After Sunday’s disappointment at Peatmoor I headed to Bowood 10 on the Tuesday without much hope as the rain had continued and the Pondtail was up and coloured and on arrival it looked as if peg 10 had become a huge cup of PG Tips. Still I put the sardine out with little hope and decided to put three balls of groundbait down and see if I could coax something out of the tea! Surprisingly I managed to get a few bites leading to 10 roach and a small skimmer for the enormous weight of 9 ounces! Still I felt as if I had achieved something by catching at all in the conditions.
The weather was such I did not go again until the Tuesday of Christmas week, fishing 9:15 to 12:30. The water was still very coloured but at least it had a better hue to it. The rut continues and peg 10 sees me putting out the sardine and introducing just two balls of groundbait to start. Small roach attacked the double maggot on the first two put ins then went dead, I suspected a pike and 10 minutes later the pike rod was in action as the pellet waggler slid away. This produced a good start – a pike of 9-14.
I could not get any bites on the 10m line so switched to the top kit line and began getting regular fish, albeit small interspersed with two more runs resulting in fish of 6-05 and 6-08. The pike were clearly in situ and pushing the silver fish towards the bank. When I packed up I had 53 roach and 14 rudd for 3-04, all taken apart from the initial two on the top two line.
Christmas arrives and it is the Wednesday before I attempt to go again, now the weather has changed to sub-zero temperatures and this was to cause me an unforeseen problem – the car locks froze and I could not open the boot (could not even get the key in to start). After trying several methods I gave it up as a bad job and went to B&Q for a new shower hose on the suggestion of the wife – “it might jog it open”. Arrived at store- boot opened!
Next day, New Year’s Eve, tried again, temperature was -3C, lock frozen again but this time a hair drier manages to thaw it open! Car loaded and set off on the 3 minute trip to Bowood, lock was frozen again. After a couple of minutes I managed to get it open, the Pondtail was covered in ice apart from Peg 1 where the whirling current was keeping it clear, so ice-breaker in tow I set off for 10. Arriving at 10 the main lake was covered in a thick sheet of ice, so my trusty ice-breaker was thrown to 10m and the sawing back process began. Reaching 7m the chain got stuck and it took a few moments and hefty tugs to release it and continue the sawing process until it got to about 3m out and it stuck again, this time the hefty tugs saw the chain stuck in the ice and the rope come back to me! Landing net was quickly put up and reached beyond the chain sticking up in the ice only to find the path I had cut had refrozen, on tapping the ice the chain disappeared into the 5 feet of water! Faced with no breaker I trudged back to the Pondtail and fished the whip for an hour without a bite before deciding to cut my losses and go home! A disappointing end to 2020