Monday, 22 June 2015

Opening Week

Well the new season is well under way now and I'm glad to have ended my self imposed 11 week exile. To celebrate it, I booked the week off work and mapped out a four river plan that would take me to all parts of the county.

Now I still had to work around my homely duties which meant playing taxi to my wife each day. I have no quibbles on that score, but it does mean that the really good fishing hours (early / late) are never on the cards all week.

For the 16th that meant heading for a low key water where I would easily find a peg to my liking, rather than battling the masses at a more popular water.

The Stour was the chosen venue. It's a water I haven't fished during my blogger days and the section in question is one I hadn't visited for around 25 years.

Running slow and deep, it was always going to be a tricky one in the bright and warm conditions. A few chublets and a solitary perch saved me from a blank, but it was another underwhelming start to a season. Sometimes though it matters not a jot. I was just happy to be fishing and I wasn't bothered by a soul all day. 

The next day I tackled the Avon and the signs weren't promising. I met up with Charlie who had gone for a 4am start and although he'd had a couple of bream and bits, he wasn't bagging up.

He moved up and joined me and we battled hard for bits throughout the day. I usually like to plunder the margins for easy pickings, but it proved fruitless until I dropped a bait close in late on in desperation.

I bagged myself a nice perch of 1lb 6oz, before a better one gave me the run around 10 minutes later. A fish of 2lb 4oz was the result.

It came as a nice bonus to kick start my blogger's challenge points tally.

Day three took me to the Leam. Another fickle little devil on its day and heading for deep water, I was probably a sucker for punishment. This was only a short session though as I had a long day 4 in prospect and I was already feeling knackered after doing two days. I'm definitely feeling it more as I get older!

It was an odd session where bites were at a premium and I banked just three fish. Peas in a pod they were. All chub, between 14oz and 1lb. What made it weird was that I'd never had a chub from the swim all last year. In fact I can only recall catching two chub from the river during the whole of last season.

The final outing saw me heading up north for a change to the Anker. It's a river I'd fished only once previously and even then it was a brief encounter combined with the Sence.

I knew nothing of the section in question, but reports of the river in general suggested it could hold specimen fish of many species.

For once I was glad to meet someone on the bank and I quizzed him into submission. I think he was glad to get away in the end ... and I still had plenty more questions to ask! Anyway it threw up some valuable information about the potential of the stretch, not forgetting the little gem of a sunken Mini a few swims downstream!

It was another long old slog and I had to ring the changes and scale back a fair bit to get some small roach and perch to play ball. The first roach was noteworthy. Not for its size, but for the pike that came out from under my feet to attack it when I returned it to the water. I think I'll be doing a spot of predator hunting in this area later in the year.

I'd given up hope of catching anything decent and was down to last cast saloon, having tossed all my other bait away. I left my float right in the margins and started packing items away. The float slid away and the rod arched over at last.

A spirited but fairly event free fight ensued and I eventually bagged my prize in the shape of an olive green tench. It weighed bang on 4lb and put a big smile on my face at the end of a tricky week.

In case anyone is wondering about my weighing, I can reassure you that the scales are zeroed for the net before the fish is added. The 1lb chub shown earlier would be pretty impossible otherwise, as the net in question weighs around 1lb 5oz when wet!

I called it a day before doing a recce on another section. All I can say is that I'll be back one day soon to tackle the carp...

They'll have to wait though, as more rivers are planned for this weekend and barbel will be the main target. It's good to be back!


  1. A nice couple of fish there Sean,and I've never caught a river Tench so nice one. I've found the Stour fishes far better in the winter and it's where I'm planning to target the Roach. It also helps that swims are more accessible too as areas I fish are very much overgrown.

    1. I've had about 10 river / drain tench in my life (from the Avon mostly), but my first ever came from the Stour. I was hoping to bag one on my return but it wasn't to be. I'll be heading back for another crack though.

  2. Cracking tench Sean. I'm hoping to bag myself a river tench this summer, well more likely a drain tench really. Well done on holding out through the closed season. You deserved that week off!

    1. You have some nice drains to go at on your tickets. Mind you I've rarely been troubled by tench on my visits down there. The only one that springs to mind came from Cripps River. I always expect to get one from the KSD, but it's yet to happen

  3. Nice start in the end Sean. It's good to be hearing of your river exploits again.

    Like you, I just love the complete solitude and these days find any contact when I'm fishing alone a bit of an imposition!

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