Thursday 5th April 2018 – with pleasant weather forecast for the day I decided to take my first trip of year to a club mixed fishery (AA-B) – tench being most people’s targeted species there but also has good perch, bream, barbel, chub, roach, rudd,…, crucian carp and golden tench. Basically, everything but ‘king’ carp … although that is (or maybe already has) changed as it was announced at the club’s AGM back in February that as the water is being decimated by cormorants (which I take with a pinch of salt personally – just few people fish there and it can be a moody water – either blank or fill your net I find) it is intended to add cormorant-resistant carp (ie carp over 3lb). Why, I don’t know. I’m certain its the size that matters not the species? So why not stock 3lb+ tench, bream, barbel, etc instead??? Especially as the club has a carp-only water (well, actually carp with chub as a predator to keep fry numbers down) sits not 10 yards away alongside…. so basically the club’s only non-carp holding water is set to have carp introduced … completely destroying the attraction of the water to me if they become prolific.
Anyway, back to the day. OK, so forecast was good and from around 1000 all was very nice, a gentle ripple on the water and a warm sun breaking cover over the trees on the far bank … however, on popping out pre-breakfast (0615) to load the tackle in the car I discovered the windscreen to be completely frozen over … soon disappeared with a squirt of de-icer BUT on going out again at 0700 to leave for the pool the windscreen had again frozen over .. another spray and I headed off with screen heater on .. but for a mile or so I needed the wipers too as the screen just iced over whilst travelling… which was bad news really as the pool is only 3′-4′ deep – possibly 4’6″ at its deepest – and a cold spell soon affects the fishing… although water temps on arrival at 0745 were 6.8’C and had actually risen to 7.8’C on leaving at 1500.
Add to the effects of cold snap that fact that the pool is brook fed – water enters this pool via a pipeline from a brook that runs alongside, exiting via another pipe which connects to the adjacent carp pool and finally exits that pool via an overflow pipe back into the brook at the far end of the site… and the brook is shallow (ie air temperature changes are mirrored quickly due to depth and the turbulence mixing in the flow) and passes through fields of livestock (mainly cows) – and with the recent wet and snowy spells the brook is receiving slurry runoff from the fields which are entering the pool as well as the run off directly from the surrounding fields. Also, I threw out my rake to try to retrieve some lost tackle I’d spotted in a bush on an island opposite my swim and pulled in a huge mass of dead and decaying leaves… water warmish, slurry, decaying leaves? Sounds like a lot of oxygen may have been taken out of the water by the decay processes and thus making fish lethargic? Also a lot of suspended clay in the water, very low visibility…
Add to all that that the pool is notoriously a ‘summer’ water and needs water temps to be at least well up in the high teens before any major action happens – usually its late May before it gives up its best fishing – although saying that 2015-2016 season I was catching tench in water at 5’C all through that winter (Nov 2015 – Jan 2016) – not one offs, 3-6 per session each week – not a single perch though which was what I was actually after!
So, I think you’ve realised by now – after all the excuses reasons given that I utterly and totally blanked on the day!
I ledgered 2 prawns on one rod which lay undisturbed for the whole session – cast in at start of day, wound in when packing up. The other rod was floatfished – ‘on the drop’ and ‘lift method’ – with maggot, bread and worm baits casting up to the overhanging vegetation on the island in front, into the centre of the channel, etc … but not a single indication of any interest whatsoever all day long. Oh well, it was a nice mild relaxing day out – who wants to be bothered having to play and unhook fish anyway? LOL!