Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Start the season - chub to trout.
Since the river coarse fishing season began on the 16th of June I've had two or three trips to my local flowing waters. As usual at this time of the year I used lures so that I could cover plenty of water and see what was about. The fish that I try to catch are generally chub, perch, and seatrout with the inevitable pike being a bit of a nuisance. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I mind catching pike but since I'm generally using pretty small lures appropriate to the other species the pike are often little ones and they are inclined to engulf everything in their relatively huge mouths. Of course, whatever lure I select has to be on a wire trace because even the tiniest pike is liable to shear through braid or nylon.
As it turned out I've done quite well in terms of fish caught but my recent, ongoing curse of lost fish has continued. I'm long enough in the tooth to know that it will all 'come good' in the long run but these spells of several successive escapes can be pretty wearing. I suppose a non-angler would regard it as the 'big one that got away' syndrome but it is generally just one or two unfortunate incidents.
In truth things started quite well with several modest chub, the best no bigger than a-pound-and-a-half. All the fish were nicely hooked on my 7cm black and silver Rapala or number2 Mepps, both excellent lures for most of the smaller predatory species. I also had a pike of a few pounds to break the sequence and managed to unhook it without too much trouble. More chub and a small perch then a decent brown trout of about two pounds which put up a good show before being landed and released. A few more modest chub and a tiny pike completed the session.before I landed another, larger pike and it was time for me to pack in.
On my next trip I intended to try a stretch further upstream but when I arrived another angler was already setting up his gear so I hopped back in the car and drove to a second-choice venue. By now I was hankering after a seatrout so I went to a stretch which has, in the past, produced quite a few of these fish. I used exactly the same tactics, spinning my little buoyant plug and fanning the casts to cover the entire width of the river. I managed a single take after about five minutes of casting. The fish gave me a grandstand view, a beautiful silver seatrout of about five pounds, having grabbed the plug as it hung in the current it ripped off a few metres of line, flung itself into the air and came unstuck - I was gutted. Despite covering another mile or of water I couldn't buy another bite.
My good pal Nigel rang that evening and we decided to have another go for a seatrout. We both started by spinning with little Rapalas and it wasn't very long before Nigel's lure somehow detached itself from the clip and was lost. Not a good start. He switched to another small plug and before long he said that he'd seen a good fish follow the lure up in a couple of metres of water right under his rod tip. The fish showed no further interest so we moved on downstream and were biteless for over an hour. On the way back to the car Nigel decided to have a last try for the big fish which he'd seen earlier. No sign on the plug so as a desperate parting shot he clipped on a medium sized, off-white, Slandra lure. I was a short distance upstream of my pal when I heard a call and a big splash. I looked up to see him with his rod well bent so I reeled in to go and assist. As I approached the rod straightened and the fish was gone. Nigel said that he'd simply been jigging the soft plastic, eel-like lure under his feet when it was taken by a seatrout of eight or nine pounds (presumably the 'fish' that he'd seen earlier) which ripped off some line. jumped and came unstuck. Clearly my curse was infectious.
Two more short sessions produced a fresh run seatrout of two or three pounds on the plug for me then I lost yet another fish; this time a monster perch which took the Mepps and (very unusually) ripped off a few metres of line before snagging me solidly. I had to wade and mess about in the river to get the lure back before getting severely nettled as I climbed out. That's fishing!
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Start the coarse season with a small chub.
...and a little pike.
Several more chub - even the little ones are keen fish eaters.
A bit bigger pike.
...and a nice trout.
Yet more chub, I lost count.
Another good browny.
A good perch on the Mepps but only a shadow of the one that escaped.
A silver seatrout.
... still with a sea louse.
... and yet another pike.