Session 35 – A Good Day’s Fishing, Plenty Of Species Plus Liz Gets A New PB ….

Monday 6th August, Liz and I set off for a mixed species fishery (KF-VV) that is controlled by one of my clubs. A nice water, set above the Severn Valley and down below, in the distance so not actually visible, are the River Severn and, just across from the river itself, the Severn Valley Railway tracks run between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster which although not visible you can hear the trains hoot and sometimes spot the trails of steam. Other than that, it is set in a very rural area, so the only people to be seen are other club members and so it is a very very quiet and tranquil setting. Its also a prolific venue – a sort of ‘commercial’ pool set up – with all sorts  of fish in there – koi carp, ghost carp, barbel, chub, brown goldfish accompany the more usual pool fish such as perch, roach, bream, gudgeon, rudd and carp – only species obviously missing are pike, sturgeon and zander… so you can usually guarantee a fish or two regardless of conditions … and it is said that you can catch on a bare hook in there …. AND ITS TRUE as I had my first fish on – and I’d not even baited up the swim nor baited the hook nor set up nets, etc…!

OK … We arrived at the pool and had a quick look around as there was already a car on the car park on arrival and we suspected the owner may be fishing one of our two choices of swim for the day – and, in fact, he was … set up on a part of the pool known informally as ‘chub alley’ – a part of the pool that looks across a narrow channel on to the overhanging bushes of an island opposite and the bushes are the preferred lodging area for most of the pool’s chub population it seems – however, the guy fishing was not fishing to the bushes but was originally casting a feeder out from the neck of the channel towards a small island in the the main water, and later in the day he switched over to floating baits… Anyway, ‘chub alley’ had been one of our two ‘preferreds’ so we decided on our other option which was on the west bank actually facing the small island that was being fished to by the other guy but over the other side of it.

NOW … we get to the baitless fishing!! In previous missives I’ve stated that I set out my ‘stall’ (ie nets, chairs, bait waiters, etc) after baiting up the swim but before setting up my rod(s) … however, recently I’ve made a slight adjustment to that order in that I set up and tackle my rods and rod rests before the placing of my seat and then laying out everything else. Why?? Well, I’d set up my ‘stall’ first and last thing would be set up rods and (try to) place rod rests/pod BUT usually the rodrests/pod couldn’t sit exactly where comfortable in relation to my seat or something I’d missed (eg overhanging branches, etc) which meant they had to be placed differently – which meant moving the seat to be comfortable in accessing the rods – and moving the seat also had kick-on effects as my table, bags generally also needed moving… etc. SO… these days, after feeding the swim, I make up my rod(s), check for interference from vegetation to casting, and then set the rod rests/pod to the correct spacing between them … and then place my seat to suit … and add the rest of the paraphernalia around as required…  OK … and that is what I did. Set the float rod I was going to use fishing by the lift method, and set shotting and depth as necessary, put in rod rests and cast out unbaited line, and dropped rod in the rests to keep out of the way while I did the rest of the preps… and a few minutes later, whilst engaged in those preps, Liz says to me “Have you seen your rod tip?” .. I look and there’s gentle nudges and twitches every now and then and I reply “Must be plenty fish out there… line bites!” … and carry on with the preps. A minute or two later the reel handle starts flying backwards at the rate of knots … so I strike and feel the power of a good fish tearing away … but unfortunately the end of the tale is misfortunate as the fish was lost after it seemed to gain sanctuary amongst sunken roots of a bush on the island – could feel the fish pulling and the line grating and eventually the line gave and the end of the recovered line was very abraded. I did later get my lost float back though as it had been attached to be sliding … and thus it floated free on a favourable breeze almost directly back to my feet in a short time.

So, had plenty of excitement – and hadn’t technically even started fishing!!

When we did start actually fishing, probably by 0800, I chose to floatfish with a 4AAA (actually takes 3SSG to balance the body + 1 SSG to anchor the bottom and counteract stem + sight bob) wind/drift beater float … Liz chose to ledger with a 8g frame feeder.

I had first bloods with 3 tiny perch and a skimmer bream all on dendro worm on a size 10 hook … but then Liz kicked in with a chub of around 12oz and then landed a barbel which was her new personal best (PB) of 3lb 7oz on maggot…

2018-08-06 Liz - 3lb 7oz Barbel

Liz With Her New PB Barbel – 3lb 7oz

After that it was steady fishing all day until we decided to call it a day at 1700 or so… we were going to make it 1630 but then Liz invoked the ’30 minute amendment’ followed closely by my ‘last cast amendment’ … LOL!

Tally for the day was Liz with 7 fish including, as well as her barbel, carp (mirror and common) of 6lb 5oz, 5lb 14oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 8oz, small perch and a chub of around 12oz …. and myself, I had 17 fish inc several small bream and perch, a single small roach, gudgeon (all of a few ounces), 2 chub (best 1lb 13oz) and carp of 6lb 5oz, 6lb 1oz, 5lb 5oz, 5lb 5oz, 4lb 0oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 3oz, 2lb 6oz mostly taken on bread (floatfished and slow sinking – didn’t want floating baits but slow sinking and freelined in the margins worked well) and worm. 



And to finish a fine day what could have been a more fitting ending than a fine beer (“Salem’s Porter” which, I think, was from the Salem Bridge Brewery although Bateman’s also do a Salem Porter) and scratching and nuts from our local hostelry?

Future angling – as I said in the previous posting that is unlikely to happen before Friday 17th August but I have remembered that the club has a ‘social night’ with a talk being given by Adam Penning (a well known carp angler who appears very often in Korda produced TV programmes and videos (‘Thinking Tackle’, ‘Monster Carp’, etc) … (see also which leaves me only a short window to fish in on the day, so I think it may be Monday 20th before I can actually make it back out there. But thinking of the Warks Avon in search of that PB bream again when I do….

Session 34 – Breaming And Dreaming….

As planned, on Friday 3rd August I set off for the intended venue (AA-GH) hoping for a great bream session on what is mainly a carp pool but it does hold bream and silvers … and excellent pike (and did include a fish that had been caught several times over the years in the 30lb range – but sadly it was found dead in the shallows, probably due to the rigours of spawning in March 2016, weighing 38+lb) …. It also holds at least two perch, of 1oz and 3lb, the smaller I found in the bottom of my landing net when packing up one day, the larger gets caught occasionally but are the only two perch I’ve ever seen or heard of in there and having been a member for 7 years and fishing maggot/worm virtually every trip it seems there’s not millions of them.

2018-08-03 01

So, I arrived on site around 0700, and decided to have a scan around with my Deeper Sonar to suss out if there were fish around – looked like it was a can of sardines! – and to suss out the contours around my peg and thus where to cast my bait for the day and settled on a distance out of around 30 yards that put me fishing into 10’-12’ of water. I also wanted to save the scan of this area adding them my Deeper Lake Book which allows the building up of contour maps of whole waters bit by bit/session by session BUT for some reason there seems to be a glitch in the local mobile phone saved file and it won’t upload so I’ll have to re-do this section again on another visit it seems. There was also a green algae scum over most of the pool but didn’t hamper fishing – to be expected to be honest as the site is an equestrian centre and the manure/straw pile is very close to the pool and the nutrients can leach into the pool when it gets wet – EA have examined the situation and they’re quite happy as basically the algae just provides a rich food source for fish and the organisms on which also feed….

Setup was a sliding float – a 4AAA windbeater fished lift-method style with baits of worm/maggot, bread, corn and meat on a size 10 hook to 4” of 6lb braid. Main line was 6lb mono… This looked to be the best way to try to avoid the attentions of the carp as the sonar  showed most fish at mid-water or higher whilst retaining bite sensitivity for the shy biting bream. The downside to this, of course, was that connecting to bites required a long strike to tighten the line enough to set the hook due to the angle of the line at the float (rod tip to float line was virtually horizontal, whilst float to hook was vertical … so a 90 deg angle in the line… so a bit of quick Pythagoras is needed… I’d 34 yards of line between me and the hook normally (30 yards out, 4 yards deep) … but I would need to straighten out the line to get enough force to set the hook (ie what would be the hypotenuse of the right angled triangle) and thus would need to make the line to hook or take up the slack between that figure and the 34 yards I’d got out…

SO.,..  HYPO = sq_rt(Distance^2 + Depth^2) = sq_rt(900+16) = sq_rt(916) = 30.3 … and hence difference = amount of line needed to be taken up on the strike = 3.7 yards = 12’ or so.

First fish came fairly quickly – a small 6oz bream – and over the course of the day about 9 others joined it with the largest at 1lb 12oz.


Also one common carp of around 3lb-4lb almost found itself netted but the hook pulled just as it was about to be netted but not a disaster as bream were the intended target.

A couple of things that happened…

  1. The Dreaming …. I must admit, even at the age of 67, in regards to fishing I’m like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve and just can’t sleep the previous night with things whizzing in my head about what I’ll do, where I’ll fish, what baits, etc and its usually 3:30-4:00am when I do eventually doze off … but this time I saw 4:45 on the alarm clock … and as it goes off at 5:10 it meant I got less than 30 minutes sleep overnight. Not surprisingly I dozed off during the early afternoon then really. But on waking up I couldn’t see my float anywhere  … and on winding in it seems that something had taken my bait for a trip of 60-70 yards down the pool and then discarded it. As I always fish with the reel’s anti-reverse off I avoided the loss of a rod it seems!
  2. OK … my setup … float set at around 18” overdepth, bulk shot (3 x SSG shot) that sinks body of the antenna float to its neck set at a depth of around 3’, and the final SSG anchor shot (which sits on the bottom, too heavy for float to support) set to 4” from the hook. When cast out float sinks to top of body (as expected), and then line tightened enough to pull the antenna down to required height. In theory 2 things can happen – fish takes bait and lifts anchor shot which allows float to rise in the water or fish swims off with bait and float submerges…?? BUT … and this was happening a lot … I was getting the float lifting to the top of the body AND then continuing to rise and eventually the whole float falling flat on the water … HOW??? For that to happen the fish would have to be not only lifting the anchor shot but also lifting it off the bottom by 6 FEET (3’ up to bulk shot PLUS another 3’ past in order to start taking up the weight of those). Have been thinking about this since and the only likely answer is that they were NOT real bites at all but were line bites with fish swimming into the line above the bulk shot and thus causing the line to dangle over their bodies and thus support the shots’ weight?

Right, so that was that… did catch my targeted species but not exactly at the sizes I would have preferred them to be…

Off out again Monday 6th August, with Liz this time, to another club’s mixed species pool … and then it won’t be until Friday 17th until I’ll be back on the waters as the following Friday-Monday August 10th-13th we’re away at a rock festival (tribute bands on the back of an articulated lorry type)….

Session 33 – Back To Sanity….

Anyway, I eventually got to get back out with rod and line on Monday 30th July to a club pool (KF-WL1). As I’ve mentioned before this pool (pond) is one of a pair of waters on site and is available to fish on day ticket, the other, larger, water being reserved for member’s only.

2018-07-30 01The morning followed a day of light rain although the forecast had been for thunder and lightning but that never appeared. And the forecast for the day itself was OK … slightly cooler than the previous few weeks and the possibility of light showers – a couple of which did appear but weren’t sufficient to require the erection of a brolly although I did, in fact, set it up for the second one as it looked greyer in the distance and the (light) breeze was picking up a notch … but within 5 minutes the sun was back out….

2018-07-30 02Leaving home at 0630, I arrived at the pool, around 0700, being the first to arrive – and also the last it seemed as I saw not a sole all day long, inc cars passing by on the track to the member’s pool, until when driving away at 1545 I passed a mini-saw mill in the wooded area there and saw a chap working there.


2018-07-30 03Arrived, unloaded car and took tackle down to my selected swim – all of 25 yards away – however, if I’d walked round the pool in the opposite direction, to get to the same point it would have been less than 200 yards anyway – as I say, a small pool. But it does contain some reasonably sized fish.


I’d decided to float fish for the day, fishing lift method style with a 4AAA wind/driftbeater float – well, it says 4AAA on the body but in actual fact takes 3SSG to sink the body right to it’s neck and at that point, as the stem is of non-buoyant glass fibre, a single BB is enough to take the float right down to its large sight bob. However, the undercurrent water drift needs to be considered and too light an ‘anchor’ shot can mean that it gets dragged out of position by those currents if too light … so I set up with an SSG anchor shot just above the size 12 hook’s 4” of 6lb braid hooklength with 3SSG shot about 3’ above that and the sliding float set to fish with about 12” of slack line when the anchor shot had settled – placing the rod in two rod rests with the rod tip just under the water’s surface then allowed the line to be tensioned so that the float’s sight bob was just above the water surface meaning the line is completely underwater and free from being dragged by any breeze – and a bite indicated by either the bait and bottom shot being lifted and the float rising in the water or, if the fish swam away with the bait, the float submerging completely. Main line was 6lb mono.

2018-07-30 05As usual, free feed was introduced into the fishing area first thing and then net, scales, camera, baits laid out, etc before setting up up the rod…

But not so usual was my setting out my WaterWolf underwater camera – always take either it or my FishSpy version, sometimes both but then start fishing and can’t be bothered to set it/them out. But last couple of trips I’ve done it before setting up the tackle and its not a problem then – literally takes just 2-3 minutes to get out into the water, and if I’ve spombed/spodded bait out then even quicker as the spomb/spod rod is also the camera rod so just a matter of unclipping the spomb and clipping on the camera. Anyway, as I say, I swung out the WaterWolf just off the edge of an overhanging bush to my left so that it was about 12’ out from the bank. A bit of the video can be seen on YouTube at: Underwater Video… WL1 .

[BTW … in real life, at least where I fish, I don’t usually have the crystal clear waters that others seem to have looking at other YouTube underwater videos… and most of my waters hold carp for a start and as their common nickname of ‘Puddle Pigs’ suggests they are well up for digging up the bottom mud and thus most waters with carp tend to look like chocolate soup. One pool I fish – used to be my favourite as it was carp-free – now has carp stocked and it quickly went from very clear to a chocolate colour with just a few 2-3lb stockies added. Anyway, suffice to say, in such cloudy waters even at 2’-3’ deep the recorded image is far from HD-TV quality due to (a) light from above being quickly filtered out and (b) suspended matter fogging the image even more… and the quality of the raw recorded image at times just appears to be a blank screen of various hues … often times no items can be discerned at all… and thus editing of the video image plays an HUGE part in getting any sort of meaningful end product.

For example, with the WaterWolf, the steps I take are….

  1. Copy the images from the camera’s SD card (32GB – allows around 3-4 hours recording) to my PC’s hard disk. 3 reasons — (a) accessing and working on the files is faster on PC hard disk than directly to SD card, (b) most of the space on the SD card is likely to have been used up and thus little or no space left for storage of processed images and (c) if you mess up and corrupt your original footage then you’ve only messed up a copy – and can restore back from the SD card.
  2. Process the video footage. On the WaterWolf, video is stored as segments of around 1,355,000KB each which equates to around 20 minutes per segment and is stored in a format of .MOV (Apple QuickTime)which is not my favourite and is less universal than the .AVI format – I don’t think Facebook accepts .MOV files but not 100% on that)…. so one thing you need do is convert the format. There are many free/shareware video file re-formatters available from the ‘net… I’ll recommend one in a second…
  3. You’ll also need to process to improve video quality – and its amazing when what looks like just a dirty sheet of paper suddenly becomes a discernible moving image! And then as you change various parameters it can become quite reasonable quality…
  4. OK – software. I use a freeware product called ‘VirtualDub’ (latest version is 1.10.4, I think) – and this covers both items 2 and 3 above – has a number of filters with which image quality can be improved (most useful are Brightness/Contrast, Greyscale, HSV Adjust (Hue, Saturation, Value) and Resize (the original .MOV size isn’t compatible with .AVI format so when saving you need to change…). And it also allows the image to be converted when saving from the original (.MOV) to a number of other types of which .AVI is my preferred choice. Plus, VirtualDub also allows those individual 20 minute segments to be ‘stitched’ together to make 1 continuous movie – and the segments or the full stitched movie can be edited to remove unwanted bits…. Overall a great piece of general video editing software for the requirements here … and its free.  

Anyway, a quickie bit of info there … I’ll not go into the nuts and bolts of how to do it all but if you’re interested in looking into doing something similar then get hold of VD 1.10.4 and have a play – if you get stuck or need help then drop me a ‘Comment’ and I’ll do my best to help and guide….]

OK – back to the day!

I fished 0730 to 1500 – I was intending to be there until probably 1600 but I got into one of ‘those’ terminal tackle tangles whereby the only solution is to cut the line and re-tackle afresh and it didn’t seem worth the rush … and I was looking forward to a long bath soak. So I decided to call it a day and sort out the tackle at a more leisurely pace at home…

Results … 4 tench to 8oz (3 on bread, 1 on worm), 18 rudd to about 3-4oz (5 on bread, 11 on maggot, 2 on worm), and 31 perch to 4-5oz (13 on maggot, 18 on worm) … and not a touch nor nibble at all on sweetcorn or meat.

So, nothing huge really, just a bit of fun and great to be back out there..

Right … so now looking forward to my usual Friday trip … to a place where frustration was in abundance on my last visit … but as they say “fall off your horse then you need to get right back on it…” and besides I’ve a good feeling about it…

Session 32 – Crabbing….

Well, Liz and I did have an hour or so crabbing in Aberdovey on Sunday 22nd July off a sort of small wooden pier.

Had a wonderful time …. NOT!

Spoilt by a group of about 5 ‘yoof-ful’ 15/16 year old brats in wet suits who insisted on jumping off the pier and doing ‘bomb’s over where Liz and I were crabbing. Very brave in the water but not brave enough to climb out to to take up my invitation to be taught some manners – and even shoving one in elicited no more courage being shown…. Mind you, the hard and tough Wolverhampton accent probably put them off! LOL!

Still, Liz and I did catch – and I won the crabbing mantle and crown with a score of 19-18 … and that included a 5 crab bonus I gave Liz as she lost her weight and so took a while for her bait to hit bottom…

An Asian couple were going to cooking up crab stew it seemed as they had a carrier bag full – but were cheating as they were using crab drop nets. All credit though as they returned the smaller ones to grow on….

Session 31 – An Afternoon Session….

Monday 16th July and, as planned, Liz and I set off from the house heading to a club pool (KF-WL2) hoping for some tench action at 1200 … the late start being due to a possible need to fulfil a doctor’s appointment but after speaking to the doctor on a triage call she has booked me to visit her on Friday 20th… but we had decided to do an afternoon/evening session anyway at Liz’s request for a lie-in…

We arrived at the pool – there are actually 2 pools on site – a small ‘pond’ that we allow day tickets on (but full of good sized fish with large perch and double figure carp resident) and a larger members-only pool – and we hadn’t really decided which to fish on arrival but there was more chance of tench in the larger pool so we headed there… but it was good to see the abundant bottom to surface weed in the smaller pool of previous weeks had done the usual suicidal spurt of growth, used up all the available nutrients and died back, so possibly we’ll re-visit it in the near future.

With no-one else on either of the pools we had a free choice of swims and Liz chose her usual location at the shoulder of a spit … and although usually I fish at the end of the spit, this session I decided to fish the other shoulder. And basically the spit shows the location of where the original pool was enlarged … to the right is ‘old’ pool, to the left is ‘new’ pool … so Liz fished ‘new’ and I fished ‘old’ pool..

Liz fished a single rod with frame feeder using sweetcorn, meat and maggot baits whilst I chose to floatfish close to overhanging bushes and out in open water at various times feeding by hand and catapult.

Results were not spectacular – no hoped for tench for either of us – but Liz had a nice perch of 1lb 4oz on meat whilst I had possibly 30 or more mixed perch and roach but apart from 2 perch of 4-6oz and a couple of 3-4oz roach the rest together wouldn’t have made 4oz IMO…

A bit of rain – mainly short light sessions apart from slightly longer and heavier spell of 30 minutes or so.

And we packed in at 1815 … and called in at one of our locals for quick pint on the way back…. would be rude to go past without saying ‘hello’! LOL.

2018-07-16 Liz - 1lb 4oz Perch 01

1lb 4oz Perch – Best Fish Of The Day

As for the future, well, we’re off for a long weekend’s break, camping in Twywn on Saturday 21st and returning on Tuesday 24th. So Friday will be packing and prepping the car ready for the start of the journey and the Tuesday return means I won’t be able to get out again until Friday 28th … which I’ll obviously do but have not decided the what/where/how yet. However, although we’re not taking ‘tackle’, we will be taking our crab lines and undoubtedly be having a few hours crabbing – especially as our usual annual ‘Crab Wars’ earlier in the year was a dismal failure with a 0-0 result….

So the next blog is likely to be a bit ‘crabby’ LOL…. and written on Wednesday 26th … as we are ‘roughing’ it in a 3-man pop-up tent in a location with bare essential services … and writing on a mobile phone, at the best of times, internally hurts a donkey! 😉 So it will be done when we get home, on a proper keyboard, with proper internet connections…

Session 30 – Fishing Is Relaxing??? A Session Of Frustration, Murderous Thoughts … And Hoping I Get Fed Up Of This Malarkey Soon – Well, Until Monday Anyway….

Ok, so I got up at 0445 on a warm but overcast Friday, 13th June (should have realised what day it was!!) and headed off down to a club pool (AA-GH) with bream in mind – although the pool’s main inhabitants are carp up to the low 20’s with bream. roach, rudd, and pike – plus a few perch (literally 1 or 5) that appeared last year. Rumours of tench too but I’ve not seen or heard of one being caught there in my 8 years fishing this pool.

Had breakfast and watched TV until around 0615 and then set off to the pool, arriving at 0645 in air temps of 16’C – officially I think the fishing starts at 0700 if you’re not a night syndicate member but never had a problem with arriving early at this time of the year as there are usually users and members of staff of the venue’s main facility there already … just keep it quiet and unlock, open gates, and re-close again as required by the owners and don’t run over the livestock…

So, down to the pool I went – choosing to fish peg 5, a short walk from the car, instead of a swim diagonally located on the far side – both  can be very good bream swims but I feel the closer swim has a slight advantage at this time of the year….


… so it was a matter then of electing how to fish – and due to carp visibly cruising in the upper layers and outbreaks of bream bubbles rising in the area I decided on two ledger rods – which I set up in the usual style … well, my all rods are carried pre-set up so are virtually always the same and setting up really involves just pushing the rod halves together – main changes are in the length of the ledger tail (easily changed by moving the ledger stops up and down the line done at the waterside) and hook sizes  and BS of lengths (easily changed as I carry ready tied hooklengths)…. So ledgering on pools (gudgeon to carp) is always with 8lb main line. Feeders and leads attach to a 3”-4” rubber sleeved link of 6lb mono terminated with a link swivel on to which they attach … and the link is connected to the main line via a free running large eyed swivel. NOTE: I did use to use plastic ‘run rings’ previously but found the plastic eventually grooved with the line running through and ended up snatching at the line and stopping the free running – probably people who tackle up fresh each outing wouldn’t notice so much as probably a different ring would be used each time but, as I say, my kit(s) are permanently pre-tackled and unless I get broken, etc the same swivel/ring could be in situ for months… and as such be used at least one a week on average for 6-8 hours at a time.

OK… final adjustments made, size 10 hook on one rod baited with worm, size 4 on the other with bread and frame feeders fitted on both loaded with a solid mix of cereal, particles, dead maggots, etc – and first casts were made at 0815 … and all was well in the world at that point with a slight breeze to ruffle the surface, slightly overcast skies – and so very muggy that I had to remove my jacket…. and the first fish of the day came at 0835 … and the *NIGHTMARE* started…

The fish tore off. I lowered my second rod’s tip under the water… but, shortly after, the second rod’s tip started nodding and pulling as the hooked fish wrapped the line around it …. eventually the fish was landed, unhooked, weighed, photographed and released (3lb 2oz  common carp) … and I turned to the job of unwrapping the crossed lines … LIKE HELL! … unwrap? The lines were so badly tangled that the swallows were well and truly trapped within (bird’s nest… get it?) and necessitated the cutting of both lines and the re-tackling them both from scratch… OK, so ‘stuff’ happens … BUT whilst I re-tackled bream foam seemed to stream up in masses in front to me, but before I was able to get a bait out … yep, they’d gone away!

Now, as they say, once is an accident, twice is coincidence and three times carelessness – BUT this EXACT thing (inc bream fizz whilst tackling up, gone by the time I cast in) happened FIVE TIMES to me in landing 6 fish (actually caught 8 but I’ll come to that later) in spite of winding in the second line whilst holding fish on a tight line and other methods of trying to keep the lines apart – and so I just got MORE and MORE frustrated and angry – to the point of intending to look up carp bow’n’arrow fishing clubs in the UK and if none existed then I’d start one of my own – TRUE and not an exaggeration!

Luckily, on the return home I’d settled and relaxed a bit and accepted it as ‘not the best day’s fishing but possibly the worst one YET’…

Anyway, the last two fish caused me not a problem – as after the last crossover/line cut I just tied on a size 4 hook directly to the end of the line of one rod (the other rod was put away) and fished floating bread down by my feet were carp had been making tail patterns on and off over the day – and I had my best fish of the day (and for several weeks) – a common of 8lb 9oz – followed by another one of 2lb 4oz just before I packed in.

One bit of luck though – when cutting lines to disentangle, at one point I cut through, or held on to, the wrong bit of line and lost my entire end tackle on one of the rods inc feeder, etc. A couple or so fish later – tangled again – but when I started trying to make order of the mess I realised I’d got 3 feeders dangling around me ie the lost end tangle had been recovered…

SO … end of day results … 8 common carp … 3lb 2oz (worm), 3lb 14oz (worm), 2lb 14oz (bread), 2lb 15oz (bread),. 2lb 10oz (worm), 3lb 2oz (bread), 8lb 9oz (floating bread), 2lb 4oz (floating bread) … 5 tangled and cut lines … 10 full re-tackles … and a lot of naughty words!

As I was leaving another angler (fished around pegs 1-3, hidden from me by a large tree betwixt us) was heading to his car – he’d arrived after me – about 0930 or so – and he’d had 30 carp up to 12lb or so – the biggest ‘off the deck’ but most on floaters, I think.


Well, tomorrow (Monday 16th June) Liz and I are hoping to have a tench session at a club pool but will be a late start as I need to get a follow-up appointment with my doctor in the morning … so hoping to be able to get away around noon-1230 to get to the pool around 1245-1345, and fish into the evening … and pack up in time for a beer on the way home. Weather got looking too good – light rain forecast from 1100-2100 – so may be cancelled but we’ll see and decide at the time.

Session 29 – Back To ‘Special’ Waters….

Sunday, July 8th and Liz and I were on the road at 0630 on a return trip to the ‘special’ waters that my club get invited annually to fish for a few weekends in return for a charity donation (see Session 25, June 18th, for our details of our first visit earlier this year).

We’ve fished there now for probably the last 6 years when we’ve had the chance – the first year we fished at the near (gate) end of the pool … succeeding sessions, including the June trip this year, we’ve fished the far (dam) end … but for this session we chose to fish a spot about halfway along that faces upon a small island.

The target, usually, for us is tench but the pool also holds carp, bream, perch, roach and rudd. However, the numbers and size of tench we’ve had over the past 2-3 years have diminished somewhat – initially when we went there we’d be catching 5 or more tench in the 2lb-3lb+ range for every carp, now we seem to be getting 10 carp to every tench and the tench are about 8oz…. So, we thought we’d give this new spot a try this time…

And we had company this session unlike the last – and the two guys fished in our old spot at the dam … and seemed to be catching although they were a bit hidden by a large tree between us.

Liz and I set up almost identically – 2 x 1.75lb TC ledger rods (actually Grandeslam Carbon Strike Avon Plus) with 8lb lines and 15 gram frame feeders which we loaded with a thick method-mix type cereal groundbait loaded with particles (hemp, wheat, maize) and dead maggots and wetted with hemp-infused oil(*) and, as I’d prepared a fresh batch of hemp a couple of days ago and kept the water used, the waters from a hemp preparation plus a bit of lake water as required…. The only difference was in our hook sizes and baits in use…

I used a size 6 hook on one rod baited with bread and worm/maggot on the size 8 hook on the other. Liz used maggot on a size 12 hook and sweetcorn and meat on a size 6 hook.

We fished until 1400 – by which time we were beaten by the blazing sunshine – the day was surely the hottest yet with the car registering 32’C inside as we left despite all the car doors and hatch back having been left open… Even the brollies didn’t help much – the ground was so hard that even getting a screw tipped spike to screw down was difficult and even then the brolly fell over after a couple of hours (mid-morning BEFORE the main afternoon heat!). And the temp at 0630 when we left the house was already 21’C. We spotted some strange white phenomena in the blue skies during the day too – I think they were amorphous alien space craft! LOL!

2018-08-07 - Clouds!
Its been weeks since I last saw clouds!

Back to the fishing …. Liz had first blood at 0810 … very soon after our first casts … landing a nice common carp of 5lb 7oz… followed minutes later by my 5lb 6oz one…

Then over the rest of the day, Liz lost a couple of carp to hook pulls but did have 2 small roach and I managed 1 small (ca 6oz tench) plus common carp of 4lb 9oz, 6lb 2oz, 4lb 15oz, 4lb 7oz and 4lb 8oz….

By the way – and you can see in the last three photos – that the water level is quite a bit lower than a full lake. About 18” from the bottom of the overflow pipes in the dam wall but given the current hot, and very dry, spell that doesn’t actually seem too bad. It seemed that the level dropped an inch or two whilst we were there too with a damp line showing where it was… A bit of rain forecast over the next 10 days or so here too – and ‘bit’ I think is the operative word… Local BBC forecast predicts 3 days on which we’ll be getting short and light showers and with temps dropping a degree or two (literally) on those days.

AND SO…. that’s the end of our ‘special’ angling adventures for 2018 – at least at this water – but we hope to return in June/July of 2019 given the chance again. A very nice and serene place – apart from the actual Open House Charity Day (and its Eve) as on day there’s a fun fair, competitions, stalls and a PA in operation and on the eve they’re setting and testing equipment and speakers, etc. That all takes place inside the actual walled grounds of the House but still quite noisy in the surrounding area. We’ve fished an ‘Eve’ previously and made sure we didn’t book that weekend since. The last weekend of our fishing allocation previously coincided with Open Day BUT this year I noticed that the Open Day was timed to happen a few weeks before our allocation started this year….


To be honest … not sure about the coming Friday … the places I’d like to go are getting a bit weedy so need to think about it… Monday … dunno about that either as Liz and I were planning to go tenching BUT I may have to make a doctor’s appointment BUT we’ve decided to have a late start and finish day so I’d probably get seen to before we head out … Tuesday is out of the frame as Liz has an appointment at the ‘ospital late morning…

(*) Hemp-infused Oil
I’ve been a user of hemp oil in my groundbaits for a couple of years or so. I cannot categorically state that it makes any ACTUAL difference but I feel it does and I like the look of rippled water becoming calmer and smooth as the oil rises to the surface – hopefully lifting some of the lighter crumbs up from the bottom to create a visual attraction as per an ‘active’ groundbait. Is ‘hemp’ oil any better than say ‘sunflower ‘ oil which would provide those two elements just as well but cheaper? Well, I’d like to think so … with a slight aroma of ‘hemp’.

The ‘hemp oil’ I’ve used in the past has been sourced from Sainsbury’s at a standard price of £6 per 500ml bottle – and like a lot of ‘specialist’ targetted items – a lot cheaper than brand named ‘hemp oil’ from the angling trade which seems to range from £9-£20 per 500ml. Plus sometimes Sainsbury’s have it on offer at £4 per bottle – and then throw in Liz’s staff discount of 10% (and occasionally 15% or even 20%) and the differential becomes even more marked.

However, I’m not too sure how much the processing of the cooking version of the oil destroys the original ‘chains’ and aromas – does it lose any ‘attractiveness’ in that processing??? So, what I’ve been doing the past 12 months or more is making my own ‘hemp-infused oil’. Basically, I get a 2-3 litre bottle of vegetable oil from the local Asian supermarket and I buy hemp seed in 15Kg bags for particle feed anyway – so I take around 1 litre of the oil and add around 100-200g of ground up hemp seeds by the use of the hand grinder I bought from eBay a while back…

[I used to use a small electrical coffee grinder but I tend to want to crush 1Kg of seeds (wheat, hemp, corn, etc) at a time these days and doing it in 25-50g lots takes ages but the hopper of the manual grinder takes 300g-500g lots and quickly deals with the load – even dry maize which is hard and requires 2-3 passes, each grinding finer than the previous, takes 10-15 minutes]

… and then heat the oil and crushed seeds to around 70’C-75’C and hold at that for about 15 minutes … and then let cool and bottle (oil + crushed seeds)  into a ‘stock’ bottle when hopefully the oil from the hemp seeds has dissipated throughout the veg oil.

For use at the waterside, I take about 200-250ml of the prepped oil/seed with me to add to the groundbait mix at the waterside and generally add about half that bottle after shaking so that oil and crushed seeds are added, the rest being kept back in case I need to mix more groundbait…

Recently, I’ve learnt that the place I get my breadcrumb from – the chap makes breadcrumb commercially for the industry it would seem and he sells 20Kg bags of crumb of all colours for £10-£12 depending on colour – also sells along with pellets and other bait items his own pressed pure hemp oil. I don’t know the details re: cost, etc but its something I’ll enquire about on my next visit there.