On the bank with Dave Binns Angling

Follow my adventures as I travel around the Yorkshire area catching a variety of species from a wide range of different venues, from northern spate rivers to the clearer waters of the River Calder and a few lakes and forgotten ponds inbetween.
I hope you enjoy reading about them half as much as I do fishing them.
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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Pond life

As its that time year again when we have to stick to still water I thought I would get my tench fishing season off to a start. Think what you may of the nice weather, it was far from good. Red hot by day but still cold enough to be frosty by night, trust me I was up for work most of the week at half past four.
 Friday morning saw me heading to an old neglected club water for a few tinca's, I arrived early but less than impressed to find two Eastern Europeans in my fancied swim, the jibber jabber in their voices giving it away and my second choice swim was also occupied although by the look of his attire and equipment he was English. There was also a chilly wind blowing down the lake that saw me heading for a more sheltered spot. I got settled into a peg between two large over hanging trees and got just a single rod out, my Grey's specimen float rod to be exact and a trusty reel loaded with 4lb Maxima, onto this I slid an 8in long hand made swan quill float and a size 16 hook to 4.4lb hook link, a single swan shot 3in from the hook finished things off.
I introduced a good hand full each of small mixed pellets, hemp, casters, dead maggots and a few bits of corn and baited up with a fresh red worm from my allotment and two red maggots.
 It looked good for a bite
 I dropped the float in, sat back and got the flask out and waited for things to happen. Half an hour or so passed before I decided to try a bit of corn and a caster, and about the same again before I tried double maggot. The float never even twitched so I made a change to the rig and removed the swan shot down by the hook and made a more usual waggler type rig in the hope they were just been a bit finicky. Two more hours of steady loose feeding maggots and casters failed to see the float move so when the chilly breeze swung into my face I called it a day.
One thing I will point out is that this lake is rather deep, a good 8ft where I was fishing but anything from 12 to 14ft deep a couple of rod lengths out around the other side and more in the middle. My thinking is that the up and down day and night temperature had not put the fish off but the fact that the lake is so deep they have not yet fully woken up, so I'll give it a few more weeks and see what the weather is like before I return for another try.

Today gave me an opportunity to get back on the bank and use up the bait I had left from yesterdays session. I only had a few hours to spare this afternoon so I headed back to Sally Walsh's Dam as its close by.
When I arrived it was quite busy but i could see most of the anglers had opted to fish from the dam wall with the now strong wind coming from behind them or the first few pegs up either side. I was having none of that, with bream and skimmers on my mind I didn't mind sitting it out in the rough as fishing a tip rod I could have the wind over my shoulder anyway. So with that in mind I headed half way up the field side to a peg in the mid 40's a few pegs up from two guys carp fishing with 3 rods each leaving plenty of room for them.
Firstly I knocked some ground bait up before anything else so as it had time to soak up the water fully before i was ready to fish. Next I set my trusty old Kamazan feeder rod out, more known for their hooks in the early 90's the brought out a range of just 3 rods and I acquired the medium feeder as a birthday present from my parents. You could compare it to some of the old Tricast rods that were about in the same era, a real nice still water rod and a joy to use. I added a simple running feeder rig and a size 16 hook. I gave the ground bait a quick riddle to get rid of any lumps, a 50/50 mix of plain brown crumb and fish meal(you can buy this in shops for about 4 quid a bag, its called Ringer's mine cost about £2.50 for twice as much!) and added dead maggots, casters, hemp and half a pint of 4mm skrettings pellets. 10 quick chucks with a large feeder and i was ready to go.
I put on two dead red maggots and cast out, now why when your doing something do you always get a bite??? i had just lit a cig and was taking my first sip of tea when the tip flew round, yup missed it, second cast and it went again but I struck too early. Third time lucky and I was in, the first skimmer of day slid over the net. Great I thought were going to get a few. For some reason it went very quiet and I missed two bites over the next half an hour before I added two more and the missed bites started again. I shortened the hook link and got one right away only for it to go quiet again, I tried a little further out past my baited spot and also a bit shorter but for a couple of hours it was miss two hit one, the now stronger wind making it a bit hard to see the bites clearly and I was striking too late for some of themand thought to my self I would give it an hour. The fish did come onto the feed and over the then hour and half I added around 10 decent skimmers before calling it a day as the cold wind was now cutting straight through me. The walk back to the car warmed me up and I was happy with the nice net of fish I had put together in just a few hours and the swans were impressed with my bait.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Dad and Lad time

As the weather has now turned some what warmer I thought it time I took my 7 year old son for his first session of the year. After a word in my ear last week that a local venue was producing a few fish I thought it was about time I showed him something other than chucking a pole around, as for the past two years all he has really done(quite well though I must add) is catch ide and small carp on a local puddle and I think even he was getting a bit tired of catching a fish every put in at ten meters. So we headed down to Sally Walsh's dam for a lesson in feeder fishing. Nice banks with no features as such to get hung up in whilst casting and lots of open water to go at makes it a good water for improving casting skills.
We arrived to find a fair few people fishing so jumped into the third peg up from the dam wall, mainly because he was moaning by now about carrying his seat box after walking all of 30 yards from the car! I got us sat comfy and set about explaining how the feeder works and why we had no float, he did comment that he would like it as he didn't have to keep his eyes on a tiny dot out in the middle, next for a bit of casting practise. It went...................... erm lets just say he'll do better once his arms and fingers stretch but I have seen far worse on the banks. Once I had him in position I set about sorting a light float rod for my self.
Within a few minuets Kyle was into his first fish, a skimmer of around 6-8oz and I had a small roach first chuck. I was expecting a few more to follow but it was a bit slow to get going really with the warm spring sun and almost flat surface not helping much. Kyle had no more fish in the next hour and I kept plugging away picking up the odd small roach. he was getting a bit bored now so I altered the hook length and made it a fair bit longer and also un-clipped the spool and cast a rod length or two further and clipped back up, this improved things slightly as did the bit of breeze and he started to miss 3 hit one and net a few small skimmers and roach whilst I kept picking a few roach up loose feeding maggots. He kept having a few goes at casting him self and was getting the hang of it right until his feeder almost landed right on top of my float! Cheater I muttered to him just as the tip flew round. The little bugger only bagged him self a skimmer of around a pound right from under my nose! He was rather confused by the next bite as the tip, as he put it 'went the wrong way' before I told him a fish had swam towards him and he should strike. The sun stayed out and the wind dropped and the fishing got harder so we called it a day. I managed just a few small roach in between helping Kyle out. I chucked all mine back but for Kyle it was the fist time he has been able to use a keep net and was nice for him to see what he had at the end of the day.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Last chance saloon

Its that time of year again when we look forward (or not) to three months of pond fishing, and we make that one last trip of the season onto a river. Today was my last river trip and I headed up to the River Nidd at Pool bridge farm hoping for a bit of fun catching silvers on the float before switching tactics and hopefully bagging a few good chub later in the day. Things didn't go quite to plan (hey at least I'm getting to be consistent this year) as the wind was a night mare!
I arrived around 10.30 and was actually delighted that the rather annoying cows on this section of river were not in residence for once, however on stepping out of the car and wandering along the banks it was clear the wind was going to make trotting hard work. I found a likely looking spot and started to feed a few maggots while I rigged the rod up. More in hope that anticipation I waited for the float to disappear and waited and waited some more for around 30 minuets before I convinced my self that actually I didn't even like the look of the spot I was in and was only there to get out of the wind. I quickly shifted down stream and got settled into a nice looking peg on the outside of where a bend started, an hour quickly passed before I thought to my self that float fishing was just not going to work today and I was flogging a dead horse.
Away went the float gear and out came a tip rod and bag of bread. I filled the small cage feeder with mash bread and squeezed a lump of bread flake onto the size ten hook and dropped it along the crease, I sat back to roll a cig and pour a cup of tea when the tip started to knock then pull and drop back before a steady pull resulted in me connecting with thin air, bugger missed it. cast back out and after a few minuets it went again this time I left it a bit longer and connected with nothing! the fish were clearly playing games with me so I fought back, this time a nice lump of cheese paste went out and I sat patiently with my eyes glued to the tip, this time it was a proper pull although not exactly a '3ft twitch' but I connected and after a short fight a nice chub not quite 4lb graced my net. I chucked back out but the tip never mover for for 30 mins on both cheese and bread so I decided to wander up stream and try a few likely looking places. The wind was still a nightmare and each spot I tried resulted in the same motionless tip apart from the battering from the wind. I walked most of the length before deciding to settle back into the peg I had had the chub from earlier and stick it out till dusk. I dropped back in with a lump of flake on the hook and after not ten minuets the tip twitched a few times before pulling round and I was into another fish, a bit smaller this time just scraping 3lb but made a good account of its self in the water.
No more fish followed and I packed up a little disappointed with the lack of fish particularly on the float but also pleased with a couple of nice chub. So that's it for another season work next week so no chance of sneaking one in although I do have an early season tench fishing trip planned for next weekend so lets hope this warm weather keeps up.