Session 48 – Back In The U.K.

So having arrived back in the UK on September 12/13th it took me 10 days to get back on the water, rod in hand. I had anticipated that I would be fishing on Friday 15th but I’d underestimated the amount of prep work I needed to do which included making up new groundbait, getting maggots as well as the other general stuff. And so it was Friday 22nd September that I finally headed off…

I decided to visit a local club pool (AA-GH) with the float rod in mind in search of chub and bream although a decent roach, a possible perch (not many in there – I’ve had one small, <1oz, perch caught up in the landing net on one occasion and have heard of a 3lb+ perch being caught there but other than that I’ve not even managed to capture one on the WaterWolf underwater camera on the occasions I’ve put that out) … but being its a carp pool that is the the most likely species to be caught.

Anyway, I arrived on site at 0730 and found my desired location to be free so I quickly baited up the area I intended to fish (to my left on the edge of an overhanging bush) with a small quantity of crumb with particles and maggots added, put the probe of my thermometer in the water and prepped and slung out my new Deeper Pro Plus sonar fish/depth finder. Worked well, but seems my old ‘Lucky’ hadn’t been telling the truth about the contours at this swim – ‘Lucky’ reckoned on a 14’ depth in general but with several sharp drops in areas down to 28’ and 40’, whereas the Deeper showed an constant 13.7’ to halfway back to shore and then a constant sloping rise to 3.5’ at the bankside. However, the use of the Deeper was somewhat curtailed by the fact my Android tablet had failed to charge overnight…

I also baited an area out to my right and put my Waterwolf camera out over the area – however, I’d got the camera set to suspend too high in the water (4’-5’) and due to the murky water not good results were obtained – one job for today is to shorten that anchor line to 3’ or so.

Anyway, at the pool, had my mess with the technicals and was ready to fish…

2017-09-22

The water depth at my intended location was around 10’ deep and so, I set up the float rod with 6lb mainline, a size 10 barbless hook on a 6” hooklength of 6lb braid, a sliding 4g dumpy bodied antenna float shotted with 3 SSG shot plus an AAA shot at 4’ from the hook and a SSG shot just above the hooklength – and the float set around 12” overdepth in order to fish ‘laying-on/lift method’.

Baits used over the day were worm/maggot, Babybel cheese and luncheon meat and all attracted nibbles at least.

First cast was with worm and maggot and whilst waiting for my first bite I noticed fish cruising on the top and so I catapulted out some small marshmallows which were soon being taken and so I decided to get the ‘floater rod’ set up… but having completed setting that up I noticed the line on the float rod twitching and the float gone and so I struck – however, what I’d failed to notice was the reel handle that had been backwinding as I missed the bite and on retrieval discovered the float was now 40-50 yards out in the pool!

Anyway, I tried for a bit with the floater rod and marshmallows which attracted some interest but not a proper take before going back to the float rod … had a bite, hooked into a reasonable fish which I played for several minutes (either a good bream or a carp) before the hook pulled … and as the fish was quite close in at that point the float and hook catapulted straight into a bush – and resulted in having to snap-off and loss of the float.

Over the rest of the day, I had a fair few nudges but only two proper bites with one of those resulting in a bream of around 8oz-1lb shedding the hook at the bankside and the other the landing of a 2lb 3oz common carp.

Packed up about 1530…

WATER TEMPS

Min:                 14.7’C
Max:                15.3’C
Average:         15.0’C

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Sessions 46 And 47 – Cyprus – Luring On Reservoirs And A Sea Fishing Trip

From August 29th until September 12th we were on our Cyprus holiday – well, until the 13th really as the return flight, although it took off at around 2230 (Cyprus time) on the 12th, didn’t land at Birmingham Airport until 0130 (UK time) on the 13th, and after then getting the 0230 (actually came at 0255) coach into Wolverhampton and a taxi back to the house we didn’t actually get to bed until 0515.

Anyway, I managed to go fishing on two of the days over there…

The first of the days was an hour or so in total spent with a spinning rod and a blade spinner on two reservoirs. Nothing to report other than I had not a single follow never mind a take or capture. However, conditions weren’t the best with bright sunshine and both reservoirs, I was told, were 40 feet below normal level.

The second day was a 3 hour sea fishing trip on a boat – along with the parents-in-law-alike, brother-in-law-alike and Liz plus about 5 other anglers. The boat was anchored on a drift in three different areas over the course of the session and the family all caught – and think the others did too – but not anything of size. Most had sea perch but Liz’s Dad did best of all with the greatest number of those (6, IIRC) plus he also had a mousefish which dentally was similar to a piranha!

So, a couple of enjoyable, if not physically rewarding sessions.

And whilst away I bought a Deeper Sonic Pro Plus depth/fish finder to replace my old ‘Lucky’ one. The new one is more capable with a better display and also has the facility to be able to create and save contour maps of pools which I’ll be making use of. I’ve not managed to use it yet as I’ve not had a chance to go fishing since my return home for various reasons – too much re-sorting of tackle needed meant that a planned outing on Friday 15th had to be postponed – and now next Monday’s (18th) planned trip has also been aborted as the car needs to be looked at for a scraping noise and its booked in for that and for the annual service… so now looking at Friday 22nd for the first trip out.

I have put the interim time to use though – gathered worms from the worm pit into the holding box in the garage, made some pop-up sticks for my pike baits ready for the October start of piking, made some long (12”), thin (1cm) pike floats, ground hemp/wheat/birdseed in my new grinder for groundbait additions, made up some hemp infused oil also for use in groundbait and as a flavour/dip, sorted out and filled some new 60ml bottles with various glugs… and still some work to do with changing line on the floater rod, prepping the pike rods for the new season, mixing up my dry groundbait mix (on last bag), etc….

And I’ve located a good local source of pellets, crumb and groundbait mixes – I bought 2 x 3.5Kg bags of 2mm pellets for £5.50 each, and also got Liz 2 x 2Kg bags of red groundbait for £1.50 each. Several people had mentioned/recommended the place to me over a time and I managed to get there this week … and as Arnie said ‘I’ll be back!’ without a doubt when new supplies are needed… A one-man operation it seems, working out of a shed and a portacabin and he actually makes the groundbait/crumb himself (available as white and brown crumb and groundbait in red, black, brown, yellow and green). Don’t think he does mail order though so you need to visit in person…

Session 45 – A Few Carp Landed, A Few Carp Lost, A Bad End Tackle Idea, And Cheesey Successes… And Last UK Fishing Trip For A While Now

Friday, 18th August, and I was back at the scene of the previous mission (AA-GH) after the originally planned visit to the River Severn was changed due to seemingly bad conditions due – but looking at the club’s website it seems that people were there and had good results! But not to worry – had a good day anyway…

I arrived at the pool at a little after 0600 – first there and had to unpadlock the gate to get down to the pool but that’s good as it means I get my selection of swim, or, in this case, as I’d a score to settle with a fish there, my wanted swim of Peg 5.

2017-08-18 01

So, did the usual arrival procedure of baiting up, laying out kit, etc which included this time flicking out a few dog biscuit and crust floaters into the margins at my feet along with a few maggots – and floaters and maggots were then kept regularly going in. This was in order to attempt to lure back that mirror carp that I lost on the last session and perhaps a few of its relatives… I also baited out into the water with the usual cereal groundbait mix along with particles..

The intention for the day was to start feeding the floaters to get the carp feeding on them but not actually start fishing for them until later and whilst doing that I’d do my normal 2-rod ledgering further out.

So, the first rod set up was my ‘floater’ rod – a 70’s Winfield 1.75lb TC ‘Specialist Angler’ rod set up with 12lb mono main line connected via a small quick link to a 3’ hooklength of 15lb braid terminated with a size 2 Kamasan B981 barbless hook. And I tried out one of the things I mentioned in my last posting – the first of the ‘cheesey’ successes of the title – BabyBel wax used to float the weight of the quicklink to prevent its weight pulling the line down under the water – and I also pulled the braid itself through a piece of the wax to give it a slight coating to ensure its flotation – and it worked brilliantly!!

Then the usual two ledger rods were tackled up and baited with BabyBel cheese on one and meat (later changed to worm after a long period of inactivity). And that cheese was ’cheesey’ success number two… really soft and mouldable but stayed on the hook really well, seemed to withstand the attentions of the small ‘nibbly’ fish, and it seemed the carp liked it too… I’ll have to try it as a bait on that pool I’m having trouble anything other than small perch on!

The day was a strange mix weather-wise – one minute you could be sitting in bright sunshine and the next in a raging deluge – and the demarcation lines in the skies were very sharp, like lines drawn/etched, around the areas of (sometimes midnight like) black sky and the light blue with white fluffy cloud ones… and this gave rise to the daylight looking very fluorescent/electric at times… quite weird!

Anyway, first casts with the ledger rods were made at just after 0700 … but around 0900 I pulled those rods quietly in as the mirror (or its sibling) was taking the floaters being fed in. The floater rod was baited with a piece of crust and quietly dropped in to the margins and shortly after it was taken, I struck into firm resistance – and few seconds the mainline parted… ARRGGGHHH! Must have been a flaw in the line or it got dragged over a rock as I’d certainly not got enough pressure applied at that time to comprise even 6lb line never mind 12lb as I was allowing the fish its head on its first run… Perhaps the line had been flawed on a previous outing but certainly checking the line afterwards showed nothing untoward. Oh well, before I use that line again.. But then the situation also immediately threw up another problem … I’d not got any 15lb braid to make up another hook length, only 8lb which would not have been suitable in my view and the best I’d got was 11lb mono (in hindsight, as I write this, I should have just put a hook on the mainline and fished straight through!! It’s the age, I tell you!!) but it was not good and had a ‘memory’ from sitting on the storage cotton spool and was extremely curly. I did try, in a lengthy period before that rod was needed again, standing the rod up and dangling two 1oz leads off the hook but that only made the very slightest difference. And to cut the story short, although other carp came along and took floaters over the rest of the day, the curly line ensured that not another took the bait.

I also had issues with the ledger rods … as I’ve said many times, and for the reasons stated in previous posts, I almost always (99.99%) use short (usually braid) hook lengths for ledger fishing and these I previously attach to the main line via light weight quick links…

I originally used these ‘safety pin’ kinds…

… but in both kinds the crimping on the non-fastening side of the sleeve could work loose and the link fail … also in both kinds the bends of the sleeve that held the sprung wire could start to open up and fail … in the first one, as there is no turnover on the wires where they clip a pull can bend the wire and pull them out of the clipping … and although the second version prevents this the bend overs can catch the line and tangle… and so I only use these for connecting my leads now as a ‘weak point’ can be advantageous to a degree…

… then I started using these kinds…

..which are structurally stronger – 1 piece of wire thus no connections to fail as per the ‘safety pin’ type – but I did find a problem with line catching in the ‘eye’ that the hook of the spring wire catches into on the first type and the end fixing wrap of the second type …  and also line could also catch on the loose end of the wires although somewhat protected by lying inside the shape of the first one…

… so this outing I used another two types…

.. again, 1 piece construction so structurally sound. However, the first one, a standard stainless steel split ring fails completely to be of any use for two reasons – and disastrously so for one of them. First problem is actually fitting the loop of the hooklength on to it in the first place – I used small (3mm) rings and it was difficult to do without the use of a pair of split ring pliers (ie more stuff to carry). Second problem – and this happened twice, once on each rod – the line gets cut very easily by those 2 ends of the ring especially as due to shape the line can rotate around and catch on the ends at the split. Evidenced by the line loop on both occasions being cut on the opposite side to the knot. However, the second version seems far better and I changed to these after the problems with the first type – easy to slip on the loop, shape stops any rotation and thus SHOULD remain at the bottom of the loop although its possible that when lying on the bottom and the line is thus slackened that it could lie above the end that lies parallel with the body and thus get cut as per version one? Maybe add a slip of rubber tube over the bottom end to prevent this .. or locate clips with both ends facing inwards? And as this type is far smaller than sprung wire type Then the likelihood of line catching the wire tags is less too I should have thought … and never had it happen at all on this session.

Tackle issues sorted … what of the fishing?

Well, first fish of the day – on the bank – was a 4lb 6oz leather carp taken at about 1045 taken on the BabyBel cheese…

4lb 6oz Leather Carp

… followed by a small bream (12oz to 1lb) on worm and a 3lb 7oz common carp also on worm and a 4lb 11oz common carp on the cheese….

3lb 7oz Common Carp

… and these were followed by a 3lb 10oz common carp (cheese),  two 3lb 0oz common carp (both on cheese)… and that ended my catching as at this time a number of floater feeding carp appeared in the margins and I spent my time unsuccessfully, due to the ‘floater tackle setup’ problem noted earlier, trying to entice one or more of those for the rest of the session.

Whilst I was there another angler of my acquaintance turned up and headed off to fish a bit further round the pool to Peg 1… and came back down to me a short while later … it seems he’d caught a roach of around 6oz and has it let it go into the water it was immediately snatched by a pike, so he’d taken his lure tackle out and had an immediate take of a 10lb+ pike – but he’d left his camera at home and so I headed off round to his swim to do the honours…

2017-08-18 Martin Hadfield - 10+lb Pike 02

10+lb Pike (MH)

Also there was another chap fishing at Peg 2 who had, reportedly, had a few double figure carp fishing on a float with maggot directly at his feet … and this was the swim that Liz caught ‘Sherman’, her 18lb 1oz PB carp from, also literally within 12” of the bank, back in 2011.

Over the day there were 4 of us on the pool, or so I thought, but I know that two left just before myself and one guy I could see still on the far bank but on the car park there were two cars besides mine … so there must have been someone slipped in unnoticed and was fishing in the trees along the side bank or on the bank but hidden from my view by the island… so, maybe there were 5 of us.

OK … and that’s the end of my UK fishing until the latter half of September at least now. We’re going away for a couple of weeks soon and need time to sort out house jobs, etc before heading off… but not the end of fishing for that period per se…. as we’re heading to Cyprus where Liz’s parents now reside and where we’re hoping to do some fishing for catfish (not like our catfish I’m told, these are toothy buggers!), freshwater bass and, I assume as Cyprus held the Carp Championships back in the 90’s, possibly carp…. and go on a three hour tuna fishing trip – which is run by two guys from Coventry LOL!

SO… blogging over the next few weeks, due to having to write it on the onscreen keyboards of a mobile phone, or at best a 7” Android tablet, when away will be either of a shortened diary entry type and then updated on return – or even possibly not be published until our return….

So, toodle pip and tight lines for you long term sufferers of my ramblings in the meantime!

Session 44 – A No Small Perch Session BUT A Stupid, Stupid, Thrice Stupid, Mistake Happens!!!!

Monday, 14th August, saw me head to a different club pool (AA-GH) in an attempt, after had several sessions with only small fish of < 6oz – and 97% perch at that with the remainder being roach/rudd and a solitary 3oz crucian carp.

As I left the house at just after 0600 it was a beautiful morning, although there was also a red ‘shepherd’s warning’ sky –  and as I turned out of our road to face west a glorious rainbow faced me…

Rainbow

 … and at that time was even brighter and more vivid that the photo shows as it was taken a few minutes later … and within a few minutes as driving away the first few spots of rain fell on the windscreen… and the rain continued, as the online BBC Weather site forecast until just after 1000. Thus I arrived, unloaded car, tackled up and fished for the first few hours in various degrees of rainfall … from misty on the wind stuff to to a medium drizzle … however, I’d got the brolly up as soon as possible on arrival and I have a waterproof plastic trenchcoat with hood that I donned and so it didn’t affect me too much…

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… as usual on arrival I put out a few free offerings and small balls of heavy groundbait – yep, my groundbait isn’t ‘cloud’, you could probably use it in place of mortar to build houses – I like to get my fish getting their heads down in the trough feeding rather than just draw them in with just smells and other attractors – I mean, if you walked down the road and had this whiff of an amazing curry which you followed to a restaurant and then discovered there was actually only crumbs and dirty dishes in there, would you hang about very long? Nah… but a few small plates of food on the tables there for picking from, then you’d hang about for those nibbles … and if you spread that food over several tables, etc then you’d move from place to place looking for the next dishful…. and that’s how I base my feeding/baiting … small distinct balls (golf ball -> tennis ball sized) that just sit and slowly break up on the bottom and spread them over an area of probably 20’-30’ diameter on average (depends on the actual water, sometimes wider, sometimes smaller). I find this also gives better bite indication as the fish pick up a bait and then continue moving on looking for the next morsel rather than ‘graze’ within a small area and thus take less line… and my groundbait is quite coarse in texture and has added cracked seeds, maize and other particles….

So I made my first casts of the day at around 0700 from peg 5 as I know reasonable sized bream frequent that area. Normally, I’d floatfish this peg but with the rain and accompanying and varying breeze I set up two ledger rods in a sliding paternoster style – 8lb mono main line to 8lb braid hooklengths, freerunning 1/2oz (14g) bombs on 12” 6lb mono links on large eye swivels – and a size 6 bread baited hook on one rod and a size 8 baited with punched meat on the other.

First fish of the day came at around 0845 – a 3lb 8oz common carp on the bread rod baited with a piece of crust that, as it was buoyant would have been ‘popped up’ about 12”-18” in the 9’-10’ depth of water I was fishing into….

3lb 8oz Common Carp

3lb 8oz Common Carp

… and next fish at 1025, just as the rain was on its very last legs, was another common carp of 2lb 7oz… and then at 1250 came a 1lb 9oz bream…

1lb 9oz Bream

… and between 1335 and 1445 another 2 common carp of an estimated 2lb and 3lb landed having taken the bread and yet another of 3lb 8oz taken on worm after changing the bait from meat although that was actually foul hooked in the root of a pectoral fin… and also lost a good fish to a snap off although I hadn’t applied much pressure … or a bite-off from a pike? Possibly as there are plenty in this pool….

And then, at around 1520, a large carp swirled right at my feet about 1’ from the edge of the bank – I immediately threw out a handful of maggots and some loose groundbait bits to keep it around whilst I quietly wound in both rods and then removing the lead from the line of the worm rod, and flicking out a few more maggots at the edge (which pleasingly was accompanied by a tail swirl pattern in the water) I dropped down the bait … which after a few seconds saw the line tighten, a strike made and the start of a long playing session until eventually a nice common carp of 14lb 0oz was landed…

14lb 0oz Common Carp

Now, time was getting on for 1545 and I’d intended – and told Liz on the phone – that I’d likely pack in at around 1600 and so had 15 or so minutes to try to grab another fish. So I rebaited the bread rod intending to cast out on the ledger again but threw a bit of old crust out in front of me – and almost immediately it was taken in a big swirl by a mirror carp at least, probably more, the size of the 14! So, quickly, I disconnected the lead from that rod, threw put some more bread and crust – and had 3-4 other commons suddenly appear to join the mirror – so the bread baited hook was cast out several times but the carp appeared cagey and nosed and bashed the bait to bits but didn’t actually take it although freebies were taken OK… Anyway, I decided the problem was due to the swivel/link on which the lead had been originally attached but which couldn’t be removed easily – and so to resolve the issue I put my rod in the rests and basically ‘dapped’ the bread by only allowing enough line out so that only the bread (and hook) was actually in contact with the water with no line there to spook the fish… and it worked!! The mirror rose, grabbed the bread and turned and bolted….. and there was a crack like a gun fired right next to ear … and fish had gone! ALL BECAUSE I’D BEEN DOWNRIGHT STUPID!!! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!

OK, there I was with just 1’ of 8lb line dangling from my rod tip … an 11’ rod, so allowing for reel placement up the handle there was about 11’ of line in play…. AND I’D HOOKED THE LINE AROUND MY FINGER! LOCKED IT BEHIND A BENT FINGER! And 11’ of locked solid 8lb line just isn’t going to be a match for a bolting double figure carp! And it wasn’t….. Why I did that I don’t know, I wasn’t touch ledgering at a distance whereby line stretch, slack in the line, etc can dampen the shock and give that vital split second of extra time even… between me and fish was just 11’ of line… Why I locked the line like that rather than my usual way of loosely pressing my finger on the rim of the reel’s spool to hold the line but which would, in the event of a sudden snatch, allow the line to slip twixt spool and finger….. Years of experience and still stupid stuff like that happens! Oh, all done and dusted, can’t be changed but can be learnt from! But worst of all, Liz caught her PB carp – 18lb 1oz – in exactly the same 3’ from her feet situation!! Perhaps she should train me! 🙂

Oh well, it was ended up a day of mixed fortunes – an hour later packing up than anticipated, nice 14lb carp, several other fish that put a bend in the rod following several sessions that saw 200+ fish landed but none over 6oz – but all somewhat tempered by the needless loss at the end.

OK, then time to look forward now… Friday, I was hoping to make a trip to the Severn to hopefully connect with some barbel and chub but now, looking at GaugeMap (http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/) – you can look up the conditions of all the rivers in the UK and from that work out what the likely conditions will be a few days ahead by looking what happening at points upstream, etc. In the case of the Severn, due to high rainfall in Wales over the previous few days a big surge is working its way down from Wales and looks like the Severn may be rising quite a few feet over the next day or two – plans have changed and now I’m intending to return to the pool of the previous session and this morning have re-rigged up my ‘floater’ rod – 12lb mono main line with a 3’ 15lb braid leader (all greased) and a size 2 hook – so better equipped – and brain in gear – for possibly another encounter of the ‘mirror’ sort if the opportunity presents itself. May also get the float rod in action although it might be a bit too breezy for me according to BBC Weather but up to 1500 its dry and bright, light rain between then and 1600 and then back to a bit of rain by 1800 until 2100 but I’ll be well gone before that second patch arrives…

SOME THOUGHTS

  1. Online BBC Weather.
    Is really, really good IMHO. If it says the night before that there’s going to be light drizzle at 1000, dry at 1100 and heavy rain at 1400 … then that it what it is! Sometimes I’m fishing and a bit of rain falls and I think, remembering the forecast, ‘oh it must be 11 o’clock’ or whatever – and its usually right…. I even pack up at times depending what was forecast although it seems it may be wrong – but rarely is!
  2. Something I maybe should have made use of!!
    I was reading a book I’d just bought the other night as bedtime reading – Graeme Pullen’s “Freshwater Fishing Baits” – and he was saying about fishing floater baits and the need to add extra casting weight to the line when using light baits like Sugar Puffs. Now, on my actual  ‘floater’ rod I’ve got attached a small cotton reel – not a usual sized one that would have actually stored cotton but small ones that are really meant for decoration purposes (Easter Bonnets, that kind of stuff).[I do though, as an aside, also find them useful for carrying line for making up of hooklengths, etc – they hold about 15-20 yards of 8lb line – and I carry about 10 with me in a small compartmented box that would fit in a pocket (3lb, 4lb, 6lb, 8lb, 12lb all in mono and in braid). Anyway, back to subject, the cotton reel is good – fits loosely on a ledger stop to hold position for casting and controlling line but to a slightly heavier resistance (eg fish pulling against water surface) the ledger stop pulls out and the fish can take line freely through the reels hole….]

    OK, back on track, as I was saying I was reading Graeme’s book and he mentioned a ‘floating putty’ that could be moulded over a ledger stop, or similar, on the line to create that casting weight  and it was called “Anglers’ Flotabait’ and made by Evode. However, this seems to have been discontinued as I’ve been unable to find any (current) mention via Google … however, Google did throw up a few alternatives….

    There are various ranges of floating putties meant for making strike indicators when fly fishing – expensive though – about £3 for a small piece (1/8” x 1” x 1”) – comes in various colours from green to fluorescent reds/oranges/etc easily seen …..so can be used to detect takes…

    Also there are putties intended to create baits for ‘zigging’ ie buoyant baits – again expensive, about the same as the ‘fly’ ones… and also one possible drawback … as they are meant to used as ‘psuedo-baits’ they are also flavoured/scented to attract the fish … so possibly could lead to fish trying to take the putty? But then again cork balls even undipped in glug can sometimes become the subject of testing at times?https://stevetheangler.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/session-44-a-no-small-perch-session-but-a-stupid-stupid-thrice-stupid-mistake-happens/And, to me anyway, the best option … £1.90 for a reasonable ball of floating putty/wax and as a side product you get some eats for yourself or a decent ball of bait…. and its obtainable from most grocery stores, supermarkets, etc ….. BabyBel Cheeses! As I say, about £1.90 will buy you a 6 pack of BabyBel cheese – and the wax covering it floats well and can be easily moulded in the hands and hardens in the water. The cheeses also come in different flavours and different wax colourings…. The cheese itself moulds well and should make a great bait – although not tried it yet – probably tomorrow though! 🙂 And there are other products too that can possibly provide the same qualities – the small truckles of special cheeses that you get on supermarket shelves especially around Xmas time that are wax covered. So if you have cheeseboards on your Xmas buffet then make sure to keep those waxes!

    And if only I’d used that BabyBel wax that I’d got in my pocket to float the swivel link then I wouldn’t have needed to have such a short line….. STUUPPPPIIIIIIDDDDDDD!!!

Session 43 – Wondering Why I’m Carrying Unhooking Mats, Landing Nets, Scales, Weigh Slings, Etc … And The Bullocks Were Waiting Again….

Friday, August 11th, saw me at the pool (AA-B) where all I seem to catch at the moment are small perch – lots of them and occasionally I have a few roach/rudd amongst them and last time a surprise crucian carp – despite the pool having a good head of many species including bream, tench, chub and barbel…

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I arrived at the pool at around 0700 and elected to fish a swim (Peg 5) I’d only fished once before and that a few years back … not really my first choice of swim as it’s a ‘convenient’ swim right by picnic benches and a parking area and thus is probably the heaviest fished swim on the pool … but people do catch there and I know mixed bags had come out of it fairly recently.

So, water at the pool is generally a standard 4’-4.5’ deep although, due to the dry weather (and recent rains haven’t improved matters as the ground is so dry it’s just soaking it up) it’s about 12” or so lower than normal and as there was a fair breeze (and it was a cool one too) I tackled up initially with a 3AAA wind/driftbeater float loaded with a 2 SSG shot main load at about half depth to cock the body with another SSG shot about 6” above the size 12 hook I used – and the float set, by plumbing with an extra SSG shot temporarily added, about 9” overdepth to the bottom SSG shot so that when fishing there was 9” of ‘slack’ between float and the bottom SSG and the bait had 6” freedom of movement – basically I was fishing using the ‘lift method’ … cast out, put rod in rests, slowly tighten line until the tip of the float (in this the sight bob) is pulled down to sit on the water as required and a bite is indicated by either (a) the float lifting in the water as the fish takes the bait and lifts the bottom shot or (b) the float slides along and under if the fish takes the bait and swims away.

As can be seen in the picture there was a patch of lilies to my left and so I free fed some maize, hemp, wheat, small meat cubes and a few small balls of red groundbait off the edge of these whilst I tackled up (and extra added as I fished)…. and when ready I fished in that fed area using meat on the hook for the first hour, then swapping to sweetcorn and then prawn (they were also known as ‘cocktail shrimps’ back in the day). However, apart from a couple of small nudges on the meat nothing was doing at all … and so I decided to try worm and maggot knowing full well what to expect after the previous sessions … perch, perch and more perch…. and expectation were met. After a while I switched back to meat and sweetcorn baits for a re-try but still no joy and in the end, as the wind dropped a bit, I changed my float to a 5AAA bodied antenna (waggler) and fished maggot/worm for the rest of the day in the hope that something else might turn up amongst the perch – but on this day not a solitary respite from the ‘stripies’ and in the end at packing up time at 1530 I’d had 80 perch up to around 4-5oz…

So, again the landing net and other equipment required for larger fish were unused….

 And … driving out from the pool … the bullocks of last week’s session decided on a repeat performance of blocking the exit gate whilst emptying bowels and bladders … so once again I had to ‘push’ them away from the gate with the car and dash to open it through the soppy droppings … but practice makes perfect and although the car did require the use of Febreze to remove the clinging smell there was not much physical cleaning needed.

OK…. so not sure when I’ll get back to this pool… other places I want to visit and two holidays upcoming and the pike (my favourite species) season imminent…

Next week, possibly a trip to the Severn, possibly the Warks Avon, possibly one of a couple of pools… not sure which and not sure when as I had teeth removed on Tuesday and dentures fitted and having a slight problem so may need to see the dentist at some stage and that could coincide with one of the fishing days…

Session 42 – Just Fishing – And Bailiffing

Monday, August 7th, Liz and I set out at 1000 for a day’s fishing on a members’ only club pool (KF-WL2) arriving around 1045-1100 and settling in on our usual locations of the ‘spit’. This is the pool where some of the swims had been recently cleared including our older usual swims that had become overgrown BUT the path to those involves a walk through a muddy/boggy area that is made a bit worse by horses passing by AND we’d had a recent bit of rain which would have made the way even muddier… so we decided to fish the ‘spit again. There was one other guy there when we arrived who fishing at the neck of the spit but fishing into the ‘old’ pool and I fished at the spit’s end and Liz fished at the neck but into the ‘new’ pool.

[OLD/NEW] The pool has been enlarged from its original size and the area that formed the original pool I call the ‘old’ section, and the newer additional part the ‘new’ section. Makes sense, eh?? LOL

Anyway, Liz fished two rods on cage feeders and I fished two straight light running paternoster rigs using 1/4oz ‘penny’ leads on a 12” link attached to a large eye swivel. Not sure what hooks Liz was using but I had a size 12 on one rod, a size 6 on the other.

Liz was first off the mark with a tench of around 1lb 8oz on maggot … and later in the day had a perch of around 1lb on luncheon meat, and it’s throat was stuffed with meat too as it seemed to have been taking full advantage of Liz’s catapulted and feedered free offerings…

Myself, my size 6 hook baited with prawn rod was ignored with not one single nibble but my worm/maggot bait on the other rod attracted 4 small perch of up to about 4oz ….. and then I changed baits to meat on the size 6 and 2/3/4 grains of sweetcorn on the size 12… and started getting bites on both rods but on the sweetcorn rod I was only able to connect with one fish which came off on retrieve but looked like a 4oz roach or rudd… on the meat rod I landed a rudd of about 8oz and a perch of around 1lb…

Anyway, at around 1700 the skies darkened a bit and we decided to pack in before rain started – didn’t quite manage it but didn’t get too wet.

Also around 1400 two young lads (or youths) appeared walking down the pool on the far bank with tackle in hand from the opposite end to the usual entrance to the site – and not much tackle either a couple of rods carried in a bundle and a carrier bag of tackle/bait – and they settled on the corner at the opposite end of the pool to us. Not sure where they entered from but from tackle, etc they looked like they were ‘local’ – possibly staying on holiday in a holiday let. Anyway, I wandered down and had a word with them and advised it was a private water only available to club members but that a bit further on there was a small pool that was available on day ticket… and they moved on down to there without fuss… so all was OK.

Session 41 – The Search For Larger Fish Fails But A Catch Of Promise Is Made…

Friday, August 4th, and I head to the pool as said in the previous posting leaving the house at 0550 and arriving at the day’s intended swim – not actually the one I’d said in the posting as I’d had a reconsider –

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– at just before 0630 after a long walk of about 5 feet from the car’s boot… 😀

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The swim I had originally decided upon would have been the one above the patch of lilies you can see across the water underneath the car boot which would have been facing down the pool towards the end of the island but I changed my mind as from the newly chosen position it gave me access to the same water as if I’d fished from the originally planned spot and also to the side/edge of the island directly in front of me ie 2 separate areas.

So, after baiting up both those areas plus another area out to the right towards the near corner between the bush and lilies with crumb/particle/dead maggot/small meat cubes/maize, I set up my two ledger rods, on alarms, and cast out into the two island locations. The end-of-island rod was set up with a size 6 hook with luncheon meat as bait, the other rod with a size 12 hook baited with worm and maggot was cast to the side/edge swim. HOWEVER, I had intended to fish with prawn on the second rod originally BUT discovered that the prawns, and my sweetcorn, were still in the freezer at home… hence the smaller bait than originally intended…

And so, first fish was landed at around 0730 – a small perch on the worm/maggot rod. A few other small perch also came along … and then the ‘promising’ fish … not big, perhaps 2-3oz, but definitely a bit of an eye-opener … a crucian carp…

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NOW … why the surprise? Well, four years ago they were a regular catch and larger too – usually well over 8oz and up to around the 1lb 8oz area – but its got to have been 3 years since I caught one, or heard of anyone catching one there and others have asked about them… and I don’t think this is a recent ‘stockee’ as the club tends to stock with larger fish so I suspect that this may be a product of in-pool breeding which would indicate a breeding population? So fingers crossed that this is correct …. but even if stocked an appreciable number will have been added so that possibly the species will appear in catches more often so good news any which way… Just need to find out what’s happened to the bream/chub/tench now!! But they ARE being caught by others – think I’m just in the wrong area at the moment but the area has been very good in previous years…

I stayed with the ledger rods until 1130, catching a few more small perch on the worm/maggot rod, but had not had a touch on the meat/maize rod (meat was switched to maize at about 1000), and then packed in those rods and set up my float rod in an if-you-can’t-beat-them-then-join-them rest of the day and I caught a fair few more small perch and possibly had a hook pull on a larger fish although that could have been a perch finding a safe haven or snagging a twig and shaking the hook … biggest fish probably just over 4oz and as I said a fair number were caught although not counted and I estimate probably 30’ish… and I packed in for the day at 1530 as I needed to get home to collect Liz from work earlier than usual… however, it took me some time to escape from the ‘pool’ and then some time in ‘recovery’ when I got home but managed to get to Liz on time…

AS REPORTED ON A CLUB’S FACEBOOK PAGE:

Coming off the pool you pass out of a latched gate into a cow field and go 40 yards up track in the field to a padlocked gate… well, I say ‘cow field’ but ‘bullock field’ really – and all 15 bullocks were leaning on, or standing and lying in front of, the gate – and really didn’t want to move (and also seemed to be suffering loose bowels and endless pee’ing). Waving arms and pushing them only got them to move as little as possible and even then they sidled back at the earliest opportunity – even beeping the horn had almost zero effect and, in fact, just made them more interested in licking the car! In the end I just drove slowly at them and literally had to physically push a few out of the way … and then ended with the car against the gate which wasn’t at all useful as the gate opened inwards … so had to reverse to get enough space to open the gate, then unbolt and unpadlock the gate whilst keeping bullocks from re-entering the space, open the gate, chase bullocks heading towards open gate, run to car, race it through the gate, leap out of car and run round to chase bullocks back from gate so I could close it…..

Got home, boots all covered in loose bull motions and urine as were bottom of trousers – and the car mats too – all stinking to high heaven … had to clean mats/trousers/boots during which scrubbing brush spray covered my top and all clothing had to go in the washer…. car upholstery got ‘Febrezed’, car itself ‘Oust’ed…