One bit of really good news I received this week is that my good friend in work has finally tracked down a new companion for his walks in a cute German shepherd puppy called Otto and what a cheeky, mischievous ball of fun he looks to be and I can’t wait to read about their adventures on his blog found here: http://northerngoshawk.blogspot.co.uk/
Friday 6th April – Cicely Mill
With an extended bank holiday weekend on the cards there was only one place you was going to find me and that was on bank. Thursday evening saw me finally renewing my Warrington Anglers card which opened up a magnitude of venues to try on the coming the weekend but after a lot of deliberation we decided to visit an old friend in Cicely mill.
Cicely mill was one of the first venues we ever visited on the Warrington Anglers card some three years ago and from the moment we wet a line in its shallow waters we were hooked for the rest of that summer. Large crucian carp, hard fighting tench, massive carp and countless bream met us at this venue and my dreams on Thursday night where full of these past memories of this venue.
Turning off the main road from Lymm down the windy road down to the fishery past the iconic road sign my heart was pounding and all the excitement I felt on those early morning trips all those years ago came flooding back. My optimism was dealt a heavy blow as I opened the door of the car in the fishery car park to be met with a bone chilling ice cold blast of wind blowing across the venue and a quick glance at the water revealed that all the green reeds where yet to raise fully form the water and the margins were mainly dominated with the brown colours of winter. The whole feel of the place had me feeling we were a few weeks to early.
With the water being really shallow so much so you would struggle to find more than 3ft of water anywhere on the whole fishery I knew the overnight drop in temperature would mean we were in for a tough day on the bank but still it was good to be back and I was really impressed with the new pegs that had been created.
With the session looking to be a tough one I set up accordingly with 2lb line down to a 1lb hook length and a size 20 hook and armed with a plan of introducing maggot little and often into both swims. One swim was straight out in front of me in open water and the second was down my left hand margin the only difference in the two swims was I fed a few grains of corn down the margin swim and by 7am we were both set up and fishing.
Two hours passed without as much as a knock so I decided to take a wander and capture some pictures of the venue to put together a video for the blogs still water section of venues I fish and returned back to the fishing. Another hour passed and an angler that arrived not long after us called it a day and packed in and was on his way without so much as a tap which was unfortunately being mirrored by all the anglers on the pool including us. Before we knew it another two hours had passed and it was now getting on for 11am without so much as a tap. I am an angler that does not blank all that often but when I do I want to leave the water knowing I had done all I could have done to catch and I felt on the day I did that, you can’t get much lighter than pound bottom and a size 22 hook let’s face it.
We had a regroup and decided that a change of venue was in order as the temperature had in fact dropped on cicely since we had arrived and in all honestly my dad doesn’t get out fishing as much as he used to now and I wanted to make sure he would catch a few fish so we both decided to make the journey down the M56 to flushing meadows where we knew we would be guaranteed a few bites, the only down side for me was the fact I was due to fish this fishery the next day with my uncle.
Don’t let this report put you off visiting this fishery it really is a gem of a venue but is a venue I have only really fished in summer and from this visit it seems it really doesn’t fish well after a cold snap. I will get the venue video up sometime this week and try and dig out some of my old fish pictures from a few years ago to give you an idea of its potential.
Friday 6th April Afternoon
We took our time on route to Flushing and actually stopped of a Greenwood Fishery to check out there Lagoon pool for a future visit later on in the summer and it looked to be fishing ok with a few anglers catching and will certainly be a venue we will be trying in the coming weeks. We continued on a way to flushing meadows and arrived dead on 12 noon and decided to fish a pool we hadn’t fished before in the island pool.
The increase in temperature was more than noticeable and so much so it saw us shedding a few layers not long after arriving. My dad’s rod had been broken down into two pieces from Cicely mill so he was fishing in seconds and contrary to the lack of action on Cicely mill he had a fish on the bank within 10 seconds of casting in.
We caught golden rudd, roach, perch and gudgeon all day long on maggot and corn over the top and had a truly memorable day with us also both taking a carp each, my dad a hard fighting 2lb 15oz carp that gave him a right run around and me taking a 5lb 4oz carp right at the death to even the score out on a truly memorable father and son trip on the bank and I hope it gives my dad the inspiration to get out on the bank a bit more now its warming up a bit.
It is my aim to produce another page on the blog for commercial venues I fish and there is only one pool left to fish on here now before I have wet a line in them all so I will be producing a video for this venue on that page shortly.
Saturday 7th April
We arrived at the fishery at first light and made our way to the canal pool which is renowned for its deep channel down the middle and really undercut far banks and was really surprised to find we were the only car out of the four heading into the fishery to choose to fish this pool.
Being a commercial fishery we parked right behind our pegs and in no time we were both set up and plumbing up the swims we were going fish. How fast you can go from arriving at your peg to be actually fishing is one aspect of pole fishing I really like and I am really enjoying this aspect of my time away from the rivers.
I began by trying to tempt a early carp with a bigger bait by placing it in some likely looking places around the swim and It was not long before my float, hand made by my uncle was skating across the surface and I lifted into a nice carp that felt good on my white hydro elastic on a pulla bung. I felt in more control of the fish using this elastic than I had using the black hydro elastic last year and didn’t feel like it put anywhere near as much pressure on my pole.
Knowing how this venue fishes from plenty of visits last year it was straight back out with another bait and within seconds it was off again and I knew instantly this was a better fish as the swim erupted as it bolted out of the swim. The way the fish was fighting in knew it was a carp and one of the better ones by how easy it came into the middle but how hard it was to move it off the bottom and once down to my top two sections the battle commenced as you can see on the video below.
The fish stayed deep for the whole fight and even managed to snag me up at one point on a snag on the bottom but I managed to persuade it to move away from it but in the ensuing battle it made many attempts for this same snag and I must say I really enjoyed the battle with this carp that went on for an eternity but once I got to grips with how much tension I could Impart on the fish with the pulla kit it began to tire and see my side of the argument.
The fish didn’t half make my arm ache and I was relieved to get the fish on the bank and on the scales which it pulled round to 6lb13oz a decent fish for this venue.
After this fish no more where forthcoming to that tactic so I began to prime up my top four swims for the silvers with the hope of an odd rogue carp. When I say this venue is prolific for silvers I mean its prolific you could catch silvers all day long on maggot one a chuck but I have started to use these sessions to practice my pole shipping in and out technique and swim building to try and feed a swim so I gradually catch better fish from it and it wasn’t long before the rudd and roach where replaced with skimmers.
My uncle was on the peg next to me and fishing close up to some snags and had been really unlucky with foul hooking a few bigger fish and the hook pulling but was still getting silvers one a chuck and then he hit something altogether different in this pristinely marked perch.
As the day wore on we both continued to pick up fish with great regularity and eventually the carp moved in our swims and we picked up a couple of these fish each to end the session off nicely and two things I love about this venue is how clean the carps mouths are and also as you can see in the background of one of these pictures how easily you can go round the other bank on these waters if you connect with the bank side trees lol.
I also managed to befriend a couple of the local robins with free offerings of white and red maggots and these two fluffy characters kept me company all day long, I really love the wildlife we have in this country and it’s a pleasure to experience moments like these where the wildlife loses all fear of man, the way it should be.
Sunday 8th April
Sunday saw me making the short journey up the m56 to Rixton Clay pits just outside Warrington on the WAA card. After so much fishing in the previous days it was always only going to be a morning session till midday. My plan was to target the massive shoals of roach and skimmers that reside in here and also put out a sleeper rod for a cheeky early season tench .
As you can see from the pictures above I had a patch of dead or dormant lilies’ to my right but I chose to ignore them and fish next to a tree to my left and lay my sleeper rod as a trap just off the lilies. The swim took a while to get going and with the bites being really tentative I missed quite a lot of them. I also found it very difficult feeding the swim with feeding so heavily the previous day on the commercial it was heard to reign myself in.
I eventually managed to get my shotting pattern right and dotted the float right down and the missed bites where replaced with bars of shimmering silver as roach after roach came steadily to the bank. I also bumped into the Bailiff who assured me it was ok to use my keep net on the venue so will be some nice nets of fish on the blog come the summer months from here.
I carried on picking up roach at regular intervals all around the same size and I really enjoyed some “real” fishing on a natural venue. You catch so many big silvers on the commercials but they come so thick and fast you don’t really appreciate them. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning session on rixton and I cannot wait to get back to this most picturesque of venues.
Till next time
I wish you all tight lines