Month: <span>August 2021</span>

I have mentioned before that I go sailing and that there are similarities between that and angling and one of them is that they are both dealing with the natural world, over which we have no control. This was brought home to me this week during a couple of sessions in different locations, the first at my “go to” water and the second on a visit to a water I have only been to once before.

For the first session I wanted somewhere near to the car to fish from as my back has been playing up recently and I didn’t want to strain it so my “go to” lake seemed the ideal spot. I put out my feeder rod and carp rod, both with method feeders and waited. I had a nice size skimmer bream on my feeder rod after about half an hour and that was it. I was fishing sweet corn on the feeder and boilie on the carp rod but didn’t get a touch after the first fish. It was a grey day here in the east and the wind has been northerly for a few days so I wondered if it had got a bit cold for the fish. There was very little sign of life with just one or two carp jumping. After a few hours I had a walk round and spoke to the other angler on the water and he wasn’t having much luck either. I lost my method feeder in a tree so came home feeling a bit grumpy.

I have got used to catching some decent fish lately and wanting to prove that I still could I went to a different water where I had caught plenty of roach and rudd before and seen some carp. It was quite a walk from the car park but my back was feeling better and with the help of my secondhand barrow I made it OK. I was just unpacking everything when I realised that I had left my rucksack with lunch, sunglasses, drink etc. in the car so it was another half mile return trip to fetch them. I had to thread up my carp rod from scratch and eventually was fishing, much later than I had wanted. It was a bright but cloudy morning but looking around I could see some threatening clouds so got my brolly set up just in case. I was sitting in the corner of the swim with a steep bank behind me and to the side so was quite sheltered and comfortable. All I needed was a bite and sure enough the quiver tip pulled round and I had another skimmer bream. The morning passed with a few twitches on the quiver but no more fish and nothing but a few beeps on the carp rod. I decided to change things around and so put a small hemp boilie on the carp rod and decided it was lunch time. Of course, no sooner had I poured a drink then the alarm sounded and I was into a fish, well I thought I was but it didn’t feel like a carp as it was coming in much too easily for that and turned out to be another bream! 

A lovely example!

While I was waiting for bites I had been feeding next to the swim with chick peas and sweet corn and during lunch I noticed a carp swim right up close to the bank in front of me so moved my carp rod to the baited area. There was much more activity on the water than my last session, fish jumping, bubbles rising and swirls in the water. I also saw a heron and a kestrel and a few interesting planes heading for an airshow. I also had a few beeps on the carp rod so was encouraged that there were fish around however I was not catching anything so decided to change the feeder rod for the float rod to see if my luck changed. I also alternated between boilies and tried a pop up but no luck. It was then that it started to rain showing the wisdom of putting up my brolly as I was snug and dry underneath.

As soon as I cast the float out I started catching rudd and spent the next hour or so dodging the showers and pulling in hand sized fish. In one way I was happy to be catching something but in another I felt that I was going backwards as I had moved to the feeder rod to try and catch bigger fish and get away from endless roach and rudd. Then the carp buzzer sounded properly and the rod was dancing around. I could immediately tell that I was into a carp as it shot off for cover. I managed to pull it around and it went off across the lake when suddenly the line went slack and I lost it. When I reeled in I saw that the hooklength wasn’t there. It must have come undone at the knot as using the quick change bead there is no way that it could have slipped off. This has happened several times recently and I am wondering about the wisdom of buying ready tied rigs. That was about it for the day as I didn’t get any more beeps on the carp rod. Just as I was thinking about packing up it came on to rain again so I sat tight and waited until the shower passed.

I had plenty of these.

So, what did I get from the day? I was pleased that baiting the swim had attracted a fish but very disappointed that I didn’t get to land it. I was also disappointed not to catch more on the feeder rod but at least hadn’t blanked! I was also pleased that I had tried different baits and methods of fishing rather than just persevering with the same thing. It brought to mind the saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results being madness or something. It was nice to get to the bank after a break of a couple of weeks and it does seem from talking to other anglers that the high pressure and chilly north winds are making fishing difficult so it is not just me!

Oh yes, I also got a sore thumb, trying to hold too may things at once the baiting needle pierced the skin near the middle thumb joint and slid in towards the hand. I pulled it out quickly but of course the damage was done. It didn’t bleed much and once again the antiseptic cream and plaster came in useful! It feels a bit sore this morning and I couldn’t get the cream inside the wound so I hope it is OK, I will keep an eye on it!


No, not those that you see in the water when fishing on a calm day but the ones you have when you haven’t been fishing for a couple of weeks and are thinking what to write for your blog which also hasn’t been updated either!

Firstly, I was away then my newly acquired hay fever got worse again so I switched medicines and it slowly improved and then I got a bad back as well. Next my dad, aged 93, decided that he wanted a new laptop so I had to take him into town and choose one. He has been on about a new one for some time so I have been doing a bit of research and decided that as he can’t manage a Windows machine a Chromebook would be straightforward for him to operate. And it is, I have set it up for him and with the help of the Internet changed the settings to make everything bigger so that he can see it but he still can’t grasp it! It has made me realise just how far he has deteriorated and how I haven’t got that long to go until I find myself in the same position!

So, what has this got to do with fishing? Nothing except that it explains why I haven’t got anything angling related to write about this week. I really must go fishing next week but I ought to go and see my mum who I haven’t seen for a few weeks, and my sister and both my daughters and their families before the kids are all back at school and we have a Tesco delivery on Wednesday and the missus has a doctor’s appointment on Thursday and I ought to at least go and check my boat and there is all the bird poo to wash off the caravan awning due to being under a tree when we were away and…………………..

You get the picture.

So, back to fishing. One of the things that I have noticed is that I am using fewer maggots recently. Bread, sweet corn and pellets have been replacing them in my attempt to catch bigger fish. And it has worked, mostly. On the venues I fish, maggots will catch you small rudd and roach but I have done that for a year and want to move on. Of course just as you think that you have got a rule in angling something comes along to break it. In my case it was the 11lb carp that took a single red maggot on my float rod that I wrote about in the blog before last!

 I have also found myself moving away from using my float rod as my preferred method of fishing and using my feeder rod. I tried lots of different ways with feeders and never really felt comfortable with any of them as the feeder would often get tangled in the line so I have been trying a small inline hybrid method feeder and getting better results. I will persevere with this for a while and see if I can get a consistent improvement.

I have mentioned buying stuff off eBay in previous blogs and have been looking for replacement arms for my carp net after one of them broke last time out. You can get them, when they are in stock, but for the same price I bought a brand new complete net. Not the best quality being NGT but it seems to be fine for what I want it for. I have also been looking for a smaller landing net and pole for silver fish as my current one is very old and the pole is telescopic but the securing wing nut doesn’t work so there is the chance of it falling apart while landing a fish! eBay has a few secondhand but when you add on the price of postage for separate net and handle it is cheaper to go to Angling Direct, so I did!

I also ordered a new pair of forceps as I couldn’t find mine. They were in a job lot of tackle from eBay and they were very good but when I came to use them last time out they weren’t in the box. I wasn’t worried too much as they would probably turn up and one thing I managed to do last week was to tidy up my tackle bags and boxes. I turned everything out but didn’t find them. It is a bit of a puzzle as the last thing I do before finally leaving a swim is to have a good look around.

I will finish by telling you about the Nash H-Gun Bivvy that I bought from Facebook Marketplace. I had learnt to respond quickly if something was advertised and so managed to get it. The door had been subject to heat and was a bit melted at the bottom hence the bargain price but it will be ideal for me as a day shelter so I am not worried. I took it over the park to set it up and have a look as there was plenty of space and it was fine. I haven’t used it yet but feel sure that it is going to come in useful during those cold windy days that are on the way!

So, I did end up talking about fishing after all or at least fishing gear. I sincerely hope that I will be able to write about actually going fishing next week!

My latest bargain, put up quickly just to see how it was!


This week I thought I would fish a water that I have only fished once before to see if I could do any better than last time. It is one of the furthest away from home and one of the reasons I haven’t fished there much is that I have to drive by other waters to get there! Another reason is that it is at least 300 yards from the car park to the water along a rough track and a field and until I had a barrow it was just too difficult to get my gear to the bank.

So, the forecast was for a dry day with rain later and some wind. I woke up earlier than usual but despite my best efforts I didn’t get to the bank until gone nine o’clock. There was only one couple fishing and they had had some luck so after a chat I walked round to see where to fish. Although way out in the country this water was clearly an old gravel pit as it had steep sides. Due to the rain the water was high and a number of the swims had no flat area from which to fish. I ended up down the far end where I fished before and just caught small roach and rudd but it was sheltered from both the wind and sun and the bank was not too steep. I set up my carp rod with a method feeder and pineapple boilie and feeder rod with maggots and sat down for a well-earned rest and a cuppa.

For the second week running nothing much happened. I kept rebaiting the rods and casting out but nothing, there was the occasional twitch on the quiver but there looked like line bites. I had brought some chick peas which I had prepared earlier and also soaked some dog feeder as I thought that I would bait up an area to attract carp for later so spent some time doing this before bringing the feeder rod in and trying the float rod. Immediately I was into a fish, a small rudd about the size of the width of my hand! I spent a few minutes catching these before getting bored and putting the float rod away. They were so voracious that even when I let the line falling the water while sorting things out they were going for the naked hook. I figured that if the small ones were around their bigger brothers must be there somewhere so it was back to the feeder rod this time with sweet corn. 

Cloud had started to build during the morning and as it did so the fish began to bite and I started to catch on the quiver. I am still getting used to the best time to strike and was missing fish but the quiver was giving much better bite indication and I soon landed a nice rudd of about three quarters of a pound. I then lost a couple of fish before landing my only bream of the day at one and a half pounds. Catching fish had cheered me up after a slow start but I was still worried about the number of bites I was missing and wondered whether using a hair rig would help. While I was thinking I got snagged and there was no movement at all. I am used to pulling branches out of the water but this snag was solid. Suddenly the line came free and I was wondering how much terminal gear I had lost. It all looked OK but when I looked at the hook it had broken at the shank something that had never happened before. I now had the chance to try the hair rig and soon had a size 16 attached to the Guru swivel and had cast in. A few minutes later I was into another fish but then the line went slack. Reeling in I found the hooklength had gone and blamed the swivel so put on another rig and tried again.

I am happy to catch rudd like this!

Then, out of the blue the carp buzzer sounded and I was into a fish. I could tell from the shaking that it was a carp and it was giving me a good fight. Unlike last week I was more confident in my gear and was soon able to bring the fish towards the net. It, however was having none of it and made off several times before being landed. It was a nice looking leather/mirror which weighed in at 9lb. As I lifted him out I heard a crack and one of the sides of my landing net splintered but didn’t come completely apart so I was still able to land the fish. He quickly went back in the water and was off and I then discovered that the top of my bobbin had come off and gone in the water too far for me to reach without getting wet! All was quiet on the carp front so it was back to the feeder and I was finding that the hair rig was working and I was bringing more fish to the bank, that is until I lost another hooklength. Fed up I decided to change the swivel and continued catching until I lost another hooklength from that one. There was no way that the hooklength could have come off that swivel so I think it must have been the hooklengths themselves, perhaps they weren’t tied properly.

At last, a carp on my carp rod!

Anyway, it was lunchtime and I had caught some more rudd, carp and possibly ide. I have been able to eat my lunch in relative peace recently but not today. As soon as I put the feeder rod out the quiver was twitching and I didn’t have time to even open my sandwich box! In the end I took the rod out of the water and opened my sandwich box then the carp alarm sounded. I had just recast the rod and seen the groundbait drop off the feeder as I cast it but left it as I wasn’t too worried about getting a bite during lunch! This time it was a common, a bit smaller than the last one so I didn’t weigh it and after taking a photo I gently slipped it back. Now with both rods out of the water I had the chance to eat my lunch in peace. While I was sitting there I noticed a carp swim right into my swim and nearly up to the bank and wondered if he had been attracted to the mixture I had thrown in so after lunch put some more in. During the afternoon I tried fishing there but without any luck.

So pretty!

It was now well into the afternoon due to a delayed lunch and I was still catching on my feeder rod and landing more often than not. Then I cast out and something went shooting down the line. Looking at the rod I could see that it looked shorter than usual, the quiver tip had disappeared! When I reeled in I found that it was still attached to the line and being a push fit it had just come out, that had never happened before either! Replacing it I cast out and almost immediately had a big bite. It was a big fish and when it came to the surface I could see that it was a carp but it wasn’t putting up much of a fight. I was quite pleased as the feeder rod only had 6lb line on it so I had to take it easy. I soon got it into the net without much fuss although when I came to lift it the broken bit was complaining so had to be supported. I got the fish onto the mat and then the fun started, he seemed to wake up and was thrashing about all over the place. Being on a slight slope he kept sliding off the end of the mat and I had to put him back. I tried several times to photograph him and eventually managed it but not before he had splashed mud and water all over me and the camera! He went back and I wiped myself down and decided to call it a day. As I packed up I was quite pleased with myself. I had had a better day than last time I came in the autumn and had caught a variety of fish, some even on my carp rod! I was walking back to the car when the rain started, not bad timing!

There won’t be a fishing blog next weekend as I will be off sailing next week and don’t have any sea fishing gear! I might write something about all the tackle I have bought off ebay although it would be great to have a guest blog from one of my readers. If you would like to give it a go them send it to me on the contacts page. 

As you can see I had to hold him still to photograph him!