Sulky September

September is a funny month, it can be red hot or teeming down with rain or dead cold and this year has seen all of these! Only managed 5 visits to Bowood to date but will come to that in a minute. September has been punctuated by a visit away to a small place just outside Richmond in North Yorks with the wife and in-laws and the month finishes with my wife and I having a week down at Bulworthy near Barnstaple.

The Richmond visit was interesting as I had only put in a small haversack seat with a travel rod to fish the farm pond (lake) on the site to which I had sole use. Day 1 saw me go down in the evening for a couple of hours, waterproofs on, fleece on and shivering in the cold wind that was blowing. The water was about 100m long and 40-50m wide and was inhabited by a large flock of geese with the odd duck. The farmer’s wife had been vague when she said she was unsure what fish were in there so it was a trip into the unknown armed only with bread, corn and pellets. Two hours later having not found any area deeper than 18inches, nor seen any sight of fish I went back to the cottage to warm up with a whiskey! Next evening saw a similar story, except this time it was accompanied by torrential rain (thank goodness I took my Gore-tex!). Third evening the farmer drove down and stopped to chat- it appeared the water had been stocked with roach, perch and trout but they had been visited by cormorants! I didn’t bother again!

Bowood has been suffering from something, whether the effects of the climate or something else but it has fished poorly this year in comparison to last, either that or I have been fishing badly each time! The first visit saw me try peg 11, usually a banker for some roach and some bigger fish. Pike were again in evidence and although I persevered with corn I could not get anything apart from one large tench that took me into the weeds, so to save a blank put on maggot and put 1-02 of small roach in the net before giving the corn a final go to no avail.

The next visit saw a rare event- another angler but on peg 11 so I settled on peg 9 (the pegging is very generous so I was still 30-40+m away) and this time managed to get a tinca of 3-0 and two bream of 4-2 and 3-14 all on the corn, plus some other skimmers and roach for 16-00. From the videos of the tench and bream you can see that I have changed to a lighter hollow (an 8-10) given the change in conditions, I had also scaled down to a 0.12mm Shogun hook length.

Next two visits were unusual in that I was thwarted each time by someone fishing where I had planned resulting in me fishing peg 8 both times and somehow managing to catch exactly 10-00 each time one bream and one tench plus bits and losing two tench on each occasion!

Latest visit was today, got up with the decision to be at the lake and fishing before 9am. Well I achieved that despite a wheel coming off the trolley which resulted in me having to make some hasty repairs! The shooting season must almost be upon us as the pheasants were everywhere, one even being nosey enough to watch me through the gate on my journey down.

Peg 11 was duly primed with a couple of small balls of groundbait and some micros as the temperature when I set off was only 5C. Nothing on maggot, corn, pellet, in fact not a sign of anything so put in a bit of chopped worm-nothing, put in a second lot of worm then still fishing maggot at 10:44 it was as if a magical hand had turned a tap on -it was a bite a chuck on the maggot, albeit small fish. To cut a long story short corn produced the best tench so far this season of 4-5  and a bream of 3-2 then nothing. Ending with 9-12 a little after 2pm

When playing the tench a double figure pike followed it in and took an interest in my keepnet- so much so that I netted it while playing the tench. The pike did not take kindly to being netted and thrashed about in the net so much so I let it go and it disappeared at a rate of knots- I then proceeded to net the tench with a lovely rip in my landing net from the pike!!

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