Friday, 2 November 2012

A Day's Piking at Bishops Bowl

I had a day at Ryton last week as I wanted to check out the new work which had taken place over the last few months.
The new walkway only covers about 100yds (?) which is nice as the rest of the banks have been left natural but this bit gives the less able a safe area to fish from. The newness of the ground behind meant that almost every passing dog- or child-walker stopped for a chat. Still, after a few years of foliage growth the anglers will be a bit more private!
What about the fishing? Best to gloss over that, I'll just say that out of 10 rods fishing, there was only 1 fish, an upper double carp, was caught and that was off a "natural" swim.
I did get to meet some interesting fellow fishermen. Barry The Fly, Paul The Bailiff, Paul The Not Bailiff and Skodaman.

So back to the title of this piece, Bishops Bowl.  Martin and I arranged to meet first thing yesterday. It was a good choice of venues as it's virtually halfway between where we live. Checking on the weather forecasts from Monday onwards, I was pleased to see that the heavy rain expected on Wednesday would clear the Midlands by the early hours of Thursday morning when all good boys would be tucked up in bed. So, leaving Banbury at 7:30, (Martin had phoned to say he couldn't make it until about 8:30), I found the sky grey and overcast but dry. "The remaining clouds just slipping away" I thought.
By the time I pulled into the car park ready for a breakfast roll the heavens had opened and we had a steady, if not torrential, downpour. While waiting for Martin's arrival as well as my BBB - big breakfast bap - several OAPs, or should I say retirees, dribbled into the shop. We all moaned about the weather, voicing the fact that the weather girls from various sites had promised a dry day!  Sean, the owner was very helpful in giving us the latest fish and swim reports and, after Martin had finished his munch, we set off to what we hoped was a prime spot.
By the time we set up the rain had settled into something which, while wetting, threatened to ease off at any minute. Thinking this would be the case, I foolishly decided not to go for the waterproofs but relied on my brolly.
Eventually, after spending too much time out in the open, I realised that my cargo trousers and fleece top were not the best for this weather. Oh, it was still raining!
The first 2 swims we chose didn't produce the goods. The only excitement was when what seemed to be a large carp did a somersault in the rushes right next to Martin. It wasn't interested in his roach or lamprey deadbaits 'though!
A move was called for and, as we had the whole of the lake to ourselves, we upped sticks and moved......2 swims down.
Martin was pretending to be a garden gnome
My swim resembled the worst of the Somme
By now the weather was having fun with us. One moment a downpour, the next sun. Still nothing doing on the pike front.
We'd remarked that there was little evidence of fish life, nothing topping and no fry visible in the margins. Martin noticed also that there were no Grebes to give away pods of bait fish. We were aware, however, that this lake held some very good-sized fish which didn't give themselves up.

By early afternoon the weather gods eventually realised that they were supposed to be providing a dry, sunny but cold day. The swim I was fishing had a huge slab of rock jutting out about 30 feet into the lake and I had a large mackerel placed at the drop-off point in about 3 feet of water. The general depth varied tremendously between 6 and 20 ft.
After a wander about my swim, I had just sat down when the bobbin of the rod with the mackerel gave 2 short rises and then flew up, taking line from the baitruner. After a short fight I netted a nice-looking pike of 9lbs 4oz - not the size we were hoping for, but at last something.
Between us, we had rung the changes on the deadbaits, roach, lamprey, mackerel, smelts and as we'd just had this one fish, and it was already early afternoon, we decided to go over to the other side of the lake for the last few hours. We fished a spot where there were 2 swims separated only by a small tree making it a nice "sociable" position.
Other than 2 small beeps from one of my rods, the day finished quietly. Martin didn't even finish his 2 gallons of milk! See above. So we packed up in the gloaming to a very nice sunset.
Only 1 small fish between us but it had been a pleasant, sociable day with plenty of weather to moan about.


  1. But it's a cracking looking lake though. I walked about the place once and it looks as if there's nothing in it but long dead dinosaurs. Straight out of The Flintstones!

    Martin's gallon of milk. Always has it on him.

  2. Yes Jeff, Greenhill looks like nothing I've seen before. I'm sure there are bones and bones down in them there depths! I used to fly fish it many years ago and it was a hard bugger even then.

  3. Garden Gnome is it? Between you and Jeff saying I'm a fat bloke, the pair of you will give me a complex or something.
    As for the gallon of milk, it was only 1/2 gall or so at 2L.
    pitty we didn't get a bigger one but they are there.