Last week, I had the pleasure of fishing my local small river with my dad. Due to him working away in Switzerland, we haven’t been fishing together as much as we usually would so it’s been nice to fish when we can.
We were hoping to do some sea fishing in the week however poor tide times meant that this wasn’t a viable option. Instead, we decided to spend Tuesday evening fishing on our local small river. After a quick trip to Pete’s Tackle to get some maggots and a few bits and bobs, we enjoyed some fish and chips before setting the gear up.
This was my dads first ever time fishing on a freshwater river, so the aim of the session was to catch him some fish more than anything. I set one rod up on a light ledger and the other on a small float. For bait, we had worms, slugs, sweetcorn and of course maggots.
We started in a swim known as the pipe which was aptly named due to the large pipe running across the river. This point of the river is a little deeper than the rest, most likely due to the instillation of the pipe. I started my dad off on the float on worms and I just sat back and watched for a little while. He received a bite almost instantly however it may have been from smaller fish. We were baiting with maggots over the worm and we could actually see small roach and rudd coming up and taking the maggots mid water.
After 10 minutes, my dad had caught his first ever river fish, a meagre perch. It was only small but we were off the mark. This was shortly followed by slippery slimy eel.
After this, I cast out my ledger rod and sat back and waited. We had been in the spot for about half an hour with little action so decided to give it 5 more minutes. Just then, we spotted a large shadow move into the swim. The fish was obviously big because despite the deep water, I could see its dark shadow with the aid of my polarised sunglasses. I really wanted my dad to catch it but he was struggling to see it without any polarised glasses. We had switched rods and I lowered a bunch of maggots in front of its nose. It turned and swam a foot in the other direction, I repositioned my bait and within 10 seconds, the float sunk under and I had struck. It was fish on!
It was a large carp and definitely my biggest from the river. My friend had previously caught a 10lber from the river and at first, I thought that it was that fish. My heart was racing and after a few close calls, my dad had scooped it up into the net. On closer inspection I realised that it was a different fish to the one my friend had caught and was probably around the 6 lb mark. We took some pictures before slipping it back.
The 5 minute battle had quite obviously spooked the swim so we moved to the next spot. The next spot is quite a fast flowing section of river, slightly deeper than the rest. It’s the perfect spot for trotting although it can be a little challenging due to the flora. I baited the hook with a worm and handed my dad the rod. He wanted me to show him how to do it first however I had a sneaky suspicion that we may catch one on the first trot downstream. I explained the basics and on just his first proper trot, the float dipped under and my dad had caught his first ever chub.
Usually, that section of river only produces one or two fish before they spook. My dad had hooked that fish pretty early on so I hoped that there may still be fish there. We received a few more bites however my dad was struggling with striking while the line was free so they didn’t transpire into fish landed.
We moved onto the next spot, a railway bridge / tunnel. The fishing was pretty slow and all we managed was a small roach.
We headed back towards the pipe, stopping off at the second swim for a quick trot down river. 10 minutes fishing for my dad produced another stunning chub and a couple of missed bites.
Half an hours fishing at the pipe produced another perch for my dad and a couple of roach and rudd for myself, the bigger fish seemed to have spooked of since the carp. We were on the move again and back to the trotting spot.
This time, my dad insisted I give it a go. I had swapped over to a smaller, size 12 hook and armed it with a bunch of maggots. On the first trot down, I received a couple of small shy bites. I decided to leave them because I suspected that they were roach or rudd. The decision paid off because my float sailed under the water and it was chub on! It was the biggest chub of the night.
In another 10 minutes fishing, I caught 2 roach and a nice little rudd. 4 fish in 15 minutes, not bad from a tiny river if you ask me.
Back at the tunnel, the fishing was tough once again with my dad just catching an eel. Personally, I was thrilled because I caught a tiny dace which is a new species from the river and a new species for the species hunt. That’s now the 9th species of fish which I’ve caught or seen caught from this little river, pretty amazing really considering it’s quite mucky. So mucky in fact I was once told by a passer by “you won’t catch anything in there it’s a sewer”.
We decided to call it a day and we headed back towards the car. We were walking past the trotting swim so it would be rude not to have one last trot, right? Well one last trot turned into about 10 minutes fishing which resulted in a little chub, a roach and a rudd.
All in all, it was a great evening with lots of fish caught between us and lots of good laughs. Definitely one I’m sure I won’t forget.
If you’re interested in reading more blogs about fishing on this river, then check out my 4 part series about a weeks fishing in February.
Tired of reading? Check out my recent YouTube video about a session catching F1 Carp.