Session 35 – A Good Day’s Fishing, Plenty Of Species Plus Liz Gets A New PB ….

Monday 6th August, Liz and I set off for a mixed species fishery (KF-VV) that is controlled by one of my clubs. A nice water, set above the Severn Valley and down below, in the distance so not actually visible, are the River Severn and, just across from the river itself, the Severn Valley Railway tracks run between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster which although not visible you can hear the trains hoot and sometimes spot the trails of steam. Other than that, it is set in a very rural area, so the only people to be seen are other club members and so it is a very very quiet and tranquil setting. Its also a prolific venue – a sort of ‘commercial’ pool set up – with all sorts  of fish in there – koi carp, ghost carp, barbel, chub, brown goldfish accompany the more usual pool fish such as perch, roach, bream, gudgeon, rudd and carp – only species obviously missing are pike, sturgeon and zander… so you can usually guarantee a fish or two regardless of conditions … and it is said that you can catch on a bare hook in there …. AND ITS TRUE as I had my first fish on – and I’d not even baited up the swim nor baited the hook nor set up nets, etc…!

OK … We arrived at the pool and had a quick look around as there was already a car on the car park on arrival and we suspected the owner may be fishing one of our two choices of swim for the day – and, in fact, he was … set up on a part of the pool known informally as ‘chub alley’ – a part of the pool that looks across a narrow channel on to the overhanging bushes of an island opposite and the bushes are the preferred lodging area for most of the pool’s chub population it seems – however, the guy fishing was not fishing to the bushes but was originally casting a feeder out from the neck of the channel towards a small island in the the main water, and later in the day he switched over to floating baits… Anyway, ‘chub alley’ had been one of our two ‘preferreds’ so we decided on our other option which was on the west bank actually facing the small island that was being fished to by the other guy but over the other side of it.

NOW … we get to the baitless fishing!! In previous missives I’ve stated that I set out my ‘stall’ (ie nets, chairs, bait waiters, etc) after baiting up the swim but before setting up my rod(s) … however, recently I’ve made a slight adjustment to that order in that I set up and tackle my rods and rod rests before the placing of my seat and then laying out everything else. Why?? Well, I’d set up my ‘stall’ first and last thing would be set up rods and (try to) place rod rests/pod BUT usually the rodrests/pod couldn’t sit exactly where comfortable in relation to my seat or something I’d missed (eg overhanging branches, etc) which meant they had to be placed differently – which meant moving the seat to be comfortable in accessing the rods – and moving the seat also had kick-on effects as my table, bags generally also needed moving… etc. SO… these days, after feeding the swim, I make up my rod(s), check for interference from vegetation to casting, and then set the rod rests/pod to the correct spacing between them … and then place my seat to suit … and add the rest of the paraphernalia around as required…  OK … and that is what I did. Set the float rod I was going to use fishing by the lift method, and set shotting and depth as necessary, put in rod rests and cast out unbaited line, and dropped rod in the rests to keep out of the way while I did the rest of the preps… and a few minutes later, whilst engaged in those preps, Liz says to me “Have you seen your rod tip?” .. I look and there’s gentle nudges and twitches every now and then and I reply “Must be plenty fish out there… line bites!” … and carry on with the preps. A minute or two later the reel handle starts flying backwards at the rate of knots … so I strike and feel the power of a good fish tearing away … but unfortunately the end of the tale is misfortunate as the fish was lost after it seemed to gain sanctuary amongst sunken roots of a bush on the island – could feel the fish pulling and the line grating and eventually the line gave and the end of the recovered line was very abraded. I did later get my lost float back though as it had been attached to be sliding … and thus it floated free on a favourable breeze almost directly back to my feet in a short time.

So, had plenty of excitement – and hadn’t technically even started fishing!!

When we did start actually fishing, probably by 0800, I chose to floatfish with a 4AAA (actually takes 3SSG to balance the body + 1 SSG to anchor the bottom and counteract stem + sight bob) wind/drift beater float … Liz chose to ledger with a 8g frame feeder.

I had first bloods with 3 tiny perch and a skimmer bream all on dendro worm on a size 10 hook … but then Liz kicked in with a chub of around 12oz and then landed a barbel which was her new personal best (PB) of 3lb 7oz on maggot…

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Liz With Her New PB Barbel – 3lb 7oz

After that it was steady fishing all day until we decided to call it a day at 1700 or so… we were going to make it 1630 but then Liz invoked the ’30 minute amendment’ followed closely by my ‘last cast amendment’ … LOL!

Tally for the day was Liz with 7 fish including, as well as her barbel, carp (mirror and common) of 6lb 5oz, 5lb 14oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 8oz, small perch and a chub of around 12oz …. and myself, I had 17 fish inc several small bream and perch, a single small roach, gudgeon (all of a few ounces), 2 chub (best 1lb 13oz) and carp of 6lb 5oz, 6lb 1oz, 5lb 5oz, 5lb 5oz, 4lb 0oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 3oz, 2lb 6oz mostly taken on bread (floatfished and slow sinking – didn’t want floating baits but slow sinking and freelined in the margins worked well) and worm. 

 

 

And to finish a fine day what could have been a more fitting ending than a fine beer (“Salem’s Porter” which, I think, was from the Salem Bridge Brewery although Bateman’s also do a Salem Porter) and scratching and nuts from our local hostelry?

Future angling – as I said in the previous posting that is unlikely to happen before Friday 17th August but I have remembered that the club has a ‘social night’ with a talk being given by Adam Penning (a well known carp angler who appears very often in Korda produced TV programmes and videos (‘Thinking Tackle’, ‘Monster Carp’, etc) … (see also http://www.adampenning.co.uk/) which leaves me only a short window to fish in on the day, so I think it may be Monday 20th before I can actually make it back out there. But thinking of the Warks Avon in search of that PB bream again when I do….

Session 34 – Breaming And Dreaming….

As planned, on Friday 3rd August I set off for the intended venue (AA-GH) hoping for a great bream session on what is mainly a carp pool but it does hold bream and silvers … and excellent pike (and did include a fish that had been caught several times over the years in the 30lb range – but sadly it was found dead in the shallows, probably due to the rigours of spawning in March 2016, weighing 38+lb) …. It also holds at least two perch, of 1oz and 3lb, the smaller I found in the bottom of my landing net when packing up one day, the larger gets caught occasionally but are the only two perch I’ve ever seen or heard of in there and having been a member for 7 years and fishing maggot/worm virtually every trip it seems there’s not millions of them.

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So, I arrived on site around 0700, and decided to have a scan around with my Deeper Sonar to suss out if there were fish around – looked like it was a can of sardines! – and to suss out the contours around my peg and thus where to cast my bait for the day and settled on a distance out of around 30 yards that put me fishing into 10’-12’ of water. I also wanted to save the scan of this area adding them my Deeper Lake Book which allows the building up of contour maps of whole waters bit by bit/session by session BUT for some reason there seems to be a glitch in the local mobile phone saved file and it won’t upload so I’ll have to re-do this section again on another visit it seems. There was also a green algae scum over most of the pool but didn’t hamper fishing – to be expected to be honest as the site is an equestrian centre and the manure/straw pile is very close to the pool and the nutrients can leach into the pool when it gets wet – EA have examined the situation and they’re quite happy as basically the algae just provides a rich food source for fish and the organisms on which also feed….

Setup was a sliding float – a 4AAA windbeater fished lift-method style with baits of worm/maggot, bread, corn and meat on a size 10 hook to 4” of 6lb braid. Main line was 6lb mono… This looked to be the best way to try to avoid the attentions of the carp as the sonar  showed most fish at mid-water or higher whilst retaining bite sensitivity for the shy biting bream. The downside to this, of course, was that connecting to bites required a long strike to tighten the line enough to set the hook due to the angle of the line at the float (rod tip to float line was virtually horizontal, whilst float to hook was vertical … so a 90 deg angle in the line… so a bit of quick Pythagoras is needed… I’d 34 yards of line between me and the hook normally (30 yards out, 4 yards deep) … but I would need to straighten out the line to get enough force to set the hook (ie what would be the hypotenuse of the right angled triangle) and thus would need to make the line to hook or take up the slack between that figure and the 34 yards I’d got out…

SO.,..  HYPO = sq_rt(Distance^2 + Depth^2) = sq_rt(900+16) = sq_rt(916) = 30.3 … and hence difference = amount of line needed to be taken up on the strike = 3.7 yards = 12’ or so.

First fish came fairly quickly – a small 6oz bream – and over the course of the day about 9 others joined it with the largest at 1lb 12oz.

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Also one common carp of around 3lb-4lb almost found itself netted but the hook pulled just as it was about to be netted but not a disaster as bream were the intended target.

A couple of things that happened…

  1. The Dreaming …. I must admit, even at the age of 67, in regards to fishing I’m like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve and just can’t sleep the previous night with things whizzing in my head about what I’ll do, where I’ll fish, what baits, etc and its usually 3:30-4:00am when I do eventually doze off … but this time I saw 4:45 on the alarm clock … and as it goes off at 5:10 it meant I got less than 30 minutes sleep overnight. Not surprisingly I dozed off during the early afternoon then really. But on waking up I couldn’t see my float anywhere  … and on winding in it seems that something had taken my bait for a trip of 60-70 yards down the pool and then discarded it. As I always fish with the reel’s anti-reverse off I avoided the loss of a rod it seems!
  2. OK … my setup … float set at around 18” overdepth, bulk shot (3 x SSG shot) that sinks body of the antenna float to its neck set at a depth of around 3’, and the final SSG anchor shot (which sits on the bottom, too heavy for float to support) set to 4” from the hook. When cast out float sinks to top of body (as expected), and then line tightened enough to pull the antenna down to required height. In theory 2 things can happen – fish takes bait and lifts anchor shot which allows float to rise in the water or fish swims off with bait and float submerges…?? BUT … and this was happening a lot … I was getting the float lifting to the top of the body AND then continuing to rise and eventually the whole float falling flat on the water … HOW??? For that to happen the fish would have to be not only lifting the anchor shot but also lifting it off the bottom by 6 FEET (3’ up to bulk shot PLUS another 3’ past in order to start taking up the weight of those). Have been thinking about this since and the only likely answer is that they were NOT real bites at all but were line bites with fish swimming into the line above the bulk shot and thus causing the line to dangle over their bodies and thus support the shots’ weight?

Right, so that was that… did catch my targeted species but not exactly at the sizes I would have preferred them to be…

Off out again Monday 6th August, with Liz this time, to another club’s mixed species pool … and then it won’t be until Friday 17th until I’ll be back on the waters as the following Friday-Monday August 10th-13th we’re away at a rock festival (tribute bands on the back of an articulated lorry type)….