Sunday, 1 March 2015

Given the Slip

Back to the river this week and it was looking in decent trim. No longer lapping over the platforms, it had now dropped back to around 6 inches above normal level. Holding a nice colour and with an overcast afternoon on the cards, I had a shot at the bream.

I gave it my standard approach of half a dozen balls of groundbait and topped it up for the next 3 hours through the feeder. A sleeper rod for pike was in place too.

I've been experimenting with groundbait recently, trying to conjure up some homemade offerings. I've been using ground up loaves for quite a while to bulk out my feed, usually mixing it 50-50 with something purchased from a tackle shop.

Today's concoction combined some ground up white and brown bread, along with some Tesco value cornflakes - also ground down. A good dollop of liquid molasses was mixed in, which gave it a nice golden brown finish and a sweeter smell. It was perhaps a little on the stodgy side and in need of refinement, but nonetheless good enough for this occasion and very cost effective.

It was a little easier than last week, but they weren't exactly crawling up my rod and bites were quite finicky. A few dace started to show, before I hooked into my one and only bream - 3lb 12oz.

The pleasant start to the afternoon started to ebb away and was replaced by some filthy windy and showery conditions. Luckily my spot was sheltered from wind, but the rain was a different matter.

A bonus pike came to my sleeper rod and that woke up the piker within me. With the bream being quiet and only having caught half a dozen dace and a couple of roach, I retired the feeder rod.

I didn't catch another fish! I did however hook and lose three pike though, which is becoming a bad habit recently. Maybe it's just bad luck, or maybe I'm hitting the bites a little too quickly. I don't think I'm doing anything differently, but I need to get back to a higher ratio of fish landed. Some food for research in the week ahead...

Just two sessions left for me now this season - river and weather permitting of course. I'm then looking for different options for my weekly fix.


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