Saturday, 25 August 2007

A Touch of Autumn

It was a chilly morning...
Another overnighter, with a few different approaches in an attempt to tune some of the rigs that I’ve been using. I’m afraid that the fishing this year has taken a back seat, with work being so busy – both mine and Franc’s. And if we’re not working, then we’re decorating the flats or trying to keep on top of the garden with all the rain we’ve been having. Later on in the year we have a trip to Holland and the States, so it’s not going to get better for a while.

I always get the rods out first, especially here, as three can be fished, but I usually only cast two, leaving the third to do some plumbing around. Then when the rods are out I’ll set up the Shelter and everything else, then when all is shipshape, I’ll make a brew. The weather was definitely heading towards autumn, with this being a Friday and the only day for about the last 10 that hasn’t seen rain, there was a distinct chill to the air.

My daughter, Laura-Anne turned up around mid-morning, bringing some ginger cake, shortbread, sausage rolls and scones – all home made of course. Harry turned up too, no doubt homing in on the smell of cake. We all had a nice long chat though, Harry staying longer than LA, and he seemed to be yearning to get beside some water himself – he’s been busy too.

And so the day passed, with nothing happening on the fishy front. I cast the rods out ready for the night: pineapple boilies, fake corn and special luncheon meat being the baits for the purpose of attracting the bream or tench. I am, of course after the female bream, but have so far only caught the males, identifiable by the tubercles that cover them and make them look so tatty. Tonight was to be no different, and, unfortunately, the tench failed to show again.

Kelly Kettle
At around 2.30 am, with the mist swirling and my breath a huge plume of vapour in the suffused moonlight, the first bream of six and a half pounds was brought into the net. I was shocked at how low the temperature had dropped. I was sleeping in a tee shirt and shorts and gasped as the cold wrapped around my naked legs as I weighed the fish.

At 5.30 am another bream of 6.10 was on the bank, this one having taken the meat, the first fish the boilies. It was still very misty, but gradually, the sun pushed it’s way through and the morning began to warm up as I packed away the gear, stowing it in the car, and leaving the rods until last.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Going back...

It’s been over six years since I fished this lovely looking pit in the heart of the Kent countryside. I had a short Bream campaign at that time, which culminated in some nice fish up to just short of the nine pounds mark. It’s a hard water, but it’s one of those lakes that always looks just the part. Lilies, lush overhanging trees, clear water and an abundance of wildlife make up the pretty, micro environment hidden away in a motorway junction. Of course, there is no escaping the traffic noise, even at night the motorway, just some 300 yards away over a small rise, can be heard droning away like a nest of angry wasps.

That aside though, there are some nice bream and tench in here but they are very hard to come by, so I’m not after expecting much. It will be nice to spend the odd night here despite the noise from the traffic. The carp in here grow very big too – into the thirties by all account, and there’s always the possibility of a chance encounter with them.

I arrived nice and early, hoping to get three feeding spells in and set up two rods while I did some plumbing around with the third. From the past campaign I knew that the prime feeding area for the bream was about 60 yards out in the middle of the lake where the bottom seemed a little harder and the water is about 16 feet deep. As for the tench – well I picked out some spots around the lilies and one spot under the tree away to the left.

I made up a dozen or so goody bags of pellets in PVA and fired a few out with the catapult. Two rods were semi fixed leads with hair rigged fake corn on a neutral buoyancy rig and pineapple boilie, the third rod was set up with an in line maggot feeder filled with red maggots and with two pop up hair rigged casters on the sharp end.

At seven fifteen, just after I arrived, this last rod was away with a very typical bream bite making the bobbin jump around like an epileptic flea. After a short and unconvincing fight a tatty looking male bream of 6 pounds ten ounces was in the landing net. It was still covered in spawning tubercles and was, unfortunately, well below the average size that the bream are reported to be. But these are, of course, male Fish and it’s the females we’re looking for.

I’m sorry to say that that was all that came along. Through the night I had a few jerky sort of bites that may have been line bites or maybe the feeder wasn’t heavy enough. There are a lot of eels in this water and, apparently, mitten crabs, but whether that latter rumour can be substantiated or not, remains to be seen. There are rig refinements I will need to look at next time, as well as researching some alternative baits. The other two rods with boilies and fake corn, remained completely untouched, so a rethink may be called for.