Geoff, JP and myself were on the evening shift (after the Grand Prix). JP gave me some pinkies so I decided to set a record for Gudgeon bashing and caught 60 little roach, 1 perch and 15 Gudgeon so I haven't set the bar very high! Geoff pinched peg 4 so JP went to peg 5 and pole-fished sweetcorn under the staging of peg 6 (which projects some distance out into the lake). He caught a small Crucian, about 8 ounces, and I photographed it and Geoff counted the scales along the lateral line and declared 33. That means it is a true Crucian. Then JP caught a big Crucian that we weighed at 1-14-00. Geoff later studied the photograph and declared that it was the same fish the he and Chris had caught before. That fish also had a lateral line scale count of 33.
The Crucian mystery is solved. The presence of an 8 ounce true Crucian shows that there are at least 2 adult Crucians surviving from the original stocking in December 2012. I will put another slider below with the photographic evidence for all to see and argue over.
June 29, 30 and July 1
This weekend proved to be a real cracker. I couldn't fish because I had a competition on Saturday (30th) and had to watch the F1 Grand Prix on Sunday followed by the Women's T20 final. I will let two of the actors of the weekend drama tell it in their own words in their emails ('cause I'm lazy) :-
On Tuesday 3rd July Geoff Lawrence emailed :-
Arran and 2 of his mates from Hay managed to catch 6 Carp on floating bread including
Stella at 7 lb 11oz
Pinch Scale at 7 lb 2 oz
Priscilla at 5 lb 8 oz
Podge at 4 lb 8 oz
Mick hooked 12\14 Carp on floating dog biscuit and managed to land 7\8 including Fifa , he also lost a very big common that got wrapped around the legs on the disabled peg and snapped off
I managed 2 Carp on floating dog biscuit
Winefred at 4 lb 2 oz
Smoothie at 4 lb 8 oz
Mick managed to land a few Carp on dog biscuit
I managed to land 1 Wildie at 3 lb 12 oz
Rob continued to catch a mixed bag on the pole as did Berry
That's all the info I have
On Monday 2nd July Mick Wilkes emailed :-
My weekend consisted of 3 sessions on the lake, Friday afternoon was mostly a waggler/maggot session on peg 16 catching endless rudd and roach and also late on one wildie on dog biscuit.
Saturday I started off on the whip/maggot and once again caught plenty of nice roach and also a total of 12 gudgeon, they seem to like the shallow water around the peg I was on (not sure of the number but it's the big platform before you head around the corner by the fish fry refuge...maybe peg 11? [Disabled pegs 11 & 12 - Ed.] ). Later in the afternoon I focused on the carp and ended up with 6 netted and a further 9 hooked and lost! Fishing dog biscuits is definitely edge of seat fishing and when they are surface feeding is hard to beat.
The cloud cover yesterday put them down and although one or two were on the surface they weren't really interested but still had a couple and lost a couple plus some tench.
All in all a very enjoyable weekend!
Geoff emailed me earlier this evening:-
" Hi Lance
Lake is fishing well today. Despite the heat,
Arran a young lad from Hay has caught 5 Carp so far on floating bread including Stella ,and Pince scale both have lost weight so must be females
I lost 2 mirrors in the weeds in the top bay , moved to peg 4 and got lots of roach and just before I left I landed a nice mirror carp on floating bread , not sure of name yet .
When there is a large temperature difference between the upper layers of the lake and the lower ones most of the fish move up into the warm water, particularly the carp family. The trout do not like the warm water and hug the bottom. Now the hot weather has been with us for some time the lower levels have warmed up as well - not quite equalling the top temperatures but certainly much warmer than they were. This means that many fish are now prepared to feed on the bottom again.
When I arrived Ian Campbell was pulling out small roach on peg 4 and had swapped from bread punch to sweetcorn to get a better stamp of fish. He packed up before I had finished watering the trees (I'm not being coy here about peeing on a tree but using a watering can to help the young trees that we planted at the beginning of the year to survive the heatwave). I potted some groundbait in along with a few feeder pellets and expander pellets and used a 4mm expander on a size 14 Guru X-Strong Carp Spade tied to 5.8 lb Supplex. Match that up to black Hydrolastic and I should be able to sort out any roach that ever swam.
After I had eaten a few sandwiches and caught a few roach that attention-seeking Wildie Split Tail put in an appearance. This is the one that appears on photographs a few inches further up the column illustrating Before-and-after spawning. On 16 April weighed-in at 5-03-00, on 29 June weighed-in at 4-09-00 and today was 5-00-00 so was well on the way to full weight recovery and more.
Berry arrived about the same time I had started fishing and went to fish on the dark side - peg 19, next peg back towards the dam from Jeb's peg. He caught tench and rudd and had a carp on which ran under peg 20 and into the reeds.
While Berry was sparring with the tench and rudd I was catching nothing but roach (we not including the carp) until my final fish of the day which I first thought was a roach but turned out to be a little skimmer about 5 inches long which I assume is from last years spawning.
Had a good day today had the 7 lb 2 oz common which you netted for me , then went on to catch 2 rud , 4 tench( biggest about 3 lb ) and 18 roach ( 4 were around the 1 lb mark )
This Cassandra has been prophesying the end of the big roach. For about 6 weeks (it seems longer) he has been wailing "Where have all the big roach gone ..died spawning ...gone over the dam ....something has eaten them all ... it must be something in the water etc etc .". We can have some peace about that for the moment.
I asserted rank and fished from my peg (No. 24) whilst Rob was relegated to No. 14. (Actually he had started about 3 hours before me on No. 14). I was fishing with maggots on a pole, 2.5 lb hooklength and size 20 PR434 and later changed to a size 18 in the same pattern. Inevitably I hooked a carp on my first drop-in which, just as inevitably, pulled out after zooming all over the place. It was very pleasing to catch a large number of fish of several different species and sizes, about 50 roach several around the pound down to 2 inch fry, a tench, 5 Perch, 4 Gudgeon, 2 tiny bream and one trout.
The tiny bream, from this year's spawning, allied to the few small skimmers we have caught from last years spawning, indicates that we do not need to stock again with bream as we were considering doing. The weather seems to have suited the bream as Geoff has seen many in the shoals of fry.
Rob on No.14 had a cracking day with 2 carp, 4 bream, several tench and rudd and a load of roach up to one pound plus. All on expander pellets and not a trout in sight.
I'm not kidding myself that the assault we have had on the trout, moving out about 100 on each of the two occasions we have tried, has cleared them out. I think that as soon as the water temperature drops they will reappear in numbers but it must have helped.
Geoff caught a nice common named Sharkscale at 6-05-00 which as you may see from the photograph is a bit of a tight fit into the landing net. We have bought some larger ones in anticipation of the continued growth of the carp.
To illustrate the size of the new nets I put one down on the staging when JP was playing a tench. He put the landing net containing the tench on top of the new net.
Rain and more rain which means good fishing in Llyn Alarch. It has become a little cold for the carp but the perch and roach love it and the bream and tench make a regular welcome appearence. Geoff commented how pale a tench was that he caught this afternoon and how silver the bream was that Rob caught. This change is brought about in response to the water becoming cloudy and acts to camouflage the fish - the colour which shows up best in cloudy water is black. The silver reflection off the flank of a roach or bream as it twists in the water shows up like a light bulb; but when the fish is swimmimg normally it reflects the colour of the water that it is swimming in and is almost impossible to see it in coloured water.
The trout are still keeping a low profile even when fihing with maggots.. I caught about 40 roach yesterday afternoon and only had two trout and about the same number today without any trout at all. I was loose feeding maggots fairly frequently without attracting the attention of any trout. (I also caught gudgeon and perch). It does make the capture of a large number of roach very easy when the water is high. Rob was fishing with expander pellets and sweetcorn and caught less roach but generally bigger ones.
The lake has been fishing well particularly with maggots for the roach. The trout numbers appear to have been much reduced which lets you use maggots without hordes of trout disturbing the other fish. It will be interesting to see if this continues. I was just settling down to catch some more fish on maggots today, having spent a couple of hours raking leaves off the car park and eaten my packed lunch, but the wind suddenly started gusting alarmingly and I packed up in a hurry. When I arrived home I had to shore up out fence in one place and I learned that there were several trees down in the area. I was just relieved that one hadn't fallen on me! Storm Diana was living up to the forecast. I'll see what tomorrow brings.
Click to enlarge
It is easy to see how he gained his name.
Barbels around the mouth of a Wildie (Split Tail) and some of the little carp.
Typical of one of the "bigger" ones which we think are immature Wildies.
Back in the Spring (30th March) Geoff was beaming into the camera cradling Spot at 10-02-00 and dreaming of being presented at the AGM with the Duncan MacDonald Cup for the largest fish caught at Llyn Alarch. His reign didn't last long because on the 3rd of May JP claimed victory withSpot at 10-06-00. All through the long hot Summer the prize was waiting for him but that cad Lance stepped in and pulled the rug from under him in mid October with Spot at 10-08-00. My dreams of a gleaming gold cup only lasted a fortnight before JP's son Chris stepped in whisked the dream away with Spot at 10-12-00.
Ian Cambell was just packing up when I arrived. He had been fishing of the disbled platform (2/3) next to the car park - his favourite spot. He had landed three carp and lost a Wildie which had dived under the platform. That last touched a raw spot so when I had finished clearing out the water gate I collected my gear and set up in Ian's place.
The water had fallen about four inches and cleared a bit but still had plenty of pace down the car park side of the lake. When it passes the disabled stage (2/3) it hits the water backed up by the dam. Some goes over the spillway and some turns left and moves up the dark-side (the side opposite the car park) at a reduced pace but generally speaking it slows down and provides a comfortable place for the fish to select any food items being carried down
As it was lunchtime I didn't want the waiting fish to be disappointed so I chucked in some 3mm Halibut pellets, some fishmeal micropellets and some luncheon meat diced into 4mm cubes and flavoured with Spicy Sausage. Plumbed up, settled in my chair, unpacked the honey sandwiches, fed the fish again, unlimbred the new 13ft Waggler rod and settled down to the sandwiches now flavoured with Spicy Sausage etc.
Soon caught a 14 oz roach, then a carp pinged off after it had snatched a yard of line (O Bother I said to myself), then a Mirror (Beth 6-02-00), then a 1lb 2oz roach ....... and so on like a dream. Ended up with 5 carp, 4 roach, 2 tench, a trout and a Roach/Rudd hybrid - my best catch at Llyn Alarch.
During the afternoon JP had arrived, (netted a carp for me - role reversal if ever there was one) so I checked up later to see how he was getting on. He hadn't had a bite so he didn't need much prompting to move. He settled on peg 8, found there was a strong flow down that side but found that by moving back he could find the edge of the current and caught a lovely bream of 3lb 6oz, a tench, a wacking gudgeon on a small cube of luncheon meat and several roach and rudd hybrids
I hadn't seen any of these hybrids before but with the last cast of the day I caught one myself. It was silver like a roach but deeper like a rudd with the undershot jaw of a rudd. The fins were not the blood red of a rudd apart from the distal ends of the anal and pelvic fins and the lower half of the tail. I have put the photo up so you don't have to strain your imagination.
What an afternoon!! The new rod works very well.
I had taken delivery of a brand new 13ft Waggler rod and was itching to try it - my first new coarse rod for several decades! The water was ideal for polefishing but it was also ideal for catching something on my brand new rod.
I started fishing about 3.15 from peg 10 which I hope was the daftest decision I have made for a long time.
The water was circulating briskly up that side of the lake (2 inches of water over the full width of the dam) but turned away from the bank just before it got to peg 10 - good.
The wind was gusting violently at time but from directly behind me -good.
The water was quite shallow - good.
The staging either side of me projected 3 feet further into the lake than mine - impossible !!!
The first fish I hooked was a beautiful silver chub of just over 3 lbs; the next fish I hooked was a carp which eventually kited to the right around peg 9 (ping); the next was a tench of just over a pound and a half with a golden tint to the front half of its body and a green tint to the tail half; and the last was a carp which eventually kited to the left around stage 11/12 (ping).
How daft can you get?
It had rained a bit and Geoff, who helps Duncan when the water gate on the inlet stream to Llyn Alarch suffers from clogging with leaves etc., was off on holiday (again!). I volunteered to do a stint at lunchtime clearing the gate and was impressed by how sheltered the pool was despite the Southerly gale
I spent a happy hour or so raking the leaves of the paths at Llyn Alarch and having a natter. Tony had a cracking day with lots of roach plus a carp and a couple of nice bream and Geoff caught Kinky (5-08-00 I think). Kinky was one of the first large Commmons we caught and made me determined to weigh my catch in future, so when I caught Spot a week later it weighed in at 2-15-00 and seemed a monster. That was in June 2014.
I have learned a great deal about pole fishing this last 12 months but recently I have learned about one of its limitations - when the water is very clear it will only work in the deepest water. An elasticated whip is great fun but often cannot cope if you run into a carp. So I blew off the dust from my 13 foot float rod this afternoon and tried it with some expander pellets from the Rhododendron peg (25). The first thing I hooked was a carp which wandred off under the trees to my left, transfered the hook to a snag (a trick he had obviously learned from one of the chub) and left me to pull for a break while he went his merry way chewing on my expander pellet. I caught a couple more carp which made me feel very much better - a Wildie named Split Tail (5-09-00) and a Mirror named Dot (6-09-00). I think I will try this rod and reel stuff again!
Geoff informed me that Rob had caught a good number of fish including a couple of carp and one of those little large tailed carp similar to the one Mick caught on Friday evening. We don't have a photo so we cannot say if it is one of the three we have caught previously or a new one.
Mick shouted to me that he had caught a crucian carp so I pocketed my camera and scampered round to see. It was a hybrid about seven inches long similar to one I had caught a few days earlier (in fact I thought it was the same fish until I studied the photographs) and both had an oversize tail similar to a fish that Geoff had caught the previous month. We will be interested to see how these develop so if you catch one please take a photo if you can and send it in (firstname.lastname@example.org). The three fish have been named Mickle, Boggle and Geoggle.
The Autumn Equinox was traditionally a time of great gales and wild weather so the last few days have lived up to its reputation. Fortunately the very heavy rain of the last few days which saw the Irfon reach its highest level for some years missed the brook which runs through Llyn Alarch. Not completely of course but not a raging flood.
Mick Wilkes had some maggots, casters and groundbait left over from a fishing competition so came to the lake to feed the fish (and catch a shedload at the same time). I was just about to start fishing at lunchtime on peg 4 so I sent him to the dark side so I could keep an eye on him - some hope with my damaged eyesight! I could see his umbrella through the rain. I went to see him at four o'clock and he had just finished three pints of maggots and was starting on the casters - he hadn't caught a single trout only roach, rudd and perch. When he packed up at five thirty he had caught four trout on the casters (inaddition to more roach, rudd, perch and a tench) so there are still some in there.
I managed to lose the first carp I hooked - a wise man said one cannot lose that which one has never possessed but he wasn't an angler !! The hook pulled through. I know it was only a size 14 (Drennan Barbless Wide Gape Pellet hook) but lots of other people regularly land carp on small hooks but it was to 6lb line and Purple Hydrolastic so perhaps it was too much stress. But I landed the next two - a Mirror (Fiver) 4-12-00 and a Common (Pinchscale) 7-14-00 using luncheon meat flavoured with Spicy Sausage in small cubes (5mm on a side).
Tony White decided to teach the roach a lesson and appeared armed with a light elasticated whip, 1.7lb hooklength, 18s hook and single white maggot. Attracting the fish with liquidised bread he caught 132 roach, 17 perch 8 rudd, 1 tench, 9 gudgeon and a 3-02-00 bream fishing from double platform 2 & 3.
He called for assistance when he was playing the bream as he thought he was connected to a carp and feared that the top section of his whip would give way. When I arrived on the scene he had just started handlining it in. (Dear Reader, this is not a procedure I can recommend even if you are a builder and have skin on your hands like cowhide.) All went well and the fish turned out to be a nice big bream hooked in the tail !
Tony pointed out that he hadn't caught a single trout. It will be very interesting to see if the trout turn up when the water temperature falls as I predict will happen (the return of the trout not the falling in water temperature).
Rob Shelley has been having great catches recently fishing close to the reeds from peg 8 including epic battles with carp on a pole with a 2.4 lb hooklength and sweetcorn. Today was no different and in addition to his 80 odd roach, 8 tench, 1 rudd and the obligatory gudgeon (no day is complete without a gudgeon) he caught Tempest at 5lb 5oz. Fishing with sweetcorn often results in a better stamp of roach and he had three pound-plus roach in successive drop-ins.
Tempest is so named because the first time he was caught was by Berry Jones in a deluge. Berry loves fishing in awful weather - he reckons it brings the fish on the feed. So it might, but I feared for my camera that day.
Geoff is getting back into carp catching. He caught Stella at just under 8 pounds on light line waggler from the Rhododendrons (peg 25).
9 August 2018.
I received an email from JP :-
Hope all is well. My session late afternoon was good. Please find attached carp photos
Wildy was 3lb
Mirror was 5lb 5oz - 7oz
Cruisian was 1lb 2oz
Caught a lot of roach around 15 to 20 and 11 tench.
Tench was caught using sweet corn/8mm red robin / 8mm bannoffee pellet - feeder and rod and reel.
Cruisian was caught using sweet corn on rod and reel.
Both wildy and mirror was caught on the meethod using 2mm pellets and robin red as bait.
I was using hemp/breadcrumbs as groundbait.
Glad to hear that there was a baby carp in the cages.
All the best
That certainly is a good session. All those roach and tench (11 !) and three carp as well. The Wildie hasn't been named yet, the mirror was a very strikingly marked one named Polly and a Crucian !!! another Crucian ?? Yes, another true Crucian weighing 1-02-00, almostly certainly one of the original stocking and a parent of the small crucian (about 8 oz) that JP caught on 29 July under the staging of Peg 6 (see above). What to name such a much sort-after fish? Well it could have been Adam or it could have been Eve but I'm as bad at sexing Crucian carp as I am at swan-wrestling. That sudden flash as I saw the image of the fish and what it implied meant there was only one name for the fish - Eureka!
To check that it is a true Crucian click on the image to enlarge it and count the number of scales along its lateral line - true Crucians have 32 - 34 scales.
5,6 & 7 August 2018
I had one afternoon session, one evening session and one morning session and the fish seemed to like the groundbait more than the hookbait. the first two of the three were fished within two feet of the reedson peg17 (the top one on the dark side) using three sections of the pole. The pole can only be used when the water is very coloured in this shallow water but it is very exciting as a 1 lb tench makes a big swirl when it is hooked and a carp erupts! Most of the time the carp seem as though they are not feeding but nosing about to find out what all the fuss is about until they touch the line and go off with a big bow wave - very exasperating but it stirs the mud up and the other fish don't seem to mind. Small cubes of luncheon meat didn't do much but expander pellets were very attractive - especially to little roach. 4 and 6 mm halibut pellets seemed to be a good compromise as the little fish could tow it about without destroying it. On the third session I fished 5 sections out from peg 14 and ended up not bothering to strike but waited for the fish to pull it about until a bigger one hooked itself. I had one carp on each session along with tench, rudd and roach.
On the Sunday (5th) Mick Wilkes had five carp on floating dog biscuit from peg 13. Three mirrors - Gerald, Rosella and Skatty - one wildie named Old Skinny and Spot at 9-08-00.
When I had finished fishing on Tuesday (7th) I set about watering the trees and was interrupted by a swan which wanted to come in through the gate. (We don't give swans the lock combination because they can be a real nuisance). I opened the gate for it then noticed that it had something hanging from its mouth so grabbed the swan and realised that it had a pike-plug stuck in its mouth. I tucked the swan under my arm and wandered over to Nigel who was admiring the cloud of white feathers filling the air. He provided a pair of pliers and we added a patch of white feathers to his lawn while I performed a quick extraction. We shooed the swan back to the lake as a safe refuge for it. Duncan reported that it refused all food that evening (nil by mouth) but by Wednesday morning was eating ravenously.
Duncan thinks that this plug could well be from the Travellers who appear around show week. They spin everywhere and if the plug became stuck and they pulled for a break a swan is quite capable of taking it into its moutht to see if it is edible. It had obviously been stuck under its tongue for some time judging by the swelling of the tongue and the corrosion of the hooks. I have provided a photo of the plug out of morbid interest.
Meanwhile, while I was watering trees and swan wrestling, Geoff was steadily accruing a good bag of fish from peg 16 - he ended the evening with 7 tench between 1 1/2 and 2 lb, 3 roach, 1 rudd and a gudgeon (no bag is complete without a gudgeon).
31 July 2018
Duncan and Geoff decided that it was time to empty the rearing cage which Duncan created last year. Last year we had populated the cage by sweeping fry out of the lake with a fine net. The result was a large number of sticklebacks, a few roach and one little carp. This year Duncan had decided that we should take some of the weed from the corner of the lake where the carp were spawning and dump that in the rearing cage. The weed was covered in little eggs so hope were high (as always).
The harvest was a big improvement on last year -- 5 little carp and 3 tiny carp. The little carp were about 8.5 cms and the tiny ones from 2.5 to 3 cms. The larger ones were a silver colour with a lateral line scale count of 35-38 and two pairs of barbels indicating Wildies. The tiny ones were a distinct chestnut colour but identification problematic due to loss of scales, but the one with a full set of scales showed a lateral line count of 30 which would indicate common carp. No barbels could be detected due to the small size of the fish.
I would think that the two sizes of fish indicate that they were different species with different growth rates or different food requirements. I have put images of the two different types on the left of the column. Click on the images to enlarge them.
It will be interesting to repeat the process next year but take two or three smaller clumps of weed separated by a few days during the spawning season to try to catch different species, and perhaps restrain out patience and let the fish grow for longer in the cage before emptying it. Maybe if there are some very tiny fish present, as we found this year, to leave them in the cage for longer still. Lots to look forward to!
One of the tiny ones. Between 2.5 and 3cms long. Probably a Common carp.
JP went fishing again on peg 4 and caught Stella (a Mirror) at 8-10-00 and also a baby Crucian - or is it? This time we had photographic evidence! It certainly looked like a Crucian but we did not have a close-up of its mouth to check for barbules. I checked on the internet to see what to look out for and found that a true Crucian should have a scale count along the lateral line of 32 to 34 and this baby only had 29 so it was a hybrid.
I received this email from JP with plenty pf photos to choose from so I have put a few in a slider below. (Click on the arrows either side change to the next photo.)
Finally got Chris to go fishing. We arrived about 6:30pm and thought he will do a few hours but he was loved his session so much. He caught 56 fish in total, majority was roach but he did get 1 mirror / 1 cruisian / 3 tench / 3 Rudd / 2 gudgeon / 1 chub - I think and the rest was the roach.
I've attached the best ones of the his session. He was only using his small rod on the waggler using maggot/4mm expander and crushed halibut for ground bait."
What a cracking session from peg 4. Congratulations Chris and many thanks to gillie and photographer JP.
The mirror carp is named Aramis and was caught in May this year by Geoff weighing 4-02-00.
The crucian carp in Llyn Alarch is/are a bit of a mystery. We stocked them in December 2012 in our initial stocking along with many other fish, nearly all of which were eaten by otters. We restocked the lake in 2013 (after making an Otter-proof fence) but did not include any crucians. We thought they had all perished until Geoff caught one in April last year. I think Chris's catch today was the fourth time a crucian has been caught here but frustratingly none have had a distinctive marking of any kind and they have all been about the same size. Are they four different fish or the same one caught four times??
To deepen the mystery Ian Campbell caught a baby carp a few weeks ago. The Common carp have a pair of barbules (barbels or whiskers) at each corner of its mouth but they are not present on the Crucian carp. This baby did not have any barbules! So It's a ... hang on a minute ... it ain't that simple ... if you cross a Crucian carp with a Common you have an F1 hybrid which is similar in many ways to both parents but does not have any barbules. So it could be a Crucian or it could be an F1 Hybrid. We still don't know if we have more than one Crucian carp in the lake. Agghhh!!
Geoff'f two at once. A total of 10-04-00 in the net at one time. Apparently the liked one another's company so never struggled at all while they were having their photos taken - ahh.
This is one of the three baby bream caught from the lake in the last 12 months. We are delighted that they have bred successfully
Geoff with Spot at 10-02-00 which is the heaviest fish caught from the lake to date.
Real name Longscale
Real name Longscale
If you click to enlarge the image you may see the rosette of maformed scales above the tip of the pelvic fin
I was delighted to catch a baby common carp - about 4 1/2 inches long. Sorry no photo because it fell off the hook as I gazed at it in astonishment. Pole fishing with expander pellets on peg 20 (by the seat on the dark side where Geoff often fishes for carp). We will wonder endlessly whether it was the little one that we released from the rearing cage last year.
Crawled out of bed early to make the most of the early morning bonanza and at 7.30 am the lake resembled one that you might find if you travelled back in time to a period before fish life had evolved on Earth. Nothing stirred or splashed or swirled or rose - not even a bubble. So much for early morning fishing. They woke up about 9 o'clock when Rob Shelley (aka Rob Penybont) arrived followed by Berry who could waken the dead never mind some sleepy fish. I packed up about 1.00 pm when it went dead having caught 9 Tench and a carp on peg 15 in the shallows. Berry packed up a bit later having hooked and lost 2 carp and landed a trout and several tench from peg 19 (on the dark side). Rob had caught a carp and a bream, a few tench and a couple of small roach.
When I had finished watering the small trees we had planted in the Spring I went back to Rob who had caught a tench and another bream and caught a very nice roach while I was talking to him. He had discovered that if he belted in a few balls of groundbait the fish woke up. Duncan emailed me to say that Rob had ended the day with 2 Wildies (about 4 pounds each), 3 Bream (best about 3 pounds), 14 tench (best about 3 pounds) and loads of roach with two about a pound and a half. All from peg 24 (also known as Lance's peg) where he had boldly gone without asking nor receiving permission. But joking apart it was a wonderful catch particularly as the fishing seemed to have died. He was using expander pellets on a reasonably long pole. I have just put some more groundbait in the car.
May has certainly been a wonderful month for tench and Duncan was telling me that Rob had over 20 again yesterday. I caught a red spotted tench a few days ago but it was not the same fish as Rob caught. Like Rob's it was fit and well and seemed completely unaffected by its bright red tattoos.- maybe it's a fashion thing!
The carp seemed to have finished spawning and the wildies, which were gaining a portlyness which almost mimicked a common carp, have returned to their former slim lines. I caught one today (Split Tail) which had lost 10 ounces over the spawning period (cf. images on the left).
The Roach which are abundantly obvious as they swim around in shoals seem to be uncatchable at the moment but some nice big bream turn up regularly to join in feeding with the tench.
There is an old saying about sleep that an hour before eleven is worth two after seven - well with the fishing at the moment I would say that you catch ten times as many in an hour before midday as after it
The hot sunny weather causes the fish to leave the cool water near the bottom of the lake and go sunbathing in the warm surface layers. The odd tench may still be active and that master of the long pole and deep water fishing Rob Penybont, managed to do just that, and what an odd tench it was. It was spattered with blood red spots! It, or one very similar to it, had been caught before so if you catch it yourself take a snap of it and we will see if it is the same fish or if their are more of them. A quick troll of the internet reveals that it does occur occasionally in tench but nobody seemed prepared to put a name to it. It does not seem to harm the fish but its cause, whether viral or genetic was not revealed.
Geoff and I fished the afternoon and evening and caught 4 carp on floating baits the best being Pinchscale at 7-15-00.
April continued to fish well with Geoff getting carp from time to time but Geoff took time off to go to improve his education by visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors in Liverpool and learning to speak Scouser proper like. While the cat's away............................... JP caught Spot at 10-06-00. He was fishing with a pop-up from 11/12. He was using sweetcorn on his other rod to try for the Tench and caught a Wildie at 6-04-00. Not bad for a short session.
Another correction. JP emailed "hi lance! just seen on the website both spot and wildy was caught on a 8m pellet. spot on a method feeder and the wildie on a pellet cone / bottom bait rig." Straight from the horse's mouth, althoughI think an 8 metre pellet would have stretched even Spot's mouth - a case of the missing "c" I presume.
Saturday Berry and I started just before lunch then Mick Wilkes turned up followed by JP. Berry amused himself catching trout on a worm and I persevered on the biscuits. Mick landed 14 tench on expander pellets fishing long poles from peg 6, ranging from 8oz to 2lb. JP and I caught 4 Wildies from pegs 14 and 15 on dog biscuits.
Geoff turned up about 6.00 pm just before I packed up which meant that we all went home before Geoff could demonstrate his star turn from peg 25. It started simply enough with a 4lb 5oz Common carefully returned after taking his boilie. Next it was the turn of the floating dog biscuit to attract the attention of a 5lb Wildie followed a few seconds later by the boilie working its magic again on a 5 1/4lb Wildie. JP waved gaily to Geoff as he drove off, a gesture which Geoff found difficult to return as he had a seriously bending rod in each hand! Somehow he managed to net them both in the same net. When I have the photo of the weary wildies I will put it alongside the report here.
The lake seems to be fishing well at the moment.
Sunday Rob back on peg 6 had 25 tench from a pound to 2lb 6oz. Someone said he had left them at home last Wednesday! It was a wonderful catch and he deserves many congratulations.
Correction!! It was 27 tench and it was from peg 25 in the rhododendrons.
April 14 Saturday. Glorious summer's day for getting sunburnt on the beach
15 Sunday. cold and blustery wind. Rob fished from peg 6 and had 17 tench.
16 Monday. I managed a Wildie ( Split Tail 5-03-00) on pole fished expander pellets from peg 26
17 Tuesday. I tried out a whip with maggots as the sun beat down and caught about 25 trout and 2 roach.
The flick tip is great for small fish and the elasticated top makes a lovely light pole.
18 Wednesday JP had two mirror carp Alistair and One Sided. Rob fished from peg 6 again and had a
tench and a bream first thing then practically nothing the rest of the day.
19 Thursday Geoff had 2 Wildies
20 Friday The Deadly Duo of carpeters from Rhayader had three carp and lost a couple more on floating baits. I managed to land a small Wildie on floating dog biscuit.
Quick round-up. The fluctuating weather has made fishing very patchy. A short warm spell and the fish start to feed then a cold wind blows and everything stops. Then it tips the rain down and melts some snow and everything stops. Then it tips the rain down but remains mild and the fish feed. Then the water clears and everything stops. The the sun shines and warms the water anad the fish feed. Then a cold wind blows.......... and so it goes on
I caught a mirror pole fishing close to the reeds in the shallow end (Peg 14) expander pellet.
Geoff had a nice mirror on a boilie, then hooked a monster which eventually came free as Geoff had to put the brakes on as it tried for the cages, Then he changed to sweetcorn and landed a small common followed by a hefty Wildie.
I have never seen the lake so coloured following a downpour. Back to Peg 14 dropping the rig over the edge of the reeds using a 6 mm Halibut pellet hair-rigged to a size 10. Caught 2 rudd and one Mirror.
Fishing again after about a fortnight. Lake very coloured after heavy rain. Fished the pole with luncheon meat and sweetcorn from peg 6. Had a couple of roach, a tench and a bream which went spot on 3lbs. Geoff caught a common named Fifa at 6-08-00 and had the hook come out of another one. He was using a pop-up on a method feeder from peg 7 casting up into the bay.
Bream seem to have an image problem. If you catch a tench nearly every angler you talk to says how much they like tench, but if you say you have caught a bream you iinvariably get the horrible slime, snot up the line reaction. The bream in Llyn Alarch do not seem to have much more slime than a roach and certainly not as much as a tench. Tench have much more presence that a bream however; bream seem very aloof and indifferent whereas the tench is a bundle of energy who is cross with himself at being caught and can't wait to go back and pinch your ground bait without being caught next time.
March 28, 29 and 30
Geoff catches 5 carp, the biggest being Spot at 10-02-00 on the 30th so I have put a photo of him with Spot directly beneath his previous notable fish.
Mick put the whip to one side and fished feeder and sweetcorn to catch 2 Commons at 8lb and 4lbs from peg 6.
Over on the Dark Side Geoff on Peg 20 had 2 Mirror carp ( 4lb and 4 1/4lb) and one Wildie (3 1/2lb). JP had a tench named Black Mark at 2lb from peg 4.
I continued my self imposed task of digging out nettles and brambles around the little trees that Duncan has planted.
Mick Wilkes showed his match-fishing credentials by catching over 50 roach, 3 tench and a baby bream on bread punch from peg 26 using an elasticated whip.
Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
I won't bore you with how I accidentally reset the combination on the car park gate lock while I was filling it with Vaseline so had to get a new one which didn't have instructions on how to set the combination so I had to go back to the shop to find out and Duncan insisting on showing me the northside boundary alongside the brook from the spillway and Duncan insisting that it was Wenesday and that we should have a delivery of fish for the river and the troutman insisting that it was Tuesday and he would deliver them tomorrow as arranged and Duncan insisting that it was the fault of the Council for changing the day they collected the bins.
I started with my slider again at 2.00 pm from peg 6 in front of the hut where the deepest water is about 20 yards out. I caught a nice roach about 12 oz and at 5.30 put on a light ledger and caught a roach about 4 inches long.
In retrospect I think that precision groundbaiting and less of it would have gone a long way towards catching a lot more fish. I will have to get one of those little boats.
Decided to try slider float fishing - watched the YouTube videos - got the large shot, tiny beads, large wagglers, adapters - learned to tie stop knots - loaded the Shimano with 6 pound Maxima - dug out the ground bait catapults - brushed the snow off peg 25 (the Rhododendron peg) - mixed the groundbait - set up the tackle and started fishing and eating my packed lunch about 2 pm. Two things quickly became apparent - the deep water I wanted to fish into was much nearer the other side of the lake and groundbait is very bad for my teeth! I decided that six feet at 35 yards would have to do. But then the tooth wear started. Balls of groudbait went 25, 45, 85, 50 and 60 yards and I then remembered what I found so attractive about pole-fishing - potting in groundbait. I will have to get one of those little boats that the carp boys use. I caught a 4 inch trout on double pinkies and went home with a sunburnt nose.
Tidying up the branches and brambles from the back of peg 8 where Duncan wants to plant a Hemlock tree. Good health exercise with snow in the air.
Didn't do much good in the deep water yesterday but today tried up at Peg 9. The bubbles from the groundbait showed that by incorporating a few large chipping in the ball of groundbait I could keep most of it within 5 feet of where it was dropped in. I ended up with 29 roach, 4 rudd and 3 trout - most were on double pinkies. Tony fished in front of the hut (Peg 6) with maggots and sweetcorn and had 11 trout, 11 roach and 4 perch. he had a carp on for a while and saw the fish before it shed the hook. He had another fish on which stretched his elastic but he didn't see the fish.
I was using orange Hydrolastic with 2.5 lb hooklength to a size 18 barbless PR490 which is a light fine wire hook. Full range of roach from tiny to the last one of the day which was well over the pound mark.
I have fished with maggots and pinkies for the last couple of weeks and in the coloured water I have been fishing fairly heavy because of the higher chance of hooking a carp but my catch rate has been woeful. So today I will try more maggot friendly tackle to see if I must change to expander pellets or if maggots and pinkies will work. I dont know why the fussy fish in this lake keep turning their nose up at maggots. I blamed it on the trout but they haven't been much in evidence recently either.
Rob and Tony took up their positions opposite one another. Tony fished maggots and bread punch and caught a tench, roach, perch and trout while Rob had 7 tench and a fair number of roach on pellets and sweetcorn.. Interestingly on Sunday (11th) Rob had lots of rudd but no roach and on Tuesday fishing the same swim with the same baits and methods he had lots of roach but no rudd. Different height and colour of the water and a different result.
Geoff had a Memorable Catch - a 5 inch Bream. This is the second little home bred skimmer that we have caught. He caught it on worm, along with a Rudd and a big Roach after fishing for an hour with maggots.
Rob Shelley and Tony White fished opposite one another at the deep end (Rob Peg 26 and Tony Peg 2/3). Rob fished with expander pellets and sweetcorn and had Rudd, Tench and a big bream. Tony used maggots and bread punch and had trout as well. Tony caught a couple of Chub (about 12 oz and 14 oz) on maggots by trotting down the current where the stem enters the lake.
Overnight rain had made the water murky.I started about 10.00 and finished about 3.30. I perch, about 8 trout and two fine roach about a pound each on pole fished pinkies. Most were caught in the morning. Geoff fished for about an hour but had no luck.
Still some ice on the lake but disintegrating quickly. Cleared some more brambles to warm myself. Started fishing after lunch. Geoff turned up and caught Porthos (4-04-00) on a method feeder with a pop-up boilie. I had about a dozen trout, two perch and 4 roach all on double pinkies. Groundbaiting by potting it in so much more accurate than my throwing!
The ice has retreated from about a third of the lake but probably will be all gone by tomorrow. I fished for about three hours with maggots, pinkies and groundbait. I will try the pole tomorrow because I am so bad at throwing groundbait. I caught six trout - the last about 1 1/2 lb - lost a few others but I think they were trout as well. The water was the classic cloudy green of melted snow but the air was quite mild.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
I am sorry if you are a bit confused to find that you are back in January but as a result of popular request I have reversed the chronological sequence of the column. In other words the latest news is at the top and the oldest at the bottom.