OK, it was Friday 17th January and I headed off to a local day ticket water, Himley Hall Great Pool. This is a water run by Dudley Leisure Services and is an excellent venue for a remarkable price, standing the the grounds of Himley Hall, a place that was handed over to the care of Dudley Council for the public benefit by a past Earl of Dudley. For a while it was also co-managed by Wolverhampton Council, I believe, too and in part used by Wolverhampton Polytechnic – later University.
Anyway, fishing there is available all year round now. Previous years the water had a ‘close season’ of March to May when fishing was not allowed but in 2013 a whole year opening with no close season was trialed and due to the results of that trial this has now become the norm for the future. Costs are a very good £5.20 a day March-November with half price concessions for the aged, unwaged, etc., and December-February the ticket is £2.60 for everyone. I think, these charges will rise in the new financial year though – and I think that the charges will be £6 (March-November) and £3 concessions and December-February.
It is also a water that has featured on one of the ‘Rod Race’ challenges on TV with Matt Hayes and Mick Brown fishing for the many crucian carp in there – and they also fished in another episode, I think, on another of Himley Hall’s pools, the Rock Pool, in which fishing is not generally allowed these days. Matt and Mick were at that time fishing for the grass carp that had been placed in there to devour the weed that had been building up and, job done, they were to be transferred into the Great Pool IIRC. Also the Rock Pool used to be a trout pool back in the 80’s and I fished there on fly during the coarse fishing close season that applied globally within the UK at that time.
Back to the Great Pool… It holds many good sized tench, roach, crucian and common carp, roach, perch, etc including, of course, my target of yesterday, the pike :)
So on the day I arrived at the pool, electing to fish peg 30. A cast out with the depth/fish finder found a constant firm bottom of 4.5′ all around and in front of me. I tackled up and first casts hit the water at around 0835.
I used two rods – both homemade, 2.5lb TC, and 11′ in length made from Northwestern blanks in the 80’s and both fitted with reels and line of 18lb BS. One rod was rigged with a standard homemade snap tackle setup of 2 size 6 treble hooks on 25lb BS seven strand wire, with a float set to around 5′ depth so that the bait (a whole sardine) lay still on the bottom. The second rod, also floatfished, was terminated with 25lb wire again but with a single size 2 at mid length and a size 2 with a size 12 hook whipped to the back of the shank to give a sort of Jardine tackle setup where the smaller of the hooks is used to hold the bait.
This was fished with a sprat as bait at around 3′ depth and allowed to drift with wind and current.
Anyway, as for the fishing there’s not a lot to say – not a touch had been had when I packed up at 1500 – despite casting to different areas, tweaking of baits to try to draw attention, etc.
I does seem that a bit of luck had been had a bit further up the pool in deeper water though with the warden saying that one double had been caught and one fish lost that day… and a couple of other doubles had come form that same area in th preceding week.
So yet another pikeless session it was for me then.
Water was crystal clear on the day…
Air: 4.9C rising to 8.2C then dropping back to 7.2C
Water: 4.9C rose to 5.C maximum.
But water temps were strange in that temp rose from 4.9C at 0900, rising steadily up to 5.1C at around 1100… but from then on, at regular 15-20 second intervals, it cycled 4.9, 5.1, 4.9, 5.1,… etc as if there were a circulating smooth undisturbed undercurrent.
MISHAPS OF THE DAY
1. Despite the lack of action I thought I’d take a few sceneric photos of the pool for illustrating this post. BUT it seemed I’d left the camera’s memory card at home from when I’d downloaded the previous pics… and my camera does not have any built in memory at all… so I was unable to do that …
2. And then I thought – take a few pics with the phone’s camera… errr… phone left at home too…
3. Had a new landing net pole – a Middy Carp Baggin’ Machine take apart pole. 3.8 metres at full stretch but can connect together to give 5 different sizes from 1 metre to the full 3.8 metres. Anyway, for the day I set it to its 3 metre configuration and sat the net in the water to dampen and sink to ease use later if needed. As I say it wasn’t needed, and so about half an hour before packing up I decided to pull the net in and lean against a convenient tree to drain and dry. However, it seems I didn’t push the top section on properly – or rather, didn’t twist to lock as one does in the pub with beer glasses to upset the grumpy barmaid :D, and so on pulling the top pole section with net remained 2 metres out in the water!! Tried to catch the net and rim on the 2 metres of pole in hand and did so at times for it only to slip off and end up further away. In the end I had to pull one of the rods in and drop the treble hooks down on top of the net mesh to catch it that way. All succeeded and the net and pole section were recovered OK.
4. On the car park…. CENSORED DUE TO YOU CERTAINLY NOT NEEDING OR WANTING TO KNOW.
5. Arrived home and unloading the car to discover that one of my reels has suffered a broken reel seat and also currently prevents the rod it was attached to being used unless I can find a way of removing the broken reel part which will not be easy. The reel attaches to a rod by means of a stem and foot (sort like ‘ ‘T’ toppled over 90 degrees), the top of the ‘T’ representing the foot that fits into the reel attachment device on the rod. The attachment device consists of a fixed slot in the bottom of the fitting with a similar but moveable slot that is locked down by a nut on a thread – so effectively the reel foot is held in and between these 2 slots. However, the reel foot has broken level with the top of the fixed slot and thus nothing protrudes to catch on to try to pull it out and it is held in the slot under the compression of the slot walls too. So reel has has a missing foot, which cannot in any way be repaired, so that’s a throwaway… and the rod is unusable (at the mo anyway) as there is no way to be able to attach another reel until the jammed up slot can be cleared, and that’s looking like unlikely. Good job the rod only cost £9.99 so not a major financial loss – and is easily replaceable from Go Outdoors – comes as a rod/reel package at £9.99 actually, the reel is absolute rubbish to be honest, but the rod is a cracker and on a par with similar rods selling at £20-£30 and maybe even more.
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