This week saw me heading off to Blenheim Palace with Brian. I'd seen other bloggers' reports from their past trips, as well as a few other articles and I was inspired to give it a try. At £25 per boat at this time of year, it's a cracking deal when you consider the potential of the venue. Anticipation was high, but we knew it wasn't going to be easy.
A bit of homework gave me a few ideas of areas to try, but the number of other boats on the lake would dictate things. We arrived about 10 minutes after opening time and we were last on the lake, albeit only the third boat out! I didn't think it would be that quiet on a mild March day.
We headed off towards the Grand Bridge, taking a somewhat haphazard path through the water. I don't think the GB rowing team will be calling on our skills later this year! I quite enjoyed it though and being in a boat makes changing swims an awful lot easier.
I was suprised to get some early action on a Lamprey section on my first cast. I didn't actually see the float move, but I saw the line tightening up and hit it, but there was no resistance. I recast and also plopped out a second rig with a Roach deadbait.
The Roach was on the move next and this time I did connect with the fish. It knew instantly that it wasn't a monster, but I was happy to boat my first Blenheim Pike - a fish of 5-6lb.
I had a further Pike a bit later - this time on the Lamprey section. It was a smaller sample though. At this stage we were tucked up under the bridge itself, which was providing some welcome shelter from the rain that had moved in. Once it had cleared we went on a mooch around the lake taking in various swims on the way.
We didn't catch any more fish, despite returning the the Grand Bridge area for the final hour. It was good experience and one that we'll definitely do again at some point. I'd like to see the lake in the height of summer and to have a long day going for some of the other species it holds.