Thursday, 21 March 2013



Well since our last trip back on December 9th not much has really happened on the fishing front. The rain continued to fall for what seemed days then weeks. The river just remained full to bursting, chocolate Brown and largely un fishable for us although we did grab some lure rods and walk the banks of the river Yare one Sunday. It ended up a just "a walk" though. Beach casting rods and 4oz leads would have not been out of place that day. 
The joys of Christmas soon came and went. Lots of nice fishing related
presents and warm clothes ready for a real concentrated effort after the Turkey had gone down. 
With a couple of nice frosty cold snaps just after the new year, things were starting to fall into place. We planned our first trip for Sunday 6th Jan and i started getting things organized during the week. Various bits of tackle and equipment that had come home were all replaced onto the boat ready for Sunday. One of the last things i did was to check the engine, battery and fuel tank were all ok. As i fired up the engine, something did not seem right. Normally there is a nice steady jet of water coming out of the engine, showing the cooling pump is working. No jet of water ! After a quick check all the pipes were ok everything pointed towards the impeller failing. This the little blade inside the pump that circulates the water. 
As soon as i get home im on the internet to look up the symptoms and solutions and the new part is soon ordered. I contact Neil and give him the bad news that we wont be fishing this Sunday. Instead we will be lifting engines off repairing it and then lifting it back on.. I spend the rest of the week getting all the tools, engine stand and everything else ready for the weekend.
The part arrives lunchtime Saturday ! talk about cutting it fine.
Anyway at least we can do the job and move on. 
Dean joins us on the Sunday and after about an hour, 200 wires disconnected and most of the engine in bits, we lift it out and place it on the stand in the back of the boat. We drop the lower unit (Gearbox) off the engine and soon have the water pump apart. The new impeller is fitted and while we have the engine apart, I also change the oil, plugs and filter. Putting everything back is always more tricky and everything is checked and double checked as it slowly goes back together. Its an awkward lift to get the engine back on but after a few choice words and scuffed knuckles its back in place. I spend the next hour
re wiring and bolting bits and pieces back on ready for the test.
 Plenty of Wires

The engine fires up fist time and the water jet is back. Job done pats on back all round etc etc etc  so a quick "Road" test before we go home. 
Everything looks fine as i reverse off the mooring and slowly head out onto the river. Just as we are thinking about next Sunday, filling the boat up with loads of Pike, i take the power off only to carry on in forward motion !!!!
The boat is stuck in forward gear. I manage to turn it round so we are at least heading back towards the mooring and use the on/off key to manage the engine to get us back in. Once on the mooring im scratching my head as to what's happened but its soon obvious the whole bloody thing will have to come off again. After a few more choice words we decide to do it there and then while the tools are on board and the weather is good. It didn't seem so hard the second time around and ive soon found the problem. Its a completely separate fault from anything i had touched before. The gear selector rod had popped off its mounting leaving it stuck in forward gear. Once i had located the rod we fitted a solid pin in place instead of a plastic clipped pin that was clearly not strong enough. 

Part No. 9 Was the Problem

We seemed to get it all back together in record time and a quick test on the mooring shows its all working ok again.
If nothing else, i know the the engine, wiring and many other bits inside out, which might come in handy one day. 
Got to thank the guys on You Tube for the great guides on outboard maintenance and repairs, saved me a packet !

So, fishing this Sunday ???  Well as im sitting here writing this up, the snow is falling in big soft flakes, settling on the ground to about 10cm so far....
Not looking good at the minute, fingers crossed .....


Finally i get time to update the Blog after a very busy and frustrating 6 weeks.

Weather - +5c   Cold Wind

River Wensum - Norwich

Myself and my brother Neil load the boat and head off into the city for a day session in fairly decent conditions. Its 7am and the temp is showing +5c but it feels much colder with the wind chill. The river is still high and fairly heavily coloured with lots of floating debris after the prolonged spell of rain in the last Two weeks.
We decide to start right opposite the Hotel Nelson next to the Scout boat, mooring up to a floating buoy. As we tie up we can see the pace of the river is still much stronger than its usual lazy flow. We both put a dead bait out to start with, one close to the scout boat and the other on the near shelf. 
The kettle is straight on and we settle down out of the wind to await developments. Every now and then one of the floats has a little bob or dip and we tense up waiting for it to slide away. Unfortunately for us, its bits of weed and leaves that are the culprits not the Pike. We try positioning both baits very close in out of the main flow but still end up collecting a washing line of weed every 15 minutes or so. Around 8:45 we have a move over into the turning basin, about 200 hundred meters from where we started. Moored up on the far side, out of that biting wind, we can put our baits just on the edge of the flow and avoid most of the rubbish. This "looks" much better and im confident we will get a take at some point. 
Two hours and various casts and bait changes later, that point has still not arrived and we head off out the city back towards the Outfall at Postwick.
By the time we arrive there, the river level has dropped considerably and its just too shallow to moor up in our usual spot. Its 12:30pm by now so with just a couple of hours left we head back onto the mooring to finish off.
Neil's bait is barely out 5 minutes and its on the move. As the float slides away he lifts into it but its straight off... Looks like one of those days.
In desperation i set up a little soft rubber lure and have a cast around the moorings. Eventually after a few bumps and follows, i get a nice savage take from a 3lb Jack ! Saves the blank tho....
As i start putting stuff back into the car, Neil finally hooks up on a live bait. 
After a brief fight, the 6-7lb pike is beaten and wallowing on the top ready to be lifted out. A i reach towards it there's a last minute flip and that's off too..
Definitely just,   One of those days.


Weather  -2c Start No wind/Clear Skies

Venue River Yare

The day started with a session in the boatyard trying to catch a few livebaits. This is something i normally do in advance so on the fishing days we can get away as early as possible to reach our locations up or downstream. For various reasons i had not been able to get there on the Saturday so this was our first job on the Sunday morning. The boat dyke was fairly heavily coloured from another Two days of rain during the week and after around an hour we had not had a single bite on anything. We tried Maggots,Bread punch and even chopped worm all to no avail. We decided to go out with just our dead baits and see if it was any better on the main river. The water was a horrible chocolate Brown and pushing hard. With that in mind we also thought it would be pointless heading into the city swims as the river being much narrower there would also be bombing through..
The outfall was our choice and we set off around 8am for the 10 minute trip.
As we turned the bend our plans were scuppered again as another boat was already moored tight onto the outfall with rods spread out around the river.
Another quick decision was made to fish the natural bank 500mts downstream of the outfall an area we call Cormorant bay... The name came from the fact a pair of these Black Fish eating machines used to have a roost overlooking this tiny bay. The roost has been empty so far this year so we tied up close into the bank on an old dead tree.

As we plumbed up and set up just one dead bait each, we saw the other boat at the outfall was on the move.. We thought we may just as well give this swim a try now we were settled in. By now its just gone 8:30am and we both fish off the back of the boat "uptide" style. Amazingly Neils bait is picked up within 10 mins and he soon has a 4lb jack boated and returned.
This proves to be a false dawn and two and a half hours later that remained our only take. The outfall was looking like our next move and after another 15 mins we are tied up on the wall overlooking the white water of the outfall. 
Our baits are soon in position and this time my dead Bluey is taken and as always in this swim, the fish kites across into the flow of the outfall and feels much bigger than it actually is. After a brief fight we slip the net under a lovely 10lb 15oz scrapper. Can only wonder what a big fish would feel like in that flow... 
That fish has come just before mid day so once the rods were back out we started cooking our lunch. It was quite a nice day now if not a little bit too bright for fishing. With the river still pulling hard and and the tide rising fairly quickly, we agreed to stick it out here today rather than another move. The lunch went down a treat and the kettle went on for a brew. From out of nowhere, suddenly my reel started hissing and line was pouring off. I was using an Abu 6500 multiplier set on free spool with ratchet on so the sound was like you hear on those Shark fishing films. I picked up the rod, locked the spool and leaned back... Nothing !  I could not believe it.
It came back minus the bait but everything else was ok, no bent hooks etc.
We could not believe something could have picked the bait up so quick and without warning, screamed off but not been hooked. We were both looking out over the river when it happened and had not seen any birds etc surface afterwards but neither of us was convinced it was a Pike. An otter maybe ?
who knows.
That was the last bit of action on the day and we packed up around 2pm and headed back in. We should have guessed the day was not going to be too successful when we failed to get any live baits first thing. Still at least we both caught and went home wondering.... Did i hook Jaws ?