Doesn’t the last few months of the season (now the river season!) fly by? One minute I was making all kinds of plans and the next, it’s March the 14th! The chilly weather and rivers going up and down like a yoyo put paid to many a plan and for me, the season petered out tamely.
Trips to the River Trent in search of barbel never even produced a bite. 20/20 hindsight says I should have fished for chub instead, but the temperatures were into double figures and the river looked sock on.
In-between these trips I had a drive down to Sway to renew my ticket for the next 12 months. I fished waggler and caster, hoping to catch some big roach, but ended up with only one, which was just over 2lbs. I caught this fish early on which gave me hope of a red letter day, but all I caught after that was 8 chunky perch
The perch were very fat, like mini footballs. This prompted me to weigh one, just to see how heavy they were. I was surprised to see it make the 2lbs mark which showed they were fattening up, ready to spawn. There is a very good perch in Sway, it was weighed in December at 3.12 and Hugh Miles was the first to catch it at a disappointing 3lb 11oz. Now when I say disappointing, what I mean is that you’d think it would have been around 4lbs in February, but I suppose it only needs to eat a couple of roach to attain this weight. In the afternoon I hooked a big fish on the drop. I was sure it was a special roach until the mouth of a perch surfaced. My initial dismay turned to joy seconds later when I realised I was attached to this beast of a perch. It’s mouth was so big it could swallow an orange and as it turned to go into my net, the stripes seemed to go on forever. It was at this point when the hook pulled out! I was gutted, even more so when the waggler rig pinged into the willow branches above my head, leaving me in a big tangle! Lets hope our paths cross again soon, preferably before she spawns.
Finally, I finished the season off at Britford in hope of a late season big river roach. Very heavy rain just before dawn saw all kinds of water gushing into the river, but despite this, it fished quite well, apart for big roach!
I never heard of a big roach caught anywhere on the stretch, but there were loads of other fish caught. I personally had a good bag of chunky dace, hand sized roach, decent grayling plus some good chub up to over 3lbs. It was great sport on trotted casters and bread. I’d travelled down with Martin, who also had a good net of fish, including some very chunky dace that must have been 10oz or more.
So, not quite the end to the season I’d hoped for, but it’s sometimes just about being out there that counts. Roll on June the 16th where I’ll no doubt make loads more plans that I won’t stick to!