Well it’s been an eventful end of season for me. Since the river season ended I’ve taken a couple of weeks off to recharge the batteries and sort my gear out ready for sessions on the local lakes and canals and to drive out and ‘recce’ possible new venues which I have really enjoyed. So what have I been up to?
Well with today being the last day of March I guess at the start of the month I had what has turned out to be my final Pike session of the season, well dead bait session anyway. I decided at the last minute to head out to one of the local canals and fished a short session starting at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and fished until around 7.30pm. I had 3 takes from which a managed to put 2 fish on the bank and the other resulted in a drop. Not massive fish (estimated around 7-8lb) but enjoyable catching and as you can see from one of the pictures the weather was glorious.
Both fish fell to my usual Lamprey dead baits on low resistance running leger set ups. And yes I have remembered to do the video I have been promising for a couple of months showing how to make these link legers and you can watch that later in the blog.
Overnight Session With Bob Beal
In the first week of the month I also met up with fellow Yorkshire Specimen Group member Bob Beal for a 16 hour overnight session on the non-tidal Trent to see if we could put a few Barbel on the bank. The weather man had said temperatures would reach 14 degrees and the sun would clear any fog, and as per usual they got it wrong! The fog never lifted at all and the daytime temperature stayed at around 2 degrees. We fished on what could only be described as Blackpool Beach as the floods had dumped 2-3 tonnes at least of sand on the bank.
This did appeal to me as obviously the river bed must have been channelled out a little so the must be deeper water around, and indeed there was. My plan during the day was to fish maggot feeder on the upstream rod and larger baits (Pellets, boilies, meat) on the downstream. I was first into a fish as the maggot rod screamed off which resulted in a lovely 8lb 2oz fish.
For some strange reason it all went quiet for me then while Bob banked 3 Barbel of 9lb 8oz, 8lb 9oz & 8lb 5oz. As darkness approached off came the maggot rig and on that rod went a pellet set up and on the downstream rod I started using some of my own flavoured and coloured meat. It was now my turn to catch and during the night I put another 4 on the bank including a new personal best Barbel. I’m not kidding, in the net it looked huge, I thought it might have even pushed 14+ but after weighing the fish and deducting the sling weight it came to 13lb 5oz and I was buzzing!
Along with this I had fish of 8lb 15oz, 8lb 5oz and a baby estimated around 6lb with the larger of the 3 all falling to the meat.
Facebook Page Social
A couple of days later it was back to the river for what turned out to be a bit of a social for a few members of the Trent Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/158851530918976/
Myself and Bob Beal had arranged to meet fellow Y.S.G. member Wayne ‘Barbel’ Glossop for an overnighter and a little later we were joined by Graham ‘applehead’ Appleyard before Justin Martin trundled past and fished a little further upstream. Wayne also brought along his girlfriend the lovely Emma and at the end of the session we found out why, but more of that a little later.
To be honest I did do more laughing and piss taking than I did fishing as it turned out and we all managed to ridicule Wayne and his ‘rod station’
If none of you know Wayne well he is becoming legendary in his own right, for keeping his tackle pristine like it has just left the shop! I’ve never seen so many black bin liners containing various items of luggage, yes luggage!!! In order to prevent any dirt getting on it. Bob and I didn’t know how to greet him, whether it should be a hand shake or whether we should roll out a red carpet so he kept his boots clean!
Through all the laughing and jovials we did manage to put a few fish on the bank but for some reason we were being pestered with smaller Barbel between 6-7lb but I did manage to landed the largest at 8lb 8oz on the nose.
As you can see I have Wayne stood behind me but i had to Photoshop out the Thai ladyboy stood behind him performing acts that are too strong for this website, hence the look on his face ha-ha.
Anyway the session came to an end and it was time to pack up and at this point we discovered something so unbelievable that it has given those in attendance much amusement both then and since. I saw Wayne on the phone and could see Emma behind him doing something. Now remember Wayne keeps his gear like it has just come from the shop, so my jaw almost hit the floor when I saw he had Emma cleaning his Delkims while he was chatting on the phone!
All I can add is that you have a keeper there mate!
Bad End Of Season
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for me for my final session on the river. My idea was to fish on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday staying overnight on Tuesday & Wednesday.
I should have known I was going to be jinxed with the first sign, we had a shed load of snow starting in the early hours on Sunday before turning into sleet and rain on the Monday, which in turn melted a lot of it and put all that snow melt into the river.
I had arranged to fish with young Robert (the lad with autism I am teaching) from Tuesday and fish overnight with him to go home on Wednesday morning. Then fellow YSG member Chris Axon was meant to be coming on Wednesday morning until Thursday afternoon and we were to be joined by Bob Beal on Thursday morning.
Because I was staying on the river for 3 days Robert had to travel down with his parents as my car was fully loaded. He asked if they could follow me down as they weren’t sure how to get there and if we could go later in the morning, so I told him to be ready for 11 on the dot. On Monday evening Roberts dad asked me if we could make it 12 o’clock which was fine but we had to be leaving no later. Now the second sign of that things were going to go wrong was when I arrived at Roberts at noon and nobody was ready and the car wasn’t packed. At 1pm when we were finally ready to leave Robert told me he had to go and buy gas for his stove etc. which in turn meant we left Doncaster at 1.45pm. As you can imagine by this time I wasn’t a happy bunny as he had known about this trip for a few days and should have been prepared. With Robert suffering with autism it’s imperative that he feels safe when he is fishing so peg choice is vital and I had planned to take him to the pegs myself and Bob had fished the week earlier with good success but on arrival there were 2 people in them. It turns out they had only been there 20 minutes and were setting up, so after the almost 2 hour delay in setting off this didn’t go down to well with me because conditions on the banks were bad and not only for fishing but getting to a lot of venues was nigh on impossible. Added to this every peg I fancied was met with a look of caution by Roberts parents so we ended up on a section I knew we would struggle on but where he was safe.
Needless to say we struggled and both blanked, not the best start for the session but with it now being Wednesday morning and Robert going home I packed up as I would be able to fish elsewhere with Chris when he arrived.
This was the time for the third sign, I was texting and calling Chris for almost and hour but to no avail and then I got a text from him telling me he was feeling ill and wasn’t going to make it. What more could go wrong? I decided enough was enough and I would go home and come back down tomorrow and meet up with Bob for the final day, so I called in at a local fast food joint to get a coffee and call Bob to let him know. Anyway it turns out Bob’s plans had changed too and he could now fish today and tomorrow and fish overnight, so we met up and then the snow started hammering down again. On arrival at our first stretch the access road was closed (here we go again), when we got to our second chosen stretch the snow was now coming down really heavily and the access to the river looked awful and rutted and apparently around a dozen people had been stuck there over the last couple of days so it wasn’t worth the risk as I didn’t fancy lining the farmers pocket to haul us out. Eventually at approaching 4pm we found somewhere to fish with the cars behind us and quickly set up. I wasn’t even going to bother with the bivvy and sleeping set up as the snow was falling and I didn’t fancy assembling it all, instead I quickly put up my overnight/day shelter next to the car and got my chair and stove set up under it leaving the rest of my gear in the car and if I needed something I just needed to left the boot. If it did get too cold I could jump into the car and put the heater on. By 6pm my unhooking mat and landing net were solid as the temperature started to plummet to what would eventually be the coldest conditions I have ever fished in. At around 9pm one of the rod tips slammed round but there was nothing there, however the Boilie was missing which gave me a little encouragement in the bitter cold. By now it was minus 3 and everything was starting to freeze and ice up. My day shelter was solid like wood, my rods, reels and pod were white with frost and it was getting colder. By 3am the cold was unbearable, I had never experienced feeling this cold on the bank before and enough was enough for me. The gear got packed up and put into the car and I saw something I have never seen on the Trent in over 30 years, Ice forming in the margins. When I had loaded the car I got in and took a look at the thermometer and it read -7!! Time to fire the engine up and get the heating on.
When dawn broke Bob and I had a chat and due to the weather and temperature we decided that if we had any chance of catching we needed to try and find some slower and deeper water. So off we set and after a couple of hours and navigating some dodgy access roads we found somewhere. I think other anglers must have had the same idea because by 10am there were 8-9 other vehicles on the stretch but once again it was a struggle. I was now fishing with really light tackle and maggots but couldn’t buy a bite and by mid-afternoon mine and bobs cars were the only cars still there. By 4pm I was done and we decided to pack up and call the season to a halt, and we timed it to perfection because as we started to leave the heavens opened so at least we avoided a soaking. So thanks to the weather the end of the season was ruined, I hadn’t seen anybody catch a thing in 3 days and speaking to other lads on the phone and social media networks only 2-3 people out of over 30 had caught anything at all. Let’s just hope next season is an improvement in terms of the weather and hopefully the EA are guarding the rivers from our Eastern European residents, but I doubt it.
At the start of the season I set myself a target of 200 Barbel including 20 doubles and considering I didn’t fish for 2 months of the season due to surgery I am very happy with my final return of 173 barbel including 11 doubles up to 13lb 5oz.
Yorkshire Specimen Group
The YSG is a couple of months old now and i have had the privilege to meet most of the members and I am looking forward to plenty of sessions on the bank with them in the future. The group has some great anglers with great reputations and are currently looking for 1-2 highly reputable carp anglers, 1-2 predator anglers and maybe an all-rounder to join their ranks.
Please check out their website here http://yorkshiresg.wordpress.com/
And please feel free to ‘Like’ and follow their social media page on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yorkshire-Specimen-Group/315467525242018
Help A Good Cause
I have to post about this fantastic fishing fund raiser 3 members of the Barbel Society are doing to raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund….
Three members of the Barbel Society are currently planning for a task to take place over 14 days in which they will attempt to capture 14 double figure barbel from 14 English rivers, one from each river. Jerry Gleeson, Baz Fisher and Paul Floyd aim to fish from August 8th 2013 from some of the following rivers, the list will change nearer the time. Swale, Trent, Dove, Derwent, Ribble, Goyt, Sow, Severn, Anker, Teme, Kennet, Lodden, Kentish Stour, Rother, Medway, Sussex Ouse, Hampshire Avon. The aim is to get sponsors for the team based on the number of double figure barbel caught in or on the event as a whole. So donations are needed from friends, anglers, tackle manufactures, bait companies, retailers, and please give generously. Cheques or postal orders can be made out to “The Army Benevolent Fund” and should be sent to Jerry Gleeson, 42 Freemantle Street, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9LF PayPal donations to Jerryfirstname.lastname@example.org or our just giving page www.justgiving.com/jerry-gleeson — with Paul Floyd and Baz Angler.
Please help and support these guys and the cause and if you can help them on any of the rivers then please do so in order to achieve their goal of 14 doubles from 14 rivers. Myself and other members of the YSG will be giving as much advice as we can regarding rivers we know, especially the Trent & Jerry is coming over for a session on the river in the summer with us. If anybody can offer the same then please get in touch with Jerry as I am sure all the help they get will be greatly appreciated.
The Shit Shack
Well you’re probably wondering what the hell this is all about. Well for me gone are the days of crapping in a hole behind a bush and filling it in or a bucket with a black bin liner in it, I’m getting too old for that crap (pardon the pun). From now on when I’m doing multiple day sessions I will be doing it in comfort after purchasing a Porta-Potti 165.
This will take pride of place in an old one man bivvy that I have christened the ‘shit shack’.
My New Toy
For a while now I have wanted a new camera so I can take better quality images for the website/blog. Also now I’m in the YSG having better quality pictures is a must but as I am on a budget I can’t really justify going out and spending hundreds of pounds on photographic equipment. So after searching around I have bought a Fuji S4530 and so far it does everything I ask of it.
So hopefully it will get plenty of action stills and it also records 1200p HD video too which will also benefit and improve the quality of things I make for the site.
It’s been a mixed bag of results for the lads since my last blog. We have played 7 matches and have won 4, drawn 1 and lost 2. Having said that 5 of those 7 games have been away from home so considering that I suppose 13 points from a possible 21 isn’t too bad and more Importantly we are still top of the league.
Fridays defeat at Coventry was a sickener. We were completely dominated and overrun in midfield for most of the first half until Brian Flynn dropped Iain Hume back into midfield but by this time we were already 1-0 down. At half time Dean Furman was brought on from the bench and it made for a vast improvement and we battered them for the second 45 minutes and deserved at least 1 if not all 3 points. The fact that most other results went against us means that in my opinion Mondays game at home against Swindon is a must win fixture if we have any aspirations of finishing in an automatic promotion spot and avoiding the lottery of the play offs or even worse falling short of them. The gap we have at the top has now been reduced to 2 points and there are teams with games in hand, yes they have to win them but there is the possibility they will.
Four of our final six matches are at home and for me all 4 of these are must win games along with our away fixture at Crewe before the final game of the season away at fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford. I’d like to go into that game with promotion in the bag if possible and just needing a result there to go up as champions.
Rovers Till I Die
Anyway that’s enough from me for now and hopefully by the time I write my next blog I can write about some cracking still water captures as well as celebrating a Rovers return the Championship. So until then tight lines, wet nets & 3 points in the bag,