On unlocking the gate and entering the fishery, with ground frost crunching beneath my feet, the day had been forecast to be 18C at its warmest and as I trudged my way along the footpath and through the trees I was still pondering as to where to park my bum to wet a line. I'd already decided to walk past the first lake and on to the second as it's a little more secluded and intimate with trees and rushes separating almost every swim. The quality and quantity of the fishing is a little unknown to me and only snippets can be found on who, what and why but it all adds to the excitement of what the next bite could be. As I have said before, these two little waters are just filling the gap of the close season so anything that I do manage to catch will be bonus captures of whatever species.
Anyway, back to the "doctor". I decided to stop half way along the bank and the said swim is natural but large but plenty of open water could be covered if the need arises, to my left is a bare but quite large tree that hangs a fair way out from the bank that I am on, and on putting my gear down although I was facing the wrong way, a small splash was heard and on turning round the ripples could be seen at about thirty five to forty yards straight out in front "that'll do me" I grunted to myself.
The plan was to blackcap feeder fish with maggot/hemp as feed and either maggot or castor as hook baits, I also had some jolly green giant and my faithful tub of pets (lobworms) with me just in case I fancied or needed a change of tact.
I took my time tackling up but every now and then I would grab the catty and pult some castor's and a few grains of corn to the front of the tree on my left, the idea was to do this and leave it for as long as possible until I could resist no longer, this was to be angled with my trusty 13ft power float rod and after taking the depth I just left it in peace until I was happy, and that something might just fancy a corn breakfast.
Three feeders of maggot and five of hemp were deposited without the rig attached, roughly on the line where the earlier splash had taken place, and soon I was sat back in the chair awaiting a sign.
It was probably fifteen minutes or so, before I had the first bit of interest. A quick jag on the tip indicated that something was after my two wriggling reds, seconds later it pulled round enough for me to think "strike", and strike I did. A small roach was led to my hand, admired and gently put back. For the next couple of hours this seemed to be the trend, as roach and the odd Rudd to around the half pound mark at best ( they were all one handed jobbies) found there way to me.
All the time I had kept on trickling, little and often to the margin tree, and after a brief cuppa complete with a sarnie and an egg of the scotched variety the decision was now made to drown a golden grain beneath a float. A cast was made just past the baited patch and pulled back into place and left to cock and settle. Just at that point three geese came into landing straight out in front of me, from then on peace had been shattered as they had decided it was "fruity time". On looking back at my float it bobbed before sitting right up and lying more or less flat on the surface, on lifting the rod I was soon met by a plodder.
A heavier,slower fish hugged along the bottom and was trying to gain the sanctuary of the tree or its branches. With pressure applied control was soon had and after a spirited fight there in the bottom of my net lay "old red eye", due to the colour of the water it did look a little pale, even in the sunlight. Not the prettiest of samples as you can see by the picture, the "doctor that needed a doctor", rot on the tail had set in.
A quick weigh, not that it mattered really, was taken and five pound twelve was the reading.
A couple of Rudd took a liking to my corn offering on the float but then the bites just dried up on me so it was back onto the feeder gear.
The pattern that followed was almost like for like with the mornings events until a different bite occurred.
I was just on the phone to the "better half" when the tip took on a solid arc and on connecting with the fish, straight away I knew it was different. A slow and steady fish was taking me basically where it liked but after a while I did manage to get to within ten yards of my bank and this is when the line fell slack! Harsh words were muttered and on swinging the feeder in I could see that my five pound hooklink had broken half way up, with the fish taking my size 16 hook. Tench or carp? who knows?
After that the swim went quiet, my arms and neck were burnt and the flask was dry and with that I packed it in and shouted to lake "I'll be back, you owe me"