Session 45 – Second Pike Session And Flamingos Spotted

Friday, October 5th, I left the house at 0645 heading to a club pool (Pike Water 1) for my second pike session of the new season, arriving at the waterside at around 0730…

Deadbaiting on this pool is hard work – I fished it for several years with deads using all sort of presentations – static ledger, pop-up, float drifted, … you name it, I did it! And I probably had 2 fish per season on average – and I fished it regularly, not just the odd visit…. Lure fishing was more successful and, in fact, my current PB of 20lb 12oz came to a lure on my first ever pike session on this water.

So, as I intended live baiting I first needed to catch my bait as club rules prohibit removal of fish from the waterside (which means that baits cannot be obtained on a previous visit to the water) and national laws prohibit the transfer of live freshwater between different waters without a licence to do so (although adding live sea fish does not require this – so live sea bass, mullet, etc could be used technically ie if you can obtain them!). Also the club rules for this club’s waters state that deadbaits must be although legally any dead fish can be used (eg may be caught in Pool A, killed, and used as bait in Pool B). Anyway, last year I bought a 6m pole for the livebait catching and so I set this up and used it for an hour with size 16 hook and maggot baits – by which time I’d caught ONE bait from probably 50 bites! I did have 3 fish on overall but 2 dropped off with all the faffing with unshipping segments… so pole got put away and my standard float rod was set up and fish were falling to my hands at last. Bait gathering was continued until around 1045 and I must have had 30 baits by that time although most were a bit too small for my liking (<= 3”) and I was anticipating having to use several per bait in a Xmas Tree fashion … a standard 2 treble hook snap rig with a bait on two/three of the points of each treble, so looks like a Xmas tree and so it creates a small shoal of 4-6 small fish…..

1100, I’d got my two pike rods cast out – 12’ Ron Thompson Desperado carp rods (2.75lb TC), 15g dart floats on 40lb braided line with snap tackles consisting of 2 x size 8 trebles on 30lb trace wire – and as I had enough sizeable fish eventually I used just one bait per rod the leftovers being tipped back into the water after the end of session.

I played around with the depths at which baits were presented and the areas – one rod was fished out right of me and the other to my left at varying distances out but mostly within 12’ of the bank as experience on this water indicates that very few pike are caught, even by others, out in the open water but mainly come from within 25’ of the bank. As the water is deep at the bankside (4’-6’ under your feet and slopes down to 14’ or so 3 rod lengths out) and tree/bush overhung with tree roots protruding under the water in some areas and reeded in the margins in others then it makes sense really.

At around 1250, my first fish, a nice one of 8lb 15oz, took my bait literally 18” from my toes, taking it as soon as it hit the water! I’ve had fish from this spot before on this swim – I think there’s actually an undercut or hole in the bank here as I’ve had other fish exactly the same way … and you can just about see the bottom here. Its literally so close to your feet that you cannot cast to it, or even hold the rod horizontal and drop the bait down… its a case of hold the rod up about 10 degrees off vertical so the tip is JUST over the water and freefall the bait from the tip with a big splash … and before the float has cocked its steaming away at the rate of knots! Anyway, as I said, today’s resident of ‘the hollow’ was 8lb 15oz…

2018-10-05 Steve - 8lb 15oz Pike 04

8lb 15oz Pike

The last week of September 2014 (I recall this as I was due to go on holiday at the following weekend and couldn’t return to the swim until the second week of my season. Frustrating!!) I was fishing this same swim, catching a few carp, etc when I spotted a fish tail at the bank’s edge… so I strained a bit to see if I could make the fish out and when I did its body kept on getting longer … and culminated in a huge pike head… but eventually it moved away but I noted the length on features of the bank and measured on my next visit – 45 inches – which on Mona’s Scale (a length to weight approximation) equates to 28lb 8oz!! I suspect this was the pike caught by a mate of mine on the following New Years Day 2015 at 34lb 8oz…

34lb 8oz Pike

34lb 8oz Pike

Over time it was caught again several times at increasing weights but sadly in Spring 2016 it was found washed up dead in the shallows, suspected succumbed to spawning rigours, at 38lb.

Anyway, to get back to current times …. fish landed, weighed and photo’d all I had to do now was to disentangle the two lines as they had become entangled as the fish passed over… looked a right old bird’s nest and I reckoned the best was to cut both the lines as close to the tangle as possible, rescuing the terminal gear and retackle. Actually, not too much line was lost and as the set up was fairly simple it didn’t take more than a minute or two to get the first of the rods re-tackled, baited and cast out whilst I started on the second rod … but before I’d managed to do that, off went the float again …. and a very spirited 3lb 12oz pike came to the bank.

2018-10-05 Steve - 3lb 12oz Pike 01

3lb 12oz Pike

Following that it went all quiet again with just one other take at around 1400 but, although I struck and felt the fish at the end of the line, the hooks failed to take hold …..

I fished on until 1530 before packing in for the day and heading home to get the gear put away, bath and get ready to pick Liz up from work and make her evening meal.

I spotted a strange bird on the water too … a rather large flamingo … or is it a pink swan? Not that conversant with bird species … but Liz said it had probably flown over from Aldi!!

Swan Or Flamingo

Flamingo! Or Pink Swan?

WATER TEMPS:

Yep…  took my thermometer with me this time!!

Min:    13.9’C
Max:   14.5’C

The trend is definite a drop!

Session 44 – First Day Piking

Monday, October 1st, Liz and I set off for a short lure fishing session at Pike Water 3 to kick off our pike fishing season as we are ‘traditional almost’ pike anglers … the ‘almost’ being that our pike fishing is performed between 1st October and 31st March of the following year whereas a genuine traditionalist’s season would terminate on March 14th, the start of the closure of the old generally applied coarse fishing season on all waters.

As we were lure fishing it was a late start out from the house – 1030 – as we find that after about 3 hours actual fishing (plus a hour’s sitting and coffee drinking) that are backs and shoulders are ‘feeling it’ and that usually signals the end of activities – and it was true on the day too as we made our first casts out at about 1110 and finally called time at 1500.

We, as per usual, walked to the far end of the water we were to fish before tackling up. Reasons for this … 1. The best water lies at that end anyway on this water and 2. Generally, if you start at beginning of a water and start fishing there, by the time the ‘ache’ sets in you’re nowhere near where you wished to reach and thus not often, if at all, get to fish that water and 3. You walk out to the furthest point you wish to fish whilst still fresh and, as you’re working your way back towards the car, then you have a shorter walk back when finished and tired/fatigued… Works for me anyway!

Our rods and lines were identical – Ron Thompson EPV2, 9 foot, 10-40g rods teamed with 30lb Spectra (7-strand) braid – and 30lb wire lure traces. (Spectra braid usually comes in 4-strand or 7 strand versions – I try to get the 7-strand version, usually from China via eBay – slightly dearer but…). Liz chose her favourite bar spinner which she used for the whole session, a Shakespeare ‘Devils Own’ 16.5g in a scaled pattern … a spinner that rarely fails to catch – and when she lost her first, and only one at that time, I had to re-order her 6 more!…

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Myself, I started with a 18g Zebco Twin Runner with luminous blades which has worked for me….

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… but not as well as Liz’s do for her … perhaps I should raid her lure box???

Anyway, Liz’s worked it’s magic very quickly and within the first few casts she had a small perch…

Liz Perch

… and not long after a pike of just over 3lb… however, it appeared the batteries of my camera had worn out at that point and that I’d failed to check that I’d spare batteries (however, later I found the spare batteries had actually fallen out of the pocket on the camera’s case) … However, I had been wearing my head camera and had video of the landing, netting and weighing BUT I transferred the footage from camera to PC, checked it had copied OK and then deleted the camera’s memory but whilst trying to capture a still of ‘Liz with pike’ from that footage the PC crashed and the source file corrupted… AND whilst unhooking the pike, which had taken the lure into the back of its mouth, I tried using my general (short’ forceps which left my had right TOO close to its front teeth with the result the fish flapped and rolled and I ended with an 1/2” slash across the inside of my thumb. And, as pike teeth are coated with an anti-coagulant, it bled not only for the British Isles but for Africa, Australia and most of the USA too! AND I hadn’t taken a styptic pencil (a MUST for pike fishing), Germolene or any sort of plaster and so I spent the rest of the session with my hankie wrapped around my thumb … yep, a bit of a day of total disorganisation!

Later, Liz has another pike – smaller, around 2lb or so….

… and said she thought she’d had an earlier follow too … seeing a flash behind her lure.

Liz 2lb Pike 1

So, meanwhile I’d changed my lure to a jelly bodied silver shad and had a few casts and retrieves and then Liz hooked the pike just I’d made a new cast out … so I put my rod down and went to assist in the netting … and then returned to my rod and began to sink-n-draw the lure back in and about 5-6 yards out it was grabbed … BUT before I could finish saying to Liz ‘I think you need to get the net’ the hook pulled free… wasn’t too sizeable though, probably in the 2lb-3lb range.

Anyway, after another 20-30 minutes of trying and without any further action we decided to move to a dam wall on the water which also features a fallen tree in one corner … looks very ‘pikey’ although I think we ‘may’ have had one fish from there in quite a few sessions. I do think that I did have a bit of a grab on one retrieve but nothing resulted. And we also witnessed quite large numbers of small fry scattering which seemed promising but despite our best efforts – I tried various lures from 13cm to 3-4cm in size and casting both into the centre and around the borders of the activity –  nothing responded.

So… come 1500, with aching backs and shoulders, we decided to head back home via our usual ‘fishing day’ local hostelry … and on the journey back we picked up Germolene and plasters for making repairs to my thumb whilst supping our ale. Still in the plaster too … if I remove it, the wound re-opens still …

PLANS:

Friday 5th – planning on having a lure/livebait session at another water……

WATER TEMPS:

Again none – no thermometer…

Session 43 – Nearly Sea Fishing

Monday, September 24th, we were on holiday in Porthcawl, South Wales and thought we’d have a few hours fishing off the local pier… the lower section in the picture, not the higher one with lighthouse which is TOO high for me!

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However, the time of visit wasn’t the best – high tides were at 0600 and 1800 – and we, or rather I, ‘fished’ from 1100 to 1200 … ie the hour up to LOW tide which meant at my first cast the bait was landing in 3 inches of water … and by 1200 the lead and baits were shy of the water and, in fact, got cleared from the rock on which they were snagged by a beach walker LOL!

So, a blank!!

Oh well, back home now and as Monday is the 1st October, the first day of my pike season (I only pike fish from 1-10 to 31-03) Liz and I are planning to go lure fishing on one of our club’s pools on that day … then Friday 5th I’ll most likely head to a pool of my other club with the livebait rods (and my 6 metre pole to catch the required baits) for another pike session. Then having seen my piking season in I’ll probably revert back to other species until proper pike conditions arrive (which means to me that the water temps have dropped below 8’C)… and for the past few years that’s not happened until the January really. So I’ll probably just concentrate on some general canal fishing and bream and perch in the interim.

Session 42 – Five Species, A Nice Perch And An ‘Eyeless In Gaza’ Track…

Monday, September 17th I was on my planned trip to the club stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal (AA-SU/WA) and, as usual, I was the only one there – fishing anyway, a few dog walkers, ramblers … and an armada of boats (10-12 boats passed by between 1100-1200) were the only signs of other human life there.

Pic 1 shows the canal ‘upstream’ of my position – the ‘downstream’ view was corrupted – and Pic 2 shows the far bank area of my swim. A couple of things are not evident from the photos – (a) there was a fair bit of flow on the water even on arrival at 0700 before the boat traffic started (first boat of the day passed around 0830) – possibly a leaking lock gate up stream? And (b) the surface was already getting covered in leaves – usually its mid-October or so before the trees along the stretch start shedding but it seems the long hot summer that suddenly ended and the temps turned chilly has kicked off the trees’ hormones early… Luckily there are no willow trees along this stretch as I find, as I’ve said before, willow leaves falling in the water are not conducive to good fishing … my reckoning is that willow leaves are a source of natural aspirin and were, in fact, chewed as painkillers in days gone by … and the aspirin leaching into the water sickens it … so in summer willows are good providing shade and cover underneath but in winter the fallen leaves are not good and the areas are best avoided.

OK then … the fishing … I started off casting at around 0730 fishing the centre channel and about 3/4 the way over with the almost the same set-up as I used of my Staffs-Worcs Canal trip on September 6th (Session 40) – 10’ float rod, 6lb line, small onion float set to trip along the bottom with the flow and a size 16 hook baited with double maggot (red/red, white/white, and red/white) and first fish came to the bank within 10 minutes – a 6oz bream… and then over the next hour and a half this was joined by 8 perch (1oz-10oz), a small roach, 2 gudgeon …. and then a surprise fish, a daddy ruffe, which I wasn’t expecting at all!

And then – a really nice perch came to the bank – and this is where the ‘Eyeless In Gaza’ track comes in. One of the tracks on one of their albums (‘Caught In Flux’) is called ‘Scale Amiss’ … and my scales were amiss in that I’d forgotten how to use them! They are scales that I carry in my canal ‘seatbox’ – a small lightweight digital set – and thus had not been used for a while – and I’d forgotten how to set the units to weigh in (lb or g or Kg) – and I couldn’t get any reading despite trying a succession of varying button clicks and so I elected to photo alongside a tape measure I carry in my box and try to locate a ‘length to weight’ conversion table on the ‘net rather than unduly mess about and stress the fish.

2018-09-17 Steve - Perch ca 2lb.JPG

So reckoning on 14” length – and by extrapolation the depth is 5” so the girth should be around 11”-12” by my reckoning – and with those dimensions the table I consulted reckons it to be around 1lb 14oz (11”) to 2lb 4oz (12”) so I think to call it 2lb is acceptable? Whatever, its not a major issue as my PB is 2lb 8oz so it doesn’t compromise that….

Thing is that, whilst fishing later, I fiddled with those scales and discovered the secret of their operation! Oh well, I’ll just have to go back some time and re-catch it won’t I? LOL!

Anyway, at this point a few boats had passed and with the opening/closing of the lock gates the flow was getting a bit much for float fishing and so I switched to a light ledger system with my 8’ quiver tip rod – 4lb line – size 12 hook, worm baited (prawn tried later but not a touch) and a 1/2oz ‘penny’ lead which was cast close to the overhanging vegetation… over the previous time I’d been feeding this area as well as the area I was float fishing with hemp, corn, rice and dead maggot. And with this change I had a further bream (4oz),  and 6 more perch to around 12oz.

So, a good half day’s fishing as at noon due to the increasing boat traffic I called it a day and headed home. The one disappointment being that none of the expected chub succumbed to my charms LOL!

Well, that’s my fishing, freshwater anyway, now until 1st October as we are away in Porthcawl from Friday 21st of this month but we’re hoping to get some lines in the water from Porthcawl Pier in the interim…. and on our return we’ll probably have a day’s lure fishing for pike.

WATER TEMPS … sadly I forgot to pack the thermometer!

Session 41 – Middle River Severn…

Friday, September 14th and I headed off for the first of my River Severn outings of the year – and this year looks like being my last one too.

Normally, January to March I pike fish pools then April to September its bream, tench, perch, etc and then October to December its back to the pike BUT come the end of August I’m usually thinking that perhaps I ought to get a couple of barbel sessions in before the piking starts. So come September I make a bit of an effort and usually manage 3-4 barbel sessions. However, this year, with other things impinging on the month, my first visit wasn’t until the 14th … and as we are away on holiday from Friday 21st – Friday 28th, and as I’m intending to visit a canal on Monday 17th, my next trip to the waterside will be Monday 1st October – and I’ll be lure fishing for pike on a club pool, with Liz hopefully. Its been a short barbel season for me then this year!

Well, I headed as I say to the Severn – a club controlled stretch on the middle reaches (KF/S/HL/M) of the river. The swim I selected was based on comfort and ease of access (first swim on the stretch) really but it does look a nice fishy swim anyway with a current flowing a few rod lengths out but sheltered from the flow by a willow hanging in and over the water to the right and a fallen bare branched tree just downstream which forms a slow eddy … and still quite deep despite the current low water levels.

I initially started off with a 2lb TC barbel rod, 10lb mono mainline with size 4 hook on a 6” hooklength of braid ledgered with a 1oz flat ‘pennyweight’ type ledger attached to a short 8lb ‘weak link’ on a large eyed free running swivel that was stopped on the line so that bait-to-weight tail was about 3 feet in length.

Initial bait was a chunk of ‘Extra Hot Chili Sausage’ (tinned, ‘Ye Olde Oak’ I think) which was cast just over the edge of the current and allowed to swing round with the flow so that it settled ‘on the crease’ twixt flow/static water… and first cast was made at 0730 … and at 0740 the rod slammed over … and I missed on the strike never feeling a thing. So out a new bait went – and over the next few hours I had nothing apart from a few minor nods and twitches of the rod top….

0930 I switched the bait over to cheesepaste – stinky as its about 3 years old! But over the next two hours I had not a touch…

So Plan B came into operation … whilst fishing I’d also been feeding the slack/eddy area regularly with hemp, maize, wheat, rice and dead maggot … so I decided to see if any perch or chub or whatever wanted to play. The rod was switched to a 12’ feeder rod with a light quiver tip, 3/4oz ‘pennyweight’, 8lb line and size 10 hook to 8lb braid hooklength and baited with worm or worm/maggot and the bait cast around the eddy… Most casts elicited a response … most were just quick twitches … but I did manage 2 perch of around 4-6oz each by the time I packed up at 1430.

2018-09-14 Perch 01

WATER TEMPS

Minimum: 14.7’C
Maximum: 15.2’C

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OK … so plans for next trip are to visit a canal on Monday September 17th – the Shropshire Union Canal this time. A stretch of the canal (AA-SU/WA) that I’ve fished many times before with lures and spinners in search of pike and perch but only once with a ‘general’ bait rod, and that in a match, despite it having some decent sized carp, chub and perch amongst its known residents. I hope to fish an area where the far bank is overhung with brambles and bushes, and is an area where I have had reasonable catches on the lures and lost 2 good perch a few years back which I saw before the hook pulled and reckon they were close to, if not over, the 3lb mark.

Session 40 – A Short Canal Session…

Thursday, September 6th, I set off at 0530 for a short session on the local canal (Staffs-Worcs Canal). It may be local but it’s a stretch I’ve not bait fished since the 1980s at least and, in fact, more likely will have been the 1970s although I have lure fished a few times in the interim period and bait fished other areas of the same canal but even then it will be at least 2 years since I did any fishing on this canal at all.

The stretch I fished was located at Swindon in Staffordshire, near to Dudley, and is controlled by the Birmingham Angling Association (BAA) and they control most of this canal from Wombourne all the way through to its confluence with the River Severn at Stourport with the exception of a couple of small stretches which are under control of another club (of which I am a member too!)… and going the other way through Wombourne a long stretch stretch is under the control of the Wolverhampton Angling Association (WAA) and then the WAA also have further sections interspersed with holdings by other local clubs (Sankeys AC, Goodyears AC, etc).

 

Back in the 1970’s the canal was renowned for its head of gudgeon – in fact, back in those days catching anything other than gudgeon or the occasional stone loach would have likely to make front page headlines in the local newspaper – and possibly in the national’s too! The surface was always a mass of bubbles – as if a lorry load of Alka Seltzer had been tipped in – all due to the gudgeon foraging … and ‘first-to-100’ competitions were finished within 30 minutes –and that on a bad day! I remember the groundbait I used to use too – a 2lb bag of plain flour, wetted and mixed into one big stodgy dough ball which was slung into the middle of the centre channel!

These days, the gudgeon have dropped in number and the stone loach have totally disappeared it seems – but now the canal is home to bream, roach, rudd, chub, dace, barbel, perch, pike, tench, carp …. and others! At the moment it seems that only zander, catfish and sturgeon are lacking but for how long? Some of the fish are a good size too …. the chub in the area go to 7lb or more, barbel of 7lb I know have come out, carp into the 20s…. and perch of 3lb+ are not uncommon captures along its length…

So, as for today…

I arrived at my swim at about 0550 … the canal being literally 10 minutes from home … Air temps at just under 10’C felt a little chilly again – and the water was much warmer as can be evidenced by the vapours seen in the photos above.

Tackle was a 10’ float rod with a light antenna float (or ‘bodied waggler’ in new-speak! LOL) taking about 3BB of shot on a 4lb main line with a size 16 maggot baited hook attached directly.

The centre boat channel was fished … yes, I know that the ‘overhanging vegetation on the far bank’ is the accepted norm but I prefer to fish the centre channel especially when the boats are active as the churning stirs up all sort of micro-organisms, etc and bait offered in that I find quite effective – also the margins of both banks are often very shallow, sometimes only 12” deep especially on the far side which, often having overhanging vegetation, keeps the boats further out and thus the silt lies deeper there… not written in concrete obviously, horses for courses and all that but always best to check before blindly sitting there all day without a chance of catching? Depends on the species too … chub, and bigger perch are more likely to seek the shelter of overhanging vegetation than possibly roach and bream but then the further it protrudes out over the water the better … another canal I fish has a line of bushes that extend out over the water a good 6-8 feet or more and is the perch/chub hotspot. Also, I always fish in the wake/churn of passing boats to the point of casting in a yard or so behind the boats as I find the bait wavering in those currents becomes quite attractive to the fish… not that any boats passed today, the two boats that did set sail were ones that had been moored either side of me – and both set off away from me so no churns but did get the flow due to the locks being operated…

Catch? Nine fish in all by the time I packed up at 0900, and the first 5 fish were of 5 different species! Bream, gudgeon, perch, ruffe and roach in that order. And then I added another 3 perch and another gudgeon. The bream was the biggest at about 12oz-1lb.

 

So, the canal fishing was a pleasant change – and something I intend to do more of over the coming months especially with the warmer winters (although the way the temps are tending to be dropping this autumn…) that don’t suit my pike fishing which I used to start in October. The past 4 years or so I’ve dabbled for a couple of dead/live bait sessions at the start of October, then gone back to ‘general species’ fishing with occasional outings with lures for pike and I’ve not really started proper piking until January when the water temperatures get to drop below 7’C….

I would have stayed longer today but for the fact that I needed to make changes/adjustments to my setup that would have involved stripping down the whole tackle and re-tackling … and, as I needed to pick up a prescription from the chemist too, I thought I’d satisfied my fishing desires for the day and so head back popping in chemist for medications and re-do tackle in the comfort of home….

AND – I did take my thermometer … so the first September-March readings have been done…

Air: 9.8’C

Water: 15.8’C

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Session 39 – At The Members Only Pool…

Monday, September 3rd, as I’d said in the previous posting, Liz and I set off to the club members only pool (KF-WL2) located at the venue I visited on the previous Friday.

This pool is a fair bit larger than the day ticket pool albeit still not a large water and consists of two parts really – the ‘old’ part which was the original part of the pool and the ‘new’ part which is the extension made by the club and the pool owner several years ago and which has greatly increased its overall size. It’s also been stocked with carp which seem to be growing well and also has its original native population of roach, rudd, bream, perch and bream among others.2018-09-03 01

Setting off from home at a little after 0700, and with a slight detour to a Sainsbury’s in the hope of getting Liz a cap – she’d left hers at home – we arrived on site and were at our elected swims at around 0745.

Our swims were on a ‘spit’ – basically it indicates where the ‘new’ and ‘old’  sections are connected – so from the end of the spit you can cast in front of yourself and be in ‘old’ or ’new’ water – however, at this point the ‘old’ water is only about two feet deep but drops quickly to around four feet over on the ‘new’ side.

The ‘old’ pool had a lot of floating weed – some curly pondweed but mainly species of elodea… the ‘new’ side seemed quite clear visually but there was a lot of bottom weed and the fish hooked made full use of it generally being landed festooned in it… and the water level, like the day ticket pool, was down from its usual by 18”-24”.

I fished the end of the spit casting out with my float rigged rod slightly left and about 15 yards out. I didn’t use cereal groundbait, just catapulted regular small catapults full of mixed hemp, maize, wheat, rice and maggots into the area. Liz fished at the neck of the spit as per usual casting out her frame feeder rod towards a small island.

Baits – I tried worm/maggot, sweetcorn, and meat but only had bites on the worm/maggot combination and Liz used meat, sweetcorn and maggot.

We made our first casts at around 0815 in what was then quite a mild and calm start of the day – however, that soon changed to grey overcast skies and with a moderate cool, if not actually chilly, breeze and we had a couple of periods of fine misty droplets in the air although it never developed into the proper rain that it seemed likely too.

So, I started off the day’s proceedings with a tench of 1lb 15oz at 0905…. which was followed by steady procession of perch (24 in all) and the occasional rudd throughout the day taken on the worm/maggot cocktail. The perch ranged from one so small that the worm it took was far bigger than itself (5 to the ounce type!) to a nice one of 1lb 6oz with about 4-5 of 8-12oz, the rest being around 2-4oz ….

Liz had a slow start to the day and by midday was still biteless …. but then started to get twitches and her maggot baits being stolen which eventually turned into a success capture of a 4oz roach – and quickly after that a nice tench of 3lb 13oz – taken on maggot sweetcorn cocktails.

And that was our day, packing up at 1615 and heading back home via our local for the traditional end of day beverage.

I have since realised its now September – and I usually take water temperatures during the September-March period – so better pack my thermometer ready for the next trip!