December arrives and a trip to the Pondtail peg 1 is called for. I decided on the 6m Chinese whip and the short bulbous float dotted down.
Two golf balls of groundbait are thrown in followed by a sprinkling of hemp, a white and a red maggot goes on the 16 hook and nothing. A slow start but the first bite came after a quarter of an hour, a roach of 2oz, thereafter the fish came at regular intervals, all roach except a perch of 2oz and a better perch of 1-04 which was dealt with easily by the flexibility of the whip. The session ended after 2.5hrs with 32 roach and the two perch for a 4-08 total.
Friday the third sees me back at peg 10, the weather had produced a cold night but now a brilliant sunny morning with no cloud and clear water, however after an hour it turned very cold and despite my best efforts the 3 hour session saw me produce my second blank of the campaign. So my first blank was on the 50th visit to Bowood since the start of the season on 16th June and my second was on the 53rd!
Time moves on to Wednesday 8th, days are now getting greyer/darker with little sun on offer so I decide to fish the banker to catch some fish – Pondtail peg 2. This time I started on the 7m Chinese whip but after 11 roach I felt that it may be better closer in so changed to a 3m Chinese whip with a more traditional pole float (home made of course) and added a further 21 roach to the net, giving me a 3-06 total for the session. It should be said that the depth close in is almost as deep as further out – about 5-6ft. Why I thought it would be better close in I don’t know, I just had a hunch and went with it!
Friday 10th sees me back at peg 10 with bright sun and a cold wind! I had a session from 9:30 to 12:30 without a bite on the pole but at 10am the pike rod went and a strike resulted in a slow, sullen response that became more energetic as the fish realised it was hooked. As the bells finished chiming 10am I slipped the net under a 13-00 pike.
Fifty minutes later the float went off again and this time a scrappy fight from a pike 11-04 signaled the end of any action.
Sunday sees a change it is the annual Pike Cup at Peatmoor. It is fished as a rover but I decided to set my stall out on peg 10 which is at the point of a bay with a bush in the water on both sides of the peg. To cut a long day short – nobody caught a pike/lost a pike/missed a pike or saw a pike! The highlight for me was when a kingfisher went fishing from the bush on my right, less than 10 feet away, caught a roach that looked like half the size of the kingfisher and proceeded to whack it on the branches of the bush until it could devour it!
Tuesday 14th sees me back on peg 10, fishing 10:00 to 1:00, this time no runs on the pike rod but 2 net skimmers, a net roach and a gudgeon gives me 1-13.
This episode finishes with me fishing the Pondtail peg 1 on the Friday (17th) with the 5m Chinese whip My bait tray now included the fresh wheat that I had soaked for 4 days but after 2 hours and not a sniff of a bite on maggot or wheat I packed up having recorded my third blank of the campaign on my 57th visit! My only excuse is that the night had been colder by a couple of degrees and I had scared a cormorant off the water on my arrival – perhaps they were too cold/wary to feed or it may just be me!