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!


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!





16 Days Later

I’m back, having moved and survived, albeit a little bruised and battered. As per my previous post I’m adamant that I’m never moving again, and if I do I’ll be selling everything and starting afresh. What a nightmare.

We’re a very small family and help is in short supply. My dad has really bad knees, my mum is 4ft nothing and my step-parents are poorly, out of the country or both. I have one reliable friend and he’s poorly too… so then there’s me and the wife with three kids in tow.

Aaaaaaaaaanyway, onto fishing and happier things.

16 days without a rod out and, as you can imagine I was game as a march hare in speedos tonight when an opportunity to pop down the lake arose. Lots of rainclouds were looming, but to be honest nothing was going to stop me getting some me time.

I raced to the tackle shop around 3 to find that it was (worryingly) closed, so I ended up having to drive to the next town to get some bait. Maggots and dendrobenas collected, I arrived at the lake around 4.00pm to find it bereft of kids, despite the summer holidays, and that my usual peg was free. All going according to plan so far. Now all I had to do was remember how to fish.

I started in my usual manner by little and often feeding off to the side of the lilies, feeding sparingly with maggots and using dendrobena on a size 12. I started picking up small F1s which for the first hour and a half was fun, but pretty much nothing else was making an appearance. The reeds at my feet, however, were buzzing with lots of movement and fry scattering everywhere.

I replumbed, doubled up on the dendrobena and popped the float out at the tip of the rod. Within a few seconds the float shot under and I had a handsome 2lb perch in the landing net.

After 30 minutes of no further takes, I began loose feeding next to the adjacent set of pads on the right of the swim and after a few minutes switched to that area. Within seconds of the worm dropping in, a huge carp surfaced and my float screamed straight through the pads, with little or no chance of me holding the fish back. Try as I might I couldn’t get the bugger to budge, and shortly thereafter it rose in the reeds next to the bank and flicked its head, snapping my line completely.

My favourite lucky float sat forlornly in the pads, bobbing the wake of the rising fish. Mercifully I could get a rod tip to it and gently tapped it back to within landing net distance.

Phew. Lucky float is now on life #612. I may have kissed it before sliding it back up the line.

Round 2.

Back to Plan A. I returned to the spot where I caught the perch and decided to give the last hour to that area, knowing that there were fish moving. I pulled in a few eels and a few skimmers but no further perch, then about 7.30 the float gently started travelling across the swim and I struck into a pretty mirror of around 3.5lb. Then the swim went crazy. Larger carp appeared to be descending on my groundbait and within an hour I’d taken the mirror, two 6lb commons and an 8.5lb common, as well as quite a few F1s and smaller commons.

And then I got a birds nest and I ran out of worms.

Time to go home. Great night though and lots of fun catching these hard fighting carp on relatively light gear.

Wet nets!