The end of October had been a wash out in terms of fishing and it was cabin fever that set me off to Peg 10 on the first of the month (against my better judgement). Getting out of the car, the Pondtail was flowing and a horrible colour but I still took the long walk to peg 10 on the main lake. The main lake was a horrible chocolate colour, high and flowing, in fact if Cyril (my friendly swan) had put in an appearance he would not have been able to swim beneath the platform as he had previously. Having walked there I gave it a go and made up a bit of groundbait and put a homemade rig taking 1g on. To cut a long story short, I fished 9:15 to 11:45, had my first bite at 11:17 of a half ounce roach and a second bite from a similar sized blade ten minutes later. Having avoided the blank I did the sensible option and went home!
It was not until the Friday – Bonfire Night- that I ventured to Bowood again, this time the water was back to normal but we had been on the receiving end of two frosts and stepping out of the car, the temperature was only 2C with the ground white. I had deliberately only brought the whips to fish the Pondtail so I set up on peg 2 with a 6m Chinese whip and short Chinese float that somehow took more weight than the long ones. Anyway two walnut sized balls of groundbait were introduced and double maggot was presented while loose feeding hemp and wheat. I was relieved when the float lifted on the second cast and a two ounce fish was swung in. Two hours later 80 roach were in the net for 7-03 and I decided to head back. Unusually no gudgeon or perch appeared!
I decided to do something different and go to Bowood on the Sunday but this time to take the seat bag and rods and head up to the Stock pond. I had bought a three rod bag from Aliexpress and had put a feeder rod, a method feeder rod and a waggler all set up in it along with bank stick and landing net handle.
I arrived at peg 2 (the small carp peg) and set up the waggler that had my original 1970’s Abu 506 on it and the feeder rod. I began by throwing a ball of groundbait laced with micros out to about 20m and followed it up with some hemp and wheat. I intended to let it settle while I fished the feeder for a start. Ten minutes in and I hooked a roach, soon followed by a succession of missed bites and then another roach. After an hour I had 4 roach and too many missed bites – the feeder went up the bank and I reached for the waggler to see if the fish were on the loose hemp and wheat I had been catapulting out every ten minutes. The first two casts saw small roach on double maggot come to the net, but a switch to corn on the hook saw me wait longer but the stamp of roach was better with a couple needing the net! Anyway the action was not fast and the three hours saw me total 25 roach for 4-06, an average just under 3oz.
Next day I’m back at Peg 10, fishing 9:15 to 12:50. I now reverted to a BGT Round that took 0.8g (although it was marked up as 0.5g) with a yellow top having the top inch coloured with a black maker so it stood out in the white water.Fishing the usual way at 10m on the pole with the sardine on the pike rod out at 20m. Action on the pole was slow with roach at first before rudd muscled in. After an hour I had a run on the sardine, striking I latched on to a feisty pike of 7-05. By 12:35 I had 12 roach, 12 rudd and a small skimmer for 2-10 when I decided to pack the pole away ready to leave at about 1pm. I had moved the sardine a lot closer in- only 6-8m out, I had just finished putting the pole in the rod bag when the float bobbed and disappeared, a strike was met with a slower, heavier fish that only woke up when in netting range, as I maneuvered it into the net the hooks dropped out but a swift lift and he was mine! I left him in the net to weigh and recover a small double of 10-04.
Due to car issues it was not until the Friday that I was able to go again- back at 10 (the rut has set in!) Fishing in a similar manner it was a lot slower at first but ended up with a jack of 4-10, 21 roach and 20 rudd for 4-06, making a round 9lb total. I left the week-end alone and returned on the Monday for one of the most bizarre days for a long time. Arriving at the parking area in bright sun-light I walked down to peg 10 with my coat on the trolley. Unpacking the trolley, I placed, as I usually do, my bait bag, keepnet bag, rod holdall and coat on the platform thinking I may be regretting leaving my sunglasses in the car, I turned and went to retrieve my box. Picking it up I turned around only for the sun to disappear, a heavy mist descend and by the time I walked the handful of paces to place my box on the platform the far bank was out of sight! It was like something out of a Hammer movie or a Steven King novel!The fog stayed until I went at 1pm albeit it had lifted greatly by then but I could not make out the outline of the island until 11am and did not see the outline of Bowood House until noon. I would not have been surprised to see a headless horseman- it was that type of atmosphere!
Anyway back to the fishing, usual set up produced 14 rudd and 7 roach for 2-10 plus a jack of 5-05. I had run out of sardines and put on a joey mackerel and this brought another of the phantom bites – two bobs, just as if a pike was taking hold but then nothing. On retrieving it there was a two inch cut along its underbelly as if it had been done with a filleting knife, no teeth marks or other marks at all. I am at a loss as to what it could be. We’ll see what the rest of the month brings!