Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Dropshotting the Regent's

Back in November last year, The Angling Times ran a short article about urban fishing in London using the Oyster card to get around. Travelling around London using public transport has never been easier. It is almost impossible to park in London without incurring ridiculous parking charges or even worse getting a fine or towed away. That is without all the hassle of battling with London's everlasting traffic. London is a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week city. Even on a Sunday, the place is buzzing.

Sunday morning and the sun is just about to show itself
As the clocks went back on Sunday morning (02:00 AM) I decided to take advantage of the extra hour and drag myself out of bed and make an effort to catch an early train into town. Sue, foolishly, made the decision to come along too. Our aim was to get to Camden Town and, initially, head east from there towards Kings Cross.

The alarm went off at 05:30 Sunday morning. It is at these times when the thought of going fishing does not sound as appealing as it did the night before. Telling ourselves it will be worth it when we get there, we dragged ourselves out of bed, and made it out of the house in time to walk to the station and catch the 07:12 to London Bridge. Bearing in mind this is Sunday morning - the train was packed! I was amazed to see the crowds of people heading down the tunnel that leads to the way out, and Underground station.

Deserted streets of Camden. The side of the building in the centre of the picture shows that
street 'art is not just confined to our current times.
The sign reads: "You save money by shopping at Boots chemists
We made it through tunnel and onto the Northern Line tube to Camden Town. Barely an hour after leaving home we were standing outside the station in the empty streets of Camden Town looking at the street art, old and new.

Street art of the highest standard, just around the corner from the tube station
A short walk from the station heading North along any of the roads that radiate in that direction will take you to the canal. We walked along Kentish Town Road until we crossed the canal and walked down the steps to the towpath. It is now getting on for 08:00 and the towpath is deserted.

Time to get my rod set up. I bought my rod and reel earlier in the year with the proceeds of a Christmas/birthday fund-raising scheme, just as I used to do when I was a kid - it worked! I also bought a couple of packs of dropshotting rigs that came with a few small plastic lures.

At the time it was almost impossible to get hold of the yellow braid so I ended up with a brown coloured line.Now I needed some jig heads. Not knowing where to start with jigging tackle, I visited to my local tackle shop and bought a few bits and pieces. They have a huge collection of course fishing tackle but are a bit limited on dropshotting/jigging gear. The smallest jig heads I could find were 10g. I had hopped to find some smaller ones but they were going to be better than nothing, or so I thought. I also bought a few soft plastic lures - well you can't not, can you?

I had pre-rigged the the new lures with the jig heads the night before, and fitted them with a wire trace just in case I hooked a pike! These I mounted on a wine cork to protect the points and prevent them hooking up with anything in my bag of minimal tackle.

The jig heads were far too heavy but they were all I had
I also fitted a quick-release clip to the end of the line onto which I would be able to attach my pre-made trace/jig rig. I attempted a few casts just to get the feel of the ultra-light rod and found it was more a case of flicking it out rather than a full blown cast. the retrieve was interesting to say the least. The soft plastic lure fell like a stone, attached to that enormous weight and simply collected a hook-full of weed. I persevered but I was getting nothing, although I was managing to put it where I wanted it to go without too much trouble. I tried open water and under the bridges but didn't even get a knock, that I could feel.

Best I could do was to drag up some weed
By now I had resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be most unlikely that I would catch anything. This did not bother me, I just wanted to get some experience. By now the sun had come out to play and the nip in the air had been replaced with the warm feel of the sun on our backs making distinct shadows on the towpath.

At this point we were lucky to catch our shadow, but no fish
We continued to walk along the towpath taking in the sights and having a jig between the covering of weed that seemed to be covering the whole canal in places. The wildlife seemed to be enjoying it and curious to see if we had brought any food.

Egyptian geese looking for free handouts - sorry mate no edible bait today!
Arriving at Kings cross we sat on the steps that lead to the old, now filled in basin to change the tackle. it was obvious to me that the jig heads I had bought were totally wrong for what I was attempting to do. I removed my end tackle and replaced it with a dropshot rig. Now without the advantage of using the jigging gear to find the fish I was fishing blind. At this point a young lad appeared, rod in hand and started to fish.

I went over and spoke to him and he turned out to be a very friendly young man, by the name of Tom who was also doing a spot of dropshotting. He new exactly what he was doing and and was happy to show me where I was going wrong. He confirmed the jig heads I was attempting to use were far too heavy and my lures were all wrong too. He was fishing with a 2 or 3g flexible jigging head arrangement that looked far superior to my cumbersome rig I had been chucking around earlier. He also very kindly gave me a couple of small 50mm shads that looked far more like what should be using on my rig. He offered me a smaller jig head but I declined, not wanting to take advantage. Just a few minutes talking to someone on the bank is worth hours of reading and watching videos - you can't beat it.

Just to prove there are fish in the canal Tom sent me a picture of one of the perch he managed to catch that day
We decided to walk back to Camden market and visit the street food stalls selling all kinds of food from around the world. Stopping off along the way to have a dabble with the dropshotting gear. No luck but it was fun trying. I packed the rod away and we hurried off to sample some of the street food. Staying moderately cautious, we opted for some Polish sausage in a roll with onions. We made the right choice, it tasted every bit as good as it smelt.

Dropshotting near one of the bridges - still no luck but I am getting some experience
After polishing off the grub, we set off towards Paddington. With the gear packed away, knowing I really needed some different jig heads and shads, I was happy to just explore as much of the canal as we could. It was a fine day and by now the towpath was getting busy with walkers joggers and cyclists. I do wonder how many of the cyclists end up in the canal...

Early afternoon and the place comes to life with people
We walked away from the market now heading West. The route takes you through Regent's Park and slices through London Zoo. there are lots of potential fishing spots all the way along but at this time of day the canal is full of boats chugging their way along. I think it is a case of getting a few hours in early and then moving to the ends of the canal, where is does not seem to be so busy. Once we arrived at Paddington Basin we walked over to the station and hopped on a train back to kings cross so we could start exploring the Eastern section beyond Kings Cross.

Long stretches of the canal are covered in weed
As we headed away from Kings cross towards Islington and Hackney it was starting to cloud over and the temperature dropped. our feet were starting to complain so as we approached the Kingsland Road we decided to leave the canal and head home.
Well, we didn't catch anything but we had a very enjoyable day. I learnt an awful lot and got the chance to experience a side of London I have not visited before. Now I have a better idea of what I need, next time I will take a selection of smaller jig-heads and shads so next tome I can catch a perch like Toms! I also have a much better idea of the layout and where I will be fishing next time.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Wagg 3, grinder 0

The incredibly powerful Duronic BL1200 blender
During the summer I have been using my Two Dog groundbait to great success. One of the main ingredients is ground Wagg dog biscuits. When dry, to say these things are hard is an understatement, they are bullet-proof. I like to add them as a fine powder to the mix initially as this way it all gets thoroughly mixed with the other dry ingredients without forming clumps.

I first tried processing them in my little food processor, but to no avail. all that did was to knock a few edges off and bounce them around violently. They are also extremely abrasive and scratch the inside of the mixing bowl. Defeated by this I then tried the good old pestle and mortar. Although I have a reasonably substantial one, the pestle and mortar made little progress and it was a job to stop the bits getting thrown out of the mortar if any force was applied.

Finally I came up with the idea of using a coffee grinder. The first one did actually last long enough to process just over a kilo of wag before it started it sound a bit rough, finally giving up the ghost in a puff of smoke and giving off an acrid smell... Hmmm... I think I pushed that a little too far, although I was being careful, I was obviously over loading it. Okay, I will put that down to experience. I bought a new one. This time I will be ultra careful and only put a few bits in the grinding chamber. Turned it on and it went round a couple of times and made a loud click at which point the motor was spinning free while the blade was stationary. These small modern appliances are impossible to get into without breaking something so It went back to the shop and was upgraded for a slightly more powerful model. That lasted not much longer and this time it was the blade that gave out and snapped!

Third one - time to give up with coffee grinders
At this point, I gave up with the idea of grinding Wagg in a cheap coffee grinder - it just is not up to the job. I was now considering the percussive approach, but hitting each one with a 26oz Estwing framing hammer might result in more on the floor than in the groundbait as well as taking half a lifetime to 'process' a kilo box full of the stuff. I was just about to give up on the idea of grinding the stuff to a fine powder when an on-line mate of mine put me on to the Duronic BL1200. The what? I hear you say. That was my first thought, what on earth is that? Well, it's a 'blender' or what I always called a 'liquidiser'. This thing has an unbelievable specification including a really heavy glass jug and a 1200W motor. All this for a shade under £56.00, delivered.

One extra advantage is the ease of cleaning - brilliant!
Now you know what they say about something being too good to be true, well this thing is the exception to the rule. Its robust build and powerful motor turned the Wagg into a fine dust with very little effort. It will also 'liquidise' bread and biscuit with very little effort. Problem solved!


Thursday, 22 October 2015

No-dog groundbait for winter...

My exploits with groundbait over the past few months have worked very well. In fact, much better than I had imagined, but now winter is around the corner I am told I need to cut back on the feed content, but maintain the attractant. This means I need to modify my method mix, and particularly my Two Dog groundbait mix that I have been using so successfully over the summer, for use over the winter. My initial plan is to remove the 'dogs' from the recipe. That will leave bread, biscuit and turmeric. By adding a small amount of very finely ground black pepper, I am told that this will significantly increase the attractive powers of the turmeric. It all gets a bit technical for me as I did not study chemistry at school or in further education.  For those who, like me, are interested in such matters, here is the bones of it, Thanks to Chris Barker at LaGuna, who was very helpful by explaining to me what is actually happening.

Turmeric on its own works mainly as a visual attraction and will create a good yellow cloud. It is not so good as a stimulating ingredient on the fish's sense of smell. Adding a small amount of black pepper to the turmeric creates a chemical iron/curcumin (present in the turmeric) complex causing a chemical reaction that binds the iron. This enables the fish to detect it easier in the water. The quantities of fine ground black pepper are very small, less than 5% of the turmeric. in my recipe, that is only 2½g - might have to get the jewellery scales out for this one!

Manual labour...
..not a bad result
If I am not careful I could get stuck in a rut with this. My Two Dog mix works well for what it is intended for,  now I am thinking that I need to start from scratch with this one. I need to decide exactly want I want, or in this case what I don't. After discussing this with some of the guys, on the angling forums I frequent, I now know that if I want to continue to use a method feeder, which I do, I need to cut down on the feed content and use the method feeder as a form of 'signal' to tell the fish there is something worth investigating. If the feed is fine enough it should disperse in the water and although the fish will be able to taste/sense it, it should not fill them up. I am thinking I will adjust the mix on the bank by adding a few free offerings if necessary.

Now I think about it, I also need to look at the hook bait. Maybe I will scale down the size of the punched Bacon Grill I have been using. All summer I have been catching lots of fish on 9mm thick, 9mm punched 'pellets' of Bacon Grill. Maybe I need to be using smaller pieces or even go away from meat altogether and go for sweetcorn or even actual pellets.

Less thinking more doing...  

Right, what I need is some fine powdered something or other. I could probably use more or less anything, I can dry and render into a fine powder, for the base. Having used bread/biscuit based mixes for all the recipes I have published so far I thought I would try something different. but what?

At 80p per kilo it has to
be worth a try
I know, you are all sitting there reading this thinking why change? Well, because I can, and experimenting is the only way to learn what works and what does not. I am building a knowledge base here that I will be able to draw on in the future. I have some ideas on summer high-food mixes for next year that involve using loose animal feed. Here in London we don't have that many 'feed' stores to frequent so it my be, for now, a case of seeing what I can get hold of. I know if I want huge bags of feed I can always get it delivered but I don't really want that quantity of dry goods sitting around to feed the mice and rats. They say wherever you are in London that you are never more than six feet away from a rat! That aside, 'er-in-doors would go nuts if I started buying bulk feed and storing it in my fishing 'office' as she described it today. It is really the utility room but, until I get around to decorating it, I have moved in. I really don't want to upset my little fruit bat as she is very tolerant of my fishing and even joins in with the bait-making from time to time. I digress (again).

The best place I can find locally, without having to drive miles, to buy loose feed is our local Pets at Home store. According to their website, I can buy a 15kg bag of Vitalin for £11.99 that equates to 80p/kg which is about the same as biscuit crumb and about 1½ times the price of dried bread but without the hassle of drying it off.

At this point er-in-doors asked if I could give here a lift to the station, as it was raining. She was off to Kensington Palace for a meeting (sounds posh, so I had to put that in). After I dropped her off I thought I would make the effort and call into our local Pets at Home store to buy a bag of Vitalin. Well, as usual nothing is that simple. The normally ten minute journey turned into forty minutes, thanks to some operatives drinking tea next to a hole in the road. When I finally got there, the place was stuffed to the gunnels with bags of dry feed for every animal you can think of. They also sell lots of other dubious things like clothes for dogs! But, you've guessed it, despite having it on their website, they had no Vitalin in store. The very nice young lady on the till said they did not stock it in that store and perhaps I could try another store she recommended, but it might be an idea to call first... Groan. I drove out of the retail park, and joined the queue of traffic that had built up heading down to the junction with the South Circular. Another half an hour of my life I am never going to get back.

No Vitalin at home...
When I eventually arrived home again, I revisited the Pets at Home website to look for the telephone number of the other store. While I was trying to navigate through a minefield of "type your postcode here" and why we need your mobile telephone number, I stumbled upon a tab that said "Collect in store"...   I ordered my bag of Vitalin, designated the store to which I wanted it to be delivered to and paid my £11.99. The page disappeared and that was it. No confirmation, nothing.  Gordon Bennett! How did I get on this treadmill... Several hours later an e-mail confirmation arrived and the blood pressure returned to closer what is regarded as normal.

Just one - for me, not the fish
Along with this confirmation was a tracking number - Click! The result was a single line that read something like: "We have no record of that transaction". Repeatedly head-butting the keyboard did nothing to improve the situation, only prompting a second and third screen showing the same message. Losing the will to live, I gave up and decamped to the kitchen for a cuppa and a caramel wafer.

To cut a very long story short, in the end it appears that my bag of Vitalin will be in store tomorrow for me to collect. All I have to do is try and avoid the traffic. Maybe I'll walk, and take Sue with me. I will need someone to carry it back home... What? No, it will be fine, she is used to carrying the shopping home. I wonder what we are having for supper...

The other thing I needed to resolve before I could go much further was to replace/repair my third coffee grinder. The Wagg dog biscuit I have been using is really hard and has defeated three coffee grinders so far. The latest one was powerful enough but the blade was not up to the job. A friend of mine recommended a blender that he swears by. It is a monster 1200W motor and enormous 1.8litre thick glass jug. I have ordered one and it will be here tomorrow. I will also order a new blade for my coffee grinder as it is really useful for converting small things like peppercorns into a fine powder probably more effectively than the pestle and mortar. More in a day or so...


Friday, 9 October 2015

Well, it was a day fishing...

I have got this off to a fine art. Alarm set for 05:00 Packed and ready to go the night before. Rods all tackled up, bait prepared and in the fridge, rolls made (Thanks Sue!) and a full tank of diesel...Hmmm... hold on a minute... Alarm set for 04:45.

I got there in the end - get back in there!
Crisp and dry first thing and it is really dark. Summer is well and truly over but I was not complaining, at least it was dry. The weather forecast was for a dry but overcast day, not overly warm but that was fine by me, I just took a couple more layers of clothing. I arrived at the fishery in good time and the gate opened at it's allotted time - just one of the few things that went to plan today...

My two chosen lines - I think the fish see the keep nets go in and go off and hide...
I parked the van and headed for the chalet where, on the veranda, the draw is usually posted. This time there was no draw just a map of the lake with pegs marked. I shuffled off to find out what was happening. Apparently there had been some talk of pre-baiting swims, I think these allegations had been made in jest but to avoid any others being levelled at competitors the draw was arranged differently.  This time a list of names had been drawn and the top of the list had the first pick and so on down the list. Far be it for me to judge, but this seemed fair enough to me. It is now about 07:10 and the match is not meant to start until 09:00 so the best part of a couple of hours away. The only problem was that the name on the top of the list had not arrived.  Some of the guys were getting niggled as they wanted to get set up.

There was an 'exchange' between the match organiser and a few of the guys that resulted in three of them deciding not to fish. Whatever the rights or wrongs of this, it meant we were down to only nine competitors and there was an unpleasant atmosphere. It is exactly this sort of thing that spoils it for me and why I was so against getting involved with fishing matches. The really silly thing here is that it is supposed to be  a bit of fun. It is not as if there are any big money prizes at stake.

A few minutes after the trio of disgruntled competitors walked out, the guy who was top of the draw list arrived and the pick of the pegs began. He pumped for my first choice. I did consider nobbeling him but there had been enough aggravation for one morning so I decided to let him off this time, The fact that he is much bigger than me had no bearing on the situation... I managed to get my second choice of peg in my other favoured place opposite the red lifebelt I have used as a target in the past. I am getting to know this lake now and I had a plan. 

A quick riddle of the maggots woke them up a bit after their week's sabbatical in the kitchen fridge.  They were all nice and lively by the time I had prepared the Two Dog groundbait mix. I was planning fishing two lines on the feeder and then once the fish were up in the water I would switch to the feeder float and pick them off the top like sitting ducks.  Well that was the plan.  I had been on the lake last week and was pulling fish out one after the other. For this reason I had thought, if I get a run on I could over-fill the carp net. My local fishing tackle shop had sold out of keep nets - not just the type I wanted, but any keep nets! With some reluctance I abandoned that plan. However, while waiting for the draw, I was chatting to the match organiser in the fishery shop about my net-less tackle shop and he promptly produced just what I wanted. Eager to try my new net, I thought a bit of intimidation tactics might work in my favour, so I set about casting three keep nets, two carp and a silvers. That will get them worried, I thought to myself.

By the time the all-in was called I was ready and keen to go. Working to my plan I cast a couple feeders full of the Two Dog and hooked a fish. I think I was the first to land a fish. Great! that's the way to do it. Ten minutes in and I had two in the net. It all started off to plan. Then it started to dry up and nothing was biting, not a sniff. Looking at my end tackle I realised I had probably made the hair a bit too long so I topped the punched bacon grill with a single kernel of sweetcorn. That did the trick and I caught a few more. Then I started to lose them off the hook, several times I would get a bite only for the fish to throw the hook. I changed hooklengths to a different hook and shorter hair (Kamasan 911x, from a  Guru QM1. Both size 12) I was still losing fish.

The last remaining Cygnet was looking a bit lonely...
By now the rain was falling, you know the rain that was not supposed to be here. I was not worried, I had my waterproofs what difference would it make? What I had not thought about was the Two Dog and loading the feeder.  It gets everywhere and before too long the cloth and towel were wet and sticky, the rod and reel were caked in the stuff. It was 'orrible! On top of this I was not catching many fish. I was not having a good time. I looked around and others were catching on the surface, so I decided to give that a go using a feeder float set up. after half an hour or so, with no bites and getting covered in groundbait, I gave up and went back to the feeder.

The rain had turned into that misting fine rain that never stops but completely soaks everything. and the temperature had dropped like a stone. At one point I would have been warmer in my fridge than it was there! Just as quickly as the temperature dropped it rose again to a much more comfortable level.

The end result
The fish were not playing and I was still losing fish - one in the very last couple of minutes. Not the best day's fishing I have ever had, but after all the upsets I still managed to come 5th with 24½ lb of mixed carp and bream, out of nine fishing, placing me smack in the middle of the table. Overall I had a good day out and met some more like minded anglers. I discovered a few things and came away with another experience to chalk up. That was the last match of the year at Beaver Fishery. Time to look at some other forms of fishing...


Friday, 2 October 2015

Red Dog or Two Dog?

Over the summer, I have been playing around with groundbait on the feeder. My Two Dog groundbait seems to be the best of the bunch. The others work well, but the one I was not sure about was Red Dog. It has had its moments but overall it just does not seem to have the same effect as the Two Dog. Yesterday I decided to compare the two.

Hidden, well almost...
 The normal early start got me to Beaver just as the gate opened. After finding a good spot to hide the van, I got set up in no time on a peg on the other side of the lake from where I was fishing last week. By the time I was heading home, on my last visit, I was just getting the swim going. Today I wanted to try what I had learnt last week in a different part of the Jeff's lake. My intention was twofold. First I wanted to spend more time getting my cast better. Second I wanted to test the validity of my Two Dog Groundbait. It was just getting light, the mist was still hanging around and the place was deserted, much to my surprise as the forecast was for good weather I thought there would be more people about. What I had not realised was there were, they were all on Major's lake - yesterday was the first day of the pike season and Major's Lake is where the action could be had. As I am still trying to master this feeder lark the pike will have to wait... Hmmm... how about some home made lures? At that time of the morning it was still a bit chilly but with the promise of a nice sunny day in prospect. As I was setting up I could feel the sun on my back as it burnt away the remaining mist. I had the lake to myself for the first few hours, just me and my shadow.

Me and my shadow...
First thing, before I got into the method mix test, I thought I would try the swim feeder. This, I was thinking, might give me another string to the bow, in my quest to overcome the definite disadvantage to not having a pole, and supply a few silvers to bolster the catch of carp. I filled an open-ended swim feeder with a groundbait/maggot sandwich, baited up with a red maggot and cast. It didn't take long and it was fish on! This is good, I am thinking to myself, at this rate I will have a bag full of fish in no time. One minuscule rudd and three gudgeon later I went back to the feeder. I must admit that I really like gudgeon they are perfect little fish with oversized fins, they just don't add much weight to a match catch.

It may be cute but it ain't heavy
I Started to fish one line out to my left using the Two Dog mix, almost immediately I was getting bites and landing fish. I fished and fished for an hour or so and this line was still supplying fish on almost every cast. I then moved to a line to the right of me and tried the Red Dog mix. Six or seven casts produced nothing. Eventually I caught a few fish and then it dried up. I then loaded the feeder with Two Dog. First cast and bang! I had a fish on. I tried it again and caught another. time and again it was catching fish. By this time I had a flurry of fish waiting for it. As I cast out, there would be a whirl of activity on the surface and the fish would follow the feeder down.

Red Dog up against the odds on favourite, Two Dog 
Once I had them going I changed back to the Red Dog. Cast out, a small amount of activity on the first cast and then nothing. I cast again, nothing. Thinking I had fished out this swim I went back to the line on my right. Same result - nothing after maybe six or seven casts. I loaded the feeder with Two dog  and cast, expecting to have to wait and rebuild the swim I was not expecting what happened next. As soon as the feeder hit the water, the rod tip bent over double and the line was running against the clutch. I tightened the clutch slightly and it stopped. When I got it landed the fish was a decent size, no great shakes, but it must have been so happy see the Two Dog mix again it was off celebrating!

Over and over again it was cast, lots of surface action then a few seconds later a bite. I think the fish were following the hook bait down but could not catch it, as it was on a short, four inch hooklength. Next time I might try a twelve inch length once the fish are up in the water. By this time my arm was aching from fighting the dozens of F1s scoffing the Two Dog. I thought this would be a good time to try the Red Dog again. Guess what? Nothing. It was as if they were just discussed with the offering. Just like the mood changes when an unwelcome visitor enters a room. Six or seven more casts and not even a hint on interest.

I am now totally convinced that there is something in the Two Dog mix that the fish crave and once they get a taste they can't leave it alone. On this visit my main intention was to get the casting sorted out (It's getting better!) so I was not counting fish, but now I wish I had. I honestly have no idea how many fish I landed but it was dozens of them. I usually work my 2-4-40 system, which entails using Two Dog groundbait, four inch hooklength and letting it sit for forty seconds. If nothing happens after that time, the feeder is retrieved, reloaded and cast again. Yesterday I don't think I managed to get to a forty-count except when I was using the Red Dog mix.

Hook bait (or should that be hair-bait?) is punched bacon grill, both fried off in oil and as it comes, They really seem to like the fried off stuff and it stays on the hair better than meat fresh from the tin. Just for a change I use a bit of sweetcorn now and again but I think the bacon grill is better. 

riddle,riddle, riddle...
As for the Two Dog itself it has to be prepared and looked after during the session. It gets riddled straight from the bag, it is then wet and mixed, riddled again. For use on the feeder it needs to be wet enough to stay on but dry enough to 'explode' from the feeder. If the fish are on the surface the bait is placed in the bottom of the feeder mould and over-filled with groundbait. The flat bottom feeder is pressed into the mould and the whole thing is released. If I am just getting going I will cast out two or three feeders with the bait method mix double skinned, that is to say that after the first application as described above the mould is filled again and the feeder with the existing mix and hook bait are reapplied to the mould to add more mix. This helps take the hook-bait further down in the water column before it is released and depositing a good amount of groundbait to hold the fish in the swim while retrieving and recasting.   

The other thing I have done differently was to improve the accuracy of my casting. This makes a real difference. Getting the feeder to land in the same place over and over again  builds up a good bed of feed that keeps the fish in the swim. A combination of my improved technique and the Two Dog groundbait will give me a much better chance of not being bottom of the leader board next Wednesday, when I will be fishing the last match of the season at Beaver Fishery, I wonder if the new toilet and shower block will be finished?

Posh bogs at Beaver - nearly finished!
By the time I got home I was knackered... (can I say that here? Too late!) but very satisfied with my day. Even though my arms ache, I reckon I could get to like this fishing lark...