Session 37 – Perched At The Water’s Edge

Friday 24th August, was a cooler than usual morning – car registered an external temp of 10’C for the entire journey from home to fishery and it seems it had dropped to 7’C overnight. I even had to put the car heater on! I know its not majorly cold per se but after the long bout of hot weather that we’ve had it was a bit of a shock. However, when the sun came up later the temps did rise.

Anyway, destination was a club carp pool (AA-LA1) although I wasn’t planning on carp fishing primarily – I planned to float fish (perch, tench, etc) for the first few hours by starting fishing with the float rod from around 0730 until around 1030-1100 whilst regularly baiting up the carp swim further out with small balls of groundbait, etc at 30 minute intervals, and then switch to two ledger rods with frame feeders for carp for the rest of the day (around 1530-1600).

So, the day started off OK – the float rod and the ledger rods were both set up ready for ‘the plan’ and I even put out my WaterWolf camera on a 3rd rod just out from the bank on a 3rd rod – which I’ve just reminded myself of as its still in my tackle bag and I need to get it out and transfer/scan/edit the recorded video. However, the plan deviated slightly and in the end I only had the carp rods out for about an hour if that … but more of that later.

As the first there I had choice of swims – another guy came whilst I was tackling up and I think he he’d intended to fish my swim and he settled in the next door peg, no problem as well spaced out – and I chose one of my usual three, next to an overhanging willow tree, which usually gives up a few fish of various types having had roach, tench, perch and even an eel at various times.

2018-08-24 01Tackle on the 13’ float rod was 6lb main line, size 10 hook on a 6” 6lb braid hooklength with a 4AAA wind/driftbeater float fished lift method in the 5’/6’ of water just off the edge of the willow trees foliage.

[I did note that the leaves of the tree were beginning to fall now, just the first few, but later in the year this swim would NOT be a choice for me. Willow trees in the summer provide a plentiful supply of shade and are a fish attractor BUT when the leaves have been shed then I avoid them like the plague…Why? Well, apart from the usual problems of dead leaves in the water (snagging the line, decaying depleting oxygen, etc) I believe that willow leaves further ‘sicken’ the water due to the fact that they contain a natural aspirin – and were used in the bygone days as a painkiller by chewing the leaves – and as this leaches out it adversely affects the fishing as the fish move away.]

Baits used were worm, maggot and prawn (Morrison’s ‘large’ cooked and peeled ones – but I usually use pieces of Aldi’s uncooked King Prawns as I find uncooked far better than cooked but none of those were at hand on the day as I forgot to pack them – I had the Morrison’s ones with me as intended feed).

I started with worm on the hook and later maggots and prawn were utilised too. I catapulted out frequent small quantities of maggots (10-20 maggots) every 10 minutes or so or whenever a fresh cast was made.

First bite came at around 0830 but unfortunately the fish came adrift … and it was 0850 when the first fish was landed – a 12oz perch which took a worm/prawn cocktail…

2018-08-24 Steve - 12oz Perch
12oz Perch

And over the course of the rest of the float fishing part of the  session – which actually lasted until around 1220 – I had around 6-7 perch in all ranging from 2oz up to the best of the day fish of 1lb 5oz… and including another 12oz’er.

2018-08-24 Steve - 1lb 5oz Perch
1lb 5oz Perch

So, having delayed the switchover to the carp rods I did so at 1220 prompted a bit by the weather as the sunny skies of the morning turned to grey clouded and a few spots of rain started to fall and, as the forecast was for rain all afternoon, it seemed an opportune time to change as ledgering makes fishing under a brolly a better proposition than float fishing.

The float rod set aside I baited up the ledger rods (8lb main line and braid hooklengths, frame feeders) – worm on a size 8 hook on one rod and bread on a size 4 hook on the other and cast out ….

And discovered a problem with one of my reels! It was snatching on the wind in and backwind (important to me as I don’t use drag/slipping clutches, my spools are locked down as tight as I can possibly make them and rely on backwinding to play fish) and the anti-reverse mechanism wasn’t working… Not happy with this situation – esp with extended spells of rain forecast – I decided to pack up for the day at around 1400.

So, I need to look at the errant reel before my next outing but I have ordered a couple of cheap reels (NGT EX40, freespool, £12.95 each) in case. The NGT EX40 reels are not bad reels actually and I use a couple of them on my other rods. However, as this weekend is a Bank Holiday one, they’re not going to arrive before probably next Friday (31st) so the next couple of sessions could be float fishing unless I can resolve that faulty reel….

Next session will be Monday 27th but undetermined where/how….

5 responses to “Session 37 – Perched At The Water’s Edge”

  1. OK … the reel situation has been temporarily resolved by a bit of swapping of reels between other rods, etc. So now the carp rods (well, pool ledger rods really…. but as most of the pools I fish are carp waters….) have a pair of the NGT EX40 reels fitted albeit not the new ones but ones transferred …. with one of them coming from the 12′ feeder rod I use for my river bream fishing and that has now been fitted with the unbroken Okuma reel from the carp rods… and the broken Okuma is in my spares drawer in the garage :)

    So, tomorrow’s outing leaves me with options – although I will probably float fish anyway die to my chosen destination and my preferred method there… :)


  2. I’ve back wound since the 70’s when clutches were not as good as they are today – so they say – and having done it for so many years its natural for me if I have the anti-reverse on – which is mainly flowing water anyway – to flip it off – so why change if it works? :) Anyway, I’d rather rely on my feel than on some mechanical device. Far quicker to relieve pressure by removing finger pressure, etc or even loosing the handle altogether in ’emergency’ than having to find and twiddle knobs any day!

    I’ll have to look at those Sainsbury prawns – not only Nectar points but also, as Liz is staff, we get 10% discount (but sometimes 15% or even 20% on occasion). I use the raw Aldi ones and they’re good but do use the smaller cooked ones chopped up as feed on occasion – and last trip as I said on the hook as I’d left my usual raw ones at home – and they seemed to be the bee knees on this occasion. Would the usual ones have been even better I wonder esp as they usually are.

    Reels – yep … actually the worst reel I have is a Shimano that I use for float fishing – although it was in a batch lot I bought in a local auction of mixed quality. The Shimano did work almost OK but had a fault with the oscillating line lay – sometimes it would miss a rise/fall and you could pull the spool up by hand – and I sent it to Shimano’s repair facility in Wales for a £20 refit … line lay, etc all works fine now but doesn’t feel as nice as my other reels all of which are ‘budget’ models – don’t think I’ve paid over £25 for a reel – and those were a pair of Okuma CBF355’s IIRC. My others are Crivit (from Lidl), Shakespeare Omni, NGT EX40, XLT (5000, my pike reels), and a few odds and ends. And had no troubles with most of them – the sole exception being some reels I got from DragonCarp (Mitsishibi or similar) which had a problem with the anti-reverse, the end of the lever (ie the external switch) that pushed the end of the toothed lever away from the toothed cog to disengage the A-R action via a small paddle and was part of the moulding so so flimsy that it fell off (rather than ‘broke off’ IMHO) and left the reels constantly set to A-R (if you understand that! Simple thing to point to and say ‘that falls off’ but hard to put into words! LOL). Anyway, I’m happy with the reels I have!




  3. Yes a good perch indeed. I’m interested to note you are a fellow back-winder (thought I was the odd man out with my slipping clutch aversion) and, to date, I’ve always used uncooked (Sainsbury’s Basics) prawns. I’ve found my pair of theoretically rubbish mail order Chinese made fixed spool reels surprisingly reliable and, yes I know I’m therefore partly responsible for the decline of the high street tackle trade … but the allegedly half decent Sensas reel I bought from a tackle shop is turning into a dog.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice perch, Steve. Never have much luck on prawn but I think that’s water specific due to the carp being so voracious.


    1. Hi, PP!
      Thanks for the comment.
      Well, most (99+%) of the waters I fish are predominantly carp waters but I don’t think (could be wrong though) I’ve had a carp on prawn. Have had perch and chub mainly but think also the occasional barbel, tench and roach. Now having said that the next 10 fish on prawn will be carp won’t they?!


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