Have been a bit busy lately so not been blogging. Various matches have come and gone, some with success others not! June 16th has always been a special day in the past with the end of the close season (as was), Bowood still retains the close season so it was with some excitement and trepidation that I approached my first visits to Bowood a few days after the 16th.
I was surprised to find that there were only a couple of anglers present, one on the opposite bank, well up from where I intended fishing and the other not visible, presumably in the top swims. Based on last year I decided to fish the shallows and picked the third peg into the main field.
Plumbing up I found just about 2 feet of water with some weed visible under the surface.I found a clear patch and attacked it with 6 balls of groundbait and a liberal helping of wheat. I had set up the pole with a hollow elastic rated as 10-12, a homemade float taking 3 no 6 shot and 0.16 main line straight through to a size 16 Kamasan 911 hook (I was not in the mood to take any prisoners!) Hook bait was a single kernel of sweetcorn.
A slow start with few indications suggested that there were bigger fish in the area (or pike) so it was going to be a waiting game, after about 40 minutes the float dipped and then slid away – a bream of 3-12 soon lay in my landing net. Loose feeding a few grains of wheat every couple of minutes saw me steadily catch skimmers around the pound mark until the last cast saw me land a bream of exactly 4 lbs which brought my weight up to 23-5. A pleasing few hours fishing with no disturbance apart from the fledgling crows in the trees opposite constantly cawing to be fed!
A couple of days later saw me back to fish the same swim, same tackle and same approach but this time it was a real struggle. The weather had got very warm and I could see the black shapes of the bream moving through the shallow water but after an hour and a half all I had to show was 3 small “blades” for about 5ozs. Then the float lifted and slid away, lifting into the bite I was met with a solid resistance from a large fish that powered off towards the far bank, side strain turned it and there was a huge swirl in the water where the fish turned, after a coupler of minutes I had my first glimpse of the fish as it leaped clear of the water – a pike about 9lbs. It became obvious after a while that I had foul hooked it in the tail and following two further tail walking episodes and a 10 minute fight I finally had my first pike of the season in the net. The hook was firmly hooked in the tail and the fish took the scales down to 8-4.
.Next put in saw me get another bite which resulted in a bream of exactly 4lb. The next couple of hours saw me get the odd skimmer up to 2lb but the stream of bubbles that kept erupting after the small fish scattered across the surface told me the swim still had several pike in it. I left them so it with a total weight of 16-10- low by normal standards but better than I thought after the slow start.
It was several days later before I could return, this time at midday and I decided to move further up the field and settled on the fifth peg.
Plumbing up saw a more respectable 3-4feet of water and I set about my usual approach. Forty minutes in I had my first bream, 3-12 followed by some smaller samples before a more powerful fish took the corn and made a bee-line for the weeds. Steady pressure saw the first tench of the season at 3-8 grace my net,the first tench of the season is always special,
and would be followed by two further samples of 3-4 and 2-0 plus several more bream to bring my total to 41-1 after 4 hours.
That was my June at Bowood completed as I already had commitments for the remainder of the month but it was a satisfying start. I try to set myself targets at the start of each season and the ones I set myself for Bowood were to catch (each with a tariff according to the level of difficulty)
|Bowood double pike|