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…

2 responses to “Session 23 – At Last + Frustration + Carp Fun On The Whip + Feeding The Resident Pike.”

  1. Grrhh – even when fishing for live bait on a whip, you go and get a carp that more than justifies using the landing net. You really know how to gain ‘popularity’ don’t you?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. ALSO adding to the frustration but forgotten to mention were …

    (a) after re-tackling up the rod after replacing some whippings and re-varnishing the blank it appeared that I deigned to miss out the 6th rod ring from the tip …


    (b) the float stop (a small sized Gardner) I was using, and I have been using them for several seasons without problem, seemed to catch and jar preventing smooth casting (underhand swing) … the water I was fishing was around 10′-11′ deep and so I was using a slider float with the stop set at around that depth and the bulk shot set around 5′ deep.

    To be honest I’m not sure if it was a combination of those two items that contributed to the problem but…. I tackled down and re-threaded the line properly through the top section rings and also replaced the float stop with a tied stop knot with a small bore bead placed between that knot and the link swivel that I always use as a quick change float attachment … and problem was resolved.


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