In this week's blog I am excited to announce that I will be writing another Carp Quest mini blog beginning at the end of this month. I have given this plenty of thought over the past month or so as to what the actual target will be in this quest and i have decided to stray away from the obvious progression from a 10lb fish to a 15lb specimen and set this quests challenge as a quest for a new personal best fish, so that will mean a fish of over 10lb 3oz. I think it is always best to be realistic when setting goals and not to be disillusioned with your actual angling ability and of course the realistic chances of the waters you fish giving you a good chance of achieving the goal e.g it would be easy for me to say right this quests goal is a 20lb fish yet in reality on most waters there might be only be 1 or 2 fish at this weight. You also have to weigh up the amount of time you can actual put towards this challenge where run in line with my normal weekly outings. I will be going into more detail about lessons learnt from the last quest in the introduction of this years quest.
I am also really excited to announce that this quest will be sponsored by BEECHWOOD BAITS and will see me fishing with their flagship Musselberry Boilies. I must admit I am really excited to work alongside with this bait company on this quest. I have been writing this blog for a few years now and over that time i have had a few companies contact me asking if I would like to have my main blog sponsored by them and I have always politely declined but with Beechwood Baits it was altogether different. The company has been founded by Gavin Astley a person I have known since i started writing this blog and is a person i have spoke to over the years on a number of occasions about all Warrington Waters, his whole manner, understanding, how he presented his company and his knowledge of my carp fishing background made me feel really at ease talking to him about the prospect of working together and in reality made the decision to accept an easy one and already before any bait has exchanged hands or any mention of his company on my blog he has helped me out tremendously through our PM's, so here is to the adventures to come!!
You can find more info on the bait and about its developer here: Beechwood Baits
"The Musselberry! A super high quality, HNV milk protein carp bait boilie! At Beechwood baits we are very proud to introduce to you the culmination of a long journey through research, development and testing. The Musselberry is our first carp bait released, and is available for everyone to have success with. If you were to trace this baits beginnings back to its conception, you'd be looking almost a decade into the past. Development has seriously ramped up over the last two years, along with some intensive, real world fishing situation testing"
There will be more on the quest closer its launch but look out for the first instalment in the coming weeks where i will look more in depth at locations i intend to fish and my tactics i am hoping will score me a new personal best.
This week i read with great interest a story in the local Weekly news around the success of a local angling club, West Bank Anglers. This angling club was born from a natural disaster that hit the square in spike island a year or so ago when an algal bloom led to a total fish kill in this shallow pool that lies right next to the Sankey Canal. It is no secret that carp, silver fish and pike caught from the sankey canal were transferred into this pool over the years and during that time this water was netted many times by Warrington Anglers and the fish moved not into the sankey canal but to other Warrington Waters so I personally think it is great that a club has taken ownership of this water and the fish that will live in there. Reading the story it seems like there has already been a lot of work done cutting back the reeds and building fishing platforms, with this water being quite small i guess making the most of the available space is a must and i am sure the stocking of this water will be as well managed as the planning this year has been by this club. Good luck to all involved and who knows where this may lead in time, licences can be purchased from any local tackle shops.
Finally before we get into this weeks fishing I took delivery this week of a rather large parcel for a future product review on the blog and with it will run a Facebook competition to win a free product for the winner, so look out for more on this in a future blog update but needless to say its a busy time with the blog at the moment away form the bank and with this quest about to hit the ground its not looking like slowing down as pre baiting and late night sessions will come into play as the evenings lengthen.
And with that its onto this weeks fishing:
Canal Fishing: Pole fishing Trent and Mersey Canal - The Old Broken Cross
As mentioned earlier on in the blog update this time of year after the rivers closing and the warm settled temperatures arriving can be quite difficult with certain waters starting to produce before others, knowing your waters here and locations can be worth its weight in gold. With funds for my Warrington Anglers licence thin on the ground we did not have a great deal of waters to chose from, certainly ones we had fished before at least, had we purchased our Warrington Card we would have certainly been visiting Rixton Clay pits or the Bridgewater canal but with those off our radars we settled off for a session on the Trent and Mersey Canal on the Broken Cross stretch.
a quick look the night before on the Internet threw up some bits of information around it being a popular stretch for matches to be held on and also with a pub alongside the actual canal there was a lot of reports saying to avoid this area due to the numbers of boats mooring at the pub during the day. We had just finished out river campaign the previous week so we were a little under equipped to deal with a session on the canal for example we were fishing with 1lb7oz line as opposed to the normal 1lb bottom we fish in the canals and we also had a slice of bad luck on the bait front as the local tackle shop had run out of pinkie so we had to fish with maggot on the hook and as feed which wasn't ideal.
We arrived at the pub which is literally on the canal and began to have a look at the canal in the early morning light, she looked well coloured, which is a good thing in my opinion and along one stretch there were a few fish topping close up to some far bank brambles but there was already a gentle breeze blowing along the canal. This breeze was causing a very inviting ripple along the same beat as the fish were topping so we settled on fishing there and set up the customary 12 yards apart.
I began setting up my pole to fish the far bank shelf and this is when i hit a problem, my last section of pole and my number 8 section were locked together tight, this must have been form our last session on the river weaver when it rained but thee was nothing getting them apart so i had to fish just at the bottom of the far bank shelf.
As with all canal fishing its got to be scaled right back and your tactics have to be a refined as possible, there was nothing i could do about the pole or the line thickness but i could refine my baiting up and my ground bait. I decided on the day to feed a very wet sloppy ground bait going for attraction but not to feed the fish that i still thought could be quite lethargic due to an over night frost.
Due to a afternoon commitment we only had from 7am till noon to fish so if the fishing was slow we only had a few hours to endure it. Shipping out to around 10-11m i fed the swim with a cad point before laying the float delicately to ensure the bait fluttered slowly down to the bottom. My uncle was first into a fish, a small roach tight against the far brambles while i waited just a little bit longer before picking up one of my own.
My uncle continued to pick up small gudgeon on the far bank and the odd small roach while i landed on a swim full of gudgeon it seemed as one after another these bottom sucking fish came to a single maggot approach, some of them where so small the maggot was close to having them in a headlock.
The session continued to move along and my uncle, tired of shipping to the far bank for gudgeon tried to get a swim going closer in while my far line completely died, bigger fish moved in i thought. Full of optimism i waited it out on the far line convinced something better had pushed the tiny gudgeon out and my patience was rewarded with this beautifully marked and very fat, with spawn?, perch.
After this perch the gudgeon moved back in as did the odd roach and i continued to get bite regular for the next hour or so as the swim ticked over and as it did i heard another familiar ticking noise,a barges engine ticking over. On canals where there is so much boat traffic it does nothing to the fishing at all, normally, but as my line was right in the boats tack line it was bound to have an effect. To those not into their canal fishing my tactic on them is to always try and fish a line out of the main line as this gives you a better chance to build a swim without the boats spreading your feed everywhere, with a few sections of pole short i did not have this luxury.
The swim ground slowly to a halt for the last hour and had i been staying past dinner i would have certainly primed two swims earlier on in the day to move on but with only a bit of time left i say it out on a bigger bait for a better fish that never came. The final joint net of what i would describe as an nice day on the bank, certainly better than being stuck in the house that's for sure. During this last hour a flock of sheep made their way down the hill in the field across the road and the ewes all followed closely by their lambs, spring is certainly arriving now and with that i headed home for my Sunday dinner, chicken this time but the lamb Sunday dinner is not far away now.
The landing nets drying behind us we had a slow pack away and was treated to a pair of swans cruising down the canal no doubt searching for a location to start preparing a nest if they have not done so already.
Till next time i leave you with a picture of these pair of elegant birds.