Berkel, Borculo, Stuwweg - 2 April
Today I'm fishing on the River Berkel with Roger Lickfeldt and Ingo Beckers. I've fished this stretch before and had some nice Roach on the pole.
Today, I'm going to feed the pole line but fish mainly the waggler.
Feeding the pole line in a river with an angler upstream of you will keep the fish from going past you up to that angler. Sorry Roger.
As usual, I checked the swim with the Deeper sonar to see what the bottom is like. This also lets me decide how long my top kits should be - more important on a venue you don't know well.
I'm on the downstream peg, Roger is in the middle and Ingo is the upstream peg and we are all about 15 m apart. There is some colour in the water (it's perfect actually) and there is a good flow. All-in-all good conditions for the fishing. I told Ingo we should expect about 50 fish - Ingo and Roger were both sceptical.
I mixed up some groundbait, a 50/50 mix of So Natural Black Roach groundbait and earth, added about 200 ml of Joker and made up 10 balls. All of these went in on the 11 m line at the start and I left it alone.
Over on the far bank I fed 2 pouches of Hemp and a few casters at the start. I will fish in the deeper part of the river about 2 m from the far bank. The wind made casting really easy.
I have set up 2 pole rigs and the waggler rod. The waggler is a Drennan 3 g Visi Wag 5 - fantastic floats. I have a bulk of four No. 6 Stotz, a No. 6 Stotz and two No. 8 Stotz spread 20 cm apart down the line. Main line is 0.15 mm and the hooklength is 0.10 mm Accu Power. I'm using a size 16 B520 hook.
The pole rigs are a 1.25 g Preston Inter Carbon with a bulk, and a 0.5 g Chianti with strung out shot.
In the end I used these for just about 30 minutes and caught 4 fish on the 11.5 m pole as I stayed on the waggler for most of the day. The Inter Carbon and Chianti floats are extremely good and I use these patterns for a lot of my fishing.
I fed the waggler line every cast with either a few grains of hemp, maggots or casters. Hookbait was either a Bloodworm and pinkie, double maggot or the most successful today, two dead pinkies.
It was great fun fishing the waggler rod, and although the wind from the north was cold, it was perfect for fishing the waggler. I was using a 14' Preston rod and the Centris 420 Reel. It is great running a waggler down the far bank on a slow flowing river - Bliss!
I had the waggler dotted-down so that just 1 cm was showing - as sensitive as I could get it and still see it - I'm getting old!
Ingo caught well and was feeding small balls of groundbait regularly, but he did go out to fish at 13 m to get the better Roach. This was also further out than Roger which didn't help Roger at all. Again, that's tactics.
Roger was really struggling today but he has a hectic week. He sold his house and it wasn't without it's associated stresses. He brought the wrong groundbait (light coloured) and left his top 3 rigs at home - he was a little disorganised, and that reflected in his fishing today. He only had 7 Roach and packed up early to do some more work at home.
I caught Roach on the waggler on the far bank after about 5 minutes and caught fairly regularly all day. I had to keep changing baits and adjusting the rig slightly - even went down to an 0.09 mm bottom and a size 18 hook. It was great fun though.
In the end Ingo had 55 fish (I told you we would get 50 fish) and had a weight of 4,380 grams - really good fishing for the cold northerly wind.
I managed 51 fish for exactly 4 kg and that was 50 Roach and 1 Perch. Ingo and I had a little race to 50 fish and he just beat me - I should have left the pole line alone - waisted too much time on it. Some idiot filled it in with 10 balls of groundbait. Haha!
This is a great little river and I highly recommend you get down here and give it a go. You won't be disappointed.