Friday, 8 June 2012

Jubilant Weekend of Discovery and Fun

Welcome to this week’s angling blog update and this week’s angling adventures where based around discovery and having fun!!  With a bumper 4 day break from work I had planned to try a few venues on every day but that ultimately turned out to be rather ambitious and I actually only got out on the bank two days over the bank holiday weekend.

Living on the banks of the River Mersey and being in such close proximity to the local canal I spend a lot of my time walking the dog along both of these wildlife rich venues and it was during one such walk I not only came across this pair of beautiful swans who in the early morning light looked so majestic as the eased through the calm clear water on the canal but it was while watching these birds my eyes came across a pod of carp and nice size ones to boot.  Many of you may think well what is so good about that, carp in a canal are a perfectly normal occurrence and you would be right in your assessment.

 To see the importance of this pod of fish I take you back 10 years to when the canal suffered a massive carp fish kill where it was thought the total population of carp where lost, reports of fish dead on the top stretched from Waterloo Bridge in Runcorn to Daresbury Labs and it was a really heart breaking thing to see having admired the beautiful carp in the canal for so many years and on the odd occasion chased them armed with a loaf of bread.  Being a young child these craft carp where too clever for my clumsy tactics and evaded capture my whole childhood.  To see these fish back in enough numbers for them to be spotted in the early morning light brought me great pleasure and keep an eye on my quest for a 10lb carp mini blog where these fish will be targeted.

 More good news this week is I finally managed to get round to sending of my Abu 706 reel and I was well impressed with Fosters of Birmingham Angling shop’s customer care, one phone call to explain the problem and was told to send it off in the post which I did the next day, within 48 hours I received a parcel containing a brand new reel.  I know they are obliged by law to do this as its in warrantee but its just great to get a hassle free service in this day and age, great to see and fingers crossed this one has a bit more backbone.

This coming week should welcome the arrival of my first bit of bait form Halfbean Baits so I am looking forward to testing that out on the bank to see how it does on the bank, as of yet I am undecided as to where to try it out and I may well save it till the weather warms up with one of the baits being a paste bait, fingers crossed for some sun!! That just about sums up where I am up to at the moment away from the actual angling on the bank part of things and I have to admit I have never felt so good about my angling as I do at the moment, the river season is just in touching distance and with the warm summer to come I have a few ideas for some fun sessions ahead.

On to this week’s fishing,

As the title of this week’s blog update suggests this past weekend was a weekend of discovery and fun.  I start with the discovery side of the weekend and we decided to visit a venue that we scouted out a few weeks back on the way back to home from that dreadful blank on Budworth mere, this venue being High Legh fishery on the Warrington Anglers Card.

To give a bit of history on this venue I take you back 3 years when I first fished this venue, well groomed paths and reed lined banks greeted you as you opened the gate to this fishery and the first thing that caught your eye where the massive orange shadows of the ghost carp cruising around the fishery, you could not miss them.  We fished the venue once or twice and caught mainly small tench and roach with the ghost carp never really showing much attention in our baits.  Dreadful news hit the winter before last during the really prolonged cold spell that there had been a total fish kill on this venue and all the fish had been killed.  This summer marked the first re-stocking of this venue with a number of carp purchased form the yearly thinning of the carp from Winsford Anglers prolific Ocean water.

Reports in recent weeks from Franks Column Suggested these fish had begun wakening from their winter slumber and anglers where enjoying some good catches of these carp that run to around the 5lb mark.  This blog’s primary reason for being set up was to give anglers on the Warrington Anglers card more information on the waters on the card from an everyday anglers point of view so it was with great anticipation we set of on Saturday morning to try this “new” venue.

Upon arriving at the venue it was immediately evident the place had woke up from our last scouting visit.  The water was alive with bubbles of fish rooting in the silt on the bottom of the pond which was in stark contrast to our past visit where we saw no signs at all that the water contained fish, in fact the water looked dead, so much so we didn’t even fish it that day and carried on to fish a local pool.

We had a quick chat with a guy already set up and fishing and he had caught a few tench and some of the new carp and engulfed with excitement we headed over to some likely looking swims on the far side of the pool that just screamed fish.  My dad and uncle both set up on the float rod and I decided to fish the pole with all of us using either maggot or corn on the hook.

I started on maggot and was soon into bites from small roach and rudd, good signs for the future and that not all the silvers where lost in the fish kill.  The fishing on this pool was really exciting you can see the bubbles of better fish moving into your swim and feeding.  At times the swim resembled a Jacuzzi more than a pond swim but every time a bite was forth coming they were so fast I missed them and just wasn’t connecting with the fish.  My uncle had chosen to fish the margins and my dad had got into a few small silvers on his rod.

My dad continued his great form of late in connecting with the first carp of the session and what I fight it put up.  The carp on flushing meadows fishery put up a decent fight for their size but this carp my dad was attached too fought like crazy and at times had my dad in all types of trouble, diving for the bank side roots which saw my dad nearly loose the fish.  Luckily my dad managed to steer the fish from danger and landed the fish, as you can see these fish are a different strain than what we normally catch on flushing and what shoulders they have!! In time these fish will grow on to be really special fish in this water.

After this fish coming to my dad so early on in the session and on maggot me and my uncle had very high hopes of connecting with some carp ourselves and both of use upped our interest in our swims.  I made up some heavy ground bait to try and get some more bait on the bottom through the silver fish to try and attract some of the carp in and I also made some modifications to my rig to make it more sensitive to pick up the tiniest my shy of bites.  This change instantly revealed what had been bubbling in the swim all this time and it was a biog surprise to me to see a really small tench break the surface.  Once I had the method and rig nailed it became really easy fishing and the tench came thick and fast.  Warrington Anglers rules state no tench of any size can be kept in a keep net so it is hard for me to get across just how many tench we caught like the one below but what I can say in my me, my dad and uncle had them coming all day long.

The day wore on and mine and my uncles optimism of catching a carp slipped slowly away to the point like it never felt like it was going to happen.  I connected with a carp which again put up a great fight and just when I was about to net the fish the barbless hook slipped out of the carps mouth and with it I felt my hopes of catching a carp went with it.  What was noticeable was the magnitude of bubbles we had seen when we arrived that we presumed where carp where actually the small tench feeding.

Time slipping away I head the noise of a reels drag ticking over from the peg next to mine, my uncles peg, a quick glance over showed my uncle was indeed into a carp on his float rod a and I wasted no time in getting over there and trying to get some of the fight on film.

As you can see the fish didn’t half put up a fight and again a fin perfect fish was the result.

I returned back to my peg reminiscing on that lost carp earlier on when my float descended into the dark depths and I connected with another carp, this time I was not going to lose it and played the fish really lightly as to not pull the hook gently using the pulla kit on my pole to keep the fish under control and although it lacked the fish of the previous fish I was sure more than made up with it once it got on the bank and yet another stocky fish.

On reflection this fishery has got so much potential to be a top fishery in the future with the right stocking and right amount of bait going in but I cannot help feeling that once winter comes a day’s fishing on here could be really hard work with only a few silvers to be caught if it is too cold for the carp and tench.  The next stocking I think needs to include more carp and also some quality silver fish like bream and maybe some perch and chub to keep it interesting all year round.  All in all a great fishery for a summers day and I urge anyone that has not been yet to give it a visit.

Monday 04th June – Flushing meadows Fishery

I spent Sunday watching all the festivities that went along with the Queens Jubilee and with more planned on the Monday evening at my uncles street party I only left me a the morning and a few hours into the afternoon to get onto flushing meadows and catch a few fish.  I had to drop my fiancé off at work in the morning so it was gone 8am when I arrived on the banks and straight away went to the canal pool to find it packed to the brim with anglers with only one peg free, a quick scoot to the other pool car park saw only three anglers on the island pool so I decided to jump on there.  Whilst setting up the place packed out as more anglers turned up on the island pool and a mother and father and his kids packed out the quiet pond towards the back of the fishery, the place was rammed.

I am far from an antisocial angler but this type of fishing just isn’t my cup of tea I like to find the secluded parts of fisheries where I can be alone in the pursuit of my quarry and I suppose that comes from me being a river angler and the isolation that comes with that type of fishing.

I had already set out a plan in my head before I left the house and it was to target the bigger fish in the venue and this was down to a very informative email I received from a blog follower and I thank you again for your help it is certainly helping me in the pursuit of these bigger carp. 

So armed with some big bait all that was left for me to mention was the terminal tackle and fun was the call of the day so I set up my 13ft korum float rod with my centrepin reel loaded with 5lb line and as I was only fishing the margins I teamed that up with some really light pole floats.  My other rod was my barbell rod set up to fish on the bite alarm at intervals throughout the day.

Until recently my entire barbel, tench and carp fishing has been done using korum quickstop hair rigged hooks and this year I decided I was going to get to grips with the tying of my own hair rigs and I cannot believe how easy it all was.   This session today would be only my second session with my own rigs on the carp rod and I was hoping to get at least on carp on this rod throughout the day, this would have been an achievement for me on the day.

From the off there was mountains of bait being introduced by anglers sharing the pool in one bait up I am sure a whole tin of sweetcorn went it, I looked down at my tub of luncheon meat and remember thinking any self-respecting car would be on that mountain of feed being thrown in, I need not have worried so much as my sleeper rod had hardly rested when it show off and I lost the fish to a hook pull, back in it went and over the next hour I lost two more carp, screaming runs but I just want connecting properly with the fish, a change was needed, I re tied the rig with a smaller hair and a shorter hook length with instant results the rod zoomed off and I connected with a lovely carp of over 6lb this bigger baits tactic was surely getting me the better fish.

After I didn’t get any more runs on the carp rod but that might have been down to me not fishing my float rod and carp rod on at the same time.  I persevered on the float rod with the centre pin and my efforts were rewarded with the carp and tench below and what great fun they were on the centre pin and a setup I will definitely be using again.

I left happy with the short session on the bank and looked forward to the evening at my uncles street party where strangely enough the blog turned up in the conversation during the evening, if only I had practised my autograph eh haha
Looking forward to the river season opening this might give you a clue for what species I have in mind for the coming few months on the river.

Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines


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