Sunday, 27 September 2009

Two of My Favourite Things.

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.

Here are two purchases I made with Christmas pressy money last year which have seen some proper use this year and are still going strong.

I like to be mobile, especially on rivers, and these two fit the bill.

Both were from John Norris of Penrith, a game anglers mecca and somewhere we always called in at on our way up to the Highlands.

First is a shooting stick which allows you to have a seat upon almost any gradient and surface, apart from deep mud into which the shaft will disappear - which I found out to my cost last weekend!

Second is a Daiwa Wilderness folding Trout net. These fellas are cheap as chips, extendable, light and easy to carry through undergrowth.


Saturday, 26 September 2009

Zzzzzzz........... 3pts.

Friday 25th September, 08:30 - 20:30. Stratford Lido and Lucy's Mill after Zander with Pete. Glorious early Autumn day.

This was a pretty successful day after Zander on the river.

Like the title? I am making ze joke! Process the joke. Ha Ha yes? Laugh then! OK, not so funny.

I arrived at the Lido about 07:40 just as the sun was coming up over the tree tops on the far bank. Glorious. Better still I've got a whole day of quenching this endless thirst for fishing.

I took a walk down to the shallow bay and saw some small fish in the clear water weaving amongst the weed. Wow, clear water. We've had nigh on three weeks without rain and with the air cooling at night the water was transparent. My texts and call to Pete went unanswered and I began to fear he'd fallen into The Trap. The trap is set the night before a day off work to go fishing. Excited about your forthcoming outing you have a beer, then another etc. You stay up too late and drink too much because you can, you've no work!! Bam, the fishing alarm goes off and you've not had enough sleep. The early brain fog persists into the day and clouds your fishing judgment and dulls all your aforementioned enthusiasm. If things don't go your way from the off then you can too easily slip into the blank mentality. A sorry state for any angler. Half way through a day and already resigned to not catching. Mentality is important when fishing. If it's not going your way then do you need to change something or sit it out knowing your method's right but the fish are not playing ball. The blank mentality means you stick it out even if a change would be better. I am always happiest when chasing the next opportunity, never happy to sit behind dead rods.

Pete turned up just before nine. I had tarred him with my brush as he had a cold.

I set up on the boat-turning bay at the swan's neck at the Lido. I'd beefed up the submerged float rigs for Perch for today. Wire traces replaced the nylon hook lengths in case of a Pike. I cast the right hand rod into the turning area and the left hand rod three quarters across. Pete feeder fished upstream of me.

The first hour and a half passed without a touch. I had both rods on quiver tips and braided line as I'd heard Zander bites could be finicky and I wanted to see everything. Braid meant I saw the leaves touching the line as they blew off the trees and drifted past. At one point a squirrel farted a mile away and I had a twitch on one of the rods.

As the sun rose I could see the deep channel on the far side was thinner than I thought and was quite tight up against the far bank trees. I recast the left hand rod as close as I could to the far bank.

I love the Avon;

Within five minutes of casting I had a snatchy twitch on the left hand rod. I struck straight away into thin air.

I moved the right hand rod over to the far side too and recast the left. Once again, in the shade of the trees the left hand rod twitched. I left it twitching for maybe fifteen seconds this time - a lifetime. I struck and was into a fish. It was a Zander weighing 3lb 14oz. That's worth bronze in the competition (2pts).

Off the blocks;
Whilst holding this fish for the photo it kicked and it's serrated gill plate bit deeply into my unprotected right thumb. It was not pretty. I have been showing the wound to my daughter all day as it makes the base of her back go funny. All subsequent fish were gloved.

Both rods stayed out on the far bank for the rest of the morning. I missed another bite then connected with a fish weighing 4lb 8ozs.

Silver Zed (3pts);
After this one I missed three more bites, i think through striking too early. As the afternoon approached and the day brightened further the bites eased up.

Snarling and angry - Pete makes it into this photo;
We moved down to Lucy's Mill for the late afternoon / evening session. Pete was after a Barbel and I would like to have seen him catch one as I'm beginning to forget what they look like. The parking was a bargain at £9 each.

Whilst it remained bright I didn't have many bites down on the weirs however it clouded over late afternoon and as the sun faded and dipped the action got going. I went on to catch five further fish but nothing topping 4lbs 8ozs.

Overall I estimate I hit 40% of the bites across the whole day. Not good stats but it's harder than you think with these jiggly biters. They don't tug hard or run off with it in my very limited experience.
I caught three Zander in quick succession as dusk dimmed to last light but then subsequent casts to the same area went untouched. I've heard Zander hunt in packs and this run of fish followed by nothing supported that.

I tried for a Perch down the side at dusk and hooked two fish which fell off before netting. This made my voice rise an octave or two as they were definitely both over a pound. I can feel a door opening here for future evening sessions.

I enjoyed Zander fishing. The way I did it it was like quiver tipping for predators.

Pete got amongst the Bream but Berty didn't show.

Here are the scores in the competition;


Cross-Fertilisation for Perch

22nd September, 16:00 - 20:30. Brookfield with Jeff Hatt. Blowy but warm enough to fish in a shirt.

You might have already gathered that I met Jeff through keeping this blog. This is a good thing as Jeff's an artist and I'm a scientist. He has a different perspective on things and that is always interesting, especially when it helps you put some of the pieces together from the puzzle that is fishing.

The flipside is he's already written up the fishing trip after Perch on Tuesday evening. As you might expect from an honest man it was as he described. I'll just give you the story from the swim one peg to the left of him.

Picking up on Danny Everitt's theme of suspending baits for Perch I read up on a few articles that described the rig with a submerged float creating a washing line effect with the bait hanging down. The rig is pretty fiddly and if trying it I would advise setting it up beforehand to save time. The one I used Steve Burke referred to as the 'Dyson Paternoster' in his article Big Perch from Commercial Carp Fisheries. I put this out on one rod.

The second rod was partly for fun but also to occupy me whilst I fed red maggots in the area adjacent to the left hand rod. I say partly for fun as I reckoned I stood a slim chance of a big Perch on red maggots too. In order to cope with anything hooked I fished 5lb line straight through to a strong 14 under a pole float. As it happened I still caught plenty of silver fish on this set up with four nice Roach to about 12ozs being the best. I also had a few Rudd, skimmers and loads of small Perch.

Jeff wearing next seasons Flat Cap 'n' Wax Jacket match range from Garbolino.

Oooooh, moody;

Despite four rods in the water neither of us connected with anything which truly pulled back. Jeff had the biggest fish in a Bream but I refuse to believe it pulled back.

I had a couple of hits on the left hand rod which brought half a worm back in but this could easily have been the small Perch.


Monday, 21 September 2009

River Leam Before Work Party (Plus a Moan)

Sunday 21st September, 07:30 - 09:30. River Leam at Newbold Comyn. A warm morning.

Apart from a short session at Offchurch a few years a go I've not fished the River Leam. Leamington Angling control a significant proportion of it's fishable length and so it was bank clearing work which made my appointment with this stretch.

A bit of word of mouth research and a heady dose of google maps told me I could expect to find, permanently coloured water on this section as there is an overflow from the Grand Union canal upstream which dumps into the river. Apparently once the boats get moving and the locks are in full swing the input of water noticeably changes the rate of flow.

Roach, Rudd, skimmers, Chub, Perch and Zander are present but I was after a Perch - armed with a single float rod, some red maggots and some worms.

I set up a light waggler between two trees upstream of the car park which is by the allotments. The landscape was fine enough on a late September morning but the water looked uninviting and dour. It was the colour of a canal and very very slow moving. The odd blade flipped which provided encouragement.

I set the float to 4ft and plumbed the depth. I didn't see the float surface at any point of the river's width. I set it to 6ft but the same happened. 8ft and 10ft flew past and still no sign of the orange tip. It was 11ft deep under my rod tip! As there was such little visibilty and flow I tied on a light hooklength and started on red maggot about a third across. After an hour I'd not had a touch and so moved swims.

Upstream I found a depth of eight foot in the edge and so put some reds in by the edge of a long run of reeds. Second cast and I hooked fish as I was withdrawing the float to inspect the bait. It was a Perch and I don't know if I would have seen the bite if I left the float in a little longer or if it grabbed maggots as it saw them moving off the bottom. Either way, a Perch;

I was sat on the ground in this peg but was becoming fed up of being harangued by the endless stream of passing dogs and so perched (geddit) on my shooting stick to regain some altitude. The dogs divided neatly into two camps: Labradors, Spaniels and the like which when they caught sight of me just off the main path bounded through the gap in the undergrowth and looked happy and inquisitive. These daft things were greeted with a "hello dog" and returned to their owners when called. Still a bit of a pain in the arse as it happened almost every five minutes towards the end, but not half as much of a pain as the other camp of dog. These too caught sight of me whilst running along the main path but instead of bounding over would put the brakes on and stood at the peg entrance barking and snarling. Frankly, "Don't worry he's friendly" just doesn't cut it when the untethered muscle-bound fashion statement is apparently taking objection to my Perch fishing technique. One guy played a one man game of british bulldog with his beast trying to keep it from entering my peg. Of course it had no lead. Couple this with the endless dog crap on the path and even better plastic bags of dog crap chucked up into the bushes and left to swing in the wind and my already limited enjoyment was being further dulled.

Whilst spiralling into this negative state of mind, regretting the previous nights grog and excessive time spent into the night making the ultimate playlist on Spotify the point of my shooting stick apparently pierced the upper crusty layer of the bank and the shaft rapidly disappeared downwards taking my svelt 16st frame with it. I swore, and then laughed, and then shook myself out of it with another move.

I wandered downstream and tried trotting a large worm at four fifths depth along side some tasty bankside cover but didn't have another bite. There were a few other guys fishing by this time and they each reported catching small stuff. Given the depth the pole would seem to be a good approach.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

A Couple Fish from Brandon!

Tuesday 14th September, Brandon Marsh. 16:30 - 21:30. Strong cool NE.

Brandon again. Still after a Carp, Tench or Bream.

Dispensing with the feeder rod tonight I reverted to the method I know best of all and have probably caught most Carp on; lift method float. My favourite bait for the lift method is a large lump of bread flake. The large fluffy nature of this bait ensures that when it is sucked up into the fishes mouth the telltale bottom shot is easily dislodged.

Tonight I wanted to use maggots as hookbait though as they offer good cross-species attraction. I've missed a few bites in the past fishing with a large bunches of them directly on the hook and so tonight used a maggot clip on a hair to keep the hook point clean, loading the clip with about ten red maggots.

This Carp rod was swung out and then I pretended it did not exist. Not hard at all as it happened.

Back on the float rod I fished over the silt at the bottom of two marginal shelves in a thin strip of water between two islands. I was well away from open water tonight and sheltered from the wind.

I fed five balls of feed-laced groundbait at the outset then fed handfuls of maggots over the top with the odd ball the rest of the night. Maggots were fed pretty regularly in small amounts as I reckoned they would soon be in the silt. The groundbait was left over from last week and had been frozen in the mean time to keep it fresh, this meant it had a healthy dose of dead red maggots which would have stayed on top of the silt.

The float occasionally twitched as small fish plucked at the maggots on the clip. At seven o'clock I had a bite straight after casting which resulted in a Perch about 10ozs. You'll have to trust me on this as I dropped the fish in when trying to take it's photo!!

A little later a long-winded and dithery bite lead to a bootlace Eel. It was pretty deeply hooked but I retrieved the hook OK and the fish swam off.

That was it for action. A little better than usual.


Another Family Fishing Trip

Sunday 12th Sept, 17:30 - 19:30, Brookfield Fishery with the Kids. Cool and blustery.

I managed to get my face into the local paper this year after catching that big Barbel at the end of last season. Young children are easily impressed and over time I have managed to convince both of mine that they too could be in the paper if they caught an impressive fish. Everyone loves a big Perch and both children treat them with respect when they catch one, simply because of the potential for a spiking.

With big Perch in mind the three of us nipped to a local commercial after a Perch.

We had limited time so I just took one whip and some red maggots thinking they could 'share' the rod. This proved a bit optimistic once we started catching.

We caught Roach, Perch, Skimmers and hybrids. No monsters in the end but the Roach were by far the biggest fish of the evening going to 12ozs.

We stayed until dusk and I got in trouble for keeping them out too late on a Sunday night before school without their tea. Great Fun!


Saturday, 12 September 2009

Brookfield After A Perch

Thurs 10th Sept, Brookfield fishery, 16:30 - 19:30. Warm sun in the day but turning chilly once it was on it's way down. Summer nights are on the wane.

I'd fished this almost overgrown top pool earlier in the year in the hope of a Perch and caught lots of small Rudd, Roach and Perch. After some reading up I've been doing on big Perch I returned even more convinced this almost unfished pool would hold a biggie.

The sun was bright and the water on this pool is clear and I could see a truck load of Rudd under the surface as I set up. Polaroids on, my first handful of reds saw the water boil and golden sides flash.

I set up with a 14ft rod and pole float on 2.3lb line straight through. I caught from the off. Rudd, Roach, skimmers and small Perch. All in absolute mint condition, a real pleasure to catch.

I kept the maggots trickling in and soon saw a better fish cruising round picking off the grubs as they fell. I thought it was a monster Roach at first and that got my ticker racing, but after it showed a few more times I could see it's white Chubbery lips. Joining the Chub now numbering three up in the water, were some better Perch. I caught a few of these at about 8oz.

About one in five flicks out made it past the Rudd in the surface layers to hang suspended under the float. When it did so it was usually a better fish that bit.

I was soon connected with something which took line, I couldn't stop it and it made it to the lillies and broke me. This happened again soon after which prompted me to change reels (never an enjoyable task when mid-session) as this pattern of events was not fair on either fish or my hook collection.

Now on 5lb through to 4lb hook length I next hooked and landed a brown goldfish from near the bottom.

Keeping the bait near the deck I went on to catch a fair few more of these. The biggest was approaching two pounds and although they looked pretty Crucian-like I have scruples so didn't claim (:)). Running my thumb nail gently down the spine of the dorsal fin revealed deep serrations characteristic of a goldfish.

The Roach and Perch I was catching started to get bigger and then I hooked one of the Chub which put up a great scrap in the tight swim.

I haven't checked back properly but I think this is only the second Chub I have caught this season - and on a blog entitled Warwickshire Avon too - this fishing competition has certainly turned my fishing year on it's head. Warwickshire Avon is proving a misnomer of a title.

A Chub;

Do you think this boy had been enjoying the maggots before I caught him?

I caught two more Chub in addition to the first.

I fished on until dusk but didn't catch my big Perch but found I wasn't bothered really. I was quite carried away with the variety and quality of the fishing and slipped comfortably into this pleasure session.

Nil points, but I'll be back


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

King of the One Liners.

8th September, 17:00 - 22:00 Brandon Marsh. Warm with stiff SW to start, switching to W and drizzle at the end. 22C.

Back to Brandon then eh? After big Bream / Tench and Carp are you? Well strap yourselves in for this almighty and frenetic installment in which the sum total of ten rod hours is;

One line bite on the quiver tip.

I fished two rods. One for Carp, one for Bream or Tench.

The Carp rod I set up and carefully cast out first and then pretended it wasn't there all evening - a light running rig with loose line to the rod tip. I scattered just two pints of particles and a few tigers around the hookbait not wanting to overdo it. Forgetting it was there was easy as it was just out of my field of vision and didn't make a sound all night.

This rod does not exist;
The second rod was a simple running cage feeder with a hedonistic blend of fishmeal groundbait, brown crumb, particles, maggots and small pellet stuffing, all soaked overnight in various liquid additives. On the strong fourteen hook were three red maggots. In addition to a twenty minute casting cycle I catapulted out approx ten balls of groundbait at the outset. Right on the money and producing a lovely smooth slick amongst the chop of the wind.

Please email me if you see it move, I'll be down the pub;

At 19:10 I had a line bite on the quiver tip. The tip was pulled sharply round to nine o'clock and then sprung back. Inspection of the hookbait revealed the maggots were all intact, not chobbled or skinned. The line bite caused me to sit poised like a coiled spring over the rod for the next thirty minutes in case something else happened. It didn't and I eventually reclined.

The Silver Birch is the casting target;

I used my time wisely, carrying out grounbait ball breakdown timings in the clear marginal water to inform my casting cycle. By eight thirty when I had still not had a proper bite I eased up on the casting as there seemed little point adding more bait to an area where fish weren't eating it.

Please don't misunderstand my cynicism. I am reliably informed there are fish in Brandon and of a great stamp, it just appears I can't catch them.

Two Betalights on the quiver tip help to see bites in the dark, or not as the case may be;

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ryton Predator Fishing Before Work Party

Sunday 6th September, Ryton Pool before work Party. 07:30 - 09:30. Mild and dry 15C, still breezy.

I'm not much of a predator angler and so feeling the target of a double figure Pike in our competition is achievable I thought I should make an early Autumn start. I would also dearly like to get this one 'out of the way'.

I awoke late and so didn't get to Ryton until 07:30. Passing fellow committee member Mark Brophy on the point on my way up the road bank he said he's had nothing so far.

I settled on the sand bank and put out two dead bait float rods, both with Smelts. An hour passed with nothing to show. I think one of the reasons I don't overly like predator fishing is because it's not like fishing for other species where you get line bites, twitches and touches. With Pike fishing it's all or nothing. Your float can sit motionless for most of the day and then suddenly disappear without warning, being pulled primevally off into the depths.

With just twenty minutes remaining before the rest of the guys would start assembling for the bank clearing work I removed the float on one of the rods with the intention of wobbling the bait through the water.

On the second cast I felt the bait being hit and could feel the fish on the rod tip. I struck and connected with a solid fish.

The fight was typically Pike-like with moments of smooth gliding interjected by ferocious sprinting pace. I won the day and netted the fish which I could see was into double figures.

I had a glove on hand for the unhooking which went smoothly. Mark came around after I'd called over to him and he kindly took photos.

This is my PB Pike, 14lbs 12ozs;

This fish earns me five points in the challenge I have on with my mate Pete this year. The scores are now;


Stratford With The Family

Saturday 5th Sept, A few hours in the afternoon at Stratford (at the children's request) within a family outing. Cool 16C windy, overcast.

With one eye on the challenge and with my daughter Abbey expressing an interest in a Pike we started at Stratford on a deadbait with smelt and a spinning rod.

Neither the upper weir pool, the glide between the weirs or the hole by the sluice produced a take to either deadbait or spinner.

Switching codes I set up the pole and fed maggots. First cast Abbey hooked a Perch in the upper weir pool. As the Perch was drawn upwards it was engulfed by a good Pike. At this point we were on 1.7lb bottom and a 20 hook. Abbey shrieked as the elastic in the pole was pulled out as the Pike lunged this way and that. As is always the way at Stratford at the weekend when a fish is hooked a small crowd soon gathered - much to Abbey's pleasure. We had it on for about five minutes before the hooked slipped free. We were not bitten off, just a hook pull!

The swim went quiet for a few minutes afterwards but then Abbey got into a good Roach. I don't know what possessed me but I thought I could swing it out on the pole. It was when the fish was two thirds out of the water that I could see it's true size and at the exact same moment the hook slipped. If I end up losing this competition then I will look back on this as my gravest error. Of course I can't certify that the Roach was over 1.5lb but it was certainly over a pound. Why didn't I reach for the net!!!???

We persevered with the pole and caught more Perch and Bleak.

Eventually the deadbait smelt was grabbed and the bob pulled under in a most dramatic way. I struck and quickly swung in a Jack Pike of about 1.5lb. The kids really enjoyed it's menacing qualities.

Nill points but good fun this one.



Thurs - Fri, 3rd - 4th Sept, Hardwick Lake, Linear Fisheries with Pete. Showers Thurs evening then dry with a very strong westerly wind. 18C Max, 10C min.

Pete and I took a trip to Linear fisheries in Oxfordshire after a big Bream foremost but also hoping for a Tench or even large Roach or Rudd.

It seemed to take a age to get down there after work on Thursday evening. I was travelling from the centre of Birmingham and it took over an hour and a half. This length of journey was very frustrating.

We picked our swims on the windward bank because of the prevailing wind and the reports of recent Bream catches of 13lb fish. It was noticeable that the nights are beginning to draw in as it was almost dark by 19:45.

A rain cloud departs;

I fished two rods at about 40yds, both with groundbait feeders. I spodded out some particles to the general area (accuracy into the wind was difficult) and catapulted out balls of groundbait with food items which flew truer. I had two cut down 10mm halibut marine boilies on the hair.

Despite both our excitement and anticipation neither of our indicators budged during the early evening.

I'd set up my bed early and was in full winter mode as the forecast was for a chilly night. Pete and I wandered between pegs and had a good catch-up over a few beers whilst we fished pretty earnestly into the night. We also saw two mahussive planes fly over Linear which we thought were the new Airbus. In addition to the monstrous planes were the Carp which we heard crashing around us at dusk. The Moon rose over the tree line behind us at about ten o'clock which cast a cracking light on the countryside and the lake. I was lying in my bed watching my rods lit by the bright moonlight at one point, happy. I tried to take a snap but it failed without a flash. Here's a flash version..

Beers drunk, it was time to turn in just before 23:30.

At 01:00 I was woken from a pretty deep sleep by my right hand rod. To be honest the first thing I remember is waking up holding the rod and feeling a bit sick from being so rudely yanked from my slumber.

I slowly came to whilst playing the fish very gently. It wasn't doing much and I had it down as a big Bream. After a slow motion fight I soon had it ready for netting and was surprised to see it was a Carp. I was even more surprised when I tried to lift it up and felt how heavy it was.

It weighed 25lbs 8oz and earns me an additional point in the competition ( i already had a two point bronze);

Apart from the odd bleep I didn't have anything more during the night.

I baited pretty heavily again at about 06:30 hoping to make a bite before the day warmed. By 10:30 I couldn't sit behind motionless bobbins for one minute longer and was packing up my shelter and moving to plan B.

Plan B was to get onto the back of the wind and try some up in the water float fishing for the impressive Roach and Rudd which live in Hardwick & Smith's.

I worked my way round all the fishable spots on the calmer side of the lake, giving each a good twenty minutes but by the time I'd reached the end of the far bank I hadn't had a single bite! I'd ended up in a very enticing deep corner however which looked to have good Breamy potential. Hiking back to the car once again I pursued Plan C - to fish a slider float with maggot in the deep corner over my remaining groundbait.

I once again re-tackled and balled in some foody groundbait. I was fishing a two swan shot straight Drennan Crystal as a slider in approx 15ft of clear water. On the hook four maggots on a 12 to 6lb hook length.

Within an hour I had a bite and was connected to a fish which felt like a very good Tench. As I drew it to the net it turned into a mid double mirror. At the net it flicked it's head, shed the hook and was away.

I had one further bite which I missed.

That was it then. No Bream, no Tench but a nice Carp.

Scores are now;


Attempting a Snitterfield Perch

Tuesday 1st September, Snitterfield Reservoir after work with Danny Everitt. Really gusty winds with heavy rain for a while. Cooler, 16C.

Having spoken to Danny at Ryton the other week we arranged a trip to Snitterfield to try for a Perch. We both reckoned there's potential for a big one in there given the large number of small fish and no other predators.

Before starting Perch fishing in earnest at dusk - a species I had never previously targeted - I had a go on the pole for Crucians.

I fished a halibut pellet on a band under a pole float. It didn't take long to get a bite but I lost the first fish (which felt like a Crucian) when the hook just pinged off. This was on 1,7lb bottom so I upped my hooklink to 2.3lb.

The second fish was a Carp which tore off in an unstoppable fashion. Once again, ping, I could do nothing about this one. I upped the hooklength to 3.2lb.

The third fish I lost was either a skinny Pike or an Eel. It pelted off to the right but I turned it and brought it round in front of me. Here it hung in the upper layer of water giving me a glimpse of it's ultra thin back. After hanging for a millisecond it darted off at incredible speed into the weed bed on my right. Ping. I upped the hooklength to 4lb.

I landed a Roach about 10ozs next which was a welcome relief.

The fourth and final fish lost was another Carp. Once again it surged off with unstoppable force for a pole towards the weeds and pinged the hook. If I fish this method again it will be rod and line. Although there's a lot of stretch in my elastic larger fish simply make it to the weed beds because of this stretch. Once there it's a simple job for them to shed the hook. Not enjoyable to lose 4/5 fish.

With dusk closing in I changed and fished a coupled of worms underneath a stick float under my float rod tip. The float was rarely still with small Perch hitting the bait and puling the float under.

We fished into last light then called it a day, neither latching into anything significant by way of Perch.


College Pool With The Kids

Bank Holiday Monday 31st August, College Pool 14:30 - 18:00. Warm enough but blowy.

Both children had asked to go fishing this afternoon. Having shown them my entries relating to our previous trips I think there's a bit of competition growing between them to get a photo up.

Choosing a venue was pretty tricky. I needed somewhere where we would definitely catch but where there was also the chance of a bonus point in the competition (which is never far from my mind this year). I ditched Brookleigh in favour of the chance a half decent Rudd or Perch at College Pool Wasperton. A little further to drive but somewhere they could roam if bored with ease.

Two kids, two whips with me in the middle of them, an administrative nightmare! I soon lost count of the number of maggots / tangles / trees which needed sorting out. We sat in the corner by the Lilly bed pretty much out of the wind and caught Perch after Perch. Each of which was fed a 'bonus' maggot before being returned. After starting shallow I dropped the hooks towards the bottom which was a good 10ft down perhaps 4ft out but still Perch.

We moved swims up the other end of the lake and started on the bottom this time - we couldn't get a bite but boy was it deep.

After another move I decided the depth was too great to deal with and so started dribbling the maggots in slowly and sparingly in the hope of bringing fish up in the water. Once again we were straight into Perch. Eventually came a Rudd - nothing special - then another, then Abbey had a nice Roach about 12ozs. More Perch followed but these were interspersed with the odd Roach and Rudd.
We packed up as the light was just on the wain and the maggots were running thin. A thoroughly enjoyable trip.