Saturday, 14 November 2009

The tide may have turned!!!

The end o the line for many roach
It might be short but sure was fat 11.3
Butlers first brace 7 and 11.3
16 buff on the nose!!! yeeeeeeess
8 pound head shot!!
8 pound blank saver

Some call me a lousy angler,some say I'm a bum but I just say I'm unlucky! Lately ive had a string of lost fish including an impressive "5 pike in one day" a massive perch and one heck of a barbel.. I was beginning to wonder if the fish gods are going to punish me forever but my persistance finally paid off.
The drains have been a bit shabby of late and the leeds n liverpool has only produced a handful of rooting jacks so a plan be was to be enforced! Upper rivington is on the Southport card and has a decent amount of pike that need taming and I was confident I could handle a mother of a water like this ! My original plan was to meet with Matt,Alan and Butch for a 4 way fish off. When I arrived(late) I found butler speculating over the wrong water much to his disapointment! Matt and Alan had already headed off to the nearest bank but wind direction and an anglers hunch told me to fish the far bank. Also 4 anglers each with 3 rods all in a row would mean too much pressure in one area so me and butch set up camp out of the horrific wind and rain.
Five pike rods and one feeder rod were cast out with an array of baits and differing distances over the 2 swims and then it was up to the fish gods who to bless first.. Lunch time came without a sniff but the coleman was blazing away full tilt so I wasnt complaining. Even blanking in the pouring rain beats an x box or sitting in the house. Alternate re-casts were done every hour and then on the far bank we saw Alan run for the rod and battle with a modest looking fish. Butler the bum predicted a measly 4 lb while I gave it double that.... A quick phone call later revealed a fish of 10 buff dead!! good work Al. meanwhile the dream team sat on silent alarms until my right hand rod screamed off like a runaway truck. I struck into it and it felt good. Surprisingly a wet landing net on my head was something of a good luck charm and netted a fat(but empty) pike of 8lb on the money!! The hooks came off in the net and a few pics were taken and I was off the losers bench but for how long???
Now I'm not one to gloat but I dont mind celebrating any catch so after a few air punches and a recast I noticed the clutch of the same rod wizzing wound again. A gentle strike and I was into another fish only this time it was stripping line at some rate.. I took it very easy as These things dont happen to me everyday and eventually she was mine. There was a close moment though where she almost beached herself mid fight??? I dont like to take long with the weighing and photo ritual so it was kept to a minimum but at 16 pound bang on who couldnt be happy???Both fish came at long range and on a bait change at which point butler asked for the same bait and cast long range!!
The next few hours went by without another sniff and butch had wound in the feeder rod with a 1lb slimey slab still attached.....and no we didnt use it for a livebait although the idea was thrown out there!!The tip rod was switched for a third deadbait and then there was a notable change of wind when everywhere went calm for a while. During this Butlers rod ripped off at a rate of knots. Butler is a carper and hits single beeps so i might have been shouting"leave it leave it" a few time but he hit it anyway and brought in a fish which was fat as a barrel. It looked 9 or 10 despite its shortness but the scales said otherwise. 11lb 3 oz was certainly something to get the camera out for but we were rudely interupted by his other rod and another run. While he struck into it I sacked up the fish and readied the net for fish number 2. Not quite a beast but went 7 pound and butch got his first brace of pike photo...Its times like this you realise how handy it is to have a fishing buddy to help with landing etc.. So what was it that brought the fish? The bait? the range of fishing? or the change in wind direction?? who knows.. We both left happy with 2 fish a piece and I enjoyed a lovely jack n coke on the way home as part of an ongoing bet where the loser gets a round in... So dont call this a comeback!!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Dead or alive your comin with me..

Today saw me back on the drains in search of something HEEEEAAAAAVY. Ive noticed lately that a few fish are coming out to the right tactics but in a lifetime of fishing the drain's I've still not had a pike bigger than 16 buff! I know the right tactics and I know the right place's but I'm yet to be both at the right time.I suppose I'ts this that keep's me coming back for more. Anyway today was about the big one so I drew up my strategy and plan of attack. As live baits are outfishing dead's at the moment I first had to catch a few. A deadly technique that I use which has been outfishing pole and feeder fishing is the jigs I use for perch... I shouldnt really be telling everyone as the fish arent too wise yet and it took 6 casts to produce 6 fish..not bad seeing as people fishing on maggot on a 22 hook couldnt muster a bite all day. I could have rooted out more fish but I'm not one to plunder the stocks and thought this was ample. Having caught these I decided to take the long walk approach to an area where people normally dont fish. It seems to be paying off...
2 dead baits where cast out and a live perch.. The piking pirate himself Gord Burton swears that BIG baits catch BIG fish so at the risk of missing out on rooting jacks I set my target high. A whole mackerel and a whole herring where whacked out to the middle and far bank along with the live perch! It was a matter of 15 mins til the live was under and I struck into a small fish which came off instantly. The perch remained unscathed so was recast and this time only took 5 mins for a take...The result was a 3-4 lb fish which had saved me from being jonny blanko... The next livebait was repositioned and resulted in another few takes but only one fish of about 5lb.. Rather than take the static approach I leapfrogged the rods along approx100 yards over 4 or 5 hours which was a good move as takes only came as I moved. They may have happened had I had stayed but you never can tell... Throughout the day the deads where cast to every part of the drain but remained motionless. As dark approached I had one live left having produced 2 fish out of the 6 I started with. This final bait was cast to the middle cut and within ten mins was under(if a little slow). I assumed another jack but leaned into a decent fish and managed to land it no drama's. She looked worthy of the scales so did the honours and it pushed 11lb's 6 oz.. Not a bad days fishing but goes to show that a varied approach is crucial to success or failure!!!!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

shudda wudda cudda!!

today was another angling adventure for old jonny and turned into a mini great rod race minus the snaggletooth and sir M. It started out back at a certain bridge where the big perch got away and for some ridiculous reason I thought it might still be lurking under there. Now normally first dip in with a jig results in a fish followed by more and more but today wasnt to be.Half an hour spent on the first 2 bridges produced 1fish around a pound and one slightly smaller...Too big for bait and not big enough to be labelled"the big one". I decided to put some deadbaits out in 3 pools and see if any of those monsters are still alive after the pollution..The water is gin clear and even in 4 foot of water i could see my deadbaits which never fills me with confidence..If i can see the bottom the fish will be able to see me and give the bait a wide berth.. i was right but cast a "producer"spinner bait and caught 3 very small pike and had a decent one follow right to the rod tip...Always gets the heart racing and made me cast another 50 times trying to get the bugger. Im glad these fish arent stupid as it makes it more of a challenge i think. After that I decided that deeper darker water was what was needed so headed down to the match length to say hello to snaggly matt who was just leaning into a double as i past him..Always inspires confidence and if he can do it then why cant I??? It wasnt long before my first livebait was off and I was into a big fish until(BUFF) it came off.By miracle the perch was unscathed but the loss of a big fish was not the best feeling I must admit.A quick rig check and a recast produced another ferocious take and I was doing battle again. This time I won and after a quick pic and weigh in she topped the scales at 10lb10oz. Not a world record but good sport.My2nd and final livebait was positioned on the far bank and within 20 mins was off again>this time an8lb estimated pike but one hell of a scrapper.I feel that livies would have produced all day today but myself and matt just couldnt catch even on 11 metre pole to the far bank..Strange days!!! My rigs where changed and deads cast out to the middle,nearside and stickups.2 hours went by as they lay there motionless til out of knowwhere the middle rod raced off and peeled line off the baitrunner like a runaway truck> within 5 seconds it was had travelled 20 yards and was about to cross my other line so i had to strike....a bit too soon I thought but didnt want a tangle.Yet another big fish it felt and spat the hooks with mackerel slightly shredded.. Oh well I cant win every fight i guess. That was it for me and made my way past captain die hard who was stickin' it out 'til the bitter end.. so the final score 5fish and 2 belters that I might get to meet another day!!!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The one that got away!!!

Every angler has a tale about these little sucker's but yesterdays near miss was a good old slug in the gut and two smacks around the mouth..Now over the years Ive lost numerous HEAVY fish of all species and got on with life as normal pretty soon after the ordeal.Most recently was fishing in france when a 20plus mirror was lost right at the net after my fishy friend butch bisonstretcher tried to knock it off the hook with the landing net! A few colorful words and 3 drinks later things were back to normal. Yesterdays loss was far more wounding and has got me hell bent on a vendetta to find "the one that got away" ..
At this time of year I spend a fair bit of time driving around the drains jiggin' for perch.Now this isnt everyones cup of tea but always throws up surprises.You catch plenty of decent perch,some of which are ideal for live bait, sometimes you get stuck into pike(9lb the biggest I've landed) and I once caught a 4lb bream using this method but yesterday I hooked into a fish that at first I thought was a mid sized jack pike....That was until its great big head came up to the surface and revealed its-self.It was Perch's dad and I estimate about 3.5-4lb.. a short battle ensued until it spat the jig back at me and returned to the water probably never to make the same mistake again.... The search continues..only 2 weeks ago I banked a very large 3 pools perch while livebaiting for pike so I know theres still some lurking down there... watch this space....Panto