November 2022 Part 2- Others fishing!

It was not until Wednesday 16th that I ventured out due to the rain that had been falling, even so I only fished from 9:45 until 12:50 as the rain returned from 11-12 and then again at 1 on my way back to the car from peg 10. Ah yes, I am getting ahead of myself!I began in my normal way with three balls of groundbait cupped in, one soft and two hard with one hard ball dropped from a foot or so to give a plop and ring the dinner bell so to speak. Anyway it was quite slow but I managed 9 rudd, 7 roach, 3 small skimmers/blades and another gudgeon! These totaled 1-04 but I did also get a feisty pike of 10-04 after about an hour.

Now that is the last of my fishing this month as I was on call to collect my son, his wife and my grandson from Heathrow if they could exit China with the various Covid lockdowns and restrictions. They were collected on the 21st late on and are now in the throes of finding somewhere to live so I am on taxi duty!

That Friday (25th) I had arranged to meet Tim, a fellow Maggotdrowner, at Blacklands for a coaching session on the pole. He had been gifted an old pole and although a competent rod and reel angler had admitted he had no clue with the pole. I set him up on Heron lake by the overflow and went through the basics.

The first two hours were as expected more difficult for Tim as he got to grips with the pole but the second two hours saw him hit and land most of his bites but did lose what looked to be a very nice net roach. At the end I had a few minutes on Tim’s box so he could see me put into practice what he had been doing (when coaching I never fish as I feel I need to constantly watch and amend the learner’s actions).

One of the first things Gareth had done was to sort out his rod license and buy a Calne AA permit. On the Sunday I took him and grandson Zachary to the River Marden at Hazeland for a short session in the top field, again I was not fishing as I had not got a Calne ticket. The river was pushing through and very coloured. Starting on a bomb Gareth tried various areas before I suggested he tried at his feet where there was a small eddy albeit very snaggy. First put in he had a bite that was missed but resulted in a sucked maggot then he managed to get a roach, at which point 4 year old Zachary wanted to get in on the action, he missed a couple of bites and then had a gudgeon. It was at this point I set up a 3m whip that he could use and drop into the eddy at his feet. Several minnows came to the net as well as a good few missed bites and snags. After about and hour or so we made our way home.

The final fishing related visit was taking Gareth, alone, back to Hazeland to fish the weir. Fishing the bomb again we were pleasantly surprised by the number of bites despite the ferocity of the water coming over the weir. A perch of 1lb 8oz and a roach of 13oz were added to the net along with other smaller samples in the hour and a half we were there.

So next I must go fishing myself!

November 2022 Part 1 – At Last!

November arrives and on the first day I keep to my word and head up to peg 14 in the top field, the furthest peg on the right bank. Now the walk up here is not the easiest as when you get into the top field you have to navigate a steep slope with no flat area plus the ground is invariably sodden so a trolley is impracticable so I went forth with my Chinese rod bag holding the pike rod, a feeder and a waggler plus various bank sticks/handles, the pike handle was carried separately together with the keepnet bag and bait bucket. My haversack/seat held the rest of my bits and pieces.

The day was very windy with showers and I managed to fish from 9:15 to 12:15 before setting off for home. I decided to stick to the feeder as I wanted to get some casting practice in but still put the pike rod out, trying the margins and further out to no avail!

The open-end feeder was dispatched to the clip at 43 turns with a 24 inch 0.10mm hook-length to an 18 with double maggot, the feeder loaded with micros, and wheat in a mix of roach and fishmeal groundbait. I had six casts to put some bait down after an initial 5 minutes to ensure there was not a shoal of bream already in residence! It took 15 minutes before I had the first bite (this was the third proper cast) from a small roach and that was how the day went with missed bites and 10 roach, 6 small 2oz skimmers/blades and 3 rudd for 1-08.

Back to peg 10 on the Friday I began a bit later at 9:30 fishing through to 12:30. The water still had a fair bit of colour so I was not too hopeful of pike but put a sardine out to 20m while fishing the pole at 10m over 3 balls of groundbait. The going was slow with just a couple of small blades at first which I hoped meant there were some bigger fish around. The pole line went dead after an hour, not that it had been lively before that, but I took it as a sign that there may be a pike in the area so wound the sardine in to about 11m, just off my fishing area. Ten minutes later the pike float disappeared and a strike resulted in the first pike of the season coming to the net, albeit only 5-12 but a pike nonetheless! The pole line then started slowly to offer more activity and another “dead” spell about 11:45 saw another pike run from the same area, this time a bigger fish of 7-06, so in the space of a bit over an hour I had got my piking season off to a start! I ended up with two roach, six rudd, nine blades and a rare gudgeon amassing 1-04.

I took a photo of some “blades” as sidestreambob had not heard of the term before and as such it made me realise that it may need explaining, but a picture will help. Blades refer not to Sheffield United but small skimmer bream usually under 2oz as when they are swung in the silver sides glint like razor blades!

The following Tuesday I was back at peg 10 fishing 9:10 to 12:00 although the weather was bad with heavy rain with very few gaps. Fishing in my usual manner it was slow going with small blades the main source of activity until it went dead about 11o’clock and then the float slid under and a strike was met with an immovable object that resembled being caught on the bottom but I immediately knew this was a pike as that is the scenario when you hook them on the pole – just a solid weight until they realise they are hooked! Five minutes later I had it close in and had to reach for the pike net as it looked a double figure fish, then it dived into the marginal reeds on my left and managed to snap the 0.10mm hooklength!

Restarting a few more small fish came before another quiet spell at 11:50 signaled potentially another interloper. This time the pike rod saw the action and a little before 11:55 a pike of 10-10 was in the net! It was at this point I decided to pack up as there was a lull in the rain. My 9 blades,7 roach and 1 rudd dragged the scales down to a magnificent 0-14!

Next day I was back at peg 10 still with wind and rain but fished 9:45 to 1:00. I put the pike rod out to 11m to start and set the pole up. I had just put the first ball of groundbait in the cup when there was a run on the pike rod, a strike was met with a disappointing fight from a fish of 6-13, from there on at roughly 45 minute intervals there was pike action resulting in a very feisty 4-02 and a welcome 9-10.

In between I had nine roach, four rudd four blades and two surprise gudgeon for 0-15 but last fish of the day was another pike on the pole, this time one of exactly 6lb which gave me a very pleasant total of 27-08.

On the way back to the car I had slipped on the sodden grass and wrenched my knee so on the Friday it was a case of being sensible and forsaking the chance of more pike and fishing the Pondtail. I decided to just fish a homemade waggler at 20m for a change and fishing from 9-15 to 12:00 I had a fun session with 61 roach and three perch for a level 5lb taken on 0.10mm hooklength to an 18 using just three no9 droppers in the 8 feet of water.

So after a slow start the pike have turned up at last, my next task is to source some decent sardines as I am down to my last few!