Not Really A Blog – Just To Explain Why There Is No Blog… LOL!!!

I’ve been unable to get to the waterside this week – apart from last Sunday (19th April) when I attended one of the club’s working party days – and quite honestly I didn’t actually do too much – other than resolve the overhanging foliage in my usual swim that has resulted in a few fish escaping when the rod tip has gotten caught up but that was just a few minutes work with ladders and my loppers… I also did a wander around and trimmed up a few swims but the pool is quite well maintained and we have a sit-on mower which the club sec was traversing the pool in and cutting the main areas around. The main job of the day was the fitting of a ‘scaffold and plank’ island in the pool in order to (a) provide fish with a sanctuary away from the visiting cormorants and (b) to house the solar panels that will power the soon to be installed aeration system for the pool. However, there is a limit to the number of people who could actually work from the boats for the actual platform build (and I’m useless with my hands anyway) and so I devoted myself to pulling the rope attached boats out to the island and pulling back for re-loading of materials – and not too good at that due to my hearing problems and thus quite often being told the boat people were calling me to pull them in, etc… And in the end I had to leave with work still in progress due to other commitments.

And the other reason I’ve not fished this week is due to getting ready for Liz’s and mine annual camping trip to the Gower which is quite involved as we are NOT rough and ready campers – in fact we have a 30′ x 12′ tent just for the two of us with cookers, hotplates, heaters, etc… in fact, once its erected I reckon we could apply for a Tourist Board Star Rating – and get granted 3 Stars easily! 😀

And so, as we’re away for the next week, no coarse fishing will be done until at least Monday 4th May – and as that is a Bank Holiday day then most likely the first trip will be on the Tuesday 5th… However, I have loaded our sea tackle with the intention, as per usual on the Gower trip, to do a bit of pier fishing… the difference this year being that we intend to try our luck from Porthcawl Pier rather than Mumbles Pier which is our usual location.

So next the proper blog will be a report on the results of that session – and any other sessions that may take place – but it/they will most likely be published after our return as typing on an android tablet is not my most pleasurable experience and thus the writing up will be done on the PC when we have returned home.

Session 18 – A Good Day On The Tench Pool

Friday 17th April and Liz and I headed off to the club’s tench/silvers pool for the day arriving at around 0745.

After selecting our swims and doing the usual setting up station and pre-baiting procedures we made our first casts at around 0900 …. I fishing my usual way for this pool – laying-on with worm, and Liz having two rods out, one fished laid-on style with maggot as bait and the other a small swimfeeder set up with luncheon meat as bait.

First connected bite of the day came to Liz on the laying-on rod at 1000, a good sized tench, but unfortunately the hook hold gave way as it was just about to be drawn to the landing net.

Not five minutes later, my float rose and started travelling along, a strike met with resistance and a few minutes later a 3lb 8oz tench was in the landing net…

2015-04-17 Steve 3lb 8oz Tench 02

3lb 8oz Tench

Of course, Liz swore that this was the fish she’d lost 5 minutes previously! 😀

However, she was shortly to make amends for her loss and a 3lb 10oz chub was landed at 1100, again on her laying-on rod. Unfortunately, a problem with her camera’s memory card meant this was the only picture that could be salvaged of her day – not the best photo as half of it was corrupt and had to be cropped to save the decent part of the image. But luckily, the photos she’d taken the previous week on her trip to Cyprus were OK. Strange problem with the memory card actually – re-formatted OK in the PC and is read-writeable again now in there BUT when put into either of Liz’s or my camera they both report ‘No memory card inserted’…??? Another spare card inserted into Liz’s camera works fine though…

2015-04-17 Liz 3lb 10oz Chub

Liz with 3lb 10oz Tench

And so the day continued with Liz landing a 6oz roach, and tench of ca 12oz and 2lb 8oz. And I, myself managed further tench of 2lb 15oz, ca 1lb, 1lb 9oz, ca 8oz, 3lb 4oz and 3lb 11oz.

2015-04-17 Steve 3lb 4oz Tench 02

3lb 4oz Tench

2015-04-17 Steve 3lb 11oz Tench 02

3lb 11oz Tench

And so it was that I won ‘First’ (thanks to Liz losing hers), ‘Most’ and ‘Biggest’ (by 1oz) 😀 and Liz won ‘Most Species’ 🙂

All fish were caught on the float (laying-on) rods BUT Liz had innumerable takes on her legered luncheon meat rod – most 5-10 beep type over 1 second runs which were ‘here and gone’ before the rod could be reached and shorter pulls too plus one rip-snorter which would have made even the most macho of carp proud (albeit there are no carp in this pool) which almost put Liz’s alarm on fire but, when struck at perfectly, there was nothing there at all and the strike hit fresh air.

Also many bites were had on the laying-on rods that didn’t result in fish being hooked – and a lot of those were what could be termed unmissable – perfect float lifts and glide-aways. The suspicion is that these could have been small roach/rudd just grabbing the end of the worm or bunch of maggots – but we’ll never know…

Weather on the day was good albeit with a very cool breeze on the back of the neck – bright but lightly overcast with air temps at around 12/13C on arrival, rising to 19+C at one point, but falling back to around 14/15C for the majority of the morning and then after noon it rallied a bit again reaching a peak of 20+C but lying mostly in the 17/18C range.

So…. this will be our last trip out for a week as we need to start packing for our week’s camping trip … and then we’re off to the Gower and hoping to fit in a session of sea fishing from Porthcawl Pier.

img Porthcawl Pier Lighthouse288

Most people fish off the end of the upper (stone) pier by the lighthouse, but due to my heights problem, Liz and I will be fishing off the wooden staging at the lower level – it was from here the Porthcawl-Ilfracombe Ferry used to set off in the 50’s (maybe 60’s) as I remember and we went on it once…

Reading up on the fishing around there it seems most things can be caught from there (given right times of year for the individual species, of course) – but plenty of dogfish and pouting etc… and there used to be a load of mullet that used to cruise along the walls too. So hoping for a nice days fishing – and for once it seems that the tide tables are to our advantage – best fishing times being 2 hours before high tide to 2 hours after generally and high tide being at around 1500 on Tuesday, 1600 on Wednesday (most likely day we’ll go) and 1700 on Thursday.

Previous years we’ve fished Mumbles Pier – and I actually caught a dogfish there last year – and in the 80’s I had a whiting… and considering that my paternal grandparents and other relatives lived that way and I fished Mumbles Pier at least once every year from 1957 to late 70’s when we visited them on holiday its not been very kind to me!! 20+ years for two fish!!! LOL!

Session 17 – Ruddy Slow Day But Could Have Been Worse

Friday 10th April and destination was once again, for the second time this week, our club’s ‘silver’s’ pool (B) aiming to fish the same swim as I did on the previous sessions using the same laying-on style as used on my previous visits.

On arrival I went through the usual routine – bait up – set up fishing station with various bits needed (unhooking mat with scales/Germolene/forceps at hand, landing net, camera on bankstick for selfies, etc) – and only then do I start setting up rods and lines. Nothing is worse in my opinion that casting out, having a fish on, and nothing is ready for the landing, unhooking and/or recording of it – so much prefer to have all that sorted before I even set up the rod(s).

Bait for the day was dendrobaena worm as usual, fished over a bed of my usual groundbait/particle mix regularly topped up with more mix and catapults of maggots.

Anyway, the day was quite pleasant although around midday a coolish and difficult breeze started up – and it seemed to have an effect on the fish too…

All in all it was a quiet day bite-wise – I started fishing at 0725 and had the first bite of the day around an hour later – unfortunately I suffered a hook pull but slime on the hooklength indicated a tench or bream, most likely the former… a couple of missed bites the occurred until at 0950 the first fish of the day was landed – a small (2oz possibly) rudd was landed…

2015-04-10 Steve - Rudd 01

20z Rudd

And this was followed by a 2lb 15oz Tench at 1005 and a 3lb 7oz one at 1220 with a few missed bites, pluckings and knocks in the interval between.

2lb 15 oz Tench

2lb 15 oz Tench

3lb 7oz Tench

3lb 7oz Tench

However, at around 1230 the aforementioned breeze started and between 1230 and 1550, apart from a few minor bobs of the float, the swim went completely dead and when the first proper bite came a tench of around 2lb-3lb was hooked but rolled at the surface and shed the hook… but then at 1600 another bite was successfully connected to and a tench of 2lb 11oz landed.

2lb 11oz Tench

2lb 11oz Tench

However, at this point I had to tackle home and head for home otherwise I’d have stayed on a bit longer as it seemed perhaps a feeding spell had just started…


Time               Air                  Water

0725                 7.2                    13.1
0825                 8.0                    13.0
0925               15.0                   13.2
1035               17.8                    13.3
1125               21.2                    13.5
1225               28.0                    13.8
1335               27.6                   14.4
1430               23.3                    14.0
1610               26.3                    14.4


ScreenHunter_42 Apr. 11 09.58

Session 16 – From Fears To Personal Bests

Tuesday 7th April and destination was again our club’s ‘silver’s’ pool (B) aiming to fish the same swim as I did on the previous session and using the same laying-on style – my favourite method on this pool.

So I arrived at the gate to the pool at 0700 on a very misty morning with limited visibility – and the pools are in a very remote area – the sort of place where the champion town crier of the UK, even with the latest in high tech loudhailers, would have a problem getting anyone to hear him… and discovered that not only was the padlocked gate not locked but was wide open with the chain and padlock hanging off it due to the large staples that secured the chain to the gate post having been pulled out and the chain lifted up and off thus allowing unfettered access to the waters… Oh er, missus! Just WHAT am I going to find going on at the pools? Visions of a gang of Puerto Rican Mafia Fish Rustlers wielding WMFDs (Weapons of Mass Fleshy Dissemination) go through my head as I stop and ponder the situation. Anyway, I release the chain, close the gate, and re-wrap the chain around the gate post between strands of barbed wire to prevent it being slid up and off again and secure the gate closed. I then carry on driving down to the pools thinking ‘Was that a good idea??? Cut off my own means of escape now I’ve locked that gate…’. Anyway, get to the pools, and park up – all looks OK so I do a walk around to see what’s up … and all looks good. So I text the club sec to let him know the situation, etc. And to cut the story short – it was all down to the farmer (or his people/contractors) – to get their tractor through the fields for installing new fence stakes.. even though the farmer is informed of the padlock code – so possibly he’d got it wrong or his people didn’t know it and rather than try to find out they took their own steps to get access. But all seemed to get resolved as when I left the waters the chain had been re-stapled to the post and all was again secure…

AND so it came to pass that I could actually start fishing!! 😀

So I tackled up, baited the swim per usual with my standard groundbait mix, and started fishing at 0845 with dendro worm as bait. Throughout the day I topped up the swim with occasional golf ball sized groundbait balls and frequent catapulted maggot. And although I did try prawn as bait for a short period, dendro was my bait of the day.

After a few missed bites and float movements the first fish of the day was landed at 0922 – a 3lb 4oz tench…

2015-04-07 Steve - 3lb 4oz Tench

3lb 4oz Tench

… and at 0930 another tench of 1lb 9oz came to the net…

Then a long lull came along with just a few indications of fish about until the next fish of the day – a tench of 3lb 9oz was landed at 1250…

3lb 9oz Tench

3lb 9oz Tench

… followed immediately – as in, rebaited hook, recast out, float settled down and just kept going down, down, deeper and down (ummm, somebody should write a song about that! :D)…. by the fish of the day … a new personal best perch for me weighing in at 2lb 8oz – almost doubling my previous PB of 1lb 6oz… I’m still buzzing now from it I can tell you!!

2lb 8oz Perch

2lb 8oz Perch

2lb 8oz Perch

2lb 8oz Perch

 This was followed again by another lengthy quiet spell, until 1445 when a 3lb 11oz tench deigned to take my bait… and following this I expected another fish on the next cast so as to follow the pattern of the ‘wait..catch..catch..wait’ previous captures but it was not to be and that tench was to be the last catch of the day.

And a big chub was spotted just below the surface off the island in front of me and to my right – a good 24″ long I’d say – swimming away from me but when it reached the end of the island it turned and swam towards me – and my baited area – whilst slowly going deeper – thought there might be a chance but it wasn’t to be. And I did try catapulting out some broken biscuit (only thing I had suitable to try as a floating bait) to see if that would get any interest but it failed to.

3lb 11oz Tench

3lb 11oz Tench

 I notice the recorded temperatures are a lot lower than the previous visit just a couple of days before. I did use a new thermometer today as the previous one had a problem and the display faded away and I was unable to fix. However, in the house the thermometers did agree temperature-wise to within 1C of each other…


Time               Air                  Water

0845                9.2                    11.3
0945              12.1                    11.4
1045              15.7                     11.6
1200              18.1                     12.1
1245               25.8                    12.6
1345               29.1                    12.8
1445               21.1                    12.9
1600               26.6                    13.3


ScreenHunter_41 Apr. 08 09.50

Session 15 – To The Silvers, Struck Gold(ish)

Sunday 5th April and destination was our club’s ‘silver’s’ pool (B) in search of anything but carp – as they are almost literally the only fish not in there! Carp fishers on this site are catered for the sister pool (O) that is located alongside and which contains only carp and chub.

So I arrived at the pool at 0715, a very misty morning albeit that just an hour earlier the skies were almost unbroken blue and bright sunshine… cold air meeting warm air! However, it was not that cold with air temp at that time around 8.5C – and on the way down the car’s thermometer had been recording around 7.0C when I left home.

What did surprise me on arrival though was that I was the first there – and even more surprisingly was that I was the only one there all day! Easter Sunday, great forecast – and day was as expected and turned out to be the stereotypically perfect fishing day conditionwise – and with the club’s most popular pool inaccessible to most people as there was a club match being held on there it would have been thought that some of the people who would have fished there would have switched to this pool – but seems that the club’s other, closer, pools may have got their business in that case. Still I had a nice peaceful uninterrupted day out of it 🙂

So… I set up to fish my favourite way on this quite shallow pool (a fairly level 4.5′) by using my 13′ float rod and fishing in the laying-on (aka lift method) style – with a slightly overshotted float, shot being 4″ from the hook, fished overdepth, rod set in rests and line tightened until float cocks – bites being indicated by either the float rising in the water as the fish lifts the bait and shot or shooting underwater if the fish takes the bait and swims away from the rod… the actual textbook bite is a combination of the two… the float rises as the bait is taken and then dives under as the fish swims off…

The swim was pre-baited whilst tackling up as per my usual way with three snooker ball sized balls of  crumb groundbait with added particles and pellets. And maggots were catapulted in separately – and throughout the session a golf ball sized groundbait ball were put into the swim hourly and extra small quantities of maggots catapulted out at about 10-15 minutes intervals or following a new cast.

First cast was made at 0815 with dendro worm as bait – and in fact, was the bait in use all day – and within 10-15 mins the first signs of fish activity were apparent from nudges, dips and rises of the float although most were quick one-off knocks and unstrikeable at … but at just before 0900 the first proper take came and a strike met resistance but the hook pulled free… and that lost fish seemed to have killed the swim as there was no further action for quite a while – probably well over and hour-and-a-half passed before further float movements began again… but from then on there were indications quite frequently throughout the rest of the day and by the time of packing in at 1600 I’d landed a 4lb 9oz bream (with spawning tubercles), 3lb 5oz tench and a 1lb 7oz chub … missed a few good ‘unmissable’ bites … and lost another 5 or 6 fish due to hook pulls, at least 3 or 4 being due to an overhanging bush that arched slightly over were I was sat and rod top caught and line slackened trying to release = fish gone. We’ve a work party at the pool in a fortnight’s time so I’ve scribbled a note to remind me to take my ladders and lopper to deal with!!

Anyway, day off from fishing tomorrow – back lawn really needs cutting as its not been done since the autumn but the weather has not been suitable until now and grass has been too wet for the mower to deal with… but now I’ve a chance to do it… also need to clean out our ferrets… and I want to make some slight tackle adjustments before I go back to the pool on Tuesday 7th….

2015-04-05 Steve 4lb 9oz Bream 05

4lb 9oz Bream


2015-04-05 Steve 4lb 9oz Bream (Tubercles) 01

Tubercles showing…


2015-04-05 Steve 3lb 5oz Tench 05

3lb 5oz Tench

2015-04-05 Steve 1lb 7oz Chub 04

1lb 7oz Chub



Time               Air                  Water

0815                 8.8                    14.7
0915               10.0                   14.7
1015               12.2                    14.7
1115               15.0                    14.7
1215               18.2                    14.8
1315               20.0                   15.0
1415               22.4                    15.2
1430               22.7                    15.2
1515               21.2                    15.2
1600               24.2                   15.4


ScreenHunter_38 Apr. 05 22.52

Session 14 – To The Pike Pool But Coarsely..

Saturday 4th April and I was off to the ‘pike’ pool (GH) again but this time armed with my 1.75lb TC general coarse rods and baits such as worm, maggot, bread, etc in search of chub, bream, tench, perch, etc … even carp if they insisted on taking the bait…

Day was quite nice although there were a couple of patches of drizzle early in the session but they soon cleared to give a bright calm day… and warm as measured on the thermometer (12-13C) although that was moderated by the wind chill of a slight easterly breeze that started mid-day.

I arrived at around 0730 to find someone already there but luckily he had selected the swim alongside the one I wanted and was fishing a pole with a sleeper rod alongside. I wanted this swim particularly as when pike fishing in the previous weeks I had a lot of chub knocks on my deadbaits – landed a couple – but I thought I capitalize on their presence with a more suitable tackle set up.

The area was baited up with my standard groundbait mix with added hemp/corn/wheat/maggots wetted with sparkling mineral water and hemp oil.

I made first casts around 0810, fishing two legered rods with 8lb line to size 6 hooks with 3/8oz leads – lobworm on one rod cast to my left under the overhanging foliage of the tree – where I was getting the majority of the chub knocks previously and bread on the other rod in front and slightly to the right around 2-3 rod lengths out.

Within the first hour, the first take came to the worm rod, and a 1lb 8oz bream was landed and returned.. so things looked promising..

But as usual, after that until 1430, only a few little 1-beep twitches occurred, despite a change of baits to sausage, prawn, and I even tried a head end half of a smelt as that was the bait that elicited most chub takes on the previous weeks… and at 1430, having switched back to the original lob and bread baits a good hour or more earlier, the bobbin of the worm rod slowly rose and a strike met resistance that turned out to be a bream of around 2lb although it was not landed – the line crossed over the other line as I was bringing the fish in and when I went to separate the lines by moving the rod top over, the line fell slack and the barbless hook fell free..

And that was it for the day with me packing in at 1500 in order to get home early to re-sort tackle ready for an early start and a trip to our silvers pool (B).

Noticed the water temps over the day dropping slightly despite the air temp slightly rising… although there was a slight recovery to the starting point on the final reading of the day… And air temps rose at one point to around 16C for a short spell but that easterly breeze, when it started, seemed to pull it down…


Time               Air                  Water

0800                 8.2                    14.2
0900                 8.7                    14.2
1000                 9.1                    14.2
1100               10.9                    14.1
1300               12.3                    14.0
1400               13.2                    14.0
1500               13.4                    14.2


ScreenHunter_37 Apr. 04 18.12

Session 13 – Start Of The ‘General’ Fishing

Thursday 2nd April and I was off to a club pool (LA1) that I’d not visited for a while in search of general coarse fish…

2015-04-02 01

… and arriving at a little after 0800, I headed to my intended peg with I baited up two areas with my standard groundbait base mix with added halibut pellets, particles, and maggots and wetted with blitzed lamb’s liver.

Area 1 was just off the left of picture just off the outer edge of a overhanging willow tree, area 2 directly in front and at around 5 rod lengths out.

Fished from 0830 to 1500 – using worms (lob and dendro), prawn, bread with peanut butter, sausage and even tried a half smelt as a test for perch bait – not a touch on either rod to any of the tried baits!

However, not really surprising as this is probably our ‘hardest’ water – a match weight of 2lb is extremely good and generally wins competitions here. However, this actually belies the fact that the water is teeming with fish – the fisheries management team from a local college did a survey on stocks and concluded that the water is actually over-stocked! But the problem with the catching is due to the natural feed within the water – it is extremely rich in natural foods and so fish need to be weaned over to accept angler’s type baits… and the problem is basically a Catch 22… Fishing is not easy here, hence not that many people visit (mostly night syndicate carpers as the water holds many large carp and is intended to be our premiere carp water) as there are easier type waters closer to home.. hence little bait is introduced… hence fish not getting caught… hence people don’t visit…

But, sometimes, there ARE red letter days there….. and it’s a nice pool to just sit and meditate on the others 🙂

 2015-04-02 05 2015-04-02 04 2015-04-02 03 2015-04-02 02





Time               Air                  Water

0840                 7.9                    13.1
0940                 9.4                    13.2
1050                13.8                   13.2
1145                15.1                    13.4
1240                20.1                    13.5
1345                19.9                    13.5
1450                18.9                   13.6


ScreenHunter_36 Apr. 03 10.32