June part 2!


It is unusual for me to go to Bowood over the week-end but I made an exception on the Sunday and was surprised to find it very quiet with the field all to myself. I decided against peg 2 and set up on peg 4 which at least had 3-4 feet of water to play with!

Three balls went in to start laced with 2mm pellets, corn and wheat, corn was my starting bait, with a similar set up to previously except I had got a 0.8g float with the shot all bulked 6inches from the hook in order to get past any weed. The session started slowly but then a steady string of roach and rudd interspersed with a scattering of fish around the float showed the pike were still active but strangely I have yet to hook one or have a fish taken. After an hour I hit into a slightly better fish- a bream of 2lb, this pattern continued with roach and rudd being interrupted by small skimmers and two further bream of 1-14 and 2-4, plus one further bream lost in a weed bed close in. The session ended with 21 roach, 21 rudd, 8 skimmers and those 3 bream for exactly 15lb.

jun21 15lb

Monday saw me take the Logan in for it’s MOT which it thankfully passed, so it was Tuesday morning before I returned for a short session before it got too hot. Peg 4 again this time it was a lot harder with the pike very active so it was catch a couple , pike set the fish scattering, wait, catch a couple more and repeat! I ended up with 14roach, 7 rudd and 3 skimmers for 4-2 and no lost fish!

Next day back again for a morning session but this time on the other bank on the first peg, peg 25 in my new regime. Seen below on far bank, sited between pegs 1 and 2.


I do not usually fish this bank as I have never had much joy and it tends to be shallower (if that is possible) but I had seen some better fish roll along the far bank previously. Plumbing up with the same rig I found I had 14 inches of water at 10m. One ball was cupped in followed by half a pot of 2mm pellet, corn and wheat topped by loose groundbait. An hour went by before I had my first indication, a quick dip of the float that resulted in a small roach, at least I wasn’t going to blank! Ten minutes later another small roach followed, then it went quiet for a while before the float lifted and a strike saw the elastic come out for what felt like a good fish. Gingerly easing back through the weeds I eventually put the net under a tench of 4-12, the first of the Bowood season.

Tench4-12 Jun24

A quiet spell followed before a couple of bream at 2-10 and 1-8 plus 3 more roach ended the session with me melting in them sun but happy with a 9-4 total.

I managed a short evening session on the Friday of a couple of hours, with the weather cooling rapidly I was expecting a struggle but I went  to peg 2 and put three balls at 10m with the usual free offerings and sat it out with corn. It was not hectic by any means with it being 40 minutes before a bite, a roach of 6 oz, 5 further roach (the best weighed at 9oz) and 2 rudd gave me  2-2 total.

Jun26 2-2

No larger fish showed but the pike again were very active, I am tempted to try a bit of spinning at some point.


Bowood June 2020

June 16th couldn’t come fast enough and on a hot, sunny morning I unpacked the car and trundled along to my chosen peg for the day – peg 2. Now at this point I have a confession to make as some pegs have disappeared (although still shown on the map) and originally this was peg 3, so for the sake of clarity for the future I have taken photos of the 10 pegs that are now in the field and will now rename them from peg 1, my chosen peg up to peg 10 (the old peg 12!) – clear as mud!

Top left to right – Peg 1 when I arrived, peg1 10 minutes later!, peg2 (future work), peg 3 – long term project I think!

Middle – peg 4, peg 5, peg 6

Bottom – peg7, peg8, peg9, peg10.

Thankfully some of the platforms have been repaired and the grass/reeds cut back so we can get to them!

Anyway the water had a nice colour to it and although it was between 18 inches and two feet deep I fancied it for a few fish given the weather had been fairly warm and the fish seem to congregate in the shallows at the start of the season and gradually move up the field. I set up with a 0.4g short homemade rugby ball float to 0.16mm Shogun with the bulk all set at the 0.14mm hooklength to start with a 16 hook and no droppers. Three balls of groundbait along with 2mm pellets, a few grains of corn and a dollop of wheat were cupped in at 10m and single corn went on the hook. Interestingly there was no response from any roach which is usually a sign that the bigger fish are already in the swim. A dozen pellets and similar of wheat were catapulted around the float every 5 minutes. After the second lot went in the float lifted and a strike saw a goodly portion of elastic come out, two minutes later the first fish of the Bowood season was in the net – bream of 4-6.

june16 20 4-6

In the next 20 minutes two further bream were hooked and lost, suspecting the elastic was too severe I changed to a lighter set 10-12 and upped the hook to a twelve. The day went in a similar pattern, catch a fish or two , lose two or three. Some I am sure were foul hooked but by the end I had managed to land 8 and lose 12! The bream in order went 4-6, 5-11, 3-15, 4-13, 4-12, 4-14, 3-14, 3-0 for a 35-05 total and not a single roach to be seen.

Not a bad start to the season! It was the Friday before I could return and the weather had changed with rain the previous day and night and was still raining that morning, although it was due to clear about 11am.

I decided to give peg 1 another go although I was not expecting much because of the weather. Setting up in a similar fashion, it was hard work on the corn with a solitary roach of 5oz the only excitement in the first hour, from there on I alternated corn, wheat, expander and maggot to winkle out 14 roach, 3 rudd and a hybrid for 4-11. Most of the fish came on maggot or pellet, but I caught on wheat as well. I did lose a good fish that weeded me in a sub-surface bed, possibly a tench.

jun19b 4-11

I will take a long look at the weather for my next visit, I am tempted to clear peg 2 but it is only a few inches deeper, peg 4 may be my next port of call! On a separate matter I have added the articles by my son Gareth of his fishing  in China to the blog and they can be accessed from the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Maybe or may be not!

So May comes (and goes) with Covid-19 spreading globally, lock-down still in place for the silent majority and the news full of the transgressions of lock-down, so it was a relief when the Angling Trust managed to persuade the Government to allow angling again. Incredibly even that was met with indignation by some anglers who have not a clue about how government works. Rant over, back to the fishing, or may be the lack of it! I decided to ignore the first week of “freedom” to let the initial rush die down and planned to visit Patneys when it finally opened. In the meantime I made up some rigs using some of the floats I had put together during the lock-down.

I often have referred to my homemade floats without actually showing them so here are the latest versions! Floats 4-6 (reading left to right) are specifically intended for Bowood as they have a 2.5m or 3mm bristle which allows me to use heavy droppers (almost a double bulk) to combat the weed and allows me to see the float at range if necessary. Floats 1,2 and 5 tend to get used at Patneys while 7 is used for margin work.

Patneys (Woodside Lakes) have introduced a booking system which limits the match lake to 21 anglers and allows you to see how many and who, booked on. I let the first week go after opening  and waited until the Monday to book on for the Wednesday as only 2 others had done so. By the following morning there were only 2 swims free! I didn’t fancy that so I cancelled my booking and decided to go to Isis No 1a instead.

Arriving at the lake on the Wednesday mid-morning having completed our early morning walk to Bowood, I settled on peg 3, a peg I had had some success from in the past during May I was the only one on the lake, there were others on the main lake.


The plan was to fish alongside the lilies on the right where there was a deeper hole. Setting up with a yellow bristled float (number two above) to 0.16mm Shogun and a 0.14mm hooklength to a 16 I plumbed up and then started to test the shotting , only to catch a rudd on the bare hook! Corn and 2mm pellet were dispatched with a ball of groundbait next to the lilies and I waited, and waited, and waited… Corn, meat, expander were all ignored, in the end I put on maggot and had 4 rudd on it before I gave up and went home.

The following Tuesday I arrived back at about 9am and settled into peg 6, again with the lake to myself.IMG_20200602_091315282

This time I used the same set up but put 3 balls of groundbait and a pot of corn and pellet out at 11.5m into 7 feet of water straight in front and a solitary ball plus corn and pellet (2mm) at 10m in a “bay” in the lilies. I started at the 11.5m line on corn and was immediately into rudd. By alternating between the two lines and loose feeding 15-20 pellet every so often I managed to keep a run of bites coming with the occasional quiet spell. A switch to expander tended to produce smaller rudd so I stuck with the corn and at 11:45 hooked into a good fish that hared off towards the far bank. After a scrappy fight I put the net under the first tench of the season, a fish of 4-9. A had a few more rudd, a solitary roach and a “bar of soap” tench by the time I packed up at 1pm. A total of 10-2 in the roughly 3 hours of fishing.


The only sour note was I had been filming with a new cheap camera as my others were playing up and I had forgotten the most important rule- the memory  card (32GB) only records 3 hours then clears and starts again! As I had set it up before setting up my tackle I had lost all the fishing time, just having the last 5mins and packing up- DOH!

Anyway, my Bowood ticket has been bought and I am ready for the 16th when the season opens. On our walks I have been taking note of the water clarity and there seems to be a lot more colour than last year so fingers crossed I will start of with some good bream and tench action. Gareth, my son  in China, has been encouraged to write up some of his fishing visits and they have gone on the Blog section of the Matchfishing-scene  site, for those not members (it is free to join!) here are some links.

Tales from China 1    Tales from China 2  Tales from China 3