Friday, 30 November 2012

SUNDAY 18th November 2012

Weather : -1c Start clearing skies later max 6c, No wind.

Me and brother Neil are loading the boat in a nice White frost this morning and extra care is needed with the mooring very slippery. We had planned on catching a few live baits before leaving but that was put on hold as its normally a long process when the water is this cold. We decide to try for some at our first swim. We leave the mooring in the dark with full navigation lights on and set off through the freezing mist. Its actually light enough to see our way down the river with no lights on as its a big full moon. 
The journey goes quickly and we are soon tying up near the Playhouse swim. Fish are topping everywhere so as soon as we both have Two dead baits out i set up a bomb rod to catch some bait fish. I reach for the bait box but as i open it, realise Ive made a schoolboy error. The bait box with the nice Red maggots in is obviously still at home on the garage floor ! 
Dead baits it is then.
I convince both Neil and myself that the dead baits will be better anyway in the coloured river. 
Our baits have been in since 7am and its just about 7:30 when my half Mackerel tail float quivers, stands up and slides off. A lift into what feels like a fairly small fish and soon hand out a 3-4lb Jack.
We then fish until 9am without any further activity so we make a move to a swim around 200 mts upstream in the shaddows of Coslany Bridge.
 This is almost as far as you can travel upstream without fishing in New Mills Yard and we tie up on the far bank in the deepest water. We position our baits in all the likely looking spots, bottom of the shelf, far shelf and front and back margins on our side of the river.

The river narrows up here and we have trouble holding our baits in the much heavier flow. We end up having to the two far side baits up on the top of the shelf and lift all the braid off the water. This works a treat, but the Pike were having none of it. Lots more rubbish is being pushed through here too so after about 40 minutes we move again. This time we moor up just past the playhouse at another bridge, Blackfriars. The rods are soon out again and we settle down with a nice hot drink. Neil's ledgered Smelt is soon picked up and an identical Pike-let to the one i had earlier is boated and released.
It seems like its another false start here, no more interest in the following 90 minutes. Its worth fishing this swim just for the view.

With the skies clearing as forecast we decide on one last move to the turning basin area where will we will have our lunch and fish out the rest of the day.
As we arrive in the basin there are at least five or six anglers fishing from the bank outside all the riverside pubs and restaurants. We moor up as far away from them as we can, on the far bank and quickly get our baits out.
Lunch comes and goes, the Sausage sandwiches go down a treat as always.
The Pike don't seem to be interested at all today. From where we are moored we can count at least 16 floats, including our 4, scattered all over the basin and not one of them shows any interest at all. You can almost count all the floats in the  picture below.

With time ticking away and fast approaching 2pm we decide to pack up and head back. Another day that promised so much has ended up being another Sun bathing session! 
We both agree that we will give the basin a wide berth until the sleet and snow turns up and the bank activity slows up a bit.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


I had spent an hour driving round Norwich city center checking out the river on Friday morning to see what state the river was in after the latest rainfall.
It still looked very "Dirty" with plenty of floating Leaves, weed and other rubbish on the move. With this in mind a slightly different day was planed for the Sunday, that is, staying outside the city limits in the wider reaches of the rive where there is more chance of avoiding all the rubbish catching on the lines. 
The weather is fairly mild, +4 c and also there is no sign of any rain which had been threatened. Myself and brother Neil load the boat at around half Five and with at least another hour before first light, we set off. It only takes us around half an hour to reach our first swim which is close to the outer railway bridge near Carrow road football ground.

 By the time we have set up Two rods each, its light enough to start fishing. We spread out four rods, three with different dead baits on plus one roving Livebait rig. Everything is looking good and we settle with our first cuppa of the day. Its so different fishing outside of the city, hardly any man made noises just the odd bird or fish "topping" to spoil complete silence.
I start searching round the river with the live bait rod and am expecting the float to shoot off every time i re cast. 
Two hours fly by without any interest on any of the rods and as we have already decided to move swims fairly regularly today until we contact a few fish, a move Five hundred yards downstream is our next stop.
It literally only takes Five minutes to get the rods in, move down and re cast all the rods fishing like this, so we are not wasting loads of time.
The new swim is a deep Chanel just opposite the Norwich rowing club, Trowse.
Its just after 9am now and already the sun is starting to get out, the sky is clearing which brings a few rowing boats out onto the river too. 
We only spend Forty Five minutes in this swim as it starts to get busy minute by minute. 

Another move this time a good half a mile downstream to an area with a natural reed fringed bank and loads of Pike looking "Features" including another deep central Chanel. Baits are placed both on the top of the ledge and at the bottom of the shelves. This spot also has an old wooden mooring next to it so we decide to use the extra room to cook an early lunch. 
The Sausage sandwiches go down without touching the sides. Only wish the Pike were as hungry as we were. After the lunch i re rig  the livebait rod and flick it out mid river. I don't even have time to close the bail arm and the float shoots away. A welcome 3lb Jack is soon boated. With our spirits lifted and Neil quickly changing one of his rods over to live bait, we settle in for more action. Its not the start of Pike Fest just yet, but as we are moving the live bait rods around the river, my Half Herring dead bait comes to life... another pluck and it slides under. I tighten down and lift into a reasonable fish which takes some line on its first run. I soon have it on the top next to the boat and its ours. This fish goes 8lb 15oz and has come only Twenty minutes after the first one. 

As you can see from the photo, by now the sun is doing its "July/August" impression and we are starting to think some suncream might be needed soon. As the Two fish had come fairly quickly we decide to carry on in this swim a little longer but no more takes are forthcoming.
The final move of the day will be down to the outfall near the boatyard, a place that nearly always saves the "Blank" . With the warm sun and clear Blue sky, its hardly the best conditions to catch Pike.
We spend just over Two hours at the outfall, try everything we can to tempt one but admit defeat around 2:45pm and head back.
Neil did catch in the end , The SUN........  Roll on next sunday

Saturday, 17 November 2012


This Sunday finds me fishing on my own as Neil is away and my son Dean on birthday drinks the night before, so un available...
I decide as im on my own to fish fairly near the marina and take the opportunity to have a slight lay in and a later start. Its just after 7am when i get to the boat and after what seems Fifteen trips to and from the car,im loaded. Ten minutes later im tying up next to the outfall in fairly misty but mild conditions. The river looks fairly good today, as its so wide here anything floating down, stays out in the middle of the flow.

My usual float ledgered dead bait and a free running live bait rigs are set up. I position the Dead at Forty Five degrees to my right, this allows me plenty of room to explore with the live bait rod. 
Within Five minutes of casting out the live Roach, a savage take self hooks a Pike of about 5lbs. It puts up a decent scrap in the flow of the outfall but its no match for the tackle im using. I hand it out and easily remove the lightly hooked bottom treble and slip it straight back. I re bait the rod and flick it straight back into the outfalls current. The bait is working well, the float lifting and dipping as the bait works the swim. The float suddenly lifts and lays flat on the top, normally a sign something has harassed the bait. Sure enough it then cocks the float and buries. An almost identical Pike is soon boated and quickly slipped back. Just as im thinking a nice days fishing is looking good, the rain which had been forecast, starts to drizzle.
I decide to leave just the dead bait out and make a coffee and within the Ten minutes im doing this, the rain is getting heavier all the time. As im fishing alone, im able to put the top canopy and one of the sides back on. This makes the boat into a floating bivi, it can rain all it wants now.

   After a nice warming coffee i have another search around with the live bait rod. The rain is now full on pouring but i manage to get another take on and boat another small jack, this time just about 3lbs. No interest in the dead bait at all so far but another missed run on a livey seems to suggest the Pike want to chase their meals today...
With the rain heavy and set in for the day, around 2pm i decide to pack up and head home. Im on early shifts tonight,so i need to be asleep by Five ready for a Ten o'clock night shift.

Ps. It was still raining when i went to bed and never stopped till 6am the following morning... River looked "Brown" on my way home.


Me and my Brother Neil load the boat this morning with a fairly sharp frost over the canopy. The air temp is saying +2c but it certainly feels much cooler.
I had already popped over on Saturday afternoon to gather a few live baits so we would be able to get away fairly quickly on route into Norwich city center. 
After last weeks encouraging start we both agreed to have another start down at the Playhouse Swim.
Fifty minutes later we are tying up on the far bank and are both setting up Two rods. One live and one float ledgered dead each. There seems to be even more leaves floating on the top this week, the sharp overnight frost obviously dislodging any that the high winds midweek had missed.
It turns out to be quite frustrating as we get the baits in prime positions only to have rafts of leaves and weed choking up the line and moving the baits.
several times we both re position our baits but to no avail. we end up fishing slightly out of the main flow which helps cure the problem, but neither of us are that confident our baits are in the right place.
We carry on moving and changing all of the rods for a full Ninety minutes without so much of a sniff. At 9am we decide to move about a mile down stream to the Quayside area. There is still plenty of rubbish floating down on the top but we position the boat to shield our floats. 
This is looking much better and we settle down with a coffee to await developments. 

Its just about an hour later and another move almost on the cards when Neils Float ledgered Smelt is away. A few seconds later the rod has a bend in it and Neil has one on. A brief fight sees a lively 4lb jack at the side of the boat and Just as i reach over to unhook it in the water it shakes itself off !
We both re cast with renewed optimism but its short lived. Another hour passes with no further takes.
we decide to head back through the city and try for the last couple of hours on the Riverside Road section. This is where most of the local matches are held during the winter months and the  bait fish spend all winter here too. There is a match on today, so we decide to fish past the end of the last peg near the football ground. 
The leaves have thinned out a bit by the time they get here so we get our baits in as soon as we can. Sadly today turns out to be a gruler and i suffer my first blank of the season (on only my second trip !) Neil had the only run from the 4lb Jack and we head off with our tails between our legs licking our wounds .....