Friday, 13 February 2015

Mixing it up

My last few trips have seen me chopping and changing between species. Perch, pike and chub have  all featured. I am certainly not an angler whom targets pike a lot and that much is very evident on this blog and my vlogs, each season I promise myself to set time aside for said species. Don't get me wrong I do love them, but I get rather sidetracked and before you know it the season is over and promise fallen by the wayside. So a plan was made, a spot of static dead baiting on a diminutive waterway, one that is full of character and has some rather pretty predators.

It was a cold January morning, the breeze a tad chilly, a refreshing wake up call to the mind and soul even if body did not agree. The river level looked good if a bit coloured, I was soon setup and the first roach was cast across the narrow channel toward the opposite margin. Having had them in the freezer for over thirteen months I must admit they were not the freshest of fish but did seem to be holding together reasonably well.

An hour later the line pinged out of the drop back indicator and I was playing a lively, dappled scamp that bolted along the near margins, the first fish of 2015 .

The end result was a fish of 4lb 5oz and a nice way to start the new year. A short rest in the net and It soon sped off to tell any others that it might meet to avoid those less than glossy eyed roach. I can just see an image of two pike sat on the bottom, one checking an imaginary sell by date and claiming to its mate "I am telling you it has a touch of freezer frost!!"

It was an enjoyable day and I was kept company by Jenny Wren, whom kept returning and having a good chatter to me, for such small birds they are filled to the brim with hardy character.

Come late afternoon and not long before it was time to head off home to defrost I had a very confident take, I knew straight away that this was a better fish as it made a forceful sprint for the marginal snags, a quick bit of side strain was applied to halt its progress, the fish came instantly to the surface and proceeded to tail walk three times, it was a high adrenaline but short lived scrap. A lovely looking esox was my reward, not big by some anglers standards but for myself a personal best.


I was overjoyed and at the same time left questioning myself as to why I never allot a sensible portion of the fishing season to target this species.

Just prior to Christmas a neat parcel turned up and I pondered whether to leave unwrapping it till Christmas day, however curiosity got the better of me and the package was soon opened, inside were some very finely crafted floats, the glossy lacquered finishing and attention to detail was superb, I could not thank Philip enough for being so kind.

One float in particular really called out to me, an elegant avon with grey body and black whippings. I could already feel a sentimental friendship growing and if it could perhaps survive some snags, trees and a spot of dodgy wallace casting I was sure it would soon have a few tales to tell.

A few days after my pike trip I decided to put the float and speedia to good use with three hours of lunchtime trotting. Grabbing the nearest landing net, tubs of maggot and worm, I was soon off to chance my arm for a fish or two and perhaps a float caught perca. On reaching the river it looked nice but was in reality far too coloured for perch, I was nonetheless game and trickled in a steady flow of maggots at a little and often pace.

I must say having not trotted for many years it was nice to get back into it, slowly but surely a rhythm was found and as I worked the float along the various currents I was fully immersed, mesmerized by each jostle and nudge. Two hours later I had managed to miss a couple of good bites, both fast affairs and it was apparent that I was rather rusty, the Grey wagtail that had kept me company much of the afternoon would have agreed in earnest.

By now the sun was out and despite its rather watered down appearance it was most pleasant, a brief break was taken to rest my eyes and warm myself with a shot of coffee. A glance at the watch told me a few more trots and I would have to be off home, on about the tenth run through the float buried solidly, I struck and the response was instant as a  healthy dogged sprint followed, if this was a perch it was a darn good one, but I could tell this scrap had the characteristics of a chevin, sure enough the water boiled as a broad, blunt head broke the surface.

As I slid the net under it I could see it was easily my largest float and pin caught chevin. The scales read a very pleasing 6.5, I could not resist a speedia and chub picture.

These off the cuff fishing trips always feel quite wholesome, perhaps due to just grabbing the basics and getting out. I had finally christened the speedia and thanks to Philip's very kind hearted gesture I had got back into trotting, I headed home most content.


  1. Great write up Mark. Love the bird pictures and those floats, they look mouth watering and to get a six pound chub as well.... just too good.

  2. Hello Dave,

    I really don't do enough trotting, tend to probably do more link legering than anything else if I am honest,but it was enjoyable to get back into it and very calming. The bird pictures I was most happy about, especially the Wren as they are twitchy little souls at the best of times.