Thursday, 27 November 2008

River Dee Return

Last Monday a mate of mine suggested a session on the River Dee, I wasn’t going to fish there again this year but my guest had never caught a river carp before and I thought it was high time he found out just how easy targeting river carp actually is. In order to increase our chances I decided to prebait our river swims a couple of times in advance of our Saturday night trip. I put two and a half kilos of bait on soak on Monday night and on Tuesday I cooked them up, my usual combination of 75% tiger nuts and 25% chick peas. Once cooked, I took my particle combination straight to the river and introduced them hot. I burnt my fingers once or twice getting the bait in but apart from that everything went smoothly. I had a few more days before another prebaiting session on Thursday night. With more time I prepared double the amount of bait for Thursday night, in fact I went to town introducing 5 kilos of particles, it took me over an hour to get them all in and I broke my catapult elastic twice during this prebaiting session!. I reckon I’d done enough to get some carp interested so it was just a case of meeting up Saturday evening and heading to the river.
Saturday almost went smoothly, England were 3-0 up at half time in the football so I didn’t bother watching the second half, I had to be at the meeting point for 4.30pm anyway and with my bait preparations completed I made a flask, packed some food in my rucksack, grabbed the rest of my fishing gear and headed off to meet my mate. We were at our swims and setting up by 5.30pm when it suddenly dawned on me I’d left the house with no rod pod!. Not a disaster for some people but for me a nightmare as I leave my pod permanently set up so my indicators and my delkim bite alarms were also missing!.
I had no choice so I left my mate to sort himself out and shot off home to find my rod pod and bite alarms. It took me quite a while to make it back to our river swims again and I was lucky the motorway was quite clear otherwise I wouldn’t have made it back before dark, as it was I made it in time and set up in half light conditions.
Having a few prebaiting sessions always seems to help when targeting river carp and these river dee carp liked to take advantage of anything that’s put in front of them. Setting up was easy, I baited both rods with a single tiger nut, attached a 2 bait stringer to each rod and dropped them the short cast onto my baited spot. I put my mate on what I regard as ‘the’ hotspot, an area that has been incredibly consistent for both me and my fishing partner when we first targeted these river dee carp a few months ago. I had a feeling he’d catch and once all the rods were sorted we settled down to await some action.
The first thing that came out was the brew kit, no chance of going thirsty on this session and I seem to remember having a brew in my hand constantly until well gone midnight!. I think my guest waited maybe an hour for his first run, as usual it was the right hand rod that went and he dealt with his fish in the manner you’d expect from a long term north west carp angler, he racked up 8 carp during the night, most of them were low doubles, the biggest was just over 12lb. whilst all the action was going on in his river swim, mine remained spookily quiet. I did have a half hearted pick up around midnight and on winding in I found my hair rig wrapped back up round the hooklink which certainly cost me a carp.
Most of the night was spent holding a landing net and playing camera man for my mate but I did get my chance around 4.30am, my left hand rod ripped off out of the blue and after the usual solid fight you get from these river dee carp I slipped the net under my only fish of the night, a common that weighed 10lb 8oz, I took a quick picture for this diary piece then gently released her back to the river.

Another river dee carp at 10lb 8oz

After my one and only success, my mate had a couple more fish before it got light, I expected to see one or two more carp on the bank whilst it was light but no more runs were forthcoming. It turned out to be a good night in the end, my mate went away with his first ever river carp and he got an idea of just how easy river carping can be, we were a bit disappointed that out of 9 carp we landed the biggest was just over 12lb although the average size was around 10lb and nearly all the fish were low doubles. I’m sure these river dee carp will grow on in years to come, I may have just one more session on the river in the next few weeks but I’m ready to leave these river carp alone until next summer. I’ll keep the river dee in my plans and I’ll drop on there now and again next year just to see how those hungry river carp are progressing.
In the meantime, there can’t be many weekends left before the frosts hit us properly, a month or so from now it’ll be winter carping through until next march. The last few winters have been very productive for me and this year I plan to divide my time between 3 different waters. One hard north west big carp water, one intermediate water that could prove challenging and one quite easy water that will give me consistent action whenever I visit. The easy water I’ll use for those hard times when I need a bend in the rod but most of my time will be spent on the other two so I might be writing about a lot of blank sessions over the coming months although theres always a slim chance i'll catch a nice big fat carp in full winter colour, I just hope I’m due some luck and that my winter carping provides me with a nice fish or two this year. I might have the odd pike fishing trip too but that will be as and when the mood takes me.

A walk along the Meadows in Chester City Centre

Tight Lines

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