OK… on Friday 21st June 2013, Liz and myself set off from home at 0700 heading to our club’s tench pool. Weather at the time was a very misty, very fine drops of rain in the air type but over the day it cleared mostly to give bright but overcast conditions with a few sunshine breaks but also a couple of light 5 minute showers in the late afternoon/early evening but so light that basically they were noticed by the rain drops on the water rather than actually being felt or wetting us.
So, we arrived at the pool, transported the gear to our chosen pegs on the new barra’ – I didn’t balance the load too well I must admit on this first use, but even then it was a much easier journey than any previous one – and we were set up and making our first casts at 0800. And finally wound our lines in at 2000, having since 1800 been going ‘Another 10 minutes’, ‘Give it ’til quarter past’ and other similar excuses to stay! :D
On arrival, we selected a pair of adjacent swims with a lily pad patch between us thus allowing us to both fish on the edge of them. I then threw out a few balls of groundbait (a 50:50 mix of Sonubaits Chocolate Groundbait and homemade white breadcrumb with added 10% dried blood and 10% ground seeds/peanut kernels into each swim and over this was added a few handfuls of particle mix consisting of maize, wheat and hemp in the main. And whilst fishing we fed, via catapult on a little/often basis numbers of dead red and white maggots into our respective swims.
Both of us fished similarly in the main – 13′ float rods, 6lb main line straight through to size 16 or 14 barbless hooks, 6BB onion float overshotted by use of 1 x 3SSG shot 3″ from the hook and 2 x AAA shot just below the float to fine tune the over-weighting – and the float-to-hook distance set to about 12″ over-depth to allow perfect setting of the float by a light tightening of the line. Liz did have a slight change of tactic – for about 30 minutes – as there seemed to be a lot of fish activity in the upper layers – and I set her up a self cocking float with 2 x No.4 shot spaced down the line, thus allowing the bait to sink slowly through the water, and the float-to-hook length set about 3/4 of the actual water depth. However, this did not result in any bites at all and so she switched back to laying-on.
Baits used between us included maggot (inc artificial), worm, prawn, sweetcorn (inc artificial) and luncheon meat. I also used a ‘Chopped Worm’ dip at times. To me the most successful bait was worm – both individually and as a cocktail with maggot, which matched my findings from my previous visit. Maggot was probably 2nd best, although Liz did have good bites on luncheon meat. Sweetcorn and prawn also induced a few bites but were getting noticeably less response than the other baits. Use of the ‘Chopped Worm’ dip? – well, the difference, to me, was not really noticeable in any form – no more, no less bites. Artificials… well, used them in conjunction with live baits, mainly to keep the baits on the barbless hooks…
So what did we catch?
Liz had 4 fish in total – and lost 2 when they made the sanctuary of the lily pads throwing the hook.
- 2lb 11oz Tench – maggot
- 6oz Perch – maggot
- 2lb 80z Tench – maggot
- 1lb 14oz Barbel – luncheon meat. A surprise capture AGAIN! I’d had a 60z one the previous visit but although the club’s handbook does list them as being present I’ve not heard of any being caught previously. Anyway, this was Liz’s first ever barbel (even after many trips to the Severn last season!) and thus is also her Personal Best…
And I had 5 in total – losing 5 or 6 fish – mostly in the lilies late in the day when they gained sanctuary there and threw the hooks – but didn’t have one breakage. They just seemed at that time to take the bait and dash straight there – even when fishing several feet away and trying to strike-and-hold they sprinted and forced their way there. I did lose one nice sized perch too early in the day when it rolled on the surface and the hook came adrift.
- 1lb 12oz Tench – maggot
- 2lb 0oz Tench – maggot/worm cocktail
- 2lb 8oz Tench – worm/maggot
- 4lb 7oz Bream – worm/maggot
- 4lb 1oz Bream – worm/maggot
At this pool, despite its shallowness – virtually a constant 4′ 6″ with an occasional 1 metre-square sized hole of 5′ (well, that what my depth-finder has seen when I’ve sent it over the pool on the back of R/C boat) – the tench, when they feed, do feed constantly throughout the day – come unblinkered bright midday sun or dull overcast conditions. And there were tench bubbles fizzing like a bottle of shaken up Corona for most of the day. Also you never know what else will turn up at this pool… those barbel for instance, the bream of this trip were my first bream from this pool, but there are also plenty of roach/rudd, perch, crucian carp, gudgeon… in fact, everything except ‘common’ carp for which there is a separate pool alongside but it seems that some may have made a journey anyway as young stuff through the pipe that connects the two pools as I have heard that there are in fact carp in the pool now – and also the ‘carp/chub only’ pool certainly has many 1-2oz roach in there – and in fact if you want roach then you’ll catch more from the carp pool than their ‘home’ pool. Personally, I could do without the carp in the pool – plenty of them in our other pools (plus that carp pool alongside) and really they do become a nuisance when you’re hoping for other species and all you catch are carp, carp and more carp.
Anyway, at 2000 we decided we REALLY must leave for home – packed up the barra’ – properly balanced this time which made it a treat to use – made our way to the car and thence home.
Pics of the day:
Today’s meandering thought….
As many other angler’s believed, I was of the opinion that live maggots, when fed into a swim with a silty bottom, buried into the silt. And I always thought that this was possibly good in that it would encourage fish to stay around longer and to dig around to locate these buried ‘treasures’. However, it has come to light, thanks to the latest underwater videoing projects, that this is not true at all! What happens is that the maggots crawl out of the swim entirely ie would seem to start encroaching into your neighbours swims and at first thought/sight it may seem that this is far from productive for yourself but great for your neighbour as the fish follow that great maggot expansion. But then I thought again… as the maggots disperse then so will their ‘density’ ie if at the point of introduction there are 100 maggots within one foot of their entry point then as they proceed outwards (and assuming a perfect spread), due to the inverse square law as they reach 2 feet away there will be a density of 1/2_squared (1/4) of the original ie 25 maggots per square foot and as they reach 4 feet then their density will become 1/16 or 6.5 maggots per square foot. Thus it is easy to see that by the time they’ve reached 30 feet (and remember we’re not allowing for maggots being gobbled en-route either) then your neighbours swim will probably receive less than 1 maggot for every 100 that you feed! Not a lot! BUT the dispersion could also work as a BIGGER advantage for YOU than the burying scenario…. BURIED maggots will possibly HOLD fish in your swim longer than they would remain normally, but DISPERSING maggots will ATTRACT from outside the nominally baited area by spreading and at the extreme edges of the spread the ‘light’ sprinkling increases perfectly in density as it comes in towards the epicentre where the maggots are being introduced to draw, by enticenment, the fish inwards to your actual baited/fishing area.