Thursday, 8 March 2012

Wednesday 7th March 2012

Weather  +3c start  max 8c with Rain forecast 

Venue     River Wensum Norwich

With this week booked off work as a holiday, i was hoping to get out for at least Three or Four days fishing. We did not fish last weekend because of other commitments so i was really looking forward to this week to finish off what's been a decent seasons Piking. Sunday morning i woke up to the rain and by the time i went to bed Monday night, it was STILL raining ! 
Tuesday morning i had a drive along the river and it looked awful. Chocolate Brown and full of various debris and rubbish floating on the top. Not good.
 I decided to see how it looked in the morning (Wednesday) and maybe try again. 
Wednesday morning myself and Dean load the boat after a full cooked breakfast and set off upstream towards the city centre. 

The river still looked very coloured but not quite as much debris coming down so we settled on a corner in the turning basin, out of the main flow.
It was already spitting with rain again, with more forecast during the day so we organised all the waterproof gear and even put part of the boat canopy up to keep the worst of the wet stuff off us. We started off fishing just one dead bait each. Dean choosing a Smelt and me a Mackerel tail.
We checked the baits and moved them into different areas several times but no takes were forthcoming.

We tried the "Coffee" trick and that failed too. With the rain getting heavier and the river getting worse by the minute, at half past Eleven we decided to head back to the marina and have an hour there before packing up.
On arrival back at the mooring, i positioned a dead smelt close in and Dean set up at live bait rod with a small roach. It only took about Five minutes before the float on the live bait shot off, Dean boating a 3lb Jack. We had not been able to catch any live baits earlier as even they had refused to feed in the dirty water. I quickly set up a whip to catch a few in the boat dyke and got a small Roach first cast. I then spent the next Forty minutes trying to get another bite ! When i did get that bite, the whip hooped over and i was playing something much better than bait. The fish turned out to be a Perch of just over a Pound. Next put in, another one, slightly bigger. Next cast another one, bigger still. By the time i landed that one and re cast again,it was no surprise when the float dipped the next fish was another "Lump". This one was pushing Two pounds and was immaculate. I was fishing a Three metre whip with a size 20 hook and One and half pound line, not the ideal gear for big Perch but great sport. 
I did manage to hook another Roach which Dean promptly mounted on his gear. Almost as soon as it hit the surface, it was taken. The fight was only brief but felt slightly bigger than the earlier Three pounder, the hooks coming out half way back. With the skies darkening again, we decide to pack up and head home to dry out.
In hind sight, we should not have bothered with the river today, we could have caught a few in the boat dyke. The fish in the dyke are not put off so much when the river is in flood, in fact it would not surprise me if more Pike head in there to shelter and feed in these conditions. The Perch fishing alone would be worth trying again, with slightly stronger gear next time, and some nice big Worms ! 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Thursday 1st March 2012

Weather   +5c Start  Max 11c later

Venue       River Wensum Norwich

Dean is back today after not fishing Sunday. We load up and head into city around 7am. I had hoped to get going a bit earlier today but as usual work was late and we get started fishing at 8am. We are fishing One dead and One live on Two rods each today . The deads are soon out and i set about catching some live baits on a float rod. Although there are fish topping all over, bites are few and far between. Eventually after changing shotting, depths and hook size, i start to catch Roach. The only trouble is, the fish are too big for what we need for baits, averaging Six to Eight ounces. There is no instant start today, we have to wait almost Two hours before Deans live Perch is taken. Just as Dean is about to set the hooks, my dead sardine is snapped up too. Unbelievably we are both playing a fish at the same time. Deans fish is plodding about fairly deep so i quickly get my fish, about 8lbs, into the boat, un hooked and straight back. Deans fish puts up a lovely fight and im quite surprised when a fish of just about Ten pounds is netted. 
Both rods are re cast, mine with a Smelt and Deans with a live Roach this time. Its only another Fifteen minutes before Deans live bait is off again. This turns out to be another lively Jack of about 7lbs which i un hook in the water.
Just as im thinking we might be into a few fish again today,it all goes quiet. We have a brew up and contemplate a move, but as we can see the skies are looking clear and bright, we decide to stick it out here where the tall buildings will keep us in the shade and hopefully help to keep the Pike feeding a bit longer.
 We try various bait changes and tweaks but its just after midday, nearly Two hours, before Dean gets another take on a small live Perch. This feels feels bigger straight away and it even makes Two or Three good runs taking line off the reel. As the fish comes into view in the clearing water, we can see its a decent double. The scales confirm it as 14lbs 9oz.
 Looking at our diary, we can see the small live Perch baits are performing much better than the Roach lately and also picking out the larger fish.

The sun then makes an appearance almost overhead so we decide to head back home a bit earlier. On the way back through the city, we see quite a few anglers on all of the various access points but not many of them appear to be catching much.
As we leave the city and head out into the countryside, plenty of people are out enjoying the sunshine walking the banks near Whitlingham country park. A sure sign spring is definitely on its way. Fingers crossed the weather does not get any better for just another week or so. After that, bring on the sun !!

Sunday 26th February 2012

Weather   +2c Start up to +9c later

Venue       River Wensum  Norwich

Quite an unusual day today, im fishing on my own. Neil is unwell while Dean was going to a party on Saturday night so im going solo for the first time in ages. I still seem to be taking and loading the same amount of gear into the boat though. Im loaded and off the mooring at 6:30am heading upstream into Norwich city centre. Ive decided to re visit the swim we fished last Sunday to see how it fishes on the opposite tide. The low water today is at 9:30 so ill get a good Two hours of the ebb before it fills up again. The river is already fairly low now so it will be interesting to see how much water remains when it bottoms out. The journey takes about Fifty minutes to reach almost the furthest point you can navigate too and im pleased to see no one is fishing on the Two bank side swims on the opposite bank.

I have decided to set up and fish just Two dead baits today, hoping it might produce a bigger fish. Its 7:15am when i cast the first rod out, baited with a Smelt. The other rod is positioned close to the bank behind the boat, this one armed with a Bluey. As last Sunday, i don't wait long, just Fifteen minutes before the dead Smelt float starts "Twitching" on the surface, stands up and slides away. An instant strike and a 7lb Jack is boated. I unhook the fish and manage to get my bait back too, hardly marked so i re use the Smelt again. I re position the rod right down the centre channel and finish getting organised. As there is just me today and therefore more room, ive brought along a low slung comfy chair to relax in.
No sooner im sorted out and settled in the chair, the Smelt float is dancing on the surface again. Its just 8am and im into a slightly better fish this time.
 A stocky battered and bruised fish of just about 10lbs is boated after a brief fight. As im un hooking it i notice some thing has had a grab at this fish at some point. A well healed battle scar on both sides of the fish tells me this fish was almost a meal for something much bigger. I set up a quick self timed photo just for the blog and also to keep a record for any future, repeat captures.

After returning the fish i get the kettle on and re position the Smelt back into the channel. The other rod with the Bluey remains untouched, so i move this further out from the wall onto the edge of the main channel. Im back in the chair and an hour and a half slips by without any more takes. There are bait fish topping all over the river which by now is at its low water mark. There is still about Three foot of water close in and almost Seven feet mid channel but i can see now though most of the colour has dropped out, various light objects clearly visible on the bottom under the boat. 
I quickly set up my float rod and catch a couple of small Perch to try on one of the rods. The perch produces a small 4lb jack within Ten minutes but that is the only other take i get.
I decide to have a move back down stream around midday and set off down Riverside road towards the turning basin. Norwich city are playing at home today, champions Manchester Utd are in town. As i approach the Complete Angler pub, i see and hear there are at least 200 Utd fans already in full voice. I try to creep past on the far side of the river but its not long before im the target of the  "Well oiled" fans with chants of " what the F****** hell is that directed and me and my boat. More and more join is i pass and i cant resist giving them a sly one fingered salute.... Who are ya ? Who are ya?
 is their reply.  I finish up fishing not far from the back of the football ground, listening to the radio and hearing the roars from the stands as Norwich take Man Utd into the 93rd minute (Fergie time) before that old "Predator" Giggs wins the game for Utd. Surely he should have retired by now !!!

 Home of NCFC - Carrow Road 

 The sun is out big time now so i head back and pack things away. 
It seems the Pike do not mind the low and clear water, but as soon as the light gets too bright, they just shut up shop and sulk until the water level and the colour returns again. 

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Thursday 23rd February 2012

Weather   +4c  first thing rising to +16c 

Venue       River Yare, Surlingham broad and Postwick outfall

Just the two of us again today, myself and my son Dean. With reports of fish showing in and around the Norwich city centre, our usual swims are getting lots of pressure and attention so we both decide a change of scenery is in order. 
We load the boat with the usual car load of tackle, food and kitchen sinks and turn Left out of the marina towards Surlingham and Brundall. It already feels much milder than of late and the forecast is for bright, sunny weather later in the day, Not really ideal conditions for Pike fishing.Its difficult to work out where to start on this part of the Yare as so many spots look "fishy". We eventually settle on a reeded bank just downstream of the Surlingham ferry pub and soon have one dead and one live bait out each of our two rods.
The depth is a fairly even Twelve foot along this bank and the flow and colour look ok too. We both have different baits on each of our rods but after ninety minutes, not so much as a sniff on anything. We then decide to move further downstream and pop into the broad to see if that's worth trying too. Again we choose a fishy looking corner with sunken trees, weed and reed beds.
Its now almost 9:30am and the sun is getting brighter and warmer by the minute. Various layers of clothing are soon filling the cuddy of the boat, but still  our baits are being completely ignored. Maybe this "Spring" weather has fooled the Pike into other things rather than feeding. By 10:30am the only thing we look like catching is, the sun. 
We carry on ringing the changes for another half hour but nothing materialises so a final move back towards the marina is on the cards. The area we decide may throw up a fish or two is the outfall close to the A47 bridge. 
The water here always has a bit more movement and flow due to the outfall discharging into the river. 
On route back, we pass the newly constructed fishing stagings on the Surlingham bends. For weeks there have just been various pegs and markers on the bank. Today they are well and truly taking shape and should provide easy access and comfortable fishing when completed. 

We moor up just short of the foaming water pouring from the outfall and quickly get our Four baits back into the water. This swim is normally a banker for at least One fish and has saved many a blank day in the past. Another Ninety minutes  quickly passes and still we cannot muster a single take between us so reluctantly we decide to call it a day and head back onto the mooring. Dean is still eager to get a bait in the water as i start to unload most of the unwanted gear back into the car. I give him a Ten minute deadline to pack up. Almost instantly his float fished Perch is taken, the float moves away and Dean tightens up only to pull out on the strike. That just about sums up the day and he then packs his rods away having to suffer his first ever "Blank" since starting Pike fishing last October. We drive home in T shirts and sunglasses whereas Ten days ago the boat dyke was frozen solid !!!