Stratford Theatre section, LAA, noon til dusk.
So the rivers are now out until mid-June. Time to morph those images that rush through your mind the night before a days fishing from slender aerodynamic things into something decidedly more plump.
Also though a time for still water, which although not as hypnotic as the running variety reveals more on it's surface to an angler by way of rooting, bubbling and rolling fish. You know summer's arrived when a pincer movement of bubble streams home in on your baited area.
You're also reminded you're a duffer when the bubble streams just suddenly stop making the beeline to your hookbait and disappear, presumably because the concentration of bait on the deck triggers an instinct in the fish that the area's not safe . The number of times I've seen this at Brandon! A three pronged attack of bubble streams from three different angles all stop suddenly about the same distance from the centre of the baited area - where my hookbait has been accurately cast.
All this is to look forward to....
Oh yes, the rivers, I remember them. My last day was spent on the theatre section at Stratford. Still slightly delusional from the events of the preceding week I thought I would sew up this fishing challenge thing with my mate by bagging a 2lb Roach.
Fishing simple, a single maggot under a waggler a third of the way across, and feeding light, I had a bite every cast for the first ten casts. I caught mostly Roach up to 10ozs with the odd Bleak intercepting the bait on the way down. [Having just this minute checked, a 10oz Roach gets me squat in the competition.] Although the bites slowed, I continued to catch Roach and Bleak steadily until Pike started to grab each fish I hooked.
I pulled a spinner through the swim but nothing was fooled.
I left the spinning rod set up, dropped the rest of the gear back at the car and went to join Pete who was fishing the weir. Within twenty minutes of my arrival he hooked a good Barbel on maggot feeder (and 3lb bottom!). I don't know whether the fish was foul hooked from the off or wrapped up in the fight but after about five minutes when it came to the surface it was facing the wrong way and looked tethered rather than hooked. Big triangular fins were proud of the water. I had my Polaroids on and could see it was a good fish beneath the surface - it was a bright day.
It then gave a kick and was off.
'The editors' were fishing the right hand flow of the weir and too lost a good fish on maggot feeder. Notably the grounbait and pellet approach only delivered knocks on the day.
I had a small Perch on the spinner which was about 3/4 of the baits length.
I'm going to continue posting here whilst the close season is among us, but it's going to be lakes from here on in.... tight lines.