Sunday, 25 April 2010

Tamworth Tincas

Sunday 25th April

Decided to head to a lake near Tamworth for todays trip along with a couple of mates, Phil and Dan. As today was to be something of a social, my approach for today was a bit of a lazy one to be honest. I intended to ball all the groundbait in at the start of the trip and then cast two bolt-maggot feeders over it. In my chosen swim there was a fair bit of weed in front of me but the water here was a fair bit deeper than the majority of the lake at about 7-8ft and i really fancied it to hold a Tench or two. After a quick lead around I managed to find an area at about 40 yards where the weed wasnt quite so heavy and it was here where i decided to commit my bait , firing out around 20 golf balls of groundbait.
The three of us were all setup next to each other, Dan was chasing the Carp whilst Phil, like me was after the Tench. The rods were soon in position and we settled back for a chinwag.

During the first couple of hours Dan had missed two takes and i managed a pair of small Perch. Not long afterwards though i recieved a proper take and struck into a heavy ball of weed. After a quick tug of war i reeled in my rig minus the hook but there was some very tenchy looking slime on the line which was encouraging, at least there might be one or two out there.
Shortly after recasting, the same rod was away and this time a Tench was duly landed. It was nice fat looking female of 5lb8oz and i was pleased to get one under my belt. no sooner had i returned it when Dans rod was away and he caught a lovely Mirror Carp of 18lb.

This seemed to be the start of a mad feeding spell over the next hour or so during which i landed another two Tench and Dan landed another two Carp. My Tench were 5lb and 6lb4oz whilst both of Dans were mid-doubles, both Commons. Funnily enough, the 6lber i had was obviously the same fish as the one id lost earlier because it still had my other baited hook in its lip! nice of it to give me a second chance!

That was to be all the action i was going to get for the rest of the trip but i cant complain, 3 x 5lb+ Tench in a trip isnt bad going for me! Dans trip wasnt over though by any means because he added two more Carp to his tally which included a 24lb Mirror and a 23lb4oz Common (pictured below) to crown a great session for him. Phil wasnt so lucky and just managed a couple of Perch and a lost Tench, it could be all change next time though!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Club water Carp - Success at last

Wednesday 21st April

After a mega stressful few days at work i needed to get out fishing. When i got home i secured a pass from headquarters, got a few bits together and headed down to the club lake for a couple of hours . After getting smashed up and losing a few Carp on my last trip to the venue i brought some appropriate tackle with me this time with the express intention of landing one. 3lb TC rods, baitrunners and 15lb line were the order of the day.

A quick walk around didnt show much in the way of Carp activity and there was a couple of other anglers already there with nothing to report either. It had been a frost the last couple of mornings and even though it was sunny this afternoon the wind still had a nip to it so i headed for a known holding area which id caught from in the past.
I went for a stealthy approach, doing away with the Delkims and simply laying the rods on the ground, fishing slack lines and sitting well back from the edge. Within a few minutes of casting i started to get a few twitches on the lines indicating that there was one or two fish about. This was confirmed an hour later when a fish crashed over my right hander sending shockwaves across the lake.
Soon enough it started to get dark and i couldnt believe i hadnt had a take yet when it was obvious i had fish in front of me, time was running out. I was sorely tempted to try and induce a take by tweaking my rigs or changing the hookbaits but i reasoned that there wasnt enough time left for any changes to have much effect other than spooking the fish on the recast, the baits stayed in place.
Just as it was almost too dark to see the rods anymore, the right hander lurched around and the baitrunner hissed, i hit into a fish which buried itself in some dead reeds. I leant into it hard to stop it getting any deeper in and it erupted on the surface and i managed to heave it clear. once in open water the outcome of the battle was a forgone conclusion on the gear i was using and a nice Common was quickly netted.
Now, you may have read in a previous blog entry how ive been after a 20lber from this particular water for a good while. I know a 20 isnt a monster fish when it comes to Carp nor is it a rarity on the water in question but ive been a bit unlucky both sizewise and with regards to lost fish on this lake in the past . I set myself a target of catching a 20 from there this closed season so i could finally put the place to bed and move on.
The scales confirmed a weight of 20lb12oz, chuffed or what? target achieved, i can completely forget about the place for the time being now and concentrate on other things. I love it when these quick, spur of the moment sessions pay off!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Last gasp success

Sunday 18th April

I headed for a lake near Birmingham for todays trip at the invite of my sisters fella Dan. Wed been meaning to get together for a session for a while and upon his promise of some nice Tench and Bream i pointed my car towards Brum. I met Dan at the gate to the fishery and we headed around to our chosen area.

The lake is very shallow and weedy and the bottom is visible over most of its area. Despite this i didnt see any fish moving other than the odd roach topping. Not to be discouraged i tackled up the rods and fired in half a dozen jaffas of groundbait into a clear looking area at about 30 yards range. I adopted my usual maggot approach and was quite confident after catching a couple of quickfire Roach straight away and getting plenty of twitches.
The swim suddenly went dead as a doornail without any apparent reason, that is until a twitchy bite resulted in a small Pike of about 4lb in the net. No wonder the Roach had disappeared unfortunately they never came back and i spent the rest of the morning sitting behind motionless bobbins.

By now the sun was up to its full strength and was getting really warm. As a result the lakes resident Carp began to show themselves and were cruising about on the surface everywhere i looked. These provided a distraction from the job at hand and i spent the whole afternoon fruitlessly pursuing them with floating bread on a controller rig. Dan was targetting the Carp and he lost one mid afternoon from the shallows.
As the afternoon wore on, the sun went in and the Carp stopped cruising so i decided to go back to my original plan and recast a couple of maggot rigs to my earlier baited area. After an hour or so i heard the shriek of a buzzer and looked across to see Dan connected to a fish. It was soon landed despite its best attempts to bring half the lakes weed with it and turned out to be a long , lean mirror of about 14lb. After doing the honors with the camera my own alarm sounded and the bobbin dropped to the floor. I wound down to the fish and the rod took on a satisfying curve, dan came over just in time to net a decent Bream for me.
At 9lb5oz it was my biggest Bream of the year so far and highlighted the potential of the water for the future. Dan fishes the lake regularly and has had them to over 12lb so another visit could be on the cards before the weed comes up, i say that because come july/august the lake becomes practically unfishable due to the heavy weed growth apparently.

After the fish was weighed and returned we realised it was time to go as the place was closing for the night, talk about leaving it till the last minute. Thats the great thing about fishing, it only takes one bite to make or break your day!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Bad luck and frustration!

Sunday 11th April

The weather had cooled dramatically for todays trip, even though the sun was still out the wind had swung around and had a real nip to it. Nonetheless, I joined my mate Paul back on the club lake with some Tench firmlyin my sights.

I opted for my trusty bolt-feeder and maggot tactics again and, as i was fishing the margins, i sprinkled a liberal dose of groundbait over each rod to hopefully hold any passing fish patrolling along the margin. Within 10 minutes my right hander was away and a fish was on, not for long though because the 5lb hooklink parted like cotton.
It was my own fault for using an old rig from my previous trip, im normally pretty hot on tying fresh rigs and checking my setup for weak spots but in my rush to setup i never bothered to check on this occasion and it cost me a fish, bugger!

I quickly retied both rods up and recast. Once again, after about 10 minutes i was away again, this time on my right hander. The run stopped as i picked the rod up and i found myself connected to a snag and after a quick tussle i was soon landing a prime tree branch of about a pound! Oh well, at least there seemed to be a few fish moving.

Another take on my left hander about half an hour later saw me connected to what was obviously a Carp which took off on an unstoppable run down the margin and under the trees. Despite exerting as much pressure as i dared it wasnt to be, the hooklink went again leaving me cursing my luck and most annoyed at leaving another hook in a fish.

After this i decided to beef up the gear a bit by fishing 10lb straight through to the hook in the hope of actually landing something at some point. Soon enough the left hand rod tip suddenly yanked around and i was into another Carp. I managed to turn it away from the trees and soon had it under the rod tip. It looked a fairly decent fish of around 15lb or so but it wasnt beaten yet. It made a last ditch lunge for some tree roots and unfortunately made it despite me bending the rod to the cork to try and stop it. I could feel the line grating through the roots before the inevitable happened and everything went slack.

I was gutted, even though i was there for the Tench, a bonus carp wouldve been nice. Thats the trouble with fishing lighter gear for the Tench, any Carp hooked give you the right runaround . I went to see Paul who had just moved due to a lack of activity in his starting swim. He too was fishing with maggots and soon caught a nice dark female Tench of about 5 1/2lb.
Inspired by his success i headed back to my peg not before stopping at a known spotting tree for a quick peek at the shallows to see if there was any kippers having a mooch. Sure enough after about 5 minutes, a fat mirror Carp waddled into view followed by a larger sleeker common which i put at around 20-22lb. I went back to my peg to grab some bait to trickle in over them, this was the first oportunity id had to watch fish feeding since last summer so i wasnt gonna miss it.

I waited for the fish to move off before dropping a couple of handfuls of maggots and some pellets in directly beneath the tree i was stood in. within minutes the fish were back along with two more and made several passes over the bait before the fat one stopped and up-ended on it. Puffs of silt wafted up as the fish worked its way over the baited area, it was great to watch.
I suddenly occurred to me that perhaps i could put one of these fish on the bank, even though it was impossible to get to the fish from either side of the trees i was stood in from the bank, i could get to them from the tree itself. If i hooked one it would be a case of jumping in the lake where i would be able to safely net it. The water under the trees wasnt even waist deep so i decided to give it a shot.

To cut a long story short, i spent about 3 hours up that tree trying to catch those fish. Despite the hookbait getting picked up at least 4 times i never hooked up and by the end of it i was pulling whats left of my hair out in sheer frustration!
Its amazing how a fish can pick up every scrap of bait in a swim apart from the hookbait, the amount of times they visited the baited area and got away with it was unbelievable. Just makes you wonder how often they get away with it in situations where we cant see them.

Even though i didnt catch i saw several interesting things that got me thinking, as usual, ill be back!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Club water Carp

Friday 9th April

With the nights drawing out and decent warm weather upon us (for the time being) i decided to squeeze in a quick evening session on a local club water. Ive fished the water on and off for 3-4 years now and its been a long held ambition of mine to catch a 20lb carp from there. In addition to this the water also holds one or two nice Tench and im planning a few closed season trips here to fill in the time until those estate lake Tench are ripe for catching .
I brought my baitboat along for this trip because from past experience, the main problem with catching Carp in this lake was always that upon hooking them they were straight under the trees and it was very difficult to get them out. I wanted to setup opposite the trees rather than amongst them so that any hooked fish could be pulled away from danger as quickly as possible.
The boat was needed in order to position the baits accurately and with the minimum of fuss. Tacklewise i used my Tench gear with light semi-fixed inline rigs, one with maggots and the other with boilies.
Shortly after i placed the baits i got Cooted on the maggot rod and had to redo it all over again only for the little bugger to come back for seconds! Now, if i had been fishing at close range and not having to boat the rod out each time this wouldnt have been a problem but i wasnt happy with the disturbance caused every time the boat went out so i changed the maggots for another boilie setup in an attempt to ward my feathered friend off a bit.
After about half an hour of watching the bird continually diving on my bait still, the rod suddenly juddered to life and the bobbin dropped back . Angrily, thinking the damned Coot had hooked itself, i picked the rod up to wind in only for it to buckle over as a powerful fish made a dash for some serious looking snags. I locked up and held on for dear life not giving an inch, fully expecting the line to part or the hook to pull at any moment. Thankfully everything held together and i soon had the fish in open water where it plodded about staying deep until i got it under the rod tip and then, after a few last minute bursts, into the net.
The fish went 17lb4oz on the scales, it looked bigger but i wasnt disappointed, it was nice battle-scarred old warrior and a typical example of the lakes stamp of Carp.

After that fish i continued to fish just into dark with no more action. I dropped what bait i had left with me into a couple of likely spots ready for Sundays planned trip and then headed for home.
The water temp was 12.5degrees which is the warmest ive recorded so far this year and i also saw a Pike swim past which is very unusual as the venue is not known for its Pike and thats the first one ive ever seen there.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The day of the Bream

Sunday 4th April

I was back on the new water for todays trip, after a walk round yesterday i had spotted a couple of likely looking spots which looked well worth a go. The area is practically bang opposite where i fished the other day but the islands arnt such a long chuck and its well away from the disturbance of all the dog walkers and duck feeders!

Tactics-wise i decided to go straight in with the maggot bolt feeder, the only difference was that i had shortened the hooklinks to about 3 inches to try and convert a few of those twitches into hooked fish. There was a light north-westerly blowing in, the sun was out and the water temp came back at 9 degrees so things were looking a bit better than they did the other day.

I began by having half a dozen casts on each line to lay some feed down and then sat back to await events. After about an hour i had a slow drop-back on the right hand rod and struck into a heavy feeling fish. I imediately thought Bream and sure enough, after the usual wet sack-like fight, i soon had a half decent fish of 7lb2oz on the mat.

This set the precident for the next 5 hours and besides landing a Tench of 5lb4oz, i went on to land seven more Bream. The smallest went 5lb but the average was around 6-7lb so a pretty decent bag of fish all in all.

For some reason though, apart from the one Tench i hadnt hooked any others and it was the Tench that i was down there for to be honest . I decided to try casting off the baited area to see if the Tench were holding back or something to no avail. I never had a sniff for an hour on either rod so it was back on the baited area exept this time i put red maggots on the hook as opposed to the whites id been using all morning.
Two male Tench of 4lb2oz and 4lb4oz in two casts told me they obviously prefer the reds! I tried the whites again to see if it made a difference and promptly hooked two more Bream, landing one and dropping the other.

I dont know whether changing the maggot colour was coincidence or not but it seemed strange how ,after catching all those Bream, a change to reds brought two Tench and back to whites produced more Bream?

Although the Bream were of a size that any matchman would be proud of, i dont think the water has the potential for any real specimens of 10lb or more. There may be the odd one scraping that size but i dont fancy working my way through hundreds of 5-7lbers just to get one double. Its the Tench that the water contains which interest me so i think ill leave the place alone now till mid-May when the bigger girls are much more active and hopefully theyll compete with the Bream a bit more for the bait.

In the meantime my kit needs a bloody good clean cos theres nowt like a bag of bream to make it stink to high heaven!! Ive got every cat within a five-mile radius outside my house!
As a footnote, i noticed quite a few lily pads starting to unfold just beneath the surface around the margins, a sure sign the warmer weathers just around the corner, bring it on!

Friday, 2 April 2010

New Water, New challenge

Friday 2nd April

Recently ive been looking into one or two new waters to try this closed season and one in particular keeps sticking in my mind . Im amazed ive never fished it before to be honest considering its only 15 minutes from my front door and the fact that its got some clonking Tench in residence so today i decided to redress the balance and wet a line there .

The weather over the last week has cooled off dramatically, so much so that my car had a dusting of snow on it yesterday morning when i got up for work! Not good Tenching conditions but i had already purchased my ticket and bait so it wouldve been a shame to waste it.
I arrived at the lake at 6am and found i had it to myself, a mate had tipped me off on a good starting area so it was here i duly setup. A quick lead around told me the spot was quite shallow, certainly no more than 4ft with large patches of thin blanket weed. Id been informed that the whole lake was no deeper than 5ft at most so the shallow water didnt concern me. I decided on a PVA stick and maggot approach to begin with to try and gage the fishes feeding activity without overbaiting the swim. There was a cold breeze blowing in and the rainclouds were looming, i took a water temp reading and it came back at 8 degrees, i wasnt condfident.
After about 4 biteless hours and with no fish or signs of fish seen i made the decision to fine my gear down to see if it would make a difference. The PVA stick rigs were replaced with my trusty bolt feeder rig with a 5lb hooklink and a smaller size 14 hook baited with 3 red maggots. The maggots were put directly on the hook instead of the maggot clip arrangment i usually use when the weathers a bit warmer.
Soon after casting i began to get one or two twitches and about 20 minutes later one of the rods was away and after a short scrap, where i played the fish very gingerly due to it being the first hookup from a new water, i landed a small Tench.
Considering what id found out and knew about the place prior to my visit, at 3lb2oz it was probably the smallest Tench in the lake and certainly one of the ugliest but it had saved a blank bless it so i was well chuffed.
Shortly after recasting that rod the twitches started up again exept this time it was due to all the birdlife on the lake swimming through my lines to get to the bread that some numpty was chucking in for them next to my spot! After that the bloody Geese and Swans wouldnt leave my spot and were a complete nightmare, the situation was made worse by several more people coming down to feed them too. I wouldnt have minded but they were feeding them either side of me so the birds were backwards and forwards every five minutes, you gotta love the great ignorant british public!
All this was quickly forgotten though when , by some miracle, i managed another bite and found myself connected to a heavier fish. I managed to get it to within about 10 yards out when, youve guessed it, the hook pulled. I wasnt overly gutted as i was pleased to have caught one already and another take had proved i was doing something right at least anyway.
I gave it another hour with no further action and decided to pack up before the rain started proper, ill definately be back on that lake soon.