Tuesday 1st December, 16:00 - 19:30. Oxford Canal with Jeff. Cold.
Saturday 5th December, 10:30 - 14:00 Weston Lawns. Dry, bright and chilly.
Tuesday night saw me back on the canal with Jeff after a decent Roach.
I set one rod up for Roach on a light bobbin and alarm and fished a light lead with a borrowed worm and a few pouches of maggots around it.
I set a second rod up with a float for Zander. It was this rod that bought me my only bite of the evening which resulted in a small but tidy canal Zed.
Jeff had a nice Roach of 1lb 8ozs to his worm, a fish which continued his decent run and raised the subject of stats for various baits. The worm is definitely the weapon of choice for Jeff on the canal at the moment.
We fished for a few hours after dark but it grew colder by the minute and the rain came so we retired to the pub.
I grabbed a few hours this morning and intended to try for Roach at Hopsford Hall. I dropped my son off with his grandparents and drove the short distance to the fishery only to find it shut! Hopsford Hall has been closed from 30th November. That was my first bit of bad luck.
I had to find an alternative venue and so headed back in the direction from which I'd just come - to Weston Lawns fishery just outside Bulkington. I'd not fished here for at least five years but I recalled it had three pools. The first of the three contained some large Carp and so with the embers of my original plan still glowing I thought I'd give this pool a go for neglected Roach.
As I drew up beside the lake there were two tall birds about twenty feet away. They looked to me like Emu's and came over to check me out as I unloaded my gear. Weird. More on these later.
I chose a relatively sheltered peg out of the wind with lots of open water in front of me. I cast two large feeders with a mix of breadcrumb, particles, and a few small pellets a comfortable range into the open water before scaling down the feeder and starting fishing. Bread on the hook.
The pair of Emu's then sprinted around the back of my chair and onwards around the perimeter of the lake and out of sight. They can really shift!
Apart from a few trembles on the tip it was a bit quiet.
I was then visited by a huge white Great Dane which cantered round the lake from the other side. This dog was followed by something decidedly more squat which in turn was followed by a Jack Russell.
I next saw the trio of hounds when they walked with their master towards me. Their owner asked how I was doing and when I said I was after Roach he told me I'd be lucky as the pool had been netted and all the Roach and silvers transferred into 'pool three'. Second stroke of bad luck.
My heart sank. This is the second time this year I might as well have been fishing in a bath! I reasoned that if the netting had happened a year or so ago there could still be some left over Roach grown fat on boilies and pellets in residence. The guy had continued on by this point and as I mulled over my options I saw his muttley trio take off after the Emu's. The Emu's gave it legs and put some distance between them and their poorly proportioned pursuit pack. They then stopped, stood tall and kind of jogged with high knees on the spot, ruffled their feathers and returned the compliment to the dogs by sprinting straight at them. The dogs struggled for traction for a u-turn on the grass, especially the Great Dane, not so the Jack Russell, and belted off with two the Emu's in hot pursuit. The dog owner stood to one side as the high speed cortège blew past him but he seemed relaxed enough. I presume this must be a regular occurrence as the guy later took my money and so was obviously linked to the fishery and the dogs seemed to be having a wail of a time - Emu baiting.
I fished on without much indication and was joined by a ginger cat. I shooed it away only for it to go behind me and jump onto my head. It moved too quickly for me to hit it.
The guy with the dogs did another circuit of the pools and so I asked him when the netting had taken place. "About a month ago", came his reply. The Great Dane then nicked my loaf of sliced bread and bounded off with it. The owner appeared to appease him by saying the dog could have a slice if he gave the loaf back. The massive dog thankfully stood still while his owner took the bag from his mouth.
I moved to another lake and repeated the baiting up process. Within fifteen minutes I was getting indications on the tip. I had only forty five minutes left to fish by this time however.
I converted two bites into skimmers and by the time I was leaving the time taken for the tip to twitch after casting was becoming shorter and shorter. I reckon I could have caught more fish if I had stayed on.
The Emu's came to see me in my second peg and I threw them a slice of bread. The ate it in a flash and then came really close to me and started poking around my stuff. By god they're tall when you're sat down.
At the end I fed them some left over maggots and the remains of my bread. Weird.
In order to bring some ying to my yang I bought the family a lottery ticket each for tonight in the hope of good luck.