Simply Pole Fishing

 River Berkel, Stuwweg - 14 May 

I had a great day a few years ago not far from this spot - in between 2 weirs -  so I thought it was time to try it again. Hopefully, a net full of Roach will be visible at the end of the day.

I fished where the road comes down to meet the river. Wind off my back as well. Car very close by. Comfy but cold.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the venue. The bank is really good, I'm very close to the car - and there is a little colour in the water. Everything is looking promising.

This looks like a great peg - I'll be back here again in the future.

Time to unpack and set up the gear. This stretch of water runs for 1.7km between two weirs. The fish are trapped and can't go anywhere. There are Roach, Perch and Tench that I know of.

Another long walk from the car - I need to find some swims a bit closer to the car :-)

First thing I like to do on a new swim, is take a look at the water with my Deeper Pro sonar ball. It gives a great insight into the water - and you can see a few fish too.

The bottom is completely flat all the way in and 2.1m deep.

Across to the far bank it goes down to 2.4m about 3m from the bank and there is a 2.4m deep gulley about 2 metres wide.

Look at the far bank. A dip down to 2.4m, then flat all the way back. The patches of yellow on the way back are smaller fish, perhaps Roach.

This is definitely an area worth trying with the waggler rod on my next visit.

There are a lot of pegs on this stretch, and I'm surprised that more people are not fishing here. You could easily have an 80-pegger on here.

This is a really nice venue, and easy to fish with the pole or waggler. When there is some flow, a small stick would be perfect. Not much chance of rain at the moment though.

I made up a few soft balls for cupping in. Nice colour in the water and only 7 feet deep - doesn't get much better for Roach

I decide to fish the pole at just short of 10m - top 6 and the mini extension. Waggler rod was at home.

A ball ready to go in. I cupped in 7 balls over a small 1m line as it was only 7 feet deep.

I set up 3 rigs today. A Preston Chianti 4x14 for fishing on the drop, a Preston Inter Carbon 4x16 for fishing for Roach on the bottom, and a Preston Inter Carbon 1g for having a go for some lumps.

Double caster was what they wanted.

Groundbait today was a bag of VDE Secret and a bag of Sonubaits Black Roach. I sieved the groundbaits through a pinkie riddle before wetting to get rid of the larger particles.

I mixed the groundbait on the bank today before I started setting up my rigs. This will give it time to soak in some water.

Into the groundbait went a few casters, some hemp and a few pinkies. After cupping in I started the session at 11:30 on the Chianti rig.

I was using a size 18 B511 on the Chianti rig and fishing dead depth. I had my first bite after about 10 minutes and missed it. This rig didn't seem right so I changed to the 4x16 Inter Carbon rig. A bulk of Stotz and three No. 9 droppers.

The first Roach hits the bottom of the landing net.

This had a size 18 B611 hook and double caster - and it buried first put in. Soon my first Roach was on the bank.

Another Roach on double caster fished about 15cm on the bottom.

It was not easy fishing, I had to change rigs, change depths and change baits, but eventually I managed to put 23 Roach and 2 Perch into the net using the 4x16 Inter Carbon Rig with 2 casters fished hard on the bottom - they had no interest in taking a bait that was fished off the bottom.

I had a few tries on the heavier rig, with worms, but I only had 2 Roach on this rig and the bites were slower. No big fish today. After I finished, I cast the Deeper Pro sonar ball over the swim, but there were no big fish that.

I fished for 5 hours, and tried hard to get them going. I loose fed sparingly, and topped up now and again with the pole cup - but I think the water was just too cold today. The sudden drop in temperature over the past few days has taken its toll on the fishing. Many venues are struggling to produce fish at the moment.

After 5 hours I had 25 fish for 7lb 1 1/2 oz - 3220 grams. Better than my last two trips out. Things are picking up.

There was not much flow today, and the wind was quite strong - a very cold wind from the north. All in all, I would say I did OK today given the conditions. You just can't see how cold it was from the photos.

I will be back here again when the weather warms up a bit - of that you can be sure. I need to have a session on the waggler across in the deeper gulley.