Session 30 … A Touch Of Martha And The Vandellas…. “It’s A Heatwave”!

Thursday 25th and I was back to a local club pool (SAC-DP) for another session there. It’s quite a handy pool for my Thursday sessions as its only 15 minutes from the house so little travelling time needed for travelling to and from … and on Thursday’s Liz is at work but I collect her when she finishes at 1745, we then call in KFC for our usual Thursday night meal before heading home. And so, the 30 minutes is far better than the usual 90 minutes needed for my other venues… and its a lovely and peaceful pool to be sat at anyway… catch or not.


So, I set off from home around 0630 and by 0730 I was making my first casts….

The forecast for the day was for the temperatures to rise to be in the mid-30’s – and the car’s thermometer did, in fact, register an external 34’C on the journey home – so I was expecting a scorcher of a day but even so I wasn’t expecting quite the struggle I had to head home at the end of the day – but more on that later….

I had decided to fish the same swim as I had when I visited the pool the week before … facing an offshore island which houses solar panels and a wind turbine that power an aeration system to the pool. In my mind probably one of the better areas to be with the heat and an oxygen drop likely due to that heat in the waters – and all around the country the EA have been performing fish rescues ….


… however, I’m glad to report at this pool all seemed very well – no algal blooms, plenty of cruising/bow-waving, etc but none of the panicked surface sucking and the other actions of distressed fish, just the expected relaxed fish behaviours expected on a warm and bright day….

So, to the actual fishing … following the last session at the pool when I hooked, but lost, four good fish  on frame feeder, I had decided that I’d fish two feeder rods out towards the island for the day and to that end I, as usual, pre-fed with the area with 6 or so golf ball sized balls of my feed – and I didn’t even need to mix it up as I’d plenty of wetted feed left over from my previous trip out that I’d bagged and frozen on arrival home and then de-frosted overnight before this session. I did, however, during the day need to mix up more from the usual dry ingredients…

All pre-fishing preps completed, the rods (both 8lb line, size 6 circle hook on one rod baited with bread and sweetcorn on a size 8 circle hook on the other were cast out) at 0730.

A few nudges and knocks on both rods – the bread rod being the more active of the two – and every 30 minutes, until 1130 when I switched to an hourly system, the rods were wound back in, the feeders refilled and hooks re-baited and recast out followed by 4-6 more balls of feed. At 0830 I switched the sweetcorn rod over to luncheon meat on the hook. The first proper take, missed unfortunately, came to the bread rod at 1015. And then came the ‘midday lull’ – I find that, in general and more often than not, there is usually a lull of two hours whereby bites slow dramatically or even stop completely, that happens between 1030 and 1430. Don’t really know why but I do find it applies to all venues… and it appears on this day it was 1015-1215 as at 1215 I had a bite and connected with a nice looking mirror carp of 4lb-5lb – yes, I saw it in full detail BUT didn’t get to land it hence the guestimate of the weight. As the fish  came in it kited over to my right basically into the shore in my next door peg – and between me and it was a patch of lily pads. I managed to get the fish through the patch until only the very last pad separated us … and the fish managed to snag the line on it and snapped the hook length… Fish gone… and then I made a bad, nay, TERRIBLE decision….

After that, until 1415, all was quite quiet again, just a few nudges on bread, nothing at all on the meat – and then another bite on the bread rod was connected to, fish played for a time, felt similar weight to the previously lost one, and then went slack… and all my fault 100%.

When the hooklength snapped on the first fish, the break happened in the final inch or so of the line, so I decided, rather than have to dig in the bag for my hooklength wallet, to tie on a new hook to the remaining part of the broken length. However, when tying I used a 5-turn half-blood knot and I usually add a ‘tuck’ to it but, due to the shorter than usual length of line I had to play with, I left out the ‘tuck’ – with braid the tuck is 100% necessary as otherwise the knot will fail quickly but with mono, as I was using, then usually its not necessary – probably due to that when tightening the elasticity of mono allows the line to tighten around itself when the tension applied to the line whilst tying the knot is relaxed, but braid with zero stretch/elasticity won’t do that – and I, although using mono, use a sort of pre-stretched line (Daiwa Hyper Sensor) that probably lies between mono and braid in degree of stretch….. so the fish was lost due a failed knot (again) as evidenced by the twisty pig-tail end of the retrieved line.

And that was the last action of the day – fishing-wise anyway….

1530 – I decided to pack up – and then the bad stuff started – due to the heat of the day – and 25’C is sweltering to me!

I don’t respond well to heat at all … just seems to suck out all my energy.

Usually I can tackle down and have bags done in 30 minutes – but due to the heat it took 75 minutes, and this on a day when I was actually tidy! So, the next part was to get the gear to and into the car to head home…

Now, the car park for this water is on top of a rise by the pool, there is a path directly down to the pool about 100 yards to the left but then you’re faced with ‘Heartattack Hill’ to push the barrow up … but about 100 yards to the right there is a gate into a cow field with a path down to the gate which you are allowed to drive down to drop off or pickup tackle… and, of course, that was the option to be taken…. however, given the heat, even the 100 yard walk along the mown  poolside path with the barrow was as much as I could do, literally I could not have gone one step further and even had to rest 2-3 minutes before I could even lift the latch securing the gate to push the barrow through… and having got the barrow through the gate and shut the gate (5-10 yards) I then needed a 10-15 minute break sat under the only bit of shelter I could find … rested I then walked up the path to the car park (200 yards probably) during which I had to have 3 stops under trees … got the car and drove down to join my tackle … and then spent probably 10 minutes loading, in dribs’n’drabs, my tackle on board. At this point, I had seriously thought about stripping off to just my knickers to drive home but I couldn’t get my trousers over my boots and the thought of the effort of removing said boots and then putting them back on was far too horrendous to contemplate even attempting so I settled for just bare-chested with car blowers on full blast and windows fully open. I got home just after 1700 – good job I packed in at 1530 rather than the initially intended 1630 as I had to collect Liz from work at 1745 and I’d have had no chance of doing that. Anyway, got into house stripped off and straight into a cold shower which helped a bit but really I didn’t fully recover until late the following day….

As Fred J. Taylor once said ‘I’ll be glad when I’m fed up of doing this!’…. :)

PLANS: Monday, 29th, Liz and I are off to a club pool in Shropshire – well, one of two pools on site depending on conditions….

3 responses to “Session 30 … A Touch Of Martha And The Vandellas…. “It’s A Heatwave”!”

  1. MATTY:
    Well, I did have my barrow but…
    It’s generally OK down to and along the pool to the chosen swim – downhill and then flat and sun usually still low in the sky …. BUT on the way back, the hill is too much even on a cool day to directly return to the car. However, you are allowed to drive down through the next field and down a small dirt track to the end of the pool to unload/reload (but car does need to be parked for day in the car park after unloading) – and the swim I often fish is virtually half way between the ‘walking’ path and the dropping off point (ca 100-150 yards). So at the poolside either walk is similar … just the ‘getting up the hill bit changes’. Anyway, walking the barrow down the hill on arrival to the swim is the preferred option, on return the walk to reload point, get car, load and away option is the best.

    Problem with this session though was the heat – the 100 yard/metre walk to the car loading point, after the sun/heat had got to me whilst untackling, was a major trek – and even an unloaded stroll would have taken it out of me as it did as I walked unloaded to the car.

    Problem, mainly me … I just can’t take the heat, plain and simple… when I lived with the parents the people living down the hill behind used to remark that my bedroom window would be open all night in winter – even when sub-zero (not quite that resistant these days though) – as I couldn’t sleep as I was too warm. Central heating in winter these days is only on for a few hours per day (generally 5am-9am and 4:30pm-9:00pm) set at 16’C/17’C and mainly for Liz’s comfort! :)

    My tackle is as minimised as much as I can … and generally bait/groundbait is by far the heaviest item I have. Usually I can carry it all fairly well, the bulk being the biggest reason that I would use barrow or trolley. I plan to use the easiest option depending on where I’m going – as my grandmother used to say ‘don’t pedal the bike when its easier to push it’. So, some waters its easier to make two carry trips than one barrow trip…

    Yes. that is the knot I have used for many many years (although I add extra ‘the tuck’ as per Matty) without problem. As I said the knot gave way this particular time due my bad decision to ignore my misgivings that it wasn’t done properly… :(

    I’m now trying the grinner knot out too which is said to be a better knot than the 5-tuck half-blood (even with tuck) and which has the small tag end… coming from the top of the wrap and poiunting more up the of the line rather than from the bottom downwards as per blood knot and thus better acts as a ‘barb’ to stop worms working off the hook perhaps if the top of the worm is threaded up the knot?

    Grinner knot:

    Choice of pool – well, as I said, close to home and Thursdays I have to collect Liz from work … plus in normal conditions as easy and as comfortable to access as any of my other venues and easier than some. Just on this occasion the weather/heat was the problem and don’t think any other venue would have been better in the situation…

    Cheers, guys!! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My knot of choice has always been the half blood with extra loop back through the top to bottom loop. Never fails with five turns.
    I was chuckling to myself with your packing up struggles. There have been times when I’ve felt like I was about to expire due to multiple straps cutting the blood flow in my neck. Thoughts of “I wonder how long before I’m found” esp when you know you’re the last one on the lake 😂, but I agree with bob. Take care Steve. Maybe you do need to lighten the load. Do you have a barrow or trolley?


  3. Em, couple of observations. This is the knot I use, indeed it is the knot I have used since I was a nipper:

    Tbh it is rarely the hook knot that is my downfall, but a confession; our local pound store sells three tubes of super glue for a quid. I know it is sacrilege to glue knots, but for 33p a trip I reckon it is worth while super gluing my knots. I say 33p because the tubes are often single use!

    Now the nagging, and I expect Liz has said this to you, but maybe this isn’t the best of pools for a hot day. Either take less gear or go to a pool with easier access. It really isn’t worth risking over exerting yourself; and as for driving home in your knickers; no! I do, however, recall being stuck in a traffic jam in the summer of 1976 and realising that the lady driving the car in the next lane was doing exactly that (and didn’t give a hoot). However, I think it is good that you didn’t follow her example …


    Liked by 1 person

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