Wednesday 23 May 2012

Where? How? What?

I arrived at the Marsh at around 1600.  My first choice swim was taken so I drove to the other end of the lake and stood for a while in my second choice area, watching the water and looking for clues.  The anglers opposite showed no signs that they were packing up any time soon, quite the opposite in fact.  After wandering around for thirty minutes or so I hadn’t seen any signs but the wind was blowing straight into the area I‘d been standing in and nowhere else looked a better option so I dumped my gear there.  The wind was a North westerly, completely different to what was forecast, it was a mild, grey afternoon and for once it was dry, no rain!

If I’d managed to get into the swim I wanted I had a plan and knew exactly how I would fish it but could I make the same tactics work here?  Should I even try or should I just play it by ear?  I knew someone had fished the swim already this weekend so I had to assume that a bit of bait would still be laying on the bottom out there.  I didn’t want to overdo it with my own groundbait.  With this in mind I fished chod/feeder rigs so I could keep topping up the bait with every cast.  I keep reverting back to feeders because I’m worried a PVA bag will just drag my hook bait down into the silt.  Two such rods were cast alongside the bank to my right.  The first rod, baited with fake maize was positioned close to an overhanging tree and the other, a tutti fruiti boilie was placed near some pads.  I also scattered a handful of boilies and a few pouches of maize over the spots.  My intention was to keep feeding like this, little and often.  On my third rod I used the normal float rig with fake corn on the hook.   

With the bivvy set up and my swim organised I sat back and chilled out with TMS on the radio, cricket and fishing, perfect!  After dominating the first test for 2 ½ days England were now on the back foot and the West Indies were coming right back into the game.  First Chanderpaul and Samuels put on over 150 then Ramdin and Sammy added valuable runs.  WI ended on 345 then in a brief, fiery spell reduced England to 10-2. 

The evening was pleasant but quiet on the fish front.  Still my evening meal of sausage & tomato pasta went down well and it was great just chilling out by the lake.  By 2200 I was all set for the night, the float rod was rested but the two feeder rods were all set, my casts bang on the money with a little bit of feed on top.  I got myself comfortable in the bivvy and felt I was in with a chance during the night. 

The dawn chorus woke me around 5am, nothing had occurred during the dark hours so I got up and recast both feeder rods.  I tried float fishing for a while but nothing happened so still feeling tired I climbed back into the bivvy for a bit more rest.  By 8am I was back up and at ‘em, or I would have been had there been anything to be at.  It was a pleasant morning despite the freshening wind still blowing into my chops but the tench weren’t playing ball.  I kept on trying though and as the morning wore on I was cheered by TMS on the radio.  Despite early scares, cook and Bell put together a match winning partnership as England eventually cruised to a five wicket victory.  Back at the Marsh the Tench cruised to an easy victory, once again making me look daft.  Oh well, I enjoyed my night at the lake and I’ll be back soon!  

Elsewhere there is no more news on the Norfolk Prymnesium outbreak, which is a good thing.  I have a feeling this story won’t go away though…The new PAC committee has hit the ground running with loads of new initiatives.  The committee changes every three years which breathes new life, energy and ideas into the club.  From experience I know how much committee work takes out of the individuals concerned and in my opinion the three year change over keeps the club fresh and is one of the reasons the club has gone from strength to strength for 35 years.  The latest ‘Pikelines’ magazine landed on my door step the other day.  I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet but what I have looked at has been first class.  If you aren’t a PAC member already then what are you waiting for?

Thursday 10 May 2012


Saturday 12th May is the day the PAC committee changes over.  Some will be staying on but most will change.  Big thanks to the gentlemen bowing out and all the best to those taking over.  Well done to Mark Skinner for doing a third stint! 

Also on Saturday (cue shameless plug for the day job) is the hundred year anniversary of HG Gladwell & Sons at Copdock Mill, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3LA.  In the store on the day will be Jan Porter of Shimano and Gerrard Williams from ACE.  Loads of bargains on the day.  Rides, displays, Hog roast and bouncy castle.   

Probably no time to fish this weekend but you never know....

Edit.  For more news on the new PAC team check out the interview on Pike Pool

Monday 7 May 2012


The fifth week of the drought saw even more heavy rain and the floods the river craved back in December came with a splash.  In fact I’ve lived in this little Town for nearly ten years and it’s the highest I’ve ever seen the water, all a little bit dramatic by Suffolk standards.  The ‘Marsh’ is currently flooded which ruled out any attempt at catching Tench so I decided to have a lazy day at the Puddle.  No alarm clock, get up when I wake up, chuck some gear in the car and go.  And all was going to plan until I arrived at the Puddle to find the place full of cars and anglers.  I don’t know why I’m always surprised to find it like this? 

I managed to find a quiet corner all to myself and with Carp showing that would do for me.  The forecast had promised a dry grey day but it lied, I sat through light rain all day.  First week of May and I haven't heard a Cuckoo and I'm still wearing my winter jacket.  This didn’t discourage the Carp from feeding on the surface however, far from it.  I set up three rods; a freelined floater, a method feeder & a pop up rig with fake Corn and fished with two at a time.  Mostly the floater and one of the bottom rigs, I only used two baits on the bottom when I wanted a rest and a cup of tea.  The fish were ’having it’ on the surface and after a while it became too easy. 

But not so to begin with, after catching a couple quickly the Carp became wary and were adept at ignoring the bait but slurping down all the free offerings.  And I do mean slurping, these fish had no table manners at all.  I was able to watch these fish close in and a couple of the noisiest had deformed mouths (almost certainly caused by hooks and carelessness), and these fish seemed to be struggling to take the baits.  I hope I’m wrong.  Not only were the fish largely rejecting my hookbaits, when they did take I was missing them.  On more than one occasion a fish was on for a few seconds then off, on one such example I wound in to find a scale impaled on the hook. 

After trying various baits and hooking arrangements I found that two 10mm pop up boilies on a short hair done the trick.  More takes and more hook ups.  I’d started off by feeding little and often, a few mixers at a time but found that the more freebies I chucked out, the more confidently the fish would feed.  I suppose it took me a couple of hours to work that out but for the rest of the afternoon I caught fish regularly.  I landed a dozen fish, only one on the method feeder, all the rest off the surface.  There were commons, mirrors and a couple of those horrible ‘ghostie’ things.  None was bigger than six pounds or so, all looked under nourished, shaped like ‘wildies’ and most had signs of angler damage.  However I did catch one lovely little mirror which was almost perfect.

 Did I enjoy myself?  I did to begin with but to be honest the fishing was boring after a while, I really wanted to catch something bigger.  I did hook something that felt more substantial.  It powered off, fighting strangely and I wondered if it was foul hooked, I suspect it was but it did fight harder than anything else I hooked that day.  Interesting but when the line went slack after a minute or two I didn’t really care.  If that had been a big water Pike….  I suppose I can kind of see why some people like to fish matches, It's the only way to create much interest in this type of fishing.  But I’d had a well needed fix of fishing and caught a few fish.  My surroundings were OK and I saw a pair of Bullfinch which was nice as I can’t remember the last time I’d seen one.  I couldn’t see another angler and Rabbits ran along the banks but compared to a winter on the broads it was all too bland and unexciting.   However it is a good place for Isaac to learn a little more so I‘ll probably be back again soon.  

What I really want to do is spend some time at the Marsh and try to track down one of those big Tench.  The cold spring may well prolong my chances of catching one at top weight but still time is precious.   Meanwhile in Norfolk, no news is good news??