Monday 29 June 2020

Far from the madding crowd.

I'd hoped for a good go on The Lawns with a double rod approach  but time, and the big wind and squally sharp showers hacking straight in there meant that the high bank behind the Royal Box would give me some comfort so it was just the one. i'd also put to much water in the mix, and the softer krill pellets were making the mix stay in the frame of the flat bed longer. This meant the fish were picking around more than taking the juicy nugget and indeed it seemed nosing the whole feeder about. 

Four of these and a lost tench later...

I spotted some bubbles to the left of the madding crowd and in went the feeder, down came the rain (stair rods) and off shot a hard pulling fish. Long, strong runs and no head/tail slapping on the line. I was beginning to worry about my car keys in my pocket (always the right pocket) getting wet when the rain blew over leaving me and the lake streaming. I'd negotiated the fish (surely a mudpig) around the pads in front and juggle the 42 inch net into place when I caught a glimpse of  a round dorsal and  a bug fish buster attached firmly. A foul hooked tench. Out with the stink net rather than the 42 incher and into the cradle. Not even a big tench. But a fit as a butchers dog male that was punching a foul hooked league or two above fight wise. Imagine if it had been hooked in the tail. Another one with St Peter's Handprint,this time near the tail.. And the pellets still in the feeder.  The dumbbell bait had fallen off the hair in the net and is my custom in that circumstance I fed the bits down it's gob as a sacrifice to the fishy gods.

Back in the bait strewn corridor no bubbles but lots of action, amongst the short intense showers. Red pec bream again (weighed  this time at 6lb 6oz). 

Another fiesty tench or two.. 

and this gorgeous roach that took almost on the drop.

And a string of wannabe hybids and stepped up skimmers in an slightly longer hour and 50 minutes. The wind had been fierce enough to dry everything off but the stink net and weigh sling. Bonus. 

The Commander in Chief had muttered about me getting in at 9.30 these days so I made sure that I'd hot the back door before the peacock and church bells had even drawn breath. No more fishing for a while though. On the way to work this cold blustery dawn the cam belt went on my beloved charabanc. A costly event, think it's new car time. A full tank of diesel as well. 


Sunday 28 June 2020

Sand blasted

There was a bit of a blow on down the beach yesterday. Whipping up the sand enough to take the top layers of skin off. As you can see the hordes had thronged to the sea, social distancing anyone?

The makkies have gone a bit quiet further round at Cley but here the terns were on the whitebait as on one of the Little 'Uns braved the cruel sea.

We didn't have a Real Norfolk Sausage or a Famous Thickshake but we did have an ice cream.

Saturday 27 June 2020

The Sourcerer's Apprentice

Got the green light to load the charabanc  and you never say no to those, even if you know there may be  a catch somewhere...I nearly turned back when I remembered the Source 12mm lounging in the bait fridge but figured that would be counter productive.

Anyhoo, it was 7.45 before I'd laid the picnic rug with some cheapo pellets, re-dampened the Spicy Sausage and Krill mix, impaled a Big Fish buster on the hair and swung out on to that lovingly laid picnic rug. Bobbin on, sit down and 7.46 I was into a fish. Determined and powerful and a flash of zip scales. Not once was the balanced 1.5 tc rod and 6 lb bs Sensor outgunned and into the 42 inch onion bag. Christ that's heavy I thought as I hoisted the contents up and into the pre-wetted and obligatory cradle. Surprisingly small fins apart from the tail and with spawning wounds that needed some TLC. 19.02 on the Korum digital scales.

I didn't want to phaff about with the gurn and bear it, a platform is a likely location for involuntary camera dunking and I am not blessed with the staring lovingly at the tail (never at the lens and never smile) features or the patience so mat and puckered up vent shots are all you're going to get.

The next fish, a very green tench with dark fins went straight back (much to my instant regret) such was my haste to get a carefully moulded feeder full back out on the dance floor. Yup, cliche city tonight. I made sure the next tench got its moment of fame though. And the bait survived for another foray onto that non distanced free for all banqueting area. 

Some little 'uns were hanging about at the wallflower edges waiting for scraps of comfort food and sloppy seconds .

But sure as eggs is eggs mum and dad are always keen to barge in and be the main event, especially if it's an all you can eat affair. Snouts in the trough are us.

The church clock had struck nine and the peacock was calling as I made one last cast. Strange red edge to the  pectoral fin and some sass about it in the deep margin

They'd have kept coming if I'd kept going. But I was late and an accusing full glass of red was waiting as the Commander in Chief was down to her dregs. A nice understated oak finish (the wine, not CIC's self tan) which is a sad rarity these days. Vera was on, the one where it ends: "He was alive when he went into the water pet. But you just had to ties his shoelaces together.... "

Blogger's libation. 69p (LIDL) for the scratchings to accompany the Fathers Day grog.

Thursday 25 June 2020

Seek the shade

Headed off to the river to col down after some essential maintenance, all  the mill pools were full of frolickers, school is out, work is out, sun is out. I can't see why people all congregate though. Perhaps it's because I'm an anti-social old bugger who has no real Fear Of Missing Out. Next time you go out to a place with a big car park or field, try parking as far away as you can from other cars, and preferably at  a jaunty angle and see how long it takes for others to cross that empty space to park next to you. At a suitably jaunty angle.  Which is how hats should always be worn.

My Dangling Indirect  peaked hat, rakishly set as the jauntiest angle I could get offered some protection from the Flaming June sun but I was glad of the stand of poplars opposite to offer some decent shade.

The river was sluggish, and coloured from the frolicking upstream but I coaxed out a few prizes before I kicked my maggots down a large cow hoof shaped hole. Deep enough for me to have to hunt round for my brand new disgorger. I'd had  some perch, a dace and a few gudgeon but mostly roach. Nothing nettable but all pretty enough to feature in a dream of jewelled fishes.  

I and  a dog walkeress had to be quite firm with a film crew doing some such to promote their canoe business. As they didn't live in the country they saw no need to shut field gates, or question whether driving round  a pasture was ok. 

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Hybrid vigour

Monday and I had another short session, just on the waggler and corn for a few roach. Watched the local Boi done good absolutely slaughter the bream on  jaffa plus size method balls opposite me. Great to watch.

Tuesday and not surprisingly I was in the swim opposite but I have never really cracked the ground bait method feeder, and it would have been 3lb tc rod stuff for the jaffa approach so I went with a more finessed flat bed method feeder with dampened pellet approach in my hour and 20 minute window. Finesse or not, the key is to get the fish homing in on that splash and following the feeder down to break open the goodies. I'd only got 25 gramme feeders and wanted to make sure the fish knew I was banging the dinner gong so had bought along a spomb road to kick up a din but in the end decide not to use it on the easy swing out target area down the edge, and relied on regular casting. 
I'm going to save you for a blitz  in the middle with a bucket of proper munga you lovely little spomb. 

I'd  gone in with a 12 mm Source rather than a smaller bright yellow pineapple or brighter and pinker  tuna wafter to try and cut to the chase:

I still had a couple of roach and a skimmer before a churner signalled the arrival of the bigger fish muscling in and  this lovely tench  made me work to guide it round the bed of pads. 12 foot 1.5lb tc rods and 6lb mainline are just about right I'd say for the flat  bed feeders. A plump bar of female tinca soap.

Much as I love the Source they do get squidgy and squashed when pressed into the silicon mould and do need  replacing every cast /fish so I changed over to these 15 mm  bad boys, still bayonet  stop soft but a bit more robust.

I was convinced that this was a tench the scrap it gave.  I was convinced on seeing it, with that funny gold green colouration that it was a hybrid. On the mat I couldn't tell, but I bet a roach or two were doing a bit of dogging when the bream were getting jiggy. Nothing is binary these days and perhaps this fresh young thing was just identifying as a bream with attitude. And see, the shrimp and krill big fish buster was ok to go for another lob out. Result.

One thing I insist on , when a can of pop is called for and that is it must be ginger beer. End of.

Time was ticking on, so much so that wine o'clock was fast approaching, and given the extra mileage  I was going to have to dodge the sentry to avoid jankers. Sometimes though you've got top push the boundaries. And there were a few mould fulls of damp pellet (Spicy Sausage and Krill, both in 4 mm) left. Enough for this chunky male. 

No seat needed tonight, just the boards of the Royal Box as I soaked in the warmth of the evening, the evening chorus in full voice and the susurration of the leaves, rustling in the warm wind and the thrill of the alarm and bait runner as this second spawning dog rough bream put in an appearance. No hybrid vigour for him. A wet lettuce truth be told.

I needed to re-bait for one last chance or obey the chiming wine o'clock bells. Go on then and the bobbin was torn out of my pellet stained fingers.

Mouth damage presumably from a larger hook, my #12 QM1 barbless lodged firmly in top lip but popped out when  the tension was released.

As I tackled the three lock gate, spraying disinfectant the nightly peacock calls bade me home and as I got out of the charabanc to deposit the stink net and mat a squadron of screaming swifts scythed though the newly still air above BureBoi Villas. 

 A blogger's libation


Sunday 21 June 2020

Just in cases....

No eel gear loaded into the charabanc but plenty of just in cases. The Royal Box it was as my chosen spot was taken. No instant bubbles over the Spicy Sausage 6mm, hemp and corn carpet but an instant bite on the source and I did think it was a snig the way it kept down deep. It wasn't, it was  a spotty little female tench I'll have to look back to see if it is one I've caught a couple of times before but I think that was more spotty. Stress and viral bacterial I think, often post spawning. Red pest the consensus seems to be on the interweb.

I did have a bag down the edge over more feed than on Thursday but it was fairly quiet. Indeed the whole lake seemed quiet. Alongside the puddle chucker Source I'd gone double corn and waggler. 

It was the corn rod that produced a few bites and one very spirited male that really put its spoon shaped ventrals to good effect on the lighter 3lb main line and waggler rod. I weighed it out of interest and it didn't quite make three and three quarters despite it's lovely big shoulders. Grumpy bugger.

It wasn't till I changed ti lead to a lighter 2oz lead and swapped the cork ball Source wafter for a Spicy Sausage oozy dumbbell that the bag rod got some interest, and after as couple of hesitant knocks a proper baitrunner churner signalled  a hooked tench which was pugnacious rather than dominant on the much beefier mudpig rod. Another male and a natural end to the session. Lips more wrasse like than grumpy I'd say.

Saturday 20 June 2020

I'll have Source on that Buh.

Most of my fishing is quick raids, and usually after tea and chores and the last one was no exception  to the rule. The newly refurbished Royal Box was free and give access to water not fished from close in for some time so it took a nano to decide to plump for  a seat on the hallowed boards. I figured  that I wouldn't have time to build up either  on the drop frenzy on corn or enough bait to get the bream and tench up to their gills in silt down the edge with the big boi feeders so a simple bag and boilie down that edge over whatever 10mm halibut pellets I had left (not many) and out just past the pads in front with the puddle chucker and Source 12mm.

The bag rod was jangling from the start but only one skimmer stayed on and a pricked mudpig on long enough to make me swear a bit.

The Spicy Sausage in front got the bubbles going straight  away and it wasn't long before the puddle chucker dipped and  I had something decent on and what a sight as it rolled into the stink net.

More golden than silver but we've never seen a rudd in here and in the smaller phone shot the dorsal and ventrals do look almost level which points to roach I'd think. Coming in at 1.06 on the Korum Digitals with the classic black spot infestation. 

No doubt with this one, smaller at 1.02 but a much fuller, plump fish.

A few more fish came my way, another roach or three,

and some more skimmers though one was starting to think about being a bream when it grew up.

I wonder if banded pellet might be the next dodge, being a little smaller. Hopefully I'll find out on Saturday. One fish that stayed deep and seemed to just get deeper before eventually pulling free made me think about an eel rod just in case. I imagine the charabanc will be loaded to the gunwales with just in cases......

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Nature red in tooth not claw.

Just a quick sortie on flowing water yesterday to open the season. After a natter with the lure meister as he composed an article on bass sitting under the noddy train bridge I found the nearest clear spot with enough water for a short trot. I'd forgotten the worms which didn't matter as the hoped for mill pool spot was full of local yoot swimming so just the red maggot approach under  a 5AA avon in my last day spot from last season. 

I'd grabbed both Greys 15 footers but the only one tackled up from last season was the one with the the fixed spool so it was that or tackle up the pin and  'd only got a short window. Too much line from the lip of the spool to the butt ring to be efficient but I did convert most bites, even with less control over the trot.

More micro chublets than dace  which is a nice portent for the future. Already got a swagger about it.

If the float drifted into the eddy then dip dip dip gudgeon were a cert.

And the slightly larger last trot dace grew into a jack of about 4 lb for a while before being ejected, fatally wounded then snaffled in  a shower of scales by the skulking jack when I made my offering to the fishy gods.  We do have some dace with red fins and a blue sheen to the back, and others that are either silvery or more toffee coloured. With convex anal and dorsal fins natch.

Monday 15 June 2020

Mexican standoff

The rain has freshened up my river a treat, but with Little Un's   a midnight or silly o'clock start for the glorious 16th are a long way off for me. I do hope to get on this pool for a couple of late doors hours though. 

Saturday was most pleasant and I was dispatched to the Very Local Water and told to collect the booked street food feast on my way back home. Or else. Blazing hot sun and shrinking water don't make for perfect conditions and it wasn't until 6 that bubbles began to fizz as the sun hit the back of the treeline. 45 mins of fishing to extract something from the bubble fest then negotiate the self policing member numbers on Covid-balls in the bottles and the lock sanitiser, drop off the hopefully festering stink net and hit the street food vendor before curfew.

Spicy sausage 6mm and a 12mm Source under a Puddle Chucker, what else? Oh, the same combo but with a swingtip to make up the one on the float and one on the ledger duo.

It was the swingtip that shot up to horizontal first. I remember my first carp, from the Grand Union on an autumn day, the swing tip rose every time a tsunami heralded an oncoming narrow boat, all  flowers in chimbley pots and Rosie and Jim but this time it stayed horizontal and the 9ft Coleshill Classic was put the test by a common of all of a pound. This bream was 3 or 4 times bigger but in fairness barely troubled the 11 ft Sportex Avon.

5 minutes left and the net and mat were well and truly stunk up by another bronzey, this time on the puddle chucker. It was passing barely out of the catapult fresh 6mm Spicy Sausage pellets. 

Covid balls and stink nets sorted off I went to get the promised taco mixed meats feast. We had high hopes, the previous  paella for £14 was very nice. A fortnight later he'd got cocky, doubled his prices  and halved his servings. 12 tiny cold tacos, which tasted mainly of guac for 30 quid. No more from you matey.

Sunday saw the Commander in Chief's armed personnel carrier pressed into active service along the glorious North Norfolk Coast in search of an ice cream for the Little Un's via Baconsthorpe Castle.

My reward was an after tea sortie on the Very Local Water, it's surface ruffled by an incoming haar, or sea fret and wraiths of the swirling mist chasing themselves over the much warmer water. Just the puddle chucker set up and  the line was nicely pulled several times. 

4 times in fact though not by the hoped for tench. 

Rhodos hanging on.

This one had no ventrals, I'm sure it's a different one to one with very similar missage of fins from a few years back.

And the last one before curfew pretended to be a tench until it hit the net.

Happier days than of late.