I’ve Been Honoured!! :)

There’s a guy by the name of Stewart Bloor, who is a well known angling blogger, who has blogged for many years and issued has a blog EVERY Saturday since he began – and this week’s blog is actually number 746! So I make that in the region of 15 years? And he also has a load of videos, which usually form part of his weekly blogs available on YouTube – search the name 🙂

Originally his blogs were solely angling based but have since evolved into a combined angling/football one – and he is now involved with promotion of the New Saints Football club – and is also a reverend – hence his blogger name of ‘The Angling Rev’.

See: https://theanglingrev.com

Stewart lives locally to me – and we are also mutual members of a local club too – but we have never actually met in the flesh. There have been a few close calls on the waterside banks when we’ve both been on the same water on the same day, and even fished the same swim on at least one occasion but at different times of the day. But one day I’ m sure it will happen – and I’m looking forward to that day 🙂

And in Stewart’s latest blog posting Number 746 (https://theanglingrev.com/2017/10/28/welcome-to-my-world-blog-entry-746/) he has mentioned the works of other bloggers – and maintains a link on his site to those other blogger’s sites – and has started a ‘blogger of the week’ mention in his posts … and guess who has had the honour to have become the first selection! Moi!! 🙂 So many thanks, Stewart!

My blogs started almost as a diary to myself – and to a large extent I still treat it as such albeit I have picked up a few followers along the way now – and possibly I’ll gather a few more now due to Stewart’s mention 🙂

I generally fish twice a week – Mondays and Fridays being the usual days and I blog each session within a couple of days. I’m not a carp fanatic much preferring perch, bream, tench – and barbel and chub but my river fishing trips, although I intend to do much more each year but never do, are sparse. Favourite fish, above all others, pike! And like Stewart I love the mini-species too – especially the ‘daddy’ ruffe…. For more, just read the blog! LOL!

So to all my current followers I say thanks for your comments and sticking with me, and to any new readers/followers I say ‘Welcome, hope you enjoy my writings!’ and all comments, etc are very welcomed.

Session 55 – A Good Day …

Friday 27th October I headed off on a return to Pike Water 17 hoping to get sweet revenge on last week’s taunting and toothy inhabitants….

I left the house around 0700 with the car’s external thermo registering 8.5’C but about a mile from my destination the thermo beeped out a frost warning as it dipped to 4’C and had arrived and transported my gear into my intended swim by 0730…..

As on last week’s session I intended to fish with maggot initially in order to catch a few livebaits and to switch over to the pike rods around midday which is actually what happened although, whilst bait gathering’ a bit of swirling going on and the occasional leaping by small fry encouraged me to put out one of the pike rods earlier as a ‘sleeper’ with a couple of floatfished sprats on a double double-hook set up as a ‘mini-Xmas Tree’… however, nothing came to this rod at all although it was used for the rest of the day. Anyway, first cast with the maggot rod was made, post-setting up of all the required rods, etc for the day, at around 0830…

The ambience of the lighting at the pool was quite moody for the early part of the day…

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… with this photo taken at 1006… and this was taken with no special effects, etc, on my mobile phone. Not even set to ‘monochrome/B&W’, as I said it just came out like this. I was a bit disappointed with the ‘aberrations’ down the centre but then again it does look like an old photo that got a bit creased/folded and adds a bit of character maybe? J

Later the day turned quite pleasant with blue skies, white clouds and some nice sunshine….

And so, I started on my bait catching … and had a small silver on the first cast and caught steadily throughout the morning …. fishing maggot on 6lb main line with 6” of 6lb braid as a hook length with a size 16 hook below a 3AAA bodied antenna … and fishing around 4’ deep in water with a depth of around 11’ – 12’. I catapulted out dead maggot – I’d had around 3 pints of leftover maggots from the Somerset trip which were getting a bit ‘old’ so I’d frozen them to death – but when alive they had been getting a bit sweaty and I’d added some of my dry groundbait mix to them – and the mix included my usual porridge oats and some floating pellets – and thus when feeding the maggots these ‘particle’ bit were also being fed and attracted some of carp into the area…

And then, as a consequence of this feeding, at 1115 a larger than usual capture was made …. of an 11lb 4oz common carp…

2017-10-27 Steve - 11lb 4oz Common Carp 01

11lb 4oz Common Carp

… so I continued with the bait fishing until noon and then pulled in the maggot rod … and baited up the second pike rod to live bait with one of the captured small silvers… a single size 2 hook through the lips as the bait retainer and a 2/12 double hook hooked into the dorsal fin was the ‘catching hook’…. and less than 30 minutes later I was doing battle with one of those pike … :). I’d been fishing the bait under the overhanging bushes to my side and straight out in front of me about a yard out for that time … but as soon as I dropped the bait, literally, 6” from the edge of the bank the water exploded and it was ‘game on!’….

And after a short time a nice pike of 10lb 14oz graced the net…

2017-10-27 Steve - 10lb 14oz Pike 01

10lb 14oz Pike

….however, it did get its own back on me… if you look at the picture closely there is a red spot between its eye and the end of its gill cover? That is blood … MY BLOOD! Whilst going to grab it to unhook, it jumped and caught my thumb with the edge of its gill cover opening up a small triangular flap of skin as if it by a razor blade … only a tiny cut, but did it bleed? YES!! In fact, even now, 15 hours later, and under a plaster, if I just catch it wrongly it still seeps blood … and at the time my thumb was dripping everywhere .. all over the rods, reel, flask, baits, chair, etc … but luckily I’d some dry (well, they were ‘wet’ ones once) wipes and some insulation tape – and some antiseptic spray intended for fish with sores, cuts and scrapes. So a quick antiseptic spraying and a makedo dressing of the wipe and tape were quickly applied and at least the dripping was contained for the rest of the session….And there was more …. at around 1445 another sail away bite was made on the live bait rod … a strike and a pike of around 6lb (+/-1) was connected …. however, as it came to the net it decided to do a ‘headshaking tail walk’ and I had the sickening feeling of the line going slack… I thought I’d snapped off but, on winding the line in, it appears that the crimping of the wire trace had failed or the wire had snapped at the loop to the swivel, as the trace’s swivel was still on the line… Just glad that I used barbless/crushed barb hooks – it is a club rule that for general fishing hooks have to be barbless although for pike fishing hooks with crushed barbs are allowed.

So, I fished on until 1530 without further action before tackling down and making my way home, very contented with the day! 🙂

Plans for the next week …. hopefully Monday will be a lure fishing trip with Liz although depends on the weather per usual … and I do need to go to my bank to sort out some money that I didn’t get from a 3rd-party ATM when the machine crashed a few weeks ago … and I entered a ‘dispute’ request for the refunding of the money that I didn’t get but which was taken from the account which the bank was taking up with the ATM operator for me .. but weather OK I’ll go fishing Monday and bank on Tuesday…. and Friday I’m thinking of a pike session on a canal that originally I was thinking of getting the lures involved in … but yesterday the leaves seemed to have increased their falling rate massively and on canals that’s the kiss of death for lures even if no boats pass – and just one boat passing turns the ‘difficult but manageable’ into ‘mission impossible’ as even the sunken leaves get churned up – so I may go for a deadbait on float approach…..

WATER TEMPS

Min:                 12.4’C
Max:                13.0’C
Average:         12.7’C

WATER TEMP TRENDS

ScreenHunter_34 Oct. 28 13.26

Session 54 – And The Pike Continue To Taunt…

Friday 20th October I headed off to Pike Water 17 with the view to engaging with some of its pike.

I decided to use live bait and so to comply with the laws of the land regarding the transfer of live fish between waters this meant that the bait fish had to be caught in the water to be fished – and to comply with club rules that fish dead or alive are not allowed to be removed from the waters this also meant that the bait had to be caught on the day of use.

So I arrived at the water’s edge at around 0730 and after preliminaries of putting some maggots and a small amount of cereal bait out into the intended swim – both to attract the small silvers to be caught for bait but also for the silvers themselves to hopefully be an attraction the pike – and setting up nets and the ‘station’ in general, I set up my coarse float rod for obtaining my bait and also my 2 pike float fishing rods ready for use later.

I fished the coarse rod for a couple of hours using a size 16 hook with maggot bait fished around 4’ deep over a 9’-13’ slope around the edge of an overhanging tree and had around a dozen or so small (1-3oz) silvers – and also had a few bigger fish on too but unfortunately they managed to throw the hook…

Having obtained a sufficient quantity of silvers I switched over to my pike rods. Both rods were fitted with greased 40lb Spectra/Dyneema braid, on which 18” wire traces fitted with a single size 2 hook on to which the bait fish was lip hooked and with a double hook consisting of a size 12 hook whipped to the back of a size 2, the size 12 being placed just under the bait’s dorsal fin. Small pencil type floats acted as the indicator and also to set the depth that the baits were fished at.

And so, for 2-3 hours I fished the rods at various depths, various distances, and various areas to the left and right and not a touch – so I decided I’d wind them in and have a play with my Deeper Sonic depth/fish finder and have a few casts around the area and then to go back to the coarse rod for a while… which I did… and returned the used and unused bait fish back to the pool…. and tackled down and put away the pike rods.

Anyway… I *JUST* knew it would happen….

First cast with the maggot rod … a small silver comes to hand … I unhook it and drop it in the water … 1 second later, big splash and swirl as it’s taken by a pike! So I quickly whip the sonar device off the heavy spinning rod I use for it and replace it with a wire spinning trace and a plug and cast up and down the bank edge – depth of water at your feet here is around 3’6” to 4’. But after 15 mins or so nothing was forthcoming so I went back to the maggot rod…. a few more small silvers … a better fish throws the hook … a 3lb 9oz mirror carp is landed…

2017-10-20 Steve - 3lb 9oz Mirror Carp 04

3lb 9oz Mirror Carp

… and a few more small silvers … and pop one back in the water …. SPLASH AND SWIRL!

So out with the lure again … nothing … change lure to a wobbled horse mackerel on single/double hooked trace … still nothing … so just drop close to the edge to fish itself as a static deadbait whilst fishing on with the maggot rod for a few more small silvers and another good fish that pops the hookhold… then I cast out and catch the bush alongside and have to snap off (did get float and all the end gear back though after using weedcutter-on-a-rope to snag it and get it back)… but by now its about 30 mins to packing in time and not worth re-tackling the rod up so I tackle it down and pack it up and spend a bit of time with the ‘wobble’ rod …. and I do actually get a take but the hook fails to find a hold and the pike is lost … a few more casts elicit no further action and time comes to tackle down….

Yep, I think the pike in this water like to make fun of me! A couple of seasons or so, same water and actually in the  same swim, I was pike fishing and a couple of pike swimming together would pass me by every half hour or so – but wouldn’t take a bait whatever I did – and even on one pass they stopped about 6” from the bait as if considering it for a few seconds and then turned towards me whilst lifting their heads and looking as if to say “REALLY!!? YOU EXPECT US TO FALL FOR THAT? REALLLLYYYY????” and then later as they passed again one grabbed the tail of the other as they passed as if it was saying “LOOK I’VE CAUGHT HER!”. Yep, got no respect for me have the pike in this water… LOL!

WATER TEMPS

Min:                 13.9’C
Max:                13.9’C
Average:         13.9’C

WATER TEMP TRENDS

ScreenHunter_31 Oct. 21 12.50

NOT ONLY Session 51 – But Sessions 52 And 53 Too ……

This is an all very short and sweet report of the three sessions I had whilst on holiday at the pool of Lakeside Holiday Village in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset where we stayed from Monday 9th to Monday 16th October….

So, Session 51 was a short lure fishing session of about an hour or so on Monday 9th with Liz…. as usual we arrived on site early at around noon so that we could have a short session on the pool and a beer or two in the clubhouse before getting the keys to the caravan which become available around 1530. We tried spinners and small lures without any success at all….

Session 52 was a solo outing by me starting at around 0700 and fishing until 1130 before heading back to the caravan for breakfast and followed by an afternoon up in the town. A tree had fallen into the water at the far left side of the pool and looked a stereotypical Mr Crabtree “There be pike in those branches, Peter” scenario – however, even after baiting up the area with smashed up anchovy and float fishing a sardine deadbait at various depths from on bottom (depth of  approx 55”) to 24”, static and drifting, near and far from the tree not a single touch was to be had…

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Session 53 was a day’s general bait fishing for bream/carp/etc with Liz, fishing from around 0900 to 1530. We both fished on feeders with maggot, meat and sweetcorn (and I discovered I’d not packed my worms before setting off from home)…. And, once again, same result as the previous two sessions with not even a sucked maggot.

 

WATER TEMPS FOR THE WEEK

Min:                 14.9’C
Max:                15.5’C
Average:         15.2’C

WATER TEMP TRENDS

ScreenHunter_28 Oct. 18 08.14

Back home now and planning session 54 to be a pike session on a pool with deadbaits and, hopefully and if I can catch any, livebaits too on Friday 20th.

I’ve had a bit of luck regarding obtaining some double paddled handles as I mentioned I wanted but couldn’t find anywhere in the previous posting. After posting on a forum, I’ve had a couple of offers to buy spare ones plus, possibly, a commercial source. I’m in touch with one of the offerers and aiming to send monies for 3 handles today or tomorrow…. after that and if all works ok with them on my reels I’ll contact the other guy…

NOT Session 51 – But Close To It……

OK … so I *HAD* planned to be out today (Friday 6th October) but as they say ‘ the best laid plans of mice of men…’ and so my session today has been postponed due to the need to prepare for next week’s Somerset holiday. And that means sorting out not only the pike gear but also the ‘general’ stuff too and that means mix’n’matching the gear from several bags … the lure bag, the pike bag and the general bag – into one mixed one. Plus the need to get general touristy holiday wear and other stuff – food, toiletries, bed linen, towels, etc – sorted too. So no fishing today.

All going well so far – rods, reels, lines (mine and Liz’s) are all sorted and ready to load into car – 1 float rod, 2 ledger rods, 1 pike rod and 1 spinning rod each plus my general purpose spomb/WaterWolf/FishSpy/Deeper Sonar rod. Landing nets and poles and banksticks that live in the rod quivers all present and correct … the Korum Mat Bag is loaded with the net float, groundbait bowl, float box, hook wallet … and today is ‘booked’ for sorting the gear in my rucksack and doing a prelim check on Liz’s fishing bag….

Tomorrow is designated bait day – so will be off out to get a couple of pints of fresh maggots for hookbait which will be bagged with the air squeezed out to put them in statis and fridged – already got about 3 pints that are 7-10 days old bagged in the fridge and in statis that’ll be used for free feed, etc. Plus a quick check what I’ve got in the fridge with regards to particles, pastes, etc and replenished if need be. And as weather was good yesterday (‘strike while iron is hot’) I dug up enough worms from the worm pit to suffice the week ahead…

Sunday will mainly be double checking the gear. Also general packing of clothes, etc through the day… and in the evening putting the baits in a coolbag with a few ice blocks and loading up the car ready for an early Monday start… Also have to take the cat to the cattery – oh fun and joy for them!! LOL! Previous comments have included ‘Not the friendliest cat is he??’ … and last time he wouldn’t let him change his bedding or litter tray attacking them when they tried and to feed they just dropped his bowl inside the door… But when we get there he purrs and just lies in our arms as good as gold … He spends most of his life outdoors and doesn’t like being cooped up and we usually had friends come and feed him via a timer feeding tray but he’s got back leg problems and needs to be given pills twice a day now to alleviate that hence the cattery

Monday, hopefully arrive at the ‘village’ around 1300, pop to reception and show our EA licences (no licence, no fishing!) and generally book in. However, the caravan keys are not officially available until 1600 although they usually do get made available by 1530 … so in the interim we’ll pop to the pool for a spot of lure fishing with the lure equipment that will have been conveniently packed on top of all the other luggage … LOL! And also a pint in the onsite clubhouse.

And the plans for the rest of the week – Tuesday 0600-1130 I’ll be off down the pool pike fishing then back to Liz and the caravan for breakfast followed by an afternoon out … one of the other days Liz comes fishing with me for a full day … and hopefully I’ll manage a couple of other sessions too. And we have to fit in our traditional holiday Wetherspoon’s breakfast too one of the day’s …. something really decadent about breakfast with a pint of porter/stout along with it! LOL!

So that’s it then … probably not blog over the week as I’ll only have my android tablet with me unless I have a good ‘un and maybe a short mention will be posted, otherwise it’ll be a multi-session post made on our return home.

BTW … the broken reels from last time … made one good reel from the pair by replacing the broken handle with the good one from the one with the broken gearing and actually improved the reel as the newly fitted handle is a double paddled one which I find far more effective than the original single paddle type. And mentioning that – spare/replacement generic handles are easily obtainable for reels via places eBay/LightInTheBox/Banggood for about £2 or less each BUT I’ve only managed to find single paddled ones. The only double paddled ones I can find are for Shimano reels which, beside being expensive (£15+ each) will not fit any other make of reel as Shimano use a square cross section shaft whilst all the others use a hexagonal (possibly octagonal?) shaft. And I cannot locate a source of ‘general’ double paddled handles anywhere despite several makes of reel being fitted with them… and, in fact, Dragon Carp have a deal of 2 reels for £15.99 (https://www.dragoncarpdirect.com/avanti-twin-reel-pack-84-943015?colcode=94301590) that have double paddles and I am considering getting some just for the handles and throwing the bodies and spools (unless they fit any of my other reels) away. But £15.99 for 2 handles still seems a bit steep to me….

Session 50 – An Eventful Luring Day…

Monday, October 2nd – as a ‘traditionalist’ piker this was the second day of my pike fishing season (October -> March) – and thus this was my first session of the year in search of Esox Lucius. I was accompanied by Liz and we headed out on a lure session to Pike Pool 3, leaving the house around 0930 and arriving at our first selected swims at around 1030/1045’ish…. and we fished until about 1500 … and not another angler was to be seen on the 19 acre pool all day long … and only a handful of dog walkers and ramblers passed by too…

Throughout the day Liz fished with her favourite 16.5g Shakespeare ‘Devils Own’ Scale patterned blade spinner…

lg_shakespeare-devils-own-spinner-spoons_1

… whilst I used a variety of spinners and lures including a luminous twin-bladed blade spinner, a 35g copper/silver spoon, a couple of Savage Gear 4Play (soft and hard bodied) lures and a 12” eel with wriggly tail.

I had a couple of takes in the first swim but caught nothing … the closest to being caught was a small (8oz-12oz) perch that shed the hooks when it rolled about 20’ out…. Liz had one take and that resulted in the sole catch of the day – a pike of 1lb 11oz…

2017-10-02 Liz - 1lb 11oz Pike 01
1lb 11oz Pike

And that was the day as far as ‘fishing’ was concerned … not eventful really? But the tackle happenings add to the tale of the day…

One rod tip was snapped off – as was the reel handle on that rod. Just before we decided to pack in Liz’s lure got caught by the wind on casting and the line drifted over an overhanging tree and on attempting to retrieve the lure itself got pulled up and into the branches – so Liz was holding the reel handle and yanking to try to tug the lure free when the rotating end of the handle broke off …. so far the rod was intact but then I grabbed the braid line and wrapped it around my lower arm and jacket sleeve to try to pull it free directly… but as I pulled the line to the lure I was also pulling on the rod tip … Liz got as far as saying ‘Be careful the rod tip is going to …’ and {{{SNAP}}}….. it was too late! Anyway, not an expensive rod – £9.99 when I originally bought it but the identical replacement (Ron Thompson EPV2, 10’, 30-80g spinning rod) that I bought today had gone up to £12.99 … daylight robbery!! LOL! I did eventually get Liz’s lure back too – but at the cost of having to wade out slightly deeper than my boots were waterproof to and ending with a soggy foot…

One reel seemingly packed in with a gearing problem to the spindle – quite a new reel and I’ve quite a few of the same make/model that I’ve had no problems with – probably from a ‘Monday Morning’ batch as they say… anyway, as spindle would not rise/fall the line wasn’t being spread up/down the spool and thus was building up on one area and causing tangles on casting….

Had problems with two other reels too – but my fault as I had fitted non-standard spools to the bodies eg a spool from a Shakespeare 140FD reel onto a TFG reel body in one case and another (poorly) cross-matched spool/body coupling leading to poor seating and consequently poor line lays or spools slipping. So reels would be OK with the correct spools fitted… problem is that generally reels don’t come with spare spools and I like to have alternate spools with different line strengths available – and so tend to mix’n’match spools across my reels at times. And on the day I made poor choices… not a problem as I’ve a fair few spare unused reels at the mo having bought a job lot in a local auction, just time consuming swapping the reels and re-tackling the rods..

The day ended OK though – at the local pub supping a couple of beers and munching on scratchings before heading home.

OK… so what for the future?

Well hoping on Friday 6th to head to Pike Water 14 for a session of deadbaiting and possibly a bit of wobbling and luring…. and on Monday 9th off to Burnham-on-Sea on our annual £9.50 Sun Holiday week to a holiday village that has its own, resident’s only, pool and so hoping to do a bit of general coarse, a bit of lure fishing and a bit of deadbaiting over the course of that week.