I would love to say that I am back to normal and in the swing of things again, yet this weeks been a bit of a unusual one as I have been looking after the girlfriends parents dog. I did manage to put a few hours aside over the weekend to organise my tackle for the week which included chub, perch and roach as well as sorting out a feature called ‘Beating the Freeze’ for Anglers Mail. I also managed to pre-bait a still water on Sunday evening on a tip of from a carp angler; however I’m not revealing the species I’m targeting until results start to come in.
Tuesday and Friday were supposed to be my main fishing days for the week and after doing the necessary jobs on Monday to free these up managed to get an early start the following morning. Heading for a new stretch of the river Loddon I arrived to find the river free of anglers, worrying somewhat when its one of the best big chub stretches on the whole river. In brief, I roved the river for seven hours using breadflake tactics, covering all the likely looking areas throughout the beat for not so much as a tap. The stretch looked uninspiring and lacked features and only one swim looked as if it had been fished. I will return though as I know it contains chub that will smash my personal best, however I will probably only spend a morning on this stretch before moving onto another one which I fished a few years ago.
Wednesday evening I was once again on a pre-baiting mission and managed to get out for a few hours at dusk the following evening after completing the Anglers Mail feature. I wanted to do this feature on Gold Valley as I was confident of putting together a 20-30lb bag of quality perch and roach but at the last minute this had to be changed to a river. The river Wey through Farnham is always good for a few fish, yet with this running clear and cold there was never going to be a big bag of dace and the chub were always going to be difficult and after three hours trotting a dozen or so dace to 8oz had fallen as well as three chub to 3lb 8oz and a trout. Paul Garner stopped of for a chat on his way back from Essex which was good.
Back at the pre-baited venue I managed to get a kilo of hemp and maggots out before darkness fell as well as rigging the rods up and marking these to the pre-bait distance. I wasn’t expecting much and had already decided that a bite would be a result and come 7pm when I called it a day, two had come. The first I’m sure was from a small fish, yet the other saw the indicator dancing before falling to the ground, yet the self hooking helicopter rig failed to do its job. This was definitely from a good fish and I decided to leave the perch along the following day and return to see if I could find out what had found the free bait.
Friday saw the temperature drop sharply and the easterly wind didn’t do much for my confidence, however after baiting up I dropped my rigs over the top and sat back. Just into darkness I saw two good fish roll and a single bleep had my hand hovering, yet I had to wait a while before the next indication and this time the heli-rig did its job. Far out I could feel the headshaking of a big fish and when she slid into the net I knew that my pre-baiting efforts had been worth while. Two more fish followed as well as a tiny perch before I decided to call it a night, slightly later than what I had planned.
Certainly a tough week, but one that finally rewarded me.
Since the Spomb came onto the market I have to say that I thought that I would never use a spod again, but I have to say I was wrong. My smaller of the two Spombs seem to be somewhat unreliable, often opening up in mid flight. I found myself half filling this, as overfilling only encouraged it to open, yet I also found myself dropping it short of the mark as I was afraid to cast it hard. I finally binned the small Spomb and reverted to the larger one, but after pre-baiting started to think that although it got a lot of bait out quickly, discreetly and efficiently, was it to accurate? I have now reverted back to a small spod and to be honest feel much more confident now. I might loose a bit of bait on each cast, but when the spod lands I can ease this back, spreading my bait over a bigger area. This might not be as tight, but how tight do I want my bait, especially when fishing after dark and casting quite a distance, often in a cross wind and when regular casting often brings a bite. Since reverting back to the spod I feel far more confident and comfortable with my bait application, something that’s very important when it comes to catching.
I have just had my first months sales report in regarding my book 'Evolution of an Angler' and they exceeded my expectations. If you haven't already bought your copy then it can be ordered from the publishers Calm Productions (www.calmproductions.co.uk) or their are a few signed copies still available at Yateley Angling Centre.