Saturday, 24 June 2017

Fry-day on Saturday

After a week of sweltering, record-breaking whether here in London, I decided I needed some relaxation in the relative cool of an overcast day at the lake with a selection of tackle. For the past few weeks I have been fishing 'light', taking minimum tackle with the idea of keeping it simple. This practice backfired last Wednesday, as you may have read HERE. Today I was not going to be restricted for choice.

On Wednesday the fish were taking floating bait and cruising around just under the surface. I had a float rod and that was it. It was a breezy day and I was struggling to keep the float stationary even using a long waggler. Today I was not going to be so restricted. Space not being a problem, I packed the van with a good selection of rods, my favourite cheap 5m tele-pole, and a good selection of bait. My aim was to try grabbing the fish off the top with some surface bait. I had a couple of new baits, for me, mini marshmallows and dog mixer biscuits. I also had bread with me. To cope with the huge fish I was going to be hauling out of The Major's Lake, I had packed a carp rod, or three.

As you may have gathered I was off to Beaver Fishery today. The variety of fishing there is great, currently spread over eight lakes and ponds, everything from a well stocked runs lake where your are guaranteed a fish, an idyllic pond with roach, tench, perch and the odd big carp, to the two specimen lakes where you can catch big carp in one and enormous moggies in the other. I usually avoid commercials at the weekend but today I was planning on fishing one of the less 'inhabited' parts of the fishery. I got there about twenty minutes before the gate opens at 07:00 to find five or six cars queuing already. I was not too bothered by this as I was fairly confident that my chosen spot was not going to be inundated with people, and I was right. I had the bank to myself.

The Major's Lake was not going to give up its fish to me today...
I have fished here several times in the past and had a good selection of fish from reasonable bream, tench and perch as well as a good selection of roach and other small silvers. The plan was to put out a sleeper rod over to the island and collect the odd fish trying to keep out of the way. While the other rod was 'sleeping' I had a little go with the tele-pole while soaking some mixers ready for a session of picking 'em off the top a bit later in the day.

I threw a few mixers in just to see if anything was interested. To my surprise, they started zipping about and fizzing. At first I thought there was something in the mixers reacting with the water, the reaction was so vigorous, closer inspection revealed they were being attacked by hundreds (thousands even!?) of fry, I have never seen so many. Lots of fry, but no bigger fish showing any interest. In fact the only interest shown was by the local population of Moorhen; mum (I assume) and a couple of chicks. The chicks were hiding in a clump of reeds to my left and soon recognised the plop of mixer into water meant a free lunch. None of the mixers lasted more than a few seconds before they were 'rescued' by one of the chicks. At this point I realised that floater fishing was out for today, at least in this spot.

I discovered by bitter experience there is not much point in trying to relocate on a Saturday so I decided to just stay put and try a spot of feeder fishing instead. I was now feeling very smug about deciding to bring a good selection of gear. The carp rods went back in the van and the feeder rods came out. Well, I say feeder rods but my short feeders are called 'Picker' rods. Even now after two and a half years plus, I am still baffled by the total lack of standardisation in fishing. Rods, reels, line and hooks all seem to vary from make to make. I am sure they only do it to confuse me! At 9ft and 8ft, give or take a bit, they are ideal for this sort of fishing and allow me to cast easier in confined places. It is all very well being in an idyllic setting but I am always mindful of the tree Gods about me, attempting to claim my end tackle.

I left the sleeper rod out for a couple of hours at a time, checking the chod rig and hooking a fresh PVA mesh bag full of boilies, particles and groundbait each time. To cut a long story short - that did nothing. I saw the odd fish break the surface but not a sign of anything on that rod all day.

I also caught next to nothing on the feeder or the tele-pole. I caught about three fish, none of which required the landing net so the nets were still dry when it was time to pack up. I hardly saw any fish action, other than the fry, but it seems most people were reporting the same. I am wondering if the fish were still recovering after spawning. Someone said it was probably the air pressure but I don't know. I need to study these sort of things a bit more to give me a better chance of 'reading' the water and conditions with a more informed eye.

Fish or no fish I had a great day experimenting and feeding the wild fowl while taking in all the nature around me. I even managed to practise my Spanish by having a short siesta in the afternoon...

...Siesta is Spanish for nap, you know!