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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Keep checking back for news of some exciting products that I have in the pipe line!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Nice evening session

 I made my return to the little pool in the woods this evening in search of the resident carp, now carp fishing is not something I'm really into but I do enjoy a bit of stalking and surface fishing for smaller ones during the summer so off I headed with a 1.5lb tc float rod, trusty reel loaded with 8lb line, a bag of bread and bucket of mixers. As I arrived it was a little off putting that the tiny pool was almost full with around 8 anglers already there, now I must add that this place seldom see's a serious angler and all those fishing had limited knowledge or skill apart from in drinking cans and smoking some rather strong smelling stuff! So as I set about flicking a few mixers in and trying my luck early on with a lump of bread I was told, or rather shouted at across the pool that the carp were impossible to catch and I didn't stand a chance by more that one jolly soul.
 They were soon eating their words as carp number one landed on the mat after just ten minutes of fishing, the fish was met by calls of 'wow that's a monster' and something else along the lines of  'I bet that weighs 25lb' however it was more like 8lb but a nice looking proper old English fish, no sign of a pellet belly here. That put the fish off for a bit but I was happy as the local muppets started to head home around 6pm for more beer and grass.
 I soon had another group of fish slurping mixers down and didn't have to wait long for the next fish to fall to a lump of bread, another good 5 minute scrap and it was in the net, only for me to discover it was the same fish I had caught not an hour before at the other end of the pool! It was easy to tell by the wounds on one flank from spawning last week, I slipped it back and tried for another but the fish had shifted. As some more lads left I moved on again and got some fish feeding around some over hanging bushes really close in where I could just dangle a bait in front of them, 3 aborted takes saw me switch to a mixer and first drop in a carp spotted it from 3 yards away and came straight at it mouth wide open and sucked it down. Another good fight saw a very nice looking common of around 7lb on the mat.

The light was starting to fade now and that was making spotting the fish harder and they now seemed less interested in staying in one spot to feed and were drifting around in small groups of 2's and 3's. With just two lads sharing one swim I made two circuits of the pool flicking baits here and there for half an hour before I heared the tell tale slurp from feeding fish just up from where I had the common, they were going mad for mixers and bits of bread that had drifted under a bush so I dropped a lump of bread as close too it as possible, it had only been out 30 seconds when another mirror came up and grabbed it, this one was the biggest of the day, around 9lb.
 The fish were now well spooked and with the light fading fast I headed home. Lets hope this warm weather carries on as I really want to catch one of the 3 big kois swimming around in here, I saw them plenty of times tonight but they are far from daft. twice the big white one came up and nudged my bait around with its nose before swimming off to scoff 'safe baits' and the other two just kept swimming under them.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Lucky dipping

Had a quick session with my mate Martin this morning to a small but very nice looking pond in some local woods, it's one of those places that gets a bad name due to the local population of idiots and layabouts frequenting the area. However it has now been taken over by someone and he has done a good job of tidying the place up and as a results the local yobs now stay away.
 For years people have been chucking over grown garden pond fish in and up until around 10 years ago the same guy controlled the fishing before he had to work away and gave it up, he also stocked a few fish, and once again he has introduced some new stock, mainly ornamental stuff like blue and golden orfe, rudd and golden rudd and even some gold fish! It also holds quite a good number of carp both normal and cross bread koi and there is some stunning looking fish swimming around, its very deep and surrounded by mature woodland which means its bathed in sun most of the day and has little wind on it and the fish like to spend a lot of time on the top.
 Today was the first time I have fished it for around 6 years and all I can say is that it does actually look like a very large garden pond. I started with a light float rod fishing a couple of foot deep with maggots and casters catching a few fish but missing loads of quick bits as the fish dashed and darted around just under the surface. I had a couple of skimmers, a few nice roach and rudd and two stunning golden rudd, the biggest around 10oz.

By now Martin had arrived and was catching a few roach and rudd fly fishing again so I thought I would try my hand at it again. I was much better today after ten minuits of practise and soon had a couple of rudd to my name, then the carp bug bit and I spent an unsuccessful hour or so trying to coax carp and kois into taking my fly. Martin stayed on a while after me and has had a few other colourful fish.
 I can't wait to go back again, next time armed with some bread and dog biscuits for those carp, some of which clearly run to double figures.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Down to earth with a bump

I was on the old lake and fishing for 5am this morning and feeling confident after my success last week, I chose a different swim this time mainly as it gave me a better angle to put one of rods on the spot that has been seeing plenty of bait over the last few weeks as the wind was blowing the other way.
 It was a glorious morning to be out and as the sun was forecast to beat down I thought the extra early 3.30am alarm would be worth it. I stuck with my usual tactics of maggot feeder on one rod and groundbait on the other and set about putting in some bait then sat back with tea in handing thinking one of the would rattle off shortly. The time went by quickly and I was soon starting to wander where the tench were as it turned 7 o'clock, it was warming up fast and with Little wind on the water I started to make little changes to the rigs and baits but nothing seemed to interest them.
 At 9.30 I called it day and left empty handed, I'm hoping they haven't decided to start spawning and that it was just an off day as the weed is only just starting to grow which should leave it fishable until the rivers open.
I shall be back next week to try again anyway.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cracking mornings work

 I was up and out of the house at 4.30am again this morning for another go at those tench I had on Tuesday. I was planning on waiting till Saturday but looking at the weather made me change my mind as it's forecast to be a bit frosty tonight and bright sunshine tomorrow, so even though today had a chilly breeze it looked better than tomorrow.
 I chose to fish the same swim again as I knew where the clear spots in the weed were and I had left the reels clipped up last time, only today I decided the fish were not going to get the better of me in the reed beds and opted to stick my waders on and sit out in the water, this gave me a better angle with the rods on the clear spots and also meant that I could get out past the reeds before the tench got in them.

Now all the fish I have hook and landed on here this year have come to a groundbait feeder rig fished on a tip apart from one lost fish the other day that took a bolt rigged maggot feeder, my mate Jon has also had success fishing the same so imagine my surprise when not ten minuets after casting out the bite alarm on the so called sleeper rod signalled a screaming run and a nice 4lb tench lay in the net. Another real old warrior, there must be something about these older, wiser (or not so) tench been first up on a morning as I had one the other day first thing. Happy to have a fish in the net so soon I re-cast both rods and went to pour some tea when the alarm went off again, this time a dogged fight saw the fish doing the usual trick of kiting left for the weeds only this time I was ready and waded through them to meet the fish with the net. As I lifted it from the water I realised I could be hold a new pb as it felt way heavier than the 5's I had on Tuesday and with a pb just short of 6lb this fish wouldn't be far off so I slipped it into the keep net to weigh later. I had only just finished off my tea and re-cast the rods when the alarm wailed at yet another screaming run, a fight much the same as the last saw me with another slightly bigger than the last and I knew now I had 1 if not 2 pb's in the net and 3 fish in total within the first hour! Expecting another run anytime soon I put breakfast off until I was starving, nothing came in the next hour so I got the flask and porridge out and it wasn't until around 8am that I got another bite. By now the wind had picked up a lot and was making it hard work landing the feeders in the right spot, I had just re cast the bolt rigged maggot feeder and was setting the bobbing when I felt a slow steady pull on the line through my fingers, thinking it was the wind and tow pulling I let out some more line and clipped on the bobbing only to have it pulled slowly to the rod, ah wind I thought as it dropped down around 4 inch only to pop up again and line slowly start to peel off the bait runner. I lifted into it and it wasn't long before I had a nice fat slab of a bream around 4.5lb-5lb sat in the landing net. Not long after the quiver tip finally pulled around and a steady fight saw me drawing the fish closer to the bank only for it to come off, I was thinking another hook pull but on winding in found a scale on the hook and a very slimmed up line.
 At around 9.30am the bait runner burst into life again only not quite so fast and on lifting into the fish I instantly knew it was bigger, it felt heavy and made plenty of slow runs taking line from the reel each time. It took me a while to get it close to the bank and once there did the usual trick of heading for the reed beds only for me to now be able to head it off, a couple of rolls confirmed it was bigger and I was now shaking as it set off on a powerful run, thankfully to the right and away from the thickest of the reeds. It took a good five minuets of powerful runs before finally rolling into the net and spitting the hook out! I decided not to mess around and weighed the fish in the net before slipping it into the net for a trophy shot later, I went back and weighed the net and that fish went 6lb 15oz, a new pb by almost a pound. Happy as a pig in muck I left the rod on the bank and sat and had a bite to eat and more tea.

It wasn't until around half past 10 that I had any more action, the maggot rig roaring off again with a five pounder, shortly after I packed up as the wind was getting stronger and making it just about impossible to land on the spot, distance was no issue but the stiff side wind constantly blew 2oz feeders way off line.
I'm sat here now scratching my head as to why the fish suddenly decided they liked maggots and why I never managed a fish on the method that has been successful for my self and Jon over the last few weeks???
I'm over the moon with not just the pb but all the fish this week, it's been great and the only down side is I cant get back on the bank for the next two weeks or so.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Fluff chucking and wood wanging!

 I headed out for something a little different today with my mate Martin, a bit of piking and, for the first time ever for me a bit of fly fishing. Martin had originally planned a days fly fishing for trout on the upper River Dearne and offered me the chance to borrow some of his gear and hopefully teach me how to fly fish. However with the bits of rain we have had over the last couple of weeks the river is running around normal winter level and holding some colour so an alternative had to be found as it would be just too much like hard work for a total novice like my self. So Martin suggested a few hours pike fishing on a large local reservoir before moving onto a tiny pond he knew of to try and tempt some rudd on dry flies. As I have only done odd bits of pike fishing before I used Martins bait casting rod and multiplier reel and had the use of his lure collection and himself opting to fly fish for them. I must say the large flies he ties himself for pike look just like bits of fluff to me but once underwater look more realistic than the lures I was using, some of which he also makes him self
 So we slipped our waders on and proceeded to work our way along the shallow margins chucking wood and flinging fluff for the pike. The first spot we came to had a long wooden jetty poking out through the dense reed beds into a large bay, I had a few trial casts to get used to the short rod and upside down reel before working the lure along the edge of the reed beds. It wasn't long before a jack took a liking to the lure and promptly had it yanked from its grasp by my over enthusiasm, I had another follow before we decided to move on. We worked our way along with no further interest to flies or lures until we got near the dam wall and re-joined the bank. It was now time for me to attempt fluff chucking, or should I say budgie chucking! Now over the years I have been able to quickly turn my hand to most things fishing but this was bloody hard work and soon had me beat, although Martin did say it would be far far easier to learn with light dry flies and lighter rods. So after hooking the floor behind me twice (and I mean hooking not snagging!) nearly taking both our heads off and looking like I lost a silly string fight at a party I handed the fly rod over and we worked our way back towards the car. Martin decided to stay in the water and work a fly along the reeds again and I opted to stay on the bank and head to the spot we started in and try to catch a pike whilst waiting for the fluff chucker to arrive. I had had a few casts by the time he arrived and he suggested we made a move to the small pond just as a small jack followed the lure in and missed it again, one more go I announced and dropped the lure back in the same spot. This time I let the fish have it and in the clear water I could see the fish chase the lure before grabbing hold and giving it a shake, I wound down and set the hooks home.
And here it is, my first ever lure caught pike................................... yer yer yer lets have it, that's proper pike bait!

We decided it was time to move on and jumped in the car. We arrived at the pond not long after and its very nice looking although rather small but seems to be teaming with rudd, there were obviously lots of fish around as we could plenty of movement on the surface. It also contains a few carp so we put some dog mixers out in the hope we could try and get them up and try a large fly for one, the rudd took a liking to them right away and made finding the fish easy although they seemed to be a bit far out for my limited fly casting skills. Now kitted out with a much lighter outfit and tiny dry fly I started to get the hang of it and was actually managing to get the fly in the water on just about every attempt, but not long after arriving it started to rain and the felt much cooler than it had in the morning and this seemed to push the fish down in the water. I honed my skills for an hour or so and just like this morning with the pike, managed to pull the fly right from the fishes mouth on a couple of occasions. Martin was catching the odd tiny rudd, and I mean tiny! although he was rather happy when he caught a small but very nice true golden rudd taking his tally to 9 different species caught on the fly which I find excellent. The rain was getting heavier by the minuet now and Martin suggested I try fishing a tiny nymph lower in the water, he quickly tied me one on and I was back fishing or should I say poaching as I seemed to have stolen his spot. However with the slightly heavier nymph and my ever increasing skills I was able to get the bait out and along the reed bed the rudd were hiding around and soon felt a small tug on the end of the line, missed it but next cast I hook one and was chuffed to bits with my first ever fly caught fish. If you thought the pike was small then take a look at this rudd.

All in all I had an enjoyable day even if it did result in two of the smallest fish your ever likely to see species wise. Should the offer come again, which I'm sure it will to do a spot of fluff chucking I'll jump at the chance although I think I'll stick to dry flies and nymph's for now but I don't think I'll be trading the rods in for a fly outfit any time soon. On the other hand I think I will be looking for a lure rod and reel though.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Success at last

 Its been a while since i was last on the bank due to taking on the task or extending the driveway at home and flagging along the house, which in turn meant installing 15 meters of surface drain to please the local council.
 So today saw me making a dawn return to the old estate lake where i suffered at the hands of the tench last time out. I felt i was right in my tactics but in hindsight knew i could do a little more to entice a few more fish, and so this well planned trip proved. I had half of last week and the rest of this booked off work mainly to crack on at home but i managed to get lots done before the weekend leaving me plenty of time for fishing. I have been keeping a watchful eye on the weather and with a low front forecast to move across the area last night bringing warmer temperatures and a nice south westerly wind with it i knew today had to be the day. I made a change to my gear yesterday from my previous session in that i opted to dump the seat box and usual still water rods in favour of my chair and a pair of avon type rods. i still wanted to fish a quiver tip as its just nice to sit and be alert rather than be behind alarms all day so my light avon was chosen for this task, i also rigged up my heavier avon rod to fish as a sleeper with an alarm and bolt rigged maggot feeder set up.
I sat in the dining room yesterday evening full of eager anticipation of what this morning would bring as i rigged the rods up and get everything sorted ready to go.
 I arrived around 5am just as the sun was peeking through the trees behind me and the lake looked stunning with the morning mist starting to rise and the fresh growth of the rushes swaying around in the light breeze. I got settled into my chosen swim and had both rods out for 5.30. The bolt rigged maggot feeder was punched well out past now ever expanding weed bed and the groundbait feeder was placed perfectly on a clear area around 40 yards out along with half a dozen previous casts to get some bait down. Like last time my mix consisted of sensas lake, magic and brown crumb along with liberal helpings of dead maggots, casters, hemp and corn although i also added a good helping of chopped worm as i learnt last time the tench in here do have a taste for it, and so it proved. I gave it 30 Min's or so before re-casting both rods and making changes to hook baits, i knew it would be a waiting game but it was a glorious morning just to be out on the bank, I even had my coat off for the first time this year before half 6!
Before i knew it was was 7am and i was feeling a little peckish now so i tooked into pot of nice warm instant porridge. I was just putting the flask and spoon back in my bag when i noticed the quiver tip nudge a couple of times before been dragged lake wards, a dogged fight lasted a good 5 minuets before the fish decided it wanted to be in the nearside reed bed. Luckily i just managed to keep it out of the thick stuff and guide it into the net with the water swilling almost around my welly tops. I realised then i should really have brought the waders rather than boots. The fish was a real old warrior of a tench, very dark and almost round in shape with a few old deep scars along its flanks. I was well happy that I had finally broken my tench duck for the year and it went 4lb 8oz on the scales.
I waited only an hour or less for the next bite when out of the blue the tip was savagely ripped around and the fish took a powerful short run, again with the water around my welly tops i wadded out and managed to keep this one away from the nearside reeds as it came into the shallow margins and into the net after making 3 very powerful runs from under the rod tip and this one went 5lb dead.
 It was now around 9am and feeling hungry again I decided to re-cast the rods before making some more porridge and a cup of tea, the rods had not been back out 5 minuets when just as i was pouring water the tip ripped around again. This fish went on a good few runs before deciding it too liked the nearside reed bed and buried its head right in there. I waded along only to find the fish well stuck a little further out, now how far dare i get to try and scoop the fish from the weed? You guessed it, TOO FAR. Water just seeped over the tops as i scooped the fish up weed and all and although not a proper boot full my legs and socks were a little damp. I kind of guessed from the fight that this fish would be a little bigger and as i parted the weed in the net i could see it was and a very nice golden colour, on the scales she went 5lb 4oz. not quite a PB but worth slightly soggy feet.
Apologies for the fingers but I am rather impressed with my first ever self take shot.

 What happened shortly afterwards almost scared me to death and I momentarily sat and stared before realising what i should be doing. After over 4 hours the silent bite alarm on the sleeper rod gave out a couple of beeps before the bobbin slowly rose to the rod before the the alarm sounded an almighty one toner and the bait runner nearly went into melt down! I picked up the rod and wound down to see it hoop over and the clutch start to give line, the fish felt heavy and rather angry as I could feel it shaking its head to try and dislodge the hook, well after another heavy run and a couple of shakes the beast succeeded as the line went slack. Bummer, that's twice I have lost a big fish on this water. Tench? or one of Nostell's resident large carp? I'm not sure but it felt a big old heavy lump. Anyway onwards and upwards as they say.
 Shortly after I hooked another good fish on the tip and again she decided she liked the look of the nearside reeds. After a couple of good runs she kitted left, how the hell do they know from 40 yards????? this time I took a step too far and I squelched back to the bank with another at bang on 5lb in the net, waders are defiantly required next time!
 I was now running short of time as I had to be home for 12 to take the other half to work, so with cold wet feet I decided to call it a day and squelched back to the car one happy angler.