Ruddy August 2021

August arrives and it is a case of a few days at home (alone) then back to Birmingham to rejoin Mrs J for a few days as elder son will be recuperating for some time and is not allowed to lift anything, plus various hospital visits to make …

I managed to squeeze in as much fishing as I dared whilst at home whilst keeping the household ship-shape! August 3rd sees me at Bowood peg 6 for a morning session. Fishing with my homemade special with the shot bulked at the hooklength loop I deposited my usual 3 balls plus loose helpings of hemp, wheat and a few grains of corn and put three maggots on to get a fish in the net before switching to corn but the expected bite from the small rudd did not materialise, instead the bait got down to the bottom uninterrupted. This usually sparks my interest as there is either a pike sitting there or there are bigger fish in the swim, after five minutes the float sank and a small skimmer ensured the session would not be a blank! A second slightly bigger skimmer followed which prompted a switch to corn, half an hour later the float did it’s Polaris impression and a steady lift saw the thumping of a good fish which ran towards the weed beds on the left before being turned and finally netted a tench of 3-11. The session followed a similar pattern, catch a couple of smaller fish, this time on corn, then get interrupted by a tench. I ended up with further tench of 5-01 and 2-11, 4 rudd, 3 skimmers and 3 roach for a 12-13 total.

Thursday 5th sees me at the Pondtail Peg 1 for a 2.5 hour session on the 7m Chinese whip. Three golf balls of groundbait to start followed by a loosefed pinch of wheat and hemp every cast saw slow action on the maggot and it wasn’t until I swapped to double wheat that the action got a bit quicker, even so 19 roach, a gudgeon and 3 perch were not what I was expecting. Although two of the perch were bigger than usual.

Next day I ventured down to the main lake and set up in the usual fashion on peg 7. Usual method this time the maggot saw 2 small rudd in the net before I changed to corn. Loose feeding hemp and wheat and adding a ball of groundbait every 40 minutes saw me get plenty of action on the corn from the slightly better sized rudd but also a bream of 4-07 and a tench of 4-04. The 33 rudd, 2 micro perch and 9 roach went 5-14 giving a 14-09 total. It has to be said this was one of the better August catches as looking back at my records (sad I know ) the average for August in general falls away dramatically and is between 6 and 9lb average for the month. I think this is not just a Bowood phenomena as and, two fellow bloggers have been discussing the very thing.

Anyway back to the fishing, following a trip to Birmingham on my return I had an short evening session for a change on 11th August. Have to say it was very slow and 21 rudd and 3 roach, mostly taken on the maggot with just a couple on corn as I was getting bored with no signs of any thing else other than the jack pike that marauded through the rudd shoal around my float with alarming regularity. The evening was saved on the famous “last cast” by a Polaris lift on the corn and a scrappy 2-12 tench finding its way to my net giving me a 6-00 total.

Next day I decided to change tack and headed off for the rear of the island in the short arm- peg 16 where last year I had had a good session. I was presuming the weed would be receding but I was wrong and not having brought the rake I had to scratch around for gaps in the weed- obviously no-one had fished it this season! Anyway I scratched out 14 rudd and 6 roach for a magnificent 1-06 all on maggot, nothing on corn but again lots of jack pike activity.

I managed a morning session next day and returned to peg 6, starting as the bell chimed 9am and put 18 rudd and 5 roach in the net on corn before the float slid under as the bell was chiming 12 noon which resulted in a scrappy tench of 3-03, giving me a 5-03 total at which point I left!

Next day (Saturday) was my last chance before returning to Birmingham again, so I opted to set up on the Pondtail peg 2 and put a feeder out two thirds across at 45 degrees with chopped worm in the feeder and worm on the hook, while fishing a 5m Chinese whip. The feeder was up the bank after a couple of hours after 3 perch were the only interested parties and I concentrated on the whip which was going better than previously but the bites cut out after my 50th roach, a switch to double corn saw another 27 slightly better roach put in the net to join the others along with two micro perch. I thought I had about 5-6lb but on weighing them I was surprised to see the scales swing around to a level 9lb.

The main lake tends to hold the larger fish in the shallower end (1-7) until the weed starts dying back and then the fish migrate towards the main lake area and deeper water (8-14), so when I returned I had a session on peg 8 for 3 hours , 10-1, and apart from the rudd being ravenous and being savaged by the jack pike the only larger fish was a solitary bream of 2-1, which added to my 23 rudd made a round 5lb. One jack of about 3lb came hurtling out of the water through the rudd but on re-entry its tail hit my pole and it flipped into an inelegant fishy belly flop. I am very tempted to take a spinning rod at some point and have a go for these jacks

Jealous July 2021 (Part 2)

Only one session to report this time as I have been staying in Birmingham taking my elder son to and from hospital in the run-up to and aftermath of major abdominal surgery that has been on the cards for some time. Thankfully the 5.5 hour operation went well and he is at home now recuperating under the watchful eyes of my wife. His recuperation will take at least 3-4 months so I am faced with the prospects of splitting my time between home ( to keep things in order) and Birmingham, so my fishing may be somewhat curtailed.

I offered to pull out of the match at Bromley Mill as it was the Sunday after the Thursday surgery but was told by Mrs J to go and fish it as I could do nothing while he was still in hospital. So Setting off from home at 5:30am I arrived at Bromley Mill in good time for the draw. I was hoping for a peg with a bit of space and a short walk as I am still struggling as my core strength has still not returned fully. Anyway I drew a peg on the opposite bank to last year and only two pegs in from the gate so that was a relief.

The first thing that struck me was the colour of the water, last year it was gin clear, now it was so coloured you could not see the bottom even in 10 inch of water. I set up a method and after plumbing up settled on a 10m mark where I had about 3ft of water, this was to be tackled with a short rugby ball float with a 3mm tip, set low in the water. The only other rig I set up was one for the margins where I used a homemade BGT1 lookalike with all the shot around the float and set 3 inches over depth – this was what had worked so well last year.

The match got under way and I deposited a large cup of 4mm pellet, hemp and wheat with a few grains of corn at 8m in both margins, three balls of green-lipped mussel groundbait at the 10m mark along with a pot of wheat, a pot of mixed hemp and 4mm pellet, then went on the method. I was using that new Chinese reel for the first time and was very impressed despite not getting anything on it!

It seemed to be a slow start for most down our end of the lake but finally managed to get a bream on corn off the 10m line. That was the pattern of the day – nothing in the margins unusually,but they turned up as I was packing up! I plodded along putting bream in the net at irregular intervals, I lost one carp and landed my only other carp of about 5-6lb. Weighing in 27-11 I was disappointed in the sense that I was hoping to get among the carp, but happy that I had a short walk and a day’s fishing.