4-5.6.09 Thurs - Fri Napton night session with Pete and Daz White. Became overcast as time went on then rained Friday evening. Easterly breeze.
What has become of me!? Just two weeks ago a seven pound Bream from Jubilee Pools brought a smile, no a grin, to my face. It took a while for me to come to terms with that. Now, after words of 11lb+ Bream I'm at Napton for a night session after the things. This fishing challenge has properly taken over my angling priorities, turned my fishing upside down and made me go after species in previous years I would have only caught by chance.
In the close seasons of recent years I'd probably have a few twenty pound carp and a few decent Tench under my belt by now and that would be that - satisfied - looking forward to Barbel on the rivers again.
Twenty four hours fishing means twenty four escapist hours for me so I try and cram as much into them as possible.
Arriving with Pete at the lakes about four in the afternoon we decided to fish the smaller of the two now-joined reservoirs. We set up camp then turned out attention to tackle. Daz White would join us later.
As Bream were the main target, with a big Tench of even a Carp within my peripheral vision, I opted for method feeders on both rods with helicopter style hook bait presentation. I had prepared a decent amount of groundbait earlier in the week containing everything I thought a Bream might like.
After the initial 'leading around' to find clear lake bed and subsequent groundbait bombardment the rods went in. Within seconds the lines and bobbins started jumping. After half an hour I was perplexed at why nothing was hooking itself. I set up a slider float and fished maggot in the deep water over the groundbait. First cast I hooked and lost a small Tench in the weed. Second or third cast I landed one, a male about 2lbs.
The bobbins jumped away all evening but despite fiddling with the terminal set up I couldn't get them to hook themselves properly - the float was by far the best way to catch these small fish. Just before dark I swapped over to two large pop-up boilies to fish through the night.
During the night Daz had a 21lb 140z Carp and a 16lb Carp from clear spots near the causeway. Pete was comatose and missed the action. I had no big Bream or Tench to report.
I was up at twenty past four and had four fish in quick succession on the float. We saw hundreds of Tench showing during this session. Occaisionally rolling and splashing on the surface as they fed below.
Pete was up an hour or so later and set to work in ernest on a float rod at the bottom of the marginal shelf. He fed corn, hemp and maggots and started catching Tench from the off.
I switched over to a small method feeder on a quiver tip and fiddled about some more with my hooklength and bait to see if I could convert more of the knocks to bites. Eventually I got somewhere with a combination of a very short hooklink and single grain of plastic corn popped up direct from the swivel next to the in-line method ball. There must have been a serious amount of fish in my swim given the activity on the rods but despite this I could only duff nine Tench out.
Pete started to take on the look of someone becoming slowly obsessed as he continued to catch regulary. Becoming increasingly drawn into an angling vanishing point he said things like, "I need to eat but I can't stop", "I'm in a good ryhthm now", "It would be nice to catch something other than a Tench!".
I ran out of ground bait at about ten o'clock in the morning so packed the shelter and feeder rods up and went off spinning for a Pike. I was not sullen at Pete's succes or my relative poor showing on the feeders. He's had a lean spell of late and besides when you do an overnight you inevitably become a team. Information on fish sightings, theories and tactics are readily shared and discussed in order to maximise chances.
I returned from spinning about an hour later and he was on a total of forty Tench, each in the 2-3lb class with maybe the odd one slightly bigger.
I went off stalking Carp with bread in a corner where I'd seen fish move.
I returned about an hour later and he had just over fifty Tench. Thankfully none of these fish were troubling a point in our fishing challenge. He was losing the odd one to the weed but was getting the majority in.
I went off spinning for Pike again and soon had a text saying 'get the kettle on', he'd now had fifty Tench.
I returned wearily - but only through lack of sleep - and sat behind him as a spectator as he made it to sixty Tench! I enjoyed watching and shared in his joy as sixty Tench in a sitting is good going.
The only way he could force himself to pack up - at half three in the afternoon he was babbling about staying on until dark and going for 'the ton' - was to force himself to jettison his remaining maggots and hemp into the pool. As the last of the bait sunk out of view he realised his session was over.
No points were earned by either of us on this trip but I definitely enjoyed myself. I'm pretty sure Pete did too....