September Stumbles 2021

First day of September usually gets me thinking bream and pike season soon! I ventured not to peg 10 but on the opposite bank up to peg 20 (second peg from the island) just on a hunch.

Plumbing up I had a decent depth at 10m but it sloped down and leveled off at 11.5m so that is where I deposited four balls of groundbait (all Caperlan – Lake, Roach special, Vanilla and Coco Belgique in equal measures) with hemp, wheat and a few kernels of corn. Fishing a home made rugby ball taking 0.8g with the bulk set six inches from the 14 hook, the usual 3 maggots brought an immediate response from a couple of small rudd before the customary switch to corn. Bites came slower at first but the size of rudd improved, when I managed to get down past the rudd I found the odd small skimmer and roach before a lift of the float signaled the thump of a good fish, playing it gingerly through the various weed beds I slid the net under a tench of 4-10. Ten minutes later a bream of 4-00 was in the net, but then I lost 2 good tench in the weed. I was topping up with a ball of groundbait every 40 minutes and loose feeding hemp and wheat every couple of minutes. The lull with the larger fish signaled the return of the rudd and when that suddenly went quiet I hoped the tench had returned only for the float to slide under and the resultant strike hit a solid plodder- a pike, that soon parted company with me leaving an oval scale on the hook. From that point on I had rudd/roach/skimmers interspersed with a further tench of 5-09 and a smaller bream of 2-04, losing one further tench. The 35 rudd, 9 roach and 6 skimmers weighed 6-12 giving me a nice start to September of 23-03.

The 4lbers

Returning two days later to peg 20 I started in the same manner but lost a bream soon after starting and that was it for the bream but did manage to net tench of 4-07 and 4-00 to go with 34 rudd, 16 roach and 4 small skimmers to give me an 18-10 total, again losing a pike which this time bit me off.

Another two days pass and this time I am on peg 21, this is a lot shallower, barely 4 foot at 11.5m, and I remembered why I tended to fish the other bank which is far deeper in comparison. I went back to the Ugly Duckling rig I used in the shallow pegs but still fed as before, with the first ball going in as the bell in the tower sounded 9am. The maggot surprisingly was not taken by a rudd but by a small skimmer (blade) so I immediately went over to the corn, 10 minutes later I lifted in to a tench of 3-02, some better quality rudd followed this before a “runner” of a bite resulted in a bream of 3-04, the rest of the day up to 1pm when I stopped went in similar fashion – a better fish interspersed with some rudd. The day finished with another “pea in the pod” bream, two further tench of 4-00 and 3-00, 20 rudd and 2 skimmers/blades, the rudd and skimmers went 4-08 giving me a 21-02 total.

2 peas in a pod! 3-04

Two days later back at 21 I was feeling the heat – it had gone up to 28C and I fished 9-12 as It was getting too hot for me with little breeze, the fishing suffered al;so with just 7 rudd and 5 roach for a round 3lb.

Two days later (see the pattern!) I decided to give the Pondtail a go as the hot weather had been replaced by the threat of rain. Fishing the first peg I had taken the Chinese whips and opted for a 5m one with a Chinese float set up Chinese style but without any swivels. As I started to plumb up there was what we call a mizzle- similar to sea fret and during the 2 hour session I experienced, mizzle, drizzle, rain and heavy rain. 42 roach, 5 perch and 3 gudgeon for 6-08 were not put off by the weather, 26 of the roach taken on wheat. I now was faced with a break as I resumed my travels to Birmingham and Yorkshire!

Ruddy August – Part 2

I managed a couple of visits before returning to Birmingham for a couple of days (hospital visit for son and wedding anniversary- on same day!), the first a 2.5 hour stint on the Pondtail, peg 1. The weather forecast was stating zero percent chance of rain, but knowing the micro climate that is Bowood I took my waterproofs, just as well as it turns out as a fine mizzle (Yorkshire term I believe- like a sea fret) was in the air and by the time I had set up the 5m Chinese whip and was set to start the mizzle had become a shower which later progressed into heavy world-ending type rain! Undeterred I managed to put together a bag of 27 roach, 17 gudgeon and 2 perch weighing 4-08 on a mixture of double maggot or double wheat. I have noted before that a single bait gets no response strangely, yet a double or treble bait provokes interest! The good news was my waterproofs passed the test and I was dry until I took them off at the car and got wet just going from the boot to driver’s door such was the rain!

Next day I decided on an evening session on the main lake peg 7 and came armed with my back up winter waterproofs , I like to give wet waterproofs a day to dry/recover before wearing again, but fortunately they were not needed as the sun was out throughout the evening session. Fishing from 3:45 to 7:15 it was hard work! The jack pike were in action, scattering fish every couple of minutes but I managed top sneak out 5 rudd a roach and a tench of exactly 3lb for a 3-07 total. I also lost a good fish to a hook pull, possibly a bream and as this happened in the first hour it most likely did not help matters!

On my return from Birmingham and this was to be a longer period as the hospital visits were now completed and we felt it pointless me traveling to and fro unless circumstances changed, I took the plunge and headed off for the long walk up to the Stock Pond to have a go for the carp. I had put in a method rod to put out as well as the pole but was expecting most response from the pole.

Stock Pond peg 1- usually the “big”carp peg

Looking to the left towards peg 2
Looking to the right

Starting with 4mm pellets and hemp plus 3 balls of groundbait (green lipped mussel) and a few kernels of corn on the 10m mark in just over 7 feet of water I was hopeful of some carp action once the usual flurry of roach died down. I had opted for a wire stemmed home made rugby ball float taking just over 0.8g with the bulk set at three feet above the foot and two number 8 droppers below that, the last at the hooklength loop (0.16mm to 0.14mm) and a 14 hook. Beginning on maggot to get something in the net I swiftly changed to corn after two maggot roach were deposited in the net, the method remained lifeless with nothing interest in the yellow band-um wafter. Corn produced better quality roach but various sized pellets produced no response and despite the loose feeding of hemp and pellets no carp appeared, there was even a lack of tell tale bubbles anywhere to be seen. The method was up the bank after an hour and a half as I concentrated my efforts on the pole. The carp were not playing ball but the roach were ! After 3 hours I called it a day with 64 roach in the net which I thought was about 6lb, on weighing in my wet eva bucket I was surprised that the scales went around to 9-10.

I avoided the Bank holiday week-end but did venture out on the Monday, deciding to pay my first visit to peg 10! While setting up another week-day regular arrived and chatting he had also been plagued by pike in the top field (pegs 11-14) with several attacking his feeder while fishing (static) as well as on the retrieve. He had several pike on corn that season including a small one of 23-05, taken on 5lb line and size 12 hook! I remarked that it had been unusual as despite all the pike activity I had not had a single pike nor a pike attack any hooked fish, as I said it I knew I was tempting fate!

I was only intending to fish up to midday so began in the time honoured fashion of 3 balls of groundbait laced with wheat, hemp and a few grains of corn. Usual homemade float taking 1g with yellow tip with last 2cm blacked out with marker pen, size 16 hook to 0.14mm line. Treble maggot initially got no response in the 8 feet of water which led me to hope there were some bigger fish about but a flurry of bubbles suggested it was pike . Eventually I began to get some roach and small skimmers by swapping between corn and double or triple maggot with blank spells that usually ended by a flurry of bubbles as a pike cleared it’s gills, a small bream/large skimmer of 1-01 gave me hope but nothing bigger materialised until a lift of the float was met with a stiff resistance on the strike and then a plodding fight that turned into speedy runs as it approached the net, I had a feeling fate was having a laugh at me and so it was as a jack of 3-05 was netted with the sweetcorn still visible in it’s scissors. By noon I had 14 skimmers 10 roach and only 2 rudd plus Mr Jack for a 7-15 total, that brought my August outings to an end.

Returning to the musings in part 1 of August not being a brilliant month historically for me, this year a total of 12 visits have seen me average 6.95lb. I am looking forward to September!