Tuesday 13th October, 16:30 - 20:30. Coombe Pool. On my bike!
This evening session for Zander at Coombe forced home the marked transition from summer to autumn. The cold nights and shortening days are forcing the leaves to abandon photosynthesis for this year and the green chlorophyll colour is rapidly dropping out of the leaves. The remnants of these energy factories are breaking down leaving the golden colours we associate with the season.
Needless to say Coombe looked fantastic. Capability Brown designed the gardens around the main house but I don't think he had a hand in the ancient woodland in which I was fishing, evolution can take credit for this;
As an angler it's the time of year when you get boiling hot walking to your peg whilst the sun's up but then feel the cold once it dips behind the trees.
Tonight I was on my bike again and rode the short journey from my home to the woods section of Coombe. I took with me two rods and a method which had caught me thirteen Zander in my last three sessions fishing for them on the Avon.
There was simply masses of weed still about. Most annoying was the bright green snot weed which stretched perhaps thirty feet out lining the edge of the pool. This hampered retrieval and might prove troublesome if something decent had to come through it. Second most annoying was the Canadian pond weed which sparsely populated the deck even at forty five yards out. This troubled me as I was never totally confident my bait was not masked.
Thankfully I'd modified a pole V-backrest to support my rods as I'd remembered how hard it was to get a bank stick in last time I was here. This allowed me to keep the tips high up and the line out of the weed skirting the margins.
Stillwater Barbel/Shore fishing for Zander;
I was using braided line on both reels and my bait was fished perhaps four inches off the bottom. The effectiveness of the rigs ability to keep the bait off bottom was reduced due to the lack of depth in the lake and distance I was fishing. I was essentially using a variant of the Dyson rig I've cited previously but without the submerged float.
At dusk the sky turned pink and then purple as the sun shone upwards from the horizon onto the undersides of the clouds. Also, at least thirty seven Swans glided up the far bank in a line to take up their overnight roosting position somewhere out of sight.
How many swans can you count?
Disappointingly the tips didn't move all evening apart from the odd bat bite caused by them bumping into the raised lines.
The water in the lake was crystal clear and I got the feeling I was fishing in a converse location to my recent Stratford sessions. When on the river during the day I've focused on the deep or dark covered water where I think the Zander are holed-up when it's bright, and these have produced. Noticeably the action from these areas has dropped off as dark arrives and I think this is due to the Zander reacting to the dimming light and going out hunting in open water. Sometimes I've had a run of fish in quick succession in the gloaming from one spot but then nothing at all afterwards. Like the Zander pack has moved through the area and off to some other hunting ground where they will spend the night.
I still need a five pounder.
PS. Pete and I are planning our Christmas fish on Monday 28th December and then out for some ales in Cov' to celebrate the end of this competition and it's self-imposed stresses, and from my perspective the end of this blog. Starting point will be the Town Wall Tavern. Anglers one and all are welcome to join us. I'll contact those I know directly but if you want details nearer the time drop me a line at email@example.com.