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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


11/12/2020 - Just A Single Bite

I had lots of these

Yesterday I had a five hour session fishing a stretch of water I hadn’t visited for around two years, the water temperature was 40 degrees F, I chose to fish bread crust on a short link, the only action I got was a trout about 2lbs, it was a delightful day very low light level, no wind, kingfishers and herons were active, I also spotted five roe deer coming out of a wood to visit the waterside, with the temperature dropping I decided to go home early.

Float Fishing On A winters Day

Today it was one of those days of winter that I enjoy, bright sunshine, wall to wall blue sky along with a nice flowing river with good visibility, a day made for grayling fishing with a float using corn or gentles, I chose the latter as I hoped to catch some dace also perhaps chub. I had planned on an early start, but after a few yards down the track to the river I found half a dozen sheep heading to the main road, as some idiot had left a gate open. I immediately put my car across the track next to the open gate blocking any escape to the main road. Hopping over a fence, I run down the side of the track until I was below the sheep, then hopped back over the fence missing the barbed wire, slowly I moved towards the sheep, eventually driving all but one back in the field. Fifteen minutes later I had this escaper back in its field. After closing the gate I made my way down to the river, I then come across some forty sheep from another flock on the track, this time I spent a good half an hour rounding them up, one advantage this time was a cattle crossing which stopped them going further down the track, I managed to get them into a garden, quickly shutting off their escape. This was no small garden, I slowly walked around the boundary fence to see if there was a way they had got out, at the back of the property I found a length of fencing had been removed between the posts. I then called the owner reporting what I had found, it was certainly done deliberately. Once I had found this gap it was easy to move the sheep into the field to join the flock of some two hundred plus.

Tackle Set Up

After pulling into the car park I checked the water temperature getting a reading of 38 degrees F, I could see the snow on the surrounding hills had started to thaw so I wasn’t surprise to find the temperature dropping, I tackle up with a 14 foot Acolyte rod matched with a Richard Carter Avon Classic centre pin with 3lb bs line, after attaching a red tipped porcupine float fixing it double rubber, then added 4 AAA shot with a BB pinched on the hook link with a with a size 16 barbless hook. I then put enough ground brown crumb I thought would be enough for the session in the mixing bowl, then added some water, after fifteen minutes I reckon the mix was ideal, after putting the bowl in my Efgeeco bucket, adding a small box of red worms along with a large box of red gentles. Having got everything sorted out I made the long trek across the fields, then through a small copse to my chosen spot. After getting all sorted out I put in a small a ball of ground bait, then sat for five minutes continuously putting in half a dozen gentles upstream about fifteen feet. I then adjusted the float to what I thought would be the depth, after several adjustments I was happy at the setting, more gentles were catapulted upstream of my swim.

A Bite First Run Through

Making my first cast I allowed the float to move through the swim holding the float back slightly to ensure the bait proceeded the float, ten yards down the swim the float moved slightly out into the stream, striking I felt a good fish, after a short time I realised I’d hooked a trout, I really bullied the fish in as I wasn’t worried if it come off, I don’t enjoy hooking out of season fish, soon it was in the net probably a two pound fish which was quickly released. Five casts later I hooked a nice grayling around the pound mark which was most welcome, this was followed in successive casts seven “Goer” dace, I was like a kid at Christmas, I doubt these days if anything is more enjoyable for me, than watching a float popping under, or slightly lifting or gliding across the surface. After a couple of bite less casts the float dipped, on striking I found myself hooked up to a fish that wanted to take a bit of line, after a coupe of minutes I spotted it was a chub, not one of the big ones I catch when legering but a good “Goer” twelve ounces plus, after netting the fish I removed the hook then shot a quick pic before releasing the fish, over the next two hours I had a lot of similar size chub along with more “Goer” dace. Suddenly a heron got the shock of its life as it flew from upstream coming into land where I was fishing. It was within two feet of me, suddenly it flared its wings shrieking alike a demented demon then spurting it's waste from its rear end, it would have made a good pic if the camera had been in my hand and not a fishing rod. Around 1500 hrs with the sun fading in the west the temperature dropping I hooked what I thought was a very good chub after a few minutes, the rod tip suddenly sprung back the tackle shooting up into an over hanging willow bush, I had a real tangle, picking up the landing net I reached out then snagged the branches pulling them close enough so I could get hold of the float then managed to pull the hook free, I broke off the line by the float, then spent around ten minutes trying to got hold of the branch, eventually I managed to break off the branch I was then happy as I needed get rid of the gentles on the hook, so a bird couldn’t get caught up. With the temperature dropping I decided I wouldn't bother to tackle up again but head off home, the end of a very good session.




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Martin James Fishing
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