Saturday 15th May. Snitterfield Reservoir. Sean, Brian & Mark. 8-15am to 4-45pm
MOT day for Brian's van signalled a drop off for the van in Leamington and a chance to venture a bit further afield than we have recently. I fancied a go at the Rese and Mark (who is fairly new to fishing) tagged along on a guest ticket.
We settled on 3 pegs on the left hand bank just past the drop off point. There were fish topping from the off and it looked typically inviting. All 3 of us had some weedy features to aim at if we wanted to, but I was determined to stick to the advice I'd passed on to Mark early doors. It's the same advice that Owen the bailiff gives everyone (and has given me before) - don't fish too far out.
The tendency is to want to chuck the float or feeder out into open water, but there is a fair depth close in and even though some pegs are featureless under your feet, the fish are often very close in. The old saying "you cast over more fish than you cast to" is often relevant here.
I had to help Mark with his set up first of all so I was a bit delayed in starting myself. While I was sorting things out though, Mark had opened his account with a small Roach and Perch. Partially ignoring my advice I decided to fish a little further out than I had intended to begin with, but not too far. The plan was to ball it in on that line, but to drip a bit of bait in on a closer line and to shorten up as the day wore on.
I started catching the odd Perch before something a little better took the bait. It was a very distinctive fight somewhat akin to hooking a headless chicken running round a farmyard. I knew it was one of the resident Crucians and soon a bonus point was on the board. It was about 1lb. Mark wasn't to be outdone though and he had one of his own later on in the day.
I started to catch the odd small Bream before setting up a couple of other rods. I tried a feeder rod back over the original area I'd balled in on, while creeping closer in on the waggler rig. The action picked up a bit for a while and I had a couple of more Crucians (on the closer line!), the best going 1lb 7oz. I also took the odd Bream on the feeder rod up to about 1.5lb.
I had another tool at my disposal - the floater rig to try and tempt one of the bigger Carp. Despite trying it a few times (and having to be bloody careful with the inquisitive bird life) nothing took the bait. One fish did mouth the bait, but it soon spit it out.
Brian didn't have the best of days, but he caught a few fish, the best being a Roach of about 12oz. Mark also caught a duckling, which I had to net and reunite with it's less than impressed mother. It didn't seem overly traumatised by the experience though and was happily feeding away throughout the rest of the day. I finished with 10lb 14oz.
Needless to say, Mark won't win wildlife photographer of the year on this showing! He makes Brian look like David Bailey. Maybe he needs a better subject to work with though!
In terms of the challenge, we continue to splutter along. It was honours even on the day, but I was happy with the Crucian as they aren't available in many of the waters we fish and that could be a handy target to set.