Session 19 – First Tench Of 2017

Friday 21st April and I re-visited the pool of Session 17 (WL2) – but as I’d taken two anti-diarrhoea capsules the previous evening at bedtime and a further one with breakfast I was hoping to at least get to stay a bit longer – and it worked! I arrived at 0700 and departed at around 1530…

I decided to start the day float fishing down the margins with a 5AAA antenna float using the lift-method technique and then later, unless action of the float rod was significant enough to stay fishing that method, to switch over to two ledger rods fished out between my position and an island that lies in the area between the two photos above.

So I did my usual pre-fishing preps but which this time included casting out a marker float for the planned ledger part of the session. Actually, the ‘marker float’ was my FishSpy camera and I had been hoping to grab some underwater footage over the course of the day but, unfortunately, although the camera had been attached to my PC overnight, the battery appeared not to have charged… reconnected since and charged OK so not sure what had happened before. Right, so with marker float in position I put out about 2Kg of feed (usual bread crumb based with maggots, particles and pellets added and wetted with creamed rice pudding to which tuna, sardine and molasses had been added) around it … and also 3-4 golf ball sized lumps in the area of the margin I intended to fish.

So, preps completed, the float rod was set to the correct depth and cast out using 6lb line and a size 12 hook baited with worm and maggot. At intervals the usual loose maggots were catapulted around the float… and regular small lifts and dips were apparent but it was around 1000 when the first fish was captured – a tench of 2lb 0oz …

[ORIGINAL TEXT: but the anti-camera gods struck again as I took 10 shots of me holding it via the camera’s self-timer function and then released the fish – however, on checking the captured shots all I had was a ‘Memory Card Error’ message! It seems the memory card was not seating correctly and thus nothing was recorded – took out the card and then replaced it back in the camera – and was working correctly.]

CORRECTED TEXT: At the time it seemed that the pictures of the tench had failed for the reasons described above… however, when I used the memory card from the camera for another subject and cane to transfer to PC I found that the pictures of the tench had, in fact, actually been recorded  … and here it is!!

2017-04-21 Steve - 2lb 0oz Tench

Anyway, despite making slight changes to the shotting and even setting to fish on-the-drop and with the bait a couple of inches off bottom the only other capture was a small (1oz) perch…

1130 and I decided to get the ledger rods into action – 8lb line and size 6 hooks – one rod baited with bread and sweetcorn cocktail and the other with luncheon meat cubes both fished into the pre-baited area and with additional feed in the shape of luncheon meat cubes catapulted out now and then. However by 1515 not a single touch had been registered (bar a diving coot that kept hitting my line underwater twixt me and bait – still, the alarm beeps got the adrenaline going a bit!) and I started to tidy my area and pack away unneeded equipments and baits … and at 1530 I pulled in my lines completely.

The future? Well, as we’re away the week after next camping in Newquay, Cornwall, next week is designated to checking the camping gear and sorting stuff out so no fishing can be fitted in then … the week after, well the sea rods and gear are being packed so hopefully we’ll find some suitable rocks, harbour or pier… and the crab lines are packed too for mine and Liz’s holiday crab competition(s)…..

And then there’s our traditional Wetherspoon’s holiday breakfast to be look forward to as well!! YUMMMMYYYY MUMMMMY! Just hope they’ve Sadler’s Mud City Stout on and I’d be heaven!!

Sessions 17 And 18 – Short And Not Always Sweet

Session 17 – was intended to be a day on a club’s carp pool (WL2) on Monday 10th April but instead was an half an hour visit – never got tackled up – due to the Chinese Buffet of the night before being stronger than the anti-diarrhoea tablet I always take before my fishing sessions. Enough said, I think.

Session 18 – Friday 14th April – was a trip to another club’s non-carp pool (B). A trip that promised much as I’d received just that morning an all-members text from the club saying that ‘hundreds of roach, perch, bream, tench, etc had been stocked and to report results’…

So it was that I arrived at the pool and at my selected swim for the day – opposite the near end of the pool’s island which usually provides all kinds of species…

I noticed the water was very clear – and, although the level of the water was as usual (ca 3’-4’), I could see the bottom all the way from my bank to the island and make out clear areas and area of blanket-type weed – and unusually whilst fishing I was picking up small strands of the weed on the hook, something that has never happened before in 5 years of fishing the pool…

So… I prepped my swim with a couple of small balls of my usual groundbait mix just off the edge of the island’s overhanging vegetation … maybe I shouldn’t have done this given the clarity of the water and just loose fed a few maggots….

I tackled up my 13’ float rod (well, its probably a 12’9” rod as I snapped the top few inches off accidentally a few years ago) with 6lb line, size 12 hook baited with a small worm and a couple of maggots and fished lift-method using a 5AAA bodied waggler (antenna) float.

Anyway, I fished from 0800-1030 without a single touch despite casting to different areas/features and decided I was on a loser and packed in – the water being cold, a chilling breeze and the water clarity being against me. So I came home so that Liz could take the car to go to work.

The pre-session period also saw the start of a new ‘drugs’ regime … 2 anti-dia capsules at bedtime the night before and another with my breakfast of the day… LOL!

Session 16 – Millionaire’s Fishing Day

Friday, 7th April, I headed off at 0615 to my destination of the day, a club fishery in Rugeley (SP) for the day.

This is only the second time I’ve visited this water as the club only acquired it last October and at that time there weren’t many spots available to fish from (possibly 4) with the banks very overgrown but the club in the interim has done a lot of work on bank clearance and now there seems about 10-12 easily accessible swims.

The weather was good, warm and bright without too much breeze – and its a very sheltered pool anyway as it lies in a deep hollow and is also surrounded by trees.. and the ‘millionaires’ bit? Well, I had the whole pool to myself for the entire day … and I only saw three other people during the day – a couple walking their dog up the path on the far side of the pool and an estate worker who popped for a chat…

First thing I did once I reached the swim I elected to fish was get out my depth/fish finder to ascertain the depths and contours around my area – and this showed a depth of 8.5 feet at around 10 yards out and then rising slowly into shore … however, when actually fishing, after casting, there didn’t seem to get much line being pulled out as the lead sank and so I reverted to old technologies (float and plummet) to re-check … and discovered the depths to be more like 3 feet rising towards the shore, and this was confirmed by the estate worker later who said depths were around 3-4ft.

So, arrived, checked depths and the next thing was to bait up my chosen areas to fish with the usual mix …. one rod to be fished directly out in front 10 yards out, the other to the edge of overhanging bushes that protruded 5 yards out over the water well to my left.

I decided to ledger both rods – 8lb line on both – but one with a size 6 hook which was baited with bread and with mussel (the ‘in front’ rod) and the other a size 12 (later changed to 14) hook baited with worm/maggot, maggot and worm (the ‘bush’ rod). First cast were made at 0800.

Over the day I had not a single touch on the bread/mussel rod … but the worm/maggot rod was getting small trembles and quick twitches of its bobbin … and the first fish was a small (ca 3oz perch) actually discovered on the hook after winding in to re-cast. The same twitches/trembles persisted without result and so I started to slack line/touch ledger which was more successful and I ended the day having added 20 or so small roach (up around 5-6oz) to the tally before packing up at 1500.

2017-04-07 Steve -Small Perch (3oz) 02.JPG

Small Perch

I could have been more successful in size of catch really, I think, by fishing a float rod with finer line (4lb) … but trees overhead forced sideways/underhand casting with an 11’ ledger rod and a 13’ float rod would have been even more limited … plus I decided to use the occasion to have fun hone up and practice my touch-ledgering and slack line ledgering techniques…

So an enjoyable day out for me…

Probably venture out again on Monday…..

Session 15 – A Quiet Day And A Punt…

Monday, 3rd April, Liz and I were off to our destination of the day, a mixed club fishery (VV).

Setting off at 0800 on a bright and certainly warmest day of 2017 yet we arrived at the pool at around 0845 and I was actually surprised to find we were the first there – although over the day another 4 or 5 appeared.

Anyway, we elected to fish the bush/peninsula swim we’ve fished the last few visits as its a good area for chub normally – and as you’ll have realised I’ve issued a bit of a spoiler there by using the word ‘normally’ – with Liz fishing the end of the peninsula and myself half way along.

I decided to start on the float, fishing ‘lift method’, which I was having difficulty with for some reason. When setting the float to the desired level it seemed that with highering/lowering the float only 2” seemed to make it sink or stick 10” up with a lot of slack line between float and bottom shot … Anyway, after a poor cast into the bush on the opposite bank, which resulted in 5-6 yards of line being lost, I decided to quiver tip instead using worm/maggot cocktail, worm, and maggot baits – and also tried bread which elicited not a single nibble in 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Liz decided to use one swimfeeder rod and use maggot on the hook…

Results when we packed in at 1630….

I had a lot of small perch (1-2ozs), gudgeon and a couple of small rudd up to 4oz.

Liz also had rudd to about 4oz, gudgeon and the best fish of the day – a 3lb 9oz chub.


3lb 9oz Chub

Anyway, from what I’ve heard since, it’s been hard going on that pool for the past few days and it seemed the others fishing with us weren’t doing well either although there’s a possibility that a reasonable fish was taken out of our sight by the sounds of splashing heard.

So we come to the ‘punt’ bit of the title…

Packing up and the broken line of the floatfishing start of day had been bothering me as the large length of line had become a tangled mass hanging from the bush and was a danger of entanglement to the ducks and other wildlife – I thought to cast across with my mini-weed rake to try and snag to free it but as there was the club’s small rowing boat close alongside I decided it may be quicker and easier to row out and free that way – which I did. Probably the best way anyway as I doubt the ‘snagging’ method would have been successful as the line was wrapped in several places around small shoots and twigs of the bush and although the main tangle may have been pulled out then pieces of line would have remained in the bush – at least by boat I was able to completely retrieve all the trapped line.

Next outing – Friday 6th… destination unknown ….