Well, I made it to the bank again! I thought I was going to go fishing on Thursday as I had felt much better on Wednesday but in the way of this cough to end all coughs I felt grotty again on Thursday and so it wasn’t until Saturday that I felt well enough to go. It was a grey day with a bit of dampness in the air but no wind as I loaded up the car and wondered where to go. I don’t usually go fishing on a Saturday and as the idea is still to stay away from other people as my wife is vulnerable I didn’t want to go to any of the popular lakes so ended up back at my “go to” lake where I used to do well but hadn’t had much luck recently. I had asked on a Facebook group what people thought, whether to give up and try elsewhere or stay and learn how to fish the lake and as you would expect had a variety of conflicting replies. I also had the thought that fishing on Mondays, which I had been doing, was not such a good idea as the fish would be having a rest from assault of the weekend anglers.
I arrived about half past ten to find there was no one else there. Just out of curiosity, on the way home I nipped into the car park of a more popular club water just across the road, it was full. Perhaps they know something that I don’t! Anyway, I had a walk round but didn’t see any signs of fish and there were no carp on the surface, probably because it had been a chilly night so I decided to fish the same swim where I lost a fish last time and quickly set up my carp rod with a method feeder and just for a change a pop up boilie. Then it was time for the ledger rod with a small method feeder and sweet corn on a hair rig. I am still trying this way of fishing on this rod and have had some success but am not totally convinced.
Then it was time to sit down with a cup of tea and wait. While I was waiting I noticed that when threading up the ledger rod I had missed the ring nearest the reel but figured that I could manage without it. I re-filled the feeders every so often and enjoyed just being outside and being fit enough to fish. I also began to feed the swim closer in to the bank with some groundbait, sweetcorn and maggots with the idea of fishing with the float rod later on. After about an hour without a beep, bite or even a twitch I decided to change things round a bit and put a small boilie on the ledger rod which has worked before. Then it started to rain, very gently and not enough to make me go and get the umbrella from the car but enough to make me put my hood up and wonder if it was sensible for someone recovering from the mother of all coughs to be sitting outdoors in the rain! However it soon stopped and a chilly wind started blowing from behind so I kept my hood up and wondered about getting the umbrella out as a wind shelter but didn’t do anything about it as it was only a gentle breeze and I could put up with it.
It was about now that another angler arrived and set up on the opposite side of the water so I was no longer alone. A couple of hours had passed and it was getting near lunch time so I thought that the old standby of opening the sandwich box and pouring a cuppa from the flask would do the trick but not this time, I was left to eat my lunch in peace! I decided that it was time to get the float rod out so brought the feeder rod in, hooked on a maggot and cast out into the swim I had been baiting up and waited confidently for a bite from one of the voracious rudd or roach that live here. I waited and waited, I changed the depth I was fishing at, changed from red to white maggots and back again and then tried sweetcorn. Still no luck which was galling as the newcomer had had a fish or two.
It was about this time that I started to doubt myself. Not so long ago I had given up using maggots as I had got fed up with catching smaller fish especially on this venue and now I couldn’t even catch them. Had my beginner’s luck simply run out? Last year I caught several carp on this water alone on the method feeder and this year none, not even a bite not even a beep from a line bite to show that fish were around. I knew that carp were in here as I had seen them cruising on the surface and even caught one a few weeks back but where were they now?
I decided that I wouldn’t spend any more time fishing this water and would go down to the river where I have had good luck in the past so I brought my float in, changed it for a river one and decided to check the shot pattern and as I was putting it in the water it might as well have a maggot on the hook and cast in. The float disappeared, far too much weight on the line for a lighter float so I took some off and cast again. The float settled nicely then dipped and I was into a fish! Not a big one but a nice little roach and after my luck so far any fish would do! I popped him back in and cast again, the float bobbed then disappeared and I had hooked a slightly bigger fish, a skimmer I think or a fat bodied roach, I was not sure. Now that I had a couple of fish all thoughts of going to the river had gone and I spent the rest of the afternoon with the float rod catching roach. I would like to say that I carried on catching regularly for the rest of the afternoon but I didn’t. I only managed five roach which was an improvement on the morning session. Not a beep on the carp rod with my new alarm which was disappointing but at least I had caught some fish. Oh yes, and I saw a couple of microlights flying over and the swans landed on the lake after being absent for the summer. I heard a robin around and about too but didn’t see him in the bushes and trees.
So, my first session for a few weeks was not an overwhelming success but at least I didn’t blank like last time. When I got home I had a good talk to myself about fishing somewhere else next time and giving my “go to” lake a rest until the fishing improves.