Session 28 – Early On The Canal

Sunday 29th May I decided to get up early and take the rods down to the canal – a stretch  of the local Staffs-Worc Canal that is administered by one of my clubs (G) – and so the alarm was set for 0400 (yes, it IS light enough to fish, even then, at this time of the year! :D)  and I duly arose, begrudgingly admittedly at the time but OK once I’d actually got the body working.

Not much prep required to get out – maggots and worms for main baits along with cheesepaste and luncheon meat as subsidiaries which go into a cloth carrier type bag – and a flask of coffee. For tackle on the canal I use a set-aside seat box that always contains the odds and ends needed (hooks, scales, camera, leads, etc) so just needed to put the coffee into there – and the 2 rods I take (13′ float rod and a 9′ quiver tip rod) along with a few banksticks and the landing net with a light unhooking mat wrapped around it all fit in/on my Korum 3-rod quiver … and that’s it – very light – and can walk distances easily when needed to.

OK – so I arrived at the canal and made my first cast at 0515 with the quiver rod baited with worm and maggot on a size 12 hook with a 4lb hooklength to 6lb mainline over the previously lightly groundbaited far bank swim I’d chosen that had decent overhanging vegetation and looked to be a desireable place…

I had intended to get the float rod out mid-session but I didn’t in the end as I was having bites on the quiver rod and every time I considered swapping over the wind seemed to pick up . And a cool breeze it felt too – I was sat on the west bank bank with the sun rising directly in front of me but I never received any of its warming rays due to the tall trees twixt it and me.. 🙂

Anyway, I packed in at 0945 having landed 2 small perch and 2 skimmer bream in the interim – and had the best bite of the session – a tip snatching/reel backwinding thing – at around 0930 which somehow I failed to connect with.

The pics above are not too good – from the mobile phone – and others I took I cannot access as I’ve discovered that the small compact – and old – digital camera that I use for the canal sessions is not compatible with my newly-installed-on-PC Windows 10 – seems it only connects with Windows versions from 95 to XP… 😦 Oh well, eBay search for a replacement necessary 🙂

I think I chose the best time to pack up anyway – the first boat of the day passed me at around 0800 and then the next at just after 0930 – but as I walked the couple of hundred yards back to the lane and the car after tackling down – another passed me by and another was approaching around 200-300 yards behind.

Session 27 – Liz Has A New Personal Best

Thursday 26th May saw Liz and myself heading to one of our club’s members only pools (WL2) for the day.

We arrived at around 0815 to see two vans parked down the end of the pool at the swims that we’d been intending to fish – however, on arrival, the two anglers in situ were just packing in after an all-night eel session it seemed and so we had a short wander round the banks whilst waiting for the swim to become free.

So, anyway, we pre-baited our swims with particle/maggots/groundbait, set up our kit and first casts were made around 0915. Liz elected to fish one float rod, laying-on/lift-method style in the margin area with maggot and a second rod with a small swimfeeder in open water. Myself, I set up two ledger rods with frame feeders – one with maggot/worm baits on a size 12 hook and the second with bread popped-up around 12″ from the bottom on a size 6 hook.

And within a few minutes Liz and I were simultaneously landing small perch of an ounce or two and about 15 minutes later Liz had another small perch. And at 1130 Liz landed a new PB perch for her – 14oz – which superseded her previous one of 10 oz caught at the same venue just one week short of 12 months previous.


Liz with 14oz Perch – New PB

Also she had yet another small perch a little later. Meanwhile, as I was totally biteless since the perch of the morning, I changed over to fishing a waggler with maggot and worm on a size 12 hook at 1430 which led to a few nibbles and eventually at 1600 the capture of a tench of 2lb 15oz.


Tench – 2lb 15oz

And so that was the situation at the end of the session when we packed in and headed home via a couple of pubs.

Liz’s ledger/feeder rod received a few quick and infrequent ‘beeps after switching to luncheon/bacon_grill bait but nothing of note, and my ledgered bread was totally ignored over the entire day.

Session 26 – Another Mixed Fishery

Friday May 20th and I head to another mixed fishery (VV) basically in search of whatever takes my bait but I was hoping for a few good sized chub…

So I arrived at the water, and as I was the only one there I got my desired swim, at 0700. Prelims completed I made my first casts with the two ledgering rods at 0745. Both rods had 8lb mainline with 6″ of 8lb braid hooklength and a 2/3oz ledger weight.. The hooks were a size 16 with worm/maggot bait on one rod and a size 6 with bread on the other rod. The bread baited rod was set though the bait remained buoyant and the ledger weight stopped so that the bait was suspended about 6″-9″ from the bottom when in position.

On arrival there was a lot of surface activity by the carp and, in fact, there was a carp of around 6lb-7lb that I was feeding bread to by my feet in margins but at that point of the day I was not interested in them – as I said, I was more interested in chub in particular.

So first proper bite came at 0900 on the bread rod but unfortunately the carp (that what it felt like) gained the sanctuary of overhanging bushes and wrapped the line and I had to pull for a break and re-tackle.

At 0910 the worm/maggot rod saw a bit of action – a perch of around 1/2oz coming to hand.

From then on a number of fish came to the bread rod in the period up to 1130 – but nothing to the worm/maggot – with a tench of 2lb 13oz, 6oz bream, 5lb 6oz common carp, 3lb 14oz chub, 2lb 13oz chub, and a 3lb 4oz chub.

After 1130 the swim died with little action on the rods and so I elected to wind those in and get out the ‘floater’ rod around 1315 – and at 1320 I made a miscast as the line caught around the reel handle and the fist sized lump of bread splashed down about 3′ from the bank – and I was surprised to find a gudgeon fairly hooked inside the mouth by my size 6! LOL!

2016-05-20 Valley View - Steve Gudgeon 02

And then over the next couple of hours a 2lb 3oz common carp and a 10lb 6oz mirror carp (with which I spent an hour in a battle of wits with before finally winning) were added to the haul of the day…

2016-05-20 Valley View - Steve 10lb 6oz Mirror Carp 05


Session 25 – Two Pools

Tuesday 16th May saw me heading out for what was intended to be a day of tench/perch/silvers fishing but ended up as a day of carping.

The destination venue actually has two pools – one (B) which is ‘king’ carp free but holds a mixed range of other species including tench, crucian carp, chub, bream, barbel, perch, roach and rudd, and the other (O) contains only ‘king’ carp and chub (supposedly but as the two pools are only 5 yards apart at one point and there is pipe that connects both pools, fry can at times get through the grids at the pipe ends). Water enters the silvers pool from a brook at one end, exits through the pipe into the carp pool, and then exits that pool back into the brook lower down…

So arriving at the silvers pool at 0730 I went through the usual preliminaries before casting out my float tackle (laying-on) into the swim at around 0815. I fished worm and maggot on a size 16 hook and free fed frequent but small quantities of maggot and particles. However, by 1130 I had had not one indication of any sort of interest whatsoever and so I decided to pack my tackle into the car and drive back up to the carp pool and try for a few chub.

On arrival on the carp pool there was already another angler in the near bank swim that I’d intended to fish and so I set up on the far bank and catapulted out maggot/particle feed whilst I reset the float tackle to depth and started to fish. However, another two hours passed without any result and I decided to try for a carp or two and set up my floating bait rod – 1.75lb TC, 30lb greased braid mainline to a size 6 hook and also a small cork ball to aid keeping the line afloat plus to act as a visual indicator and a small swivel with clip link for connecting a floating weight (eg bubble float) when needing to cast beyond distance that the bait itself would allow.

So the change quickly brought a result with the capture of 3lb 8oz common carp and later a 8lb 13oz mirror carp both taken on floating bread crust.

2016-05-17 Steve 3lb 8oz Common Carp 2

3lb 8oz Common Carp

2016-05-17 Steve 8lb 13oz Mirror Carp 2

8lb 13oz Mirror Carp

Sessions 23 & 24 – Cornish Hill Walking And Catching Crabs

8th May 2016 – Session 23 – Tregoad Park, Cornwall

On our week’s late Easter holiday camping at Tregoad Park, near Looe, in Cornwall I took the fishing rods as the description of the site said that there were ‘carp lakes’ and on Sunday 8th I headed off down (‘down’ being very operative, as was ‘up’ on the return journey) to the lakes…

Pool 2Pool 1

There were actually 3 ‘lakes’ – well, I’d describe them better as ‘ponds’ – the first pond being very small and shallow (ca 12″), the middle one (as per photos above) was larger and nice looking and was the pond I fished, and the third pond was bigger and with an island but there appeared to be only one space on the bank that was at all fishable from and that was tight…

I selected a nice looking swim at the end of the pool and baited up per usual before setting up the tackle and casting out with maggot and worm baits. First cast I discovered a problem – due to wearing a peaked cap I failed to spot the overhanging foliage about 8′ from the ground and over my head which made overhead casting difficult but luckily the swim was quite wide and I was able to sidecast without too much problem…

Anyway, I fished there for about 5 hours without a single touch and, given it was a bright and warm day, there was very little signs of any fish activity and I would have expected some signs of basking carp, etc… In fact the only sign of any life was a branch of a tree dipped into the water about 10 yards to my right that every now and then shuddered and rippled the water… thinking that it may be a decent fish there I catapulted a few maggots to the edge of this branch followed by a baited hook but even after an hour or so and despite the branch still getting disturbed I hadn’t a touch… so I crept down to see what was happening and saw a HUGE shoal of 3″-4″ silvers swimming around there – and another shoal a bit further along of slightly smaller fish.

And so, I ended the day on a blank and had to endure the ‘hill’ to get back up to the tent … a hill that would have tested even Sir Edmund Hillary or Brian Blessed even! In fact, I got halfway back up the climb on a flint path with effort but the for the final half – the steepest and up the edge of a grassed field – I had to ring Liz to come help me with the tackle… and even with Liz’s help it took us 3-4 stops for breathers before we got to the top.

SO… with the lack of success, that hill and the fact that it was £5 a day to fish all plans to fish again there were soon shelved!

11th May 2016 – Session 24 – Padstow

2016-05-11 Padstow - Liz Crablining

So with the lack of fishing for the rest of the week we went back to something we always used to do on our holiday trips but not done for the past 3-4 years – the anual crabline competition.

Crablines were purchased and baited with bacon strips in the mesh bait bags – and we fished/lined in the quay. Crabs were aplenty BUT only counted if they were ‘landed’, ie taken into hand, but as the lift from water to hand was probably 15′ or so, many crabs let go before getting pulled up to the top of the wall and so were uncounted in the final result of 4-3 in Liz’s favour after an hour’s lining.

And then it was off for a proper Cornish Cream Tea at a local cafe…. 🙂