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Giant Tiddler

I picked up an angling book from a secondhand bookshop in Cromer and one of the stories brought back memories of going out with a fishing club when I was a lad.

The need for fish to be 'goers' before they could be weighed in at the end of the day, and the canvas bucket for taking the fish to the weigh-in point. I still have have my bucket which must now be getting on for 60 years old!
  •  Fishing Strangest Days Book

    Fishing Strangest Days Book

  •  Giant Tiddler story

    Giant Tiddler story

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The Chub(b) Stream

We were in St Ives (Cambs) the other day and I took a walk along the Ouse. On returning home I checked out the St Ives AS and found that in addition to stretches of the Ouse they had rights over a brook called the Chub Stream (spelled Chubb on a local notice).

This interested me as I love small streams. So I returned a few days later and walked the length of this little stream. And little it is! Fast flowing and full of streamer weed I'm sure it contains chub but the prospect of fishing it wasn't great. I'm all for a challenge but there were no obvious 'chub spots', the stream being remarkably consistent in appearance along its length.

I'm on the fence as to whether to give it a try but as a senior ticket with the club is only £10/year it will be worth joining to access the Ouse. Their web site gallery shows some impressive chub taken from the main river, although in winter.
  •  St Ives Chub Stream

    St Ives Chub Stream

  •  St Ives Chub Stream

    St Ives Chub Stream

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Fields End (100)

My 100th visit to Fields End! One could have hoped that the fishing gods would have rewarded me with a day to remember - but alas no.

Arrival time: 13.30
Weather: Sunny with a chilly westerly wind.
Swim: East bank
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 12 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Four carp and a few roach.

My spot on the East bank a couple along from the reed end was again free but no as inviting as on recent visits. A westerly wind was blowing in my face and it had a chill to it. It also made free-lining virtually impossible as I couldn't watch for line movement. I tried the free line approach in the margin for about an hour but didn't detect any positive runs, the bait invariably being nibbled away by smaller fish.

I decided to swap to my match rod and float fish the margin. I got bites, mostly unhittable, but when I did connect they were roach, and small roach at that. I persevered but couldn't help wondering why I didn't connect with a crucian carp, or a tench even. A tench or two used to be almost a sure bet at this lake but they seem to have disappeared. As for the crucians, I think that the roach just beat them to the bait.
  •  Mirror carp 7lb 9oz

    Mirror carp 7lb 9oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 15oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 15oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 13oz

    Leather carp 7lb 13oz

  •  Mirror carp 7lb 9oz

    Mirror carp 7lb 9oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 15oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 15oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 13oz

    Leather carp 7lb 13oz

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Fields End (99)

Back to Fields End for another afternoon session.

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Sunny and very warm with a light breeze.
Swim: East bank
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Seven carp and one roach.

Much the same as last week, all my preferred spots were occupied. But I did quite well last week in the pitch a couple along from the reed end, and it was free again today. I adopted the same tactic, namely a free line with bread flake fished down the margin.

Things didn't kick off quite as quickly as last week but soon after 15.00 the line tightened and I was into a fish. It soon became evident that it was foul-hooked, seemingly a risk when free lining judging by how often it occurs. It was a leather of just over 9lbs (photo) and was very difficult to get in, as is often the case with a foul-hooked fish.
  •  Leather carp 9lb 3oz

    Leather carp 9lb 3oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 13oz

    Leather carp 7lb 13oz

  •  Leather carp 16lb 9oz

    Leather carp 16lb 9oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 2oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 2oz

  •  Leather carp 13lb 6oz

    Leather carp 13lb 6oz

  •  Leather carp 9lb 3oz

    Leather carp 9lb 3oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 13oz

    Leather carp 7lb 13oz

  •  Leather carp 16lb 9oz

    Leather carp 16lb 9oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 2oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 2oz

  •  Leather carp 13lb 6oz

    Leather carp 13lb 6oz

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Fields End (98)

After deliberating for a bit I decided on another afternoon session at Fields End

Arrival time: 14.20 (started to fish at 14.35)
Weather: Bright and warm with a light breeze, but got drenched in heavy rain shower.
Swim: East bank
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake.
Fish: Seven carp and one roach.

I wasn't surprised to find all my preferred spots occupied and wandered about for a while trying to decide where to fish. I ultimately went to a swim on the east bank two spots away from the reed end. My logic was that if I didn't do too well, perhaps the chap in the reed end swim would pack up early and I could shift across.

I had reeds to the left and bankside cover to my right, offering possibilities to catch in the margin. Although I took my match rod, today I decided to stick with the compact float and fish a free line with bread flake. The baker had sold out of my favourite tin loaf with the rubbery crust so I had to make do with a sliced bloomer from Aldi! It worked reasonably well but dried out quicker, making it harder to keep the crust on the hook later in the session.
  •  Mirror carp 10lb

    Mirror carp 10lb

  •  Common carp 6lb 9oz

    Common carp 6lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 5oz

    Leather carp 7lb 5oz

  •  Mirror carp 10lb

    Mirror carp 10lb

  •  Common carp 6lb 9oz

    Common carp 6lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 7lb 5oz

    Leather carp 7lb 5oz

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Fields End (97)

I decided on an afternoon and evening session today. The evening certainly paid off.

Arrival time: 13.00 (started to fish at 13.20)
Weather: Bright and very warm with only a breathe of a breeze, but some cloud cover.
Swim: Reed corner and reed end.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six carp and some small roach.

Last week there were quite a few spare pitches so I chanced arriving in the afternoon so I could fish into the evening. Of course, with the sun shining all the spots I favour were already occupied. I settled in what I call the reed corner, the first spot I fished on the lake many years ago and once my clear favourite. However, I lost so many fish in the dense reeds that I stopped fishing there.

Today there seemed to be little choice, while the reeds have now encroached much further leaving a very narrow channel of open water through which to play large fish, even assuming you can keep it from the reeds. I started free-lining with bread but although the line tightened occasionally it seemed that roach were the culprits, and I hooked nothing. But I could see carp moving in the reeds less than a rod length out, so dropped in some floating crust.
  •  Leather carp 8lb

    Leather carp 8lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 10oz

    Common carp 5lb 10oz

  •  My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

    My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

  •  Common carp 5lb 9oz

    Common carp 5lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 3oz

    Leather carp 10lb 3oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

  •  Leather carp 8lb

    Leather carp 8lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 10oz

    Common carp 5lb 10oz

  •  My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

    My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

  •  Common carp 5lb 9oz

    Common carp 5lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 3oz

    Leather carp 10lb 3oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

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Fields End (96)

After last week's reasonably successful outing I returned to the same spot, but today was entirely different.

Arrival time: 07.50 (started to fish at 08.15)
Weather: Overcast with a southerly breeze, brightening later.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: One carp and lots of small roach and rudd. A couple of crucians at the end.

Hoping for a repeat of last week's success with the carp close in, I went to the same spot. The overcast sky and a sheltered bay seemed to offer ideal conditions. I started by trying bread flake down each margin on a free line with the hope of a quick carp, but not a touch. I persevered with this approach for a while but it became clear that the carp either weren't there, or weren't interested. A foretaste of the day ahead !

I swapped to my match rod and got bites on both bread and luncheon meat but just couldn't connect. This was again the story of the day, the occasional successful strike returning small roach or rudd. There were a few slightly better fish, some in the 4-6oz category and a couple just over half a pound. But the overall story was that of frustration.
  •  Leather carp 5lb

    Leather carp 5lb

  •  Crucian carp 1lb 9oz

    Crucian carp 1lb 9oz

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Fields End (95)

With sciatica ruling out golf, my first trip to Fields End in 2019. Interesting experience with the carp.

Arrival time: 07.35 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Sunny day with white fluffy clouds.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat. All carp taken on flake/crust.
Fish: Four carp and some small roach and rudd.

Having consulted the weather forecast I made for what I call the tree corner, the spot in the SW corner where you sit with trees and shrubs behind you, and where there's a reed bank either side offering a degree of seclusion. It's not a renowned carp swim but it's where I actually caught my biggest carp, a 19lb fish.

The spot was free, and in fact there were quite a few free pitches around the lake, which was a bit of a surprise in July. But a welcomed one. Since I first fished here in 2006 the associated camping and caravan facilities have grown significantly and what was once a fairly quiet lake can now at times be very 'busy'. But today it wasn't, much to my satisfaction.
  •  Common carp 7lb

    Common carp 7lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 6oz

    Common carp 5lb 6oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 14oz

    Leather carp 10lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

  •  Common carp 7lb

    Common carp 7lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 6oz

    Common carp 5lb 6oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 14oz

    Leather carp 10lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

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River Welland (29)

Fishing again - at last!

Arrival time: 09.45
Weather: Bright and at 15℃ warm for February, with a freshening wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 3lbs 4oz

My grumbling back and resulting sciatica has put paid to golf, but this has spurred me into going fishing. My back, however, is also imposing some constraints on fishing, particularly at Stamford where the banks are difficult and crouching in tight spaces isn't easy when your mobility is reduced.

I was pleased to find that there weren't any other anglers on the stretch. There aren't many fishable spots and the chub are easily spooked. I started on the 'beach', where the dogs splash about. Fortunately the dog count was also down today.
  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

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River Welland (28)

An unusual blank.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Very warm and humid.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: None

I made the mistake of visiting this stretch on the first day of the season back in 2015, there being rather too much angling activity on that occasion. This time I left it a few days, but I still wasn't the only one there. In fact, there was another chap who had obviously arrived long before me, and was roving the stretch, clearly after chub. Not good news, as having the first cast into a chub lie is preferable, after which subsequent attempts become more challenging.
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