This week I have begun getting together pictures for a few location videos that should be going live shortly in the Stillwater and commercial venue sections of the blog. The Stillwater section should see the addition Woodshaw Reservoir and I am looking at producing a separate video in the commercial venues section for every pool on the flushing meadows complex, showing the diversity of the pools and the fish you can expect to catch in them.
This week my attention really began turning towards the opening of the rivers even more so than the previous week, the oily swirls of the water as it glides its way down its course towards the sea just captures my imagination time and time again and the soothing noise of the water as it rushes by your peg and the challenge of keeping those fish biting as the course of the river changes throughout the day, nothing beats it for me, the banks of the river are truly a magical place to be and in this sport where we put anglers into special pre-defined boxes I think I am well and truly in the river anglers section of our sport and I cannot wait to get back home.
The week gone by marked the first bit of steady, warm weather we have experienced this year, yes it may have been grey and gloomy but the air now lacked that chill it had in the previous weeks. The sun is beginning to set well after 9pm at night now and with this and warm ambient temperature in mind me and my uncle’s friend, Curly, decided it was time to make our first evening midweek trip to Flushing Meadows fishery of the year.
The day in question was Thursday and looking out of my window in work I did feel it looked a bit grim outside to be considering going fishing but upon leaving work I noticed the air temperature was quite high, certainly over the required level for carp to be out and about feeding. This temperature would surely see those carp searching the margins for those piles of bait dumped in as the anglers that had been there since early morning left the fishery.
Arriving on the fishery around 4.15pm I bumped into the bailiff who informed me there had been a few on the canal pool that day but they had just left and had indeed struggled for bites, after enquiring where they had fished on the pool I quickly paid my fee and made my way down the rocky farmers path to the pool and set up in a swim that judging by the corn on the banks had seen a fair amount of bait that day.
My tactic for the day was to fish the near side margin hoping to pick up some of the fish that patrol the margins in the evenings looking for the free surplus of bait left by the anglers. Curly was not due to arrive for around another 45 minutes so I wasted no time in setting up and with rigs already made from my last session It wasn’t long before I had a bait in the water and my first carp of the evening on the bank.
Not long after returning this fish did I hook into another carp which also took a liking for my margin fed bait and it was while unhooking the fish curly pulled up in his carp the fish returned I spent the next 20 minutes catching up with him having not really seen him since our fishing trips last year. The greetings over we both settled into our pegs for some late evening carp fishing and we both had an enjoyable evening catching carp all the way through till we could no longer see the float in the evening gloom, one more cast syndrome had well and truly taken over and it took me losing a fish by the hook pulling and me consequently snagging in the tree to my right for me to call it a night.
The biggest carp of the night for me weighed just less than 6lb at 5lb 5 oz although I think the biggest fish of the night went to curly with a fish that was certainly bigger than mine but we neglected to weigh it at the time. My total for the night was 12 carp which isn’t bad considering we were only on the bank a few hours and I think curly had at least the same amount of carp so it was an enjoyable first evening session all round and I cannot wait for the next especially with the temperatures form now on set to rise considerably.
After this session on Thursday evening it left only one more day I work and that flew by in a blink of an eye and before I knew it I was on my way up the M6 with my uncle on his first trip to the Wigan pools on the Warrington Anglers Card. Our plan for the day was to fish the carp pool in the morning and spend the afternoon on Woodshaw Reservoir, this way we could take in two waters in one trip and give my uncle a better knowledge of the waters that club have in this area.
Leaving the M6 we were soon driving through Wigan town centre and up the road towards the pools and it amazes me time and time again just how close to Wigan town centre you can cross paths with deer, literally 5 minutes after leaving the town centre we saw two Doe deer in the fields around us. They were far too quick from me to stop and grab my camera but hopefully next time I will be a little more prepared for their presence
The carp pool holds great memories for me from last year, when I put together a 15lb bag of crucian carp and tench from this venue. Setting up on the pool I knew with the warm temperature we were in for more of the same and I was not to be disappointed. My uncle was first to connect with a fish in the shape of a small tench which was his target from the outset and it was not long before I followed in his footpaths with some stunning crucians.
This pool is a real gem of a water for anyone wanting to get their children into fishing, it is absolutely jam packed with crucuan carp and I imagine the odd larger specimens of both the carp and tench variety. We continued to catch small crucians all morning loosing count at the amount of fish we had actually caught.
Towards the end of the morning we were visited by one of the bailiff’s that run the Wigan side of Warrington anglers and it was a real pleasure to see a bailiff on the bank who cared so much about the pools he looks after and his knowledge of the pools was second to none and even took some of our queries on board to take to the next bailiff meeting which was great to see.
The carp in this pool provided us with some great sport and kept the float going under all morning but it was soon time to move onto the next venue in woodshaw reservoir to see what awaited us there.
Woodshaw reservoir is like no other water I have visited on the Warrington anglers card it is immaculate, the banks are always freshly mowed and the pegs first class with some of the steeper pegs even having wooden rails to help anglers up and down the banks and the reeds around the water are well maintained with not a single inaccessible peg on the water, this is in such stark contrast to some of the other waters on the card that seem to have either half completed pegs or left to rack and ruin, like the river weaver complex at Frodsham. I personally think the whole of the club committee should visit this venue and take a leaf out of the Wigan bailiff teams book and see what proper club waters should look like, a real water to be proud of and the Wigan team should hold their heads high, hats off.
We set up on pegs on the far side of the pool where there was less angling pressure on the day and was soon into bites form roach on maggot on the edge of the reeds and I can quite see why the club has a thinning policy on these silvers each year as the place is alive with roach of all age brackets.
Sat in the sun catching fish whilst being treated to a spectacular aerial display by the visiting swallows who where greedily hovering up a massive hatch of flies whilst taking the odd sip as they went about their daily activities. These birds are now appearing in great numbers as they complete their annual migration from Africa and are a real sign that summer is on its way and more importantly for me are a sign that the rivers gates are not too far off opening.
The fishery I believe used to be an ex bloodworm farm which would explain why the bottom erupts with a mass of tiny bubbles when the crucian carp move in rummaging through the silt for the particles of bait we introduce. There are few sights in fishing that are more exiting that a float sat off the reeds surrounded by a mass of tell tale bubbles, real exiting stuff!
The bubbles where happily fizzing away and at any moment I was expecting the float to slide away but strangely it remain upright in the swim with only the off line bite giving away that fish where certainly around the bait, it was time for a change. I changed over to a more substantial and visible bait and this was instantly rewarded with the float sliding away and I was into my first proper crucian of what was to be an exceptional day for these bars of buttery gold.
The first decent fish on the bank and it was soon in the trusty co-op bag to be weighed and I was delighted to see the scales rest on 1lb 13oz, a great start and I was more than made up with this fish.
The afternoon continued in the same vein with many smaller crucian carp coming to the net and I will be including some of these pictures in the video I produce for this venue so be sure to check that out for more pictures of the crucian carp and of course anyone that follows the blog on Twitter or Facebook will have already seen one of the pictures I posted on Sunday.
I topped the week off on Sunday by making a visit to flushing meadows to meet up with a lad who emailed me regarding this fishery, I managed to put 6 carp, two tench and a few bream on the bank but the highlight of the day for me was putting a face to the email I had received and meeting up with a genuine top guy on the bank who was not only well into his fishing but obviously had a great knowledge and love for the sport and a fellow river angler to boot as well, I look forward to hearing how he gets on once the rivers open, tight lines mate.
That is all for this week and I leave you with a picture of one of the carp from Sundays fishing trip.
Till next week I wish you all