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
.That 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.
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!