Session 23 – At Last + Frustration + Carp Fun On The Whip + Feeding The Resident Pike.

Thursday, June 20th, saw me back on the waterside for the only the second time in five weeks due to (a) a complete bathroom do-over (still not complete, all tiling and installations complete but awaiting painter now to finish the job and (b) visitors from Cyprus (Liz’s parents) were with us for two weeks which included a seven day caravan break in Liz’s brother and partner’s caravan in Great Yarmouth in the middle of that time.

As I said in my previous posting I had planned to go barbel fishing on the River Severn but the heavy rains a few days previously had made that a no-go for me and I intended to fish for perch and chub at a club pool (AA-GH) instead and this I did indeed do arriving pool side around 0715…


… and the day started off dry and calm but around 1000 onwards we had 3 or 4 short (5 minute or less) but very heavy showers … however, I only know about those due to the disturbed water surface as I was sat under tall trees and the canopies thereof prevented even ONE spot landing on me or my gear/bait/etc… others weren’t so fortunate and the brollies were up around the other parts of the pool.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my session and who wouldn’t after such a prolonged absence, but it was a day mainly of utter hair tearing frustration from the word ‘go’ with me seemingly spending more time fixing/adjusting things than actually actively sitting with a bait in the water – probably in actuality it wasn’t but it certainly felt like it.

As I said in the previous post I wanted to try to catch chub and possibly perch using live and deadbaits. I’d taken a few smelt along with me for deadbaiting as I knew they were acceptable to chub from the pike fishing sessions we’d done there – think we had only one pike on them but had had a fair few chub even with the wire traces and treble hooks. Live baits I needed to catch at the water and to this end I took along my 5 metre whip which I’d only used once before – a sort of trial session on the canal, and I blanked then! On the whip I added my pre-made up, swing to hand rig, of 6lb line, size 16 hook … and discovered the overhead canopy meant I couldn’t lift the whip high enough to swing the fish to hand and so I had to shorten the rig so that I could collapse the butt section (telescopic pole) and be able then to swing to hand… only thing then, many fish bounced off the barbless hook (club rule) before I could shorten the whip’s length … also I had problems with the line wrapping around tip and tangling which I seemed to solve after several changes of connecting method, still wasn’t perfect at end but at least usable… Any road up, as we say around here, after about an hour or so, I’d seven small enough silvers in my bucket – a few others were too large and so were released immediately – and I had done battle with a 4lb 4oz common carp! WOW! Heartstopping or what? At least on a pole you have elastic to shock absorb and give a fish a bit of headroom but with a whip there’s none of that – and I was bound in on both side by the trees so following the fish was impossible and I had to stand my ground and use psychology almost to persuade the fish he didn’t really want to go THAT way by changing angles of pulls, etc… and most of the time the whip was shaped like a hairpin! Great fun BUT despite that I think I’ll keep the whip solely for bait catching purposes although I might try it on the canal again in the future.

2019-06-20 Steve - 4lb 4oz Common Carp

4lb 4oz Common Carp

SO… bait obtained … I switched to my 2 ledger rods for my primary session goal. Both rods had 8lb main line, with 1/2oz ledger weights, and terminated with 6lb braid lengths with a main size 6 hook and a size 10 hook which was used to hair rig the baits… smelt on the one, a live silver lip hooked on the other… However, after about an hour and a half of total inactivity I, unusually, got totally bored and decided to floatfish. The lip-hooked fish was released … but more on him later…

The ledger rods and the whip were packed away, the unused silver baits returned to the water and my float rod was set up – 6lb line, size 12 hook (maggot/worm baited) and then a few hours floatfishing ensued – well, mainly shot fiddling, float changing (must have changed float at least 6 times before I was (almost) happy)… and I fished on until 1430 when, after miscasting, I ended snagged in a bush and snapped off. I had intended to fish until 1500-1530 but after the snap-off I decide I’d just tackle down and head home – which actually was a blessing in disguise as, by the time I’d reached home, put baits away, showered and changed it was time to head out to pick up Liz from work! Normally, I’d have been fine for picking Liz up even packing in at 1530 so just shows just how unsettled I was. I blame the long spell from the waterside – seemed to have lost my ‘routine’ somewhere over that time! Anyway, floatfishing just gathered a few more small silvers…

AND now we come to the resident pike… well, pike in the plural I think, there’s often a pike in this spot but not sure its the same one and I know that a now deceased 38lb’er was seen lying there in 2016/2017 as it was me that saw it! And I’ve also caught several pike from here of varying weights up to about 9lb. I’ll recognise this one again though as it was about 6-7lb and had a white scar on its side about 3/4 way along its body. In the photo of the carp you can see a ‘log’ set at the edge of the water … and literally these pike lie there about 12” out. I tried to photo yesterday’s but although it was lying there quite happily most of the day as soon as the camera came out it, in the words of Monty Python, it ‘went and buggered orf!’. However, it certainly wasn’t going to starve as each silver that bounced off my hook on the whip resulted in a major swirl as pikey breakfasted – most definitely a silver version of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ … and when I tipped the remaining baits back into the water it again took advantage of the situation although I looked to see if it was in the vicinity before doing the release and couldn’t see it so probably it was lying tight under the bank or shot out from the side of the swim…

OK – plans ahead…

I was going to try for that postponed river trip on Monday as the water is dropping nicely – however, the weather office is forecasting heavy thunderstorms on both Monday and Tuesday 😦  so its not going to be good to be out on those days plus its likely the river will rise again…. and on my other fishing day, Thursday, more rain is forecast. However, Sunday (30th) is looking good and Liz and myself are already booked to fish a private water that is unfished except for 4 weekends of the year when the owner invites my club to fish in return for £10 donations per person per session (max 6 anglers per day) to the local church and we’re looking forward to that. So hoping our painter can visit and do his work over the next week whilst we won’t be fishing and then we can be clear for the future…

Planning My First Trip Of The New Season… Was To Be To The River Severn But Due To Recent Rains That’s Now Changed…

Happy New Season to all – especially to those of the flowing waters persuasion! Hope you all have at least one memorable fish!!

I have been unable to get out so far although I have done some tackle prep this morning ready for my planned outing on Thursday 20th which included a bit of tackle stocking up at Go Outdoors… 🙂

So, I had planned to go to a club stretch on the Middle Severn but recent rains lifted the water level by over 12 feet overnight immediately following the downpours …. and according to GaugeMap has just stopped rising ….

ScreenHunter 41

… hence the planned river visit has literally been given a ‘rain check’ for a later date … although a river visit is still on the cards next week but it will be the Warwickshire Avon rather than the Severn … and over the last 20 years the WA water levels (at least on our stretch) haven’t moved by more than 6” up or down… and, in fact, before the rains it was on the low side but is now at ‘normal’…. 🙂

So, Thursday, no river outing but I am heading to a pool in search of big perch and chub using live baits (taking my 5m whip to catch) and deadbaits (smelts which have accounted for a few chub when we’ve pike fished using them). One of my Go Outdoor purchases of earlier was of suitable ‘bobber’ floats for the session.

I’ve been reading a book called ‘Willow Pitch IV’ – and I really must get ‘Willow Pitch’s I,II,III and V as its been a really great read – that I purchased at a Barbel Society Day in Telford at the end of May. Basically it consists of 31 chapters, all submitted by differing authors, coupled with some amazing photography and artwork, all perch based… and the chapters range from my first perch, mammoth perch, red letter days and instructional … in fact a fantastic bedtime read! Anyway, its inspired me to go in search of ‘The Sergeant’ now….

If I’ll actually catch perch is another thing though as the pool I’m going to has given up one perch to me in around 7 years – and that was actually found in my landing net when pulled from the water as I was packing up and was minnow sized and not a particularly large minnow at that! However, I do know of occasional captures of (possibly ‘a’) 3lb+ perch so who knows? I do have some optimism towards catching a chub though as, as I said, we’ve had them on deadbaits when piking … and possibly a jack pike might show up too….

I not particularly daunted by the lack of known perch captures either as the pool is a ‘carp’ water and most, 99%+ IMHO, anglers are fishing boilies, pellets or corn – not noted perch catching baits – or pike fishing with sea deadbaits, again not noted perch ‘killing’ baits….

Anyway, we’ll see 🙂

Tight lines to anyone venturing out in the next few days!!

Session 22 – A Delayed Return To The Water’s Edge

As said in the previous posting, with a few things going on, mainly having a bathroom refit (to be hopefully completed by this weekend) there had been a long spell – 19 days in fact, or rather 6 potential fishing days – between the last trip and this one. Anyway, this one day managed to get squeezed in and so on Monday 3rd June I headed off to the larger, and closest home, pool of my new club (SAC-DP) for my second session there since my membership started.

I set off from home around 0600, arriving around 0615, and was at my chosen swim for the day – on the dam wall of the pool which is actually a canal reservoir – having unloaded car and carted tackle around by around 0625.

2019-06-03 Dimmingsdale Pool

As you can see the swim faced back up the length of the pool but what you can’t see are the lily pad patch to the left of me and the reed lined bank to the right…

I was first on the pool and had the pool to myself until 1000 but then a few arrived bit by bit but there’s plenty of room on there – I was on peg 33 and that was halfway around the pool so there must be 60+ pegs in all…

First thing on arrival I set up and cast out my Deeper Sonar to (a) look for depths/features and (b) spot fish hot spots. Depth I found almost consistently around me was about 4’6” except a rod length in front of the dam brickwork when it shelved down to 5’6” or so – and only spotted one sizeable fish (shows as an icon rather than the streaks of smaller fish). The sonar also reported water temps to be at around 18’C.

Scanning done, I tackled up with the usual two ledger rods and end tackle – 1.75lb TC Grandeslam Avon Extra rods, 8lb mainline straight through, and frame feeders – one rod with a size 6 hook (baited with chili sausage, bread, prawn over the session), the other with a size 12 (baited with a bunch of maggots, sweetcorn). Worms weren’t an option on this trip as my worm pit failed to produce any – too dry and they had burrowed too deep I think.

First casts were made just after 0700 – frame feeders loaded with my basic feed mix with added hemp, hemp oil, turmeric rice and dead maggot – with chili sausage and maggot on the hooks and I had frequent ‘bleeps’ on the maggot rod and the occasional ‘bleep’ on the sausage one but it was 1100 before the first fish came to hand – a small (2oz’ish) bream…

And following on, the rest of the day followed much the same pattern, producing just one more similarly sized bream and a crucian carp of around 4oz both on the maggot rod.. and the crucian ejected a small amount of milt as I returned him so seems that spawning may be due or even ongoing.

2019-06-03 Crucian Carp

I did have a few tugs on sausage/bread/prawn but failed to connect as the bait was being dropped before I could react…

Not a productive day in terms of catching but a pleasant warm and calm’ish day to be out on after being stuck at home for nearly 3 weeks and much enjoyed. And the others who arrived – most seemed to be fishing the pole – those that I could see anyway – were also only catching the odd skimmer….

As I was packing up a guy came past and chatted – he said its normally a good area he said but recently gone quiet – I suspected, and he agreed, that probably they’d gathered at the other end of the pool to spawn in the shallows. So next visit to this pool I’ll probably try down towards that end….

So, next trips?

Well, the next possible time I’ll be able to get out now is Thursday 20th June … and as the river season opens on the 16th I reckon it’ll be a trip to the River Severn (Middle section in the Bridgnorth area) after barbel and chub … and Monday 24th June may depend on Liz and so it will most likely be Warks Avon for bream or a club pool for tench (a National Trust pool that still operates a close season) but other possibilities too. And, Sunday 30th June, Liz and I are fishing a private water that is generally unfished except for 4 weekends of the year when the owner, as part of his charity days, invites one of my clubs to fish on the Sat/Sun with a limit of 6 anglers allowed per session in return for a £10 charity donation each angler/session – and we usually have a good days fishing – and we may also book extra sessions later.

So… tight lines to all in the meantime … and best wishes to all those venturing out for the river opening!!