Popped down for pike…

… and picked up a few perch.

1.2lb and 2.4lb today both on the feeder on lob. Pellet waggler died unfortunately but wanted a shorter margin rod anyway so, thanks fate, I guess!

Just a tiddler…
That’s much better…

Deadbait float rigged roach produced a few runs from jacks but nothing big enough to get itself hooked. Will be downsizing to size 8 trebles next trip as I’m sure some big perch were lunging for the deadbaits.

Just a quicky today as I’m at work (joy).

Wet nets.

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Worms, I take it all back

Having dug the borders out this morning and collected a fair amount of lobworm, I thought it would be rude not to use them…plus I wanted to check I still knew how to fish with them, having had poor luck recently.

I got to the lake amidst drizzly and misty conditions around 12:30pm. Thankfully it was fairly warm, but not particularly being fond of wet weather I headed up the ‘wrong’ side of the doughnut lake to peg 12 where a large tree offers some cover.

I took everything, but only ended up using the float rod as I had half a pint of mixed red and white that I wanted to use up. I fed maggots tight to the lilies on the left of the swim and baited up with a whole lob, then downsized to double tails or double reds as the small bites became irritating. I soon started picking up small F1s and roach.

No perch showed themselves all day, but about 2:00pm I had a smashing bite which ran headlong for the lilies and promptly tied itself up. I waited for a few minutes for it to swim out and commenced playing it properly for all of 5 minutes. It gave me a hell of a run.

In the net she was just under 9lb, having snaffled a whole lob.

Nothing much special for the rest of the session other than a common of around 3lb, more roach and an eel. I packed in around 3:30pm.

An enjoyable few hours nevertheless, even if it was a damp one.

Wet nets.

Oh, hello lure!

This morning the wife and I set off on a grand adventure, namely to buy a new electric stove. We probably did around 80 miles all told, and ended up buying it in our home town.

With most of the day wasted I was in two minds whether to pop down to the lake or not. It was getting on for 2:00pm, rather chilly and quite overcast, but with tomorrow already fully booked I thought I’d better grab the carp by the barbules, as it were.

I pulled up around 2:30pm to find my happy place full of kids, so I opted for the hawthorn peg as it usually produces close in. I had lob and red & white maggot, and again throughout the session the lob did absolutely nothing. The fish are either getting wise to it, or it’s my presentation. As nothing has changed with the latter, I can only assume the former coupled with the copious amounts of 1 – 2″ fry that are present.

First cast with the float rod (all I took) with triple red maggot, I picked up this 2lb 7oz bruiser of a perch, replete with battle scars.

Ok, I could now go home happy.

The action was pretty steady all afternoon, with everything landed on maggot. Several F1’s and a nice 4lb common, plus a string of small perch and roach. Bream have been noticably absent of late, as have eels, though I did pick up a bootlace on my previous trip.

Throught the session I had what I thought was a jack crashing the party, right next to the reeds. I’ve seen jack pike caught there before. In fact just a few weeks ago I was chatting to a lure angler about the perch he’d been picking up when he caught a small jack from the very same peg. After he left I noticed he’d dropped one of his knobbly shads so I popped it in the bag in case I ever bumped into him again.

As I was packing up I thought I’d pop the shad on to see if I could pick up the jack. Out went the jig and within a few minutes I’d landed not a jack, but a rather handsome 1lb 10oz perch.

I’m not a lure angler, but this has certainly inspired me to take the drop shot rod with me next time I go.

Wet nets.

The Magic Maggot

I haven’t been fishing for a good while but, whilst I had the chance between shifts this afternoon, I headed to the lake.

I picked up a small amount of bait on the way home, namely a small tub of lobworm and half a pint of red maggots. I wasn’t planning on spending a long time bankside today after a 24hr shift.

I arrived around 1:00 and was greeted with a relatively quiet scene. A few match lads were practicing on the walk in pegs and one pleasure angler was seated half way up the right side. I positioned myself between the two, rigged up the float rod with lob and a wide gape 12 and settled in.

The action in the first two hours was regular but slow. I landed four carp and lost a largish one due to a hooklink break. Two small F1s, a 2lb common and a 3lb mirror.

After the lost fish it slowed down for around an hour, so I switched to maggot and a size 14 hook. I picked up another F1 and a small perch plus lots of small roach. Sadly the big perch didn’t want to know.

Around 3:30pm I noticed the float running sideways and sidestruck into a lump. Reeling in gingerly due to the small hook size I was pleased to see a fair perch break the surface. 2lb 4oz all told.

All in all a fun afternoon. So much for expensive lobworm, eh?!

Wet nets.

September Update

It’s been a while (for me) since I posted an update. I’ve had a couple of uneventful sessions over the past week, both short and one somewhat disastrous… which I’ll expand on shortly.

Last Tuesday I popped out for a few hours, catching nothing noteworthy except 2-3lb carp each cast and the usual small perch. Really small.

Again maggot seemed to be king. One upside is that of late the eels seem to be noticably absent.

Yesterday I put out both the quiver and float for a lunchtime session, having managed to procure a decent quantity of lob from the local tackle shop.

The action was steady all day, but only two perch made an appearance. One on float and one on quiver and both around the 1.5lb mark.

Around 4pm I turned to pick something up off the floor and in the few seconds it took to look back at the rods the quiver setup you see in the top picture had vanished.

20 yards out into the lake, a stream of bubbles told me that my rod had indeed been taken. Silently, stealthily stolen, most likely by a very big carp.

I was pretty annoyed, seeing no way of getting it back, but I had to try. I stripped the float gear off my pellet waggler and put on a snap tackle trace and a bomb and proceeded to drag the lake. After about an hour and a half I picked up the line and got the rod and reel in, quiver first with my feeder and the fish still attached. I didn’t see the fish, just a large black shape. As I cluctched the line the fish swung its huge head and snapped my 8lb mono straight through.

At least I got the rod back. If I’d set some drag it wouldn’t have happened.

Lesson learned.

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!

Kicking the bucket list

Here in sunny Wales each year we are forced to endure something called the ‘Velothon’. For one Sunday a year, almost the entire road network is closed and everyone, except for cyclists, is massively inconvenienced. This meant that my planned trip to the lake and much needed therapy session had to be fast forwarded to this evening.

I couldn’t get away particularly early as the electrician was working on my kitchen, so it ended up being a 5.00pm start. No matter, I wanted to christen my new bag anyway.

I picked my usual peg and popped out lob on both the float and the feeder. In the first two hours I battled against the floating balsam and had to cherrypick clear spots, sadly all to no avail. A reasonable carp in the first few minutes on the float was closely followed by a tiny perch, and then the swims went dead. The only things I could seem to pick up were small eels.

I considered packing up for the evening but decided to move both rods in close for an hour when I noticed the balsam clearing.

The feeder picked up a small carp but then went quiet, and fearing that the perch weren’t in the mood I downsized my hook to a 12 and decided to have some fun with the roach on maggot. The float went under and ironically I picked up a decent carp first cast.

Something was evidently amiss with the feeder, so I swapped it for a 1/2oz bomb and fed directly over lob hookbait with maggot as I was running low on groundbait.

The rod tip bounced gently and straight away I was into a fish. Not just any fish either…

… I’d caught my first ever tench!! I genuinely almost wept. This little 1.5lb fish was 30 years late but more than welcome. The first thing I noticed was how placid and calm natured it was, and it felt amazing in my hands. Fantastic!

Back went the tench and, as I’d now run out of worms I popped a bunch of maggots on the running ledger. The carp came thick and fast and weirdly the quiver started out-fishing the float. In all honesty I tend to use the quiver as an ‘also’ rod and don’t give it the attention it deserves, only going to it when I get a solid wrap around. I should really have a session on it solely to get more practice in.

Around 9.00 I baited up with a more maggots (red, white, red, white, red… always) on the quiver and threw out against the pads in the vain hope that I could pick up a decent perch. Lo and behold within 10 minutes I’d snagged a decent 2lb fish.

Disaster had been avoided.

All in all a bit of a rollercoaster of an evening, but well worth the initial stress. I‘ll pop the bag review up tomorrow.

Wet nets!