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Bailey Payne

Exploration of the Roding

With the scorching weather we have had this week and weekend, I decided to give my usual Saturday Fish a miss, the weather was 30c and it’s been dry for a while so Rivers would’ve been low and I don’t think many places would’ve Fished well, and I didn’t fancy heatstroke!

However, I recently convinced my Dad to join the stretch of the Roding I am a member of, and thought it would be nice just to have a stroll along the stretches, seeing if we could see any Chub sunbathing and get out the house while it was cool. Now, you are probably thinking, why didn’t you bring a Rod if you went? Well, I wish I did! However, never had the time before to walk the full stretch of River, so thought it was a good chance to map it, and not get distracted in one swim for a while! As you guys have seen from previous posts, I Fished the Roding a few times last November, however didn’t explore much and managed two small Chub, so wanted to walk it all and see if I could find any bigger ones!

This was a perfect opportunity to continue my “Exploration Of” series, in a previous post I done Exploration of the Wid (https://www.essexanglers.co.uk/exploration-of-the-wid/), thought this would be a nice chance to do another and talk about the scenery of the Roding a bit!

We started on the bottom stretch, and were greeted by a field of long grass and nettles, was a smart choice to wear shorts! We first walked to the small bridge to be able to look down and see how much water was in the River, it looked at least a foot lower than normal! Both ways along the River looked untouched for a while, and a small path of those who braved it before us was left, knee high grass and nettles attacking our shins it wasn’t long before we arrived at our first bit of access to the River, I was shocked to see how many lily’s were covering the River on this stretch, first time I have seen this part since the winter! Half wish I had a photo of the grass! We spent a while observing this swim, and watching the fry swim around, hoping to see something burst into the small pack of fry, however, nothing did. Although one hungry Chub, of maybe around a pound, started trying to eat some of the small duck weed on the surface, and on surfacing noticed us peering at him and soon spooked under the safety of the pads.

After some rest bite from battling the nettles, we decided to move on and find the next swim, this is a place I had previously caught Chub and missed bites during the winter, so I knew they liked to be here, this swim was the featured photo, and in entering to look, with the sun before us, we instantly spooked another, bigger, Chub. We stayed to see if he would be back if we hid, watching more fry move around the pads, and a few splashes both left and right, we knew there were a few Chub around, mouthing at the duck weed still. Was a good sign to see this big Chub, this all reassured me of how hard this River will be, the Chub are so aware.

We walked down to a little whole in the bushes leading to yet another lily infested swim, and again, spooked another good Chub. really was a promising sign seeing and spooking so many. Noticed a lot of 8-10oz smaller Chub swimming around as too, which hopefully will be back in the winter for a nice bite!

We now swapped to the other section of the River the club owns, so had a small drive to the other side of the town. The first swim was next to a sloosh gate, and you could really tell how low the River was from this, although not seeing any decent Chub here, you could see hundreds of small Roach/Chublets and other fry swimming around, the odd one taking an adventurous slide down the sloosh gate!

This stretch of the River was more shorts friendly and was a welcome rest for our sore and itchy legs now! Flat smooth ground and no nettles! Was a dream! This part of the River, still having lillys, didn’t have anywhere near as much, and also had a lovely set of bends with trees and bushes providing the perfect hiding spots for Chub.

The next spot was a slow down to a bit of a spit into the River, which walking down a Chub was hiding in the weeds by the spit and spooked instantly! This swim had a huge shoal of small Roach holding in it, couldn’t believe how many there was! Looking to my right I saw a group of maybe 3-5 bigger Chub, all over 2lb at least, they were holding in the light flow of the River, after a while, I think they spotted my head peering over the reeds and they instantly fell back into an overgrown bush covering the River.

We walked down many more fantastic looking swims, we thought would definetly hold a few Chub, and saw the occasionally smaller Chub under a pound. We eventually came to one swim, with overhanging trees all along a bend, and saw numerous small Chub darting around in a group, then drifting in under our feet, was the biggest Chub I have seen in this River, easily around 4lb. It just cruised past us, unbothered by us, and continued it’s journey along the River.

This walk was fantastic to do, and sometimes you need some weather you don’t fancy Fishing in to fully explore a new stretch of River, and this certainly gave me that opportunity, filled me with confidence seeing so many Chub, however catching them is always the harder bit, however have found their homes so hopefully can drop a nice bait on their heads soon!

Tight Lines all!

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Bailey Payne

Bag of Crucians

Due to the scorching conditions it’s a weekend I won’t be Fishing, but in spirit of the great weather we are having (although a bit too hot for my liking!), I may as well talk about the perfect summer Fish! The Crucian!

Now, I am lucky enough that my club lakes stock Crucians in some of their lakes, and these ones aren’t timid at all, and have started to put a nice bit of weight on! Makes them a pleasure to catch, and you can have days of catching quite a few of them mixed in with a nice bag of Skimmers too!

Funnily enough I believe this was July/August last year, I decided to take a friend who was just getting into Fishing to my club lakes so he could bag up on the Carp and Barbel which are in there, and I could have a day on the Pole targetting the Skimmers/Bream/Roach/Crucians.

I was Fishing about 10m into a bit of a deeper hole, was using the Sonubaits worm groundbait with dead maggots and casters mixed in and using dead maggots and casters as a hook bait. Dead maggots are personally one of my favourite Crucian bait and they are also fantastic for the Skimmers. Pole was equipped with hollow blue elastic (can’t quite remember the brand!) and using light mainline with one of my homemade 0.4g diamond floats with a bulk of number 10 stotz down to small sized hook (again can’t fully remember, the session was a year ago!).

I started off by cupping in a few balls of the groundbait mix and then let the swim rest for about 5-10 minutes before I started Fishing it. Perfect time for a quick tea!

It wasn’t long before the Skimmers were there in numbers, catching one after the other. In the early part of a session when on the Skimmers I always start to think about management, as I was only Fishing the one line, I wanted to manage this one nicely and keep it ticking over all day with the most I would have to do to follow the Fish back. This meant quickly working out how often and how much feed to put in, this being all trial and error, it seemed to be that one small nugget after every 3/4 Fish was a good amount, and it kept bites coming consistently.

I find mixed in with the shoals of Skimmers on this lake are the Crucians, and they seem to feed together, and mixed in with the Skimmers, the Crusty Crucians started coming! Always obvious when you hook a Crucian, their tell tale swimming in circles, and then the pop of gold as they surface! Seeing this beautiful Fish surface never gets old!

Mixed in with the Crucians and Skimmers the Bream started to show, however not in any numbers, the peg I was on is more known for the big shoals of the Skimmers rather than Bream, this helped me start putting together a nice weight. Although I was more focused on catching as many of the Crucians as I could!

The day soon fizzles away when you are on a nice shoal of Fishing catching all day, and it was great fun! Ended this session with probably around 20-25lb, having caught about 40 Fish on the clicker of okay size Skimmers, Crucians and the odd Bream.

In the end I had a nice bag of Crucians as well! So couldn’t help but get a photo with my bag of gold!

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Bailey Payne

Mixed Morning Session

With the weather being a bit hot and bright recently and the Rivers not Fishing very well at the moment, I opted to go to my club lakes. Hockley Angling Club have a lovely set of lakes with a nice range of Fishing, however they do stock Barbel in all the lakes, so really wanted to nab one or two!

I started on the top lake (featured Image) which has a huge head of Carp averaging around 3-4lb and a lot of Barbel just a bit smaller. This is the type of lake you can Fish and catch over 20 Carp easily in a morning session with some Barbel mixed in. However with the weather and knowing it had been heavily Fished recently I weren’t too sure how it would be. My setup for today was simple, using a small link with a flat weight attached, quick change bead and a speed stop hook length attached and was using Bio Baits boilles and bandems.

I was just flicking my bait out along the spit to my right about half way down. I noticed a lot of the Carp were just cruising on the top, and had a lot of liners, was clear the Carp weren’t on the bottom, a day on the Waggler you would’ve bagged up. After a few minutes the tip eased round into my first bite of the day, after a bit of a fight when the Fish surfaced first noticed I had a Barbel straight away, this was only a small Barbel, probably just over a pound, was happy to get my target Fish, well, I was almost happy, as it pinged off by the net! My luck seemed to be continuing!

I dropped a few of the boilles under my platform by mistake as I was drilling a few and setting up, and after the Barbel pinged off noticed a lot of Carp in front of me on the surface, so carefully dangling my bait in front of a few of them I ended up mugging my first Fish on the Limino 1 Bio Baits boille, a thin long mirror, with some lovely scales, bit of a dark photo though!

I went back out along the spit after letting some offerings I through in settle from the initial storm of Carp, it wasn’t much longer before I got a proper bite and was into my 2nd Carp of the day. A bit bigger and a lovely little common this time on a Bio Baits Amino Krill bandem.

After just under an hour, I decided to swap lakes and go down to the middle lake and have a better chance of a Barbel, the Carp weren’t really having it as normal so I thought I would go were the Fish are a bit bigger and more mixed. I know what your thinking, two Carp in under an hour is good and why move after that? The Carp weren’t on the bottom and I didn’t expect to catch as many as I can up there without a Waggler today.

Heading to the middle lake I chose what’s known as the Barbel swim. Each margin holds Barbel up to about 5lb but they are very tight to the edge and the snags and are known for smashing people up so it wasn’t going to be easy.

I started on the left side and went back to my trusty Limino 1 boille and it wasn’t long before something tried to pull my rod in! After a fight and struggle to keep it out the snags ended up landing a lovely dark mirror carp with beautiful scales down it. Probably around 7lb so no giant but a lovely Fish to catch.

The rest of the day was slow, and had to go the snaggier right side, however this is where the Barbel live, and someone was definetly home, after two tearing bites and struggles to eventually be snapped off one time seeing a Barbel of around 4lb, was a bit like it popped up to see me before it decided to dart back into the snags! Was disheartening to lose the two Barbel here and the one from earlier, however there is always more down there so there was still a chance!

Towards midday when I knew my session was ending I had another aggressive bite, and instantly feared losing it to the snags again, somehow managed to ease him out of the first obstacle of the margin he was quickly under me trying to get under the platform, but eventually surfaced to be swiftly netted. A lovely little Barbel, my first for a little while and was a lovely Fish to catch!

For the rest of the session I had a few weird little knocks which never led to anything, occasionally trying to strike to them, but just as I was about to call it, a slow nervous wrap round lead to another Fish on, again trying to go for the snags, was excited for possibly another Barbel! After navigating the Fish from the snags I soon saw the green body break the surface and managed my first Tench for a some time! Was great to see and catch! Always puts a smile on my face catching a Tench, one of the best freshwater species you can Catch!

I certainly went into this session expecting to catch a lot more Fish, most of them being Carp, however, this was the most enjoyable session I have had for some time, catching such a mixed bag. These sessions can really build the confidence for the next few weeks and hopefully there will be a lot more Fish! Until next time!

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Bailey Payne

Lure Fishing for Perch!

Well today I done something a bit different to my usually link ledgering for Chub! I went out on a guided session with Charlie Coppolo to do some Lure Fishing for Perch! This is the first time I have really done Lure Fishing so it was very much unchartered waters for me, like the location! We Fished a few parts of the Chelmer from in Chelmsford down to Maldon.

Charlie is a great Angler, and I really enjoyed the few hours with him and learnt a lot in the time, highly recommend him if you want to learn to Lure Fish, although he does over guided days as well.

We started in Maldon, and it was a lovely stretch of River, we focused our Fishing to structure, so mainly Bridges and casting in close to the bank which had a bit of an undercut. The learning curve for me was how to retrieve the Lure for the Perch, slowly bouncing it off the bottom and leaving it for a bit was the technique I was taught along with dragging it across the bottom. The River was quite clear here so I could see how the Lure was being worked, and it made it easier to see what was happening, luckily also being able to see Perch follow the Lure was nice too. The Perch were showing a bit of interest, however more just watching it rather than striking. Today was a case of the Perch just weren’t feeling it. I eventually had a flurry of 3 Perch take my Lure, and following on from my weekend, all of them came off. They just weren’t properly taking hold of the Lure and turned out a bit Frustrating not to be able to show what I have learnt with a reward of a stripey Perch! Case of a on a different Day I would’ve caught a few! Charlie was using a crank bait and did manage to catch a small jack Pike. Personally the only encounter I have had with Pike is them eating my Roach, so actually having the chance of seeing one was nice and got a small lesson on how to handle them!

Sadly the small session did end in a blank, however I have definetly took away a lot of knowledge, and will be hitting the bank again soon in hope of some Perch, and learnt a few nice spots on where Perch site. Hopefully next time they fancy biting!

If you are interested here is Charlie’s Page: https://www.facebook.com/charliecoppoloangling/

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Bailey Payne

When the Plan doesn’t come together

Well, it was a tough Saturday for me, and definetly one to forget. But River Fishing is like that, sometimes it just doesn’t happen, and you have to take the lows with the highs, a lot of the time it’s just about being out in nature which makes it a nice escape.

I went out to the River Chelmer, Hoe Mill, with my typical River setup, Advanta 5.5ft ambush River Rod and some new baits from Bio Baits, I got a mix, garlic and cheese, amino krill and lamino 1 flavours. In different size and shaped boilles.

I started Fishing in the Mill pond and thought I would work my way downstream until the River joined back to the Canal. Noticed a few Fish topping straight away, was good to see and filled me with a bit of confidence! I decided to cast towards an overhanging bush/lily’s which were on my right hand side. Thought it would be a good place for some Chub to hang out. A few little knocks and nothing really happened, so I started eyeing up the overhanging tree on my left side. I had through some chopped up and crushed boilles there earlier so was hoping it had attracted some Fish. It didn’t take long before my hook bait started to get some attention, I was on the Garlic and Cheese boille. The tip swung round quickly and I was hooked into something, quite big and quite angry, it made a dash to get in the tree and bushes, after thinking I managed to get it out, I soon realised I was snagged. Beaten!

I decided after the failure of the mill pool to walk downstream and hopefully put it behind me. After a few new swims and not much else, it seemed the day had ran away. Although I did get snagged again and left myself a very fun tangle to undo!

It was one of those days, we all have them, it just went wrong. And when that happens, it’s just best to go home and forget about it all. Well, hopefully the next session with prove better!

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Bailey Payne

Under the Chelmer

On the weekends I have been out doing some kayaking down some parts of the Chelmer (Sorry to those Fishing!), I thought I couldn’t have this opportunity without trying to look at some of the Fish, I spent a lot of my time just drifting along looking down in the River trying to spot some Fish, seeing many shoals of Roach along the way, some of a nice size!

Well, I decided to stick in my underwater camera and see what footage I could get of these Fish underwater, and see If I could see anything else lurking in the depths of the Chelmer!

Well, this first video I managed to find a big shoal of small roach and watched them for a while. I found it amazing how they weren’t scared of the kayak or camera at all, and I found it fascinating watching these Fish behave, in-fact I think they used the Kayak as a form of cover and protection.

This next video, the shoal I found wasn’t as big, however I think the Roach looked bigger than the previous shoal, and through the murky water you can see some of the Roach dart around, I think these bigger ones seemed a bit more timid in front of the camera and it was hard to keep the focus on them.

Looking back at this footage, I was really happy I was able to actually get some footage of the Roach in the Chelmer and it is a really positive sign to see so many young Roach and I’m sure there was a few other species mixed in too.

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Bailey Payne

Migraine Woes

My Saturday morning didn’t start as I wanted it too, after a week of prep and getting ready for Fishing a new stretch of the Chelmer with some good Chub in, waking up with a migraine is not what I wanted. Having to call off my early morning start to try and get a bit more rest.

After waking up around 10:30 and feeling good, I couldn’t resist but get an hour or so out on a River just to catch a Fish, so I headed 10 minutes down the road to the Wid, a River full of small Chub which should be happy to give me some good sport! It was also a nice chance to Christen my new Advanta River Ambush 5.5 ft Rod. I was hoping to test its paces with some nice big Chub, however this would have to do for now.

The perks of this new small Rod is I can drive with it already setup and ready to go, all I done when I got to the River as attached a very light flat weight and put a cube of meat on the hook.

For an hour session the Chub where more than happy to play ball with me, only after waiting a few minutes the tip tore round, great to see the small chub put up such a good fight and provide some good sport. It then didn’t take me long to add a second who again took a nice cube of meat with an aggressive bite. I was really happy with the action and feel of the Rod, will be interesting to handle big Chub on it too!

It went a bit quiet after this quick two Fish, adding a bigger cube and casting a bit further into the bend of the River, nicely placed between two over hanging trees. It wasn’t long before the feature Image Chub showed up, with another aggressive bite, wanting to pull the Rod in! After a nice little scrap he was netted, maybe the biggest Chub I’ve had from this particular stretch of the Wid. Although still a small Chub. These 3 Fish provided me with a nice hours Fishing, and just the ability to get out, not sure how much it helped my migraine though!

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Bailey Payne

New Toys!

As Anglers, we all love a trip to our local tackle shop, I think every time the owner sees me walk in he is laughing from knowing the amount of items I will end up buying. The past week I have made a few new notable purchases, thought I would talk you through what I have got and how I plan on using it.

Well in the image I have featured you can see a few bits and bobs, and clearly see I like using Guru tackle. It was time for me to stock up on a few (Okay…maybe a lot) more hook lengths already pre tied with bands and quick stops. Soon I am getting some baits from Bio Baits who offer a fantastic range of different flavoured boilles and dumbbells with good Chub flavours. I do prefer using quite long hook lengths, about 15 inches, but sometimes it is nice to have the option of some smaller ones. I do already have a bait drill and needle, however they are in my match seat box so thought I would leave them there and get a spare set to go in my River bag.

Well my next purchase says it on the box, these were on sale, down from about £80 to £20, so felt like a steal, a set of Daiwa Waders, these look good, and should provide me with the extra warmth and keep my dry during the winter fishing the Rivers, really look forward to using these!

My next purchase is one I can’t wait to christen, hopefully that will be on Saturday! After seeing it in a video from Mark Erdwin and also asking him about it, I ended up buying the Advanta River Ambush 5.5ft Rod, now this tiny Rod looks amazing and should help me get in all the overgrown places a typical Essex River has.

Some other things I haven’t took any photos of are a bag of Sonubaits exploding fishmeal groundbait which I will be pairing with the selection of Bio Baits hook-baits which hopefully should arrive soon, for now using old faithful of bread.

I’m all geared up for Saturday and looking forward to getting out and trying a new River!

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Bailey Payne

Return of the Cray’s

Another early start this morning brought me back to the River Roding in search of some more Chub. It was a beautiful morning, very bright and warm, which isn’t the best combination for Chub so I imagined it would be more of a nice trip out for myself walking up and down the River bank while observing the wildlife, a Kingfisher busy as ever up and down the River, and some sort of Kestrel circling above!

The approach today was slightly different to how I approached the River last week, I had got some lob worm specially for today so decided to use a simple link ledger and hope for the best. First spot resulted in nothing, not even any twitches which is always worrying, especially as the morning turns into midday, and I know the River doesn’t really perform well during the middle of the day so if I was going to catch, had to do it quickly.

Moving into my next spot, the River looked lovely, it’s one I tried previously and was only left with a few knocks, however, I felt confident this time, the spot had lovely flow and a huge bed of lily pads, looked almost certain that there would be some Fish hiding under there, combined with overhanging bushes there must have been at least one Chub somewhere. After a few minutes, a few little knocks developed into a slack bite, lifting up into it discovered it was a tidy Roach, making this the only other species I have caught from the Roding.

I tried a few over spots, but as the time went on I thought my luck was done, I decided to change up strategy and go to a cage feeder, mixing blended bread with chopped up lob worm, hoping I would make an irresistible mix for the Chub. After a few more spots, no luck, until suddenly a few more knocks, which ended up developing into just the tip shaking, lifting into this, I could tell it wasn’t a Fish, It was a Crayfish, a Signal Crayfish. After having this and now midday well and truly here, I decided it was a good time to call it, overall was a nice session walking up and down this very tough Essex River. Having some consolation in myself being the only Angler to have caught a Fish so far.

What I’m learning from this Essex River is that it will be a tricky one to learn, however, to learn the secret of these small Rivers you have to keep going at it and you’ll soon find the Fish.

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Bailey Payne

Making your own Floats

I make a lot of my own floats for when I am Pole Fishing, I also sometimes use these floats on a rod too. It’s a nice feeling catching a Fish on a float you have put together on your own. Admitingly, making floats doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s something nice to spend some time doing when maybe you can’t Fish!

I get all my float parts from Finesses Floats (http://finessefloats.com/index.php – They do have period of being closed). I like to use fibreglass stems, personally I prefer using the rugby ball or diamond foam bodies. A variety of coloured tips is always nice to cover the bases depending on the weather too, the pink hollow tips they offer seem to stand out in all conditions. Remember to get some eyes as well, it’s something I always seem to forget! And end up having to glue them on last! (Which I may have done here!) You will also need to make sure you a good glue, I use Araldite, some acrylic paint and some nail varnish.

1) Preperation

It’s also good to prepare your items and tools first, make sure you cut your stems down to size, I also keep a stem to use for when I am cutting them down to size to match up too, good to have some good cutters to cut through the fibreglass, also cut down your tips to size as well, have some tissue on hand and something to hold the floats up while drying.

2) Gluing together

Now it’s time to glue the parts together, and hopefully not your fingers! It’s best to have the foam body of the float already on the stem, then cover the top of the stem (enough to cover the body and a small part of the tip) in glue and slide the foam body up the stem to leave a small amount of stem sticking out. Then stick the tip onto the part of stem sticking up and wipe off any excess glue, place the floats in the stand and leave to dry.

3) Paint Time!

Once the glue has dried it’s time to get your creative side out! Make a choice of how you want to paint your floats, acrylic paint is the best type to use on the foam floats, in this example I decided on a nice shade of blue! Make sure to paint the floats evenly and to your preference. Place back in the holder and leave to dry.

4) Varnish!

Now the paint has dried and set it’s time to give the foam float some protection, and without sounding girly, get the nail varnish out! Nail varnish is the perfect varnish to protect the floats especially at a cheap price, if you want to put your own floats together definetly get some! Now you want to do a few coats, at least 2, this is to make sure you properly protected the foam.

And now you’re done! You’ve put together your own floats, now go out and get Fishing!