Session 14 – A Water Revisited…

With the weather as it is – warm and with little air movement – on Thursday 28th March 2019 I decided to re-visit a club pool (AA-KW) that I’d last visited in May 2018 although I seem to think I’d gone there once but due to weather conditions (which weren’t actually too bad in general) I’d left without even getting out of the car and went elsewhere. Yep, this pool on a calm and warm day is delightful BUT get a stiff cooling breeze and it becomes something else, the problem being that it is quite open with little shelter available and it can become quite bleak in the wrong conditions.

The pool has a good head of fish of multi-species, the main one’s being king carp and grass carp which both go to around 20lb in weight.

So, I arrived at the waterside at around 0730, cast out a few spombs loaded with hemp/maize/sweetcorn wheat and dead maggot towards the dam wall (Pic 1 above) and then tackled up my two ledger rods with the usual frame feeders, both with size 6 hooks on 8lb main line and cast out with bread on one rod, meat on the other.

After an hour or so of inactivity I set up the Deeper Sonar and mapped the area around my peg – and was pleased to see a fair few fish in the area of my feed. However, by 1100 I’d still not had a single twitch and changed my meat rod over to worm … and a little later a carp splashed about 6 feet out in front of me at a piece of bread that the angler next to me had been feeding to induce surface feeding, so I quickly got out my ‘surface’ rod – 11’ Winfield Specialist Angler rod with 12lb greased line and a size 4 hook – and flicked out a crust but the fish did not return and so after a while I went back to my ledgering.

So, I spent the next hour or so flicking out dog biscuits and bits of bread, perusing water looking for further signs of fish on the top and noticed that maintenance was being carried out on the nearby pylon wires with 3 cradles crawling along and seemingly the occupants giving the cables a good clout with a hammer now and then… 🙂

2019-03-28 Pylon Cradles

Cradles On The Pylons Wires

So, around 1400, with nothing having even shown the slightest of interest in my ledgered baits all day long, I noticed movement off to my right with a fish playing with bits of my floating bread freebies … and the ‘surface’ rod once again found itself in play with a large piece of crust attached and cast to the area of activity with a few extra freebie pieces added around it… Soon, a fish appeared, and for 5-10 minutes just played with my bait, nudging it a few times, moving away, returning back and repeated this several times before finally sucking it in … a firm pull to set the hook and …’FISH ON!’ …. and landed after a spirited fight – during which it seemed to have a companion following it around as several distinct tail swirls were discernible during the play – it was landed and weighed and photo’d before returning… a 6lb 10oz common carp…

2019-03-28 Steve - 6lb 10oz Common Carp

6lb 10oz Common Carp

I continued feeding bread and biscuit out for another half an hour or so with no further interest apparent and then I had to pack in for the day and head for home…

Plans for next week … not sure yet… Monday depends on Liz, who currently has a really bad cough and is feeling ‘lousy’ – she had a few sick days off at the end of last week followed by her usual days off (Sun, Mon, Tues) and went into work on Wednesday only to have to leave early … had an unpaid day’s leave yesterday (can’t go back on sick so soon after previous absence) … but planning to go back today – so we’ll have to see if she’ll take up her rods for that day … Thursday I have a couple of thoughts about but nothing decided yet….


9.5’C rising to 11.7’C over the day…

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Session 13 – Bigger Is NOT Always Better… Plus: MAJOR Blooper Revealed … DOH!!!

OK … I’m going to start with the BLOOPER of all bloopers made in the last posting…. and to be honest it was THE major point of the posting…

Saturday evening I picked up my normal everyday phone –  as opposed to the (older) phone I take fishing with me as I’ve lost/dunked too many good phones over the years – and discovered something…

Firstly, I’ll set the scene by describing the Deeper Sonar applications for better understanding…

  1. There is the phone application that communicates with the sonar when it is in use and this has several modes of gathering data, the one I mainly use is the ‘bathymetric scan’ which allows the sonar to transmit data regarding the depth plus its location, via its inbuilt GPS function, back to the application where it is stored as data that is then re-accessible to be shown as a map – so it displays a contour map of water’s bottom. It also records located fish….
  2. The data collected can also be stored to the user’s personal account on a special server where it can be accessed by PC, tablet, etc via a web application called ‘LakeBook’… and so a water can be completely scanned over several sessions to create a full contour map … and the mappings of differing waters can be stored to create a library for future references…

So, as I said, I picked up my non-fishing phone and accessed my ’Lakebook’ page and the mapping taken on that last session … and I start playing the scan back …. and hundreds of sizeable (ie 1lb+, individual icons) fish are being shown … ‘that’s weird’, I think to myself…. and go and get my Android tablet with the same result …. Ummmm… whereupon I check the sonar app settings on my fishing phone – and discover that somehow I had inadvertently managed to turn off the ‘Show Fish Icons’ option – which was in a menu I didn’t actually know existed until I read the sonar’s manual … but previously the icons had been showing on all my scans so I don’t know what happened there.

SO…. the previous posting’s header wasn’t right at all as it appears that the fish were still there in the numbers as previously found. So missing fish weren’t the reason for lack of bites….

Anyway, now to the current session….

Monday 25th March, I headed off to a mixed species pool (AA-B) – which now contains carp having been previously carp free alongside the usual silvers, tench, perch, gudgeon, barbel, chub, etc… arriving around 0715 and found the pool deserted – and it remained so all day apart from myself – and that applied to the other adjoining pool too – so ‘millionaire’s fishing’ as we say.

I elected to fish one of my favourite swims – one that is adjacent to the end of a small island – and on arrival I immediately fed the two intended swim areas both just off the island, the main one in front with a few ‘pults full of dead maggot, hemp and corn and a secondary swim off to the right with the same plus a few small prawns.

The main swim I floatfished (lift bite method) with maggot (6lb line, size 16 hook), and the secondary swim was fished with a ledger rod (6lb line, size 6 hook) on an alarm and baited variously with prawn, bread and meat … and first cast with the ledger rod was made at 0800 .. first proper cast with the float rod around 15 minutes later…

So, let’s deal with the ledger rod – not a single touch all day long on any of the tried baits… done! LOL!

The float rod did fare better although first cast wasn’t the best as, due to the sun directly in my eyes as I cast, I overcast into the edge an island bush and lost end tackle and float and had to re-tackle… first bite on double maggot, missed, came at a little after 0900 … and at around 0945 came the first capture of the day, a perch of around 2oz…. followed by a tiny (<1oz) bream also on double maggot. I was getting a lot of float lifts and nudges that were unstrikeable or missed and so I decided to drop to a single maggot … and almost immediately had a better fish … a 4oz perch 🙂 … followed by the best fish of the day, a 3lb 4oz mirror carp…

2019-03-25 Steve - 3lb 4oz Mirror Carp

3lb 4oz Mirror Carp

… and by the time I packed in at 1430 I also had two more perch of 2oz and 4oz. The bite/capture rate definitely improved when using a single maggot rather than 2-3 on the hook and the largest fish came to single maggot too.

It may seem not a great tally but this water can be moody at the best of times – referring to the days when I smoked we used to judge the day on the number of cigs smoked, the lesser the better the fishing had been as there had been no time to light up…. and on that system this pool would vary between 0 cigs to 3 packs … and this pool is also notoriously a warm weather pool not usually producing at its best until late May. So I’m happy with that result.

Also noted that this water would normally be fairly clear except after heavy rain but we’ve have no rain for a fair few days now but the water was quite murky – evidence of the introduced carp….


I’ve had further thoughts about that new upcoming combined camera/sonar device – and don’t think its for me.

I was thinking it would just be a matter of clicking a menu item in an app on the phone to instantaneously switch from sonar->camera->sonar … and think that would be the case IF you wanted to film from the surface downwards BUT to use the camera underwater would require weighting to sink it … and the sonar needs to be weightless (ie to float) which means that weights would need to be clipped on/off to suit the desired purpose. A surface floating camera is basically useless you’re filming in a swimming pool type environment otherwise you can’t see anything above 3’ or so away – and even then it usually requires plenty of video editing to get a reasonable image of anything in that range. So, if you need to clip on/off weights then you may as well clip on/off (swap) camera for sonar? And as I’m very happy with both my WaterWolf camera (which is more versatile than a FishSpy camera anyway) and the Deeper Sonar then I don’t really see that this FishSpy Echo beats, or even matches, my current equipment.


9.0’C rising to 10.9’C over the day…

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Session 12 – Return To The Hordes – Only To Find They’d Moved On….

Thursday 21 March, I set off at 0630 as planned heading towards the pool (AA-GH) on which I found the horde of fish holed up in one corner and headed to that particular swim on arrival …

Obviously the first thing I did on arrival was to get the Deeper Sonar out and try the exact location of this horde and casting around I soon found them …. GONE! Well, no sizeable fish – I think the sonar reckons fish of around 1lb and  upwards to be sizeable and worthy of individual icons – but it did seem a fair few smaller fish (show as streaks/smears) were around. Anyway, on the basis they were there before and conditions hadn’t changed drastically I thought it possible they would arrive in the area over the day ahead. Also a few fish over the area were bow waving and head’n’tailing but these were most likely carp and I was more interested in bream and so set up for those initially.

So, I baited up the swim with several spomb loads of hemp, corn and wheat before setting up the tackle, accessories and the ‘station’ (ie seat, rest, etc placements)… and discovered that I’d somehow lost my bobbins whilst on my previous visit but luckily had a couple of others, not as good though, that I could bring into service for the day.

The usual two ledger rods setup with frame feeders on 8lb line were the starting tools for the day with a size 6 hook baited with bread on one rod, a size 12 with 5-6 maggots on the other and first casts were made around 0750.

So rods were cast out and then re-wound in so the feeders could be refilled and baits replaced every 30 minutes … and this continued until around 1000 when, with not a touch having been detected on either rod and with carp swirling and taking surface stuff that had been blown across just front of me in my corner – the wind was from the west and I was in the east corner of the pool I decided to change tactics and do some surface fishing with bread… but I’d not got my normal ‘surface’ rod with me, nor my BabyBel wax balls (see *** below), so I had to improvise somewhat… Firstly I wound in my maggot rod as it would be an unnecessary encumbrance and then removed the feeder from the link of the bread rod and replaced it with a small float in order that the weight of the old ledger link and ledger stops would be borne by that and thus prevent them dragging the line below the surface… a lump of fluffy bread was then place on the hook and the line cast out about 12’ from the bank into the active area and a few loose bread pieces introduced around too…

The first carp of the day came quite quickly at 1010 – a 4lb 2oz common…

2019-03-21 Steve - Common Carp 4lb 2oz 03

Common Carp 4lb 2oz

… and within 1 minute of the release of this fish and recast I was into another fish, but unfortunately I suffered a hook pull…

1200, after a few near misses, another fish came to the bank … this time a 3lb 3oz common…

2019-03-21 Steve - Common Carp 3lb 3oz 02

Common Carp 3lb 3oz

… and at 1300 another fish is banked – a rather tatty mirror carp of 10lb 14oz…

2019-03-21 Steve - Mirror Carp 10lb 14oz

Mirror Carp 10lb 14oz

… not the world’s best photo, but on the other 5 pics I had been decapitated! I use a camera that allows a ‘custom’ series of shots via the self-timer function and I have set the camera to take the first shot 30 seconds after the shutter release is activated which allows plenty of time to get from camera to the fish, pick up and pose … and then a further 5 shots are taken at 2 seconds intervals from the first one. Many cameras only have a fixed single shot self timer option, usually 10 seconds after the shutter release is pressed which is far too short usually and one finds oneself having to repeat the ‘race’ several times in order to get a decent photo … others, slightly better, allow a longer delay to be set or allow setting up of a 2-shot option … or one can also set the camera to video mode and take as long as you (and camera memory) allows to do your pose and then on return home to edit a single frame from the video via software (pros: plenty of frames to choose from / cons: need software, takes time, quality can suffer). Anyway, if at any time you do decide to get a new fishing camera for any reason I do recommend looking at ‘Canon’ … good prices on eBay, good quality pics and I do know that at least some of their models do include the ‘custom’ self timer although I do suggest you check the specs for the particular model to make sure…. only other thing then is too make sure you set the right distance between camera and posing area to avoid decapitations! LOL!

1415 … I got snapped on a fish and as I needed to pack in at1430 anyway I decided to start to pack down and whilst doing so I swung out the maggots and frame feeder on the other rod into the area I’d been surface feeding to gain a few extra minutes fishing and a possible bonus fish whilst tidying around but it wasn’t to be….

About 6 other anglers had been on the water but no-one seemed to be catching consistently and my 10-14 looked biggest from what I saw … and one guy, fishing a plug, had a jack…

As March is now reaching its end I think I need to try to one more pike session in before ‘my’ pike season of October-March closes its doors… probably Thursday 28th March as on Monday 25th Liz will possibly be out to play although she’s got a heavy cold at the moment and laid up….

*** BabyBel wax … well, the wax that encases not only BabyBel cheeses but many other cheese truckles too – a good source being from the usual Christmas cheese and biscuit table selection. The usefulness of this is that this wax floats and thus can be used to easily add weight for casting to very light floating bait by wrapping around the line a suitable distance from the hook and, if like me, you use quick change connectors for attaching hooklengths then this can help support the weight and prevent the line being dragged under . One of my club’s waters has a braid mainline ban albeit that braid hooklengths are acceptable and, as I prefer the supple feel of braid at the hook over mono for floating baits, I use a mono mainline with a yard hooklength of braid there…


This new, soon to be released, FishSpy device that incorporates not only the usual FishSpy camera but also a sonar function that seems to match that of the Deeper Sonar.

I’ll be interested into it more when it comes available as it would mean that I’d only need to carry one device rather than the two I do now (Deeper + WaterWolf camera). I did have FishSpy camera but decided the WaterWolf was better for my needs and sold my FishSpy. But with a 2-in-1 option this would mean less bulk to carry, no need to swap over items on the line when I need to change from one mode to another… but also the cost will play an important part in any final decision. Something to think over anyway? … 🙂


9.7’C rising to 10.4’C over the day…

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Session 11 – Canal Chub….

Monday 18th March, I set off at 0730 as planned for a local stretch of the Staffordshire-Worcestershire Canal near to Wombourne, Staffs. This particular stretch is under the control of the Wolverhampton Angling Association (WAA) for which annual permits can be obtained from local tackle shops at £15 for adults, £10 for OAP and disabled and under 16’s can fish for free OR day tickets are available at £2.50 on the bank – and they control other sections of the S/W Canal and Shropshire Union Canal too.


So, I’d arrived in my chosen swim and tackled up and was making my first cast at around 0815 (well, I did say ‘local’ :)) after baiting up with a few small ‘pults of hemp/sweetcorn and dead maggots previous to the tackling up. Tackle at start up consisted of my new 11’ Fladen ‘Collateral’ Avon rod out for its first trip, 4lb mainline, 3AAA peacock waggler and size 16 hook on a 6” hooklength of 4lb line attached via a quick change bead. The hooklength/q_c_bead system allows the hook size to be changed quickly but also allows baits such as worm to be quickly attached via a baiting needle through the entire body if required although I didn’t make use of this today due to a cold breeze affecting my finger tips albeit air temps which, although starting at 4’C early on, rose into double figures over the morning. And starting bait for the day was double/treble maggot fished into the centre boat channel as I reckoned the nearside and farside reaches were too shallow given the water temps still plus the fact that the water was almost crystal clear and I could clearly see the lead to my thermometer’s probe snaking out along the bottom…. The rig was fished so that the bottom shot (No.1) just sat on the bottom to hold the bait static against the flow as I’ve found a moving bait tends to get shunned in canals unless ‘on the drop’ and the drift was too much to do that.

Until 0945 all was quiet on the western front as they say apart from a few minor nudges and knocks which were not strikeable at but then the float quietly dipped and a welcome resistance felt – and soon a small chublet of around 4oz was swung to hand…

2019-03-18 Steve - 4oz Chub

Dead maggot feeding continued for a while and the occasional sign of interest was evident but all very timidly… and so around 1030 I switched to a size 10 hook baited with dendro worm and followed that by baiting with prawn and again with both the same nudges continued…

Then around 1155 a canal boat passed by – the only one of the day – and this churned up the bottom and stained the water a little and seemed to wake the fish up a bit as I started getting more attention – as much per cast as in the previous 3-4 hours in all – albeit still quick tugs. However, I did manage to hook into one more chub on worm, again not a mega lunker but slightly bigger at around 6-8oz…


And so the nudges and knocks continued but despite switching back to a size 16 hook and maggots nothing else was landed when I packed in at 1400 as black clouds started to pass over and mini-showers happening and it was starting to look darker on the horizon.

SO… at least I caught again!

Also, I was pleased with the new rod – felt perfect for my needs. It was a replacement for my usual 10’ float rod which, as I’ve said before, was not to my liking due to the tip ring sizes on float rods these days being virtually the size that you’d expect on a quiver tip and thus totally unsuitable for fishing floats sliding style .. which is the way I always fish my floats regardless of whether they actually need to be sliding (ie in deep water). Last time I fished a float attached top’n’bottom I literally can’t remember … probably the 70’s or even 60’s! I attach my floats via a small sliding link swivel … between shot and float I use a single float stop so that I can set the float away from the shot if need be for casting … above the float I use a further two float stops to set the depth I want to fish at. Why two stops above the float? Well, when I initially plumb my depths I slide both up/down together until the optimum setting is reached with the bait resting on the bottom … however, if I later want to use a slightly depth setting for some reason (eg casting into a different area or want the bait suspended off bottom) then I just move the lower stop down to the desired setting and the upper stop acts as a reference point to indicate how much I’ve changed the depth and also makes returning to the original depth as easy as just sliding the lower stop back up to meet the upper one. As I say I fit ‘sliding style’ but in shallow water the float can be effectively locked/fixed by just trapping it between the float/shot stop and the above float stops and fished ‘peg-leg’…


The weather for the week ahead is improving with warmer air temps and less wind/breeze according to the forecast, so Thursday 21st March I’m planning on returning to the pool of last week and checking out ‘that area’ :)….


9.0’C rising to 10.0’C over the day…

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It’s All About Location, Location, Location….

As described in my previous posting (Session 10 – Cool At The Pool) I spent 6 hours fishing from what I rate as one of the best pegs on the pool for one fish, albeit one that put a bend in the rod…. and noted at the end of the day that I decided to cast out my Deeper Sonar to add some more contour data to my records for the pool … and ended by ‘losing’ the sonar transceiver due to a snap link failure although I did manage to retrieve it later.

Anyway, I’ve just scanned through the scanner data and found some interesting – and very notable – data….

ScreenHunter 27A
The Swim
X = my peg
F = the area into which my baits were cast
A = Scanned before loss
B = Scanned from loss until regained
Lighter the area = the deeper it is

I think the pic explains the situation quite well – but as I was scanning around the area from right to left I didn’t actually get to scan over the area I’d actually been fishing before ‘losing’ the sonar … whether that would have shown appreciably different results to those of area A is debateable and I think not although the located fish were in the deeper water and as can be seen the water depth is increasing the further left towards my fished area. I was casting one bait to the edge of the overhanging tree in area F and the other bait mainly to the right outer half of that area.

Having set the scene for you … now head to YouTube and look up this video of the scanning session at:

and note the differences in fish populations between the two areas…… about 2.5 minutes of video in all as I recorded it at 10x real speed.

Next time I visit this pool I know where I’ll be heading – and I’ve NEVER seen ANYONE (other than myself when its one of my stops when roving with lures for pike) fish this area as its the furthest point from the car park requiring the navigation of 2 gates and and three electric fences to access…

And planning now to fish the local canal on Monday 18th – dry and bright on Sunday and Monday with minimal breeze which suits me!! 🙂 And possibly, depending on weather, returning to this pool on Thursday….. although with the end of March, and thus my end of pike season, looming it may be with the pike rods … but with the pike fodder located I could be heading to the same area…. 😉

Session 10 – 2019 – Cool At The Pool….

Monday 11th march, exactly one week later than my last planned trip was meant to be due to commitments and weather, I ventured out to a club pool (AA-GH) hoping to engage with a few bream and chub – and the inevitable carp.

I was the first arrival although I was closely followed by another angler a few minutes later but we were the only people on the pool for the day…

Air temps were a bit cool (ca 4’C) but felt even cooler in the northerly breeze – however it was a bright sunny day and I’d taken my 60” oval brolly which provides 270’ protection from the elements and when I orientated it I arranged the sun to be shining directly in the front opening and created a suntrap – and it worked so well that I had to shed two tiers of clothing as I was so warm initially!

My chosen swim faced the end of an island with an overhanging bush (usually good for chub) and open water which is usually good for bream (casting towards the conifer in front of the house in the photos)….

Usual mishaps started quickly … I found I’d left my rod pods at home … and also I’d not got my spare pocket pods which turn 5 banksticks into a pod (4 for legs and a long one to connect the back and front) … and my alarms seemed to be sticking a bit as a bit of mud from a previous outing had got on to the rollers… Alarms in the end worked well enough not that they had to do much on the day … and the rod rest situation was coped with by individual rests at front and rear on both rods, the ground being soft enough to insert them despite there being a hardcore base just a couple of inches under the surface but still glad that I use screw-tip rests that could work their way through the hardcore as simple push/hammer points wouldn’t have coped at all.

I eventually cast in at around 0820 using two rods with frame feeders loaded with crumb/dead maggot/hemp – one rod with bread on a size 4 hook cast to the open water, the other with 2 worms on a size 10 hook cast to the overhanging bush.

Whilst waiting for action I then decided to set up my Deeper Sonar for use later as I’d not used it over this part of the pool before so I set up the rod and ‘ball’ and went to test all was OK – which is when I found I’d not got the Deeper application installed on my phone – must have been uninstalled for some reason… so the set up was put to one side…

Then at 0850 the bread baited rod’s alarm burst into life and I was into what I was hoping was, and felt like, a good sized bream but on landing it was a common carp of 5lb 10oz… still a nice fish nevertheless.

2019-03-11 Steve 5lb 10oz Common Carp 02

5lb 10oz Common Carp

At this point I realised I’d not set my camera/tripod up – hence the non-selfie photo – and when I went to take the photo it seemed the camera’s battery pack was depleted – a minor inconvenience as I carry a couple of charged spares and only takes a few seconds to switch over. Fish returned, camera/tripod was setup ready for the next capture – YEP! Kiss of death! LOL!

From then on until 1400 when I packed in not a lot happened – just about 6 lots of 3-5 beeps on the buzzers (probably line bites)….

I noticed the other chap had disappeared at around 1300, not sure if he’d caught as although only a few pegs away he was obscured by bushes between us.

SO… final mishap of the day was still to come … I installed the Deeper Sonar app on the phone via mobile data and after I’d packed away the main rods I decided to cast the sonar out for a few scans… all went fine for the first few casts but then … the longest cast towards the centre of the pool … the ball sailed out but the line remained slack! I’d connected the ball to the line via an American style ‘safety pin’ snap link which was prefitted to the wire trace at the end of the main line and I hate those things … extremely unreliable (as in this case) as apart from a tendency to spring open they are also liable to fall apart as the spring wires are only crimped into the ‘body’ and I prefer 1-piece wire constructs … anyway, this time the clip had sprung open. However, it being a breezy day the ball was being blown relatively quickly to shore and I could track it via the GPS it transmits as part of the scanning operation … so 15 minutes later I’d gone 1/3 of the way around the pool with my landing net and recovered it from the shallows. So glad as they’re not cheap … may be cheaper now but cost me £160 when I got mine and that was 2nd hand off eBay….


6.5’C rising to 7.1’C over the day…

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Session 9 – 2019 – On The River Severn….

I haven’t recently done much fishing on the Severn, probably just half a dozen sessions in all over the past 3-4 years but intending to do more this year. In fact, I haven’t done much river work at all – my main venue for the river for that past time has been the Warwickshire Avon after bream with a few sessions on the River Sow around Stafford, the River Tern at Waters Upton, Telford and the Worcester Stour near Kidderminster.

So with the river close season looming I decided on Thursday February 28th to set off at 0700 for a club controlled stretch of the middle reaches River Severn near Bridgnorth (KF-S/HL/M). There are two sections to this stretch – the upstream meadows where day tickets issued by the club are obtainable on the bank and the lower meadows which are reserved for club members only – and I headed to the members’ stretch, arriving a little after 0800…

I chose a swim close to the start of the section – in fact, the second swim upstream from the lower boundary and car park…


A nice looking swim and it looked very promising…

I set up two rods – one a 12’ Ron Thompson Feeder rod with quiver tip and a 20g cage feeder with 8lb line straight through to a size 8 Kamasan Animal Eyed Barbless hook, the other a 12’ TFG ‘Classic Barbel’ rod of 2lb TC with 10lb line straight through to a size 4 Kamasan B981 Barbless Eyed hook – as an aside I prefer the ‘Animal’ hook pattern to all others from size 20 down to size 8 BUT size 8 is the largest hook in range and so by necessity I have to use another pattern and the B981 is a good second choice hook IMHO – and a 3/4oz ‘pennyweight’ lead.

I started with the feeder rod firstly (although I can fish two rods easily in stillwater I find that on a flowing water I am totally incapable of doing so and so stick to one-at-a-time) casting in at 0830 and used worm, maggot, prawn and bread on the hook at various times. The feeder was loaded with crumb, bread mash, maggot and hemp. I fished to mainly place the bait under branches of that bush in the photo and sometimes just short of to try to draw the fish slightly upstream. Initially I was getting attention with small nudges and tweaks of the tip on all baits on all casts but nothing that developed or was worthy of a strike … and around 1000 all action completely, 100%, disappeared on all baits … and despite casting around nothing was forthcoming. I don’t know why that happend – fish just lost their appetite? Pike possibly moved into the area although there was no real evidence of that in the form of scatters, swirls or bow waves, etc.

So, 1130, I put out my heavier rod baited with a meaty/garlic homemade boilie wrapped in the paste they were made from fishing out into the current more … but by 1300 I still had not had a single tweak – and since 1200 it had drizzled non-stop, quite heavily at times too… and I’d not taken by brolly as when I’d looked at the weather forecast 3 days or so previously it seemed it was to be a dry and sunny day [Note to self: check forecasts at least 24 hours before going out] … Anyway, I was now soaked to the skin and decided to call it a day at that point. I was only going to be able to fish until 1430 at the latest anyway so didn’t lose much time… and a hot bath and hot choc was very enticing at that time.

SO … another fruitless day ….

It seems I chose a good swim though as these are a few comments from the club’s Facebook page when I reported in…

  • “That’s the swim I took 5 out of last October and all during the day.
    Just let my bait roll into the overhanging branch.”
  • “I had 3 from there Sunday morning”
  • “Best swim on the members section and certainly the most popular :)The only swim that’s given me a 5lb chub this winter……”
  • “Big chub swim that is”
  • “Had some decent barbel and chub there in summer”

So probably the wrong day for that swim … and I do know the bailiff of the stretch was with a friend and that they were fishing just upstream of me and that a good fish had been lost by them but several others had landed…

Plans ahead … fishing on Monday 4th March … several possible venues in mind but I’m in need a morale booster so that may influence the decision … but then again with the river close season looming, and revenge in mind, it may be a return to the Severn … or somewhere else … 🙂