Session 3 (2021) – Waters Re-open And A Pike Session…

Monday 1st March saw me set off from home at 0700 for a pike fishing session at a local club pool (Pike Water 24).

A special occasion really as the club had closed all its waters to angling from the start of Lockdown 3 (January 7th?) and today was the first day of access being allowed again to all its waters.

The morning was cold with a slight breeze meaning that I needed to spray defroster on the car windows and switch on the windscreen and rear window heaters before I could drive away from home… BTW the window heating on the new wagon is far superior to that of the old vehicle, took all of approx 2 minutes to clear!

[Old vehicle is no longer owned by me actually any more – on Wednesday last week I arranged the sale to a salvage yard and they came and took it away on a low loader – and tomorrow I’ll be dropping the cheque into my bank :)]

I arrived on the pool’s car park around 0720 with one car entering just in front of me … however, as that driver decided not to battle the pools of water up to the pool end of the parking area – the venue is a stables and the path is used by tractors to take the old hay/bedding up to a disposal area and consequently the path is full of holes and is mostly churned up mud although the club has, and does often, lay hard core on it – he parked quite a way short whereas I battled the path and parked as close to the water as possible. TBH you don’t gain a lot parking away from the pool as you still have to barrow/carry your tackle through that assault course anyway. So, tomorrows job now – give the car a Karcher’ing – although it is actually quite clean considering… but its a job that’s been intended to be done for a while now anyway 🙂

I started out by setting up my light float rod to fish for livebaits and intended to fish that way until 1030 or until I’d got enough bait accumulated… However, that time was eroded appreciably by repeatedly having to sort out tangles and resolve knots in the line … and when I did get the line actually fishing I had not one bite at all…

1030 – float rod away and one pike rod was set up for floatfished deadbait using a sardine…

At this time air temps seemed to be on a rise and I watched the thermometer rise by about 0.1’C per minute real time from around 5.5’C to 6.7’C as I watched but going by the end of day ‘MAX’ reading it seems to have got to over 8’C! …. but then it seemed to just as quickly, if not quicker drop again, down to below 4’C! It seemed like a random bubble of warm air passed had through….

1200 – still not having had one sign of action despite trying depth and location changes and with the temps still dropping I decided to call it a day and head home….


Undecided – but unlikely to go again this week – a bit cold!! LOL
So next Monday (8th) is most likely to be the next day’s outing. Temps forecast to be 9’C and might even talk Liz into an outing 🙂

AIR:                  MIN:    2.0’C      MAX:   8.3’C
WATER:           MIN:    6.5’C      MAX:   6.7’C


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Session 2 (2021) – A Proper Session…

Thursday 25th February, I set off at 0915 – I either have to set off pre-0730 or post-0915 to miss the rush hour traffic although, in these times of restriction and home-working, the congestion is less than it used to be – for a local club pool (SAC-DP) for the first ‘proper’ days fishing since the end of November 2020.

December  is usually a virtually, and often a reality, fishing-free month for me due to Christmas preps and other engagements also seem to work their way into my calendar/diary for the month.

January, I do generally fish often but not this time around … the planned purchase of a new car was brought forward due to problems with the current vehicle of the time and this led to Liz and myself travelling by train to Preston, Lancs to view a ‘Click-n-Collect’ vehicle on the 4th of the month (and 3 days later we were locked down so was done just in the nick of time). The rest of month was taken up with up hospital/medical appointments including, but not limited to, colonoscopy, CT scan, diabetic eye scans, etc. Good news on all fronts – all were absolutely fine! 🙂 And cold wet weather wasn’t enticing me out either!

The viewed vehicle was just the job for us – a silver 2013 Ford Galaxy to replace our old blue 2005 model – and was driven home the same day. Nice vehicle with the added bonus of its road tax being £50/year less than our older version despite being of a larger engine size (1997cc vs 1897cc)! And amazing how the ‘comforts/gadgetry’ have improved in the interim period – voice control, DAB radio vs the old FM, auto-lights that come on/go off as required – and 101 more things to be discovered and studied upon as how to work them!! Plus a BIG bonus for us as we generally only have 1 or 2 of the 5 rear seats in situ, the rest of space being utilised as needed for shopping, fishing and holiday/camping, is that the 2 rear rows of seats fold down flat to become ‘the floor’ of the boot – with the older motor you had to manually unclip and remove the seats – and big bulky and heavy things they were too! Plus it was not an inconsiderable task to release and replace them and space had to be found to store the removed items in the home! None of that any more! Just release the pull a lever and fold down or pull up – just 5 seconds between having a seat or not! 🙂

February, had my CV19 jab – Astra Zeneca (aka Oxford) one – all good really. Only thing that might have been a side effect was strange dreams overnight afterwards. Arm did feel a little bruised if you pressed on the area of the needle’s entry for the following week but I stopped doing that! LOL. No stiffness, etc.

Weather improved a little and Liz and I planned a joint short walk/lure session along a local canal but on the day the weather deteriorated and it was cancelled … but then we managed to fit that plan in on Tuesday (23rd) as posted about previously…

SO… on to this session.

A beautiful day, quite mild and largely bright and sunny.

I was expecting to be a fair number fishing to be honest and there were but not as many as I had anticipated given that the club had, at the end of the previous week, did a major stocking with roach, etc – and bream, some of which exceeded 9lb! Actually on my arrival there were 3 cars on the car park at my end of the pool although it seemed to me that the great majority of anglers arriving at the pool appeared to be parking at the other end… certainly more anglers than cars at my end and more anglers down at the other end to me too.


Tackle … 2 ledger rods, 8lb line, frame feeders. One rod size 10 hook, one rod size 6 hook.
Baits … initially worm (10) and bread (6) changed to meat (10) and prawn (6) at around half-time.
Groundbait … my usual mash of crumb/particles/dead maggot with added molasses fed via the frame feeders and supplemented by catapulted golfball sized balls.

For the greater part of the morning, until 1230 I should say, the area I was fishing was a bit noisy with horny Canada Geese honking, pairing up and chasing each other around the island near where my baits lay.

Results: Not a touch until 1500 when I packed the rods away.

After packing the rods away I then setup my Deeper CHiRP to scan around the area of my swim…

Depths of the 4.6ft- 4.8ft range were recorded – and seemingly a fair few fish were around the area albeit it seemed they were mainly located in the 2.5ft-3.5ft depth range.

The club that closed all its waters as a covid prevention has now decided the time is right to re-open access to the members – and so on re- opening day, Monday 1st March, I’m planning a pike fishing session! Due to operations in 2019, covid restrictions in early 2020 and early 2021 and my usual Dec fishing lull I’ve not done much piking for 2 seasons (the club only allows pike fishing – in all its forms – between 1st October and the following March 31st) and so I’m straining at the leash to get back out to them now!

AIR:                  MIN:    9.9’C      MAX:  12.8’C
WATER:            MIN:    8.6’C      MAX:   8.9’C

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Session 1 (2021) – At Last – A Session Under My Belt!

Tuesday 23rd February, Liz and I actually had our lure session that was intended to take place some weeks ago on a local canal for an hour’s walk with the light lure rods.

With the errant rod/reels that had caused our cancellation of the intended trip earlier replaced and re-tackled we left the house around 1130.

The weather wasn’t as good as forecast though being very breezy which made casting with our SSG (1.6g) micro-jelly jig lures – attached to 15lb braid mainline and 14lb fluorocarbon traces – difficult to say the least. After neither of us having a touch after an hour or so we decided to call it a day and call in the supermarket on the way home to pick up a few essentials. Actually, Monday’s (yesterday’s) weather was far better – bright, sunny and calm and with none of the forecast rain.

Anyway, it was good to get some exercise – I’d not been out of the house in about 10 days other than to get the ferrets in a couple of times for some exercise of their own!

Next trip already planned … going to a local club pool on Thursday (25th) – a solo outing as Liz is working. So today has got me ‘in the mood’ for that as I was getting a bit lethargic having been sat indoors for weeks on end … and I’m further motivated by news that the club stocked the pool with a lot of bream (up 9lb+) and roach last week … so have that happy thought in my head! LOL.

Boris announced ‘the way forward’ today but not sure how that will affect my clubs’ waters as fishing already allowed legally but currently one of my clubs has closed all its waters until further notice and another has placed a restriction of being within 5 miles from home (ie actual travel distance, not as the crow flies) as they have interpreted the word ‘local’ in the guidelines as being that… However, one other club has no restrictions and the neither does the BAA. I am suspecting it may be the end of April before any changes occur but that’s my only personal view… have to see how it all pans out really.


Anyway, my latest SENIOR moment – and its a masterpiece!
I said in my own blog posting about the aborted trip that due to a broken reel that Liz and I ended up just walking the canal instead of the intended lure fishing. SO given that you’d think that what I’d need to do would be to purchase a new reel? Common sense? Well, what did I do? I went and bought new spinning rods – and no reel! And to compound the error of buying rods instead of a reel – I bought FOUR rods! Thinking that when I ledger I use TWO identical rods – plus the same for Liz – and thus we’d need 4 rods between us …. However, when lure fishing/spinning each of us using two rods simultaneously is going to test our dexterity!?? DOH!!!! However, I suppose use can be made of them by setting up one rod each as braid with fluorocarbon leaders for small lures for perch, and the other rod as braid with wire traces for larger lures for pike. I read that renowned Gord Burton (aka ‘The Piking Pirate’) uses fluorocarbon leaders for most of his pike lure sessions these days so that adds some weighty recommendation?

Or possibly rig one of each of our two new rods with fluorocarbon main line and the other with braid as one of our clubs does not allow braid main lines (although braid leaders are OK).

The new rods are quite nice …. Okuma, 8’6″, rated for 10g-30g lures but seem to have enough ‘whip’ to send a 2g micro-jigged lure on 15lb braid across to the far bank of the canals around here without problem.

One thing I need to do is resolve the reel issue… I’ve a couple of still boxed Shakespeare size 30 reels I can use plus one still boxed Okuma size 30 reel. So I either need to get another matching Okuma reel OR look through my setup rods and see if there’s one that I could remove/replace OR remove a matching pair of suitable reels from those…. 

NEARLY!!! Oh So Very Nearly A Session!

Liz and I had intended to pop to the canal for an hour’s walk with the light lure rods … but ended up doing the walk without the rods.
We originally intended to go out about 1100 but when I got up at about 0900 it looked *COLD* out and had that ‘possible snow later’ look too. And then when I went to make slight adjustments to the pre-tackled rods I discovered one on my reels had seized up … and not having a suitable spare at hand was the final straw and put the fishing part of the plan on a rain check.
However, 1200, it was looking better out – brighter with some actual sunshine – and so we headed out for an hour along the canal albeit not the stretch we’d have gone if we’d intended to fish… Still it was enjoyable especially as I don’t think I’d ‘exercised’ in any way or form (bar switching TV channels with the remote) for at least 10 days – and the few anglers we passed hadn’t been doing any good so that eased the soul!! 😀

No 2021 Sessions Yet … Not Even Been Armchair Fishing!

So here we are on the 30th January 2021 and not yet kicked off the start of my 2021 fishing … and as the Wii is not set up I’ve not even been able to play my ‘Rapala Tournament Fishing’ or any of my other fishing games… 

Yep, the ‘national lockdown’ ably assisted by the weather and my current state of health (not that its bad but I need to attune my body functions with the days I possibly could go fishing and I’m a bit out of sync at the mo) and medical appointments (had a colonoscopy and my diabetic eye screening, both with good results – and a CT scan for which results are still awaited) have put to any chances to make it out to the waters.

Also, the car, which had been earmarked for replacement anyway, started to play up and was refusing to start which led to a search for a replacement … terminating in a train trip to Preston on the Monday preceding start of lockdown on the Wednesday … and we returned home in our new car…. another Ford Galaxy, this time a 2013 Titanium model. Since then, with the help of a battery charger, we’ve coaxed the old 2005 Galaxy (now named ‘Epsom’ as we bought it in Derby – ‘Epsom Derby’?) 🙂 back into life and its now sitting on the drive alongside ‘Duncan’ (Duncan Preston) awaiting the weather to improve so it can be Karchered and Hoovered and a ‘For Sale’ sign stuck on it.

Anyway, possible fishing locations are a bit scarce too at the mo….

One of my club’s has opened all its waters BUT fishing is allowed only if you have to travel 5 miles or less to reach them – and that’s 5 actual road miles NOT 5 miles as the crow flies. As the closest waters of that club are at least 15 miles distant from my home those are all a no-go. And you also have to present your driving licence along with your membership cards to the bailiffs in order to ascertain if you are complying with the 5-mile rule.

Another club has closed all its waters completely until further notice….

My third club has its waters open – but that’s only 2 pools. One is local and is only about 10 minutes from my home but the other is 20-25 miles away and is not a favourite of mine – small and so stuffed with carp that the chances of catching anything else is minimal – went there once, won’t be going again!

And then there’s my Birmingham Anglers Association card which I get mainly for the local canal stretches but they also have river/pool/canal waters further afield including a short stretch of the Worcester Stour … and their waters are all open. In fact, Liz and I discussed going out on Monday to the local canal for an hour’s walk with the light lure rods but today the weather is awful – light snow/rain and extremely cold! – so maybe not – will have to see what happens over tomorrow.

Will be going out the the local Halford’s AutoCentre on Tuesday – booked an appointment there to have Duncan wired for the dashcam that we used for Epsom – and whilst waiting for that to be done, and if the main Halford shop over the road from the AutoCentre is open, then I’ll pop over there to maybe get Duncan some rear seat covers with the £20 voucher which we received from when we used them for the purchasing of our car insurance last year.


January 1st 2021 has arrived and I wish one and all the very best for an exceedingly Happy New Year – with hopes that the covid vaccines recently released get into the right hands quickly for the vaccinations to be made – and that they do make the differences wished for!

Our New Year has been a bit marred by the car refusing to start for the past 3-4 days – hopefully due to the temps – and engine won’t even try to turn over (just a ‘click’ heard on the turn of the ignition key but that’s all apart from dashboard lights dimming/extinguishing).

BUT just after Xmas I was looking for the planned purchase of a new vehicle – and found one that looked good to meet our needs and desires bar it being 100 miles away in Preston – and Liz and I are off to do a ‘Click’n’Collect’ viewing –  and a purchase and drive away if all meets our desires via train on Monday 4th. So, a bit pushed into by the failure of the current vehicle but certainly meets my wants if all matches the description, etc.

A Bit Of A 2020 Review – With A Bit Of Personal Good News!

So a quick look back over my year from Xmas 2019 to Xmas 2020….

Well, it didn’t really start great for me with an health issue that I later learned had started happening in July 2018 but seemingly missed by my GPs at the time. Having had a cancer in my rectum removed in Sept 2019 I was on the road to recovering from the surgeries for that but late October a problem I had had with eating (and I thought it was just me becoming ‘overfussy’) in that I was losing my tastes, building dislikes to various food textures, hence not eating a lot and bringing up much of what I did eat soon after, etc increased. In fact between going for the operation and Xmas 2019 my weight had dropped from 95Kg to 78Kg. Obviously, eating so little, I was getting to feel weaker and weaker. The first week of December I saw my then GP and he prescribed Complan type drinks… which didn’t do much and I continued to feel weaker and weaker to the point that on the Thursday preceding Xmas I had to get Liz to take me to A&E … where they did tests and pronounced my kidneys ‘bone dry’, put me on a drip and kept me in a ward until the following Monday … and even after the first lot of drips I felt so much better and was eating well without any nausea. I was discharged on the Monday, feeling very well, and was thus home on Xmas Day and had my full Xmas Day lunch. However, Boxing Day I started to feel ill again and so it was back to A&E the following day where I was again admitted and put on drips for the weekend again. Touch wood, I’ve been fine regarding the kidneys since then and monitoring has shown them functioning well again.

January, I made a decision to change my GP – and Liz also changed along with me – as I had become increasingly unhappy with my then current practice for several reasons over the previous 24 months or so – despite having been with the same practice for 60 years or more. Misdiagnosis of cancer, failure to spot kidney problem, having to book appointments on the day at 8am on the phone (so often couldn’t get through until all appointments gone and so have to retry to following.. and often the following,..etc) and the feeling that they just wanted to empty the waiting room asap… and the final straw was when I learnt that both the senior partners are to retire in 2021 and the practice was in the initial stages of becoming part of a large group being established by a couple of other local doctors – and when I checked reviews of this group online they were predominantly getting ‘1 out of 5’ scores BUT even worse were the comments accompanying those scores many of which read ‘The sole reason I scored this group only 1 was because I couldn’t score 0 or lower!’. Not good! So mid-Jan both Liz and myself were with the new practice. An excellent decision! Contact at any time of day to make an appointment which can be for any day and try their best to fit a time to suit you, etc … appointments are for 20 minutes rather than the usual 10 … they listen intently to you! Had more samples taken in the first 3 months of being with them than the previous 2 years with my old one! AND … seems my kidney problem started in July 2018, doc showed me the papers that had been sent from old GP and on the graph there is a cliff-like fall in the figures that had either been totally missed or ignored – but whichever….

Anyway, strength regained a bit, I was able to manage a bit of fishing, heading for my first 2020 session, pike fishing with Liz, at the start of the second week of January… and fished weekly until March 24th, the first day of the first Covid lockdown … not intentionally, but as I haven’t read a newspaper or watched a single TV news broadcast in over 15 years I was totally unaware of it!

Anyway, it was May until I fished again when fishing was again allowed…. and then I fished almost weekly until the start of July when I was again in hospital to have the ileostomy I had back in Sept 2019 reversed – the bag removed and the pipeline restored to use the normal outlet. All went well with the op BUT hospital was like a high security prison camp due to Covid restrictions – confined to the small ward and about 15 yards of corridor for the 10 days – no walks around the hospital corridors, no Greggs! I was really happy to say goodbye!

I started my fishing again from 1st September and continued until the end of November but December is generally a fishing free month for me and has been so again. Leaves in the water, cold and damp (cold and dry is fine but any dampness in the air soon gets past the best of thermals, etc) … and Xmas preps take their toll too. And I’ve had a lot of medical appointments too …. nothing for months and then suddenly appointments appear for diabetic reviews, blood samples and the reviews for my operations and associated tests…

BUT I have had good news from one of the tests …. yesterday I had a colonoscopy to check my bowels as part of of my cancer reviews …. ALL CLEAR! One small polyp was removed at the same time and tested as benign – think this was there on the original scan done in Sept 2019 but due to the more pressing concerns of the cancer they left it there. When I went to bed last night my stomach was well bloated, tense and uncomfortable probably due to the air they pump into the bowels … but woke up this morning feeling fine! Apologies to Liz if there was a strange odour overnight LOL!

So, I’m now looking forward to my 2021 fishing starting in a couple of weeks time…

A few changes happening too … leaving one of my clubs as their waters are not really suitable for me in my medically refined state and most are too far from facilities/carpark … and as Liz only fishes with me then she’s also leaving but will be re-joining one of my other clubs.


BTW I see we seem to have lost a Swansea blogger (Perchpuddle) along the way but have recently gained another in the form of ‘Jacksonb1’ – nice to have you along!!

Session 35 – The Session That Was Not To Be…

Monday, 30th November, was intended to be a short session, possibly 0900-1200, at a local club pool but my occasional need to ‘recharge the batteries’ overcame me … in fact, I didn’t rise from my bed until 1030 the previous day and ended up watching Christmas and horror movies on the day and so no tackle or bait prep was done so really the decision was made then but then again today, 30th, I was woken by Liz at 1100 with a mug of coffee which meant I actually got out of bed at 1130!

I had a couple of dreams too … one of which involved the session that was not to be … although it to be a solo trip in the dream I had a companion, don’t know who but did say as we were packing the car that ‘I’m not taking the barrow and all my kit, just my trolley and my (Shakespeare) box…’ and that was the plan I was in actuality intending … basically one float rod, etc as for a trip being undertaken on the bus for a canal session….

However, looking out of the windows here at home it’s a ‘right miserable day out there’….

… and so I’m not as disappointed as I might have been …

So, as I said previously, as I wasn’t intending fishing much in December and definitely unlikely to be doing so before Christmas Day it looks like being a while to my next outing … but you never know do you and a lure session might slip in there… 🙂

Tight lines to all of you who manage to get out in the meantime … keep your post coming and look forward to reading them…

Today for me now … writing Xmas cards, watching Xmas movies,….

Ciao, my friends!

Session 34 – Pike Fishing At 70…

Thursday, 26th November, was a (half) day spent at Pike Water 1…

I left home at 0700 and arrived onsite at the pool at around 0730 not surprised to discover I was the first there due to the heavy-at-times mist, sub-zero temperatures and heavy ground frost…

2020-11-26 Frost And Mist

Car parked, barrow loaded and I headed off to my chosen peg for the day and tackled up to follow my plan for the day which was to initially fish for small livebaits until around 1030 and then put those baits out for the desired pike.

Part One: Livebait gathering:

My tackle for this was a 13’ Sealey float rod along with a small 3000 size reel with 4lb line straight though to the size 16 hook which was maggot baited. The float was a crystal style waggler of about a 4BB rating.

[The Sealey rod I had acquired via a local auction some time ago along with 9 or so other rods for the princely sum of £30 and it is a nice rod – fibreglass but very light. Actually, I bought a good lot in that auction – Liz ended up with a decent float rod, there were a couple of other nice rods and a couple will head to car booting – but the star of the lot was a Hardy’s Gordon’s 10’ Carpquest which currently sells at between £150-£200 retail and I have seen them go in auctions at £85+, however, mine is missing the first ring of the top section which I need to replace which will devalue it a bit I suppose]

So, first cast was optimistically made at 0830 as on arrival, despite the frost/mist/low temps, there were plenty of dimples and swirls of active small fish in evidence. However, the next hour and a half did not go well and I suffered tangle after tangle and three times I had to cut out knots and re-tackle from scratch – and not a bite in the interim period either despite altering depths from the 30” I started fishing at (and at which depth I was catching on an almost identical water with when I fished with Liz last time) down to fishing the bottom – and at various levels in-between. Due to the problems I changed my plans and decided to give it until 1130 to gather livebaits and I did in fact, during the period 1000-1130 I manage to avoid further tangles BUT still did not manage to make a single capture…

Part Two: Pike Fishing:

So, in the absence of livebait, my pike fishing had to revert to Plan B and be done using deadbaits (smelt and sardine) that I’d taken with me ‘just in case’.

The usual floatfishing pike rod (I decided to fish just a single rod), a 12’ 2.75lb TC carp rod, was tackled with a 40lb braid main line, 30lb wire trace with twin treble snap tackle, red/white polystyrene float and a 25g quick-change lead … and a sardine bait mounted….

And at 1400 when I decided to call it a day I’d not had a single touch despite varying location and depths and tried drifting and laying-on…

So… not an eventful day but was pleasant enough … thanks to the Damart Thermolactyl Double Force thermals!! I really rate them and have been my standard fishing thermals really since the 80’s (NO.. not the same set!! And they do get washed! LOL). I’ve found nothing to compare – and are used on Everest and Arctic/Antarctic expeditions I believe. If you sit still you will start to get chilly but after a 100 yard walk up the bank and back you’re as snug as a bug in a rug again for another hour or more! One of my two pike fishing essentials not included in the usual lists…

  1. Damart Thermals – or at least some sort of thermals or quilted suit..
  2. Styptic Pencil!! Pike teeth are sharp (triangular shaped with a razor sharp edge) – and are also covered in an anti-coagulant. The merest scratch will bleed and bleed and bleed – not profusely but for a long long time often resulting in a well bloodied hankie and bloodied clothing and kit and the wound is barely visible! So a styptic pencil is always in my jacket pocket – an excellent solution, albeit a ‘stingey’ one for a few seconds!


I’m hoping to make one last trip out on Monday 30th before Christmas – whether piking or maggot fishing not decided but most likely the latter as I’ve plenty of maggots at hand at the mo to be used up.

I’ve pencilled in December for doing the Christmas preparations/jobs essentially and in past years I’ve not managed to do much fishing during the month anyway. But that’s not to say I won’t manage to slot in a spot somewhere along the line, so not set in concrete. Possibly sneak in a couple of lure fishing hours on the canal perhaps. All to be seen.


AIR:                  MIN:   -1.2’C      MAX: 21.2’C
WATER:            MIN:    7.5’C      MAX:   7.9’C