Category Archives: Roach

A Jaunt Wessex Way

I was not able to get to Wessex for the first day of the opening course fishing season this year. I eventually broke free and arrived on the 19th June. Fishing today 20th June , tomorrow (midsummers Day) and Friday before having to peel myself away and drive back home.

Meeting with a good friend for the first day, we decided to fish a pond that is part of our club licence. In fact, the club has recently not only leased this water that they had for a number of years, but has actually bought it outright.

This lake has become known for its Carp, but more interesting for me is that it has also become known for its Tench, and some big Tench at that.

We arrived around lunch time and found a number of anglers already there and disappointingly, one or two were in the ‘crack’ swims that we would have liked to be fishing.  We had a walk around the lake to see any signs of feeding fish. there we still a couple of great looking spots, so we opted for these.

Sport was surprisingly slow and many patches of bubblers did not amount to a bite. I did however manage to catch a number of Roach, and  a Bream of which I cannot recall the last Bream I caught? so it was nice to be reacquainted.

At around 19:00 I had ran out of bait completely. Frustratingly there were still a few patches that showed signs of feeding fish here at there that I had been baiting up during the day. I noticed a single grain of corn that I had obviously spilt while baiting up lying on the ground. I’ll give this a try I thought. Hooked on the corn and cast out towards the baited swim. Within seconds the float went under and initially I thought that it was yet another Roach. The rod bent hard over, I was into something good. The fish was powering it’s way towards every patch of lillies and snags that it knew. It took all my efforts on the light line I was using to stop it and steer it out into open water. I could not get this fish to the surface. It had stopped running so my thoughts immediately turned away from a Carp and began to think that this was a Tench. Still fighting for every inch, I eventually got the fish to surface and was met by a flash of dark green as it turned and nosed down to the lake bad again. This battle ensued for a good five minutes before I managed to get it over the net. Unbelievable, right at the end of the day, and with only one grain of corn remaining.

My Favorite Wessex Pond

My new season fishing trip was going well, and very hot. I had been looking forward to a trip to my favorite pond for some time. I knew that one of the ponds is surrounded on all side by trees, so I would be able to shelter from the blistering heat.

I found a lovely swim, with a nice breeze blowing on my back which was fantastically cooling, taking the temperature down a couple degrees was very welcome.

There were initially no signs at all of feeding fish, and I really did not expect to see anything, nor catch anything in these hot temperatures.

I had brought along with me my very first split cane fishing rod that I had squired, an un-restored Mark IV, and a little Aerial Popular that I had recently christened with a Roach on this trip.

The moment my first cast hit the water I was getting little bites. Piranha-like, the hook bait was gone very quickly and reeling in to a fish-less, empty hook.

Perseverance prevailed, and soon after the float shot up and laid flat on the surface. I struck lightly and was in contact with a Roach. A good Roach too.  Again I cast into the baited swim. Things were quieter now with no bites. I wasn’t paying attention to the float and was looking at the various plants that adorn this lovely lake when I heard the little Aerial Popular ‘sing’. By the time my hand was on the rod the fish had made the middle of the pond. I was convinced this was a Tench. A little disappointed that there was no resistance when I picked up the rod. However, as I reeled in it seemed that there was actually still contact. It turned out to be a big Roach that thought it was a Tench, or even a Carp. I don’t think Roach are meant to run like that? but it seems at this pond they do. This is not the first time I have experienced this phenomenon.

I cast again into the same swim and all was quiet. I sat and enjoyed the bird song which seems especially loud at this little pond. Soon after my float dithered, not a positive bite as such, but I struck anyway and made contact. It was one of the fine Crucian Carp that reside in this lovely pond, what a corker!

As the afternoon drew on, the pond took on a rather sinister feel. There were no signs of feeding fish anywhere and I had stopped getting bites. Out of the gloom, from time to time, the Grass Carp surveyed its kingdom. Nice to see, but un-catchable today.

 

A Final Tench

I have been very fortunate this year; being able to get fishing so many times. I have also been very lucky when I have fished. Lucky with some glorious weather, lucky in what I have caught, and lucky in some of the company I have met along the way.

Fishing a favorite lake in Wessex, cloudy and cool, but sheltered on the bank of the lake in-amongst the trees. I fished my chosen swim, casting very close into the margins with my ‘secret’ bait.

Sport did not arrive immediately, the float simply quivered ever so slightly now and then. I would reel in to find I had been ‘had’, and my bait was gone. Obviously, there were Crucians’ in my swim, and very tentative they were too.  Again the quill float never dipped but quivered,  I gently raised the rod, not a strike as such and hooked a good Crucian. As I netted the specimen, I could hardly believe the size, the old vintage landing net creaked as I raised the fish to the bank. I never usually weigh any catches of mine but on this occasion I had to. The scales went to 2lb.12oz; blimey! After weighing the empty net it revealed that the Crucian was 2lb.4oz. What a fish to end the summer season on.

I could not believe it, A good friend of mine called me on my mobile, and whilst chatting, I had a ‘run’ on the right hand rod. I quickly excused myself, ‘I hung up on the good chap’ and tended to the rod. The run was a short one, I initially thought it was the final Tench I was so longing to catch. The run did not go far and I soon had netted what could only be described as a huge Rudd, certainly the biggest I had ever seen, or caught. Again I had to weight it. The Rudd turned out at 1lb 4oz, unreal! Soon after I caught a huge Roach as well.

I was blessed with catching many smaller Rudd all afternoon, but no final Tench graced my landing net this day.

At around 4pm I noticed a fish roll right next to my float. I waited for the bite excitedly; nothing emerged. I reeled in, re-baited and re-cast to the exact spot. I then saw a huge Crucian ‘porpoise’, ‘dolphin-like’ right over my swim. I have seen this behaviour in the Crucians’ larger relatives, the Common and Mirror Carp, and generally signifies them going heads down rummaging through the debris on the lake bed, swimming up and down to the bottom again, with a ‘take’ a certainty every time. However, not on this occasion. I took this as an omen to pack up and leave. No final Tench of the season. Goodbye and good to see you, hope to see you again next summer season, I believe they were saying.

Lightening Doesn’t Strike Twice, Does It?

Fishing again at my favourite location. Glorious sunshine with a cooling breeze.

I had taken my new Edgar Sealey ‘De-Luxe’ rod and new landing net to see if I could christen them both.

After fishing for about two hours I heard a distant rumble. Now I know there is a military firing range not far away, but as I listened again and again it was getting closer. Exactly like June 16th, a storm was approaching; fast!. Boom, boom went the storm, not just one but numerous came and went by without dropping a single droplet of water.

At the place I was staying for a few days, the story was somewhat different, in that they had experienced tropical-like flash floods with flooded roads and streams; I had been lucky again not to get wet.

To cap this all, I finally managed to christen ‘in style’, my new rod and net, with numerous Roach, Rudd and a Crucian of over 2lb’s; what a day to remember!

Last Day Of The Course Fishing Season

I had been looking forward to the last day of the course fishing season from September 2015, when I made my annual batch of tomato chutney. A jar of which I always put aside as a gift to celebrate the last course fishing day of the season.

Having managed a few days off work, I arrived at my location a couple of days prior to the 14th only to find the river had burst its banks, and was actually part of the surrounding fields – what a disaster!

Changing tack slightly, I met up with friends and fished a local lake. I had set myself a goal of netting a Carp from the surface. Quite a mean feat in a cold biting wind in mid March. I did take some time to get any fish on the surface, and non of them where really competing for any of the freebies, but I persevered and managed to land a good double. It came too the net quite easily and fought just as well on the bank as it did in the water. She was full of spawn as well, a really good sign of things to come when the weather warms up. Back she went very gently.

As the final day approached, the 14th, my prayers were answered by the angling gods and the river had fallen quite some height. Enough to drop a line in. I had a fantastic day on the 13th, catching upwards of 40 Gudgeon, and upwards of 20 Roach and a Dace. All very small, so the landing net hardly got a wash, but great fishing non-the-less.

On the final day I met up with friends. We all fished from before lunch, and all had a great day. We were treated to a beautiful sunny day, and, as per usual, much tea drinking and cake eating took place along with our angling exploits.

The last day

Well, after weeks and weeks of anticipation it is finally here, the last day of the course fishing season.

Meeting up with friends for a river session targeting its beautiful Roach. A great variety of fish were caught and everyone had a good time. The weather was quite cold though and the wind was pushing through somewhat which made the old ‘Wallis’ cast somewhat hazardous ending in numerous tangles.