Session 21 – New Club, New Venue – Venue 2

Thursday 16th May saw me, as planned in my previous posting, at 0600, heading off to the other pool (SAC-NP) of the club that Liz and I recently joined. A solo journey this time as Liz works on Thursdays, this pool lies about 20 miles from home in Shropshire and so I arrived there around 40 minutes later without mishap as I’d located the pool ‘virtually’ by following directions given by a friend using Google Earth, obtained the Lat:Long co-ordinates from the GE data and entered these into my car’s SatNav … well, I did overshoot the entry gate by a few feet and had to reverse a short way but near enough… 🙂

So, I followed the downhill track and at the bottom of the hill there was a 4-section folding barrier and a cone across half of the track but the barrier was placed so that half (a car width) of the path was clear and so I was unsure whether I was allowed to drive down to the pool side (about 100 yards). So I parked up short of the barrier and strolled down to the pool and it appeared vehicles had been along there – and also in the hedgerow side of the path it appeared there were layby/parking areas… so walking back to the car and looking around the area of the barrier it seemed that there wouldn’t be much room for farm vehicles to manoeuvre if needed … and so I did drive the car down to the pool. However, after fishing for an hour or so, two of the bailiffs for pool appeared and after a card check informed me that I should have parked outside the barrier and that if the farmer needed access he always walked down to the pool to sort it. Anyway, all amicably resolved in the end by moving the motor to the correct area and some info on the pool gleaned into the bargain.

And … so to the pool …

As you can see a nice small pool in a very quiet area … and a nice sunny day to boot … and carp were already topping all over area. In fact, I’d been previously told take plenty of bait especially bread for surface fishing for those carp. I was also told by the bailiffs – who were also fishing – that besides the carp there were good roach and perch and skimmer bream to around 6oz and as I’d already planned to split my day by firstly floatfishing and then switching to floating bread I initially catapulted out a few floating dog biscuits to literally ‘test the waters’ – and it was like a piranha attack in the Amazon horror story almost!

Anyway, sticking to plan, I set up the float rod to fish on-the-drop, plumbed the depth (around 8-9 feet where I was but I was told its even deeper further along by the dam wall) and set depth to fish the bait just on the bottom…. the usual feeding of small balls of particle laced cereal groundbait and catapulted maggots throughout the spell. Baits were maggots and worm. Results of this period – a few small perch, roach/rudd and gudgeon – I even found one gudgeon ‘gill-netted’ in my landing net later in the day. AND … whilst tackling up, even before adding a float, I’d placed the rod with shot and bare (I think it was although there may have been a remnant of worm/maggot skin from previous outing) hook dangling in the water whilst I looked up the float I was to use … and the rod bent over! And a carp of about 1-1.5lb was landed – and was fairly hooked on the inside of the lip… a bit parrot mouthed and ‘tatty’ but think it must have been the worse conditioned fish in the pool as all the others caught were pristine!

Carp 01

Part two of the day saw me switch to my ‘floater’ rod with bread baits… and for the next few hours it was a good bit of fun – and nice to be able to do it again after the long period of extended colder weather we’ve experienced. All in all I must have had 10 carp varying from around 1-1.5lb to a best fish of 4lb 15oz ….

A few from the day…

A FLOATER TIP – when using bread, a light bait, you sometimes need to add weight to cast out further than the dry bread itself allows and often a quick dunk of the bait into the water immediately before casting will suffice but that does suffer the occasional drawback that the bread can fly off the hook on the cast if it becomes too wetted and soft. An alternative is to use a commercial ‘floater’ float – a sort of elongated bubble float – or even attaching a piece of stick with elastic bands. However, my personal preference – and free if you like cheese – is to use the wax that BabyBel, Edam(?) and the small Xmas truckles of cheese come wrapped in. A bit of working in the hand soon makes it mouldable to whatever size and shape (ball, sausage, etc) you require but in use the cooler water soon stiffens it nicely. A 1cm x 5cm sausage adds sufficient weight for quite a lengthy cast, floats well, can even be used to support the weight of things like linkswivels that may be used to attach ‘hooklengths’ to prevent those dragging the line down.

Anyway, an enjoyable water, that although it seems the fish won’t be smashing any records provides an excellent day’s fishing in pleasant and quiet surroundings 🙂

BAD NEWS – well, for me – in a way…

It seems now that I’ll be lucky to get 3-4 sessions in over the next month or so … Monday 20th we have people coming in to completely redo/refurbish our bathroom which is going to take around 2 weeks – but hopefully less as on Wed 5th June we have Liz’s parents arriving from Cyprus for 2 weeks and Liz’s Mum needs the use of a shower (otherwise it’ll be a watering can in the garden) due to having suffered a stroke a while back and unable to use a bath. And whilst the parents are here, for the 7 days in the centre, we are heading to Great Yarmouth for an extended family break at the caravan of Liz’s brother and his partner … The parents fly back on Wed 19th so normal service will be resumed shortly after that. I do have plans to fish a short session on Saturday 25th May and possibly Saturday 1st June when the contractors should not be working and I can drop Liz off at work early and then pick her up again on the way home around 2pm… so all very que sera sera at the mo 🙂

Session 20 – New Club, New Venue But Not A Blank For Me…

Liz and I joined a new local club, membership actually started on 1st May but due to being on holiday that week (see previous posting) the first visit had to wait to our return … and a visit I’d planned to make on Thursday 9th (a solo visit as Liz works that day) was shelved due to bad weather, and so, our first visit to one of the new club’s waters (SAC-DP) was actually made yesterday (as I write this) on Monday, May 13th.

The club has three venues – the one we visited on this occasion which is a canal topping reservoir, a stretch of Staffs-Worcs canal that passes alongside this pool and which continues alongside a local commercial fishery plus a small canal pound by a lock, both of these venues are literally 10 minutes from my front door … and finally, another pool about 20 miles away which I hope to visit on Thursday 16th.

So, we headed off to our destination at 0700, arriving as I say around 0715 at the club’s car parking area, unloaded the car and wheeled the barrow of gear down a large slope to the water’s edge – I remarked to Liz it was going to be fun getting the barrow back up to the car park at the end of the day, BUT whilst fishing someone drove down through the cow paddock that adjoins the car park area, to a gate a few swims along from us, unloaded and then returned their car to the actual parking area… so we learnt something for the future and made of use of the knowledge too to get our tackle loaded back to the car… 🙂

The pool…. a glorious sight! And far bigger than I recall from when I and a mate walked it back in the 80’s with a view to joining the club then … at least 5+ times bigger than my memory … although I don’t recall actually joining at that time …

A word about the club … the club was originally an employee’s works angling club, I assume at the time of creation sponsored by the company … as were the angling/cricket/football/tennis/social/etc clubs that were part of the employee available facilities offered by my father’s employer in those days… And my Dad’s employer even held Christmas parties with Santa for the under 9’s and the 9-15 year olds were given a trip to the annual panto at the local theatre – whatever happened to the Barron Knights and the Grumbleweeds? :). Anyway its so sad these days that companies just regard their employees more as just a necessary expense to be paid as little as possible. OK… back on track now! Anyway, it started as a relatively large, in local terms, engineering firm … later taken over by a far larger concern … which, then in the recession that was the late 70’s until the late 80’s, closed down along with the local steel mills and other local heavy industry. However, the club still stayed alive and thrives…

And, now flash forward again to the fishing of yesterday…

 

I had intended on arrival to cast out the Deeper Sonar but the water looked so good I didn’t didn’t want to waste fishing time – and the lily pads gave me some idea of depths around the margins as they won’t grow in water much over 4’ deep … and with an idea of the starting depth and the good old plummet (well, I use SSG shot to plummet as actual plummets tend to be (a) too splashy and (b) too heavy when used on silty bottoms and can sink down to give false depths) and discovered our swims (pegs 27 and 28) to have a constant depth of 6’ beyond the lilies. Later in the day when packing up I did intend to have a quick cast around with the sonar before leaving but as we were tackling down someone arrived and started to set up in peg 30 so to avoid disturbing him I’ve postponed the depth sounding for another day.

So, we chose our swims (as above) and proceeded to tackle up – I started up – and finished with the float rod although I did switch from ‘laying-on’ to ‘on the drop’ style fishing around mid-day with a short period fishing a floater rod for the  carp (and there was one particularly good specimen in the lily pads to my left at times) that were swirling and cruising around the area – however, the time for that was considerably fore-shortened due to my floater bait not working as it used to. I’ve always used Pets Pantry (beef and chicken flavours) biscuits in the past without problem and, in fact, were perfect in that (a) they (99%) floated and (b) were soft enough to hook easily and (c) were cheap from Home Bargains but with this newly purchased batch it seems they have changed the recipe (although point ‘c’ still applies) and (a) it seemed around 10% floated and even those usually sank within 2 mins of casting out and (b) were far harder and crumbier meaning that although one could be hooked with care adding a second one meant the first one dropped off as it was slid over the hook bend and up the shank. So, a new solution/bait is needed – and I’m thinking of using hard biscuits that do float attached to the hook with a small elastic band a-la bait banded OR superglued to the hook possibly with a wrap of wool around the hooks shank to ensure a strong bonding. I have tried marshmallows in the past but although the carp seem interested in them they seem to regard them as play things to knock about and getting actual bites is a case of much patience … and I’ve also used parts of (and whole) yorkshire puddings (Bessie Smith type frozen ones) with a lot of success in the past … float well and have a superb inbuilt indicator that they’ve been taken ie the oil contained is squeezed out as the fish takes it and forms a glassy surround on the water but also have the downside that they are soft and when wetted they will disintegrate either on retrieve or when cast – so usually you only get one cast per bait. Of course, there’s always the old favourite – bread – to fall back on 🙂

Liz decided to feeder fish two rods – one with a maggot feeder, the other a frame feeder with varying baits.

I had first fish of the day – a small perch of an ounce or so – and followed up with 2 x 3-4oz skimmer bream and a couple of rudd (although one of those was foul hooked up the bum on a baitless hook when doing a bit of plumbing) …

Liz blanked and had hardly a bite all day, the one time being when she called across to me that she’d started to get a few knocks – and a few seconds later her alarm went into a run tone … a very decent fish, felt like a good bream she said but unfortunately the hook pulled free even before I could get to her to hopefully do the netting duties. After that she had not a touch despite both trying casting out and just swinging the feeder just off the lilies in the margins.. That take was on the maggot feeder, I believe.

However, there were a few others fishing and although a few ‘bits’ were being caught we didn’t see anything of substance succumb so I don’t think our result was below par for the day although the fish were definately around – as well as the cruising carp there were plenty of leaping fry including the not infrequent crucian carp and several patches of bubbling which was mainly early in the day

So, 1530, as usual, we packed up and headed home via the usual local hostelry for our traditional quaff of ale (one of my favourites, Titanic Plum Porter, was on so I was well pleased with that!) and scratchings and nuts…

Next out, as stated, Thursday 16th May…. which will be 31 days before the new river season opens … and I’m sure ”sidestreambob” is counting those days down now!! He writes a good blog BTW, well worth a read!! 🙂

Session 19 – Liz Wins All The Prizes ….

Liz and I left for our annual Easter camping week on Saturday 27th April returning on Saturday 4th May. Our destination was to a Parkdean Resorts site which, besides the usual static caravans, also has a small allotted area for camping – and quite cheaply too compared to other more mainstream tent/camp sites. For 8 nights, with electric included, we paid £74 (ie just a tad over £9 a night) … and we had access to all the facilities that the bookers of the caravans had, the bars, swimming pools, evening shows/cabarets, 10-pin bowling, bingo, etc. And the toilet blocks are extremely well kept with free showers and even an indoor wash room with 3-sinks for washing of the cooking/eating utensils.

These days, for even a basic tent pitch, with reasonable toilets/showers and a washing up area (and usually these are outdoors although sometimes under a roofed veranda), and a clubhouse (usually without any form of entertainment other than TV which is usually tuned to football in which we don’t have the slightest bit of interest and so often take our tablets in and watch videos) we can pay £18 per night and upwards – and add in access to a electric supply and it gets £20+ per night…. so £9 a night is a mighty fine deal!!

Anyway, advert for Parkdean over (and we don’t get any reward for the plug! LOL).

As usual with Liz and I, on arrival onsite at 1600 we were faced with putting up the tent in drizzle with a strong breeze – not an easy feat with tent 7 metres long and 4.5 metres wide! And due to the adverse conditions we also managed to fit the sections of 3 poles together wrongly meaning a 50% demolish/rebuild to correct was required doubling our usual erection time but once up to our satisfaction – and only 10 minutes later – the skies turned blue and the winds dropped… And the departure was just the same virtually – emptying tent, loading contents into the car and finally collapsing the tent (which was just balled up and jammed into the back of the motor) was done in high winds and driving rain … and 10 minutes down the road on our journey back the skies blue’d and the sun shone….

Anyway, we’d visited this site last Easter for the first time and found it had a reasonable looking fishing pool – not large with room for probably only about 15-16 anglers – but hadn’t taken our tackle that time but this time we managed to squeeze 2 pre-tackled rods each (1 float rod and 1 ledger rod although in the end the ledger rods weren’t used) in my 5-rod quiver, my Shakespeare seat box with the sundry tackle ends’n’ends and a bait bag with maggots, worms, sweetcorn, meat and prawns. I used the box as my seat, Liz used one of the camping chairs and the day flasks supplied our hot drinks.

So, we decided on having our fishing day on the Tuesday (30th April) – the rest of the week being planned for outings (Hornsea Mere where we went out on a boat trip, and to Beverley, Kingston Upon Hull (aka Hull), Bridlington where we engaged in our 2nd hobby, charity shop visiting, wherefrom I managed to gather a few more books (9 in fact) for my angling collection (I have around 330-340 now IIRC) and Liz bought a few ‘bath books’ – she normally reads on her Kobo e-Reader but doesn’t like using it in the bath so has her real paper ‘bath books’) and a ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ book that came with a boxed set of some of the patterns that they used in the show.

So, Tuesday morning I was up early to make the flasks and have breakfast ready for our start (fishing on the pool is allowed 0800-2000 and costs £5 per day) and then, with Liz, we took the tackle over to our chosen swims. Liz went back to the tent for her breakfast and came over a little later to start fishing until 0900 and then she went to reception to pay for our day tickets before coming back to resume… and we fished until around 1530. The day was mild with a minor breeze – the reason we chose the day really as it seemed it was to be the best weather of the week from the forecasts

We both float fished, Liz mainly on maggot, myself worm. There were plenty of movements – dipples, swirls, and even at one point a huge mass of bubbles just in front of Liz – and we were getting line bites, float nudges and attacked baits but hardly one proper take – and between us only one fish was caught and that fell to Liz – a roach of around 1oz which, as the title says, took all the prizes of the day! First fish, smallest fish, biggest fish, most species, and last fish LOL.

There were a couple of other guys also fishing and Liz was speaking to one of them on one of the evenings when she was at the bar – he’d fished 3-4 days and hadn’t caught anything of note and not a lot of those not of any note either! He also said the other chap had had one decent tench on one day and a carp of a pound or two on another day. So seems like the fish are very wary and shy in the pool but I suppose they do get to see baits more often than most…

So, not much (although I seem to have managed quite well! LOL) can be said further – regarding the fishing any way.

So my next outing looks like being on Thursday May 9th – and will be a first time visit to a local pool belonging to a club we’ve just joined. Not 100% sure of what’s in there except that there’s a lot of crucian carp been stocked as part of a joint undertaking between the EA and the club and as part of an overall EA scheme to increase the national falling numbers of pure crucian carp – many ‘crucians’ are actually hybrids these days either bred as such and stocked (ie F1 carp) or due to natural crossbreeding between common carp and the crucians. Years ago I seem to recall it was a good bream water, and think pike exist in there along with the usual other suspects.

Going back to the crucian theme… one of my other clubs has also taken part in a joint effort with the EA to increase ‘pure’ crucian numbers – the club provided a totally fish free water which, around three years ago, the EA stocked with just crucians and tench ie no chance the crucians can cross breed and this year, after 2 years allowed for the fish to settle in, we now fish the pool and, hopefully, it will soon be a venue for specimen sized crucians.

WATER TEMPS:

So the last water temperature readings have now been taken until September 2019…

And they were… 13.3’C rising to 13.7’C over the day…

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Session 18 – And The First Tench Of 2019….

Thursday 18th April saw me heading to one of my club pools (AA-B) at 0645, arriving at 0715 and in my swim making my first cast at 0800. Intended quarry was ‘anything’ really but I was hoping to make contact with some tench – I had noticed from club and general Facebook postings that they were starting to appear more in catches over the past week – and bream.

It was a slightly cool breezy day as I left the house and misty too – a good sign of the cool air being mixed with warmer and thus warmer later in the day, and, in fact, this was so with a fairly bright day with sunshine and the breeze dropped in the main part so that the water was stippled rather than rippled. I also noticed that the lily pads that line most of the swims were almost to the surface, and in a few cases actually had. All very good!

I decided to return to an old favourite swim that I’d not fished for probably 3 years having in time been fishing another peg opposite a small island which usually fishes well but had not been doing so well the past few visits. So as I say I decided a change was needed. These two swims are actually diagonally opposite each other on the pool, the one being on the far bank near end (peg 25), the on the other near bank far end (peg 10)….

In the pictures you see two of our anti-cormorant measures – the pool is usually clear and only four feet or so deep and cormorant have been a problem in the past. In the left hand picture, the black item in the water is a fish shelter which is a cover with wire mesh walls (6” mesh) down to the pool bottom to provide a fish haven and we have another of these further down the pool plus a scaffold island with similar walling which also carries the solar panels and pump for the pool’s automated aeration system. In the right hand picture a line can be seen that crosses the pool from one bank to the other – this is a rope and we have these between most swims as far up the pool to the island – the idea being that cormorant need a good run to take off and so these deter them landing. And for the past 18 months we’ve ‘installed’ a third method advised to us by the Environment Agency – the introduction of cormorant-resistant carp. EH??? You say? Yep, carp of over 3lb have been added to the previously carp free pool. As I’ve said in previous posts I was a bit confused as to why carp specifically – surely it was the size that mattered? But I think I now see why… carp being carp, and known as ‘puddle pigs’ from their nosing into the banks and bottom, they soon convert a clear water to a more muddied cloudy one due to their disturbances and thus the cormorant’s clear window into the pool now becomes a frosted glass version?

So, tackled up with my 13’ float rod , 6lb line, size 16 hook and 3AAA driftbeater float set up to fish lift method style I made my first cast into the pre-fed with crumb, hemp, wheat, corn and maggot swim with a double maggot bait … but the line had wrapped around the float’s stem so that the float was sitting bottom end up so I retrieved to re-cast within seconds – and landed a 1oz perch! I thought that would be sign of a good and busy day but after that it was to be some time, and hook and bait changes, before my second fish, another, slightly larger perch on worm, came to the bank although I was getting a number of nudges on the float over that time.

And then, around 1145, I changed my bait to 3 grains of sweetcorn on my size 12 hook and hooked into a better fish – one that did require use of the landing net – and so my first tench of 2019 landed after a few tussles to extract it from those sub-water lily pads. Not a massive fish at 2lb 4oz but a satisfying one nevertheless.

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2lb 4oz Tench

Unfortunately, between this capture and packing up time at 1430, and although I was getting interest in my baits, nothing else graced the bank.

It was good to see that general fish movement was on the increase with the rising temperatures with fish rolling and jumping, and smaller fish dippling the surface – and someone fishing the adjacent carp pool who walked around my pool said that down by the back end of the island a group of half-a-dozen carp were cruising. And as the pool is more a ‘summer’ pool ie responds better to warmer weather than cooler then it seems to be well on track…..

In the week Liz and I received our club cards for the new club we applied to join. We can’t actually fish until May 1st and we’ll be on holiday at that time, back on the 6th IIRC, but soon after I’m sure we’ll be on one of the new waters. Quite handy really as one of their pools is just 10 minutes from home and has crucian carp stocked as part of a joint project between the club and the EA who are attempting to restore the diminishing numbers of the pure species – a lot of ‘crucian carp’ are not currently pure breds as they live alongside other species (common carp, etc) that they can mate with (F1s). One of my other clubs also recently opened up to fishing a special crucian pool after stocking 3 years ago which only contains crucians and tench as part of the EA project too – we supplied the pool, the EA supplied the fish. The new club also has another pool about 20 miles away which seems good – last week someone reported 20+ carp up to 9lb taken on floaters – and a stretch of Staffs-Worcs canal alongside the local pool which includes a small pound. I’m hoping to be able to relinquish a couple of the cards now that I have purely to fish this canal – my Birmingham AA and Wolverhampton AA cards – when they expire now as this new stretch is closer and easier to access and is a good fish area and it would save me £50 a year. One of my other clubs also has some S-W canal stretches too, and another of my clubs has water on the Shropshire Union canal – so won’t go short of canal choices whatever!

So, as I said, off on holidays to Yorkshire soon so we won’t be out on the banks again, at least until we go anyway … I was hoping to take the tackle with us as there is a pool on the camping site we’re staying at but I’m now having doubts as to if I can fit the tackle in the car as camping to us is not of the backpacking kind – more a roll-up deluxe caravan with all the added extras, so twin hotplate cookers, kitchen stands, pots and pans that would grace a commercial kitchen, home preprepped and frozen meals (ie 2 electric cool boxes needed) … and I could go on …and  on … and on…. LOL! But whatever, be sure that the crab lines will be with us! 🙂

WATER TEMPS:

11.4’C rising to 12.7’C over the day…

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Session 17 – Fishing With Liz On Another Breezy Day – Preceded By A Day At An Angling Show….

Liz and I had a good day at Angling Times’ ‘The Big One’ angling show at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth on Sunday 14th April – lots of gear at good prices (eg 36″,42″ or 50″ landing nets with pole – £15! And good quality too).

We brought a fair bit of stuff home although not a landing net as I struggle to lift even a 36″ these days… but amongst other stuff I bought 2 Shakespeare 40FS reels for £10 each (usually £20 each) .:)

Liz bought an Angling Times ‘goodie bag’ and programme at the entrance for £2 – included in the bag this week’s Angling Times and this month’s (released a few days ago) ‘Improve Your Coarse Fishing’ PLUS the previous editions of both – so as IYCF costs £3.80 on its own – and the bag also contained several tackle items too – that was good value.

I also bought a signed copy of Jeremy Wade’s new book – to be actually released next week (and his new TV series on Animal Planet entitled ‘Dark Waters’ starts on the 28th April) – entitled ‘How To Think Like A Fish’… and its a BRILL book … I read 2 chapters in bed last night and had to force myself to put it down as I had to get up early for fishing this morning… so probably be awake reading the rest of it all tonight! Last book, well series of books actually, that had that effect on me was David Eddings’ Belgariad series ..

We went to the talks by Dr Paul Garner (lure fishing), Jeremy Wade (his series – the planning of and happenings in filming), and Des Taylor (bit Judith Chalmers holiday travelogue’ish TBH)….

It was a great day out and we’re and hoping to return next year now….

Anyway …. now to the latest angling session….

Monday, April 15th, Liz and set off for a session on a club water over in Shropshire, leaving the house at 0730 and arriving a little after 0800 we parked up by the pool we intended to fish (KF-WL1) – actually more a large pond than pool in size the club allows day ticket fishing on it. Small but good fishing with good sized roach, rudd, perch and carp to double figures as well as ide and smaller species. As a fair, and very cool, breeze was blowing we decided to walk around the pool to check it out before unloading the tackle – as I say only a small pool and 10 minutes later we’d circumnavigated the banks and were back at the car and we decided that we might be better off on the larger, and possibly more sheltered, member’s only pool (KF-WL2) lying only a hundred yards up the track. So back into the car and after a drive up to far end of that pool we found a nice and sheltered area/bay section and decided to try there.

2019-04-15 01

Liz fished one rod, using ledgered frame feeder with maggot, halibut pellet and sweetcorn baits cast out to the island on the left hand side of the photo. She was first into action with a small perch on maggot within 30 minutes of the start but that was not only the only fish she had but also the only bite of her day. To me, anyway, that should have been the perfect spot but ….

Myself, I fished on the float, laying-on, with maggot, worm, sweetcorn and small pieces of macaroni cheese on a size 14 hook. I started the day fishing just off the overhanging growth on the right of the photo but also fed out to my left side along other overhanging bushes. The right hand swim was very quiet – producing one tiny rudd plus one other bite, which I missed, on mac cheese – and when I say tiny, I mean tiny to the point that ten of that size wouldn’t counter the weight of a single swan shot (1.6g) on an old dual pan balance! At the end of the day I’d accumulated around 7-8 of these tiny rudd, a couple of rudd of around an ounce or so, a couple of sub-ounce perch – and one decent fish, a perch of 15oz…

2019-04-15 Steve 15oz Perch 01

15oz Perch

Over the day the breeze shifted around a bit so Liz got it more in the face whereas it was more diagonally across myself – and I thought it was a warm breeze whereas Liz found it quite chilly and had to wear her bobble hat and fleecy snood …

1500 we called it a day and headed back to our local hostelry…

Next trip planned for Thursday 18th – another club pool, or rather another two pool club venue. One pool is carp and chub only, the other a mixed species pool. I intend to fish the latter but may fish the former, which in 7 years of membership I’ve probably only fished 5 or 6 times, depending on conditions which are forecast to be warmer but still quite breezy.

WATER TEMPS:

9.3’C rising to 10.8’C over the day…

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Session 16 – The Geese, OH!! THAT Goose!!

Thursday, April 11th, on a frosty morning that required the car’s windscreen to be cleared of a thin layer of ice, I set off at 0645 to a local club pool (AA-GH).

As the weather forecast had said that it was to be quite a calm day (3-4mph breeze) I had decided to floatfish for bream and to also set up my ‘floating bait’ rod for any top feeding carp that may turn up. So, I set up both rods and made my first cast with the float rod in to the 12’ depth of water in front of me, laying on with double maggot on a size 16 hook at around 0745.

At the start of the day it was calm as forecast but by midday the breeze, from the south, had picked up considerably and probably added another 10mph to that expected … but all was OK as I just changed my original loaded bodied antenna float to a larger driftbeater and all problems were resolved.

A few nudges on the maggot but nothing major led to changes of bait (bread, worm, macaroni cheese) and hook (to a size 12) didn’t get any more success although there were at least takes that were strikeable at with the bread despite not connecting to a fish.

BTW – macaroni cheese wasn’t a noteable success – if it even managed to get placed on the hook ok, it invariably fell off on the cast. I remembered my Dad in the 80’s using mac cheese in a club competition on the local canal in the 50’s (but don’t know if he caught on it) and thought I’d give it a try after spotting a tin in the supermarket the other day. Unfortunately, the tinned variety is far too soft and, as I said, either split on trying to put on the hook or flew off on even the gentlest cast. However, not to be beaten, I intend to get some ‘raw’ mac to parboil to leathery soft and then sprinkle a cheese sauce powder into it – add the flavour and also should soak up some of the excess moisture – possibly add a sprinkling of fine cornmeal to keep the mac firm but hookable if need be…

So, the float fishing wasn’t a great success but around 1300 I spotted a few BBSs (Big Black Shadows) cruising under the surface and the float rod was put to one side and the ‘floater’ rod baited up – basically, just 12lb main line straight through to a size 4 hook in its simplest form but I do generally add a ‘sausage’ of wax gathered from BabyBel cheeses or the Xmas cheese truckles about 2’-3’ above the hook which adds weight for casting, thus alleviating the need to soak the usual bread bait to create enough casting weight but softens the bread too much so it flies off on the cast easily – and the wax does float and act as an indicator – and, if you should use links to able to add hooklengths, if wrapped around the link it easily supports it on the water’s surface and prevents it sinking and dragging the line down….

A few bits of crust catapulted out showed that there was interest in surface food and shortly after casting in a 5lb 5oz mirror carp was netted….

2019-04-11 Steve - 5lb 5oz Mirror Carp

5lb 5oz Mirror Carp

However, the good times soon vanished as a few, and one in particular, geese also located the area of the bread freebies. And this one goose, on its own, virtually destroyed any chance of another catch for, as soon as I cast out, it locked its targetting to my bait absolutely! Even to the point that at one time I even sat there for 15 minutes plus without my bait in the water until said goose had moved 200 yards or so away … and as soon as my bait hit the water, goosey turned back, and ignoring 10 or more pieces of free floating crust that it passed enroute made directly for my hooked bait … and even twitching the bait away from under its nose, which usually spooks any duck/goose, it just gave chase all the way back to the bank or until the bread fell off. And I also had forgotten to pack my dog biscuits which, usually anyway, seem less prone to be of interest to any water fowl although in this case I wonder…..

So, the rest of my fishing time until I packed up at 1545 was more taken up with the avoiding of that goose than it was attracting any fish….

Next outing will be with Liz on Monday – destination not yet decided but more than likely to be one of three club pools in Shropshire…

We filled in the forms for the joining of the new club last Thursday as said in the previous posting and will get our cards soon ready to start membership from May 1st – but we will be away on holiday until May 6th so won’t be able to make use of them until our return.

On Sunday (14th) Liz and I are off to the Stoneleigh County Showground in Kenilworth for ‘The Big One’ (https://www.thebigoneshow.co.uk/) – an angling show/exhibition with ‘the stars’ in attendance (eg Des Taylor, Steve Ringer, Andy May, Jeremy Wade, etc) and stalls from most of the major angling suppliers… and Sunday May 26th we’ve tickets for the Barbel Society’s ‘The Barbel Show’ being held just down the road (well, 15-20 miles or so) in Telford (https://www.thebarbelsociety.co.uk/barbel-show-2019/).

WATER TEMPS:

9.4’C rising to 11.4’C over the day…

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Session 15 – The One With The Dead Bream…

Monday, April 1st, I returned to the pool (AA-B) which I visited on the 25th March – which, as I said previously, is a slow starter not really coming to life until usually mid-May but with the unseasonably warmer weather at the moment and water temperatures in general rising I thought I’d return to see if there was anything happening… and although the fish catching results weren’t far better there were slight, although not numerous, over the day, there were signs of fish movements in the form of bow waves and leaping/rolling and one fish spotted cruising (carp around 3lb) so boding good for the near future…

2019-04-01 01

I arrived on the pool around 0715, again the first there although unlike last week others arrived later in the day with two or three others on my pool and one on the adjoining carp pool.

Although these days there are carp in ‘my’ pool, added within the last 12-18 months or so as an attempt to control predation by cormorants after advice by the EA. The club was told to add ‘cormorant resistant’ carp to the water ie carp of 3lb+ … at the time I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t have stocked 3lb+ bream, tench, etc instead of ‘polluting’ the water with carp … as we have a separate carp and chub only water literally 10 yards away … but yesterday I realised something …. this water used to be very clear for most part, only really getting murky only after heavy rains BUT with the carp doing ‘their thing’ ie snouts down churning the bottom and banks, it is now constantly murky … so to the cormorants it must be like driving in fog is to us, a limited visibility … and so the size requirement is probably more to due with the capability for the churn? Anyway, so long as the carp are not allowed to become predominant in this water and if it helps with the cormorant problem then I can live with that…

As for fishing, the methods and tackle used were much the same as last visit – float fished worm/maggot using the ‘lift method’ style and a ledger rod with prawn and bread baits. And the swims pre-fed whilst tackling up. First casts made at 0805 with maggot on the float rod and a piece of raw king prawn on the ledger rod.

First interest came to the float rod at 0850 with a slight float tremble and small lift’n’drop but not strikeable at… and then all was quiet on that front although I had a water disturbance a couple of swims or so off to my left – I couldn’t decide what it was as the area was partially obscured so I assumed it was the ducks. When it happened again around 1000 I just managed to catch a glimpse of a fish leaping towards the far bank and so, not having had any further activity in my swim for an hour, I wandered down to have a look about … and although the fish didn’t show again I did discover a dead bream of around 4lb floating on the surface just off my bank so grabbing my landing net I pulled it to shore. It seemed to have been a recent casualty, its eyes were still very bright, the body pristine without any obvious damage so not killed by cormorants or others (we did/do have mink in the area after some were ‘liberated’ from a local mink farm some years ago and we did have mink traps around the pool at one time) … anyway, I put it in the undergrowth behind the swim and sent a message to the club secretary about it for information purposes.

2019-04-01 Dead Bream ca 4lb

Demised Bream

Back to the swim, I fished on and caught a few (6 or 7) small perch over the rest of the day up to around 6oz on the float rod and mainly on worm baits … the ledger road was switched over to bread around mid-day after having solicited no interest on prawn to that time and within 15 minutes I banked a mirror carp of 3lb 9oz…

2019-04-01 Steve - 3lb 9oz Mirror Carp

3lb 9oz Mirror Carp

However, fishing with bread – and a trial with macaroni cheese – on the ledger rod was without further interest.

1540 – it was time to tackle down and head home….

Next outing … I’m thinking of a return to the local canal on Thursday 4th to get another trip in before the boat traffic starts building up for the year. With the warmer weather there’s been more boats about this year than usual – previous years you’d have been (un)lucky to see a passing boat between November and May but virtually every canal trip in that period this year has seen at least one boat passing through – not too bad though and sometimes a good thing as a quiet (in terms of fishing) clear canal can be brought to life a bit by the churning and colouring of the water plus, like digging the garden can attract birds for the newly presented food items, the newly disclosed fishy morsels can bring fish to feed better.

And on the evening of Thursday 4th, Liz and I are off to fill in membership forms for another local club that has a pool about 2 miles from our house plus a stretch of canal with a pound that lays alongside and another pool around 20 miles out….

WATER TEMPS:

9.3’C rising to 10.4’C over the day…

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