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The Clay Pit (5)

With my hip problem getting worse by the day I chanced a 3-hour session at the Clay Pit. No fish but a very welcome break after a month away from the water.

Arrival time: 12.30
Weather: Hazy sun and warm with no wind.
Tackle:
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: Blank

After much "shall I, shan't I" self questioning I finally decided to go to the lake. I picked up a small thick-sliced loaf from the supermarket with the intention of trying for roach or rudd.

I headed for the pitch that I finished off in last time, but there were a few vans in the car park and it transpired that these were carp anglers who were bivvied along that bank. I therefore took an easy option and fished a bay literally next to the car park. It was, in fact, quite an inviting looking pitch with a reed border and lily pads, as well as sunken 'cabbages' immediately in front of me.

It was also a haven for the water fowl and I was soon bothered by the swan that made itself a nuisance last time, along with a number of geese and three large white ducks that settled down next to me for a couple of hours.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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The Clay Pit (4)

After a dispiriting visit to Rookery Waters last week I bought a season ticket for an old clay pit where the fishing is challenging but the ambience is tranquil.

Arrival time: 10.30
Weather: Overcast and chilly with a light southerly breeze
Tackle:
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Hempseed & sweetcorn.
Fish: Blank

I fished this pit around ten years ago and decided to check it out again as an alternative to commercial fisheries. Many improvements had been put in place since that earlier visit with well-constructed fishing pitches, car parking and otter prevention fencing around the lake.

I had chatted to the chap with whom I spoke back in 2010, who quite amazingly remembered me! He said that the fishing was challenging, largely because it was not fished heavily and it was necessary to work a bit to get the fish on the feed. He also confirmed that there were some large carp, but not large numbers of carp.

When I arrived there were four carp anglers around the lake. I only saw two at first but spotted the others later. They were all playing the 'waiting game' with lines out into the lake. I set up on the south bank and was surprised to find how deep it was close in. I also discovered that there was a carpet of silkweed on the bottom.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Rookery Waters (4)

As a change from Fields End, today I went to Rookery Waters in the hope of catching roach from Rook lake. I was to be disappointed.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Warm and sunny with only a slight breeze after lunch
Tackle:
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Hemp seed & sweet corn feed, corn & luncheon meat on the hook.
Fish: Blank

Having spoken to a chap at Fields End I was led to believe that Rook lake was good for roach. Previously I had only fished Magpie lake at Rookery Waters, but as there had been matches on it on both days over the weekend, I thought I would try something different.

While Magpie has quite a bit of character for a commercial, Rook is more classic comprising a largish oval lake with pegs equally spaced about 10 metres apart. It was already quite busy by the time I arrived and was at capacity when I left. It was not an environment that I enjoyed with much talking and activity.

I fished the left margin pre-baiting with hemp and sweetcorn and thought I had a touch quite early on. But this was, it seems, a deception as after that I never had another touch. I tried cheese paste and luncheon meat before reverting to a single grain of sweetcorn.

I plodded on until 2.00 pm but as the lake became busier, I became more and more disenchanted. I go fishing for peace and quiet and to be at one with nature, not to listen to the guy next to me chatting all day, including quite a bit of swearing.

I did walk across to Magpie, which was in fact far less busy, but the water colour was awful, a bit like brown soup. I'm afraid that Rookery Waters is unlikely to get another visit. It's just not 'me'.
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Fields End (109)

After a chilly week with cold winds last week, today we were treated to a glimpse of spring with sunshine and a hint of a breeze. But the fish seemed still to be a bit reluctant after the cold spell.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Warm and sunny with a light breeze
Tackle:
11' 6" Hardy Marksman Specimen Avon with Shimano Exage 4000 reel. 8lb line direct to a 12 hook with an Insert waggler.
Baits: Hemp seed & sweet corn feed, corn & luncheon meat on the hook.
All fish taken on luncheon meat
Fish: Two carp and one small rudd

The caravan site had reopened the day before and when I arrived the visitors' car park was empty, implying that locals had decided to stay away now that the holidaymakers were back. Or at least that was my take on the situation. The shop was open which made paying easier.

Walking around the lake, on the west bank there were pods and rods, carping in progress. I passed a seat and landing net in one pitch, obviously reserving the spot. It is actions like this that upset the locals, who arrive to find pitches reserved but otherwise unoccupied.

I was going to try a different spot having fished the same pitch on three recent occasions, but it was occupied so I dropped into my 'regular' pitch. I was soon to discover that things were going to be a lot slower than last time.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Fields End (108)

The weather forecast was for a warm spring-like day and it didn't disappoint. A great improvement on my last visit and this time the NE corner was free and I dropped into my favourite spot.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Warm and sunny, rising to 22℃, with a light SSW breeze
Tackle:
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 14 hook. Insert waggler.

Baits: Hemp seed, sweet corn, luncheon meat.
All fish taken on corn
Fish: Three barbel (two foul-hooked), two carp and many roach

Good weather conditions were promised and my favourite spot was free, there being no other anglers around the NE corner of the lake. I pre-baited with hemp seed and corn and started with float-fished corn. The first roach came almost immediately and, unlike last time, it was the first of many. I didn't count but took probably somewhere between 10 and 15 fish.

The roach fishing was interrupted when I hooked a large fish that after a long battle proved to be a big barbel. On the bank it weighed 8½lb, making it a PB for me. This was followed by a carp of 7½lb that fought like it was much larger, indicating perhaps that the fish are livening up with increasing water temperature.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Fields End (107)

Following two very successful trips I was hopeful when I arrived at the lake. But I couldn't get the spot I wanted and in the end only just avoided a blank.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Dry and overcast with a very fresh SW breeze.
Tackle:
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 14 hook. Insert waggler.

Baits: Hemp seed, sweet corn, cheese paste, luncheon meat.
Fish: One roach

There were only two cars in the car park when I arrived so I was hopeful of getting my corner swim. However, one car had brought four young guys and they decided to take all the swims around the NE corner where I normally fish. A total waste of good margin swims as they were casting out into the lake.

I settled in the SW corner in a swim that has proved successful in the past but failed to deliver the last time I fished it in October last year. And so it was today. I took a roach on my first cast but this wasn't to be repeated despite trying both the near reeds and further into the lake. The only good thing was that the wind was behind me and the lake immediately in front of me was calm.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Fields End (106)

After my success with carp last week I went to Fields End today to target the carp. Of course, the carp didn't oblige, well not at first, so I switched to the match rod and then the carp woke up!

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Dry and overcast with a chilly NE breeze.
Tackle:
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, link leger/waggler, 6lb line.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 16/14 hook. Insert waggler.

Baits: Hemp seed, sweet corn, cheese paste, luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, a barbel, a perch and two small roach

After a very tranquil session last week, today I found the car park full and more anglers around the lake. But the NE corner was free, where I fished last week. This suited me fine with the cold NE breeze being behind me.

I prebaited with hempseed and corn and started by free lining a piece of cheese paste alongside the reeds using my compact float rod, hoping that the carp might react fairly quickly. But it wasn't to be and I soon changed to a float, still on the same rod, as the breeze was making free line indication difficult. But still nothing, so after about an hour or so I changed to my match rod to try for roach.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Fields End (105)

After a near melt down at the Chubb Stream on my last outing, when my back was giving me hell, today I decided to go to Fields End for a 'quiet' day just sitting, with the intention of catching some roach.

Arrival time: 09.30
Weather: Dry and bright with a gentle westerly breeze.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, 4lb bottom & 16 hook. Insert waggler.

Baits: Hemp seed, sweet corn, cheese paste.
Fish: Three carp and two small roach

With the caravan site not due to open until 12 April this was a rare opportunity to fish Fields End before it became too busy. There were three cars in the car park when I arrived and around four to five anglers already set up. Most were on the south bank with one on the west bank, these being the popular swims for carp. And, indeed, it seemed that all were distance fishing for said carp.

I set up in the NE corner, a swim I call the reed corner. The breeze was blowing into that side of the lake but that corner was reasonably sheltered. I prebaited with hemp seed, something I hadn't used since I was a youngster. And I fished with sweet corn. The target was roach. But things didn't work out that way.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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The Chubb Stream (7)

A return to the Chubb Stream after quite a long break. The stream was heavily coloured and at first I thought it was running high, but in fact the level was quite low.

Arrival time: 09.50
Weather: Overcast but very mild for February.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, link leger, 6lb line.

Baits: Bread flake & Cheese paste.
Fish: Two chub

My first trip to a river since 17 December because of a combination of repeated flooding and the restrictions of the latest Covid lockdown.

I had my 'jab' over three weeks ago and I rarely meet anybody at the Chubb Stream, so I adjudged the risk as miniscule. However, I had tweaked my back a week or so before and was a bit worried how it would bear up to all the kneeling and crouching that I do when fishing a small stream.

I went straight to what I call the 'tree swim' and after missing a bite on bread flake changed to cheese paste. This proved successful as I was soon into a chub that felt like a monster because of a combination of a spirited fight and the strong flow. However, when I came to net it the flow kept dragging the net away from the fish resulting in a bit of a pantomime. A dodgy left shoulder didn't help and it took me an age to net the fish, which I was lucky not to lose.

It was a nice chub of 2lb 5oz that fought like it was much larger.
This video has been added to my new YouTube channel - Bob goes fishing
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Rookery Waters (3)

With COVID restrictions limiting me to local waters I decided on a few hours at Rookery Waters.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Cloudy but sunny later. Very cold.
Swim: Pitch No. 38 Magpie Lake
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex Centre Pin, 2½lb hook length to 16 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn.
Fish: Blank.

Unable to travel to the river because of movement restrictions under COVID, after a bit of deliberation I decided on a few hours at Rookery Waters. I don't particularly like lake fishing in winter and in the event, after a few very cold days, I completely blanked. Not even a bite.

When I bought my ticket the guy said that there were only about 12 people on the complex, and on the Magpie lake there were only two others that I could see.

I started fishing just off the margin but after an hour or so without a touch I cast out to the edge of the lily pads, which had of course died back. There was a chap to the right of me, fishing the peg that I fished back in the summer. I didn't notice him catching at first, but later glanced across as he was landing what looked like a roach.

After about three hours I was getting very cold so I went around to have a chat with him. He was a regular and said that the fishing was particularly slow, probably because of the cold spell. He had waited hours for a bite.

I told him I was using corn and he suggested that the conditions were such that maggots would probably be a better bet. He had taken three roach and a rudd on maggot on an 18 hook. He gave me a few in a bag and I returned to my peg and tried for about another hour, but without any success. My 16 hook was probably too big!

So, it was a very disappointing outing, although I did feed a robin that was visiting my weigh-bag looking for food. There wasn't any food in the bag so I threw him a few pieces of sweetcorn, which he willingly flew off with. And later a few maggots that the chap had given me. Something achieved at least!
  •  A cold day!

    A cold day!

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