Due to the festivities and family commitments I did not get the chance to get out at all until Monday 5th. I decided to head for the same swim on the premise that it was the only peg that any bait had been going in (I can’t believe that I get the whole place to myself! ). Following on from the last visit I decided to cup in 6 balls of Red Supercup and Special mixed 50-50 and topped that up with a pot of micros – planning to return the next day also to see if it had drawn in any bream. The water colour was a bit murky but beginning to clear, although the wind was driving the rain into me. Tackle was exactly the same as previous visit which was a 0.75g Paster and 0.10Shogun hook length to an 18.
Small skimmers (blades really) began to respond to maggot and I was glad when the rain eased off after an hour or so, as I do not take a brolly, trusting my Cabelas Goretex waterproofs to keep me dry! Small fish continued in periods before finally on pellet a length of white hydro exiting the pole tip indicated the bream had arrived. The net was slipped under a welcome bream of 3-7 and 20 minutes later another sample at 3-0 was in the net. Another wait produced a final bream of 4-5 before I decided to throw the remainder of my groudbait in and high-tail it back home as I could see the weather beginning to deteriorate.
Next day saw me back at the same peg with high hopes. The water had got even murkier but at least the rain was holding off. Anyway the best laid plans succumbed to Murphy’s Law and after an initial roach and skimmer of around 12oz it went quiet- bream time I thought! The float buried with expander on the hook, yards of white hydro came out of the tip and after 10secs returned as the hook pulled. I was suspicious as it did not feel like a bream. The next hour saw very little action apart from the odd roach when I put a maggot on. At this point it went quiet again and once more the float buried and elastic came out with a solid weight on the end that then decided to move out in the lake, 10 minutes later my suspicions were confirmed as a pike close to 15lb came to the top before making another run out, another 3-4 minutes saw me try and net the fish in my woefully inadequate net- the head would go in but the rest wouldn’t or vice versa- you get the picture! Anyway. it made one more dash and the hook pulled!
Hoping it would have sulked out of the swim, I topped up and began on the maggot to see if anything was left in the swim, once again it was very slow and after about another hour and 3 small roach , a strange thing happened- another angler arrived! This chap had come down to do a couple of hours spinning for the pike in the next field. More small roach followed , not in any numbers and I was having to work hard for them.
The piker returned after about an hour and a half and reported no takes and began working the swims further down on the way back to the cars. Half an our later and back on the pellet, pike number 3 was hooked, this was a lot livelier and at one point I had all the sections of the pole on, after about 5 minutes I had it close enough in to confirm that it was indeed a pike and it was not going to fit in the net although it was smaller than then last one. A quick shout and waving my net got the desired response and my friendly piker netted the fish after another 5 minutes. Fortunately the hook fell out in the net and on weighing Mr Esox became my first double from Bowood at 10-13.
I fished on for another half hour but then gave up with no bream in sight.
Wednesday and Thursday were ruled out for a variety of reasons, but I was back on Friday with a larger net in tow! I began to get worried as there were quite a few cars there when I arrived but soon realised that they were there for a pheasant shoot. Finally got to the peg to find the water was chocolate in colour with no visibility down into the water. Same tackle but this time I cupped in 4 balls of my groundbait (same mix) and a quarter of a large pot of micros. One hour later – no bites, nothing on maggot, nothing on pellet. Now I reckoned that there must be larger fish there if the roach were not showing, the question being were they bream or pike!
On went half a worm to see if that could entice a bite and after 15minutes the float buried and I missed it!!! I then decided to put in some chopped worm, so 20 worms were quickly mushed up and the same mass of micros added and mixed in, this was potted in and I crossed my fingers. Half hour later the float lifted and then slid under, this time the strike was met by a solid resistance and the thump of a bream, soon a bream of 4-6 was in the net, followed fifteen minutes later by a smaller sample of 3-3. The wind was very strong but fortunately was blowing mainly into my face, I began to notice that the shooters were now moving from their initial positions and into the first and second fields. Soon the salvo of shotgun blasts began again, interspersed with dog whistles. At one point the wind must have been strong as I got showered by spent shot!
The bream, however did not seem to mind and were continuing to feed on the worm, as I added ones of 4-1, 3-10, 4-14, 4-4, 3-1 and a roach to my net at regular intervals, much to the interest of a beater who stopped to watch. Then I pulled out of 5 one after the other with no discernible reason- a quick top up and a change to pellet saw 3 further bream of 3-14, 3-5 and 4-7 before the skies darkened and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and returned home in far better spirits!
So a nice 39-2 net to ponder on (39-1 bream plus that lone 1oz roach!)