Friday, 1 April 2016

Pole fishing, going solo...

Originally I was going to make this trip to Beaver yesterday with Bill for another lesson on the pole. As it turned out I had to cancel and rearrange for today. Unfortunately Bill could not make today so it was time to fly solo...

The cat will not let you in until 07:00... I thought that gate shut at 19:00 this time of the year?
The usual early start was uneventful but cold. There was the promise of warmer weather later in the day, but on arrival at the lake there, was a mist hanging over the water and the grass was frosted. Hmmm... Should have stayed in bed.

Misty and cold - Hmmmm...
Bit better now
A walk around the lake and half an hour later the outlook was much more favourable. The sun burnt off the mist and exiled the frost, while I was busy setting up my seat box.... And there's another story. What a palaver! Last time out I forgot to pack the spirit level. I know a lot of you reading this might think that trying to level the seat is a bit extreme but it really is not as daft as it sounds. Sitting on a wonky box that is not aligned to the footplate, for hours on end, can get get very tiring  and even cause back ache.

With six legs and a footplate that can be adjusted independently to the box, my already overloaded brain was having trouble getting this into perspective - up a little, down a little... Eventually all seemed well only to discover that the relationship in height between the seat and the footplate was all wrong. I got there in the end and it was worth the effort as my fishing position was probably as comfortable as I could get it, resulting in a full day's fishing with no comfort issues at all. I didn't actually realise that until I was driving home so it must have been worth all that fiddling about. I am sure this task will get easier with practise.

Now to the fittings, and here is another thing that needs some experience to get right.  I ended up using a couple of ripple bars on the right hand side. The front one, a double, with a pole sock on the inner post. This I used to lay my top kit and cupping set on. To the left I had a tray and a bait waiter. This seemed to work reasonably well but I will add a roost for next week's match as I will have more top kits and rods ready to use. I am sure there is a lot to learn with this seat box and its accessories. I have to remember this in only my third time out with it... At least I get more fishing done on a box. The trouble with my new accessory chair is that it is too comfy and results in less fishing time than one would expect - zzzzzz....
Once set up I fished a long and short pole line and a feeder line. I was ready to try a few things out on the short line that worked really well. I caught fish after fish, some on the drop mainly F1s, bream and skimmers. I am not going to give it all away before the match on Wednesday!

At this point, I was happily fishing away when a voice said "Hello!" I looked around and I was told we had met before... I'm sitting there, metaphorically scratching my head, thinking as fast as I could when I was given another clue. "The MD match"  (MD = Maggot Drowning Forum). That narrowed it down a bit, I had only fished two MD matches... My unexpected visitor introduced himself as Andy. As he had never been to Beaver before, he decided to fish with me on Jeff's Lake... Several hours later I remembered standing at Tricklebrook Fishery at the end of last summer having a long conversion with AndyB28... Groan... I put it down to age!

Hello Andy! Much brighter now
Fishing on the other side (cold side) of the lake were a couple of young lads, one of which turned out to be Matchman123 also from the Maggot Drowning forum and fellow Beaver match competitor... Small world!

After a bit of a chin-wag with Andy, it was back to the task in hand. On the long line I fished maggots and corn over my new Surf 'n' Turf groundbait and caught well. The feeder was not doing much for me using the new groundbait. However Andy was fishing my Two Dog on the feeder with Polony on the hook and landing plenty fish! He was happy, he had not caught F1s before...

I was not counting what I caught but there were a few decent sized lumps. Andy caught steadily most of the day alternating between pole and feeder, as was I. He also had a nice big slab of a bream on the last knockings. All in all a very enjoyable day and I learnt a lot. Again.

One of many - a nice sized bream
...and a good healthy looking F1. Let's how there are a few of these about on Wednesday
The match, next Wednesday, will be interesting if only to see how I get on with using the pole/feeder combination for the first time in match conditions. I am much more confident with the pole now, thanks to Bill G.'s help, over the past few weeks, and shipping in and out has become much easier. It is just the throwing of the bait that is still a problem. Andy showed me a throwing stick he made from an old pole section. It was an inch or so in diameter and about a foot long, maybe a little longer. That was a bit more effective but will need a bit of work to tune it to my hand. I am going to have a go at making one of those... I was eyeing up Sue's 'Henry' hose attachment  when a firm "Nooo! was heard from the kitchen!