Lee Swords Fishing

Just another WordPress site


March 2015 fishing blog

To be honest I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to do another fishing blog, I wasn’t sure if “I” had “run the course”, but as my younger brother Jamie said ” Pull yourself together man” and so here we are, January was never my favourite month and if truth be told February sucks a lot of balls in my opinion, I don’t like either, they are cold and they are miserable, I just don’t like them.

I can just about tolerate them if they are cold and very crisp but if they are just plain sleety and slushy they are shite!

So, what have I been doing with myself?

Not a great deal to be honest, I have constructed a few ( what I hope will be) Bumble bee nesting sites and made some invertebrate refuges with a bit of dead wood but apart from that I have not done much at all, like I say I am not a big fan of January or February.bumble bee nest site?

The bumble bees should be out and about any time now zig-zagging along the grass in a search for someplace nice to nest, I hope they like my attempts at making their lives easier. All it is in fact is something along the lines of a subterranean bird-box of sorts.

Bumble bee nest site?

That is lined with wood and filled with dry grass and some oak leaves before being recovered  with soil and seeded with a pinch of wild flower seeds

bumble bee nest site

They may work, they may not either way I am sure something will use them even if its only a family of mice or perhaps even a family of wasps. I don’t really care just so long as they get used

Wheres have the Bull finches gone?

One thing that has surprised me this winter though is the strange balance of bird species on my feeders, no finch species at all, no Redpols, no Goldfinch…ok…I am getting plenty of Tits and Sparrows with the bonus species Nuthatch and Jay making regular visits but the Finch species are completely absent and this is something that has been noted nationally, do they know something we don’t?

Is the world going to end? Who knows….Perhaps the Finches know.

Anyway …Let’s have some fishing

What fishing I have done has been mostly on the River Don in Sheffield, the fishing has been enjoyable if not rammed with the mega chub that I thought this last winter would have brought with it.

Urban Don Brown Trout


The Don has given up a fair few little Brown Trout and some rather nice Grayling which have set my personal bests a little higher than it was at a very modest 1lb 8oz, not massive on the scale of things but considering the Don has been “dead” in my lifetime a miracle of no small measure.

Martin with a grayling


The one thing that did piss Martin and me off was the discovery of some tackle that was obviously being used by certain sections of society to fish for the pot.

Fishing tackle


Let’s just say that this set of tackle has now been recycled and will no longer be used to remove valuable stocks of fish from the Don any longer.

Oh…I put up some bird nesting boxes

I have also taken advantage of Wilkos £2.50 offer on bird boxes and put a dozen or so up in the near by area…a folly you may say and likely to keep the local chavs busy vandalizing them…but I am from a different age…I was the poacher. I know how to do things so that they stay under the radar and don’t get seen by the local underlings that have less brains than the average earthworm

Sticks out like a sore thumb


The one thing you need to do is break the edges up a little bit and make sure it is off the beaten track, I am 90% certain that this box will not be found by morons and as such will avoid being vandalised

the finished box

Because I made sure it blended in …a little bit of spray paint works miracles!

Right…Back to the fishing!

The river Don kept on dishing out the Grayling week after week but it was getting towards the time of year that is very much looked forwards to and that is the annual general meeting of the CSG.

Grayling of 1lb 7oz


The venue was again to be the river Wye at Bredwardine, a stunning stretch of water that is simply a pleasure to fish, “The Trent” is my one true love but the Wye is out on its own when it comes to a pristine environment that isn’t polluted by “people”, I find it a personal offence when I find litter and crap in my peg, it is one of the reasons that I thought long and hard about my continuation of this blogJust wrong!


Why should I continue to write about stuff that makes me so angry? Why don’t I just sit back and relax and stop giving a fook about things, why don’t I take the easy way out…?

Because my parents did not raise wimpy boys and in me they raised a person that will never ever sit back and take it, so yes, I will on occasion get really pissed off about things and on occasion I will suffer abject despair at the apathy that pervades society but I will never give up, I will stop screaming about stuff that pisses me off when they nail the lid down on the box and send me off with AC/DC blasting out as the curtain closes but until that point, I will keep on screaming.

Anyway back to the river Wye, for all her beauty she really is a “spatey” little minx and as such is prone to outbursts of high emotion such as flooding at the drop of a hat but her mood had been settled for weeks and that meant she would “fish” unfortunately  in the few days prior to setting off she got herself a little giddy and went 2.59 meters in flood. This would make things interesting as she is a beast when her dander is up.

On arrival she was obviously still a bit flighty, with high water and a colour reminiscent of the caffe latte I had enjoyed from Starbucks on the way down, well I had enjoyed it, I suspect Martin was soon bored of my incessant chatter as the caffeine rush kicked in. While I was in Starbucks I spotted something that amused me, a brand of coffee calledpike place coffee “Pikes Place” . generally I am not the most enthusiastic drinker of coffee as I feel that when the very best coffee one can buy is coffee that has been eaten , passed through the digestive tract and then shit out the arse end of a cat monkey ferret type creature called a civet, it probably wasn’t/isn’t the best drink to start with.

Anyway less of the coffee and back to the Wye, I had preempted this moodiness and as such was carrying an assortment of tackle so that I would have a “plan b”….well technically it wasn’t a “plan b” as I was Wye Pikeplanning on pike fishing anyway having landed fish of 17lb 10z and 15lb plus the year previous but after I had seen the conditions I decided to not even bother with the chub until dusk and then just give them an hour before retiring to the Red Lion for dinner and beer but instead concentrate my efforts on getting an essox in the sack.Pike Groundbait

My tactics were simple enough affairs, legered dead baits fished tight to structure….nothing fancy at all really apart from the use of a prototype HBC fish based groundbait in which I had crushed some sardines. I think the use of ground bait in pike fishing is a tactic that is much underused, for just as I remember reading in the 1980′s that barbel do not like a bed of ground bait so too pike are not thought to need such preparation. I have been using groundbaits with devastating results for both species for well over 25 years which proves that the angling Press is sometimes utterly wrong and is inclined to print bollocks from time to time.IMG_8775

Anyway, I did not have to wait long before the action stated and a pike of 7lb 15oz graced the folds of the net. A nice start indeed! The baits were replaced and the clocks began to turn and for an hour or so little happened and then the calm was shattered when the line was pulled from the drop back and the Delkim Txi sang “the song of her people”, this fish was a different beast altogether A very nice pike!and after a very short and rather dull fight I had a much better fish for the Cannon to contend with on the bank . The Reuben’s said 16lb 10oz . Now I am happy.

I am very happy but not quite as happy as I am going to get….

Within thirty minutes the line had been pulled from the clip again and I was giving it the 3-2-1 countdown before dropping the rod tip and easing into what felt like a bull hippopotamus having an epileptic fit…This fish went mental!

But however mental it wanted to get I could give no quarter as the swim dictated that I had to hook and hold or face snagging up on half submerged structure that would prove too much to deal with without stripping off and getting wet.

The net went out and the fish went in…I went wobbly at the knees because what had slipped over the net cord was by far the longest pike I had ever seen!

Wye pike 23lb 4oz


I have to be honest at this point, I know it is a 20 but I have no idea how much of a 20 it is…

the Reuben settled on 23lb 4oz and I am gob smacked, I have smashed one of my longest standing personal bests with a fish that looks like a Dinosaur Pike from the wyedinosaur! What a monster, I am shaking like a shitting dog! The thing has a head on it bigger than mine and teeth that look like a set of ivory daggers.

That was me done…I was done…emotionally finished! I put the pike rods away after an hour or so of inactivity and concentrated on getting myself a chub, a nice safe chub!One of two chub from the Wye

As it turns out I managed to get two! I was more than happy with what I had managed to achieve, I had re-found my fishing mojo, I had cleared the cobwebs and reignited a passion.

A headache in a glass


As is the custom on these trips to the Wye, I had a little too much to drink along with everyone else, the Red Lion bar was warm, the mood was jovial and night was long!

Day two of the CSG annual Wye trip started with a headache as the Butty Bach Bitter from the night previous was very slow to leave my system and as such I decided to concentrate on a very light and mobile approach to the day and just fish one rod with cheese paste,the river had dropped a couple of foot and was now running almost clear. My rig would not be Trent style,as technical as it gets it would be chub style and hopefully it would go some way in improving my chub fishing techniques. As it turned out the chub were willing to play giving me wrap rounds and drop backs galore, how they do this without me hooking them has to be all in the shape of their mouths but eventually I managed to get the hang of it and along with HBCDarren McCann with a nice chub of 4-13 chief Darren McCann land chub upto 4lb 13 oz. I have to say though that with a lighter rod and the faster pace of the Wye the chub fishing was totally different to what it is on the Trent, the fight was far more dynamic and I was never quite sure what size the fish would be until it broke the surface, my best was just over 4lb but if a 5 or even a 6 had popped up I would not have been surprised with the severity of the fight they managedmy best chub of the weekend to put up.

The light faded and although we could have fished on for an hour or two quite confident of bagging a steady procession of good fish we decided to call it a day as the weather was beginning to break up and by the time we reached the car it was raining hard, not what I want to be fishing in when we have a 3 hour drive home the next day, a car full of damp tackle  would stink.

Sunday morning came and the AGM started early, most people looked a little bleary from two days of fishing and drinking, I had my CAT trophy with me all bubble wrapped in a box ready for the next recipient but as it turned out I need not have bothered as I retained it with the catch of chub that included the 7lb 2oz7lb 2oz fish. To say I felt humbled would be an underestimate, to be awarded something like the CAT CAT trophytrophy by a group of anglers that have caught more big chub than most is amazing and boosted me no end. If truth be told I though Christian Barker had won it with his big catch of chub for the Angling Times so I am a little surprised to be looking at it now as I type. I really do have to thank Danny Johnson for travelling down from Doncaster to take the pictures.

Well that is about all for now, the end of the river season is almost here, I will do a blog update when its all over so until then enjoy your fishing.





9 Responses to “March 2015 fishing blog”

  1. nice blog lee, keep writing them one of the best blogs on fishing and life in general

  2. Cheers Alan!

  3. Pleased you’ve decided to keep blogging, it’s always a great read. Great pike.

  4. I like the idea of the humble bee (it’s proper name) nest site in the ground. The nest boxes make great nest sites for tree bee’s which are now becoming more a more common.

  5. Keep writing your blog which is interesting and well-written.

    Hard not to moan about the stupid things that a section of the public do I know. I have started picking up rubbish on the roads where I live, and always try to clear up any I find on the banks. There seems to be a cult of selfishness about people these days in all walks of life…look at how they drive.

    It’s good to know that someone else cares about these things.

    Re the Trent, saw 4 blokes piking 3 days ago on the weir at Stoke Bardolph (Redcliffe) as brazen as brazen can be…. surrounded by cans, both empty and full. It’s like a rubbish dump down there. We phoned up the Environment Agency but wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t bother with it, must check out the incident number..

  6. Brilliant as usual mate and so glad your carrying on

  7. A very good blog, I shall look forward to your next instalment

  8. Hi Lee,
    I am really enjoying reading your blog, it has really inspired me to get out onto some running water and catch some river fish. I am from Leicester, so I will get a Soar ticket and get out on the hunt for, well anything really, then I am going to give the Trent a try.
    I haven’t fished a river for a long time, I am genuinely excited about the prospect!
    I can start straight away on June 16th on the River Soar, but I think I might be a bit under gunned for the Trent, I will be raiding my piggy bank…
    I think I will be tapping you up for some tips later in the year, but I will let you know how it goes.
    Thanks again Lee, keep writing
    From an enthusiastic 52year old…

  9. Nice read Lee

Leave a Reply