Saturday, 28 August 2010

Snitterfield 27.8.10

Well, finally got my new centre pin. I had reserved an Okuma Aventa Pro with Lanes but they couldn't tell me when they expected a delivery. However, they had some Sheffields in and did me a good price so I went up and got one. Spent Thursday afternoon looking at it and playing with it!  I spooled on 100m of Beyer Perlon 8lbs (thanks for the advice Keith) and connected a further 100 of 4.4lbs. I plan to use various breaking strains on top of the 8lbs depending on what I'm after. It seems relatively easy to unspool one lot back to its original spool and replace it. At least that's the plan!

Wanted to try it out at Wasperton top meadow but Keith told me that it was ripping through, probably not ideal trotting conditions. Change of plans. So Friday afternoon saw me fiddling with the padlock at Snitterfield. There were only 2 other anglers there which surprised me considering it was i) school hols and ii) Bank Holiday weekend. The afternoon was more of a "getting used to" trip rather than a serious attempt at emptying the reservoir - or that's my excuse.

I must admit I enjoyed the experience and managed to bank 3 crucians and 6 roach in the 4 hours I was there. On one occasion I looked down at the reel and saw that there were several turns not on the spool but wrapped around the handles. Ah well, I am still getting used to it! I'm looking forward to trotting with it soon.

An added bonus is that I picked up a pair of Daiwa neoprene chest waders at a car boot this morning (Saturday) for £10. The guy said he only wore them a couple of times last winter. The condition suggested he was telling the truth. It must have looked a right sight, this old git trying on a pair of chest waders in the middle of a packed car boot! Still, for such a bargain, do I care?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A New Centre Pin (Still to be bought!)

Some advice please from anyone out there.

I've decided to treat myself to a new centre pin. Not from the rareified atmosphere of J W Young, Hardy etc, I'm not made of money, but a more affordable make. I've looked on t'internet and have thought about, from the most expensive, Okuma Aventa Pro, Okuma Sheffield, Ikonix.

I'll part fund it by eBaying my Bob Church Arthur Cove 9.5 ft Nymph fly rod and a few fly fishing bits, a Daiwa Harrier 120M and possibly some other rods and reels I've had for YEARS which I couldn't bring myself to get rid of earlier.

A question, how important is it to have a ratchet? I think some reels don't have one. (?)

Mostly I think I'll use it for trotting but I notice that some pictures show anglers fishing on rests and they mention that the "sound of the drag" has a wonderful call. Should I cover all, or most, bases on this? I imagine, when trotting, I don't need a ratchet.

Isn't it exciting when we boys make plans for some new purchase!

Friday, 13 August 2010


Reading a recent post by Jeff on Angler's Post I bought a smaller set of scales than my normal dial set. I've never been too happy about lighter weights - say 5lbs and below. So looking on eBay I got a set of Berkley Classics, a digital set reading up to 15lbs. Following Jeff's experiment I first of all measured 16 fluid ounces of water into a large glass jug, making sure I took the bottom of the two lines as the reading. I zeroed the scales with a medium freezer bag from Sainsburys (plug) and weighed the 16 oz. The scales read 1lb 1.5oz. I re-checked the measurement in the jug but it seemed OK. Then I poured the water into 2 smaller Pyrex jugs and found that this amount of water was nearly 18oz. So much for measuring jugs from an unknown manufacturer!
I reduced the water to 16oz in one of the Pyrex jugs and re-weighed. The scales read 1 lb exactly. Happy days.

All I've got to do now is get out and catch some fish.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

First Attempt at a Wormery

Reading a post by Sean on "Off the Oche" persuaded me to finally get into having my own wormery. I'd bought a tub of lobworms for a (failed) perch attempt at Jubilee Lakes so I thought to begin with I'd try a smallish wormery to house the remaining worms. If this is a success, I'll progress to making a larger one.

At a car boot last weekend I bought a plastic kitchen cereal or similar container about 18" x 12" for the princely sum of 20p. I'd checked a few wormery sites via Google and followed these steps. This is the one I've used.
Drill some air holes in the lid.

Put shredded newspaper, slightly wetted in the bottom followed by a layer of sand. Then a layer of well rotted farmyard manure and scatter the worms on this. Top with another layer of compost and then your kitchen veg waste, again slightly wetted. I chopped it all up rather than leaving the bits too big (except for a tangerine peel which you can see!). Then another layer of compost.

At the moment it's in the garage but will be transferred to a shaded greenhouse (posh name for a bit of green plastic and poles bought from Aldi!!)

Hope it's a success so I can bring my O -Level woodwork skills to bear.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Jubilee Pools 6.8.10

Went down for my first session of the season and decided on Horseshoe as Island was rammed along the bank where the wind was blowing. (Also when I got to the walk through to Horseshoe I thought they must have changed the rules about car parking. There must have been about a dozen cars parked up against the hedge. Found out that the rules hadn't been changed but I didn't notice any angler struggling to carry his gear back to the car!!!)

Anyway, moan over. I settled in with the brisk, but warm, wind blowing into my face on the corner of the bay. While walking down to Horseshoe I spoke with a couple of guys who told me that it had been hard work lately and that there only a few had caught - I got there at about 4 ish. I must admit I used to go early but other than the occasional carp I didn't get much action until mid-late afternoon anyway.

I asked Ros if she'd seen any decent perch coming out this year and she told me that there definitely was a decent head of them but she hadn't heard of any decent-sized ones so far. I had already decided on a dual approach. A float-fished lob close to a suitably perchy-looking spot and a carp rod out to try to pick up a showing fish. For this reason I wasn't intending spodding, particularly as I would only have a few hours.

As I was tackling up, a couple of fish threw themselves out of the water about 35 yards in front of me and this continued throughout my stay. Obviously they didn't just stick to the same spot, but I plotted their course around the bay. I catapulted about a two dozen 15mm boilies on the 35 yard line about 15 yards along the supposed path, losing a couple to the inevitable ducks. Off topic, do you find that 'pulting them up high means that they shoot through the surface and sink too quickly for the ducks to dive on to them? While waiting for the carps' next cruise around I made up a waggler with a nice juicy lob on a size 10. I'd brought along some maggots to feed the perch line to hopefully pull in some of the smaller silvers to temp the perch. This rig was swung under some overhanging branches.

Either me or the perch got it wrong! I think I know who it was.

Any road up, after about an hour I had a steady take on my carp rod. Striking, the fish decided that the bay wasn't for it and set off towards the open water. I held on for a minute or so and then realised it was no beast so soon had it in the net. As with a lot of Jubilee's carp I've caught, this was a lovely long common Looked a high single.

Bit of a parrot face but no noticeable damage to its' mouth.  After another couple of hours I gave up on the perch idea and wound in.  Towards 8 ish I had another take but this time with much less resistance. I thought I'd lost it or maybe a bream. It came almost to the bank without much of a fight but when it saw the net it definitely had other ideas. When it went over the net I saw that it was smaller than the first but again more barbel-like, long and lean.

My in-line lead had slid about 8' up the line so maybe that confused the fish a bit hence the lack of real fight until the end?  Anyway, it was a pleasant few hours and I'll be back to concentrate on the carp next time.

Sorry for the pics but I forgot my camera and had to use the phone.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Avon at Wasperton 2.8.10

Decided to get a couple of hours in mid - late afternoon. Parked at the "main" car park, bottom stretch, and tried all the likely-looking swims down to the weir. Alternating between bread and my special Cajun Spice dry fried luncheon meat. Mmm, how can they resist? Well they did. As some of you know, the river's running very clear at the moment, I was able to watch my meat float down about 4'. No big white lips came up to engulf it as they're supposed to.

Just above the weir I managed to hook a nice lily pad and when I finally netted it I found this hard jelly-like thing attached to the underside. Is it a collection of fish eggs? Or something else?

The other bit of interest was that when I was getting my tackle out of the car I noticed these 2 creatures on the grass. The first was still alive but the second, as you can clearly see wasn't.

I'm hoping that someone knows what they are/were. When I got closer to the one that was alive it started to squeek, I imagine it sensed me as its' eyes weren't open yet. Probably only born in the last hour or so? Both were about 3" long. Maybe mice? The only problem is if the first was a very recent birth wouldn't it be too big for a new-born mouse?

Don't know if it helped but I gently manoevered the one which was alive into my landing net and placed it in the long grass. Probably snaffled by something before I'd even reached the river!  When I got back to the car there were 4 or 5 crows and no sign of the half eaten one.