Hello and a warm welcome back to Fishing For Memories.
Well the years certainly trundling by fast as it always does when your fishing and it`s now July and still raining,the lakes are full to the brim in the South and the rivers are running high coloured and flooded in places,whatever happened to summer time? Despite this the fishing on the river Thames since the beginning of the season has been good and Robert and I have been having some good sessions.
I can`t help but feel these days many anglers who just go straight into one type of fishing without grounding themselves on other areas of our wonderful sport are doing themself a dis-service,there are many elements of fishing that when learnt can be added to your armoury and mixed up and used when you go fishing for one type of fish ,the significant amount of watercraft you can pick up from other areas of angling that you don`t learn when just sticking to one species or style of angling are in my honest opinion immensely useful,be it running a centrepin and float down the glides on a river after chub or Barbel ,or fishing for shy biting crucians and Roach and learning a different type of finesse as well as studying the water in a myriad of ways.I was brought up as a river angler by my dad (Robert) before branching out into other areas, he taught me a lot of things from the basics of tying a hook to how to fish different methods on the local rivers and what to look for in different weather conditions this I felt helped make me a more well rounded angler and gave me extra perspective and ideas.
Robert and I set out in the evening to do a 24hr session on the River Thames,main targets being Barbel and Carp,we had pre-baited some new areas,the evening was dry for a change with a reasonable breeze and cloud cover,the river itself was looking high and coloured we opted for 3 3/4oz running rigs,12lb drennan sink braid hooklinks and size 8 kamasan Animal hooks,
Bait wise Robert decided to use 18mm boile with a base mix we have been using a lot this year on one rod and on his other rod opted for doppelganger in sweetcorn flavour shaped into a 28mm hook pellet shape.I opted one rod on the same base mix in 18mm and my other rod on donkey choker pellet,whilst most times this can be a dead cert way of getting bream it has also accounted for quite a few Thames carp for us.
We settled into our swims,the evening drew in slowly with the wind easing and trees being just lightly caressed,the boat traffic had eased down,the old faithful kingfisher flew by with a fish firmly lodged in it`s beak,a wonderful flash of metallic blue,radiant in even the most overcast of weather,as the evening wore on it wasn`t long before we broke out the tea and munchies chatting to each other expectantly of what this session might hold,just at this moment my right rod gave a jerky single bleep followed by a solid take upstream,I locked the baitrunner and started playing what felt a livley fish and I did wonder if I was into one of the Thames Barbel after a few minutes of lively fight a nice looking Mirror with a lovely colour of 12lb8oz was sat in the net 1-0 to the donkey choker.
Robert and I were happy with this start given the colour and flow on the river,the right rod was recast and this time i opted to re-bait it with one of the boiliesfrom the latest base mix we had been using,the evening drew right in and at eleven it started to shower,steadily but remained nice and mild The swans paddled by with their cygnets behind them struggling in the flow,one of them sat on mum`s back taking the smart easy option.
at 10pm the right rod single toned and ripped off upstream,yet again I was met with a solid resistance as the fish went into a marginal cabbage patch and I was worried it would be the last I saw of it,luckily with a little steady pressure and some work from the fish she freed herself and then cruised off downstream to the far bank using the current to its advantage,after a reasonable scrap a long Mirror of 16lb8oz was sat in the net,I was happy,two fish in a short time,
Robert and I sat back and happily re-counted the night so far,Robert`s spot had been quiet no Carp or Barbel so far,but he felt it would come good eventually later that night about 1am, he had a screaming single toner on the left rod on the doppelganger and the fish bolted off downstream to a cabbage patch and slipped the hook,he was gutted it,had felt a decent fish,so he quickly re-cast his rod to the same spot and half an hour later the same rod bolted off downstream,Robert was into another fish that made it to a cabbage patch,but this time it didnt slip and he managed to bully it out of the patch and into a clearer area of water after 10 minutes of downstream sprinting in the pacey flow and a pristine Barbel of 8LB was sat in the net.
The next 2 hours past without incident,owls called out in the night with their hi-pitched hunting calls,a fox past by our swims and briefly halted to take a long solemn look before it padded its way off into the night,it may have been a vixen I couldn`t really tell,if not maybe he was off to find solace with one as they had been calling out during the night with their banshee-esque howls.
At around 3am my right rod bleeped once then 30 seconds later bleeped again and the swinger dropped back then in the same action hit the blank of the rod and my alarm single toned and the line ripped off and rod angled downstream,this was a fish on a mission apparently to try snagging me and nearly succeeded as I lifted in and started to take slack on the fish it found an underwater obstruction i was not aware of and the line looped under at a different position to where the fish was running,the only thing i could do was try to make it change direction,I lowered my rod tip and eased down my pressure and the fish then changed direction and ran back upstream and started heading for some tree routes,I quickly applied some side pressure and this paid off and it finally succumbed to the darkfolds of the landing net,out on to the landing mat and a very nicely proportioned spawn laden Common of 20LB was my reward.
I was very wet and very happy this ended a very good albeit wet overnight session on the Thames for us,a wonderful river you can never tell what is round the corner of each visit to it`s hallowed banks.