The start of February arrives with Gareth et al still here thanks to the Corona virus. We managed a short session on pegs 12 for me and 11 for Gareth. Gareth missed 2 runs and had 48 small fish for 2-0 while I had no interest from the pike but had 31 roach and 22 rudd for 2-2. They were SMALL!
Two days later back again for a couple of hours late in afternoon same results- Gareth missed two runs on 11 and had 25 small fish, while I had no interest on 12 but had 21 roach, 8 rudd and a blade for 1-4. It is worth mentioning that we were fishing two single hooks on the wire trace as I have stopped using trebles, this does lead to more runs being missed but it is so much better unhooking the fish.
Next day we decided to take Zach to the Pondtail to catch his first fish, so strapped in to Gareth chest we went on the first platform
armed with a 3m whip, a bag of mixed groundbait and a pot of maggots. A nugget of groundbait with 3-4 maggots was put in every couple of minutes and eventually after 5 minutes the float dipped and was missed! Next put in and…
Mission accomplished, Gareth went off with the others for a walk down the lake leaving me to amass another 21roach and a hybrid in the next half hour.
We made the decision after this visit to forget the poles and just take the pike rods and whips for future visits as the sessions would be 2 hours at best. Next afternoon the plan was put into action with me on 12 and Gareth on 11 (his choice). Fishing 4m whips I had 15 roach and 15 rudd for 1-3 but also had pike of 11-0,9-0 and 5-0, Gareth on 11 had pike of 8-2 a bream of 2-7 plus another pound of small roach and rudd on the whip. Double maggot was the only bait to attract the silvers, no bites on single at all.
Two days later back again in the wind and rain as storm Dennis took hold, same pegs, Gareth getting a rudd of 1lb plus a load of bits for 3-1 on the whip plus a pike of 4-8, while I had pike of 5-6 and 8-11 plus 20roach, 18rudd and a perch for 1-13 (small fish!)
Sunday should have been round 5 of the Port Talbot Docks Winter League but the organisers had called it off on the Wednesday as the extent of Dennis became known, this led to the owner cancelling the rest of the matches as he felt they should have waited longer before cancelling. The result being that the 4 matches fished counted and the league ended with me in 9th and Darren in 7th spot. Can’t help feel sorry for the organisers as they were proven correct in their assessment!
Dennis came and went, trees were down and needed to be cleared on the estate roads and the water went very murky. Wednesday saw us on the usual pegs but me on 11 this time.No runs which was not surprising given the water but 14 blades and 5 roach on the whip for me for 1-6 while Gareth had a skimmer of 1-4 and 5 blades for 2-0. Two days later we had 2 hours on the Pondtail, with Gareth fishing feeder and worm in the hope of getting a bream, I plugged away on the whip on the first peg for 21 roach for 2-6, Gareth managed 2 roach on the worm. It was four days later we managed another short session, again I went on 11 and had a skimmer of 1-4, 7 roach and a hybrid for 2-1 while Gareth struggled in the wind and rain on 12 for just 3 roach, we packed up after an hour and a half in a break from the rain as we could see another heavy system approaching, just making it back to the car before it came down!
Another short session the following day on Pondtail, again Gareth fished the feeder and had 10 roach, I managed 37 roach, 2 perch and 7 gudgeon for 4-2 on the whip. Friday sees us having a slightly longer session of 2.5 hours, I was again on 11, managing two pike on the sardine both fish remarkably weighing exactly the same at 6-9, the small fish had disappeared and I had 4 fish on the whip, 3 small roach and a stonking 1-0 roach. Meanwhile Gareth had 3 roach on the whip and a pike of 8-4.
Following day another late afternoon session on the same pegs sees me nab skimmers of 1-6 and 0-15 on the whip plus 5 roach and a perch for 2-9 while Gareth on 12 had 10 roach and 2 blades for 0-8, missed two runs but did land a pike of 11-4 so he was happy!
Finally things were getting back to a semblance of normality in China and Gareth had booked tickets to leave on Thursday 27 (43 days after arriving for a 13 day stay!) so we only managed one further session at Bowood, again on 11 and 12, I fished 11 and again had a skimmer of 1-4 on the whip plus 10roach, a perch and a blade for 2-6, Gareth had 10 small roach and blades for 0-8 from the murky water. It was probably the coldest I have felt there in a long time with icy rain sweeping into our faces. Needless to say no pike!
As I write this, they have arrived back in China safely, Zachary probably expresses it best…