Tuesday, 27 May 2014

An interesting new pool

I managed to find a new water for this weeks briefest of fishing trips. Rumour had it there are some nice crucians and Rudd to be caught there and with no king carp present whatsoever to ruin things I figured it might be worth a look. I only had the afternoon to fish and upon arrival at the lake I was a little disappointed to see a sign stating the gates would be shut at 8pm on the dot which meant I had even less time to get a feel for the place. It wasn't very encouraging either when the three anglers already fishing told me they hadn't had a bite between them and that the lake was hard going at the best of times!

Nonetheless I pressed on regardless and set up in an inviting looking spot next to a large reedbed. Floatfished maggots was my plan of attack but that soon fell to pieces as the lakes entire population of baby Rudd appeared to be in front of me and were ravenous. No matter what I put out baitwise they were literally boiling on the surface for it! I was finding it hard to believe that the other anglers hadn't had a bite, this was ridiculous!

I had to find a way through the Rudd and after a good root around in my kit bag I found a mini pepperami stick. I upped my hook size and soon a small chunk of the questionable meat product was fishing away happily and Rudd-free out in front of me. The float still bobbed about as the little Rudd attacked it but I decided to sit on my hands until a proper bite materialised.

I didn't have to wait long and soon enough the float buried and stayed buried. A swift strike had me latched into something quite substantial and I got a brief glimpse of a nice bream just beneath the surface before the hook pulled. At least it proved there were one or two decent fish out there in front of me.

My next bite came pretty quickly and again it was a nice fish. A flash of gold in the murk had me thinking but when it surfaced I was pleasantly surprised to see a sizeable Rudd roll into the net. It looked worth a weigh and at 1lb8oz it was the best Rudd I've caught in ages. Theyre pretty thin on the ground in my part of the world!

After that the bites kept coming, I was having to feed pretty heavily to get the loosefeed through the little Rudd to the bigger fish below but over the next hour or so I managed to latch into a trio of bream in the 3-5lb range which were good sport on the light float gear.

As the sun got lower in the sky I was becoming more and more aware of the time and that gate being locked. I was really hoping my next bite would be from a chunky crucian but when it came and I struck into something which made for the far bank at a rate of knots I wondered just what it was I'd hooked into.

The fish pulled like a demon and I have to confess I actually thought it was a carp all the way through the fight until it surfaced at my feet ready for netting. I've caught many many tench over the years but never one that pulled like that fish did, it pulled like a barbel and upon inspection it was shaped like one too! Long and lean it wasnt a monster but was certainly a worthy adversary.

Another tench and a bream shortly afterwards pretty much brought my session to a close and I packed up full of ideas on how to approach the place next time. I've since heard that one or two monster perch reside in there aswell, no doubt growing fat on those tiny Rudd, so a return trip is a certainty!

Incidentally the other anglers who blanked were all fishing pellet on the method feeder out into the middle of the pool. I'm told that's the going method on there but the only other guy to catch was fishing the float down the edge like me, strange that :-)





Sunday, 18 May 2014

Crystal clear!

As is usual these days I was very limited for fishing time this weekend and could only squeeze a Friday evening session in. All week at work I'd been thinking about where to go and my mind kept thinking back to a local gravel pit where I'd caught the odd tench whilst carping. It's not noted for its tench but I just couldn't get it out of my head and I decided to set myself the challenge of catching one of its red-eyed devils by design on the float.

The weather was sunny and well over 20degrees by the time I got lakeside, carp were cruising about on the surface all over the place and there was millions of those little white fluffy seed pods carpeting the surface. A walk around the lake didn't fill me with confidence tenchwise, the water clarity was like tap water and it was like looking into a swimming pool. Apart from a couple of small jacks and a few carp nothing else was visible, not even any fry, I was stumped as to where to start. Another walk around and I decided to setup in a swim where the marginal reeds extended out into the lake a little bit further than the rest . I could still see the base of the reeds furthest out clear as day with the Polaroids and there were definately no fish there! Hopefully with a bit of stealth and baiting up I could tempt something in from the deeper water further out, that was the plan anyway.

Shockingly, when I plumbed up off the end of the reeds I was surprised to find it was 7ft deep and I could actually see my plummet on the bottom! At that point two nice tench swam past within feet of my float which did wonders for my confidence. I baited with a mixture of hemp, corn and red maggots and settled back into the reeds to await events.

A biteless hour later and I gingerly stood up to check out what, if anything, was going on in my swim. All my bait was still there untouched. Earlier I'd watched several carp come through the swim but not one of them even paused as they passed near the bait, maybe I'd got it all wrong?

As I racked my brains to work out what I needed to do, the weather began to cloud up a little and my fortune changed for the better. The float bobbed and shot under and my strike met with a formidable adversary, I stood up just in time to see the back end of a large carp disappearing into the depths on the end of my line. The outcome was inevitable really and within seconds I was reeling in a very much straightened size14 hook.

Within minutes of recasting another carp was hooked and lost, at least they were eating the bait! With the sun still hidden behind a thin layer of cloud my float wouldn't keep still and again I stood up for a quick butchers. This time there was a couple of large Carpy tails waving at me from a thin cloud of silt and at that exact point the pair of them suddenly bolted out of the swim and one of them was attached to my line! I actually played this one for a couple of minutes before once again the hook pulled.

I thought about beefing my gear up to land a carp but knew that doing so would seriously damage my chances of getting a pickup from a tench in the clear water. I was using 6lb mono straight through to a size 14 heavy gauge hook, I didn't dare go heavier. The disturbance from the carp had put a little more colour in my swim at least and with two hours of daylight left, time was fast running out.

The next bite was a much slower affair. The float bobbed a bit, nearly going under but not quite before eventually sliding away properly. My strike met with something much more tenchlike, thump thump thump right from the off. Sure enough a nice male tench was soon nestling in the net and at 5.2 it wasn't a baddun either, mission accomplished!

I managed to foulhook a carp in its tail shortly afterwards which gave me a good run around before swimming into the reeds and snagging me up and then, Just as the light began to fade, I banked another tench to round the session off.

Considering the water clarity I was surprised to get as many bites as what I did to be honest. I think the cloud cover helped a lot as did the carp stirring the bottom up a little. I know how I'm going to fish for the carp next time I'm down there that's for sure, float fishing maggots with a barbel rod and 12lb line should bag me a few I think!


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Bank holiday bagging

The bank holiday weekend was upon us I was stuck for somewhere to fish. I fancied a day out catching quantities of fish as opposed to quality ones but really didn't fancy catching loads of carp. I have three regular tench bagging waters but for one reason or other they weren't fishable on this occasion so I needed to find somewhere else. A quick Facebook appeal and internet search gave me a few ideas and I eventually settled on a reservoir on the outskirts of Rugby which, to be honest, I'd never even heard of before let alone fished.

A little digging and some good advice from friends who had fished it gave me a solid platform to start from and I was pretty confident of a good day. Phil joined me and although neither of us knew what to expect we were both looking forward to fishing a new water.

We arrived nice and early at the lake to find a few carp anglers bivvied up in the popular areas so we headed up to the other end which was empty. My chosen swim gave me an easy chuck to some reedy bays which screamed fish and soon enough I had a couple of method feeders in position, one baited with maggots, the other with mini boilies.

The first couple of hours were fairly uneventful apart from a couple of liners and a bumped fish on the maggot rod. To be honest it didn't look great, bright sunshine, clear water, no fish showing, the only saving grace was the healthy ripple on the waters surface. News filtered around the lake that everybody was struggling so I decided a change of tack might be called for because this wasn't anywhere near as prolific as I'd convinced myself it would be!

I'd had a tipoff about using dog biscuits as a bait there and fortunately I'd had a pot of them glugged in dynamite baits source liquid since last year, this was a good opportunity to try them out. After a little thought about how I was going to present them I opted for a kind of scaled down naked chod-rig. Once tied it looked the part and seeing as the reeds hadn't produced, I belted it out into open water where it was a little deeper.

It didn't take long to get a bit of interest and a searing run resulted in a lively little tench which pulled well above what it's actual size indicated!

Two more fish in quick succession had me setting up another mini chod and putting it in the same area as the first. The action really began to heat up from then on and even though I lost a couple, my tally really started to mount up.

Going into the afternoon The action continued and I even had a couple of double hits, landing a fish on each rod at the same time. The fish in there must have soft mouths because I lost a fair few to hookpulls despite changing my rigs for fresh ones after every couple of hookups.

Eventually by late afternoon the tench action had slowed to non existent. This wasn't the end of it though because the bream had arrived in place of the tench and the bobbins continued to fly albeit mostly from liners!

By the time I packed up I'd lost count of how many fish I'd had but my aching shoulder was a good sign that I'd had a good few! The day had passed as a blur of hauling fish, baiting up and tying rigs, I was knackered! Rightly or wrongly I'd retained a few of the later fish in a keepnet to photograph for posterity and was quite surprised how many I'd caught, certainly a venue I will visit again next time I need a bagging session!


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Back in the game

Ok I know my blog has been a bit neglected of late but I've had a lot on of late and simply not had time to update. That's not to say I've not been out on the bank though and although the fishing hasn't exactly been spectacular, I've not blanked at least.

I've not been out with the lure gear since my last post, instead I've been doing a spot of bream and carp fishing on some local pits. In mid April I found myself on the banks of a water I'd not fished for a couple of years and although I'd had bream there before I'd never had one of the doubles I know it contains.

To be honest my mind wasn't 100% on the fishing as my recently purchased 4x4 had been making some funny noises on the journey there and I was a bit concerned as to whether I'd make it home! I was there however and there were fish to be caught so I got setup.

The first thing that struck me was the blanket weed which seemed to cover every inch of the bottom, I simply couldn't get through it. After spending the morning fannying about recasting and not settling I decided to pop my maggot hook bait straight off the lead by substituting one of the three on the hook for a piece of foam cut to look like a maggot.

This seemed to do the trick and half an hour later I had my first bite of the session and struck into a heavy fish. I was chuffed to see a large bream nodding it's head on the end of my line in the clear water and even more chuffed when I banked it and recorded a weight of 10lb4oz, result!

Bites weren't exactly forthcoming after that and I only managed a couple of roach to add to the scoresheet but I went home happy at finally getting a double from that lake. The car did make it home by the way and a trip to the garage the following week told me a bearing in the rear diff had broken up causing a fair bit of damage.

This meant I was a bit limited for fishing for a couple of weeks until it got sorted so I decided I would stay much more local. A night session on a large pit at shardlow gave me four small bream in the 4-6lb class but it was pretty cold so I couldn't have hoped for much more from there to be honest. One thing I did get from the session though was that mini boilies out fished the maggots by four to zero!

I decided to continue the boilie theme into my next trip which was to another local pool situated within a housing estate. I fished method feeders with short hook links and 10mm source bottom baits, both rods fished to a known spot at about 60yards range.

Once again the action was pretty slow and in the event I only had three bites all day and fortunately I managed to land all three fish with the biggest going 8lb8oz.

I gotta say I hardly saw any sign of fish showing all day which a little strange but again, it wasn't exactly red hot weather wise.

After hearing of some carp being caught from one of our club waters to an interesting size I decided a morning chasing them might be somewhat worthwhile . This is the same water I wrote about on here back in 2010 in a post called 'acorns from the ashes' and in those intervening years the carp have grown somewhat and now 20lbers are being caught with some regularity.

The water is mostly margin work and it didn't take long to get a take, in fact I hooked into a nice fish before I'd even cast my second rod out! It didn't look overly big in the water but when I lifted her out I knew I'd caught what I went there for. The needle recorded a very satisfying 20lb4oz and I was really chuffed not just because it was my first 20 from the lake but also because I remember when the fish were stocked at 3-4lb apiece five years previously.

I went on to catch one of the more recent stockies at around 3lb before packing up at lunchtime. I will certainly be headed back to that water very soon because the biggest from that first stocking have been caught to mid twenty now and are worthy opponents indeed!

That pretty much brings me up to date and already we are well into the middle of the closed season. Not too much longer to wait!