Session 11 – Fishing In Lockdown….

Tuesday, 24th March I headed off to a club pool for my first-of-the-week session and arrived onsite at around 0700. No-one else there on arrival but not surprising as even on a gloriously sunny and warm day like the day itself I find no-one else usually arrives waterside anywhere before 1000…


Anyway, took pic and posted on Facebook and then was when I found out we were supposed to be in ‘lockdown’ – stupid thing to do anyway in my opinion – from other postings on there . One of the things that happen I suppose when you haven’t read a newspaper or watched a TV news broadcast in at least 10 years or more – 15 years probably closer to the truth. The closest I get to ‘keeping up with the news’ is via Facebook postings – but, in all honesty, I do buy the Sun newspaper for 2 weeks in January every year – but that’s only to get the vouchers for Sun Holidays – take paper home, cut out coupons or store codes and paper itself goes into recycling unread. All the interesting news I need/want to know about is in the pages of my angling magazines/papers!

Oh well, I was there then so decided to carry on for a few hours, seemed pointless to just turn back after all the effort I’d made to be there… so did fish for a couple of hours – laid-on worm – did get one slight nudge early on but then nothing. So headed home….for a boring few weeks … a good job I’ve about 1000 hours of angling videos to watch and several hundred fishing books that have not yet been read! Might even do some jobs around the house if I can motivate myself!

My Dad’s words of the 60’s, maybe 70’s, are starting to ring true …. that we are starting to live such a sterile existence that in times to come when you visit the supermarket , with your shopping, you’ll be given a sachet of soil that will supply the minerals and provide germs and the bacteria to boost your personal immunity systems that have been washed from your vegs and removed via processing. So very true! … and I can foresee unless we change the human race will have disappeared from the Earth faster than the dinosaurs – here one minute, gone the next – and suspect that will be pre-Year 3000 the way things are going…

Session 10 (2020) – Deja Vu With Liz….

Monday, 16th March, Liz and I set off at 0730 for a club pool (KF-VV) in Shropshire. The forecast for the day being good – sunny, little breeze and warm – and this actually held true for the day, especially in the morning as we sat facing into the sun …

2020-03-16 Valley View

… but just after noon as the sun had passed overhead and went behind us it felt a lot cooler as we had a row of conifers right behind us screening us from the direct sun’s rays… and hence we decided at 1500 to pack in and visit the usual ‘beer & cob stop’ on the way home.

We actually started fishing at 0930 – a little later than we had expected as we had ‘difficulties’ on parking. When we visited the same venue on our last joint trip we found the car ‘stuck in the mud’ when we came to leave due to the solid frozen ground on which we had parked on arrival having thawed and Ford Galaxy’s not being lightweight cars by any means had sunk down and we only escaped eventually by deflating the tyres – which afterwards took the best part of an hour for our electronic pump to replenish the air before we could drive home. Lesson learnt, or so I thought, and I’d loaded my set of bread crate bottoms on which to park the driven wheels on. HOWEVER, we got there I drove up to the parking area and Liz jumped out, got the crate bottoms out and laid just in front of my front wheels for me to drive upon… so I get into gear to drive the 12”-18” required to place the wheels on the crates … and wheels spin!!! So, after deflating the tyres (not so much this time so as to save time on re-filling) and sort of pulsing the drive both in forwards and reverse gears I eventually managed to get out of the rut and on to harder ground, and then onto the re-laid crates… At this point, we decided to leave the car/tyres ‘as is’ and get to the pool, get tackled and start fishing and to resolve the air pressures in the tyres on getting back to the car later.

So we headed off to the pool, and elected to fish our ‘old swim’ on the opposite side to where we’d fished for the past 12 months or more. As I said our positions faced into the sun on arrival (ie we were on the west bank) so we got the full warmth of the sun on us which was also increased by the reflected heat from the tall conifers directly behind us at that time…

So, 0930 or thereabouts, we made our first casts ….

Liz elected to fish with 2 frame feedered rods – one cast to the very edge of an overhanging tree on a small island around 10 metres in front of us and the other cast into open water to the left between this island and another further away. Baits were various – maggot, meat, boilies,…

Myself, I elected to fish ‘lift method/laying on’ with a driftbeater float, feeding the right hand side of the small island ahead with small cereal+particle groundbait balls and catapulted maggot. Baits were maggot+worm cocktail initially but later swapped to punched bread coated with Primula ham’n’cheese spread….

Over the course of the day we both had small knocks and nudges but nothing landed UNTIL at 1458 (literally 2 minutes before the time we had decided to call it a day!) Liz calls out to me and I have to attend with the net …. and she lands a 1lb 13oz chub…

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Liz – 1lb 13oz Chub

NOW … this is the second time in the last two outings she’s pulled that trick! Catching literally within 2 minutes of our planned packing up time!

So, I’m now looking at a record of 10 trips for 10 blanks whilst Liz’s record is 2 trips for 2 fish and no blanks!

Anyway, we pack up as had been decided, return to the car and get the air pump in action before we start loading the car – and on completion of the loading the first tyre had just reached its right pressure … and we didn’t have too long to wait before the second tyre was up and ready to go….

We set off for our the local hostelry, only to find on arrival there that it was shut just for that one day to complete some recent refurbishment it had undergone… not to be defeated we headed off elsewhere to get  our usual post-session beers, cobs, pork pie and scratchings….. J

NEXT OUTING: As I write this it will be tomorrow (Wednesday 19th) – which in fact would have been Mom’s 96th birthday and so I’m hoping she’ll be looking down on me and give me some luck. Off for an end-of-season pike session at Pike Water 5… and possibly Saturday 21st I may pop on the bus to the local canal with a few lures for a few hours.


AIR:                  MIN: 10.0’C       MAX: 26.2’C
WATER:            MIN:  7.4’C        MAX:  8.4’C


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Session 9 (2020) – To A Pool….

Thursday 5th March at 0900 I headed off to a local club pool again (SAC-DP), the weather having changed a little, still on the cold side but the rain had stopped (bar for a short light shower at around 1030)….

My intended targets, as much as they were as anything would be acceptable in the circumstances, were to be hopefully perch and bream.

So I set up a float rod that I’d newly acquired via a local auction where I’d obtained an auction lot of 11 rods for £38.

I actually got a good deal with the auctioned items as Googling later I found one of the models in the group (a Hardy’s Gordon Carp Quest) sold at another auction last year for £120 – and are also being offered for online sale for between £180-£225 – so that’s likely to appear on eBay in due course! J

Of the rods purchased I’ve decided to keep the rod in use on this session plus at least one other but possibly up to three. Liz and I are intending to do some car boot selling probably in May and a fair bit of old/surplus fishing gear will be amongst the items on sale – and the rods that we retain from the auction purchase will replace current rods that we use as I find the setup of older rods in terms of ring sizes and spacings are far better in my opinion and the older rods have cork handles as opposed to the recently used synthetic foam types – but saying that I do see a trend amongst the latest rods to revert back to the use of cork. So those rods that will be swapped out of use will head to the car boot along with the auction gained ones that are surplus to requirements – and also there’ll be assorted landing nets, bank sticks, reels, etc, etc – and general household items that are no longer of use.

{There was a CTM 13’6” float rod in the auction bundle that Liz likes and that will now become her standard float rod, her current one to be sold at the car boot}

Anyway, the rod I have put into use is a Sealey Aquarius 13’ float rod – a nice feel to it but the main reason for its use is that my usual float rod is, as are all my rods, permanently tackled up and carried in quiver thus making life easier on the waterside as there is no need to attach reels, thread line, add terminal tackles, etc as thats already done – I just need to clip desired weight to a rod’s snap link if ledgering or push float into the quick change adapter on a float rod (possibly may need at adjust shotting to suit the float if the float intended for use is not suitable on the day). Anyway, due to that modus operandi, my – at the time only – float rod was fitted with a Shimano 3500DX reel with 6lb line and to change to a lighter BS line would involve the need to tackle down, replace the spool of 6lb with another spool containing lighter line and re-tackle. BUT, in the first place, I didn’t have any spare spools on to which put lighter line … so I perused eBay and found a suitable spool available for bidding on … and put it on ‘Watch’ as the auction was not due to end for several days … HOWEVER, the next day I went into town and just happened by chance to wander into Cash Converters and spotted a complete Shimano 3500DX reel along with 2 spare spools (ie 3 spools in all) for sale for just £12! So it got purchased – then along came the local auction and I got that bundle of rods. So, now the ‘new’ Shimano, with a spool of 4lb BS lines sits on the Sealey rod – and the two other spools are loaded with 3lb and 6lb lines.

Anyway, the session …. arrived at the pool around 0930 … went to a peg I’d not fished before, and in fact on the far bank where I’d not fished before, at the windward end but I was sheltered from it to an extent by a tree.

I floatfished with a 3AAA crystal waggler with the bait just on the bottom of the approx 5’-6’ deep water originally starting with 2 maggots on a size 18 hook for the first hour and thereafter changed to worm on a size 10 for the rest of the day …. and tackled down at 1430 in order to be able to pick Liz up from work at 1600 and also grab a cuppa and a doughnut whilst I waited for her to finish. Of the interim period of 1000 when I made my first cast and my finish at 1430 there’s not much to tell … the float floated and bobbed on the waves, some members walked their dogs past while they surveyed the pool and 3 chaps were bush/tree pruning on the nearside bank… Not a sign of any fishy interest in my baits at all.

Next session, looking at the forecast ahead it seems the rain is returning over the whole of next week although maybe not as much as recently but Monday 16th March its saying dry and sunny and warm(ish) and so plans are to fish with Liz then….


On Sunday 1st March Liz and I had a good day out at ‘The Big One’ angling show held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. A good day out – plenty of new tackle on show. And Liz and I did our share of buying probably spending around £150 in all J. Jeremy Wade of TV’s ‘River Monsters’, ‘Dark Water’s, etc was there and I bought a signed copy of his book ‘River Monsters’ and, in fact, last year at that show I bought his ‘How To Think Like A Fish’ book which is an excellent read. Also had my photo taken with ‘the man’ 🙂

Me and new BFF, Jeremy Wade, LOL!


When keeping count/tabs/detail of what I catch when I catch it I find it time consuming to write down every individual capture as it happens or lose count or fail to be able remember weights when I try to memorise in half hour batches or so… And using the sound.voice recording function of a phone has the same problems. So I’ve created an Excel file that I print out that just requires me to ‘tick a box per species’ for smaller fish or to scribble a weight (eg 2-04) for worthier captures…. Although it wasn’t needed this last session! 🙂

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My Capture Sheet


AIR:                   MIN: 4.8’C         MAX: 14.6’C
WATER:            MIN: 4.8’C         MAX: 5.4’C


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