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.
You can also follow me on face book by clicking here
Keep checking back for news of some exciting products that I have in the pipe line!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Puddle piggin

 As much as I hate the places today saw me fishing an over stocked snake type lake dug out in a field and filled with puddle pigs( fish farmed pellet fed carp in case you're wandering), and the reason? Well for the last two years I have been teaching my son how to fish (or rather he keeps showing me already), he's started to get a little bored of catching ide and roach almost every put in on the pole at our local pond so as it was his 8th birthday last week I promised him a trip to somewhere that had plenty of puddle pigs in so this morning we headed to Birkin Fishery. I have not fished here my self before but decided to try it as it seemed to fit the bill as I was told plenty of carp were caught close in meaning Kyle didn't have to fish with too much pole out. It's also very close to a stretch of the River Aire I have had my eye on but not yet checked out so this would give me as good a chance as any.

 We had a quick walk around and decided to fish a swim close to the car simply because they all looked the same! I got kyle sorted and fishing down the edge and he was into a small roach before I had even got my own rig in the water, a few missed bites and small fish before the elastic was whizzing out of the end of his pole. He had hooked a carp in no time and did a great job of playing it to the net by himself for me to net. It wasn't huge, 3lbs at most but did give him a good scrap. I thought we were onto a shed full but it turned out I was wrong. No more carp followed and we started to hook into a mixture of roach, ide and the odd skimmer as well as missing loads of bites due to fishing heavy gear and bumping fish after fish. I'm sure if I had set up a lighter rig we would have emptied it but sods law the carp would have turned up.

 After a few hours I rigged a method feeder up and chucked it out to the island, or should I say the mound of earth that was made when they dug the puddle out. Again small fish were a pest so I let Kyle have a go only for the tip to slam round. He picked up but before he could do anything the carp was in the reeds and smashed the hook link, we gave it half an hour but no more came so we both stuck to fishing short on the pole and kept picking up silvers on anything we put on the hook including double corn and half inch cubes of meat. We gave it a couple more hours before calling it a day and went to look at a proper venue, THE RIVER!

 I can see why people like these kind of places and Kyle enjoyed it too so for his sake I think we will return soon but for me, my own time will be spent on more natural waters.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Priceless memories

 I had a very quick session today up at Owl Barn Farm, I was out of the house, fishing and back home in under an hour. Strange you may think but the reason was I had the company of a very special Little lady today. I decided it was time to introduce my 2 and half year old daughter Lilly to the world of fishing. Most people will have caught fish bigger than she was as when she was born she weighed just 2lb 15oz! and spent weeks in hospital.
 I took just the required gear and some maggots left over from yesterday, I rigged up a light pole rig attached to a top 3 and flicked a few maggots in, in no time at all she beamed from ear to ear as the fish soon started biting. Like kids do she was bored after around 20 minutes so we headed home to tell Mummy all about it.

 One of the shortest sessions I have ever fished but also one of the best, equalled only when I took kyle for the first time.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Stupid fish, up stream trotting and acrobatic pike

 As you can see from the title is was a bit of a mind bending sort of day.
 I eagerly made my way back to the Calder this morning knowing the level had now dropped to something around normal and that trotting for silvers was back on the cards. Choosing a spot I have fished a few times I settled in and soon noticed the wind would be a problem as my short 5no.4 stick float was lifted clear of the water whilst figuring the depth, it was promptly replace with a much longer 9 no.6 domed top one, the large tip making it easy to see in the ripples and shadows as it made its was down stream.

 I don't exactly know what has happened along this stretch of water but the recent floods have clearly left there mark and must have altered the layout of the river bed, despite it been only 6in or so above summer level what used to be a nice glide now seems to be a boiling torrent. The main flow now cuts diagonally away from the bank but often changing forwards and back, there seems to be a narrow strip of faster water just this side of it and the water under the rod tip moves the other way. One trot the float will bomb down with the flow before sitting still on the next trot then going up stream on others.

 Those waves are caused by the current passing over the river bed forcing the water up.
 The flat water that looks like what you get when you put in lots of oily groundbait is actually the current flattening the surface, the current would speed up before the water boiled and the flat spots grew as they moved down stream. This kept repeating its self during the day and if it wasn't for the water level and clear water you would think it was in flood with the way it behaved.
As it reached the lower end of my swim it would cause the back eddy on the inside to grow, the current would speed up and it was actually possible to trot up stream!

 So onto the fishing, despite the difficult conditions the fish were actually there in numbers and even though the float moved down the swim like an empty barrel going over a water fall, bobbing, weaving and generally going where it pleased it kept going under. I was making the best of a bad job and for an hour or so kept putting fish in the net every 2nd or 3rd trot, small roach, dace, a few perch and of course those cracking proper Calder roach.

 As the wind strengthened the bites slowed and I knew the rig was wrong but just put up with it as the float kept going under, I was retrieving another fish when it went solid then started to move down stream. It has taken longer than I had expected but a pike had finally muscled in on my fishing. It bit me off in no time and as I had to tie on another hook I decided to make some changes. Now normally I just change my float and shotting but as the wind kept falling in between gusts I rigged up another rod instead and on went a large cork and quill 'topper' type float with what I call an inverted bulk. This is just a bulk of mixed size shot with the largest been at the bottom, in this case an AAA, then an AB, BB and so on meaning that on the strike the bulk is more stream lined and cuts through the water better. Spaced out below this were a no.4 no.6 and a no.8.

 This change saw me catching again for a while but when the wind dropped I switched back to the normal stick rig and picked up a better stamp of roach closer in, many of then actually falling when the rig was moving up stream each time the current picked up and forced the back eddy to run harder. Mr pike decided to appear again and as I quickly lifted a fish from the water he did a double back flip just past my feet. You may be wandering whats next looking at the title of this post, well there is only stupid fish left.

 For a good hour or so the wind blew stronger and the current was a nightmare, the stick float rig moved down stream more sideways and I could see the float sat at some very funny angles and the large topper float just looked a mess out in the faster water, actually laying flat as the under currents picked up the weight down the line and the wind pulling it in every direction, but despite this they kept going under and I kept adding fish to the net. It just shows that fish don't always follow the rules. The wind dropped and seemed to settle for a while so I decided to experiment. To get past the back eddy and into some smoother water I got the extension for my MAP river rod out to take it to 16 foot and re rigged it with a 3 gram avon float shotted again with an inverted bulk and spaced out no.4 and no.6 shot below.

 From the off the float behaved much better, odd gusts of wind blew it around but the extra length of rod allowed me to correct the line better and after upping the feed in the faster water I started to catch more dace and a few chub around 6-10oz also joined in. More quality roach came in between as did the odd nice perch before Mr pike returned doing somersaults as I plucked fish from the surface. It seems he stuck around as it went rather quiet and each time I did manage a fish there were swirls galore as my small fish dived out into the fast water to try and escape its jaws. Of course this eventually un settled them and I decided to call it a day with another good net full of silvers.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Calder barbel

 Not a deal to report today unfortunately.

 Now the Calder is not one of the first rivers in Yorkshire you would think of when hunting barbel, in fact its most likely near the bottom of most peoples lists me included. But whilst out on the banks I keep hearing tales of a few fish been pulled out. Nothing huge as they seem to average around 6lbs but location is pretty simple enough as on the lengths I have been fishing there are two weirs and a large set of rapids with fast shallow water below them. I had been more than happy catching nets of silver fish but it was starting to become a little stale with all the extra water we have had of late and making things difficult on the trotting front, and as my mate JD lost 3 barbel last week I thought I would try my luck.

 So off I headed this morning to a spot I knew barbel had been caught from before, I baited up with some hemp and pellets via a bait dropper and a few boilies that are new to me for this season from Tailor made tackle and bait and sat back and waited. Odd pecks from small fish came intermittently but despite swapping between boilies, pellets and lumps of meat I failed to get a single proper bite.

 Ah well such is life, on the plus side it was a grand morning to be out on the bank once the sun came up(at long last). I think I will save the barbel fishing for the Swale and Nidd and stick to plundering the roach and dace shoals on here. The river looks like it may finally drop to something like normal level and with little if any rain forecast and a week's holiday from work things look good for a few fish next week.

Fresh ideas

 You may notice some slight changes on here. I thought a new name would be better suited and more able to link in with the launch of my new face book page which you can view here

 Keep checking back as I have been toying with some ideas on some custom products specifically aimed at river anglers, hand crafted by my self but more on that later.

Friday, 6 July 2012

It's a wash out!

 Back early today from another Calder trip, due largely to some rather nasty looking lightning! Not ideal for waving carbon rods around in.

 I was on the bank for not much after 4.30am  full of enthusiasm with heading back to some faster water only to find the river had risen more than I had anticipated putting my first, second and third choice swims out of action. So I opted to fish another new swim to me slightly further down stream than I had wanted to be but it did look promising, slow smooth water close in just below a tree with enough flow a couple of rods out to give a nice trot down a current that I thought the fish would be happy in with the bit of extra water on. Past that around half way the main flow carried the worst of the extra water, a good foot to 18 inches but not holding too much colour.

 I started out like normal, rigging up and sitting back with a cuppa whilst feeding hemp and maggots expecting the fish to be there from the off but they had other ideas and must have been fishing the best part of an hour before I actually netted my first fish, a  roach of around 6oz. Thinking they had moved onto the bait I was shocked that no more bites were forthcoming. A change of tactics were required and after missing a couple of bites having flicked the rig out into the faster water I decided to rig up a large bolo float and fish out in the flow just short of half way. Off came the 9 no.6 stick and was replaced with a 2 gram bolo float with a bulk around 3 feet from the hook and 2 number 6's and 2 number 8's spaced out below.

 I started to feed with a catapult and gave it 5 minutes before flicking the rig out, it was nice to watch the float run a long way down the swim mid river and I was pleased it stayed on line all the way down having not had much experience of trotting big floats well out from the bank before. It took around a dozen trots before the float buried and I added another roach of around the same size, but it wasn't to be and after half an hour or so with no more interest I decided to up sticks and move as the fish were just not there. As I bundled the gear into the car it started to rain. By the time I arrived at the next stretch it was pouring down so I decided to just jump in the first swim that looked fishable, stick the brolly up and try a bit of feeder fishing.

 Although the water was fast and boiling it looked much calmer just down the edge and first chuck out the tip jagged like mad and saw me wind in a small gudgeon, back out and this time a nice roach before a couple more gonks, all ripping the tip about as soon as the bait hit bottom. With this in mind I changed to the smallest size black cap feeder and put in around just a dozen maggots, about the amount I would feed each trot if float fishing. By now it was absolutely pouring with rain and I was hoping the flow would not pick up too much and move the fish. A few more roach and a couple of dace, perch and a small chub were netted before I dropped the rig slightly further out. I waited a bit longer for a bite before a steady pull on the tip saw a bigger fish hooked, not massive but it was holding in the flow rather than me winding it straight in but I could feel the line grating on something and as I tried to bring the fish in it went solid. I gave it some slack line but still it held firm and I had to pull for a break.

 I got going again and had a couple of small fish then the thunder storm started. The rain bounced high even off the water, the lightning was getting scarily close and as the river rose almost a foot in just ten minutes I made a hasty retreat.

 If anyone knows where the summer has gone please could you send it back this way, thanks.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Minature specimen makes up for poor day

 Back on the river this morning in search of more quality roach, still finding my feet on the Calder I headed to an area I had fished just once before in the depths of winter. It's deeper, almost double than a lot of the water I have fished so far and much slower. This would allow me to get some practise at trotting long range as I expected mainly roach and with the deeper water feeding patterns would come into play as well as presentation as the fish would have far more time to inspect my bait than they would when dashing around grabbing anything that comes near them in the faster swims.

 I rigged up an 8 no.4 stick with 3 number 8's near the hook and well strung out no. 6's up the line. As I dropped the rig in and let it on its way it worked perfectly and with no bait on the hook I managed a good 30 yard trot only having to mend the line once and the current just enough to peel line from the reel holding the float back a touch. First run down with a bait on produced a nice roach around 6 oz before two missed bites and a totalled rig saw me re-tackling. Once sorted a steady run of nice roach came for half an hour before I managed to miss the keep net with a 4 oz fish and watched as it darted right back down where it came from and splash on the surface before diving down again.

 Who said fish were daft? That roach had clearly done a good job of warning its mates below as the swim went stone dead and all I managed for around an hour were a few perch and two tiny roach! It took me ages to start picking roach up again and they were well down the swim, clearly spooked by the escapee, I swapped to a smaller size 20 hook and 0.08 hook link and added two number 10 droppers, moved the 8's further up and dotted the float right down to make it more sensitive and the bait fall slower through the water. Feeding just 6 maggots twice on each 30 yard trot saw me picking the odd fish up with them also moving closer to me at around 15 yards down stream.

 Around 9am I swung a fish to hand that I thought was the first dace of the day, on un-hooking it looked like a bleak but judging by its size I thought it couldn't possibly be and into the net it went. Whilst continuing to not catch much I was pondering over it been some kind of hybrid, chub or dace maybe. An hour or so later I was thinking about packing in for the day when two old boys who have fished the river for years stopped by and we got chatting, I mentioned the fish and they too were intrigued and so I emptied my small catch of roach securing the said fish in the process and we had a good look over it. All three of us came to the conclusion that it was a very large bleak and decided to weigh it. I popped the fish into a small plastic bag and lifted the flyweights only for the needle to more or less sit still, rather unsurprised as they are 30lb rated on a single revolution. I removed the bag and zeroed them once more and this time rather than lifting I dropped the bag on the hook, it read just over 3 oz, we repeated this three times and each one got the same reading, thickness of the needle over 3oz so we agreed on 3.5oz.

 Now this may seem small and insignificant to most people but with a record of just 4oz 9drm this is one specimen PB that will take some beating!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Bit of an anti climax

 Saturday saw me and Kyle scouting out some new water on the Calder, I found what I thought to be THE best looking feature packed swim on the river and it just screamed fish.
So this morning I headed out early doors to my new found spot only to discover it wasn't exactly as I remember. Having Kyle with me Saturday meant I couldn't spend much time stood around and climbing up and down river banks and failed to realize that the trees above were a little too low to be waving a 14 foot float rod under, add to it some extra water in the river, around a foot since Sunday morning and I was put off fishing it today. It is worth another look, well worth it in fact but needs some of the undergrowth hacking through and a couple of small steps in the bank to make it safe getting up and down. This should then put me further up stream of the trees whilst still allowing me to trot down them and past the 'other' big fish holding feature.

 Plan B was then put into action, just a short way along the river there is an overflow from the canal lock that runs into it creating a nice crease as well as adding oxygen to the water as it tumbles over the rocks and into the river. I got tackled up and set about feeding maggots and hemp whilst I sat back and admired the kingfisher down stream and drank a cup of tea. The swim was between 4 and 6 feet deep sloping from the bank and had some wooden stumps in the water that looked like they were once part of a boat mooring of some kind. I had rigged up a 5 no.6 stick float and expecting more roach than anything today I went for a size 18 hook rather than a 16 and used a 0.10 middy hook link. I was also using today for the first time the new Drennan Supplex line instead of my usual float fish, 4lb but at 0.16 its the same diameter as the 3.2lb float fish I had been using.

 First trot and the float only traveled 2 yards before it went under just as I expected only instead of a small roach or dace coming up the rod bent over and I could feel a solid thump thump on the other end, the fish move slowly at first as though it didn't know what to do before setting off on a steady 30 yard down stream run. I had no idea what the fish was but as it headed into the main flow and started to thump again I was thinking that just maybe it could be my first Calder barbel, I gained a bit of line back before it steadily plodded down stream again. It was getting a bit too close to one of the stumps for my liking so I leaned into it a bit more only for it give one more thump and throw the hook.

 Rather bemused by the loss of a good fish so early I re baited hoping for more. The usual roach and dace had arrived and I tried not to think what could have been,(although now I have my doubts) half a dozen fish in as many trots went in the net before it suddenly went quiet. The down stream wind not helping much as it was coming at a slight angle and pushing the float well off line as it went more sideways than downwards. I soon swapped to a bit bigger float and was picking the odd fish up but much slower than is normal this year on the River so cut back on the amount of food I was feeding each trot and picked a few up from low down the peg, steady feeding brought them closer to me but I was not happy with the presentation I was getting. I was about to make some changes to the rig when I hooked into another good fish, it didn't feel as big but fought in a similar way although the run down stream was absent. It rolled just under the surface and spat the hook and I caught a glimpse of what looked like a nice bream(again I now have my doubts).

 Gutted that I had lost two good fish I stuck at it and made some changes to the rig, I moved each shot down slightly and also added a no.6 above the float to try and keep the worst of the wind off the line just above the float. This had a dramatic effect and I imeadiately had 3 good roach, all needing to be netted. Not really getting their heads down the fish came in bits and bats with roach of various sizes, dace and a few small perch all falling to maggots and coming quicker when the awkward wind eased. It had been quiet for a while and I was thinking of packing in for the day when the float dipped and the rod hooped over again.

 I was determined not to loose a third and very gingerly tried to ease the fish up stream letting it have its head when it wanted, it felt bream like on the end as it turned in the flow and wallowed around until it came to the surface and jumped 2 feet clear of the water! It's then I realized exactly what it was, one of the Calders resident big ide. After it landed with a large splosh on the water it twisted and wallowed all the way to the net. Having had my first and only experience of river ide last year I had forgotten how hard they fight and pull back in the current, far better than their carp puddle cousins these are like a different species. They look a hell of a lot better too, I didn't weigh it but I would say it was around 3lb

 An ide of 6lbs featured in the angling press during the winter that came from the Calder during a match and I now think the lost fish today were also ide, the first being a very large one judging by the amount of line it took. I re convened fishing only to find it still very slow going so with large clouds blowing my way I called it a day, pleased with the nice ide but also a little disappointed at the lack of roach and dace. I expected more form such a nice swim but for whatever reason they were not playing ball and I tipped back around 10lbs of silvers. Perhaps it was the wind that meant the bait was not presented correctly or as its the first time I have fished this area there is not the head of fish that there is elsewhere, either way I have fallen in love with this place and look forward to my next outing.