06/07/2023 - Summer trotting part I (a super Soar session)

Bit of a late start for me, but I've been incredibly busy with work. On top of that it just didn't feel right to go fishing in June with fish kills happening all over the country due to the abnormal temperatures and plummeting oxygen levels. 

Locally, thousands of fish died trapped between the locks on the canalised section of the River Soar in Leicester just a couple of days after the opening of the season. In fact one of the clubs I belong to put out a plea to members to wait until temperatures had dropped before going fishing, so as not to add to the stress that the fish were obviously under. Sign of things to come? We shall see, but it was certainly a testing time for the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust, with staff out deploying aeration being stretched to the limit. 

Anyway, once things had cooled down it was time to dust off the float rod and do a bit of what I like best - getting down the river with minimal gear and trotting for whatever comes along. Had been down at Rothley for the day, so on the way back up to Nottingham I took the opportunity to pop in and see Scott at Soar Tackle in Kegworth for a pint of maggots before heading to the river. Got togged up in my chesties and had my first look at the section, which was alive with topping fish as far as I could see. The club had cleared out the usual armchair pegs nearest the car park, but as I carried on upstream I soon found myself out of reach of the strimmer and when I crossed over to the island I had to push through chest high vegetation to reach my swim. 

I was therefore surprised when I emerged onto the bank and found another angler already there. Luckily he wasn't in "my" spot and was chucking a maggot feeder to the far bank, but had struggled all day with snags and tangles and just had a few, small fish to his name. I had got a sweat on walking up and wanted to get into the relative cool of the water, so politely wound up the conversation and carried on a short distance upstream past a recently downed willow that would provide an obvious feature for the predators later in the year. Filled up the bait apron and dropped into the river, wading out until I could reach the faster flow coming down from the weir. My theory that the fish would be stacked up in the oxygenated water was correct as first trot down the float disappeared, resuting in a chunky dace. 

After that it was literally a bite a cast for three hours. Got to the stage that I just had to swing the rig out and just run it down a few feet off the rod tip, no line actually leaving the reel. Could have easily fished the swim with a whip. Dace were the predominant species, like peas in a pod, along with bleak, chub, roach, perch and a few welcome gonks.

Dabbled the float along the edge of the lilies at one stage to see if I could tempt a ruffe or a silver bream, but couldn't get past the dace. Had also been keeping my eye on my neighbour who had been dilligently bombing the far bank but hadn't seen him catch anything, which he confirmed when he appeared behind me to tell me he was off - just in time to see me add yet another dace to the tally. 

Packed up myself not long after and headed back to the car, fish still topping along the length of the river. Final numbers were 85 dace, 25 bleak,14 chub, 8 perch, 5 roach and 3 gudgeon - not bad for quick session and hopefully bodes well for the rest of the season.


  1. I think I know who'll be in your swim when you next visit ;o)

  2. Richard Wade loved his Soar gudgeon

  3. How did you remember all that?? Well done, great session.