Tuesday 2 July 2024


Every now and then we get a weekend when fishing time doesn’t coincide with any decent state of tide and we’re left wondering where to go and what to do.  We usually head for the Steep beach as you feel like you’re in with a chance here at any time but it’s a popular spot and these days we prefer to fish other places.  Another good option would be an estuary spot as these haven’t failed us yet this spring.  But in the end we decided to go somewhere completely different where we’d never fished before.

We arrived in the early evening to find a short walk on solid ground, then up a ramp of shingle and found ourselves looking down on a gently sloping beach with small waves rolling in.  By the time we were fishing the tide was on the way out and we fished it down and into darkness with our usual methods and a selection of stinky lumps of sea creature.  As the evening wore on the retreating tide revealed a mix of sand and shingle that reminded us of a favourite spot…  On this evening we caught bugger all, in fact we never had a bite but we learnt a little bit more and agreed it would be a pleasant place to fish on a more favourable tide.

A couple of midweek days off gave me the chance to explore some stretches of the ‘other river’.  My preferred way of searching unfamiliar water is to fish with lures and cover water and I really should stick to what I know best but instead talked myself into wandering around with a float rod watching a stick trundle down the river.  I had to get into AD for some bait so it was late morning before I arrived and after struggling with the gate I began wandering downstream.  I had the rod, a net and a rucksack on my back so it was easy to keep mobile which was just as well as I had a long walk passed shallow water that was sluggish and weedy before I found anything that looked fishy.  Here a slight bend had a bit of pace and a short run down into a shady straight.  This looked okay but I left the gear and wandered a little further downstream but returned after not finding anything tempting.

This first swim was comfortable so I was able to sit on my backside and swing the float into the stream but before fishing I made a brew and just sat feeding regular pinches of maggots and a few grains of corn.  When the tea was gone I started fishing and had bites from the beginning but as usual missed as many as I hit.  I did manage to catch a few fish though, mostly Bleak, small Chub and a Perch although only a few would have been bucket sized and none needed a net.  After an hour or so of this I’d counted twenty fish brought to hand and I became restless so it was time for a wander.  I tied on a bigger hook to hold a couple of grains of corn, hoping a big obvious bait would bring an instant response in any swims I stopped in.  An hour later I was back at the car having added just one more small Chub.

First impressions of this stretch?  It’s not somewhere that will draw me back again soon, there were no sign of any bigger Chub and it didn’t feel Pikey at all but I’ve made a start.

Another day, another stretch of the other river to explore.  Today was mostly cloudy with drizzle at times and a light west wind, not weather to be sat on my arse so I walked upstream as far as I could with the intention of trotting my way back with a couple of grains of corn on a 16.  I started off sitting for twenty minutes in a whole amongst trees where I let my float rest against a raft of flotsam, hoping something chubby lurked beneath.  After that I made my way slowly back downstream, stopping here and there to feed a little corn then allow the float to trundle downstream a way.  This stretch of river is wider and a little deeper but today had little flow and the float made a painstaking journey down.  There were a few areas that looked good for the winter to come but at this time of year I need shallower water with more pace.

After a couple of hours of fruitless wandering I settled into a swim where small fish were showing, sat on my backside and fed maggots then swapped the corn for a couple of red wrigglers and caught a fish on the first cast, then another.  It was a bite a chuck on maggots but the fish were all small, mostly Bleak with a couple of Chub thrown in.  When the drizzle blew in again it looked like settling so I decided enough was enough and made my way back to the motor.  As I walked back I couldn’t help thinking I’d have found out a bit more had I stuck to what I know best and used a lure rod.

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