26/09/10 - River Derwent

Cold, grey and windy......what the hell! Headed off to the Derwent at about 4 pm. Got there to find an empty carpark (what a suprise!). Was soon tucked down out of the wind. Not cosy, but comfortable. Basically spent the first two hours feeding my new pellets to the chub. Had several of those chubby "doinks" on the rod top that come completely out of the blue and give you heart attack, but then leave you paranoid about whether you've got a bait left on the hair.....until the next "doink" that is! Bailiff came along for a chat. Fed a few pellets to his dog, or rather his dog helped itself. More rattles and pulls, until a chub eventually came along with a big enough mouth to take the hook as well. Gave a scrap worthy of a small barbel. Just into dark had a proper wrap around bite on the downstream rod, resulting in a barbel of just under 7lb.

Great condition, but a bit bigger please!

Fished on a bit longer, but even the chub appeared to have lost interest. Two fish chalked up to the combi rig anyway. Left about 8 pm, narrowly avoiding the big steaming pile deposited by the bailiff's dog, probably in thanks for all the pellets it ate.....

25/09/10 - Bits and bobs

Work and family commitments and two days in bed with man flu put paid to any fishing this week. Had a walk up the Trent from work on Friday lunchtime. Was blowing a gale, freezing cold and there were big drifts of leaves already coming down the river. All in all very depressing. Even the sight of two hoodies crouched under a golf umbrella on the far bank while their mate helplessly thrashed the water with a spinner didn't cheer me up.

Autumn's arrived!

Went to Walkers today to restock on bits and came out £40 poorer, which depressed me even more. I had been looking at my rigs after the thrashing Jim had given me last week and decided that the fluorocarbon I had been using was a bit too inflexible with smaller hooks and baits. Therefore tied up some combi-rigs with a short section of braid on the end of the fluorocarbon hooklink.

Combi rig

The "6 up, 6 down" knot gives a really neat finish to the rig (see Sean Harrison tie it here http://www.questbaits.com/docs/videovault/combirig/index.html). Also bought some of the new Sonubaits Elips pellets. If I behave myself I may get a chance to try them on the Derwent tomorrow. Better start by getting the tea on.........

17/09/10 - River Trent

Up in Newark area again in the afternoon, so arranged to meet Jim, a colleague from work, at Fiskerton afterwards.

Omens weren't good as the the anglers on the first few pegs hadn't had a knock all day. River was gin clear despite the rain the previous day. However, we decided to carry on a bit further downstream to an area where Jim had caught a few fish last week. Seems Jim knew something I didn't as he had two 7 lbers in his first two casts. I had to wait just after dark for a 5 lber and then a little bit later for a proper one, albeit with a deformed left pectoral that gave it a drunken roll when I popped it back.


Jim had packed up and come over to my peg for a chat just before I had my second fish. He'd done considerably better than me and had caught ten to just over 7lb. Whilst we had both been fishing similar tactics, i.e. pellet hookbaits with PVA bags, he'd been fishing a single Elips pellet on a size 10 hook with a 5 ft fluorocarbon hooklink. Food for thought and something I should have picked up on earlier! As we walked back to the car I'm sure I heard the owl that had flown over my head earlier shout "T....wit"!

10/09/10 - River Derwent

Looked pretty gloomy over Derby way, but set off anyway. At least I wouldn't have any "wild swimmers" to worry about!

Arrived at the (empty!) carpark just as it brightened up. There was a Little Egret on the shallows, but it spotted me coming and scarpered before I could get a photo. Went past where I would be fishing later to where there was a bit more flow for the trotting rod. Started catching a few bits straight away, including some nice roach.

Not perch bait!

Unfortunately this soon caught the attention of at least one pike that appeared in the margins under my feet. Therefore decided to make an early move, rather than get smashed up again by a spotty bait-snatcher. As it turned out, it didn't really make much difference! Got the bait fish going in my new swim before putting out two perch paternosters. What followed was a repeat of last trip. Had three takes, but all from pike, biggest about 8 lb. All safely landed with the modified rig and good fun on the light tackle, but not what I was after. Think a change of venue is due now. Might even get the barbel rods out again....

09/09/2010 - River Trent

Was working in the Newark area today, so put the float rod in the car, knocked off at 3 and grabbed a couple of hours of trotting.

Headed to the sand bank at East Stoke again. River level was well up the bank due to the rain earlier in the week and with more of a flow pushing through compared to last visit. Water was gin clear, but I was suprised by the number of leaves that were already coming down. Won't be long before the rivers are full of them! Had to wait a while for the fish to arrive, but when they did it was a bite (but not necessarily a fish) a cast. That was until the breeze picked up and changed direction making it awkward to hold the necessary trotting line. Should have put on a bigger float carrying more shot, but with limited time soldiered on....as you do. Still ended up with a decent mixed bag consisting of predominantly roach, but with some dace, perch, bleak and a couple of gudgeon thrown in.

Nice to see that there were some reasonable silver fish weights in the recent Division One National. Let's hope they continue showing through to the winter.

01/09/10 - River Derwent

Possibly more of an evening to sit in the garden with a cold beer. However, had been in Wales for another week without any fishing, so was itching to go......

Slight smug feeling on discovering an empty carpark soon disappeared upon finding half a dozen lanky youths swimming in the river just upstream of where I wanted to fish. Did consider change of venue, but with the evenings seeming to draw in suprisingly quickly recently I carried on downstream for another 200 metres to where I could see some fish topping. Soon had the trotting rod out and had a couple of baits in the bucket when something decided to make off with the next small fish I was reeling in. It eventually let go and I was left with a very dead, scaleless roach. Thinking a big perch was responsible I set up a paternoster and dropped it in the side. This was away before I'd put the line in the bobbin. Unfortunately, whatever it was soon came off and I was left with another dead, scaleless bait. The 15 to 20 minutes that followed were rather frustrating to say the least. First I had a dropped bait because I forgot to take the bail arm off. Then I had a bite off, followed by two pike that charged up and down and effectively killed off the swim. One was the ugliest thing I'd ever laid eyes on!

A face only a mother could love!

With about an hour of daylight left I took my one remaining bait up to the swim I'd originally intended to fish. However, seems that the pike decided to follow me and I soon had another jack in the net. Having run out of bait I then had a very frustrating half an hour where I couldn't anything apart from minnows and hand size roach! When I did eventually catch a reasonably sized bait it was nearly dark and, whilst I gave it another half an hour, any opportunity for a perch had gone.

Pike seem to be a problem on this section when they weren't before. Can't see any other option but to use wire from now on and hope that it doesn't affect the perch......