Friday, 18 April 2014


Now that the rivers are forbidden, we have to turn our attentions to lakes, pools and canals. There's a very small pool 5 minutes drive away which, despite living here for 17 years I've never bothered with. It's an L-shaped one with its width more akin to a canal and rumoured to hold at least 1 20lb + carp.

I've now managed 2 visits in the last 7 days. On my initial trip I tried a boilie on a light running ledger and a lobworm under a waggler to see if the pool held any perch. There were no takers for the bottom bait but by mid afternoon, when the sun was full on the water, fish were topping all over the place. Small carp were patrolling the margins and I saw a couple at my feet. So I adjusted the depth of the waggler to just 6" and soon started to catch golden mirrors of between 5 and 6lbs. Good fun.

There was no sign of doubles and the largest I had was around 8lbs. Maybe the 20lber had been "spirited away" some time ago. Still, it's early days.

Back to the title.
Nice though that is, it's not what I meant. (Do any other bloggers find that pictures appear on their blogs without them knowing how they got there?)

By chance I'd come across an ad for Gardner's suspender controllers and I thought I'd give it a go back at the pool. So off I went yesterday afternoon for a few hours. Sods Law, no sun and cold to boot. Still, I'd invested in a suspender so I was damn well going to use it. I did try a chod rig on the second rod as a back-up just in case.

Eventually after feeding floaters for an hour or so the carp got interested and I ended up with another half dozen of these little golden ones, the largest 7.5lbs.
Again there was absolutely no interest in the bottom bait although there were plenty slurping the freebies. Those I hooked gave tremendous fun on the lighter gear so an enjoyable couple of trips.

And I'm glad the susses worked.

Monday, 7 April 2014

End of Season, then Having a Flutter

Managed to get on the river for the last day of the season and found the Warwickshire Avon in fine fettle. The early morning mist and near-freezing conditions combined to give some lovely shots of the vegetation.

This went a little way to making up for the lack of fish! For me that is, Martin managed a couple of chub, here he's putting one back downstream so as not to scare the rest of the shoal - some hopes.

By late morning, the mist had been bunt off by the sun so things weren't looking great. We'd hoped for a misty, cold day to tempt the chub.

Amazingly Martin and I had the whole stretch to ourselves until mid afternoon when a lone angler decided to try last knockings. Not sure how he fared as I'd picked up my ball and headed off home by 4ish leaving Martin to get another couple of chub.

As the next day was the Grand National, it seemed to make sense to chose a venue which had some similarity to this big day in the racing calendar.  So it was off to the pond on Warwick racecourse where last year I'd had a memorable day with the silver bream.
Having been inspired by Mick Newey, I'd recently bought a Zandavan roll-over indicator which the eagle-eyed of you can see near my rucksack. It's that thing in a fetching red colour. (They were out of stock of something more neutral.) I was hoping for some of the big perch and fished a large prawn beneath a sensitive waggler as well as 6" plus lobs on a very light running ledger with my new toy. It did take a few adjustments to get used to the settings but eventually it seemed right. After a couple of perch just over the pound on the prawn, the arm of the roll-over clattered back and I struck into a fish which didn't feel too perch-like. Drawing it over the net I was a bit surprised to see it was a silver bream. A nice one nonetheless at 1lb 6oz.
I wasn't too sure if it wasn't a hybrid but Martin assured me it was a true silver. That was the only take I managed to hit on the Zandavan, missing several more. The lobs were coming back halved or even quartered. Maybe I was concentrating too much on the float, I'll try to be more focused next time.
Still, the prawn/float combo was proving fruitful and I finished with a satisfying mixed bag of perch, tench and even a chub. The only downside was that many of them had abbreviated top lips, a bad sign of anglers being less than respectful.

Late in the day Martin arrived and we spotted a small toad which was full of air struggling to make it to the reeds next to my platform.

As things started to quieten down for me, I looked up to see Martin's rod bent double. My first thought was that it was one of the carp which are hard fighters, especially on 3lbs line. When he brought its head up I could see a flash of silver and he yelled for me to come over and give him some assistance. It was a very good eel. Between us we tried to make a balls-up of unhooking it before Martin managed to get it weighed - close to 3.5lbs. A fine specimen.

We both were pleased with the few hours we had and the surprise eel made the day memorable.
I'm planning trips to some of the commercials which are within a few miles of where I live, especially now we have the lighter nights. Maybe I'll get to grips with the Zandavan!

Monday, 13 January 2014

On a Perch Hunt 11.1.14

An early start for me after picking up a couple of saus. & egg McMuffins to keep me going. I got to Martin's still in the dark and followed him to the pool.

We arrived just after dawn and I half expected to meet one of these, but was disappointed not to.

There was just enough light to set up and as we had the pool to ourselves, expected/hoped to have some nice specimens soon on the bank. Unfortunately, with the dawn came the sun. It was going to be hard going.

I'd brought the usual perch baits, lobs and prawns as well as maggots to attract the small prey fish but after an hour there were no stripeys seemingly interested so I swapped one rig to a size 14 hook with double maggots under a waggler. Some roach would be a consolation until the perch decide to feed, although probably that would now not be until it got closer to dusk.

I started catching straight away, going from 1/2 to 3/4lbs down to a few ounces. This continued up 'till midday when it was time for me to cook us both some bacon sarnies courtesy of nice Mrs Martin! The morning had seen one Eastern European set up but then left when the bailiff pointed out that barbed hooks were banned here. Even when he was offered a couple of barbless he decided that he didn't like fishing that way. Eventually one other angler turn up so the place wasn't exactly crowded! I said to Martin that I was surprised as, with the state of the rivers - plus it being a weekend - I expected there to be quite a few on the bank. Cynical as ever, he explained that many weren't interested if they couldn't feel the sun on their backs and be pulling mouth-damaged carp out of the water. Although we had the sun, the temperature didn't get above 5 degrees, so those missing out would have got frostbite on their torsos rather than sunburn.

Despite the brightness of the day, Martin managed a consolation perch of around 1.5lbs.

Unfortunately no such fish graced my net, however I finished with a nice haul of roach going to about 3/4lb plus 1 solitary perch around 3 ".

Martin's added to this first fish as the light darkened and finished with a couple of 2lbers  and a couple going just over 2.5lbs.

We packed up at dusk and agreed that more overcast conditions would have aided our cause better but we were both pleased with what we did manage to catch.