Categories
Brian Holland Coarse Lure

The Nine Pit Challenge

Well after a night carp fishing which I caught a couple at stupid o’clock in the morning, I had already decided to make the Sunday a perch session on the lake. As I was packing up a knew I need content for a blog, why not turn this into a challenge.  On the club waters I was at has nine pits. So, I decided I need to catch at least one fish from each lake. So, starting at seven in the morning and having to get away at two in the afternoon, I had seven hours to catch from nine lakes ‘simples’.

As I was going for Perch originally on the day, I decided to stick with them in hope that they would be in all the pits. My weapon of attack for this would be my six foot 0.5-to-6-gram rod, 1000 reel loaded with 5lb braid and a 4lb fluorocarbon leader with a size 6 Gamakutsu 325 hook and a 1-gram weight on a Texas set up.  I went small as size was not going to be an issue in what I had challenged myself to do. In fact, I hoped that it would help. First lure of choice was a Gunki Tispy lure.

rod

Bear with me on this as the pits will be out of order and there is no pit 7.

My starting point was pit 9, I had fished for perch and caught out of here before, the lake is shallow full of weed and with lilies at one end, I started walking around casting on the margin’s deep spots and through the holes in the weed. Always the way is that it is full of small carp that were cruising the surface and making their way to the sunny end of the lake where all the lilies are. Typical I am not carp fishing and they must know it. Anyway, after a frustrating half an hour and no fish I moved to the second pit.

pit 9

Pit 5 is the next one to pit 9. This is extremely small and an underarm cast you could cover the lake. At about four to five foot deep and has cut away trees and large roots going into it, these were my first port of call. Dropping the lure in on the first retrieve I had a knock, second cast a large knock but no take at this point I decided to remove the tail of the lure just in case it was too large and quickly has a take that fought and then fell off.  I moved slight around the corner and casting against some reed and a hit on the drop. This time no mistake and the first perch and the first pit down. One hour down six hours to go.

5 perch

Pit 4 was next along, this is u-shaped and just solid with weed and again the carp were cruising through the upper layers, with two lakes with carp cruising I should have gone back to the car and got out the stalking rod with some bread crust, but I did not. So, after about twenty minutes I went onto the next pit, to returning later thinking I would get as many pit’s out of the way quickly.

Pit 2 is just a small bowl that has weed and swims that need repair, not actually sure if anyone fishes it, had a few casts but did not get the feeling that there was fish in there. So on to the next one.

pit 2

Pit 1. This is the main carp lake of the complex with weed around all the margins but clear in the open water, at one end there are some snag’s, so I headed there first. Nothing hit the lure, so I started heading around the lake trying all the margins. Getting frustrated I pulled off and headed back to Pit 4.

Once back at pit four, I decided to drop the lure in between the weed and the edge and blow me got hit and taken by a little fellow, so with two and quarter hours of fishing I had two fish. Woohoo. Now I headed over to Pit 8 which I believed would have been the hardest pit.

perch

Pit 8. This is a large reservoir that is just clogged up with weed, down the far end there is a little inlet that has a few snags to cast at, so I was hopeful a nicking one there. First cast snagged on the retrieve at about a foot out, it started moving slowly as a small branch appeared slowly into view. At this point intuition played a vital role as I had the urge to flick my head to the right as the hook hold gave way at the rig flew past my head imbedding itself into the hood of my coat. Wow that close to another hospital trip. The hook snapped as I removed it from the coat, so I had to re rig my set up. Now I downsized the hook to an 8 and put on an FFS finesse lure. I moved a couple of swims down and caught another little fellow. So, at three hours in I had three fish. On to the next pit.

weed

Pit 3. This is a small pit which predominantly is carp but the day before I had a few knocks on the lure rod so I headed to the spot by a few lilies to see if I could nick one, after half an hour and one knock I trudged off to pit 6.

Pit 6 being a long pit which has a few lilies at one end and a small reed bed the other I headed for the lilies first, had nothing so I went to the reeds and again I had nothing. Time was now really against me, but I was to have a bit of luck as the morning had been sunny, but it was now clouding over and a little bit of drizzle. With this I headed to the last lake that I had not visited which is a small reservoir with and island where I had carp fished the night before.

I cast close to some snags and got a hit and bought the little devil to the surface and to the bank so that was four banked only five to go.

With a bit of hope and with only one and a half hours to go I went back to pit 3, again to the spot by the lilies and after a few casts I had another hit followed by another on the bank. With a spring in my step, I went back to pit 6 to the lilies again and bagged another.

I was now with fifty minutes to go and three fish to conquer. So back to pit 1 and the snags and the weed. I was now just dropping the lure in between the weeds in hope a bite and after a few sessions of removing loads of weed from the lure I had another take.  I was now down to half and hour with two perch to go.

perch 8

Back to pit 2 and casting into the snags dropping it through the weed time was running short, then I had a knock, so I recast and bought the lure back through the same part of the water and this time it was taken. So, I only had one fish to go and ten minutes left.

pit 5

I ran to pit 9 to where this all began and started casting in the weed around the snags. I had a take I was going to do this but unfortunately it came off in the fight, I believe that it was not on the hook and only had the tail.  So, I failed my challenge but what an enjoyable way to spend so time.

Maybe next time I will set up various rods to target various species.

This is all good practice for the #uklureseries that I have entered.

Tightlines to all

#the _bridge_troll

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Essex Tenching

Back to BDAC’s Parsonage Farm Fishery, a lovely lake, with no carp, and a lot of Tench stocked, other species such as Perch, Roach, Bream and I’ve heard good size Crucians are also resident to this venue. However I am mainly targetting for Tench.

My first session resulted in landing one, and losing one, along with a small Roach. So I was eager to improve on this. This time, although still cold and not ideal, at least it wasn’t raining! The brolly happily stayed down for…most…of the session. I opted for the same approach as last time, fishing my light quiver tip with a hybrid feeder with a Tincaberry groundbait/micro mix with either a berry boille or grain of sweet corn on the hook. I did decide to feed slightly more aggressively and hand fed the area I was casting too just past the reeds.

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I also had a Berry glug I poured over the feeder for some extra scent!

First cast provided a quick bite, although it was no Tench, as the tip quickly jolted, the Tench usually drag the rod in. This eager fish happened to be a decent Roach, and this venue is really proving to have some chunky size silvers.

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I quickly re-baited and went in again, and it wasn’t long this time before the rod was being dragged in! The fish charged to the reed bed I was fishing by, as did every fish I hooked here, proving a challenge to keep the fish under control. I managed to steer this fish clear, and slowly waited and tired the Tench in the open, free of any snags. The net was swiftly under the Fish, and time for photos.

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A Lovely Tench of just shy of 3lb

This was a great Fish to start with. Sadly, after this quick two bites and fish, the swim went quiet. And hours went by with only a few touches on the tip, but never developing. I had been feeding quite reserved, with only my initial few balls and then what was in the feeder. I still saw a few Tench coming out, and was getting notifications fish were in the area. I decided to try and up the feeding after this hour or so of quietness. And it wasn’t long before it paid off with another wrap round of the tip.

The perk of using a 1oz tip with these Tench, is they are so much more of a joy to play, however I do feel I should probably go to a 1.5oz tip, just to have a bit more beef while playing them away from the reeds, however the 1oz tip has done me well. This fish yet again, was persuaded away from the snags, and had a lot more energy than the last. When the fish got close, it looked a good Tench. And upon weighing, it was infact a new personal best!

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5lb Tench, kindly photographed by a nearby angler

5lb Tench! Not a monster by any stretch of the imagination, however a PB of any size, is a good fish for anyone. So I was chuffed with this! The fish was soon slide back into the Lake.

And on a new high with a new PB, and doubling the amount of Tench I caught last time. I was eager to get back in! And again a cast, another ball or two hand fed over, and the tip wrapped round again! This fish got me while I was hand feeding, so a slower reaction to strike, however I connected quickly to the fish, although it seemed to little to late as the Tench made it’s way to the reeds, and dislodged the hook leaving it in the snag. This is the risk of fishing towards a snag, however the previous Fish shows the benefit.

I quickly re-rigged, and recast, and after another 30 minutes, the tip went round again, however, I was not going to make the same mistake, and brought the fish away from the reeds before the powerful Tench got a sniff of the snag.

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Another fine Tench

Another lovely Tench landed, and with this fish, the heavens decided to open a bit. I was satisfied with my session, and was happy to leave it and head home while still fairly dry and warm!

Tight Lines all…

My Rod:

https://www.tacklebox.co.uk/rods-en/specialist/specialist-rods/tackle-box-darent-valley-8ft-specialist-quiver-rod.html

Categories
Bailey Payne

My River Roding Curse!

Today (Sat 4th July 2020), marked my first early start for a while, arriving at my club River for the first time this season at an early 8am. I decided to Fish a stretch I haven’t yet, haven’t even walked this stretch before. After rain last night and a bit during the week I was hopefuly I’d catch the River at the right time, and it looked good, still had a bit of colour and had good depth. The worrying thing about fishing a stretch of Essex River for the first time is how overgrown is it going to be, am I going to be able to Fish it?

The first spot I decided to Fish looked good, it was just the entry to a small weir pool, although I’m not sure how I’d manage to Fish the weir pool, I can Fish just before the River runs into it, there were some nice reeds so I thought it was worth a shot. I used my normal aim towards River Chub Fishing, blended bread in a cage feeder with breadflake on the hook. My instincts were repaid quickly, missing a very soft bite after a few minutes, I rebaited, recast and waited with anticpation. However, it went quiet for a bit. Always in these moments you wonder if you lost the chance and should move on, that is until a few little knocks, which eventually turned into a forceful bite came along, after a good little scrap I managed to land the featured Chub, no record breaker, but a beautiful condition Fish one I was very happy to catch.

Now, my River Roding curse came back, It seems I am only ever able to catch one Fish from this River each session, I’m happy I don’t blank, but would love to be able to get a few more! My task now was to try and break my curse! I walked down and found some amazing looking swims, which must have been home to a few Chub

But frustratingly, this is where it ended for me, I had a few more knocks, and missed another bite which still baffles me when I think about it! However, for a quick morning session, all I was looking for was to catch, but, my curse continues…

Categories
Bailey Payne

River Wid – Unexpected Catches

At the end of my previous post “Exploration of the Wid”, I wondered what different species I could catch from the Wid and the size of them. A few trips will be crammed into this post, as I done some quick evening sessions with different setups.

Tactic #1 – Bread Flake

My first tactic is what I think is the best way to catch Chub, Bread. Buying a cheap loaf of Bread from Asda for 60p was all I needed for this session. I saved 2/3 slices for hookbait and the rest got some treatment from the blender to create some liquidised bread. I used a simple link ledger rig and decided to hand feed the balls of bread. The first spot I wanted to fish had some dog walkers sitting by it, so decided just to fish close by ready to jump in to claim the spot when they left. The first spot, wasn’t very deep, so didn’t expect any monsters, although while on my walks I did spot some maybe half a pound Chub which I thought could provide some good sport. It didn’t take long before I was getting notifications, although looking back, I think this was the sheer amount of small fish pecking at the bread flake, eventually, a Chublet managed to get in before the smaller fish and take the bread. This fish was only small, but was a good way to spend the time while waiting for the dog walkers to move on. Finally being able to get to the spot I had my eyes on, I had to decide what feature to fish first, it had a lovely over hanging tree and a bit of an undercut bank so was spoiled for choice! I first tried the over hanging tree, and weirdly the pecks from the small fish had stopped, but after a while and only a missed bite I decided to try the undercut bank and from a bit of luck I managed to drop the bread flake on top of a Chub’s nose, and he took it on the drop, providing the best fish I’ve caught from this stretch of the Wid on date of posting. This fish is the featured image Fish.

I then moved to another spot I saw which looked fantastic, as the River was bending and loads of reeds. I chose to stay in this spot a bit longer to see the evening out. It provided me two quick Chublets and then it went a bit quieter, and I was getting very weird bites, each one leading to being snagged. Eventually I managed to catch the culprit of these weird bites! It was a good size Crayfish! The Crayfish must have moved in after they got wind of the bed of blended bread on the bottom of the River, a first for me catching a Crayfish, the hook somehow managed to stay in its claw!

Tactic #2 – Float & Maggot

My next method is also as simple as it can get, I used one of my homemade Pole Floats, a number 10 shot and then a small hook length with single maggot on the hook. I planned on just Fishing the one spot to build up the fish feeding and just catch anything that came my way.

This method provided constant bites, and reminded me of my childhood Fishing experiences, just catching anything no matter what the Size, and it was a good hour or so, catching loads of Fish. I probably caught over 30 Minnows on this session, some of them with beautiful little colours, they’re a fish not targetted a lot, but do have some beauitful colours, my girlfriend also quite enjoyed catching them! The Species I was able to rack up using this method are; Minnows, Roach, Dace (My first and PB) and Rudd (Not photographed) – I was disappointed not to see any little Perch as I was expecting at least one. However, it was a good session with a lot of Fish.

Overall, I’ve loved the evening sessions I’ve had on this River and with it being so local and full of Fish it is definetly one I will see myself going back to often. And hopefully I can find some bigger Chub there too!

Categories
Bailey Payne

Exploration of the Wid

During the close season of the Rivers, I wanted to prepare and explore some new local Rivers I haven’t fished before to try and find maybe a hidden gem in possibly ignored Essex waterways. Now a lot of you may say, the River Wid isn’t an ignored Essex River, infact it’s quite well known. That’s true, at least the stretches around Writtle and Chelmsford are more well known. However, I was scouting a small stretch just behind Billericay. Which from what I found while searching the web, hasn’t got a lot of info about it.

On Arrival it was a typical small, overgrown Essex River, in the Essex spring time it wasn’t showing many of it’s secret spots to fish, unnaccesable from the lush foliage. It weaved around, fast shallow patches followed by slower, deeper looking areas. The River on my first walk around was quite clear and a bit lower than I expect it would normally be, but took this as a good opportunity to see some of the fish clearer.

Whenever I scout a new River I like to bring a few slices of bread, in the close season the Chub aren’t shy about showing themselves to enhale some free offerings of Asda special bread. Looking down on the River from a small seemingly unstable wooden bridge, I decided to drop a few flakes of bread to see if there was any interest. Straight away the offerings of bread were darting around from small Chub, Roach and I guess the odd Minnow grabbing and trying to quickly swim off before being chased by the rest of the pack. I thought it was a good sign to see so many juvenile Fish.

After a few minutes of feeding these, soon their bigger brothers started to show, after some confidence was built I assume. The Chub I was seeing weren’t monsters, however, they would definetly provide some good sport come the Rivers opening.

Walking the River only showed more the sheer amount of Chublets around 1-5oz, feeding them and seeing the frenzy of a flake of bread hitting the surface was good fun, and it was reassuring seeing a bigger Chub appear inbetween demanding a flake of bread from the surface. The stretch of the River I walked only had a handful of fishable swims, unless I decided to battle past the stinging nettles. I was confident from this walk I could get good sport from this River, from the smaller Chublets, but also the chance of some of the bigger Chub I saw.

A few questions were left from my visit of the Wid, How many big Chub was there? Could I battle through these Chublets for some bigger Fish? How many Species could I catch from here? The answers to these? Will be found out soon…

Categories
Bailey Payne

Growing up Fishing

I started fishing when I was young, probably around 5, from what I can remember anyway. My Dad is who introduced me to the world of Fishing. When I look back on my view of Fishing as a kid, it’s so niave, I thought there was only one way to fish, just the way my Dad done it. I owe him a lot for showing me how to fish, it was such a nice way to pass the time and truly just think. I first started Fishing the Pole, which in Essex is a bit of a dying art. Just catching whatever species came my way, my early memories are Fishing Gloucester Park in Basildon, and arguing with my dad about unhooking an eel, why would I want to unhook a water snake?! And then as I got into Fishing more, we joined the Billericay Club, 4am mornings to get to the Southminster pits I loved, catching bags of small Perch and Roach, such an innocent start to the sport. The joy of catching a Tench on part of my peanut butter sandwich is one which sticks in my mind. I think those days as a kid, enjoying catching anything, shaped me as an Angler, in those early days, I learnt a lot of love and respect for the fish, and it made me enjoy catching anything, and to this day, I still don’t care what I catch, whether it be the smallest fish in the lake, or a new personal best, as long as it bites, it would put a smile on my face.

I guess the whole point here is to set the tone of what I am about when it comes to Fishing, and what you guys should expect moving forward with my blogs. And the truth is anything really, I love catching anything, on any day. Admitingly, at the moment I am loving my River Fishing, but, I have done so much more, I Pole Fish, Fish on the Tip with a Feeder or on the Bomb, I have a Fly Rod (Won’t say I can Fly Fish, yet!), Will be Lure Fishing too and will have trips Sea Fishing. I will talk about the gear I use, which is best descriped by Budget gear! The hope is to continue to grow as an Angler, and share my growth with you guys, and hopefully I can teach someone else something, or just spark a bit of passion to go and pick up a Rod, or to try something new.

I will leave you all with a few pics from the last year or so of some different catches, which is a bit of a mixed bag really! A few of the trips are recent and may get their own blog so if you see them again just go with it!

Bailey.