Session 23 – The One In Which Liz Outfishes Steve .. Again! And Gets Two New PB’s Into The Bargain Too…

So it was Monday, 22nd May, when Liz and I set off for the water’s edge at a member’s only pool in Shropshire (WL2) at 0700, arriving at around 0740…

A beautiful morning on arrival…

… and, as first arrivals we elected to fish our usual swims on the small peninsula that falls on the boundary between what was the original pool to the right and the relatively new enlargement of it to the left.. with me fishing off the end of the peninsula off to the ‘new’ side and Liz at it’s shoulder fishing down the new section of the pool.

Usual preliminaries and pre-baiting carried out I tackled up my 13’ float rod with a 5AAA antenna waggler set up to fish lift-method style – 6lb main line straight through to a size 12 Kamasan Animal Barbless hook, baited with worm/maggot cocktails apart from an half hour period when I tried a small cube of meat with no joy. Liz set up two ledger rods with feeders fished with a variety of baits … luncheon meat, Old Ghost bloodworm flavoured sausage, sweetcorn, etc but had no bites from any of those … and maggot…. and then later switched the cage feeders to maggot feeders…

Anyway, I was first off the mark hooking into a small silver of around 4-6oz which unfortunately threw the hook before landing and then shortly after I landed an eel also of around 4-6oz …

2017-05-22 Steve - Eel (4oz-6oz) 02

5 oz Eel

… but other than that I only managed couple of ‘fingerling’ perch … but did miss a larger fish … maybe a 2lb’er, or possibly even a 20lb’er … I shall never know. Someone else had just arrived at the pool and I heard him speaking to Liz behind me and so I turned around to see but they were out of my line of sight and so I turned back to the rod … and the rod was bent over and the reel was back-winding … grabbed the rod and struck … but felt absolutely nothing… oh well!…

Liz started off quietly with not a touch for several hours and then had switched over to maggot feeders… and then had a good fish on and called for me to be ready to net. However, just before I got there the hook pulled free…. but not too later I was called into netting action again and this time nice 12lb 13oz mirror carp was safely landed…

… and at this point Liz decided that we needed to have separate categories in our PB/Big Fish lists for Common, Mirror and Leather Carp rather than the single generic Carp (King) one. Think it was triggered by her current PB carp being 18lb 1oz – a common – and she wanted this one on a list! And so now she has a new PB Mirror Carp.

Anyway, after dealing with the mirror, she wound in her other rod to re-cast out as I’d suck that rod’s tip to prevent the lines tangling whilst playing the fish and within a clump of weed she’d picked up on the retrieve a small fingerling perch was also found fairly hooked.

And a bit later she also had a nice perch of 15oz… also a new PB increasing from her previous 14oz!

And at 1630 we decided to call it a day and head to a local hostelry for beers, scratchings, and mini-cheddars!

Next outing plans – well, hoping for a Friday outing back to the reservoir of my previous trip out and aiming to go closer to the dam wall where I believe the water is deeper and where the bream may be hanging out – well, there was a YouTube video I saw of the venue and bream were being caught around that area… 🙂

Session 22 – New Water…

Well, as stated in my previous blog entry, I did head to that new water, a 19 acre reservoir that provides water to the Staffs-Worcs Canal, on Friday 12th May..

I found the water easily enough – a 30 minute drive from home and a water I’d passed in the car many times in my 66 years on this planet although I’d never actually walked it’s banks let alone fished it before.

ScreenHunter_19 May. 12 14.57

The morning was quite grey and overcast with light drizzle…

Anyway, I arrived at around 0730 and cast out my fish/depth finder – and found a slope down from about 3.5’ to around 7’ about 4 or 5 rod lengths out, and groundbait was mixed and some fed into this area prior to prepping equipment and setting up my two rods for the day – both 11’ ledger rods, 8lb main line with 1/2oz bombs but one with a size 10 hook baited with worm/maggot cocktail and the other with bread on a size 6 hook.

Weather varied – brightening one minute, darkening again the next, the drizzle almost stopping at times but never completely and then getting heavier again…. and by 1100 I was damp despite sitting under the brolly as breeze direction seemed to vary around almost 360’ so whatever orientation it was set in at some point in came in from the front half… and also due to the dampness of the outer clothing (dry inners though) I was starting to get a little shivery and so decided to call it a day… and, despite extra feed and changing fishing distances, the only ‘fishy’ action came to the bread bait at around 1030 whilst considering whether to pack up or not and that consisted of 3 or 4 quick 3”-6” twitches of the bobbin – and then nothing again…

Not put me off returning though – a nice looking water, and did see signs of sporadic fish movements in the form of swirls and ‘V’ waves, so hopefully on a better day….

The session did give me chance to try out some bits of kit I’d not used before – three items and pleased with them all..

Well, the first two items actually combined to form one – the brolly…

  • The brolly itself … a Koala 50” brolly …
    There are two tilt types in fishing brollies – one where the pole is hinged near the mantle/cover and folds over. With this type, when the brolly is in the tilted state, the pole remains planted in the centre and can decreases the effective usable space under the brolly to its interference to access items. With the other method (‘Nubrolli’) to put into tilt mode the centre pole actually unscrews and then it is re-screwed into a point between the spoke ring and the top of the brolly … thus the pole is behind the angler and the full space under the brolly is freed up… The Koala is of this ‘Nubrolli’ type….

       Standard Brolly                                                                             ‘Nubrolli’/Koala

… and as this was the first time of usage I was very pleased with it … and it did seem far more spacious than my previous 50” standard brolly…

  • The second item was the bottom pole of the brolly..
    Usually these are just a ‘pointed stick’ affair which requires you to press or hammer them into the ground… OK in soft ground but in hard dried ground or rocky ground or frozen ground they can be impossible almost to place in firmly enough. So some time ago I obtained a Dinsmore Screw-in Brolly pole which has a screw threaded point and you screw into the ground and which deals with many situations that the standard pointed version won’t..

Dinsmore                                          Dinsmore PowerPoint Umbrella Pole

However, this particular item has one slight failing – it is made of tubular aluminium – which means that in a medium or stronger breeze with the upper brolly pole not covering all this bottom pole then the section between where this bottom pole enters the ground and where the upper pole ends can get slightly (or worse) bent by the force of the wind catching the brolly’s mantle … and can make sliding the lower pole into the upper pole when packing up anything from a tight fit to impossible and requiring a straightening exercise on arriving home…

So, my new item was a screw-pointed pole but instead of being based on an aluminium tube with a screw-point attached, this one is machined from a solid bar of aluminium and thus very resistant to bending. Heavier though obviously than the tube version but a very good trade off…

Brolly_Pole One-piece solid bar pole (Gardner Tackle)

  • The third item was a Wychwood Pocket Rod Pod…
    pocket-rod-pod-alu

I prefer to use standard banksticks (screw-point type) set in the ground for my rod rests but in these days of wooden platforms and hardcore/concrete ‘stations’ this is quite often impossible to do as sometimes its not even possible to set up banksticks alongside these prepared areas – and then there are naturally rocky areas (dam walls made up of large boulders, etc) too. So this means that if you don’t know a water, and even if you do, then you may find that you need a rod pod for hold your rods to fish… and they can be quite heavy and cumbersome items … not ideal especially if it requires a long walk. And now, this Pocket Pod  has proven to be a good solution… like it says on the can … ‘Pocket’ … they really do fit in a jacket pocket (well, my combat jacket ones anyway)….  simply your 4 standard banksticks screw on to create the legs and a longer bankstick screws into the face of one piece (bottom pic) and then passes through the hole of the other and attached by tightening the thumb screw… Obviously you need to check that you bank stick for that connection is of a suitable thickness to pass through the hole … I used the inner part of a 4’->7’ telescopic bankstick that I always carry anyway – used mainly for holding the rod tip up high when barbelling on the Severn. Worked well enough for me, stable enough overall although a bit more wobbly than a purpose built rod – and when you consider the weight of a pod (1Kg+?) against the weight of these bits (< 250g?) plus the fact that you can make them easily a standard item to carry everywhere with you and thus always available to deal with unexpected situations… a definite 10/10 from me!!

Sessions 20 & 21 – All At Sea

OK, been on holiday to Newquay, Cornwall for the week of Monday 1st to Monday 8th May and had a couple of dabbles in the sea…

First of the two sessions was crablining in Newquay Harbour (South Wall, Inner Harbour) with Liz for our traditional Crabline Champion Competition whenever we are on the coast on Wednesday 3rd (or maybe Thurs 4th?). Usual crablines with bacon in the mesh bait bags on an incoming tide but after an hour in quite a cool breeze (but actually sheltered by the harbour walls, REALLY breezy outside those confines) neither of us so much as even sighted a crab which is not only unusual but actually an unknown situation for us over all the years we’ve done it – and we’ve been to far more unlikely-to-catch places! However, I did have a few small fish interested in my bait bag – a couple of 2”-4” black fish that looked like blenny, and one slightly larger mottled brown one that looked very wrasse-like from high above them…

… however, the picture above does show the blenny as mottled brown but they do turn black when in breeding so maybe both fish types were blennies…? I did add a hook to my bait bag with a small strip of bacon in an attempt to catch one but as my only hook was a 1/0, and even though the fish were attacking it, the hook was far too big for them to take… Anyway, after our hour, fishing boats started to return to harbour and took up all the available spaces to fish from … so off we went to the pub with an honourable draw recorded…

The second session was in the sea itself on Sunday May 7th fishing on Towan Head – however, selection of fishing area was not good given (a) it was calm, hot, sunny (b) next to the car park, (c) next to a launch pad for paddleboards, canoes, etc and (d) on high rocks with deep water below which meant that undisciplined kids (whose parents were sat over the way but said/did nothing to correct the kid’s behaviour) were jumping in about 10 yards from the floats and then climbing out between Liz and I who were sat only 10 feet apart. Needless to say we had not a bite or nibble in the 3 hours of our fishing up to high tide. General area (cliffs, rocks with large sandy areas) was good and if there then would fish there again albeit not in the exact location we chose this trip. Anyway, we didn’t take the beachcasters this trip, just basically the pike rods and floats and floatfished with sprat fillets sourced from the leftover pike baits of the past season and with raw king prawns… so we had to fish a calmer area due to the tackle limitations… next time we’d take the proper sea gear – beachcasters, 4oz-6oz breakaway leads, etc.

So, now looking forward to my next session with anticipation – Friday 12th May, a session on a local 19 acre reservoir which I’ve never fished in my life before, but which has a good head of fish including bream into double figures. I bought the season tickets (plural as you can only fish one rod per ticket, and so I’ve got two so I can use two rods – I’ve actually a 3-rod EA licence but the controlling club have a 2-rod limit on their waters) just before leaving on holiday in readiness and the past couple of days I’ve sorted my tackle and now only my bait to sort… the new club also has another 3 waters too that look good – a 16 acre lake and two smaller pools of 1.5-2.0 acres which I look forward to savouring too in the near future…

Session 19 – First Tench Of 2017

Friday 21st April and I re-visited the pool of Session 17 (WL2) – but as I’d taken two anti-diarrhoea capsules the previous evening at bedtime and a further one with breakfast I was hoping to at least get to stay a bit longer – and it worked! I arrived at 0700 and departed at around 1530…

I decided to start the day float fishing down the margins with a 5AAA antenna float using the lift-method technique and then later, unless action of the float rod was significant enough to stay fishing that method, to switch over to two ledger rods fished out between my position and an island that lies in the area between the two photos above.

So I did my usual pre-fishing preps but which this time included casting out a marker float for the planned ledger part of the session. Actually, the ‘marker float’ was my FishSpy camera and I had been hoping to grab some underwater footage over the course of the day but, unfortunately, although the camera had been attached to my PC overnight, the battery appeared not to have charged… reconnected since and charged OK so not sure what had happened before. Right, so with marker float in position I put out about 2Kg of feed (usual bread crumb based with maggots, particles and pellets added and wetted with creamed rice pudding to which tuna, sardine and molasses had been added) around it … and also 3-4 golf ball sized lumps in the area of the margin I intended to fish.

So, preps completed, the float rod was set to the correct depth and cast out using 6lb line and a size 12 hook baited with worm and maggot. At intervals the usual loose maggots were catapulted around the float… and regular small lifts and dips were apparent but it was around 1000 when the first fish was captured – a tench of 2lb 0oz …

[ORIGINAL TEXT: but the anti-camera gods struck again as I took 10 shots of me holding it via the camera’s self-timer function and then released the fish – however, on checking the captured shots all I had was a ‘Memory Card Error’ message! It seems the memory card was not seating correctly and thus nothing was recorded – took out the card and then replaced it back in the camera – and was working correctly.]

CORRECTED TEXT: At the time it seemed that the pictures of the tench had failed for the reasons described above… however, when I used the memory card from the camera for another subject and cane to transfer to PC I found that the pictures of the tench had, in fact, actually been recorded  … and here it is!!

2017-04-21 Steve - 2lb 0oz Tench

Anyway, despite making slight changes to the shotting and even setting to fish on-the-drop and with the bait a couple of inches off bottom the only other capture was a small (1oz) perch…

1130 and I decided to get the ledger rods into action – 8lb line and size 6 hooks – one rod baited with bread and sweetcorn cocktail and the other with luncheon meat cubes both fished into the pre-baited area and with additional feed in the shape of luncheon meat cubes catapulted out now and then. However by 1515 not a single touch had been registered (bar a diving coot that kept hitting my line underwater twixt me and bait – still, the alarm beeps got the adrenaline going a bit!) and I started to tidy my area and pack away unneeded equipments and baits … and at 1530 I pulled in my lines completely.

The future? Well, as we’re away the week after next camping in Newquay, Cornwall, next week is designated to checking the camping gear and sorting stuff out so no fishing can be fitted in then … the week after, well the sea rods and gear are being packed so hopefully we’ll find some suitable rocks, harbour or pier… and the crab lines are packed too for mine and Liz’s holiday crab competition(s)…..

And then there’s our traditional Wetherspoon’s holiday breakfast to be look forward to as well!! YUMMMMYYYY MUMMMMY! Just hope they’ve Sadler’s Mud City Stout on and I’d be heaven!!

Sessions 17 And 18 – Short And Not Always Sweet

Session 17 – was intended to be a day on a club’s carp pool (WL2) on Monday 10th April but instead was an half an hour visit – never got tackled up – due to the Chinese Buffet of the night before being stronger than the anti-diarrhoea tablet I always take before my fishing sessions. Enough said, I think.

Session 18 – Friday 14th April – was a trip to another club’s non-carp pool (B). A trip that promised much as I’d received just that morning an all-members text from the club saying that ‘hundreds of roach, perch, bream, tench, etc had been stocked and to report results’…

So it was that I arrived at the pool and at my selected swim for the day – opposite the near end of the pool’s island which usually provides all kinds of species…

I noticed the water was very clear – and, although the level of the water was as usual (ca 3’-4’), I could see the bottom all the way from my bank to the island and make out clear areas and area of blanket-type weed – and unusually whilst fishing I was picking up small strands of the weed on the hook, something that has never happened before in 5 years of fishing the pool…

So… I prepped my swim with a couple of small balls of my usual groundbait mix just off the edge of the island’s overhanging vegetation … maybe I shouldn’t have done this given the clarity of the water and just loose fed a few maggots….

I tackled up my 13’ float rod (well, its probably a 12’9” rod as I snapped the top few inches off accidentally a few years ago) with 6lb line, size 12 hook baited with a small worm and a couple of maggots and fished lift-method using a 5AAA bodied waggler (antenna) float.

Anyway, I fished from 0800-1030 without a single touch despite casting to different areas/features and decided I was on a loser and packed in – the water being cold, a chilling breeze and the water clarity being against me. So I came home so that Liz could take the car to go to work.

The pre-session period also saw the start of a new ‘drugs’ regime … 2 anti-dia capsules at bedtime the night before and another with my breakfast of the day… LOL!

Session 16 – Millionaire’s Fishing Day

Friday, 7th April, I headed off at 0615 to my destination of the day, a club fishery in Rugeley (SP) for the day.

This is only the second time I’ve visited this water as the club only acquired it last October and at that time there weren’t many spots available to fish from (possibly 4) with the banks very overgrown but the club in the interim has done a lot of work on bank clearance and now there seems about 10-12 easily accessible swims.

The weather was good, warm and bright without too much breeze – and its a very sheltered pool anyway as it lies in a deep hollow and is also surrounded by trees.. and the ‘millionaires’ bit? Well, I had the whole pool to myself for the entire day … and I only saw three other people during the day – a couple walking their dog up the path on the far side of the pool and an estate worker who popped for a chat…

First thing I did once I reached the swim I elected to fish was get out my depth/fish finder to ascertain the depths and contours around my area – and this showed a depth of 8.5 feet at around 10 yards out and then rising slowly into shore … however, when actually fishing, after casting, there didn’t seem to get much line being pulled out as the lead sank and so I reverted to old technologies (float and plummet) to re-check … and discovered the depths to be more like 3 feet rising towards the shore, and this was confirmed by the estate worker later who said depths were around 3-4ft.

So, arrived, checked depths and the next thing was to bait up my chosen areas to fish with the usual mix …. one rod to be fished directly out in front 10 yards out, the other to the edge of overhanging bushes that protruded 5 yards out over the water well to my left.

I decided to ledger both rods – 8lb line on both – but one with a size 6 hook which was baited with bread and with mussel (the ‘in front’ rod) and the other a size 12 (later changed to 14) hook baited with worm/maggot, maggot and worm (the ‘bush’ rod). First cast were made at 0800.

Over the day I had not a single touch on the bread/mussel rod … but the worm/maggot rod was getting small trembles and quick twitches of its bobbin … and the first fish was a small (ca 3oz perch) actually discovered on the hook after winding in to re-cast. The same twitches/trembles persisted without result and so I started to slack line/touch ledger which was more successful and I ended the day having added 20 or so small roach (up around 5-6oz) to the tally before packing up at 1500.

2017-04-07 Steve -Small Perch (3oz) 02.JPG

Small Perch

I could have been more successful in size of catch really, I think, by fishing a float rod with finer line (4lb) … but trees overhead forced sideways/underhand casting with an 11’ ledger rod and a 13’ float rod would have been even more limited … plus I decided to use the occasion to have fun hone up and practice my touch-ledgering and slack line ledgering techniques…

So an enjoyable day out for me…

Probably venture out again on Monday…..

Session 15 – A Quiet Day And A Punt…

Monday, 3rd April, Liz and I were off to our destination of the day, a mixed club fishery (VV).

Setting off at 0800 on a bright and certainly warmest day of 2017 yet we arrived at the pool at around 0845 and I was actually surprised to find we were the first there – although over the day another 4 or 5 appeared.

Anyway, we elected to fish the bush/peninsula swim we’ve fished the last few visits as its a good area for chub normally – and as you’ll have realised I’ve issued a bit of a spoiler there by using the word ‘normally’ – with Liz fishing the end of the peninsula and myself half way along.

I decided to start on the float, fishing ‘lift method’, which I was having difficulty with for some reason. When setting the float to the desired level it seemed that with highering/lowering the float only 2” seemed to make it sink or stick 10” up with a lot of slack line between float and bottom shot … Anyway, after a poor cast into the bush on the opposite bank, which resulted in 5-6 yards of line being lost, I decided to quiver tip instead using worm/maggot cocktail, worm, and maggot baits – and also tried bread which elicited not a single nibble in 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Liz decided to use one swimfeeder rod and use maggot on the hook…

Results when we packed in at 1630….

I had a lot of small perch (1-2ozs), gudgeon and a couple of small rudd up to 4oz.

Liz also had rudd to about 4oz, gudgeon and the best fish of the day – a 3lb 9oz chub.

img_0409.jpg

3lb 9oz Chub

Anyway, from what I’ve heard since, it’s been hard going on that pool for the past few days and it seemed the others fishing with us weren’t doing well either although there’s a possibility that a reasonable fish was taken out of our sight by the sounds of splashing heard.

So we come to the ‘punt’ bit of the title…

Packing up and the broken line of the floatfishing start of day had been bothering me as the large length of line had become a tangled mass hanging from the bush and was a danger of entanglement to the ducks and other wildlife – I thought to cast across with my mini-weed rake to try and snag to free it but as there was the club’s small rowing boat close alongside I decided it may be quicker and easier to row out and free that way – which I did. Probably the best way anyway as I doubt the ‘snagging’ method would have been successful as the line was wrapped in several places around small shoots and twigs of the bush and although the main tangle may have been pulled out then pieces of line would have remained in the bush – at least by boat I was able to completely retrieve all the trapped line.

Next outing – Friday 6th… destination unknown ….