Friday, 9 December 2016

Coasting into the new year.

I know we all go through lean patches now and again as anglers and I can accept that along with the best of them, but just lately I reckon the drought is quite simply down to me being a bit apathetic. As always my time is limited and being as it is limited, doing the right thing at the right time is the key to success. As I have not been on point for some reason I've found myself doing all the wrong things and reaping no reward for my effort.

The last tiny modicum of success came a couple of weeks ago when I went out to hook up with Mick on the Stratford canal after zander. Even though I had half a mind that the cut might be a bit clear, I still pressed on and did badly on the zander front as a result. The tiny bit of action I got came right at the end of the session when we fished around a lock filled with leaves.

Only by targeting the structure did I start to get a few plucks from perch sheltering in the shadows. After fine tuning a little I finally hooked up a small perch just as a boat appeared on the canal approaching the lock.

On a dire mornings fishing the little information those perch gave me was enough to hatch a final plan. I had in the bottom of my bag a box of worms I brought along just in case and I knew the fast approaching boat would churn up the canal a lot as it passed by. So I quickly switched my jig for a drop shot rig and then proceeded to mince up a good helping of worms in a pot. As predicted, the passing boat quickly turned the water to tea as it gunned past me. Once the water stopped swirling I deposited the worn on a easily recognized spot on the inside edge. After letting it stew whilst I caught up with Mick above the lock I returned and instead of fishing a lure over the bait, I dropped a worm in over the top. First drop in I felt a quick tap up the line and I struck into a nice perch.

That single tiny patch of feed saved the day for me and I nicked two smaller perch off of it in quick succession, wiggling the worm over it. Had I had the forethought or the sense to just head to this lock first thing and bait up a few spots, then the whole session could have been a different one and maybe a red letter one at that.

My next outing could have been a mirror image of the last in terms of success. Foolishly I thought was being a clever bugger heading to still water with four days of freezing weather preceding. The little lake I went to in search of huge perch was half frozen, and what wasn't frozen was so clear that you could see a willow leaf on the bottom half a way out.

For all the chopped worm and prawn I chucked I reaped little more than a few small perch and roach. For once I would have been over the moon with an interloping winter carp tearing up the swim just to break the monotony and stick bend in the rod and as one didn't, it ended up being a very cold and disappointing session.

 I have to admit that I don't feel that the last few months have been that productive for me and I feel like I am just coasting along up to Xmas, not really making the most of my time. Now though I feel change is afoot and I find myself planning for a new year of fishing. With young BB fast growing up I am becoming more accustomed to life as a parent and with this settled feeling I want to get back into the swing of fishing as I used to, with an eye for big fish rather than just lure fishing and predator fishing as time permits. The Avon rods and light quiver rods have already been dusted off and reels have been re spooled ready to do some chub and dace fishing in January. Plans are forming to use some of the information I've collected whilst lure fishing on the canals to hopefully target some big canal chub in the winter months and huge carp in the spring. Now I know I will still be doing a fair bit of lure fishing next year, but I am really hoping to have some much more varied catches next year and get my lust for all round fishing back again.