Trying new things before the warm weather recedes…

Just a quick post and a memory jogger for me, mainly. I’ve become a little institutionalised and obsessed with the one lake I’m fishing and I’ve realised I need to get out more.

I’m on call at work this week which makes fishing a little more awkward. I need to be able to pack away quickly so I can’t take as much in the way of gear and I can’t be too far from the car!

There are two places and one technique I want to have a go at over the coming weeks. One is the horseshoe lake at the complex which is slightly smaller but deeper, and holds a good head of pike. The other is a mountain lake which is day ticketed and I’ve seen picture of perch around 2lb caught by tench anglers on worm.

I also want to get some practice in with the quivertip and leave the floats at home for an afternoon.

I took a nice pic of some carp scales the other day, so I thought I’d share that too.

Anyhoo, just a few thoughts today. Won’t be fishing until Monday at the earliest.

Wet nets.

Sunny, but uneventful

Had a few hours at the large lake today and took the pike rod for something a little different to do.

I settled on peg 12, somewhere I haven’t fished for around 4 years and in the past it was pretty productive. Sadly, it quickly became apparent that the main swim was pretty choked with branches and cuttings from the spring clearing. It’s all well and good making the banks pretty, but when the fishing suffers it all seems a bit counterproductive.

I soldiered on nonetheless, popping a float ledgered roach up along the right margin and feeding against the pads to my left. Over the following hours I had a few sharp taps on the pike rod (likely from eels or crashing carp) and little else. On the float rod, a steady stream or roach and F1s plus a carp of around 3lb.

A sunny but largely uneventful afternoon with nothing really worth taking photos of, except of course the obligatory huge perch. I wasn’t going to post this picture as I know they make Steve jealous…


Wet nets.

A tale of two sessions…

Update: Thought I’d start adding some info re. gear used to each post as a memory jogger.

  • Shakespeare Sigma 10′ Pellet Waggler
  • Shakespeare Sigma 2500 small BR reel (Baitrunner for float fishing? Handy when fishing off the rod tip!)
  • 1.5g loaded Drennan Crystal Waggler
  • 6lb Maxima Chamaeleon
  • Size 12 WG Drennan Super Specialist
  • Red Maggot (loose) Double Dendrobena (hook / one halved)
  • Halibut Method Mix

Last night was a bit of a washout, between the dropping temperatures and misty, clinging rain I’d had enough by 7.30pm having started at 6.00pm. My cat, Ernie, had gone missing too and my mind wasn’t on the job. I snagged a few carp but it was all pretty miserable. Ernie is home safe now, by the way!

I made a note of the peg number (5) as, considering I wasn’t ‘trying’ the fishing was consistent and the fish were of a good stamp. Tonight I decided to try peg 6, another one I hadn’t tried before.

Both pegs are pretty bland, featurless and open. 6 looked better due to a few reeds out to the left. What I did notice immediately was the proliferation of Elodea close in. It made fishing off the rod tip difficult with varying depths and regular snags, which was annoying as the carp were fizzing around like mad. I managed to bag an eel, a few small F1s and a nice 4lb common however, then shortly before switching swims I picked up a perch of 2lb 3oz.

Shortly after picking up the ragged perch above, I switched to the left hand side of the swim and found it to be much clearer. Sadly the bites were slower in coming, with the eels moving in quickly, then some bream and a little later a lovely common just touching 5lb.

With the weather being warm and the sun shining I was loathed to leave, but pack away I did, leaving my float next to the bank while I cleaned out the groudbait bucket. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the float dip and travel to the edge of the boards. I picked the rod up and the tip arced over. On the other end, a large perch of 2lb 7oz had picked up my scrappy worm.

What a nice way to end the night! More fuel for the argument that often the big ones really are at your feet.

This was further evidenced when I washed the net out and inadvertently netted these beautiful fry. No wonder the perch are big, and not as inclined to pick up baits at the moment.

Wet nets!

I must be mental…

That’s what I was thinking as I trudged up the muddy path around the lake to my favourite (and very boggy) peg. I’d agreed to meet a friend for an hour or two after work, but considering we’d cancelled several times before I kinda felt commited.

The rain was torrential and I had no coat, so by the time I got the brolly up I was soaked to the skin. Across came my grinning mate with a cup of coffee, and a carp and a cuppa later, I was feeling a little more cheery.

I’d settled on a small 2g Drennan Loafer as I was using pretty large lobworm and it was worked out nicely for me. Bites were fairly consistent, but not as regular which is what you’d expect using larger bait.

I picked up a quite a few small commons and F1s and what was probably my PB bream (at a whopping 1lb 2oz – they don’t grow very big in here) but only got 2 perch. One was around 1lb and the other just shy of 3lb. Pics of largest fish below.

Can’t write much more this morning as I think I’ve broken a bone in my elbow. Common sense says I should go to the docs.

Wet nets!

Helping Out

Last week, a colleague asked if I’d mind his son tagging along on a session to see if fishing is something he’d like to do. He was a little skeptical, as was his son, but this afternoon we decided to give it a go.

I arrived at the lake around 1.30 and the young lad met up with me shortly thereafter. I have to say he was a lovely kid, really polite and keen to learn which put me at ease straight away. I even got him catching a few roach from cast to net by the end and he was really chuffed. We even took a photo of him holding his first fish. A great afternoon all around.

Nothing particularly special was initially caught. A few small perch fell to maggot and dendrobena as well as the obligatory roach. F1’s have been thin on the ground over the past few weeks, and I was keen to show the lad a few bigger fish and how to play them. With the action being relatively slow, I groundbaited fairly heavily and got us settled in a cosy swim next to some lilies.

The perch started to get a little bigger, as did the roach and later a few small F1s moved in also, so a really mixed bag for the afternoon. It was extra especially nice as the young one got to see a few different species of fish and the roach were fairly sizeable. I had one pushing a pound come off as it was being landed.

Around 4.00pm I dropped into a large carp and the lad’s jaw dropped as it hit the surface. I explained it was only a relatively small one of around 6-7lb and this seemed to whet his appetite even more. I even got a shot of me holding a fish for once!

Shortly after, his dad came to pick him up. I pondered on staying and after picking up a 2lb plus perch close in I decided to do just that, wrapping up around 6.30pm having bagged a few more roach and a beautifuly golden coloured common of around 3lb (which I neglected to photograph).

Just what the doctored ordered.

Wet nets!

It’s just a float (repeat)

I’ve had a couple of sessions this week that I’d rather forget, and tonight I resolved to test my mojo as I was feeling a little low.

I got to the lake at 4.30, armed with red maggot and dendrobena determined to end my blank perch run. In the previous two sessions I’d been graced with a 1oz monster, a handful of roach and one small F1. I was seriously starting to doubt my ability.

Now, we all have bad runs of luck, but going fishing whilst pissed off is guaranteed to set you up for failure. So, tonight I forced myself to go fishing, with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Hmm. At least it wasn’t raining.

Second cast, a decent carp grabbed the worm and slammed into the undergrowth of the margin. Bye bye lucky float. Snared in the reeds and just out of reach it winked at me for the rest of the session. I wasn’t going to let it get me down. It had a good run. On went a Drennan perch bob and back out went another worm.

Next, a promising sign. A half pounder came to the net showing me that larger perch were taking an interest.

Following this I bagged around 10 decent F1s and a few more commons of around the sort of stamp shown below, plus a few skimmers. No monster carp tonight.

Around 8.30 I was on my last two worms, so I decided to switch to the right hand swim for 30 mins and threw in a handful of maggots and my remaining groundbait. I was rewarded by a lightning strike from a 2lb plus perch and shortly after the above small common.

I’ve a funny feeling the bites were hit and miss tonight thanks to a few jacks that were crashing the swim every 30 mins or so.

Either way, and despite losing ‘lucky’, I feel much better.

Wet nets.

An awful evening, and a new PB!

As I clocked off the night shift at 10am, my thoughts turned to the relaxing afternoon I was planning to spend lakeside, melting in the serenity of a balmy July afternoon.

As it turned out I ended up in Ikea, then Lidl… and then my mother turned up. I did manage to get to the lake by 5.00pm, but all hope of de-stressing was lost as the sky darkened and raindrops began hitting the water.

Nevertheless, out came the rods and up went the umbrella. I was determined to get a few hours in at least. As it happened the lake was pretty busy. Lots of ne’er do wells clearly fishing for the table and not a bailiff in sight. Thankfully all the tracksuits I eyeballed seem to have blanked and went home as the rain got heavier, leaving their signature carrier bags full of rubbish and empty beer cans behind. Apparently plans are afoot to fence off the lake and allow member access only – hopefully that’ll happen sooner rather than later, though I will miss chewing the fat with responsible types who walk around the lakes for recreational pleasure.

An eel on the first cast seemed appropriate. I wasn’t in a good mood. I then got a brief lift from a nice perch which I didn’t weigh, but I suspect was around 1 3/4lb. Much better.

I was fishing close in with both rods due to a lot of tow on the lake. The aerator was on and peg 11 (not one I usually fish due to there being little in the way of structure) was very near to it. To be honest, I don’t enjoy using the quiver tip. I much prefer the float and I think I’ll probably stick to float and float from now on rather than mixing it up. I’m not sure if it’s something I’m doing, but on this particular lake the quiver just doesn’t compare productivity wise to the float. I also enjoy being able to give my attention to just the one rod. Two is nice if you’re running baitrunners for pike and you can sit back and relax, but neck ache shouldn’t be part of anyone’s relaxation regime.

I digress. So the perch went back and I continued to bait around the float using a single dendrobena for around 30 mins, having only caught the eel and the perch. Then I called my wife.

Calling the wife is a tried and tested method of getting a bite. I can guarantee that if bites are slow or not coming at all, my lucky charm will do the business for me. Tonight she came through for me superhero style. As we chatted about things to buy for the house, my float started slowly moving in a fairly large circle. I thanked her for the luck she’d bestowed upon me and she laughed and hung up.

Striking into the fish, I thought I was snagged. The rod tip careened around and the drag screamed as my little pellet waggler bowed to try and halt the by now 30 yards away fish, all to no avail. Out it went into the lake and back it came, slamming into the rod rest and pushing past the quiver tip’s tip, then back out again. It wasn’t surging, just running with the occasional drag jarring jolt. After 10 minutes, whatever it was began to tire and I started slowly hauling it back to the bank. I hadn’t seen what it was, but I knew it was big.

As I raised the rod tip to see what I’d caught I could see it was easily my PB carp. Please bear in mind I’m not a carp fisherman, so for me this is a pretty big deal. I eventually managed to get it into the net (which was far too small) and hauled it out of the water, net handle creaking with the strain.

PB carp in the bag. 11lb 2oz of very much chuffedness. Not bad for 6lb line and a size 12 hook. Also another one off the bucket list!

The rain by now was coming down very heavily, so I hunkered down beneath the brolly for the next hour and a half and watched the world go by. The swim was effectively destroyed by the crashing fish and other than a few nibbles I got nothing else until around 8.30pm. I’d swapped the float and quiver around to take advantage of a small bit of cover right at my feet and was getting hammered by gudgeon and fry, my float wibbling and wobbling and doing little else. ‘I know’, I thought, ‘I’ll pop on a single maggot and have a little fun’.

On went the maggot and within seconds of it hitting bottom the float slid under. I struck once more into a brick wall. Out into the middle of the lake went the fish and then back into my quiver line, almost dragging the other rod into the lake with it. I battled it for a good 6 or 7 minutes before the hook pulled, but I did get eyes on it. It was a mirror of probably 9 or 10lb.

With that, and with line everywhere and my fingers numb from the cold rain it was time to call it a night. A strange night, but a weirdly productive one too.

Wet nets!