Sunburn and Missed Chances

I’ve noticed that of late my writing has become a lot less ‘flowery’. I’ll try to address that over the coming weeks. The primary reason for this is time, as in not getting a chance to sit and write more than just the bare facts about a session. I started this blog with the intention of recording as much information as I could about trips to the lake and somewhere along the way that has been put to one side in favour of listing catches and recording weights. Steve Ridd’s blog is a shining example of what I’d love to be doing. Check him out here. He has water temperatures and everything!

I tend not to write about myself either, mainly because I’m quite a private person but also because I used to feel it detracted from the fishing aspect somehow. However, after following quite a few bloggers over the past twelve months it seems I’m missing that from my writing also. I really enjoy reading about other people’s lives in conjunction with their fishing and the interplay between the two as it’s easy to get into a position where you think all someone does is write and fish.

Other than my fishing history (as written up in my bio), I’m a 45 year old father of 3.5 children. I work full time in the healthcare sector as a manager and I’m starting a degree part-time either later this year or early next year, hoping to qualify as a social worker (please, no booing). I worked as an IT consultant for 15 years before moving into health… burnout and all that. As you already know I love fishing, but I’m also a recently qualified radio amateur and passed my foundation around 4 years ago. That’s new in radio amateur terms. I’m hoping to get stuck into my intermediate qualification soon. I primarily listen though and get a buzz out of satellite decoding and all that nonsense, especially when I’ve constructed the antennas myself.

Also, have you all been watching this? I’ve been wetting myself at it. Two of my favourite people doing what I love the most. Telly heaven!

Anyhoo. Onto the latest fishing adventure / disaster.

Well I say disaster, but it was a beautiful day and at least 28┬░ in the shade. Sadly the only shade I had was the umbrella, being the late bird on the water and all the shady pegs having been snapped up by people who’s alarm clocks work (or don’t sleep through them). Unfortunatly I forgot about my right arm, which appears to have been soaking up sun all day outside the umbrella. Ouch.

I selected peg 34. A trusty favourite with a steep drop off at around 8 yards that normally holds fish, and proceeded to set up my float rod and a deadbait rod for some summer pike.

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On the menu today were maggots and dendrobena. Guaranteed bait on a guaranteed peg, what could go wrong? Well that’s the rub. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong but it certainly did and it wasn’t for lack of trying or lack of fishy activity.

The larger carp were all topside today, cruising up and down in groups of three or four, wallowing in the shallows and occasionally rolling over just like I would be if I was in a nice, cool pool.

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I took a few roach to start with, just tiddlers sucking the maggot tails, but for the first hour I struggled to get anything in the swim interested at all.

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A few carp decided to show up around lunchtime, nothing special just the usual 2-3lb variety who definitely had a preference for maggots today and choise to turn their noses up at any type of wormy offering or cocktail.

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So I’m afraid to say that’s about as exciting as it got. I did however get two runs on the deadbait rod, connecting with one and not even feeling the other, which was a shame because the last one’s initial hit was pretty epic with the 20g bubble shooting under and a huge swirl appearing where it had been as it took off. I wouldn’t have even noticed it as I was packing up, but the scream of the baitrunner had me turning and shouting pretty quickly!

Lots of dragonflies around today, which is lovely to see as always. Black jewel wings seem to be pretty prolific this year. I was also happy to see that our resident heron has a mate at last. Lots of fry around at the moment too, as you’d expect for this time of year. Always funny to watch the fingerling perch lashing into them from the deep tuna-style and flicking their tails as they turn back to the lake bed.

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Well, that’s about all from me for now. Not back out until next week but until then…

Wet nets ­čÖé

 

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A few good worms…

Actually it was more like a few dead worms, but luckily fish seem to like them all the same.

It all started with a Monday off work and a happy wife, perfect ingredients for a few quiet hours at the water’s edge. I had a few very tired looking lobworms and half a pint of red and white maggots, and a plan. The plan was simple, hit the lake, bait up large and target some of the larger carp that I’d seen cruising the margins over the past week.

I got to the horseshoe lake at around 2.00pm and, for a Monday, it was pretty busy. That was ok though because the larger carp I’d seen were on the other lake which luckily was almost deserted.

Two rods out today, quiver and float, both with two halves of by now rancid lob. Straight out in front went the float at around half a rod length, and out to the right in front of some pads went the quiver, replete with a small cage feeder packed with method mix and maggots.

I picked up three eels on the float before my first carp, a chunky 4lb common who fought like a demon.

Next came a 5lb fish with a fatter belly and a beautiful bronze colour.

The smelly worms were definitely doing the business, despite now looking like rubbery lug due to the sun and heat.

I’d had nothing except two missed runs on the quiver, so I decided to try a bunch of maggots instead. The float had dropped off and was now being battered by a large shoal of fry, who tailed it like sharks wherever I plopped it in the swim. Adding insult to injury, two very large commons continued to cruise up and down underneath my feet, ripping up the bottom and producing clouds of silt whilst wagging their tails up at the surface.

I picked up a small F1 on the float, just a stocker and was unhooking it when the quiver wrapped around and the rod lurched forward in the rest. I grabbed the rod and hoisted back into a lump which I wrestled with for a good ten minutes, eventually netting it. Out came a very lively common weighing in at 10lb 2oz. I had a little trouble unhooking it and I’d had it out of the water a longer than I’d have liked, so an obliging neighbour photographed it for me and back she went. I’ll post a pic when he’s emailed it.

(… and here it is)

All in all a really fun afternoon, though how I got sunburned from under the umbrella I’ll never know!

Wet nets.

A dangle before work…

I wasn’t due to start my night shift until 3pm yesterday so I thought I’d pop out for a few hours on the doughnut lake.

I’ve missed being at the lakes on week days, primarily as it’s so quiet and it’s about the only chance I get at the moment to have some reflective time. I’m sure many of you will agree that sometimes fishing is about more that catching fish. It’s an opportunity to sit and take stock of our own situation, as well as take in the beauty of the world that surrounds us which often gets lost amidst the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.

Oh, and there’s also the chance of catching a fish, which is always good!

I pulled up around 9.30am, planning to fish until around 1.00pm. Sadly my phone rang around 11.30 to say there was an emergency at work so I was back at the car by 11.45. So a 2 hour session was all I got.

I was, however pleased with the few hours I got in, netting a few roach and small perch and around 10 2-4lb commons and F1’s who were literally throwing themselves onto the offered double dendrobenas.

Unfortunately the perch eluded me today, at least the big ones, and the deadbait rod replete with roach didn’t so much as twitch.

I’ll be having an early morning session tomorrow though to see if I can pick up one or two fatties around sunrise.

Wet nets.

The first outing of the year is looming…

… and judging by the weather it’s going to be a short one!

I had a week off work last week and had every intention of getting down to the water and breaking my fast, as it were. Sadly the heavens and family stuff conspired against me, and on the one very cold but sunny morning we had I ended up having to go and do some sickness cover at work.

I did, however, make it to the shed at least and began the long and finger numbing process of getting everything cleaned up and ship shape for my imminent outing.

One thing I’m itching to try out is my new pen rod. It’s one of the super cheap ones with a dodgy plastic and aluminium baitcasting reel, only suitable for vertical jigging or light, close in work.

I had it as a Christmas present after dropping a few hints to my wife. I’ve also recently discovered that my club has a short stretch of brook which holds some roach and perch from lake wash which I’m eager to try.

Watch this space. I may actually get some fishing in tomorrow!

Wet nets

Merry Christmas

Just a quicky to wish everyone out there a very merry Christmas and new year.

I haven’t fished for a long time and it’s doubtful I’ll get much in now until February. Family time is important, especially at this time of year and given that I average 50hrs plus and two nights away per week at work, something has to give.

If you are braving the cold and snow in pursuit of a monster, I wish you luck.

Wet nets.

Matt.

Quick Update

Not feeling it to the degree I’d like but I did pop out for an hour this afternoon just to see how it would go.

I had a deadbait rod out with some small smelt on a single hook and didn’t get anything more than a few taps and one run which backed off. I did however pick up a 5lb 1oz bream which is a new PB for me, as well as an assortment of small carp. All taken on maggot and float.

The bream gave no fight at all and seemed a little worse for wear but it swam off lethargically after a few minutes in the net. Clearly a very old fish with lots of scars. Strangely this was the only bream of the day, but a welcome surprise.

Wet nets.

Time Out

Today started off really well.

I picked up a new rod this morning and was keen to test it out and get back on the deadbaiting, having had a taste for pike yesterday. I pitched up around mid day on the opposite-to-usual side of the lake as it was drizzly and cold and I wanted some cover.

My new rod is slightly longer at 11ft, with a bit of a stiffer action but it performed really well, netting me two nice 2lb plus perch in the first hour as well as a little friend that I haven’t seen since last year, a gudgeon. I also picked up an 8lb ish and 6lb ish common. I didn’t have my scales today so I couldn’t give you more accurate weights, but sadly weights are the last thing on my mind this evening. I’ll explain.

I popped a deadbait into the margin having seen a lot of non-carp like swirling earlier and fry throwing themselves out of the water. Thinking it was a pike, I lowered the bait into the swim gingerly and went back to my seat to lie the rod in the rest. As soon as I sat down the bubble float disappeard and I struck into a fish which certainly felt like a pike.

It wasn’t. It was easily the largest perch I’ve ever caught. Dare I say it well over 4lbs.

Why so sad? One of the sets of barbless trebles had hooked the rakers and literally snapped one of them off. I was distraught. The perch had clearly inhaled the whole roach and striking had damaged it. I have a photo, I’m not going to post it. It’s upsetting me too much. The irony of it all is that I’d just netted a 1.5lb ish fish and had it recovering when I landed it and I have a comparison photo. I’m not joking, this thing was huge and short of this bloody mess I’d be the happiest man alive right now.

Anyway, I unhooked the fish with some difficulty┬á and removed the broken raker from its thoat. It swam away, I didn’t see it surface again.

All sorts going on in my head right now. Hopefully I’ll pull myself together and be back at it soon.

Matt.