Session 44 – A Few Bream And Roach And A Couple Of Carp…

Friday 29th July 2016 I had planned to visit a small local river which I had not fished for a few years but the weather forecast wasn’t so good and so I elected instead to head off to a club carp pool (GH) – but in search of chub primarily with the hope of bream, perch and roach perhaps coming into the picture too.

And so I arrived at the pool (well, technically a ‘lake’ as the definition of a lake is a body of water of over 0.5 acres in size, smaller than that a water is a ‘pool’ though…) at around 0645 finding one other angler already there – seemingly just arrived as he was tackling up – but he was further round the pool than my intended swim of peg 10 which is on the ‘tree’ bank – a lot of tall trees and overhanging bushes along this banks makes it conducive to chub.

Plan for the day was to fish the float ‘on-the-drop’ and as the water is around 11′ deep two rod lengths out – just off the end of an overhanging bush to my left – this necessitated the use of a sliding float. The float was set so that about 3″-4″ of hook length lay on the bottom after the bait had sunk fully, and with the bottom shot (No 1) about 3″-4″ above bottom. A small bodied waggler was used that was cocked with 2 SSG bulk shot at around 5′ deep and two No 1 shot – the telltale at around 6″ from the hook and the other midway between bulk and the telltale. When this setup was cast into the water it took several seconds until the float started to cock and then another 5 seconds or so until it sat at its fully settled position. Thus it was easy to spot abnormal behaviour of the float due to the bait being taken as it fell through the water and once settled the bites were generally of a ‘lift’ type.

Anyway, before setting up the tackle, I mixed up a batch of groundbait (crumb/particles/maggots/etc) as per usual,and this time dyed the mix a bright red colour by the addition of red food dye powder to the mixing water. Several tennis ball sized portions of this were thrown out… and before the tackling up was complete the area was fizzing like Alka Seltzer with bream bubbles in abundance…

So, it wasn’t long after casting out my worm baited hook that the first bream came to the landing net – 1lb 6oz…. and over the day I must have had another dozen or so … but all small with the largest registering just 2lb 1oz. The bream were supplemented by quite a few roach too – albeit these also being on the small size with the best possibly at around 8oz. Fish were caught on worm, maggot, bread – switching whenever the one in use started to ‘fade’ – but sweetcorn was entirely shunned it seemed as not one nibble was had. I think I may have had decent fish on at one point too – possibly the chub I was after, certainly wasn’t a bream although its possible it was a carp – but I suffered the dreaded hook pull…. 😦

And all day there had been carp cruising around taking bits off the top, so for the last hour I pulled out my ‘floater’ rod and fished floating crust – which was not easy as the loaf I had bought for possible bait use, was a small Warburton’s off the ‘end of life’ shelf in the supermarket. Needless to say there wasn’t really enough of it and what there was was a bit dry and didn’t grip the hook too well especially when wet and the carp were ‘testing’ the bait by suck’n’spit and a bit of tail bashing. I wished I had put my dog biccies in the bag… Anyway, I did manage to get two carp out – a leather of 3lb 12oz and a fully scaled common of 4lb 14oz both in pristine condition…

So now looking forward to the next outing – to that small river that I put off… 🙂

Session 43 – River Severn Chubbing

Monday, 25th July 2016, at 0745 found me on one of my club’s stretches of the River Severn (HL) for a short, 5 hour, session of chub fishing. Unusually I’m fishing a Monday rather than my usual Tuesday due to having an appointment with the dentist on the Tuesday – and hence the shorter session than usual was necessitated by the need to collect Liz from work when she finished at 1500.

So I had my intended swim – just upstream of an overhanging willow bush…

…. and mixed up a bucket of bread mash/slop consisting of three full loaves of sliced bread pulped up to the consistency of thin porridge … and the first three handfuls were consigned to the current to drift down to the outer parts of the willow bush whilst I set up tackle for the day … a simple/basic setup consisting of an 11′ quiver tip rod, 8lb line straight through to a size 4 hook and a link ledger (6″ nylon link on a run ring with two SSG shot, one at the end of the link, the other midway along) stopped about 2′-3′ from the hook. The link ledger weighting was selected so that it was just about enough to be drifted with the canopy of the bush by the current…. main bait throughout the session was bread flake to match the ‘feed’ but I did also try cheesepaste….

So, throughout the session, the feed mash was fed frequently ‘down the line’ to keep a line of feed drifting down on the current and to attract fish into what really amounted to being a ‘Mr Crabtree’ sterotypical chub hold anyway….

However, sad to report, the session was a complete blank … the only ‘action’ being a possible small number (<=5) of tiny tweaks of the tip most likely due to small silver fish worrying the bait and pulling it apart … although if foul hooked fish are counted I did actually save the blank by finding a small 1″ fry fish impaled through its dorsal fin on one retrieve…

Session 42 – Deja Vu – Perch And Rudd

Yesterday, 22nd July 2016, Liz and I set off for a club pool (WL2) in search of whatever came along on another hot and bright summer’s day… however our chosen spots ensured we were well shaded from the height of the heat for most of the day – my spot the sun fell on me from 1500 for a short time although I think Liz’s did become a morning sun trap for a while…

On arrival there was one carp-type angler there – well, I say angler but he seemed to spend a fair bit of time wandering round the pool and his mobile phone never seemed to leave his ear, sat or walking – who seemed set up to stay for 24+ hours with his bivvy set up. He did land 2 or 3 fish over the day that we saw but nothing of note really.

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Any road up, we made first casts probably around 0830 with myself fishing a sliding 3AAA bodied waggler  on 6lb line, size 10 hook baited with worm/maggot which was my bait for 99% of the day – did try bread but that was nibbled away in minutes and meat which went untouched. Liz started off with an open-end cage swimfeeder with maggot, corn, meat but had only one very small perch in several hours before switching to the float and maggot and starting to catch perch.

We did discover one problem with Liz’s float rod – the tip ring is far too small. Due to the depth of the water a sliding float arrangement was needed – and the smallest size of  the Gardner float stops that we use barely passed through the ring and thus casting was difficult as the passage of line was ‘checked’ severely… in the end we settled to fish, on-the-drop’, with the deepest position that it could fall at about 3′-4′ above bottom… However, that didn’t seem to cause to much of a problem as Liz started catching faster than I was when using a full drop to the bottom…And, in fact, many times my bait ws being taken before even the top shot had sunk with the float ‘motor boating’ horizontally across the surface…

We also had a visit or two from the police helicopter – who it seems were searching for someone as they passed so low on one pass that the draught from the blades wafted the floats….

2016-07-22 Helicopter

Anyway, we fished until 1700 and then packed up before heading to one of our local houses of hospitality (PUB!) for a couple of pints of liquid replenishment…. and a recommendation for the Titanic Brewery’s “Raspberry Wheat Beer” is fully in order… Often these flavoured beers are hit-or-miss but this is definitely a centre gold! And another ‘beer’ to look out for is ‘Polish Plum Beer’ – can’t remember the (Polish, obviously) brewer, and really as a beer (hence the quotes above) its totally crap BUT as a drink its the BEST thing you’ll ever drink in your life – like the results of an acre plum orchard compressed down into a pint glass basically – and SO more-ish… when Wetherspoon’s had it on tap in one of their beer festivals quite a few years ago we’d get through 6 pints or more in the lunchtime!! 🙂 OH!!! you want to know just what did we catch? … Well, I had 46 small perch with biggest at about 12oz although only about 6 were >8oz … and Liz had 20+ small perch to 4oz or so.

2016-07-22 Steve - 12oz Perch 01

12oz Perch

SOMETHING ELSE:
Another local blogger (Stewart Bloor: https://theanglingrev.com) mentioned in one of his weekly logs that he leaves on a longer than usual tag to his hook knots … it acts as a ‘soft above hook barb’ that prevents wriggly baits like worms working their way off the hook . Anyway, I tried this but in that manner it didn’t work that well for me possibly because Stewart uses Maxima line which I find stiff and wirey and I use Diawa Hyper Sensor myself as its softer. So it seems the stiffness of the Maxima works to its advantage for this but I needed to produce a similar effect that could be used with my choice line – and so I did as follows…:)

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Take a 6″ length of stiff line – I had in my bag some 6lb ‘feeder line’ that had been a front of magazine giveaway at some time and this was as least as, if not more, stiff as Maxima. Pass this stiff line halfway through the eye of the hook and fold so both ends are parallel with the mainline (1)…. hold tight to the mainline (so now you have the loose tag end of the mainline and the mainline and doubled stiff line  (2) …. tie 5-turn half blood with tuck knot (or use your own personally preferred knot) by wrapping loose mainlinetag around both mainline and the 2 stiffline tags and tighten, etc as per usual (3)…. and finally trim off the 2 stiff line ends to leave about 1/2″ or so sticking out to act as ‘barbs’ (4)… This worked perfectly for me yesterday and prevented the worms balling and masking the point when hooking the worm through the tail, then again at the ‘saddle’ (the lumpy bit towards the head) pulling the line and ‘barbs’ completely through and then hooking the worm head lightly onto the bend of the hook itself….

Session 41 – A Loada Perch And A Couple Of Rudd.

Tuesday 19th July 2016, and I’m at a club tench and silvers water (B) hoping for a few tench, bream, barbel, perch and possible crucian carp thoughout the day.

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You can see to the left-hand side of the picture the island that houses an automatic winter pellet feeder to ensure that the fish have feed during that little fished period – and also the solar panel powered automatic aerator system that was doing sterling work during the day… and the island also has netting walls below the water line to act as a refuge for the fish from cormorants…

As it was a gloriously sunny day, flat calm – and temperatures reached 32C over the day – I elected to float fish using a bodied waggler shotted to catch fish on the drop but also set to about 6″ overdepth to fish the bottom once settled. So 13′ float rod, 6lb main line, size 12 hook and a 4AAA+ bodied waggler was the equipment of the day. The swim was fed with balls of my usual mix before the start of the session and this was added to during the day…. Bait was mainly worm and maggot … other baits – meat, bread, corn, prawn. etc – that were tried were totally ignored and not one solitary nibble ensued with any of those despite being left out in the water for 30-60 minutes…

Anyway, first cast and first fish – a perch of 3-4oz…. and so the day continued and at the end of the day about 7 hours later I must have had at least 60-70 perch of similar size and a couple of rudd of around 2-3oz … but I was unable to attract anything bigger despite, as I said, trying change baits for lengthy periods. Anyway, I fared better than the previous two visits to this pool when I totally blanked without a single touch…

But I do think I demonstrated the fallacy of the myth that returning fish to the water causes the catch rate to drop or even stop completely as the returned fish somehow communicate to their companions that there is danger or similar… all my fish were returned immediately in the water at my feet and well within 20′ of where I was actually placing my baits but that didn’t seem to affect the catch rate one iota… and I had many more bites than captures … and several drop offs on the wind in too…

As the sun rose over the trees at midday,  large shoals of 2″-3″ rudd were surface active dappling large areas of the water but I only saw 3-4 bigger bow waves and jumping fish at all during the whole day which is a bit unusual on this water in the kind of weather experienced.

So, next session is set with Liz tomorrow (22nd) down another club pool….

Session 40 – Addendum…

I did have one mishap as I was leaving – slung the first strap of my Wychwood Solace Rucksack (old model bought 2011/12) over my shoulder and it came adrift at the bottom end stitching. And basically the material has shredded/unwoven so looks like it’ll not be possible to fix… 😦

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A big shame as it was perfect for my needs after having gone through an 18 month series of cut backs from a fully laden barrow down to this rucksack, a Korum matbag, one of a 3-rod or 5-rod quiver with rods/brolly/poles and banksticks depending on required kit and either a bait bag or a bucket for all my fishing needs… plus an optional seat but often the bucket suffices…

So, this morning, it was a dredge of t’internet’web thingy for a replacement item and I finally decided on, and have now ordered for £49.99, a Nash Rucksack from Angling Direct…which promises to meet my needs and more… and, as P&P was £5 for orders less than £50, I’ve also ordered a £1.50 baiting needle to go with it… LOL! Delivery should be on Tuesday…. 🙂

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POSTSCRIPT (DECEMBER 2016)

Since this time I have reverted back to my Wychwood rucksack for all my ‘general’ fishing as I found it much roomier and lighter than the Nash and better suited. However, the Nash bag is great for ‘roving with lures’ as it fits all the gear needed plus room for a 1 litre flask and a collapsible stool for rests and coffee breaks.

Session 40 – Warks Avon…

Friday, 15th July 2016, I head again to the Warks Avon in the hope of a new PB bream again arriving in my swim at around 0650 and making my first cast at 0720.

Tackle was my usual 12′ feeder rod tackled up with 8lb main line straight through to a size 10 Kamasan Animal barbless hook and with a 15g open end cage feeder loaded with the usual feed mix of crumb, pellet, dead maggot, rice, maize, hemp, etc with a splashing of hemp oil added too.

For most of the day, the bait in use was worm tipped with side hooked maggot although I did try a bunch of 7-8 maggots and breadflake at times, but soon reverted back to worm.

As usual bites came quite quickly but first capture of the day was a nice 4lb 14oz bream at 0900 on worm, followed by a small (2oz?) chub at 0930 on maggot and a 1lb 10oz chub on worm at 1115.

And after this things went quite quiet with just a few tugs every now and again and, as I wanted to collect Liz from work, I packed in at 1400 … on the road at 1430 … and arrived in Wolverhampton (30 miles with 50%+ on the motorway) … 2 HOURS LATER! A journey made in hell … backed up on the motorway due to roadworks (OK, so its a 50mph limit and that would actually be maintained if EVERYONE actually stayed in their lane and didn’t lane dodge causing the folks behind to have to brake and so slow down the procession to something more like an average 25mph!) – and then, when eventually off the motorway, every learner on their first ever lesson in the UK was in front, every traffic light turned red as I approached, everybody seemed to regard 30mph limits as 20mph ones even with an open road ahead…everyone slowed for speed cameras (which have been turned off for 5 years or more in the West Midlands area anyway except on M’ways) from their 20mph to 15mph…. ARGGGGHHHHH! Just glad Liz was late getting out of work anyway for her 1600 finish and so appeared within 5 minutes of my arrival…

Anyway, not too much caught – but it does raise a job to be done before the next river trip … if using a feeder …. and that is to ensure I fit baitrunner/freespool type reels, didn’t have one on this session and that accounted for at least half a dozen missed bites. Why? Well, I’ve only just got into using feeders – stillwater and river – and so the problem has not raised its head before. Basically, baiting the hook is no problem as having retrieved the line from the water the hook falls naturally to hand BUT to fill the feeder requires more line to be released from the reel in order for it to reach the groundbait bowl … and to do that with a non-baitrunner reel requires the anti-reverse to to be turned off  in order to be able to pull line off. However, after filling the feeder and casting out, the problem was that I’d often forget to turn the anti-reverse back on again … so that, when I had a bite and struck, the reel just backwound against the pull of the current and the weight of the feeder and thus no force was applied at the hook… and no fish hooked 😦 So, I need to get  baitrunners put on my river rods for feeder use….

Session 39 – The Tench Continue To Take The Pee…

Friday 8th July and I head out of the house at 0730 towards my destination – one of my clubs’s tench lake (DBP). I left later than my usual 0600 for the reason that rain that was falling was forecast to end at 0800 according to the BBC Weather web site – and as they are usually spot on I would be arriving as the rain was ending…. and again the BBC didn’t let me down 🙂

So I wandered down from the car park – two other cars already there – to the lake but it seemed only one other was fishing and he was on the opposite bank, so I assume the other(s) were on one of the carp pools that are on-site.

Anyway, although rain had stopped it was quite blustery at times and the skies switched between overcast and grey and blue with white clouds seemingly every few minutes.

So… prepped my ‘station’, set up my 2 ledger rods … 8lb mainline, 15g frame feeders loaded with my usual groundbait/particle mix, straight through to size 6 and size 10 hooks with worm and bread as baits respectively … and first casts were made at 0900…

First fish was hooked at 1045 on the bread rod – but it was a shortlived connection as it did the ‘tenchy hook transfer’ in the abundant weed that exists in the pool currently – chub are noted for doing the hook transfer but in my view tench are even better at it!. Anyway, fish gone, hook solid in the weed and I was forced to pull for a break….

1100 and another take, this time on the worm rod, and a nice tench of 4lb 0oz was landed….

1210 another bread rod fish hooked and lost….

1230 and another fish on the bread rod but this time I land it successfully – 4lb 1oz.

2016-07-08 Steve - 4lb 1oz Tench

4lb 1oz Tench

1315 – another take on the worm rod – another hook dump in the weed – another pull for break.

At this time I decided to pack in – the other angler had left at 1200 or thereabouts too and only had one fish as I saw – head not really into fishing and I’d been clock-watching – probably due to tiredness as I’d not slept too well overnight waking at 15 minute intervals it seems…

Back on the car park there were still two cars besides mine – presumably one had left (the guy opposite) and one arrived who had gone to the carp pools…

Anyway – tench taking the pee? Well, I’m having trouble catching a tench over my current PB of 4lb 1oz. Over the past 3 seasons I’ve have uncountable numbers of 4lb 0ozs and into double figures of 4lb 1oz’ers even… but I’m having trouble breaking that barrier … and with those 2 fish (4-00 and 4-01) today it seems like…. 😉 ARRRGGGHHHHHH!

Anyway, if I’m to break that barrier before mid-September this year then it will be at a different venue. This one is part of a National Trust property and come school holidays it seems that some (many, actually) parents actually believe that the kids will be interested in touring ‘stately properties’… WHY!!!!? They’d be better giving their kids rods and tackle and setting them off on the bus or their bikes somewhere as happened in my day… kids would enjoy it 1000% more I reckon… Anyway, given that the day’s experience of touring a pile of old bricks isn’t going to be the most exhilarating kid experience they release it by running the grounds screaming and yelling and playing tag or whatever … and, as even ramblers and dog walkers passing by annoy me, then its not where I want to be… 🙂

Session 38 – Avon Called Again…

Tuesday, 5th July 2016  and I head back to the Warwickshire Avon in search of a new PB bream – which I fell short of doing by 4oz on the last visit – with hope in my heart.

I headed back to my swim of the previous visit – and I suspect that it had been fished by others since my previous visit as it was far more trampled and the veggies hacked back more than I did.

So I settled down for my session and made my first cast at around 0730 with a different rod to last session – the 11′ 1.75lb TC rod being exchanged for a 12′ feeder rod with quiver tip in order to (a) cope with the marginal vegetation a bit better as the 11′ rod was not quite long enough to extend fully over and on the retrieve sometimes I got caught up when swinging in and (b) have a softer, more sensitive, bite indication method than the tip of the previous rod… And other than the rod change the rest of the tackle and baits were generally as previously used – 8lb mainline straight through to a size 10 hook baited initially with worm/maggot – and initially I fished the same line as the previous visit, casting downstream about 20 yards, just outside, and level with, a large overhanging willow tree using a 25g open end cage feeder packed with my usual feed mix of crumb, particles, pellet and dead maggot mixed to a sticky consistency.

Again, right from the start, using worm for bait, I had plucks and tugs almost every cast but it wasn’t until 0830 that I managed to hook into a fish – an 11oz bream. And 10 minutes later a larger bream of 3lb 4oz graced the net…

2016-07-05 Steve - 3lb 4oz Bream.JPG… so all was starting to look promising…

However, it was not to be as for the next three hours there was no further action at all – not a single tug, nibble or nudge from anything and even despite trying a change of bait to bread too.

So I decided to try the margins for a while as I had heard that bonus perch are quite possible – and the water depth is still quite appreciable at the very edge (3′-4′ I’d approximate). I slipped off the feeder and replaced it with a small cubic lead of 7g and started hand feeding maggot outs in front and slightly upstream in order that they reach the bottom where I was fishing about 10′-25′ below me… first cast and the tip smashed round but the bite was missed… and so for the next 20-30 mins various plucks and tugs were received on both worm and bunches of maggots and then I hooked into a decent feeling fish only it to snag me on an underwater branch or root and to leave the hook embedded in the snag and I ended having to snap off. I re-tackled to the same set up as I had been using and re-cast … and after 15 minutes without a bite I retrieved the line only for it to snag but this time I was able to recover the tackle intact as the piece of wood into which the hook had caught gave way and I retrieved not only my tackle and the piece of wood but also the hook and ledger stop that I’d lost previously… Next cast, a bite and a small chub of 4oz-6oz came to hand… and then the swim went quiet with no touches for an hour.. until another bite, another chub of similar size to the first and then again a quiet spell during which I put the feeder back on and tried the longer range willow tree stretch again… a few twitches and then quiet… back to the margins with the small lead and another bite and a bream of around 3lb was brought towards the net but the net tangled in the vegetation and whilst trying to free the hook pulled from the fish….

Anyway, after that it went quiet again and I finally reeled ion for the day at 1500 as I needed to get home early’ish and had a longish trip in front of me in which I needed to avoid rush hour traffic as much as possible….

I love this location but it is a long’ish trip but I’m planning to make at least a once-a-month trip there for the future… really need to see the banks in winter with the vegetation died back to see exactly the structure of the ‘solid’ ground which is hidden greatly in foliage currently..

But on Friday – hoping to get out tenching 🙂

Session 37 – A Private Estate Water…

Saturday 2nd July and I returned to the private estate lake that Liz and I were meant to visit on the 19th June but were unable to get access to the water. This time I was alone as Liz was on holiday in Spain and this was the final weekend of this year’s invitation to the club to fish.

I arrived at the water at around 0630 (fishing from 0700, so arrived early to tackle up, etc) and was the first there – two others arrived at around 0700 and another at around 1030 – and I elected to fish our usual swim at this venue. We’ve had good tench and double figure carp from here (SPOILER ALERT) before and has never let us down before…

I used the usual ledger set up with two rods set up with one with a size 6 hook and the other a size 10… baits used were worm/maggot on the 10 hook, and various baits (bread, paste, meat) on the 6 tried throughout day…. both rods were set up with frame feeders too with which a sticky mix incorporating hemp, wheat, corn, and dead maggot was fed out on each cast.

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Anyway, it was a slow day – seems I chose the wrong swim as the other three anglers all seemed to be catching well – especially the chap opposite me, who had decent fish after fish, from a swim I’d mentioned to Liz that I might try if I had the chance… I did and I didn’t! DOH!!! Hindsight is wonderful!

Anyway, my ‘bag’ for the session was one small perfectly conditioned tench (of  a beautiful steely blue colouration in the sunlight) and two small roach – and one of the roach was foul-hooked in the tail…

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Next trip, hopefully back to the Warks Avon on the 5th….