Tuesday, 29 May 2012

An angling oasis in the concrete jungle

With all the warm weather of late you'd think I have been out wetting a line at every opportunity but life as usual has got in the way and I've actually hardly been out all. Six day weeks at work coupled with a bout of man-flu has left me with very little energy to put into my fishing but last weekend I got my mojo back somewhat and now I'm mad for it again!
My downer changed for the better on sunday morning when i decided to join some friends on a bit of a pre-season recce along the Trent. Much fishing talk ensued and after seeing the river in its full summer glory my appetite was very much whetted for an evening trip somewhere. There's a little pool in a nearby town situated in the middle of a housing estate and I've been meaning to give it a try for some time because despite its location, its reputed to hold some nice crucians and after persuading my fishing buddy Phil to give it a go we soon found ourselves on its banks.
Neither of us had ever seen the pond before but It was pretty much exactly what youd expect from a suburban duck pond. The swims were well worn, lost floats adorned the trees and the murky waters surface was swimming with bread thrown in for the ducks by the local residents. At a glance it didnt look like any kind of aquatic life could possibly eek out an existence in there but first impressions can be very deceptive it turned out. I soon spotted a small Carp sunning itself in a quiet corner and after walking along the bank a few yards the one Carp had become dozens of them,  they were all over the lake!
Thinking i was about to get a couple of easy doubles i quickly set up a bubble float as one or two fish were confidently taking the bread that was already out there. I missed one straight away on the first cast but after that the fish did a pretty good job of proving that they were no mugs. They were obviously well used to being fished for on the surface and they had the uncanny ability to remove the bread from the hook without registering a bite or hooking up. Several times i struck at thin air and after a couple of frustrating hours in the full glare of the afternoon sun i got bored with Carp and set up a float rod to target what i had originally gone there for, Tench and Crucians.

Keith had joined us by now and had already landed a small Tench from the margins so that is where i decided to base my attack. Some of the lakes Tench obviously had other things on their mind and were frantically chasing each other amongst the tree roots and marginal reeds but i hoped there would be enough fish still feeding down there to give me few chances.
I missed a couple of fast bites in the first half hour and bumped something which, judging by the solitary scale on the hook was obviously a passing spawner. I decided to bury the hook in a piece of bread in order to try and minimise such hookups. As the afternoon turned to evening the wind got up and the temperature became more bearable, i also began to get a few more indications. It wasnt long before i finally hooked a fish and after a short battle i landed a small but fiesty Tench.

This set the precedent for the rest of the evening and although the action wasnt exactly hectic, i was probably getting a bite every ten minutes or so. Four more Tincas followed over the course of the evening and although none were very big  it was most enjoyable watching that float bury and made a nice change from my usual buzzers and bolt-feeder approach.

Phil never managed to extract a Tench but he did have a couple of nice carp in the 6-8lb range on floatfished maggots. He was only two pegs away from me but he fished further out than me so i dont know if that made the difference between getting the Tench or not? Keith finished up with the one Tench and a couple of missed opportunities.
All in all a pretty good trip i thought and certainly one i needed to get some confidence back. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the fishing in the pool and will surely be back for another session in the future.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Going through the motions?

This weekend ive been very limited timewise due to family commitments but with the weather seemingly getting a bit better i still managed to squeeze in a couple of quick evening sessions. My first trip was to what has now become my regular Tench water and although catch reports from those whod been down in the week werent very encouraging the sun was out and the wind seemed fairly mild.
Upon my arrival i found i had the whole lake to myself and had my pick of the swims. I chose one which has produced a few lately and got setup. The wind was blowing quite strongly from my right to left and the water was more coloured up than i think ive ever seen it, a couple of fish splashed out in the waves at around 30 yards out though so i was confident that i had a few in front of me.
I sat there for probably about 3 hours without so much as liner and was starting to get a little impatient, thinking about what i could do to make something happen. The chocolate brown water wasnt doing me any favours i felt although the groundbait mix i was using was full of mollasses so i didnt think theyd have a problem finding it.
As i looked out across the expanse of water in front of me a Tench rolled right in my line of sight at about 50 yards and i saw it clear as day. With nothing to lose i reeled in a rod, rebaited and cast it to where the fish showed. The wind was dropping by now but was noticably colder, in fact i realised i was actually shivering and seeing as i was dressed for the warmer weather of earlier i had no choice but to huddle under my brolly as best as i could.
It was a welcome relief when, after around half an hour, the bobbin on my recast rod began to dance and i struck into a fish. It came in very easily and didnt seem to wake up till it got under the rod tip but i soon had it netted and on the mat. It was a very odd looking Tench with alsorts of lumps and bumps on it but it saved my session bless it. I weighed it at 5.4 and after returning it to its watery home i quickly packed up and headed back myself, i was frozen!

Another evening session on a different lake started well enough, in fact i hooked a fish before id even got my second rod out but i managed to lose it to a hookpull. Over the next couple of hours i had a few twitches on the bobbins and lost another fish which felt somewhat Perch-like but i ended the trip on a total blank. 
After several trips where ive struggled im starting to wonder what im doing wrong, my fishing really seems to be in the doldrums at the minute. Others seem to be faring little better so maybe its just the fish? Certainly on my last trip out i felt like i was just going through the motions, what i need is a good bagging session somewhere to restore a bit of confidence and stoke the fire i reckon.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Its May but not as we know it!

The British weather eh, dont you just love it? Weve recently had what seems like weeks of  non stop heavy rain and although now it appears to have eased off a bit, the air temps have dropped to the extent where we actually had a light frost this morning here in darkest Leicestershire. The air temps are more akin to March than May and as you would expect the fishing has suffered considerably as a result. Looking back over previous blog entries and old diaries for this time of year i should be out there in shorts and a tshirt by now bagging up on Tench, not huddled up under a brolly in my winter woolies!

So what of my recent Fishing exploits? well, the rain hit my fly fishing aspirations pretty hard and as a result ive not really been much. I did get out for a couple of hours the other day but other than a couple of follows it proved to be pretty fruitless excursion. Instead ive been trawling the net for bits and bobs to tie some flies with. Ive now built up something of a passable fly tying kit and have been practicing my tying skills hard whilst watching the drizzle outside roll down the windows. Im a bit limited on colours at the moment but im confident the flies should catch me something at least.

I promised my lad Lewis that id take him out to catch a fish as soon as the weather lifted and the chance eventually came on Saturday morning. After a quick trip to the tackle shop to aquire some bait we headed to a tiny club pond where i knew wed get a few bites. The wind was surprisingly cold and all the other anglers on the lake had setup with their backs to it which meant we had to sit facing it. We made our way to a likely looking swim and Lewis's teeth were chattering already, this wasnt going to be a very long trip!
I expected bites from the off but it was nearly twenty minutes before the bait was picked up by a tiny Perch. A couple of missed bites over the next half hour had me thinking about packing up as it was becoming a real grueller. Normally the lake is a bite a chuck and you never know whats going to pick up next but today, even the other chaps were struggling with just one gudgeon to report between them!
The trip was rescued in the end though as suddenly the rod was nearly pulled off the rest and after a frantic scrap, Lewis, with dads assistance, finally landed a small mirror Carp of around 4lb. Job done we scurried off to the warmth of home as quickly as we could! 

On Sunday i decided to head to the Tench water seeing as i have managed to renew my ticket. I awoke to another light frost and when i got lakeside the wind was still just as bitter as the previous day. I set up, spombed out some maggots and then positioned my baits on top. Sport was proving to be extraordinarily slow and nothing was forthcoming for the first three hours whatsoever. I was kept well entertained however by the celebrity Blackbird which has featured in other peoples blogs recently, he robbed me blind at every opportunity!

Eventually i recieved a drop back on the maggot feeder rod and a fish was hooked. A brief tussle ensued and soon enough a small male Tench was netted, unbelievably the first of its kind ive landed this year, i cant believe its taken me till May to get one!  I thought this fish might signal a change in my fortunes but it was another couple of hours before i recieved any more action. My next bite resulted in very unusual capture for the water, at first i thought id hooked a baby Tench which would in itself have been unusual but i was even more surprised to see a spiky dorsal fin break the surface as a nice Perch slipped into the net.
Other than Tench, Bream, Carp and Pike there are hardly any other species present in the water, certainly not in any numbers and that Perch is the first ive heard of being caught there in all the time ive fished it. I stayed on for a few more biteless hours before finally admitting defeat and  heading back to the car.

With the Monday being a bank holiday and being a glutton for punishment  i was back down at the Tench lake for first light. The wind had swung around to the opposite direction of what it was on Sunday so i opted to fish the same swim only this time the wind would be off my back. Cloud and rain was due to roll in as the day progressed but first thing in the morning i was greeted by bright sunshine and a frozen windscreen.
Within minutes of setting up i was into a Tench and although small at around 4lb it provided a promising start and an hour later the other rod was away and an identical fish . That was all the action i was to get for a while and other than the odd gentle liner my bobbins remained motionless. Mid morning arrived and so did the cloud and wind, as it did i recieved a searing take on my left hander and managed to land a slightly bigger female Tench which took the scales around to 5.6.

After that i still had internittent liners but no more bites until i decided to pack up some time around 3ish. As i was doing so i recieved a drop back and hit into what felt like a small Bream. I was less than impressed however when a particularly scrawny looking tufted duck broke the surface and flapped its way angrily towards me, fortunately it was hooked cleanly in the beak and was soon drop kicked er.....released unharmed back in the water. There endeth my session and the rest of my weekends fishing, im getting the Tench bug back now big time and im hoping to get back down for a couple of evenings this week all being well.