Month: <span>May 2022</span>

If you read the beginning of my blog you may remember that I confessed that sailing, not fishing is my main hobby. I only took up fishing again during the first lockdown as it was something we were allowed to do when we weren’t supposed to be travelling and my sailing club was shut. Well, boats have taken up my time recently as I have downsized to make single handed sailing easier. This has meant my time has been spent getting one boat ready to sell after firstly buying another one, not the way you are supposed to do it! This, along with my week in hospital and strict instructions to take life easy for a few weeks has limited the time I have been able to go fishing but with one boat sold now I am hoping to get back to the bank and some different waters again.

I did manage an evening session at the local pond again and this time the weather was quite different, warm, muggy and sunny. I set up my float rod again and started fishing at about two feet depth and was catching tiny rudd on almost every cast. I only managed a couple of tench and no goldfish or crucian/brown goldfish and to be honest it got a bit boring and I started taking more notice of my surroundings. The road was busy but became less noisy as the evening rush hour went on and I did notice that there were fewer lorries than in the daytime. More birds were singing than on my last visit although there were fewer fish jumping or rising to the surface. I did try varying my bait from red to white maggot which the rudd enjoyed just the same although they didn’t fancy the bread paste at all.

This is the biggest that they get!

When I first started fishing again I used to get lots of tangles in the line, in fact there was a time when that was the signal to pack up for the day! I haven’t had a tangle for a while but I managed to get one this time, I don’t know how, it was just as I was casting out again the line was all wrapped around the float and I spent a good ten minutes in the gathering gloom trying to untangle it before cutting the line and starting again. I set the depth to only about fifteen inches as I was catching weed and was hoping to fish above it. Then I found that I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for split shot but eventually got the right amount on the line with a hook of almost the size I wanted! I really must pay a visit to the tackle shop in town and stock up on supplies. Buying from Amazon or mail order firms was acceptable during the pandemic but now restrictions have eased I feel that we must support our local shops. “Use it or lose it,” as the saying goes and if I lose it where will I get my pint of maggots?

If you look closely you can just see a tiny rudd at the top of the weed!

Anyway, back to the fishing. If I was fishing a match then I would have been pulling the rudd out as fast as possible but as I said earlier, it was getting boring. I always like having the possibility of catching something different and this was getting rather predictable. Then my evening brightened when a heron landed at the far end of the pond. It wasn’t happy about me being there and didn’t settle down to fish but stayed long enough for me to take a picture although the quality wasn’t great as I had to use the telephoto on my phone. I don’t mind herons, I know they eat fish but like kingfishers there are only a few of them around, unlike cormorants that seem to come in mob handed. Shortly after that I decided to pack up, which, as I was fishing light didn’t take long and I was soon home.

So, my reflections on my session? I really must go and fish somewhere else! I need a change and long enough has passed for me to be able to walk with my gear to other waters from their car parks. Perhaps I can persuade the missus to come with me if it is a nice day, I am sure that she would push my barrow and all my carp gear four hundred yards for me!

The heron on the other side of the pond!


I felt well enough to have a session on my own so decided to go to the local pond again one evening. It had been a sunny day but there was a chilly wind so I put a fleece on and took a waterproof jacket in my rucksack. I had spent the afternoon going through my gear so that I would take only the essentials as although it was only a few minutes’ walk I didn’t want to overdo it. A flask of tea and I was ready. I managed the walk without any problems and soon set up my gear. I was using my float rod and had it set to the depth which I was catching fish last time which was about three feet. A single red maggot on the hook and a neat cast out saw the float bobbing a couple of inches out of the water. Far too high for any fishing especially with the shy bites in this water and the wind was blowing it about wildly. Clearly I had lost a shot since last time so I reeled in and looked in my box for a small shot. Not for the first time I reminded myself that I needed to get some more shot but after some searching around I found one which balanced the float just right with only the tip showing out of the water.

I waited confidently for a bite and began to notice my surroundings, the birds singing, the wind in the trees, the road traffic next to the pond and the pond itself. There were rings on the surface where fish were rising and one or two splashes where fish were jumping. It was idyllic if a little cold. As the sun went down the breeze was getting colder and I soon had my waterproof jacket on as well. I made a few casts without catching anything then the float bobbed and I was into my first fish, not a tench as I had suspected but a rudd. The fish were still rising and jumping but I was not catching as much as usual and it was a good ten minutes before I caught the next fish, another tiny rudd. I had put some groundbait in but it was not doing a lot of good so I cast into a different area. The float was ominously still so I brought it in with a nice lump of weed on the hook. This happened a few times in different places so I shallowed up to about two feet hoping that I was now above the weed. 

Another camera shy Tench!

Then came a period where I was catching a fish every few minutes, mostly rudd but a few tench who didn’t like to keep still for their photo, curling themselves up and slipping out of my hand at the first sign of me opening my fingers so that I could take a picture. Then something different, the float rapidly shot away and I was into another fish, it didn’t put up much of a fight, in fact I wondered if I had caught another load of weed but I soon saw an orange flash beneath the surface, another goldfish! I have been catching one every time I have been to the pond recently and they have all been different. God only knows how many there are in the pond, obviously the local residents have been putting them in and they seem to survive and avoid the heron. I know that there are more than I have caught because other anglers have been putting them on the club’s Facebook page.

Then it went quiet for a bit, I tightened the zip on my jacket as I was feeling the chill and decided to take the rod around the lake for a speculative cast. Finding a clear swim was not easy as the weed is in full growth and the light was beginning to go but I found one or two but didn’t have a bite. Then I got to the far side of the pond which looked fairly clear and caught another rudd and tench before I decided to go back and sit in my chair, huddle up and try to keep warm. It was deep into dusk although I could still see my float and the fish had come on to feed again and it was a fish a cast. The temperature was dropping and I started shivering, I was wearing four layers on a May evening and was shivering, what a country we live in! I decided that enough was enough and quickly packed up what little gear I had and went home. It had been an interesting session and I was surprised how much activity there was on the surface and left wondering if I could catch them with a fly or small piece of bread, something to try another time.

I wonder how many goldfish there are in this water!


I ought to start by thanking everyone who sent me their best wishes as I wrote my last blog from my hospital bed after suffering a heart attack. To bring you up to date I had an angiogram, a stent fitted and was sent home the next day with strict instructions to take it easy! Now, that is easier said than done especially as I was feeling better than I had for a long time and I soon wanted to go fishing again. For the first few days my wife didn’t want to let me out of her sight so she said that she would come with me, we took the minimum of gear and went to the pond over the road which the club had been renovating. It was a freezing morning for April so we were both dressed up to keep warm.

I decided that I would just use the float rod and try the usual tactic of fishing shallow and deepening up until I found the fish or the weed. It wasn’t long before the float dipped and it was the first of many tench. They don’t grow very big and the missus was amazed by the colour as they were the first live tench she had ever seen. I suppose there was a fish every few minutes, mostly tench but with the occasional rudd. All the bites were tentative so you had to keep a sharp eye on your float! I was fishing red maggot which I found works well on this water but towards the end of the session switched to white and first cast hooked a different fish. It began to take line as the drag was very lightly set but I soon got it to the net and could see that it was a crucian or at least a brown goldfish. I tried for another one but only caught another tench so decided that as the missus was complaining about being cold and it was nearly lunchtime we would go home. Still, it was nice to get on the bank doing something that I enjoy again.

A beautiful tench

The following week was one of those manic ones where you have something going on every day so much for taking it easy! I didn’t have time to go fishing but I did get time to think about it and one of my trains of thought was about lugging all my gear to a swim. Being in a fairly rural area our club waters tend to be farmer’s reservoirs or disused gravel pits and the car park can be a good walk from the water. Normally I can manage this with a secondhand barrow and a few stops along the way but as I am not supposed to be overdoing it I asked on the club’s Facebook page which waters had swims where you could park the car next to them. The replies I got showed me that I don’t know the club’s waters as well as I thought I did!

Small but perfectly formed!

I also snatched a few moments to read and came across a paragraph by Arthur Ransome which seemed to sum up my feelings about blanking and whether or not the session was then a waste of time.

“It began, instead with a lesson on failure in general. Failure it seems, depends entirely on our choice of what we are to consider success. For just so long as I was full of ambition to fill a basket with large grayling the day was a miserable failure. As soon as I abandoned this ambition as fantastic the day turned into success. Until this moment of, if you like, resignation, I had not known that I was enjoying myself very much. That was because I had been ruling out all the pleasure except that of catching grayling and these were not to be caught. I was now open to pleasure of other kinds.”

Seems to sum it up well and I must remember that it is not all about catching and there are other pleasures to be obtained in going fishing. I wonder if I will remember that the next time that I blank!

A nice crucian?