I live just a few minutes away from one of the club’s lakes or should I say ponds which I have driven past hundreds of times over the years and only occasionally seen anyone fishing there. It is rather neglected and the banks are overgrown and there is only one fishable swim and even that is overhung by low trees and bushes. To make matters worse the pond itself is overgrown with weed which grows right up to the surface and makes it unfishable. I did try in the autumn and again a couple of times in the winter when the weed had died down a bit, I even took a rake over there and pulled out loads of weed but as soon as I did that it was replaced by other weed! I didn’t catch anything, in fact I didn’t even have a bite so you could say that I had unfinished business there!
I noticed on the club’s Facebook site that one or two people have been fishing there recently and have caught a variety of small fish so I decided to give it another go. When I got there, would you believe it, there was already an angler there occupying the swim. We had a chat and he told me that he had caught a few and then I went home determined to come back another time. It was a quiet evening a few days later when I was able to get back with the minimum of tackle and a chair. The first few casts didn’t go well, I caught a tree branch, another tree branch and a third tree branch! On the last occasion I lost my hook but managed to reclaim my float. Tackling up again and being more careful I managed to get my hook in the water and started tidying up around me and getting everything to hand. I was fishing with home made maggots as hook bait and throwing a few in the water around the float. My expectations weren’t high so I was a bit slow when the float started to move but still managed to land the smallest tench you have ever seen! My duck was broken!
A quick photo for evidence and it was plopped back in the pond and I was casting out again only to see the float dithering about again and it was another tench, slightly bigger. I decided to change the float for a lighter one and managed to find a canal type float in my box with a very fine tip. This made it difficult to see against the reflection of the reeds opposite but by craning my head I could managed to keep track of it as it slowly drifted across the pond. There was no chance of fishing on the bottom because of the weed, you had to fish above it.
The finer float didn’t make a lot of difference, bites were tentative and I was often left wondering if it was really a bite or not but mostly when I struck there was a fish on the end.
I kept feeding the swim with a few loose maggots and also some sweetcorn and was getting a bite every few minutes. The tench were slowly getting bigger until I had one that I needed to use the landing net for, he must have been at least half a pound! Then there was a change to a very small carp, a baby mirror carp and then something much bigger was on the end and began taking line from the reel. After a short fight I did need to use the landing net for what I thought was a nice Crucian but which, I was told later, was a brown goldfish. Nice fish though and lovely to see it. Then it was back to tench, a small rudd and I was just thinking of packing up as it was getting too dark to see the float when there was another nice Crucian style fish to end the evening.
I went home well pleased with my trip. Fourteen fish of five different species in just under two hours was much more than I expected and the grin on my face lasted all evening! It was my best session of the year. I will definitely be going back to the pond before the weed grows and makes it unfishable again. At least I ticked off another water where I have caught fish, just three waters where I haven’t caught anything but that is because I haven’t fished them yet!