Session 16 – Recovered From The Lurgy

It appeared that sitting facing a cold north-easterly wasn’t the best thing to do on the trip of last week as I ended up with lurgy for the following week feeling so ill at one point that I thought I’d never manage to leave the house again. Note made in notebook: PUT BACK TOWARDS NORTH-EASTERLIES IN FUTURE when at all possible… and so the planned Tuesday expedition failed to take place and it was eventually Friday 25th March when I gathered the kit together and headed to a club water….

Arriving at the water at 0715 I was alone on a bright sunny and warm day – perfect! However, the ideal conditions soon evaporated as, as I’d not realised, it was Good Friday and soon the pool was like Piccadilly Circus in a rush hour with around 8 others arriving there over the course of the day. Another note in notebook: READ DIARY – DON’T FISH ON BANK HOLIDAYS! However, at least the weather held up…. 🙂 And seems it was one-day wonder with the week preceding cold and windy and now the next 5-6 days cold, windy and wet!

So I headed to my selected swim for the day, baited up, prepped the ‘station’ and set up and baited the rods and made first casts about 0820, ledgering 2 rods (8lb main line, 8lb braid hook lengths). One rod was baited originally with worm, maggot and mealworm on a size 12 hook to 8lb braid hooklength, the other with a size 8 hook baited with cockle.

A few twitches/single buzzer beeps over the first couple of hours but nothing substantial ensued and so I swapped the size 12 hook to a size 6 and put on a 1/4 slice of bread as ‘flake’ and swapped the cockle bait over to a salted prawn.

At 1110 I had the first, and only, proper take of the day which came to the bread rod and I landed a small but nice common carp of 2lb 12oz…

2016-03-25 Steve 2lb 12oz Common Carp

Following that even the twitches/beeps tailed away and so I started packing up for the day at 1500…

From what I saw nobody else was catching too much either – although a couple fishing opposite were seemingly having a fish a cast but nothing of size – all seemed around the 2-3lb mark as were all the other fish I noticed being landed.

I did note that the water temps rose well over the day – starting at 7.4C at 0800, by 1500 they had risen 2C to 9.4C.


Water: 7.4-9.4C


ScreenHunter_14 Mar. 26 11.38

Session 15 – There We Went A-Blankin’ – Again

Friday, March 18th, and a trip out to a member’s only pool was the job in hand…


I arrived at the pool side and selected a swim basically 15 yards from the car – not so much for ease of access as for protection from the light but nevertheless cold breeze blowing from the north-west at times. On arrival at the waterside at around 0815, air temps were around 3C – and water temps stayed constant throughout the day at 6.8/6.9C.


There seemed a decent amount of small fish surface activity throughout the day with ‘dimpling’ of the surface and also quite frequent ‘fry scatters’ due to possible perch interest…

Two swims were baited up, each with a small quantity of cereal base with hemp and maggot added – one by the overhanging bush on the left and the other just off the bush on the right hand side… and occasional catapoulted maggot top-ups were added over each area.

Two rods in use – both with 8lb mono (Diawa Hyper Sensor) main line, 6” of 8lb Dyneema braid hooklength, 6 gram (just edited as its been pointed out that I wrote 6 ounce originally!) ledger weights  – and a size 12 hook on the left-hand rod, a size 8 on the right-hand one.

Over the course of the day various baits were tried:

On the left-hand rod I tried maggot, worm (dendro), and cockle.. and on the right-hand rod prawn, meat, caramel flavoured/orange coloured paste were given a go – but unfortunately none of these tempted even the slightest bit of interest…


A bad chill – all blocked up, chest bubbling, head feeling like its full of  super-chunky knitting wool. Eased a bit by Lemsip and a hot bath when I finally managed to crawl out of bed at around 1000 this morning but still a bit achy…

Hoping I’m recovered by Tuesday to get out there again though! 🙂


Water: 6.8-6.9C


ScreenHunter_13 Mar. 19 13.56

Session 14 – Canal Quiver-tipping….

Tuesday, March 15th, and I decided on a day of quiver tipping on the Staffs-Worcs canal on a club stretch that I’d not previously visited.

Thanks to Google Earth I found the location and parking easy enough and after a short walk I was down on the canal bank, tackled up and casting in at 0815.

2016-03-15 Gothersley - Prestwood Bridge 022016-03-15 Gothersley - Prestwood Bridge 01

I chose to use my purpose built 8’6” Qualtack quiver tip rod from the 70/80’s, a cracking rod with a great action and great fun to play even 1lb fish on. Made by the East Anglian Rod Company, ‘Qualtack’ being one of their brand names. Along with my 13’ Hardy Matchmaker ‘clone’ (made by a moonlighting Hardy employee using the exact Fibretube blank, rings and fittings that Hardy themselves used, so really a Hardy without the ‘badge’) it’s one rod I wouldn’t part with for love, money or all the tea in China… some things are just SO perfect!

Anyway, back to the canal and fishing. Line was 4lb BS Diawa Hyper Sensor more or less straight through to a size 12 hook – I do use a small clip for attaching my 6” hooklengths as its easy then to change hook size via pre-tied hooklengths but the hooklengths are tied to 4lb BS line too. The ledger weight was a 6g cube type attached via a free-running  run-ring and stopped about 18” from the hook.

So before fishing I introduced about 150g of dry feed with added maggots, hemp, sweetcorn and small pieces of meat – split into 4 balls and fed across to the overhanging vegetation on the far bank – 2 balls 30 degrees above my position and 2 balls 30 degrees below… and throughout the session I catapulted out, at probably 5-10 minute intervals, about 10-12 maggots into each of those two areas plus a few in the ‘boat channel’.

For bait I used a small worm plus 2 maggot cocktail – no other baits were even tried on the grounds that if worm and maggot won’t do the trick, or at least get some attention, then nothing will….

Anyway, from the last paragraph its easy to deduce my success for the day…. ZILCH!

Not even a tremble from an interested gudgeon was apparent – and I fished both baited areas, the area in between and various points along the boat channel, and tried tweaking the bait at intervals, etc, etc. – the only place I didn’t try was the near bank….

Oh well, always Friday, I suppose! 🙂

Where depends on if Liz is coming with me and where she wants to go if so – otherwise I’ve a couple of ideas myself. And I’ve made up a new bait (‘made up’ as per ‘mixed ingredients’, the ‘recipe’ is actually a John Wilson one from his book ‘Baits and Artificial Lures’)….


Water: 8.0C – 8.5C


ScreenHunter_11 Mar. 15 15.42

Session 13 – General Fishing….

Friday, March 11th, Liz and I headed to one of our club’s mixed fisheries – albeit pike free – for a day of general coarse fishing.


We arrived at the pool around 0845 and wended our way to the intended swims for the day – and first job on arrival was the removal of a dead Canada Goose floating in the side….

Weather was very good to start – blue skies with the sun rising in front of us, reflected back by the conifers behind made the perfect sun trap – and the lack of breeze also assisted with the warmth that required the removal of jackets. It did get to feel a bit cooler later, although actually the temps were on the rise, but the skies clouded over a little to block the sun and a slight breeze picked up to add a little wind-chill factor, but even then it was not necessary to re-don the jackets.

Liz elected to fish two ledger rods with small open-end feeders, whilst I, myself, elected to fish the float rod in a laying-on/lift method style.

Liz fished sweetcorn, meat and maggot baits and I used worm, maggot, cheesepaste and prawn over a bed of light  crumb, maggot, chickpea, and hemp feed.

Worm, maggot and sweetcorn seemed out of favour with the fish on the day, with neither of us having so much as a  twitch on them … but Liz did hook into a good fish on a cube of meat but unfortunately suffered a hook pull and lost it and she also had several small pulls on the meat too that amounted to nothing … and I had a 3lb 7oz mirror carp on a tail piece of salted prawn. I also had a fish on with cheesepaste as the bait but suffered a hook pull and a couple of nudges indicated on the float with the same bait too.


We fished through until 1530 and then headed off for a welcome pint on the way home…

Planning on Tuesday to visit the Staffs-Worcs Canal locally to bait fish – something I’ve been meaning to do for some time but which has been put off again and again for various reason but mainly due to the recent weather.


Water: 5.0C – 5.4C


ScreenHunter_09 Mar. 12 13.51

Session 12 – More Pike Attempts…

Tuesday, March 8th, I had originally intended to go general fishing at a mixed species fishery but events transpired so that I actually ended up pike fishing at another venue.

2016-03-08 Dudmaston Big Pool 012016-03-08 Dudmaston Big Pool 02

The day itself was quite breezy with a stiff, and very cool, breeze coming in from the south-east, diagonally right-to-left, into my face and with the occasional splattering of rain/sleet it was not the most pleasant day to be out on but hey-ho!! 🙂

2016-03-08 Dudmaston Big Pool 03

So, on the day I elected to float fish deadbaits – one small ‘skipjack’ injected with a mixed fish oil emulsion on one rod and a pollan on the other. Baits were offered from being held tight on the bottom to being drifted down the pool for 80-100 yards on the wind at varying depths, changed in 1’ intervals until they were 1’ from the surface. Despite that though not one single nibble/nudge or other activity was discerned and at 1330 hours I admitted defeat, packed up the tackle and headed off home to a hot bath to ease the endured 5 or so hours of chill from the bones….

Next trip planned for Friday 11th March – a day, accompanied by Liz, on a mixed fishery for whatever comes along  ….. 🙂