Friday, 8th April was a visit to another club pool (LA1) that I’d not visited for a while … a pool that is earmarked to be the ‘premiere’ carp water of the club but it also holds good sized fish of other species too – perch, tench, roach, rudd, pike chub, and a solitary bream (well, on nettings of the pool only one bream turns up and its always the same one of 8-9lb). Previously I’ve had small eels there too…. However, it is a notoriously difficult pool to catch at despite the people who undertake the fisheries management finding that it is very overstocked and recommended adding extra chub to control the numbers of the smaller fish. An indication of the difficulty here is that on our other waters, generally, the monthly club matches are won with 20-30lb upwards – here it can be literally in ounces with perhaps only 2-3 anglers out of 16-20 fishing who get to weigh in. The cause of the problem, according to the fisheries management people, is that the pool is extremely rich in natural food and thus the fish need to be weaned over to accepting angler’s baits… and that creates a Catch-22 situation… due to the difficulty of catching, very few people other than the carp syndicate people fish there thus only relatively small quantities of bait are introduced and that is usually of the ‘boilies’ type and thus the fish are not being drawn away from the natural feed and thus … and so on… but sometimes there is an occasional red letter day …
So on arrival at around 0830 I had a quick look around before unloading the tackle to decide on my swim for the day as I’d several possibilities in mind – and eventually chose a corner swim at the eastern end of the pool facing into the west wind.
There were several reasons for selecting this swim… facing the breeze it also allowed me to put one rod over to the overhanging bushes of an island to my left and the second rod could be fished alongside the right bank of the pool … and there was also the inlet water pipe that fed brook water to the pool about 5-6 yards to my left. This feed entered the pool on a 60 degree angle facing me and thus with the wind direction it created a small ‘eddy’ effect in the water with the water flowing along the bank towards me and then turning round in the corner, up the pool and then pushed back by the wind. A natural food trap if there ever was one.
So, tackle transported to the swim, both swims were baited up with the usual crumb with added particles and maggots (inc squatt and pinkies on this trip). Also a few boilies were catapulted across to the island swim as I intended using paste baits over there later in the day but I started the day with my usual favourite – bread. The near bank swim was fished with lob worm throughout the day.
The usual ledger tackle was used – two 11’ 1.75lb TC Barbel Avon rods – 8lb mainline, 8lb braid hooklengths and size 6 hooks with 1/3oz (9g) flat pear weight on the near bank setup and a 2/3oz (18g) version on the island one.
So first casts were made around 0930 – and results awaited – and were still being awaited at 1500 when the skies darkened a little and the breeze became a cooler creating a good excuse to pack in… as usual, walking to the car to leave, out comes the sun and the wind dropped. However, as in the previous 5.5 hours I’d not had a single nibble or tremor or any sort of indication of interest on either rod then I wasn’t too disappointed to be leaving :)
As I said, I tried both bread and caramel flavoured paste over in the island swim and used worm for the whole session on the near bank – and fed both swims lightly and frequently all through the day but without joy. I also threw some crusts into the eddy as a tester – if anything was going to be searching for surface food then my corner was the place, with the wind direction and eddy being a ‘capture’ point for such material – but several hours later the same crusts were still circulating untouched – and continued to so until a couple of coots arrived to dine on them…
All in all a very quiet day – bar some amorous greylags screeching love songs, half a dozen canadian geese having issues between their two groups, and tractors and trucks going up and down the lane but I’d have not noticed those except, unusually for me, I’d put my hearing aids in. And apart from one small fish doing one jump I saw no signs of fish at all even after walking the entire circuit around before leaving.
Water: 9.3C – 9.9C