Tackle Away For A Few Weeks Probably….

That time of year again (Nov-Dec) when the weather, water conditions, general Xmas preparations and medical issues combine to curtail my fishing plans somewhat…

This year’s issues …

Last couple of weeks have had diabetic tests, meetings and medication changes involved, the outcome being I am now on insulin – and I believe I mentioned that in my last posting…

Coming up, on Dec 3rd, following my last bowel screening in which blood was found, is a colonoscopy. Not too concerned as the reason may be due to the multiple and very frequent loo visits that my laxatives require me to make when taken and hence soreness… saying no more but think papercuts! LOL… Anyway, I have been told in the week prior to the procedure to take my usually every-other-day lax meds every day instead …. which means effectively that I’ll not be able to leave the house during the day. Then the day before and on the day itself I also have to take the hospital supplied super-lax – that means usually leaving the bathroom itself is a big risk! LOL.

However, after the 3rd a lot will be down to weather and Xmas preps really – so hoping to squeeze a few trips in – possibly short ramble/lure fishing type trips along the canal with a longer day pike outing… However, the canal outings have been marred by news that the C&RT are planning/doing extensive electro-fishing on the local canals to remove predominantly zander but it also seems that a large number of pike will be taken too… not good news at all. I don’t think zander are an issue in my immediate area – seem to be more over towards Birmingham/Coventry – as I’ve never heard of any here on the Staffs/Worcs or Shrops Union Canals but we have plenty of quality pike. Just imagine the uproar if they removed the carp from the canals – and actually the C&RT fisheries permit issued to them by the EA does NOT allow carp to be held in their waters!!!   

Anyway, I’ll be back ASAP … and in the meantime look forward to reading of everybody eleses exploits!

Tight lines!

Session 36 – Pikeless In Staffordshire (Piking With Liz)

Monday, 15th November, Liz and I set off to Pike Water 1 – the scene of my last visit, albeit a solo one, which had produced two pike to break the blanks of my previous two visits and so was likely to be a good choice for giving Liz a chance of a bend in the rod.

But before we set out there were a couple of things to do/sort…

  1. Obtain fresh deadbaits…

I do have quite a large stock of frozen deadbaits in my freezer but I do like to take at least a few fresh bloody ones (sardines, herring, etc) as I feel they are more effective and with that in mind I set off to the local Morrison’s and also the town markets of Bilston and Wolverhampton. BUT … could I locate any? Not a single one! However, as a second best I did manage from Morrison’s to obtain 9 ‘prepared’ herrings – de-headed, de-tailed and gutted – and these, when I got them home were wrapped with baiting elastic to make bodies firm enough for casting retaining the strong fishy smell for attraction.

  1. Liz’s fishing chair repair…

Whilst gathering our kit together I found that Liz’s Korum X25 accessory chair seemed to have lost one of the knobs/screws that allow the leg height to be adjusted. A search of the car boot and garage revealed no sign of it so we have to assume it is lying somewhere near a pool in Sussex! However, I managed to did a quick fix by fitting 2 screw clips (as you would use to attach a hose pipe to a tap?) on to the leg … and shortly afterwards I located a seller on eBay who has the actual item needed for sale and so one is on order now and is due to arrive on Thursday.

Anyway, those were all sorted and after the usual gathering packing of our kits into the car we were ready for the off…. arriving at the pool around 0810 again being the first to arrive 🙂

We chose to fish a couple of swims we’ve not fished in quite a while although back in the day they were our usual summer ones for carp fishing. Equipment was set up – and the screw clip ‘fix’ on Liz’s chair worked well – and first casts were made around 0900 by both of us.

Liz decided to ledger one of the ‘rollmop’ type herrings with a Polaris Dumpy Carp float as her indicator out in open water… and I followed suit too but I also put out a second rod with a floatfished ‘christmas tree of sprats’ along the water margins. A ‘christmas tree’ is just a twin hook wire trace baited with a number of small bait fish mounted to create the appearance of a mini-shoal. So, with a standard twin treble hooked snap tackle there would be a bait mounted on each point (eg 6 sprats) but as I was using a trace with twin single hooks I mounted two sprats on each point.

And that was effectively the end of the day’s action, with nary a wobble even of any of the floats, apart from winding in and tackling down at the end of session at 1430 – and then off to the local for the usual beer and nibbles that follows our ‘couple’ sessions.

PLANS:

Plans are difficult to decide at the moment as my biennial bowel cancer screen has again shown blood… and I am now due for another colonoscopy on 3rd December. Not too worried currently as the testing/scanning has changed from a manual with microscope method to an automated one which is far more sensitive I’m told. Pre- colonoscopy I’ve been told told to take my usually every-other-day laxative every day for the week prior to the procedure meaning I’m going to be housebound every day that week (27th-3rd) BUT luckily the local Winter Ales Festival for which we have tickets on the 26th sneaks in just under the wire!

I’ve also been put on insulin for my diabetes now after seeing the diabetic nurse yesterday and having my results of tests scrutinised, dosages calculated and equipment/meds supplied. That was all OK, the main source of frustration being with the informing of the DVLA that I now take insulin (a legal requirement) which can be done two ways – the filling in of a 6 page questionnaire type document which then has to be posted via snail mail OR can be done online … obviously these days online is the way to go (isn’t it?) … actually the supplying of the data itself was easy BUT before that can be done you have to do something called ‘VERIFY’ to prove you are you … and that was a nightmare! Basically you have to register with the Post Office online (and to do that you need to provide personal infos to verify you are who you say you are) and then also give driving licence info, and also prove you have a mobile phone account which I couldn’t get to work OR give passport data plus scan the passport plus photo the passport … and often at each stage info would be rejected, although correct and re-entered… but eventually I succeeded! 🙂

And I have a problem with a non-functioning hearing aid that I have an appointment for with SpecSavers later today to get looked into.

TEMPS:

WATER (‘C):                  9.8 – 10.1
AIR (‘C):                        11.2 – 12.5.                     

TEMP TRENDS:

2021-11-15 Temps

Session 35 – Third Time Lucky!

Monday, 8th November, I again left the house at around 0730 heading to Pike Water 1 in search of the so far elusive pike having had blanks on my two previous pike outings of the season, arriving at the water around 0800.

On arrival I was as usual the first there but only just – with the second angler arriving about 10 minutes later whilst I was still in the process of ‘setting out my stall’ for the day – and it seems I was in the swim he’d hoped to have been in as he said ‘Aaah, just beat me’ as he passed behind and continued up the pool to return back down a couple of minutes later to settle in the next door swim … not an issue as an overhanging bush between us separated our areas. Over the course of the day, another 4, possibly 5, fellow anglers joined us on the water but I was the only pike angler, I think….

As per my previous two outings the plan was to fish with maggot for the first 2-3 hours for livebait and then start my pike fishing around 1100 … and as per the previous two sessions the result of livebait gathering was poor with just one small roach taking my bait.

So, 0845 first casts with the maggot baited float rod were made – after 2 hours and the one roach caught I put away that tackle and set up my two pike rods for the day. Of necessity (and  fortune as it turned out), one rod was set up for ledgering a deadbait and the other to offer my roach as a livebait.

Deadbait rod setup: an 11’ 2.75lb TC rod, homebuilt with a North Western blank in the 80’s was coupled with a  5000 size reel  loaded with 40lb Spectra braid with a 2oz lead and a 30lb wire trace standard twin treble hooked snaptackle – as personally preferred, but also required by club’s ‘barbless hooks’ rules, the barbs of the hooks were crushed flat (which is allowed by the club in the case of treble hooks). Bite indication via a Polaris Carp Dumpy Float (No.16) – a self locking float – as I intended to fish the baits on that rod cast out into water of a depth of 15’+ and thus no previous plumbing and setting to depth was required and any variation in depths between areas was not an issue…

Livebait rod setup: a generic 12’ 2.75lb TC carp rod, 5000 sized reel, 40lb braid, 15g quick change lead to cock the 25g’ish polystyrene float. 30lb homemade wire trace fitted with a size 10 barbless single hook about 4” from the terminating size 2 barbless single hook in essence … in detail, and I’ll post a picture soon to clarify, I set a piece of wire of about 15”-18” in length with swivels at both ends, then to one of the swivels I add another 6” of wire via a slack loop so the wire can slide around the eye of the swivel … slide the size 10 hook along the wire but at this time it is allowed to be freely running … that wire is then terminated with the size 2 hook … and then the size 10 hook is fixed by whipping it and the wire together with thread and a touch of glue added. Basically the trace can easily hold a ‘L’ due to the connection. Thought is that a single straight-through piece of wire requires energy to take up and maintain the ‘L’ shape as it must if a bait is to swim in its normal horizontal manner due the need to overcome the wires’ inherent want to be straight – making the shape easier to create by using two separated wires on a hinge is easier on the bait and thus bait remains more active,,, etc. OK! Might be overkill, etc BUT I did make up 6 traces so will get a good try out 🙂

First casts were made with the roach and a sardine … and at 1200 the deadbait float went a’bobbin’ and the resultant strike connected … and a few minutes later my first pike of the 2021 season was netted … and a few minutes later I was wounded – pike teeth and flesh are not a good combination! Only a tiny nick but as pike teeth are razor edged AND coated in anti-coagulant a little goes a long long way – and my white hanky was soon more red than white – I do need to pack some kitchen roll in future. I do carry a styptic pencil for such cases and that worked in a fashion but the type of cut, a shallow slice, get getting caught on things and re-opening… Anyway, the pike! Not huge, a jack really, weighing in at 3lb 11oz…

2021-11-08 Steve - 3lb 11oz Pike 01

3lb 11oz Pike

… unhooked, weighed, photoed Mr Jack was released, a new bait added to the trace and the rod cast out again … and within a few minutes … actually, in the time it took me tighten up to cock the float and go to pick up a previously poured cup of coffee, the float was off again … another strike and the fish was on soon to be landed and weighed in at 5lb 10oz…

2021-11-08 Steve - 5lb 10oz Pike 01

5lb 10oz Pike

And that was the end of the action for the day, the livebait rod produced not one take inc the time the ‘live’ was switched to a small ‘dead’…. still it was great to have actually not only tangled with my first pike of the season but also my second despite neither being ‘giants’ of the pike world.

PLANS:

Unlikely to make another outing this week due to other things happening currently that need my time… so most likely to be next Monday … and again in search of Grandmammy Esox. 🙂

TEMPS:

WATER (‘C):                9.3 – 9.8
AIR (‘C):.                     7.8 – 11.4

TEMP TRENDS:

2021-11-09 TEMP GRAPH

Session 34 – Second Pike Session And Runaway Horses And Birthday/Christmas Present Decided Upon…

0730 on Monday 25th October saw me heading off to Pike Water 5 again for my second attempt at my 2021-2022 season’s pike fishing.

Unlike last week’s outing the weather was mild and relatively calm with just a slight breeze blowing into my chosen corner of the pool…

I arrived onsite around 0810, first there – and only one there all day too – and elected to fish a different swim to last week’s – my other usual pike swim actually, where I caught my current PB of 20-12. I fished the same way as the last trip by fishing with dead maggot for the first couple of hours or so (ie until 1030-1100) to try to procure livebaits and then switch over to the pike tackle – and I did – and had the same livebait result as last time with just a few tweaks of the float produced and zero fish in the 2+ hours of trying. So, I had to use dead baits when it came to the pike fishing and dead baits are not the best on this water and, in fact, I think its true to say that smelt dead baits have produced many more chub for us than pike on this water over the years especially for Liz…

Pike tackle – 2 x 2.75lb TC carp rods, Crivit (from Lidl many years ago!) 5000 reels loaded with 40lb braid terminated with 20” 30lb wire traces. As float fishing the baits, suitable floats were set up on the lines in a sliding manner along with quick change 20g leads to provide weight.

On this occasion the wire traces were different to each other due to the baits I intended to use…

Rod 1: bait on this rod was a medium smelt … and I used a homemade trace consisting of a single size barbless hook at the end and 3” up the trace a size 10 barbless eyed hook was whipped to the wire after having the wire threaded to the eye. I have tried adding that middle hook with effectively a knotless knot in the wire previously but was never sure about the wrappings comprising the wire – but as this hook is intended solely to secure the bait not hook the pike I’m quite happy to just the use a whipping thread wrapping with a touch of glue to secure it – at worst if it did hook the pike and the whipping get destroyed the hook would just come to rest on the eye of the larger hook and no problem. Attachment of the bait is by putting the size 10 hook into the lip of the bait and securing in place with a ‘bait flag’ and in the case of a deadbait the size 2 hook placed in the body just under the dorsal fin and again secured with a bait flag. In the event of using a livebait (and my lives tend to be <5”) I again lip hook with the 10 but this time the size 2 is inserted into the dorsal fin itself (ie into the webbing) ensuring the wire twixt the hooks has some slackness – that way the lip hook takes the complete weight of the fish for casting – more like an underhand swing of 2-3 rod lengths at most – and means that after use – I only use livebaits for 30-45 minutes before changing for a fresh one – the bait can be unhooked with as little damage as possible and returned to live another day.

Rod 2: bait was a small horse mackerel so I used a conventional twin treble snap tackle fitted with size 6 trebles that had the barbs crushed down – the club has a general rule of barbless hooks only but does make an allowance for pike fishing with treble hooks and allows for the barbs of barbed hooks to be crushed flat.

So I fished for about 90 minutes or so in my chosen spot without a knock or nibble let alone a ‘run’ and then decided to move to the next swim to my left in the corner bay of the pool, fishing from the disabled platform (which incidentally I’ve never seen anyone else fish from in my 10 years of membership). Fishing from that platform allowed me to cast back towards my original peg parallel to the bank and close to the lining reeds and thus work my bait back along that bank at intervals.

Actually, that reed bank didn’t produce anything but when casting the horse mackerel over the bay to the far bank and a platform over there – often pike lie under the scaffold and plank platforms – I started to get bounces on the float and even the occasional 12” run of the float – and this continued even when the bait was disintegrating and was a separate head and body with the ribs hanging out. The smelt cast in the same area and at around same depth elicited no response at all. However, although I did manage to get some strikes in, nothing resulted… More ghosts eh, WheatNotCasters?

Anyway, come 14:30’ish it was time to tackle down and head home… fishless again!

HORSES…

This pool is actually located within a stables/equestrian centre and thus has a few horse paddocks – and it seems one of the horses had managed to free itself and came trotting round the trees on the corner of the pool, spotted me and started snorting and decided to race off back round from where it came – which was worrying at the time as its pathway was through a narrow gap twixt my car and a fence but it seemed to have managed to do so without any damage being caused. Anyway, another horse in a paddock close to the car then became agitated and was neighing and aggressively pacing up and down its electrified fence looking for all the world that it was considering leaping the fence … and as no-one seemed to be around I decided to report the happening up at the stables area which resulted in a stablehand appearing with a lead/rope and she managed to coax the errant horse … meanwhile, I returned back to the pool stopping to ‘horse whisper’ to the agitated creature – and I seemed to make him/her a bit calmer so all ended up good.

BIRTHDAY/CHRISTMAS…

Must be getting older – this is what I want for my birthday in a few weeks time … or Christmas if it doesn’t arrive then … a heated gilet! Maybe not this actual one but something similar…

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264981125947?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3Db7c8c01da4844176abfb5ace996f788f%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D174962668075%26itm%3D264981125947%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057%26brand%3DUnbranded&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Adfd2549b-3666-11ec-8c57-a61a9f1f931e%7Cparentrq%3Abcf2cbfe17c0ab8cc8149d0bfff1bbc0%7Ciid%3A1

LOL!!!!

TEMPS:

WATER (‘C):               12.0 – 12.3
AIR (‘C):.                     10.4 – 16.2

ScreenHunter 97

 

Session 33 – First Pike Session 2021-2022 – Not The Best Of Days…

On the 18th October I set off on my first pike session of the new season to Pike Water 5…

Not the best weather to be out in – dull, overcast, drizzly albeit the car’s thermometer registered a warm 12’C as I drove enroute to the venue at 0745, arriving around 0815 and pleased to see no other cars on the car park so I knew I’d get my preferred swim.

The intention of the day was to floatfish with maggot initially until around 1030-1100 in order to catch some livebait … but with foresight I did pack some deadbaits in case the silvers weren’t co-operating … and they weren’t as I only managed one in two hours of fishing in difficult conditions – facing into the breeze (which was a southerly so theoretically did that right) with light tackle … and on return from last week’s holiday I had filled new line on my reel as I had discovered that I’d probably only 20 yards on the spool but it seems I’d overfilled as, with the breeze, a few tangles around the reel’s flyer and handle ensued.

Also my reel seemed to have got groundbait stuck in the handle’s handle and that wasn’t rolling well … improving during use but still wasn’t right at the end of day so thgat’s due a soak in a bowl of soapy water and an oiling … plus bale arm was sticking due to same problem…

Anyway, at 1100, the pike rods were put into action. 2 x 2.75lb carp rods, 40lb braid, standard snap tackles with size 6 trebles with folded down barbs – but not folded enough at least on one point as I’ll come to shortly. Plus not the wire traces I’d intended to use which were fitted with a size 8/10 single for bait holding and terminated with a size 2 single for the actual ‘active’ hook but seems I’d not got those in my bag – need to search the garage and find them! Anyway, one rod was fished with the livebait and the other a sardine both floatfished,

Then …

Setting the scenario … my seat with tackle bags, then to my right my rod pod and rods, further right and other side of rod pod was my unhooking ‘cradle’ with scales, camera and, more to the point (pun?) my pliers and wire cutters…

I wind in one of my baits and see one of the hooks has pulled free so go to re-hook and whilst doing so the other hook catches hold of my towel and snatches and pulls the loose treble into my right hand thumb which passes into the flesh and then out again about 1/8 inch away from the entry … attempts to free are scuppered by the ‘note quite flattened’ barb and the fluffy towel hanging off the other hook doesn’t help … tried to flatten the barb further with my forceps but they are not up to the job … so now have to get to the wire cutters which involves carrying rod and towel, climbing over the rod pod and other rod, disentangling rod tip which gets entangled in a bush .. all managed with just a modicum (read as ‘muted screams’) of pain and I finally get to snip the embedded hook at the bend and remove the remaining hook and with the help of forceps pull the barbed point through and out…

Also I started to feel ‘the need’ coming on to use facilities … and as I wasn’t really enjoying the day I decided to call it quits and return to the comforts of home …

ANYWAY … things have become a bit better today … had an e-mail from ‘Improve Your Coarse Fishing’ magazine saying I’ve won a runners-up prize in last month’s magazine competition, 5 bags of ‘Advantage’ groundbait worth £19.95 🙂

Session 32 – Chichester Lakeside, Sussex…

Liz and I had a week’s break … made up actually of two breaks on adjacent sets of dates made up with a Monday 4th October to Friday 8th October break immediately followed by a Friday 8th October to Monday 11th October one. All done via Sun newspaper £9.50 holidays with the booking made to Park Holidays Chichester Lakeside Holiday Park which lies adjacent to the Chichester Lakeside Fishery for which day tickets are available on some of the 10 lakes with the remaining lakes having been leased out to syndicates.

Booking an adjoining week/weekend pairing is easy – and we’ve done it for the past 4-5 years now for various venues. Just book two adjoining sessions you want normally via the Sun Holiday page … and when the booking confirmation from the actual site booked is received just reply to the site itself informing that you have 2 bookings made with adjoining dates and request that you be allowed to retain the same accommodation for the whole period. Sometimes they say ‘we’ll note the request but cannot guarantee we will be able to’ but that’s never been an issue as when we’ve booked in on arrival we’ve informed the reception staff of the request that was made and its always been arranged without problem. ONE thing though … when making the bookings make sure that there are vacancies available for both week and weekend slots! Once booked the week slot but when making the booking for the weekend there were no vacancies – so we booked a weekend tent pitch at a place ½ mile up the road … but covid lockdown happened and both bookings were cancelled by the sites and monies refunded anyway.

Anyway … the fishing…

The main lakes available to fishing are as below….

Chichester Lakes Map

Descriptions as to each individual lake can be found at: https://www.parkholidays.com/caravan-holidays/activities-recreation/fishing-holidays/chichester-lakeside.

We arrived at the holiday village on Monday afternoon and rest of day was spent unpacking, etc, visiting the bar/clubhouse, etc. Tuesday, we walked around some of the lakes to check them out and decided to fish ‘Deep Lake’ which looked really nice with regions of lily pads and had the added benefit of not having carp listed in its species-to-be-caught list. Factors against the others – East/West/Copse banks – lined with ‘carpers’ and very featureless and open, Triangle looked OK but exceedingly weeded, Peckham just didn’t grab us at all, Nunnery not appealing and also weeded.

We decided to fish on Thursday as the weather was looking to be kinder then with the heavy breezes of the beginning of the week having subsided and so on Wednesday we had a day out at Bognor Regis. On the evening I booked our tickets for our chosen swims on Deep Lake for Thursday via the http://www.fishingticket.com website which is currently the only way to get fishing tickets for the Lakes. Pre-Covid it seems that tickets were available from the holiday village’s reception or from the bailiffs on the bank but that has now changed. Tickets for Peckham and Deep Lakes are £10 a day … the other lakes use a session system that seems to be £20’ish for 24 hours, with 48 hour and 72 hour options also being available.

So… come Thursday morning we set off for Deep Lake at 0800 in the car. There is actually a gateway into the lakes available to holiday villagers via the use of a security ‘button’ key but for us access was too distant by foot and it was far easier to drive to and through the main gate of the fishery and so park closer to our destination.

We toddled down to our swims – it seems we were the only bookings for the 11-peg lake – and set up in our respective and adjacent swims (Pegs 3 and 4).

2021-10-08 01

My swim – Peg 4 – a nice looking swim twixt 2 patches of lillies…

Liz’s swim was more open but with an island patch of lilies some 30 yards in front of her and also had the left side of my right hand lilies… and she elected to ledger/feeder fish to the outlying lily patch with maggot bait and tried sweetcorn later in the day.

Myself I baited up the gap between my lily patches with groundbait with added particles (wheat, barley, corn, rice,…) and maggots and fished with the float rod in my usual way – lift method, 5AAA driftbeater float, size 16 hook, maggot, etc.

ONE UNUSUAL RULE AT THESE LAKES – BARBLESS HOOKS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT ALL! BARBED OR MICROBARBED HOOKS ONLY ARE ALLOWED. MOST OF MY USUAL FISHERIES HERE AT HOME BAN HOOKS WITH ANY SORT OF BARB INC WHEN PIKE FISHING (LURES OR BAIT) – THE ONLY EXCEPTION BEING THE BIRMINGHAM AA AS I CAN THINK OF AND THEY ALLOW BARBED HOOKS BUT DON’T INSIST ON THEM. ANYWAY THAT HAD MEANT THAT I’D HAD TO BUY, AND TIE HOOKLENGTHS TO, BARBED HOOKS ESPECIALLY FOR THIS ONE VISIT. THING IS … I STILL BOUGHT 4 PACKS OF 10 OF EVERY SIZE FROM 8-16 IE 20 PACKS IN ALL … AND WE ONLY USED 3 SIZE 16 HOOKS BETWEEN US… AND I DON’T FORESEE THE USE OF THEM ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE, NEAR OR FAR!

I was first off the block in terms of captures with a tiny roach but Liz was only a few minutes behind with a small (2oz perch).

Between 1000 and 1230 Liz had 3 rudd up to 3oz and then her swim seemed to just die.

Myself, between 1000 and 1245 I had a further 26 small roach and then the best landed fish of the day, an 8oz perch..

… and then up to 1315 more small roach to bring their total to 40+ … and at 1340 the best fish of the day was lost to the lily pads to my left with a breakage at the hook knot. Unknown species but due to the fight, etc I suspect it was a tench although probably not huge but would say 2-3lb possibly.

Following that the swim died completely probably due to pike on the hunt, there having been signs all day at various locations on the lake of predators on the feed with sudden fry leapings,etc….

So, at 1500 we called it a day and tackled down and headed back to ‘home-of-the-day’…

PLANS:

Initially I had hoped to get out pike fishing on Thursday 14th BUT the logistics of unpacking from the holiday, sorting out (inc making new wire traces, etc) tackle, checking and sourcing deadbaits, etc have made that a pipedream … so, more realistically, I’m now looking at getting out for an initial pike outing on Monday 18th – that allows me to sort the tackle with less pressures (so hopefully less ‘forgotten’ stuff!) and also gives me the chance to visit Birmingham Fish Market, and the Chinese Quarter, in search of the new ‘super’ bait LOL!

Session 31 – Skipsea, Yorkshire…

From 20th to 27th September Liz and I took a camping holiday in North Yorkshire staying at Parkdean’s Skipsea Sands holiday site, somewhere that we were familiar with having camped there twice previously around the Easters of 2018 and 2019 – and probably would have done so again in 2020 but for first wave of the covid pandemic.

Talking about the ‘CV19’ thing I’ve realised I probably was in close contact with it in Xmas 2019 when I was hospitalised for a few days with kidney problems – I recall several people being removed from my ward and the hospital staff wearing face masks and being told that those patients had got ‘the flu’. Visiting was unaffected at that time though and we were free to wander round the hospital wards and visit the inhouse ‘Greggs’ and ‘WHSmith’, etc.

Back to Skipsea …

Before I get on to fishing again – camping on Parkdean sites is EXCELLENT. For £10 a night for our 7-man tent it can’t be beaten even if just for a patch of land on which to pitch the tent – just try and find anywhere else for that – even pitching in a farmer’s cow field would cost more than that. BUT, at Parkdean, not only do you get a pitch but also good, clean toilets and showers, electricity supplied (no meter charges), and entertainment passes for the nightly shows are included in the cost.

To fishing matters … the site has its own small fishing pool…

… but on our 2018 visit we took no rods nor tackle so there was no fishing that trip… but on the 2019 trip we managed to sort out, and just about load into the car alongside the camping gear, one set of shared tackle and our rods to partake of a day’s fishing session. And the blog of that day recorded…

“We both float fished, Liz mainly on maggot, myself worm. There were plenty of movements – dipples, swirls, and even at one point a huge mass of bubbles just in front of Liz – and we were getting line bites, float nudges and attacked baits but hardly one proper take – and between us only one fish was caught and that fell to Liz – a roach of around 1oz which, as the title says, took all the prizes of the day! First fish, smallest fish, biggest fish, most species, and last fish LOL.

There were a couple of other guys also fishing and Liz was speaking to one of them on one of the evenings when she was at the bar – he’d fished 3-4 days and hadn’t caught anything of note and not a lot of those not of any note either! He also said the other chap had had one decent tench on one day and a carp of a pound or two on another day. So seems like the fish are very wary and shy in the pool but I suppose they do get to see baits more often than most…”

So, the trip of 2021 was planned and I posted on the ‘Maggotdrowners’ forum regarding our intended trip – and had a few comments on there regarding other fishing opportunities in the surrounding area – one of the comments coming from one of my blog followers, ‘jacksonb1’ who recommended ‘Westland Lakes’ … thanks!! … other places were ‘Mill Ponds’ and ‘West End Farm’, both of these very close to each other and within 2 miles of the campsite.

As it was, I really had a very short time to ‘research’ any of the options on any of these suggestions although I did remember passing Mill Ponds’ entrance signage  in previous years on our touristy days out…

Westland Lakes … (https://uk-fisheries.co.uk/fisheries/westlands-lakes-2/) unfortunately had to discounted this trip due to logistics … would have to initially locate it, sort out fishing details (eg look at pools to decide where to set up, etc) all which would take up a lot of our valuable fishing time. So, not this trip, although held in mind for the future. Does have a strange rule there though (http://www.westlandsangling.com/rules.shtml) – with groundbait having to be fed by ‘cup or feeder’ (although I suppose a bait dropper would be acceptable)….

West End Farm … didn’t find much info on this – but did see ‘Buggs Lane’, where the pool is located, in passing one day … about 20 yards from the entrance to Mill Ponds.

Mill Ponds … (https://www.facebook.com/palmersmillpond/) is  the place where we actually fished, a bit of a misnamed place now really though as there were initially 2 ponds BUT they have now been connected by removal of the intervening bank to become a singular Mill Pond. As I said earlier, it was quite close to our campsite, probably less than 3 miles from tent door to waterside.

So arriving in Skipsea on the afternoon of Monday 20th we set up camp for the night … visited the clubhouse bar where beer was at London City prices! A bottle of Doom Bar = £5.40! Tuesday morning we set off for a reconnaissance of Mill Ponds arriving to find one angler there to whom Liz chatted and gained some info .. we walked the around pool and one other pair arrived to ‘check it out’ whilst we were there. Wednesday, we set off at 0730 with the tackle for the day.

On arrival, there was one angler already in situ where we had thought to fish from and so we elected to fish from a bit of a ‘spit’’ formed when the bank between the original pools had been removed thus making a bit of a bottleneck that fish had to pass through to move from one end of the pool to the other.

Floatfishing with laid-on maggot (6lb line, 5AAA driftbeater float, size 16 hook) was generally the order of the day, other baits not being so effective when tried.

Catches of the day…

Myself: 1 x tiny (thumb sized) carp, 1 x 2lb 1oz ghost carp and 2  rudd (ca 3oz and 8oz)

Liz: 2 x roach (ca 2oz and 6oz) and (last cast of the day too) 1 x 4lb 2oz ghost carp

Observations of the day: the pool became quite busy from around 1030 – and when we left there were probably only 2 fishable swims left free. Also there were 3 ‘pairs’ fishing, usually there’s just Liz and myself and occasionally on one of our club waters there’s another pair although I don’t think the lady fishes much as she tends to do hourly walks around the pool more than anything.

Ummm … the two ‘fish’ photos above … not sure what was going on but the picture quality is poor and usually is good. Canon Ixus SX120 camera (10mp). The ‘scenic’ pics taken on my mobile camera are far better. Wonder if there was dew/condensation on the camera lens? Need to check that out…. also need to put a new thermometer in the bag as being September I start recording water temps and I set it out for that reason but on leaving I forgot about it and it may still be there in the water’s edge 😦

PLANS:

We’re off again on Monday for a week – this time to Chichester Lakeside in Sussex (Surrey???) and hoping to get a day’s fishing in at the day ticket lakes next door to the camp. No tent this time, luxury of an onsite caravan.

Session 31 – Aborted…

Oh well, today’s session, along with last night’s Wednesday night meet up with friends, had to be aborted…

One lesson learnt … my current health issues cannot cope with a large bag of popcorn being consumed at the cinema on the previous night it seems 😦 … and I’m unsure about even the partaking of a small box of said material in the future! And especially I will not be tipping the last remnants (ie the un-popped corn) down the gullet!

BTW … I have issues with my Virgin a-mail at the mo, so won’t be getting the notifications of your postings and comments for a while. Contacted the Virgin WebChat line – 5 times before actually getting someone to understand that the issue is NOT my Wifi broadband connection (get all web OK, alternate e-mail systems, etc … and even Liz has her e-mails OK and her account is a ‘secondary’ one) but that its purely that my e-mail account itself is ‘locked’ and won’t let me in with ID/password – neither via Outlook nor via webmail through a browser. Anyway, three times I contacted the WebChat I got sent to ‘Andi’, a connection bot, to check my connections to router/web/etc which obviously was offering selections to select options not at all relevant and no options as to what was relevant. 5th time, I emphasised that ‘Andi’ wasn’t going to be in the least helpful before I started the chat – and eventually got the response that my e-mail account wasn’t accessible (WOW!!! What a surprise!!) but the WC operative had no access to e-mail accounts, etc and it would be passed to the relevant team and should be resolved in 5 days…

Now when I have heard that ‘5 day’ thing before? OH, I know it was when my mobile account suffered the same sort of problem, was told several times ‘5 days’ every time I enquired after the previous ‘5 days plus’ had expired – and in fact it was 6 weeks before I could access my account despite my DDs having been taken in the interim…. I’m sure it was coincidental BUT just before I lost access to my account I had been looking up the forthcoming ‘Black Friday deals’ as my phone was due to go out of contract … when the time arrived to take advantage of the deals my account was inaccessible … and three days BEFORE the account was remade operative the Black Friday deals ended … so when I renewed my phone I had to get a less advantageous package ie pay far more for less data – in fact, Liz managed to get the BF deal supplied with the same phone as me but has unlimited data and pays half of what I do for my 3GB data one. Ho Hum….

Session 30 – Totally Unexpected…

We returned from an excellent (again) Shrewsbury Folk Festival … excellent sets from Show Of Hands (joined at one point by Johnny Khalsi of The Dohl Foundation and the Afro Celt Sound System), Oysterband and many others – plus a couple I’d not revisit but no names, no pack drill and purely my personal ‘thing’. Top of the shop for me was Afro Celt Sound System who played the closing set on the Cuckoo stage. Also after 50 years of existence I saw Lindisfarne live for the first time LOL!

Just one last note on the music front and then into fishing …. last night I visited the local Cineworld to see ‘Mick Fleetwood and Friends’ celebrate the early Fleetwood Mac years and Peter Green’s contribution…

… the ‘friends’ including Andy Fairweather Low, Steven Tyler, Dave Gilmour, Noel Gallagher, John Mayall and more. And it was an EXCELLENT 2 hours plus… There are actually only 2 showings .. nationwide .. last night’s (7th Sept) and again on Sunday 15th, at 1930. I sincerely urge folks to get out there if fans of the blues and/or early Mac … you will not be disappointed! I’m waiting for a DVD of the concert to come out and I’ll be first in the queue! Shame that at my showing there were only 6 of us in the auditorium 😦

OK, OK, OK … fishing!! LOL

Monday, 6th September, Liz and myself set off for the club’s tench and bream pool (AA-B). The weather was perfect having been warm with some sun over the previous few days and on the day the air temps were 25’+C ….

A couple of errors on the day – now Sept, when I start taking water temps but forgot thermometer – and due to my hearing Liz and I have walkie talkies to talk to each other but the batteries were dead in mine, and I’d taken out the bag of spare batteries from my tackle bag and put them in my camping gear for the SFF and forgot to replace them.

So we arrived at the water and ventured up to the swims we’d wanted to fish the past couple of visits but hadn’t due to lily pads, reeds and tree foliage extending into and over the swims but this time we went prepared with loppers to deal with the trees and my double bladed weed cutter on a rope (although the rope wasn’t needed as I used the cutter on my landing net pole) dealt with the pad/reed issue easily..

As you can see from my swim I set up facing the end a small island and Liz set up in the next swim to my left ie the other side of the lily patch to the left of the photo.

We both floatfished using the lift method … 6lb line, 13’ rods (inc my new pride and joy, my newly acquired 70’s Hardy Matchmaker), 6” of 6lb braid for hooklengths and 5AAA driftbeater floats … hook sizes were 16 for maggot baits, size 12 for sweetcorn and prawn.

On arrival I mixed up a small amount of groundbait with added micro pellets and a few maggots and deposited 3 balls just on the edge of the facing bush on the island … and throughout the day supplemented this with catapulted maggot and the very occasional small ball of groundbait.

Liz was first off the mark with a small perch and over the day she ended up with a tally of 11 perch, 2 rudd and 1 roach – best fish being a perch of around 6oz – all taken on maggot and when she tried sweetcorn that just produced knockings of the float and no decent bites.

Myself, I had a couple of small perch at first … and then a barbel … and another barbel … another barbel … It seemed to me as if every barbel in the pool was sat in my swim!! By the end of the day I’d accumulated 20 barbel and 10 perch. None of size though – the biggest of the perch was probably around 6oz, the biggest barbel possibly 1lb 12oz’ish with some level of certainity although none were weighed. Best bait was maggot – as Liz found just float tremors to sweetcorn and prawn produced one perch although it was one of the bigger ones.

So none of the hoped for bream or tench appeared but the unexpected appearance of barbel, at least in that sort of number, made for a interesting and enjoyable day.

PLANS:

Out again tomorrow (Thursday 9th Sept), travelling light with my small river ‘roving’ gear supplemented by my float box and float rod to do some more float fishing at one of two pool venues that I have in mind but am yet undecided about which to visit.

Session 30 – Totally Unexpected…

We returned from an excellent (again) Shrewsbury Folk Festival … excellent sets from Show Of Hands (joined at one point by Johnny Khalsi of The Dohl Foundation and the Afro Celt Sound System), Oysterband and many others – plus a couple I’d not revisit but no names, no pack drill and purely my personal ‘thing’. Top of the shop for me was Afro Celt Sound System who played the closing set on the Cuckoo stage. Also after 50 years of existence I saw Lindisfarne live for the first time LOL!

Just one last note on the music front and then into fishing …. last night I visited the local Cineworld to see ‘Mick Fleetwood and Friends’ celebrate the early Fleetwood Mac years and Peter Green’s contribution…

Fleetwood

… the ‘friends’ including Andy Fairweather Low, Steven Tyler, Dave Gilmour, Noel Gallagher, John Mayall and more. And it was an EXCELLENT 2 hours plus… There are actually only 2 showings .. nationwide .. last night’s (7th Sept) and again on Sunday 15th, at 1930. I sincerely urge folks to get out there if fans of the blues and/or early Mac … you will not be disappointed! I’m waiting for a DVD of the concert to come out and I’ll be first in the queue! Shame that at my showing there were only 6 of us in the auditorium 😦

OK, OK, OK … fishing!! LOL

Monday, 6th September, Liz and myself set off for the club’s tench and bream pool (AA-B). The weather was perfect having been warm with some sun over the previous few days and on the day the air temps were 25’+C ….

A couple of errors on the day – now Sept, when I start taking water temps but forgot thermometer – and due to my hearing Liz and I have walkie talkies to talk to each other but the batteries were dead in mine, and I’d taken out the bag of spare batteries from my tackle bag and put them in my camping gear for the SFF and forgot to replace them.

So we arrived at the water and ventured up to the swims we’d wanted to fish the past couple of visits but hadn’t due to lily pads, reeds and tree foliage extending into and over the swims but this time we went prepared with loppers to deal with the trees and my double bladed weed cutter on a rope (although the rope wasn’t needed as I used the cutter on my landing net pole) dealt with the pad/reed issue easily..

2021-09-06 01

As you can see from my swim I set up facing the end a small island and Liz set up in the next swim to my left ie the other side of the lily patch to the left of the photo.

We both floatfished using the lift method … 6lb line, 13’ rods (inc my new pride and joy, my newly acquired 70’s Hardy Matchmaker), 6” of 6lb braid for hooklengths and 5AAA driftbeater floats … hook sizes were 16 for maggot baits, size 12 for sweetcorn and prawn.

On arrival I mixed up a small amount of groundbait with added micro pellets and a few maggots and deposited 3 balls just on the edge of the facing bush on the island … and throughout the day supplemented this with catapulted maggot and the very occasional small ball of groundbait.

Liz was first off the mark with a small perch and over the day she ended up with a tally of 11 perch, 2 rudd and 1 roach – best fish being a perch of around 6oz – all taken on maggot and when she tried sweetcorn that just produced knockings of the float and no decent bites.

Myself, I had a couple of small perch at first … and then a barbel … and another barbel … another barbel … It seemed to me as if every barbel in the pool was sat in my swim!! By the end of the day I’d accumulated 20 barbel and 10 perch. None of size though – the biggest of the perch was probably around 6oz, the biggest barbel possibly 1lb 12oz’ish with some level of certainity although none were weighed. Best bait was maggot – as Liz found just float tremors to sweetcorn and prawn produced one perch although it was one of the bigger ones.

So none of the hoped for bream or tench appeared but the unexpected appearance of barbel, at least in that sort of number, made for a interesting and enjoyable day.

PLANS:

Out again tomorrow (Thursday 9th Sept), travelling light with my small river ‘roving’ gear supplemented by my float box and float rod to do some more float fishing at one of two pool venues that I have in mind but am yet undecided about which to visit.