Friday, 7 May 2010

A Morning Out

Saturday 1st May - Disused Hawkesbury Golf Course. 9am - 1pm.

This post has been a bit delayed due to various things, not least my house being turned into a rubbish tip following the fitting of new windows. I did find time the previous Saturday morning for a brief session though. With Brian also otherwise engaged with redevelopment works on his house, I decided a local session would do.

I decided to tackle the nearest pool to start with, in the hope of snaring one of the large Perch that apparently inhabit it. I had a good walk around the pool and found it to be very snaggy looking. When I put the polarised glasses on, I could see just how weedy the bottom was for almost the entire length of the pool. I settled on a fairly clear area and having seen evidence of other people's misplaced casts or pull outs (various float assortments in the trees above), I figured the peg must be worth a go.

After about 20 minutes I had my first bite on maggot and I caught my first Perch from the pool. It was only a few ounces and although I tried to get a photo of it, the fish had other ideas and leapt clear while I lowered my guard. You can just about make it out (flapping by the lily pad):

With a Perch now sighted I upped the stakes by going for a bigger specimen with a worm on the hook. After about 90 minutes I gave up though because they weren't having it - well not from this swim anyway. I switched to maggot and had another small Perch, but as the day was opening up nicely I made the move to the other pool to get out of the shade.

The plan here was to hopefully prove the existence of Carp in this pool and I had about 2.5 hours to do it. Although a shallowish pool it has a reasonable colour to it and I decided to introduce a good carpet of groundbait laced with hemp, caster and corn. I was hoping that if there were any Carp, that they would eventually home in on it and bully the ravenous Rudd out of the way.

Initially I kicked off with a maggot approach on size 14 just to see if anything was there. It didn't take long for the Rudd to nail the bait every cast. I switched to caster and still caught Rudd. Breadflake brought Rudd too. Bigger breadflake just resulted in frustration as the fish nibbled bits off it before breaking it down into Rudd size mouthfuls.

On with the corn and you've guessed it - more Rudd. To be fair, they are a decent stamp of fish on the corn (3 to the pound) and normally I wouldn't complain. There was the occasional Roach and Hybrid thrown in, but it was mostly Rudd. However, I was trying to get through them on this occasion.

Luncheon meat was the next bait and that proved similar to bread flake. Smaller punched out pieces were gobbled up by the Rudd, while larger pieces were just pecked at. The fish were largely in mint condition though and the largest fish were certainly knocking around the 8-10oz range.

I packed up after a couple of hours of frantic action, but I didn't get a sniff of a Carp. As I was packing the rod away I did see a bow wave in the water and it was definitely from something more substantial than what I'd been catching. I'll be back...

Last week I reported a relatively large fish in a local brook that just doesn't seem to have any fish in it these days. Jeff (Idler's Quest) backed up my theory that it was basically fishless by only managing to dig out a bullhead on a recent recce.

Again though, I have to report that the fish is still there. It was seen this Wednesday afternoon in the same location (under the footbridge that is just a few yards upstream of the A444 road bridge). It was positively ID'd as Pike this time, as my uncle was a witness on this occasion. I still can't work out why a Pike of that size got into such a place.

Was it dumped in there due to it outstaying it's welcome elsewhere? Or, did it simply keep swimming upstream looking for food when the water level was a little higher? I note that the Angling Times this week discusses the intelligence levels of fish and it seems that if a Pike was to audition for "Only Fools and Horses", it would be better off trying out for the role of Trigger!

Aside from fishing, I had to pop to hospital today for a bit of minor surgery on my head. After an act of pure butchery, I was sent home looking like a cross between a terrorist and Basil Fawlty from that famous Fawlty Towers Germans epsiode. Madeleine came to pick me up and pretty much pissed herself on the spot!

"Not funny? - I'll do the funny walk"


  1. I looked long and hard for that pike, Sean, but failed to see anything. It must be one very lonely and hungry fish because apart from it and a few sticklebacks and bullheads, that part of the stream is utterly barren of fish.

  2. They're lovely looking Rudd Sean.

    Nice windows by the way!

    Don't mention the war ;)