July starts on the Friday 2nd with a visit to peg 6. Peg 6 has a channel dragged out by myself but has thickish beds of weed to the sides and the odd strand directly in front just out of net range. I tend to have the first 8 or so pegs to myself at present as they are so weedy and most members fish with rod and reel and would not be able to extract the fish from the weed with any confidence. In this situation the pole reigns supreme as the ability to put pressure on the fish to turn deeper into the weed tends to get them to swim out! Anyway back to the fishing, I set up with the long 3mm tipped rig with 0.18mm Shogun line to 0.16mm hooklength and a 14 B611. The swim was fed as the bell, in the Bowood House clock tower, chimed 9am with 3 balls of groundbait cupped in with a few samples of corn, a handful of hemp and a small handful of wheat at 9.5m marked on the pole section with black marker, which meant that I had half a section behind me. The groundbait was a mix of 1 part Cocoa Belgique, 1 part Vanilla, 1 part Gros Gardon, 1 part Gardon Competition and 1 part Etang (all Caperlan, ie Gooster).
Starting on three maggots to get something in the net, a small rudd was deposited then I switched to corn. Slow at first, which was usual as the fish rarely seem to wake up until 10am for some reason! The first bite resulted in a hand sized skimmer, followed shortly after by another slightly bigger sample before a lull was broken by a Polaris type lift and a 2-05 bream came to the net. Two further samples of 2-08 and 3-00 came at intervals before two better rudd and a skimmer appeared. I then hooked and lost in the weed a proper slab which signaled the end of the bream but had two tench of 3-15 and 3-08 and lost another in the weed by the end at 1pm. Altogether the session came to a round 20lb, a nice start to July.
Monday sees me back but this time at peg7, less weedy than 6 but still with some serious sub-surface banks of weed in places. Fishing the same way the session began at 8:45 with a run of small rudd (7) and three small skimmers. Switching to corn I had a run of 4 tench between 9:50 and 12:30 weighing 3-09, 3-00, 3-02 and 5-07 interspersed with two bream of 1-14 and 4-11 with no fish lost! I finished at 1pm with a 23-01 total.
Wednesday sees me back at peg 7 and a slower start ending with 4 tench of 2-12, 3-06, 3-12 and 2-11 together with 8rudd and 3 skimmers for 13-06.
Two days later I returned to peg 6 and unlike the previous visits when I had the lake to myself there were two cars already present. On arriving at peg 6 I could see one fishing up near the island on peg19 and assumed the other was on the top field pegs. Setting up the usual way it was a slowish start and by 11:15 when the angler in the top field came past I had only had a solitary tench of 3-12 and a clutch of small rudd, skimmers and roach. Stopping for a chat it transpires he actually reads this and travels in from Bristol to fish the lake. He trudged off and as he got into the car park field the float buried and a tench of 2-06 came to the net. This was the start of a period where the tench were present as evidenced by the bubbles as they browsed for the hemp and wheat I had been loose feeding, eventually the float lifted and I latched into a better fish that weeded me three times in different areas before I managed to put the net under a tench of 6-15, a PB. Another tench of 3-00 came along by 1pm and just as I was thinking of packing up the float ran across the surface and a lift saw me latch into another decent fish, a bream of 5-01. This prompted me to carry on and indeed when I packed up at 2:30 I had added bream of 4-15, 2-08, 1-12 and 2-04 to give me a 36-02 total.
It was the Tuesday before I returned to peg 6 and fishing the usual way and starting at 9 through to 1pm I managed 4 tench (3-07, 5-02, 2-11 and 2-12) a small bream of 1-12, 3 rudd and 1 skimmer for a 16-02 total, losing a tench and a bream in the weed .
Next day, which is unusual for me as I tend to go on alternate days, I returned to peg 6 but as the saying goes you can overplay your hand and I struggled with two bream of 3-0 and 1-15, 3 skimmers and 2 roach for 5-05. I was not alone in my struggle as another angler on the other bank had a similar experience and I did not see him catch.Friday comes along and I roll up on peg 5 with the lake to myself. Setting up as per norm I had a channel in front that I had previously raked and there was a clear area to my left at 45 degrees out to 8m. I fed both areas but all my action came from out in front. Starting on maggot I could not get a bite, now this may sound bad but I was hopeful as this usually means one on two things- either a pike is sitting in the swim or bigger fish were already present. Having started at 9am on the chimes by 10:20 I had 6 bream 2-07, 4-11, 2-08, 4-14, 2-08 and 2-10, then disaster struck I lost a good bream in the weed and that was it from the bream! It was already hot at 9am and the sun was getting higher with a couple of large carp cruising around the middle with their backs out of the water. At 11am I lost a tench in the thick weed and not long after lost a good fish that was either a very large tench or one of the carp that weeded me in a big clump of weed at 12m . It went very quiet then and you could see the bream up on top with the carp basking in the hot sun so at noon I called it a day and went to cool down!
I may only be able to get out for the trip to Bromley Mills for the rest of this month as my eldest has now received a date for his operation that will lay him low for the next 3-4 months so will be on taxi duty to and from the hospital and back and forth to Birmingham. Although I jealously guard my opportunities to get on the bank now, there are some things more important!