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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Saturday, 2 November 2013

October 2013

 Welcome to what is my last blog in it's current format, although this one is a bit half and half shall we say. Due to a number of things I will now be updating on a monthly basis rather than after each trip, mainly due to sneaking short quick trips in then not having the time to sit and babble on about them but, to make up for the lack of reports I will try to add in more technical info about my rigs, methods and the gear I use.

 So first up is a couple of bits from the start of the month. At the back end of September I fished the yorkshire fishing autumn social at The Oaks, Sessay. 24hrs on a puddle for a pasty was not my idea of fun but a good laugh was had by most and I met some more great lads. Despite the poor fishing I have booked on the next one and will be hoping for something bigger and better when we fish Pool bridge farm's Q lake in the spring.
 I had a trip down to the tidal Trent at the start of the month and made a total mess of judging the weather and river conditions, so much so I sacked it off mid afternoon and went exploring! I went down for a day time tide with half a gallon of maggots, it was hotter, brighter and clearer than forecast and the water was like gin. Had I had gone down to fish into dark I may have stood half a chance. Plenty of small stuff smashed the maggots to bits but two fish did stand out, firstly an eel around 12/14oz. Not the biggest but the first I have caught for a long time, nice to see there are still some around. And next up a cracking roach that fell to the pellet rod, short of my pb by half a pound but still a nice fish and not a mark on it. On the scales it went 1lb 6oz, just a shame it was cranked in.

 The Thursday evening following saw me sat on the Calder in what again seemed good conditions but despite quite an amount of rainfall during the week the river was only around 18in up and not holding any colour. I dropped into a supposedly banker swim and sat it out until well into dark and never had a pull.

 Queue rain dance.
I was now starting to curse the weather, yes it had been one of those rarely seen long, hot, dry summers but it was having adverse effects on my fishing. To put it bluntly it was crap! Well for barbel fishing on my chosen rivers anyway. Then it happened, around the middle of the month we got some of the best weather fronts an angler could wish for blowing warm, wet weather up from the south. It rained and blew and the rivers filled up.............................. Party time.
 Of course I was at work all week and every day when I got home I logged into facebook to see report after report of barbel captures, checking the EA level site also showed things look good for my weekend trip. After a few texts and phone calls to various friends a plan was hatched and I knew which part of the tidal Trent I was heading.
As I crossed the river it didn't look too high and once bank side I estimated there to be around 4 to 5ft of extra water in, high tide was to be around 2pm giving me the best hours into darkness although I had been informed that with the extra water it was unlikely to back up and run up stream which tbh suited me better and also proved to be correct, the colour was spot on and for the first time since about the middle of June I was feeling confident. With the extra water and colour I felt sure big smelly baits would score although I did have a back up plan in place as you never know. I may have been loaded up like a pack horse but it would be worth it later. I had set off earlier that first planned and was there for 10.30.
I followed the advice I had been given by a friend and dropped into a suggested swim, I have fished here before and know the whole area to be snaggy so it was straight out with a big lead as I didn't want it moving around. I was pleasantly surprised though when I found I could hold bottom with 5oz upstream and 6oz down, only an ounce more than is usually required along this stretch. I opted to start on big baits and see if the fish were about and in a feeding mood. The downstream rod was rigged up with 3ft of 12lb E.S.P. gravel braid with a size 6 Drennan super specialist hook, mounted on the hair was a huge chunk of smelly flavoured meat held on with a Fox meat stop. The upstream rod had the same hook link attached but was matched with a Korum Xpert power size 10 hook and baited with a home made glugged bollie and paste wrap. Both rods were fished with Korum running rig kits and quick clips for changing hook links.
 For 3 hours I swapped and changed baits around on both rods, meat, boillies, and big pellets wrapped in paste but nothing seemed to interest the fish. My upstream rod did have a medium swim feeder attached and I had been putting some of my own SBC ground bait but only recasting every half hour or so, the downstream rod was fished with a lead and P.V.A bag of pellets and again cast every half hour or so. There were signs of fish about as I saw a number crashing and some were very clearly barbel, I had to do something.
 The river looked so good I felt the fish just had to be feeding, I just needed to give them something to get their heads down so as the river slowed at the top of the tide (as I said it didn't stop and back up, just filled) on went one of my big feeders and I made ten casts one after the other to get some bait out, quite possibly the best part of half a kilo of mix. I then replaced my hook link with the standard Trent issue 6ft combi link, size 14 Korum Xpert hook and 2 small pellets glued onto the hair. The downstream rod was left as it was to fish big baits as I knew the barrage on the upstream rod would see fish pass over it anyway to get to the banquet I had laid out.
 On only my second cast the rod nodded away like a bream had hooked its self so I was taken by surprise when the fish shot off as I picked the rod up. The fish put up a good fight and after ten minutes I finally got to put my new large Wychwood folding spoon to good use, it easily swallowed what I though would be a double and proved great at leaving the fish to rest in the margins while I readied the scales and camera. The fish was still trying to fight me on the mat and refused to pose nicely for a quick self take. On the scales I was a little surprised at its lack of weight although its been a year almost since I had a barbel much over 6lb but at 9lb 1oz I was happy.

 Next cast and I was in again, this time though the fish proved quicker than me and got its head into the nearside snags by swimming towards me faster than I could wind and saw me having to pull for a break after a while. An hour or so later the heavily baited upstream rod was off again, this time though I cranked for England and headed down into the next swim, I could feel much bumping and banging down the rod and was relieved when the fish set off on a down stream run. Disaster soon followed though as once I started to crank it back towards me the line parted, the fish must have dragged me over something that had cut into the line. On setting the rod back up I had to remove around 5 rod lengths of line that had clearly been damaged.

 It then went a little quiet, I kept casting my feeder rod upstream every ten to fifteen minutes and swapped baits around on the other rod after half an hour or so but that one stayed still all day. The sun had dropped behind the flood bank, the light was fading and I had started to gather the gear together when out of the corner of my eye I saw the upstream rod nodding away again. Thankfully the Korum gripper rests and butt cups held firm although the baitrunner was on anyway. I picked up and the fish set off on a 20 yards screaming run, it felt a good one too and i knew there was only one way I was going to get it out and that was to head down my self so I grabbed the net and I was off. 

 Two swims down it stopped and I started to gain some line only for it to tear off again, next swim along and it decided to hang in the flow instead, it took me a good while to get it close in. The fish had other ideas though and it was off again. As I gained line though I felt some sort of bang down the rod and the tension eased, fearing the worst I wound in what felt like my feeder only for it to pull back after a few turns. It was still on! Now closed in the fish went wild under the rod tip boring down on a tight clutch every time it came up, eventually though in the last light it rolled in the net. I don't know who was more exhausted, me or the fish.

 After a good rest in the net the fish went 9lb 8oz and fell short of what I again though was a double, had it been I would have got the camera back out but as it was almost dark I decided to let the fish have a good rest in the net while I packed some gear away. I was going to have one last chuck as you do but after unhooking the fish I found the rig was trashed from top to bottom and I don't know how it managed to stay on. Can't moan at a brace of nines and  hopefully it will stay warm enough for me to make a return trip in a couple of weeks time.