Thursday 18th April saw me heading to one of my club pools (AA-B) at 0645, arriving at 0715 and in my swim making my first cast at 0800. Intended quarry was ‘anything’ really but I was hoping to make contact with some tench – I had noticed from club and general Facebook postings that they were starting to appear more in catches over the past week – and bream.
It was a slightly cool breezy day as I left the house and misty too – a good sign of the cool air being mixed with warmer and thus warmer later in the day, and, in fact, this was so with a fairly bright day with sunshine and the breeze dropped in the main part so that the water was stippled rather than rippled. I also noticed that the lily pads that line most of the swims were almost to the surface, and in a few cases actually had. All very good!
I decided to return to an old favourite swim that I’d not fished for probably 3 years having in time been fishing another peg opposite a small island which usually fishes well but had not been doing so well the past few visits. So as I say I decided a change was needed. These two swims are actually diagonally opposite each other on the pool, the one being on the far bank near end (peg 25), the on the other near bank far end (peg 10)….
In the pictures you see two of our anti-cormorant measures – the pool is usually clear and only four feet or so deep and cormorant have been a problem in the past. In the left hand picture, the black item in the water is a fish shelter which is a cover with wire mesh walls (6” mesh) down to the pool bottom to provide a fish haven and we have another of these further down the pool plus a scaffold island with similar walling which also carries the solar panels and pump for the pool’s automated aeration system. In the right hand picture a line can be seen that crosses the pool from one bank to the other – this is a rope and we have these between most swims as far up the pool to the island – the idea being that cormorant need a good run to take off and so these deter them landing. And for the past 18 months we’ve ‘installed’ a third method advised to us by the Environment Agency – the introduction of cormorant-resistant carp. EH??? You say? Yep, carp of over 3lb have been added to the previously carp free pool. As I’ve said in previous posts I was a bit confused as to why carp specifically – surely it was the size that mattered? But I think I now see why… carp being carp, and known as ‘puddle pigs’ from their nosing into the banks and bottom, they soon convert a clear water to a more muddied cloudy one due to their disturbances and thus the cormorant’s clear window into the pool now becomes a frosted glass version?
So, tackled up with my 13’ float rod , 6lb line, size 16 hook and 3AAA driftbeater float set up to fish lift method style I made my first cast into the pre-fed with crumb, hemp, wheat, corn and maggot swim with a double maggot bait … but the line had wrapped around the float’s stem so that the float was sitting bottom end up so I retrieved to re-cast within seconds – and landed a 1oz perch! I thought that would be sign of a good and busy day but after that it was to be some time, and hook and bait changes, before my second fish, another, slightly larger perch on worm, came to the bank although I was getting a number of nudges on the float over that time.
And then, around 1145, I changed my bait to 3 grains of sweetcorn on my size 12 hook and hooked into a better fish – one that did require use of the landing net – and so my first tench of 2019 landed after a few tussles to extract it from those sub-water lily pads. Not a massive fish at 2lb 4oz but a satisfying one nevertheless.
Unfortunately, between this capture and packing up time at 1430, and although I was getting interest in my baits, nothing else graced the bank.
It was good to see that general fish movement was on the increase with the rising temperatures with fish rolling and jumping, and smaller fish dippling the surface – and someone fishing the adjacent carp pool who walked around my pool said that down by the back end of the island a group of half-a-dozen carp were cruising. And as the pool is more a ‘summer’ pool ie responds better to warmer weather than cooler then it seems to be well on track…..
In the week Liz and I received our club cards for the new club we applied to join. We can’t actually fish until May 1st and we’ll be on holiday at that time, back on the 6th IIRC, but soon after I’m sure we’ll be on one of the new waters. Quite handy really as one of their pools is just 10 minutes from home and has crucian carp stocked as part of a joint project between the club and the EA who are attempting to restore the diminishing numbers of the pure species – a lot of ‘crucian carp’ are not currently pure breds as they live alongside other species (common carp, etc) that they can mate with (F1s). One of my other clubs also recently opened up to fishing a special crucian pool after stocking 3 years ago which only contains crucians and tench as part of the EA project too – we supplied the pool, the EA supplied the fish. The new club also has another pool about 20 miles away which seems good – last week someone reported 20+ carp up to 9lb taken on floaters – and a stretch of Staffs-Worcs canal alongside the local pool which includes a small pound. I’m hoping to be able to relinquish a couple of the cards now that I have purely to fish this canal – my Birmingham AA and Wolverhampton AA cards – when they expire now as this new stretch is closer and easier to access and is a good fish area and it would save me £50 a year. One of my other clubs also has some S-W canal stretches too, and another of my clubs has water on the Shropshire Union canal – so won’t go short of canal choices whatever!
So, as I said, off on holidays to Yorkshire soon so we won’t be out on the banks again, at least until we go anyway … I was hoping to take the tackle with us as there is a pool on the camping site we’re staying at but I’m now having doubts as to if I can fit the tackle in the car as camping to us is not of the backpacking kind – more a roll-up deluxe caravan with all the added extras, so twin hotplate cookers, kitchen stands, pots and pans that would grace a commercial kitchen, home preprepped and frozen meals (ie 2 electric cool boxes needed) … and I could go on …and on … and on…. LOL! But whatever, be sure that the crab lines will be with us! :)
11.4’C rising to 12.7’C over the day…