September 2022 part 2

Friday after my excursion to the Glebe finds me stuck in the rut again – peg 10 at Bowood, fishing 8:35 to 12:00. I was still only taking my pole but had thought about taking the pike rod as well, so set up in the usual way with one main exception- previously I had been fishing a bulk only 5-6 inches from the hook to combat the weed but now I adjusted the shotting so the bulk was two feet from the hook with two sets of two no 8 droppers as this would allow for a more natural fall but still show up clearly if the rig was caught on a stalk. Four balls of groundbait were cupped in with some corn, hemp and wheat, starting on maggot on the 10m mark I had a roach followed by a small skimmer which prompted a change to the corn. Bites were still forthcoming but I was having to wait longer but at 9:30 the float shook then lifted and a lift produced a solid response from a fish that plodded as I managed to guide it towards me before it realised it was hooked and set off on a run that saw elastic streaming from the pole. It took quite a bit of time before the net was finally slipped under a tench of 5-10.


Now as it happens I had forgotten to replace my landing net after the Glebe as i had taken it as a spare so I was left with a Chinese one I had bought to try but had to use a work around as they use different sized threads to us! The net was only just attached to the handle by a couple of turns but held (for this fish!).

The rest of the session went as usual for this time of year- catch some roach and rudd, things go quiet (pike moves in), catch some more(pike moves off), and repeat! Just about 11:50 the float dipped and disappeared, a strike was met with a goodly amount of elastic coming out and after a brief but feisty fight a tench neared the net, at which point the net fell off! I managed to hook the end of the handle under the net and get it onto the platform eventually, while still hanging on to the tench. Grabbing the net I stooped on the platform and managed to scoop the tench all 4-12 of it. At which point I thought enough was enough! The final tally with the tench was 12 roach 11 rudd and the skimmer for 12-13.


Monday sees me back at 10 this time with the proper landing net and the pike kit but things didn’t go to plan as 9 roach, 9 skimmers and 14 rudd for 3-03 was my return and not a single run on the pike rod. Undeterred back to peg 10 on the Wednesday starting in my usual fashion I soon changed to corn and was rewarded with a tench of 3-12 more rudd and roach followed slowly before another tench of 5-14 put in an appearance with the only other action of note was me being snapped by a good fish after a fight of 2-3 minutes that I suspect was a pike! No runs again on the pike rod despite trying different areas/twitches, etc. Eleven rudd two roach and a small skimmer came to 1-10 for a 11-04 total.


It was no until the Monday that I was able to go again back to 10 for an abbreviated session of 8:45 to 10:45 that will be explained by reading on! I was not feeling great to be honest when I arrived at the peg but put it down to not having made the trek for a few days. Setting up as per normal the sardine on the pike rod was dispatched to about 12m out and a couple of metres to the right, the pole had me thinking it may be a good day as the first two fish were skimmers, not big but usually the harbinger of better bream. Switching to corn I had some more skimmers, roach and rudd when at 10:15 the pike float disappeared and the line tightened, closing the bail arm I wound down and struck only for the spool to whirl in freespool and create a birds nest. Quickly untangling the morass of line I soon discovered that the reel was broken the spool was turning as well as going up and down on the turn of the handle meaning no line was being retrieved, so hand-lining the line back on the spool I was relieved to find I was not attached to a fish (one of the advantages of fishing single barbless hooks), so broke down the pike kit and packed it away. Unfortunately the swim was now dead, Mr Pike had taken up residence, I was still feeling off it so decided to give it best, return home and set up with a different reel for the following day. The 10 roach, 6 rudd and 8 skimmers went exactly 3lb. On inspection it appears that something has sheared- probably through the abuse I have given it over the years.

At home I set up with a new reel that my late father bought for me years ago and prepared for the Tuesday only for me to be met with a day of problematic weather and me feeling rough, so I stayed at home which as things turned out was the correct course of action! I seemed to have picked up a bug and spent most of Wednesday and Thursday laid low losing 10lb in weight in the process! Writing this I am beginning to feel human again and may venture out on Sunday or Monday with any luck.

September 2022- close but no cigar!

September kicks off on the Friday with a session on peg 6. Setting up in the usual way I had 3 small rudd on the maggot and then swapped to corn for no interest at all! There was lots of pike activity along the arm, literally every 5 minutes there would be an eruption of small fish as a pike attacked. After two and a half hours without any sign of a bite on the corn I thought I would have a mess about fishing the same rig but on the top two with maggot, this resulted in 97 rudd and 3 roach in 35minutes to give me a total of 3-11. Not a fantastic start to the month!

Back on Monday I opted to try peg 10 and I had only corn or wheat as bait, no maggots! Fishing 8:45 to noon I plumped for keeping the same shotting pattern although the weed was starting to die back I still felt there was sufficient on the bottom to cause problems so the bulk 5-6 inches from the hook remained! It took about an hour before I began to catch small skimmers then a better one of just over a pound along with the odd rudd and roach, about 10:15 the float lifted and a strike latched into a better fish that came in quietly at first making me think it was a better bream before it realised it was hooked and all hell let loose before an angry tench of 3-06 was netted.

I had one further tench of 3-13 to go with the better skimmer. seven rudd, four roach and five small skimmers for a 10-10 total.

Wednesday I was back to peg 10, still just with wheat and corn although this time the action was more muted with no tench showing but I did have a bream of 3-10 to go with 16 rudd, 9 roach and a skimmer for a 7-07 total. I mused as I walked back about the symmetry of the last two session weight!

That was it for Bowood as the following week I was at the Glebe for a two day pairs competition that I was running for MFSReborn and wanted to sort out my natch kit in preparation for the time away. The pairs would be drawn on the first day and the 36 anglers were split into two groups – The Pros and the Noddies (I was a Noddy), each pair would include a member from each group and the Noddies would fish Lake 1 on day 1 while the Pros were on lakes 5, 6 and 7. Day 2 would see us swap lakes. There were three sections of 6 in each group.

The draw was done I was paired up with Simmo, who drew peg 94 on lake 6 while I drew peg 15 on lake 1. Peg 15 is not a great area as it is exactly half way on the horseshoe shaped lake and if the wind blows the ends tend to fish better! I set up a feeder, a rig for fishing at 11m, two rigs for the 5m line and two for the margins – one with 0.20mm to a 12 that I intended to use with paste or bunches of dead maggots and the other with 0.22mm to a 16 for corn/pellet.

I called the all in and went on the 5m line to see if I could snare an early fish -NO don’t be silly!- on to the feeder for an hour or so for one skimmer, so then on to the 11m line that had been prepped at the start with a ball of groundbait and loose fed pellet thereafter. A skimmer came after 5 minutes followed by another then I hooked a carp that threw the hook after a minute or so, at which point the heavens opened and it properly rained for the next three hours during which I managed to lose another two carp (one definitely foul hooked as a large scale came back on the hook) and had a couple more skimmers. With 2 hours of the six hour match left I came back on the 5m line that I had religiously been feeding with a few 6mm pellets, I had a carp of 4lb on banded 6mm pellet but lost another, possibly foul hooked. Six pots of groundbait were introduced on the left margin, the right margin had been fed with corn and hemp from the start every ten minutes or so. Bunches of maggots were attacked by hordes of small perch, paste produced a skimmer and then a carp. I was swapping back from left to right and in the end I managed to get a few late carp on JPZ red 8mm pellets. All in all it was not a brilliant day my silver net weighed 10-00 and the carp went 27-08 for a 37-08 total and fifth in section. My kit was soaked but had started to dry out and at least we were able to set up and pack up in the dry! I gathered all the result sheets and went to my hotel to sort the money and results. Simmo had a better day with 148-12 and a fourth in section.

Day 2 arrives with sunshine and I have the last peg in the bag – 106 on lake 7, Simmo was on peg 5 on lake 1. Getting to my peg I was met with the typical strip lake appearance, but I had room on my right as Herbie (our Leader) was next peg in the corner on peg 109. Herbie said I had drawn poorly yesterday and today the lake should get better further down to the left!

Peg106 left
Peg 106
Peg106 right

Following various discussions I overheard at the draw plus what Herbie had said I decided to dispense with the feeder and put a 10g lead on with a three foot 0.18mm hook-length to a 16, intending to fish a banded 8mm pellet. I also set up two margin rigs as previously, a 5m rig and two 11m rigs, one with a bulk and two droppers the other with the shot spread over the last three feet in the 6 feet of water.

Just as the day before I began at 5m but this time the float went and a carp of 4lb went into the net! No further bites so out on to the bomb, catapulting 6mm out to about 20m with an 8mm Red Robin on the band. No response so changed to a 6mm in the band and almost had the rod pulled from my hand with a savage take from another 4lber. The next hour and a bit I had one more but lost 3, two were my own fault as after I got snapped I tied another hook on and obviously didn’t tighten it down properly as the next fish was on then the hook unraveled. Lo and behold I made the same mistake again! Angry with myself I eventually netted the extra one and changed to the pole at 11m where the 6mm pellet and groundbait had got some fish interested in fact you had to keep feeding 3-4 pellets to keep them interested or the skimmers came back. I had a few more carp but lost a couple as they seem to fight harder than most carp I have encountered with even 3lb fish heading to the far bank at a rate of knots! Fortunately the larger fish tended to be slower but harder to move up in the water.

The match went on similar lines with me swapping between the 11m and 5m lines until with two hours to go I tried the margins, again finding most success with JPZ red 8mm. I lost only two more, one a ghostie of about 6lb when the net was half way over him and the hook pulled but I couldn’t scoop him up fast enough.

At the all out I had clicked my carp nets as 41lb and 46lb with my silvers as 1lb, the weigh in showed, 45lb, 47-04 and 1-04 for a 93-08 total, so close to the magical ton but those lost fish proved costly. That put me 4th in the section while Simmo finished with 152-04 for third. That put us 13th out of the 18 pairs. An interesting two days and one thing that I took away was the fact that my feeder rod that coped with double figure carp at Larford was undergunned for the Glebe, but for the odd times I fish there I will just cope with what I have!