Session 25 – The Special Invitation Day…

Sunday 17th June, Liz and I set off for our annual trek to a pool that is totally unfished for 48 weeks of the year but for 4 weekends the owner gives an invitation to members of my club to visit in return for charity donations for the local church. In essence, each Saturday and Sunday, in the allotted period, 6 anglers are allowed on to the two pools on the estate on each of the days with each angler making a £10 donation to the charity. Spots have to be pre-booked with, and donations sent to, the club secretary.

Liz and I have made a visit to these waters every year since 2012 – although one year we had a problem with physical access to the waters (the method of access changed and we didn’t know) and we had to go elsewhere but problem was resolved and we were given an alternative date for our spot but Liz couldn’t make the new date and I had to go on my own.

Its a very quiet place, off the beaten track, and on land usually shared with cows and bulls – but this year they had been replaced by sheep…. Not a bad thing really as those bovines had a thing about tasting the cars and gave them a good licking all over! By the end of the day you usually emptied the car’s windscreen wash bottle clearing the screen of cow drool as to be able to see out of it! And the rest of the car was dripping too – and a car wash visit was well necessary.

2018-06-17 01

The usual species are in the pools – one a mixed species pool with bream, carp, perch, silvers – and what we usually hope for, tench. The other is a carp pool, but we’ve never bothered with that one as we’re more interested in the tench really.

We had decided before arriving that we’d fish a new spot this year and we were going to fish the far bank opposite the island – in the photo there are 3 ‘white spots’ (actually geese) on the the other bank mid way along? – and that was our intended destination but on arrival we parked and wandered over to have a look but in the end decided against (too tight for two people) and headed back to our usual near bank corner along the dam wall from where the photo was taken.

As we left the house at 0630 a light drizzle had just started but soon after arrival at the water it had cleared and became sunny and calm but wasn’t to remain so… mainly overcast with a very cool breeze – Liz remarked that it was the first time in ages that she’d needed to wear a top during the day time – and a couple of short showers.

We both set up for ledgering – 2 rods each on buzzers. Liz fished cage and maggot feeders whilst I used 2 frame feeders. Baits used between us over the day were maggot, meat, sweetcorn, butterscotch paste, bread and worm. Worm proved the better bait accounting for the 3 largest fish, maggot caught a few small roach and sweetcorn accounted for one small roach….

Liz had first blood of the day with the first of a procession of small roach…

And over the course of the day, until we packed in at 1545, Liz, as I say had a number of small roach on the maggot and sweetcorn and also, towards the end of proceedings, a very nice mirror carp of 6lb 7oz taken on worm..

2018-06-17 Liz - 6lb 7oz Mirror Carp 01

6lb 7oz Mirror Carp

… and myself over the day, had a common carp of 5lb 6oz, a perch of 1lb 6oz and a mini tench – Liz said the smallest she’d ever seen but I’ve seen (and caught) smaller previously LOL – but still a tench – and our only one of the day.

And that’s it for the day – and all that was left to do was to head for a place of celebration and scratchings! And they had Titanic Chocolate And Vanilla Stout on tap! So, what better ending could there be to a fine day?

Session 24 – I Know I Keep Carpin’ On But…..

Friday 15th June and it was off to a club pool … AA-GH … for a bit of carpin’ and a bit of hopin’ for some bream and chub as this pool contains good fish of all those species and others….


I arrived at the waterside at around 0700 and cast out my Deeper Sonar fish/depth finder – main depth in this pool is around 15’-17’ – to see if any fish were around – and it seemed that the pool was packed with them like sardines! And it appeared they were all lying at around 7’ deep and shallower even in deep water… so elected to ledger! LOL! Actually I was more ‘forced’ to by the fact that I’d left my ‘floater’ rod at home accidentally – I’d swapped it out of the quiver on a previous outing to make room for my quiver rod and had forgotten I’d done so basically… But, at the end of the day it seems that I’d not missed out as the floater freebies I threw in were ‘played with’ but I didn’t see one piece actually grabbed by the cruising carp, some well in to double figures.

So, my initial set up was two ledger rods, 8lb line, size 4 or 6 hooks, and with frame feeders loaded with groundbait and particles – but I soon ‘downgraded’ to just one rod as bites started thick and fast with the first rod having takes before I could even cast out the second and so the second rod was laid aside for a while but it was eventually toyed with again to try to double it as a makeshift ‘floater’ rod but with no joy.

Baits tried over the day – bread, prawn and sausage with bites on all but I only actually caught on the bread.

By the end of my day at 1530 I’d had 9 carp, all commons, between 2lb 12oz and 4lb 6oz and a solitary bream of 1lb 12oz plus had a few drop-offs and hook pulls.



These hot summer days have always been a problem with having to keep the bait shaded to prevent sweating (eg maggots), melting (eg pastes) or plainly preventing dying in the direct heat of the sun (eg worms) and up to now its been a case of moving the different containers around into shade as the sun moved around. Not always convenient and often forgotten until on the late side…. however, a solution that worked for me yesterday – and in conjunction with the new table too although possibly on a windy it may require fixing in another way otherwise the table could get flipped in such a situation….

The solution – cost £5 off eBay (inc p&p) – one of those clip on parasols often used on baby buggies and prams, etc…


It’s very light and rolls up small and so easily fits into the quiver/holdall, it is fitted with a screw clamp for fixing to my table – or to a separate bankstick if conditions require that – and has a stiff/firm but flexible joint so it can be angled and rotated easily to the right position to block the sun’s ray with ease. Comes in a a variety of colours but as you see I chose green – and it did work well in the hot sun with my (unused of the day) maggots remaining completely unsweaty… Again, searching ‘off track’ proved a money saver – Go Outdoors sell similar items at £13 each as a ‘camping shade’….


Well, tomorrow, Sunday 17th June, its a trip with Liz to a ‘special’, unfished 48 weeks of the year pool.

Each year my club gets invited to fish the pools (there are actually two on site – one is carp, the other mixed) four weekends of the year as part of the owner’s charity event – only 6 anglers per day are allowed and each gives £10 per session donation in return for the access which goes to the owner’s local church funds. They are nice quiet secluded pools and the mixed pool (we’ve never fished the carp pool and two guys who did last year moved on to the mixed pool with us with an hour or so) contains reasonable carp, tench, perch and bream. Liz and I have taken advantage of the invite for the past 6 years now and look forwards to it.

Bait and tackle are already sorted – just a case of butties and flasks to be done tonight…

Session 23 – “Move Over Boys Let A Girl Show You How To Catch A Fish” And She Gets A New PB…

Dedicated To The One I Love (Mamas & Papas):

Monday 11th June saw Liz and I head off at 0700 to one of our fishing club’s venues (KF-WLx) for the day. There are two pools on the site and we had hoped to fish the smaller of the pools (a pond really) which is also available to non-members on day ticket. It may be a small pool but it does contain a good variety of species with some specimen sized fish and can usually be relied on for a good day’s sport providing all sorts from small perch and roach/rudd up to double figure carp … and also holds ide, a silver fish not unlike a roach but with larger eyes….



However, this pool has a tendency to weed over very quickly given the right conditions – and on arrival we had a quick walk round and found that fishing it would be virtually impossible as the potamogeton crispus (aka curly-leaf pondweed) had appeared to have taken over the vast majority of the pool and only a few, possibly fishable but well apart, holes were visible …

So, we continued off down the track to the larger members-only pool for the day…

This was better but still provided far from perfect conditions as it appeared that there was plenty of weed and algae on the bottom in the form of blanketweed and potamogeton and others – and also floating patches of the same which on the breeze and with surface drag caught on the line at times …. but by no means made the fishing impossible, just needed thinking about in order to minimise the effects of….

So …. me…. I started off, and fished all day with, a lift method setup consisting of a 5BB rated driftbeater float on 6lb line and size 12 maggot baited hook. Usual pre-feeding before tackling up and setting up the ‘station’ and frequent catapulted maggots into the 2 areas I intended to fish – one area around 4-5 rod lengths out in in front and an area just off to my left about 2 rod lengths off-shore. I started off in the standard way as one would using lift-method with the line, and rod tip, just submerged under the surface which would have defeated the breeze in its own right but couldn’t withstand the weed/algae debris that was carried along by it. Solution… I fished with the rod tip some 18”-24” above the water’s surface which kept the vast majority of the line above the water and although not the optimum it solved the drifting weed problem and I fished on with no problem whatsoever … although when the breeze strengthened at times I did have to resort to the near bank swim … but I was catching consistently from both areas. Catch over the day: 21 perch with a best at 1lb 1oz and several around 10-12oz, a tench of 2lb 13oz and three small (sub-2oz) rudd…

Liz…. started off with 2 feedered rods on the alarms fishing just groundbait in the feeder and sweetcorn, maggot and meat baits … had a few small nudges but nothing of note …. and so we set up her float rod with a 3BB antenna float set to fish with the bait just on the bottom, not lift-method… this switch proved productive and several fish were taken… rudd and perch …which included a new PB perch of 1lb 5oz… and a later perch of around 12oz was taken on maggot when Liz switched back to her feeders…

We fished on until 1600 before heading off home – via a local hostelry, of course, for well appreciated beverages and cobs after a long hot days efforts… :

My next session will be Friday 15th June … the last day of the river’s close season … so I’ll probably go carp fishing (although hoping for bream!) at a club pool. Although Saturday is the first day of the river season I’ll not be out that day as on Sunday Liz and I will be fishing a private pool that only gets fished 4 weekends of the year as the owner invites our club, in return for charity donations of £10 per session, to fish 7am-7pm on each of the allotted  Saturdays and Sundays with 6 anglers per day permitted. However, the following Tuesday, as Liz won’t be fishing, I’ll probably go to a river on that day – the Warwickshire Avon after bream or the Severn in search of barbel.

SO…. for my readers that leaves just one thing for me to say….

If you are a river angler then I wish you tight lines, big fish, blue skies, bent sticks and singing strings for the oncoming new season!

New Replacement Accessories – And The Best Yet!

I’ve been on the lookout for a while, looking for a couple of improvements in not such much actual tackle but in my accessories.

One item has been a groundbait bowl … over the years I’ve used various devices from small round household buckets to larger square ones and to collapsible made-for-the job commercial collapsible buckets … but all have have their failings. Household rigid buckets of any shape are just too bulky to carry and if they are suitable to double as bait/tackle carriers too in an attempt to make their size less inconvenient then they are far too deep or wide to be good for groundbait mixing and trying to actually ball the groundbait whilst sat in your seat to feed throughout the session is far more of an ordeal than it should be. The collapsible commercial groundbait bowls/buckets from several failings in my opinion as being often made of a plastic lined material (canvas or similar) … (a) as they are not rigid enough mixing up groundbait is a nightmare and you often discover patches of dry powdered g’bait in the middle however well you try to mix, (b) by nature they are essentially a circle of fabric with a base in sewn in, which means seams and hems which are impossible to clean out at the end of the day and live maggots added to your g’bait will find their way into those folds and hems and hide away and return home in the bowl with you to later hatch out as unwanted visitor in your home and (c) the plastic lining soon becomes brittle or worn and cracks up and water will leak through the material causing to groundbait to dry out … and then the material itself get torn and the groundbait dries out even quicker…. My solution, which to me is the 101% perfect one and has no flaws whatsoever – being easy to mix in with no sharp corners or seams or hems, has the perfect dimensions for transporting to the water, for mixing and for access to ball up during your session and no leakage or water loss…..and lightweight too … and far cheaper than commercial mixing bowls….. and it is ….

… one of those silicon collapsible washing up bowls intended for camping. With a size of: 14.5” x 10.5” x 2” (closed) and 14.5” x 10.5” x 4.5”cm (opened) its easily carried in, or attached to, your bag – I use a Korum Mat bag as my unhooking mat and this bowl shares space with many other items in it for carriage to and from the waters – and plenty big enough to mix up my usual 1-2Kg of dry groundbait along with added hemp, maggots, etc… and would easily cope with more. And being quite easily available in many places – Wilko have them as a standard stock item at £5, and Aldi and Lidl do them often in their camping special offers.

The other item that I’ve sourced and has been deemed a ‘super-replacement’ by me is a small camping table, specifically a Hi-Gear one from Go Outdoors which has now replaced my old bait waiter…

Old Bait Waiter

Problems with the bait waiter – (a) sits on top of a single bank stick (a tripod could be used but I’ve never found those to be particularly stable anyway) and unless set perfectly vertical maggot can slope themselves over the bait containers lip … and on soft ground can slowly tilt depending on weight of baits, etc and (b) relatively small in size, can hold up to 4 standard sized bait boxes and nothing else or can use 2-3 bait boxes and use the empty bottomed section(s) for phone, baiting needles, disgorgers, etc. Anyway, due to the tipping/unstable aspects, and Go Outdoors having a 15% off everything offer on I thought I might go along get a bivvy table that had been reduced to £9.99 … I found then but they were small, in fact would probably only hold 2 bait boxes and quite heavy too…


… however, as Liz and I wandered up to the camping area we came across a small fold up picnic table ….


… at £13.99 (so with 15% off = £11.90)…. and it looked perfect for my needs – and, in fact, has proven even better in reality. Its lightweight (weighs only 4lbs) and when folded in its bag measures just 13” x 16” x 2” and when opened out for use it’s 24” x 16” x 10”. It also sits at a perfect height next to my fishing chair for easy access to whatever its holding … and its sturdy (rated to support up to 66lb) …. and also travels in my Korum Mat Bag so really is no extra burden…

PLUS…. and it is very roomy as can be seen in the pic below easily holding my ‘new’ groundbait bowl and 3 standard 2 pint bait boxes and with plenty space left over for ancillary items and phones, etc.

So, I’ve now 3 items of kit that I’d deem to be my crème-de-la-creme whereby I reckon that no better could be achieved … the two items above …. and my Wychwood Pocket Pod (ca £25) which really is a god send, purchased after going fishing thinking I wouldn’t be needing my main pod only to find I couldn’t get my bank sticks in (and I use screw pointed bank sticks which will deal with far harder ground than simple pointed ones – but even these will not cope with wooden platforms or rock solid frozen ground). As the name ‘pocket’ suggests, they are easily carryable (and again carried in my Mat Bag) with absolutely no problem. All that are needed are 5 bank sticks and a pair of lightweight bars – the bank sticks are normal items that are carried anyway for use ‘in the ground’ – for four of them as long as they have a standard 3/8” BSF thread to form the legs of the tripod then that’s fine but the fifth does require that the bank stick will fit through the hole in the front section – which means that screw point or broadened arrow point bank sticks are not any good for the purpose. However, I do carry as standard a 4’ extending to 7’ bank stick that is used mainly for use on the river – and I remove the sliding inner section to form the connection between front and back sections and this works perfectly. It works so well for me that, even now when I know that I’ll need a rod pod, I’ll leave my main one at home and use this set up unless the water is very close to the car….


Wychwood Pocket Pod

Session 22 – Catch-22 Starts…

Friday, June 8th, I was again back to the mixed fishery of my last session (AA-B) but I decided to try another peg – another favourite, peg 11 – which is situated opposite an island with a bed of water lilies to the left…. arriving at around 0630…

2018-06-08 Barlows 01

… and I was planning to start my Catch-22 campaign….

‘Catch-22’ is an informal challenge published and promoted by the Angling Times – the idea being to catch the 22 listed species… Catches can be photographed and sent to AT for publication too… Details and joining up at

So, as usual, before starting to sort out the tackle and accessories, the swim was baited up with 3 orange sized balls of my groundbait mix (coloured yellow) and few small catapults of maggots and stewed hemp, corn, and wheat seeds. Two swims were baited, one over by the island’s overhanging vegetation (where the float is in the photo) and the other just in the opening in those lily pads. Over the day extra groundbait was added and every cast a few (6-10) maggots were catapulted into the swims

Tackle for the day – 13’ float rod, 6lb main line, 4” of 6lb braid hook length to a size 12 hook and a 5BB driftbeater float (set as described in my previous posting) and fished lift method. Baits over the day were maggot (bunches of 3-4), worm and prawn. Today I used cooked small prawns BUT I do find that uncooked jumbo prawn, or bits of, are noticeably far better than cooked prawns but as I was getting bites on the cooked ones I was a bit lazy on the day…

Discovery of the day was made as I tackled up – I’d left all my split shot and its dispenser at home… DAMN! Luckily, I set up, and hence pre-shot, my tackle at home so I’d a working set up but if I’d had a breakage then that could have been a problem … but even then I had some tungsten putty in my bag that I could have fashioned shotting out of, or switched to ledger tactics as I’d my ledger rod and weights with me.

So my first cast was made around 0715 – and I was immediately into my first fish of the day – and the first of my first Catch-22 list – which was a small perch. And bites were frequent over the day – virtually every cast….

And by the time I packed in at 1530 I’d four species ticked off from my Catch-22 list – mirror carp (caught 10, best 2lb 1oz), perch (16, up to around 6oz), rudd (3, 2-3oz), and a tench of 2lb 3oz. And all baits were catching.

Excitement – and annoyance – of the day came at the end of my session as I was driving back to the gate to leave the pool. The pools are within a paddock which is within a cow/bullock field and there is a gate at the entrance to keep the cows away from the pools… HOWEVER, on leaving someone had left the gate latched open and about a dozen bullocks had wandered through and were feasting on the grass on the edge of the pool just inside the gate – luckily they’d not spread about – and I was able to herd all-but-one straight back into their field within a minute – however, the other one side stepped past the gate opening and headed off round the pool … and it was only after 45 MINUTES, and after enlisting the help of another angler, that I was able to coerce the errant creature back into its proper area….

SO… if there are gates on your waters … ensure you know your rules and CLOSE THEM IMMEDIATELY YOU’VE PASSED THROUGH – and re-lock them to if they are padlocked – EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU PASS THROUGH REGARDLESS OF OTHERS BEING ON THE SITE.

OPEN – ENTER – CLOSE ….. OPEN – EXIT – CLOSE – not rocket science!!

Session 21 – In Search Of Tench, Bream And Barbel…

Tuesday, May 22nd, I set off at 0600 for a return visit to the club pool (AA-B) that I visited last Monday (14th May) to see if, in fact, the warmer weather had kick started the tench and other species into action.

The pool looked glorious on arrival at 0630…

2018-05-22 01

… and I was surprised to find that two others were already there and fishing … on the pole… on pegs 5 (where I fished last week) and peg 7. And another arrived about half an hour later and elected to fish peg 4…. but apart from another two people who arrived early afternoon, just walked along the bank and then left again, that was the full complement of people I saw.

Peg 7 man moved around 1100 over to the carp pool alongside this pool. Due to this move I assume he wasn’t catching but as he was hidden from my view by trees I can’t be certain about that. Peg 5 man was catching well it seemed – nothing mega and not sure of the species as he was unhooking the larger fish whilst still inside the landing net and then releasing directly but it looked like all perch and carp from my position, possibly small roach/rudd too – and he left around 1130. Peg 4 man I didn’t see catch anything and he moved to the carp pool around midday where he remained, and still was when I left for home at 1530.

As for myself … I elected to fish peg 25 (an old favourite that I’d not fished for a season or so). This is on the east bank and the bank has tall trees behind the pegs as well as lining the pool – thus this side of the pool remains in shade until mid/late afternoon and, as seen in the photo, this peg also features a patch of lilies off to the right hand side.

As usual the first thing I did on arrival was to prefeed the swim so that it would allow the water to settle and be working to attract whilst I was setting up my gear and arranging my area. This feed consisted of about 0.5Kg of liquidised bread, coloured yellow, with hemp, maggot, wheat, maize and small feed pellets added and was placed at the outer corner of the lilies (basically where the rod is pointing in the photo)….

Method for the day was float fishing using the ‘lift method’ …. basically, a bodied antenna float is set slightly (6” or so overdepth – varies slightly depending on the actual depth of water) and overshotted slightly so that if the float is set underdepth it will be completely pulled under by the shotting. The shotting is arranged so that the bulk shot matches the body of the float (ie the float stands upright with the antenna completely out of the water) and the bulk placed anywhere on the line between the float itself and half the water depth. Finally the ‘working’ shot is added about 4”-6” from the hook – this is the shot (one shot is best but often you’ll find that you may need 2 or more shot tight against each other) that is applied to make the antenna completely submerge if the depth of the float is set too shallow and ideally needs to be ‘just sufficient’ – you do need to allow for the tow of the water when doing this as it can make quite a difference to the weighting needed – a very static water may let you use 1BB but the same water in a breeze could  possibly require 2SSG in some cases, a case of experimenting and changing until you get it right. So, in action, say the water is 4’ deep, you’d set the depth between the ‘working’ shot and the float to be around 4’6” – cast out and then place your rod in 2 rod rests (needs to be held still, can’t do that by holding in the hand) – at his point, with slack line from the rod tip to the float the antenna will be standing fully proud of the water – you then slowly tighten the line – and as the line tightens then the float will sink lower into the water – tighten until the float is as you would like it in respect of amount of tip showing. Now, you get a bite… one of two things will happen … (1) as the fish takes the bait it may lift the ‘working’ shot off the bottom and thus take weighting off the float – and the float rises in the water (hence ‘lift method’) and you should strike if possible while the float is rising or (2) if the fish swims away from you then the float will disappear under the water as per usual …. of course, you may find the float rises and then dives under as the fish lifts the bait and then swims away… Anyway, YouTube (eg YOUTUBE VIDEO contains a good explanation towards the end using a drift/windbeater type float) and Google are good sources for further info, just search for ‘lift method’ – or ‘laying on’ of which ‘lift method’ is a form of.

My float was a light loaded bodied antenna of which the float’s own loading dealt with the ‘bulk shotting’ aspect and a 1SSG shot along with an AAA shot supplied the ‘working’ shot. The water depth on this particular pool is around 4’ all over so by the time I’d made adjustments to ‘fine tune’ my set up I had the float set at around 4’6”.

Line was 6lb mono, and I used hooks to 6” hooklengths of 6lb braid – starting the day off with size 16 baited with 2-3 maggots, but then varied over the day and I used size 12 (worm and bunches of maggots) and size 8 (luncheon meat, bread and prawn).

Over the day I loose fed (catapulted) a few maggots every few minutes and added small balls (golf ball) of the liquidised bread (red coloured) with a few particles added.

Bites were made on all baits except the bread – but by the time I tried bread the bites had dried up appreciably on the other baits anyway… and the best bait of the day was definitely worm (most bites, least time between cast and bite)…

Bites were frequent from the start of the session until around 1130 when they died down – then a bit of a flurry for 15 minutes around 1330 – and then spurious between until I packed in at 1530.

In the end I caught probably 12-15 small perch to around 3oz plus 1 common carp (ca 1.75lb) and 2 mirror carp (ca 1.75lb and 1.25lb) – and had a few hook pulls and a snap-off but don’t think anything lost was much bigger than anything landed.

SO… I didn’t get any of the tench, bream or barbel I was hoping for but we’ll see how the pool fishes over the next few weeks – as I’ve said before its generally a late ‘awakener’ and with the earlier cold weather through Easter, etc it may be that its ‘delayed’ a bit. AND, if you’re not  going to catch, then its just a nice quiet and scenic place to be anyway …



Session 20 – Anglers Vs Fishers… [Updated]

Friday, May 18th, in ANOTHER change of plans I headed out to a different pool (AA-GH) to the one had had planned to return to…. however, the ‘return’ is now planned, and WILL REMAIN as the destination, on Monday 21st.

[Well, due to ‘places to be and people to see’, ANOTHER change of plans has had to occur regarding the outing planned for Monday 21st May. Monday, Liz and I have some shopping to do, arrangements for holiday pet care to make and a couple of other things to sort too. One of those involves a visit to the local market which is only open on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – and Liz’s days off work are Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays and thus the only matching days between the two lists are Mondays. Hence, the day for the planned trip to the pool has now changed to TUESDAY 22nd MAY but the destination remains the same]

The pool actually visited this trip holds predominantly carp but does have numbers of bream, chub, pike, roach and rudd, plus the occasional perch and I’ve heard tench too although in 5-6 years of being in the club and fishing this pool I’ve never heard of, let alone seen a tench caught. BUT a couple of years ago I remarked to Liz that I’d never seen perch on this water even when on a 3 hour underwater video I’d made which captured roach/rudd, chub, bream and pike all swimming around – and as usual when you say things like this the inevitable happens and, in that case, the next trip I had to this water I’d stood my landing net up in the water after landing a fish and at the end of the day, when I lifted it out to dry it out, lo and behold, in the bottom was a minnow sized perch! And subsequently mentioning this to someone else I was told of a 3lb’er that had been caught a few times … so it appears they are there but not in great number … and could also be true of the tench, I suppose.


So arriving at 0630 I’d planned my tactics for the day … fishing for bream … set up the float rod for lift method/laying on in 12’ of water from peg 5 … cast out to ascertain a suitable casting distance for the day … spomb out 1Kg of liquidised bread coloured ‘electric green’ loaded with hemp, wheat, maize and maggot … and then fish 2-3 maggots on a size 16 hook to 6lb main line – and the plan was carried out to the letter.

I quickly had my first fish of the day – a small skimmer bream of a few ounces…

Small Bream

However, although I was getting lifts and dives of the float I was unable to hook anything else for a while – one of the problems of fishing a sliding float in 12’ of water, the angle of the line at the float meaning that a long strike is necessary to straighten the line from rod tip to hook in order to get enough force to the hook point to penetrate. Obviously I may have been better to have ledgered – thus removing any major angles and resulting in better contact – but I WANTED to float fish and I was quite happy with what I was doing. Eventually I did have another skimmer bream of similar size to the first.

I did make some changes over the day though – I changed hook size up to a 12, and increased bait size and type to try to lure any bigger fish that may have been around and tried bread, prawn, BS paste and meat, as well as bigger bunches of maggots and various ‘cocktail’ combinations of baits. The paste didn’t work at all – temperatures were too hot and fell off the hook on the cast!

Later in the day I had a 2lb’ish common carp – and a worse bedraggled specimen I’ve yet to see with ragged fins, missing scales and a ‘parrot mouth’… needless to say I didn’t weigh or photograph it.

A few large fish were cruising on top and I did try throwing out crust and fishing a floating bread bait but they didn’t seem to want it – at best they came and nudged and tail flapped at it – however, a guy came and fished the next peg to me fishing floaters at range with a marker float and had several good carp including a very nice mid-double common….

And in may last hour I noticed a few large tail swirls just in front of me about 3’-4’ out so I fed in some loose maggots which brought more swirls – so hoping to emulate Liz’s ‘Sherman’ (18lb 1oz carp) that she caught in similar style a few years ago I set my float with all the shotting just below the float and the depth to about 4’ (just over depth at the pool’s edge) and continued at flick in a few maggots from time to time … and I caught probably 10 small (1oz-3oz) roach before tackling down for the day.

OK – now you’re wondering what’s all this to do with the title of this posting?? Well……. besides about 6 other anglers on the water, there were also 5 fishers … a kingfisher, a heron and 3 common terns (I thought originally there was 1 tern having a good day but later saw 3 of them so possibly….) And those fishers were doing reasonably well – I saw the heron with one fish, the kingfisher managed to get two, but the tern(s) had 5… I tried to photo the terns but IMPOSSIBLE!! So far that I needed the camera at its full 40x to get a decent sized pic – as I did the kingfisher but the kingfisher was sitting and the terns were tearing around at a rate of knots LOL so impossible to get in the screen long enough to fire the shutter!

Kingfisher With Fish