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 🙂

 

Another first…

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.

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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.

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I did, however amongst the plethora of carp, manage to catch a first.

A chub!

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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.

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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.

Wet nets.

Back at last…

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.

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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.

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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!

Wet nets.

 

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.