After a mainly health and weather dictated time away from the waterside I finally made it back on Thursday July 1st for a session at the club’s tench and bream pool (AA-B) on what was, at least in theory, a Mr Crabtree ‘perfect weather’ day … lightly overcast but warm and with still air.
The day started poorly as my radio alarm fail to switch on but I luckily awoke naturally only 30 minutes after my intended time. I did think to throw aforesaid radio alarm in the bin but then thought that it probably wasn’t really its fault in that that it hadn’t realised that the time I’d set (5:00PM) wasn’t the time I’d intended (5:00AM)… SENIOR DOH MOMENT 1!!! In the end I left the house only 30 minutes later than intended though at 0630…
Arrival at the pool was made at 0700 … and, as has been usual on my past few outings, there was already one car on the car park … but a quick perusal from the pool side area of the car park bushes showed that, although the said person was on the far bank where I’d been intending to fish, he was actually located 3 or 4 swims further up so my swim was free… On returning back to the car someone else was just entering through the gate… and over the day there must have been 10 or more arrived to fish over the day although not all at once – about 7 of us were present throughout the time I fished with 2-3 leavers replaced by newcomers.
The covid thing has certainly brought angling to the fore – before covid it was rare to see anyone else fishing on my sessions as I fish only weekdays, probably more fish at weekends obviously. In my case though, if two others were on a water it was the equivalent of a goldrush … now I often see 5-6 and sometimes into double figures on the water with me. The club has a carp pool (its ‘premiere’ carp water) that the intra-club syndicate can night fish and all members can in the day time .,.. I fished there a few times each season for tench and perch without problem and there’d be possibly 2 syndicate members arrive at the pool … nowadays, it is advised if wishing to fish in the daytime to contact the syndicate leader to see if there will be any free swims to save a wasted journey as a lot of the syndicate members are now bivvying down for several days or even weeks … The syndicate is full with its own waiting list and the main club had to start one at the start of this season! Other local clubs have also suspended taking on new members and are starting to restrict day tickets. I saw a posting by the Bridgnorth Angling Society only this morning – they have a stretch of prime Middle Severn waters – that new memberships are now closed as their numbers are at a new 11-year high AND that they are also stopping issuing day tickets in order to allow the increased membership better access to the waters AND as a solution to the litter and other damage caused by day ticketers along the stretch.
Anyway, I barrowed over my gear to my swim – well, what I thought was going to be my swim but as I was unpacking the barrow I realised it wasn’t and I’d walked up one swim too far … SENIOR DOH MOMENT 2!! … so I wheeled what was left on the barrow back … and manually carried the already unloaded… Anyway, it added one extra space between me and the already fishing man …
So, now in the right place … the usual baiting up preceded the tackling up … and then first cast was made at 0745 fishing (dendro) worm on a size 12 hook, 6lb line, my usual lift method with my 13’ Hardy Matchmaker clone rod and 5AAA driftbeater float.
Wasn’t long before my first take – 0800, the float lifts and dives, strike meets VERY solid resistance and for the next minute or two it’s basically a tug-of-war as I attempt to keep ‘the monster’ away from the lily pads to my right but it’s a battle I lose and eventually the line parts just above the anchor shot. A few kind words are mouthed… LOL! That felt a REALLY decent fish and wouldn’t have been surprised if it had easily surpassed my current tench PB of 5-02 – but will never know.
0950 – after further loose feeding in the mean time – the float again wobbles and moves slightly away – a strike is made – a fish is on and this time is prevented from entry into the lilies… and a 4lb 3oz tench is landed. And the feel of the fight, to me, was nowhere near that of the previously lost one re-inforcing my feelings that I’d lost a monster!
At this point, a comment… I recently bought a Korum Quick Release Net Adaptor…
… and this was its first use… and I found it great! I use an extending (1.8m-2.8m) landing net pole usually close to its full extension … and my unhooking mat/cradle is usually set up to my right or behind me depending on the swim. Trouble is that usually, turning with the net attached to a 2.5m pole is not easy eg banging chair or catching/entangling in bushes, etc. With the adaptor, the fish is netted and pole fed backwards until net at hand, net unclipped and carried with fish to the mat and unhooked still in the net … AND NOW … net with fish can be placed on the scales to weigh .. and fish in net carried back to water for release. And that last bit is far easier than trying to take the fish from the net and place in a weighing sling (often a bit of a battle if single handed at time and trying to open the sling) … less number of operations = less time fish is out of water. Only thing is that ‘tareing’ the scales to the net is not possible without removing fish first and then replacing it – but easy enough to subtract the net’s weight in your head (or use the calculator app on your mobile LOL). My net, it appears, is 1lb 11oz wet… Yep, I’m well pleased with it and well worth the £5.99 price tag IMHO.
However, the adaptor only had one testing/use on the day as, although I did hook into another fish that again found sanctuary in the lilies…
I also found from mid-morning that pondweed (one of the Elodea variants – ‘densa’, I think) was becoming a bit of a problem – I think it was rising from the bottom to reach for the daylight as the light increased and so was stopping the anchor shot falling to the bottom reliably. I do carry a small (6”, 4oz) castable weed rake which I use in conjunction with my spod/spomb/sonar/heavy spinning rod which is tackled up with a 60lb BS mono leader to 60lb braid mainline and terminated with a secure clip so the various bits of kit can be clipped on as required. With the rake I was able to pull out quite a fair bit of weed and so make life so much better. Also a useful tool for recovering bits and pieces caught up in bankside bushes that are too far away to be reached normally … if the bush, etc is flexible enough then the rake can be slung over the offending area allowing it to be bent back enough to come within reach quite often – I’ve managed to recover, and gain LOL, a few plugs and spinners that way!
As I think I said in my last posting, I won’t be able to get out to the waterside again until next Thursday (8th) now but am thinking of a day on the Worcs Stour as my first 2021 outing to a flowing water.