Friday 30 April 2021

Triple vision

Took the day off as we were venturing out to eat out, courtesy of the Prodigal and very generous too. This time last year lockdown and it would have been shirt sleeves and seeking the shade, today it was coats and scarves. Don't suppose that launch was motored back from Portugal by sea. 

Nice pub lunch steak sandwich and first out out pint too. Standard fizzy lager, just right for the occasion. Pud and coffee too..

Sternly warned not to expect much for supper but I could go fishing. So I did, to the Very Local Water to drown  a couple of grains of the golden goodness and the go to Sourcery. Turned out half and half in the end. It was bright but with a swirly wind and the big coat and bib and braces were deployed being that my perch was nearly 4 feet above the water. My view to the left.

Decent bed of hemp (that tin has done me three trips, the corn two), corn and the remnants of my pellet bucket had 'em churning up the silt and slipping up  a few times in their feeding spree. The first few were a bit raggedy and old and a bit familiar as it's not a big water and distinguishing marks stand out..

This  old warhorse has a noticeable cleft round it's vent and it's seen the inside of the stink net a few time. Picture is a bit dark as I had just endured 15 minutes of hail and the dark cloud was still hanging about.

I'd lost a mud pig which tore off then threw the QM1 #12 and was bracing for a repeat when on feeling the hook the culprit again sped off but splashingly on the surface and after a ping the Puddle Chucker was off the line and  had the weird sensation of an unstoppable bream. Clearly something was up, and once I'd managed to subdue the strangely speedy thing a double yellow tag was apparent in the tail region. Foul hooked. I have no scruples once they're in the stink net.

It was a pretty fish too, one of the young guard coming through.

And there is the liberated Puddle Chucker in the middle. And it was soon to be joined by another, this time one of the lost and founds which minus its cocking weight was laying in the surface film.

The Puddle Chuckers have  a clip system and the body pushes onto the loading weight which does allow for quick changes  and often means the float pops off say in pads allowing the line and fish to ping free.  Also built in obsolescence, clever old Peter Drennan.

A swig of the fiery nectar before landing  the sixth and last bream of  a productive 2 and a half hours.

Supper? Baked beans cold from the saucepan. No toast and no pics.

Sunday 25 April 2021

Murder on the dance floor

I had only noticed the female on the nest as I packed up on my first trip back on The Very Local (Golden Pond) this year and it was a bit of a shock to find this scene of carnage today.

Such a lovely nest too, must have been her breast down feathers she lined it with. God only knows what happened. Fox or corvid perhaps? 

I heard today that another pair on the pond have lost at least one duckling to a buzzard as well I'm sure to pike which are adept on here of picking off a whole brood of goslings, one by one.

Cold wind again today so I opted for the slight shelter of the island a rather than being perched 4 up feet 10 yard out over the pond.     i knew someone had been on in the morning but no bubbles evident to show where he'd fished and baited as the chop was too much. Tucked into the left with a pair of one of my favourite rods in my growing collection. Simply the best at doing what they say on the tin

Speaking of tins, I can't believe what some people will pay for a tin of golden goodness all branded up in a tackle shop. Less than 40p a tin from LIDL and it would be even cheaper frozen per kilo. 

I will confess to paying just under 2 quid for this discounted hemp for the Fishing Republic concession in Go Outdoors but the  Commander in Chief hates me preparing it at home from dry. I'm going to  have to tough it out and do a big batch to freeze.

Anyhow, a lovely carpet of both, supplemented with a mix of pellets got the puddle chuckers dipping to to herald a left and right hander pair of bream, and as the cold had seeped deep into my bones despite the big coat I took my leave with a dripping stink net and mat.

From my right on corn daddy bream 

And on my left on the mini Sourcery mummy bream

Latch key Dad's lunch prep

Latch key Dad's supper 

Enough of this bastard wind already

Short one this, mostly because I'm still frozen. An afternoon on the Next Nearest Local Water, which was the busiest  I've seen it  since that first time in May 2020 when we, as anglers were very fortunate to be released back into the green spaces before many others so I tucked myself into an area where I would not be disturbing the carefully laid traps of those who'd braved the cruel wind before me. Hindsight screams at me that I should have just plumped for two flat bed method feeders with my hands firmly in my big coat's pockets. But being an awkward bugger I went for corn under a waggler, two rods out. The wind and tow sort of cancelled each other out  but my eyesight saving 2 #6 shot held but only a fair bit over depth which limited sensitivity. And not a day to be dotted down to a gnats either.

Just one fish troubled the stink net, which is fast disintegrating, partly from abuse and poor handling but mainly due to the accumulative action of bream and tench snot. It did give a good account of itself though.

Presumably a female given it's smooth countenance and general plumpness and probably a six-plusser. This is it's Instagram selfie pout better side, no filter applied. With me you get what you're given fizzogg  wise but a few lads or lassies would be quite disappointed when they met up with their Tinder/Grindr dates in the actual flesh, road map guidelines adhered to of course.

Towards the end I went a bit further out with a looser shotting pattern and found some roach and skimmers on the drop when my frozen hands cooperated. Quite a few of which disappeared into the toothy maw of my furloughed companion with it's fetching facial white streak identifier when I slipped them back. This one survived. Oh, and  a single swallow put in an appearance  and a cormorant didn't land due to the members being present on scaring duties deployment.

Saturday 24 April 2021

Down to the wire.

A deflated ball bought the back garden footie to an early bath. I was sent fishing whilst the future mega stars were consoled with a half hour of You Tube rubbish. I opted for the Next Nearest Local water but I would have  to be heading back by 8.40 to be in time for wine o'clock curfew. Same tactics as previously but another five feet on the depth and as it was an impromptu fish the golden goodness remained in the freezer. Source on the left hander (creature of habit) and one of these shocking flouro pineapple perils on the right over a few handfuls of mixed pellet  about two rods out, past the emerging pads. Both rods in at 7.30.

It turned out these 10mm dumbbell wafters were too buoyant for the QM1 #12 so dug out the 8mm yellow peril versions and it was these that provoked mote interest, first victim being this silvery skimmer, which at least got the stink net wet and more stinky as only a couple of small roach were swung in.

More fish topping than on previous visits and little and tawny owl calls around me. Again though no swallows, martins or bats. 8.25 and just as I was contemplating bringing in the motionless left hand float the right hand one dipped and a ponderous weight and nodding plodding fight had me thinking big old barry bream and needing to stand up to exert some control as the fish made good use of the depth under the rod tip to circle about. Flashes of  bronze  kept me guessing mahoosive bream until I saw a series of big scales and a long dorsal. I had it's head up and managed to cram it into the stink net at the first attempt. A very portly pond pig indeed, flanks dotted with a few more metallic scales along with the regulation chain mail and a strange deformed upper lobe to the tail fin. The Korum digitals flickered between 14.11 and 14.12 so I took the lower value and slid it back to recover in the stink net before it made it's way back to it's watery home. A very happy Bure Boi turned the back door handle dead on the wine o'clock grandfather clock chiming in the hallway. I think that's species number 10 for 2021. Whiskey night too.

Thursday 22 April 2021

Take five.

Work owed me a couple of hours and it was a tad warmer so off to the Very Local Water with a tin of golden goodness, some pellets and a bag of Sourcery. It's door to gate in 5 minutes in the charabanc and with rods banded another 5 till a bait is in the water. Two baits in a tad longer, as I was on the rickety stage and had room for two puddle chuckers within an easy eye line. Lovely to get the Drennan Tench and Specimen Float 13 footers out as a pair. One with a Source mini and one with two grains of golden goodness, both on a Guru QM1 #12 with a bayonet stop on a hair for ease of baiting .

A lot shallower and more sheltered than the Next Nearest Local Water, and as a consequence gets a lot warmer a lot quicker. Warm enough to be fish soup today with bream, tench, pike and mud pigs sporting with gay abandon. 

First  float away was the left hander, a tench had taken the Source mini but it came in like a bream. A very long thin tench indeed. A flash of buttercup yellow belly. No weight to go with the length but a tench and my first fish from the Very Local since it was closed, almost dry in the summer. Didn't think we'd ever get back on there and it's at the mercy of the rain gods even now.

Two bream in quick succession to the right hander, on the golden goodness. First was a very bright young thing and it's head all spawn bumpy.

The second also, albeit sans bumps and a but longer in the pharyngeals.

Almost home time and a almost double hook up left and righter. In that one went back as the other float dipped. 5 fish in an hour, mustn't grumble.

Another lost and found puddle chucker, though this was lost and found the previous year (2019) hence the patina.


Monday 19 April 2021

Time flies by

Been a while so here goes:

Bit more mileage for the charabanc now things are easing up not least at work. The Fens may be mostly flat but there is water in between, rather a lot in places. Not many bends either. Need to find a few here and theres for some quick sticks whip fishing and of course perch and zander between jobs. I think my time is running out workwise so it might be my last river season out West. 

I say running out, we need to cut our cloth and there's not much to pay off the mortgage so it would be nice to have done that before I take the retirement plunge. My mind is still young but I ache and groan far too much for someone not quite yet 60. I think end of March 2022 unless things alter drastically. 

At the other end of life's rich journey are the Little Uns. We thought a quick go for some tiddlers might be nice but it wasn't. Cold enough that it snowed and not a bite. They have ideas above their station after catching those back end pike. I'll let it warm up a bit before next time. I took an end of the day opportunity to pop down to the Very Local Water for the first time since it closed in late summer, almost on its last legs but it's filled up again nicely. And it snowed again, so I never got out of the car.

That was last weekend. Suns out guns out  this Saturday. Shorts and tee shirt weather in fact. After tackling the conifer hedge (no birds nesting) I set myself up on the Very Local to see if the tench or bream were having a mooch about. Went to slip the bank sticks in the old faithful holes from last year and low and behold one of my  lost puddle chuckers was bobbing round in the emerging reeds. A right result. The pads only just pushing up and apart from the odd mud pig moving not a bubble to be seen. One blink and it's gone moment  just on chips pick up curfew time, felt like a tench but the barbless QM1 #12 pinged out. Cant wait for the rhodos and flag iris to bloom, and that milky warm water, fish, weed and all. 

Was glad I opted for more sensible garbs on Sunday, the sun was lovely but the changeable wind had a nip in it which ever quarter it swung too. No swallows but a kingfisher plopping in from the big willow at the Next Nearest Local. I'd bought the kitchen sink but opted for the waggler rod. I flirted with corn but the spring faithful triple red maggot was what they wanted having spread a sparse-ish picnic platter 8 foot down three rods out.  As ever the tow seemed to vary but two number six on the deck was enough to hold well.

A couple of roach to start before the odd bubble appeared. How cold to the touch the fish were. Almost frozen I'd say.

A bumped bream and  a lost tench that took me into the lily roots way down at my feet forced me into  a hook change  (think the original was a bit blunt, bursting the maggots), a drop down to a B560  #16 which upped the bites and fish hooked ratio, coupled with a drop the wind and visible breath in the air. No hook in lily roots drama from this lovely female tench  but it did scoot quite quickly into the safety of the stink net when a menacing shape loomed out of the depths.

A feisty male bream, newly emerging spawning bumps and all followed, which filled the stink net nicely. I  did hustle it in a bit at the net given the dark shape below.

Had a couple of these too, which along with eels I think are the Next Nearest's dark horses and ones I hope to get into a bit more this year. 

Monday 5 April 2021

Icy blast

The promised snow came today, on and off with fierce winds. Dry powdery stuff it was and at times out of bright skies, what the newly arrived swallows made of it only they knew. Found a sheltered spot beside  a big willow and  had a couple of small roach and this bream as well on triple red maggot on the waggler. It wasn't a chore to be fishing despite the conditions but I'm not sure I put a huge amount of effort in to be fair.  

That's it really, house is creaking and groaning under the onslaught of the fierce north westerly, my knee has swollen up and I'm just about to seek solace in a hot water bottle and later wine. Work tomorrow I think will be remotely performed once I've done and reported my twice weekly lateral flow test.


Easter Sunday punctuated  by a trip to get my second Pfizer vax. When people need to get things done  they can can't they? 

After  a splendid lunch cooked up by the Prodigal it was games in the garden with the whole Bure Boi tribe for the first time since early March 2020. Well, it was a good reason to get the self timer fired up.  And drag the Greg Wallace cap out again.

Off for the last hour of light (no coat required),  a couple of missed dips on the float and a few branches retrieved from the swim and back home to prepare the sleds for the forecast snow.....

Love this stuff in 10m or 12mm by the way.


Sunday 4 April 2021

Barryat trick

Back on it again Saturday and no sooner had I sunk the two front sticks in the soft clay bank in as swim across the water from Friday's session than then two gimlet eyes fixed me in their six mile stare. Quite similar markings round the head to my constant companion the day before but a bit smaller I'd say. They obviously have learnt from their own personal furlough that anglers mean free food, rather than six points of steel.

The attack was based on method feeders packed with spicy sausage goodies and a little pink or yellow tempter over groundbait, hemp and corn. I find the yellow pineapple tends to out fish the pink tuna but it's always good to keep ringing the changes

Not many plucks or jangles today, just good old butt ringing baitrunner fizzers.  First two on pink and yellow perils respectively were two female tench, both putting up a decent show even on the excellent 1.5lb tc 12 foot Korum All-rounders. Never outgunned and with a nice full action.

The first had a hitch hiker which I thought might have been a damsel fly nymph.

The most butt ringer baitrunner fizzing take was from this very athletic 'Barry' which did tear about a bit. Much solider than Friday's bream with some weight in the net as I hoisted it away from my salivating crocodilian companion. Lovey buttery colour too. Perhaps that's why it fancied a yellow peril: you know, like when we put  a buttercup under our chin to see if we liked butter as kids.

This lovely oily hemp went in with the left over groundbait for next time.