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!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Back down with a bump

 Well I think we can say that winter is defiantly here for I have just spent ten bite less on a cold, wet and windy Trent. In all honesty I should have known better and around mid week it was a toss up of weather to head down there or instead go to the Calder and target anything that swims. In hindsight I should have chosen the latter but the lure of a big Trent double was all too much, the frost we have had has clearly knocked the colour out of the water and fish off the feed.

 I headed to the same stretch I fished last time but chose a different swim with less pace and a bit more depth, hopeful that the fish would be holed up here. I employed my now usual Trent tactics but held back on the loose feed in the groundbait and cast less often. The wind, although a south / south westerly was blowing straight at me making the brolly almost useless in the frequent showers, thankfully they were light and didn't last too long.

 Despite swapping and changing hook baits regularly and adjusting my end tackle around after every couple of casts the tips remained still all day. I think that's me signing off the Trent for now, only heading back after some warming winter rains have put some colour and life back into it. My efforts now will be aimed at the top end of the middle Calder hopeful of bagging a few nice chub with a few other bits and bobs that I may stumble across.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Short trip, short blog

 Not a deal to report today, well really there could be but it's all in my head as my thoughts have now turned to wintry things.

 I had the opportunity to sneak a few hours in local and decided to try my luck back on the Calder where my mate JD had been hitting one or two barbel, alas I missed the boat and the river is now running low, cold and clear after last weeks rain. Knowing this before hand I had planned a twin attack on both chub and barbel but my confidence was falling as quick as the leaves on the trees due to the weather, cold last night although not quite frosty, not at home anyway and the sun was beating down on me once sat on the bank.

 Now this is a new stretch of river to me, much further upstream than I have ventured before so decided to put it to good use as a scouting trip as my intentions are to spend plenty of hours on it whenever the Trent looks out of sorts over the coming months. I had a wander up stream before settling in a swim back near the car and soon had two rods out, the pellet on the barbel rod was picked up first cast but only resulted in a rattle on the tip. Other than that the rods remained still barring the constant plucks and pulls from the ever increasing amount of leaves coming downstream.

 JD popped down and we spent a good hour or more discussing the river and where the fish hold up, after he departed I gave it half an hour or so and decided to chuck the gear back in the car and go exploring. I headed off down stream and found a couple of nice looking swims that I'm sure will hold barbel in the warmer months before eventually coming to some deeper water. Despite the depth there is still plenty of flow, a lot more than I have found on other parts of the river that offer the same sort of depth and these few pegs look sure to produce fish in the cooler weather.

 I had planned on going to the Trent next week but looking at the forecast and current river level I think the barbel rods will be put to bed for a while and I shall be heading back to this stretch of the Calder, full of great enthusiasm and expectation for a nice net of roach and chub.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

MK 1 barbel feeders

 No fishing this week but time's not to be wasted.

After spending a few weeks gathering together the necessary equipment for next to nothing(total cost around £6 from the local car boot sale) I finally got around to knocking up my first lot of big river barbel feeders. The biggest cost was the mould I sourced at £26, this was used purely as a template for my custom made one.

Melting pot, ladle and gas ring, total cost of tools/equipment is around £6! all found at the local car boot sale. Bottle was free from a relative that didn't take to camping.

There is the custom made mould along with quite a few rejects to go back in the pot next time.

Finished weights, mixture of 4,5 and 6 oz

The other bits of the feeders.
plastic cage, split rings and swivels.

 One finished 6oz barbel feeder.

  A rough first prototype ready to be tested. I've gone for split rings for now as opposed to any kind of link as I had been having problems with the long (5-6 foot) hooklinks tangling around them on shop bought feeders, this of course can be changed and there will be an option of ring or link. I gave the cage a quick colour in with a marker, again something to look at as they could be painted/sprayed any colour and also the leads looked a bit bright and shiny but these are easily coated with many different camo/gravel coatings.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Best of the year so far

This morning saw me heading down to the tidal Trent hoping for a barbel or two, and what a session it turned out to be.
 Since starting on the Trent a few weeks back I hadn't yet managed to catch a barbel and I have been playing around with various rigs as well as trying to perfect my own groundbait mix as the price of shop bought stuff is now a joke.

I have been using Drennan super specialist barbel hooks since they came out but when I last did a fair bit of barbel fishing I kind of fell out with them, I still had a few left so stuck with them until I got hold of some of the new Korum xpert power hooks this week. The main reason for change is the Drennan's have a straight point that seems to dig into every rock and stone they can find, these from Korum are in turned and I only managed to knock one hook point over today.

Next up are the running rig kits from Korum, I had been advised to use running rigs and long hook links up to 6 feet when clear and I have been having trouble with the hook link tangling around the feeder on the cast even with a stiff rig boom fitted. The specially shaped bead in the Korum kits makes the hook link sit away from the feeder and with a 6 inch silicon sleeve added I had no problems all day.

 And lastly barring my groundbait mix I made a massive change to my actual hook link material. For years I have used various braids in all lengths but after been given some advice from a well respected big fish angler I made the leap over to combi links and also went old skool and tried a simple mono hook link. The combi's were tied using E.S.P. 15lb ghost fluro carbon with a foot of E.S.P. gravel braid (another change as I have used Drennan sink braid for years). If the water was holding more colour I recon I could get away with normal mono rather than the fluro. As for the mono I was again trying something new, and yes you guessed it from those guys at Korum, this was the xpert power hook link mono in 12lb. I swapped and changed hook links and baits every cast to see if the fish had a preference and all I will say is that the new stuff worked, I tried one of my old hook links a couple of times and never had a knock!

 So then, that's enough of me babbling on about rigs and stuff onto the fishing. I arrived around 11am and found a nice looking swim with some deep fast water right along my own bank and decided to start fishing right away rather than wait for the tide to turn. With the river not holding much colour I decided to hold back on the groundbait and used just enough to hold the mixture of hemp and pellets in the feeder, both rods were out and so was the sun. Not exactly what I wanted with a clear river and it felt so warm. The tips remained still until around 12.30 when, with the river stood the the down stream rod hooped over without warning. The fish put up a good fight even with lack of flow and it took me a while to actually land it. First fish of the day and it went 8lb 12oz on the scales.

 By the time I had rested the fish and let it go on it's way the river was running off and on the very next cast I had a pb rocking barbel of 9lb on the dot to the same rod followed on the next cast by a 3lb splasher. Things went quiet for a couple of hours then and I was thinking that was it for the day until it clouded over and the  down stream rod was almost ripped from the rests. I picked up and the fish carried on heading for sea. The fish was allover the place and took some beating and I was surprised to see a smaller fish of around 6 or 7 pound roll into the net. As I watched it swim away the other rod almost smacked me on the head as the tip was dragged downwards, this one been the new 2lb tc barbel rod I was using for the first time.

This one felt in a different league, slow, heavy and no stopping it when it wanted to go. The battle went on for a good while and tested the new rod and hook link to the limit, I though I had it beat on a number of occasions but each time I managed to get the feeder clear of the water it surged off again. Eventually after a good 10 or 15 minutes I caught a glimpse of the beast and knew there and then that yet another pb was on the cards. I just couldn't loose it, for so long I have been trying to catch a double figure barbel and up my pb. Well after a couple of hairy moments with the fish trying to get into the near side reeds it rolled into the net and was mine. I took one look at it and just un hooked it in the net and staked it our for us both to catch our breath. Self takes are never easy let along with the adrenaline pumping but here it is, my new pb.
 11lb 10oz Trent barbel

 A good hour passed before I had another sign, a 3 foot twitch that resulted in nothing. The sun was starting to dip and it felt cooler so I decide on that lucky last chuck, the rod's weren't out long when the down stream one slammed over again. Yet another good scrap and another barbel at bang on 9lb. This forced me to stay on a little longer but after a biteless hour I called it a day.

 What a day it was and if ever I needed proof that my rigs and homemade ground bait work then surely this has to be it.