Wednesday 2nd June - Hawkesbury Golf Course
I had a 4 hour slot (door to door) to cram a session into and so I decided to stay very local. I didn't even pay the tackle shop a visit, so the bait was simple - bread, corn or some left over pellets.
I opted for the pool appropriately named by other bloggers as the Crater. I had the place to myself on arrival which I thought was odd on a sunny day in the school holidays.
It didn't last for long though and I was soon joined by a family of three. To be fair they got on with things without too much fuss, although I was getting a bit edgy when one them seemed to be eyeing up a spot very close to me. He decided against it and moved to the far end of the pool.
I always get intrigued why people have to consider fishing so close to you when there's plenty of comfortable pegs elsewhere. It's not as if there's a flyer on the pool - it's so small almost every swim is accessible from any other swim!
I remember a fishing trip to Ireland many years ago and day one saw us trekking down hills and over boggy fields to get to our intended spot. It wasn't anywhere special with recent hot form - just a nice peaceful spot not too far from where we were staying. We set up 3 in a row and got on with the job.
Shortly after setting up, a mini bus full of Geordies rolled up and started looking for available pegs. Room was getting tight and one of them asked if he could fish between Nick and my brother. Nick told him something along the lines of "There's hundreds of miles of free fishing in Ireland and I haven't come over here to have you sitting on my lap". The bloke got the message!
The action on the Crater was slow to start with, but I eventually started connecting with Rudd. I'll put the slow start down to the lack of maggots to kickstart things. Once they started, the action was consistent throughout and I caught Rudd, Roach, Hybrids and Perch - all on corn or bread. The total weight in about 3 hours of fishing was 5lb 15oz. The best fish was a 14oz Rudd (not part of the challenge, sadly for me).
As I packed up, one of the other lads showed his predatory side and was determined to muscle in on my swim before his brother (who had eyed it up earlier) had a chance!
I did have a chat to another lad during the session who had popped over from the other pool - the old Parkers pool from years ago. I had looked at that pool on my past and it was heavily weeded with few fishable areas of any size. However, he assured me it's the best pool on the site and has big Perch (3-4lb), some big Roach and Rudd in the 2lb class and some Carp up to 10lb that had been caught this week.
It doesn't take a lot to realise I'm not a Carp fisherman. It's not that I hate Carp, it's just that I prefer to fish for other species. Or is that just a thinly veiled way of saying I'm crap at catching Carp?! I do like to go for Carp if the opportunity is there though and generally that means chucking a floater at a fish I've spotted cruising around. It either takes it or it doesn't - I don't usually have any back up plans.
On Thursday I took the chance to have a look at a different stillwater venue I stumbled across by accident on the net. It totally intrigues me and I can find no information on the fish it contains. All I know is that it's a season ticket only venue, but it's a similar price to a club book. I love fishing new venues completely blind and not knowing what to expect. Maybe it's going to be crap, but for the cost of a night out, I might just unearth a gem. Nothing ventured nothing gained, but I wanted to learn a bit more before parting with any cash - accessibility and peacefulness being key to any decision.
As it was a fairly hot and still day, I was hoping that a brief visit would give me an idea of what to expect. One of the pools on site was gin clear and although there was some fry in the margins, I couldn't see any signs of a proper fish. On to the next pool and this one was coloured and looked more inviting. I fought through some trees and into a clearer area leading to a high bank.
There basking in the sun were 3 carp, all within easy range of a floating bait and just loafing around. All of them were doubles and the largest fish looked to be knocking 20lb. It's definitely got me thinking long and hard now and more so because I suspect the venue is very lightly fished. Maybe there is a Carp angler in me yet? I did see plenty of small Rudd too, so I know what I'll end up catching!