Tuesday, 28 September 2010

BAA Stretch at Wasperton 28.9.10

Met up with a mate at the usual lay-by Michelin Starred eatery. After a bacon and egg bap wolfed down at exactly 7 am we drove down to the propellers. I only had a half day due to other things needed to be done before our holiday in Southwold so decided a barbel line plus a nice trot with the 'pin would do me.

Despite ellipse pellets, super smelly boilies and eventually my guaranteed standby, meat, the barbel decided not to play. However, I really enjoyed a hectic time with the float. I used a slightly heavier than usual chubber rather than a stick in order to fully understand the workings of my new centre pin. Maggots regularly fed about 1 and a half rod lengths out was the idea and I caught almost one a chuck. Small chublets, roach, bleak and the occasional perch - nothing bigger than 8 oz - came regularly to hand. The good news with this is that I don't have to wash my landing net tonight!

So that's it for sweet water fishing for this week, from Friday I'll be going a bit more salty. Hopefully I'll be reporting some success off the beach in about 10 days time - or not!. (I won't mention the wonderful Adnams and the HUGE fish and chip suppers we'll be having.)

Good luck to you guys.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Wormery Update

I posted in August about starting a (small) wormery and promised to update. I've spent a few hours sorting out my gear in the garage and thought I'd check on the lobs. They seem to have gone through some of the peelings etc but not all so I empted the container out and found either the same number, or possibly, fewer worms. They all look in fantastic condition, too good to let fish eat - only kidding. Has anyone else found this? Is it just lobs and do red worms get on with it better?

Avon at Twyford, Evesham. 21.9.10

Met up with a couple of mates at Evesham Country Park (used to be Twyford CP) to fish the day ticket water. It rankles having to pay when I've got 3 books! Still I'd been told that Bidford down to Evesham had been fishing well (The Bait Box in Evesham) and the bailiff told me there had been an unsubstantiated 17lb barbel in the spinney there. But he would, wouldn't he?

My mates think that a full English is the best way to start a session so it wasn't until 9:00 that we met in the Cafe in the Garden Centre. 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 saus, beans, mushrooms, fried bread and toast later we drove down to the pegs. Time for a nap maybe? The heavy mist was just lifting as we set up. I picked a swim with a couple of trees on the opposite bank to shade the soon to be rising sun and a nice inside glide, or so I thought, down to an overhanging tree.

I soon discovered that the flow was on the far bank and only really came into play about 1/3rd of the way across so this ruled out a trot on my bank. Still, I started off with the same rig as usual, a running 2oz lead with a 3' flouro hook length to a size 10. My super glue had decided that it didn't want to play (anyone recommend a brand that doesn't stick itself together after just a couple of uses? I know, it's probably operator error.) So gluing elipses was out of the question.  I started with a 10mm Source boilie which had been glugged in Halibut oil and left to soak in hemp and hali crush - found that in a magazine, it makes a lovely looking mess! Coupled with a mesh bag of pellets and crushed boilies it was cast to the far bank under a tree. 2 or 3 hours later the bailiff came for the money and told me that the boat channel was the place and to use BIG baits. I thought I'd leave that idea till later, and tried under the near bank tree.

Of course the bailiff knows best! So, having tried boilies, soft oily hookers (now, now Jeff) larger drilled pellets and even maggots, I brought out the secret weapon. Luncheon meat. I always try to take some as it's often saved my day. A ragged piece, roughly about 2", was hair rigged with a slightly longer than usual gap between bait and hook. I thought that as I was using such a big piece of meat with a size 10, I wanted a reasonable gap so that the hook didn't get mixed up with the meat once in the mouth. I chopped up some more meat and made a good sausage length mesh bag of it and cast right into the middle of the boat channel.

I spent another hour watching a spotted woodpecker investigating a dead tree just upstream.

No, you can't see him as just as I took the photo the little bugger flew off.  After just a couple of re-casts, still with a lump of meat, the tip was dragged round and although the bait runner was on I was pleased that I wasn't too far away from the handle.  After some dogged hugging of the bottom and exploring most of the swim, a spirited 8lb 4oz came to the net. Nicely hooked in the corner of the mouth, so maybe lengthening the distance between the hook and bait was the right idea?

At that pont my mates decided to call it a day. Just 1 gudgeon, fairly hooked, was their sum total. I was intending to stay until the gates were closed at the Country Park entrance but hunger (I know, after that breakfast) called so I packed up after giving it a couple of more hours.

So I am no longer an Avon barbel virgin.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Manor Farm Wasperton, 15.9.10

Having re-joined the BAA I went up to their stretch at Wasperton. Arriving at about 6:00am I had the pleasure of driving alongside the river to chose a peg. I had forgotton that many of their water's have this facility - a boon to us "senior citizens". I'd settled on a straight which had a very inviting bay opposite formed by a fallen willow.  As I was tackling up the sun started to rise over the far trees.

I started off with a 10lbs 3' flourocarbon hook length with two 8mm ellipse pellets hair rigged to a size 10. I fished a sliding 2oz lead and attatched a small bag of the pellets to the hook. Initially I was casting just to the left of the willow's branches, hopefull that a barbel would find the smell of the halibuts irresistable. (After all, when I got home I scrubbed my hands AND had a shower and still couldn't get rid of the smell!)

Alas, despite my perfect casting, all I got was weed and branches from the bay. Bugger.

A regular, walking past,  told me that "there's big bream in that bay mate". Not for me.

Switching to a shorter line to the left of the bay I managed a couple of small chub - good news for the future - and that was all.  I reeled in and went for a walk. Telephoning a mate I was told that I was in completely the wrong place, I needed to be further upstream where the river was shallower with some nice runs between streamer weed. I saw a likely looking spot and decided to move.

By now I'd finished my "healthy" fruit and seeds bars but was still feeling peckish. A change of swim was called for and I was convinced I could smell sizzling bacon from the chuck waggon on the nearby layby. I'm sure you regulars have enjoyed from time to time their wonderful bacon or sausage or egg or everything sarnies. Well, the convenience of being able to drive the length of the stretch coupled with the knowledge that in 5 mins maximum I could get a sandwich, made up my mind. Quickly putting my tackle in the back of the car I drove to the breakfast van and was soon back in my new chosen swim. I decided a contemplative approach was called for here so I put up my chair and enjoyed the biggest bacon and egg doorstep I'd had in ages while scanning the river.

This had to be a productive swim. No. I switched to a feeder filled with a selection of pellets and held in with a little groundbait.  I laid down a bed of hemp cooked with chilli powder and laced with sea salt on an inside track alonside some reeds ready for later but that too failed to interest them.

So at the end of an enjoyable but virtually fishless day, what had I learned? The Avon is a cruel mistress at times for sure. Both swims looked really good if not bankers. Maybe more alternative baits on the day would have made the difference?  Maybe I should have done the 6pm till dark approach instead of the dawn one? Who knows? Hope to get to the Severn or the Wye next week for a change. That or lower down the Avon. (That bloody sarnie was wonderfull though!)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

River Cherwell 9.9.10

I had a few late afternoon hours to fill (!) so I decided to get down to the stretch of Banbury & District water nearest me. It only takes 10mins and I'm in the layby. I'd already tackled up with my Fox Duolite Barbel rod and my Okuma centre pin. I decided on a simple link ledger with a couple of swan shot pinched on. I thought I could vary the weight according to the swim.

This stretch has a number of features varying from straight glides to some very snaggy margins.

I'd just bought some pots of SonuBaits Barbel and Carp range of oily hookers. (Mmm, maybe I should re-write that last bit).  So with just a net and my bait-and-bits belt I set off to walk the meadow. The first "peg" has a very deep hole where a back stream enters the main river, but sod's law, someone was already there sitting under an umbrella. I thought about telling him that the pool was next door. Sitting under a brolly on this sort of venue!?? Still, it's free country.

I looked into every clear bit of the undergrowth where it was possible to poke a rod and had a few small chublets about 1lb apiece. My pin was still loaded with 4.4lbs Beyer Perlon so there was never any danger in them getting off although for the first few seconds they put up lively fights.

Towards the end of this meadow a local wildlife group has the land and it was like walking though a tropical rainforest - well, maybe that's a little exaggeration - with armpit high cow parsley and other native "weeds" trying to wrestle my stuff from me.

Nothing of any size took any interest in the pellets but I'd spent about 3 hours enjoying the river and its' wildlife. Halfway down I watched a mink poke its face out of the far bank reeds for a full minute before ducking back. Also as I was manoeuvring into position in one swim something made really quite a loud splash as it entered the water. Couldn't see any bubbles or other sign of what it was despite remaining crouched down for what seemed an eternity. Had to take a diclofenac when I got home!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

BAA Card

Just been browsing the waters. I'm excited at the thought of re-visiting so many of the stretches I used to fish, even though it will take me more miles to get there. HOWEVER, my first trip will definately be to a more local one - Wasperton.

BAA Stretch at Wasperton

I've now joined the BAA and wondered if anyone has fished their stretch? Any advice or tips would be gratefully received and repaid with a half (!?) at the Christmas get-together.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Horseshoe, Jubilee 1.9.10

After quite a few days NOT getting out, I finally managed some water time yesterday. As the weather was back to "proper" summer weather I decided on a few hours at Jubilee. I've found that, in my experience at least, the carp don't get going until mid/late afternoon so I only got there about midday.

Island Lake was quite busy and not much action (although Ros told me later that a 28lbs had come out that morning). Some nice bloke pointed out that we can now drive down to the land between the 2 lakes so it saved barrowing my stuff. So much for my moan about too many disabled (not!) anglers parking there.

I set up on peg 8 and watched loads of carp cruising just under the surface for the first few hours. I couldn't tempt them with zigs so I put both rods out with bottom baits on heli rigs.  One went about halfway towards the far bank and the other to my right about a rod's lenth out from a tempting looking bush. I catapulted about 20 boilies around the "long" rod and a couple of handfulls on the "short".

By now I was burning, the sun was right on me and I'd forgotten the sun cream. Easily done considering the crap weather we've been having recently. I moved my chair behind a sheltering bush which also helped, or so I hoped, with concelement from any carp visiting the margins.

I managed to get a couple of high single commons from the deeper water and then it all went quiet again until the hanger smashed up against the buzzer. As with most of the commons here it fought over its weight. Just on 11lbs and for a change it had the start of a carpy belly on it.

Thanks to the young man who was fishing just around the corner who came over when he saw I was in for taking the pic. Note to self: Cut down on the pies.

Again I had a quiet spell until, just having decided that the evening rush hour wasn't going to materialise, the "long" rod went off again. I was using 1 oz weights and after hooking itself the lightness of weight seemed to convince the fish that nothing was the matter. To begin with I thought I'd hooked a bream due to the distinct lack of fight. However when it got within 15 yards it woke up and gave a really good account of itself. This time it was one of the more usual residents, long and torpedo-shaped. Also it was a much darker fish, not as golden as the first few.Took the scales to a smidgin over 13lbs. So a satisfying end to the day and I packed up just before locking up time.

Once again I have to say how impressed I am with the condition of the fish at Jubilee, Horseshoe in particular. Mouth, fin and scale perfect!