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…
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….