Afternoon on the Loddon

I spent the afternoon on the river Loddon yesterday. Equipped with light feeder rod and Lobworms for bait, the idea was to roam the short stretch looking for overhanging cover that a Chub or big Perch might be hiding under.

This stretch of the Loddon has recently seen some bank side trees and snags removed which has certainly made this river more challenging and even more difficult to find the fish. The weather though was on my side and mild for January with overcast sky.

Eventually I settled into a spot and after 20 minutes the line tightened and the rod tip moved millimetres but was enough for me to see the bite. The resulting fish was a hard fighting Chub.

IMG_0597Chub – 3 pounds 13 oz

Deciding to stay in the swim, another Lobworm went out. This time the bite was easier to spot. On the strike the rod wrapped round and the hooked Pike briefly tail walked before I was able to turn and guide it into the waiting net. On my last trip I also managed to land a Pike and it’s good sport if you can avoid your line from coming in contact with those sharp teeth.

IMG_0676Surprise Pike – 7 pounds 3 oz

As the light was fading a nice looking Perch of just under two pounds took a liking to the worm. This rounded off a very enjoyable few hours fishing.

IMG_0761Perch – 1 pound 14 oz

Summer / Autumn Update

I might have mentioned it before but I love my local river Blackwater. It offers many things to me: time to unwind, reflect and refresh. Small, it has a diverse variety of fish species that can be tempted with trotting, light ledger and lure tactics. This is where I have spent my last 6 months fishing, and really enjoyed it.

My style of fishing has changed over the years. It used to be spent largely in pursuit of Carp dedicated to a specific lake targeting the old strains that live within. The last 10 years has seen me target more species that has taken me to a wider variety of waters to fish for them. This change in my fishing style has suited my current work and family commitments and the last 6 months has been made up of short day sessions of between two and six hours – roving the river, mainly in search of Chub.

Here is a small montage of some of the fish caught from the river Blackwater since August.

I am looking forward to 2018 and can only hope to dedicate more of my time to my hobby.

 

Cheese Paste Suprise

With less than a month left before the river season comes to another close I find myself walking the banks of my small local river in search of a chub or two.

I have come armed with a light quiver rod and reel, minimal end tackle, net and a ball of cheese paste that has been sitting in the fridge for a month.

I walk the length of the short stretch, stopping occasionally to peer into the shallow margins looking for signs of chub, or anything else swimming! I might have even thrown a few bits of paste into any chubby looking spots to give them something to think about before I return with baited hook.

                   
At the end of the stretch I settle into a swim which is just big enough to flick my light link ledgered cheese paste towards a far bank tree with low overhanging branches. Although this looked like a good spot a bite did not develop. I didn’t hang around too long and after half an hour reeled in to search out another spot.

This sequence of events was repeated a couple more times with similar results. With the unseasonably warm afternoon sun beginning to fall behind the trees on the horizon I was starting to wonder if I should have considered another bait option to prevent a blank.

Arriving at what was to be my penultimate swim, I flicked out my cheese paste into a deeper hole that I had located on a previous session. After placing the rod on the front rest, the quiver tip settled for a minute before showing a subtle bite which I instantly stuck into.

The battle curve of the rod assured me that this was what I had been waiting for. After a spirited fight I slid the net under a plump chub of 4 pounds 7 ounce.

Cheese Paste Chub

With light fading I re-baited and cast into the same hole. I had a feeling that there was a chance of another fish. Shortly afterwards I struck into the tiniest of bites and connected with what felt like a heavier but different fight. The result was a pike of around 6 or 7 pounds hooked fair and square through the top lip.

Hooked fair and square through the top lip

On five separate occasions over the last three months, I have been unable to land the pike that have latched onto roach and dace I had been reeling in on 3 lb float tackle, breaking the line before getting to the net. On this occasion the 6 lb line was kept clear of sharp teeth until in the net.

Walking back to the car, wondering why a pike had bothered with my paste, I remembered that I had added a few drops of crab flavouring to the mix to spice things up. Well, it definitely gave me a cheese paste surprise!