Tuesday 7th July, Coombe Pool after work. Strong Westerly with rain at times. 'On me bike!'
I've suffered so many blanks at the hands of Brandon recently I thought I'd try somewhere different. To keep things interesting I thought I'd give Coombe pool a go for Bream and Zander. Interesting inasmuch as I haven't fished at Coombe since I was sixteen years old (21 years ago). Back then, I firmly vowed never to fish there again after it had almost completely sucked the angling life out of me one summer holiday.
Coombe is only five minutes down the road from my house and I spent so much time there not catching as a kid it was strange but quite exciting to return.
Coombe is famed for it's Zander and Bream, both of which I need (in competition terms). Unsure if the car park were locked up at dusk I got on my bike and cycled down after work. An additional benefit of a bike is that the woods section is within reach. Without a bike it's a twenty minute walk from the car park.
Taking a first look at the lake and as the midges splattered my teeth as I rode along I could see there was a lot of weed about. Loads in fact. It was practically unfishable up until the overflow. Moving into the woods it began to clear.
I spoke briefly to a guy fishing the woods who had been there since eleven in the morning, he reported one Bream for his efforts. In my mind, 'That's Coombe alright!' bounced around the walls of my brain. He was fishing at forty yards and had put a bit of bait in throughout the day. He also said he had not been bothered by weed which as I was to soon find out was a key piece of info.
I rode on past him thanking him for all his info. and settled in peg eight almost opposite the old boat house. The weed was once again spreading across from the far side of the lake here but swim selection was governed by where I thought I could cast. Lots of overhanging oaks ruled out most swims.
I set up a feeder rod and a Zander rod.
I kept the casting frequent on the feeder rod but each time was pulling back Canadian pond weed. Same with the deadbait, smothered in weed after being out there for almost an hour. It had now started hammering it down with rain to boot.
I knew I couldn't put up with this weed so moved back up the lake and found the old boys peg free. He said he wasn't being bothered by weed and that was now good enough for a damp me.
Once again I put out the Zander rod and a feeder. The Zander rod didn't move all night.
After about thirty minutes of frequent casting I started getting indications of fish in the swim on the feeder. This soon resulted in a five pound five ounce Bream.
Soon after I had a skimmer about two pounds.
As darkeness descended the tip was constantly on the move. I could see the line pinging off the back of the Bream as the tip sprang back after being slowly drawn forwards.
The bites when they came were trembly but positive with the quiver twitching for a number of seconds indicating a fish had the bait in it's mouth.
I went on to catch two more Bream, both six pounds four ounces. Given I need an eight pounder to improve on my current competition standings these fish are not even on the radar. It was nice to make my peace with Coombe though and to actually extract something from the water. I can see my bike proving very handy as I'm sure I will return for the predator fishing later in the year.