The evening before the start of the river season and the excitement for the start of another adventure grew inside. An almost Christmas Eve like feeling but the presents I hoped to find the next morning certainly differed. The preparation was all done as the rods and reels had had a good service and fresh line and of course the bait was all prepped ready to go.The Cheshire particle hemp seed had been left to thaw through the day and now thoroughly defrosted I added a good helping of the Cheshire Particle hemp oil to the bag and gave it a good shake. The dark black hemp seed edged with an white oyster roe type edging from the plum white kernel within glistened with its glossy coating of the high attract hemp oil.
Anyone who is a seasoned river angler knows rain is both friend and foe. It can be strange that sometimes you look out the window at clear skies and start praying for rain to give the river a good clean run through but and at other’s you pray for it to stop to drop the rivers out of flood so you can fish. With our baking hot summer so far I was certainly praying for some precipitation the week building up to the start of the season.
Friday June the 16 2017 and I had two morning sessions to go at the river and I divided both session into two separate approaches. Friday morning would be spend all out for chub and barbel on the tip rod while Saturday would be a session on the stick float rod hoping to pick up a mixed net of silvers.
Friday The 16th
A barmy 3am start saw me meeting up with a good friend in a lay bye close to our chosen venue in Cheshire. A quick drive saw us checking out a potential spot to fish but after cutting a path to the river we where met with a river that was super low and clear even in the mottled moon light. A quick change to a deeper area on the lower reaches, we where both more settled and confident in the chosen swim. A fast run off a bend that slowed as it approached a big overhanging tree down stream, a perfect place for chub and barbell to live. I began by putting a good bed of Cheshire Particle Hemp as in went 8 good pouches of the hemp oil soaked particle, my hope was the smell of the hemp taken down to the snag on the current would draw the fish up to where I could catch them. Hook bait for the session was luncheon meat which I had marinated in a mix of spices including some red hot chilli powder from ASDA, the rest of the recipe is a close guarded secret and one I have confidence in.
A few minutes after first light the tip wrapped round, an un-miss able bite, but alas od spring of sitting behind bite alarms fishing for carp and tench had left me really rusty and I missed the bite. A good sign that the plan worked and the smell of the hemp had drawn fish from the snags down stream.The bait repositioned and it didn’t take long for the tip to wrap round again and this time there was no mistakes made as I connected with a fish that held stubbornly in the current. I knew straight away a chub was on the other end, its stand and fight attitude gave the game away. Fight or flight is the natural instincts of any animal and the chubs first is to fight and only when the battle is starting to be lost does the flight mechanism take hold. After a hard battle a greedy chub was ready for its picture to e taken, a spawned out fish that carried the scars of this recent activity, my first fish of the 2017/18 river season and I was over the moon
In went another pouch of hemp to keep the swim topped up and as the sun came up over the trees I knew my time was running out, as soon as that light hit the water the game would be over and the fish would drop back into the darkness of the snag. A final tentative take as the light hit the water rewarded me with an eel, not the desired species and always a hazard when using meat. A nightmare to hold but quality viewings for the blogs YouTube channel no doubt.
With my rig coated in slime and the sun beating down I knew the game was up so I called it a day happy with the results and confidence in my game plan that had worked a treat.
A Morning On The Stick Float
The next morning I was out again at first light and armed with 2 pints of maggot and a pint of hemp I was hopeful of a good day on the stick float. My drennan acolyte had been in storage for the past 4 months and it was fantastic to get it back out on the rivers where it belonged. A rod I have only had for a year but already my favourite piece of apparatus.
The plan for the day was to feed the hemp little and often down the swim as a holding bait to not only draw the fish in but to held them in the swim while the maggot on the hook goes though the swim to try and catch them. Again a low and clear river did nothing the help the session and I knew any fish on the bank would be hard. The combination of hemp and maggot really did shine through as time and time again the float buried with chublets and small roach.
As always with river fishing little and often is the key and over time the swim developed and better fish moved in, drawn into the area but the smell of the hemp dispersing down stream and drawing the fish up. The addition of the hemp oil certainly adds to this draw and some quality fish started to show as the session went on.
>A short morning session again but with such a diverse net of fish including roach, chublets, perch, gudgeon, dace and skimmers I was more than made up with the short but bite filled morning session.
Two sessions that have again proven to me how the hemp seed and oil combination works for both small and large fish and the oil will certainly be making part of my ground bait mix as we move onto deeper venues where the bolo comes into play.
A video of the sessions above is available on my YouTube channel here: