It was very late friday evening when the plan was made. Bream would be the target for the session the next day and would take place on the venue I tried for them on a few weeks ago. That day, they eluded me but I was rewarded with a lovely tench. You can see the entry here. I must admit though the reason for this late planning was an error on my part. With a little mild weather predicted I had planned to go perch fishing on the canal. A coloured canal with a decent head of good sized perch. I got some lobworms in and some prawns too. Readied any tackle midweek and everything was set. Or was it? I completely forgot the red maggots. Perch fishing without red maggots for me is a definite no no. Change of plan then.
There’s one bait that I think most anglers will always have a supply of. The pellet. I too am no different and on heading to the venue I came to terms with just how much they have changed the face of angling. When people talk about the ‘pellet revolution’, they don’t say these words lightly. What we have here is a versatile, convenient and very productive bait. Used all year round this bait has become almost natural to most fish and on most fisheries. Although not suited to every species, a few soft pellets would certainly stand me in good stead after stillwater bream. Learning from recent mistakes (!) I decided on a ‘Plan B’ too. The worms and prawns were brought with me. I remember a long while ago fishing on the same water with my old man. It was a scorching summer day and my dad was showing me how to fish a waggler shallow for rudd and roach. Well, in truth I did all the casting and catching while he did the real hard work of feeding correctly. We caught a lot of fish, over a hundred, and I needed a break. When my dad took over he immediately caught a few better stamp fish. Curse his ‘luck’ I used to think, and before long he had hooked something much bigger. At first he said it was a small carp but it turned out to be a huge perch. Well over three pound. This water is obviously capable of producing big perch but it was a long time ago though would there still be any? Any effort in trying to find out such things is never effort wasted in my opinion.
Once in the swim I fed a small amount of pellets at the desired length. I float fished for them again today. I love trying to catch any fish on float tackle but bream bites are particularly exciting to watch develop. And for the perch I fished down the margins; to my left a huge bed of reeds and to my right some overhanging trees and reeds. I fed some chopped worms and prawns and would fish these areas every hour or so. There was a chance of anything on these lines not just perch. Carp being especially fond of worm and prawns. I took a few pictures leaving both lines to settled. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and watched a tiny wren looking for insects in the brambles behind me. A few swans flew over head, causing the wren to make its retreat, and with the coffee gone it was time to fish. I started on the ‘bream’ line with a small pellet for bait and didn’t have to wait long for a bite. A slow lift and gradual disappearance of the float could only mean one thing. Bream time!
The fish weighed 3lb 9oz and came in, like most stillwater bream do, without much circumstance. Unusually the bite came after just twenty minutes. In my experience it is unusual to catch so quickly or should that be, so early in the day, on here in winter. I just hoped that this wouldn’t be a bad omen. I fed a few more pellets and gave the swim a while to settle. This gave me and opportunity to have a quick look down both the margin swims but to be honest I felt that these swim would come into play towards dusk. But would I even make it to dusk? The clouds in the distance looked dark and menacing. The wind was getting even stronger too. Ten minutes passed, and I switched back to the bream line. The undertow had picked up significantly now. This required a few more inches of depth to be added to the rig and went some way to stop the float being moved to slowly through the swim. Just as the rig was moving towards the perimeter of the baited area it vanished quickly and another fish was on. The bite was much more positive and from the surging run I knew I had hooked another winter tench. Fishing a 2lb hooklength and a size twenty hook, I couldn’t afford to bully the fish. Even in relatively cold conditions tench are powerful fighters. It took five minutes for the fish to succumb to the gentle pressure I was exerting. Now in the margins, I slowly teased the fish up in the water and with a gulp of air, managed to slide the fish into the net. A few drops of rain began to fall as I did so.
The scales read 5lb 14oz and the tench had made me a very happy angler indeed. With a quick photo taken on the soft grass and dead rushes in the flooded margins, I returned the fish. This is the point I nearly jumped into said margins as a huge bolt of lightning came down behind the tree in the distance. A loud crack of thunder soon followed and the rain became heavier. Another similar flash of lighting and my mind was made. Without an umbrella I thought it best to make a hasty retreat though I desperately wanted to stay. Sure enough as I packed away the last of my tackle, the hailstone rained down and the wind, inevitably, blew it right into my face. It was shocking weather. Truly freakish but quite amazing to watch from the warmth and protection of the car. I let it blow itself out before driving home.
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Until Next time tight lines