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.

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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 🙂

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 🙂

 

Back on dry land

I’m back at work tomorrow but felt a little guilty about indulging in a lake escape today. Thankfully wifey was cool with it, so I headed off for bait.

I arrived at a very sunny and relatively busy lake around 1:30pm and selected a shady peg under a large hawthorn. This was for two reasons, firstly the peg looked fishy and I’d done well there in the past. More importantly my sunburned neck wasn’t going to put up with any more warmth.

I set up the quiver and the float but just used the latter for the first two hours and enjoyed slow but regular takes from small carp and one small perch. I couldn’t get lob today so opted for dendrobena. Sadly worm wasn’t on the menu so all initial catches, around the stamp below, were on maggot.

As the sun dipped the bites started increasing in frequency, so I popped the quiver along the right hand reed bed with a small cage feeder and a bunch of worms. After picking up some reasonable carp I managed to snag a decent 2lb 8oz perch.

Shortly thereafter I picked up a lovely golden common of around 4lb on worm and float.

Then just before 6:00pm I managed to haul in a 2lb 4oz perch on a bunch of maggots, again on the float.

All in all a really pleasing evening. Not hectic in terms of bites, but it’s nice to be home.

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!

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!