Tuesday, July 16th, in a change from the usual Monday outing due to other commitments on that day, saw me head off to the main pool (SAC-DP) of the new club I joined in May of this year for my third visit there….
As per my new plans for my outings I set off out at 0700 having set the alarm clock for 0600 instead of the usual 0415-0430 – and it seemingly worked well in regards to the end of day fatigue I usually suffered – and that was with extending my usual end time by another hour or so – starting to pack up the gear at 1630 rather than 1500-1530 as I’d been doing.
Despite it being only a 10-15 minute trip from home I didn’t actually make my first cast until 0830 though … the extra time being taken up by driving down to the pool on arrival to drop off the gear, driving back up to the car park and then walking back to the tackle and barrowing it to the intended swim (Peg 25) PLUS mixing feed and pre-feeding the swims and then prepping 3 rods, one of which I had to strip down and re-tackle due to a tangle that had accumulated en-route, and then laying out mats, nets, cameras, etc.
On my original arrival at the car park there were already 5-6 cars there – and it looked like a group were intending to have an informal friendly match between themselves but I didn’t see any evidence of that actually during the day … as a canal topping reservoir it is a big pool though, possibly 60 pegs or more so there would be no problem anyway and I was well away from my nearest neighbour.
A nice mild morning on arrival with light to zero breeze throughout the day – the wind turbo on a small island (in photos) that, along with solar panels, powers an aeration pump or possibly a water pump often stopped rotating…
Before tackling up and other preps the usual pre-feeding was performed which consisted of small quantities of maggots catapulted to the outside near corner of the right hand marginal lily patch which I intended to float fish for the first part of the day (until around 1130) and I also catapulted golf ball sized cereal and particle balls out towards the island in front for the second part of the day in which I intended to ledger…
So, 0830, first cast…
I decided that I’d float fish with maggot and worm in the pre-fed area just off the marginal lily pad patch and so the float rod had been set up to fish lay-on/lift method style with a 5AAA driftbeater float. Despite the calm nature of the day I still find a driftbeater type float the ideal for that job – the bulk weight supporting body allows stability and casting weight and also allows a heavy’ish anchor shot to be used whilst the long, virtually negative, buoyancy of the slim fibreglass stem means if the shotting of the float is properly optimised then you can get a large indication/lift of the float for very little resistance/mass being felt by the fish as the float can rise the length of the stem without any weight, other than the over-shotting, being felt by the fish until the body itself reaches and starts to rise above the surface. Yes, for all conditions, for laying-on, the driftbeater is the float for me….
The float line was 6lb BS and the hook in use was a Kamasan ‘Animal’ eyed barbless, size 10….
First cast gave first bite… however, missed it! But, over the course of the next hour or so, bites continued and a few fish were landed – but only bream to around 4oz, a small rudd and several small perch. Hoping a change of bait from my maggots and worms might entice some better quality fish I fed out some sweetcorn with corn on the hook but this seemed to be a kiss of death as not only did the bites become far and few between on the corn but also on maggot and worm when re-tried … and the fish seemed to have risen in the water as the feed was met by a series of swirls as soon as it struck the water…. but all small fish.
So, 1100 came with no further captures and so I switched to the two frame feeder rods casting out to the area towards the island that had continued to be fed regularly all throughout the float fishing session. Lines of 8lb BS, size 8 hook baited with worm on one rod, size 6 hook with bread on the other. At 1230 the first bite, to the bread rod, was struck and a good fish was felt but almost immediately the line snapped and on retrieval the end of the line was quite badly frayed, possibly unnoticed old damage from the previous outing at a pool where swan mussels abound. 1330, another good fish on, this time on worm, but hook lost its grip…. 1400, another good fish on bread, another snapped line seemingly for no reason as not a lot of pressure was being applied and line end didn’t indicate any damage that could have led to the loss… at this point I put that rod away as I felt that with the two rods I was losing concentration by having to reel in the non-active rod to avoid crossed lines when playing fish – and also I couldn’t be bothered to re-tackle :) So, I just fished the one rod with bread on the size 8 hook … and next bite was literally one minute before I was intending to tackle down … and again fish lost … this time seemingly due to the hook knot failing evidenced by the pigtail twisting at the end of the line – can’t remember last time I suffered a knot failure but must have been 2-3 years at least… also a few bites had also been missed.
1630 … tackled down … without a ‘decent’ fish being landed and yet four good ones lost … not good!
But as Arnie said …’I’ll be back!…’….
Whilst there I met a fellow member of one of my other clubs whose pool I fished last week (Session 27) and he was saying that when he fished there recently he had 5-6 bream, something I was hoping for but didn’t catch … so planning to go back there shortly … which means that my River Severn trip might have to be back-burnered even longer! And that’s without the wanting I have to get to another couple of pools that I’ve been absent from for a while!
STOP PRESS: I got home and found I’d a general e-mail sent out by the club with an update regarding planned work that the Canal and River Trust is going to be doing on the pool shortly … plans are for re-pointing the brickwork on the pool’s dam and the main effects will be (a) lowering the water level by around 0.5 metres (20”), (b) some of the swims will be inaccessible due to the work itself and also some will be in use for storage of materials, etc and (c) work is planned to take 8-10 weeks although there is a possibility that it could be shorter.
PLANS: As it had been a Tuesday outing this week it has let little time to sort out tackle and baits and so the usual Thursday outing (ie today) has been passed over and I’m intending to fish on Monday 22nd July at the carp pool of another of my clubs as I’ve not been there for a while. Whilst a ‘carp’ pool – and it is indeed the club’s ‘premiere’ carp fishery that is in general looked after and stocked by the carp/night syndicate that exists as a subset of the club – it does hold tench, perch, silvers, and eels along with a few jack pike and a, seemingly sole, bream if reports are true. I plan to fish much in the main as I’ve fish this past session – float fish for the first half-day, feeder fish the second half – especially if I can get into the swim I hope to otherwise I might have to vary the plan to suit the occasion/location slightly.