Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Summer fly-fishing for pike and zander

This summer I really want to stay away from the carp and have a go for the tench and bream, but something that really interests me is targeting the Anglian reservoirs for their pike and zander…on the fly.

I fished them a lot last Autumn and Winter with soft plastics catching some decent numbers of fish but I‘m thinking it might be fun on the fly this summer.

Does anyone have any tips? I know Rutland would be the best option for zander bites with Grafham producing the bigger fish. Do these reservoir zander wander into shallow water during the summer?


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Kingsbury Water Park

With this mild weather taking a grip of the country it was a good time to get myself down to the local gravel pits at Kingsbury Water Park.
I decided to try out the ‘old’ specimen side as here was always good for a bite, even though I’ve never caught a fish over 12lbs from this side.

I took a lure rod and a float-fished deadbait rod. The idea was the chuck the deadbait out and fish lures around the area. First swim was right by the car park…I hate fishing ‘car park’ swims but this one always produces fish so I gave it a go, despite one bloke telling me, “you wont catch fish on dead fish mate, you need to use bait”.

Luckily I didn’t take his advice and soon my drifting roach was taken and a nice jack was soon in the net. More follows and lost fish came to the Eumer Pike fly (all jacks and one about 10lb). All the action came from this peg with nothing from all the other known spots.

Next day I was back but this time I made sure I fished spots that I hadn’t tried before. I decided to fish the 4-acre, horseshoe shaped lake. (furthest from the car park). A popped up herring tail was smashed out into the middle, which still had a thick carpet of weed on the bottom and the other rod was a float fished herring near some close-in snags. An hour passed and then the distance rod received a take, a spirited fight resulted in a scrapper double. Back out went the mackerel and 5 minutes later I had another take. This one felt bigger, it boiled at 40 yards and I could see it was a better fish…then it fell off…not having the best of look at the moment. I’m off to sharpen my hooks…

Monday, 13 February 2012

Two trips to the Wye

12lb 4oz

For the last few weeks the roads have been dodgy to say the least and my Fiesta’s not the best car for driving around the isolated roads near Ross-on-Wye. However, last week I decided to chance my arm and get myself out to a new stretch of the river after the pike.
The weather was cold and sunny when I arrived and the river was quite clear, there was a bit of colour to it and it had fallen about a foot from the week before.
'Hot' spot

Last week I had both my takes on a moving bait. I had an 18 take my deadbait seconds after I’d cast out then I lost a mid-double twitching a bait, so my plan was to make my baits a bit more mobile. I’d fish sink-and-draw style until I found some fish, then give it a go for a while with deads.
This stretch had plenty of overhanging trees and marginal slacks to have a go at and it wasn’t long before I had my first take. Smash. A pike came out from under my feet; nicked my dead roach as by trace came swinging back. Cheeky Bastard.
It didn’t feel the hooks so I gave the spot a good hour but she must have been happy with her breakfast and didn’t fancy seconds.
The last swim on the beat was class. It features a salmon croy and a massive area of slack water. A wobbled roach snared a jack first cast and the next cast a bigger fish of 12lb 4oz took a liking to my Rapala Shad Rap. It was then that the snow started to fall heavily and I wasn’t going to risk getting snowed in.

This Saturday I decided to get myself back down to the river and fish a different stretch – Courtfield – a stretch that has produced fish up to 38lb plus in the past.
The river was a bit coloured due to snowmelt so the conditions weren’t the best. I fished deads in various spots throughout the day to no avail. The last hour got real cold so I started chucking a Storm soft plastic about. I couldn’t believe it when everything went solid and the line arrowed out into the middle of the flow and a fair fish steamed off downstream.
17lb 4oz
Eventually I got the fish in close and, as I often do, left my net miles away up the bank. I never learn! As I leaned down to chin the sizable pike disaster struck, the lure pinged back. Now what happened next I wouldn’t recommend to anyone but I really didn’t want to see the fish swim off, I’d have been gutted. So I decided to slide down the bank into the water (waist high), grab the fish and scramble back up. Not sure how I did it to be fair, and after the buzz of weighing and taking a few pics subsided I was frozen, literally.