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!

 

 

 

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!

A Quick Flick Before Work

It’s rapidly looking like my weekend has been laid out for me doing family type stuff so, down to the lake at 8.30am it was for 3hrs before work.

I wasn’t holding out much hope for this morning. Too late for dawn feeding, wind and intermittent bright sunshine. Nevertheless, as a famous reverend once said, if your bait’s in the water you have a chance.

I picked a swim to the right of the lake today in a somewhat shady spot and threw in a handful of method mix and a few broken brandlings, immediately picking up a reasonable mirror on the first cast.

I’d decided just to use the one rod today (float) as I had only a small amount of bait left over in the form of some composty brandlings and a handful of soggy prawns.

By 10 I’d picked up 5 or 6 carp, then snaffled two pretty perch around the 1lb mark both on the brandlings.

Nothing massive here, but happy to get them anyway. I switched over to prawns for an hour but got carp after carp after carp so back to worm it was.

The perch eluded me for the rest of the session. By 11.30 it was time to go and after picking up another scrappy common and a few more F1s I have to say I was more than happy with myself.

A Red Letter Day

I’ve had a stupidly busy bank holiday weekend with absolutely no chance to get bankside. So today when visiting family announced they were going home I raced to get some bait and by 1.00pm I was sat by the lake , waiting for the heavens to open.

No time to grab prawns or to plink for livebait today so lob and maggot it was. Using lob on the float and feeder the action was non stop and within 30 mins of putting baits in the water I’d pulled in a trio of bristling, beautiful Perch, the biggest just touching 2.5lb. Considering these guys are still in spawning condition I’m more than happy with their weights.

As soon as the heavens opened around 2 the action slowed but I did pick up two sizeable carp and a further 15 F1s.

And just before last knockings… Perch number four of a similar stamp to the others.

Can’t wait for Autumn when these guys have beefed up a bit!

Back in the Saddle

In short, work has been pretty mental of late and it hasn’t been until the middle of May that I’ve been able to get bankside.

I’ve had two sessions at the lake this week pulling in 22 and 20 F1s and Commons respectively, all on worm. Worm seems to be the bait of the moment unfortunately and for a Perch angler like me that means wading through carp… the 7lb common I picked up earlier in the week was more than welcome though.

I haven’t tried livebaiting this year so that’s definitely on the cards for next week… oh and prawns but to be honest, last summer the carp were on the prawns too. I’m fancying getting some gear to go for pike later in the year too. We shall see.

Out of the two sessions today was the most productive perch wise with a 1lb 12oz and 2lb 5oz caught. Oh, and eels. Hundreds of eels!

Both large perch were caught on a small running cage feeder in swims adjacent to lily beds. The feeders were loaded with red maggot and halibut method mix and the hookbait was a large lob for the 1st fish and a bunch of dendrobena for the second.

I’ve noticed that the lake appears to be producing larger carp on average this year, so I stepped up the hook on the feeder setup to a wide gape size 8 and this seems to be weeding out the smaller fish.

Tight lines!