A change is as good as a rest.....

Stewie74

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I'm a firm believer in this adage, I like to change things up every now and then.

I joined Saffron Walden Angling Club in late September. Having had approximately a dozen sessions there on either of the lakes at Bordeaux Pits, and having thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of those sessions, I decided last night that I would head for pastures new this morning.

The reason? Numerous reasons, if the truth be told. Bordeaux Pits has been fishing quite hard over the last fortnight or so. A now regular acquaintance of mine from SAWC, who fishes every day, has commented each of the last 4 times that I've seen him that it's slowed right down, the water is now gin clear, and now that there's been a few days of coldish weather and a couple of frosts, it's noticeably quieter.

I've had a couple of sessions on the float recently, either rod and reel or my margin pole, and its been hard going. I've caught quite a few micro-fish of an ounce or two, but anything bigger has been restricted to the method feeder.

This week I procured a new pole. a Matrix MTX 1 Power pole. I bought the package, its a 13m pole with a mini extension, and came with a match kit, 3 power kits, a cupping kit, holdall and tubes. I also purchased a MAP Dual roller, both of which I collected on Friday from Wensum Valley Angling in Norwich, about a 90 minute drive away. They could have delivered it but I wanted it for the weekend so I elected to collect it.

Got it home Friday afternoon, unpacked it to find a lovely piece of kit, nice and shiny, with a big gap between the number 4 and number 6 sections. That's right, my new weapon was missing a number 5 section. Hmmmm, this could be a problem. Checked inside the number 6 section in case it had got stuck, no dice. Checked inside all the sections, even the smaller ones, (yes, stupid I know, but at this stage I was clutching at anything that resembled a straw, nothing. Hmmmm.

I also noted the absence of the cups for the cupping kit. I had the sections for the cupping kit but no cups.

Checked the top kits, which were elasticated as requested, with 8-10 Slik in the match kit and 16-18 Slik in the power kits. Except they appeared not to be. Red and Yellow elastic, not the green I was expecting.

So on the phone to Wensum Valley Angling it was, my dreams of a weekend bagging silvers and carp on my new toy evaporating before my eyes.

Dan at Wensum was great to be fair, he explained that the package comes in from China, and wasn't unpacked at all in between, so the absence of the no.5 section would need a call to Matrix. He explained that he had forgotten to put the cups in the bag, and that he had put the wrong elastics in.

An hour later he called as promised, no.5 section ordered and en route from Belgium, should be with me by next weekend, along with the cups, and the correct elastics. (Will need to learn to elasticate the top sections myself. All the best plans gone to waste.........)

So a comedy of errors really, although fair play to Dan at Wensum Angling, did everything he could, and is rectifying the situation the best way he can.

Anyway, this meant a couple of things, firstly I would need to rethink the plan for tomorrow, options would be to fish the top 4 only, go with the feeder setup, or risk another potentially soul destroying float rod and reel session. Secondly I would need to delay the debut of the pole roller for a week, not really needed if I decided to go with the top 4 option.

I've watched a lot of youtube vids recently, and the likes of Jon Arthur, Jamie Hughes, Andy May et al seem to advocate fishing a 5m line. Given that that would be around the extent of my reach, I decided that that would be my approach. In addition, in anticipation of a weekend of pole fishing, I'd purchased a pint of red maggots which would be wasted if I took the feeder route. Would be good practice at hitting bites (assuming that I could get some bites...)

So yesterday morning bright and early I arrived at Bordeaux Pit, and decided to set up in a swim on the western bank, sheltered from the wind by the railway embankment behind me. Plumbed up at 5m in front, and as luck would have it the depth was identical in a couple of other spots to the right and left. Happy days, or so I thought.

For 5 hours I sat there, with my Drennan AS3 rig, 0.3g float dotted down to a couple of mm, (even my eyesight is fine at 5m), and had a grand total of 1 bite. A roach, which was perfect in every way. Beautiful red fins, bright eyes, hooked in the top lip. All 2 oz of him. For two hours before hand and 3 after, not a sniff, not an indication, not a sign of life. I tried double maggot, sweetcorn, expander pellet, I tried everything I had in the bag to no avail.

Having said that, there were a few carp cruising around, and a few crashes on top over to my right made up my mind for me, and out came the feeder rod.

A few casts later I had a 4lb common in the net. At this point I was joined (at a socially acceptable distance) by a fellow member who was keen to impart lots of knowledge about the lake, and the club on general. I always like to talk to fellow members, I find they can be a great source of information. This chap however, did nothing for 20 minutes other than slate the club, the lake, the stock of fish, the state of the swims (which are pretty spotless in the main, well maintained and level), the committee, the Tory Government, cormorants, Donald Trump (as well as Joe Biden), vaccines and the state of the Premier League amongst many other things. It was a diatribe the like of which I've rarely experienced, I seriously didn't say a word for 20 minutes, preferring to concentrate on the green quiver tip that stayed unerringly still during the two casts that occurred whilst he was talking at me.

After 20 minutes he appeared to lose steam (or maybe lost the ability to breath through his ears) and wandered off, presumably in search of another captive audience.

At this point (although careful to make sure he'd gone past the car park in his search for fresh ears) I decided to head for home. Stopped off en route at a local tackle shop and picked up a Guru double pole sock and a couple of the new Preston Des Shipp rigs, 0.3g.

So, relaxing at home last night with a cheeky Pinot Noir, I decided I needed a fillip for today. I googled in search of a commercial within an acceptable drive from home. I wanted to find somewhere that I stood a good chance of getting lots of bites, firstly to try out the (top 4 of the) new pole, but also to re-instill some confidence. I found a fishery which turned out to be a couple of miles closer to home, a place called Home Farm Fishery. 2 lakes, decent stock of mixed fish, standard stuff really.

Got there at 0730 this morning, walked round the lakes for half an hour or so, chose a flat level swim on the big lake, with an island chuck just in case the 5m pole plan didn't work out.

Ground bait was allowed at this facility, so I mixed up about half a bag of Sonubaits Carp/F1 mix, which I had been using recently as a mixer with micros on the method. Plumbed up, it was a level 5foot everywhere at 5m, so all good. Threw in a couple of small balls ( no cups yet, remember?), with a few maggots mixed in , and started off with single red on the hook.

The Des Shipp rig was great, it was shotted to perfection (the same can't be said of the Drennan rigs I've used up to now), just the right amount of bristle showing, cocked quickly when lowered in etc etc. The next hour was a blur of action, bite after bite, I caught a couple of dozen little roach, perch and a couple of small skimmers. I was having a great time, feeding a few maggots and a little bit of groundbait every few fish.

Nothing had yet given the elastic in the match kit any kind of workout yet. I decided to switch hook bait and feed to sweetcorn (with the same groundbait mixed in), and before long a bite resulted in a long steady stream of red elastic emanating from the tip. A wonderful sight, I felt just like Jon Arthur at Makins.

Keep the tip low to the water, let the elastic do the work, keep the tip low to the water, don't rush, all the advice from the youtube vids was rushing round in my head, and after the first rush of excitement and a couple of minutes a small carp, maybe 2lb was gracing the net. Boom, first netted fish on my new pole (albeit only the top 4 in use currently)

Over the next couple of hours this fish was followed by half a dozen more of similar stamp, and a raft of small roach and perch. To be honest, I didn't care, I was enjoying the action, and the challenge of hitting the bites, and getting the process right.

At about noon, I decided to get the feeder rod out, and have a chuck to the island, about 20m away. As is the norm for me on a Sunday, I had to be away by about 2, so I only had a short session on the feeder. I'd sort of figured out by now that there were plenty of small carp in the lake, and the island looked like a decent bet.

The next hour saw 4 carp of 3-4lb and one slightly bigger, maybe 5lb. It also saw a feeder in the tree overhanging from the island (thankfully pulled free first time) and a very close call when I stepped on the wooden sleeper in front of my footplate and slipped, almost ending up with a much closer view of the lake than I'd envisaged or imagined.

2 o'clock came around all too quickly and it was home time, so I packed up and headed for home.

In summary, I'm not sure that commercial fishing is for me all the time. It was a good day, a much needed confidence boost after yesterday, and a welcome introduction to short pole fishing. I caught lots of fish, a few different species, and it was good to practice hitting the bites (although I did miss lots as well hitting lots.)

However, if a novice like me can catch that amount of fish, constantly for 5 hours, I don't know, it just seems a bit easy, if that makes sense? Catching (very) small roach and perch every put-in is great for half an hour, but truth be told I was really glad when the 2-3lb carp rocked up. That was quite fun. Having said that, I was quite pleased to get the feeder rod out at lunchtime and spend a couple of hours chucking a method to the island. I like a coffee and a snack, and catching small fish before the float is set properly is not conducive to a relaxed morning!!

I will probably go back through the winter months, depending on how the club lakes fish. Could I fish there every week, probably not. Good for practice on my pole fishing journey (destination - fishing club matches), and will definitely be part of the plan for getting used to the pole at 13m, (when I get the middle section of the pole!!)

So in summary, a much needed day of lots of action, a decent net of fish by my standards, and a viable option to change things up a bit during the winter months.

On annual leave tomorrow, so will be back at Bordeaux Pit tomorrow morning, (feeder only, definitely on the smaller of the two lakes)

Oops, another long post, thanks for reading if you made it this far.

Stewie
 

The Landlord

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Good stuff mate.
When you come to change the elastic in your poles, tie the new elastic to the end of the one you're removing & pull it through. Saves faffing about with threaders etc, Then attach your pulla bead/stonfo or dacron, whichever you use.
 

Stewie74

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Good stuff mate.
When you come to change the elastic in your poles, tie the new elastic to the end of the one you're removing & pull it through. Saves faffing about with threaders etc, Then attach your pulla bead/stonfo or dacron, whichever you use.
Sounds like a plan, will probably leave it until next spring anyway, at least with the power kits, but I'll probably change the match kit as I think 10-12 is a bit heavy for silvers in winter.
 

RedRidingHood

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Yeah. Really enjoyed the read during my break. Thank you.

Calling commies easy is ballsy though, much surprised it hasn't struck a nerve among certain people in the community

:censored:
 

Stewie74

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Yeah. Really enjoyed the read during my break. Thank you.

Calling commies easy is ballsy though, much surprised it hasn't struck a nerve among certain people in the community

:censored:
Lol, that's not quite what I meant, although having re-read my post I can see how it could be construed that way. What I meant was that I really don't know what I'm doing, but I managed to have a quite busy time, however I was catching mainly micro-fish. To be fair the whole reason for visiting the commercial in question was to get lots of bites, to practice with my new pole. I guess in the whole day I probably caught less than 30lb of fish, whereas I would imagine a competent match angler would net 100lb at least. Certainly not easy (for me at least) in that respect. Plus I am convinced that at my level of fishing there is a large amount of luck involved.

I went back there today for more pole practice, which I'll post a write-up of later, had another very interesting day trying out some baits and techniques that were kindly detailed earlier in the week by @chefster, @Neil ofthe nene and others........
 
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