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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Continuing to catch up .....

I prayed and prayed for rain but it never came, in fact it still hasn't arrived yet well I say that its raining as I type . As we all know we need alot of rain to replace the water that we have lost and the odd shower here and there simply will not suffice.

As I mentioned in my last post, the foot bridge that crosses the river at Saxon mill had been shut since spring and so I gave the river a miss . Not just because the bridge was closed but also due to the lack of rain, the abundance of weed and having little fishing time . There is only so much carp fishing I can do though and before long I found myself revisiting a little spot on my local river Blythe to investigate the river level .

The spot I fish is a free spot at the back of the barston lakes and golf club known as packhorse bridge. The river arc round and flows away under the west coast main line bridge . I describe the area as a spot as there are no set pegs and not much room to fish in and two people would make it crowded. The photo shows the river with water on it at the begining of the year and you can see that the current flows at a strange angle in to adeep pool under the bridge . I like to fish the pool with lobworms on a light one swan shot rig and bounce the worm around in the flow so that it settles in the deep hole. 1lb 9oz perch on an autumn eve.
During several very short sessions after work (literally an hour before dark) I managed some lovely perch and a chub of 3lbs. All the fish fell to worms in the pool and my best perch from there was 1lb 9oz's . I love this type of angling and the fact that bit is free and overlooked by everyone makes it even better.

A 1lb 30z perch from my pool swim.

A 3lb chub that also took a liking for my lobworms .

Every now and again I would pop by the mill and check the progress of the bridge. Each time however I was met with the same answer and even worse a note from the council saying that the bridge would be closed until December . One warm afternoon my better half and I popped down for a slurp at the mill pub and I was amazed to see gleaming in the sunshine a brand new bridge .... I could barely contain my excitement and whooped with joy ( much to the mrs embarressment ) and skipped off to inspect the craftsman ship of the wonderful bridge joiners.

I took the camera and crossed the new bridge to take a photo as she shone in the golden autumn sunshine . We decided to have a mooch on the upstream stretch and see how over grown it was. My happiness turned to shock horror when as we walked through the undergrowth I found my beloved stretch and been used as a bin by some shit for brains.

These pictures show the worst of the litter I found and as I looked further there had been fires and god knows what else going on. I drove home a very ngry man . I had not been able to get in to my stretch of river but some one had been getting on it fro the old milverton side. They had picked a specific tree as a dumping ground and when I returned the next day I filled two black bags with lager cans, barbeques and crisp packets.

As an angler and nature lover I find it hard to comprehend how or why any one could do this to such a beautifull historic place . The cans must of built up over time which showed it was a habit of the prats to throw them in to the same place on each visit. They had even tied bags full of cans to tree branches which could of been a death trap to wildlife .Why oh why!!!!!

Now a new beautifull bridge was in I was free to fish my little heart out back on my wonderful stretch of river . I had so many plans for this place this year and so much bank clearing I wanted to do . Next year I will be cutting a path up to th top meadows and making the bank more accessible to anglers .

The river barely see's any anglers as far as Im aware yet offers such beauty and so many fish. As far as big fish go I am not sure what its potential is as I have not had enogh time to fish it with any kind of plan . There are shoals of dace and roach and plenty of chub as well , also I have seen some large carp in both the up and down stream stretches.

We shall see what it has soon I hope........

Barry Peck

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Catching up....

Well what a non starter of a year it has been for me personally. You name it, it has happened at some point this year . Angling time has been at a premium until the last couple of months as things settle down and normal service is resumed .

Blue bells in the woods of stoneleigh.

As time has been limited through the summer most of my fishing has been short carp sessions either stalking or surface fishing . As a member of the Leamington Angling Association I have access to some decent carp waters . I chose to concentrate on jubilee pools at ryton . The back pool or horseshoe as it is known is a prolific surface and margin fishing pool and it offers very good sport.

A margin caught mirror of 17lb 9oz from Holt pool worcestershire.

The horseshoe lake on a Summers morning.

The water clarity on this pool is extremley good and it can make for some very exciting fishing , in fact quite regularly very large carp can be seen cruising up and down the margins. Every time I fished the pool this summer I caught carp sometimes quite a few. The bait of choice this summer for me was mini marshmallows with a little betaine on them to add sweetness. The use of the sweets as bait came about after my daughter bought me some as a joke to try and and I caught five carp in a morning on them. As well as being very easy to hide a hook in they are also very easy to see at range which I find helps my confidence.

A margin caught common from the point on horseshoe.

I like the point swim on horseshoe (so does every other bugger) as the water shallows in the margins and the carp come past very frequently. I set a trap in the margin and had several carp up 13lb . The lack of rain this summer has been a real pain and water levels at the pools is down consdierably which has not helped with the margin fishing but not made it too much of a chore.

Peg 23 in 'No carp corner'

As well as my exploits on the horseshoe pool I also had a plan to set a margin trap on the Island pool. My peg of choice on this lake was number 23 in the area known as no carp bay . I had noticed some carp of a large size feeding in the margin next to the platform on this peg several times. Each time I visited the pools I would sneak up to the peg and trickle in a handful of micro pellets and a couple of prawns . One warm dull Wednesday morning I decided the time was right and went around to try my plan . As I crept around to the back of the peg I noticed three large carp slurping away at the surface next to the bush to the right of the peg . Two of the fish were very large commons and possibly pushing twenty ponds in weight. The third of the fish was a light coloured mirror. I hastily stripped the margin rig off the line and tied on a hook to free line. The bait was the afforementioned marshmallow and I crawled in to postition so that I may dap the bait on to the surface film .

No sooner had the bait touched the suface than it was engulfed and a strong fish bored of deep in to the lake . I had no idea which fish I was attached to but it felt heavy and powerful as it plodded off purposely. I was just thinking what a cunning bastard I was when the rod sprung back and the fish was gone .Ho hum I said !!!!!. On inspection the line had parted and when I checked it was quite worn along its length which I put down to the battering it had been receiving on the back pool by the tiger like small commons.

I retreated behind the bramble bush at the top of the bank and waited to see if the fish would return to the sanctuary of the overhanging bush to the right of the swim . As I waited I stripped back several metres of line and checked for damage then tied on another hook. Within minutes the carp were back and feeding on the surface again . This time just two, a common and a mirror . A mini mallow was attched and the dapping proccess repeated . This time the bait was taken by the light coloured mirror and after a spirited unrushed fight I had her on the mat.

13lb 6oz and a sweet tooth.

I returned her and then decided not to push my look with the fish and to head off to the horsehoe for some surface sport. Before I left I spread a couple of handfuls of pellet and some king prawns in to the margin for another look may be later in the day.

On the way back to the car I dropped back in to peg 23 and was amazed to see the margin well and trully clouded as carp were tearing up the bottom. Tails broke the surface as they fed a foot from the bank. I attached a piece of peacock quill with a float rubber and moulded a lump of tungsten putty 2 feet from the hook to keep the line down . The air crackled with anticipation as I lowered the whole contraption down in to the mucky water and crept on my knees in to a waiting position . I had hooked a large chunk of king prawn as bait and sat back to wait. After around ten minutes the quill twitched then snaked across the surfce and out of site .I set the hook and bent in to a heavy fish . Again the fight was slow and heavy and I new I had hooked a good carp . After I while she was ready for the net and when she finally gave up I slipped the net under a lovely thick dark common . The fish was one of the three I had spotted earlier that day and on the scales she went 18lb 12oz . Fantastic and what a splendid looking fish.

I left a happy man and as I drove home I looked longingly to the sky . I craved to be on the river at my beloved mill but due to the footbridge being shut I was stumped . I also prayed for rain and for barbel and chub..........

To be continued

Tight lines for now.

Barry Peck