Session 38 – I Spotted Mountain Goats!!!

Friday 26th July 2013 at 0500 and I was walking along the banks of Staffs-Worcs canal near Wombourne – a BAA administered stretch, which was a change from the WDAA stretches I’ve been fishing so far this year. I don’t think I’ve ever fished this stretch either before in my life although I have walked it many years ago and remember watching a grass snake swimming down the middle at that time.

I arrived a bit later than I had intended due to having had travelled a mile or so (got to Baggeridge Country Park) I realised I’d not picked up my flask of coffee! And no way can I survive one hour, never mind four or five without a cuppa! So I had to turn around and rectify the error! 🙂

Anyway, having eventually arrived, I chose a swim that, on the far bank, had a couple of pieces of overhanging vegetation with a bit of clearer bank (12′-15′) between forming a bit of a ‘bay’ which allowed a bit of leeway in where to locate the bait – either in the bay or on to either of the vegetation overhangs.

Before setting the rod up, I baited the swim with a few balls of breadcrumb/dry blood mix into which were mixed a few maggots, small prawn pieces and small meat cubes to allow the swim to settle for a few minutes before casting in. The rod used was my trusty Des Taylor System 3 Avon with the light quivertip top section, and the setup was completed with 6lb line straight through to a size 12 hook and an 1/8oz free-running bomb set about 12″ above the hook. During the session, occasional prawn bits, maggots, and small meat pieces were catapulted into the swim…

Starting bait was a small (3/8″, 7mm) cube of luncheon meat which was dipped into a tub of ‘Predator Plus’ dip as I was wishful of catching perch or chub today. And first cast, over to the right hand piece of overhang, and after a 10-15 minute wait, I was rewarded with a sudden swing of the quivertip and a 1lb 15oz chub was soon landed. A few bits of loosefeed were then added to the swim and the re-baited hook cast to the left hand overhang. After a period when the swim had been searched out without result (ie after 15-20 min intervals the bait was placed in the bay and the right hand overhang), the bait was changed to prawn – again dipped in ‘Predator Plus’… and after this bait had been in the water for 30 mins or so, and small nibble activity noted during that time, the quiver again swang round and I struck but met no resistance and supposed I’d missed but on going to re-bait I found the hook missing … no curly end so not a slipped knot… and a clean break could be seen I reckon and inch or two above the hook. Strange, esp as I was using 6lb line that I felt absolutely nothing at all and I had landed the previous chub ok and could see no obvious damage when re-baiting then. Oh well, live goes on! 😀 So for an hour or so I stayed on the prawn/dip combination, getting the small tremors/nibbles and the occasional bigger tweak – and each time the line was wound in the bait was perfectly intact. Anyway, time passed and for the last hour I decided to change to maggot on a size 16 hook, which I did placing 4 or 5 maggots on the hook and dipping in the PP dip. Within 2 minutes of the first cast, the tip swang over and a nice but small (10-12oz) bream was landed. And for the rest of the hour, bites came on every cast but none that were connected with. And at 0930, I packed up and left for home.

Yep – the goats! Well, there I was minding my own business (my tip actually) when I happened to look up at the steep bank opposite and there was a herd of goats meandering along the top in the trees – wasn’t a clear enough view for a photo though… 🙂

*** By the way, AVOID Asda Smart Price Prawns! In the one bag I opened this morning it consisted mainly of ‘slush’ and only 2 prawns that were recognisable as such, although some of the larger ‘bits’ were hookable on a size 12 – just about! I’ve another unopened bag so, when I open that, it seems this first bag is NOT representative of  what was in the second bag I’ll report it in a later posting… Morrison’s ‘Value’ bags are far far better quality!

Next planned outing …. thinking of small river fishing on Sunday 28th July 2013… but depends on weather and other factors.

Pics of the day:

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

Chub 1lb 15oz

Chub 1lb 15oz

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

26-07-2013 Staffs-Worcs Canal, Wombourne

Session 37 – No Carp But Rudd, Roach And Tench

Monday 22nd July 2013 saw Liz and I enroute to the club’s tench (well, tench are the predominant species but also perch, roach, rudd, barbel, crucians, etc) pool at 0700 arriving approximately 0745 and choosing to fish two swims that we’d previously never fished.

Weather was warm with hazy sunshine.

On arrival I spomb’ed out a few spombs of mixed particles (hemp, maize, wheat) along with some small cubes of luncheon meat and dead maggots on to the edge of the lily pads that separated our two swims. We both fished laying-on style with a 6BB onion float shotted with a 3SSG shot 3″ from the hook and 2 AAA shot just below the overdepth float and baited with maggot (me) and meat, maggot and corn (Liz). By noon we’d not caught a thing although we did have small float nudges and I dropped off three fish of a few inches.

Anyway, at this time we made a decision to move on to the adjacent carp pool for the rest of the day to try our luck there. This pool is SUPPOSED to contain only carp and chub as far as I know but although our catches did include chub (1 each of around 6oz) and Liz did lose a good carp when her hook knot failed, the predominant species caught were rudd with a few roach too… and I did also have a tench of around 1lb. I suppose in the 3 hours or so we fished I had around 12/15 roach & rudd, 1 tench and 1 chub and Liz had 3 roach and rudd and lost that carp.

So not a very productive day but the tench pool can be very moody and to be honest we’ve had very good sessions the previous half a dozen trips or so there so not unexpected really. And at least we had solace in the fact that a tern fishing in the pool seemed to have a bad day of it too… many dives but no results… unlike one we saw on another pool last year that was catching one every dive! 🙂

Liz did spot a badger wandering down the far bank of the pool too that I missed completely otherwise I’d have had its photo on here!! As it is, no photos from this session at all.

Now looking forward to a session on the canal tomorrow – around 0500 start until 0930/1000 time. Again I’m heading to a new swim on BAA water – a change from the WDAA canal waters that I’ve been fishing recently- and one that is actually in Des Taylor’s ‘Fishing In The Midlands’ book – a swim with a nice Mr Crabtree type feature there so hoping for the best. Will be fishing legered/quivertipped maggot and meat with a dunking in various flavoured dips – chopped worm, bloodworm, predator plus and krill being the ones being taken with me.

Session 36 – A Cut In The Morning

Today, Friday 19th July 2013, was an early morning session on the Staffs-Worcs canal near Wombourne.

I fished a new stretch today – one I’ve never fished before in my life – as a change from my usual canal destination – but not that far apart really, maybe a mile or so.

Weather the usual warm start of the day and bright sunshine as has been the norm for the past few weeks. The latter part of the session was a bit difficult as the sun’s reflection off the water was straight into my eyes – and nothing much I could do about it other than shield with the hand as I needed to watch my quivertip and I was unable to place it in a more sheltered position.

Anyway, arrived on the water around 0515 – later than expected as I got a little lost and went rather round a circular route to get there and wandered along until I located a nice looking swim. Before setting up the usual Des Taylor Avon quiver tip setup I fed around the overhanging vegetation on the far bank a few balls of mixed breadcrumb, chocolate and red silver-fish groundbait laced with dead maggots, and also laid a few down along the near bank too… was nice to see a good bit of growth there for the wildlife to exist in rather than the usual golf-green shorn stuff that the councils are so fond of creating!!

The fishing itself was conducted with aforesaid rod, 6lb line straight through to a size 16 hook baited with double live maggot and I fished through to 0930, mainly to the far bank swim but did try the nearside too – especially as the water was frothing like a glass of Alka Seltzer with gudgeon bubbles – very reminiscient of the 70’s! 😀

Results of the day – just 2 fish – a nice chub of around 12oz and another which, in a pugilistic match with a minnow, I would have bet against! 😀 I did have some good pulls – those missable-unmissable types when the tip swings over and you strike while its still moving but there’s nothing there…

After packing up I wandered along the canal for a bit and found a super swim for next week’s canal trip – a great ‘feature’ plus really really sheltered from the sun – it was begging me to stay today but I had to leave as I need to get a few jobs, etc sorted here at home.

Pics of the day:

Staffs-Worcs Canal - 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal – 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal - 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal – 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal - 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal – 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal - 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal – 19/07/2013

Staffs-Worcs Canal - 19/07/2013 - 12oz Chub

Staffs-Worcs Canal – 19/07/2013 – 12oz Chub

Session 35 – A Day’s Carping

Tuesday, 16th July 2013, after dropping Liz off at work at around 0700 I headed off for some carp action on one of our club pools (GH) arriving at around probably 0715 and being pleased on arrival that the gate was still locked indicating I was going to get my choice of swim for the day.

Weatherwise, the day was a continuation of the very hot, sunny weather we’d had for the past few weeks with temps well into the upper 20’s.

Unpacked the car and wandered to the swim – and the pool was looking wonderful – and a decent sized carp was already plucking morsels off the water’s surface about 2o’ away from. This led to my floating bait rod (10′, 1.75lb TC fitted with reel containing greased 30lb braid terminated by about 3′ of 10lb mono to size 2 barbless hook – but needless to say by the time I was ready to fish the target fish had moved on 🙂

So I carried on as planned by spombing out about 1Kg of mixed particles in front of me, off the end of an island directly in front, and then setting up my pod and alarms and my 2 11′ 1.75lb TC rods, both with 8lb Krystonite line straight through to their hooks. One rod was fitted with a sliding 1/2oz bomb on a feeder boom terminated with a size 6 barbless hook, the other a small maggot feeder, again on a feeder boom, terminated with a size 12 barbless hook.

Both rods were baited (bread on the leger rod, maggot on the feeder) and cast out…. but after half an hour or so with no action on the maggot rod and a few tugs on the bread rod, the increasing numbers of  surface feeding carp gained my attention and so the maggot rod was wound in (and never cast out again all day) and the floating bait rod replaced it… and I switched bait on the other rod to luncheon meat…

  • 0825   6oz Roach – floating bread
  • 0845   3lb 14oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1035   3lb 1oz Common Carp – legered luncheon meat
  • 1105   4lb 2oz Mirror Carp – legered luncheon meat
  • 1115   3lb 4oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1135   4lb 8oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1150   1lb 13oz Bream – slowly sinking bread (was floating but sodden)
  • 1205   5lb 7oz Mirror Carp – floating bread
  • 1220   4lb 2oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1240   2lb 0oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1255   2lb 11oz Common Carp – floating crust
  • 1315   3lb 0oz Common Carp – floating crust
  • 1410   1lb 12oz Bream – floating crust
  • 1450   3lb 5oz Common Carp – floating bread
  • 1455   8oz Roach – floating bread
  • 1640   6oz Roach – floating bread

Finally, started to pack up at 1815.

I did have one further bite on the legered luncheon meat rod at around 1800, which was to the bait cast out after the last capture on that rod at 1105!

AND… at the end of the day, my back was in two! Had been continually standing holding the floating bait rod for virtually 10 hours by then with perhaps only 10 sit-downs of less than 2 minutes each time during that time!! But it WAS great fun! 🙂

Pics of the day … no ‘fishy’ ones but thanks to the 40x zoom on my ‘new’ (to me – bought off eBay) camera, I did get some reasonable ones of the resident heron on his favourite willow on the island….

20130716 - Resident heron 02 20130716 - Heron cleaning 01 20130716 - Heron cleaning 02 20130716 - Resident heron 01

Session 34 – A Private Pool…

Saturday 13th July 2013, fishing from 0700 to 1830, at a private, normally unfished, pool that the club gets an invitation to fish over 5 weekends of the year with 6 anglers allowed per day session and each contributing £10 to the local church funds.

The pool has a good head of tench, carp and perch of good size. Not sure about the bream situation as in 3 years of taking advantage of the invite at this pool neither Liz or myself have caught one – and although we have not caught perch there either we do know of good sized ones being caught by others.

Weather of the day was a continuation of the hot (mid- to high 20’s) temps, accompanied by almost clear blue skies that had been the order of the day for a week or more previous to the visit.

We arrived at the pool around 0620 in order to get our desired swim by the dam wall and to tackle up and be ready for the 0700 start of fishing. Liz started by laying-on with her float setup, fishing with sweetcorn on her size 16 hook tied directly to 8lb main line whilst I setup a 1.75lb TC leger rod with 1/2oz bomb on a running link 12″ above my size 6 hook and started fishing with luncheon meat cylinders (cut out with an apple corer). I also set up my floating bait rod – 30lb greased braid connected via a cork ball enclosed swivel to 3′ of 10lb monofilament terminated with a size 2 hook. Pre-tackling I also catapulted out a particle mix feed of hemp, maize, and wheat.

Over the course of the day Liz also set up her 2 1.75lb TC leger rods and at various times fished 1 float and 1 leger or both leger rods together. Myself stuck with my original leger rod, and although I did try floating baits from time to time the floating bait rod lay unused really for 99% of the day.

Baits used over the day between us – sweetcorn, maggot, bread (with/without dip), luncheon meat.

Results – well, I caught greater numbers but Liz was certainly the ‘winner’ in the quality stakes! 🙂

  • Steve – 4lb 6oz Mirror Carp, bread
  • Steve – 2lb 7oz Tench, bread (but foul hooked in pectoral fin)
  • Steve – 2lb 5oz  Tench, bread
  • Steve – 4lb 0oz Common Carp, bread
  • Liz – 2lb 7oz Tench, luncheon meat
  • Steve – 1lb 1oz Tench, bread
  • Steve – 1lb 14oz Tench, bread
  • Steve – 4lb 7oz Common Carp, bread
  • Steve – 4lb 13oz Common Carp, bread
  • Liz – 5lb 2oz Common Carp, luncheon meat
  • Liz – 10lb 3oz Common Carp, luncheon meat
  • Steve – 1lb 9oz Tench, bread
  • Liz – 10lb 4oz Common Carp, luncheon meat

Anyway, a great day out, and much enjoyed. And Liz has a qualifying entry for a ‘Mission Accomplished’  badge from ‘Improve Your Coarse Fishing’  magazine for her 10lb 4oz carp. Actually, any of her three carp would qualify as the minimum weight is 5lb but, interestingly, none of mine would!

There were 3 other anglers on the pool who fished the far bank from us. They seemed to catch more but possibly not of our quality – and 2 of them seemed to lose a few too, esp. the one guy who seemed to have hook pull after hook pull.. 😦

Anyway, looking forward to our return next year!! 🙂

Pics of the day:

Common Carp - 4lb 7oz

Common Carp – 4lb 7oz

Mirror Carp - 4lb 6oz

Mirror Carp – 4lb 6oz


Liz with 10lb 3oz Common Carp

Liz with 10lb 3oz Common Carp

Liz with 10lb 4oz Common Carp

Liz with 10lb 4oz Common Carp


Attentive and ready for action!

Attentive and ready for action!

Fish have pee'd in there, you dirty cow!

Fish have pee’d in there, you dirty cow!


2013-07-13 03

The Pool…

2013-07-13 02

The Pool


2013-07-13 01

The Pool

2013-07-13 Mallards

Mallard Boy’s Outing


2013-07-13 Mallard Duck

Mrs Mallard

2013-07-13 Mallard Drake

Mr Mallard


Plans for next week still to be determined but Liz won’t be fishing she says – but will do the following Monday. So I’m a bit undecided – probably go one day to the tench pool, and another day to another of the club pools with possibly an early morning canal session thrown in too…  Ummmmmm…….

Session 33 – Ready, Action, Cut!!!

Session 33 was partaken on the morning of July 11th 2013, between 0500 and 0900. on the Staffs/Worcs Canal near Wolverhampton. Setting up to fish in the flow just below a set of locks, the far bank swim was baited with bread crumb heavily laced with dried blood.

Tackle for the day consisted of my 10′ Des Taylor Avon System 3 rod set up with the lightest quiver tip, and 6lb line straight through to a size 16 hook with an 1/8oz bomb set 12″ from the hook. Bait was double maggot or maggot/brandling cocktail and baits were dipped in ‘Chopped Worm’ dip.

Bites came quickly to start with and in the first half an hour I had 4 small chub (2-3oz), 5 similar sized parch and a gudgeon… followed by further perch to 8oz and chub to 12oz, a few more gudgeon and a solitary and tiny daddy ruffe.

I would have fished a little on beyond my actual finishing time for the day but for the fact I’d somehow managed to get a loose line tangle around the reel and the spool and although I managed to sort it out mainly there were a couple of tiny knotted loops left in the line that were impeding casting at times and the length of line containing them needed to be removed but the time to do that would probably have taken me to my allotted time anyway and the boat traffic was starting to build up too. So I decided at that point to pack in and sort the problems out at home ready for the next canal visit, hopefully next week, but intending possibly to try out a new area.

Whilst walking down to my swim, I discovered, on the towpath, a freshly dead chub of about 1.5-2lb, which seemed to be bleeding from the gill area but no other trauma to the body was discernible – probably a victim of the heron that is usually in the area and which was spotted a couple of times during morning.

Next trip out is on Saturday, 13th,  to a private, normally unfished, pool that our club is privileged to have access to for five weekends each year. Six anglers per day at this time are allowed on the water from 0700-1900, and each person fishing donates £10 to the local church fund. Liz and I have our booked day there, as I said, this coming Saturday. There are good tench, carp and perch in the pool and we’re looking forward to a good day out there although possibly with the hot, bright weather it may not be best conditions – just have to hope for a major freshening thunderstorm or something overnight or tomorrow (Friday)… and hopefully we’ll manage to get on to the deeper water to get the best advantage. Last year, Liz and I had the entire pool to ourselves for the entire day – and doing so again would be absolutely brilliant! So here’s hoping for good results on session 34!! 🙂

Session 32 – In which Liz and Steve fished in California….

Tuesday 9th July Liz and I took a short trip to California for our fishing session… California, of course, being the name of the pool (there being 11 pools in total there available on day ticket) we fished at the Kingsnordley Fishery near Quatford in Shropshire. It was the first time we’d been to Kingsnordley, and prompted by our obtaining a ‘2 for 1, Sport for All’ voucher from the Sun newspaper. Not that the fishing is expensive there – £5 a day for 10 of the pools and £8 for the other pool, the specimen (‘House’) pool.

It was a glorious day weatherwise – for us – very hot and sunny – but not the ideal angling conditions for a good days sport albeit that we caught a fair few fish up to 1lb (bream, carp, and perch mainly) with a signal crayfish too for good measure – and had 2 other crays come off. Liz also lost a very good bream when she suffered the hook losing its hold. Plenty of fish cruising – some nice sized carp amongst them – but not really in the mood for feeding although I did tempt one to take a piece of crust but missed on the strike and a guy in the late afternoon had one on the far bank.

We fished from around 0900 to 1800….

We did walk and look at 8 of the 11 pools before starting to fish – Willow and Kingfisher being a bit distant at the time – and although we thought we’d seen Gage Pool, in fact we were looking at the wrong pool – the one we mistakenly looked at was a private club pool.

However, despite the lack of substantial result on this visit we so liked the look of the pools so much so that as Arnie said “We’ll be back!”……

Session 31 – In Which Tinca Tinca, Albramis Brama And Perca Fluviatilis All Took The Bait!

It being Friday 5th July I took off at 0530 to my angling club’s tench pool in Staffordshire arriving at around 0610. I’d intended fishing a different swim to the one which I’d fished the previous few sessions and on arrival drove up towards that swim…  On arrival at the pool I had noticed that there was a car parked halfway down to my destination but thought that’d I be OK but, in fact, the angler was in the actual swim I wanted 😦 And so I drove back down the pool and went to my ‘usual’ swim instead. I fished until 1800 – so it was roughly a 12 hour session. Weather was fine with blue skies and temps rising over the day up to about 26°C.

Before tackling up I deposited about 0.5-0.75Kg of barely damp groundbait laced with hemp, wheat and maize by use of my spomb. Actually my baited area was within 10 yards out at the edge of a patch of lily pads so distance-wise the spomb was not really necessary but as the groundbait was only barely damp (not enough to ball it) in order to fall as a ‘cloud’ it was an ideal method to get that bait out and all within tight bounds. During fishing I further topped up the area every few minutes by catapulting out small quantities of maggots – using around 2 pints over the whole 12 hour session.

Tackle was the laying-on float set up as used in previous sessions – so I won’t go any further into that – look back if you really want to know! 🙂

OK – first cast was made around 0640 with maggot on the hook and all looked promising with the water looking like someone had deposited a ton of Alka Seltzer in there with all the tench bubbles rising – however, it was to be 1015 before the first fish – a tench (Tinca Tinca) of 2lb 13 oz was landed on worm with only 2 missed bites preceeding that . The next capture was to be a small (2-3oz) perch (Perca Fluviatilis) at 1055. At about this point the other guy on the water came around (a committee man on the sit-on lawn mower doing a bit of tidying up) and said that his catch also consisted of one tench and one perch – and that the water in front of him was ‘hissing’ with tench too but they didn’t seem interested in any sort of bait.

Anyway, I’ll itemise the results below – but worth pointing out that I did take to using bait dips – swapping flavours (Bloodworm and Crab & Mussel) willy nilly really .


  • 1015… Tench… 2lb 13oz… worm
  • 1055… Perch… 2-3oz… worm
  • 1205… Perch…8oz… small meat cube, artificial maggot, crab& mussel dipped.
  • 1255… Perch…13oz… small meat cube, artificial maggot, bloodworm dipped.
  • 1325… Tench… 2lb 3oz… meat, crab&mussel
  • 1440… Bream… 15oz… meat, crab&mussel
  • 1545… Tench… 3lb 1oz… meat, crab& mussel

Changed hook from a size 16 to a size 12 at this point as, using the meat cubes, I seemed to miss a lot of bites and so increased size to better match the bait.

  • 1600… Bream… 3lb 13oz… meat, bloodworm

And that was the day basically… a few bites missed, especially when having changed to the small (1/8″ – 1/4″) cubes of meat and on the size 16 hook. Bites seemed to come in bunches too .. probably a bite a cast for 20-30mins followed by 1-2 hours before next one.

The most enjoyable thing on the day – which also proved the fish were around even if not taking baits – was watching the float reacting to the tail currents of nearby fish, the float just gently swaying on the water surface… and sometimes the still float would start to sway, followed a few seconds later by a patch of bubbles rising and bursting alongside, and then the float just lifted… Wonderful!! 🙂

Pics of the day:

Sorry to say I didn’t actually take any!! 😦
But to make up I’m adding some generic pictures of the species caught…

Perch (Perca Fluviatilis)

Perch (Perca Fluviatilis)

Tench (Tinca Tinca)


Bream (Albramis Brama)