Angling Blog 30th January 2015

Fri 30 January 15


I’ve been back on my favourite stretch of the River Dove this week, and I’ve had my first pb of the year! The river isn’t particularly wide or imposing through this stretch, so it’s real sneak about stuff, but it’s great fun and I love it!
It’s also a great opportunity to use my favoured (but discontinued) Sonik Sports Twin Tip rods which offer unrivalled options when it comes to fishing these small rivers.

Although the river had received some rain, and was slightly coloured, I found I could still get away with just a 2oz tip for bite indication, so after picking my spot, I tackled up quickly. In previous sessions, for some reason, I’ve never had much luck when trotting for the grayling I know inhabit this area, but I’ve always done well on the feeder. With that in mind, I chose a Kamasan Black Cap feeder, which I’d taped to block almost all of the holes to allow the maggots to drip feed out slowly when it lay on the river bed. This went straight on the 6lb mainline, attached by a swivel clip, and was stopped by a number 4 split shot (no finesse required!) A 3lb 6oz hooklink terminating in a size 16 barbless completed the rig, with the feeder set a couple of feet from the hook and a pinch of maggots was added before the first cast.

The river holds a fair head of good sized trout which can smash up a swim pretty quickly, and sure enough, the first wrap around bite came from a lean wild brown trout of about 3lbs. The next cast brought the same result, as did the third! The grayling weren’t getting a look in, so I decided to remove the baited hook and try to feed the trout off by introducing a pinch of dead maggots every thirty seconds or so… for an hour! After resting the swim, I was hopeful that the trout would have eaten their fill, and that other fish may have moved in. The next cast was gently lobbed across the stream to the edge of the ripple and allowed to settle with a slight bend in the quivertip. Within a minute or two, I started to get indications which can only be described as looking as though a violin bow was being drawn across the line; very strange indeed! A swift full blooded bite soon followed, and the resulting strike was met with considerable resistance which I initially thought may have been a chub.

The fish didn’t immediately dive for the nearest tree root though, instead it hung about in the centre of the river giving solid resistance and the occasional thump which my trusty twin tip soaked up impressively. As the fish eventually neared the net, I still hadn’t seen it, so was overjoyed to spot the pink and purple sail of a decent grayling cutting through the water as I quickly scooped it up! Result! Safely unhooked, the lady of the stream was weighed at a personal best busting 2lb 2oz which I was extremely pleased with. By the end of the morning, I’d had around a dozen decent grayling, and yet more trout before the swim went quiet; I’d guess a pike had moved in on the commotion, but I couldn’t hook it despite offering a variety of lures and a juicy deadbait! Time to move on…

I’d still got time to visit a lake on the other side of the road which I knew held a good head of pike to around 19lbs, so I took another Sonik rod, this time the SK4 Spin rod, to try and bag a few predators before home. At this time of year, the lake is crystal clear, but is full of debris which can make lure fishing tricky, so I chose a shallow water plug and had a cast around. The obvious places to try were explored first, marginal reed beds offer superb cover to winter pike, and within three casts I’d hooked a small pike of around 5lbs which hit the lure right under the rod tip in an explosion of freezing water! I can never get over the knee wobbling shock (nor do I want to!) of a hit under my feet, I absolutely love the glimpse of wide open mouth and steely head of a pike striking the lure where I can see it, and the powerful lunge from the depths and rod bending hit always takes me by surprise; I love it!

Tight Lines

Clint Walker



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