Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Fishing For Memories

Thames Winter Chub fishing March 2007

Our fish of dreams

The back end of the river season,there is something quite solemn about it you know,yet it is filled with an energy and enthusiasm that is only matched by the opening day of the river season,frosty evenings,Pheasants and Partridges calling out over the fields and beginning the start of their mating for the Spring that whilst not feeling like having returned is showing slightly in the buds of the trees and other such flora and fauna,even the bumble bee has started to show,searching its way haphazardly through what vegetation there is.

We found ourselfs out of luck for the first 10 days of March,with southern England being hit by some very heavy rain and the rivers taking a beating with severe flooding on most of them Ducks,swans and coots in fields paddling about was the sight which greeted us.

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We were very crestfallen knowing that if the rains did let up we would only have a small window of oppurtunity before the close of season,Robert and myself just hoped the rain would lift for 6 or 7 days,luckily the rain subsided and over the next week water levels whilst high returned to some what normality.

We took a couple of trips over to pre-bait our swims,choosing to lightly pre-bait over 3 days with hemp and trout pellets and some of the freezer bait boilies of mine that I always keep handy.The river was still very coloured and with heavy flow,Robert mentioned to me how he felt that we would have a fight on our hands with the debris floating down,I agreed and said "well we hardly have many days left to be worrying about the debris and flow easing"

So the decision was made to get our last session in on the river,the morning came sandwiches were readied and all other supplies deemed necessary for such cold and damp weather.We arrived over the river at around 9am the day was one of high pressure and clear skies with rather warm sunshine.

We reached our swims and settled down totally out of breathe and a tad knackered,after a good 45 minutes rejuvenation I set about doing our rigs,which were to be the following 2oz Gripper leads (great weights for holding bottom) hooklink was to be 7Lb6oz Power Reflon on both my rods,normally I use 5Lb Trilene but I deemed this suicidal in current conditions and quite possibly would cost me fish,a size 8 Kamasan Animal hook was to be used,hooks are very much a personal preference and confidence factor and I have amazing confidence in these hooks,they have never once let me down with their reverse beak which is great and
works well for anti ejection purposes,Main line that was to be used was 10LB TFG Gun smoke the rig which was as always a running ledger rig was to be fished in conjucnction with a knotless knot and hair rigged 15mm Halibut pellet on one rod and fishmeal freezer boilie on the other.Pva bags were used by myself and filled with micro trout pellets and hemp.

Robert mean while had setup one rod with a similar rig,same weight/main line, hook size and pattern but using a 9lB black braid hooklink,which I had acquired via knowing it was an unbranded braid by reknowned company but at knock down prices,I picked it up earlier on in the season and it had proved its worth very well.

On his other Rod Robert had the exact same setup as me using a 7LB6oz Power Reflon hooklink.Baits for him were twin 15mm halibut pellets on both rods.
Robert was using loose fed pellets and liquidised Bread Crumb as ground bait.

The Morning past without incident,geese swept by over head,swans paddled by giving us seemingly indignant cursory glances,as usual this time of the year boat traffic was at a minimum also,which is always a god send,we sat back chatting about how the day had developed so far,we
both still felt very confident in our chances,both knowing that most fish activity tends to startas the evning draws in,we have always found this on the Thames.

During the late afternoon my left rod screamed off I leaned in it felt a very lively fish,I suggested to Robert it may be a smallish Carp or a Barbel and sure enough it turned out to be a nicely proportioned albeit small in our experience of Thames Barbel and 5LB 8oz,but very welcome nonetheless.

After the Barbel all fell silent,no action whatsoever,but puer unadulterated peace and tranquility were abound and Later that day two kingfishers swept through our swim flying low and tight to the waters surface,such a wonderous bird,stream lined and metallic colours almost like a jet fighter in miniature.

Evening came and a single bleep sounded on Roberts left hand rod,all went quiet for the nexthour,then one long bleep Robert lifted in the fish decided to take a slow but powerfully deep run downstream and then lock itself up hugging the bottom,we both came to the conclusion this was a possible Barbel,as they do have a tendency to also hug the bottom and stay put for a while.After some carefully applied pressure the fish swam back upstream and was brought to our margin,slowly it appeared on the surface,its Silver armour like scales and red fins,it was a Chub and a very large one at that,I said to Robert "looks like a 7 pounder maybe even more".

So we took her over to the landing mat slipped her into the weigh sling,the scales tipped round to 8LB.. "oh my an 8 pounder Robert" I exclaimed,he could not believe it "that is incredible"he said,and a new personal best,snashing his old PB by 2LB

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Specimen Chub don`t come much bigger than an 8LB Chub,just this fish alone would have made our session amazingly special,but more was to come.

The evening drew on Robert had one more Rattling take on his right rod and the fish slipped the hook,it felt a reasonable fish and was possibly another decent Chub.

10pm came,sat under my brolly dozing slightly,my right Fox mx bleeped "hmm debris maybe" was what went through my mind.The answer came 20 minutes later when the alarm single toned and the baitrunner went into overtime the fish ran to the left and down stream,now that would normally be ok but not as far as he was running,as just further down was sunken roots of a tree on the next bend "Not good Not good" was going through my mind,so I took the decision to lower my rod slightly and release any pressure the fish was feeling and kid the fish into changing his mind about running off downstream and this worked,the fish moved back upstream,by this time Robert had joined me at my swim and was ready with the landing net.after a 10 minute fight another Chub was netted and this one looked another Specimen fish.This was turning into one very special session indeed,Robert mentioned "Looks like 7LB".

Laid on the mat I slid her into the weigh sling and hooked it up on the scales round they went stopping at 7LB 8ozs Robert Exclaimed "7Lb 8ozs I wasn`t far with my estimate,what a fish".I was in awe I had smashed my PB by 2LB as well and it was another specimen Chub for us.

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This session was going from amazing to the mythical stuff of dreams ,we both knew we had hooked two specimen Chub from the Thames this season,it just could not get any better.

We was featured in the following weeks Angling Times plublication and on their website.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Fishing For Memories

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My names Mark Erdwin and his names Robert Erdwin we would like to take this chance to welcome you to the Fishing for Memories Blog. This Blog is dedicated to telling the stories of our seasons fishing on the various rivers and pits of Southern England.

Summer Tincas

In the blistering heat that was the summer of 2006
we set our eyes on getting into some Tench on one of our favourite pits.

There is something some what synonimous with hot days and warm nights and Tench fishing, The mist lifting its veil from the water in the mornings,The Tale tale signs of Tench delicately rolling and barely breaking the surface of the water to show a tail in their wonderful shy enchanting way that belies their power and muscle.

The Pit

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The pit itself is around 30 acres and unlike so many other waters totally unkept and natural,full to the brim with many criss crossing gravel bars and gullies starting at very short range in many areas.On our previous feature finding mission we found the average depth to be between 2 and 3 metres maxing out at 4 metres in some areas.

The following evening we set up in our chosen swim,Robert fishing on the right myself on the left.As normal one rod by both of us was put out at marginal range,my rod was placed to a bar beginning at very short range and at the tip of an overhanging tree,this rod was a running rig as are all of our rods and fished slack lined,we have always used this standard rig as we find it more sensitive than fishing the usual style of inline semi-fixed rig,as seems so much the fashion these days.

A single hair rigged 15mm Halibut pellet on a size 8 Kamasan Animal hook was used and micro pva Smart Liquidus bag.On the right rod I decided to go with an 18mm fluoro pineapple pop up this was accompanied by a stick of crushed boilies and halfs and cast at 90 metres to another gravel bar that ran parrallel to the swim.

As I was finishing my rods my father Robert had got his into place,fishing one rod to the right margin near the drop off and beginning gravel bar on a cocktail of cranberry boilie and 15mm artifical halibut pellet and his second rod at range adjacent to me on the same gravel bar atrange approx 90 metres on this he was presenting a jamaican banana boilie.
Once we was done we settled down to the usual banter,fueled by expectation that accompanies all our sessions,the evening slowly drew in, a couple of herons flew overhead and the Tufted ducks eyed our baited areas with greedy eyes.

At 9pm my left rod bleeped as the crayfish pawed at the pellet,then all fell silent as is so typcial as the fish move in they push the crayfish aside. 20 minutes later and the left rod tore off to the sound of a single toner.I locked the baitrunner and set the hook,by now the fish was well aware of the prescence of the hook and was decidedly angry it took a deep run to my left near one of the overhanging trees and carried on to peel line,after 10 minutes the fish kited right to the edge of the marginal drop off and was landed by a slightly wetted Robert.The Fish one of many we was to take over the next three sessions was 7LB 9oz`s and matched my personal best.

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After she was slipped back the rod was rebaitedand cast to the same area,it is always a nice feeling when you have your first fish of a session we put the tea on and sat back recounting how Robert had got a bit more wetter then he had bargained for when the fish had attempted to tail walk at the last moments.

It was not long after we had settled down to swatting the dreaded mosquitoes that were dive bombing us overly enthusiastically,that my left rod sounded again this time more of a slow take that simply meandered off,lifting in I was met with a pleasent resistance and soon another tench this time slightly smaller at 6Lb 13oz`s was in the net.

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One more take was to come on the left rod but alas the fish was bumped off,all went quiet during the next few hours until 4am when the right rod and pineapple pop-up saw a staccato esque take develop into a nice full blooded run,I could feel the weight bouncing over the gravel bars as I played this fish and was worried I might end up with a cut off if I was unlucky enough to find one of mussel beds,luckily this didn`t happen and resulted in another Tench this time of 7LB8oz`s .

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That was to be the end of my action for the next few hours,this was when Roberts rods kicked into action and at 7am his left rod tore off,I was snoozing on my bedchair and caught his call of
"yes I`m in" asking him how it felt as most anglers do,he replied "feels a reasonable fish"
after a solid 10 minute fight he landed a very deep Tench i estimated it at 8Lb`s and commented how it could be a new pb for him,into the weigh sling it went and tipped the scales to 7lb 14oz`s just 2oz`s under 8lb and a new Tench pb for Robert!

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After that fish all went quiet till 2pm when Robert`s left banana boilie rod decided it could not take the silence any longer and started to run,another long range tussle with a Tench that seemed intent on snagging Robert,this fish turned out to be 7Lb 4oz`s

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It was not long before he was in again and this time on the marginal right pellet rod,a single bleep and then 15 minutes later a slow movement of the swinger and it was game on again.
This time the result was a perfectly proportioned Tench of 7lb 8oz`s

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In total we took a total of 200LB of Tench in our session.