I had arranged to meet Dave the Fish at Hartleylands today,with a view to having a practice for the forthcoming Intersite match.
To say that it was a dull, grey, wet, windy, and thoroughly miserable day would be an understatement!
Some of the Total-Fishing lads had come down for a practice and after a brief chat they set off to fish Peartree while Dave and I set up on Nicks.
Vince appeared to give us a pep talk,but things at the start were a shade slow,so Vince was dispatched to the Bakery at the farm shop for the pies.With these consumed Vince bid us farewell as he had to collect some people from Gatwick.
Dave and I redoubled our efforts ringing the changes to get an idea of what would and wouldn't work. At times the drizzle seemed to be falling horizontally instead of vertically,but we ploughed on for the good of the team, putting together bags including Tench, Skimmers, Carp and Barbel until about 330pm when Daves joints decided they had had enough of the cold and wet.
PM's will be on their way to team members in the next couple of days with the details, but as a taster these are a few pics of some of the stock in Nicks.
All in all a worthwhile day,with some methods sorted and filed away for use on the day, and the promise of more to come before the big day.
Today fished the Willows open with Dave, Mal C and Joe.
Drew peg 47 on Goldrush. An average peg that has not produced a framing weight for ages. It had a serious of snaggy branches and stumps at 11-14.5m.
Joe had a cwap peg, Mal had a cracking summer peg (but cwap at the moment) and Dave had an average peg.
I fished the same rig as last week.... 4 x 12 Drennan carp 6, 0.18-0.16 WB CLarke Matchteam, 16 pr28 and 12 preston elastic thru' 1 section. Using my 'special pellets' on the hook, I had a flying start, 8 carp in the first hour and after 2 hours 30 mins I was up to 14. I kept trickling the feed in and switching swims.
However just like last week, sport slowed, and i suffered a bad spell with no fish for about an hour. They came back though, and I plundered another 10, and a couple of tench and a BARBEL[:0].
The carp weren't big fish, i had a 3lber and a few 2's, but thought the majority were about 1lb. I estimated I would be pushing 30lb, but was surprised to find they took the scales round to 41lb 12oz. This won my lake... Goldrush.
The other lake (Ridge Pool) had fished well. The muggy warm conditions and low air pressure meant that a certain type of fish might have a chew.... catfish! The winner had 62lb off peg 15. 29lb of this consisted of 2 dirty great moggies. Another moggy which was even bigger came out of peg 6. 2nd on the this lake was 40lb.
For the 2nd week running I finished 2nd. Dave only managed 15lb, and didnt believe my weight... had to check the weigh sheet! It was therefore with great pleasure that I relieved him off his usual quid[8D][)]. Joe did well to get 29lb off his peg. Mal had a few but had to shoot off so didnt weigh in.
It was a half decent day but a cold night seemed to have affected it a bit and as Ben said, it was patchy with the fish coming in fits and spurts.
My peg (57) in front of the house had a few snaggy bushes in it and overhanging from the island where I managed 18-20inch of water
Rig was a small float to 6.6lb line and 14 elastic and this was needed to be able to stop the fish diving into the snags once hooked - I lost a couple earlier due to fishing 4lb line and 10 elastic as I wasn't able to stop themas they tore off
Mine would have been a great peg had it been a lot warmer but I still managed to beat those around me with a mixed bag of Carp and Ide
One stomach churning moment though was provided by the guy to my right who shipped his pole back, unknown to him, straight through and across a land mine (doggy poo)
When he baited back up and shipped out again he ended it with it all over his hands <<urghhhhh>> and that was before lunch [V] 
Beebs (Steve) was making a trip back to Swansea to see his parents and had requested a day out in the company of the Welsh Branch of Maggot Drowners. Dai Fish, Danfish, anyexcuse, his son, Dan, and myself decided to humour him.
Springwater Lakes was the venue chosen for our Easter Escapade, and was chosen for two reasons. The first. Springwater is a cracking fishery with a variety of species to try for and Steve didnt want a carping session. The second. We wanted a peaceful days fishing and the owner does not allow unaccompanied anglers under 16. Fisheries like Hazel Court and White Springs can, and do, get a lot of young anglers at Bank Holidays, some of whom can be a real nuisance
Beebs arrived at my flat, with some guidance at 7am, and with car packed we made the 37 mile journey to the venue. Why did I have to wear a crash helmet Dai?
We arrived just before 8am and duly paid our fees, (6 for two rods) and bought what little supplies we needed and made our way up to the lake. We chose our swims to one corner of the lake with rushes close in and a good cast to the island.
A view of the lake from my swim. (I must take my photos earlier in the day)
Dai Fish and Dan arrived just as we were unloading the car and set up just along the bank from us. Anyexcuse (Dave) arrived with his son about an hour later. Unfortunately Neo-1 (Nick) was unable to make it having to travel to the Aylesbury area to Meet the Parents again. We hope to see him back in one piece on Monday night.
To the fishing. The owner on one of his customary walks round did tell us that the water did not fish well the day before, possibly due to the fact that permanently parked caravan owners had all come down and there were a fair few mobiles on the site and the influx of anglers had driven the fish to the islands.
So I set up my feeder rod, 1 ounce bomb and hair rigged corn and cast as close to the island as possible. Ground bait wasnt needed. If anybody has seen beebs ground bait an area you will understand why. Five minutes with a catapult and he can cover a larger area than a crop duster. Throughout the day I had several bites on the feeder, resulting in 9 carp, the largest of about 2 lb.
Closer in I used the pole at 10 metres and with pellet on the hook managed to catch a selection of skimmers, roach and crucians with two carp thrown in for good measure.
Everybody caught fish, the largest being a bream which Dai had on feeder from near the island.
Dave and son and Steve left at about 5 o clock and I stayed to carry on fishing with Dai Fish and Danfish until 7pm.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable day at a good, tidy and welcoming venue, in good company. Nice to see you all again. Steve, see you at the Kennet and Avon in two weeks. That should be fun!!
Thanks for the lift home Dai. I hope Dan enjoys his trip to Holland. Peace and quiet in the Thomas house for a week at least. (Oh no I forgot Skippy is still home.)
True friends are like good books. You don't always use
them but you know where they are when you need them. Fish For Whales
Very enjoyable day ,which helps after you havent fished for a month & a half. My son also enjoyed himself made even better because he caught more fish than dad -even if he did go stalking to the next peg to catch them?I still think my fish were bigger though and am sticking to that.And to think I taught him all he knows,sob,sob!Cant wait for the next trip,then I'll show my son why I had the pouting bashing record from Mumbles Pier while I was in the 5th form all those years ago!
Had a rare day today, 26lb roach to 2-1-0 on the waggler and maggot. OK so no brown envelope, 45lb perch skimmers and tench took that but I still enjoyed myself neverthless.
Silver fish only today but got done by four 'Munters'(that's Somerset for biiiig buggers)
This is an up and coming fishery near Cullumpton in Devon called Goodiford Mill, very pleasant outlook, not at all like your average hole in the ground.Watch out for this one.
Will get a session in Tuesday somewhere, meanwhile keep that elastic stretchIn' etc
I had a free bank holiday weekend, so decided an overnighter was in order.
The week before, I happened to be doing some shopping in Chepstow, and noticed that Woolies were selling off 5.5 inch B/W TV/Radios at 10:99. Now fishing and TVs don't go together in my book (unless it's Home & Leisure), but at that price it was just screaming to be purchased 'just in case'. I thought I would mention this as lots of branches have this deal on if anyone is interested.
I started fishing on Saturday afternoon and had two 3.5lb bream before dark. I would normally crack open a bottle of red and watch the stars at this point, getting an early night in preparation for the alarms going off every 15 minutes through the night (yeah, right!). Well as it was a cold and cloudy night, I flicked on the telly instead. There was damn all on, how I wish H&L was on terrestrial. I settled on Millionaire and ended up watching that for half an hour. Part way through the program I got a run and leapt to the rods. Due to the set-up of the peg I was in, I couldn't set up my bivvy nearer that 12 feet from the rods. By the time I got there the fish had gone.
I never did find out Mrs Beatons christian name. My money was on Emillia.
This happened at least five times before I realised the problem. I normally used semi-fixed bolt rigs for carp/tench/bream, but was playing around with running rigs on this occasion - my lead was too light. Cursing myself for being an idiot, and being sure that semi-fixed was the way to go at night, I changed over.
Just before midnight the alarm went off. I leapt from the bivvy, forgetting my boots in my half-asleep state, and ran through the mud in my socks (well, my tootsies were cold!). 6lb 8oz of bream later, I decided to be a big girls blouse and switch the alarms off so I could get some sleep.
I rebaited and put the rods out about 7AM. I had a nice run of 4 tench to 3lb15 and a bream of 2lb6 until 1PM, when the action dried up. Out came the float rod to keep me occupied catching small roach, rudd and perch for a while.
Just after 8PM, I landed a 4lb8 bream and decided to leave the alarms on that night. Am I glad I did. At 12:40AM I landed a PB bream of 8lb14oz.
You'll excuse my dazed expression I hope, it was late  I have tastefully cropped the photo as it showed me in my pants, which is not nice.
Then right through the night until 7:30 in the morning, I got a run every 1.5-2 hours. I got bream to 7lb9 and tench to 4lb before light.
Boy was I knackered by the morning.
At one stage I remember trying to leap out the back of the bivvy as I had turned over in bed since my last run. It took a few seconds of scrabbling around in the dark before I realised my mistake [)]
Anyway, the main point of this story was to tell you about today. A young lad, who was obviously a very inexperienced angler, came over for a chat after he heard my alarms go off in the morning. He said he had been fishing for years but didn't really know what he was doing. He had been fishing the lake every day of the school hols (he was 14) on a junior spring permit, and would be here each day until he went back to school. He hadn't caught a thing.
He told me he had once caught a 3lb mirror, but it was swimming by the bank and he caught it in his landing net. Other than that he had only got tiddlers. He seemed a nice enough lad so I thought I would help.
After convincing him that carp were not the only species worth catching, and that Yateley wasn't the sort of place for a first carp anyway, I agreed he could settle into the next swim, only about 10 feet away. I looked on in horror as he brought his gear out of the rod bag (amazing how he got so much stuff on a pushbike).
He had a 9 foot stalking rod, with the top 2 feet broken off. His uncle had kindly donated this!
He had an increadibly cheap looking 12 foot telescopic fibreglass beachcaster. It was about an inch and a half thick, but horribly wavy. I think it was 20-60g casting but it was awful to use. Bought in a seaside postcard boutique for a tenner no doubt. oh...and the tip ring was missing
He also had a Bruce & Walker fibreglass match rod. Again really thick and with no backbone. A light wobble and the whole thing would shake right to the butt.
He had one left-handed reel, and two right - but that was OK as he said he was ambidextrous.
One reel had sea fishing line on, the other two had ancient mono that had been on them when he got them second hand years ago. No reel was more than quarter filled with line.
His landing net was not big enough to hold a standard sized football and had had the broken plastic frame mended with some sellotape.
He was after big carp!
At this point I had better describe the lake. There are tench, bream and carp all to good sizes, though they aren't at all easy to catch. The numbers of tench and bream had been boosted recently after an adjoining lake had been electrofished and drained. The lake is absolutely choked with lillys and weed in the summer and is hardly ever fished because of this. I was using 12lb line and 2.75TC rods after struggling with 1.75 TC rods and 8lb line a fortnight before when I snagged in lilly pads frequently.
This weekend the surface was about half covered in lilly pads and they werent very dense, but there was lots of vegetation below the water.
So as you can see, he was way off the mark with tackle even if his rods had been whole.
So I gave him one of my rods/reels for the day, and donated half a reel of X-line flouro carp main line (12lb BS) to fill his other reels as it was all I had on me.
I let him fish with the match rod, away from the weed, and made sure his hooklength was lighter than the mainline I had just spooled on for him. He fished this as he was advised by the tackle shop - a 15mm strawberry boilie over marine pellet groundbait.
I explained why I thought this wasn't suitable on this occasion, and set up the rod I loaned him the way I was fishing. He ran the two side-by-side.
There were so many things I told him, that I realised just how much I had learned since taking up fishing a year and a half ago. I usually get frustrated by not knowing 'enough', but Adam made me realise how much I had taken in so far. I had been using a marker rod the day before and described the features and where I expected to find fish.
He was very impatient, asking if he should change the bait after 20 mins of fishing as it obviously wasn't working.
A few minutes later he got on his bike and was off. He shouted back and asked me to take a photo if he caught anything. He came back about quarter of an hour later after going to the local shop. Yes, we had words [!]
He set up a float rod to keep himself occupied. I noticed how he was float fishing and challenged him to a race - first to five fish 
No, you're wrong!
He didn't thrash me.
15 mins later it was 5-nil TO ME (of course)
So I went to work on his setup, changed to a 3lb bottom instead of the 8lb ancient mono he was using. I showed him what a plummet was and how to use it, how to shot the float, how to feed etc.
First cast he catches his favourite fish, a perch. He started making some mistakes which I didn't have time to correct, as his alarm went screaming off.
He picks up the rod I loaned him and strikes. Oops! I should have explained how a baitrunner works. He had a nest of spaghetti in front of the reel. I set to work on the knot for him. Fortunately the fish had found weed which was helping contain it. I don't know how we would have managed if it had a free run of the lake.
I untagled him, miraculously, in a few minutes and he reeled in his prize.
His first ever fish over a pound, 5lb 14oz of tench.
He had a grin that split his face from ear to ear.
So you're just after carp are you? I don't think so from now on matey.
The little b*gger caught a bigger tench than I did all weekend!
Well unfortunately the bites on the whole complex seemed to dry up for the afternoon, no-one was catching, but he went home happy.
He'll be back tomorrow, to fish the lake next door that has little weed in it.
Had a 20 peg knock up on Lake 1 at Huby Lakes - the carp are starting to perform - I had 59lb on pellet fished close to the island on Peg 10 where the winner came from peg 18 where he fished the floating bread for 84lb - some proper monsters in his bag. Everyone had a good day and lowest weight was 22lb.
Yesterday saw Dazb and myself back to a great venue.
We met up with David Senior, Sue(his wife) and Daves dad, great fella.
The two waters had been invaded by the carp anglers for the easter week end, not many pegs left.
Dave, Sue, Daves dad and myself got on the first pond, Daz opted to fish the back pond, Daz used the pole.
We all got set up, Dave fished the feeder, and his float rod, as did Sue, Daves dad fished the float rod.
We finally started to fish after a good old chinwag.
What a day it turned out to be, the fishing was very poor on the first water, i had two roach in about 5 hours, two bites and two fish, Daves dad was happy, he was catching perch and roach, Dave and Sue both had nothing. !!!!!!
Come 4pm i had enough and packed up
As the day went on the carp anglers on the back water packed up and left, that was the sign for Dave and Sue to move, gear moved to the back water, Dave fished the pole, and he started to get Rudd, then the perch moved in, then he started to fish shorter, then he was into the Rudd again.
Daz was happy enough, he was getting roach on the pole.
Sue fished the other bank, at last Sue got a roach, much to her delight.
Sue had a carp swim past her swim in a very lazy fashion, looked a good sized one.
Not a very eventful day fishing wise but a good day with fellow
TeePee, that jacket is RED. It is absolute camouflage mate !!
I see Toma has put up some photo's, (nice one Toma)from that camera angle it looks like I've got the landing net out for a 3inch Rudd !!
In fact the net was laid by my side (just in case I got 'owt decent) .....which, of course I didn't.
I too took some photo's Toma.
This photo explains why you spent all your time "in the bushes" instead of fishing !![:0][:I][:0]
After emptying that I'm not surprised.
Nora was praying for a "stiff" breeze so she could put some bait out.
Here's one of my Dad who spent most of the day chatting with Toma, while sat at his peg like a "garden gnome" or a "pot frog".
He did catch one or two though, 83 years young and still learning.
Sort of reminds me of Red Leader, still learning.
The weather was good to us, and we had a few laughs as usual it's just a pity the place didn't fish like we all know it can.
I think we will have to wait till the water warms up a bit more before the next visit.