Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Name's Marco

The Marco Cortesi centrepin that is.

After reading many positive comments and reviews especially over at the BFW site,I finally took the plunge and bought one of them.

First impressions?

Well for what this pin costs,it seems nothing short of superb,it seems very smooth and rotates freely for a long time,which is something that is very important whilst trotting.Admittedly whilst it might not be comparable to some of the top "Rolls Royce" centrepins,it doesn't sport some of the eye watering price tags that they do either.

I believe for any newcomer who wants to learn to master the joys and art of using a centrepin (myself) and for people looking for something where performance far outweighs price,this is a rather smart choice. I am rather looking forward to putting it to some use rolling some meat and trotting,as well as hopefully some spring Crucian fishing,Time will tell how well it lasts,but if it does age well then it will be money wisely spent.

A Hint Of Spring

It was early and a decidedly mild late February morning.
I considered my options,my memory flicked back to my recent and very enjoyable trip,this was enough alone to help me decide what I would be doing,on checking the fridge I had enough maggots left for a trip down the river,excellent.

Mud filled puddles slurped and tugged at my boots with earnest as I wound my way to the river,it was early morning,in fact barely light,I spotted the silhouette of a deer in front of me,head perked up and fleet of foot it hopped into an adjacent field and vanished.The morning bird chorus was quite simply beautiful and very lively reminding me so much of Spring time.

The river looked fine,a touch more pacey than last time but with that nice tinge of colour that looked spot on.I settled and decided to stick to the same plan of action that had worked last time,Spam on one rod and cage feeder and maggot on the other.

It was not long before the Spam rod had received a few taps and eventually a kamikazeDace of around 6oz was unhooked and placed back,the river looked alive with small fry and soon the maggot and cage feeder rod was tapping away each cast resulting in a bite,it was not long before I had caught a mixed bag of small fish,ranging from Chublets and Dace,to Roach and Perch,as well as a few Gudgeon.It was nice to see so many small fish about,as I have seen a few cormorants in recent years on the river.

At just gone 2pm I started receiving some peculiar bites on the Maggot rod,which I swore to myself seemed like an attack of the brothers Cray,not quite sure I struck and received a reply from the other end of a dash backward and a flick of an armoured tail, sure enough a mini lobster appeared on the surface a right set of claws on it and 8 inches in length,it was none to happy about being hooked in the leg and took upon itself to go into battle position claws raised out upward,a size 8 boot was soon administered to it.

It seemed destined this trip for the Spam rod to remain very quiet,in fact apart from the one Dace on it,it remained still.I was in two minds to switch my maggot rod over to pellet,as I felt that the maggot was not getting long enough to settle down and get through to the larger fish,but part of me really didn't feel like using pellet,so I kept on with Maggot and as the light faded the bites from small fish steadily eased off.

I was feeling unusually sleepy and my head at one point actually rocked forward,sleep was trying to lure me under its veil,no thank you came my reply,Grabbing a quick cup of coffee and hobnob I perked up again.

An hour or two into darkness the maggot rod jerked into life and baitrunner clicked into action,I was into a lunging sprinting run from a fish that tried to go into the near bank margins and toward an undercut bank,eventually playing it back another lovely broad Chub of 5Lb13oz was sat in the net,I was rather happy.

Fish thanked and slipped back to its watery home,I re-cast and sat back down,giving a cursory glance to the spam rod,last knockings were not so far off either and I was wondering if it was not to be this time.

Time sped on,a rustle was heard on the far bank,and soon revealed itself as being a fox,out for his night time prowl,he stood staring at me before dashing off into the tree line.

The Maggot rod all of a sudden lurched round and stayed like it,I lifted in and to all intents and purposes thought I had hit a snag,as there was no moevement at all for the first few seconds, then the fish woke up and plodded into midstream gradually gathering pace and heading downstream,not so much of a problem as this particular spot fortunately only had dead reed beds,slowly the fish tired and eventually entered the waiting net.

A short dumpy Barbel of 9Lb6oz was laying on the landing mat,two trips and two very nice results.The weather looks like taking a turn for the worse during next week with high pressure returning,lets make the most of the last two weeks of the season and enjoy it as much as possible.

Till next time good luck and tight lines.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Friday, 11 February 2011

Third Time Lucky

Well,as any angler will tell you,there is not so long left of this river season,barely 4 weeks and the weather at the moment at least is looking rather good,nice bouts of unsettled windy,wet and mild conditions.

Hastily knocking together some scolded pellet mixed with a light textured cloudbait and Grabbing some spam from the freezer that I had enhanced a few days prior with Marukyu Crayfish sauce,I headed off to chance my luck down the river.

It was wet and the rain heavy at times,yet the river was still very low with a hint of colour,the skeletons of dead reeds and their root's could be seen easily in the margins.

I checked the near bank looking for some deeper holes,only to spot a Mink running off down the bank,big as a cat and a lot less cuddly,not happy with the spot I decided to move,something telling me to look further afield,I really don't know what it was,but I felt I should try a different area,eventually I came across a spot that I liked the look of with a nice crease and some deeper holes to my left and a small raft of dead reeds and nice looking gully to my right.

I flicked both rods out and Settled down to watching a Woodpecker in the tree opposite me beating his head against it like some madman possessed,rather you than me I thought to myself,my feeder and maggot rod tapped subtly,a very light mouthing type bite,next thing I knew the tip flipped round,I struck and was met by thin air,on retreiving the feeder I could see why,the hook had flipped over the hooklink "damn" I muttered.

Cage feeder refilled and cast back out,a steak slice opened and a cup of coffee to accompany it,such simple things in life can make you so content,being on the riverbank,sat eating a pie whilst waiting for a bite or two is like some kind of zen for me,the scene was completed when two Kingfishers gave me a low level flyby,not long after my maggot rod began to tap slightly and then tipped round again,I hesitated for a split second and was left clinging to thin air again,on winding in,I found a very large silver scale impaled on my hook,I thought to myself that my chances were ruined,as you rarely get a second bite of the apple with big Chub and I had just had two and I felt this souvenir scale was my last chance.

My Spam rod had been quiet apart from Crayfish snipping it about and generally being a nuiscance,replacing the chewed up piece with a fresh cubed victim,I cast it back out just into the edge of the flow.

Late afternoon was drawing in when my Maggot feeder slapped round,I struck and felt a thud followed by a surging lunge,the resistance felt good as the fish sprinted for the cover of nearby dead reeds,keeping the line tight I played the fish tentatively,eventually a broad backed,grey shadow emerged,the size 16 hook just holding on to the edge of it's lip,it was a real chunky looking Chub and my heart was in my mouth as I slid the net under it,peering over the net I could see this fish had a really nice girth to it,the scales did not disagree as they told me it's weight,6LB 11oz's a real beauty.

Evening drew in and the rain had eased off a little,I checked my watch,an hour left and then I would have to make my way home.Time ticked away,I decided to treat myself to some hobnob's and a cup of coffee whilst listening to the owls calling out into the darkness.

As I poured my coffee,the spam rod jerked forward very hard and in a flash curved round,I struck and was met by a large powerful run,followed by another,the fish was trying to make its way upstream where there was more reeds and snags,I applied as much pressure as I could, given that I was only on a 4LB Reflo hooklink,momentarily the fish replied,I gained some line and the fish then kited back across,as it did so I felt the line ping and then free itself from an underwater snag,my mouth was as dry as leather as the fish finally met the net.

A lovely Barbel of 11LB was my reward and first one of 2011,I was overjoyed,this rounded off what was a very memorable trip and packing up in the rain has never been more enjoyable.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Blown Out

A windy but mild Saturday morning was met by maggots being boxed,some enhanced spam and cheesepaste grabbed from the fridge and rucksack packed.

making my way over to the river,the gusts of wind made for slow going.I had decided to cover a larger area of river,changing the maggot rod to a cage feeder and deciding to rotate my other rod between cheesepaste and spam.My first spot was one with quite a few underwater trees and has been kind to me in the past.

The water was teeming with Minnows and there was the odd better splash across the surface of a Pike or Trout hunting them,the maggot and cage feeder started receiving fervent taps and plucks from the horde of Minnows more or less straight away and was going to be a feature of the day.

The day passed by quietly,by 7pm I had tried numerous different pools,and creases,but all to no avail,not a sniff on cheese or the spam and only the piranha like attention of Minnows on the maggot.

So I decided to try an old slack I had not fished in an age,a spot that had long ago fallen out of favour with me for reasons my memory can't remember.On settling down in the swim I cast out the spam with groundbait and broken cubes of spam also moulded around the gripper weight. My other rod was already garnering the attention of the Minnow horde,tip,tap tap tap replied the rod tip,on shining my headlight into the river I saw it was quite thick with them.

The spam rod was quiet and not getting overly pestered by crayfish,which was a blessing,I sat back and opened a steak slice with a cup of coffee,mild but pretty quiet on the fish front.The owls began calling out and a deer popped his head into my swim,only for me to stare back at him ,I'm not quite sure who was more shocked,startled,it dashed off across the field in leaps and bounds.

A quick re-cast of both rods and I settled down thinking about how when the weather is sometimes better I find that I sometimes blank more.It was 11pm when my Spam rod decided to show some sign of life,with a sharp movement from the rod tip the swinger climbed,it held momentarily motionless,I was tempted to strike,yet for some reason didn't want to risk it,the swinger dropped down again,ten minutes later the swinger shot up and rod tip wrapped right round,time was motionless as I moved to strike,unfortunately the speed of my strike seemed cumbersome,I connected with nothing,I insulted myself mentally with all kinds of foul words none that I shall publish here.

That was the only decent bite of the trip and to be fair I had blown that chance,it was time to make my way home.