Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A smart move...

Not a fish in sight...
I had planned to go fishing on Friday. Tim had 'booked' the time off with his other half and it was all systems go. by the time Thursday came it was obvious that Friday was going to be a wet and miserable day, so we called it off. Tim Could not make another day over the Easter holiday. I decided that I would go it alone and as Monday was forecast as being the better day that is when I decided to go. As it worked out, my fishing mate, Ian, said that he fancied drowning a few maggots that day so he met me at the venue. Not being an early riser he prefers to get there a bit later than me...

5am and the alarm is going off. I leapt out of bed like a spring lamb. I then woke fully and dragged myself out of bed trying to convince myself that the effort would be worth it. After the obligatory date with the soap and water, concentrating really hard to focus my eyes and sorting out which way my trousers went on, I staggered down the stairs to the kitchen to find Sue cooking beans and buttering rolls. "Morning!" She said with a bright smile... "Groan..."  "I have made the tea, sit down and have some cereal" "Grunt..."

I am a morning person. Honest!  The beans were rounded up into a food flask. Rolls, crisps and the official fishing biscuit (and any other occasion for that matter), the Caramel Wafer, were all corralled in a small cool bag. This pack breakfast/lunch together with A flask of coffee and a bottle of cold drink were all ready for loading into Sue's little Volvo estate along with the fishing gear. By 6:00 AM I hit the trail, heading for Beaver.

The fishery opens at 7:00 AM. I slipped off the road, into the drive, to find a queue of cars at 6:45 AM. At 7:00 AM the electric gate opened and we were able to drive in. I made straight for my intended peg on Maze Lake. The intention was to have a go with my home-made boilies. I did have a half hearted attempt but decided that I did not want to waste the day listening for a buzzer or watching a quiver tip. I understand the water is not warm enough yet for the boilies or flavouring to have much effect and Maze is not really the best lake to fish for carp.

After a couple of hours I decided to go back to my standard approach and got the wagglers out! I packed away my carp rod and strolled round to the office to pay my day ticket and buy some Maggots. Well, I succeeded in paying for my day ticket. However, no maggots! I know I am a novice at this but this is the second time I have turned up at a fishery and they had no maggots left. I would have thought they would make sure they had plenty of them, especially at a big venue like this that has ten lakes/ponds. From now on I will buy my maggots the day before from my local tackle shop. As I had some other bait with me, including a good third of a pint of dead maggots I froze after my last trip, I was catered for.

Oh, bother!
I tackled up ready to plumb the depth. In a sudden rush of blood to my head I cast the plummet and float as if the line was baited. As soon as I did it, I knew I was in trouble. The tackle landed in the tree on the end of 'finger' of land that protrudes from the opposite bank the weight of the plummet wrapped around a branch and that was that. You may just be able to see the float hanging in the tree (arrowed). Hook, plummet and float lost. Deep breath, and another one to chalk up to experience, or lack of it. To be fair, I can not really play the novice card on this one, I was just not concentrating and thinking about the lack of maggots. Now I had a lack of tackle. I do have another small plummet that came with my starter set. Not as smart as the one I lost but it did the job for the rest of the day.

By now I had an audience, the peg next to mine was occupied by a chap fishing the pole. He looked as if he knew what he was doing. Camouflage battle dress jacket and grubby trousers with matching luggage and tackle looked as if it had been on the bank before - several times. There was a lot of splashing and pole action happening.

I continued to re-tackle and plumb the depth much to his amusement. I admitted to being new to this and he agreed with me sighting the fact that my kit was clean. He offered to advise me and I accepted with good grace. However most, if not all the advice was about his past achievements and how he had a much more expensive pole at home. I baited up with a couple of my dead maggots and made a cast as I was being talked at. A bream snatched the bait almost as soon as it hit the water. I landed it to those famous words of encouragement "Cor! That was lucky" He said, as he lit a cigarette and walked back to his pole... Made my day, but the poor bream wasn't having such a good day. Now he is sitting in my net, on my unhooking mat, it is obvious that he has been recently munched by, what I assume to have been, a pike.

Munched on by a pike maybe?
I returned him (her?) to the water and continued to fish using a variety of baits. As well as maggots the bailiff suggested really small pieces of luncheon meet. This did not seem to work for me so I tried corn and that resulted in a few more skimmers/bream. It was the dead maggots that saved the day catching some nice little rudd, including this little fellow.

The banks were alive with wildlife as was the water. My pole wielding neighbour caught a signal crayfish which he dispatched with the sole of his boot. More welcome visitors were a water vole, swimming from a close in island to the bank and back, as well as whole gang (I have no idea what the collective noun for a bunch of frogs is but 'gang' will do for now!)

I'm off, it's a human!
This little fellow was swimming around in my landing net that I had left in the margin, just before I got to the camera. Once he had spotted me he was off at a rate of knots. There was a lot of frog 'activity' going on all around the edges of the lake. I suspect there will be a few more frogs around soon!

A decent sized fish - at last!
My mate Ian arrived mid-morning and we fished for the rest of the day. There were long periods of inactivity until eventually Ian managed to land a nice-looking bream, just as I was packing up to go home. 

Another good day was had by all and another step on the path of learning by me. I did manage to catch a good few fish but lost a couple of floats, my plummet and my new Drennan glow tip antenna float snapped. I will have to go to the tackle shop and buy some more floats and a plummet - What a shame...

By the way, I have just looked it up, the collective name for a bunch of frogs is an 'army'...