Monday, May 18th, saw yours truly set off at 0445 on his first post-lockdown fishing session at a local club pool (AA-BP). However, as usual for me, it started off a bit on the wrong foot – not drastic more of an annoyance – with the road that forms a large part of my trip closed except for ‘access to frontages’ – probably about 2 miles long – which meant I had to follow a diversion which was a much longer route, probably 6-7 miles extra. Anyway, all was quiet on the roads and I probably arrived pool side at around 0530 without further incident.
I was the first person there – not unexpected as I rarely see anyone on any water before 1000 but later (ca 1100) another couple did arrive – and so I could get the swim I wanted without any social distancing problems. One of my two preferred swims on this water it is opposite the open end of a small island about 20-25 feet away, my other swim being diagonally opposite on the other end/other side of the pool into open water (and on my next visit to this water I will give that swim a go I’m thinking, not fished it for quite a time).
So, as per usual, I initially mix up my feed for the day and put out several small balls just off the island’s overhanging vegetation and then set up my ‘station’ (chair, mats, landing net, etc) before setting up my rod.
I took two float rods with me (plus a light ledger rod, a general purpose heavy spinning rod – which is used for casting out spombs and echo sounders, etc – and my ‘floater rod’ for fishing floaters for carp but none of these were to be used on this day). I selected the float rod with the 6lb line (the other has 4lb) as to the sides of my swim the lily pads were making an appearance and are the first point of call usually for any hooked tench and so you need to hold them away… and my hook was a size 12 Kamasan Animal, barbless. All fished ‘lift method’ under a 5AAA driftbeater float.
Baits – I always carry a good selection with worms, maggots, sweetcorn, meat and bread being my main staples and supplemented at various times with pastes, boilies, pellets (which I feed but never seem to place on the hook). Also I carry various dips/glugs – of which chopped worm and predator plus are my most used – and various colours of food dyes for the groundbait- and yellow was the colour of the day. However, my maggots weren’t the best – I had a bag of dead maggots for the feed but my hook maggots weren’t much better except that they looked fresher! They had been in statis in a plastic bag with the air squeezed out in the fridge since March 25 and despite being opened to the air in a large bowl they never really recovered – of about 2 pints only about 20 or so individuals showed the merest hints of life.
So, first cast was made at around 0615 with worm as bait (and worm was used all day, usually tipped with a couple of maggots to prevent the worm wriggling free… and it wasn’t too long (0645) before the float went zooming away and my first fish of 2020 hit the landing net … a beautiful tench of, as weighed at that time, 1.55Kg which I reckoned was about 3lb 8oz in proper money. Somehow my Rapala scales had changed from its usual ‘lb-oz’ setting to ‘Kg’ and although I tried to switch mode I couldn’t find the method out quickly enough. However, I do have a scan of its instruction sheet (as I do for a lot of the stuff I carry – bite alarms, walkie talkie, etc) stored on my phone and once the fish had been returned and things were less hectic I looked them up and corrected the errant settings. And once home a Kg->lb/oz converter on the ‘net assured me that 1.55Kg = 3lb 7oz 🙂
So I was elated by this capture as you can imagine!
Anyway, the day wore on – and a fair few carp were cruising the surface – and at 0730 another take… this time a mirror carp of 3lb 13oz (scales rectified! LOL) was landed…
… and between 0830 and 1030 another three fish were brought ‘to justice’…. another mirror carp (3lb 5oz), a tench of 1lb 7oz, and a bream of 3lb 5oz…
And all was quiet then until 1100 when Liz rang me on the mobile …. answered just as the float sailed away again, struck probably a bit too hard and snapped off…. and after that I suffered the usual ‘1100-1300 lull’ when it seems for neither love nor money can a take be attracted. OK, I call it generically a ‘1100-1300’ lull but it is a 2 hour lull around midday that seems to occur between the hours of 1000 and 1400 – and seems to happen everywhere and when fishing any method it seems to me.
Anyway, around 1330 was the next take, something that although feeling lightweight shot away like a torpedo, leapt into the air (although some reeds obscured a clear view and so I couldn’t identify it), and shed the hook.
1415… and a 4lb 5oz bream succumbs to my charms…
1445 – another lost fish due to a hook slippage…
1515 – a lovely fully scaled mirror carp of 3lb 15oz
And that was the end of day for me as I packed up at 1530 as I needed to visit Sainsbury’s in Wolves City Centre for diesel for the motor on the way home….
I’m planning a trip to another club’s pool (SAC-DP) on Thursday – so as that’s tomorrow as I writing this most of the rest of my day today will be prepping tackle, bait and sustenance. Yesterday I managed to get fresh maggots fairly locally – my usual source is always closed on Tuesdays anyway and not sure if they are dealing yet in any way or form and another source that was suggested to me I rang to check but was having had no maggots in until Thursday. Anyway, I got 4 pints which should cover my trip tomorrow and a trip on Monday with Liz although venue yet undecided.
So, its a good morning from me, catch up with you again soon!!