Month: <span>June 2021</span>

For one reason or another I have not been able to get away for a decent length session this week so have been to my usual spot on the river a couple of times. The first time was an evening session as I thought this might be better and I only took my float rod and travelled light. It was a nice evening but I did begin to feel a bit chilly when the sun went behind the trees but at least I could see as before that it had been in my eyes. The session followed the same pattern as the first, I caught three dace in about two and a half hours with plenty of time between each bite.

The one bit of excitement led to disappointment when the float bobbed and I could see that I was into a decent perch. As the water was so clear I could see him under the water and he didn’t seem too bothered about being hooked until he decided to swim away and broke the line! I was gutted! I had seen big fish here and caught a nice perch before but wasn’t having too much luck since the river season began.

The next session was in the morning, at least it would have been in the morning if it hadn’t started to rain just as I arrived so I sat in the car for twenty minutes until it stopped which made it the afternoon by the time I got started. Conditions were much the same and I set up the feeder rod and carefully placed it near the bank where I had hooked the perch last time and seen bigger fish the time before. I used red maggots in a feeder and on the hook and replenished them from time to time but got absolutely no interest from the fish.

The float rod had a bit more luck, I fed the swim with maggots and groundbait and managed to hook a fish which got off and then landed another dace. Then the float dipped again and I could feel something tiny on the end, yes, it was a minnow, they were back! A few minutes later I got another one but no more after that. I pulled the float rod in for a while as it was time to have a bite to eat and on my first cast afterwards I was into another fish, which I landed. That was it and after about another thirty minutes of trotting the float I decided to pack up and go home.

So, that was it, three sessions at a spot which was productive last autumn and winter with very little to show for it. Perhaps it is too clear and shallow in the summer and the fish are elsewhere. It certainly seems that the fish are not there in any great numbers, I usually find that when I am fishing and catch one there are several more to come, but not here. I think that I will give this spot a rest until we have had some decent rain and there is depth and colour in the water. Still, I have given it a decent go over the last week and added to my angling knowledge. Next week I fancy a longer session with a carp rod out again.


I didn’t think that I would be able to get to the river on the 16th as my wife had a hospital appointment at the other side of the county in the morning but all went well and we got home for lunch so there was time for a short afternoon session. After a quick trip to the local tackle shop to pick up some maggots I was off, although it wasn’t exactly ideal weather, hot and sunny, with thunderstorms forecast for later and rain for the rest of the week.  My favourite river spot is next to a bridge and surrounded by trees so there is some shade for me at least. I had scouted the swim a few days ago so took some garden shears and cut down the nettles to make things more comfortable! 

The water was shallow and clear and I could see the bottom with a few fish moving about. I tackled up and the first thing that I did was to stick the hook into my finger! Not a slight scratch but right in, blood and all so it was out with the antiseptic and plaster and grateful that I use barbless hooks! A little while ago I had been fishing a small pond with overhead tree cover and another guy was fishing there with a short rod so he didn’t get tangled and I thought this was a good idea so I had brought my spinning rod for float fishing and decided to give it a try. In the end I went back to my ten foot rod as it was just too stiff and having to cast out underhand I just wasn’t getting very far.

When I started to fish and could see some fairly small fish then two larger shadows about a foot long followed by a third slightly longer. They seemed to be attracted by the handful of maggots which I had thrown in and although I trotted my float down they took no notice of my bait. After a few minutes the larger one glided off and I got a better look at him, from the shape of the nose I could see he was a pike! The others could have been carp as they are in this river but it was hard to tell, it was nice to see them though but they soon drifted off as well.

Then it went quiet for a bit until the small fish returned and I hooked one which fell off just before the bank. Then I did manage to catch one, a dace I believe, which got the prize for the fish not wanting to stay still for a photograph as he wriggled about something shocking! He must have told his mates about me as they all disappeared and I was on my own again! Still, it was very pleasant sitting in the shade with a warm breeze listening to the birds singing. There was not much traffic on the bridge either so for the most part it was quiet which is how I like it. Then the fish were back and I caught another small one which was just as lively, then they disappeared again. Nothing much happened except that I saw a kingfisher flying down the river then a few minutes later fly back again. You don’t get to see much of them, just a quick flash of blue then they are gone, still, it is nice to know that they are around. The last time I was here a cormorant popped up in my swim, I don’t know who was the most surprised, me or him! Also, every time that I have fished here before I have been plagued by minnows but this time I didn’t see a single one, I wonder if the cormorant was responsible.

The smallest and last fish that I caught but the best photo as the others wouldn’t stay still!

I was getting a bit bored by now, not seeing or catching anything then one of those bigger fish glided out of the shadows but again wouldn’t be tempted by my bait. I decided to try the other side of the bridge and cast up underneath it and was soon rewarded by another small fish but as soon as I put him back they all disappeared. I decided that it was time to go, three fish in a two hour session wasn’t a lot but I had had a good time and was very excited by seeing the bigger fish. The low, clear water hadn’t helped and I will return after the rains have raised the water level and given it a bit of colour. 


I was awake early and decided that I would go back to my “go to” lake and try and catch some of the carp off the surface. I arrived to an almost empty car park and walked up to the same swim I had the other day to find that the only fisherman on the water was there! We had a chat and then I had a walk round to the overgrown side of the lake where I could see a few carp cruising a fair way out but none close in. Conditions were the same as the other day but the fish were doing something different!

I decided to fish round there and chose a swim which had a bit of shade for me and looked good for fish and went to get my gear. Of course, I had to make two trips as I hadn’t brought my newly acquired second hand carp barrow as I thought that I would be fishing near the car! 

Before fishing I threw some bread out and immediately ducks appeared from nowhere and ate it! I should have stopped there but carried on disentangling my carp rods from each other. I have a nice ebay bargain rod case but it seems however carefully I put the rods away the lines get tangled together when I come to take them out. I thought that keeping the rods set up would be quicker than starting from scratch every time but now I’m not so sure! Anyway I persevered and fifteen minutes later cast my bread on the water and soon it had been noticed. Unfortunately it had been noticed by a duck who made a bee line for it! Not wanting to hook a duck I pulled the line in and belatedly realised that fishing on the surface was a non starter today so got out another carp rod. This one was set up with an adjustable zig rig only it wasn’t adjustable any more as it was all tangled. I made a start at untangling it, time passed, the sun got higher and eventually I got the scissors out and rigged with a method feeder which took a bit longer than it should as I put the feeder on back to front and had to undo everything and start again. 

I cast out and after being at the swim for about an hour I was eventually fishing! Time for the float rod to give me something to do while waiting for the buzzer to sound but you’ve guessed it, it was all tangled to the point that it was quicker to cut the line and re-rig the rod. I had also been feeding the swim with particles and groundbait and saw one or two carp cruising through so was feeling quite optimistic. Float cast out and time to sit down and have a cuppa but in my hurry to get out this morning had decided that I would make do with water, which wasn’t quite the same! Sitting there quietly I could hear the sound of flames crackling, someone was having a bonfire in the farmyard next door but as the smoke was blowing away from me I wasn’t unduly bothered. More of a nuisance was all of the fluff from the willow trees which was floating on the water and sticking to the line and building up to the point where I had to pick it all off so that the line could flow smoothly through the rings. Fishing once again the float suddenly shot sideways and I was into a fish and not just any old fish either as it was taking line. I was hoping that it wasn’t another eel when I got a glimpse of a golden colour and could see that I had hooked a carp! I played the fish gingerly towards the net and nearly got him in but he cracked off and was gone leaving me bitterly disappointed but not surprised as I was fishing with a light line and single maggot on a size 16 hook and expecting roach and rudd not a high single figure carp!

So, time to re-rig again but instead of doing it straight away I thought that I would have a try with the feeder rod. Not much happened for a while but when I brought the feeder in there was a roach on the hook, once again I had not noticed. A few more casts with the feeder produced nothing but then I saw that the wind had cleared the surface of the lake from all the willow fluff so it was back to the float rod and I had a couple of smallish fish as well as a couple of small branches. It seems like the less fished swims contain more branches to trap the unwary.

Then the wind changed and brought the surface debris back and even worse the smoke from the bonfire was blowing directly at me. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was just wood smoke but there were all kinds of things burning including plastic so after a while I decided not to breathe any more toxic fumes and packed up and went home. As soon as I got indoors the Mrs said that I stank so it was into the shower for me and my clothes went into the washing machine. 

So, I didn’t have a great time and I wasn’t happy but some things are clear. I set off with a plan which is good as it is a way to progress and improve my fishing rather than just rocking up on the bank as I used to do but I wasn’t adaptable. When the swim I wanted wasn’t available and the fish I was looking for weren’t there I just carried on with the plan instead of re-thinking it which led to a frustrating day. You do live and learn with this fishing lark!

The best I could manage!


My club has asked us to give the carp a miss while they are spawning so it was back to my “go to” lake where I could be sure of catching something. Summer has eventually started in this corner of the world so it was slap on the sun cream and take plenty to drink. It is a bit late for the cream really as I should have used it back in the day but then who did? With a little care three operations to remove basal cell carcinomas could have been avoided!

Anyway, back to fishing. I arrived and there was one guy fishing so we had a chat and he had caught a couple, carp I think! I had already decided to fish around the other side for a change and was getting the gear out when another angler arrived. We got chatting and he said that it was his first time there and started asking me for advice! Well, that made a change but I quickly slipped into the role of the knowledgeable regular and told him what I knew about the lake.

I walked up to the swim I wanted only to find that the banks were covered in geese poo so I walked to the next one which wasn’t so bad but still not perfect. I was to find out just how far from perfect it was when going down the bank my foot slipped and I fell heavily on my back. My back didn’t hurt but my knee did so I lay there for a minute or two then found that I could get up and move around so I did. I also found that while I managed to avoid landing in poo my nice new rucksack didn’t! I set up the feeder rod with maggots in and cast it out and started sorting out the float rod which was in a bit of a tangle. I had it across my lap when the quiver tip went round strongly and I was into a fish. Putting the float rod to one side I could feel that it was more than a baby roach which I usually catch and soon brought in a nice skimmer bream. Casting out I was just finishing with the float rod when the tip went round again and I was into another bream, a bit bigger so I decided to weigh it with my new scales and it came in at two and a half pounds. 

The first fish of the day, a nice looking skimmer bream

That was about it for the feeder rod as I caught no more bream on it and instead started pulling out roach and rudd on the float rod. By now the morning was ticking on and as seems usual on this water the bite ratio was declining. It was also getting hot and so I put up the trusty old Diawa umbrella to give me some shade. I also had time to look round and saw that seagulls and terns were diving into the water to scoop up fry. I also heard the cuckoo still singing clearly and a heron made a circuit of the lake but didn’t land. A robin made the obligatory raid on my bait box but as is often the case I didn’t have my phone in my hand and any movement would have frightened it away. I am beginning to realise that taking pictures when you are fishing is not so easy, the shot of my big bream wasn’t good enough to put on the blog!

I also noticed carp in the margins and after lunch, which was not interrupted by a bite, I took the rods out and went for a walk along the side of the lake. Carp were basking in several places and went for the bread that I threw in for them. Again I found out how difficult it was to get a decent picture or video of them but managed a few. I will certainly come back here with a stalker rod, alright a carp rod with bread on the hook and try going for the fish on the surface again. I suppose this is what is meant by watercraft, keeping your eyes open and having a look round.

It’s no use hanging around or you get beaten to it

Time for a cuppa and as there had not been much action for a while I decided to pack up. I had nearly put everything away and was left with the feeder rod when I noticed that the quiver tip had straightened and the line had gone slack. Now I know this is the indication of a bite so I picked up the rod and started winding in. I could feel something but couldn’t tell what it was until it got nearer when I saw the long silvery body of an eel. My heart sank, eels are my least favourite fish as they are very uncooperative when it comes to lying still so you can get the hook out so I was quite relieved when it broke the line just as I was putting the landing net out. I understand that eels can shed hooks and so this one will probably be fine. It wasn’t a bad one either, about eighteen inches long. So, that was it. I must have caught about twenty fish, some quite nice and learnt where the carp were basking on the surface. This is the water that I have fished the most and I am just beginning to realise how long it takes to get to know a venue. For example, I was quite prepared to be bothered by swans or ducks but they weren’t there today. I went to catch silverfish but saw carp on the surface and on another day would have had a try for them. I suppose that to be successful you have to be adaptable.

A view of the lake on a nice day!