Session 20 – New Club, New Venue But Not A Blank For Me…

Liz and I joined a new local club, membership actually started on 1st May but due to being on holiday that week (see previous posting) the first visit had to wait to our return … and a visit I’d planned to make on Thursday 9th (a solo visit as Liz works that day) was shelved due to bad weather, and so, our first visit to one of the new club’s waters (SAC-DP) was actually made yesterday (as I write this) on Monday, May 13th.

The club has three venues – the one we visited on this occasion which is a canal topping reservoir, a stretch of Staffs-Worcs canal that passes alongside this pool and which continues alongside a local commercial fishery plus a small canal pound by a lock, both of these venues are literally 10 minutes from my front door … and finally, another pool about 20 miles away which I hope to visit on Thursday 16th.

So, we headed off to our destination at 0700, arriving as I say around 0715 at the club’s car parking area, unloaded the car and wheeled the barrow of gear down a large slope to the water’s edge – I remarked to Liz it was going to be fun getting the barrow back up to the car park at the end of the day, BUT whilst fishing someone drove down through the cow paddock that adjoins the car park area, to a gate a few swims along from us, unloaded and then returned their car to the actual parking area… so we learnt something for the future and made of use of the knowledge too to get our tackle loaded back to the car… :)

The pool…. a glorious sight! And far bigger than I recall from when I and a mate walked it back in the 80’s with a view to joining the club then … at least 5+ times bigger than my memory … although I don’t recall actually joining at that time …

A word about the club … the club was originally an employee’s works angling club, I assume at the time of creation sponsored by the company … as were the angling/cricket/football/tennis/social/etc clubs that were part of the employee available facilities offered by my father’s employer in those days… And my Dad’s employer even held Christmas parties with Santa for the under 9’s and the 9-15 year olds were given a trip to the annual panto at the local theatre – whatever happened to the Barron Knights and the Grumbleweeds? :). Anyway its so sad these days that companies just regard their employees more as just a necessary expense to be paid as little as possible. OK… back on track now! Anyway, it started as a relatively large, in local terms, engineering firm … later taken over by a far larger concern … which, then in the recession that was the late 70’s until the late 80’s, closed down along with the local steel mills and other local heavy industry. However, the club still stayed alive and thrives…

And, now flash forward again to the fishing of yesterday…


I had intended on arrival to cast out the Deeper Sonar but the water looked so good I didn’t didn’t want to waste fishing time – and the lily pads gave me some idea of depths around the margins as they won’t grow in water much over 4’ deep … and with an idea of the starting depth and the good old plummet (well, I use SSG shot to plummet as actual plummets tend to be (a) too splashy and (b) too heavy when used on silty bottoms and can sink down to give false depths) and discovered our swims (pegs 27 and 28) to have a constant depth of 6’ beyond the lilies. Later in the day when packing up I did intend to have a quick cast around with the sonar before leaving but as we were tackling down someone arrived and started to set up in peg 30 so to avoid disturbing him I’ve postponed the depth sounding for another day.

So, we chose our swims (as above) and proceeded to tackle up – I started up – and finished with the float rod although I did switch from ‘laying-on’ to ‘on the drop’ style fishing around mid-day with a short period fishing a floater rod for the  carp (and there was one particularly good specimen in the lily pads to my left at times) that were swirling and cruising around the area – however, the time for that was considerably fore-shortened due to my floater bait not working as it used to. I’ve always used Pets Pantry (beef and chicken flavours) biscuits in the past without problem and, in fact, were perfect in that (a) they (99%) floated and (b) were soft enough to hook easily and (c) were cheap from Home Bargains but with this newly purchased batch it seems they have changed the recipe (although point ‘c’ still applies) and (a) it seemed around 10% floated and even those usually sank within 2 mins of casting out and (b) were far harder and crumbier meaning that although one could be hooked with care adding a second one meant the first one dropped off as it was slid over the hook bend and up the shank. So, a new solution/bait is needed – and I’m thinking of using hard biscuits that do float attached to the hook with a small elastic band a-la bait banded OR superglued to the hook possibly with a wrap of wool around the hooks shank to ensure a strong bonding. I have tried marshmallows in the past but although the carp seem interested in them they seem to regard them as play things to knock about and getting actual bites is a case of much patience … and I’ve also used parts of (and whole) yorkshire puddings (Bessie Smith type frozen ones) with a lot of success in the past … float well and have a superb inbuilt indicator that they’ve been taken ie the oil contained is squeezed out as the fish takes it and forms a glassy surround on the water but also have the downside that they are soft and when wetted they will disintegrate either on retrieve or when cast – so usually you only get one cast per bait. Of course, there’s always the old favourite – bread – to fall back on :)

Liz decided to feeder fish two rods – one with a maggot feeder, the other a frame feeder with varying baits.

I had first fish of the day – a small perch of an ounce or so – and followed up with 2 x 3-4oz skimmer bream and a couple of rudd (although one of those was foul hooked up the bum on a baitless hook when doing a bit of plumbing) …

Liz blanked and had hardly a bite all day, the one time being when she called across to me that she’d started to get a few knocks – and a few seconds later her alarm went into a run tone … a very decent fish, felt like a good bream she said but unfortunately the hook pulled free even before I could get to her to hopefully do the netting duties. After that she had not a touch despite both trying casting out and just swinging the feeder just off the lilies in the margins.. That take was on the maggot feeder, I believe.

However, there were a few others fishing and although a few ‘bits’ were being caught we didn’t see anything of substance succumb so I don’t think our result was below par for the day although the fish were definately around – as well as the cruising carp there were plenty of leaping fry including the not infrequent crucian carp and several patches of bubbling which was mainly early in the day

So, 1530, as usual, we packed up and headed home via the usual local hostelry for our traditional quaff of ale (one of my favourites, Titanic Plum Porter, was on so I was well pleased with that!) and scratchings and nuts…

Next out, as stated, Thursday 16th May…. which will be 31 days before the new river season opens … and I’m sure ”sidestreambob” is counting those days down now!! He writes a good blog BTW, well worth a read!! :)

8 responses to “Session 20 – New Club, New Venue But Not A Blank For Me…”

  1. We went on a loopy cycle yesterday along the coast and up to Brock to watch the footie – passed Hurst Spit so passed your regards on the shingle


    1. “… passed your regards on to the shingle” even!


  2. We used to fish off the shingle. There’s a ferry runs down to the fort but often the times werent good so we’d thumb a lift off one of the angling boats going out 😊

    There used to be a deep hole where we fished from, reckoned close to 100’deep and had some good bass…

    P&O ferry was the thing… you’d be fishing, it would pass through, and youd forget about it BUT, and it was a mere speck in the distance by this time, the water would suddenly drop down the shingle and youd have to grab your stuff and run like mad up towards the fort as the ferry’s wake arrived… probably a wall of 15-20 feet of water IIRC! 😁


  3. Yep, I would totally agree re: the drop in use of social clubs, etc but not just works sponsored ones but also working men’s clubs, social clubs, etc in general. I used to play in the local CIU darts league in the late 80’s into the 90’s … but don’t think there’s one CIU club that participated then still open … even if not CIU … and not sure if the CIU even exists as an entity these days. About the closest thing I know to around here is the British Legion. Sad really… and maybe not all the employers fault in retrospect … and it seems that the IT industry is renowned for staff perks, etc… :)

    Wellworthy – I think I’ve said before that a pal and I used to visit his parents for a week or two each year in the 80’s and fish Throop and the Royalty mainly with a couple of days on other stretches and a day or two sea fishing in the Solent from by Hurst Castle at Lymington? Well, his parents emigrated down from here in Wolves to Boscombe … and went to work at Wellworthy until they retired … I know his Mom worked on quality control but not sure what his Dad did ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re “… sea fishing in the Solent from by Hurst Castle at Lymington?” sounds like that could have been a boat out of Keyhaven.

      I guess the other factor re social clubs etc is that once upon a time people rarely drank at home, but pub prices are now pretty horrid and supermarkets so cheap relatively, that I think a lot of us have changed our drinking habits. I go to the pub for a quiz night about once a month, cycling with my mates involves pub stops (too many to be honest) but that is about it. I rarely go for a pint just on spec.

      As to fishing, I had intended going Sunday evening but the good weather ran out and it tipped down with rain here and my plans for a quick session this morning before exam invigilation went the same way – it was still raining. I am invigilating in the morning tomorrow, badminton in the evening so it may be a ‘gentleman’s hours’ session in the afternoon!


  4. Well Steve that all sounds very simple. Let’s see how I get on in practice though.

    Anyway the point I was gong to make about work social clubs etc is that whilst I’d fully agree ‘management’ are keen to cut costs, I also think folk are less inclined to socialise out of work. My first job was in London in the 1970s and we had a table tennis table that was used every lunchtime, most Friday night’s they’d be someone organising a beer or two, we fielded a footie team in the London Insurance League and goodness knows how many wedding receptions in Bethnal Green and Plaistow I went to.

    Next job was in Croydon and initially we had three football teams in the London Insurance League, a sports club out at Warlingham, a cricket team etc but over the 20 years I was there the social side dwindled. Youngsters preferred to play football with their mates, cricket fell from favour and changes in attitude to drink driving rightly kicked in and so the social club usage declined.

    Then my move to work in Bournemouth where there notionally was a works football team, but it was three old boys from work and eight ringers. There was a social club, but most people drove to work and that closed down without anyone noticing. After 19 years of me nagging we did get a table tennis table just before we closed down and it did bring people together.

    So overall I think it is more complex than just management cutting costs, but I doubt the days of Bourneville will return. That said ironically the firm that took us over and closed us down (think of a big insurer on the West Midlands/Worcs border) have superb on-site sports facilities.

    I’ve two experiences of work angling clubs. When my brother moved to Bedford the firm he worked for owned or leased a lake somewhere in Bedfordshire, although it was a hard venue (not just for me, we never saw or heard of anyone bagging up). Then when I moved down here my neighbour nominated me to join the secretive Wellworthy Angling Club. Now long closed but back in the day Wellworthy Engineering was a piston ring manufacturer in Lymington. The angling club is the only survivor still using the name Wellworthy; the footie team merged with what is now New Milton Town decades ago and members of the old social club made a killing when they sold the club site in Lymo for flats. The club still has a number of lakes to the south of the New Forest and they are relatively productive (certainly in quantity if not always in quality). When the kids were younger I let my membership slide which may have been a mistake …


  5. Hi, Clive… thanks for the comments!! :)

    WordPress and hyperlinks … easy peasy!!
    In the menu bar, centre, you see three links of a ‘chain’, click on it and a box appears with two input boxes… top one you type/paste in your actual link address, the bottom one what you want to appear in the text…

    So (eg):
    You’re typing “… and you can get this from ”
    Click the link/chain menu item
    and in top box type/paste the link address
    eg “www.this”
    and in the bottom box add what you want to actually appear in the displayed text
    eg “BIG HOOKS”
    Click ‘OK’ (I think, anyway whatever the button is called)…
    And all done… and you can extra text to end…
    eg “for £2.99”

    So the example above would show in your text as:
    “… and you can get this from BIG HOOKS for £2.99”
    Clicking on “BIG HOOKS” takes the reader to the site “www.this” as you’d expect.

    OK … now off to sort out yesterday’s tackle and bait which I didn’t have time to do! :)

    Tight lines, hope you manage to get out there soon … glorious weather at the mo!!


  6. Well thanks for the plug and I’m impressed you’ve cracked adding links. I really must snap out of my Luddite tendencies and learn a bit more about Word Press. Bit rushed at the moment, but I’ll pick up your point about work and social activities in a day or so (in short my view it isn’t just the bosses fault).

    Btw your write an ace blog yourself – between you and a few others you’ve saved me in a few bob by providing reading matter, ideas and tips that mean I can leave Anglers Mail on the shelf.



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