Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Kite, Cats and.....

At last the 2 day fishing/social trip to Oxford was here. Time for some fun in the sun (hopefully).

The venue for one of this years pikers pits socials was the Orchid Lake fishery in Oxfordshire.
We were fishing the Club Lake, which is home to the Wels Catfish.

Left home mid afternoon on the Thursday for the two and a half hour drive to the fishery. Traffic was its usual leave and after a couple of pit stops, I arrived at the fishery in good time.

After I had met up with the rest of the group, we draw for pegs, my name was first out of the hat and I picked peg number 5. This peg had lots on offer, snags, overhanging trees and bushes, open water and a  small bay. Hopefully, one of these area's would hold a catfish or two.

 I soon have the bivvy up and soon the two rods out. Being newish to catfishing, I decided to opt for 12ft 3.5tc rods, with my trustworthy Shimano Arelex 7000 reels, which were loaded with Big Game 25lb mainline. The hooklinks were made from Quicksilver 45lb braid and the hooks with eagle weave, sizes 2 - 4/0 depending on the bait.

For bait, I had brought along a small selection along with me these including large/small halibut pellets, tins of luncheon meat, whole squid and large lobworms.

The first baits to go out was a whole squid on a running ledger under the far bank trees, with a scattering of halibut pellets and attractor, and the margin rod was baited with five juicy lobworms on a dumbell rig.

Now I no expert on catfish, and I still waiting to land one of these giant tadpoles, but the organiser of the event was quietly confident that some would come out over the next 3 days.

So with the rods out and the bivvy set, there was not much to do exempt have a yarn and a cup of earl grey with a slice of victoria sponge.

As the afternoon turned to evening it was time for the social arm of the event to kick off, so after reeling in the baits we head off to sample some of the delights the cook had brought along. Tonight it was hommus with french sitick for starter and the main was beef curry, all washed done with some John Smiths and a couple of glasses of Roja.

Soon the sun was descending and it wa time to head back to the rods and get the baits out for the night. I was sticking with my baited areas from the afternoon and with precision cast the squid landed on the far bank trees. A couple of hand fulls of pellets were catapulted out over the bait, to hopefully draw the cats out of their liars.

As darkness draw on the first night, the bites started. To be honest, the squid was left alone, but the worms were being battered by nocturnal feeding carp and a couple of time they even managed to draw me out of the warmth of the sleeping bag.

Night turned to dawn, and with that the nights silence was broken by the birds, I was soon up and inspecting the baits. The squid, which seem to have remained intact, had drawn the attentions of something, as upon inspection, the squids head was missing. The lobworms were another matter. All the battering during the night had left very little left.

Both baits were replaced and rods recast, in the hope that a cats would still be on the prowl. This is when I saw my first red Kite over the Oxford countryside, flying above me looking for breakfast. After I had breakfast  time myself, I reeled the rods in and wend for a walkabout. The other catfishers were slowly stirring from their night time slumbers.

The day was uneventful on the fishing front for me, and in fact no catfish were caught for the whole two days. Some of the lads brought float or quiver rods and managed to winkle out some nice tench, bream and a solitary double figure carp. But my catfish baits remained untouched for the whole weekend.

Whilst I didn't catch, it was nicet being out again on the bank for a weekend. Something I hope to do again soon once there weather turns into something resembling summer.


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