Sunday, 17 October 2021

Caster blaster.

Lovely mild autumn afternoon and a pint of casters to use up. Throw in a tin of hemp and that's a good recipe for roach. Wind over my shoulder and nice calm water in front so ideal for a fine tipped waggler dotted down to a mere blip. #14 B560.wide in the gape and fine in the wire. Perfect. No afternoon bonfire smoke but a local church bell practice making up for it.


I've never really found that casters do actually produce bigger fish but there is something about the delicate bites they seem to produce, and when dotted down like today the float just melts away.  I had decided no pellet or corn to see if I could target just roach and it nearly worked perfectly. 


Three small hybrids (here are two of them) and a tench that eventually left the hook in a lily stem after the hard grunt. 


Otherwise it was roach a chuck. None needed the landing net, the one that would have didn't make it as it was smashed into by a decent pike that took quite some time to decide to bite me off. I kept some in the big landing net for a piccy. A most splendid afternoon.








Saturday, 16 October 2021

Things that were supposed to be..

Friday was supposed to feature an afternoon tempting  Fenland zander and perch but work demands meant my only relief was a decent coffee on a slightly earlier journey home. Cracking weather out of the wind. 

Saturday was supposed to see some livebait snatching then perching on "my river", the livebait spot had been fenced off so I headed back to the main river and trotted the near glide to see if I could find some decent roach. I didn't. But I did find some nice dace and  a couple of tiny but pretty roach. Which was nice.












Saturday, 9 October 2021

Spotty dace

 Pint then off to buy a pint of whites. It must be Saturday A nice Woodfords Wherry. 


I'd thought about catching a few livebaits then trundling on or two round a pool but in the end just took  a piccy of them and sent them on their way



This one was far too big to consider lip hooking on a #2 circle hook. The brownie that is. It gave me  a right old tear up.


Stopped at the top pool on the way back to the charabanc and had a few more dace before heading back home. A lovely warm day.




Pastures new

Plans had been laid for a Bureboy first, the snaggle toothed zander and The Loafer had scoped out a dead cert. The day dawned  and it was very wet, So wet it took till 9 to be dry enough to load the charabanc and get cash. The route? Piss easy, A11, A 14, a brief dalliance with the M6 then through Rugby on the A426 and Bob is your uncle. He might well be but my sat nav hadn't been configured for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "improvement" and at around Huntingdon I got caught in a increasingly Michael Douglas like rage filled drive along two parallel new roads that the sat nav had heard of but didn't believe really existed till I found my back on to the trusty A14, cheered by The Loafer's gloating news that he'd arrived and had a brew on. Several piss stops later I saw the decidedly silver fox like Loafer, indeed loafing around on a pretty brick bridge over our intended waterway for the next 3 days. The journey had indeed twisted my melon but the Loafermobile would be a welcome refuge


Tea drunk I was instructed to load myself up like a pack horse for the "short" walk to our intended destination. The Loafer's estimation of distance is as variable as my sat nav's capabilities, and sort of half way along  the "1 km" we searched around the entrance of  a marina in an increasingly bitter and cold wind before upping sticks  and arriving at Nirvana which seemed a lot further than a kilometre... Our tactics were simple enough, a small section of bait (smelt for me, roach for The Loafer) either fished with a light float or a simple  running lead and we stuck with these for our trip.


The Loafer  had a few plucks and missed takes before his white float  started to move towards the rushes round some structure and he was soon carefully holding his schoolie prize up for the trusty BureBoi Nikon. And despite what The Loafer will tell you, the 30 years plus aging App has not been applied post production. I might have even used the retouch tool to smooth a few "laughter" lines.


We worked back to the  campsite, with me indeed blowing out of my fat arse and enjoying a brief sojourn round dusk as the wind dropped bringing  a few drops of rain but with no further action. Back at the Loafermobile I hastily organised the charabanc in case my Hannibal's elephant decibel level snoring induced a banishment into exile whilst The Loafer began to cook up a decent curry. My organising was cut short by an unforecast deluge, we had been very fortunate not to have got caught up in it, I can't imagine the misery of having sodden wet gear  to work with for two more days. As scribbled by The Loafer in his report we did indeed dissect British society over a decent oaked Rioja whilst The Loafer ingested half of LIDL's crisps stock. I popped out for yet another piss and the Loafermobile had been transformed into a 4 berth luxury home. Give the likelihood of my eviction I got in the sleeping bag fully clothed which in hindsight was very fortunate as I spent an inordinate part of the early hours holding in a fart, not because of false modesty but a real fear of unfortunate consequences and my eventual dash to the conveniences was on the cusp of nearly but not quite. The Loafer  told me he had not heard any snoring, partly I'd guess because of his ear plugs and his own snoring.

We decide to head along to a more natural section of the canal to try for the "silvers" which The Loafer assured me would be in bagging up quantities for the morning before lunch and a proper into dusk session. 

It was very fitful, with one or two bites, then the buzzer alerted me to a predator's interest in my bait and after  a spirited tussle my first zed was on the bank. Chaos of scattered rods, landing net and a scowling dog walker bemoaning the fate of the "poor fish" saw me return it quickly with no real time to take it in. Very pleased though. We retuned to the site for a tasty omelette and I slimmed down my tackle to a manageable bucket load. We'd arrange to met up with a local Guru and we set up near The  Loafer's lounging bridge to wait , much to the ire of a curtain twitcher who was soon out to tell us we couldn't fish because of the power lines 30 yards away.  So we went under Billy Goat Gruff's Bridge to fish like Trolls.


The Guru skilfully directed us away from his hallowed spots but imparted some useful gen. The Loafer drew first blood after a couple of dropped takes, but it was spotty rather than striped, a little pike.


We worked up to another marina as dusk approached and fellow zander men appeared out of nowhere to ply their nocturnal trade. I remained biteless but Loafer had a few schoolies.






More than a passing resemblance to the vibrant video personality Mark Wintle?


Back to the Loafermobile and a feast of cheeses and pickles, serenaded by little and tawny owls. Shining times indeed.
 
Despite our dismal failure on the "silvers" on the second day we thought we knew better but a constant draw down had clearly unsettled them so we upped sticks to fish back down to the van with two zander rods each, and leapfrogging down the near channel. A pair of martins hawked about, a trio of buzzards wheeled and mewed overhead and ravens kranked darkly whilst the boat folk got about their daily lives.


In sight of the van, and picking the rod up to retrieve as a boat neared I struck pay dirt. A fish on, and what a fish. An absolute beauty of a zed. Over the moon with it.



A stunning end to a cracking trip, cheers WAAK. Now for some undisclosed East Midlands still water 20's and a few more slightly closer to home Fens zander. Oh, and I got lost again at Huntingdon. Improvements my arse.

Toodle pip..

Sunday, 3 October 2021

In lieu of

 In lieu of conkers and leaves and stuff I give you this:


It was bloomin' lovely, don't think much more street/park food this year, autumn is with us now.  

 





Thursday, 30 September 2021

Not much more of the same

The weather has turned with a savage blow, just as I was reminiscing when 1st October would usually be thermals time so there may not be many more dreamy breamy days till the spring. So, make hay....

Just the three on Saturday in a couple of hours and those were on the feeder.













Saturday, 25 September 2021

There's silver in them hills

Whilst the populace queued and fought over fuel and my work done I queued for snake oil from Mr Pharmacist then sneaked a few trots off the concrete tank traps guarding the mill, and gave the mostly masked passengers on the 210 Sanders service a dashing display of dead accurate feed, trot, strike  and bat back stick float fishing at it's finest. Well, if the float ran through the sweet spot anyway. Which it did a few times. Warm out of the blustery wind, and the light  taking on that sublime autumnal quality. Here's a sample of my spoils. And back home just in time for my tea.




Monday, 20 September 2021

Mellow fruitfulness

Autumn is creeping up and creeping on, a mill pool full of swimmers had me rerouting and heading for the farm pond. Promised rain meant the waggler rod stayed in the charabanc though it turned out that conditions would have been perfect for the float, and the rain was confined to three mizzle showers.

One down the side with a bag

and  a pair of flat bed feeders at the bottom of the ledge, a simple underarm out.

A  very pleasant afternoon with 11 fish landed (all bream) and a couple that shed the barbless QM1's on the feeder rods. Decent takes and rods bent with nodding and plodding about the swim rather than surging runs but that's the trade off with bream. 

Boil in the bag man..

And his wife's name was Phyllis....








Thursday, 16 September 2021

Idling

September is birthday month at BureBoi Towers so it was a no brainer to have a nice lunch in the sun by the sea today. These are Filthy Chips. Very nice indeed. Brisket, chillies and cheese. And washed down with perfectly adequate lager.

 


On the river after for an idle in the sun afterwards. I suppose I could have  moved about a bit but it seemed just the sort of afternoon for lazy loop casts across to the faster water  and the light breeze held the float back nicely. No trees pulled up but a bite every trot, only a couple of fish sort of needed the net.  Mostly roach but also a handful of dace and perch, and one rudd







I did come  in close for a gudgeon but this only produced signal crays which sent me packing given the racket of their claws clacking.

















Monday, 13 September 2021

Turning the seasons

The poplars in particular are dropping their leaves and fungi are appearing. We would have had harvest moons back in the day, turned orange by the stubble fires. I really must turn my attention to running water  or at least  a couple more cracks at the bass now I am an instant expert..hah. However, I had flat bed feeder business to attend to.  Last bream trip saw just a pair of foul hooked fish as they milled about like dustbin lids round the feed so I was determined to nail a few fair and square on short links. Plus the fallen poplar and sycamore leaves  blowing blown about on the surface and drifting just underneath would make waggler fishing a nightmare. 

In the Royal Box then, and soaking up the late sun presenting yellow peril wafters and nearly end of their shelf life Source minis which mostly were crumbled into the feeder mix. Just nice to see the bobbins dance and hear the bait runners fizz. The first victim of the yellow peril was this feisty in-betweener,  which fooled me as the method feeder was wrapped round the pec but it was hooked fair and square in its gob as were it's later companions.  


Plenty proper bream followed, seven in fact and 3 more in-betweeners, some of the bream even put up some resistance but I think that was more because the pike by my feet was getting very twitchy, and it did take two roach that I put back. I will spare you from a shot of every bream landed but not the arty-farty leaves. The Source minis became bait of choice towards the end of an excellent afternoon.


I only lost one fish and that was a small tench  when the hook link sheared at the spade end (pre-tied on 9lb fluorocarbon). It was up  the surface thrashing as the hook link snapped, and  the tench was engulfed in an even huger splash as a mottled green back turned over in the maelstrom. It wasn't the pike at my feet either as that bolted in the commotion. And we all thought tench were immune to pike predation as they were the doctor fish..

 











Sunday, 12 September 2021

Turning the tide.

By want of  a change I took up the offer of an evening on the shingle with Essex's finest, The Loafer (aka Essex Scribbler, Lord Lite etc.) and Cocksy. We'll start at 7 was the instruction. Just so happened this would tie in nicely with my work diary as I was taking a late lunch stop in the Burnhams  and then could amble along the coast road after my last slot. Over abundant Grey pounders meant no where to sit so grabbed a very agreeable pork pie and mooched about for my allotted 30 mins unpaid.


Work done headed for the fleshpots of Wells-next-the Sea taking the coastal scenery as I pootled along. A portion of piss poor chips (fried quite dry) meant I needed to wash then down with something and this al fresco Woodfords Wherry supped on the Buttlands was very nice indeed. It's like a leafy part of London on there. The locals gather in groups to sharpen their pitchforks and  trim the wicks for their flaming torches from the safe zone  of their Facebook posts bemoaning the Covid spreading second home owners..

I got to the car park earlier than planned (spot on directions from the Loafer) and I didn't take enough notice of the Volvo, even though it was clearly not a twitcher's car. Radio silence was broken by  a terse demand for victuals which went 2x bags of chips please 1x salt and vinegar 1x without if you want bait.  I clearly couldn't  meet these ransom demands being in the  arse end of nowhere, and the ones I had having been shite, this must of displeased the Loafer as comms. went dead. I had some pretty scenery to look at though. Which was good cos I sat there for a hour waiting for them to arrive. Which they didnt.


Just past 7 a scooter turned up in the car park, and the helmeted pillion pair started to poke round the non-twitcher's Volvo and wafts of barbecued food emanated from their bag. "That's Cocksy's car". Not only had the Loafer  been chauffeured up to God's County in untold luxury he'd got his personal chef to produce  a meaty feast and some fine onions too. Not letting the Loafer know I'd rumbled him and his hungry get there 2 hours early to bag the early action trick I sent a plaintive  "You down there all ready?" message and headed off down the path upwind of the gorgeous aroma wafting my way.

Up on the shingle bank and  a millpond sea, crystal clear spread before me. A cracking warm evening, the rain having passed by way out over the wind farm. No location giveaway, the farm spreads round most of this bump out into the North Sea.


Once the Loafer had devoured his banquet, having tossed scraps of left over meat at his Chauffer and offered me  a sweet he set me up with  a 5oz breakaway and a pennel rig and gave me instructions on how to thread the lug he had sweated blood digging (he doesn't work much, just loafs about living of the fat of the land) and instructed me to lob down tide about  7 wraps out. We had about an hour  till the top of the tide. Here is the Loafer mantling over his prize lug, rather like a sparrow hawk over it's kill. 


The Chauffer (Cocksy) spent much of the first hour cracking off and drifting devices over the Loafer's uptide rod, his head torch must have been wired into the offshore wind farm the amount of time he needed to shine it over his rig box. The Loafer missed a real jagger of a bite to his uptider then it was my turn. I had to backwind and everything, most exciting when I saw my silver prize in the gentle surf, illuminated in the gin clear water by the Loafer's head torch. Not mine as it was off. Big mistake as I couldn't see that I was winching a 3-4 lb bass  up to the tip ring  which was not good, and it ripped itself off the hook and back into the briny.  

We sat for a while,  the Loafer chewing the  fat from his banquet and me sucking a sweet. The sky was a mass of stars and galaxies, apparently such sights are rare in light polluted Devil Dog Land though they have the ubiquitous wind farms too. Our Norfolk ones were ablaze along the horizon, and behind the sky was lit by distant lightning. Overhead C130's banked in big turns back towards Sculthorpe for their Thursday night exercises. Not far from where we were hunkered down a Hawk PAVE was downed by a goose strike sadly killing it's crew of four back in 2014. The marsh was closed for a month. Tonight the geese went on their way posing no danger to the C130's. Shame my photography rendered the  starlit spectacle to uniform pitch black. My trusty mat black carp rod with no tip strips (cos that wouldn't be carpy) next to the Loafer's state of the art weapons..


The tide had turned and after the initial weed flurry the tips settled back to gentle undulations as the grips bedded in. Two taps, a pause then violent jerks signalled that a bass had lifted the lead and hooked itself. Torch on this time and I expertly beached my prize. What a stunning little creature, like a silver ingot in the beam of the torch against the glistening shingle. My first bass landed though of  course I'll count the other one as well! Well, sort of, I'll never forget the fight and the first thrilling sight of it anyway even if it wasn't captured by camera and gutted in the fish bag.

The one that didn't get away.




Surprisingly the Loafer was fishless, his Chauffer Cocksy though had two plump un's in his bucket and had missed a couple too. By 11 we were on our way. A cracking night. Now, who can I get to dig me free lug as it's about 20 quid for a 100? 

Toodle pip.