Into August

August arrives and we were making hay while the sun shone so to speak, having the days out and the late afternoons down at Bowood. Returning for a 3 hour evening session Gareth again opted for 11 while I went on 12. Same rigs and feeding with a pot of worm going in after each tench saw fish of 3-14, 3-4, 4-12 and 3-12 plus a solitary rudd grace the net, two further tench were lost. Gareth had a tench of 3-1, lost another plus two roach.

Next day saw us go earlier than usual as we had family plans in the evening, peg 11 was taken so Gareth suggested going up to the next field, so we ended up on 13 and 14 (me). Gareth was soon busy catching the roach and rudd that seemed to be everywhere and I had several plus one small 4oz skimmer (at last, a skimmer) plus a solitary tench of 3-12. Friday saw us back in the evening and I was on 11 and Gareth on 12 for a slow evening session which only resulted in a skimmer of 1-4 and 4 roach (at least another skimmer has been caught!) and a lost tench was my only joy with Gareth having a couple of tench and bits.

I was on the Riverfest at Clanfield the next day and as usual my drawing hand produced the usual no hope peg – Peg 54 or permanent peg 87. 4 perch, 8 bleak, 1 tiny chub and 4 roach for 1-10 was my total for the match – par for that peg! The next day we went up to Yorkshire returning my mother-in-law after her stay with us.Gareth managed to talk his way into us taking some pellet and corn up with us in case we fancied a few hours at Birkwood, just down the road. (I have two travel rods and a bag of kit permanently in the car!) Anyway we ended up at Birkwood for a couple of hours on the oldest lake (can’t remember it’s name) on peg 11. We tackled up in the same peg, sitting on the ground and feeding the margins to the left (me) and right (reed fringed -Gareth). Single corn got response from the resident roach but I did manage to lose two carp, one a plodder that looked about 8-9lb but the hook pulled and the other went on a screaming run and snapped me on a snag. Gareth had a load of roach and managed to lose 4 carp in the rushes!

Birkwood is closed on a Monday so on the Tuesday we went for a short session late morning before we had to set off home in the afternoon.This time we went down the far end of the lake on the opposite bank and fished for an hour catching roach and Gareth had one carp before the grass that must have been cut the day before was blown into our corner by the wind and made presenting a bait impossible. We moved to the far end opposite where we had first fished and Gareth was having joy catching small carp and roach while I changed to a running bomb for 4 roach. However, when it was time to start packing up, I volunteered to sort out Garth’s rod while he carried on fishing with mine. No sooner than I gave him the rod when the tip slammed round with a carp- just my luck!


Back to Bowood and we plumped for a change – me on 9 and Gareth on 10. I had a bigger skimmer of 1-15 and two smaller ones and 6 roach but no tench although it was fizzing with bubbles, while Gareth managed a skimmer of 2-0 and tench of 4-6 plus his customary roach and rudd. Perhaps the bream are at last beginning to show!


Next day we were back on the usual pegs for a disappointing session- 4 skimmers and 12 roach for me on 12 with Gareth getting a solitary tench of 3-0 along with a few nice roach

.Map of pegs.jpgThat day we had received an e-mail from the estate manager reminding members that the Stock Pool and Pondtail Pool were weed free and available (I think he had been receiving a lot of complaints over the heavy weed!). We decided to give the usual side a rest and try the Stock Pool- a place I had never fished, nor realised was available! It is a long walk – 1340 paces (sad that I counted, I know)- but we set off for our customary 3 hour evening session. There are only 2 pegs so I sat on the closest (peg 1) and Gareth took the far one (peg 2).I was unsure what was in the lake and had debated whether to scale down but Gareth said to stick the same and see what happens. I began by putting in two balls of groundbait and a pot of chopped worm with micros. It was a slow start with a couple of roach before I hooked a fish which turned out to be a carp which promptly snagged be on a post I had not noticed. On closer inspection there was a line of submerged rotting posts in the water at 5m, I was fishing at 11.5m so I now had to think about how to play the fish in future.Fishing worm on the hook it was apparent that it was a sit and wait job, but eventually I had carp of 3-12, 3-12, 7-6, 4-11, 3-0, 5-2, 5-4 which with my two roach gave me a 33-0 total.Gareth had 11 carp (biggest 5-14) but mostly of a smaller stamp to weigh in 33-13 plus about 10 roach.

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The next day saw us back on the same pegs, this time I had carp of 3-12, 5-4, 4-12, 4-8, 5-8 and 0-4! plus roach for a 24-12 total, Gareth had a lot of pasty carp plus ones of 2-4, 1-0, 2-3, 5-0, and 3-15. It was appearing that the bigger fish were on peg 1. Gareth final chance to go to Bowood arrived and back to the Stock Pool for a short  afternoon session. This time he was on peg 1 and I went on peg2. Fishing shorter this time -8m, I encountered the same as Garth with lots of small hand sized carp but I did manage to get out ones of 3-10, 6-1 plus a crucian of 2-2 for a 14-0 total Gareth ended with 18-11 with 5 carp, 0-8,3-12, 5-12, 3-11 and 5-0.

Having safely seen Gareth back off to China it was the end of the week before I ventured back to peg 1 on the Stock Pool. Walking down I felt I was making a mistake as we had had the first rain of the summer and there looked to be a tinge in the water and I fancied that the bream may show on the usual pegs, but I continued. After a slowish start I had  some of the smaller carp of 2-3,,2-2, 4-14, 1-12 and a fish of 2-15 that looked like a crucian on unhooking it but I remain unsure- no sign of barbules on unhooking, lateral line count was okay but it just didn’t look right, may have been an odd brown goldfish or F1, although I didn’t think there were any in Bowood.25 roach and 9 pasties gave me a 17-12 total


Two days later I was back on peg 12 in the morning with a nice colour on the water I was hopeful of a good day. Beginning with 3 balls of groundbait and a pot of micros with a few grains of corn I had some small roach before a skimmer of half pound appeared. Next cast I had a roach of 3 oz that was almost ripped in two as a pike made a water erupting dive for it. Further small roach came but the next time I hooked one of about 3ozs the pike took it. Now pike are not everyone’s cup of tea and they are a pain in matches when they don’t count but I quite enjoy the fight on the pole when pleasure fishing. After about 5 minutes I managed to fit a pike of 7-8 into my landing net!


I then decided to introduce some worm into the swim, this resulted in tench moving in with 5 finishing in my net – 3-3,4-8, 4-10,4-10,4-2. Together with my roach and pike that gave a 30-1 total.

Two days later I was back on 12 again with the water now coloured so the bottom was no longer visible. Starting the same way I had a small roach first put in then a bigger roach taken by a pike which eventually succumbed to the net at 7-4. Skimmers of 1-12, 1-8 and 4 others under a pound followed plus a tench of 4-8 for a 19-0 total. The bream are beginning to move in so I hope September will be good.

Finally the last match in the Summer League arrived. Back to Clanfield with a weather forecast of wind and heavy rain! The one good thing is that you can drive and park directly behind your peg. The team were mid table, too far off the top to affect the leaders and well away from the bottom, but our other side was in third only a couple of points adrift. As I got to my peg, B6, permanent peg 41 the rain started and got worse and worse during the match with only a couple of short respites when it lowered in intensity. The peg was deep- about 12 feet at 9m sloped up away and towards me, so the only flat area I could find was at 9m so that was to be my attack line with 6 balls of groundbait laced with a handful of caster cupped in on the whistle. I was using a homemade wire stemmed 4g float with an olivette set 18 inch from the hook with 2 no 8 droppers. I also set up a feeder and waggler plus another top kit for fishing along the inside slope at 5m. I had decided to make this my hemp line, feeding a few grains every put in with wheat every 3rd put in – this was tried but no bites on tares or elderberry, a bush was at the peg and overhanging the water up stream of me.

To cut a miserable story short, I had 14 roach, 10 perch, 21 gudgeon, 3 dace and a little skimmer for 3-4 and second in section.Everything was soaked including me as I discovered that I needed to reproof my Goretex (as you may recall, I don’t fish with a brolly!). I was literally dripping wet and every layer of my clothing was wringing wet. I had to put an old towel on the drivers seat on the way home and as I write this my wallet is in the airing cupboard drying out. No- I didn’t go back for the results and end of league barbecue. I reckon I have about 4 days of drying out to do on my kit, but that’s fishing for you!

Jubilant July

Mid week with the last days of June saw me return to Bowood armed with my weed rake, I cleared 3 pegs – 5,8 and 12. Before and after can be seen below.

As previously experienced, raking a swim kills it for that day and this was no different – another blank. I had now sorted out in my mind what was needed;

the clarity of the water meant that a pole over the shallow pegs was a no-no but the weed meant that any tench hooked on rod and line would have to be dragged through weed and therefore lost, in all probability. The solution was to fish the deeper water although this was not the norm at this time of year. So that Friday evening saw me arrive at peg 12 which was just a mass of green weed, I knew the bottom was clear so this was just surface weed, ten minutes later after slowly easing the weed towards me and into the margins I had a clear channel up to 11.5 m (  I would need to do this on all subsequent trips as the wind blew more weed in to cover the peg).

Two balls of groundbait laced with micros and a few pieces of corn went into the swim to kick start it. Did I say kick start, after an hour an no signs I introduced some chopped worm with micros and corn and half a worm on the hook , ten minutes later fizzing started and 5 minutes later a tench of 3-4 lay in the net, the first of the season- always a welcome sight.IMG_20180629_180118220.jpg

A top-up of worm saw another tench hooked, but this time lost in the weed and the evening finished with one further tench of 5-8. This would be my lot for a couple of weeks as I had to go north to take the mother-in-law on holiday.

Holidays in Brid mean I get the chance to go of in the late afternoon to Rosedale Fishery at Hunmanby near Filey. My first session saw me on peg 2 where fishing the waggler I had 25 roach, 1 skimmer and 4 small tench for 7-14, all on the corn. I had two further sessions, both on peg 39. The first saw me finish with 10 roach, 3 skimmers, 2 tench and 1 rudd for 4-10 but also carp of 5lb, 3lb and 3x 2lb for 14-0 and a total of 18-10, again all on waggler and corn. The last session was possibly the most interesting as I had 3 roach, 3 skimmers and 3 tench for 4-10 (again!) but this time I noticed carp literally at my side in the pads. Now peg 39 has a large willow overhanging on the left of the peg with pads going out to a rod length or so, but under the willow it was pad free but had evil looking brambles in the margins instead. Using the telescopic feeder rod with 0.25mm hooklength to a 14 with 3 BBs 18inches above the hook, I lowered my double corn offering into the clear area the size of a dinner plate 6 feet from the platform. You could see the tails as the carp rooted around for the micros I was feeding constantly, the line tightened and I was in, an angry carp raced through the pads, but by keeping the tip in the water and following the carp through the pads I was able to eventually land a 3lber. Back in and this time a carp shot off under the tree before the hook pulled. Next in and with tails swirling around the line tightens and a better fish heads through the pads, 5 minutes later and I have an angry 12lber in the net.  I went on to hook 5 further fish, losing all of them, 3 to hook pulls, one shedding the hook into a 12foot branch under the brambles(I had to pull for a break on that one as the branch was coming so far out then stuck!)and the final one snagging me under the tree in the “clear water”, managed to get that back though! An exciting evening and although some may question the sense of fishing such a snag pit, playing fish by keeping the tip low or in the water helps greatly in overcoming the potential pitfalls as shown by not snapping on any fish.

Finally back home and Bowood peg 12 for an evening session, after clearing the weed I dispensed with the groundbait and started with a pot of chopped worm , micros and a few pieces of corn. Fifteen minutes in and the float lifted to provide my keep-net with a small tench of 2-14. I should explain my set up, due to the weed and shoals of rudd and roach I was using an 0.8g float with 4 x no4 set 12 inches from the hook and 3x no9 stotz 6 inches from the size 14 hook. Line was 0.18mm to 0.16mm hooklength, both Shogun. My aim was to get the bait down quick but have a very positive indication for lift bites that you invariably get with tench. My pole I use for Bowood is an old 13m Maver Metallica, some ridicule Maver poles as being prone to breakages but I have to say that the Metallica is the strongest pole I’ve ever used(so good  I have 2) and I’ve yet to break a section (I hope I haven’t tempted fate with that!), elastic is KND Green.

Anyway, I digress, the method I was settling on was hook a fish- feed worm- wait for bite; this seemed to work as I had further tench of 3-8 and 4-10 while losing 4 in the weed, a small roach and rudd also joined the tench in the net. Buoyed by this success, I returned the next evening for another 2.5 hour session and fishing the same way on peg 12 I had 3 rudd plus tench of 3-8, 4-4, 1-15, 4-10, 3-14, 6-2 (a PB) and 4-10 plus lost 3 others in the weed. A night to savour!6 2 tench Bowood

The following week I had two further evening session both on peg 12 but not as successful with the hot, sunny evenings having an effect The first saw one tench of 4-8, 2 rudd and a roach with two lost tench, including one that must have found a sharp snag as the elastic snapped and on inspection looked as if it had been cut rather than frayed. The following evening followed a similar pattern with a solitary tench of 3-0, 8 rudd, 3 roach and a perch with a further 2 tench lost in the weed.

With the next round of the Summer League at the weekend, I went to Sutton Benger down stream for a session. I struggled up through the field with huge cracks in the ground (the trolley went in up to its axle on several occasions. I wanted to fish the hard pegs and I walked past the fliers by the trees and had a look at peg 130- it didn’t look fishable with pads sub surface across the entire river. I trundled on further and settled into peg 127 which had clear water. There was little if any flow and what there was showed up at 2+2 range. Two balls of groundbait went in, one hard with 20 maggots in, the other slightly softer so it broke up at mid-water in the 8 feet I had. Loose feeding hemp and wheat I found fishing a white and red maggot produced most bites and from better fish, ending up with 1.5 to 2lb of small roach, perch, bleak, chub and gudgeon. The only other excitement was a big dog chubb that serenely cruised downstream disdainfully ignoring my attempts to mug it, and my keep-net being attacked by a pike of about 5lb!!

Friday saw me back at Bowood, peg 12 again for tench of 4-8 and 2-6, none lost this time plus a couple of rudd. Then the weather changes- we have rain so the visit to Benger on Sunday becomes a horrible march through cloying mud to my peg D1, down stream where I practiced. When I arrived I could not believe the pegging – the peg I had rejected on Wednesday for being unfishable was my home for the match! I plumbed up as best I could and found a tiny hole at 11m and a clear area on my 2+2 line between two banks of pads. So two pole rigs set up, one light and one heavy for worm, plus a waggler set 3 feet deep. Starting the same way as Wednesday but putting caster in the groundbait as well as maggots I started to catch tiny roach, chub and bleak short, while feeding hemp, after an hour this died, nothing on the 11m line and the rest of the match was spent scratching on the waggler and the light rig with worm. I ended up 4th in section out of 7 which I was chuffed with, especially as when others saw my pe4g they congratulated me for getting what I did out of there.

My youngest, Gareth, had now arrived for a couple of weeks from China and he had bought a Bowood ticket as he was planning on coming over in the new year also. So Monday saw us down at Bowood in the evening, Gareth went on 12 and I fished 11. I had to fish at 10m as there was a bank of weed at 11m. Fishing the same way with a bank of very dark clouds and heavy winds, that had pushed the weed down the bottom of the lake, saw me get 2 tench of 3-14 and 3-8, losing a further 2 plus 6 nice roach. Gareth on 12 had a tench of 4-4 and lost one plus loads of roach.

Final day of July and 6pm saw us on the pegs, this time Gareth fancied 11 and I went on 12. Tench of 3-1, 5-3 and 3-8 with no losses plus some 6 roach and 4 rudd saw me end the month in pleasant manner, while  Gareth had tench of 3-14 and 4-5 plus lost 2 further tench in weed as well as some good roach.

No sign of bream yet at Bowood, not even skimmers, which is very odd. August beckons and a few more evening sessions before my next match- the Riverfest at Clanfield, followed by the final Summer League on the same venue.