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Arrival time: 09.20
Weather: Fresh start, warming up later with sun and light cloud. NW breeze.
Tackle: Hardy 11' 6" Marksman Specimen Avon, Allcocks 4" centrepin, preloaded waggler, 6lb line. Started with 12 hook, later changing to 14 and then to 10.
Baits: Sweetcorn, bread flake and luncheon meat with hemp loose feed.
Fish: Mostly rudd with a couple of roach and one perch.
After the Clay Pit last week I fancied another session on a stillwater. I had struggled on the streams this season, finding them more heavily weeded than normal, and had also been avoiding venues requiring too much walking because of problems with my hip. So I set off to Fields End Waters which is very local. I was, however, a bit worried as to how busy it would be given the Indian summer we're enjoying, and sure enough it was literally full when I left at around 3.00pm.
Unsurprisingly my favourite spot was taken and the second favourite 'reed corner' was cordoned off, presumably because of some safety issue with the platform. I slotted into the swim next to the reed corner, a spot I hadn't fished before. With a long reed bed to the left and trees to the right it was secluded and not liable to disturbance from an adjacent swim. So, the prospects were favourable.
I prebaited just off the left reed bed with sweetcorn before tackling up and commenced fishing with corn on a waggler. I'm a bit passionate about float fishing although most of the other anglers on the lake were of the '2 rod + bait runner fraternity', after carp naturally. Despite a few tickles on the float it was a very slow start, a change to bread flake not improving matters.
As I was having to wait for what few bites I got, I decided to change to luncheon meat in the hope that the wait might result in a carp or barbel. In the event, on the first cast the meat was taken by a decent rudd on the drop. And this is how the session continued, with rudd either taking on the drop or soon after the bait had settled. Reverting to bread just didn't produce the same results.
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Inquisitive young grebe
The first rudd
Playing a rudd
A rudd comes to the net
I proceeded to take a number of good rudd and a couple of roach, with one perch also on luncheon meat. Unfortunately, I only had a small amount of luncheon meat, the leftovers from a previous trip, and when it ran out I was unable to entice the fish on bread. By this stage I had taken probably in the region of eight fish, mostly of a decent size, as well as missing a fair number of bites. I also 'felt' fish on the strike on a number of occasions but didn't connect. On one such occasion the line parted! I'm sure it wasn't because of the size of the fish, although it felt reasonable, but was more likely due to line damage. I had recovered the hook and line from adjacent trees on a few occasions.
With the action drying up I put out a large piece of bread flake, once again hoping for a passing carp, but nothing came of it. All that happened was that smaller fish nibbled away at the flake causing tremors on the float but nothing else. The flake came back a shadow of its former self!
At the last knockings I took the shot off the line and cast a floating crust out to where a carp had passed on the surface. But it didn't return and soon after I packed up, having been on the lake for around six hours. As an indication of how busy it was, a chap arrived and was waiting for me to leave so he could move into the swim.
I had been aware of a number of carp being taken around the lake, but all it seemed on leger away from the margins. The guy who was in my favourite spot certainly caught in this way and it's difficult to know whether I would have had more success in that spot margin fishing. Probably not. This venue used to be great for margin fishing, often producing good mixed bags, but I think the pressure on the fishing these days has made this approach more difficult. No doubt it would be better around dusk if I could have stayed until then.