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2018

January 23

JLB Happy New Year everyone. I'm starting as I started last year with a photo of Spot who was the biggest in 2016 and again in 2017. Will someone else knock her off her perch this year and how big? That's the very essence of why we fish.I know size isn't everything - I caught a very nice gudgeon on Monday and I was delighted to catch it but .............. it didn't stretch my purple Hydro much.

Did you notice that it rained a bit at the weekend. I hadn't fished for a couple of weeks because of a bad back and as it was better I had to go. Saturday (20th) was a bit wet but no wind so I fished long pole from 2/3 (the disabled platform by the car park) with 4mm expander pellets and fed with 2mm pellets that had some of the sticky stuff on them some that I could squeeze them into a small ball and hope that they would get down to the bottom before the tow carried them away. All very technical and I never had a bite.

Then serendipity stepped in (for those who have not lodged with English undergraduates serendipity means a happy accident). The key to taking advantage of serendipity is to recognise it and act upon it. On this occasion I did something that I shouldn't have done and am always banging the drum about - leaving a bait in the water. I unshipped the pole but left the end of the top-kit dangling over the edge of the stage without taking the bait off. I went for a walk and a chat and when I returned I found that a roach had hooked itself! Light bulb moment - the fish are under my feet and I have been fishing yards away in eight feet of water. Fished with one section of the pole and fished eight inces overdepth. Landed a plump common named Irregular 7-14-00 then it was time to go home. Good old serendipity but stupidity as well - if Irregular had picked up the bait instead of that little roach I would have had a broken top-kit and maybe a fish towing a broken top-kit around.

 

Sunday (21st) tried the same place but the lake had risen and coloured a bit and there was nobody at home. Moved to No.4 and caught two nice trout and had one other bite. Then the rain increased to very heavy and the lake was rising and getting more coloured so I went home.

 

Back to my post on 2/3. Started at lunch time. the lake had fallen 6 inches and I caught a roach first put-in but had the odd bite then a nice gudgeon (I like gudgeon) then caught a nice rudd followed by a big trout which seemed to kill the swim for a while. Geoff meanwhile had hooked something heavy on the float with his first cast but it came off almost immediately. He kept muttering about missed bites. He was using sweetcorn and at half past three i begged a few grains off him. First put-in I caught a Mirror named Armoured at 6-01-00. After unhooking, photographing and weighing I carried on with the sweetcorn but had nothing else. Geoff fishing from No.6 hooked a carp on his method feeder, played it for a while then it came to the top, rolled over, unhooked itself and waved its tail in goodbye. I thanked him for giving me some sweetcorn but it didn't really seem to help!

 

January 28

JLB. It was rather cold and windy and I was determined to catch off stage 2/3 and I had the odd roach and trout. Geoff went up the dark side (the opposite side to the car park) and chucked in a couple of method feeders from the stage which has a bench seat behind it (21?) and started reading a book (a proper carp fisher).

At about 3 o'clock Berry turned up and started opposite me (No 26). He didn't start fishing, he started trying to undo a tangled rig. After about 10 minutes I couldn't stand it any longer so I gave him a new rig. How did he thank me - he caught a roach and then another roach and then a carp.

So I took the white mat and the camera and the scales and the weighing bag and the towel and staggered over the dam to net it for him. Geoff came down to verbally assist and we all agreed that it was a small Common named Rosette and weighed 3-07-00.

So I staggered back over the dam and had a bite which I missed then Berry started squeaking. Yes, he'd hooked another carp. So the cicus repeated itself. It was a small Common and it weighed 3-07-00 !! No it wasn't the same fish because it hadn't got a rosette on its side. That was Rosette and this was Tuther

 

February 10

A better day than they forecast so I launched an attack on the moles in the bottom field at Caer Beris Holiday Park.

Yesterday. started with a snow storm but the heavy overnight rain had coloured the lake a bit so I thought I might try my skill at maggot fishing. I caught about a dozen trout, one perch and five roach. I hooked what felt like a small carp which swam round for a time and then shed the hook.

The poet pondered whether it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I could have told him a thing or two about having lost a carp but fortunately he was not available for comment.

 

February 11

JLB. By the time I had finished setting mole traps it was approaching 4 pm so I started fishing at about 4.15 on the Rhododendron peg (when the wind is WNW or further N then that side is sheltered to some extent from the wind). 4 Walnut size balls of groundbait containing a few pinkies potted in, a couple of maggots on a size 16 wide gape carp hook to 3 1/2 lb hooklength and sit back and relax. By 5.20 I had caught three trout and nine roach which had really started feeding well after another walnut of groundbait. I thought "one more roach for double figures and I'm off for tea", lifted into the next bite and something did the "I am a log" act. Fortunately it wasn't a big carp because when I'd finished weighing and photographing (Geoffrey demands all the details) and packed up I found that the snow had frozen onto the sections that I hadn't been using so I could not have plugged them in if I had needed to. At 3.06.00 it was very similar to Rosette and Tuther in size and appearance, I named him Fiesty because he kept jumping while I was trying to photograph him but maybe the snow was tickling him.

I must admit that it was a lovely relaxing short session with the snow showers and the roach creating a Christmas feel and the carp providing an exciing finish

 

February 12

JLB. Geoffrey, a.k.a. Keeper of the Records, tells me that Fiesty is in fact Longscale, first caught in December 2015 weighing 1-12-00 by JLB. He is named after a long scale in the middle of his left side. Silly me! I showed you his Right side! so I have now given you the chance to see why good eyesight is obligatory for Keeper of the Records. I have put Longscale's left side on view (pay attention at the back there!) so that you will not have any excuses next time you catch him. (Remember if you click on the image it will enlarge).

I finished moleing early so fished the Rhododendron peg again. Started about 1.00 pm. Very slow to begin with but ended up with 14 roach and 2 perch on maggot and pinkies and groundbait. Not a single trout. A big black cloud speeded my packing up at 5.00pm before leaving in a snowstorm.

 

February 13

Not good weather for a Mole Catcher. The heavy rain leaks into the mole run around the trap and the moles respond by filling the defect in their roof by plugging it with earth and coincidentally filling up the trap with earth and setting it off.

To turn to more important things I started fishing about 2.00pm but it was very slow. Geoffrey was already fishing on peg 26 (one up from the dam on the dark side) when I arrived and caught a trout while I set up and ate my sandwiches at peg 25 (Rhododendrons). At about quarter to five he came round to see how I was doing (5 roach and a trout) and said he was going to cast out his method feeder again while he packed up. He promptly hooked a lovely mirror named Armoured (6-02-00) and went home rejoicing. He emailed me to tell me (with his Keeper of the Records hat on) that it is the second heaviest mirror in the lake that we know of. I was very impressed and stayed on until half past five and caught another two roach and a trout and went home.

 

February 17 & 18

we thought we would have a go at thinning out the trout a little because if you use maggots the trout drive you mad. I'm sure that they are such agressive feeders with such sharp teeth they drive the other fish away and hog the menu.

Unfortunately the Gods like to have a laugh and told the trout all about our plans. Maggots and pinkies rained into the lake and the roach loved it. Grounbait laced with maggots and pinkies? - the roach said bring it on! Tiny 2 1/2 inch roach and big fat pounders thought they were delicious.

We ended up taking 25 trout down to the river after two days fishing. . I would have backed myself any time to catch more than that myself in just one day if I used maggots!

We'll be back.

 

Click to enlarge

If you click to enlarge the image you may see the rosette of maformed scales above the tip of the pelvic fin