The weekend of Friday 18th/Saturday 19th had a devastating start for Liz and myself … Ollie, one of our pair of cats, Mollie being his sister, went out per usual at around 1930 on the Friday evening for his usual prowl, over the fields behind us as we thought, but he did not return that night and did not respond to calling in for his morning feed either. Not unusual this time of year for him to stay out later and to go back out again early in the morning … but usually responded quickly to his breakfast call if out. 0930 on the Saturday morning I had to go out shopping per usual, getting back home around 1215 and, literally, as I walked through the door I received a phone call from Liz to see if he’d turned up – as she’d spotted on the local residents’ Facebook page that there was a report of a cat fatality overnight not far away, just around the corner from the end of our street and the report was of a cat similar to Ollie …. so I headed down to the reported area … and found Ollie on the grass verge, his twin orange and red collars being immediately obvious. He was only about 3 years or so old, a small mackerel tabby, and we’d had him for just over 2 years from a local cat rescue centre … and the most friendly and inquisitive cat you could imagine but seems that the ‘curiosity’ was stereotypically his undoing. Still missing him jumping on the bed and nuzzling at night and morning… Anyway, he’s back home now and to paraphrase the saying ‘a corner of our garden will always be Ollie’ … god bless, little fellow.
So, Monday, March 21st, in need of a bit of solace I set off for a club pool (AA-GH) for the day setting off at 0645 and arriving on the car park just after 0700 surprised to find one angler already present but not in the swim I’d hoped to set myself up in so all was good.
Before setting off the car’s windscreen needed a de-icing and as I drove away the car’s thermometer was registering 1’C and so it had been a cool night. The day warmed up quite quickly thereafter although never reaching tropical heights but fluctuated in the region of 11’C-13’C for most of the day but a breeze that picked up during the cooler parts made it feel a lot cooler than the actual 2’C difference.
The pool is predominantly a carp pool although it does hold large numbers of silvers including reports of roach of 2lb+ … and is a good pike pool albeit from my results, and what I’ve heard from others, this winter hasn’t produced its best results. Perch have also been showing up in the past the few years with reports of 3lb+ specimens but my hoped for species on this session were bream.
As can be seen from the pics above I elected to fish peg 5 which has usually produced a few bream for me in the past.
On arrival I baited up the swim with a spomb using cereal groundbait with added particles (hemp, barley, wheat, corn and maggot mainly) putting out 4 or 5 loads into the 11’ deep water in front of me. Over the session a few more spombs full were fed, 2 loads at each feed.
Tackle used: 2 1.75lb TC rods both with straightforward free running ledger – 8lb line, 1oz arlesey bomb on 6” link to a large eye swivel running freely on the mainline stopped about 18” above the hook – one rod with a size 6 hook baited with bread flake initially but later switched to a paste made of bread spread with sunflower spread and then a herb and garlic soft cheese and kneaded into a ball, the other rod with a size 12 hook initially baited with a bunch of 7-8 maggots later switched to 2 dendro worms. Bite indication was provided by bobbin and bite alarms – using two new bite alarms on their first outing. On my previous outing I noticed the alarms I was using seemed to be ‘missing’ some of the faster takes ie the bobbins were observed to jerk up but no alarm was given at times. The new alarms are New Direction (ND) Tackle’s S9v ones … a budget version of the S9 … the difference being the S9v beeps when you get a bite and the S9 is remotely controllable, can communicate to your mobile phone, etc, etc none of which is really of interest to me as when in use I’m sitting alongside the rods so an audible indication is all I need. But the S9v also do things that I do want – have a good range of sensitivities and do detect the short sharp pulls PLUS the latching LEDs can be colour selected (blue, green, white, red and orange IIRC) by simply double pressing the power switch to cycle through the options – blue being the colour that I find easiest to see in bright daylight and if a short dropped pull is made then the ability to see which rod it was made on is useful in order to be ready for further interest on that rod. Also, I’ve made use of the jack socket that is usually fitted on alarms to provide power to illuminated bobbins and external speakers but which I have no need of – I’ve simply connected my bobbins via 40lb mono to a jack plug which I plug into the used socket – thus I no longer need to connect fittings to the rod rest/pod for the bobbins and one less thing to get wrapped around, etc :).
First casts were made at 0815, as said with bread and maggot baits originally, but with no action by 1130 I switched baits over to the paste and worms…
Still no action until around 1245 when the bobbin on the paste rod rose and the alarm did a slow beep as line was taken … a strike was made and a fish was on! Actually, I think my first fish of 2022! A few minutes of playing and the fish was netted and landed … and after weighing in at 6lb 8oz it was photographed and returned.
Following on there was no further action on either rod and at 1430 I decided I had had enough as the clouds seemed to thicken, only slightly but enough to cause a drop in the temps and for it to start getting quite chilly … and I was happy to have actually caught!
Back home to do the ‘new’ regime of unload, sort out baits and nets, have a cuppa, then shower and change before heading to the pub for a celebratory beer!
WATER (‘C): 9.3 – 9.5
AIR (‘C): 5.5 – 13.5
Prepping for guests visiting on Friday and staying overnight plus continuing with shed and garden needs means no fishing again this week but will be out next Monday … and the following Sunday (3rd April) Liz and I will be off to ‘The Big One’ angling show at Stoneleigh Showground for which we had a ticket for March 2020 which was postponed due to the pandemic until March 2021 when it was again postponed but the tickets remained valid (in fact, we received actual replacement 2022 tickets via e-mail a couple of weeks ago). Ready for the show we have, as learned from previous pre-pandemic visits, got our shopping trolley bags ready to go as the weight of groundbaits, etc garnered from ‘3-for-£10’ type deals soon mounts up if using carriers! … and, as we don’t have VIP tickets, our car park is a goodly walk from the halls in which it is held.