Bitted out but in beautiful surroundings
Bitted out but in beautiful surroundings
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Well after staying on my local commercial for a couple weekends longer than I should have done I finally started my more natural Stillwater campaign (and first natural fishing of any sort since March) in what was perfect summer weather with low winds and temperatures well into the 20s. Was going to go to boddington which should be alive with quality roach by now but I forgot to get money for a day ticket when down the pub last night so decided on Marlborough pool instead. I’d only fished the place twice once late last May when I struggled for a few pounds of bits on maggot and once in late last June when I had probably 35lb of admittedly still quite small but acceptable hemp roach. I was expecting todays session to be more like the former than the latter given I was surprised to catch that well on hemp good week earlier than I’d expect to on the rivers so I knew it wouldn’t work today. It very much did town out today but the weather and surroundings were so nice that for a one off (wouldn’t want sessions like it too often!) I didn’t mind at all.

Started fishing about 8.30 in a peg on the West Bank (what tiny bit of wind there was came from the south west) and by the time my grandad joined me at 11.30 if already had over 50 fish so whilst I stopped counting at that point it’s probably w fairly safe assumption that by the time I packed up at 3.30 I’d probably had over 100 fish made up of say 60 rudd, 40 roach and a few perch. Problem was as whilst that many fish at boddington would probably amount to 25lb plus instead today I doubt I had much more than about 7lb certainly not double figures that’s for sure. Just couldn’t find any decent fish with anything comfortably over a couple ounces a bit of a bonus and the only things that pulled the average above an ounce. Had to work for them as well although a lot of fish were caught it took a lot of concentration and accuracy to eek out the still small but at least slightly better fish. Had hemp worked I’d have no doubt caught a much better stamp but even so I don’t think there’s many good silvers in the place as even on last years hemp session the stamp was probably a good ounce shy of Thames hemp stamp for example. Should have maybe lobbed a feeder out for a tench or bream but the weather was far too float fishing friendly to do that and from how much everyone else fishing leads struggled (grandad included) I think I’d have struggled to get a bite. Still whilst the fishing was a bit rubbish and not something I’d want to do too regularly the fish were very pretty as were the surroundings and the weather brilliant so nothing was going to dampen the good mood I was in as soon as I started driving through the summer country side this morning.

Tackle wise as usual most fish came on the 13ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g drennan loaded crystal insert waggler to size 18 to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon set up with strung out shot down to mostly dead depth in just shy of 4ft of water. The rest of the fish fell the the 4.5m drennan acolyte tele whip with 2.5lb supplex to a 0.8g drennan SF3 float to a size 20lb to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon set up with a bulk and two droppers down to dead depth in about 3ft of water. Hookbait wise most fish came to single red maggot with the rest mostly to worm or worm and maggot cocktail save for some to double maggot. Loose feed was red maggots and hemp over sonubaits black roach groundbait.

All in all certainly not the best days fishing but I guess the floats kept going under and tbh all the was secondary to now nice it was to be in such a nice place in such nice weather in full summer bloom. Really was the nice session aesthetically and comfort wise since probably October. Won’t fish rushing back next weekend though as in the less nice weather that tough fishing would be a bit taxing so I’ll go to either boddington or Dorchester lake depending on how the weather does turn out. The latter is a bit of an unknown quantity but I’m sure the boddington would be a lot more productive based on last year. Would go for a few hours somewhere tomorrow but it’s meant to rain all morning and supposed to have stuff on in the afternoon.

Couple pics of the view from the swim and a couple of the bit more respectable rudd. Did catch some roach and perch of similar size early on but didnt photograph them as kind of expected to get better ones as the session went on but that’s not how it turned out.



The magic 'Ton' of Tench?
The magic 'Ton' of Tench?
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I got to my local estate lake, Himley Hall in Dudley for my usual time of 7am this morning. I was a bit sceptical to be fair and not the most excited I had been for a session after having a 'frustrating' day there a couple of days ago where I had 3 Tench in the morning before my swim died on me. It was a bit cooler overnight last night so I wasn't expecting too much. I had in my head that peg selection on this big (but not massive) lake was going to be key.

2022-05-12 17.37.03-1.jpg

As above, I plumped for peg 24. This is a peg about halfway between the shallows at 4' and the deeps at 8', so about 6' deep. I almost gambled going on the shallows but figured the deeps would be a gamble too after yesterday, so this was a happy medium was my thinking.

No signs of fish there when I arrived, but as I was setting up there was a load of fizzing on the 25m line. They fizz a lot when feeding at this place and always give themselves away like that by disturbing the weed, so that raised my hopes slightly.

Having been fishing from 7.30am I had my first bite at 8.23am. A nice Tench I had to weigh, it was 6lb 10oz.

1) 8.23am (6lb 10oz)

2022-05-12 08.23.30.jpg

A few more Tench followed as below.

2) 8.54am
2022-05-12 08.54.15-1.jpg

3) 9.20am
2022-05-12 09.20.37.jpg

4) 9.48am

2022-05-12 09.48.22.jpg

5) 9.56am

2022-05-12 09.56.42.jpg

So a decent start but would the peg die on me like it did yesterday? It was around the time I had the lovely Golden Tench above that the bailiff came round shouting to me, "did you see it?".

"No I've been busy catching Tench, had 5 already" I replied.
"That angler to your left has just had a 36lb Grass Carp and a 26lb Common" he said.

Now fair enough, that's something I would have liked to have seen, one of the lakes big Grass Carp that are reported to come out over 40lb.

Anyway, I was soon back to my own fishing after paying the £6.60 for a day ticket.

Among the next few fish was another nice Tench I had to weigh, this time it was 6lb 12oz. That was the last fish I'd weigh today and I think the biggest.

But to cut a long story short, the Tench didn't stop feeding as feared, and were actually ravenous all day as pictured below.

6) 10.12am
2022-05-12 10.12.46.jpg

7) 10.53am
2022-05-12 10.53.38.jpg

8) 11.35am
2022-05-12 11.35.11.jpg

9) 11.55am
2022-05-12 11.55.02.jpg

10) 12.38pm
2022-05-12 12.38.11-1.jpg

11) 12.47am
2022-05-12 12.47.24-1.jpg

12) 13.00pm
2022-05-12 13.00.44.jpg

13) 13.07pm
2022-05-12 13.07.41.jpg

14) 13.19pm
2022-05-12 13.19.54.jpg

15) 13.56pm
2022-05-12 13.56.14.jpg

16) 14.08pm
2022-05-12 14.08.54.jpg

17) 14.20pm
2022-05-12 14.20.58.jpg

18) 14.46pm
2022-05-12 14.46.45.jpg

19) 14.56pm
2022-05-12 14.56.08.jpg

20) 15.32pm
2022-05-12 15.32.52.jpg

21) 15.40pm
2022-05-12 15.40.00.jpg

22) 15.51pm
2022-05-12 15.51.03.jpg

23) 16.02pm
2022-05-12 16.02.36.jpg

24) 16.20pm
2022-05-12 16.20.11.jpg

25) 16.52pm
2022-05-12 16.52.31.jpg

26) 17.21pm

2022-05-12 17.21.59.jpg

27) 17.34pm
2022-05-12 17.34.06.jpg

So that was 10 hours fishing for 27 Tincas in total with only a smattering of Perch that I don't really count on a day like today.

2022-05-12 17.37.18.jpg

Now I want to apologise for the gratuitous amount of pics above, but after a day today I think it's a good way to document the session. My previous best from here was 13 Tench and I thought that was good, but the fish were also a good stamp, well conditioned fish, today with most being 4s, a good share of 5s and few 6s with only a couple of 3s. So by my estimate that's easily a 'Ton of Tench'.

I don't always document the tackle I use but might as well for posterity today. Greys 1.25lb TXL Twin Tip Rod, 6lb Maxima to 0.18 Stroft on a maggot feeder helicopter rig with a 40g Black Cap Feeder.

Other than that, I guess I am lost for words... easily my best Tench session and a proper red letter day!
A Lovely Day In The Sun
A Lovely Day In The Sun
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Another match with the Nomads, up at Shiplate Farm, which is the furthest fishery from me that the lads fish. 100 mile round trip but it, as always, was well worth it.
Fishing on Westpool, never seen it before, a canal type pond. Drew peg 5, nice 13 metre to the far bank, which looked very fishy with its undercut bank. Only about 10 inches deep over there so couple of shallow rigs set up, along with a couple for the margins to be used later. Pegged next door to @slaner who came flying out of the blocks when the all-in was called. First chuck on his feeder, fish on! “I’m getting a hiding today” I thought.
I started tight over, choc orange pellets in a band, and had three fish quite quickly. For the first hour I felt like a proper angler, who knew what he was doing! Caught, and lost, a few more in the next couple of hours. Had to move along the far bank a few times to keep the bites coming. Some of the fish took off like express trains up towards Steve, I couldn’t stop them. Some were landed, some made me look stupid. Tried the margin lines with meat, maggots and pellet but apart from the odd fish it just wouldn’t get going. With 15 minutes to go I went tight over slapping pellets and had two more fish before the all-out. Wish I’d gone back over there sooner! Ended up with 54lb for nowhere, the winner had 110lb, just pipping @slappy by three pound. Silvers was won with 3lb odd, I never had a silver all day.
A great days fishing , on an unknown to me venue, with a great bunch of lads. Roll on the next one 🎣👍

Peg for the day
Peg for the day
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Peg 7 Toms Pond, nr Otley

It looks good for a few and the drizzle overnight appears to have stopped...

Pretty even depth all round, even against the margins...


Bernie is hiding away in his favourite peg 14...


Eye protection whilst fishing

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Ok , this is a new one on me , maybe a few of you have come across this before ..
a good friend of mine asked me today if I wear sunglasses when fishing , I told him sometimes I do , he then showed me his left eye that was very bloodshot , he went to the doctors with it who asked him if he worked outside , he told him he didn’t and worked inside .
the second question he asked him was if he went fishing , he said he did ,he then asked him if he wore sunglasses when it was sunny ..he said no I don’t .
the doctor said he had seen this several times before ,it was the suns glare reflecting back off the water that has caused the damage , they are keeping an eye ( no pun ) on it , there is talk of an operation !
any of you come across this before ?
Perfect day... almost
Perfect day... almost
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I was up for 4:30am this morning and in the shower. I had plenty of prep to do as I didn't bother last night. I set up a rod so I could have a bait in the water while getting everything else set up.

The truck was loaded and I was on the road for 5:30 and on the way to pick up my uncle. 30 miles down the road and he was collected and we set off for Manley old Hall.

We arrived at 7am and had a look around the ponds, eventually choosing the first pond. I picked a swim with a far bank feature to cast to. I had a lily bed and a sunken tree to cast to.

My first task was to set up what would later become my sleeper/ shotgun setup so I had a bait in the water while setting up. This was done and cast out with a mussel on the hook just to get fishing. About an hour later and I was somewhat close to being fully setup so I started to fine tune.


my sleeper setup was a 10ft fox Horizon x3 paired with a shimano st 6000 rb loaded with 10lb fox exocet mono. I chose to fish this to the left of an out cropping tree on the opposite bank.

The rig was really simple. A short length of rig tube down to a Korda lead clip with a guru ⅔oz lead. A simple hair rig with Korda dark matter uncoated braid and a Nash size 10 barbless twister. 1½ 10mm cc Moore Pacific tuna boilies on the hair with a pva stick.

Sonubaits dark groundbait, micro pellets, 4mm halibut pellets and pinkies went into the stick mix. It was made pva friendly with tigernut oil.

The "sleeper" setup was anything but, in all honesty. It was non stop action with nice little lumps coming out regularly. The only respite coming when the rig was cast out without a stick. The best fish was, I would guess hitting 10lb with a the others around 6-8lb Mark.



My main focus was float fishing. My setup was a 10ft aventus float rod paired with a 3000 size aventus reel, loaded with 4lb daiwa sensor. The float was a Drennan 0.8g insert crystal waggler attached with a float adapter and locked in place with two float stops either side.

I shotted the float with the bulk just underneath. A n⁰8 was added around 18" from the bottom to help sink the bait. I later fished slightly over depth with a shot on the bottom to counter tow on the float. I used drennan ready tied hooklengths. Silverfish maggot 6" size 16 (.12mmø). I later changed to carp maggot 6" size 16 (.14mmø) as a few carp had moved in.

I fished around 2-3 rod lengths out with a depth of around 6ft. 2-3 golf ball size balls of groundbait and 10-15 maggots. Feeding more as bites slowed down. Maggots and pinkies on the hook got me one or two roach with scopex flavoured expanders getting a few skimmers.



After a few hours of feeding little and often and catching silvers regularly the area around the float began to fizz and the silvers disappeared. A few minutes later and a carp took my bait and straightened the hook on the fight. I then changed over to a carp maggot hooklength and got to christen my new float rod with a few carp moments later.


So why was it only 'almost' a perfect day? Because unfortunately for me I had driven 30+ miles to pick up and take fishing one very ungrateful and selfish uncle who did nothing but moan and swear because he wasn't catching a fish a chuck!

However.... that selfish little 💩 will not spoil my day. I have a kebab en route and a few little treats to go with a movie afterwards

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