Thursday 18 June 2015

Perch and pests.

Since I last found the time to write anything on here I’ve actually been fishing five times but none of these trips has lasted more than three hours.  For little and often fishing it helps if its local so I’ve been continuing to try and outwit the Tench in the little pit.  I’ve concentrated on a couple of swims in a shallow area as I feel confident the Tench will be spawning nearby very soon.  I’ve mostly used two rods; one has been for float fished corn in the margins while the other started out as a feeder rig but has evolved into an inline PVA bag rig with a 10mm boilie and fake corn.

On one of the trips I was happy to be joined by Isaac.  It had been a busy weekend with clubs and shops and cricket and water gun fights and big dinners and even a little fishing.  Isaac and I arrived at the Tench pit around 1930 with the sun beginning to sink at the end of a bright breezy day.  This little water should be ideal for our purposes, Isaac could fish for silvers and I had a chance of a Tench.

We settled down with the wind on our backs and began fishing; Isaac with maggots on a whip while I used corn on the waggler rod, close to a bed of lilies.  Isaac started catching fish straight away; A succession of Perch of all sizes up to 6ozs engulfed his bait.  Feeding handful of maggots every now and again kept the bites coming regularly and Isaac busy.  I switched to maggots every now and again, caught a Perch and promptly reverted to corn.   
After a while Isaac took a break and wandered off to explore which gave me the opportunity to concentrate on my float.  I’d been feeding the odd small ball of expo groundbait and there seemed to be a bit of movement in the shallow water near my float.  I tensed, surely not?  It slid away and set the hook, then wound in another small Perch.

Isaac returned and began catching from the off again.  As the evening drew on he was managing to drop his float into the same spot time after time, he concentrated on his float and if anything was striking a little too soon as he missed several bites and we hardly needed the disgorger for these greedy Perch.  His greatest discovery was finding out how funny it was to swing a wriggling Perch into my face as I tried to concentrate on my float.  There were a couple of further movements to my float but neither amounted to any fish and it became hard to concentrate whilst avoiding a Perch in the chops.

By 2130 it was getting dark and Isaac’s attention had wandered off somewhere.  As always I could have happily fished on and stared at my float until it drove me mad, I never want to pack up. Isaac decided he was a clear winner as he’d stopped counting his fish when the tally reached twenty, all had been Perch except for one lovely golden Rudd.  In two hours he must have caught about three pounds of small fish.  My score was four of the smallest Perch in the lake.
Two more short trips followed this; on one I caught a few nice Rudd and a Perch on the float rod, the other was a hungover blank sat behind alarms but I did get to feed a Robin.  

June 16th arrived and the traditional start to the season saw me ignore the river and head back to the pit for another go at the Tench.  I fancied the same swim again despite an easterly wind blowing into my face.  It was a warm bright day and once again nice to be out.  I started off sitting behind alarms again but after half an hour I was itching to get the float rod out.  For some reason I’d neglected to use hemp so far this year so baited the edge of the pads with a couple of big handfuls of little seeds and baited the hook with corn again.
At around 2100 I had a slow, sail away bite on the float and hooked into a decent fish which managed to bolt into a reedbed before I even knew what was going on.  I resigned myself to losing it but it was still moving and splashing around so maybe I had a chance?  After sustained pressure and lots of commotion the fish ran passed me and out into open water.  I glimpsed a dark flank and pale belly and began to believe my Tench jinx was about to be broken.  The fish ran and ran and ran and eventually I realised I had hooked a Carp.  When this was confirmed I piled on as much pressure as the pellet waggler would allow and after a few minutes netted a double figure Mirror.  I enjoyed the fight and the capture but would have felt more rewarded with a Tench half its size.

The swim and tackle was in a mess so it was easier to pack away the float rod and replace it with the pop up.  Once again I fished on into dark but nothing else pulled my string.

Monday 1 June 2015

You'll never guess...

 Sunday rolled around and I had time to fish but the forecast was rotten; wet and windy through the morning which made me decide to wait till it had blown over before setting off.  I tend to think these are pretty good fishing conditions but I couldn’t drag myself out of a warm bed to set up in the wet.  No drama, there’s a test match going on which will absorb me through the first part of the day.  Things don’t go to plan; the weather takes longer than expected to shift, it’s a struggle for England in the cricket and other distractions have my mind scrambled.  I need my fix of fishing now more than ever.

I eventually arrived at the lake in the late afternoon to find I had the place to myself.  After a quick recce I set up in a swim I’d never fished before.  I’d chickened out and had the wind on my back, would I live to regret it?  The swim looked nice with lilies on both sides and a quick plumb around revealed about five feet of water.  By 1600 I was fishing with two rods; a feeder drooped alongside lilies about ten yards away on the right and a float rig fished close to the pads on the left.  Groundbait was the Expo mix again and on the hooks I fished sweetcorn as I didn’t want too much bother from small fish.

There was still a bit of drizzle in the wind so I had to break out the oval brolly for only the second time since I’ve had it.  The rain soon fizzled out but I was glad of the shelter from the still fresh wind. I’d packed the radio and my mind was absorbed in the cricket so time passed quickly but there was no sign of any fishy activity.  I was beginning to wish I’d brought some maggots to save the blank at least. I kept dropping the feeder on the spot every half hour or so and fed a small ball of groundbait with every cast on the float rod.  Float fishing should be a delicate business with light, carefully balanced tackle but my set up bears little resemblance to this.  I use an eleven foot pellet waggler rod sold by Middy.  A small Shimano reel with 8lbs line straight through to a large size 16 Matrix feeder rigger hook.  Float is usually some sort of waggler, locked with float rubbers. Random bunches of shot below it with a no. 6 about 9” from the hook.  Nothing subtle about any of that but there is no point hooking a fish and losing it in the weed.

Around 1800 a large Tench rolled out in open water so I repositioned the feeder for a while but I began to see signs of a fish in the areas I’d baited.  I was in two minds; do I stick to my original plan or fish where the Tench had rolled?  An old friend wandered round for a chat and he advised me to stick to plan A.  As the light began to fade so the pads began to shake as fish of some sort moved through them.  Twice the float sailed away and both times I struck thin air, it was turning into one of those days.

At 2130 the float sailed away and this time the rod hooped over.  For some reason I had the anti reverse on and as the fish powered off I quickly fumbled to release it and give some line.  For a moment I’d been sure I was about to lose it due to this feck up, imagine that after all those hours of nothing!  It’s just as well these rods bend through to the butt.  Luckily the fish powered off into open water away from the lilies and I was happy to let it tire itself out there.  There are a few Carp in this lake and I hoped I wasn’t attached to one, something large and green rolled in front of me!  It tried its hardest to bury into the lilies and the Norfolk reed to my left but I managed to bundle a nice sized Tench into the net!

The hook was stuck well into the bottom lip and took some budging, it would not have come loose during the fight but you never know that at the time.  It was a male fish and the scales revealed a pleasing weight, from memory I’ve only ever caught one male bigger than that.  There were scars on one flank which I suspect were caused by a close encounter with my least favourite mammal… Bloody hell I’ve actually caught a Tench!!  I fished on for a while but the fading light meant my eyes played tricks on me, I kept feeling sure the float was moving but it never was  I packed away with just the one fish under my belt but it was my first Tench of the season and the first from a new water.  I’d like to think that this is the first of many and I will soon lose my status as the world’s least successful Tench angler or are the odds on an England test match win better?