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!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Hard work pays off

 After keeping a close eye on the river levels this week, yesterday looked good for another nice bag of roach from the Calder untill I heared the news my mate JD had lost 3 barbel the eveing before. This started my brain ticking and after a trip to pick up some boilies I had had rolled by Tailor Made Baits my mind was made up. But I was a little pushed for time as I had a few things to do first and some friends were dropping by mid afternoon, as they left I went to grab my gear only to find due to my idleness my barbel gear was still all mixed up with the stuff I had been using this spring for the tench (I had been using my avon rods and bait runners) so decided to just go with the float and maggots again as it all needed a good sort out. The Calder is not yet a renowned barbel river anyway with not many people targeting them and the average size is around 6lb. I had said to my self I would not get dragged into targetting them and was happy knowing that I would be trotting for silvers again.

 I arrived by the Calder around 5pm and although the level had dropped massivly it was still running quite fast with around a foot of water left in. First choice swim was taken and second choice was way too fast to be trotting for silvers so I opted to fish the same swim that I did last time even though this too looked a little fast. I came away from my last trip having had a very nice net of fish but thoughts in the back of my mind were that I could have done better as it had been hard to control the float correctly with the shifting current, so this time I rigged up a 2 gram avon float with plenty weight down the line.

 I had a steady first hour catching a few fish but not in the numbers I had before, mainly dace and small chub with only the odd roach, I can only put this down to the faster water and the roach not been happy to sit there today. I was into a bit of a rythem and catching steadily when the fish dropped right down the swim and it went quiet. I wasn't entirly happy with the avon rig so swapped to a 6 no.4 stick float in four foot of water, a bit heavy I know but the extra weight I hoped would keep the hook down some what.

 Steady feeding of maggots, casters and hemp saw the fish return and it seemed they liked the lighter strung out stick rig, it was difficult controlling this lighter float in the flow but holding the rig back saw a fish in the net every second or third trot down untill the down stream wind picked up. This made things rather difficult as I was having to keep the line up off the water by holding the rod high whilst trying to hold it back but the wind kept picking the line up and pulling the float off line. It was now 8pm and only catching the odd fish I decided on some last hour do or die tacticks, so on went an even heavier stick float of 8 no.4's and I started to feed heavier to try and draw the fish right up the swim were the current was slightly steadier and a shorter line ment I could controll it better in the wind.

 After half an hour of feeding I started to catch quickly again, mainly dace with the odd small chub and roach mixed in, all coming with the float running all of 5 yards. I stuck at it for a good hour and caught more fish that I had had in the last 2. I packed in around 9.30 and had around 15lb of fish in the net, not as much as my last session weight wise as that was made up mainly of plump roach but I did have a higher number of fish. It had been hard work from start to finnish but I did learne an awfull lot yesterday, the way different floats work in the current and how the fish responded to differing feeding patterns, well worth the effort I though and can't wait to get back on next week.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Running water.............. Bliss

 After a quick scouting trip last night, this morning saw me make my first proper river trip of the season to the Calder. Driving past the old estate lake that I have done so well on recently I was wandering if I was making the right choice as there could still be plenty left to discover but the lure of running water was too much, by the time I was 50 yards past the gate thoughts turned to the river and what would welcome the new season proper.
 I decided on a stretch not fished by my self since last August when I was just discovering the joys of the Calder, I arrived bank side and was down the steep bank ready to fish shortly after 6am. The river looked to be carrying more water than I had thought last night and I recon a couple of foot and still holding a touch of colour, this short length only has 3 or 4 fishable swims on the one bank and all but one seemed too fast and boilie for stick float fishing, even the one I chose was a little quick for my liking and the current kept switching around with a crease that seemed to keep moving in and out.
 A few trial runs to shot the float and figure the depth confirmed it was not going to be an easy job to keep the float on line. I could see the current changing all the time, sometimes the float would run down just a rod and half out whilst others it would almost stand still, some times I could drop it further perhaps two to two and half rods out to see it run through perfectly only for it to head diagonally mid river on the very next trot, Add to this the water on the inside was running up stream due to a large eddy further down stream!
 I had everything ready and started to feed maggots, casters and hemp whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea. First trot resulted in a dace around 6oz then a roach around the same before an early chub around a pound slid into the net. It was hard work keeping bites coming on every trot and the float point blank refused to follow the same path with the changing current and I was picking fish up every second or third trot, mainly dace with the odd roach and perch mixed in.
 After an hour or so the level had dropped and forced me to shallow up by a few inch's three times and the fishing had slowed, if anything the pace of the flow had actually increased and I think this is what had shifted the fish around. Another hour of steady feeding and a trickle of roach, dace, perch and another chub around a pound came before the current seemed to slow and the definite crease come back along with the fish. I was now able to run the float down more naturally 2 or 3 out of every 4 trots and each time resulted in a fish or missed bite. I was now picking up quality roach, nothing massive but I was having to net every one of them with most been 2 or 3 to the pound, it was great fishing and the odd dace and two or three more chub up to around a pound and half came in between for the next couple of hours.
 I had to keep shallowing up a few inch at a time as the lever dropped and by 10am it had dropped a good 18in but with it came a major change in the current. The fish tailed off again and to my disappointment the swim turned into a swirling mess and getting the float to run through anything like natural was near on impossible unless I dropped in around 4 or 5 rod lengths out, so with that I decided to call it a day having enjoyed what I had caught. I was very surprised by what I had actually amassed when pulling the keep net up as it took some unexpected lifting! Well over 20 pounds of fish in around 4 hours with most of them quality roach, even better they were all caught on just a stick float with a pint of maggots, a bag of hemp and a few casters AND IT'S FREE FISHING!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

First quick river trip

  Just had a quick evening session with my mate JD on the Calder, first time I have fished that area and tbh we were on the wrong bank, it was very shallow and I could wade nearly halfway. I managed a few dace in a couple of hours from a steady glide by a tree but the shallow clear water meant they spooked each time I hooked a couple. It looks a lot deeper right along the far bank and very fishy so I will give it another go down there but next time from the right bank!

 I did put my new(second hand) Dave Harrell 14/17ft float rod through its first test though, nothing to really put a bend in it but at 14ft its nice to hold, has a nice soft tip action and picks line up effortlessly off the surface.

I decided to quit early so as to save bait and please her in doors and get out for an early morning trip tomorrow when hopefully I can catch a few more

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Back on the old estate lake

 I made my return this morning to the old estate lake to target the tench, with a low pressure front moving through over night and a gentle south / south westerly wind conditions looked perfect.
 As I made my way down to the lake at half four it seemed even more so as I could see fish fizzing and bubbling allover the place and by 4.40am had one rod out with a bolt rigged maggot feeder rig. Previously I have sent this rod well out into the lake past where the weed beds were starting to pop but today it was clear the fish were feeding much closer in and so it went out only 30 yards or so slightly to my left. I had only just cast my second rod out, this time on my usual groundbait feeder rig and again shorter than normal when the alarm sounded on the other rod and line peeled off the spool. I was kind of half expecting a quick bite this morning and tench number one rolled into the net at ten to five, a very nice looking golden colour and the smallest I have had this year from this water going a good 3lb.
 Soon afterwards whilst just rolling a cig the feeder rod whacked me on the thigh!(this leaves me with a bit of a dilemma that I will come back to) Now I was sure I had not knocked it and dropped what I was doing and grabbed hold, good job really as tench number 2 put up a good scrap. Doing the usual trick of kiting around the reed beds I waded through and netted a nice 5 pounder. I expected plenty more to follow but it went quiet until around 7am when I heard an almighty scream of 'GET IN' that made me jump.
 I couldn't work out if it was on the bank as there was already a car in the car park when I arrived or up on the main road until someone shouted a little quieter if I could lend a hand so with that I wound the rods in and headed along the bank. The chap in the next peg was carp fishing and had managed to bag one of the much sought after fish from the lake and requested some photo's taking. I over looked the scales and the fish went 24lb 12oz. Now as you know I am not much of a carp angler but this was a fine old looking fish and the lad told me it was his very first from the water and had had 21 blank trips prior to today so he was over the moon, I stopped and chatted for a while before heading back to my swim.
 First chuck out and the rods had only been on the rests 5 minutes when the tip nudged around and I struck into what felt like a smaller fish, it turned out to be a nice bream around 4lb. Afterwards I was surprised by the lack of interest from the fish as they were still fizzing away out in the lake but it seemed to take forever for the next bite to come, at around half past eight the tip slammed around and another nice 5lb tench made its way into the waiting net but sadly that was the end of the action for today, by 9am the fish had stopped fizzing and despite a south westerly blowing a nice ripple at me no more bites came and I packed up at half ten.
 Now back to the dilemma I was talking about. When I started my campaign on here I was adamant that I did not want to sit behind a pair of alarms and bait runners so opted for traditional feeder tactics and baits before introducing a second 'sleeper' rod on an alarm just to try and tempt an extra bite or two. However it has now become clear that some days they prefer maggot and caster feed and others a carpet of food laced groundbait. I had been slightly worried of the feeder rod going off whilst doing something else with the other rod and tried to keep a good eye on it but with savage bites coming out of the blue I risk loosing a rod or worse tethering a fish. I would still like to sit and watch a quiver tip but I'm now seriously thinking of swapping to two rods on alarms, after all the fish come first and I can still fish light ish line and groundbait feeders.
Your thoughts and suggestions please....................

Friday, 1 June 2012

Back for more......... or not

Been back to the little pool yesterday evening, I was please to see just two lads sat quietly fishing in one corner, thought it would be empty with the weather not been as hot. However the fish seemed to have taken a disliking to it too, not a lot on top and the ones I did see were just cruising around a foot or two under the surface, I never saw one carp come up for a bait even the oily floaters I got today only interested the rudd. 
On wandering around looking for fish I came across some bubbles that looked fishy so decided to opt for plan b and float fish mussels and corn, soon after it became clear there was a group of fish absolutely ripping the bottom apart! The water was just frothing like a jacuzi, I even had fish head and shouldering right over my float  2 rods out. but it wasn't to be today, the float dipped and weaved and buried 3 times and I connected with fresh air.
It was a cracking night to be by the pool though as it looked stunning and all I could here were the birds tweeting in the tress