Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (8)
Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
Hardly any wind. Very mild for the time of year.
Swim: Lily pads and SW corner
Tackle: 10 ft Fishtec compact float rod with Shimano ST5000 reel, 6lb line and 12 hook.
Baits: Used luncheon meat on the hook and sweetcorn as an attractor.
Fish: One small roach
On arrival I went straight to the lily pads swim. Since my last visit somebody had cleared a lot of the bankside growth, exposing another platform about ten yards further along. I didn’t even know it was there. I’m always a bit suspicious when I encounter ‘clearance overkill,' my inclination being to retain as much cover as possible. I was also a bit worried that whoever had been fishing there might have overdone the ground-baiting, a tendency that often goes hand-in-hand with over exuberant vegetation clearance. I’m stereotyping again, but I’ve witnessed this sort of ‘fishing’ in the past.
I put out a ledger between the pads but over the next three quarters of an hour or so I didn’t get a touch. With fears about the swim having been over-baited playing on my mind, I decided to move around to the SW corner, the deep swim that I fished a couple of weeks previously when my neighbour accompanied me. I again put out a ledger, and again after about an hour I hadn’t had a touch. By this time I thought that the sun was probably starting to warm the shallower water in the lily pads swim so I decided to move back there again.
Having resettled I missed a bite on luncheon meat, probably a roach. Shortly after I connected and, sure enough, it was a small roach of about 4oz.
Things then went quiet but I noticed small shoal fish panicking near the reeds on the left and thought there may be some perch around. I had no perch bait but remembered I had some small artificial fish in one of my odds and sods boxes. I’ve had these little lures since I was young and had never really used them. I took an artificial minnow and cast alongside the reeds. First cast nothing happened but when retrieving the second cast, the rod kicked but then bounced back. Reeling in the lure had gone and I realised that it was probably a pike rather than perch that was doing the chasing. So a lure that I had had for probably near on 50 years lasted only two casts!
After this I went back to the luncheon meat but there was nothing doing. I passed the time watching a kingfisher, or perhaps there were two, criss-crossing the lake and occasionally perching before plunging into the water. I hope that it, or they, were catching more than me.
I had a couple of more touches but nothing I could connect with. At 17.15 I decided to pack up. The lake looked gorgeous; calm, dying sun; but unfortunately the fish seemed uninterested. We had had some cold nights, so perhaps this had chilled the water and put them off the feed. Or perhaps the ‘bank clearers’ had fed them up to the point that they were no longer feeding. Who knows? Fishing is anything but predictable.