17th July - Island pool at Jubilee, 08:30 - 20:30. Overcast but warm, blowy and wet at times.
Pete and I had planned to go down to Linear in Oxfordshire for this session to try for a big Bream / Tench / Rudd but a combination of the weather forecast and limited time cajoled us to Jubilee instead. Jubilee is not the poor relation here but we both knew the chances of throwing up a big bream were reduced whilst the chances of catching something were odds on.
I had a successful day after the Bream on the feeder catching twenty seven in all. None were much above four pounds but it was good to catch the target species in numbers.
I fished a simple running rig with cage feeder and various hookbaits on a 12ft 1.5lb Barbel rod with the lightest push-in quivertip it took.
Within about half an hour of casting out I had bubbles in the swim and started to get indications. As the weather was so gloomy the fish fed practically all day with only a short lull mid-afternoon. If I had one criticism of myself it would be not converting all of the activity on the tip into fish. I'm sure a matchman with finer tips and lines would have made more hay, but the sun wasn't shining so I was happy with a bit of labour and to build and catch steadily.
I experimeted with hookbaits and settled on a 10mm halibut boilie cut down to the shape of a pellet on a hair with the strong 12 hook tipped with a red maggot. The reason for the boilie rather than a pellet was two-fold. Firstly the pellets in the groundbait mix had softened overnight and when using a fresh one on the hook it was hard and I thought the fish might tell the difference. So the boilie was softer and also was more convenient staying on for many more casts than a pellet. The maggot was just to add a bit of movement and to partly hide the full hook. The resulting bites were inevitably pull-rounds as the Bream felt the hook and made off, slowly.
One bit of excitement came as I hooked something which felt relatively heavy and ponderous. It didn't put up much of a fight and so I called Pete to tell him I thought I had a good Bream on. He came over and saw colour in the water from behind my peg and certified it as "a Bream" and "massive". It was perversely a disappointment to both of us when the fish came over the net and it turned out to be a common Carp with a bronze Breamy colouring.
I never ever thought I'd say "Oh no it's a Carp!".
Pete's up North this week and has bagged a (puny!) Grayling so our scores are: