Session 14 – Mission Abort And Retreat

Monday, 27th March, I was off to the selected pool (GH) at 0700 and making my first casts with worm/maggot and bread baits at around 0800….

Temperature was a bit on the low side first thing, the car’s thermo registering 4.5’C as I drove down there. In fact, I was intending to not put my thermal onesie on before leaving the house but changed my mind and glad I did! However, with the walk from the car to the swim and the exertions of baiting up and tackling up, after making the casts I was actually quite ‘cosy’ … and around 0830-0900 it also felt that the ambient temps were on the rise … but then at around 0930 or so it felt like the temps just plummeted … and even with my fleecey mitts on my fingers had gone numb with cold.

So at 1000, not having had a single nudge/beep on either rod, I made the executive decision to pack up, head home and leap into a hot bath with a coffee in hand…

So ends this report…

As for plans ahead – Friday 31st is forecast for heavy rain and so wasn’t looking good anyway but this morning it was noticed that the car’s exhaust pipe had broken at the weld of the rear box section and hanging low, swinging free – so now the car is booked in for the replacement of that. Monday 3rd April is looking reasonable though so probably get out then and maybe will get Liz to come out too.

In the mean time, tomorrow night Liz and I are at a club EGM to vote on terms for an updated constitution for the club – and to also collect our new membership cards which have been paid for but no collected yet.

So a short and sweet write-up this time…

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Session 13 – Happy To Be Back At The Valley

Well, after the exertions of the ‘prog-rocking’ weekend in Pwllheli and the necessaries that follow on on the return home (unpacking bags, etc) I didn’t manage to get out on Tuesday as I’d no time to prep tackle of get baits and so the session had to wait until Friday 24th March.

And it was with excitement and hope in my heart as I set out to one of my clubs’ mixed fisheries (VV) at just before 0700 in search of whatever decided to take my baits, arriving at the water around 0730. I had wanted to floatfish but as the weather forecast was for quite breezy weather and it seemed they were right (although there were a fair few calm periods) I elected to ledger two rods placing my baits close to the overhanging bushes on the far bank – and this also gave me a chance to test out my newly acquired Chub Neuron T3 bite alarms too (and very good they are!).

As I say, two rods were in use, both with 8lb mainlines but one with a size 12 hook used with worm/maggot cocktails and the other with a size 6 hook with bread and luncheon meat baits.

As usual, the ‘station’ and various sundry equipment (unhooking mat, landing net, camera, etc) were sorted before even taking the rods from the quiver – something I find essential to do as you can then fully focus on the fishing once you cast out … and especially so in respect to the landing net as the last thing needed is a good fish on the line and no net ready to use! And even before this prep I pre-baited the two swims I’d decided to fish with the usual groundbait/particle feed/dead maggots – putting about 6 cricket ball sized balls in each area… and over the day extra balls were added along with loose fed dead maggots.

Anyway, the rods were cast out and the first fish of the day came to the worm/maggot rod at around 1100 – a chub of 3lb 11oz…

2017-03-24 Steve - 3lb 11oz Chub

3lb 11oz Chub

… followed by a 1lb 11oz chub also on worm/maggot…

2017-03-24 Steve - 1lb 11oz Chub

1lb 11oz Chub

At this point the bread baited rod had not had a single tug and I decided to switch the bait on that rod to ‘luncheon meat’ (actually ‘bacon grill’ or ‘chopped ham with pork’ as I don’t use actual LM) and also catapulted out a few freebie LM pieces… and it quickly resulted in a 2lb 10oz chub…

2017-03-24 Steve - 2lb 10oz Chub

2lb 10oz Chub

Next – lost a good fish on LM to the overhanging branches. Due to the proximity of the bait to the overhanging branches it’s a case of strike and pull in these swims in order to get the fish away from the snags before it realises what’s happening but in this case the fish managed to get into the trailing branches and snagged me up… and eventually the line parted at the knot to the hook…

I decided at this time to retry the bread as bait, there obviously being fish in the swim and soon I had a 2lb 11oz ‘crucian carp’ in the net. A new PB!! <<<< see UPDATE below.

2017-03-24 Steve - 2lb 11oz F1 Hybrid 03

2lb 11oz F1 Hybrid

***UPDATE*** Unfortunately after consultation with others the verdict is that the fish is actually an F1 hybrid. So not a new PB. Still a nice fish though ….

And, just before packing up, the bread enticed another chub of 2lb 0oz.

2017-03-24 Steve - 2lb 0oz Chub

2lb 0oz Chub

… and that brought the end to a pleasant day’s fishing…

A few things need sorting out now I’m back home though…

  • I need to change one of my rear rod rest’s rubber gripper type heads – one arm completely split.
  • Chair leg fell off – extended it too far and it came adrift of the body. Although I got it partially fitted at the waterside and, I think, when I sat on it my body weight did the rest of the job and its actually OK now – but need to confirm that.
  • Need to clean up the reels – swim was very muddy and the reels got caked in it. So a wash and oil is on the cards for those.
  • Bobbins – again mud causing a stickiness. Clean and lubricates for those. Plus a re-stringing/clipping is needed as I don’t like the length of the current cords nor their stiffness.

Hoping to get out again on Monday 27th but venue as yet undecided.

Session 12 – Last Lure Session Of The Season On The Pool.

So, Monday 13th March I set off to Pike Pool 3 for a final fling of the lures for my current pike season on this pool. Maybe not the last of the season elsewhere but definitely on this particular pool as it closes to angling in line with the old/traditional season which although it still operates in legal terms on flowing waters and certain stillwaters (eg SSI sites) doesn’t apply to the vast majority of stillwaters and canals … however, as in this case, the owners may operate their own rulings.

As I said in my previous posting, no Liz with me as she had things to do and is out with her work colleagues currently.

Anyway, I got to the pool at around 0800 and I found three other cars on the car park on arrival – but it seems that those persons were fishing on the other two pools on the site as the pool I was on was deserted…

Nice mild sunny day….

As usual I walked to the far end limit of the intended stretch before tackling up with a Savage Gear 19cm Soft 4Play body (Fungus Roach pattern) in a red scull lip on one rod and the usual Fladen twin-bladed ‘Glow pattern’ spinner on the other… and starting working my way back towards the car and heading back home at around 1030.

And I blanked… having just two ‘tugs’ in the entire session .. one in the first swim of the day on the spinner but I was unable to get another strike on that spinner or the SG lure … and the other also came to the spinner.

So, that’s that then for fishing until at least next Monday now as we’re away on a weekend break to a prog-rock do in Pwthelli (Wishbone Ash, Hawkwind, Curved Air, Atomic Rooster, Strawbs, The Enid and Barclay James Harvest being amongst  the acts) from Thursday until Sunday – and so even next Monday will depend on if we can get our gear and baits ready in time… if not, then possibly get out on Tuesday otherwise it’ll be a week on Friday…

Session 11 – Visit To A New Pool

Friday, 10th March 2017, and I decided to visit a club pool (S) that I’d not even seen before let alone fished in search of carp…

I arrived on the banks at around 0720 and it looked gorgeous…

DSC_0001Before tackling up the swim was pre-fed about 4 rod lengths out with 10 ‘cricket balls’ of the usual groundbait mix of crumb, pellet, particles, etc. And over the day extra feed in the shape of mix and loose maggots was added at intervals.

Tackle used was 2 x 11’ Avon 1.75lb TC rods, 8lb main line with 6” 8lb hooklengths on quick change adaptors, and 10g flat pear style ledger weights on running 6” links fitted with small cork balls to keep the line and run rings up from the silty bottom and fished with bobbins on Optonic bite alarms. Baits were bread/sweetcorn cocktail on a size 6 hook and worm/maggot cocktail on a size 12 hook.

I cast in at 0815 and fished through until 1515… with plenty of ‘fizz’ out in front indicating feeding fish in the area most of the time. I had plenty of small plucky/twitch bites – line bites and small fish most likely – but only the occasional full-on takes (ie 6” or more line being taken).

It looked a perfect water for float fishing too … especially on this day … calm and an unruffled water surface … and with a depth not much more than 3’ deep it would be an easy thing to do…

And now …. the catch of the day …

Three carp (two on bread/sweetcorn, one on worm/maggot) and one small (2oz) gratuitous rudd on the worm/maggot rod – I wound in and found it on the hook… LOL

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Anyway, a most enjoyable day and will be back next season as this pool is on a National Trust property and they only allow fishing between June 16th and March 14th as per the old national/traditional old fishing season which used to apply to all waters but these days the season only applies to running waters (rivers, streams, etc) and a few exceptional stillwaters (eg are SSI (Special Scientific Interest) sites).

Next trip out – Monday 13th, not sure what I will do but currently the top idea is another day’s pike fishing with the lures – and I’ll be Liz free that day as she’s  decided not to fish as she has ‘things to do’ plus she’s out that evening at a work’s function.

Session 10 – The One In Which Liz Gets Her Pike And Photo And A New Personal Best And Steve Doesn’t…

Monday, 6th March 2017, and Liz and I set off with the lures to Pike Pool 3 to rectify the, then, current situation of Liz not having been photo’d with a pike. Her only other pike (4lb 4oz), caught exactly 4 weeks previously, was lost from the landing net when ‘dunking’ it whilst trying to set the camera up – had forgotten to put batteries in! – and I was in the bad books … She’d had other pike on the line before but due to hook pulls and, on last session, a line cut on brickwork, she’d actually only managed to land that one.

So we arrived at our selected starting spot on the pool – as usual walking to the furthest point and then working our way back towards the car – and set up our tackles.

Liz used a 9’, 10-40g, lure rod with 30lb braid line and the usual 30lb wire spinning trace and her lure-of-the-moment – Shakespeare ‘Devils Own’, 16.5g, in ‘Scale’ pattern – which is working well for her… she’s pike fished with deadbaits for 3 years without a single take but with this lure she’s probably fished 4-5 sessions with it since January and has had at least one take every visit. So good it is that when she lost the original she had, I ended up on eBay searching for replacements – and ended up getting her another 6. The original was part of a ‘pack of 4’ of various designs but I managed to locate a supply of individual ones…

Myself, I set up 2 rods – both similar to Liz’s regarding line/trace – one with a Fladen twin bladed spinner in ‘Glow’ (luminous) pattern, the other with a deep diving Fladen plug in a ‘Golden Ambulance’ pattern.

And so we started fishing and for the first hour or so (inc a coffee break) all was quiet with neither of us having a touch but then Liz latched into a fish – and a pike of 6lb 14oz was landed…

.. and, as you see, successfully photographed …. and is now also Liz’s new PB pike… and I’m forgiven for the loss of photo opportunity for the previous capture …

Anyway, we fished on, almost fruitlessly except for one take I had on the ‘Glow’ spinner which was either a small pike or possibly a perch, but will be forever unknown as the hooks pulled after 15 seconds or so…

So… next trip … visit to a carp pool I reckon on Friday 10th … and possibly spinning/lure fishing on the Shropshire Union Canal next Monday (13th).