For today's session I decided to revisit a pool I discovered around this time last year. I never had anything overly big last time around but the potential was definitely there so it had to be worth another look especially given the current state of the rivers. I was joined by Rob once again and when we arrived at the lake it was hammering it down good and proper. There was a nasty wind blowing across the water so we squelched our way around to the far side so it would be off our backs.
The water level had risen dramatically since my last visit and whereas before most of the platforms were around 2-3ft above the water level, now most were about 3-4 inches below it! We soon found a couple of spots though and quickly got fishing.
Seeing as this is one of the mere handful of waters I've ever come across where the Perch respond to Prawn hookbaits, my attack centered around floatfished Prawns in the margins. For some reason I've never done any good with Prawns for Perch on anywhere but heavily coloured commercial waters. It must be something to do with the fish being forced to look for food using their sense of smell due to the almost total lack of clarity in the water. Whatever the reason, I've found that where Prawns do work they seem to outfish the traditional baits like worms by a considerable margin.
Back to the session anyway and after a blank hour in my first swim I had itchy feet already. Something didn't feel right and I liked the look of the next swim along which gave me access to a nice reedy corner. Within minutes I was setup in the new spot and straight away I was getting problems and regretting the move. The combination of wind and undertow was making it very difficult to present my bait where I wanted it so it wasn't long before I was contemplating yet another move much to Robs amusement!
Rob had started to get a few bites in his swim so I had a mooch around the pegs to his right and found a likely candidate. Around twenty minutes after arriving in this new spot I had my first bite and promptly missed it. A few float tremblers later and I finally had another hittable bite which resulted in a small Roach, at least I hadn't blanked.
Bites dried up after that and over the next couple of hours I only managed one more Roach and my swim looked dead. Rob too had got fed up with watching a motionless float and came trudging past with his kit in search of pastures new. This was all the encouragement my itchy feet needed and I stood up to scan the lake and ponder my options. It was lunchtime already and Between us we had covered pretty much most of the calm sheltered water on the lake which meant the only thing to do was to head down the windward end and battle the weather, oh joy. There was only around three hours of daylight left would the move be worth it?
I found a nice swim which allowed me to comfortably sit with my back to the wind and fish along the margin to my left in around 5ft of water. There was a good chop on but by fishing tight to the reeds I was able to control the float pretty well. I had a bite within minutes and bumped a fish which was both encouraging and demoralising at the same time! A couple more missed bites on my next two casts and small fish showing out in the chop had me texting Rob to let him know I'd found some fish. He was setting up in the next swim along within minutes!
I continued to miss bites and decided to up my hook size to a 10 whilst decreasing the size of the lump of Prawn I was using by about half. I connected with my next bite straight away and was pleased to see Perch of about a pound and a half roll into the net. It had that horrid washed out look about it caused by the coloured water of its environment but a Perch is a Perch and it boosted my confidence no end.
A few very Roachy looking missed bites later and I connected with another Perch and after a dour battle out in the waves I finally netted something worth weighing. At 2lb9oz it was a nice fish and after a quick pic I realised the light was fading fast so I hurried to get cast back in for what was left of the Perch witching hour.
I struggled to get another bite and it was getting to the point where It was becoming difficult to see the float. I was contemplating packing up when I connected with the smallest Perch of the day at around a pound. It had been an interesting trip and it really hammered home the importance of winter fish location. Although the lake is fairly small the fish were very grouped up in the one area despite being on the end of a cold wind. I ended up fishing four swims and rob fished three yet the Perch only came from one.
I hate sessions where I struggle to settle but being a restless and impatient angler I always feel I should be doing something to help me catch and to me Moving swims creates new opportunities . Whilst it could be argued that I might be moving off fish and missing out I feel that the amount of times a move has literally saved a session for me in the past then its something that can't be ignored and should be an option that's always on the table.