Session 9 (2021) – A Nice Day Despite a Good Fish Lost!

Monday, 29th March, Liz and I set off at the usual time to the mixed fishery club pool (AA-B) that we had visited the previous Monday.

Weather was forecast good with a southwesterly breeze but as it was a strong breeze (13-15mph) we decided to fish with our backs to it rather than face into it as is the usual wisdom of such things, just to make the fishing a little easier. However, the swims we fished were almost directly opposite those of the previous week where we had had a very good day’s fishing and the pool is long and narrow.

I fished lift method all day, as did Liz also apart from a short spell with a maggot feeder, both fishing 6lb line to size 16 hooks baited with maggot and using 7BB wind/driftbeater floats.

My swim was baited up pre-tackling up with red cereal feed laced with maggot, hemp/wheat/couscous and sweetcorn.

Over the day I loose fed frequent but small amounts of extra maggots and the occasional small ball of groundbait.

The day started quietly with not much action, a few minor nudges of the float which were probably line bites as the float re-settled exactly as it was, ie the bottom shot not disturbed, after the 0915 first cast until 1255 when the float did a proper lift and sail away. A strike met a heavy weight which moved steadily but initially unstoppingly out on a righthand diagonal line from me … but once the fish had been brought to a halt I gained line on the fish which didn’t really put up much of a fight and so I suspect it was a good bream but I’ll never know as close to the bank the hook pulled free…. whereupon several words like ‘botheration!’ and ‘oh dear!’ formed in my mind although voiced differently albeit silently when they left my lips.

1335 – Liz had a barbel of around 6oz…    

1435 – I had a small mirror carp…

1535 – Liz has the best fish of the day, a tench of 3lb 3oz…

1555 – I had a tench of 2lb 11oz….

 

We both also had a couple of small roach/rudd over the day but I didn’t note the details of those.

1630 – packed in and headed home… thinking that in two weeks time we’ll probably be able to resume the usual homeward journey – via our local hostelry for a beverage, scratching and nuts 🙂

PLANS:

I had originally intended to re-visit the ‘new’ pool on Thursday 1st April but have decided due to the bottom weed found there I wanted to make some pop-up boilies and some stinky paste … but as I have/had jobs to do at home plus have the need to re-sort my rods and tackle time is a bit pressing and so I’ve decided to postpone that trip for a while – as after looking at next Monday’s forecast (6’C with sleet showers) I might have a day of rest that day! Anyway, that gives me a bit of extra time to prepare the desired baits for when I make that outing.

So, Thursday is now a trip to my most local of my available club pools (SAC-DP) and I’m intending to visit an area on there that I’ve not yet tried.

TEMPS:

WATER:            MIN:     9.5’C     MAX:  11.5’C

AIR:                   MIN:    14.4’C    MAX:  31.5’C!!!
          I think the thermo was out of the shade at some stage!!
          So using the Accuweather recorded 17’C for data purposes.

WATER TEMPS:

ScreenHunter 65

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

Session 8 (2021) – First Visit To A New Pool

Thursday 25th March at 0730 I left the house for my first fishing session at a club pool (AA-HP/I) that had been acquired early 2020 with proposed first access allowed on April 1st. However, due to the pandemic, exchange of contracts was delayed and access was not theoretically available until July 2020. It was November 2020 however before I personally visited but that trip was thwarted by a locked gate that didn’t respond to the club’s combination and I had to divert elsewhere. Pandemic restrictions returned in January 2021 which included the club closing all access to its waters altogether and so when I fished it was at other waters, etc and this was the status quo until 1st March 2021 when the club’s waters were again made available … so I re-visited the pool to attempt to fish again … and managed to do so.

The gate/padlock problem had been resolved – 1st March starts the new club season and the padlock codes get newly set for the year – plus this year the club replaced all the padlocks on the waters so the access problem was resolved.

I’ll start with the fishing report for the day (which won’t take long!) – and then go on to details of the water itself.

THE FISHING:

As it was a first visit to the water then there was no ‘special’ swim in mind – and it seems that the pool has not been fished by many people at all as there was very little sign of having been visited – and so to me the nearest swim to the car seemed as good a place as any to start especially as it was a corner swim and faced into the south-westerly breeze of the day too.

Initial casts out and around the swim with the Deeper QUiRK+ sonar indicated a slope down from the bank to flat bottom with a depth of 15’ max, mostly 13’-14’ – but with a lot of weed of 2’-3’ being detected. During fishing it seemed that there was mainly fine weed/algae with some sparser grass-like weed. It seemed strange with weed at that depth but as the water was extremely clear then probably due to that…

2021-03-25 Clear Water

Clear Water

I set up my pair of ledger rods with 8lb line and frame feeders – one rod with a size 4 hook baited with bread, the other a size 6 baited with worm – and made first casts at 0915.

With no takes by 1100 I added a prawn to the worm baited hook – perhaps the worm was crawling into the weed? I did think of injecting air into the worm’s head to raise it above the bottom but didn’t on this visit.. perhaps next time?

1245 – still nothing so I changed the bread bait in favour of a meat and red/yellow corn cocktail.

1430 – no takes at all – blank – tackle down and head for home.

THE POOL:

The water is an irrigation pool that can get abstracted in dry times to water the farm’s crops and is rectangular in shape and deep (up to 33’ deep) according to information on the board from its days as as day ticket fishery (ca 2005 until 2016 when its then owner passed away. 2016, the new owners decided to terminate its use as a fishery but either they have changed their minds or, as I think, new owners have taken over). In fact, the club originally obtained the rights on two pools on the site – this pool and another smaller carp pool a few yards away but the owners decided to keep the carp pool as a ‘wildlife’ pool, understandable as their house windows look out on to it. In lieu of the loss of the carp pool, it was arranged that some (about 20) pegs would be created for us on the fishable pool as the banks were steep with the top lying 5’-6’ feet above the water’s surface – and they have done so by digging out sizeable pitches that lie within 6”-12” of the water’s surface and these can be seen in the general photos and in more detail below….

However, it is possible the club may need to cut/make some steps down to some of the pitches to make them easier to get into and climb out of due to the slope of the enclosing banks especially with tackle… but the pitches are of good size and easily contained my bags, etc with room to move around ie once in the pitch then not many reasons that would mean you’d have to have to leave it.

Like another of the club’s pools (AA-KP) about ½ mile away this pool is quite open to the elements and thus could be a delight on a hot summer’s day with a light cooling breeze but a bit bleak in the colder winter climes.

As I don’t pole fish at all I’m not sure but to me it may not be a pole fisher’s delight due to the depth? But saying that there are rudd and it seems that some excellent rudd catches having been made there in the past.  

Species …

I know the club have recently stocked but what species are unknown to me but on the noticeboard there was a document dated 2005 describing the pool and the species and possible sizes to be expected back then…

2021-03-25 Info (dated 2005)

Info (Dated 2005)

So … some of those fish may have matured over the 15 years and exceed those weights now? As a lover of pike, and the pool does look ‘pikey’ with its surrounding margin grasses and reeds, I’m hoping that pike do exist in there too as despite the possible winter ‘bleakness’ I mentioned before it would be great for a short session, lightly loaded and roving around the pool with a floatfished/ledgered deadbait, fishing each swim for 15-45 minutes each before moving on to another – or possibly luring with a large plastic lure…. 🙂  

Depth …

2021-03-25 Water Depth Map

The noticeboard shows 33’ ‘max depth’ which would explain the 15’ determination at my swim with the QUiRK+ as at the pool’s near end the surrounding land is flat and level but as one ventures down to the far end of the pool the land falls away and the pool is dammed and hence it is more than likely the bottom of the pool would follow the contours of the surrounding land and thus the water would become deeper and a depth of 30+ feet would easily fit that scenario. Would the greater depth also mean the lesser weed on the bottom due to the reduced sunlight passing through? One thing to be determined in a future visit.

PLANS:

Monday 29th March. Probably accompanied by Liz, two venues are top of the list, both mixed fisheries and with bream and tench in mind.

TEMPS:

AIR:                  MIN:   11.5’C     MAX:  16.4’C
WATER:            MIN:     9.3’C     MAX:  10.7’C

WATER TEMPS:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

Session 7 (2021) – The Gods Welcome Liz Back To An Old Club … And Bless Me Too!

Monday 22nd March, 0730, Liz and myself headed back out to the pool I previously visited last week (AA-B) and notoriously got the car bogged down in mud when time came to leave. So, as a result of that occurrence plus the desire to fish what was a favourite area of ours on the pool but one which we’d not visited for a few years.

Liz had been a member of the club from 2011 to 2016 but 2016 we had an offer of a place at another club after having been 4 years on their waiting list. For me it was not a problem I simply retained my membership and joined the new club but for Liz, who works full time in the week, it just wasn’t cost effective being a member of two £100/annum clubs due to the limitations to her fishing time and so she dropped her membership to the club in favour of membership to the newer club.

However now, for me with my health issues, the new club’s waters weren’t good in terms of access and my needs and so we decided to give up our memberships there and Liz has now rejoined the original club this year, their waters being ideal in all ways for myself and Liz only ever fishes alongside me…

So, for Liz this was a return to ‘old’ waters – and it was her choice of venue … and it was a good one for us both!

The weather was also perfect on the day – warmer and with very little breeze, the water having a shimmer rather than a ripple. Previously this year the wind movements have been detrimental to fishing results, northerly, easterly or a combination of both and, as the old the old sayings go – ‘When the wind’s in the east, fish bite the least’ and ‘When the wind’s in the north, fishing’s not worth (it)’ – the latter is made up by me as I don’t know of an official couplet for the north wind scenario although it is well known that its not good for fishing. However, on this day the breeze was predominantly westerly with slightly fluctuations towards the south – and therefore the best directions one could wish for as ‘When the winds in the west, fish bite the best’ and ‘When the wind’s in the south, the bait’s blown into the mouth’… 🙂

Plus, the usual wisdom is to fish into the wind – the main reason being, I think, is that surface food stuffs get blown across and end up on that bank. Others might quote ‘thermoclines’ as a reason, a condition in which the wind drag across the water’s surface causes a tilt in the water layers such that the warm water is deeper at the bank facing the wind. However what is usually meant is a ‘tilted thermocline’, a ‘thermocline’ being a band of water whereby the temperature drops quickly from top to bottom throughout that bands. However, in waters of lesser depth than 30’-40’ the water is generally all mixed by natural occurring currents and so the water is virtually a constant temp throughout the whole of its depth and only in the deeper waters of 20’+ is there any likelihood of a thermocline at all, much less a tilted one. Anyway, we were on the east bank with the west wind in our faces 🙂

All looking good – and not even unloaded the gear from the barrow yet!!!

2021-03-22 01

So, swims chosen, we tackled up… myself choosing to floatfish by the lift method with maggot, and Liz with a maggot feeder although about an hour so later she switched to the float rod and lift method float with maggot too.

2021-03-22 Liz 01

We made our first casts at 0850 … and at 0855 I had my first take which I lost unfortunately, the hook slipping within a few seconds but only felt like a  small silver.

First fish landed – by me, a roach of around 3oz, was at 0920

Next fish was better – and, in fact, was a PERSONAL BEST!!! 🙂 A tench of 5lb 2oz!

2021-03-22 Steve - Tench 5lb 2oz (PB) 01

Steve – Tench 5lb 2oz (A New Personal Best)

It was at around 1030, that Liz having been biteless, decided to switch to her float rod..

..and 1100 she was in action landing a 2lb 5oz tench…

2021-03-22 Liz - Tench 2lb 5oz 02

Liz – Tench 2lb 5oz

1115 …. Liz another tench … 3lb 10oz

2021-03-22 Liz - Tench 3lb 10z 01

Liz – Tench 3lb 10oz

1120, Liz was again in action … 3lb 7oz bream – PERSONAL BEST beating her 2lb best of 2011!

2021-03-22 Liz - Bream 3lb 7oz (PB) 03

Liz – 3lb 7oz Bream (A New Personal Best)

1215 – Steve, 6oz Bream

1220 – Liz, 8oz Barbel

1230 – Steve, 3lb 8oz Tench

2021-03-22 Steve - Tench 3lb 8oz 03

Steve – Tench 3lb 8oz

1235 – Steve, 3lb 15oz Tench

2021-03-22 Steve - Tench 3lb 15oz 03

Steve – Tench 3lb 15oz

1250 – Steve, 3lb 12oz Tench

2021-03-22 Steve - Tench 3lb 12oz

Steve – Tench 3lb 12oz

1255 – Steve 3lb 4oz Tench 

2021-03-22 Steve - Tench 3lb 4oz 02

Steve – Tench 3lb 4oz

After that it went quiet with only one more fish being landed (a small roach at 1355) by me until we departed for home, a shower and a visit to the chippie for our evening meal! BUT there one strange thing before we left the poolside…

We arrived back at the car to load up and as doing so Liz said ‘Is that a bird tail sticking up on the opposite side of the car?’ ,,, I looked round and there was a small blue tit looking as if it was trying to gain access to the car … it was flying between front and rear side windows, landing on the frame/glass and trying to peck through … and was doing this all the time we were actually loading up the the car quite unperturbed by our movements and noise for a good five minutes or more until we actually drove away. Maybe it could see its own reflections in the glass and either trying to get to the ‘phantom’ to either court or deter?

NOW ADDED – “BLUE TIT: THE VIDEO”  – AT BLUE TIT: THE VIDEO

PLANS:

For me, a trip on Thursday 25th to a club pool I’ve not fished yet. It’s a pool the club acquired at the start of the 2020 season and we were actually supposed to be able to fish it/them from that April… the date of access got delayed due to Covid, mainly down due to the exchanging of contracts, and so we eventually got the go ahead to able to fish from 1st July. Actually there were two pools involved but then the owner decided to keep one of the pools (the carp pool) as a wildlife pool with no fishing … but has agreed to install 20 fishing platforms on the pool that we can fish – used as an irrigation pool it’s 35’-40’ deep with the water right at your feet at 18’-20’ and 6’ down from bank level! However, I was not able to visit until November and when I did so I was unable to gain access through the padlocked gate – the lock was broken or the combination didn’t respond to the club’s code. I know a few have fished to now inaccessible carp pool but I’ve  heard of one angler having actually fished this pool though since we’ve had it and he lure fished without success. Some peoplke I’ve spoken to about it have said ‘too deep for their style of fishing’ others that they’re afraid of falling in as they can’t swim…’, Anyway… the club changed the locks to the new season’s code on 1st March and also put new locks on all the venues so fingers crossed I can access – can climb gate OK but with a barrow load of gear is another matter. I hear from the days when it was a day ticket water (closed to all fishing from 2013 up to our taking it on) that it produced slabs of bream, big perch and carp up to 30lb … so I’ve my fingers crossed for Thursday to go in similar vein to this last session!

TEMPS:

AIR:                  MIN:    9.1’C      MAX:  12.0’C
WATER:            MIN:    8.0’C      MAX:  10.4’C

WATER TEMPS:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

Session 5 (2021) – The Loneliness Of A Well Baited Hook (Or Two) By ‘Ole Stick In The Mud’ – Incorporating ‘Its Cobs To Matty!’

Thursday 18th March, 0730, on was on the road to a club mixed fishery (AA-B) arriving around 0800 and was parked up and first cast was made at 0830 in Peg 5.

A cool misty morning, I was well glad I’d put my thermals on! The small tree adjacent to my chosen swim was dripping water and it looked like a drop of heavy was in progress but there no such thing, purely condensate falling… and it continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon albeit slackening in slightly in quantity.

Before tackling up my ‘just under 13’ Hardy Matchmaker clone’ for fishing lift method style I catapulted out a few small pouches of half-dead maggots – they were quite old really, and although they were all of the same batch, some were comatose, some lethargic and some almost lively – but whatever, with the temperature of the water as it was, they weren’t going to be performing in the ‘maggot olympics’ once they hit the water. Also a few micro-pellets, small cooked prawns, a few small cubes of meat and some sweetcorn were added – but not a lot, all of those additions together would probably make up 3-4 small pouches in total.

Tackle, as I said, utilised my float rod, coupled with 6lb line straight through to a size 16 hook baited with maggot. The float was a crystal waggler (no insert version) overshotted by about 1AAA (a SSG shot at the bottom 6” above the hook, a AAA shot at 18” from the SSG cocked the float so its tip was just proud of the water – and another AAA shot was added alongside the first to add the required ‘excess’ weight) and this was fished about 10” overdepth in the 4’6” of water in front of me.

0830 first cast was made ….. and catapulted maggots (ca 12 each time) were fed at around 5 minute intervals..

0930, not a single indication. So I decided to put out a ‘sleeper’ ledger rod… so the 11’ Grandeslam ‘Des Taylor Avon System’ was set up with its standard tip (also comes with a quivertip top) – again 6lb line, 1/4oz bomb, size 12 hook, was cast out to my right with 2 small cooked prawns as bait and a few prawns fed over it.

Now we come to Matty Territory – and as the famous saying went – ‘All done in the best possible taste!’

BITES OF THE DAY…

All Sainsbury’s Crusty and no paper bags were harmed in the process…

LOL!!!

Unfortunately, those WERE the only bites of the day as by 1430 when I tackled down the float had not even wiggled nor the buzzer beeped….

But more excitement lay ahead before I got home…

The area around this pool can get very boggy – and the club had issued a warning about it recently. However, area I wanted to fish was only just beyond the hardcore near end car park and that bit looked fine to me. Also it is a sheltered area in the bushes which would have been handy for ‘my needs’ if I had wanted them. Anyway, I gained access easily enough, no slippage on access and taking it easy…

Home time comes and, the car loaded up, I start to reverse out intending to do a sharp turn as I reach the main path to keep to the firm ground. However, as I come to do the full lock to make the turn I realise I’m too far over and a tree prevents the front end from making the manoeuvre – ok, so I intend to go forward and make a better angle to get on to the path …. however, I’d gone too far back, too straight and the rear wheels had dipped into an old tyre rut on the far side of the main path and consequently the front driving wheels started to spin when I tried to get out of it… so for the best part of the next hour myself and 2 other anglers tried all sort of tricks to get the car free … and after trying old carpet panels, tree branches, etc, etc I deflated the front tyres (to about 12 psi) and finally with a bit of ‘jerky rocking’ by on the clutch and accelerator the tyres eventually found some grip on firm land and I managed to escape from the grips of the rut. However, at that point I was now back to where I’d originally parked and thus needed to make the reverse turn on to the main path … and this time I actually managed to do the reversing as I’d desired to do it originally and got out on the main track facing the way I wanted to!

So, nice and steady up the track, keeping grip with the tyres on the firmer parts up to the exit gate and away.

Just had one job to do then – to get the front tyres re-inflated for which I had to drive back to the city centre Sainsbury’s, about 10 miles. Got there – that’s how I know the tyres were at 12psi – got inflated back to their required 35psi and then got back home without further incident where baits were fridged/freezered before a nice hot coffee and shower J

PLANS:

Currently the plans are that Liz and I will be having an outing at this same pool on Monday 22nd – parking in a safer place and with the bread crate panels along for the ride as surety.

Thursday, 25th, a solo outing for me to the pool that the club acquired access to last year but which I’ve not yet fished although I did make a trip to in November 2020 but I couldn’t get access through the gate for the car and ended up just climbing over and having a look at it before heading off to another pool just up the road.

TEMPS:

AIR:                  MIN:    7.6’C      MAX:  11.2’C
WATER:            MIN:    6.6’C      MAX:    7.0’C

WATER TEMPS:

water

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

Session 4 (2021) – Chillin’ At The Water’s Edge…

Monday 15th March saw me head off on a solo session to one of my local club waters (SAC-DP) leaving the house at around 0730 and arriving at the car park around 0745.

The day was a generally a mixture of white cloudy overcast and blue sunny skies but with a very cooling breeze evident throughout.

WhatsApp Image 2021-03-15 at 09.32.54

Choice of peg for the day was peg 48 – a venture out into the unknown to me as I usually fish over on the extreme left of the photo (peg 27). The only other peg I’ve ever fished is the one where the angler on the far bank is located or possibly one along further to the right. The peg was chosen for the day on advice that the 40’s pegs were generally the best … and the actual peg on the basis that it offered space to store my barrow, holdalls and bags when I had removed the required items from them as the bank along that area was quite tight – a narrow path with a steep bank on the far side of it and the fishing side is a step down on to scaffold and plastic plank platforms. However, this peg did have a bit of grass space to the side of the platform for the storage.

Tactic for the day – 2 x 1.75lb TC rods, 7g sliding leads on 6” links, 8lb line virtually straight through (as usual I had hooklengths of same BS) and hooks of size 8 (worm) and size 6 (bread). I *HAD* intended to use frame feeders BUT discovered that when I’d swapped tackle back from my last session (piking) I’d not replaced my bag of feeders! So… feeding the swim was via a catapult.

I was all set up and made first casts at around 0840 … had my breakfast cob of marmalade at 1030 and my lunch cob of ham and mayonnaise at 1315…. and packed up at 1430. Yep, think that was the full report of all the day’s action – apart from the occasional pouring of a cup of coffee from the flask and a choccie bar!!

Oh… and I discovered something whilst sorting out my gear the previous day … I seem to have lost my fishing chair! I think when I last fished – on the 1st March. I have a vague recollection that I’d propped it up against a fence whilst I put everything else in the motor and then seemingly missed it out. Not easy – quite a big chair – high backed with adjustable recline – but it seems I’ve managed it. I contacted the club secretary to see if anyone had reported it found but nothing had. I’ve now posted on the club’s Facebook page and on the club’s forum pages – and asked the admin of the club’s main web site if he could post something on there for me. But doubtful after this period of time so I’ve ordered a new seat anyway – a JRC Cocoon 2G recliner from FishDeal.

PLANS:

Thursday 18th March I’m hoping to head to the tench, barbel and bream pool….

TEMPS:

AIR:                  MIN:    9.0’C      MAX:  21.5’C
WATER:            MIN:    6.7’C      MAX:    7.1’C

WATER TEMPS:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

Session 3 (2021) – Waters Re-open And A Pike Session…

Monday 1st March saw me set off from home at 0700 for a pike fishing session at a local club pool (Pike Water 24).

A special occasion really as the club had closed all its waters to angling from the start of Lockdown 3 (January 7th?) and today was the first day of access being allowed again to all its waters.

The morning was cold with a slight breeze meaning that I needed to spray defroster on the car windows and switch on the windscreen and rear window heaters before I could drive away from home… BTW the window heating on the new wagon is far superior to that of the old vehicle, took all of approx 2 minutes to clear!

[Old vehicle is no longer owned by me actually any more – on Wednesday last week I arranged the sale to a salvage yard and they came and took it away on a low loader – and tomorrow I’ll be dropping the cheque into my bank :)]

I arrived on the pool’s car park around 0720 with one car entering just in front of me … however, as that driver decided not to battle the pools of water up to the pool end of the parking area – the venue is a stables and the path is used by tractors to take the old hay/bedding up to a disposal area and consequently the path is full of holes and is mostly churned up mud although the club has, and does often, lay hard core on it – he parked quite a way short whereas I battled the path and parked as close to the water as possible. TBH you don’t gain a lot parking away from the pool as you still have to barrow/carry your tackle through that assault course anyway. So, tomorrows job now – give the car a Karcher’ing – although it is actually quite clean considering… but its a job that’s been intended to be done for a while now anyway 🙂

I started out by setting up my light float rod to fish for livebaits and intended to fish that way until 1030 or until I’d got enough bait accumulated… However, that time was eroded appreciably by repeatedly having to sort out tangles and resolve knots in the line … and when I did get the line actually fishing I had not one bite at all…

1030 – float rod away and one pike rod was set up for floatfished deadbait using a sardine…

At this time air temps seemed to be on a rise and I watched the thermometer rise by about 0.1’C per minute real time from around 5.5’C to 6.7’C as I watched but going by the end of day ‘MAX’ reading it seems to have got to over 8’C! …. but then it seemed to just as quickly, if not quicker drop again, down to below 4’C! It seemed like a random bubble of warm air passed had through….

1200 – still not having had one sign of action despite trying depth and location changes and with the temps still dropping I decided to call it a day and head home….

PLANS:

Undecided – but unlikely to go again this week – a bit cold!! LOL
So next Monday (8th) is most likely to be the next day’s outing. Temps forecast to be 9’C and might even talk Liz into an outing 🙂

TEMPS:
AIR:                  MIN:    2.0’C      MAX:   8.3’C
WATER:           MIN:    6.5’C      MAX:   6.7’C

WATER TEMPS:

ScreenHunter 48

AIR TEMPS:

ScreenHunter 51