Tuesday 29th September, 16:30 - 22:30. Napton Reservoir. Blowy but pretty mild.
I've learned a valuable lesson this season when fishing with groundbait - make it up at least twenty four hours beforehand. This allows the water to soak right through bait and also allows the mix to marinade and soak up the flavours of the liquid additives. A bit like last nights Chilli always tasting better the next day. Halibut pellets will go soft and leach out their oils and corn will dull in colour as it soaks up the fishmeal flavours - lovely.
Armed with a mix of 50:50 fishmeal groundbait and hemp with some hemp oil I arrived at Napton expecting to feeder fish into the evening. I wanted to fish the large reservoir as a carping friend has had Bream to 11lbs out. Remembering the problems I'd had with weed previously I first set up a rod with just a bomb tied on the end of the mainline.
This felt like hassle at the time as it was preventing me getting fishing and I'm normally so enthusiastic to get started as to not contemplate such a measured approach.
It paid off though as after casting and retrieving a few times I found the peg I'd first selected had weed all across it, invisible from the surface. Casting around to the left I found a deep weed free area. Gather up tackle and move left!
The same exercise here revealed the weed free and deepest spot was pretty close in so away went the feeder rod and out came a float rod. It was deep so I fished a two swan straight waggler as a slider down to a 5lb bottom. Ham-fisted oaf that I am I cracked the first float whilst setting it up which started to take on water after a few chucks. I was using a quick-change float adapter though, more for reduced friction in the float eye than anything else but I changed over quickly to a yellow tipped version of the same float.
I couldn't see the tip of this float as I was fishing into light water so added float rubbers to cover the yellow.
Finally, I started fishing! I can tell when things aren't going well as my teeth clench.
I balled in five orange sized balls and fished a bunch of red maggots on a strong 12 hook. Within a few casts I had a lovely lift which resulted in a Tench.
The resulting Tench;
A few Tench started to roll in the swim. I kept it topped up with groundbait and maggots.
I then missed a couple of bites. I inadvertently caught a small Rudd down the edge whilst the tackle lay in the side and I sorted out a twist on the tip ring. I fed maggots close in in the clear water and became distracted by a shoal of Perch eating them. One fish was half decent. Whilst on the subject of Perch some small fish were dimpling the surface over my groundbait where bits had floated to the surface. Twice during the session something struck at them and came clean out of the water. I'm not sure if it was Jack Pike or good Perch.
Weirdly I wasn't bothered about catching Tench tonight. There are loads in here and I think you'd have to get through a few to get a biggie. I switched across to two 10mm boilies on a hair under my float hoping for a Bream. Apart from two dips the float remained still though.
Towards the end I bit off the hair and put a bunch of maggots back on. This earned me one more Tench.