New goodies have arrived….

Well, the replacement bite alarms (£32 all-inc from eBay) have now arrived via the Royal Mail this morning…

alarms 2

All worked well on testing – and the receiver also detects the old heads. So as the old set had green, red and (broken) blue LED heads, and this new set has yellow, red and blue LED ones it means (a) I’ve a spare red head and (b) all 4 colours are now operative! Academic really as I only use 2 rods at a time but it also means I can swap heads to suit lighting conditions for best operation. Cool!

And last week I was informed I’d won a ‘Hardy Marksmen Smuggler Carryall’ in a magazine competition.

Hardy Marksman Bag 1Hardy Marksman Bag 2

And it was delivered yesterday. An excellent item – and something I really wanted! Normally £80 in the shops!

I’ve wanted a better bag than the current one I use for my early morning canal sessions – and this looks the absolute ideal item. As I’m planning a canal trip on Monday it will be field tested then. It seems just the right size for my needs with pockets to accomodate my camera and scales, etc as I would want to do. Flask and a few choccie bars along with bait and my few items of tackle will fit nicely too – and maybe get bait in there too but that’s not so important as I always take a bucket along too. Bucket acts as a carrier for baits and all kinds of odds and ends like catapults, spombs, etc and also as my fishing seat in conjunction with one of these type of seats …

backrest seat

… which I use closed/folded up and just lay over the bucket to sit on. When river fishing I sometimes do open the seat up and place it on the ground and take advantage of the back rest to gain a bit of comfort but with canals there is (a) not enough room to stretch out legs without encroaching on the tow path and getting in the way of bikers/ramblers and (b) canal banks are generally flat and so you have to stretch your legs out straight in front which make it difficult to stand up (esp with my age and flexibility it’s bad enough rising from a proper seat!) – but saying that, in the summer I have used the seat as it is meant to be used by rolling up trouser legs, removing shoes/sock and dangling feet in the canal! 🙂

Also, I bought from Lidl one of those small flexible tripods that wraps around branches, etc  for the camera (£5.99) – before I’ve used a bankstick/camera adaptor for the job but sometimes the ground is too hard to accomodate a bankstick, etc but this can be twisted onto the rod-pod or leg of my chair or to the branch of a convenient tree, etc…


…but that’s not my camera – mine’s a Kodak C142 compact type. Better than that Nikon for my purpose!! 😀 The reason – my Kodak’s self-timer has a 2-shot option – ie you can set the self timer so that it fires 10 seconds after clicking the button (which is what most cameras do) BUT the Kodak can also fire another shot another 8 seconds later which is great! Usually 10 seconds is a bit of a dash to get from pressing the camera shutter, back to the fish on unhooking mat, uncovering fish, lifting and then taking up the ‘pose’ and quite often the camera fires before you’re ready requiring the whole sequence to be gone through again… but the second firing allows that extra time to actually get everything right and often that’s it all done – very rarely is another try required – and if the first shot worked out ok then there’s 2 good pics. The camera’s also got a burst mode – fires a shot every second or something like that – but never used it as the 2-shot timer has worked fine and the burst would take far to many pics requiring deleting the one’s not wanted regularly.

The bite alarms are no more…. but new ones purchased!

Well, my bite alarms WERE three wireless NGT camo ones like these….


… but seemed to have succumbed to foul weather possibly and possibly general component failure too…

The receiver is not responding to any of the output from the alarm heads – indicative that the fault lies within itself – but I am unable to locate any obvious faulty area (burnt out component, etc… there’s power there from the batteries and at various points on the circuit board). But on top of that, the blue LED’d head has been playing up for a short while – once it starts working it tends to be OK but problem symptoms seem to indicate a faulty capacitor – takes a while to operate after switching on, fades away, etc – and components are not easy to access as the circuit board is waterproofed by a rubbery overlay that is very difficult to peel away…

Anyway, with the problems mounting I deemed it time to call on the services of eBay once more to obtain a new set… which I have done…  and now these are on their way to me….

NGT Wireless Alarms 2

… which actually don’t look too dissimilar to the set being replaced… possibly the original heads will also work with the new  receiver. Only real differences as I can make out is that this new receiver uses a 9v (PP9) battery whilst the old one used 4 x AAA 1.5v ones (all the heads, old and new, use an A23 12v battery) and that the heads, at least, are black rather than camo although the receiver in the pic does look camo but may be a trick of the light, possibly? Hopefully, they will work as well as the old ones as I was pretty happy with those – they were probably the best alarms I’ve used since the original Optonics of the 80’s.

I do need to use wireless ones as my failing hearing means that to depend on the normal head speakers would mean having them at full volume generally – much to the annoyance of other anglers – and would still be unheard if I were to pop to the swim next door (eg to net a fish for Liz). However, with wireless I can have the head volumes way down low and depend on the receiver’s speaker kept close to me to indicate takes.

Anyway, hopefully, should be in receipt of these new items in a few days 🙂

But weather pretty grim now – and no change is forecast until Sunday and then a return to wind/rain on Monday but then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are forecasted as improved.  So possibly no fishing now until mid next week.

Session 20 – In Which I Break My Duck On That Pool…

Well, we set off at 7:30am to the intended pool, arriving at about 8:10am. Walked the pool to decide on the swims to fish – and finally decided upon a double swim with our backs to the westerly breeze. We tackled up and a few large spods of bait mix were sent out into the swims before settling down with our baits in the water.

Whilst walking the water we spotted a dead (and well decaying) carp that would have been close to double figures near the dam wall.

On setting up, I discovered that my bite alarms had a bit of a problem – probably due to the Welsh rain a couple of weeks back – neither of my buzzer heads responded to line movement but that was resolved easily by battery replacement, seems the dampness had effectively shorted the batteries and drained their power (although no actual sign of dampness was apparent inside the battery compartment, or indeed, anywhere inside the heads when completely stripped down back at home)… and the wireless receiver did not function at all either but changing batteries did not resolve this problem, so now that is also stripped down and sitting on radiator although, again, no actual signs of water/dampness could be seen anywhere inside. Anyway, as the heads worked OK after the battery change I was dependant upon their inbuilt sounders for indication, so a good job there was only Liz and I on the pool (as I’ve said before – I have very dickey hearing!).

The day itself wasn’t the best – most of the time there was a very stiff breeze which really only abated/moderated infrequently and although white cloud and blue sky did occasionally show itself, the main weather feature of the day was rain intermingled with hail at times.

Anyway, back to the actual fishing… Liz fished her usual maggot and meat baits coupled with open-ended feeders, whilst I myself fished chili meat, sweetcorn and bread. However, there were no bites to either of us on those baits.  And then I tried a lob worm, and lo and behold, almost immediate results with my bobbin twitching away. Eventually, I managed to catch a perch of about 6oz and a little later another nice one of 13oz. At this point, Liz also put on worm and had a bite to which she connected, and said she thought it was a nettable size, but unfortunately the hook was thrown just short of shore. That then signalled a lull in action for quite a time for both of us, and the bites, when they restarted quite a while later, were very jittery – just quick small jumps of the bobbin – and things remained the same until around 3pm when, a heavy shower just having passed over, we decided to call it a day and packed up and headed home.

As you can see, by my being here still and writing this, that my planned trip to the canal today has been postponed – but a small possibility of going tomorrow instead – due to (a) tiredness after an early day yesterday and (b) need to look at the problems with my alarms. In all likeliness now the next trip will be back to the club’s tench pool on Friday.

2013-05-13 13oz Perch (2) 2013-05-13 13oz Perch (1)

Session 20 Plans And Other Ramblings…

OK… Liz’s coat waterproofed this morning along with my Korum cap… 🙂

Liz and I planning to head to one of the more distant club waters in the morning for a session.

In fact, I’m hoping to eventually break my duck on this water, but Liz has had a couple of small fish on previous visits and so hoping for something more substantial too.

We’ll be fishing our usual ‘twin rod on alarmed pods’ leger setups – and will be taking a good selection of baits including home baked bread (still in the oven), maggots, corn, selection of meaty baits, worms, etc.

Probably ‘spomb’ out a bed of feed (breadcrumb, maize, hemp, maggot,…) on arrival in the area between our two swims and then fish one rod each into that baited area and our other rods outside.

Also my session 21 planned – my usual, on my own, Tuesday 4am session on the canal. Aiming for around the same area as last Tuesday’s visit – but maybe not so far from the car this time though as there were some nice areas I passed last time..

OK – NOW …. I’m Ready For Summer….

Fishing jacket now dyed back to a dark green from the rather faded pale green of the past 12 months or so…. BUT more importantly, said jacket PLUS my camo trousers, 4 camo T-shirts, a camo hoodie and my camo bush hat have all been newly waterproofed with NixWax! So,come on down, summer, and throw all you’ve got at me!!! 😀

Other than that the plans for next week are – well, that’s if I survive tomorrow’s activity – we’re off to Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey for the day courtesy of the Sun newspaper and their free tickets, and will be going on as many hair-raising, heart-stopping rides as we possibly can and it will actually, be good practice for when we go to Alton Towers on the 15th June!!. Anyway, back to plans for next week… out with Liz to a yet-to-be decided destination on Monday, probably do my usual 4am foray to the canal on Tuesday, and hopefully get a session in on Thursday or Friday (where to unknown, with Liz or not is also unknown as it will depend on her work schedule and other plans)…

Session 19 – Some Success At Last!!

Was up at 4:00am – on the road at 4:30am – and on the side of the Staffie tackled up and fishing by 5:15am despite a long’ish brisk walk from car to swim. Fished until around 10:15am and boats were starting to move – around 4 or 5 boats passed through between 9:00am and my finish – but I was still getting bite a cast although all were gudgeon when I hooked and landed a fish.

A beautiful morning – squirrels clambering in the trees, birds singing and on walk back there was a heron on the far bank opposite which allowed me to put down bags, get camera in case out, get camera out of case, switch on camera and point at said creature before it flew off before I could press the button! Grrrrrr!!!! 😀

Anyway, as said in previous post I fished on the quivertip as intended but only used the Des Taylor Avon rod with size 12 hook, later changed down to a 16. I fished two swims  – 1 on far bank to my right and one on far bank to my left. Initially fed a couple of tennis balls of groundbait laced with maggot, maize and hemp into the right hand swim and regularly catapulted a few maggots into each swim at about 15 min intervals plus a few prawns thrown out too.

Had bites virtually every cast and first capture was a healthy gudgeon with attitude – and he was the first of 14 of his kind over the morning all on maggot on size 12 or 16 hooks. Also among the morning’s gatherings were 3 chub (1oz, 3-4oz and 2lb 2oz), the smaller two on maggot on size 12 and the larger on prawn on size 12 – and a perch of approx 6oz taken on a size 12 baited with a brandling/maggot cocktail.

On walk back to the car besides the deviant heron I also spotted a couple of 4oz chub playing just under the surface in centre of the canal.

Arrived back at the car park to find a good half dozen or more cars there – but not one of those people had come in my direction and I could see them all lined up along the bank in the ‘usual’ area – fine by me – long may it remain like that! 🙂

Anyway, that’s my fishing over now for this week – have things to do – including a day at Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey on Thursday and a mate’s birthday drinks on Saturday night in Birmingham. Next trip out looks like a day out with Liz next Monday, probably to one of the club pools.

Pictures from Session 19:

100_1783 100_1781 100_1782

Session 19 Plans – Early Morning Canal…

Weather good and warm with little breeze … and overnight temps staying at 10C … seem good conditions for my planned foray on the canal tomorrow leaving home at 4:30am hopefully to be actually fishing by 5:15-5:30am. Probably fish until around 9am, possibly 10am dependant on the boat traffic and results.

I discovered on my last canal visit a bit of canal covered by my card that wasn’t shown on the maps, etc and when I had a walk to look at this stretch there was non-one else there despite a dozen or so just turned up to fish the known section! I also discovered a superb looking swim in the section too! So I’m heading there – a bit of a walk but could be well worth it! 🙂

Actually, to give a clue, the section is covered in Des Taylor’s  ‘Fishing In The West Midlands’ book! 🙂

Right, so I’m planning on quivertip fishing – taking a Des Taylor System 3 11′ Avon rod with the quivertip sections fitted and also a Syntra 10′ feeder rod with the quivertip sections fitted also. Both rods will have 6lb Berkeley Trilene mono mainlines and 8lb braid hooklengths to barbless hooks – the DT Avon having a size 12 and the Syntra rod a size 6. Leads in use will probably be 1/4oz maximum unless the need arises to increase for any reason. Rods will be used one at a time – and interchanged to accomodate the bait size in use at the time.

I will be baiting up with a few small balls of groundbait with dead maggot, hemp and maize additions on arrival and will be firing out, via catapult,  toppings up of  maggot and maize from time to time with occasional prawn and small cheesepaste ball additions too. Possibly also add small balls of groundbait as required. Hook baits will be maggot, sweetcorn, cheesepaste, worm, prawn and a special bread based bait.

Hoping for perch and chub in the main … but bream, tench and carp would be welcome too! 🙂

So… that’s tomorrow’s plans… but while talking of quivertip rods… I’ve bought another one yesterday off eBay.
£20 inc p&p –  a ‘Grandeslam Carbo Strike 11ft Avon Barbel Rod’ – comes with a solid tip and also a quiver section with 2 push-in tips… and has a 1.75lb TC. Original plan was to sell the Syntra 10′ but not sure about that now! 😀

Also, my Korum 2-rod quiver is now on eBay for sale… a few watchers almost striaght away but no actual bids currently but then again there’s still 6 days to go on the auction.