Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy Wednesday.

I've never been one for.....ok I could just say I'm anti social now and get it over with.....I've never been one for new years celebrations apart from getting sozzled when I was about eighteen, I've grown up now  though. So while all the country were getting rat arsed, no idea why because today is just Wednesday after all, I was making plans on where to go at first light. Told you, I'm anti social. The plans consisted at looking at all the river levels and realising I would be wasting my time and that either a canal or still water would be best.

So off I went to the river. No I'm kidding I'm not that daft, the canals it was and upon arriving there at about 7am it was still pitch black. Half cloudy half clear skies there was a chance I'd be able to see soon if that cloud stayed away from the East. It didn't, so I ended up fishing in the pitch black. Couldn't see a thing, no idea if I was getting follows or if I was casting in the right spots. Not sure my plan making is that good some times. 

I'd decided against chasing pike and thought I'd just have an hour or two with the little lures. A couple of fish to start the year would be good and so the small lures gave me best chance of a fish, any fish. Still pitch black and twenty minutes in nothing, but then finally I had a couple of taps and then I was in. Two small perch in total darkness. First session of the year and I've not blanked.
After an hour on the bank the sun was struggling to make an impact on the sky but at last it was here and so I decided to go back to a few spots I'd blanked in the darkness. I picked up a couple more small perch, had a few knocks and all was well. I then had something take the lure which wasn't a small perch and I reckoned was a good perch, not a monster but may be one pushing two pound judging by the fight and the bend in the rod. Frustratingly it managed to wriggle free of the hook and I was left dodging my jig head coming flying back at my face.

One or two more fish and it went quiet so I began making the changes. I know the kopytos work but I also know that sometimes the perch switch off them and by changing you can get back on the action. I'd left the spinners and small cranks in my other box so was only left with more soft lures. I had a couple of 7cm soft 4plays but straight retrieve or jigged they didn't produce. A couple of other coloured shads were used added with a stop....wiggle...stop...wiggle retrieve picked up a perch but no more. I then went smaller and put on a small two white inch grub with a light jig head and first cast I let it sink about half way and then slowly started to bring it in when it got nailed. Again this was something bigger and I kept pressure on and brought it in close for the net. It zoomed up and past the net where I turned it one more time to realise what it was. Not a nice perch but a nice chub, not huge, possibly two pounds and a noggin or two may be.

Curly tail grub

Well that was a bonus fish I didn't expect here. I whipped out the white grub and did the same thing and again in no time it was whacked though this time I knew it to be a perch. The absolute crazy madness of the fight  compared to the chub told me this, not a bad one at about a pound or so maybe more. I thought I was in to something special now and without bothering to take a photo I flicked out the grub, and again, and again and again but nothing. Still I had to be happy, an hour and half in to the new year and I've had a few perch and a nice chub, excellent.

It was still early, still cold but the forecast late morning rains were still hopefully an hour or so off so after thrashing the area again with everything for no joy, off I went. I'd no idea where I was going, there were no features to target, no boats, locks, marinas or anything just wide open canal. In fact, come to think of it, where the hell was I going? This time of year finding the fish is the hard part, they often shoal up somewhere and if you're not there you catch nothing. The few features of this canal had produced some reward but the rest of the canal, the bit I was walking towards seemed like a cold, wind swept open water and it didn't look like any enjoyment would be found here.
Relax Kopyto
I'd walk a bit, fan cast a random area for no other reason than I wasn't going to catch if I didn't have the lure in the water. After fan casting I'd walk more and jig along the edge as I did so before stopping and fan casting again. Maybe doing the lottery would have better odds, but spurred on by a few fish and celebrating Wednesday in style I was happy enough to keep plugging away. Then out of the blue, tappy tap goes the rod and then as it bends I'm in to a small perch. Waheey, fish on! What a handsome little chappy too, in fact they're all like that, super fish these perch. Fan casting the same area it's tappy tap again and fish on. Tappy tap, fish on again. I've found some sport, it's keeping me smiling and keeping the cold out which is even better. Tappy tap, tappy tap. This goes on and on. Nothing big among them except the size of the shoal. For twenty yards, no matter which direction I cast it's tappy tap. When I've knocked up thirty fish for the day I'm over the moon. As forty comes and goes I'm chuffed to bits, this is better than laying in bed with a hang over. The half century is reached and I'm knocking up a cricket score. The sport slows a little but I'm still catching and as I near sixty I decide to declare at that. Out of curiosity I wander further along the canal, may be a hundred yards or more and not one fish. I get a text from the wife who by now has realised that I wasn't laid next to her and must be out fishing. I call her back, yes I've been caught, and ask her to put the kettle on, I'm on my way for a brew. As I walk past the bagging spot again I can't resist a cast and it's five more fish in five casts. The rain is now crashing down, the wind is picking up and I know when to call it a day. Happy Wednesday people!


  1. Keep the reports coming for 2014, I love 'em! Your fishing mirrors a lot of what I experience which is why I follow your exploits avidly.

    1. Thanks Peter. Hopefully there will be plenty to write about this year. So much easier when there's a few fish caught.

  2. Great post Paul, really enjoyed it. Great reminder to all of us to keep moving and searching, particularly at this time of year.

    1. Thanks Rory. Yes that session certainly hammered it home to me home being in the right place helps. All that water and the fish were just in one spot.