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.
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.
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.