The bank holiday saw me snatching a few sessions amongst my other commitments. The theme for the weekend was the letter P.
First up was a brief after work session to start the break. With less than three hours of fishing time to play with, the brief was simple : fish with worms and catch a big Perch. Joined by Steve, we plugged away and caught a good few of the right species, but about 2lbs+ below the target weight!
In a bid to encourage Steve into the world of pike we had a little dabble for them into dark. Just a jack to my rod to show for it. No evidence though, as it flung itself back into the river while I was attending to the net.
We fished into dark and the bats began to appear, swooping across the water in front of us. Steve was stood out on a platform, gazing towards the water, waiting and willing for something to happen. Sure enough it did - a wayward bat came from his blind side and took him by surprise, narrowly missing his head. The startled angler jumped out of his skin and I really thought he was going for a dip!
The following afternoon saw me returning for another crack at the perch, joined by two others. I've honestly never seen the river so alive with fish. Prospects looked good.
Once again I fished mostly with worm but I was unable to catch anything much beyond a pound. Whenever I switched to a bunch of maggots I picked up the odd roach and some better stamp dace. Not anywhere near the class of fish from a certain venue further upstream, but a little better than I'd seen here before. Charlie also reported some nice dace. They have always been here in good numbers, so maybe there are some better ones to be had now. Maybe I'll have the play the numbers game one day and just wade through them to see what can be achieved.
The only problem with hooking small fish on this section of river is the pike. I had three encounters with them and none ended in my favour. Bitten off twice and I pulled out of the other - or more precisely I parted company with the prey fish and the pike made off with its meal.
The pike wasn't the only poacher. I can't say too much, but I've filed another report with the EA.
Last up was a short bonus session on an estate lake I've recently joined. I was meant to be out cycling with my good wife, but the session was abandoned when we couldn't get her bike's gears adjusted to her satisfaction. It's funny how awkward gears can be to adjust, particularly when you know that complete failure might result in spare time to go fishing instead! Best left to Halfords just to be safe!!
Remembering what I saw last time, when fish were feeding at distance, I went armed with leger set ups. Against my normal habits I set up a sleeper rod with an alarm and worm hook bait. The other rod was rigged up with a bunch of maggots and a quiver tip approach. A smattering of groundbait was hurled as far as possible and then fished over.
Bites were at a premium, but I managed three roach, with the best a healthy 15oz. It gives me hope that talk of 2lb fish might actually be completely true. Time will tell ...
What cheesed me off though was the own goal I scored before leaving home. I forgot to take any floating baits and throughout the session a host of carp could be seen breaking the surface time and time again at distance. I'm not expecting them to be monsters and although I'm not really a fan of carp, I do love picking them off with floating baits when opportunity knocks.
I'm quite taken with the estate so far. I've seen enough to suggest there's a bit of potential. It definitely requires a different approach to the ones I'm normally used to, which can't be a bad thing. I do have a tendency to be a little lazy with my methods. I'll continue to adapt and hopefully get some rewards soon. Either way I'm in this for the long haul and I have a year or so to see what I can extract from it.