I'd actually pinched a few hours of work on the Friday afternoon for a spot of Piking, but I failed miserably across the Alveston and Wasperton sections of the Avon. The only tug on a wobbled deadbait came from a Perch with eyes bigger than it's mouth!
In the end I sat it out with a Lamprey section and for a short while I confess to nodding off, bathed in the warm afternoon sunshine. I haven't been down Waspo for a while and I've honestly forgotten how pleasant it can be. I really must get down there again soon.
I very nearly returned the next day, but in the end I opted for one last crack at the Snitterfield Roach and Crucians. 20 minutes in and it was very quiet until I finally hooked a fish on my light set up - single maggot on a 20 hook (although I think it's more like a 18) to 2lb bottom, with 4lb line on my centre pin that had been freshly spooled up the night before.
The fish was no Roach or Crucian though and it roared off into the distance. I vaguely got some control of the fish at times, but even a bit of wandering to adjacent pegs didn't really help. I was largely powerless and after a 10-15 minute struggle, I was snagged up and the fish was gone.
That gave me a bit of confidence though and so I turfed in some groundbait, laden with pellet, caster and hemp just beyond the marginal plants. A short while later I saw some movement and a bright coloured fish was stirring up the baited area, before it eventually got spooked. That gave me the nudge to rig up a sleeper rod with a small lead. I baited it with bread flake and dropped it over the groundbait.
The float swim performed poorly and I struggled to get bites. Out of the blue, the sleeper rod woke up in spectacular fashion and in a split second it was wrenched out of the rod rest. I grabbed it as the tip hit the water and fortunately I had put the clutch on a loose setting, which helped to cushion the initial run.
This time I was on a beefier set up (6lb main line, 4lb bottom to a 12 hook) and it was just a case of taking it steady in the seemingly snag free swim. During the fight I could see it was the bright coloured fish that had been in the swim earlier. I eventually banked the fish, but I struggled with my net, which is now going to need a minor repair! It really wasn't designed for fish of this size - 12lb exactly.
Apart from that, I struggled to make anything else happen. I hooked a Bream towards the end of the session on the light float rig. It looked around 3lb, but the hook pulled clear and I suspect it was foul hooked, as it fought like a demon (for a Bream) and the only time I had it under control it was coming towards me side on.
So, I failed in my Roach and Crucian quest, but it was an interesting, if slightly strange session.