Sessions 42 And 43 – Roach, Rudd And Perch.

This is going to be a VERY quick … and pictureless … precis of my two outings undertaken on Thursday Sept 12th and Friday Sept 13th.

As said at the end of the last post I did go to the ‘2 pool’ site for Session 42 and I fished the smaller day ticket water (KF-WL1) from around 0800-1430. I fished lift method with maggot, prawn, meat and sweetcorn baits. Sweetcorn and meat were both complete failures, not one take at all on either, prawn attracted a few nudges … maggot started off well but then tailed away and between 1100 and 1400 I had just 2 bites. Fish caught – a couple of roach and rudd, a lot of small perch, and best fish of the day was a perch of around 6oz.

Session 43 was meant to be to the pool water of a different club but problems with opening the gate padlock meant I gave up trying to get in and instead visited the ‘2 pool’ site again but this time visiting the larger ‘members only’ pool (KF-WL2). Tactics were the same but sweetcorn, bread, prawn and maggot were the baits of choice … all worked well with bread and sweetcorn taking some nice roach, mainly around the 8oz mark (10oz best fish of the day) – maggot was the superior bait for the small perch with prawn the ‘worst on day’ although it did attract a bit of attention from time to time.

OK … that’s it for now…. as busy busy busy here with Liz due to return home from Lanzarote tomorrow I need to sort out a shopping list to get in before she arrives, a trip over to Brum Airport to collect her at midnight tomorrow, general housework/tidying although all pretty good and just papers to be sorted … and prepping for more hospital appointments next week … and the week following is the BIG day, 23rd Sept is my operation day… which means I’ll not be fishing for a while afterwards but hopefully get out next week on Monday and Thursday even if only for a couple of hours, fingers crossed….

So I’m up up and away for now… but I’ll probably post some of the pics I’ve taken around the pools on the last couple of days if I get chance… watch this space!! 🙂

Session 41 – Pool Tench, Perch, Roach And Rudd

I said at the end of the last posting that I intended to fish on Monday 8th September – well, firstly the date was wrong (I’ll correct it shortly in the original document) as Monday was the 9th … and also I didn’t fish on that day due to (a) bad weather and (b) given (a) I thought the time would be better spent other ways. I’ve got an hospital appointment on Wednesday 11th and was thus intending to use the rest of the day to shop for wood shavings for our ferrets’ bedding and a couple of other chores … but decided to ease the time on Wednesday by using some of the Monday down time.

All went well with the Monday chores, and I got tackle and bait sorted for today’s (Tuesday 10th) outing with ease … which was the outing that had been planned for Monday…

So I arrived at the pool (AA-B) and found that it was still quite weedy with elodea visible in much of it and the near end of the pool covered in duckweed….

However, I did locate one swim that appeared to be weed free and which had a lily pad bed to the right hand side .. and to ensure that the elodea wouldn’t be a problem I cast out my water rake several times which came back in quite free of weed on all casts – so it seems someone may have raked this swim previously.

I did usual preliminaries (feeding, etc) and  at 0815 I made my first cast with my float rod (5BB waggler fished lift method with a single 2SSG shot 4” from the size 14 hook baited with maggot)… A few moments later the float lifted and went under …. missed! … but this bite a cast continued and by 0930 I’d landed 8 perch to about 4oz, 2 small roach and a 2lb 12oz tench… 

At this point I tried a switch of bait to sweetcorn, both standard yellow and strawberry flavoured red for half an hour but apart from a few ‘knocks and nudge’ nothing was doing….

So.. 1000 I switched to small cooked and peeled prawn (in the ‘old’ days we called them ‘cocktail shrimps’ and they adorned our prawn cocktails) – and this proved to be a ‘super’ bait – plenty of bites and the average size of perch doubled (not that they were huge – about 5oz-6oz) … and by 1200 I’d had 15 or more perch plus lost a good sized tench when it headed for the sanctuary of the elodea to my left and I had to try to pressure it to stop short – hooklink snapped – but I did see it roll on the top and reckon it was getting on for 4lb at least…

Anyway, for the rest of the day, from 1200 until I packed up at 1430, I swapped baits between maggot and prawn and had another 10 perch, a small roach, a small rudd and two tench of 2lb 2oz and 1lb 10oz – and another three good fish managed to reach sanctuary in the lily pads and throw the hook, and they were almost certainly tench.

So an enjoyable day all-in-all… and looking forward to the planned outing on Thursday at the pool of another club. Well, there’s two pools on the site which one I’ll fish I’ll decide when I arrive.

Session 40 – A Short Canal Lure Session

As said at the end of the last posting, on Sunday 8th September I headed to a local stretch of the Staffs-Worcs Canal for a short mini-jig session for perch before heading to Sainsbury’s for the Sunday mini-shop and prep of tackle for another outing planned for Monday 9th to a club pool…

Anyway, this is the first of a week of short posts – unless something extraordinary happens – and they will probably be mainly made up of photos. Liz is away in Lanzarote for the week (7th-14th) which means I have unlimited access to the car and thus fishing is limited only by my mood and need… so hopefully I’ll get to fish every day bar Wed 11th when I have an hospital appointment at 1000. However, that break will allow me to go to the local agricultural suppliers to get more wood shavings, which are running low, for our ferret’s run and their shed aka ‘Ferret Palace’…

So, today … I did a couple of hours, 0800-1000, on the canal (SAC-SWC) with a mini-jig setup – 6’ lure rod, mini-jelly spikey worm body on a size 2/3g jig hook/head… and I walked about 0.5 miles of canal.

spikey worm

Spikey Worm Jelly Lure Body

Lovely morning to be out…

Result, one quick grab, missed, just past the canal bridge.

About 5-6 boats passed – one of which was certainly exceeeding the national canal speed limit of 4mph!

Next outing is planned – but heavy rain and wind forecast so its 50/50 at the moment – to a club pool (AA-B) tomorrow – Monday September 9th.

Session 39 – Another Frustrating Day…

Monday, 2nd September, saw me heading to a club pool (AA-GH) that, as I said at the end of my last posting, I’d not visited since mid-June and for no other reason really than it fell victim of ‘so many waters, so little time’ …

Predominantly a carp water it does hold bream, chub, roach, rudd, a few perch seemingly and a good head of pike and I’ve heard tench although in 6-7 years of fishing there I’ve never caught nor seen/heard first hand of anyone catching one.

I arrived at the water around 0730 and headed to what used to be a good, and still looks like it should still be good, area for chub although the club had a clean up all around the pool around a year ago after complaints by the owner of old line being found in areas. One of those areas being along the bank on which the peg I fished is situated as it had many overhanging trees with branches that dipped into the water and as a consequence some broken line had become entangled on some of that overhanging vegetation due to either mis-casts or hooked fish seeking shelter. The club’s clearance and prevention measures were to cut out the branches that actually dipped into the water and generally anything less than 4’ from the water’s surface was taken out although the overhangs still protrude out over the water – but it seems that this change is not to the chub’s satisfaction and they’ve moved elsewhere – but where remains a mystery as there is no other place of similar vegetative cover elsewhere on the pool, the banks being mainly of short grass elsewhere although there is an island that has trees and bushes on its banks albeit they also having been trimmed… and the original tree-lined bank still looks the most likely chub holding area.

I initially started fishing at around 0800 on the float, fishing on the drop with a bodied antenna set to depth in a sliding float manner as the water along this bank is around 12’-13’ deep a couple of rod lengths out. Line was the usual float fishing line of mine – 6lb BS (Daiwa Hyper Sensor) – and 3-4 maggots on a size 14 hook was the bait. At around 0945 I changed my method to lift method with a 5AAA driftbeater float.

Pre-tackling etc the usual pre-feeding of the swim was done…

I was pleased to see plenty of bream bubbles in the area as I made my first casts and over my curtailed session I did have a number of small bream to around 8oz or so, none of the bigger specimens showing nor any chub per usual. A couple of roach and a pair of common carp of 2lb 14oz and 3lb 9oz completed the catch of the day…

I did lose another carp, larger it felt too, to a line snap probably due to damaged line after several tussles with tree … read on.

I left earlier than usual at 1330 – due mainly to the frustrations mentioned in the title caused by overhead/hanging trees and that lost fish …. just to my left that overhanging canopy had a few stray branches/twigs sticking out, just enough to catch the line TOO many times but well enough to entangle the line enough that break-offs were needed – I didn’t lose any tackle as I was able to grab the two ends of the line (rod side and hook side) and pull from both – and occasionally the line stripped the leaves off the branch/twig and bent it enough to slide off but more usually the line snapped but as I had hold of the tackled end I got float/shot/hook back and re-used them to re-tackle up – about 6 times I think! At one point I did manage to bend the vegetation close enough to grab and actually snap off the offending woodwork and thought I’d solved the problem once and for all – but no! I had a bream on, just over the net when the hook pulled – end tackle was catapulted like a vertical take-off jet, straight up into the highest point of the branches from which another pull-for-break was required – did that, then immediately packed tackle away and went home.

Couldn’t get worse could it? Well, actually, yes it could …. at the end of July I was diagnosed with rectal cancer so I’m awaiting an operation to remove offending growth within the next few weeks… after which my fishing is likely to be curtailed for a while too 😦

Anyway, on Saturday (tomorrow, 7th) Liz is off to Lanzarote with friends and family for a week – and so I’ve a week that can be devoted to just myself and my fishing! I was intending to go out on Monday (9th) but the weather forecast is heavy rain and strong breeze on the day so it looks like I’ll give that a miss … however, the rest of the week is looking pretty good so… 🙂 And I might sort out my light lure tackle and have an hour or so mini-jigging on the local canal on Sunday (8th)…..

Session 38 – Back Home

Thursday, 29th August, I headed off to the closest of my club waters (SAC-DP) for the day as (a) being Thursday I have to collect Liz from work so any travelling time saved is a bonus and (b) the pool is due to have work undertaken on it shortly and the water levels lowered – in fact since, it has been confirmed that the water levels will be lowered by around 0.5 metres and fishing curtailed by the closure of 25 pegs on the far bank – so I wanted to get a session or two in before the workings had their effects felt.

I arrived at the car park around 0730… and was fishing by around 0815…

Previously apart from one occasion when I fished from peg 33 on the dam wall I’ve always fished peg 25 but after my walkaround of the pool a short time ago I decided I’d try peg 8 if it was free on my next trip – and it was!!

2019-08-29 01

As can be seen from the photo it is a peg that has bushes extending out into the water to both the left and the right of it… perfect fish haunts??

So, I decided on a float session, and pre-fed the usual crumb/particle/maggot mix to the outer corners of both bushes in order to create ‘switch’ swims – but during the day I actually only cast once to the left hand side – the reason being the breeze was coming in from right to left and, although it can’t be seen in the photo, there was a bare thin twig that protruded out about 24” and was about 18” above the water surface, and when casting the slight bow in the line caused by the wind invariably got caught over it. So I concentrated on the right hand baited area for the day.

Bites on my maggot baited size 12 hook came almost immediately and all day long I was catching – mainly small rudd/roach, a few skimmer bream to around 12oz/1lb, perch to around 6oz …. plus a mirror carp of around 2lb (well, the scales said 0.99Kg as I’d somehow managed to knock them off their usual lb:oz setting – and I had to play around with them for quite a time later to find how to switch them back to my desired unit!) …

2019-08-29 Steve - Mirror Carp (ca 2lb)

… a nice looking crucian carp of around 12oz..

2019-08-29 Steve - Crucian Carp 01

… and a barbel of around 12oz…

2019-08-29 Steve - Barbel (ca 12oz) 02

Another, bigger, carp was lost at the net when the hook pulled free … and the end tackle was catapulted straight up into the trees overhead … and tangled around the twigs. I was able to extricate all the bits and bobs OK but they were all wrapped up in one of the most disentangleable bird’s nests ever seen on this planet IMHO! Anyway, the bits had to be salvaged one by one cutting out the bits of line on which they were attached and then replaced onto the new clean end of the line…

1530 … time to leave to enable me to get home, put baits away, shower and head out to meet up with Liz.

So, a pleasant day albeit I had nothing of any real size. It was sunny/cloudy, mainly dry bar one shower around 1230, and when the sun was out it was quite warm but as soon as any cloud obscured it it was quite chilly in the breeze.

PLANS:

Monday 2nd September, tomorrow actually as I write this, I’m going to another club pool – one I’ve actually not visited in quite a time – looking back through my postings it was mid-June when I was last there. I’m intending to float fish at the start of the day hoping for chub but may change over to the ledger rods and feeders – or even the floater rod if the carp are on the surface – around 1130’ish depending on results – and my mood! 🙂

Sessions 35, 36 And 37 … Welsh Camping With Added Fishing

Saturday, 24th August, saw Liz and myself set off camping in Wales for a long weekend’s (Sat 24th – Tues 27th) camping near Llandeilo, just on the west edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and about 25 miles north of Swansea at the Trapp Fishery, Camping And Caravanning site in Trap – yep, I know the fishery name has 2 ‘P’s in ‘Trapp’ and the place name has only one ‘Trap‘ but those are what are on the fishery leaflet and on the road signs…. 🙂

We set off from Wolverhampton at around 1400 on the Saturday as Liz had to work a shift on the morning and I dropped her off at work, returned home and loaded the car, and then picked her up when she finished for the day and we headed straight off for our break from there.

The trip took us just under three-and-a-half hours, including the compulsory coffee stop around half way, which was exactly what we expected and so all was good despite some roadwork hold-ups but we made good on those – without breaking any speed limits even!

So, first thing on arrival, we spoke to the site owner who was very pleasant, informative and helpful and we soon had our pitch choice sorted – although it must have been 100 yards away from the pool! Oh, the hardship!! LOL!

This was the first outing for our ‘new’ weekend tent – last year we used a 3-4 man ‘pop-up’ tent, the sort that consists of a single circular pole/hoop and having removed it from the bag you just throw it up in the air and it lands ready set up…

pop-up

Not the actual tent … illustrative only

However, the deficiencies of the tent became too apparent on the few times we made use of it and so we had ventured afar – OK, so we actually went to Decathlon a few miles away – after seeing a possible candidate in the Arpenaz Base M tent – and we weren’t disappointed when we saw it in store! Sized 98” square with a mid-ceiling height of 86”  easily accommodates our two single air beds connected by a double fitted sheet over them plus allowed space either side of the bed to move to dress/undress AND had enough height even at the walls to stand upright to dress/undress unlike the pop-up where one had to wiggle on one’s back to get trousers, etc on unless, of course, one rose early enough so that the campsite was deserted and could leave the tent to do the necessary and not have to worry about the sudden arrival of the police to deal with reported ‘flashers’! And at £79.99 it was a bargain compared to our pop-up tents (not cheap ones – over £100!)…

However, as usual, its described as an 8-man tent as the designers of tents invariably think that (a) people don’t have luggage, (b) no-one snores and (c) people all sleep in group hugs. 8-person, definitely not, 8-sardine more like – but great for 2 like us!

BTW – two single airbeds under a double fitted sheet.. You may ask – why not a double airbed? Well, a few good reasons we’ve learnt over our years of camping.

  1. Often, at times too often, an airbed gives up the ghost and deflates overnight. With a double airbed both occupants get inconvenienced and can get to spend a ‘hard’ night sleeping effectively on the ground before the bed can be changed/replaced. With single airbeds just the unlucky one gets the problem.
  2. Replacing a single airbed is cheaper than replacing a double – generally not a lot more granted but it all mounts up over time.
  3. Probably the ‘best’ reason … if one person is restless or needs to get up in the night for some reason then the acts of rising/getting back down and/or just turning over changes the air pressure within the air bed… I’m sure you’ve seen videos of those large air pillows whereby one person sits on the end of one and then someone jumps on the other end catapulting the first person into the air? Well, similar, if not as violent reactions occur to the events I mentioned which impact on the other person’s ability to slumber by being bounced up/down if a double airbed is used. With single airbeds in use, each being its own enclosed system, none of this occurs and ‘A’ can almost trampoline on their own airbed without any effect being felt by ‘B’.
  4. However, ‘coverlet’ stealing can still remain a problem! Solution to that is simply a good sleeping grip on your side of it!

Also, the Arpenaz is simple to set up … just two fibreglass poles that form the crossed arches – and which are easy to pass through the sleeves fitted to take them unlike other tents we’ve had – the ends of the poles then being connected to pins at the corners of the tent itself – and 5 tent pegs knocked in to anchor down the base – and another 4 pegs for the guy ropes. Literally, 5 minutes or less from getting out of its carry bag, and you have a great – and very stable – tent set up. Another plus is the sewn-in groundsheet – no rain can run into the tent from external sources. Only slight negative is that it is single-skin and that does become liable to condensation on the inner walls – but not enough to run and puddle – and leaving just a slight gap at the top of the window’s curtains seemed to have an appreciable effect in the lessening of that as it allowed air to circulate a bit and so equilibrate the inner and outer temps slightly as well as allowing dampness from the breath to pass through and out. All-in-all this tent has pleased us immensely!

The site itself was pretty much a standard small farmer’s field. One shed housed the single toilet and single wash basin. No showers at all. There were facilities for caravan waste disposal and a drinking water tap was available to replenish drinking water carboys… The Lake Cottage did have it’s own facilities inc a shower. We had a non-serviced pitch but also pitches with electric supply were available. So all very basic really and almost back to the earth camping BUT it was what we were after for our short break and it suited us to the ground. There are plans in hand on the site to remove the current toilet/washroom shed and replace it with a proper toilet/shower/washroom block as well as other general improvements on the site…

Anyway, to get quickly over the rest of the stay and on to the fishing – we took just a single gas burner cooker, kettle and a water container – plus tea, coffee, sugar and powdered milk – for our on-site catering as meals we have out (ie JustEat) – generally we have a ‘brunch’ as our main meal and just grab some ‘picky’ bits and nibbles for the campsite evenings.

So to the fishing… the site had its own fishing pool … not massive, it had 10 accessible and marked pegs for campers/caravanners with a day ticket charge of £7.50. There was also the Lake Cottage on the dam wall at the end of the pool which has its own reserved fishing area (ie the dam wall itself).

From speaking to the site owner it appears that the water suffered a fish kill a few years ago, the reason being a difference of opinion between the site owner and the EA … the owner reckons it was due to crop spraying by a nearby farm, the EA reckons the source was from upstream .. and never has been resolved one way or the other. The owner also said the pool was fed by a stream that also fed the ‘famous Brecon water’ which I take from a look at the map as being Usk Reservoir. Anyway, it seems that due to the fish loss and the re-stocking (this year the owner has added 2,000+ rudd) it seems many of the fish are still of ‘stockie’ size although carp of estimated double figures were seen. However, the larger fish didn’t succumb to my baits …. but what the fish lacked in size they more than made up in in their condition – the rudd were as golden as gold could ever possibly be and every single fish I caught was fin and scale perfect…

The fishing itself on all three sessions was identical and so the descriptions given apply to all really… all sessions were about 4-5 hours in length, the first session being at 0600-1000 on Sunday 25th, the second was 1530-2000 again on Sunday, and the third was 0600-1100 on Monday 26th … a planned 4th session on the Monday evening was shelved due to fatigue from the previous day’s activities (driving to Wales, fishing, touristy afternoons out), etc and it being super-hot and fatiguing in itself!

Session 1. I fished from peg 1 – the last peg before the dam wall – plenty of fish activity – carp cruising but crust thrown out was nosed and battered but not being taken. I floatfished in my usual lift method style with worm and maggot baits and caught lots of rudd and roach, a skimmer bream and several tench. Biggest was probably the bream at around 12oz-1lb. The pool is very weedy and I had to cast into the clearer areas as much as possible but even so many fish were lost to fish escaping the hook after getting into the weed.

Session 2. I fished from peg 10 – opposite the peg I’d fished in the morning at the other end of the dam wall. The wall of rushes to my right looked very fishy and a possible perch haunt. Again lift method, again worm/maggot and some sweetcorn, again a lot of roach/rudd, several very small bream, a lot of tench (up to about 1lb)… no perch, in fact no perch on any session but reading the blurb seems to indicate that maybe there are none in there as they’re not listed in the species in the fisheries flyer … seems that trout are the water’s in-house predator although I had none of those either. Anyway, a lot of weed assisted fish lost again….

Session 3. I changed to an ‘on the drop’ method with a 5BB onion float set to fish about 6” or so off bottom thinking this may help with the prevention of fish using weed to escape the hook – and seemingly that situation improved – and also that it would make the bait more visible being held higher and possibly above the weed, and again it did seem that bites were more frequent not that they’d been slow previously. Again, the catch was made up of rudd, roach, bream, tench … and a small mirror carp.

Some of the weekend’s catch….

Anyway, we had a great weekend… weather was superb marred slightly about 30 minutes of very fine rain just before we got the tent down, typical, tent down back to sunshine!!! Certainly a place we’d revisit some time in the future, especially with the improvements on site we’d maybe have a longer stay … and maybe the fish stocks would mature and grow too….

SOME ADD-ONS….

A sea fishing brochure with trips out from Newquay, Wales… Possibly do it if we are in the area again…

View of Carreg Cennen Castle from the camp site…

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