Saturday, 27 March 2010

Partridge Lakes - Holbar

Phil and I decided to take a day off work and visit Partridge Lakes. Despite it being only half and hours drive from home, its a commercial I've never visited before. They have various lakes and canals, including two lakes Holbar one and two which are supposedly stuffed with decent carp.
Now I know its still early in the season, and that the carp haven't really switched onto feeding mode yet, but i cant resist the attraction of my tip flying round whilst fishing the method feeder. So i fished 8mm pellet hair rigged and sometimes banded with a method feeder. Phil started out using waggler gear and maggots fished in mid water - we were both plagued with F1 carp of about a pound in weight. (not really enjoyable fishing if the truth be told).

Mid afternoon, Phil decided to have a change of tactics, so he set up his electronic bite alarm, and a maggot feeder rig, cast into mid lake and sat back in his chair for a snooze.
First cast - his alarm screamed and he landed this beauty of 13lb 12oz

Second cast- his alarm screamed again and he landed another cracker of 12lb 10oz.

Third cast - i was seriously jealous by now- he landed a chub of about 2 1/2 lbs.
As i had been a silly fool and only brought pellets and no change of bait - i was stuck with catching tiddly F1's. Next time I visit, i think that adding a tub of worms and a tin of sweetcorn might be a sensible idea.
Phil also caught a little perch - which means he now has 8 species to my 6 for the season so far.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Spring Equinox

Today was the spring equinox - the frogs spawned in my garden pond yesterday, the chicks are just about to hatch in my incubator, and I caught my first tench of the year.

After a bright sunny start to the day watching Matt play rugby, I was itching to get on the bank - yesterdays rains put me off trout fishing on one of the local rivers, so a quick trip to Maceys my local commercial fishery was the order of the day.

I usually use maggots at Maceys as they are a good catch all species bait, but as this year I'm trying to use them as little as possible and the sun was still shining i used a groundbait method feeder with hair rigged sweetcorn on the hook.

I waited, waited and waited some more. None of the other fishermen on the lake were catching, and just as i was resigning myself to a blank - my tip wrapped round and i caught this little 15oz tench.

Its easy to be precise about fishes weights now, as I've started to use a pair of digital scales rather than guesstimates.

Hopefully i might get to knock another species or two off the list on Friday when i have a day out with Phil (i should really take him Rainbow Trout fishing as he's already caught one :))
My side draw needs a tidy - untidier than Matts bedroom!!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Wot No Fish ?

As yesterday was the opening day of the fly fishing season, Tony and I took some time off work and wetted a line on our local river Irwell.

I was certainly a little ring rusty and spent the majority of the first hour or so, freeing my line from the riverside trees and shrubbery, and untangling birds nests which i was creating around my rod tip (one day i will have to book some casting lessons with Chris Aldred).

The river itself was very cold, low and clear - not ideal conditions for catching fish - but I've always been able to catch a few from my favourite runs no matter what the weather and water conditions.

Not this year - we tried all sorts of runs and pools which we know from experience hold fish. But after a good few hours we had a nil result.

The only fish we saw sight of were two small fish rising in a flat pool, which disappeared as soon as Tony got in the water to present an f fly over them.

A really disappointing day. We didn't even see any fish in the banker pool at the bridge near the mill where usually a few fish can be seen lurking under the cover of the bridge.

We did a kick sample to see what was about, and found a fair few bugs, and Tony saw a couple of bullheads so pollution cant be to blame. I personally think that mink have decimated the river over winter - no doubt helped by cormorants which have descended on the river in numbers when the still waters were frozen over for 5 weeks earlier in the winter.

It could be a tough year on the river - i hope I'm wrong but the evidence says I wont be.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Kingfisher Lake

As you drive along the M60 from Prestwich to Swinton - Kingfisher Lake is the first lake that can be seen through the trees on the left hand side.
If the truth be told, its not my favourite venue due to the noise from the motorway and as a consequence I rarely visit. In fact - so rare are my visits that i realised its 25 years since i last wet a line there.
The council are currently spending alot of cash in the park improving the paths, so during a sunny afternoon last week i had a cycle around the park, checking out a few of the lakes and trying to spot a deer (no luck on the latter).
I know there is good fishing in the three other lakes within the park, not including Drinkwater Park Lake - which has not yet recovered from one of the local angling clubs netting the place and removing all the decent fish to one of its private club waters -grrrrr. So after having a look around the three lakes nearest to my house - i had a cycle around Kingfisher Lake and was pleasantly surprised to see fish topping.
This gee-d me up to have a walk over there on Sunday afternoon, armed with a pole, a loaf of bread and my pike gear.
Using bread punch fished at mid water and Liqquid bread as feed i caught a small roach a chuck for the whole 4 hours i was there. I tried using bread paste and larger lumps of bread flake, but could do nothing to get through to any decent fish.
I cast out one of these little roach as livebait under an old fashioned bung - using a baitrunner reel to give some extra bite indication, but I didn't get a touch from a pike and the little lip hooked roach went back none the worse at the end of the day.
I did catch a solitary small Rudd amongst all the roach so at least i can up my total by one for this years species list (race/competition with Phil).
It could be another 25 years before i return to Kingfisher Lake as at least two of the three other lakes behind my house are much better fishing and not as far to lug my gear.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Brighter Skies and THE LIST

I couldn't miss making the most of a rare sunny day, so all work was put on hold, and Phil and I drove up the M6 to Borwick.

The less forgiving would call Borwick an over exposed hole in the ground, I prefer to think it reflects the gritty, rocky northern hillside this fishery is located upon. It is however stuffed with fish, and after the long big freeze the fish might be hungry.

Phil set up using a huge bodied waggler taking about 5 or 6 SSG shot, with single red maggot as hookbait which he launched towards the centre of the lake - hoping to pick up fish cruising in mid-water.

I decided to set up using a cage feeder filled with liquidised bread and sweetcorn on a hair rig as hookbait.

After about 30mins, and a few small knocks my tip wrapped round and i felt a really solid fish on the end which took alot of line. Unfortunately it shed the hook just as Phil was readying the net to help me land it.

I joked to Phil that it was probably going to be my only fish of the day - and I sat gutted as Phil proceeded to catch 6 nice carp during the next couple of hours.

It was only when i switched over to using a method feeder with Swim Stim Green Groundbait, that i finally caught a few nice skimmer bream, then just before we started to pack up, my tip wrapped right round again and i played and this time landed a nice small carp of about 4lbs.

The sunshine, the buzzards, the oystercatchers, curlews and lapwings made it a lovely day out in the sun.
Roll on spring.

You might have noticed that in the right hand column of my blog I've decided to list the species i fish i catch this season and the largest fish of each species. Every year I compile a personal list - my best year was 24 different species, last year i managed 20 without trtying. It looks like Phil wants to make a little competition about who can catch the most this year...... bring it on Phil :)
Phil - anything less than 20 will be classed as pathetic and only three types of carp count towards the total common, grass and crucian carp.
A tench is a tench - golden tench don't count as an extra species, neither do blue trout or golden rudd etc.

In fact here is the list which counts.


Sea Trout
Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout

Ide/or Orfe
Silver Bream
Crucian Carp
Grass Carp
Vendace (in your dreams)
Schelly (i might show you where)
Brown Goldfish

And if you can get a lamprey i will buy you a pint..

So you've got 36 to go for my best ever is 24

Good Luck Phil :)

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Winter Blues

The cold weather has really put me off fishing recently and I've only been out twice in the last couple of weeks. SWMBO even gave me the green light for a trip last Sunday afternoon and I stayed in and watched TV instead!!!!

In the middle of Feb I spent a very cold day on the banks of Debdale Reservoir lure fishing for pike - i was in the company of a dozen other pike fishermen - we all blanked!

Maybe the two inches of snow that fell in the morning didnt help things much.