Tuesday 25 June 2019

Bits and pieces

I'm not one for pb targets and campaigns so it's not surprising it took till Sunday to get on a river and that was only for a few trots and a couple of chucks  with a bunch of worms. River is a bit bigger than it has been for a while which was good to see. The perch are just fantastic to look at.

Had to get the rod out again yesterday for a quick explore a bit further up en transit : dace, small roach, a tiny gudgeon  (and a monster perch which tried to snaffle it). Oh, and this surprise roach x bream hybrid. Which means there must be bream somewhere......

Had to finish off on the Pond, the lack of water is shocking though. It was like a ploughed field in front of me and the fish were mostly buried in the silt with just tails waving about.

A "drop of£".  An abyss of six inches.The Norfolk Mariana Trench. Those holes seem to be swan mussel "burrows" with a regular puff of silt from a blow hole.

When the fish did find the bait in the gloop they came out clean enough though. I had three of these in quick order. A deluge happened last night and this morning. We need them for  a month solid. Just at night mind....

Thought this was my old big scale friend but not so. Manky tail though

Saturday 22 June 2019


Probably only fished for 30 minutes. The roach are getting in on the mini boilie act on Golden Pond. Pull the swingtip up nicely. Might have to have a proper go for them. Perhaps with roach whisperer TT's stewed wheat on the pole.

This bream was on the puddle chucker.

And one to end off on the tip rod. A real battler. A long fish with  a big tail and strange back. Gorgeous yellow belly. It's been on the SD  card several times now.

On Olden Pond

The runes all lined up for  a Solstice Eve trip to the Pond with my swing tip rod. It's a Sportex one and  a quarter pound tc (as it was back in the day) Avon and once one of a pair. It even proclaimed it was made of carbon fibre on the decals. It has the all important threaded tip ring to take the swing tip I teamed it up with an Abu Cardinal 154 which in truth could do with a going over by Martin Stone. To continue the theme I also kept the centre pin on on my rather newer Drennan tench float rod as it was still made-up from the trip to Great Massingham with TT.

The Island swim was heaving with fish (had someone fished earlier and put in  a lot of bait?) and some close enough for the pin rod and it was no surprise that almost as soon as I had cast  (or rather swung) out the line was tightening and the ratchet clicking.

 I'd just swung the bait out again when the swing tip on the Sportex twitched twice then shot out vertically. Game on. I had to bend the old rod into it's proper fighting curve ( at least through to the butt ring) pretty sharpish to keep the fish out of the pads and yes, my hoped for prize, a tench on the tip.

Two fish within 5 minutes of starting and I thought for a millisecond  about going home. Only for  a millisecond though....just as well as the next bite on the float rod was this fantastic hybrid, which put up as spectacular a fight as you'ld expect.

This really solid male  fell to the tip rod after two had slipped the hook in the pads. Proper dived in the net it did.

8.45 and one last hurrah before wine o clock. I'd swapped to a fixdie to get  a bit more range for this bream. 45 minutes work well done

Will I have another go on the swing tip? I think so and I'll see if I can find some screw in quiver tips too, the fantastic action of that donkey's years old Sportex means it's going to get some serious useage.

Oh, and I found this tucked in my usual left hand part of the swim. So thanks to the mystery baiting benefactor .

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Ancient warriors

"When life gets a bit stressful, have a can of Kestrel..so said Dizzie Rascal. You know, the one Paxman  introduced on Obama's victory thus "So Mr. Rascal..."

In my case a pint of Woodfordes Wherry in the Dabbling Duck with John Richardson, one end of the  Zanderland correspondence and of Two Terriers fame amongst many other things. But no Lord Alan Sugar or his consort this time. Think the local airspace was a bit congested. Probably in the wake of the B52 that had circled over a generous swathe of God's Own County. (No not that pesky Yorkshire) with its twin starboard engines "gently"  glowing for a good hour the evening before to use fuel before it's emergency landing.

John had bought his Hardy roach rod, lovingly re-crafted by Andy Silwa, resplendent in green whipping. The rod's origin carefully recorded in Hardy's ledgers. As ever John  (TT) chose to fish with stewed wheat and corn and as usual seemed to be be able to avoid at least some of the tiny carp and get through to the roach. You can't see the lolly stick used to wedge the reel seat in place.

I had a quick dabble  as it would have been rude not to after all. I'd loaded my new pin with 6lb float fish and fished off the ratchet and waited for the rod to pull round, often in inches of water. Every thing is mouthed and nudged even an inch from the bank such is the gross overstocking. Game little things though in a lovely village setting. I always lose count but never interest after 20.

We are going back in late September's mists and mellow fruitfulness for a day of roach, carp, fine pork pies and beer. The conkers will be swelling nicely by then.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Mucky old mudpig. Then then there's the carp....

Just a very quick go on Golden Pond on Sunday after sending the  Prodigals on their way after a corking lunch cooked by the Metropolitan Elite. Stage One. As is often the way not a sign of  a bubble until I could hear the Sentry warm up the searchlight and getting ready to unleash the attack dogs across the fields.  Two bream in two casts, the latter all tubercled up again.

Monday evening, Stage 2 on Golden Pond for  a slight change. It's a splendid view.

Plenty of fish to go at so out with two rods, both fishing the puddle chuckers.

A bream to break the seal and a stonker of a mud pig that slipped the hook.

This big old bugger didn't slip the hook though. Had great difficulty getting it in the stink net , scooping up it's weight in silt as well. Said silt applied itself mostly to me. I'd packed the 12 lb scales  not thinking I'd need the bigger set so I'll never know how big it was. Heavy though and certainly the largest carp I've ever landed.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Tip toeing along

The swingtips have arrived. 10 inchers with a decent semi lob on. Hope the rubber doesn't perish...... 

Came across this swim jumper in  a little pond early doors today. He/she had baled out and a recovery truck then pulled up.  Could have been a lot worse if it had flipped over.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

i wander

Sometimes I have 5 minutes to stop and stare.

And sometimes ten minutes

Monday 10 June 2019

Night Shift Shifters......

Saturday, Wet, big wind. Stir crazy. Change come tea time, dry, wind abated. Chores done, and a quick stock take...Golden Pond, road bank. Shorter rod, heavier line  as mud pigs a possibility and swim cramped. Plus, I have yet to catch a fish on the impulse buy Drennan Series 7 1.25tc Avon/Quivertip. Took a while for the fish to start to nose around  over the Spicy Sausage 6m pellets as the lorries thundered by, feet away behind  a crash barrier and otter fence and making the dam shake. Headlights increasingly bright in the hastening gloom. Two bites missed. Shorter rod, heavier tc? 3rd bite and fish on. And to the top and sliding into the net. Hardly a test of the rod it has to be said.
Had a bit of a dead feel but I'll have to put it to  a sterner test. Just discovered the Series 7 range has been discontinued. Perhaps my impulse buy should have been another Series 7 13ft Tench and Specimen Float to make a pair.

The float is one of my favourite puddle chuckers which had been floating around cocked for sometime hence the tide mark before I found a clutch thoughtfully stuck in the wire in the gate. The clip fitting is handy for quick changes but can come undone. I bulk buy my favoured 4gm ones when I find them. All goes back to a guided session with John Bailey last April when I also discovered short method hooklinks and Source minis...

Sunday much brighter and dry. Loads done including a troublesome hedge to cut and clippings to cart away so it wasn't till 430 that I was on my Island Paradise testing out a theory. As the Golden Pond continues to shrink I'm finding it harder to get the presentation sensitive enough using the tried and tested puddle chucker. Too far out for the lift often and way too shallow. Plenty of float movement (tail wash especially) but less definite bites. Do I fish tight to the holding shot or lay a bit more on the deck? Do I try a swing tip and into the sweet spot? Two of those are on order and I've dug out a rod with a threaded tip ring whilst Postman Pat  slips 'em in his sack.

Sweet spot?Well there a couple of encroaching pads  down the line, and its far too silty to attempt to to wade to trim them. The boat is watched like a hawk. The  real sweet spot lies behind the barely visible double white bud about half  a yard past the float. Tricky to overcast then wind back to sink the line.

In lieu of the awaited swing tip I went for a pair of bobbins under my Advanta Discovery 1.25's with a 10gm lead on a link and the trusty Source mini. Note the  Czech sleeping policemen (bobbins).

Bingo, right on the money  but with  a sizeable splash on the fishes heads, even with only 10gm. Would it put them off? Almost instantly indications and pulls and a very decent hybrid soon had the  rod  hooped with customary hybrid vigour (not a gardening joke). It's a 3000 size reel for scale.

I wasn't totally comfortable with the lead splash so kept one out the right and slipped into my favoured float position. This sleeper rod produced a bream and  a lovely roach. Comfortable or not I'm going to be on it when those swingtips arrive.

Its no hardship trying to get the presentation right when you are looking at this in front of you even in a shower. Bet there was a cracking rainbow behind me.

Three more bream on the float and  a small but feisty tench sent me home pleased. Where can I get  another of those float rods. Oh, and a couple more puddle chuckers are bobbing round the pond...

Friday 7 June 2019

Rain tomorrow

Rain tomorrow so make hay today. Or yesterday actually. Had a quick pass out so only one place to go. The pads and bay were rocking but I wanted a tench so tucked in tight  and rewarded with the owner of this big ole paddle:

Next one tore off like a rocket then gave up. Yup, a lovely little snottie.

30 mins tops then home for wine. Didn't even know England were playing. John Stones? What an absolute bell end.

Monday 3 June 2019

Just the one....

It's easy when you're in the groove: turn up, sprinkle the magic fairy dust, slip the rod rests in their familiar holes and bang, you're in.

Even the flowers smile for you. Then smugly up sticks, back home job done.

Might not be as easy with this feller though. An absolute unit of  a roach, dwarfing its companion chunky compadres.

Sunday 2 June 2019

Dumb waiter and the double dip.

For those of you unfortunate enough to have spent time on the bank or in a  boat with me you'll know that I'm a messy bugger and with that in mind I went into Angling Indirect and bought a lovely grey bait waiter, or to you and I a tray with  a 3/8 BSF male fitting. First thing I did on arriving on the hallowed turf of my water for the day was take it proudly out of the large padded unhooking mat I carry stuff in and the tray was soon threaded onto a small bank stick and pressed into that hallowed turf to as a tidy for my bait boxes  and to act as a place for my bits and as a rear rod rest. Said bait boxes filled with hemp, corn and feed pellets and bugger. they were too small for the spaces Peter Drennan and his Chinese workforce had cunningly pressed in to a little part of the world's plastic mountain, and only compatible with his bait boxes. I had worked out that it wouldn't have been any good for lovely round green Efgeeco ones  with those white lids or lurid orange octagonal Guru ones but anyhoo, back on to the hallowed turf in a heap again.

A slow but steady start with corn on the more functional #12 wide gape spade ends I'd also bought with skimmers and net-needing roach that was livened up by this pound plus snig.

I have a terrible habit of winding in before striking as the Essex Scribbler and Shanus know only to well and therefore usually have the anti reverse on and the rear drag set when on the waggler just to give a cushion on the strike before flicking the reverse off to force me to just strike. I also have an unforgivable habit if moving shot up and down without loosening it first. so when the float shot away  much quicker on the drop and the strike met a fierce fast moving resistance the inevitable happened. Oh well, mudpig , Bure Boi 0. At least it wouldnt be towing a +4 Ronnie Rig everywhere.
Never pleasant though and happily rare, even with my gumby hamfisted ways.

I was perhaps better prepared the next time the float buried and was able to flick the switch and get the Drennan Waggler rod in to it's fighting curve and the mud pig I thought at first became my hoped for target a very determined tench that made much use of the open water in front. Nice hump but to my untutored eyes a slacker or at least not swollen belly and protruding vent meaning spawned out? Lovely custardy orange/yellow belly at that.

The patter would be a few roach, skimmers or hybrids then another tinca and often on the drop too.  I felt more confident with the 3.3 line straight through given the expanse of open water and no thick weed  and really enjoyed the bend in the rod.

Not sure if I've ever seen a white edge to the stump of the tail fin before

Tea called for, and just brewed when this male thought he'd join the break. A most uncarpy stove and mug.

Strange orange colouration and the more common for here blackspot on this smallest of the day roach. The blackspot seems only to affect the roach and bream  (and hybrids thereof) in here, as well as the chub and dace also in the nearby river.

I did reach for the right condiment....

Scales out for this bigger fish and they stopped just on 5.09.

And scales  also needed for this speedy but thickset eel which took line as well as the tench had which I found most unusual. A very solid 2.10. I have lost my eel whispering skills so mat and net shots only.

Did break out the grin and bear it with my last and biggest tench of 5.11, another that I'd have thought could have been heavier.  Dorsal on that....and another St. Peter thumbprint, this time on the cheek. 

Roach and tench are the two fish I'd never tire of catching..

And to top it all off a post prandial double dip pass out for a raid in Golden Pond and in the gathering gloaming for another two lovely tench, caught to order tucked up tight up to the pads. No enjoying the bend of the beefier rod and 5.5lb line until they are well clear of them. Proper hit, hold and up off the seat to the right and slightly more open water.