Session 69 – The Last Session Of 2016 – And NOT A Blank!

Well, as I said in the previous blog entry I had planned a return to Pike Pool 5 and so I did…

I arrived at the pool at around 0815 on a cold misty morning which, despite being several degrees warmer than the previous visit, actually felt a lot cooler – mainly due to the previous visit being on a calm still day unlike the damp and misty one of this visit.

Anyway, as I suggested I would in the previous post I headed straight to the ‘roach/bream’ swim that had been noted previously – and having remembered to take my ‘rubby-dubby’ bag this time, immediately I put out a marker float around which I deposited the ‘attracting’ rubby-dubby which consisted of breadcrumb to which blitzed sprats/sardines and various fish oils had been added plus a few handfuls of maggots were also added in order to also attract and hold silvers in the area if possible…

I started off in much the same format as the last visit – one floatrod baited with maggots was fished for silvers for use as livebait and one pike floatrod fished with various deadbaits – horse mackerel, sardine and a Xmas Tree of sprats were tried.

And so, I fished until around 1330, having one bite on the maggot rod which produced a 1lb 8oz bream – a little large for a pike bait though … and not a single touch on the pike rod. And then for the final hour or so I packed away the bait gear and set up 2 lure rods – one with a silver ‘Big S’ floating plug and the other with a Savage Gear 19cm Soft 4Play body (‘Shiny Roach’ pattern) in a red scull cap – and had a wander around the pool casting in several areas but to no avail.

I saw only two other anglers all day – one just came for a look at the water at around midday and he said that he was surprised the water wasn’t frozen over as another local pool he’d just come from was frozen solid, and the other arrived at around 1400 and was lure fishing but up to the time I left he hadn’t had any joy either.

And so, that’s my lot for 2016! At least it didn’t technically end in a blank!

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Slight probable change to plans for next week – the zander session on the Fazeley Canal might now become a piking trip to the Shropshire Union or even a trip to the Warks Avon…

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Session 68 – A Blank Again

Wednesday 28th December 2016, I dropped Liz off at work at around 0750 and then headed off to Pike Pool 5 arriving a little after 0820 on a frosty morning, the overnight temperatures having taken a big dip …. car thermometer was indicating 2’C externally and water temps on arrival were around 4-4.5’C.

The idea for the day was to floatfish for small silvers to use as livebait initially whilst drifting a deadbait in the mean time.

First discovery of the day – I’d left my ‘rubby-dubby’ in the fridge at home… Well, it means I won’t need to mix a new batch for tomorrow’s planned return.

So I walked over to the elected swim – the furthest – and a corner swim – on the pool from the car park and set up as planned – and I fished there for an hour or so before packing up. Not a touch on the maggots nor on the deadbait rod and the depth was far less than expected at about 4’ max. Supposed to be a deep section but far from that especially when the pool is an average 11’-12’ deep with some areas of 40’ or so. I’d only fished that swim a few times previously and then only with lures… oh well, at least I know now. Did/does look ‘pikey’ though so maybe will try it again when the weather/water warms up in the future….

So… I then headed to my usual swim back on the opposite bank for 4-5 hours – a swim that produces and usually has hordes of silvers around – but, again, not a single touch on maggot nor any deadbait….

And it seems that others on the pool were having much the same results bar one chap did have a short aborted run on deadbait and a chap fishing the pole seemed to catch a few small roach and bream…

Anyway, I’m hoping to get back there again tomorrow – and hopefully I’ll get into the swim where the roach and bream were being caught – if the pike are anywhere they’ll be around their food sources and so…

Next Tuesday I’m planning a lure fishing trip to Tamworth – the Fazeley Canal by Drayton Manor Park – in search of a, my first, zander.

Waiting For Session 68….

Well, it’s been 14 days exactly when I was last out – on that ill fated trip to the Severn for a friendly Fur’n’Feather match – and haven’t been out since due to the usual Christmas preps and duties.

Can’t wait to get back out there – planning to be out on Wednesday 28th for a day session with a ‘pike day’ on one of a couple of waters being the favourite option at the moment but there are other options I’ve been thinking over – use my newly acquired Waterways Wanderer permit to do a bit of lure/micro-jigging on the local industrialised/inner-town Black Country canals, or go general bait fishing on a choice of venues, or lure fishing/floatfishing deadbaits on the Shrops Union Canal…. so many options!

Session 67 – A Match Not Made In Heaven

Saturday 10th December I was up at 0500 in order to be ready by 0615 for my lift to a club match being held on the River Severn at Hampton Loade. The draw wasn’t due to 0800 but one of the entrants was recovering from a heart attack sustained just over a month before and my lift (the match organiser) and I went down early in order that we could get his gear down to his swim for him and check he was going to be OK… The draw for peg for the guy had been made the night before in order that we could make the arrangement to meet up with him to get all in order…

Anyway, there were 24 of us fishing on the day with a £10 entry fee and prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places plus a £10 prize for the last-but-one (ie anyone not weighing in was ‘last’ so effectively it was a prize for the lowest weight actually weighed in) from half the entry monies paid in with the other going to charity. And, unfortunately, the charity was ‘decided’ for us in the preceding couple of weeks of the match by idiots and morons 😦

One of our committee members has a son who visits a centre for people with difficulties although that is by-the- by… and those aforementioned ‘wonderful’ people (idiots and morons) decided to pay a night time visit and smash up their club house and pour engine oil over the presents that had been prepared by the members to give each other, etc….

So the charity proceeds of the match are going to the organiser’s of that club – and the angling club members have also added the ‘restoration’ fund via personal donations and public appeals have also added and it seems that recovery is well in hand, at least financially, now. And hopefully some sort of normality can return to the affected club and its organisers and members. I just hope that the deviants that caused the damage get caught and punished appropriately ….

So let’s get to the fishing…

The day started with quite nice mild and calm weather and the river looking in excellent trim and it was expected that there would be some good catches with barbel showing – and a guy who fished the day previous had had a good catch of barbel and chub which added to the anticipation. My own peg was looking great with 3 distinct areas from ‘in the flow’, ‘mid flow’ and ‘the reed/bush lined margins’… However, the weather forecast had said that there would be heavy rain from midday and they were spot on… so the last 2-3 hours were a bit damp….

For the first couple of hours I fished the outer 2 swims with a feeder loaded with bread mash with added maggot and hemp with bread or cheesepaste on the hook. And whilst doing this I loose fed small but frequent balls of the mash/hemp/maggot mix down the margin line…. and after a couple of hours of no nudges let alone a decent take I switched to a light (3 x 2SSG) link ledger approach with bread, worm and maggot baits fished down the margins about 1-3 rod lengths out…

And what did I catch – well, a few leaves and had 3 possible nudges (but suspect leaves catching the line)… 😦

And the match overall – was won with one 6+lb barbel – a solo 5lb 5oz chub taking 2nd place – and third place went to a 5lb catch…. in fact, the TOTAL weight of the field was only a little over 19lb with 9 weighings in – and the last-but-one was won with 1oz J.

Oh well…  🙂

Next week? The gear still being wet from the downpour I think I’ll give Tuesday a miss – have some Xmas stuff to sort out anyway so that will give me chance to do those preps. Maybe Friday I’ll get out … And my Waterways Wanderer card arrived a few days ago so a possibility I might grab a couple of hours with a lure on the local ‘urban/industrialised’ Black Country canal system. Also, I had my 2017 Birmingham Anglers’ Association card come through as well… so will have to keep fishing for another 12 months … despite the famous Fred J. Taylor comment made in the foulest of conditions … ‘I’ll be glad when I’m fed up with doing this…’  God Bless, FJT!!

Session 66 – An Icy Reception

On Tuesday 6th December I headed off on a trip out with a fellow club member, Mike W, in search of pike at Pike Pool 3 with Mike picking me up from home at 0730 and arriving on the car park of our destination around 0815.

We sauntered down to the first swim of our planned lure roving day and started to tackle up. The day was foggy/misty with the dampness of very fine water particles drifting in the air (molecular rain?? LOL!) and mild in temperature with no air movement discernible …. which made what happened next very surprising indeed!

Having connected a Big S lure to the line I dropped it on the water at the front of the platform we were to fish from and … yes, I said ‘ON’ … because the lure hit the surface of the water with a ‘PING!’ as the water was actually frozen like a sheet of glass right across the pool – and it was around 3mm thick too! No wonder it looked calm!

Anyway, not much we could do at that point so we gathered our gear and wandered up to the far end of the pool where there is a submerged dam and the water depth increases greatly… and the water all the way to the dam location was almost completely iced over excepting a small bay of shallow water – why that was free of ice I don’t know but it was too shallow to fish anyway. However, the deeper water area that makes up about 1/3 of the entire pool’s area was ice free and fishable – and so we did, fishing around the pool, over the new dam, and on until we met the ice again and then fished back around.

Mike fished a silver Big S lure and I fished a selection of lures –  13cm perch and fire-tiger patterned Savage Gear 4-Play soft lures and a Fladen Shad Spinner among them – and I also floatfished a sardine for about an half hour or so.

I had not a touch all session but Mike did have one take that was missed, and this was quickly followed by a hooked pike of around 5lb from the same spot a few casts later … probably the missed one.

It was an enjoyable day though and better than being in the house!

Anyway, next outing for me now is an informal/fun charity ‘fur & feather’ competition on the River Severn on Saturday 10th December….