Monday, 22 April 2013
Off the Mark
Sunday morning saw the alarm sound early, but instead of getting straight up I laid in bed for another 45 minutes before I couldn't resist the urge to get out on the bank. The trouble was it was minus 2 outside with a frost. So much for spring.
With a slightly heavy heart, I went through the motions of getting the animals fed, me fed and baits out of the various cupboards and cool bags (maggots are ban from the fridge now).
I finally set off for the lake a little after 06:00, later than planned, but with the frost on the car that the extra time in bed was worth while.
After driving along the country lanes to the lake, the cars' temperature gauge showed that it wasn't getting much warming, in fact the temperature was dropping and the fog was rolling in across the fields. Now normally, I would be commenting on the wonderful sight of the wildlife on route, but alas today I couldn't see sod all apart from the old rabbit sitting in the middle of the road waiting to be run over.
I arrived at the lake and parked up, not a sole in sight, just how I like it, and was soon lugging the gear to a predetermined swim based on the wind direction. The swim or peg is positioned on a steep bank, which can make setting up troublesome, but it has a number of features both close in and out in the middle.
I was soon setting up the rods, but due to the fog, I couldn't picture the distance I needed to put the bait out at, so the marked float was deployed, after some impromptu feature finding.
Whilst setting up, a text had come through from a mate, asking if I was alone or not. As my reply was yes, he decided to join me at the venue, rather than at his last water which wasn't challenging enough.
I soon had a feature found, a bar at about 40 yards with 2ft of extra water either side of it. This was to be the main feature for the days session.
Three rods carp style were deployed, all on self hook / bolt rigs, two with feeders (open and method) and one with a lead. Baits were a mixture of pinkies and maggot, imitation maggot and 10mm Nash Squid boillie.
The method mix was one from my local bait supplier (Lake Wizard) which is a fishmeal based mix with additives.
I soon had all three rods out and sat back in the fog with the first brew of the day. As the fog was being burn off the first of the action started and a nice 8-10oz roach hung itself on the rig. This was soon unhooked and returned. As the sun started to burn through, then jagged roach bites increased and I soon had another roach self hooked and on the bank, trouble was the gear was abit heavy for roach, but they were a welcome sight on a cold morning.
With the sun shining, the entire lake and the surrounding countryside seemed to be waking up from the winter solace. The warblers were singing in the reeds, the carp with jumping for joy and the bees were busily collecting much needed nectar. The whole place was alive including the fish. With roach and rudd topping over the lakes surface, their movements stirred the predators lurking below and soon vast shoals of fry were being scattered by shoals of hungry, hunting perch.
By lunch, the mornings tally was four roach and rudd, all in pristine condition, but no sign of the bream or tench that i was craving. To be far, conditions were far from ideal for either species and I did resign myself to catching the occasional roach, rudd and maybe a skimmer. But that thought was premature.
Soon the alarm was sounding, but instead of the ultra light bobbin just rattling, the line was being pulled through it and the baitrunner on the reel was signing with a running fish. I struck and felt the weight of a fish and wasn't sure what I had hooked, tench, bream or carp?????
After a short but spirited fight, the first bream of the season was on the surface and in the net. Nothing huge, but a very welcome fish of about 4lb. It was noticeable that this was a male, as it had already started to show the white spots or tubercles that the male fish get prior to spawning time.
The rod was baited again and recast, it wasn't long before another rod was away and another male bream of a similar size was in the net, but this one had a damaged mouth, probably from it having an encounter with a carper last season.
As the afternoon rolled on, I soon had three bream landed, with the biggest being 5/6lb. But the sun was now shining very brightly and the the bites dried up. The boillie was changed to a maggot bait and the lead replaced with a feeder.
15:30 came with a bang, and the baitrunner was away again, and another battling male bream was kiting across the swim in an attempt to get its self in a tangle with the other rods. Another bream in the 4lb class, and this was followed by another in quick succession.
The day was getting on, and the pinkies had been finished, so another opened feeder was deployed for the last hour of the day. The wind picked up and the sun disappeared, and with that the bites started again, alas I was running out of time, but I did manage one final bream at final knockings.
By the end of the day, the count was four roach, two rudd and seven bream.
It was soon time to pack up, and on reflection, it was a good day, nothing huge, but the three species all welcome as it gives me three target species to fish for on this particular venue along with the elusive tinca, which as yet haven't made an appearance, still in bed I guess.