Session 15 – Quiet, Too Quiet – Are The Fish Getting Ready To Spawn?

Thursday 26th April, I set off for a club pool (AA-GH) where carp are the predominant species although there are roach and rudd with the roach going over 2lb – but the only interest I have in those are as pike bait – bream and lately perch have been showing up in numbers despite over the previous 9 years of fishing the pool the only perch I’d seen was a minnow sized one that got trapped in my landing net when I pulled it from the water after a session there about a year ago. Also holds good pike – in fact a 30lb+ pike that had been caught a number of times over the years (not by me) was found dead in the margins a few years back and was weighed at that time at 38lb! The pool also has lots of other pike in the mid-teens plus several in the twenties … that’s not bad for a pool of around 2 acres is it? 🙂

I arrived at the pool around 0700, baited up with the usual cereal/particle mix/dead maggot, and after tackling up the float rod – 6lb line, size 12 hook baited with a bunch of 5-6 maggots, 4AAA windbeater float overshotted and set overdepth to fish lift method – I made the first cast of the day at 0740.

All was quiet the first couple of hours and then I had a couple of takes in the space of 10 minutes at around 0930. The first take was missed but the second was hooked and eventually a 6lb 20z common carp was landed.

2021-04-26 Steve - 6lb 2oz Common Carp 01

6lb 2oz Common Carp

And then …. up to 1530 when I packed up for the day … I had not another touch despite changing baits to worm, bread, paste and back to maggot.

A few carp were cruising around but didn’t seem interested in any floaties I flicked out…

Is the warming water causing the fish to congregate for spawning? I know it’s still too warm for carp to spawn but the other species spawn earlier? And possibly the upward water temperatures are causing to their shoaling together? From observations none of the other anglers in view were catching much … one chap directly opposite to me had a couple of small silvers that I saw but nothing else.

PLANS:

It will probably Monday 3rd May before I head out again. Stomach a bit off today so a trip out to the banks tomorrow is not likely – and not even started sorting tackle and baits that I would need anyway. Depending how I feel I might take some rubbish to the local tip … and need to visit optician for new ear pieces for my hearing aids, get maggots for Monday, etc … and at 1715 I’ve an appointment at the docs for my second Covid vaccination  

TEMPS:

AIR:                   MIN:   3.8’C      MAX: 20.4’C
WATER:            MIN:  12.2’C     MAX: 14.7’C

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Session 14 – Two For Two…

Thursday 22nd April, I set off for a club pool (AA-H/IP) that I’ve only visited once before.

When I went out to the car at 0530 to load the items needed for the day there was a windscreen frost but by 0715 when I actually left the house to head off that had totally disappeared and the car’s external thermometer registered 3’C – but the direct radiated heat of the full sun made it feel much much warmer than that – in fact I suffered a bit later in the day as I’d put on my full thermals as the previous day had been quite a bit cooler.

So, on arrival I elected to fish a different swim to my previous visit moving 5 swims further along the pool.

I did the usual pre-baiting with balls of cereal groundbait plus particles before setting up my area and tackling up my rods … 2 rods, 8lb line, frame feeders loaded with the groundbait/particle mix and size 4 and 6 hooks.

First casts were made at 0845 with a large breadflake bait on one rod, pop-up butterscotch boilie on the other to try to lift baits over the potentially weedy bottom – but this swim seemed less weedy than the previous one although baits were lost on retrieval possibly by being ‘brushed’ off? The few bits of weed that were brought in on the hooks tended more towards sedge grasses…

Whilst awaiting first takes I decided to get the Deeper CHiRP out to do a sonar scan … which didn’t start well as first cast the CHiRP caught on some long vegetation behind me on the back cast and it sailed out onto the water unattached from the line! Luckily, the wind was in the right direction and 10 minutes later it had drifted back almost to my feet – 3’ to my left on the edge of the marginal sedges but was close enough to easily net :). Reconnected, and with the rear vegetation in mind, I then made several other cast around … and discovered a some useful info.

A video of my scans can be seen on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/YvrLwaJeIzU

As you’ll see there is no lack of fish in there! And although I knew the pool was deep there are areas far deeper than I expected – over 70’ deep in areas it seems!!

Anyway, I fished until around 1430 – and Liz says you can tell I caught the sun! – but despite changing baits from bread/pop-up to prawn/chilli sausage at 1130 and fishing out at distance and alongside the marginal sedges I had not one beep from the alarms all session. Hence the title – two trips, two blanks.

There were quite a few ‘sprat’ dimples around and at around 1330 a good sized carp (getting on for a double) cruised past my feet but wasn’t interested in the few bits of bread and boilies I fed in the area.

There was a match planned for the pool early July but I note that the fixture has now been switched to another pool. A shame really as I’d have liked to have seen how the match boys got on there and what they’d have caught. I suspect they’d have done well on the poles especially as back in the days being a day ticket venue good bags of rudd were being caught. I think the ‘rumours’ of being a deep pool have maybe put people off? I was told by one angler he’d not go there as it was too deep and he couldn’t swim BUT in fact the depth at 10m or so from the bank is less than than one of our well visited pools – the one to where that match fixture has been switched to actually. Rumours, eh!! Bet it won’t be long before old Nessie will have been spotted on holiday!! LOL!  

Anyway, I quite like the pool – quite scenic, definitely peaceful and serene – and a pool which needs to be investigated more and ’cracked’. Looking forward to a return in the near future!

PLANS:

Monday, 26th April … plan as it was announced in last posting has been revised and now intending to visit another club pool (AA-GH). Primary species in the pool are carp but also contains bream – and reputedly tench albeit I’ve never seen or heard of any being caught there in my 10 years of membership BUT until a couple of years ago I’d have said the same of perch, having never seen not heard of any being caught there, until on pulling my landing net from the water at the end of a session I found a minnow sized one in there! And then in October/November last year, whilst trying to catch some livebait, I was catching a fair few of them. So I’ll be hoping for bream and perch, with the hope of a tench, and undoubtedly a few carp.

TEMPS:

AIR:                  MIN:   9.6’C      MAX: 28.0’C (in direct sunlight)
WATER:            MIN:  12.1’C     MAX: 13.9’C

WATER TEMPS:

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Session 13 – Tench, Barbel And Titanic Plum Porter…

Monday 19th Liz and I set off at the usual time for one of my club’s tench and bream waters (AA-B). A beautiful morning was evidenced by another angler in the inn the process of unlocking the padlocked gate in front of us on arrival around 0800! Usually there’s a good hour between our arrival and that of the next – if there is indeed a next… However, aforesaid gentleman did actually set himself up on the carp pool that is situated only 10 yards from our tench/bream pool and so we had a full choice of the 26 pegs that our pool holds – but we headed to the usual two pegs we’ve been fishing the past few visits. It seemed that the carp weren’t co-operating though as later he came on to the T&B pool – and had one tench that we saw.

Mid- afternoon another chap arrived and set up on the carp pool and just before we packed in  another 2 anglers set up on our pool … and the club president arrived just after them and set up on the carp pool.

On Sunday I know one chap had 11 carp up to 11lb 5oz from the carp pool … but that pool has not really grabbed me. Notr a fan of carp, I’ve only fished it properly once and that was 10 years when I first joined the club and thought, mistakenly, that the T&B pool was closed for a work party day the following day. The only other times I’ve fished it are for an hour or so following a day on the T&B before heading home for the day – and then I was trying to entice the pool’s other official species, the chub. However, its been a long time since I’ve heard of a chub being caught in there but then again I don’t suppose the ‘carpers’ would deem them worthy – and too many carp to make chub fishing worthwhile. There are small roach/rudd, tiny bream and perch in there too but they are illegal immigrants which, I think, have passed through the grid over the connecting pipeline between the pools as fry.

The T&B pool is fed water via a pipe from a small passing brook at one end … at the other end a pipe, with grid to try to prevent exchange of fish twixt the pools, overflows into the carp pool and thus keeps that topped up … and, at the opposite side of the carp pool to the incoming pipe, the water overflows back into the brook. All very eco!! LOL

So, on to the day itself…

I decided initially to fish on-the-drop as I’d indicated I would in the ‘PLANS’ section of my previous posting – but as I anticipated that didn’t last long… 0915 I made my first cast on-the-drop and 0945 I changed to over my usual lift-method style. I didn’t seem to be having any attention whatsoever during the ‘drop’ period and all indications of interest were after the bait had been settled for several minutes… Liz started off using the  lift-method.

Anyway, our swims were fed with a few small balls of cereal groundbait laced with hemp, turmeric rice, red/yellow maize, dead maggots and micropellets previous to tackling up – and additions of the same and catapulted dead maggots were made throughout the session.. and initially we both fished with maggot on size 16 hooks to 6lb main line.

As I took my rod out of my quiver the butt ring accidentally (well, wouldn’t do it on purpose!) looped itself over the stub of a trimmed off twig on the tree I’d leant my quiver against – and the ring’s lining came adrift. A bit of a sinking stomach time when I saw the damage … but I did manage to press the lining back into the ring firmly enough for it to hold out the day and this morning I’ve managed to glue it firmly back into place 🙂

At 0950 I had my first proper bite of the day and landed a tench of 4lb exactly… followed by Liz landing another tench, this time of 3lb 8oz…

A quiet spell then ensued and I decided to ring some slight changes and changed my hook to a size 12 baited with worm which didn’t even seem to attract any attention whatsoever … and the worm was switched to bread flake with the idea that it would ‘sit up and waft’ to attract attention … which it seemed to although waryingly (another late addition to the OED and now added to my local ‘Word’ dictionary LOL).

Around 1345 I did have a good take and struck into thin air … literally! In fact, as my float was lying flat on the water my first thought was that I’d left my reel’s bale arm open … but I hadn’t … and, in fact, on retrieval of the line it had snapped between the stop knots for some strange reason … as I say I never felt a milligram of resistance on the strike. Can only put it down to a line fault really, I did think that it could possibly have happened due to the broken butt ring but due to the location that would have been impossible.

[I always put two stop knots on my line with a sliding float – the usual one above the float that sets the depth to fish at plus another between the top shot and the float which allows a space between the float and the shot when casting, just seems to me to prevent line wrapping back on the cast. Actually, I often put 3 stop knots on … and place two above the float, the lower one of which is used to set the float’s fishing depth and the other is used as a marker to set the max depth I’d need/want, the actual ‘working’ knot can then be slid down to shallower depth for a while if searching a shallower area in your swim but is able to be quickly returned to the full depth by just sliding back up to the ‘reference’.]

So, I re-tackled – using an identical float as the original was last seen drifting down the pool, and although a few times it seemed to start to deviate towards one of the side banks, when checked again it had returned to its central line … so presume it ended somewhere in the overhanging branches of the bushes on the facing side of the pool’s island. However, I had nothing beyond that point bar small floats nudges that seemed more line wafts from tail fins…

However, Liz was able to win the ‘most fish’ and ‘most species awards’ of the day when, at 1515, she caught a barbel of around 8oz – but I retained the awards for ‘first fish’ and ‘biggest fish’ 😀

1530 was time to pack in and head for celebration beers at the local – and one of my favourite beers (Titanic Plum Porter) was on tap but alas there were no scratchings to be had … albeit the cheese and onion cobs that were available did hit the right spot!

PLANS:

Thursday, 22nd April I’ve planned a second trip to the ‘deep’ pool (AA-H/IP). I’ve some special baits ready to try along with the usual and I’m intending to fish further along the pool into deeper water than I did on the first visit.

Monday, 26th April I’m intending to return to the tench and bream pool (AA-B) but to another favourite swim. Liz has indicated she won’t be fishing as she wants to catch up on jobs.

TEMPS:

AIR:                   MIN: 13.1’C     MAX: 27.2’C (in direct sunlight)
WATER:             MIN:  8.0’C      MAX: 10.4’C

WATER TEMPS:

ScreenHunter 74

AIR TEMPS:
ScreenHunter 75

Session 12 – Sacrifices To The Angling Gods Given Out In Vain…

Thursday 15th April at 0715 I set out for a solo session on a local club pool (SAC-DP).

A bit cool to start, the day warmed up nicely with a very light southerly breeze and blue skies punctuated with white fluffy clouds…

I arrived on the main car park around 0740 to find one other car there plus I could see a further car in the process of being unloaded in the small car park at the southern end … so I unloaded and headed with the barrow to my intended swim for the day and, as expected, the swim was free.

The plan was to floatfish – laying on per usual – next to the overhanging bush to my left (3rd picture) initially for a couple of hours and then to switch to the 2 ledger rods with frame feeders if necessary/desireable.

So, first cast was made at 0815 – double maggot on a size 16 hook, 6lb line, wind/driftbeater float. Catapulted comatose and stirring maggots were used as free feed… and I fished like this until 1000 having a few float nudges and a few lifts but couldn’t connect with anything.

1000, a switch over to the two feeder rods – 8lb line with size 4/6 hooks, cereal/particle feeder filling. Bait was bread and slices of Ye Olde Oak chilli sausage. The chili sausage is a bait that several years ago was a regular go-to bait of mine and would often catch when no other would. However, it seems to have been forgotten over the passage of time. Anyway, last week I had cause to have a look in the greenhouse for something and spotted my crate of tinned baits that are kept in there these days as an overflow from the garage and bait fridge and among the tins were a couple of cans of chilli sausage.

 (Note to self: need to sort baits out!! I don’t use pellets or boilies but have shelves full of the things! Mainly due to when Liz and I go to ‘The Big One’ show when we get drawn into the deals and buy multi-packs plus one of my clubs used to – pre-Covid – arrange social nights with well known anglers giving talks and part of each night included a raffle with prizes of equipment and baits often donated by a local angling manufacturer/supplier and I’d often win 2 or 3 prizes each time generally one of which would be bait based -= groundbait, pellets and/or boilies).  

Anyway, neither bread nor sausage seemed to the taste of the fishes on the day and when I packed up at 1430 I had not had a single beep on either buzzer.

However, I think it was a day when the fishes weren’t interested generally … being quite a nice sunny day quite a few others turned up to fish over the course of my session and it appeared from what I heard from passers by and by observation of the anglers on the far bank who seemed to be catching, mainly on the pole, but nothing of size – seemed to be from minnow to sardine size fish.

PLANS:

Monday, 19th April, off with Liz back to the bream and tench pool…

TEMPS:

WATER:        MIN:          9.1’C     MAX: 10.9’C
AIR:              MIN:        11.3’C     MAX: 17.5’C

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Session 11 – Are You Sitting Comfortably? Yes, I Am! So I’ll Cast In Then…

Monday 12th was going to be a great day whatever the result!! After all the pubs were re-opening for post-session ales – and scratchings, nuts, crisps, Scampi Fries, etc – in order to celebrate or commiserate the day’s events…. 🙂

Plus …. I’d retrieved my lost fishing chair … and had also received the replacement of the replacement for one which had ordered from Fishdeal but which was lost en-route by the combined Netherlands Mail/Hermes couriage system – is “couriage” actually a word? My spellchecker thinks not, maybe ‘courierage’ but doesn’t like that either it seems?!. Anyway, I’ve plenty of seats now that are far more comfortable than the camping/director’s type chair I’d been forced to use in the meantime that with the lack of mud feet and adjustable legs was a bit of a pain you know where!! LOL.

So, 0730 start again to beat the ‘rush hour’ traffic – which I’ve noticed over the past few weeks increasing and so it seems people have started creeping back to their places of employment – Liz and set off for a club’s mixed fishery (AA-B) albeit that we weren’t expecting a red latter day there. The pool is relatively shallow with a general depth of  about 4’ 6” all over as far as I can determine in 10 years of fishing there and doesn’t respond well to cold weather in general. The previous day started off grey with sleet and snow at 0830 and I said to Liz that it looked like we’d abandon the planned trip. However, if I’d stayed in bed another hour I’d have not known about the snow/sleet that as by 0930 the sun had burst out in blue skies albeit it was still on the chilly. So with it looking a bit brighter we changed our minds and ventured out.

Initially, the weather wasn’t bad at all and was quite mild with very little breeze – and when the sun reached blue skies it was quite pleasant. The forecast was for what little breeze there was to be west-south-westerly but in practice it seemed fluctuate a fair bit and often became northerly. And around midday we had an hour or so of spells of frozen snow pellets from time to time. Funny thing was that, before the snow-wanting-to-be-hail occurred, the water temp had been a consistent 7.2’C …. whilst during the hour of precipitation it rose to 7.8’C … and eventually up to 8.9C by 1500 when we packed in for the day as we’d booked a table at the pub for 1600 – for which we arrived at 1603 without actually breaking any speed limits!

On arrival we both baited up with a few small balls of groundbait laced with the usual dead maggots and particles and float fished over the top with drift/windbeater floats in laying-on style. Line 6lb with size 16 hooks baited with 2-3 maggots. Occasional small topping ups of feed was added by hand/catapult.

So, as I said, any action was expected to be slow … but in my case it turned to be non-existent except for a very few swirly float movements probably due to tail wash or fish brushing past the line. Maybe I/we should have tried fishing on the drop or off bottom as it seems there were fish in the vicinity? Too late now!! However, Liz did get a late day award at 1320 when she landed a nice 3lb 5oz bream…

PLANS:

Thursday I’m planning a visit back to SAC-DP and hoping I can get back on the peg I had last time. I want to floatfish close to an overhanging bush to the left of the peg – sheltered from the wind and looks ‘fishy’ – but maybe later in the day if things are quiet on the float I’ll ledger with frame feeders…

TEMPS:

AIR:                   MIN: 6.9’C     MAX: 12.5’C
WATER:            MIN: 7.2’C      MAX:  8.9’C

WATER TEMPS:

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AIR TEMPS:

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Session 10 (2021) – Chilly But Successful…

Thursday 1st April saw me heading off to a pool again as planned (SAC-DP), leaving the house a little before 0730.

Wednesday had been a scorcher of a day (relatively for the time of year but still T-shirt only friendly and patio door in the living room kept open) but Thursday the temps came back down to earth with a big bump with a cold northerly wind present. On Wednesday I’d commented to Liz that the Damart thermals wouldn’t be needed for my day … WRONG! I got up and dressed without the Damarts initially but whilst having breakfast looking out of the window … and especially after going out to the car to put in the bait and tucker bags, I re-dressed with thermals included … and I was extremely glad I had!

So, I arrived at the pool probably around 0800 and discovered the gate’s padlock had been incorrectly secured. The chain and padlock was attached correctly to the sliding bar’s mountings (often done incorrectly despite several messages posted to members as how to do it) and the padlock’s bolt had been pressed closed BUT the code wheels had not been cleared (ie code still showing) and all that was needed to open the padlock was to press the button that releases the sprung bolt… Committee informed and new message sent out 🙂

I parked up and looked down over the generally north-south orientated pool from the top-of-hill car park and decided to fish from the west (nearside) bank off to my left as to the right is more the south end of the pool and thus facing into that wind…. As I wasn’t too familiar with the west bank I hadn’t a planned peg in mind so I just walked the tackle down from the car park and along the bank until I located a decent peg – defining ‘decent’ as (a) sheltered by bushes to the left from that wind and (b) a peg with space to ‘swing a cat’ and (c) just looked to have a reasonable chance of catching from based on a few surface (small) fish movements…and the fact (d) the overhanging bush to my left provided a nice sheltered bay/area to floatfish if I wished to change my tactics…. so peg 11 it was.

I catapulted out a few satsuma sized groundbait laced with maggot and particle balls into my intended fishing area before tackling up and placing gear comfortably around me.

Tackle: My standard ledgering setup ie 2 x  1.75lb TC ledger rods, 8 lb line, frame feeders on a rod pod with bite alarms. One rod was baited with 2 worms on a size 6 barbless hook, the other with bread on a size 4 hook…

Frame feeders were loaded with the groundbait mix… and new feeder fills and recasts made half hourly…

First casts were made about 0840 and for the first couple of hours it was quiet with a couple of single ‘beeps’ from the buzzers, most likely just changes in water pressure on the line due to the winds but possibly small fish sucking the bait or liners…

At 1045 came the first proper take on the bread baited rod … and with a slow but strong and steady pull on the line I was hoping it was going to be a decent bream but when landed it was a mirror carp which went 6lb 4oz on the scales – and I was happy with that! 🙂

2021-04-01 Steve - 6lb 4oz Mirror Carp 01

6lb 4oz Mirror Carp

Next, and last, bite of the day came an hour later, again on the bread rod… and this time a koi carp of 2lb 8oz came to the net…

2021-04-01 Steve - 2lb 8oz Koi Carp 01

2lb 8oz Koi Carp

I fished on to 1415 – I had intended to fish a bit longer but with no further takes and the cool air getting to me and the prospect of a hot shower ahead I called ‘time’ early.

I had no visible takes on the worm rod although the worms did appear to have suffered some damage and, in fact, I swapped them for a raw king prawn around midday without it seemingly making any difference…

PLANS:

No plans at mo other than I won’t fish again until next Thursday now … and, if the boilies are done then it will probably be the ‘deep’ pool … but a lot depends on what the weather is doing too…

OTHER STUFF:

I left my fishing seat at a pool a few trips ago and put notices on the club’s web site, etc but had no joy seemingly and the camping/director’s chair I’ve had to use was not great so I ordered a new chair which should have arrived a week ago but hasn’t. I’ve been in touch with the company supplying it and they are sending out a new one. And, on Wednesday, I had a phone call – my original chair has been taken in and I’ve now arranged to collect that on Sunday! 🙂

TEMPS:

WATER:            MIN:    11.0’C    MAX:  13.2’C
AIR:                   MIN:     8.9’C    MAX:  9.9’C

WATER TEMPS:

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AIR TEMPS:

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