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! :D 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: