Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Pool in Worcestershire

Went out today to a relatively small pool I'd had my eye on having heard of good sized perch. Arriving to find a fellow already fishing my chosen swim (!) I had a chat with him. A local chap who fished there regularly. When quizzed about the "big" perch he smiled and told me I'd just be plagued with 4" tiddlers. Apparently there had been some biggies but none had come to the bank in recent years. So much for out of date info! Still, not deterred I set up a waggler fishing just off the ledge about 15' out with maggots - my plan was to start attracting some small silvers and then fish lobs or prawns to sort out the grandaddies or grandmas. As an afterthought, no not really an afterthought,  because a chat with another angler earlier had told me of the nice bream - up to 9 1/2lbs and upper double carp - I put out a carp rod baited with The Source 15mm boilies.

The pool is quite small so I was able to scatter freebie boiles by hand just by walking around the bank where I'd cast.  The less said about the waggler for perch the better. The other angler was right. Fish after fish after fish came to my maggot approach but they were ALL 3 - 4" perch. So eventually I swapped the float rod for another carp rod.

I'm sure you all know that the temperature today was hovering around zero and for much of the time we had bright sunshine in this part of Worcester. So not particularly conducive to hauling.

Still, around midday I had a strong take and after a very dogged fight a 10 1/2lb common came to the bank. A very pretty fish, quite silvery rather than gold - apparently due to the light-coloured clay bottom.

I was pleased that something had found my boilies interesting.  Then around 2ish the hanger on the same rod shot up to the alarm and I was into another fish which, like the first, kept low in the water. A determined sort of fight rather than spectacular had me sliding the net under what looked to be a better stamp of common. The guy who had "stolen" my swim came around and when I netted the fish remarked that it had to go 20. He kindly weighed it and I was only slightly disappointed to see the scales register at 19lbs 6oz.

A new PB common. Well chuffed. The photo doesn't show its shoulders - well chunky. Also, when I got it on the mat I thought it had a bum problem, there was what I thought was blood coming out of  it but on closer (!) inspection I saw it was the remnants of all the Source boiles!!

Packed up around 4ish as the temperature had again fallen to just below zero. Thank god for my new second skins bought with my daughter's gift voucher for Baileys of Warwick.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Avon at Twyford 19.11.10

Well, after 2 blanks, one here about 10 days ago when the torrential rain around midday not only cut short the trip, but it made the drive up from the river bank to the track almost impossible and a few hours on College Pool last week, I had 6 or 7 hours back on the river. Everything looked perfect. I'd checked with the EA river levels website (thanks Sean for that link) and around Evesham the Avon was fairly stable. When we arrived the colour was good and the flow seemed just right.

After the last but one session when pike had been swirling both in the margins and in the main river, I'd taken some suitable gear just in case. I set up a roach deadbait (bought frozen from my local shop) on an overdepth float ledger. A large open feeder was filled with small pieces of meat and plugged with hemp and hali crush. I fished this rod on a long flouro leader to a size 10 with a longish hair to which a lump of meat was attached. I catapulted out some 1" squares every 30 mins or so.

Despite searching the margins next to the decaying reed stems and under nearside trees, the pike rod failed to excite any predators. Around 2:30 ish the drizzle started and soon it was a steady rainfall. My newly purchased Drennan waterproofs came into their own and probably persuaded me to stick it out without resorting to a brolly. Just wanted to proove their worth!

Around this time my mate who was fishing with me decided to pack up. While watching him negotiate the slope back up to the track, my barbel rod pulled round and I was into something. Not huge but something anyway. Like much of the middle Avon there are platforms along this stretch which have a reasonably small gap between slats. I was sitting up on the bank but had to get down to the platform to land the fish and as I wound down I went out along the platform. Concentrating on the rod tip I failed to notice that where there was a small drop down from one level to another there was a gap which neatly allowed my left boot to drop through. So there I was, rod held high trying to keep contact with the fish while my leg was through this gap up to my knee. Also, my mate had just waved goodbye and there was no-one else on this stretch, not even a dog walker. Realising that what goes in should come out I pulled and wiggled until I'd got both feet firmly on the platform. The fish was still on and I guided it into my net.

I've caught bigger chub but not in such adverse (some may say comical) conditions. So I'm proud to report it here.

3lbs 2oz and every ounce was earned.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Island Pool, Jubilee 1.11.10

BBC weather forecast was "warm for this time of year" and "mainly sunny".


The wind was blowing, (or should that be howling?), into the disabled pegs bank and Ros, having caught me for my money just as I was opening the gate, told me that there were still some pegs free there.  So I parked just behind one of them in case I needed to escape the gale and set up. I'd bought one of the Fox Zig Rig floats to try and having recently read that contrary to perceived wisdom zigs are not just for the balmy days of summer decided on a zig on 1 rod and a bottom bait on the other.

As the leaves have been raining down now for a few days I set up a chod rig on rod 2. Initially I used a pineapple pop up on the this and a bright pink super-floater on the zig. Rather than try to launch a sloppy spod over the zig due to the wind - I didn't fancy the sludge flying back in my face - I tried a roving approach over the gravel bar towards the island. Baiting up around the chod was proving almost impossible as a bunch of seagulls alternated between riding the waves and circling overhead. They seemed to know exactly when I reached for my catapult and rose off the water in anticipation of a free feed. I tried firing a couple of boilies to the left or right and quickly sending a couple towards my rig but they were quick enough to dive bomb almost every bait. I don't mind most birds - with the exception of the dreaded C word - but didn't want to use all my boilies feeding this bloody lot.  So hardly any freebies to entice a carp to try her luck.

A nearby overhanging tree had a regular drip feed of various size boiles for a last-knockings attempt. A simple bottom bait on a short hooklength was lowered under the branches but no takers.

This is why I was packing up at 4:15, 45 mins earlier than gate closure. There weren't many fishing and from what I could glean not a lot was caught. The exception was a pole fisher to my left who ended up with about 15lbs of silvers. Even he said it was nothing compared with last Friday's haul.

I think the most fun I had was working out how to set up the Fox float. Oh, and also trying to outwit those bloody seagulls!