Where’s the sun?

It seems if I touch my kit the heavens open; it is August isn’t it? Had a couple of hours down at Bowood on peg 9 but decided to do things a bit different.

I have been experimenting with Chinese floats and tackle and have just acquired a 5.4m Chinese  whip so decided to give it a go for an hour or so while the pole line settled (experience shows that it is usually 40mins before fish move over the feed at Bowood). Three balls of groundbait and a pot of casters and wheat was put on the 10m pole line while a marble of groundbait and a few casters went on the whip line. The whip was set up similar to the 11m one I wrote about with a dacron type end piece which I tied a knot in and then attached 0.14mm Shogun, loop style, and 0.12mm hooklength to a Sensei F103n 16, the float being the one on the left (the smallest one) which was attached bottom end only using a Chinese float attachment and took 2 x no 8 to lock it in position, 2 x no 1 3 foot from the hook, and 4 further no 8 as droppers.

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I was hoping to video the session but as I got to the peg the rain started so I left the camera safely in my pocket!

Bites came rapidly and after 40minutes I had  a few blades in the net with the whip performing admirably but very similar to it’s big brother.


A change to the pole saw a fruitless hour in driving rain before a skimmer of about 8oz  took the corn. One further small skimmer of 3oz followed in the next 30 minutes. I suspected the worst and when a row of bubbles erupted in the swim it confirmed my suspicion of a pike being present. A change to the whip for the next 20 minutes saw a steady run of blades and small rudd grace the net before I packed the whip up in a dry period and gave the pole another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I thought I would try the wheat (I had caught on the whip with wheat) and second put in saw the float bob before disappearing, a strike met with the solid thud of a fish as it went towards the weed bank but it soon turned and I suspected a bream until it got in close when I saw it was a crucian (one of my targets). Safely netted it weighed 2-12 a personal best!


Buoyed by this success I gave it another twenty minutes and on my last cast put corn on- the float buried and lifting into the fish was met with a solid weight that slowly then much quicker veered off to the right before leaping clear of the water and breaking me – a double figure pike (about14lb). At this point with the weather looking ominous I called it a day.

August awkwardness

August is traditionally a month where there is good weather and plenty of fish to be caught- right? – I wish! August so far has been a real mishmash – let me run down my August to date (matches first).

Aug 1st Angling Trust Individual Championships- Gloucester Canal, red hot sunny day, gin clear canal (albeit 15 foot deep) weeded margins up to 7m out (7ft deep straight down the side), lonnnggg walk.  3 bites – 3 fish for 0.080kg (2 perch, 1 blade)

Aug 8th Angling Trust Division 1 National Championships – Gloucester Canal (as above in all aspects) 3 bites – 3 fish 1.800kg (a bream of a kilo after 1hour 45 minutes, a tiny blade 5 minutes later and a hybrid of about a pound with 15minutes to go!) Result – 19 points, but at least team stayed up in Div 1!

Aug 16th Match fishing Scene (MFS) match art Weirwood Reservoir in Sussex (2.5 – 3 hour car trip), flat calm reservoir clear sunny conditions (needed a wind!) 7-14 of skimmers on the tip at 40m. A pleasant day day out in good company.

Then there is Bowood!

Visit 1 Peg 4 – the shallow end of the lake had got very weedy and almost unfishable so I had taken a rake along and cleared an area up to 10m out in pegs 4, 5 and 6. I then set up in my usual fashion on peg 4 and caught the grand total of  1lb made up of a few roach/blades taken on maggot to avoid a blank!

Visit 2 Peg 8 – After the shallow end fiasco I moved further up the field and started with 4 balls of groundbait followed by loose fed wheat every 5-10mins. This usually takes 40min- 1hour before the fish respond but I had to work hard to end up with a Tench of 3-14 and two bream of 4-0 and 3-9 plus some smaller skimmers for a 17 08 total.IMG_0598

Visit 3 Peg 8 – Decided to stick with the peg to see if fish had moved in or not. Was a frustrating time as the large weed bed on the right of the swim saw 3 tench find the bed and throw the hook (Lost Tench), however I did manage to get bream of 4- 8 (Bream ),and tench of 3-14 and 3-12 safely into the net with smaller samples for a total of 16-08. I had been experimenting with my shotting pattern given the weed and had settled on the bulk about 18inches from the hook with a second mini-bulk of 2 no 8 shot 4 inches from the hook. I had also changed to a heavier homemade 1g pencil float rather than my lighter 0.5g models  to see if that would counter the weed better. I videoed some of this session and the yellow tip could be seen for a change on the video. This led me to experiment with a flouro green tip with a1g body down homemade float in the following trips to see if the tip was more visible.

Visit 4 Peg 8 – this was a very short evening session and was done in heavy wind and driving rain, to cut a long story short, 1 tench 3-6 and some skimmers for 7-08

Visit 5 – Peg 9 – Moved along again to try the green topped float. Began with 4 balls of groundbait and lost an early fish, possibly a large skimmer, on corn then had to work hard to get 13-0 made up of bream 2-12, tench of 4-6 and 3-10 plus 3 further tench lost in weed bed. Green float was very visible to eye but cannot be seen on camera! The 3-10 tench was caught on camera and led me a merry dance, going into the pads around the platform. Have realised that I need to angle the camera down more in future!

Will see how the remainder of the month goes- MFS match at Ardingley and last of Summer League at Horcott, plus more Bowood!

Bowood video – Tench and Bream

July has been a busy month and with holidays and various other matches I have only been able to visit 3 times. The first visit was to the same peg (peg 5) and resulted in several bream to 4-4 and a tench of 3-12 for a total of 37-14. The next visit was a week later and peg 4 where the weed had really taken hold- a frustrating short session resulted in tench 4-4, 3-4, 3-3, bream 4-2 for a 19-14 total but also saw mew lose 5 good tench in the weed.

I only had one further opportunity for a short session in July and fished peg 6 which by now was very weedy (must take a rake next time) and I decided to try filming some action!

Bream 4 13  short version

Tench 4 1 

longer clip of tench

August should give me the time to get a few visits in and have a good go at achieving some of my targets.