October 2022 – Part 2

Monday 17th returned to Pondtail for another session on 5m whip on the same peg (2) but with a different hook! Fishing from 9:10 to 12:10 I set up in identical fashion perhaps best explained by a picture!

Hopefully you can make out how the olivettes and float are locked plus the dropper stotz used. Anyway I started by throwing out 3 small “fists” of groundbait, 2 hard and one softer and proceeded to loose feed 8-10 grains of wheat every couple of minutes. I was soon into fish with the multi coloured tip easily identifying bites on the drop and lifts! The session went better with 50 roach and 4 perch and just the odd fish lost for a 4-09 total.

Wednesday sees me back at peg 10 for a session from 9:30 to 12:30, once again the pike were conspicuous by their absence, with no runs nor blank spells between bites which usually is a sign. Obviously the warm weather is not getting them into their usual seasonal habits. I had added a little bit of fishmeal groundbait to my usual mix and the difference was startling as the blades that appeared once in a blue moon became the dominant species with 21 blades. 10 roach and 4 rudd giving a 3-04 total. I had tempered my approach and had reduced my hook-length to 0.12mm as there was still a bit of colour in the water but I am sure it was the introduction of the fishmeal that prompted their appearance. As usual I fed only wheat.

Events and the weather then conspired against me so it was not until the following Tuesday that I was able to have a session on the Pondtail – this time peg 1. I was glad to be out, especially as it was my birthday and I am no officially a pensioner! The Pondtail did not look great with cold dirty water cascading into the pool, fishing from 8:45 with the same approach and tackle it took 40 minutes before I got my first bite and fish, so at least I hadn’t blanked! It was a full hour before my next bite and then from 11am until I packed up at 11:50 I caught a further 14 roach making it 16 in total for 1-06.

I returned on the Friday to the Pondtail to find the water was coming in at a more reasonable pace but there was a significant tow. This time I opted for peg 2 and a 6m whip, fishing from 8:55 to 11:35 I had a roach of one ounce second cast and that was it, no matter what I tried I could not buy a bite.The session was brightened up by the appearance of a stag munching fr4om the low branches on the far side before running across the hill to the dense vegetation opposite me. Unfortunately my phone could not get a better shot than this!

I decided to go to peg 10 on the Sunday as Monday was taking up with house maintenance! Once again no interest in the pike rod nor signs of pike striking. In a similar fashion to the last visit to peg 10 the fishmeal once again produced blades with a couple of 4oz skimmers added in.The session was interspersed with rain but was okay as it did make the unshipping of the pole easier with wet hands!The final total of 16 rudd, 26 blades, 12 roach and a perch went 4-14, all apart from one rudd coming to double maggot as I made the decision to keep on maggot while occasionally trying the corn as some of the blades would suck a kernel to a skin but would not get it in their mouth!

November beckons and I am of a mind to give the top field a go with the feeder (and pike rod) just so I get out of my usual rut and do something a bit different!

October 2022 – Surprises!

By the Monday (3rd) I was feeling a bit better and decided to head down to peg 10 at Bowood only to find that Bob, the other regular local had beaten me to it. I know that if he is pike fishing he will have two rods out and one bait would have been put to the left of peg 10, so I decided to give him room and set up on peg 8. After a while he came down for a chat and said an osprey had been seen during the week, now this made sense as the last visit I had seen a large bird with a skimmer of about a pound in its talons flying down the lake but had dismissed it as being an osprey as it seemed too dark but it was! The local twitchers and photographers were out in force on the far bank and they were not disappointed as the osprey soon appeared for them – the picture is taken from one of the photos they subsequently posted.

Osprey at Bowood 3-10-2022

Anyway I started off at 9:30 as per usual with 3 balls of groundbait laced with some wheat and a few grains of corn. A couple of rudd came to the maggot before I switched to corn and I have to admit my eyes kept switching between my float, the pike float and the osprey!About 10:30 the float lifted and a solid resistance was felt leading to a sluggish but heavy weight coming towards me, as I was about to unship at the top two the fish woke up and steamed off with yards of elastic being pulled out as I hurriedly followed it out before getting a modicum of control back. My first instinct was it could be a pike but eventually I was proved wrong as a tench of 5-08 came to the net.


A few more rudd and a solitary roach came to the corn before an almighty crash 15m to my left and half way across saw the osprey dive from nowhere and pluck what looked to be a fish of about 6oz out of the water and fly off. Unfortunately for the photographers and twitchers- they had left about 20minutes before!

One further bite at about 11:30 resulted in a more spirited initial scrap from another tench of 3-12 and I called it a day at 12:30 as I was feeling surprisingly tired – obviously I was overdoing things too soon!The silvers weighed in at 1-04 for a 10-08 total.


I was a bit wary of going again too soon as I felt rough when I got back to the car and then the wife developed the same symptoms I had so it was not until the following Tuesday (11th) that I ventured out again to peg 10. This time I was on my own but the temperature at 9am was 3C with a heavy frost on the ground, by the time I had packed up at 12:15 and got back to the car it was bright sunshine and 13C! Surprisingly I had no runs at all on the pike rod and ended up with 27 roach, 3 rudd and 2 blades for 3-01, a sign perhaps that the rudd are quietening down and allowing the roach to get at the bait!

My only other visit to date was Friday 14th to the Pondtail fishing 9:35 to 12:05 on peg 2 with the 5m Chinese whip. I used a different rig to normal with a more orthodox Chinese float but with a slightly thicker bristle taking 1.3g. I set the olivette bulk 3 feet from the hook and had 3 droppers below it ending in a 0.10mm hook-length to a size 18 Blue Au Lion D’Or hook which was a mistake as it turned out! I introduced a ball of groundbait and fed a pinch of wheat every other cast, topping up the groundbait with a ball the size of a golf ball every 30 minutes or so. I was in to fish, well bites, immediately. The problem I had was the set up was too sensitive! I was seeing every dip as the fish blew the double maggots in and out. I eventually got myself in check and delayed any strike until it was a definite bite either holding the float under or lifting and holding. The other frustration I had was I was bumping/ pulling out of fish, I came to the conclusion that the blued hook was too fine a wire and springy and I needed a slightly heavier less springy hook. However as I had only taken Gareth’s canal stool there was not a suitable hook to change so I put up with it! The usual also happened with me getting a blank spell of 10-15 minutes with no bites, I am sure these are caused by either the arrival of one of the few resident carp or larger bream coming into the swim. Anyway I ended up with 30 roach a perch and a gudgeon for 2-13, having lost/dropped at least 10 mainly better fish, one being a net-able perch that escaped as I placed the net in the water!

Plenty for me to ponder, especially as apart from that one run when the reel broke I have had no interest from the pike so far and am still to open my account this season!