Session 16 – Things Go Well – Liz Gets A New PB Bream And Equals Her PB Tench Too…

Tuesday, 11th May, Liz and myself set off at the usual 0730 for our club’s mixed fishery (AA-B) arriving at around 0800.

This time at the pool we headed to the far end which Liz hasn’t fished since rejoining the club … but has been one of my favourite pegs albeit we’ve fished other pegs previously this year.

  2021-05-11

The pegs chosen face a small island about 4-5 rod lengths away from the main bank. Liz was given my usual swim at the near end of the island to fish and it also has a lily patch off to the left and with the overhanging vegetation it gives two nice areas to swap fishing between if required. I set myself up at the adjoining peg, facing the far end of the island with its bushes. It was a peg I’ve been meaning to fish for ages having only ever once fished it before albeit I did well there then if I recall.

We both float fished – lift method, 4AAA wind/driftbeater floats, 6lb line – Liz used a size 16 hook, myself a 12 with maggots as bait. We both tried alternative baits – myself, corn and bread – but it seemed that the fish only wanted maggots on the day.

I fed up the swim per usual with a few groundbait balls laced with maggot and particles before tackling up in order to draw fish into the swim…

However, it was Liz who was in action first … and on her first cast too … landing a nice 3lb 11oz tench…

But I quickly took second blood with a small 6oz barbel….

… and then I had my best tench of the day – 4lb 9oz …

2021-05-11 Steve - 4lb 9oz Tench 01

Steve – 4lb 9oz Tench

… and the day proceeded with a succession of fish despite a heavy shower of rain lasting around 45 minutes or so just after midday … and not long after it ceased Liz landed a bream of 4lb 1oz – a new personal best bettering her previous best caught a few weeks earlier at the same venue… … and later she equalled her PB tench too at 4lb 4oz…

We fished on until 1545 when another sharp shower started … but in the what seemed not too far distance, there were virtually continuous mega claps of thunder to be heard – the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from something like a 32 storey block of corrugated tin constructed flats collapsing a hundred yards away! Strange thing was that it wasn’t really dark, no flashes of lightning seen or sensed, and actually still very blue skies were evident outside the grey area. But, being cautious and having intended to pack up at 1600 anyway, we decided to call it a day and pack down ‘just in case’ … and, as usual, by the time we’d half cleared our kit, the thunder had become a memory and it was sun and blue skies all around… but the pub was open anyway… LOL

So, to sum up the day and the total tally…

Liz:

Tench 3-11, 3-14, 3-03, 2-10, 4-04

Bream: 4-01

And 2 small barbel (6oz), 3 perch (best 12oz) and a small mirror carp (4oz)

Steve:

Tench: 4-09, 4-00, 3-12, 3-12, 3-07

And a small barbel, 2 small mirror carp (best about 4oz), 2 small (2oz?) perch

A Few More Pics:

PLANS:

None really set … although hopefully out again with Liz on Monday 17th May…

WORMS – AND THEIR KEEPING

I’ve just been watching a video posted by ‘Avon Angler UK’ on YouTube entitled “The Cheap & Easy Way To Keep Nightcrawlers / Worms – How To Keep Them Indefinitely” … and here’s the link to that …  LOBWORM VIDEO … and as I’ve been meaning to do a blog/YouTube on the subject of worm keeping myself it’s sort of kicked me into action to tell my way of doing things!

For info, ‘Nightcrawlers’ is the American term for the worm that we know as the lobworm and, as I believe most of our commercially sourced (tackle shop) lobworms are actually imported from Canada and the USA, is probably the correct term for the purchased variety, with manually collected by the angler ones being ‘Lobworms’ although I’m not really sure if they are identical or related versions. Also although there are worm breeders in the UK I’m not sure if they actually breed lobworms or buy them in from America as lobworms are extremely difficult to breed due to their lifestyle and their type of sexual union. Brandlings/dendrobaenas/redworms/tiger worms are easier to breed and, if purchased, will have been UK bred.

Right, as I generally only use dendrobaenas (aka dendros) – although I have at times added tiger worms to the stock so probably not pedigree dendros these days – but I did use lobworms back in the day and so  I’ll just cover these two species in depth. The limit to my red worm knowledge is that if you have a compost bin into which you put your grass cuttings then at some time you’ll discover an ample supply crawling around the damp top of the bin trying to escape … but as I find them to small for my own purposes I’ve never collected them up.

LIFESTYLES and CATCHING

Dendros … are a ‘composting’ worm and feed mainly on the fungus that grows on rotting vegetation rather than the vegetation itself as commonly believed. So they live naturally in the earth/soil, usually with 12” of the surface and generally would get harvested by digging in a compost heap or similar ground type.

Lobworms  … actually live in the roots of grass and are usually only 1”-2” beneath the surface of the ground. At night they rise from their burrows to collect dying vegetation such as fallen leaves to drag underground for a food store – and this is the cause of the leaves you see sticking up vertically on grass patches – the leaves haven’t fallen and stuck in the ground like a spear under gravity, the lobs have grabbed them and pulled them into their burrows. Another indication of the presence of lobworms are ‘worm casts’ on the grass surface – small piles of soil created by thin strings of soil caused by the worms passing soil though their bodies as they burrow. Lobs also need to come to the surface to mate which they do by lying side by side with their ‘saddles’ together (NOTE: it is etiquette to avoid disturbing the copulating worms at this time!). Lobs usually surface on warm, damp, dark nights and at that time can be spotted simply by roaming the grassy area with a dim torch … and then comes the tricky bit – catching them! Lobs are sensitive to light (how much so depends greatly on their usual environment – worms in a usually dark quiet area are much more cautious than the worms that live in an area such as a lit roadside grass verge where passing traffic and light are the norm. So, you need to be stealthy by using as dim a light source for your torch as is possible and search by treading slowly and very lightly… as the worms lie with their tails anchored in their burrows the merest disturbance can see the worm disappear back into its burrow in the matter of milliseconds.

Steps to catching lobworms … venture out on a warm damp night – after rain is a good time – and using all caution as advised above start your search … on spotting a target get as close as necessary in order to be able to grab the visible part of the worm as close to its burrow as possible and then quickly grip/trap the worm at that point – a pocket with some sharp sand that allows you dip your finger in can help with the grip – BUT do NOT pull the worm as doing that will many times mean you end up with a broken worm….

NEVER KEEP BROKEN WORMS! DOING SO MEANS THAT IT CAN DIE AND ITS DECOMPOSITION CAN LEAD TO THE DEATH OF THE HEALTHY WORMS!

… just hold for a few seconds to prevent it pulling back into the burrow and the worm will relax and can be slid out and placed in your bait box … and then go search for the next – which can be within 12”!. On an average night its possible to collect well over 100 in 30 minutes … as I used to back in the day BUT health and age has meant too much backache for me these days PLUS in the days of cutback my catching ground suffered… I used to collect from the grass verge of the main road through our estate … as lit by street lights and worms were used to vibration due to passing traffic the worms were not ultra cautious and at times I’d get 200 in 30 minutes … BUT in those days the grass verges were cut to golf green status weekly with the cuttings removed and the surrounds of lampposts tidied by the use of strimmers .. then came the cutbacks with the grass cut once every couple of months so post-cutting the grass is now twice as high as they were pre-cutting, cut by rotary mower not cylinder with the cuttings left on the surface, and the lamppost surrounds are now poisoned with weedkillers instead of strimmed … last time I went worming there I managed just 20 straggly worms in 2 hours!!

I did buy 100 lobs to try seeding our back lawns some years ago … but I’ve never seen one worm there since … but then again I am competing with several nocturnal visitors for them – several foxes and badgers! Plus several dozen magpies!

Hence lobworms are off my bait list as buying in is far too expensive.

KEEPING/STORING WORMS

Lobworms I used to simply store in a small (25/50 litre?) flip top bin with small holes drilled in the base and kept in the corner of the garden shaded from direct sunlight between the rear hedge and a rhododendron bush. No need for a tight fitting lid as lobworms are not escape artists like dendros, etc and their keeping media was simply peat free compost with a few grass cuttings, decaying foliage and used tea leaves added for their nourishment. The media was checked regularly and kept damp. BTW – use ONLY USED tea leaves … unused tea leaves are NOT good for them!

The lobs remained happy in this although the environment wasn’t conducive to breeding and as they were used up they needed to be replenished as and when – but a good night’s worming soon sorted that and often only needed to be topped up once a year, usually just before June 16th ….

Dendros/Tigers/Brandlings I started off by purchasing 1Kg from a worm seller a couple of years ago … and are stored in a large woven plastic sack (weave allows good drainage) with a base media of peat free compost to which kitchen organic slops (old spuds, carrots, cabbage, etc – NOTE: NO MEAT/DAIRY BASED NOR ACIDIC MATERIALS SUCH AS CITRUS FRUITS, ONIONS, ETC. EGG SHELLS ARE ADDED TO PROVIDE CALCIUM AS WELL AS TO NEUTRALISE ANY ACIDIC BYE PRODUCTS!!!. The sack has its neck secured tightly with a re-useable cable tie in order to prevent the worms escaping … and is then placed inside a small surplus wheelie bin (council went from weekly collections to fortnightly and provided larger bins and we were allowed to keep the original for our own uses) that has small holes drilled through for aeration and drainage … which has a small upturned bucket in the base to keep the bag off the bottom to increase drainage/aeration. The bin now holds probably more than the number of worms I originally purchased – and bigger and fatter too, many like mini-lobs. Stored by the greenhouse in the shelter of some small conifers, its great for access to worms at any time of the year – blazing drought to freezing icebound make no difference. In use, and to prevent over disturbing, I simply fill a bait box of worms which I’ll then  use for several sessions. I store the bait box and unused worms after each session in the fridge or on the concrete floor of the garage switching between them as needed to keep worms in good condition … and every 2-3 months I replace the worms in the bait box with fresh worms from the stock bag whilst adding the old worms back to the bag to get back some fitness for future use….

SO … all very easy and ensures a constant ready supply J

WORM SUPPLIERS

For my stocks and past purchases I’ve used WILLY WORMS, YORKSHIRE WORMS and WORMS DIRECT.

All have been very good….

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

WATER TEMPS:

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AIR TEMPS:

AIR

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:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

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

WATER TEMPS:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

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:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

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:

WATER

AIR TEMPS:

AIR

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