2017 Winter League round one

Knowing Id got a few good anglers in my section with Rob Perkins in p5 it could be a tight one.

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It only seems like five minutes ago since we entered our first winter league back in 2016, I say we I actually mean team Colmic Soar.

2017 see’s us a lot more settled and with some new team members we’re hungry for results.

So having spent the last twelve months learning more about fishing the pole on rivers, canals and commercials. I’m a lot more confident in the whole aspect of pole fishing. After filling in for a team member on the Frazley canal teams of four in September and doing quite well in my section now is the real test on the river ‘Soar winter league against some of the best in the country’.

As with the rest of the team I’ve put in weeks of prep making and fine tuning rigs to cover a wide range of water conditions. As well as tying plenty of hooks in a range of sizes and patterns to suit a range of baits and possible fish sizes. All my kit was checked and double checked making sure rods reels my pole and nets etc were all in good working order.

The morning of October 1st soon came round and after a down pour of rain a few days before the river should be in good form all though the much wanted colour never came and the river was still gin clear. With all ten team members booked in we had a fairly good draw and it was off to our respective pegs and sections.

I had drawn p7 on Mountsorrels Waterside section. An end peg known as the boat swim, due to a large house boat moored there. As the draw was actually at the Waterside Id not far to go to get to my peg which was great, no loading of the barrow and humping kit across fields.

There was a boat moored up against the house boat which I could reach with 11 mtr. Great a long line across to the boat plus a line at round 10 mtr and one at 5 mtr line to hand. I couldn’t really see a bomb line and there wasn’t really any need to set up a waggler line as I could reach what I needed with the pole.

With a plan of fishing groundbait caster and hemp at 11mtr’s I would see what the boat traffic was like on the 10 mtr line as this line would be on the edge of the boat track. My 5 mtr line would be a mixture of maggot caster and worm as there was a clump of streamer weed just down the peg, fingers crossed it would hold a few bonus perch. There was only 1/2 hour left to set up when the people that owned the boat across from me suddenly up’d sticks and headed off for the day. Hmmm ok that’s changed things a little, with all the disturbance I’d leave this line alone for at least an hour for it to settle before adding any bait.

The all in was called at 11am, my first line would be on my 5 mtr line. Cupping a mix of bronze maggot and hemp I fished over this using a 0.75 Colmic Dudda float with strung out no’10 slot shot. Inching the rig through it wasn’t long before the first fish was in the net, a huge bleak!. This line started to come a live with some good fish coming to the net. Swoping between red and bronze maggot I put together a good run of perch the one bonus fish I was after, a try on the caster brought a good sized skimmer and things slowed off a little. With the big perch about may be the fish had backed off a little time to rest this line but not before a cup of bronze maggots was carefully cupped in the swim.

Reaching for the long pole line I cupped in 12 balls of groundbait which was a mix of Van Den Eynde River ace and Super crack Roach, plus a few casters.

A 1 gr Colmic Liri was my rig of choice running the float though with a caster on the hook I pick off a few roach but nothing really worth the effort.

A quick check back on at 5 mtr and I was back in to perch straight away, there must be some big un’s in here somewhere. So a change of bait and hook was in order, off came a size 18 and on went a Hayabusa 157 size 14 wide gape hook prefect for a lobby tail. Using the same float I added on an extra float length of depth and out the rig went. ‘Bang fish on’ first monster perch!

I managed to but a few of this big perch in the net before loosing one in the weed! With time getting on and about 1 hour to go I knew Id put a good weight of fish together so thought a quick experiment was an idea. With about 1/2 a kilo of groundbait in the bucket I balled my 10mtr line, this being a tactic that can bring instant results or completely kill your swim so use with caution. First run through resulted in a small roach, a few more followed but as with the 11mtr line nothing to really shout about. Back to the 5 mtr line and a small perch with only a few minutes to go a frantic re-bait of the hook and back out but nothing before time was called.

Knowing Id got a few good anglers in my section with Rob Perkins in p5 and Nathan Hughes a bit further up river, it could be a tight one. I will have to wait for the scales to come. Being p7 I was the first to be weighed in with 5kilo 150g wow nice! then to my surprise the next few pegs where all around 2kilo. ‘Might of got this one in the bag’ only to be pipped to a section win by 5kilo 350g, dam it ill beat you next time Ross!

As a team we did really well with a section win for team member John Lock at Kegworth, an impressive 6 kilo bag. The rest of the team did their bit and backed up our weights with some amazing results. With a total of 41 points we finished 4th over all, roll on round two!.

Littlemans first match

A few of you will know that my 5 year old son Leon aka littleman has been on the bank with me for a few years now. And that it wasn’t that long ago that he pinched my new pole and set about bagging up on a local water.

A few trips up to Springwood fishery and he’s starting to get the hang of pole fishing, catching carp Ide Rudd and Roach. One afternoon a rough tally up would of seen him putting 20 odd pound in the net (no keepnets unless in a match) which ain’t bad for a 5 year old.

One Sunday I was booked in on a match up at Springwood with a few of my team mates from Colmic. After a chat with the lads we thought if he wanted to Leon could fish the match instead of me.

Thankfully we managed to get him off to bed early with an early start and long day ahead.

Up early we loaded up and headed off to Springwood for breakfast, paid our pools, peg fees and Leon drew his first peg.

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While I set his kit up he pottered round to give the competition a few words that he was going to beat them especially Charlie. I have to say it’s great to see others talking to him, helping him on.

Time was called and it wasn’t long before Leon was in to his first fish of the day with a nice Carp gracing the rim of the landing net. A few Ide followed which he correctly placed in the silvers net. The day went on with Carp Ide and Roach before it went quite for a while.

A try in the margin with meat saw a nice Carp which but up a great scrap, a few missed bites followed and Leon was starting to get tired after all the excitement.

“Dad and going to have a sit down with a cup of Tea, you can have ago now”.

At the final whistle Leon weighed in a fantastic 17lb even after a few lost fish.

I have to say a massive thank you to Iain and Jen up at Springwood fisheries for making us so welcome on Leon’s first ever match.

Want to know more about getting your kids in to fishing, please just ask, i’m in the shop most days of the week for a chat. Or have a look at www.getfishing.org.uk 

Enjoy your fishing

Scott & Leon

 

Useful bits of kit

In these modern times of what seems to be more catch the angler than the fish, here’s a bit of kit well worth investing in.

The times I’ve struggled to collect water for mixing groundbait or even for washing my hands through out the day. Hanging over platforms, dangling over high banks on the river or canal. 

Not the best really! I bet there’s a few that have lent over to fill a maggot tub with water only for their phone to go swimming!

Yes these have been around for a little while but they seem be hard to come by.

Water collecting buckets.

This one from Colmic seems to be very well made with plenty of cord and a good winder/handle.

Why struggle collecting water!

The art of the river angler

But the rivers are dead now or are they? or is it more we just don’t know how to fish them in these modern times.

We may never see the glory day’s of anglers lining the banks of the river’s up and the country in 100 + peg matches week in week out. World championships held on the Trent embankment in Nottingham, drawing huge crowds to watch top anglers at their best. I even recall matches covering both banks on the Trent and river Soar on more than a few weekends.

Trent

But the rivers are dead now or are they? or is it more we just don’t know how to fish them in these modern times.

Anglers are slowly drifting back on to the river banks, but why?. Is it because clubs are trying to make access better, I’ve come across some parts of the Trent that has better access than some commercials with pegs that you can now park behind. Or is it the weights that are coming out, the 2016 Soar Valley winter league you had to be well in to double figures to get anywhere. Not to mention the treble figure weights yes that’s right well over 100lb, but the rivers are dead aren’t they!

So where do I start, what tickets do I need?

If your relatively new to river fishing then i’d suggest starting on the river Soar rather than the Trent. Access is pretty good in a number of areas and there is a good variation of sections from slow deep runs to fast shallow runs that will test your skills.

Much of the Soar is club controlled, as a rough guide starting from the Trent area Ratcliffe on Soar through to Kegworth is controlled by Long Eaton Federation, Kegworth to Kegworth Deep locks is controlled by Long Eaton Victoria. Kegworth Deep locks to Sutton Bonington playing fields is controlled by Loughborough Soar AS. Zouch canal (tow path) to Barrow upon Soar Osier beds is mostly controlled by Loughborough Soar AS. Barrow through to Birstall on the outskirts of Leicester is mostly controlled by Leic’s & District Amalgamation. Find out more

Can I get away with using my commercial match gear? of course you can. Your pole floats and set ups will be different and you’ll more than likely need to size down your elastics to a solid 4-6. A lot of commercial rods tend to be between 9 and 10ft which are a little to short for river fishing but that doesn’t mean they are completely useless.

By far the quickest and easiest way in to river fishing from commercials is with the pole. As mentioned above scaling down your elastics and a few running water pole rigs, don’t forget the pole feeder and your sorted.

Want to know more? why not pop in to our Kegworth shop for a brew and a chat or you could throw your self in at the deep end and join us on some of our river Soar open matches.

5 years old and bagging

Was school holidays and little man had been pestering me for sometime to going fishing, after all he’d been out pegging match sections and seen me off entering verious competitions all winter.

The weather wasn’t great but a careful watch of the forecast showed a window of two days at the end of the week when it wouldn’t be to cold and windy for him.

He wanted to fish the river but it would of been so hard going just to try and catch tiny roach that I knew we had to go somewhere with at least half a chance. So off to the Moat at Weston we went with the view to let him fish the whip in the margins.

How wrong was I

I adjusted my seat box so the footplate was as high as I could get it moved everything in and set about priming two swims to fish. I’d got the near swim started with a few telling knocks on the float it was over to Leon. I want to use your pole dad

err…!

Well ok after some thrashing about helping him get settled we’d pushed the fish further out than we wanted, to about 9mtr but Leon was getting the hang of holding the pole across his legs.img_3344

Swinging on 9mtr of pole at 5 years old he had his first fish on which turned out to be a dam good sized Perch. Once broken down he handled the pole prefectly guiding the fish in to the net.

Back out and it wasn’t long before he was in to some good skimmers, getting a little to confident he was trying to hold the pole and reaching for the landing net!

The wind started to get up and really gust making it really difficult to control the pole so we had call it a day.

Can we come back tomorrow dad?

We’ll see what the weather is like in the morning.

Day two

Same peg and the weather was almost a spring day bright and sunny not good for fishing really. I’d packed a block of wood for him to place on the foot plate to raise his legs a bit more in line for the pole.

We basically fished the same way all though we tried a small amount of groundbait with the hope of forcing things on a little faster.img_3343

As with the first day Perch was the order of the day followed by skimmers. The light was all wrong causing the pole to cast a shadow across the water like a sun dial. There were fish in the area then a few missed bites saw us breaking for something to eat. A hour gone by and the sun had moved causing the near by trees to cast shadows over the same area we where fishing, the prefect time to get back out on the pole.

A few pots of micros and I past the pole over to Leon which saw the float bury in to a nice carp. After a good scrap Leon managed to guide it in for me to net, good few pounds that fish. Shipping back out we managed another two good carp before the strain of the fish and swing about on the pole beat him and it was time to pack up for home.

Loading that spool

Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle.

Loading a reel spool couldn’t be easier or could it!.

I needed to spool some nice new line on to one of my float fishing reels. My line of choice is Colmic Allround. Coupled with great strength to diameter this line sits beautifully on the water’s surface prefect for stick float fishing.

So where do I start? My spool is my first port of call for help. Printed on the side is an approximate line capacity denoted by the line diameter to meters.

On your spool you may find the above denoted in lbs and yards or kg and meters. This is still useful information on how much line we’re going to need to fill said spool correctly. I now know that I will need approx 150 mtr of .12mm dia line or 90 mtr of .20mm to correctly fill the spool. The line I have chosen is as near as dam it .19mm on a 300 mtr spool so I’ll have plenty to fill at least two spools correctly.

Items needed to do the job.

  • Small bucket, tub or bowl that a spool of line will fit in.
  • Scissors or line clips
  • Marker pen
  • Bottom rod section
  • Reel and new spool of line.
  • Cuppa tea or Coffee

What next then? This is the important bit really that is so easy but even easier to get wrong. Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle and getting someone to hold the pencil while you whiz the reel handle round so fast it’s as if your trying to beat some world reel spinning record. Or better still done much the same with the line spool on the floor watching it shoot round the lounge like a mad puppy?. Ever wondered why you always get the line springing off your reel in a big birds nest. The above could be part of the problem.

Your fixed spool reel will rotate anti clockwise to wind line on, looking at you nice new spool of line with the label up a most. Picking up the loose end of the line you will notice it will either come off the spool in a clockwise or anti clockwise motion.

As our reel rotates anti clockwise we must have the new line coming off the spool in the same direction. Part of the problem comes if you have the reel is going anti clockwise and the new line is coming off clockwise, this creates line twist.

Having looked at my new spool you can see that the line comes off the spool anti clockwise with the label up a most.

Using the bottom section of your rod fix your reel to the reel seat then pass the end of you new line through the rings. I like to remove the spool from my reel to tie the line on as it makes things that bit easier. There are special knots for doing this but rightly or wrongly I just use a basic granny knot, I also like to pull the line in to one of the groves (if your spool has them) cut the tag end off. 

Lifting the bail arm you’ll be able to put the reel spool back on the reel.

Using a small bucket or even a bowl that the new spool of line will fit in. Add a small amount of water then place the spool of line in the bucket / bowl making sure it is the right way up for the line to come off anti clockwise. Water ideally wants to come 1/4 of the way up the spool.

Trapping the butt of the rod under your arm use your left hand to gently trap the line between you finger and the rod blank, this will add a slight tension to the line. Slowly at a constant speed start to wind the reel handle to reel line on to the spool. It is quite important to use a slow constant wind. A fast wind will only end up in a jerky wind, causing the line to snatch back and forth. The water is there to help stop friction caused by trapping the line with your fingers.

You are looking to fill the line just below the top lip of the spool.

When you’ve got your spool filled you can use the line clip on the spool (if fitted) to trap the line when not in use. Cut the line just above the clip.

I always make a note of the line size that I’ve just added to the inside of the spool rim.

Sorted.

A day pegging out

Pegging out and one muddy little helper

Sundays are my day off from the shop, So with our fourth coming matches on the Soar I thought id better get out on the bank and peg the sections out.

A cold crisp morning, well by time id got little man motivated it was mid day! peg posts cut and numbers painted on we set off to kegworth to walk and peg out the first two sections.

Earlier in the morning id had a call from one of our Colmic team member (Charlie) to say that he had just arrived at the horseshoe in Kegworth for a practice session. A short walk up from the road bridge we found Charlie on peg 5 in the boat yard. The river looked just perfect thinning down nicely from recent rain there was some colour but not chocolate like it was a few days ago. Peg 5 is just at the end of a bend with the way the boats funnel the river round it creates a nice crease in the flow just past the crease there’s a nice slack area.

Charlie was steadily catching a nice mixed bag of silvers with a few quality Roach and the odd Skimmer on the pole line.

Leaving him to it we walked round on to the next section that runs up to Kegworth deep locks. I don’t think this section has been match fished for years but I know it produces some great results to pleasure anglers.

I’ve limited the amount of pegs per section to 5 giving each angler loads of room to play with. This section at Kegworth looks great for running the stick float through the wide spaced pegs giving nice long glides to fish. So here’s hoping that a few people will put the pole to one side and reach for the rod and line for a change.Watch a live view taken from peg 5

Little man was enjoying passing me the peg posts but seemed to be getting muddier and muddier. By the time we’d walk up to put the last peg in he was proper caked in it! The last peg looking so good I just wish id could be fishing today. I know this is a noted Bream peg and it looks bob on for the feeder on the far bank.

A last drop in on Charlie to see how he was getting on, now trying the feeder up against the boats he’d still be catching steadily for around 6lb of fish by the time he packed up.

Back home it was time to hose little man down before letting him anywhere near the house!

A most enjoyable few hours walking the river with one other section to peg out at Normanton. The river looks spot on and seeing what Charlie was catching I’m optimistic for some fish to be caught on the Kings winter matches.

Well feet up with fave read and a brew me thinks.

Fancy fishing the Kings winter open matches find out more.