Categories
Cameron Harris Coarse

How To Catch Live baits

So, its October, predator season is upon us! however still to early to fish dead baits, could try lures but only if your happy doing 20k steps! so what the next best thing? LIVEBAITS! Livebaits work so well because once you start catching them you can be sure that there will be pike in the area as pike will follow baitfish for obvious reasons. And there is nothing more irresistible to a pike than a dying injured roach! So in this blog ill show you how i go around catching my own livebaits

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Most rivers, dykes and streams i fish are clear the water is slow and the margins are stacked this makes finding the baitfish easy because they will be obsessed with hiding in cover away from any predators for this reason the swims first 5 yards of water and margins to either side are a spectacular place to try. On this session i was using a fly rod but this raw method can be done with a normal float rod. I took 2 loafs of bread and squeezed them around a tiny size 18 hook. It was really cool as i got to watch the roach slamming the bread as soon as it hit the water, i got robbed a few times and could see the bread being smashed around like a volleyball!

I took a carp net with me to store the catch and ended up catching about 5 or 6 from one swim perfect live bait size. I don’t know if t was the fly rod that made the fight fun but these little fish gave a hell of a scrap for their size.

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And thats all really simple raw method for clear water, hook and bread love it!

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse River

River Chelmer – A Successful evening Roaching

Today’s session is a quick after work trip down to the River Chelmer. Hoping to target some of the lovely Roach which reside in this stretch of River. I have personally caught them up to 2lbs, and heard of some 3’s.

The approach for my River Roach fishing is to keep things as simple as possible. For bait…Bread, blitzed bread to feed, breadflake on the hook.

In terms of tackle, a nice light quiver rod, in this case the 8ft Specalist Quiver, it has a lovely and soft 1oz tip, perfect for detecting the delicate bites from these Roach, Light line, 6lb in this case, down to a free running plastic cage feeder with less holes, its a deep river so I want my feed closer to the bottom. Then a quick change bead into a long (16inch) hook length with a size 16 hook.

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A city fishing scene

The session started quick, with rip round bites coming, but I could never connect to any of the bites, became frustrating, however knowing there were some fish feeding filled me with confidence that I would catch.

I plugged away, and made sure I kept holding the rod to react to the quick bites, and it paid off, hitting into the first Roach of the day, proving to be a nice one! The next few bites came quickly and the next two fish were also tidy Roach.

Sadly after the great triple start, the fish did soon slow down. And did get a bit smaller. However for a quick session after work for an hour. I was very happy with the fish I had caught. A few good size Roach, and for a first river roach session of the season, it made it even better, surely it can only get better!

Hope you guys enjoyed this quick after work blog! If you did, check out the video on it! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos sooner!

Categories
Bailey Payne Lure River

Dropshot for Perch on the Chelmer: A Ruffe End!

Today’s blog is a bit of a wet session back down the River Chelmer, targeting Perch using the Dropshot technique. This time I had my dad with me again as he fancied a taste for some Perch. It really is great fun this type of fishing, a light rod (Fish Rig 180) and some worms!

We walked the usual bridges I like to fish, giving a range of chances of catching a lot of wasp size Perch, some chunkier ones, and if we are lucky maybe a Perch of the 1lb mark. Nothing huge, but great fun!

It wasn’t long until the first bridge provided a bite, while slowly working the worm back. It a felt a good size fish, however it came off at the net! Agonising way to start the day!

I preserved on, and it wasn’t long before I had another Perch!

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The day continued catching perch of this size, and smaller wasps pretty much constantly, a lot of action and great fun!

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These bridges become such holding grounds for Perch, with slight undercuts in them, where some chunky perch reside!

The best Perch of the day came at the furthest away bridge, so about halfway through our session, as we fished the bridges again on the way back!

It smashed the worm and put a fantastic bend in the rod, and put up a great fight, It was swiftly in the net though! And what a great fish it was, not the biggest Perch, but a lovely fish!

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Sadly we never had a Perch as big as this again this day, this bridge always seems to hold the slightly bigger Perch of this size, I feel like I have caught this same fish a few times now!

On the walk back we continued to catch more wasps and small yet chunky Perch. And on the last bridge before the car, we had a few worms left so decided just to try and use them, although this did become quite hard work, after a few perch they soon wise up!

However, I had a hit and struck, to what I initially though was nothing…yet it turned out to be something very special…

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A Ruffe!!!

This is the first ruffe I have ever caught, and there can’t be too many left in Essex or the River Chelmer, I was chuffed and it was a great way to end the day!

Hope you guys enjoyed this blog, if you did please watch the video of it below! If you could leave a like and a sub that would be amazing!

Categories
Bailey Payne River

Roach Fishing a Tiny River

Well today’s blog is a quick after work session down a local bit of river on a lovely sunny evening. I was fishing with bread/worm in hope for a few good Roach and maybe the odd surprise. I have learnt this bit of river holds some great roach for the size of river, but also some good dace and chub, and catching any of them would be a great bonus.

The first swim was a bit more of an open part of the River, with a nice reed bed in, casting just to the side of this towards a tree too, I was hoping for some quick action, and the action did come quickly! With the first bite and fish of the day being a lovely Rudd!

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Wasn’t complaining at all with this lovely fish, I thought I would have a few more chucks here, missing a few bites, but connecting to two good fish!

Two cracking roach from a tiny river! You won’t see many complain with this stamp of Roach!

Moving onto the next swim, a lovely over hanging tree swim, I was confident again of a few fish living here!

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And again, fish where straight on the bread flake, with another few nice Roach coming from this swim!

This little river is really getting a warm place in my heart for being reliable in throwing up some fish, and those of a good stamp too!

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The last swim fished is a lovely long overhanging tree going into the river, so have to be careful while casting here, although this is a swim I have even seen goldfish swimming around! So catching one of them would be great!

The bites continued into this swim with another 2 fish from here! The first being again…another lovely Roach!

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What quality fish from this little river!

The next bite took a tad longer, however on landing, I quickly noticed is was one of the resident good Dace which live in this stretch of the river!

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And that sadly was the end of my session, and what a little evening session it was. To go to a river after work for barely 2 hours, and catch these fish, I was chuffed!

Hope you guys enjoyed! Here is my video from this session to so you can see the action in real time! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube!

Tight Lines all!

Categories
Bailey Payne River

Tiny River, Big Surprise!

I had a few hours spare one weekday evening, I decided to pick up my little River Ambush quiver rod and a tub of worms, with the plan of light ledgering some worm, and hopefully getting a bite on a tiny river nearby…

The River Crouch, this river had really suffered with pollution spike after pollution going right through Wickford, the fish population has really taken a hit, however most of the river is too shallow for most species to be anyway!

I headed down and chose quite a tempting looking swim with a very out of control growing tree! I had previously seen people fish here and catch a few.

As I was getting my bits together, I saw a fish swim past…orange? It was a bloody gold fish! Swimming around this tiny urban river! Something I will definitely have to go back and try to target, a river goldfish!

As I was sitting after my first cast…I saw…another goldfish! Orange and white this time! Clearly a few people have decided to abandon their pets in this little river! And they have really put on a bit of size!

Before I could watch too much, my tip was wobbling everywhere, and for the next 10 minutes or so, I proceeded to miss bite after bite!

Until I finally hooked into the fish! As it came up, it was an eel! Not sure how I seem to attracting so many eels, luckily for me, it spat the hook and I didn’t have to worry about unhooking it!

I tried a few other swims with no touches, until after almost an hour there, I managed to break the blank, with a tiny little Perch (Check out the vid below to see it!).

I then got greedy and went for the next fish, which is the main surprise of this blog, not the goldfish!

I went back to the first swim, and got gradual little taps, until the tip went round! And I finally hooked into a decent fish, as I netted it, I thought I had a lovely chublet!

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However, from looking at the fish, it appeared to be a rather incredible dace, for a river you can jump across in parts, and also won’t go over your shoes in parts! I was over the moon with this incredible fish! Probably my PB dace, from a very unlikely place! What. A. Fish.

Unfortunately, the rest of the session was quiet, if you wanted to check out the video for this session check it out here! And please subscribe if you want to see more content like this!

Tight Lines all…

Categories
Tom Baird

Midweek Blues

Afternoon fellow anglers, I hope you all had a great Christmas and you were happy with the fishy bits you received as presents. So, its that time between Christmas and New Year’s. The Turkey has finally run out and looking forward to a lovely joint of roast beef on New Year’s Day.

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I haven’t been fishing since last Wednesday. I know it has only been a week but it seems much longer and I was getting the itch to go. Last night we agreed it would be a family outing. But I found myself going on my own. Even though I love fishing with the kids and family, it was nice to hit the banks on my own and reflect on a busy and unusual year.

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I was in two minds whether to hit the river or go to a club lake. I thought I would check the river first to see how it was. To my surprise it was quite calm and a steady flow in a certain section. I spoke to some fellow anglers who were already battling the cold and felt it was going to be a good day.

I went up river to a nice spot and started to fish. I hit a nice pocket of Roach and pulled in 17 fish, not bad I thought. I also had a lovely Perch which was a nice treat on red maggots. What I did notice with the Roach, is that some had Black Spot. I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain what Black Spot is and how it ends up on a fish.

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Black Spot is a parasitic flatworm that appear as tiny black spots on the skin, fins and flesh of fish. There is no method of control to eliminate this problem. This organism does little harm to the fish. The main problem related with black-spot is the unsightly appearance it may cause.

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What is remarkable is the life cycle of the parasite which is quite complex. It starts when a fish-eating bird (Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher) eats an infected fish. The black spot or worms are released and grow to sexual maturity in the bird’s intestine.

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The adult worms pass eggs with the bird’s droppings. When the eggs reach water, they hatch into free-swimming organisms which then penetrate snails for further development. Finally, after leaving the snails they burrow into the skin of fish and form a cyst. The fish scales surround the cyst with black pigment that gives the disease its name. If an infected fish is consumed by a bird, the cycle starts again.

I hope you found that interesting or useful. Obviously if the fish is riddled with Black Spot, take as many pictures as possible and report it to the Environment Agency. They should then look to see how serious it is.

Until Next time, Tight Lines…….. Happy New Year…….

Categories
Tom Baird

Christmas Rush

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, Hope you are all well and keeping it together. This week is full of emotion and mixed feelings. As most of our county has been put in tier 4, I’m one of the fortunate ones that are still in tier 2. But as I write my blog, I have just learned we will be joining you as of Boxing day.

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Enough of that, this week I was off work as I booked leave. I have an amazing wife who is really organised and we are ready for Christmas, so not much to do. Apart from going fishing and as much of it that I can fit in lol.

Started off on the River Chelmer and had two amazing Pike on the lure. I used bright colours as the water is still up and murky and this seemed to work. Next was a club water of mine and the whole family went as we are all members.

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We didn’t do so well there and Unfortulantly we blanked. Which was a bit disappointing due to the amazing day the day before. But that’s fishing for you and was grateful I was with the family and enjoyed the lunch the wife prepared.

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Today saw me back on the river, this time the River Stour at Dedham and there was a fast flow and it was up. Whilst there I saw a friend and his Son fishing. So, keeping social distancing in mind we fished the same area.

Again, today was a blank as the heavens opened and we decided to pack up. It was great to see my friend Dariusz and his son Lukas. Lukas is fishing mad and has come on leaps and bounds in just a year of fishing.

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The last three days have been great getting out on the bank and enjoyed every moment of it. There was only one bit of the three days that was disappointing and it wasn’t the bit blanking either.

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I bumped into two walkers, who stopped to talk to see how we were getting on. They started talking about how Eastern Europeans have been taking fish out of the Rivers and Lakes around the area. Only if they knew that Dariusz and Lukas are Polish. Now Dariusz didn’t say anything, but it must have made him feel mad.

Not all Eastern Europeans take fish and kill them. Dariusz has always had a licence and knows the law behind fishing. Not even all English anglers know that, as I have met so many without licences. We need to take a look at ourselves before we judge and stereotype others.

Sorry for ending on a bit of a gloomy note, but felt it needed to be said. I genuinely wish you all a Happy Christmas. I hope you get the tackle you wanted lol.

Until next time, Tight Lines……

Categories
Tackle Reviews Tom Baird

Tackle Box Darent Valley Specialist Rod

Review

I was asked to test out this particular rod which is one of 10 in this range of Darent Valley. As an active angler I decided that I would test the rod with Carping and Float fishing. So, over the last four weeks that’s what I have done.

First let’s look at the design of the rod. When you first pick it up you notice it’s a very light rod. I like that its light, this makes it easier to carry if walking a River or equally a large Lake. The slim line length and the carbon black finish really sets the rod off in the sun. The Cork handle gives it a bit of class whilst fishing. I do like a cork handle. Its like fishing with history with you. Also, when you’re reeling in you have that soft but durable handle.

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The eyes go from 25 near the handle to 8 at the tip. The line moves freely and smoothly through the eyes. Just before the cork handle is a hook keeper, which allows ease when moving swims or location depending where you’re fishing.

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When transporting the rod, it folds well into two sections and comes with a rod sleeve, which has a Velcro strap near the reel area. I would like to see an extra strap at the top end of the sleeve to make it a bit more secure. 

The length is 11ft 9inches which is a good size for Carping and moving up and down a River. The 2.25lb test curve is powerful and still allows that amazing bend and play for the fish. The thought in the carbon technology in this rod really does show when landing that prize.

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So, the first test was Carping on one of my club waters. I used a bolt rig with a 4oz weight. The cast was good and I felt comfortable in the flex of the rod. After an hour I was in with a 7lb Common. It was a great play and the bend was good. It took me back a few years to when I caught my first Carp.

Next was the float test. Out came my Guru 0.14oz torpedo float, which goes far. There was a good flick on the cast and was fishing at about 6ft depth. I was fishing for Roach and they were coming out thick and fast. Again, a good curve in the rod and a great play bringing them in. I had 42 in total and the rod performed well with every fish.

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This rod is usually £74.99 on the Tackle Box website, but at the moment there is 20% off, making it just £59.99; an absolute bargain.

https://www.tacklebox.co.uk/rods-en/specialist/specialist-rods/tackle-box-darent-valley-11ft-9ins-2.25lb-specialist-rod.html

Categories
Tom Baird

Dead Bait and Lure set up’s

Evening all and I hope you are all well and safe. Thank god we can still fish and get out there to free our minds from the troubles we are all facing at the moment. I thought I would share my setups with you for Piking. So, come the 1st October my rods are ready, so I can fish at a moment’s notice.

Now every angler would have their favourite brands or some might use a mix of brands. Me being the way I am, I have to have the same brand for the species I’m targeting. I know it sounds nuts, but some of you will be in the same boat. I have to have matching everything lol.

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So, for my Pike set ups I use Fox. I just like the styles and the way the rods handle when fishing. The rod I use is a Fox Warrior S. I find the bend and the play in the rod really suits me. My reels are Fox ESO 12000, now these are a chunky reel, but when you’re fishing for Crocs you need a good system you can rely on.

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Now I need to equip my tools with Braided line, which I must have for Pike fishing. The braid lets you feel the whole take and enjoy it more. You can find all sorts of braid out there. Go into your local tackle shop and see what they recommend. You will get valuable knowledge and at the same time support your local business.

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Then I look at my wire traces with triple hooks on them. Now you can make your own and there are some great videos out there, or again your local tackle shop might show you. I was lucky I had someone show me how to do this. If you are feeling lazy or just don’t have the patience, you can get them already done. So, look for dead bait Pike rig which is around 20 inches in length. The length is important because if the Pike roles then you want that extra length on there.

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There are plenty of dead baits out there and each water works differently. So, speak to other anglers to see what works. Could be Markell on one water or Roach on another.

For my lure and spinning I use the Fox Warrior Rage Spinning rod and the same reel. What a lovely rod. Its light and amazing to handle. Again, braided line and a wire trace with hook clip swivel which makes changing lures and spinners quick and easy.

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I find there are lots of techniques out there for bringing your lures in and making them more attractive for the fish. Watch a few videos and the go and try them out. Also, if you know someone who is skilled in lure fishing see if you can tag along. Once you catch on a lure or spinner you will fall in love with that style of fishing. Moving to different spots or trolling up and down rivers until you get that strike on that rod. Remember you are being hunted by the ultimate hunter fish.

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Until next time, Tight Lines……

Categories
Tom Baird

A weekend in wellies

Hello there my fellow anglers and I hope you are all safe and well. So, this weekend saw me fishing both days. Which was amazing as I only have time for once a week usually. It started after work on Saturday I met up with fellow blogger Bailey.

Bailey wanted to have a go at lure fishing for Pike and choose me of all people to teach him the ways (poor man). We met at Heybridge and headed inland with lures in hand stopping at different points along the way. We started just past the last mooring, which was quite weedy due to strong flows and dead weed off the bottom.

We soon bumped into fellow anglers and exchanged some banter and catch reports. They seemed to be doing much better, as we had 0 catches. To top it off, fellow angler Russ caught a cracking Perch whilst chatting (well done Russ). I was like an excited little school kid, offering my net to help out.   

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Well done Russ.

Once we had parted ways, we carried on trying different spots along the navigation, recognising the areas mentioned by the other group. Which was ok as Baily was getting his style of lure fishing together, which is always great to see. I was giving a few pointers every now and then, but he was doing fine. Sometimes you have got to do what you are comfortable with and what works for you.

We got to a nice section of river and Baily was doing his thing and I was a few swims down and bang, I was in to a nice little Jack. The way they take a lure still amazes me. As we landed it, the baby crock decided to do a famous death role in the net. The lure came out and tangled up in the side of the net. Which I wasn’t worried about, as I was more concerned about the Jack. Checked him over and all was good. After some photos, put the little fighter back and he swam off perfectly.

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Whilst sorting out a nightmare of a double triple hook lure in my net, Bailey was in, his face was like Charlie from Willy Wonka finding the golden ticket. He played it well and we landed it very carefully, as my lure was still tangled. I was so happy that he had caught one. The pressure was off. I couldn’t blank with him again lol.

Unfortunately, that was the only fish we were catching that day. Bailey did have a few more takes which come off, but he was still a happy bunny.

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On Sunday me and Harry decided to hit the River Stour again. Wellies on we headed to the mill pool, had about half an hour there and nothing. So, we decided to head on up river. Found a lovely spot and had a few casts out. We had to stop for a little while, due to a swimming group going past. Had a good chat, but obviously fishing had died off by that point. Now I could say Harry got caught in a tree, but it was me. I was trying to get to a difficult spot where I know some nice pike had been caught.

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I passed Harry my rod and went to retrieve my line and lure still attached to the rod. After fighting a jungle I was finger tips away, the bank gave way and my whole welly went in. Harry had thought I had gone in. The poor boy of seven didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Once he knew I was ok, then the laughter happened. My whole right leg was drenched from groin to toes. Our fishing session was over. Back to the car we went with a squelching sound with every step. The water I emptied out of my welly was quite impressive.

Once at the car we had some cheeky custard creams and made our way home. My boots are still drying out in the garage.

Until next time fellow anglers, tight lines….