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Diary of an average angler

This diary dates back to a holiday in 2003 when I think the urge to get back into fishing took off.
From around 2007 the trips became more frequent with 2010/11 probably being the peak of activity.
Things again pick up in 2020 - a sort of rebirth!

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The Clay Pit (17)

Side pond

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Arrival time: 09.45
Weather: Chilly with a weak sun and windy. Clouding over later.
Tackle: Hardy 11' 6" Marksman Specimen Avon, Allcocks 4" centrepin, preloaded waggler, 6lb line direct to 12 eyed hook.
Baits: Dead maggots, sweetcorn, bread flake, cheese paste.
Fish: Three tench, one small roach and a tiny perch.

After around four weeks of coughing and nose blowing with a cold, or perhaps some other virus, this was my first trip out in just under a month. I decided to give the rivers a miss in view of the recent heavy rain and rising levels. Instead I went to the side pond at the Clay Pit where I have had fairly consistent sport, although I wasn't too confident this late in the year.

I got my usual spot, noting that the water level was well up on previous visits, a consequence of all the rain. There were a couple of carp anglers on the main pit, just over the other side of the pond from where I was fishing. Otherwise it was very quiet.

I took what bait I had at home, comprising dead maggots left over from my session a month ago, kept in the freezer, some sweetcorn, and a couple of slices of Hovis seedy bread that was out of date and not too soft.

I prebaited with a little sweetcorn and a few maggots, and started fishing with a single grain of corn. But there were no takers. I swapped to a bunch of maggots and soon had a bite, but I didn't connect. I hooked a small fish on the next bite but it came off. Probably a small roach. The next one I landed, a bigger although not big roach. At least I was getting bites.

roach

The first fish - a roach
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tench in reeds

The first tench fights to get into the reeds

second tench netted

The second tench netted.

miniscule perch

A very tiny perch!

last tench - rod curve

Battling the last tench

last tench comes to net

The last and biggest tench comes to the net

tench 3lb 6oz

Last tench 3lbs 6oz.

A change to bread flake using the out-of-date seedy bread produced a more positive bite and a better fish was on. It turned out to be an unexpected tench that entangled itself in reed stems just in front of me. I managed to get the net under it before it could unhook itself but then needed to get on my hands and knees to break off the reed stem in order to free the float and line.

It wasn't a massive fish, probably a bit under 2lb, but it was a good result on a cold windy day. Fortunately the corner of the pond where I was fishing was largely sheltered from the strong wind. I had been there about 45 minutes.

Worried about the crumbly bread remaining on the hook I switched to cheese paste, which had worked on a previous visit. But not on this occasion. So I switched back to bread and around 11.30 I hooked into another tench. It fought harder and was bigger, but as I netted it I noticed that it was in fact foul-hooked below the mouth, which was unfortunate. I would say it was was probably around 2┬Żlbs.

I continued switching between maggots, sweetcorn and bread, getting a tiny perch on maggots during this period. I had to wait until just after one o'clock until a firm bite, on maggots, produced the last and best tench of the session. It fought very hard and I thought it might be a small carp at one point. It was fairly hooked and weighed in at 3lb 6oz, quite a decent fish for the pond.

This was to be my last fish, although I had a few more bites on maggots, which I missed. These were probably smaller fish and my end tackle wasn't actually ideal for hooking them. I stuck with the larger hook as I knew there was a possibility of tench.

So, although I wasn't too sure how things would pan out, the session actually turned out to be quite productive. Certainly better than I expected. Next stop the rivers provided things calm down a bit.

© 2023 Robert Bassett

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