A Week of two Halves

I did go fishing this week, in fact I went twice, the second time because the first was a blank! It was to the furthest club lake and I only went as it was part of my target to fish every club water. It was right out in the country and very quiet, one of those places where you don’t even hear traffic noise which is most unusual where I live! It was a farm irrigation reservoir and I have to say that these are not my favourite waters as they are usually square with steep banks and fairly featureless, not at all attractive. When I arrived there was one angler there and he had been there since five a.m. and caught nothing! It was about nine by the time I arrived and I had a walk round to find a swim. The water was high which left very few places with a bit of flat ground to put my brolly up as rain was in the air but I eventually decided on a swim in the corner and set my gear up. 

I fished a feeder rod with maggots fairly close in near some reeds and thought that I would be into some silverfish this way. I fed the swim, put the rod out then got out my carp rod. I had set it up with an adjustable zig rig which I had seen on YouTube and thought I would give it a try. It was not as easy as I thought but I eventually managed to get the hang of it, sort of! Then I waited. The occasional fish was jumping out of the water so I knew they were there but nothing took the bait. I fed the swims, recast the rods, waited patiently but nothing. Time passed, it rained, it stopped, a pheasant came to see me and ate some of the sweetcorn I threw for it and strutted its stuff!

I changed the depth of the zig rig, I moved the feeder rig a bit further away I changed baits but nothing! Not a bite, not a twitch, nothing. Soon it was lunchtime and I decided to bring the feeder rod in and put out another carp rod with a method feeder as I could see the carp still jumping and one cruised past my swim and the first cast was taken by the wind and straight into the bushes! After a struggle I managed to retrieve it and cast out. I settled down to lunch hoping that I would get a bite when my sandwich box was balanced on my knee but still no luck. By mid-afternoon I was getting frustrated, the other angler had given up and gone home and I decided to follow his example. I packed up and left feeling that I had wasted my time. My wife says she can tell what sort of session I have had as soon as I come in the door, in this case she was right!

I woke up a couple of days later with the wind howling around the house and the feeling that I wanted to go fishing. I had a few things to do first but I thought that I knew just the place, the neglected lake just up the road. There is only one swim so I hoped that no-one else would be there so stripped down my tackle bag and took my float rod and set off. A few minutes later I was there and the swim was free and, as I anticipated it was sheltered from the wind and the trees overhead would keep off most of the rain! One thing about travelling light is that it doesn’t take long to set up and I was soon fishing. I had brought my keep net, which I don’t usually bother with, as I thought that I might catch a few fish and a group photo would be good. First cast and the float dipped but I missed it! Second cast and there was a wait, I thought that it might be harder going in the day time as I have had better luck in the evening so I was prepared to be patient. Then the float did one of its trademark slow slide aways for this lake and I was into my first fish, a small tench. I had to be patient before the next bite but tidying my gear up away from the rain kept me busy for a bit then another bite, or was it? I decided to wind the line in and there was another small tench on the hook.

Although I was catching it was very slow for this water so I decided to shallow the rig and try in different parts of the swim, not that there is a vast expanse you can fish as the hornwort is growing back quickly and will have soon taken over again. This time the float started to drift with the wind so that I knew that I was fishing above the weed and I soon had several more fish, mostly from the same spot. I had been feeding the swim with pellets and maggots as groundbait is not allowed and decided to concentrate on this spot which was right next to the weed and was pulling out fish on almost every cast. The tench were biting very gently even though I had a very small float on but occasionally the float would vanish suddenly and I had one of the varieties of small carp on the hook. I had only meant to go for an hour or two and hadn’t taken any lunch but hey, who wants to go home when they are catching fish?

About two o’clock I decided that enough was enough and packed up and brought in the keep net to take a picture. I had caught 29 fish, mostly tench but with a good number of carp and nothing very big which is the way with this pond. I felt much better about myself and had also seen a bit of nature as a heron had paid a quick visit and I also saw a jay, colourful birds. Of course, travelling light I only had my phone camera and so didn’t get a decent picture of either of them. 

So, what have I learnt from this week? That I like catching rather than fishing, that I don’t have the patience to be a serious carp angler and that perhaps I had a bit of luck last summer. I certainly haven’t been catching at that level this year but then summer hasn’t started yet where I live! I have also been missing the river but it is only a few weeks until I can get back there and I am looking forward to it. In the meantime I am hoping that the weather will pick up so that I can go sailing!

A nice net of small ones!

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