Thursday, 4 February 2016

One birthday, two rods and three fish!

The card sent to me by Tim and his missus. Now I wonder where that idea came from?
There comes a point in one's life when birthdays become far more important to others than oneself. I have never been big on celebrating my birthday and this year was the same, 'special' birthday or not. As the weather looked like it was going to hold I decided to spend the day fishing. I had a great day even if I did not catch any fish big enough to use my net.   

What a plonka! First thing in the morning I was thinking I
might catch some decent sized fish so I thought I would check
to see if the camera was set up correctly. I had to laugh as
when I got home the card shown at the head of this post was
Waiting for me - Nah that don't look like me. Does it!
I spent the day (my birthday) at Beaver Fishery. I treated myself to a two-rod ticket and intended to fish Eden Pond. Talking to the the bailiffs they agreed with my thoughts that it could be muddy down there, although they did say that the north side of the pond was not too bad. In the end I decided to go and see what was happening on Maze, the snake-style match lake that I have fished several times in the past.

I parked up and after setting up noticed the wind had got up. Then it got worse. My plan was to leave a feeder rod sitting there with a block-end feeder stuffed with maggots, with a couple on the hook, while I fished for silvers on my cheap 5m Tele-Pole. I cast the feeder out a couple of times to the same spot and then left it sitting there. I plumbed the depth on a second line and and baited the hook with a single maggot, swung the line out and watched the wind blow it straight back at me. Had another go, same thing. Hmmm...

Leaving the Tele-Pole until the wind dropped, I rigged my old 1960s-70s Edgar Sealy Black Arrow rod that I had been given, late last summer, by a friend of a friend. This rod was part of a whole collection of bits and pieces of tackle. The original owner of the gear was left-handed and unlike today, then, reels were handed. My first attempt at using this rod was a real eye-opener. If you have never tried using a left-handed rod and reel set-up and, like me, you are right-handed you may think, as I did, that it would not be too hard to just swap hands. Wrong! It was almost impossible to use. I suspect with a few weeks practise I might have got somewhere near the hang of it, but my first experience was enough to realise that this was not going to work for me. I decided at that point to try and buy a right-handed reel of similar vintage. I managed to do that a month or so ago, thanks to eBay.

Rigged with a waggler float, a few casts soon made it plain that this was silly. The wind was getting worse and I was getting nowhere. I packed all the rods and gear into the back of the van, as it was all set up, and went in search of a better spot. I found a peg on Major's lake down at one end where the water is not very deep and looked like it might hold a few fish. I set up there for the rest of the day.

Set up on Major's Lake. The view is looking down one side of the island (on the left) I had all 3½ acres of it to myself!
Looking across to a patch of dead reeds I was hoping for some perch. You can see my old Edgar Sealey Black Arrow rod sitting on the rest. I had lots of different baits with me to try as you can see, I had bacon grill and corn. I also had a good supply of maggots, lob worms and bread. Nothing worked...
I had another go with my elasticated Tele-Pole and caught three tiny silver (two roach and a rudd or was that two rudd and a roach?) that probably would not have made 3oz all together! This 'pole' is now fun to use and as it turned out was to only piece of kit to find any fish.
The elastic and fittings cost more than the cheap Tele-pole, but it was well worth the effort
The whole idea was to spend the day experimenting with the Tele-pole and my old rod while setting a feeder rod and hoping something would bite. I was not expecting to catch much and just spend the day experimenting with the old rod. I used one of the old floats that I was given. That got lower in the water as the day went on as it took in water through a crack in the stem that I did not see until I came to pack up. No fish to speak of but a fun day trying. The old rod seems so heavy compared to my modern rods and has a totally different action. The retrieve on the old real seems much slower than anything else I have. Maybe I did not miss much forty years ago then! I think I will stick to the modern rods for any matches. This old gear really is very much harder to get a result with than today's tackle.

Where did that come from? Looking down the back of the island small gulls (?) swoop on a lump of floating bread
Plenty of other things to watch while the fish were not biting. The day was very pleasant and not at all cold. Just as I was packing up a figure appeared on the opposite side of the lake dropshotting for perch. It turned out to be Andy (the bailiff) having a go after work. That got me thinking I might have a go at lure fishing for predators next time, while all the other fish are asleep.