River Season Still Not Got Kicked Off!

As of today, 29th June, not have I not only managed to get on to a flowing water but, in fact, not any type of water at all.

I had a week of medication not doing its duty and thus completely bloated and feeling fatigued and lifeless ..,. followed by weather not aligning itself to my requirements ie days I had access to the car it rained, fine days Liz had car for work.

However, despite plans for yesterday being shelved for bad weather again, the forecast for Thursday (1st July) is far more promising and I’d got plans for one of two options – (1) pool fishing at a local club pool or (2) river fishing on a BAA stretch of the Worcestershire Stour (11 yards wide at its widest but over 1 mile long according to the BAA map) … but we’ve since learnt that due to a family meet-up for Sunday lunch it won’t be possible to fish a planned outing on either Monday (5th) due to medication requirements nor the later mooted Tuesday (6th) when Liz later realised she has a hair appointment and needs the car for that… 😦

So, due to the loss of those Monday/Tuesday dates, I’ve decided to take a third option for Thursday ie go to the tench/bream pool 🙂 … and then following Thursday (8th) I’ll make that outing to the Stour (weather permitting, etc) … and also hopefully the following Monday (12th) Liz and I will visit the Warks Avon for bream – and I might even pack my hefty ‘barbel’ rod and some unused deadbaits remaining in the freezer from earlier in the year and have a try for a zander, something I’ve never caught.

Anyway, I hope all are in good health … especially WheatNotCasters/Jacksonb1 who seemed to be recovering from serious illness well … and in May IIRC actually managed to fish a match although I’ve not heard of anything since… hope all is well!

Oh, and SideStreamBob ….. I’ve bought boxes of Morrison’s ‘Weetabix’ and ‘Bran Flakes’ which I’ve ground down coarsely as a supplement to my usual ground bait – virtually as a replacement for some or all of my cracked seed/porage/Vitalin ingredients – bought 4 boxs of ‘Weetabix’ and 2 of ‘Bran Flakes’ which has given me a good 12 litres of supplement for my basic breadcrumb – and again when used I supplement the feed with the usual  maize/corn/maggot/barley/hemp/etc particles … and also boiled up some pearl barley properly in 2 flavours – strawberry syrup and butterscotch syrup … both looking and smelling good but still awaiting testing which will be done on Thursday!! J Thanks to WNC and SSB for those tips!!

Session 21 – Back To The Tench And Bream Pool

Thursday 10th June I returned again to the tench/bream pool (AA-B) arriving at around 0730 – and found not only two cars already on the car park but also both anglers were already tackled up and fishing. Anyway they were on the far bank and were no problem as I was intending to fish the near bank again opposite the small island.

I had a quick wander to the area I intended to fish to check on the state of the swims – the previous couple of visits there had been catkin/lambstails floating on the surface in the area but on the day I was very relieved to see all was clear. The catkins are a real pain as unlike the normal type of flotsam (weed/leaves) that can simply be removed from the line in situ by simply lifting the line and possibly giving a slight shake, the catkins behave literally as if they were wool that had been spun around the line and even when the line is wound in it can take several minutes to remove even the smallest clumpings as you have to remove them by pulling them apart bit by bit. Due to the clumping nature, the line often can get jammed in the rod rings, a nuisance at best, a disaster if there’s a fished attached!

So, intended swim given the all clear, the tackle was unloaded from the car and barrowed up up to the swim – not really necessary as only about 30 yards from the car but carrying would mean 2-3 journeys each way – take and then return at the end of the day – so easier to to a single trip each way.

Pre-prepping tackle the swim was pre-fed a few balls of cereal groundbait with hemp and pearl barley particles and a few catapulted pouch fulls of dead maggots … and at 0800 my first cast was made fishing in my usual ‘lift method’ style using a bunch of maggots on a size 12 hook albeit I did decide to change my usual drift/windbeater float over to a 4AAA bodied waggler … why? Well, thinking about it the answer would probably be ‘because I could!’ LOL.

Over the course of the session I fed in a few prawns and sweetcorn too …

0815 – first fish of the day, a small fingerling perch…

0835 – lost fish in the lily pads when it shed the hook – possibly a carp but had the feeling it was was on the 8oz barbel…

I had a period then of switching baits trying worm, sweetcorn, bread and rather pongy prawn. All produced nudges, dips and knocks on the float but which resulted in no fish being hooked.

1100 – a tench! 3lb 11oz taken on worm…

1145 – a fingerling perch taken on a piece of worm flipped itself off the hook as it was being landed…

1200 – 3lb 12oz tench

2021-06-10 Steve - 3lb 12oz Tench

3lb 12oz Tench

1350 – a good tench slipped the hook…

1415 – one of those periods whereby I overcast into the bushes on the island – several times in a row despite having never previously done that… and it finally resulted in the loss of my float as the silicon rubber of the float attachment pulled off the swivel that formed its eye. I replaced a piece of silicon rubber on the swivel, affixed a new float and continued fished – for a short while until a caught a bit of an overhead tree foliage which caused the float to drop off again – and I accidentally trod on it and snapped it at which point….

1445 – I packed up… J

So, a day of nudges and knocks – even those of the tench were strikes made at prolonged nudge and knockings rather than bold sailaway takes…


Not sure about Monday 14th yet but as the river season opens on Wednesday then on Thursday I might take a trip to the Worcs Stour. Nothing like the Dorset Stour though, its a small river, which, into the 80’s at least, was classified as ‘fishless and lifeless’ due to pollution from the carpet factories of Kidderminster. However, it has taken on a new lease of life and barbel having been spotted spawning in the lower reaches within the past week. In the stretch I’ll fish (BAA water) there’s a weir the area below which usually throws up a few good chub although that’s a popular area with those that fish there so I most likely will have to try to fish just above the weir for perch…. and whatever comes along really. I’ll need to sort my tackle though – no heavy chairs and suchlike – minimal tackle … might be I’ll take my Shakespeare box that I use for canals and just a quivertip rod/landing net/banksticks in my Korum 3-rod quiver.

Session 20 – Carpin’ On…

Monday 7th June I took a trip to a club pool (AA-GH). Predominantly a carp pool it does hold a good head of silvers with roach to over 2lb, bream, and more recently perch have been turning up … and it also holds excellent pike and chub although a few years back the club did a ‘tidy up’ and chopped back a lot of overhanging vegetation and having done so and removed the chub’s shelter the chub seemed to have moved on … but where to I don’t know … possibly across to the island but even so even the ‘trimmed’ area does seem to still have more shelter than elsewhere on the pool including that afforded by the island.

As usual, at my 0700 arrival time, I was first there having to unlock the gates to gain access to the pool area and thus my intended swim of the day was free.

The intention was to floatfish (lift method) in the 11 feet of water along the tree lined bank in the hope of getting in contact with the bream or even a chub … and with the warmer brighter weather the carp are now cruising on the top and so fishing floaters for them was, I thought, a good fall back plan and so a bag of Baker’s Meaty Treats were added to the bait bag. I’m not a major fan of carp, probably at the bottom of my desired species usually, but I do enjoy fishing floating baits and to me its virtually the ONLY way to enjoyably catch carp….

A bit of pre-baiting whilst tackling up, tackling up, and I made my first cast at 0815 with the float rod baited with maggot….

An hour later, having had not a touch and with the carp taking my catapulted out dog treats I decided to switch to my floater rod.

FLOATER ROD – 10’/11’ 1.75lb TC ‘Winfield’ Specialist Angler rod (Woolworth’s ca mid 70’s IIRC) set up with 12lb mainline and a size 4 barbless hook. I also carry a ball of wax taken from the coating of cheeses such as BabyBel and the small truckles we have at Xmas – this can be used, if necessary, to wrap like a small sausage around the line – it adds extra weight for casting and is also buoyant  … and I also carry a small jar of Vaseline to grease the line to cause it to float. I would preferably, and did, use 30lb braid for the line at one time but one of my clubs disallows use of braid line (well, the rule actually says ‘no braid mainline’ so I assume that braid is OK as a hooklength otherwise there’d be no need of the qualifier term ‘mainline’?) and so my rod is set up with 12lb mono these days.

So baited up with a Bakers Treat … cast out, and a short while later a common carp is landed after an arm tiring scrap… 13lb 6oz…

2021-06-07 Steve - 13lb 6oz Common Carp 1

13lb 6oz Common Carp

From then on until 1315 I had a quiet period and swapped between the float and the floater rods a few times… never had a touch on the float but a few ‘misses’ on the floaters using Bakers and bread as the bait.

1315 – a 4lb 6oz common carp succumbs to floating bread…

2021-05-07 Steve - 4lb 6oz Common Carp

4lb 6oz Common Carp

1350 – a good fish is lost after a lengthy battle … getting close to landing when it goes underneath bushes to my right and snags up in old dead branches and twigs underneath and sheds hook – a good weight of of old wood is landed though!

1500 – a 5lb 9oz common carp on bread…

2021-05-07 Steve - 5lb 9oz Common Carp

5lb 9oz Common Carp

1515 – a 6lb 5oz common carp taken on bread comes to the net…

2021-06-07 Steve - 6lb 5oz Common Carp

6lb 5oz Common Carp

1540 – a 6lb 12oz mirror carp takes the bread,…

2021-06-07 Steve - 6lb 12oz Mirror Carp

6lb 12oz Mirror Carp

  … and at that I called it an end of the day… 🙂


With Liz away currently I had planned to fish Monday, Wednesday and Friday BUT I was so worn out last night – I even went to bed at 2100 – I have decided to just do my usual two days – Monday and Thursday.

So Thursday – not sure about the venue, I had thought about the BAA’s Nordley Pools as one of my original three so that will still be a contender – but there’s also the pull of the bream/tench pool and another too which I visited a short time ago but had to leave early……

Session 19 – The One Where Someone Arrived Before Me – But Only Just…

Thursday 3rd June saw me back at the tench/bream pool (AA-B) arriving at 0645 – and shock-horror someone was already there unlocking the gate!! Unknown territory for me as usually I’m the first on any water by a good hour or so and often by several…

No problem, the other guy decided to fish the far bank – in fact I think he was in one of the swims that Liz and fish when on that side – and I intended to fish the swim that Liz had fished on our earlier visit on Monday.

However, it was not to be as the problematic drifting catkins and lambstails of the Monday visit had congregated enough in that swim to take it out of consideration and I ended up in the swim I had fished previously. Although next door to the planned swim, a patch of lily pads worked to greatly block the ‘kin’s progress especially to about 2 rod lengths out and was reasonably well fishable… btw the pics below were taken later in the day and by and large the ‘kins had moved down the pool to the left.

I had decided to fish ‘on the drop’ to start and set up a 4AAA bodied antenna on my 6lb mainline terminated with a 6” 6lb braid hooklength and a size 14 hook..

I had decided to just free feed this session – no cereal groundbait – and I pre-fed the swim with maggots, stewed hemp and pearl barley whilst tackling up and throughout the session added extra frequent but small supplements of maggots.

I made my first cast around 0800 with maggot initially… and landed my first fish at 0815 – a small (1oz?) perch. And then I switched variously between maggot and worm baits and cocktails thereof until 0910 landing a further 2 small perch and a small common carp of about 6oz…

2021-06-03 Steve - Small Common Carp

Small Common Carp

…and then what was to be my best fish of the day – a 3lb 11oz tench…

2021-06-03 Steve - 3lb 11oz Tench

Steve – 3lb 11oz Tench

I then decided to do some bait testing – and fished for 30 minutes with each of bread, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and prawn, none of which enticed a single nibble but as soon as I cast out maggot again I had a take right on the drop – a barbel of about 12” (8oz?)

And all was, I thought going OK caught those until the chap who had arrived just before me and hence had been fishing the same length of time came around on a wander – and he’d had 18 fish by that time including 5 tench, 7 bream, a barbel … and a surprise crucian carp. There used to be a lot of crucians but its been a long time since I’d heard of a capture.

Just after this I got my tackle caught in the edge of a marginal overhanging bush and in the rescue of my end tackle the antenna of my float got snapped … so I thought it an ideal time to revert back to my usual lift-method style with a windbeater float… and I started to catch more…

Two tench of 3lb 0oz and 3lb 5oz came to the net…

Well, final capture but not, I’m sad to say, the final take ….

I had decided to pack up around 1445-1500 as I needed to do a bit of shopping – it was Liz’s birthday the following day and I needed a card having not managed to locate one I liked in the days previous. So, around 1420, I started doing a bit of housekeeping around me, putting baits away, and that sort of thing while keeping an eye on my float and for about 15 minutes all was fine, the float hadn’t so much as flickered … but I picked something up, put it in my bag, and looked back to where the float had been – 5-10 seconds of inattention – and the float was no longer there … I struck, met a resistance and the pulling of a fish, but as the line lifted from the water it led directly to a pad of lilies on the far bank and I could still feel the jagging of the fish … and then all went slack and I thought the hook had been shed but on retrieval of the line I’d been snapped.. lost my favourite float too. From the length of line recovered it seemed the snap had occurred just above the shot, fish had probably wrapped the line around a lily pad or two, so fish wouldn’t have been tailing a long length to entangle and tether it … and no activity among the lilies either to indicate a fish caught up and trying to get away and hopefully the barbless hook will be easily shed. Just a few seconds of inattention! Won’t be doing that again!


Liz has left today to spend a week in Great Yarmouth at her brother’s – so I have unrestricted access to the car for the week … yipppeeee!

So I’m hoping to get 3 trips on but maybe will be two depending on how I am…

Trip 1, Monday: To a club predominantly carp pool – floatfishing and hoping for some bream among the carp … and if the carp are cruising the surface then I’ll be switching to the floater rod with Baker’s Meaty Dog Trteats for at least a couple of hours…

Trip 2, Wednesday: Nordley Pools near Bridgnorth – Birmingham AA waters, there being 6 pools there –  5 of which I would fish, the 6th being more a puddle covered in chickweed usually. On the lead or feeder…..

Trip 3, Friday:  Undecided – the most local of the all the club pools I have available or back to the tench/bream pool.

AND … river fishing season soon starting again (16th June) I’m planning with Liz to have a drive out to a BAA stretch of the Warks Avon in search of bream … although noted for its  barbel I think the population thereof is quite  sparse in this area. I’ve not fished this stretch at all before but I think it abuts the downstream boundary of a club Liz and I left this year.

And so, at this point I bid you all farewell and tight lines as I head off to grab a coffee and perhaps do a bit of bait sorting and tackle tinkering… BYEEEE!!!

Session 18 – The One In Which Liz Outfishes Steve Again – But Just Fails A New PB…

Monday, 31st May, Liz and I set off again – a bit earlier than usual at 0700 as it was a Bank Holiday Monday and a few days into a dramatic weather change from the cold wet start, middle and almost end of an autumnal month that was May … April was warm and heading in the right direction but come May and the weather seemed to recede to the weather more expected in November … albeit not the November weather of the 50’s/60’s with the ‘smogs’ (fog combined with the smoke and pollutants from the factories and industry especially within the ‘Black Country’) whereby walking to school even your hand at the end of your outstretched arm (well, wouldn’t usually be elsewhere would it? LOL) was unable to be seen – no facemasks those days, best was a knitted scarf for all the good that would do! None of that these days – the Ready Mix concrete that was directly over the road from our house has now gone (and Mom never needed to use starch on the washing, just hung out the clothes on a windy day! Caution was needed though, leave them out TOO long and a hammer was needed to soften them up LOL … and just down the road, literally a catapulted pebble away were two iron large foundries and blast furnaces (Stewart and Lloyds and F H Lloyds) … and then there was the company of John Thompson where probably 70% of Bilston folk worked including an uncle in the pattern shop creating prototype moulds for pieces to be cast and used on construction in other parts of the group – and my father who started work in the motor pressings initially but studied at the local tech on evening courses and became a draughtsman in the Water Tube Boilers designing the equipment – and at one stage he spent a month in what was then Rhodesia (late 60’s IIRC – I know as Mom let me smoke in the house for the first time!! LOL) overseeing the construction and startup of one of his designs. And also. and I don’t want to worry anyone here BUT he also designed the Drax B nuclear reactor …. after having been given a course on reactors, etc that was ONE MONTH long!! But fear ye not!! From knowing my Dad’s work its probably the safest of equipment in the entire UK – he did NOTHING by halves! Even our greenhouse has anchors that were driven 4 feet into the ground … the garden shed has stood undamaged by the elements now for 60 years – and despite the fact that the wood frame is 100% rotten it refuses to budge – the only downside to it is that its made with walls of asbestos concrete/sheet and although we are looking to replace it (and a lean-to connected to the rear porch which also has an asbestos sheet roof) probably the removal of the asbestos will double/triple the price of the work after looking up the info via Google J Oh well, keep saving and buy less rods, reels and lures, I suppose! LOL.

An aside … a thought going back to the 60’s when Dad was working abroad.

One night of the week Mom would do her ironing whilst we both watched a programme on TV … and I’ve been trying to identify the programme without success… checked IMDB, asked on social media, friends, etc …

Anyone of my readers have any clue please?

What I know/recall….

 I seem to think it had a long name starting with ‘M’ eg Masquerade?

It was an hour long and made up of short skits/sketches each of about 5-10 minutes long and the genres of the skits were of all sorts – some drama, some comedy, thriller, unexpected, horror, ghost, romance, etc…

The thing clearest to me was that the cast included Fenella Fielding (possibly Dilys Watling as they have the same sort of voice)  BUT, as I say, I’ve scanned the IMDB listing of castings/works for both without joy.

The opening/title sequence was very much in the form used by ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ today…

 Well, that’s the best I can provide … hope someone can shed some light on it.


So, seem to have deviated somewhat from the theme of fishing – so thoughts back together and on we go…

I started saying that we had an early start … and that was due to the excellent weather that had suddenly arrived on a Bank Holiday … and the expectation that people would have put their spouses and kids on the train to Bognor whilst they themselves raced to the waterside (AA-B)….

In the event, Liz and I were the first arrivals on the pool by a good couple of hours per usual – and so had our choice of swims available, the ones that we’d fished on our previous session at this water. There were a lot of floating catkins/lambstails on the water and we both had initial troubles with them catching on the line – normal weed just usually falls off but the cat/lambs wrap and ‘spin’ themselves like wool on the line and stop the free passage of line through the rod rings often jamming the line completely and are adhering strongly are difficult to remove at the best of times, having to pull it off in small pieces. Liz’s peg was ‘guarded’ slightly by a bed of lily pads to her left and not so bad and later a breeze drifted some more away but my peg, one swim to Liz’s right was more open and some of the cats/lambs were formed into bath sponge sized pieces with a lot of smaller pieces between and it made the fishing

Virtually impossible, so much so that with 30 minutes I’d up tackle and moved into the swim on the other side of Liz, fishing the opposite side of the lilys and this proved far better with very few cat/lamb snagging.

0845 First casts… 6lb line, size 12 hook to 6” 6lb braid hooklength – fished lift method style – worm
0915 Moved swim…
0930 I had my first (missed) bite as Liz landed a 8oz barbel on maggot (lift method)…
0940 I land a tench of 4lb 5oz…

2021-05-31 Steve - 4lb 5oz Tench 02

Steve – 4lb 5oz Tench

0945 – 1145 I went through a series of 30 minute spells with varying baits… all to no avail
            Prawn/worm cocktail
1145 Switched back to a bunch of maggots
1145 Liz – another 8oz barbel…
1215 I had another tench – 4lb 2oz tench…

2021-05-31 Steve - 4lb 2oz Tench 02

Steve – 4lb 2oz Tench

1220 Liz has a small mirror carp…
1300 Liz has a 4lb 2oz tench

2021-05-31 Liz - 4lb 2oz Tench 03

Liz – 4lb 2oz Tench

It seems that Liz is having a ‘glass roof’ as I did when my PB tench stood at 4lb 1oz and remained at that for 3-4 years despite catching numerous ones of 4lb 0oz and 4lb 1oz – frustrating! So many times has she been just an ounce or two off the new PB – but it’ll come soon – and even on this session a fish that was a likely candidate escaped the hook…

1420 Liz has another 8oz barbel…
1440 I lose a 3” silver which fell off the tail of my 4” worm on landing…
1450 I get into an untanglingless tangle requiring me to break the line to resolve – Liz comes round as I’m about to re-tackle and suggests we pack in … and as its hot and I’m ready for beer plus it being easier to retackle up at home I’m in agreement…
About 1545 – on the way home via the local…
1600 – arrive at the hostelry, sit in beer garden, peruse the beer menu …. Fownes’ Brewery “King Korvak’s Saga’ is on tap!! Part of the ‘Dwarven Ale’ series, all of which are excellent, this is, as the name suggests ‘THE KING OF BEERS’! However, as its been a long long time since my last mission with it I’m dreading my memory having been tainted by the ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and it will not match my memories… BUT, in fact, it proved even BETTER than my memories … and I had to pinch myself to make sure I’d not passed away and gone to heaven! A splendid end to an excellent day!!


I visit a number of different pools and thus, when going from pool to pool I have to adjust my pre-tackled float fishing kit to suit the depth ie re-plumb… and I thought when having plumbed the depth why not record it for future visits rather than do the work again? And so I’ve recorded my first depth for this pool – 112cm measured from bottom shot to the tip of the float… doing it that way the size/length of float doesn’t matter – a 4” float will just end up being located/stopped 6” further up the line than a 10” one. And this pool is seemingly very flat bottomed in that I’ve fished a lot of the swims from near end to far end and not visited any other venue in between those visits and have never needed to make any sort of depth adjustment. Swims on other pools do vary from each other and so I’ll need to record particular depths for each but I reckon it will save a fair few seconds on each visit plus not disturb the swims unnecessarily … maybe a bit OTT though? LOL!


I’m planning on returning to this pool again on Thursday (3rd June) solo as Liz is working ….
And on Saturday 5th June Liz is going away for a week visiting family in Great Yarmouth so I’ll have a week free to myself and unrestricted car access in the meantime … I’m hoping to have sessions on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday of that week but that, of course, depends on the body behaving itself. Touch wood its been acceptably good most of this past week…. so touching wood!