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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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Mission accomplished

 As I touched on before my main aim this season was to catch my first Calder barbel, my first attempts a couple of weeks back in what must have been the lowest and clearest river conditions for years plus the hottest resulted in just a small chub. Now though the conditions couldn't be much better and yesterday I just knew I had to get on the bank.

 Since the rains arrived last week  a few barbel have been showing and with more rain on Monday night the river was spot on by yesterday afternoon, a couple of foot up still and a lovely looking brown colour. By the time I collected the other half from work, dropped her off home and arrived river side it was near on 6pm. I met up with my good mate JD who was already there, just for the sake of it I think as he too knew the river was spot on. We had a quick mooch around before he said he was not stopping much longer so I took the chance to jump in his swim as I did fancy it for a fish or two.

 Tactics had been refined a little from what I have been using over the last couple of seasons, gone were the feeders to be replaced by a running lead and small pva bags were used to feed a small amount of mixed pellet each cast. Tackle too was scaled back a bit to something very close to what I used to use on the Don, 12lb line to a 2ft hook link of 10lb Korum expert mono and a size 14 expert power hook from the same company all finished off with a single banded 11mm elips pellet. This though had been given some attention and had been soaking in my own mix of oils I am currently testing dubbed the 'doner kebab flavour' and wrapped in a matching paste.

 I cast out and sat back to chatter away to JD, soon after the rod tip knocked before pulling steadily round and the following strike met with nothing. I'm pretty sure though that it was just something been washed downstream but after JD told me they don't tear off on the bite I was taking no chances. On the following cast though there was no mistake, the 3ft twitch was followed by the tip springing back and pulling round again before I could even grab the rod and the strike met with solid resistance. The fish hung there for a while before going on a couple of long powerful runs, I managed to crank it back up stream when it decided to go nuts under the rod tip. Soon enough though it was beat and JD scooped it up with the waiting net.

 I don't know who was more pleased, me or him! Anyway I was over the moon with my first Calder barbel and equally pleased that JD was there to see it. After a rest photo's were taken and on the scales it went 6lb 13oz, not massive but a real solid nice looking fish. I was a little surprised no more followed and I never had another knock but I couldn't care one bit, I had what I came for and headed home around 9pm when heavy black clouds started to build in the sky around me.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Not for want of trying

 Sorry for the lateness folks but I just haven't had the time to get around to this, plus it wasn't exactly on my list of priorities with nothing much to shout about again.
Anyway I had last week off work on what has to have been the hottest week for a long long time and of course this had an effect on my intended species and methods.

 With the week off I had set my self the task of catching my first Calder barbel, with the forecast been for hot bright weather and family life to fit in too I decided on a couple of early dawn starts. Monday was my first and that saw me heading home mid morning after a blank although I kind of knew my tactics were wrong with such low clear river conditions. I had gone all out with big baits, pellets and paste wraps and all I had to show for it were knocks from the little fish ripping the paste off.

 Wednesday I was back in the same spot this time armed with hemp and casters and a small selection of pellets as a back up. Again no barbel but a couple of small bait robbing chub on caster hook baits. The days were getting hotter and the river was getting lower and I felt my best chance would come on an evening but I had things to do at home and it was mornings or nothing so I needed another plan.

 As most of you know I don't do much if any proper carp fishing but enjoy a bit of surface/stalking so looked  in on a local lake after dropping the little one off at school after dinner on Wednesday. I knew the lake held a few good carp but I must admit I was shocked by the number of carp I was met with as  I arrived lakeside and also the size. On talking to a regular most of the lakes carp stock were in front of me on the surface basking in the sun, approx 20 or so fish including a couple pushing 20lb and the resident 'big one' which tops out around 36-37 and comes out a hand full of times a year.

 That was it, I had seen enough and was back Thursday morning at dawn armed with some particles and pellets plus a bucket of mixers and half a loaf of bread. I did a quick circuit of the lake and baited a few likely looking spots with the particle mixture and got the gear out of the car, a 2lb Tc rod matched up to my centre pin, 8lb line and a quill float. I worked my way around the spots float fishing flake and corn for a couple of hours and had 2 pesky bream to show before I saw a group of carp spook on the surface as some gulls flew over head, I knew then it was time to get the floater gear out.

 I soon found the group of fish that had spooked and set about giving them some free offerings, to be honest they were not too interested and sulked off apart from one double figure common. This fish stuck around and kept taking the odd mixer, enough to prompt me to put a bait out anyway. My lump of crust had not been out long before the said carp took an interest only for me to pull the hook and bait clean out of its mouth DOH. This spooked it for a while before it settled into feeding again on some baits that had drifted a little further up the bank. Out with another bread bait and soon enough the carp came slurping along again only for me to the same as last time DOUBLE DOH.

 I moved on and pestered a trio of good fish that were more interested in basking as they drifted off each time I wound my controller anywhere near them. A quick lap of the lake and I found the bulk of the fish in the same place as the day before, including those bigger fish.

 To cut a long story short it took me a couple of hours to get the fish properly feeding and not shying off each time I made a cast, even then they were still super cautious of the bait. Then out of the blue the big one appeared in the swim and set about pigging every mixer and bit of loose bread it could find, my heart was in my mouth as it made a b line for my bait only to miss by a foot! Stupid puddle pig, anyway it did a full turn and came back on it and as its mouth closed around my bait I struck only to see my controller whizz past me and into the tree behind. Gutted I recast only to make a mess of that and almost hit the carp on the head, It was now less than amused and swam off into the middle to sunbath with its mates.

 To try and get the fish to feed again I went around the other side and introduced a shed load of mixers that would drift right over the fish and towards the bottom end but by now the rather large resident bird population was wide awake and decided my mixers would make nice breakfast as did every gull for miles around. This encounter has now got me thinking though and that carp now has my name on it, so in between barbel trips and before winter then possibly next spring I'll be spending some time doing some proper carping.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Unlucky 13

 Yesterday, the 13th July saw me heading south for my first barbel and Trent session of the year. Here's a tip for you all, well two actually. Don't go fish on the 13th or on the hottest day of the year to date! Although that first bit could well be rubbish I didn't have much good luck but plenty of bad.

 Firstly this crap weather we keep going on about, we ain't in Ibiza so please kindly do one. 20 - 23 degree will do me thanks and secondly could we have some rain and plenty at that although mid week whilst I'm at work, but not this one coming as I'm on holiday. The rivers are getting desperate.

 So anyway, enough moaning. I headed to a stretch of the tidal I have not fished since about '97/98' when I still match fished, I was there in plenty of time to have a wander around and find a swim using the bit of inside info I had been given before high tide. The swim was not miles from the car but still a good walk and one I wasn't looking forward too in sweltering heat, the only bit of good look for the day happened right away though as one of the bailiffs with gate access turned up and offered me and my gear a lift back up.

 With the river been low and clear I had opted for a two pronged attack, one line short with maggot and hemp and one further out with ground bait and pellets. As I started to unpack I realised I had failed to bring a catty with me, this would make maggot fishing hard work as it would mean constant casting with the feeder as it was quite shallow to where I could throw by hand. I needn't have worried though as I sound found out 90% of my maggots were dead. Cooked in the heat no doubt. I had checked them on arriving and left them with the lids off under the car while I went for a wander but by the time I got around to unpacking them again they looked spot on for tench fishing rather than barbel. Still with enough living to provide hook baits I decided to carry on with my plan anyway.

 On with the fishing and what a pain that was, casting 6 foot hook links 3/4 of the way over with a high bank behind was proving more hassle than it was worth, but I stuck at it and soon perfected some kind of odd pendulum type effort that hit the spot but made the feeder land like a house brick. When using pellets I like to glue them to the hair, this enables different sizes to be used and give the fish something  they are not used to being hooked on all the time. The curse of the 13th was soon to strike again though as the lid on my tube of superglue refused to budge meaning I had to unscrew the hole thing only for this to also get stuck. I was now loosing patience with it and was determined to get it off only for the whole tube to explode.

 Never fear I though, I can always band them instead and reached for my rig wallet only to find I had left it in the sun. Whats the issue there you may ask? Well I had quite a number of ready tied rigs ready to go only it seems the brown drennan latex pellet bands melt when its 30 degrees and all the ones on my pre tied rigs had turned into something like the dog fires out when he's polished a curry off. I could go on but I won't...........

 Any way my dead maggot line soon produced the first bream of the day as expected before a savage bite resulted in a barbel of around 2lb, nice to see but sadly the only one of the day as it was followed by more bream. 6 or 7 in total. TBH I couldn't get into it, I don't know if it was the troubles I had at the start or the heat but I just didn't fancy putting much effort in and it was clear it was going to be hard going.

 My mission this week, as I'm off work is to catch my first Calder barbel. I have only tried twice before so watch this space.