Saturday 12th June - The Crater.
With Brian unavailable I decided to fish locally again - the old golf course is a few minutes walk for me. Once again I was totally unprepared, but I've come to realise that a tin of sweetcorn is all that's needed for a bit of sport on these ponds. I did have a bit of groundbait to spare though, so that went in the bag too.
The plan was to see if Parkers contained any better Crucians than the ones I had caught on my last visit. Time was again short as I had things planned from 12pm and and I didn't leave the house until 8-45am.
I approached Parkers and found that a big tent had been set up immediately behind the swim I fancied. I walked around the pond but the only viable alternative was the peg on the main walking route. I set up and had a 15 minute dabble, but nothing was interested.
Then the tent's inhabitants started to emerge. First a young child who kept spilling over into the wet grass every few yards. An adult followed and the noise level started to increase, as the pair interacted with each other. More were sure to follow.
Faced with that prospect, I could sit there and carry on regardless, hoping for bites to start and for noise levels to drop. Or, I could bugger off 150 yards behind me to a Rudd filled paradise. OK it's far from paradise, but there's plenty of quality fish and I had the pond to myself. I buggered off!
I had a bite first chuck, but the fish dropped off on the way in. It then went quiet on my next cast, so I opted to chuck in 5 balls of groundbait laced with corn. Again, I was hoping one of Carp might put in an appearance. I gave it time to settle and fished the waggler on a totally different line, much further out.
Bites came quickly on that further line and I gradually shortened up throughout the session (over the groundbait) and the bites were fairly consistent. Every time they stopped I just tried a different line and seemed to connect with fish instantly. It's almost like they got spooked and backed off a bit onto a different line. Then they moved back to the original line.
The tent gang - 2 kids and 3 adults (one female) - joined me part way through. Bloody great! I leave them to their own pond and they still came across to bug me. The couple amongst them were having a bit of a barney on the way across to the pond and it continued as they were selecting swims.
I'm becoming a magnet for relationship disputes this year - twice now I've witnessed the fairer sex dishing out abuse to their partners on the bank. I'll happily take my abuse at home, but not on the river bank please! They were an odd bunch - it's perhaps best left at that! Suffice to say I don't imagine they'll be troubling MENSA in the near future.
Although they weren't interfering with my fishing, I was mindful of the time and I decided to leave them to their own devices. I'd caught the usual half a stone or so of Rudd and Hybrids. There were no big fish - the best probably about 8oz and almost all were in the 4-6 oz range.
As I packed up, one of the kids pounced on my swim immediately. I hadn't even finished packing up, but to be fair he was very polite and asked if he could jump in there. I asked him what bait he using. "Sweetcorn" was the reply. I gave him the thumbs up, told him where I'd baited up and left him to it.
As I walked past one of the adults, he enquired "Is this Weston Lawns?". It's an easy mistake to make I guess!
My river ticket came through the post today and I'll be heading down at the weekend. A warning to anyone heading for the river - Sunday is a non-starter in certain areas (unless your very early or a sucker for punishment) as the club card displays Sunday 20th as "Raft Race". It's the annual charity raft race from Wasperton to Stratford. I think the upper end of the Wasperton stretch (Oak Tree) on the Leamington book avoids it, but my new waters are bang in the firing line a few miles downstream.
Good luck to anyone wetting a line on Wednesday.