Just a quick entry tonight to log a short stint on the canal.
My daughter had a ballet class at 5:30pm so, as we were walking past the shed to the car I grabbed my drop-shotting rod and reel and my pre-prepared lure holdall. I wanted to hit a shoal of perch I’d seen lurking under a road bridge a few times whilst passing over the previous weeks.
Sadly the perch were absent in numbers tonight, but I did pick up one in the 20 minutes or so I had to fish, plus a bonus jack pike that I really wasn’t expecting.
Both were taken on a 2.5″ silvery and olive natural shad twitched across the weed flanks close in, though I did have a few taps on the far bank. The bridge, which I specifically wanted to target, was dead.
Lots of ducks and gulls around tonight as the canal was covered in bread. Other than that it was surprisingly clean!
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.
Lovely 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!
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.
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.
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.
I finally got the opportunity to get a decent session in today… meaning one lasting more than two hours. The sun was out, but guess who woke up late (having planned to be at the lake by 7:00am)? I eventually arrived bank side by 10:30am…
Having missed the best of the morning I decided that I was going to break out the big guns today and go for broke with whole lob and nothing else. I got off to a good start, bagging an almost 4lb common on the first cast. I was fishing off to the right of a small patch of lilies and quite close in, so speed was of the essence to ensure the fish weren’t bolting for cover before the rod was raised.
This was quickly followed by a small but beautifully scaled mirror, who had sadly been in the wars. This appears to have been somewhat of a running theme today, commons and F1s followed by mirrors. Methinks there may have been a recent stocking as I don’t recall catching quite so many, and all were very similar looking.
I did, however amongst the plethora of carp, manage to catch a first.
My very first, not being a prolific river fisherman. In all the years I’ve been fishing these lakes I’ve never caught one, which leads me yet again to believe that there’s been a sneaky restock at some point during my absence.
As the morning turned to early afternoon and following another run of small F1s and commons I decided to bait up close in and switch to maggot, eventually landing a perch or two but nothing photo-worthy as well as the obligatory hoard of roach and last cast produced an eel.
All in all a perchless but thoroughly enjoyable morning on the bank.
It’s been a hectic few months, and in all honestly I feel pretty guilty about neglecting the blog. It’s been six months since my last trip and I had every intention of getting at least a few trips in over the winter, but life has a habit of dictating things and in my case it wasn’t telling me to go fishing.
I took the bull by the horns this morning, on Fathers Day (lol) and ran to the tackle shop to renew my club membership. Our lakes are now gated and require a key, so all told I was out of pocket by almost £70 by the time I’d bought bait and paid the deposit for the key. Hrrrmph.
As I hadn’t been to the lake for a while I wasn’t sure whether there was a match on at my favourite one, and lo and behold there was, albeit a diddler which meant I was fishing between two people wherever I went. The match was already in full swing and all the bait was being flung out to the far bank, groundbait clouds everywhere and catapults twanging willy nilly. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I stayed. I wanted to get my net wet.
I started about a rodlength out using halibut method mix, slowly trickled red and white maggots and a small waggler and picked up a few roach and a few eels. The carp were fairly absent today, no doubt gorging themselves on the underwater mountains of corn and boilies on the far bank.
It wasn’t them I was after. I needed a perch fix.
It was approaching 1:30pm and I was getting a little chilly, tired and hungry by now. I hadn’t brought any food and the rain was increasing; I didn’t want my first proper trip of 2018 to be a damp, miserable one so I thought I’d pack in whilst I was relatively dry.
I threw the remainder of my groundbait out around four yards and opted to fish the last half an hour close in. Bump, bump went the float as the eels and roach chewed on the triple and quadruple maggot offering – no runs ensued. Glancing around at the match anglers revealed they weren’t doing much better, with the guy next to me having had just the one F1 all session.
I noticed the float bobbling side to side and assumed it was an eel, so as soon as it dipped slightly I struck into it. Something with some weight at last.
Out came a nice 1lb 8oz fish. Not a monster by any means but a handsome looking stripy and a very welcome one too. Sorry for the blurry pic, not sure what happened there.
Fingers crossed the next outing will be a little warmer!
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!
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.
It’s hard for me to gush about bream. I don’t target them and I certainly don’t like catching them. They’re lethargic, slimy and generally irritating. No doubt somebody loves them, though why escapes me.
I did, however smash my bream record today with a 3lb 3oz fish. Tiny by most people’s standards but it’s not theirs, it’s mine!
It all started at lunch time, with half a box of casters and very lethargic maggots and a few hours to kill. I knew there was a match on at the complex today, and I’d fully intended to stay away but boredom prompted me to use up the leftover bait.
I never fish the horseshoe lake as the perch are generally small, but go I did nonetheless. I picked a peg with structure and started by heavily baiting close in. The first few hours brought in around 30 small perch and roach, with the odd decent roach over half a pound now and again. Mostly though the fish were barely out of fry shorts. Oh, and an eel of course.
Relaxing and fun, but not particularly exciting. I decided to bait out a bit deeper around a rod length off the tip and was rewarded with the first and largest bream. It twitched forlornly once when hooked, then laid on its side and allowed me to unceremoniously drag it in, mouth open and gazing blankly at the sky. I almost felt sorry for it.
Shortly after this I began to run low on maggots, so I popped a can of corn and continued to feed the same spot picking up seven more bream between 2 and 3lb.
Certainly a different day, but yeah, sorry bream, won’t be back if I can help it!