 degrees. I fancied going somewhere that I could leave the pole in the bag and just get the rods out, so decided to go to Tyram.
When I got there at 8am the place was already pretty busy as I dropped into peg 15 on the Island Lake. I opted to fish the method tight to the island.
Now at Tyram there are a number of ‘proper’ lumps as well as the 1-2lb stockies, this along with the fact there are some nice bream and tench and the knowledge I have picked up on the venue when I’ve fished it meant that I would be using a groundbait mix on the feeder instead of just pellets.
I’ve found over time that venues where the majority of fish go up to around 3lb that pellets on the method are best but on a venue where there are a lot of bigger fish in them that a groundbait mix usually comes out on top. Now even though I’m using mainly grounbait on the method I do add a couple of handfuls of 1mm and 3mm pellets, the reason being that sometimes the fish get so preoccupied with the groundbait the start gill feeding on it and giving them something in the mix that they have to ‘crunch on’ helps prevent this. My hook baits I have are dead red maggots, sweetcorn, and pellets in 6, 8 and 11mm. I’d love to try 8mm pop ups but boilies are banned on here sadly.
Well the weatherman was right, it got hotter and brighter and the surface was flat calm, all in all bad conditions for fishing and the fella in the nest peg got it spot on when he said “they’re more interested in f*cking then feeding” I did catch a few stockies but the carp in general just didn’t want to know, thankfully the bream were in a better feeding mood. By 2pm I was sweating like Homer Simpson in a doughnut shop and had ran out of anything cold to drink so I called it a day. I finished up with an estimated weight of around 40lb with around 30lb of that being made up of Skimmers and proper Bream.
BANK END (East Lake)
On Wednesday I was out again at Bank end which is one of my favourite venues and I’ve had some big weights out of the place. You can put some huge weights together here when it’s hot fishing shallow and as it was going to be even hotter today then yesterday I came armed with 2 bottles of water to drink with the intention of fishing up in the water with the pellet waggler and slow sinking bubble and with the pole 4-5 meters out with the paste. I had every intention of fishing the match lake but when I got there both the match lake and the west lake (the secondary match lake) were booked up, so I had to fish the harder east lake. As well as being the hardest lake to fish the east lake is the largest on the fishery and also is home to the largest fish, this is why the carp lads also come here and ‘bivvy up’ for 24-48 hour sessions. There are also some lovely Tench and Bream in this lake and lots of skimmers, earlier in the year I had 40- 50lb of skimmers out of here while it was snowing Just after we had that mini heat wave in march. I fished the peg where the bay starts with the fallen tree to my right that is in the margin. Like yesterday the fish seemed to be more preoccupied with spawning and were crashing about all around the lake in the margins, which meant in terms of the number of fish caught made it a slow day, however due to the size of the fish my overall weight was very good. I ended up catching 2 fish on the pellet wagg, 4 on the bubble and 3 on the paste for a total weight of between 80-100lb. I couldn’t give an exact weight as I didn’t put any in the keepnet because unless I’m in a match then I never put large fish in it. The fish I did have were between 7lb and 12lb (the smallest and largest can be seen on the pictures below)
On the pellet wag and bubble I was using 6, 8 and 11mm banded pellets on the hook as well as feeding pellets in those sizes too. As for paste, well this is all down to personal choice and different people prefer different ones. Some buy readymade pastes, some buy them in powder form that you add water too, some use groundbait, some scalded and mashed up pellets and some like myself use their own mix where they have a base mix that they add their own flavours, additives and colours too. I will go more into pastes and paste fishing over the coming months in more detail in my tutorial section of the website.
MY BODY DOUBLE HAS COME A CROPPER
It is with sad news that tell you all of the misfortune of my body double and doppelganger Mark Price aka Chubs aka Marshmallow man. Big Mark (owner of Stainforth Angling Centre) was at Sykehouse Fishery last Wednesday and had the misfortune of suffering a horrific accident while showing the rest of the people on the lake his Tom Daley impression off one of the platforms which resulted in him getting his leg trapped in the platform, tearing the muscles from his calf and dislocating his knee cap, ouch. Three fella’s had to hold him up in the water while they cut away the platform with a saw to free his leg. Good luck with your recovery big fella and hopefully we will see you back on the bank again soon but next time no auditioning for the GB Olympic diving team ok?
HATMAN DOES IT AGAIN
Congratulations to Chris ‘Hatman’ Kendall on qualifying for the Fish‘o’Mania final for the second year in succession by winning the qualifier at Barford Lakes in Norwich, putting together 153lb 7oz on the method feeder. Hopefully the ‘Hatman’ can improve on last year’s 4th place and bring the title back to Yorkshire on the 14th July.
Speaking of Fish’o’mania I’m really looking forward to watching the home international again on the Sunday as it was fantastic last season, and just showed what weights could be put together fishing for everything that swims using natural baits (as per international competition rules) instead of employing the ‘standard’ commercial fishery tactics. I think this way of fishing could even play a part in Saturday’s main event, especially if it’s a struggle.
The stadium is ours!!!!!
Well we have been given the stadium to run instead of the car crash that was the stadium management committee. We haven’t bought it and we aren’t leasing it and there is no transfer of ownership, instead we have a 99 year management contract of the stadium and the site where we pay an annual fee to the council and in return they pay all insurance costs etc. That in fact mean the club will in effect get the ground for next to nothing, happy days. Expansion of the site can also be negotiated between the club and the council if needed. The club will be making the stadium even more community and fan friendly and will also be bringing in new catering etc. Officially take over takes place on 1st July but changes are already happening and have been for a while on site.
In terms of the future of the club it’s fantastic news that 11 youngsters have graduated from the clubs centre of excellence and have signed apprenticeship forms with us and will join the 7 second year apprentices still at the club from last year’s fantastic youth team. Hopefully they will follow in the footsteps of last season’s side that finished runners up in the league and won the Football League Youth Alliance Cup.
Come in messrs Watson & Bramall!!!!! We were told weeks ago that you we’re probably rejoining the club and have heard nothing since. It’s about time that either the club or Mr Watson & Bramall came forward and gave us some news as to developments regarding this and if they do come back what their intentions are!
On the transfer front all is quiet. Basically like I said on my rant regarding the retained list in a previous post that fact is we haven’t got a pot to piss in. We have 12 senior players contracted to the club and are £1m over budget!! This is frightening. There is no other option but to sell our ‘better’ contracted players in order to build a squad and I am really worried we will end up with a small squad compromising of kids, lower league journeymen in their 30’s and non-league cheap gambles. On top of this is ‘Deano’ really the right manager to take us forward? Only time will tell.
ENGLAND & THE PLAY OFFS
Well England came through a potential banana skin in Norway on Saturday in Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge. I thought we did pretty well in the first half and Ashley Young’s goal was taken very well. I wasn’t too impressed with the second half but overall it was a great result seeing as though Norway have beaten both France & Portugal at home recently. I don’t know what all the fuss is about Gerrard’s tackle, I actually thought it didn’t deserve a free kick to be honest, bloody pansy’s playing the game nowadays. Also, please Joe Hart, don’t get injured or suspended in the Euro’s because Rob Green is a liability, him coming out that far and flapping when Norway hit the post proves my point.
The League 1 play off final, how poor was it? To be honest both teams have been poor throughout the play offs with the blades scraping through against Stevenage whereas Huddersfield somehow got through against an MK Dons side that were far better than them over 2 legs. The final itself was a very poor spectacle compounded by the fact the only excitement mustered by them both over the entire game was the penalty shootout, and even then both teams were terrible! I was however very impressed with young Harry Maguire who had the overrated Jordan Rhodes in his back pocket the entire match. Yes you did read that correctly when I said overrated. The reason being is there is a massive gulf in class of defenders between League 1 and the Championship, so many poor championship defenders have looked good in League 1, on top of that he won’t get things anywhere near as easy now he has stepped up a level. He reminds me of Craig Mackail-Smith who also scored a hatful of goals in League 1 but has failed to live up to the hype in 2 stints in the Championship with Peterborough and Brighton respectively. It’s also noticeable that Rhodes goals to games ration has dropped since Lee Clarke left and the Terriers stopped being as direct, as he did score a lot of goals running onto long balls using his pace. Anyway back to the final itself, a Yorkshire derby in which both teams had the opportunity to show millions how good they can be and show how good the standard of League 1 football is, but they both failed at living up to expectations. Maybe they should have got in touch with us in Doncaster, because the Rovers showed the world how to do it when we beat the self proclaimed Leeds “The Champions of Europe” United in an all Yorkshire League 1 play off final in 2008 J At least 1 good thing came out of it, we will have 2 big Yorkshire derbies against the blades next season.
The League 2 play off final between Cheltenham & Crewe was a different kettle of fish, a cracking game full of excitement. I’m really pleased Crewe won for 2 reasons:
- I love the fact that 9 of the 11 players have come through the clubs academy and they play football the right way.
- Cheltenham robbed us of automatic promotion in 2008!!!
I’m really looking forward to visiting Gresty Road next season.
ENGLAND v WEST INDIES TEST SERIES
2-0 so far to the worlds #1 test playing nation, just let me say that again…….. “Worlds #1 test playing nation”!!!! I wish Rovers could make the Keepmoat a fortress just like England have done with their performances on home soil as this means we have now won our last 7 test series at home.
It’s nice to see Andrew Strauss coming back into some form after the huge amount of pressure he’s been under with a century in each of the test matches.
Tim Bresnan, take a bow son! The big Yorkshireman is not only proving to be a world class player but also England’s lucky mascot as he is yet to be in a losing English test side in 13 test matches. Figures of 8 wickets for 141 runs along with a handy 39 with the bat show that not only is he a top class bowler but can also bat a bit too. I’m really looking forward to see how we go on against the South Africans when that series starts in July and before that we have a 1 day series against our old enemy the Aussies.
MONACO GRAND PRIX
I think F1 this season is the most exciting it has been in many a year, but sadly I think the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the F1 calendar at Monaco is a bore fest. Usually whoever gets pole wins, and this year was no exception. The lack of overtaking opportunities on the track make it a tiresome race, if it wasn’t for the history of grand prix’s there and the glitz and glamour of Monaco itself then it would be a massive turn off.
I really fancied Lewis Hamilton not only to do well in this race but to also win the world championship but I have no idea what is going on at Maclaren, they seem to be going backwards and their pit stops are some of the worst of all 12 teams. Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes & even Williams are making massive strides and sadly leaving the Woking based outfit in their wakes. I think it’s time Ron Dennis returned and Martin Whitmarsh was given the boot because I don’t think he drives the team forwards the same way Ron did.
Anyway the race itself failed to conjure up any excitement apart from the fact that we now have 6 different winners in the first 6 races for the first time in F1 history and even though I want Lewis to be crowned world champion I feel that Fernando Alonso is the one to beat as he is being so consistent in an ever improving Ferrari.
Wasn’t he outstanding against Lucian Bute!
Despite being the overwhelming underdog with bookmakers, critics and fans worldwide he totally dominated Bute throughout the fight. Landing clean shot after clean shot he totally demolished Brute and in the 5th round caught him with a sublime right hook before the ref jumped in to stop the champion suffering even more against Froch’s clinical punching. So Carl now becomes the IBF Super Middleweight Champion and also a three-time world champion.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT MONTH?
Well my Mid June Blog will be online on the 19th of the month as I am on the Trent on the 16th and 17th starting my Barbel adventures and I am wanting to add a write up of the opening weekend’s events on the river and I will also be going more into depth about my preparation for the opening of the river season.
I have also just purchased a tripod for my camcorder, so I will be making some videos and getting those uploaded into the tutorial section. One video I want to do is the making of the leadcore leaders that I explained about earlier in the blog and to demonstrate how the helicopter set up makes them just as safe as any other rigs. In the end of June blog will be putting up some video I will be taking of my opening weekend barbel hunting and I will also try and do a small video feature on either a canal or commercial fishery, I’m thinking more along the lines of a video on dapping/pole tapping and catching carp up in the water as it is a simple and easy method that anybody can do yet can be devastating in terms of a weight of fish you can build.
As usual both blogs will have write up’s of all my other outings on the bank, as for in the stands, well the Euro’s kick off on the 8th of the month and England’s opener against France is on the 11th so there will be plenty to talk about regarding that.
Hopefully there will be more news on the Rovers front to report about because the lack of activity in the transfer market is getting worrying
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So until my next post, ciao for now and tight lines.