Normally this post would have started .,.. ‘I set off for the club’s tench and bream pool’ as indeed that was where I intended to go and, in fact, did go.

2023-05-18 Mike Day Fishery

The ‘Mike Day Fishery’ is a tribute to the club’s ex-secretary who sadly passed away in January 2022 after being the secretary of said club for 22 years. Mike took up the post when the club was having problems – membership stood at 40 anglers and had also just lost access to a prestigious estate water at that time – but Mike led the club into better times with his skills on negotiating leases and purchases … two stretches of the Middle Severn rented by the club were purchased outright and the formerly rented tench and bream pool was purchased in 2007 … and working with another member (who also has a memorial stone on the site), Colin Wollason who was a JP and managed the legal aspects, it was determined that there was room for another pool to be excavated alongside the original pool and this was done back in 2009 with the new pool becoming, at that time, a chub and carp only fishery. The tench/bream pool is known as ‘Barlows Pool’ after Sid Barlow one of the club’s founder members of 1949 … the carp/chub pool is ‘Oak’… Today the club has access to, including the owned waters, a 1.2 mile stretch of Shropshire Union canal, 7 pools, and two stretches of the Middle Severn.

SO… at 0615 on Thursday 18th May I set off on my journey with the air temp on the car’s thermo reading a pleasant 11’C and very little air movement happening – the forecast said that any winds would be low (2-3mph) and coming from the south … ‘when the winds in the south, it blows the bait into the mouth’ … it seemed ideal conditions ahead.

On arrival at the pool a little before 0700 I found the cows/bullocks awaiting me – between the padlocked gate and the gate to our pools there is a short (50-60 yard) track across a cow field which is often occupied by cows/bullocks who seem to prefer the hard bare soil of the track to that of the lush green grass alongside. These creatures can be intimidating at times but are really just curious and move out of the way easy enough if you stand up to them … and say ‘please’! LOL. Anyway, after driving the car through the gate and whilst locking up the cows usually provide a car wash service … a real cowlick … usually!!

Entering the pool car park I found I’d been beaten to the water but as the chap wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be (far bank, halfway up the pool) that was no problem at all…

Barrow loaded .. to the swim … unload barrow … bait up … tackle up … etc .. etc…

2023-05-18 01

0815 or so and first cast is made – 13′ Hardy Matchmaker rod, 6lb main line, 6″ of 6lb braid hooklength with size 14 hook… and a 5AAA driftbeater float shotted to fish lift method (ie overshotted by 1 AAA placed at hooklength/mainline connection and the fishing depth set (float to anchor/bottom shot) about 9″ overdepth … rest of shot placed midway between float and anchor shot). Bait to start, 3-4 poor maggots – had been bought the week before my last outing – the Burnham sessions – and they were turning to chrysalis rather quickly but enough decent ones to use over the day … currently now in the freezer to kill off for groundbait additions on future trips.

[Usually I kill old maggots by immersing in 75’C water but then they need to be dried off which is a hassle and not doesn’t work perfectly as they seem to decay quickly going limp and smelly … but then again neither does freezing it seems as the maggots can do a Lazarus even after 3-4 weeks frozen … so hints on killing maggots welcome!)

A lot of taps, mini-lifts and suchlike ensue – and same all day long – but seems that its small stuff playing as the first fish landed is a small (sub 2oz at most) bream….

2023-05-18 Small Bream

… followed by a small perch and a small tench …

2023-05-18 Small Tench

Hook sizes over the day were varied using size 12 and 10’s and baits between worm, maggot and sweetcorn which produced interest but worm tipped with a maggot attracted most bites and unsurprisingly accounted for another five small perch. I did connect with two bigger (ie felt around 1lb or so, not huge) fish but with both I suffered hook pulls.

At 1500 I called it a day having to get home, bags sorted out, etc and then picking Liz up from work at 1800 and heading to McD for food.

A bit of a bug bear over the session was that even despite the light breeze the air was filled with lambkin parachutes, at times it was like a snow blizzard .. and those parachutes had to land somewhere and that was on the water surface… and that floss wraps around the line very easily but is extremely difficult to remove … and casting gets affected as the clumps bounce through the rod rings cutting casing ease/distance severely…

So, I don’t think I’ll return back to this pool until all the floss has been liberated from the trees and the flotsam sunk by heavy rains… :(


I can’t fish next Monday or Tuesday so next outing if possible will be Thursday…

Where? Well, not the tench/bream pool … and of the other three thoughts I had, two are now being reconsidered based on info heard … both pools purposes in life is to provide a source of water for crop irrigation and thus can drop in level over the summer, sometimes by 8′ or more but it seem both pools are suffering water drops DESPITE no water being drawn off yet…  BUT I’ve had thoughts of another water to visit – the BAA’s Nordley Pools near Bridgnorth which is a 6 pool venue albeit that 1 pool is more like a duck pond usually covered in duckweed – where Liz and I visited to fish a while back but seemed we’d chosen a day when work parties were out in force and so we diverted elsewhere… so two options remain for next week.