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.