Thankyou for taking the time view my mutterings.




"We sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us"











Sunday, 28 April 2013

Scratching Amongst The Catkins

After having a few weeks away from the bank I decided it was time to go and have a dabble, I was unsure not only where to go but also what target species to angle for? Day sessions confuse me a little during the close season especially at short notice and even though it has been slightly warmer for the last week, waters across the country still seem to have a wintry look and feel about them. I contemplated Tench fishing on a small lake that I managed to sneak a couple out of last spring but with the water temperatures still very cold I decided against the idea and thought a visit to the Grand Union would fit my needs with Roach,Perch and any other species that might just fancy a little munch.
I arrived just on 7am and plodded a short walk to a spot that had given me a little success on odd previous trips, the forecast for the day was supposed to be up to twenty degrees, what tosh that was!! a cold wind was blowing straight across the cut and hitting me straight in the face, oh well angle on and have a go were my thoughts.

Spot The Pole Float

Two rods had been packed, one was my 11ft float rod that was coupled with my trusty Rapidex pin and loaded with 3lb mainline, a light pole float was attached, shotted to a dot while a size 18 hook to 2lb line completed the set up. My other rod was to be a Daiwa connoisseur feeder rod with the 1oz tip attached, the reel was filled with a 4lb line and this would be fished with an SSG shot clamped to a short tag of line and held in place with a couple of float stops, a size 10 hook to a 3lb hooklink completed the job.
Bait for the day would be either hemp or pellet for the float rod and lobworms or prawns for the ledger. Maggots had not been considered on this occasion as I didn't want to be distracted for the slightly easier option(maybe) in just fishing for bites from anything that swims!
The tip rod was baited with one and a half lobworms and a fake maggot just to stop the buggers wriggling off and flicked to a small bay that lay between some hawthorn bushes, A couple of pouches of whole and chopped prawns where then fed over the top via the catapult,this rod would be left to do its thing while I concentrated on the float rod in search of some Roach.
4mm hooker pellets were my starting hookbait for the float rod, and I gathered that because the water temperatures were still low that the way forward would be not to over bait and just go gentle with the loose feed to begin with, so a small pinch of feed pellet would be fed roughly every other cast or so.
The first couple of hours passed by fairly quickly and all that I'd managed to muster were three hand sized pale looking Perch on the worm rod and a couple of small skimmers on the float. Not only were the bites on the float hard to come by but I also had the increasing problem of floating catkins that were being blown on the wind and drifting every time the locks were opened.

Bait Robber

 Masses of them started to cover the surface and in turn cause me problems not only with presentation but also on striking thus causing me to miss a few finicky bites where they had built up around the line between the rod tip and the float. Close by and on the opposite bank were a couple of swims that had probably been made and angled  by the younger generation during school holidays, the wind would be coming from behind but more importantly it was it was catkin free and soon I was gathering my small amount of kit and walking back over the bridge and nestling myself amongst the bankside foliage.
It didn't take me long to re adjust to my new surroundings and soon the same tactics were being applied. Either side of me had trailing bushes and foliage draping over and touching the waters surface and although shallower than the opposite bank I just had a feeling that the extra cover could hopefully provide me with one or two bites.
The worm rod was flicked just along the bank to my right and left to sleep, while I sat and concentrated on the float which had been placed just off of an over hanging hawthorn bush slightly to the left of me. By now the boat traffic had increased and so had the clarity of the water, as thick plumes of silt bubbled and smoked its way through the water column.
I had just poured a brew from my trusty and well loved flask when from the corner of my eye the quiver tip displayed a jaggy pull round and soon I was removing the hook from a nice Perch of around twelve ounces. Bites then came on a fairly regular basis to the worm rod but nothing of any size, the majority of the fish were all in the region of half a pound or so. The float rod on the other hand was still being difficult, I had missed a couple of bites that to be honest looked unmissable and the decision was quickly made to drop down to a size 20 hook and a slightly finer hooklink.
Shortly after placing the float back on the spot and flicking a few pellets out the float sailed away and a nice conditioned Roach was being swung to my palm, half a dozen more were quickly taken and then the swim went dead, I'd obviously caught them all??

Hand Sized Silver

I persevered, kept flicking bait out and playing with the depth and even moved the shot around, It was harder than going to work you know! The next bite that I received came when I had just taken my eye off the float to watch a jogger run past on the opposite bank (that will teach me) when the next thing I saw was the tip on my rod being pulled to the left while line was being taken from the centrepin. After a not very spirited fight I was soon scooping a Bream of roughly 4lbs into the folds of my net. Now Bream to be honest don't really float my boat but on what seemed like a fairly hard days angling it had managed to get me slightly active!

 
A couple more small Perch and a rather large Crayfish were taken on the tip, but the Bream had killed the float fishing to near dead, couple this with half a dozen more boats and the easy decision was made to sod off home and annoy the wife.