Session 24 – The Good, The Bad … And The Unrepeatable! The Frustrations Continue And Appear To Be Contagious!

Sunday 30th June, Liz and I set off on our annual pilgrimage to the ‘secret water’…. Actually, its a pair of pools that are unfished except for 4 weekends (I think it used to be 6 weekends a few years back) of the year when the owner invites one of my clubs to send up to 6 anglers each Saturday and Sunday in return for a £10 donation per person per session which goes to the local church. Liz and I have been virtually every year – and last year we booked 2 sessions each but one of the years we had a problem accessing the water due to a change in the gate locking and eventually went elsewhere. I did arrange a new date but Liz couldn’t make any of the alternatives so I had to fish on my own. As I say there are two pools available, the one we fish is the ‘mixed’ pool with the usual carp, tench, bream, silvers, and perch. The other pool is carp only, anyway I think so, but over the years we’ve fished there (7 years now) I’ve only ever seen anyone on there once …  and after a couple of hours without a single bite they moved on to the mixed pool.


The day, as it had been for the previous few days, was a scorcher although the cloud kept most of the direct heat off us. Also the water level, considering that it wasn’t long ago we were deluged and floods all over the country and that other pools I’ve visited since have been virtually brim full, was lower than expected albeit slightly higher than previous years.

On arrival I spombed out about 10 large spombs of particles (hemp, wheat, turmeric rice, grated meat, grated cheese, dead maggot, etc)  between our ‘pegs’ as an attractor whilst we prepped our areas and tackled up…

Both of us on two ledger rods each (8lb main line), Liz starting with frame feeders on both rods and using bread, maggot and corn baits, myself with straight 1/2oz (14g) Arlesey bombs hoping for the spombed feed to make the need for a feeder unnecessary, and over the day I fished chili sausage, worm and bread/crust.

It was just 0730 as we made our first casts and we were soon getting ‘knocks’ on sweetcorn baits and on worm … and then at 0800 Liz had a good take on her sweetcorn, struck and was soon playing a very good tench BUT as it came to the net there was a hook pull and the fish was lost … and that unrepeatable word echo’ed from the lips of Liz! The loss being greater than the fish itself – and it was thought to have been a potential new PB for Liz – as that is the species that we are hoping for mainly on this venue and the past couple of years they’ve been scarce if not non-existent.

So, still stinging from the loss, Liz rebaited and fished on and soon landed a common carp of 1lb 12oz on maggot….

2019-06-30 Liz - 1lb 12oz Common Carp
1lb 12oz Common Carp

… then over the next hour followed a small roach … and another good fish threw the hook … frustration increases…

And, as by 1000 my own bite rate was minimal and certainly getting nothing worthy or possible to strike at, I decided on a ‘if you cant beat them, then join them’ approach and mixed up a bowl of groundbait and changed my leads over to frame feeders… and 1005 I landed an 8lb 11oz common carp taken on worm…

8lb 11oz Common Carp

… then 1050 … another fish falls to one of my rods, this time to crust set to hover about 6” or so off bottom above the feeder… another common carp 6lb 13oz …

2019-06-30 Steve - 6lb 13oz Common Carp
6lb 13oz Common Carp

1110 …. Liz hooks into a good carp … I’m not quick enough to move her second rod away and a tangle ensues … line snaps, fish gone … Liz … ‘Dont say anything!’, sits down with cig and a cup of coffee and calms for 10 minutes … then a cutting of the tangled lines and complete re-tackle is undertaken…

A few small silvers then fall to both our rods plus I have a small perch….

1320 … a mirror of 5lb 12oz falls to my worm baited rod …

2019-06-30 Steve - 5lb 12oz Fully Scaled Mirror Carp
5lb 12oz Fully Scaled Mirror Carp

 … and at 1345 I have a common carp around 2lb…

And then Liz gets some action AFTER having a bite, striking and then discovering that somehow the line has been wrapped around reel and jammed …. whereupon she flings rod to the ground in anger whilst using another naughty word … and whereupon I now run after rod that is being dragged into the water by a fish that is definitely still attached … I hand rod back to Liz … and she lands a 5lb 3oz common carp …

5lb 3oz Common Carp

… however, just to make her day complete … literally minutes before packing up … I have a tench! Not huge, 1lb 3oz, but a tench nevertheless….

2019-06-30 Steve - 1lb 3oz Tench
1lb 3oz Tench

BUT I was also not without my frustrations…. twice during the afternoon I’d had good takes, struck, felt the fish and the line snagged in the ‘U’ of the bite alarm and snapped – meaning I’d left fish with possibly 20-30 yards of line attached. I’m sure the fish would have shed the hooks (barbless) and line ok but it will still be in the water somewhere :(

And it appears that I contributed to the fault that caused this to happen…

Bite Alarm
Head Of The Bite Alarm

As you can see in the picture the bite alarm (Leeda Rogue) has a rim around the top of the ‘U’ shaped reel seating … Other similar looking alarms (ie NGT VS) to my knowledge do not have this rim and the ‘wall’ is perfectly smooth…

I’ve taken the picture at a slight angle to show the ‘lip’ protruding on the left hand side but it is indeed actually flat and in line with the lower part of ‘the wall’ as per the right hand side and previous to a ‘mod’ I did there was never a problem.

So what did I do? Well, in the picture you can see, around the roller in the centre of the picture I added a soft rubber ‘O’ ring into what was originally a ‘V’ groove. Why? Well I thought the ‘V’s between the soft rubber ring and the hard plastic roller would grip the line better than just the ‘V’ in the hard shiny plastic…. but what it also did was locate the line against the edges of the roller rather than in its centre and thus closer to that protruding rim on which it started to catch… but whilst it was central in the unmodified roller there was no problem … And I’ve added a rubber ring to the roller of most alarms I’ve had with no problem and positive results previously.

So, a couple of refinements have now been carried out…

  • Removed the ‘O’ ring … and I’ve now painted inside the roller’s groove with a very light covering of Copydex which is basically liquid latex which should add some friction ….
  • Filed down the sharp corners of the rim to prevent any chances of the line being caught up again…

Plans for next outings… well, I had intended to go barbel fishing on the Severn … again … but again other plans have taken over. In this case I’ve decided I’d rather try to increase my PB bream and so now the plan is a visit to the Warks Avon on Thursday… Next Monday, still under consideration and depends on Liz, if she’ll be fishing and if so, where? A couple of venues in the melting pot on that one.

Possible visit soon to a club ‘tench’ water which has been fishing well – a National Trust water and adheres to the traditional March 15 – June 15 close season so fishing restarted there 2 weeks ago – and in the last week a member fishing there went home after 4 hours as he’d had 64 tench!! And they average 4lb+ (3lb-6lb with the odd 7lb and 8lb’er showing up too)…. will have to be in the next couple of weeks though as when school holidays start then the dog walkers, ramblers, sightseers, etc are supplemented by screaming hordes and far too noisy for me …… Attempts are being made to the NT to allow all year fishing though…

10 responses to “Session 24 – The Good, The Bad … And The Unrepeatable! The Frustrations Continue And Appear To Be Contagious!”

  1. I too have experienced the same snag problems with a very similar set of alarms (now retired). Such a bad and fundamental design flaw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will find if my fix works soon – off to that tench pool on Monday with Liz… but I will have another pair of old but decent alarms on hand….


      1. I bit the bullet after those cheapo alarms and upgraded to a couple of Fox MXplus alarms (at £50 each) and they were equally useless from a reliability point of view so i sold them and bought a set of Saber S4 alarms (3x plus wireless receiver) which i got all for £47 quid from Tacklehound when they were first released (now £60 most places) but i really rate them and love being able to sleep with the receiver by my ear and the alarms down low on an overnighter. Very good vfm as is much of their other gear. Good luck both at the tench pool Steve.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheers, Matty!
          Just looked at those Saber S4s on Google – they appear to have the same ‘lip’ around the front of the face of the ‘U’ as was causing my problem – well, rather I created the problem (with the ‘O’ rings pushing the line across) more likely?

          Some time ago I won a pair of alarms (Nash Siren S5Rs with wireless receiver, carry cases, etc) valued at £250+ from an ‘IYCF’ mag competition but never got on with them and one packed in anyway – but have them still in the garage, maybe have another look at them.

          Previous alarms to the current ones (and the spare pair I carry) were Chub Neuron T3’s (£15 the pair from an ICYF offer IIRC) … good alarms, but I got the Rogues as they have blue LEDs as I find those stand out in any sort of lighting – the usual red I cant see in bright sunlight – and also have a pair of LEDs, one on each side of the ‘U’ which solves the problem of them being out of sight behind the rod when in position.

          Liz uses some older alarms of mine, look similar to your Sabre’s (and similar 3x set + receiver) but without that lip but doesn’t use the receiver. And I’ve now got ‘working’ hearing aids (ie volume reduced, were too loud previously so often didn’t wear them as far too much ambient noise) so I don’t need receivers either as rarely more than 10 yards (and that’s usually pee time!) from the rods these days. And I don’t do overnighters…

          Yep, the cheaper alarms I’ve had have all, IMHO, been far better than those Nash ones!

          As long as when the line moves in a meaningful manner I get a beep that’s fine – getting beeps every time the line twitches 1mm is just plain annoying….. if I need to strike at such little movements then its better to watch the line from rod tip to water for lifts anyway.

          Hopefully should be a good day on the tench pool … and just heard that one of the members (ex club sec actually) is going to be there with people from Anglers’ Mail working on a ‘float fishing for tench’ article, so they’ve got a swim reserved for that…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I may have given the impression of ‘fish-by-fish’ postings … but actually he made about 3 postings overall at different points with updates … and knowing the water well I’m not at all doubtful … and neither are the other members. Tench are the main species in this pool as there are no carp nor bream either (although there are reports of possible carp being spotted not one has ever been caught there) the other main species being roach and perch … and pike which are responsible for most fish losses as they are not back-in-coming-forward to grab swimfeeders and cut the line. Also the pool is quite weedy at times and if the tench get their heads down into it then it easily gets pulled free and covers the tench’s eyes … and if blinded they come in easier than a plastic bag… No, I’ve no doubts at all re: the quoted catch….

    Anyway, this pool is due to get a good stocking of crucians soon! The club is involved in the ‘Crucian Conservation Project’ run by the EA whereby, simplified, if a club can provide a suitable pool then the EA will provide pure crucian carp. A suitable pool means a pool that has no species within it that will interbreed with the crucians (eg king carp, etc) and the idea is create pure bred stocks that can used to stock elsewhere as most of the current national crucian carp stocks are actually hybrids – and as crucians are the only truly native carp then there is a need to preserve their purity. Anyway, the club managed to obtain a totally fish free pool (result of quarrying) and after a few years to settle crucian were introduced along with tench … and smaller additions of crucians added … and 2-3 years ago the pool was opened to fishing. Anyway, we were due to receive a stocking of a 100 or so fresh crucians at the end of last year I think … but, due to failed/cancelled deliveries to other clubs the entire container load was given to us – 2000+!! So now the pool is greatly overstocked (we’re trying to create a pool of specimen sized fish)… but the NT (and EA) have given us permission to transfer a lot of the fish across to the ‘tench’ pool as being talked about above.

    On the other side of the coin, the two carp pools we have on that NT estate are being drained or least having water levels lowered next year to perform work on the dams and to dredge the silt which is building up … so all fish will be netted and removed temporarily – except for the carp which the NT will not allow to be stocked back into the pools – I’m ‘suggesting’ bream which, to me, are a far better species and more of a traditional estate type fish anyway to replace those missing carp. The removed carp, it is hoped, will be stocked into some of our other pools that are not on that estate…

    SO … I’ve just sorted tackle and bait ready for tomorrow … and have decided to go for bream on the Warks Avon… :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck in the bream quest – although I’ve little to report I’m two write ups behind at the moment. I’m going fishing that often I cannot keep pace with writing the trips up and we are currently stewarding at the NF Folk Festival. Mind you, time wise roughly three of my sessions equals one of yours!

      If I went to that tench lake and was only a tenth as successful I’d count it as red letter day! It must be some water, surely you’ve got to go there before July is out. I do believe tench fishing is cyclical year on year so i’d urge you to fill your boots before they thin out.

      If anyone was daft enough to let me stock an empty lake, then no ‘real’ carp, no bronze bream, but stocking crucians, tench and silver bream would be the first five decisions. I’d have to think about roach and rudd, so often they overpopulate and end up stunted and the perch question probably follows the roach/rudd conundrum.

      Talking of roach/rudd if you get a chance cld you look at my post for 24 June, mainly based on eye colour I think the photos are of rudd, but I could do with your insight.



      1. And don’t forget the pike!!
        Perch are active hunters and keep down fry predominantly and pike are more sedentary ambushers who deal mainly with the large injured, ill and dying … need both in right numbers in my view to balance a pool – or just zander which deal with everything but will fall into balance given time!! :) Only problem is that ‘managed’ pools (re-stocked annually instead of the natural ‘last years fry IS the new stock’) break the natural oscillation: loads of food->more predators->too many predators, not enough food, preds die->food starts to re-build … and re-cycle with decreasing amplitude and a equilibrium is established.

        Will look at the 24 June posting asap and let you know my thoughts … jobs to do but needed to sort out banking so came on here saying to myself ‘do banking, no e-mail, etc’ but here I am but soon to go… :)


  3. Looking back at thread… started at 7am, on 54 at 11:09…. final post as leaving 69. So maybe over 4 hours 🐟


    1. Well that is converting a bite every four and a half minutes (although now I’ve got to allow time for him posting to FB and I’d already given him credit for having a cast iron bladder) so I guess that is borderline feasible. I wasn’t there so I’ve no reason to doubt him, but if they were 3lb plus, I’m assuming he was winching them out on a banana hook tied to piano wire (to borrow one of my mate Chris’ expressions).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The guy was updating on FB as he fished…. was actually 69 in the end!
    Bags of 20-30 seem to be the norm currently too….. so totally believable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: