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!.

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.

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.

First river match 2016

Was really looking forward to wetting a line on the river this session. Seemed like ages ago since river season came to a close back in March.  Typical that the weather took a turn for the worst just in time for opening day June 16th, with extreme down pours our three local rivers Trent, Derwent and Soar were raging. The actual water level didn’t rise as much as you would have thought with the amount of rain we had, but still the Soar was up from its normal level of 0.41 Mtr to 0.76 Mtr.

Myself and staff kept a close eye on the EA Kegworth metering station readings, fingers crossed that the river would stay steady and not rise any more by Sunday’s match on 19th June.

I have to admit that my fishing kit is not very organised these days and it is setting me back somewhat. If am going to get myself back properly into the match scene I’ve got to get my house in order.image

I fancied fishing the pole and the feeder. I’ve not fished the pole on a river for sometime now, but I knew the only other way I could fish the float was with my  16 ft float rod.  However, with the trees and bushes that lined the bank it wouldn’t be practical in some of the swims.image

Thankfully, I’d got a few river pole float rigs that Ihad tied a little while ago, only downside  was they were tied for a different venue and were too short! And as I soon found out not heavy enough even though they were 2 1/2gram!

So a quick bodge job adding some line to the rig, fingers crossed my knots hold.

Size 20 B511 to 0.08 (1.6 lb) bottoms to 0.10 (2 lb) main in Middy lov-viz, a nice soft 4 – 8 Hi viz hollow elastic.

Baits, the river is carrying some colour and is pushing through (more than I thought) Van Den Eyde River Ace Hemp Caster Red and white maggots were my choices. Hemp and Caster were mixed with the River Ace, small golf ball sized balls would build a steady carpet of bait for fish to home in on, though the coloured water plus the extra weight of the River Ace would help get the loose feed down though 12 ft of flowing water. Alternating from red, white and caster on the hook hopefully I’d be able to keep fish coming and pick the odd better fish up on caster. I also used a medium-sized bait dropper to top up loose hemp and caster.

I think my plan was not far wrong, but as mentioned earlier I was too light on float weight 2.5 gram just wouldn’t hold low in the water when inched through at half pace. I picked up lots of small skimmers plus the odd roach and perch, but could not get down to those bonus fish. I did pick one good skimmer up only to be hit by Mr Pike! The only plus side to this was it showed my set up was well balanced. The pike was not for letting go and all I could do is put for a break, would my hook length break? – would it heck as like! Anyone watching could have thought I was on 10 lb line, the more I or the pike pulled the more the elastic soaked up the strain. Thankfully the hook length finally gave in, but that much-needed skimmer ended up as dinner for Mr Pike.image

With the match won on 6 lb 14 oz ,and me coming in at 1 lb 12 oz. I wasn’t las,t but I had learnt a lot and enjoyed a great few hours out on the bank.