River Severn Latest Outing September 2010
The latest outing is about the two times Steve & myself have ventured out onto a river this year, in July we visited the River Dane at Middlewich in Cheshire & in September we went down to Bridgnorth in Shropshire to fish the River Severn at Highley. River fishing is not something we do on a regular basis, I was at home on holiday so we decided to give the River Dane a go.
River & weather conditions were both good, the stretch we fished was short with difficult access, we both opted for a leger approach to begin.I used luncheon meat on the hook and after an hour or so had not had a single bite, Steve was also struggling and decided to try trotting a stick float.I still had no bites so changed to a stick float approach.
I soon found the minnows in the stretch while using maggots for hookbait, I changed to a small piece of lucheon meat , this also took a battering by the resident minnows, another hour was to pass without a proper bite.Next thing Steve was shouting to to me that he'd hooked a fish, it was trying to take him into the overhanging trees but he managed to keep it away from danger and after a short battle had a small chub on the bank. (see photo to the right)
I perservered for another hour without any luck and was to blank for the day, Steve had no further bites so we called it a day and headed for home.
Our next outing was to be on the River Severn at Highley near Bridgnorth, we set off early morning and where on the bankside just after 8am.We have fished this stretch before and it is not far from the Severn Valley Railway Station.It's better known as "Bert's stretch" just after the Ship Inn .On arrival there was mist over the water and everything was quiet.It was noticeable that there was a lot of water in the river, we were to find out later that further upstream some sluice gates had been opened and this was increasing the water level.
I opted to use a caged feeder with hemp and groundbait and hair rigged luncheon meat on the hook.First cast and the feeder was being carried way down stream, so I had to increase the size to hold bottom.I'm not a river fisherman so I would be winging it to how to fish the water, I soon got used to the feeder settling and the rod tip moving slightly , after half an hour I had what I thought was a bite, I struck but did not hit into anything
The water was flowing hard and we were both struggling, none of us had any bites so we decided to have a wander along the back to find a slower pace of water.It was about an 100 yard walk to the next available peg, we could both get in the swim and fished side by side.The water level was also starting to fall, the flow was a lot slower than the previous peg.I chose to fish right in front of myself at approx 15 yards out, the water was about 3 to 4 feet deep and I could feel the gravel bottom.The cage feeder was soon settling once in the water
Steve was to my right and fishing a cage feeder, we fished for around an hour so without any bites, Steve decided to try a small bomb under a overhanging tree, this was to pay off for him, within an hour he had a small barbel caught on luncheon meat,I was having no luck but kept on putting in the feeder with lots of hemp & groundbait.
It was soon time for lunch and this would be breakfast on the bank, out came my small gas burner and on went the frying pan, we both sat down to bacon & sausage barms., they tasted superb and made up for the lack of fish.
More hours passed and I'd still not had a bite, I kept on feeding the swim, Steve had a go at stick floating and was catching minows on maggot, he eventually caught a small roach.The day was drawing to a close and I was thinking it was to be another blank day, I hair rigged another piece of luncheon meat and cast in the feeder.Minutes passed and I was dozing slightly, next thing the rod was being pulled round , I reacted very quickly and struck into a fish, line was racing off the reel and after about 20 yards I mangaged to hold the fish.
My heart was pounding, I'd waited all day and now had a fish on and did not want to lose it, for some reason I looked at my reel and saw I was coming to the end of my 8lb line, there was only a small amount of line left.The fish was fighting hard against the river current ,I started to put on some pressure and gradually the fish was getting closer & closer, after what seemed an age Steve slipped the net under the fish for me.
Once the fish was on the bank it was a quick photo & weighing , the scales showed 5lbs 6oz , I was overjoyed with my catch, I put the fish in the water and allowed it to recover before it went on its way.My day had come to a terrific end , I do not fish rivers regulary, but to catch a fish that has probably never been caught before was really memorable.We packed up after my catch and headed to the Unicorn Inn at Hampton Loade which was our accommodation for the night.
This stretch of river normally produces a lot of barbel & chub, today was not as good as previous visits and was probably due to the excess water fed by the sluice gates being opened.Day ticket was £5