Friday 31 July 2020


Had an hour to spare so popped down the road to Golden Pond. I haven't been in a while and it has shrunk even more. More reason to visit whilst it's still there. I though I'd try this little apple ginger and lemon pick me up. Just as well as I swallowed a fly. Not sure about the old woman.

One fish fell off, one stayed on, despite a detour into the drying out pad. Perhaps the biggest fins I've ever seen on a tench, and a very unusual floppy dorsal.

Perhaps it's evolving into a mud skipper or a lung fish. Ah, the missing link. it could certainly walk on those huge pelvics and might have to if we don't have a month of rain. At night of course.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

In the tench zone

I needed to collect my stink net from the farm pond so stuck a rod in the charabanc for a "just in case". Nearly back of the charabanc job as the stink net was drying out on the gate.

The usual Sourcery, no wet baits as it was a bish, bash, bosh and home jobby. Bag down the side then, and one of my new wonder bait wafters in a shop bought hook link. No German, Spinner, D or Ronnie  stuff for me. It's a hair and bolt when all said and done. The bag (or is it a stick) delivers a few goodies and helps minimise tangles. Or so I hope each time. I was fishing the tench zone from a different angle, no lovely scenic shots as Farmer Giles guards his homestead  with a 12 bore. We do shoot burglars round here after all. So you've got a rod butt on a bucket instead.

My Ron Thompson buzzer was a little temperamental but the fizzing baitrunner came to it's rescue. Someone who catches a lot of mudpigs says carp fishing is easy these days, because of the hair and bolt. Add a bait runner and even more bingo time down the right wing. Pre-hair we'd sit for a day, perhaps for just one twitch or stuttering run to hit or more often miss. First time out and five screamers, five fish on the bank (no mat police then).  You Johnny Come Lately newbies have no idea. Not a mudpig this time but my hoped for tench (I was in the tench zone after all). Pleasantly plump as well. Same one as last time? Possibly. I'll gloss over the tench sized hole in my landing net. Bet Farmer Giles had a right chortle as he/she viewed the shenanigans on the drone footage live streamed to their ancestral pile. Release the hounds.


Monday 27 July 2020

In the gloaming

A late start yesterday evening and I'd not much time before curfew. In the Royal Box, and just to increase my chances a flat bed feeder down each flank and with a big buster on each. The left hand flank is a noted tench zone I'd been told and indeed the first baitrunner fizz was on the left hand rod  and what a lovely tench it was  Just a hint of a buttercup yellow belly. I've said it many  times but no matter what size they are tench just make me smile. When they are pleasantly plump I smile some more.

Not to feel outdone, the right hand buzzer blurted out a warning tone and a very shiny breamlet was  laid on the casually placed pads...

I'd sort of met the curfew by leaving at's fairly dark already by 9.30 these days.

Saturday 25 July 2020

It never rains but it...

As I loaded up,the charabanc a fine rain began to fall. Enough to get the auto wipers ticking over, never mind, the cricket was on and I could always sneak a pint in. Realise I'd left the ground bait bowl in the garage so Dangling Indirect first then the pub as it was still marginally damp. Woakes  had chopped on and Broad was in, yesterday's hard work seemingly undone. Pubs are a bit lame in lockdown lite it seems, although the Barshams Oaks was pleasant enough. No scratchings though, not good  enough landlord. 

Broad was motoring and the 300 mark was up as I pulled off down the steep track to the farm pond. Car park empty  and the mizzle had stopped. A warm wind, overcast and the bream were rolling and bubbling as the text books decreed they must. Black Bream mixed and ready to go in my shiny new mixing bowls. A heady sweet concoction.

I balled in 6 jaffas then set about  testing my wafters for waftability in my hi-tech rig tank. And yes,they wafted just above  the #6 hook. Perfick. Down the edge one went with  a small bag of pellet whilst I readied the flat bed mix of spicy sausage and krill.

I'd only just got both flat beds out over the ground bait when the wafter rod was away. A decent scrap ensued, bearing in mind the rod was a 12 ft 3lb tc affair, not a mud pig but the intended tinca, a  long spawned out female at that.

A couple of skimmers on the flat beds and then another smaller tench on the rod down the edge before the expected deluge arrived. 

Hasty covering of tackle and bait and  hiding behind the rosebay willow herb  willing the bobbins to glue themselves to the ground. The deluge was quite fierce but I managed  to escape the worst.

It seemed to spur the fish and sometimes  I had double hook-ups to contend with. Mostly on the yellow peril pineapple but a few on the big busters, once I'd dropped down to a 25 gramme feeder. This hybrid, one of the golden greeny ones really punched above it's weight.

A few skimmers but 6 times the anti reverse  was flicked off as a bream put up at least a token resistance and bent the 1.5 tc Korums nicely against the leaden sky, occasional pierced by a dashing azure  kingfisher streaking past. The average stamp, all about 5 lb or so. 

I was down to the last few dampened pellets in the method bowl and was pondering whether to mix some more when the wafter rod was away again, and no tinca or snottie this one A determined, if not spectacular scrap with several dorsal pings  and one missed netting attempt but eventually in the onion bag and eventually on the Korum digitals, bouncing around 18 lb and settling on a zeroed 17.15. Lovely looking fish, nearly  fully scaled too.

Bit of  a gob shite to be fair...

I'd done my work for the day and besides, I had steak to look forward to.

Broad had made the 3rd fastest Test 50 and West Indies were struggling on 75 for 5 as I reversed down the drive back at BureBoi Villas. Happy days.

The Jury is out

Whilst waiting to get my arse into gear and find and order a tip ring for my  remaining Drennan Tench and Specimen float for probably 6 quid delivered I did the most sensible (ahem) thing and bought an Advanta X5 Power Float as below.

On removing it from the cardboard tube the blank had an unusual unground finish and felt heavier in the hand and once  a reel was clamped into the "exclusive" reel seat it felt a tad ungainly but once I'd slightly twisted the "exclusive" reel seat to line up with the but ring (basics chaps) and adjusted my grip it felt a bit neater. Seemed very pokey on the first pull round of the line (like the waggle in the tackle shop and bending against the ceiling back in the day)  but I guess that's what I'd gone for. The iridescent blur whipping  looked nice though....

I got the swim going first with hemp and corn and apart from this one mostly small roach and hybrids, even on worm and corn cocktail. Oh and a prolonged but eventual fruitless battle with a decent pike which eventually bit through.

More bubbles and a bumped bream so out with the  Advanta and  a puddle chucked Source mini. It is ungainly casting a waggler with a heavier bait  at more depth but the loss of a foot of road length plus the pokier action seemed a hindrance  when compared to the Drennan  and a strange noise from the rod rings too. A decent dip on the float and  a tench was on. The rod seemed to liven up through the action, close in I was in the same situation as I was when I bust the Drennan as the tench bored into the right hand pads but this time perhaps the grunt in the rod helped though it was a relief when he went in the stink net with no splintering carbon.

I'm going to give the rod a go on Golden pond where the lack of depth means casting will be easier  with the chucker but I won't be rushing out to buy another to make a pair. Close in with a pin for zoo creatures may be the Advanta's niche  and let's see if my arse is engaged enough to fix the Drennan.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Bream or bust

Saturday, and batteries somewhat charged by the slow boating yesterday, but mostly by the return of the Yorkshire Tyke (formerly a Metropolitan Elite) saw us heading of to Witton Woods as made immortal by Normal for Norfolk. No, not he of the bushy eyebrows from last weekend, a  different one. And yes, it is Witton Woods and always has been. Not Bacton Woods, or Wensum Forest. Get orf moi laand. The newt pond is still there, sort of. We've been coming here since about when the Yorkshire Tyke was born.

Up and down, I'm up the wall, I'm up the bloody tree....the Pogle Tree in this case

I found a few canes of raspberries  in amongst the briars.

Then home for the coming together of several bubbles for the first time since the New Year it seemed.

An ice cream on Walcott Beach as the tide came in, sea flat calm and then off to the farm pond for an hour. Back on the mini boilie under  a puddle chucker and twice I made contact with a bream. Neither really fought but in the deeper water at least offered some resistance. Here's the bigger of the pair at 6.10

And at a few ounces less it's room mate.

Today? Farm pond again and  a pesky tench broke my beloved 13 foot Drennan Tench and Specimen Float rod as it surged to my right. In 3 places. They are rare as rocking horse shit now though I do have one that is missing about 3 inches off the tip that has been waiting for me to find a tip ring for a while. I had a 15 foot Greys as back up so persevered for while longer but my heart wasn't really in  it although my dismay was briefly lifted by an actual fight from a bream. Mostly because it was hooked firmly in the root of it's right pectoral fin.  Another one from the 6 pounders dorm.

Oh well, it's off to EBay I go...


I'd had enough and set off on a slow road to somewhere. Coffee first, and only my second stop in a cafe  since lockdown. I didn't take the outside option as it was overcast but next time..

Next stop Stiffkey, and still  a little dull. But when I opened the charabanc door I was bombed by a squadron of scything screaming sickle wind swifts. Joyous things aren't they? They spend their lives on the wing, with their almost useless tiny feet meaning a downing is surely fatal.

The hawking carried on round our heads as we socially distanced on the bridge and commented.

I spotted a solitary brownie tucked right in close to this dream house on the Stiffkey River. Imagine living there. And more so being able to afford to do so.

Next stop after the fleshpots of Wells next the Sea (which it isn't anymore) was Burnham Overy Staithe. What a lovely place to paddle with the kids at low tide, and yes  another sweeping pass by excited swifts.

The coastal the road is fairly sweeping and twisty but the Mill over the Burn is on an acute dog leg, with just a small pull off. Only slightly inconveniencing the Chelsea Tractors drivers, as keen  as I on taking the slow road. Only a shortish lens a(18-55 mm and no CPL so no decent pics of the resident troot. Or an aural record of yet more swifts.

A heavily cropped attempt

Last stop now deep into Boden Brayers territory and swallows had out-muscled the swifts it seemed, swooping round our be-masked fizziogs in the lean-to fruit and vegetables stall.

A short after chores bash on Golden Pond helped the healing  process, and although ginger beer was taken, none of the three hooked fish graced the stink net which was a shame as it might have been  a bream, tench and mudpig occasion.

 But swifts when I unloaded the charabanc. And wine.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Double up

The bastard wind is still a bastard but it's calmed down a bit so not sandpaper scouring strength yesterday on the coast. Blakeney was heaving but East Runton wasn't. Not sure if the thermonuclear device singed any eyebrows in Blakeney and the Burnhams Boden land after we lit the blue touch paper and retreated in an Easterly fashion...

No retaliatory doomsday pyrotechnics were visited on us less gentile beach goers though in the commoners area. Cromer  (that bit just round the corner) was also heaving but with the great unwashed whilst we were the distanced unwashed stragglers. Living on the edge I guess. Littoraly..

The Little Uns enjoyed the surf and the rock pool turf and of course an ice cream.

Chores done off down to Golden Pond for the first time for a while. Lots of new bods on so I've kept off to let them explore which is only fair. However I knew all was quiet so I treated myself to an hour from first cast to locking up on the way out. It's never quiet on Golden Pond though. There is the incessant B road traffic and the sound of the mournful wail of the Noddy trains just down the valley. Deer barking, the occasional Midsomer Murders fox call, (usually) three buzzards mewing, a wealth of conifer dwelling birds and carp and pike boshing about. The rhodos have gone over, along with the flag iris

My usual Source mini over pellet under a puddle chucker. Every bite trundled to the right which indicated bream. Nothing big but golden rather than bronzed, picked out nicely by the fill-in flash.They seemed to have adapted this colouration in the shrinking water. Several are recognisable  old friends but have definitely taken on a different hue. But quite distinct from the extremely pretty 
rudd x bream hybrids.

One bite just sailed off (not a tench as they sidle to the left) and it was a mudpig, but sadly and most unusually even with quite savage hauling away from the pads a #12 barbless QM1 was left in the fish but they mostly drop out when the pressure is released. 

Sunday saw a window in the middle of a bright and hot day. Not ideal, but a good chance to unwind. I'd turned the cricket on on the way down as I now have DAB and 7 overs in the Windies were being penned in at 7 for 1 with Anderson in mean form. It made perfect sense then to settle on the freshly freshly manicured Lawns rather than the frantic ping pong in the Royal Box. Ok, this pic was from the Royal Box but the bait remains the same....yellow peril pineapple was a stand out but the shocking pink tuna garnered some interest.

As expected the heat and brightness took it's toll even 8 feet down and I didn't pull up any trees but it was nice enough being there. I spotted a decent grassie and a kingfisher put on a show.

Grub up chaps.

A left and right on the peril and the tuna.

This roach fair shot off  on the baitrunner.

And after a period of inactivity

a few pults of hemp got then going and this silt grubbing grey gobbed bream finished off the slightly longer session at a whopping 4 hours.

Oh and I turned on the DAB to hear  a frankly ludicrous give them singles on 35 to win with 5 in the hutch ineptitude  from Stokes. Roooooooot  required.