Lots of everything

I hadn’t been fishing for a few weeks, so yesterday lunchtime I popped down to the doughnut lake and fished a peg I’ve not tried before.

It had been threatening rain all morning, but with one car in the car park on arrival I assumed I’d have my choice of swims. Sadly 14, my personal favourite at the moment, was occupied so I opted for peg 7. This is a peg which is a little more open but still sheltered but has incredibly annoying hawthorns either side that are real line magnets! There appeared to be a lot of weed close in, but there was a nice set of pads out to the right that was almost square shaped, so I popped out a size 14 with double red and white maggot on the far corner and commenced feeding.

I wasn’t fishing for anything in particular today, but hoped for a nice range of species. Normally I fish further up towards the back of the lake where there’s a lot more in the way of structure, reeds and pads so it would be interesting to see what I picked up in this shallower and more open area.

By 1:00pm, after 90 mins or so I’d pulled in a fair few sardines. Lots of small roach and perch and even a gudgeon which is a real rarity nowadays. I also managed to pick up a few small commons, the biggest being 4lb or thereabouts.

I was, however, plagued by small eels. The one shown was pretty deep hooked but I managed to get it out and he swam off happily.

Amongst the sardines I did manage a few reasonable perch, even catching one freelining a very small deadbait. Interestingly one of them actually threw up its lunch, as pictured below. The three were 10oz, 1lb 1oz and 2lb 3oz respectively. The largest ironically was caught on double maggot. It really is a lottery when it comes to big perch fishing on this lake.

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Wet nets.

Slimy and sore…

But fun!

Just a quick entry to log a short session last night. Only nipped out for an hour as I had a few manky maggots to use up.

Caught a few reasonable quality roach which is always nice and procured a couple of smaller ones for deadbaiting.

Run of the mill catches on the float. Small carp and aforementioned roach.

No luck early on with the deadbait, however at close of play around 7.00pm I was granted another smashing 3lb ish eel which took a fairly large roach on a long cast to the island. I didn’t weight it. I saved my landing net that trauma…

He made a right mess of the trace and I got my thumb hooked trying to detangle him. Luckily it wasn’t the baitholder prong on the treble as it went in all the way.

Forgive my staccato typing today, writing this on my phone with one thumb 😀

It seems that the rumours that many of the small pike were removed from the lake over winter are true. After having spoken to some other members it seems this was done in order to preserve silver stocks on my usual lake and make the other lake a focus for predators. I’ll pop over there in the coming weeks and see if this is indeed the case.

Wet nets

Without a trace…

Popped out this evening for a few hours despite the cold and drizzle.

I wasn’t in a particularly ‘fishy’ mood today with lots on at work and a busy weekend ahead, but I knew that if I didn’t go I’d miss any chance of fishing. When I arrived at the lake and started to set up, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d left my snap tackle box on the workbench and as such any hope of repeating last week’s success with deadbaiting was lost.

With the sky overcast and nothing but a bit of crumb and a handful of brandlings I decided to make the most of it, if for no other reason to cheer myself up. I set myself a target of one fish and no perch so as not to disappoint myself and set about baiting up close in on 14, next to the pads.

As luck would have it (in a twisted logic kind of way), the roach weren’t biting tonight, so no deadbaits were going to be available anyway. I felt better already. What was biting though were carp, who quickly ramraided the swim and stayed betwen 4:00pm and 6:00pm allowing me the pleasure of catching them hand over fist. Nothing massive, just the usual 2 to 5lbers I usually pick up.

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By 6:30pm I was getting a little cold and tired and started thinking about packing in, but then I caught a perch, just a small one around 4-5″ in length. I remembered that my wife had purchased some VERY cheap size 4s from B&M a few weeks ago (baitholder types with tiny barbs) for me to use for my LRF on holiday and rooted around in my bag for them. I also came across a length of trace wire in the process…

MacGyver moment incoming…

I cobbled together a decent single hook trace out of the wire, a swivel and the aforementioned hooks, quickly set up the deadbait rod and plonked out the aforementioned perch, liphooked.

Before I could say ‘cannibal’ and almost certainly on the drop, the float skittered around in a circle and disappeared and I was shortly rewarded with a nice 2lb 11oz stripey.

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Now I felt much better!

All in all a fun but cold and damp evening.

Wet nets.

Better off dead…

…baiting that is. Dead baiting. Not really dead because how would I enjoy things like punctures and work again? 😀

Today started off by my wife announcing that she and the children were off to a distant relative’s house for lunch. This particular relative isn’t only distant genetically, but she’s also physically located a good distance away. This, of course, meant that I’d have a few hours to myself and what better way to spend it than fishing?

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I picked up half a pint of maggots on my way to the lake and in the short time it took me to get there it rained, then the sun came out, then it rained again and then the sun came back out.

As soon as I’d set up the one rod it started raining again. “Ok, it’s was going to be one of those days”… I mused. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I had every intention of having a day on the roach and rudd and seeing if I could beat my PB. I’d snaffled some micro brandlings from the compost heap and had quite a bit of crushed red robin as well as a bag of halibut groundbait. Everything was set and, indeed that’s how it went between 11:00pm and 1:00pm. Around 40 small roach, rudd, perch and the odd small carp landed. It was fun and relaxing and that’s what I wanted – relaxation.

Then I noticed that one of the small perch was a little worse for wear and swimming on its back in circles around 3ft out. I definitely didn’t deep hook one so it may not have even been mine, but there it was nonetheless. At that moment I landed a small carp and whilst I was unhooking it a huge swirl appeared around the perch and it was summarily slammed by a pike of around 5lb.

Guess what happened next?

Yes, I got the pike rod out. I’m predictable if nothing else.

Having procured some bait I set about pulling in the float road and setting out a small bob, replete with roach at the edge of the pads.

First cast the float shot under and I pulled out a 3lb 2oz perch. What a gorgeous bruiser he turned out to be.

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Second cast granted me this gnarly 2lb or thereabouts, wally eyed one…

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… then I missed another one and it subsequently went dead for an hour.

I had a call from work around 3:00pm and whilst I was bowing and scraping on the phone, lo and behold the float shot under again, this time rewarding me with a rather large eel of well over 3lbs and probably my biggest one yet. I say probably as I was mostly packed away so I released it at the bank rather than landing it. Thankfully only one of the trebles had nicked it in the mouth.

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So, all told a pretty good day.

Wet nets!

Family time

My youngest lad has started showing interest in fishing, so this afternoon we headed to the lake around 3.00pm to have an hour or two’s tuition.

Like many kids his age he’s computer mad, and unlike many parents my age I positively encourage it, especially so because of my work background. However I also realise how important it is to have interests away from the keyboard.

So, leaving Nintendos and tablets at home we pushed off for the tackle shop and picked up some bait. I let him ask the man behind the counter lots of questions and the owner was kind enough to explain a few things to him.

Good start.

We arrived around 3.30pm and set up fairly quickly, starting with worm and a size 4. I picked up a string of carp between 2 and 5lbs, allowing my lad to bring in a few.

Around 4.00pm I struck into a decent perch of just over 2lb…

and with that switched down to a size 14 and maggot so the little one could get his eye in on some little ones 🙂

He pulled out a few roach and small perch at first and was over the moon, then he got his first taste of a carp, solo.

I’m not sure who was more pleased.

I also think I set a record for the smallest perch I’ve ever brought to the bank!

Wet nets.

Stripe-tease

Seeing as the weather was a little brighter this evening I decided to try and relive Saturday’s briefly lived success.

So with exactly the same setup I headed to peg 14 with a large tub of lobworms and no small amount of confidence. It was cooler than Friday and darker, plus there was hardly any wind… everything was looking good.

I tied on a size 8 and popped out a spot of swim stim mixed with an equal part of method mix along with a handful of red and white maggots. On went the lob and out went the line. Same spot, same bait.

I waited.

And I waited.

Then the float shot under.

Greedy bugger! Right species, wrong size. I switched up to a size 4, popping on a whole plus half a lob to weed out the ‘peckers’.

Then the carp moved in…

That’s how it was for two hours. 8 carp and a perch landed with the biggest carp around 4lb. I swear I’ve been jinxed.

Next trip will be all fish baits!

Wet nets.

Brief but beautiful

Hi all. Just a quicky tonight.

Firstly, apologies for my absence. Work has been a #%*=@! of late and I’ve been trying to cram in the overtime to pay for our holiday.

I had the first opportunity in a while to spend some time at the lake today. I didn’t arrive until late but that was ok as there was still a few hours light left. The downside was that the wind was howling and the clouds were gathering. I knew there was a chance of thunder but I risked it anyway as I’d planned to fish a peg close to the car.

I set up the float rod quickly whilst glancing at the sky and opted to fish under my feet in a nook in the lilies due to the tow on the water and the wind.

Using just half lobs with maggot and halibut method mix as groubdbait it took around 30 minutes to generate any interest from anything large enough to inhale the size 8.

First up was a nice 1lb 11oz perch. Yay! They are still there.

This was followed quickly by two missed takes and then a slightly smaller 1lb plus fish.

One of the ones I lost I did top, and it was fairly large.

Just after this and around an hour into the session the heavens opened and the wind escalated beyond what even I deem to be bearable. I considered weathering it but then the first rumblings of thunder began, so I packed up and hightailed it.

A very brief but pleasing trip with the first two sizeable perch landed for weeks.

Wet nets.

I’ll take whatever I can get, whenever I can get it…

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Just a quick entry tonight to log a short stint on the canal.

My daughter had a ballet class at 5:30pm so, as we were walking past the shed to the car I grabbed my drop-shotting rod and reel and my pre-prepared lure holdall. I wanted to hit a shoal of perch I’d seen lurking under a road bridge a few times whilst passing over the previous weeks.

Sadly the perch were absent in numbers tonight, but I did pick up one in the 20 minutes or so I had to fish, plus a bonus jack pike that I really wasn’t expecting.

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Both were taken on a 2.5″ silvery and olive natural shad twitched across the weed flanks close in, though I did have a few taps on the far bank. The bridge, which I specifically wanted to target, was dead.

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Lots of ducks and gulls around tonight as the canal was covered in bread. Other than that it was surprisingly clean!

Take care all.

Wet nets.

 

I caught everything beginning with ‘C’!

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Oh really?

Ok, maybe not everything beginning with ‘C’, but only because there aren’t any catfish, cod or conger in the lake. Lots of carp and chub though!

So, I was sat with wifey, have a coffee and watching a leaf cutter bee that we have nesting in the outhouse door make runs back and forth with nesting material. As we were soaking up the afternoon sun, I noticed a few clouds rolling in and made some subtle noises about popping down to the lake to see if the drop in temperature might increase my chances of a decent haul.

A few sighs later and I was in the car, with just a few maggots, around 20 dendrobena, a quarter of a bag of groundbait and a few slices of mouldy bread. Yay.

By the time I reached the lake it was getting on for 4:00pm. I’d been watching the England match and decided to just take the one rod and bag because I wanted to keep half an eye on the football on my phone. I crumbled up the few rounds of bread I had into the groundbait and set about baiting up an area just a rodlength out and dead centre on peg 30. 30 isn’t a peg I usually fish as there’s no structure or pads, but it was the shadiest so, there I went.

Hook-wise I went for a wide gape 14, good for a single worm or double / triple maggot and minimum hassle. On went a worm tipped with a red maggot and unceremoniously plopped they were into the muddy depths (well, I say depths but it’s around 2.5ft in the margins).

I started by getting a few decent carp around the 4-5lb mark and pretty much for the rest of the evening it went carp, chub, carp, chub until all told I’d landed around 20 fish altogether. Nothing massive, just a fun few hours until 6:45pm with pretty much non-stop bites.

 

Just the one tiny bream tonight as I mopped up with my remaining maggots. I did have one pearler of a fish on that I fought for around 5 minutes, but sadly the little hook pulled and I didn’t even get to see it. I’m starting to recognise the feel of carp now before I see them, and by the struggle it was putting up I suspect it was one of the big commons.

20180707_174908-1328x747Lovely to see the baby moorhens out having a practice swim this evening too. I find it fascinating how they dive in unison whenever something flies over! The place was so busy with ducks coming and going today that I think they spent more time under the water than on the surface!

So having used up the remaining maggots I decided to wend my merry way home. Not a single perch again today – not giving up though. I did wonder whether the aggressive chub (and boy were they aggressive today) were nosing them out. Possible I suppose. I did get chance to speak to one of the wardens and he said that they had been stocked recently as I suspected in an earlier blog entry.

Righty ho, I’m off for an early one. If you’re out this weekend, good luck to you!

Wet nets.

A perch, a perch, my kingdom for a perch…

Since returning to fishing around a fortnight ago I’ve noticed that the number of perch being caught at the lake compared to last year is significantly lower. I myself have had just the one over a pound in weight, whereas this time last year I was averaging at least two per session. I realise that conditions change year on year, as does fish behaviour, health and water quality, but this drop in catches has been noted too by a few of my fellow anglers who frequent my primary fishing hole.

I’m not overly concerned, it’s still spawning time for many of the residents and the weather is scarily hot. In my experience my preferred baits (lob and dendrobena) don’t perform as well when it’s very warm. Perhaps a change of tack is in order.

So, I had a short session from 4.00pm until 8.00pm this evening as I ‘luckily’ managed to snag an evening off work. The downside was that I had to do a full 24hrs standing shift to cover sickness as many of my staff are either on leave or sick themselves. I got home this morning (I believe I floated rather than drove… it’s all a little blurry) at around 9:00am and had a power nap until 1.00pm. Looking at the weather it was, again, a scorcher and my poor arms simply weren’t up to any more sun, sun-block or not. This prickly heat is driving me mental.

Anyhoo, by 4.00 it had cooled and I had half a match pack of dendro there to get rid of as well as some chick peas, so I figured I’d go carping on the offchance of picking up a perch. This is what I do now – I go carping, hoping for perch. That way I’m not disappointed… well not much.

Same drill as last time, brolly up, deadbait rod prepped and half a piece of sweetcorn on a size 16 to get some bait. I picked up some roach and some small bream and sent the roving float replete with fresh roach across to the island, then proceeded to set up the float rod for some carp.

The action was generally slow, but steady. I had a big shoal of bream in the swim biting very shyly, and they weren’t that interested in worm so I switch to sweetcorn and eventually managed to pick up this bad boy.

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He’s old, he’s got half a tail and he’s near on 7lb 2oz and my biggest yet. He was so relaxed when I put him back I thought I might have to do CPR on him. Eventually he looked up at me mournfully and wallowed back into the murky depths.

I then picked up a few 2-3lb commons and F1s and missed a corker of a carp as it ran headlong back underneath me and tangled itself in the deadbait rod-rest.

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Eels again appeared regularly, nothing of any size yet this year but always good to see healthy numbers of them

As for the pike rod, I had one sharp double tap on the float and that was it for the entire session. Always worth having it out there though, especially if the bait is small enough for a larger perch to handle.

Wet nets 🙂