Session 5 (2015) – Canal Bait Fishing

Tuesday, 17th February 2015, and it’s a trip to a local stretch of the Staff-Worcs Canal setting out at around 0815 after a very frosty night which required the car windows to be sprayed with anti-freeze and a good half hour’s blast with the hot air blower. Useful device is this blower… a standalone device that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket – which means that the car windows can be pre-heated whilst having breakfast, etc and in such a way that the car can be locked up while unattended… recently several cars on our estate, inc a Porsche, went walkabout when people used their car’s own heating system to defrost windows requiring the keys to be in the ignition and the engine on but they then left the car unattended and….  bye bye car!! 😦

Anyway, overnight temps were obviously sub-zero…. and as I drove across to the venue the car’s thermometer was registering 1C. However, I was unable to record any temps over the day, air or water, as I had forgotten to pack my thermometer. SO… the overnight drop was not going to be good for results.

Technique for the day – quiver tipping with dendrobaena worm(s) on the size 12 hook and light free feeding of maggots. Also at times small balls of groundbait (breadcrumb, gravy granules and blitzed Vitalin) were also wrapped around the 7g gram leger weight.

 I was in my first chosen swim of the day – and eventually fished three swims altogether – at 0855 with bait in the water. This swim had moored boats on the far bank with a boatlength gap and overhanging brambles – in fact probably the most ‘fishy’ looking swim in the length I fished.

2015-02-17 Swim 1 03 2015-02-17 Swim 1 02

2015-02-17 Swim 1 01

However, after an hour or so without a single indication of any attention to my baits and with someone now working on the coal barge – loading/unloading sacks – to my left, I decided to try my luck elsewhere and wandered down to the extreme end of the stretch which is below a set of lock gates. When fishing the canal in this area this is my usual swim and is usually quite good.

2015-02-17 Swim 2 02 2015-02-17 Swim 2 01

2015-02-17 Swim 2 03

On arrival at the swim at 1010, the first of two boats to pass me was just entering the lock from above and as I was setting up my station it passed by. The swim in general is usually quite nice with water being pumped in just below the lock gates creating an eddy sort of effect at which the swim is at the bottom end of, with water moving away from the lock on near and far banks and returning up the centre channel but, probably due to the low boat traffic, the pumping and hence the eddy effect was only operating intermittently. Anyway, as per the ‘plan’ small amounts of loose fed maggot were fired to the far bank slightly to my right towards the lock gates (the line was the reflection of the double tree that can be seen in the photo above) and fished over with worm bait and occasional lead bound groundbait ball. And, I had the first inklings of possible success within the first 15 minutes with tweaks of the quiver tip noted. However, this was short lived and after about 40 minutes of intermittent knocks these stopped for a while and when the second boat of the day passed through coming down from the lock at around 1120 I decided to change the hook down from a size 12 to a size 16 but still no further action was attained and at around 1315 I decided to wander back towards the car and have an hour or so in another swim somewhere on the way along.

And so I arrived at the third swim of the day around 1330…

2015-02-17 Swim 3 02 2015-02-17 Swim 3 01

2015-02-17 Swim 3 03

As can be seen, a few overhanging albeit denuded bushes on the far bank plus some overhanging grasses/reeds made this look an acceptable place to try… and again as per the second swim I had intermittent tweaks seen on the tip but nothing of substance… but I persevered until 1500 when I packed up and headed home.

So… blanked BUT at least I had some sort of fishy stuff going on – the first of 2015, in fact, the previous four outings eliciting not even a nod of interest by the quarry.

Oh well…. outing 6 is due on Friday 20th!! Probably with Liz but destination has not yet been discussed 🙂

Session 4 (2015) – Pool (General Coarse)

2015-02-13 02

Friday, 13th February 2015, and Liz and I set off for the club’s ‘tench’ pool. As I’ve said before its not a tench pool solely – it does contain a mixed head of species – with the noticeable exceptions being pike and carp. Inhabitants include gudgeon, barbel, chub, roach, rudd, perch, tench, crucian carp and bream. An adjoining pool less than 10 yards away is stocked with carp (and chub) for those people who wish to pursue that species.

Anyway, as stated, Liz and I went for a general coarse session hoping for perch and tench – and for those who think it too early then this time last year, in similar temps, etc,  I was having good sessions for the tench on this pool… in fact they were all I could catch it seemed although I was hoping for a few perch.

We set off from the house a bit later than usual as to avoid the works/school traffic and probably arrived at the pool around 1030. We elected to fish on the leeward side of the pool’s island as to minimise the cool but light breeze coming from the south east but it was a pleasant day to start – but that didn’t last long unfortunately – with the breeze picking up and a constant drizzle which saw an initial air temp of 10.5C drop to 7.1c within 30 minutes and remain so until we decided to call it a day and head home at 1410. And, of course, when we get home there are blue skies and sunshine! However, even that disappeared within an hour and the grey skies, breeze and drizzle arrived ….

Anyway, the fishing… we both fished with a floatrod – laying-on style – myself with worm and Liz with maggot – and Liz also put out a light leger sleeper rod with a small meat bait. Swims were lightly fed with maggot but no cereal feed. First casts were made around 1100 but by our 1410 packing up time neither of us had a single bite or nudge. Also I tried dipping my bait in ‘Predator Plus’ but to no avail.

2015-02-13 01



Time               Air                  Water

1130                10.3                   7.6
1200                 8.1                    7.7
1300                 7.1                    7.9
1400                 7.4                    8.0


WATER TEMP TRENDS (Since Sept 2014):

ScreenHunter_20 Feb. 14 15.38


ScreenHunter_21 Feb. 14 15.38

Session 3 (2015) – Pool (Pike)

Tuesday, 10th February 2015, saw my return to the pike water full of hope …. again.

Setting off from home at around 0830, I arrived, after combating school and work traffic, at the pike pool at a little after 0900 to find that I’d the place to myself and that the water was free of the ice that covered 99% of its surface on my last visit. So, I decided to visit my usual peg. Once there the thermometer was placed in position and the tackle set up…

Unusually, as I normally fish one legered/popped-up bait and one floatfished bait, I decided on setting up my two float rods initially with one with the bait depth set to around 8’-9’ (12”-24” off bottom in the 10’ deep water in front of me) and the other at around mid-water at 4’-5’, fishing both between 2 rod lengths and 5-6 rod lengths out and allowing to drift across and round in front of me on the very light breeze. Baits were a christmas tree of 4-5 sprats on one rod and a single smelt on the other…

And so things remained until around 1130 with not a touch noted. At this point, I changed the tree of sprats to a single sprat and changed both rods to fish at 12’ deep so that the baits dragged bottom. One rod, sprat, was fished out to my left under an overhanging tree and the other, smelt, to the right, again just off the overhang of a tree… and another angler arrived at around 1030.

At 1230, the breeze, a NW’erly, had picked up over the previous hour and although not strong in any sense of the word, it did have a cooling effect due to it being across and into my body and face.

Between 1230 and the end of the session I did start to receive attention at my baits with both rods having indications of the floats ‘trembling’ but nothing more ‘serious’ came of those attentions – and most likely they were due to chub playing with the bait as on several times on previous trips these indications have been encountered and, although I’ve not managed to convert to a capture, my partner Liz has and they have been chub of reasonable size (ca 4lb).

And so, at 1510, I decided that I was going to call it a day and although occasional ‘trembles’ were still being noted the day ended as a blank.

2015-02-10 02 2015-02-10 01





2015-02-10 03



Time               Air                  Water

0930                4.5                     7.5
1030                4.7                     7.5
1135                 5.2                     7.5
1235                 5.0                     7.5
1335                 4.6                     7.6
1435                 5.0                     7.6
1510                 4.9                     7.6


WATER TEMP TRENDS (Since Sept 2014):

 ScreenHunter_18 Feb. 14 14.55

ScreenHunter_19 Feb. 14 14.55

Session 2 (2015) – Pool (Pike)

Tuesday, 3rd February 2015, and I eventually set out on the second of my 2015 sessions at 0830 heading to the usual pool for a spot of pike fishing after an absence from the water’s side of over a month.

The long absence was due in equal part probably to the bad weather (cold/windy/wet) and the need to sort out re-decoration of the kitchen. But now the wallpaper is up, and the weather has improved slightly… and the ‘need to fish’ was resolved by playing ‘Rapala Fishing Frenzy’ in the Nintendo Wii on occasion 🙂

Now hoping to return more frequently to the water side again now albeit next trip out is unlikely to until next Tuesday (10th) due to a doctor’s appointment on Friday, my usual second fishing day of the week.

OK – so to this last trip…

I set off from home at just after 0830, arriving at the pool at around 0900 …. and as I left the house the car’s thermo registered -1.5C but had risen to 2C by arrival at the pool … and the rapid temp changes occurred all throughout the day (see ‘Temps’ at the end) with a recorded temp of 20C made at noon albeit with the thermometer stood in direct sunlight.

On arrival I found that someone had beaten me to the water with a car already parked up, so before unloading I had a quick walk across to the water to see what it looked like… and discovered that it was 99% frozen over with only the near corner (actually a small ‘V’ shaped bay) clear’ish of ice … an area covered by 3 pegs with one at the bottom of the ‘V’ and the other two at each of the legs of the ‘V’. The already installed angler had set up on one of the leg swims and I elected to fish the other leg as the bay, as I said, is small and so as to give space between us.  Actually my swim wasn’t ice free completely but the ice that there was was extremely thin and a bait/lead could break through the surface OK. So anyway, off I went back to the car to get the tackle, returned and set up.

2014-02-03 Across The Pool At 1500 01

I used my usual tackle arrangement – 2 rods, one legering with a popped-up sardine and the other floatfishing a smelt.

2014-02-03 Float In Ice 01

And so I fished from around 1000 until 1430 when I decided enough was enough with temperature starting to dip sharply and not having had a single touch all day.

2014-02-03 Pool At 1145 01

The other angler was fishing for silvers/carp but appeared not to be catching when legering with rod and line but started catching when he changed to pole and had at least a couple of bream of around 1.5-2.0lb plus a few couple of ounce type silvers. And another appeared at around 1230 with pike rods in hand but walked further up the bank past the angler but turned around and left when he saw the rest of the pool was frozen over.

I also cast out the underwater camera but water was so murky that no meaningful video was captured – just a murky haze that movement of small stuff darting to-and-fro can be seen but not sure if its fry or small water critters as no shape can be discerned, just fuzzy ‘blobs’..

2014-02-03 Geese On The Island

2014-02-03 Mallards

2014-02-03 Robin 02

2014-02-03 Robin 01


Time               Air                  Water

1020                9.9                   6.7
1120              13.4                   6.9
1230              20.1                   7.1
1330              12.0                   7.1
1430                8.2                   7.0
1500                6.3


TEMP TRENDS (Since Sept 2014):

 ScreenHunter_04 Feb. 04 11.10 ScreenHunter_05 Feb. 04 11.12