Happy New Year. A good fishing day with a chance to catch a carp before the cold weather, forecast to start tonight, kills it for a few days. Rob was using the long pole again from the Rhododendron peg (25) with expanders and sweetcorn. He had a couple of bream and a roach/bream hybrid (c. a pound and a half) along with numerous roach while I was tackling up next door (26) with two rods for carp (which I rarely do). A toffee and Scopex pop-up (white and cream) with a pellet feeder on one towards the dam and a fluorescent orange Scopex and blackcurrant pop-up with another pellet feeder swung out about 2 yards in front of the stage.
Geoff turned up and went to relax at peg 20 (a proper carp angler with electronic arms - sorry - alarms). Then JP and Chris took over peg 6 (in front of the fishing hut) and JP caught roach on a pole while Chris looked after the carp rod and method feeder.
I was very sure of myself and had equipped myself with one of the new big nets so when the rod bent over and the ensuing battle resulted in a tench about a pound and a half it looked a bit lost. However at twenty to three Rachel at 4-15-00 (Mirror) made history as the first carp from the water this year and the first carp to grace one of the new nets.
It was only just in time as Chris landed a Common at 4-06-00 about 20 minutes later using one of the new nets. Chris had a good afternoon landing his first chub and a small hybrid named Coppercarp. This was first caught on the 15 October 2018 and the greedy thing has been caught several times since.
Click to enlarge
We had the first ice of the Winter on Saturday (2nd). I cleared a spot in front of peg 26 (one up from the dam on the dark side) but didn't have a bite until 20 to 4 and ended with 1 trout, 2 roach and 4 perch, I put in some micropellets and a few maggots and pinkies. I didn't get a touch on pinkies for some reason but had them all on large red maggots.
Sunday the ice had thickened. By the time I arrived (elderly gentlemen need there bed-rest) Rob had cleared the ice from in front of peg 26 but hadn't had a bite. He was using expander pellets but had a delayed start as the pellet pump froze up on him. He helped me to clear a strip from peg 1 parallel to the dam wall out to the clear patch in front of the spillway. I lent him some maggots and pinkies with instruction to share tham with the robin or he would turn violent (the robin that is !). Geoff turned up in time to advise me where to fish as I plumbed the swim. Small quantities of micropellets, pinkies and maggots were added to the swim. First cast with a single fluorescent pink pinkie on a size 20 to 1.8lb hooklength resulted in in a common carp of 4-13-00 gracing the net.
The modern waggler rod is amazingly forgiving when using light lines. I bought one last year and ditched my Shimano match rod which had served me well for about 30 years but would not have coped with carp hooked on 1.8lb line. It didn't need to prove anything with the rest of my catch of about a dozen small perch. Rob hooked a good fish momentarily but the hook pulled out. He landed a nice trout but had a frustrating day as he knew that if he could have been able to fish another yard further out he would have caught several more.
Monday the ice had nearly all gone by lunchtime and Geoff emerged blinking in the sunlight. I fished the Rhododendron peg (25) and caught a lot of small roach and nearly had sunstroke while Geoff was nearly frozen to death in the shadows at peg 6 in front of the hut. He caught a wildie named Curly at 5-04-00 on expander pellets so it was all worth while.
Tuesday (5th) I fished out from 2/3, (the disabled platform next to the car park), half way across into about ten feet of water. Micropellets, pinkies and maggots again but there seemed to be an abundance of tiny roach so I fished with large red maggots and caught quite a number of six to eight ounce roach. Fishing deep water with very fine line and a gusty wind is a recipe for tangles and three times I spent ages trying to sort them out only to cut it all off and start from scratch. Then, glory be, I went to move the float in a yard and found that I was attached to a heavy fish (well heavy compared to an eight ounce roach). I quickly realised from its fighting ability (the apt comparison to a hot water bottle) that it was a big fat bream but was stunned when it surfaced to see a common carp on the end. I quickly bundled it into the net. The cold from the thawing ice had slowed it right down but Geoff had to speak very sternly to it before it would lie still to be photographed. (Right Scar 4-05-00).
Geoff was having lots of gentle bites so I gave him some 4mm expanders but that didn't do any good. When he went back to the 6mm ones he had been using he had more bites but still no fish so I gave him a few maggots and pinkies. That did no good either. He was convinced that it was a carp playing with it but we will never know.
The forecast was for heavy rain all day and they were right but it did not stop some hardy souls from fishing. Mick Wilkes showed what can be done with a waggler and maggots at Llyn Alarch. This was his email to Geoff and yours truly :-
Despite the atrocious weather and missing the rugby I had a good day up the lake. Found a less windy peg (first one past the footbridge) and started by catching plenty of good sized roach on maggot/waggler, then followed bream, tench and carp. Also a couple of very big trout...one of which must have been nudging 3lb! Ended with a total of 3 mirror carp, the largest we weighed at 8lb so around 7 1/2lb minus the net, the other 2 around 4lb & 5lb.
All in all a good day for catching fish if not for fishing!
Photos attached for ID.
My reply :-
What a cracking days sport. You deserve it fishing in that weather. I had to smile at the first fish I saw (154918) because its name is Tempest as it was caught in similar conditions to those of yesterday by Berry on 18.11.15 weighing 3-00-00. Second was Winifred(164251) and third was our largest Mirror named Stella (170556). Geoff will fill you in with the latest weights,
You don’t need many trout of that size spawning up the brook to fill the lake with little trout in a few months time.
My computer has been on the blink but I’m glad I got it back online to see your email.
Keep up the good work, Lance
The picture on the left shows Mick in his Winter bikini.
Mick with Stella c.7 1/2lb 16.3.19
Good day for Carp fishing at Llyn Alarch. No overnight frost and a high of 5 degrees forecast. Three anglers fished the best part of the day and Berry made a guest appearance for a couple of hours. Rob caught 2 Mirrors, Podge (5-04-00) and Kate (5-02-00), Geoff caught Duncan (that is a carp named Duncan not a world renowned kilt dancer) weighing 6-11-00, I caught a Crucian carp (about 6 ounces) and Berry caught 2 very nice gudgeon. Berry reckons he hooked a carp but it got off.
Rob was fishing expander pellets to 2lb10oz hooklength using a long pole, Geoff had a rod out for carp but didn't have a touch on that. He hooked his on an expander pellet on a waggler to 3lb line. I had my crucian on a waggler to 2lb 8oz hooklength and an expander pellet. We all caught roach as well and a few tench. Wonderful fishing for mid January.
Rob is very good at playing a carp on a pole and, once he gets his hand on the top-kit and shortens the elastic, he alters the pull on the in so many directions that the carp gives up in bewilderment.
So I thought I would show you a virtuoso performance of Rob with his top-kit and a carp named Kate.
A lovely sunny morning with a touch of Winter about it. Rob had a bit of trouble picking out an expander pellet because ice had formed on top of the water they were soaking in. That was soon forgotten as he hooked a carp on his pole fishing from peg 6. It was a lovely Wildie weighing 4-12-00
I went back to my roots and ledgered sweetcorn from peg 4 and had a nice tench followed by a Wildie of 3-12-00 which I named Squiggle. Geoff was fishing from peg 6 and had 2 Trout, 2 Tench, 2 Roach and rounded it off with everyone's favourite - a plump Gudgeon!
Geoff reports :-
2 Bream ,,,, 3 lb 3 oz and 2 lb 8 oz
2 Tench ,,, , 1 lb 8 oz and 1 lb 4 oz approx
2 Gudgeon ,,, 1 * 7 " and 1 * 6 "
1 Chub,, 2 lb 13 oz
10 Roach ,,, up to 12 oz
All caught on 6mm expander pellets
Despite the colder, more seasonable weather the fishing is still going quite well. The carp have naturally not been much in evidence but all sizes of roach are much in evidence as you would expect but more surprisinly the tench keep popping up. The gudgeon seem to take a dim view of the cold as do the rudd but the bream seem to turn up occasionally which is normal for them.
Geoff caught a couple of tench today on expander pellets as well as some cracking roach.fishing from his favoutite peg 6. I fished with maggots and pinkies from the Rhododendron peg (25) and had about 30 roach from 3 inches to about 14 ounces plus a nice bream of 3-09-00. I had worked out that because of the cold and the clear water the fish would be further out so I mixed up some claggy groundbait incorporating some maggots and pinkies and chucked it out a fair way. I caught a fair number but halfway through the afternoon I swung the tackle out about a rod's length while I poured a cup of coffee.(I don't just drop it in because there always seem to be some litle muddy sticks just waiting there for me.) The rod started jumping up and down and I muttered something about little perch and lifted into a nice roach! So I swung it out again about a rod's length and before I could take more than two swigs of coffee the rod was bouncing up and down again - another roach landed and another theory ruined. It was difficult to fish so close in without frightening the fish so I fished the rest of the session a few rod's out and that is where I caught the bream.
It was a wonderfully bright day, Two days previously it had been exceptionally gloomy and we had packed up at half past three but today we packed up at tweny past four. We both had a Grande Finale, myself with the bream and Geoff with a screaming run on his carp rod which turned out to be a three pound chub. Very variable and very satisfactory.
Geoff has taken to using expander pellets and has done very well with them fishing from his favourite platform in front of the fishing hut (peg 6). This afternoon he had 5 Tench, 8 Roach, 2 Gudgeon and a small trout. One of the tench was a familiar sight - Black Spot with his trademark black mark on his back. Most tench are not easy to distinguish from the herd so one like this is well remembered. At 1-15-00 it was the same weight as when he last caught it in October last year.
Another of Geoff's tench is Dent named after a depression across its back immediately in front of the dorsal fin. He caught it on the 9th of this month for the 4th time (1-08-00). Nobody else has commented on this so Geoff claims it as a unique catch only made possible by his unique abilities. I will put up its image so that if you catch it let me know so that we can reduce his bragging rights!