Monday, 31 August 2015

Its Been A While

Well that was an ordeal, the best part of two years out of action, my new knee is slowly starting to feel part of me, and not just a heap of titanium.
A recent trip to Cumbria and Scotland ignited the flame again, a trip to a syndicate water with Fred Sykes in search of wild carp was just the tonic I needed,
brace of wildies

 then a move to another lake owned by top angler Sid Boulter confirmed the fact I needed to be on the bank again, the ever faithful fish spotter Stubble accompanied me on this occasion,
Stubble the fish spotter

 but alas in all got a bit much, concentration levels were overtaken by the need for sleep.
too much 

On my return home the banks of the Stour seemed a very welcome place, the lack of anglers was also to my liking, I suspect that may change as the season progresses, fish were found on the first weekend of my return, the water clarity was good for fish spotting, I had soon found a small shoal of chub in the 5- 6lb bracket, these were ignored as one fish thirty yards downstream had caught my eye on the way up, this of course as ever was the focus of my attention, despite my best efforts and being a little rusty the inevitable blank ensued, several pulls were missed,  a couple of seasons ago it would have resulted in a capture. 
The following weekend a deluge of rain resulted in the river rising and coloring up, I should have made some cheese-paste, but having a busy day I never got around to it, that won't happen again, I will make time. Another blank, but new swims were fished, and indications on the rods told me fish were in these areas, so things are going in the right direction.
Hopefully next weekend will bring some reward, I have ordered more 3-B paste from the ever reliable Hookbait Company, I will of course keep you posted.

cheers nairny
Dorset Stour, their be monsters

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Back at it

Well the big storm hit us fare and square, our greengage tree is no more, and the stable roof took a hammering, but on the upside I have managed a trip to the stour for the first time in a month, only for a couple of hours, but it was a real breath of fresh air in more ways than one, it was blowing a hoolie.
The river was quite high an colored so I opted to fish cheese paste with a two swan link, my first swim was in between two bushes and can hold some good fish at times, I gave it half an hour but nothing was happening so I decided to move back to the car park swim.
Upstream ledgering is a favorite of mine, and this swim is made for it, a short upstream cast to the edge of a snag, the bait settled on the gravel for a few seconds, a small pluck and the line fell slack, how the hell did I miss that, I made another cast to the same spot and within ten minutes the tip showed signs of life just edging forward a little, I hit it straight away and a strong powerful fish headed for the snag, heavy pressure steered her away and into open water, then once again it made another bid to reach the snag, side strain moved the fish away once more and this time the net was readied, she went in first time, not a huge fish at 5lb 10oz,but pristine and powerful . Its good to be back, I hope it will last.
Its a good one

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Big Storm

As I sit here waiting for the biggest storm in a decade to hit the south coast where I live, I felt the need to tell you as to why it has not been updated of late, unfortunately I have been laid up for a month with a bad knee and no signs of getting on the bank soon, I will of coarse update when things get a little better. In the meantime I will post a blog that was posted on my old blog site of a capture this season of another memorable fish.

A swollen Dorset Stour cheese paste time.

Since the death of my old mate Terry, fishing hasn’t seemed quite so important, certainly the end of last season,and the start of this one found me increasing not wanting to go.

The Team Hookbaits do on the majestic Wye a venue Terry loved, seemed to put a little fire back in me. I came home from the trip with my chub head well and truly on.

The following weekend I did my usual two short trip sessions , Saturday and Sunday after tea saw me tramping along the banks with new vigour, swims were baited left and fished later on and a few fish up to 5lb 10oz were landed on the 3-B boilie.

I still think the mighty Stour is a shadow of its former self, with a distinct lack of fish on all stretches, but a few lumps still remain.
This weekend I revisited Canford once the mecca for chub fishing,but now it looks a little sad and neglected, perhaps this will work to my advantage some time in the future, I did manage to hook what felt like a real lump and was playing it under my feet when all went solid, I eased of for a short while and I thought the trick had worked as the rod came back to life, but as I lifted into the fish the line had gone under some hidden snag and parted.
No more bites were forthcoming so I trudged of home.
Today dawned and it was cloudy with quite a sharp breeze, I thought this would help the fishing as the Stour is running fairly clear, I made my way down the path to the river  as usual on this stretch I had the place to myself, the first swim was tried, it used to hold some really big fish and in numbers, but they have moved and tracking them down is proving difficult. Wandering downstream I noticed a clear patch of gravel a rod length out surrounded by weed, a perfect ambush point coupled with the fact I could fish from behind the bank side growth well hidden from my quarry, a few free offerings of 3-B were introduced followed straight away by my hook bait, as I sat with the line over my finger I felt a small tweak on the line, not enough to have a go at but a fish all the same, the bite when it came took me by surprise as I was not used to them of late, as was missed completely, Mr chevin had nicked my boilie, I introduced a few more broken samples in before moving off, to my next swim. I fished three more in total with nos so much as a sniff.
Time was moving on so I made the decision to move back to the swim I missed the bite in, a short underarm flick and the the 3-B bait was on the gravel, I settled down, confidence was high as I knew at least there was a fish around, the wait did not take long as the line jabbed into my finger, I swepped the rod back, and immediately knew in was a good fish, the fight was spirited but relatively short, and one last roll in the clear water before going into the net had me convinced this was going to be a good one.

7lb 0oz 3-B boilie

I took the scales from my bag and to my disbelief the batteries were flat, what a prat, this is what happens when you get out of sync. What to do, I decided to phone my mate Deano, he may be local, I was in luck he was just getting into his car and would be with me in ten minutes or so.
Dean did the weighing and at exactly 7lbs seemed to make some of the pain of the last few months a little more bearable.
Just as I though things couldn't get better, as I walked back to the van looking a swims as I went, a far bank swim inaccessible for most of the time came into view , as I looked closer a few dark shapes could be seen gliding over the gravel, perhaps I have tracked them down. I will let you know.  

7lb 9oz cheese muncher
a winter fish from last season.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

22 Sept 2013

Saturday came and I was itching to get to the river to give the bait another go, I was sure in the right swim it would give me a chance of a decent fish or two. I baited up a couple of swims and settled into the first one, right from the first cast small indications gave away the presence of the chub, I was in a very tight spot in some reeds so could not really see what was happening downstream, but a heavy roll of a big chub filled me with confidence. Small pulls and taps were being ignored to start with, but it soon became apparent this was all I was going to get, so I dug deep into my locker of tricks, first I lightened up the rig as much as I could, 1 swan on the link was just about enough to get the bait where I needed it, still they played about with it, broken and mis - shaped boilies on the hook were also met with contempt, feeding line to them as the small pull began was also not working. Free lining was my last option, but how the hell was I meant to cast a bait with accuracy that far, not wanting to introduce more feed I took the swan shot from the link, filled a mesh bag with a small amount of dry gravel and bingo, by the time the mesh had melted I had a boilie in the swim untethered to any weight. The next small pull was a little bit slower and longer giving me just enough time to set the hook before Mr chevin spat it out again. The fight was short and spirited this was a good fish, and after all the hard work she was bullied into the net before it could make up it’s mind which weed bed to dive into. The fish was very short but had lots of girth easily a seven with a bit more length, but I settled for a scale reading of 6lb 4oz very pleasing given the effort gone into the capture. The next day on a different stretch further chub of 5lb 7oz and 4lb 12oz made for an enjoyable couple of short sessions.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Worm Krill

I decided to have a couple of hours on a really quiet stretch of the Stour last evening to see how the chub population would react to the new bait, I baited two swims with chopped up worm krill boilies as it was only going to be a short session. Normally half a dozen or so would be prepared for a longer stay. Back in the first swim a cast was made to the far bank snag, from the off tiny little taps which most people assume are small fish showed me the chub were around and already on the bait, in no time a stocky chub of 5lb 7oz was on the bank, a good start and with the prospect of a few more, I introduced a little more bait, little and often is the key to success. half an hour or more had passed without any signs of another fish which surprised me to say the least. Then it appeared from under the willow where my bait was, a huge dog otter, great! That was it, a move to the other swim some fifty yards above me was made, as I cast out the bait to the gravel run in stream a huge swirl caught me by surprise, I don't believe it the bloody thing had followed me upstream. As I wandered back to the van a little miffed about proceedings, I was comforted by the though the chub were straight onto the new bait, and I'm sure it will catch me a monster in the not to distant future. some from a previous trip

Monday, 9 September 2013

My Old Blog

August 24th 2011

Well I wished for the rain and it came, and looks like we are in for more by the end of the week if the met office forecast is right. The river came up a foot and coloured up, but more importantly cleaned a lot of the silk weed which was covering the bottom in most swims. This opened up a little more of the river to fish, and although the chub did not feed the barbel most certainly did, first of all my fishing buddy Aidie had his first ever double at 11lb exactly, then it was my turn with another barbel at 10lb 3oz, both fish fell to 3-B boilie link ledgered on chub gear good sport indeed.
During the afternoon with the fishing slow I decided to go on the wander, the sun was up, and some good barbel were spotted, but in dense weed, upstream of them was a clear gravel patch but after baiting and watching for an hour or more it was obvious they would not venture out into the open, only one thing for it I would have to go to them. I rigged up the barbel rod with only a 2oz lead and began to search for some clean gravel, much of the area was still covered with silk weed but after half an hour I found what I was looking for, an area perhaps no bigger than two feet square amongst the dense ranunculus weed beds, perfect for the ambush, baiting the area with a half kilo of 3-B I left for home. Roll on the weekend and with any luck my homework will pay off.


August 2nd 2011

The chub on the Stour are still playing hard to get, a combination of low and clear river conditions and an abundance of natural food means they are not willing to feed on anglers baits with any gusto. I did manage to tempt a couple of chub a few weeks ago they were very welcome although not huge at 5lb 2oz and 5lb 9oz both fell to the 3-B.
A move to the Hants Avon turned out to be a breath of fresh air; the fast flowing middle reaches looked a lot healthier than the Stour. Initially caster and hemp were going to be the main line of attack, fished in conjunction with a block end feeder. This however turned out to be a bad move as the small fish were smashing the casters to bits as soon as the feeder landed. I swapped over to a three swan link; things looked a lot more promising as the small indications on the tip showed me the chub were at home. Then without warning the tip went round and kept going, not at all what I was used to on the Stour. After a short scrap the chub was mine, my first Avon fish of the season, weighing in at 5lb 3 oz and shortly followed by another of 5lb 13 oz, good fun indeed, a lot different from the moody old cow the Stour has become of late. I should have had a few more trips up there but I am a glutton for punishment and still have unfinished business with a few Stour monsters.
Darren phoned me to say the Hook bait team were coming for a couple of days fishing, I was not too hopeful they would catch much, as I sat on the bank swimmers above me were pulling weed out in clumps and the fishing was getting even more difficult, a few strong words and they didn’t hang about too long, but by now the fish were gone as well. I moved swims only to be confronted by more fish killing polish on the far bank that was enough for me I was off.
Darren and his brother turned up on the Friday for the Hook bait  do, I was meant to be at work but managed a couple of hours with my good  friend Mic Foot we both caught but it was hard going, Darren text me to say he had a 2 lb 2oz roach in the net, nice one. that was the highlight of the day, followed closely by Mic showing me his” towpath persuader” he has to carry on his “ghosting” trips to the Thames to ward off unsavoury characters, I may have to get one of those if things carry on the way they are going. I met up with Darren on the Saturday afternoon, and showed him a couple of swims that held fish, although I was not hopeful however given the way things were going. I fished a swim at the top of the stretch and although fish were there they were not having it, changing my 3-B boilie to a 6 mm 3-B blue pop up fished about 30 mm off the river bed gave me a lovely looking chub of 5lb 15 oz, a slight change can help sometimes but they didn’t fall for it again. I don’t like to say it but we desperately need some rain. I just know I’m going to regret saying that!

17th 18th and 19th June 2011

The day started out a bit drier than the previous, but still with some heavy showers, and the chub were still playing hard to get. One solitary chub of 5lb 2oz on 3-B boilie was the only reward. I was close to packing in, but on my way back to the van there was one more swim to try, having baited it earlier I lowered a 3-B boilie into a depression about a rod length out, standing behind the sedges with rod in hand I felt a sharp jab then a steady pull on the strike all hell broke loose a barbel had been enjoying the treats and then found one with my hook in it, after a spirited battle it was in the net 8lb 6oz of fighting machine, not huge but good sport all the same. The sedges have since been flattened by some mindless idiot posing as a perch angler. Cheers for that!!
The next day on the same stretch I went through my usual baiting up routine, keeping bait going into swims on a regular basis can really pay dividends when the fish actually decide to go on the munch. Two chub had been landed so far over 4lbs followed by a brace of 5’s at 5lb 2oz and 5lb 9oz. the last swim held quite a few fish that could be seen gliding over the gravel stopping every so often to pick up some freebies, every now and again the tip would show signs of life that told me they were close to my hook bait, then one made a mistake, the fish was bullied from between the dense weed beds and guided into the waiting net, at 6lb 7oz it is my biggest of the season so far, hopefully there will be more and larger one’s to come.

Cheers Nairny

JUNE 16th 2011

I was up at 6 am and keen to get to the river after the pre-baiting campaign, until I opened the curtains, it was lashing down, oh well it was not cold so I got on with it.
Arriving at the river, Aidie was waiting for me as keen as ever, walking to the swims in three feet of soaking wet meadow grass was a joy as my lightweight wet weather gear was as good as useless. (it’s in the bin now)
Putting some bait into the swim fish soon appeared, it was not long before three were landed all chub but none of the bigger one’s. The bites were not that good mainly little plucks and pulls which was surprising as they had been left alone for three months, so it was strange when the tip went over and kept going, I struck and it felt solid, then a  bream came to the top, around seven and a half pounds, Mic would have been proud of me. The rain had eased a bit so a move was on the cards, but first some more 3-B boilies were  put into the swim,  taking hold of the rod again a small pluck on the tip, followed by another  without hesitation I struck,  at first thoughts a barbel  had been hooked, but soon the golden flanks of a common carp were seen twisting in the current, she was having none of it and powered off upstream into a dense weed bed and kept going, putting on more pressure than I thought the hook length could take, but it held firm  now my main concern was the alarming state of my medium feeder rod, it ws bent from the butt and even the corks seemed to groan,   the carp was stopped eventually, and now I was beginning to win the fight, she was bullied downstream and tried to get into the bushes upstream of me, more pressure and rod creaking had her out  and on the top, as quick as a flash Aidie had the landing net under her and with a final heave the fish was in the net before it could go on another powerful run, cheers mate.  Five chub a bream and a carp not a  bad start, but none of the big chub we have seen, they will have to wait for another day.

Cheers for now nairny

March 15th 2011

After the previous day, hopes were high for the final couple of days.
On my way to the river I travelled over the Stour at Julien’s Bridge in  Wimbourne, once the home of one of the countries most famous barbel Henry. In the lay-bye local legend Richard Graham was chatting to Alan Rawdon, so I stopped for a chin wag and after about fifteen minutes, Alan dropped into the conversation and with a large grin on his face that he had caught an 8lb 2oz chub the evening before. He showed me some pictures and it looked absolutely massive. He said that he tried to ring me as I was leaving the car park to take some pictures but managed to ring some building firm in London instead. Bless!!
Leaving them to it I got to the river around 2 o'clock, the fishing was not easy to say the least, but a couple were caught on trotted maggot at 4lb 14oz and 5lb 3oz, 3-B paste was fished for an hour into dark and with no action on that I left for home a little disappointed.
The final day was here so I headed to the river a little earlier around 12 noon, my first choice venue was very busy so after an hour or so a move was decided upon a couple of miles upstream. Arriving at the car park I spotted “IT” oh my god it was the Turnip's camper van, this would be fun! Not known for his stealth he would have gone through every swim like a rampaging Ork on acid.  I caught up with him on the bank, he was trotting but had no joy as yet, we always have a bit of banter, so I gave him as much verbal abuse as I thought fitting, I left him to it and whilst walking away felt the back of my head and neck being peppered with maggots from his catapult, he will pay for that!!!

As expected the fishing was dire, and whilst packing up around 4.30pm Mic Foot rang. He was having about as much fun as me trying to avoid the numptys, but he is made of sterner stuff than me and said he was going to stick it out,  “I will let you know if it hoops over” said Mic.  I was watching the box when the mobile rang, “how big”  15lb 11oz said Mic, well done that man for his sheer tenacity.
The season may have ended on the rivers for me, I do not fish in the close season, but my walks along the bank fish spotting have already started. With my faithful Lurcher Stubble by my side swims have already been sorted for the glorious 16th. A pale looking chub which was spotted last season but never caught has appeared again, I would dearly love to capture that one, it is HUGE!!!

All the best Nairny

 March 12th 2011.

Just got back from day one of three. As planned some paste was baited into a few swims ready for the witching hour.
I went to see Adie, who had been there a couple of hours before I got there,
Speaking to him on the phone earlier he said it was hard going, however he was playing a fish on my arrival which turned out to be a 6 lb 11 oz chub, nice one.
I left him to it and went of to my swim, feeding maggots while  the rod was put together, half an hour later the five swan loafer float buried half way down the swim, an immovable force was hugging the river bed, after a long stalemate things started improving, the fish was on the move, in what seemed an age the net was lowered and in she went, a solid short fat chub was weighed again at 6 lb 11 oz, the swim was fished a little longer, the minnows had moved in so I moved out.

No more on the float, so the baited swims were tried, a bream bite in the weir was all that came of that.  Looking forward to tomorrow for another go, the same tactics on another stretch will be the way I’m sure.
My next swim was baited and the float was out again, half a dozen trots and down went the float another good fight resulted in my second six at 6 lb 7 oz, things were looking good.

Cheers for now, Nairny.

March 11th 2011

This is it then, the last three days of my river season. Just been out to my fishing den, sorted out the maggot after their escape attempt in mid week, knocked up some 3-B paste for the evening session, I shall leave for the river about 1.30 pm trot maggots in a few likely looking swims and hopefully pick up a fish or two, then I plan to touch ledger come dusk and an hour into dark in a couple of swims that will have been pre-baited as I am walking to my trotting swims.
Trotting rod, feeder rod, landing net, bank stick and a bucket to sit on with all the gear I shall need inside have been loaded in the van, a quick bite to eat and the hunt for an end of season biggie will begin.

Cheers for now, Nairny.

March 1st 2011

Since my last contribution, the weather has warmed up considerably and the fish have gone on the feed in a big way, just in time for the season to end.
I made the most of it and in the middle of February banked another huge chub of 7 lb 1 oz, caught touch ledgering paste on a swan shot link.
The Stour is now running clear and trotting maggot under a five swan loafer float , 4 lb main line 3.2 lb hook lengths to a size 18 or 20 has accounted for many good fish including half a dozen over 6 lb  up to 6 lb 4 oz.
Over a couple of days last weekend things got really hectic, starting around 2 pm on the Saturday on the float , then moving into a  large weir pool around 4 pm to fish link ledgered paste, my fishing pal Adie and me landed nineteen chub including  six five's and a couple of sixes. The Sunday was much slower but in a few hours before dark I managed three fish, 5 lb 13 oz and a 6 lb 4 oz being the largest. I'm surprised I managed to hit the bites, so great was the smell of weed being smoked about 20 meters away by the local tribe.
However things have not always been good, a trip to the Great Ouse for a Chub Study Group AGM. saw the rain come to slow the fishing up somewhat. The evening do was held in a pub that only served real ale (yuk) so Darren, Adie and I took off to Wetherspoons in Bedford on the Friday night that was an eye opener for a country boy like me!! 
Just been out to check on my maggots for the weekend, the fridge is not working and six pints are crawling around every surface of it, deep joy.
Enjoy the last few days of the season, I am fishing the last three so should have some news then.

cheers for now, Nairny.

Feb 18th 2011

Things have gone well for me so far this season, lots of chub and a few barbel on the 3-B boilies, chub to 6 lb 11 oz and barbel up to 12 lb 10 oz, and 3-B paste accounted for more when autumn came, and gave me chub to 6 lb 6 oz.
November came and things got really messy weather wise, so a change of tactics came into play, temperatures around this time were mainly below freezing, so the float rod and maggots were put to work, or as my fishing buddy Adie calls it "trotting for dogs". With the temperature as cold as this and the river gin clear there is no better method. A five swan loafer float, 4 lb main line and ready tied 3 lb 2 oz hook-lengths to size 18 or 20 hooks, sorts out some really good fish. 6 lb 6 oz being the biggest to the method so far this season.
After this cold spell which seemed to last forever, we were now subjected to long spells of heavy rain in the south, bringing the river levels up and forcing it out over the banks for days on end, the water was heavily coloured so link ledgered cheese paste was the new approach, this also accounted for a few biggies the best being 6 lb 14 oz and a clonker of 7 lb 1 oz.

As I write this the Dorset Stour is again running clear, so my approach over the weekend will be to trot for a few hours in the afternoon, then link ledger 3-B paste as the light fades.
Adapting to the changing conditions will always put a few more fish on the bank, and make for some rewarding trips even when the going gets tough.

Feb 1st 2011

My early years chub fishing on the upper Dorset Stour were a hit and miss affair to say the least,usually ledgering bread with the aid of a cage feeder. Then one day I hooked and landed a chub of 19" long, a big fish for me in those days. It was from that point a passion for chub fishing was ignited, I knew I had to capture more and bigger ones at that. I turned my attention to the free stretches of the river, and with some success. With ambition growing Throop was the next challenge, and gave me my first six pound fish. A few years later I was talking to a chap who seemed to have the same drive as me, a keen river angler mainly fishing the Hampshire Avon. His name was Rupert Morrall. A partnership was formed that has lasted for many years. Throop was the starting point, fishing the maggot feeder or float. The feeder after we had sorted out the rig, was devastating. We also fished the Avon of which Rupert had boundless knowledge.
Some huge chub were being caught from the middle reaches of the Stour so this was the focus for our next challenge. Using mainly boillies and paste we bagged huge fish , giving us both personal bests, Rupert 7lb 11oz and me not far behind with a 7lb 10oz fish. Great times indeed.
I went on to join the Chub Study Group. Later on Darren joined the group, he was also using boillies and was manufacturing his own. He asked me if I would like to field test some of his baits,Trigga boillies from Nutrabaits were my choice at the time. I was reluctant to change for fear my catch rate would suffer, How wrong could I have been!!

Initially starting with River Secret the big chub took a liking to them from the off, Darren then developed 3-b, this now forms the mainstay of my chub fishing, turning to the same bait in paste form come autumn and winter. The only time these are not used are in prolonged cold spells like the arctic conditions we faced this winter, trotted maggots are my choice then. When the river is in full flood with loads of colour, cheese paste is then deployed, the 3-b would work in these conditions I am sure, but I love trotting and making my own cheese paste for these conditions.
I will keep you posted on how things progress.

all the best Iain

Sunday, 8 September 2013

New Bait

7lb 0z  from a different stretch.
Well the new worm plus Krill boilies arrived from Darren at the Hookbait Company  I was really looking forward to trying it out. It certainly looks and smells like its worth all the praise the lads are giving it.
I left home after dinner on Sunday anticipating some action, the weather was overcast with  the hint of a shower in the air.
 Arriving at the river there was a distinct autumnal chill in the air.
My chosen swim was a sharp drop off after some shallows, below more shallows, the perfect holding spot for some big chub. Twenty or so of the new baits were fed into the swim, fifteen minutes later the first cast was made towards an overhanging willow on the far bank, after some ten or so minutes without a touch another cast was made, this time a little lower down the swim, I tightened up the bow in the line but still left a small bow giving the chub some time to hang on to the bait, and me more time to hit the finicky bites. I didn't have to wait long, a sharp tap and a drop back, the strike was swift but no fish on, which amazed me, drop backs are usually so reliable.
By this time  the promised shower was with me, the trouble is it went on for an hour and a half, and guess what, no coat, I was drenched, I stuck it out for another half an hour but by this time I was getting cold, and with no more bites forthcoming decided to knock it on the head.
The bait though has given me hope for the future trips, the chub in this river had not seen it before, but were straight onto it. Maybe time to change  from the ever reliable 3-B.
Times are changing on the Stour, this is now a rare sight.