Saturday 24th April. Sean & Brian. 11am to 5-45pm
It was a later than usual start for various reasons and we decided to stay fairly local. Of the 4 free to fish local pools I've been looking at, I was yet to give one of them a proper go.
Pegs are limited and on arrival a group of kids were occupying one of the 4 fishable areas. We decided to walk down to the far end of the pool and then opted to fish the pool next door as it was totally free of all things youth like.
We settled on a couple of pegs in one of the few clear areas. It was a new spot to me and I set about testing it out. I was a bit put off by the lack of depth though - maybe just 3 foot, but it was worth a shot. It didn't really happen though and I just managed a couple of Perch before a swan moved in on some floating groundbait Brian had introduced. I don't think it was meant to float!
The swan proceeded to eat all before it and with only a shallow depth to the swim it set about devouring everything I'd introduced. The kids from the other pool had now joined us and so it seemed like a good time to make the move on to the other pool.
I must give a mention to another lad who briefly joined us in between those events though. He spent about 10 minutes fishing quietly in the far corner before popping over for a chat. Now I've nothing against kids - we were all young and keen once. I'll always give them a chance and although I'm no Matt Hayes, I'll lend a bit of advice if the occasion warrants it. Of course the advice depends on their attitude and can be anything from sound angling advice to sling your hook mate!
I needn't have worried about giving advice to this fellow though as he knew it all and was intent on teaching me a lesson or two! I was keen to see what I could glean out of him though because he had fished the pools a lot more than I had. Boy could he talk though and every silence was greeted with him asking me another question. It was like fishing with Anne Robinson!
Anyway, as a result of the discussion, I now know for a fact that the pools contain Carp into the upper 30s, Bream to 9lb, Perch to almost 4lb and Roach of 2.5-3lb. This lad has seen them all! I'd love to believe it and I really hope someone can prove me wrong, but there's a strong whiff of the brown stuff still lingering in the air I think!
On to the other pool which is the biggest on the site and by far the most appealing. I was pleased to plumb up and find about 6ft of depth on a fairly short cast. I was far more confident of catching something decent and I set up a sleeper rod on the alarm with some corn for bait. Rather appropriately it slept....
The float rod was proving frustrating and the bites were very finicky. I did manage to hit the odd bite though and ended up with a few fish for my efforts including Roach, Rudd, Roach/Bream Hybrid and a Skimmer Bream. Brian had an equally frustrating result on the next peg.
Towards the end of the session both of us noticed loads of bubbles in both our swims. However, nothing significant emerged and I'd have lost money if I was a betting man (which I am!). It looked nailed on for a Tench. I'll give this pool another go fairly soon, as I'm sure there's potential in it.
We have our eyes on other pools in the area though and a short sneak preview the previous day saw a 1lb+ Perch coming out of one of them while we visited a couple of our other fishing friends. Although it's interesting to try new waters, we're both counting down to June 16th for the rivers. We've managed to secure membership with a small club which has a section of the Avon above Stratford. I doubt it will prove to be anything special (ever the optimist!), but having seen a lot of the upper Avon over the past 20 odd years, it'll be nice to try a brand new stretch.
STOP PRESS - I received a text from my brother last night and it said that my parents had been out walking the dog at lunchtime and had seen a massive fish in the local brook. Now I know quality fish from tiny brooks is nothing new following Jeff's (Idler's Quest) superb winter Roach catch. However, the brook in question is one where I've rarely seen a fish of any size in the past 30 odd years and I saw a lot of it while playing close to it as a kid.
I've just questioned my mum and she tells me it was "a yard long" and "the biggest fish she's ever seen". She couldn't believe what she was seeing. Believing it to be a bit of an illusion - maybe a fish shaped log perhaps, I questioned if she saw it move. "Yes, it jumped out of the water". It got spooked and headed off downstream apparently. It sounded like it had to be a Pike.
The location was the brook that runs under the A444 between the Ricoh Arena and M6 junction 3. The fish was last seen heading under the A444 heading towards Longford. Maybe it got fat on 1lb+ Roach and is on it's way back downstream for seconds!
I realise I've talked about tall stories of big fish earlier on in this post, but my mum is fairly reliable and she had 2 other equally surprised witnesses with her. I have no reason to doubt her - I just wish I'd been there to see it. With Jeff's successes in mind it definitely makes you wonder what these small untested waters could throw up with a bit of pioneering. Food for thought...