Session 39 – Abbey Friday… 2nd August 20

I headed out to our club’s water at Lilleshall Abbey, leaving home at 0545 and arriving around 0645. On arrival a van was already on the car park, and 2 guys fishing the far bank from me in bivvies so I assumed they’d overnighted. They departed around 1530, I departed at 1630 and as I got back to the car park at 1700 another angler had just turned up for a night session – hope he was OK as back home we had a really harsh thunder and lightning session for a good hour or so along with a good lashing of rain and wind.

Anyway, I selected a swim on the near bank just beyond the far end of the island which was just off to my right and to my left was a large overhanging weeping willow and before settling down I pre-baited both an area directly in front of me and also just off the edge of the weeping willow as this seemed to look a good holding spot for perch, which the pool holds some good specimens of. Pre-baiting was done with mixed particles (maize, hemp, wheat) plus maggots and small cubes of luncheon meat.

Tackle for the day consisted of 2 11′ 1.75lb TC Barbel/Avon rods both with 8lb line direct to the hooks – and the leger weights attached via a 10cm feeder boom with a 12″ hook length. One rod had a size 6 hook (the centre of pool rod) and the other had a size 12 (willow tree rod).

Baits used over the day:

  • Centre pool rod:  bread, meat, cheese paste boilies, prawn
  • Willow rod: Maggot, worm, meat, prawn

Each bait was generally given a 1.5 to 2 hour period of use before swapping to another.

Over the day, I had not one touch at all to the centre pool rod regardless of bait. I fared a bit better on the willow rod, successfully landing a 1lb eel, a small (3-4oz) perch and a 9oz roach plus losing one fish when the hook pulled loose… and numerous bites on maggot and worm too although meat and prawn did not attract at all.

The 2 guys on the far bank had 3 fish, carp I assume, that looked around 5-8lb possibly…
Well, to be honest, their tackle had 3 fish really… as it seemed that each bite resulted in the alarm sounding and a 50-60 yard dash from a bivvy to the rods to pick up the rod… I suppose they were using a fixed lead setup of a sort. Not really my style – as I say their tackle caught the fish NOT the angler. To me, to use a fixed lead/bolt/self-hooking rig is NOT fishing – may as well tie a nightline, go home, and see if you caught anything the next morning… To me fishing means that I catch the fish by being attentive to the rods (ie sat with them all the time – ok I admit that at times nature does require me to take a trip to the bushes but rarely am I more that 10 yards from the rods even then), using setups that provide the least possible resistance to a feeding fish (eg light as possible running leads) so they feed confidently, and deciding when to strike (sometimes to a mere flicking of the line at the rod top that has not affected the buzzer/indicator, sometimes a twitching bobbin, sometimes a slowly rising bobbin, and sometimes a run that smashes the bobbin up to the butt, and sometimes taking the rod off the rests when twitching can be seen at the bobbin and feeling the line to time the strike, etc) – ie *I* catch the fish, which is as it should be in my view. Fishing is NOT just catching… and fishing is NOT just fishing either come to that, enjoyment of the surroundings also forms part of *the experience* too.

Anyway, although the catch wasn’t great in general terms, from that pool I was quite pleased – results are improving with each visit.

Next trip out will be next week now – Liz has the week off so we’ll decide on when and where at sometime. Most likely Tuesday or Friday, the weather forecast OK those couple of days but the rest are quite dodgy.

OH, yes… I said I’d report on those Asda prawns when I opened the second bag – the first one being bits and slush with only 2 recognisable prawns? Well, I have now opened that second bag – and it was an improvement on the first with recognisable prawns in the main – BUT still not a patch on the Morrison’s bags.

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