Thames@Tadpole - tough rewards on hemp and tares

adriang

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Fished Sunday 19th on the Tadpole AC stretch of the Thames, arrived about 9am, dropped into peg 59, not fished this one before and was greeted by a low river but with some colour. Previous day there had been a bank clearing party, which meant the first session I'd fished without getting stung by nettles.

Took the kitchen sink, but set up my trusty Silstar pole at 11m which was roughly 1/2 way across and a Microlight/506 stickfloat with the intention of using that across the first 1/2, as there was a willow tree below me and a noticeable slack and a crease about 1/4 across.

Took some advice from @Silverfisher and mixed up some groundbait, one of the roach orientated Decathlon mixes with a 1/3 ground hemp, which I cupped in straight down the middle, and as seems typical for the Thames in the area, about 7 ft depth, slightly shallowing up down the peg. A good piece of advice, I'm sure it helped to start the swim, and I believe the fish were about 1m or so downstream from where they would have hit the bottom.

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Started raining, brolly up, started fishing and found it virtually impossible to cast due to where I was sitting in the peg, a huge bush to one side and the brolly. After tying on 2 hooks in 2 casts and a mega tangle around the rod tip, the stick float went up the bank and I started on the pole.

Rain stopped, brolly down I fished at either 11 or 7 metres, quickly found that maggots meant bleak even when only loose feeding hemp.

A lot of false bites, ended up grouping my shot in all kinds of combinations, but ended up with a bulk and then 2 nbr 8s together as a dropper which seemed to be the most effective, under a .4 SRG float to an 18 b511.

IMG_7202.jpeg

Hair rigged hemp would get me mainly smaller roach, occasionally a larger one. Tares would get me a lot of missed bites, I'm sure the smaller roach, and a few typical Thames fat roach and a few chublets, a couple needed netting. I certainly had to work at it, chopping and changing depth and shotting and letting the float through at varying speeds. It was the first time I'd tried hemp with a white cotton hair rig, I think I got to about 20 fish on one grain, not quite as good as Sir Bob, but pleased with the first attempt and its much easier than trying to hook hemp on the bank.

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Sunday was certainly 4 seasons in one day, I packed up about 2pm as it was very sunny and blue skies, the bites had slowed and I was getting sunburn.

A few pounds, as always felt that it was more going in the net than reality.

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Lessons/improvements:
Groundbait suggestion seemed to help, think I will add some grit to it to make it sink.
Would have liked to have tried a more typical hemp rig with styles and a touch lighter. Something when I get a new pole and have more options with top kits.
Waggler further across may have been more productive later in the day as that was more shady, but I was keen to get started (lazy).
 

Silverfisher

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Good stuff I reckon you’ve done pretty well there for a relatively short session as it’s much more hit and miss on the hemp up your way it seems. I don’t go that far but even up at Northmoor is far harder than than say sandford or medley.

Glad the groundbait helped and yes a lighter rig should help, I generally get far more bites (and less false ones) on my waggler rigs with just a couple 8s or 9s down the line than I do my stick rigs which have both more and bigger shot. I need to figure out some better way of hooking hemp like that as I cost myself loads of fish due to the time fiddling around with hooking it then missing bites. Keep meaning to try pinning it but need the tool first!
 

adriang

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Good stuff I reckon you’ve done pretty well there for a relatively short session as it’s much more hit and miss on the hemp up your way it seems. I don’t go that far but even up at Northmoor is far harder than than say sandford or medley.

Glad the groundbait helped and yes a lighter rig should help, I generally get far more bites (and less false ones) on my waggler rigs with just a couple 8s or 9s down the line than I do my stick rigs which have both more and bigger shot. I need to figure out some better way of hooking hemp like that as I cost myself loads of fish due to the time fiddling around with hooking it then missing bites. Keep meaning to try pinning it but need the tool first!
After some experimenting with the hair rig thing, I don't make them using the same method as Sir Bob, I just used a needle and thread and I'm working on the kitchen table with a place mat.
- piece of hemp that is cooked, but intact rather than split.
- Needle is threaded with white cotton, and I push it into the seed, using something like a coin to push the needle so its not going to go into my finger.
- once in, I turn it over and push down on the hemp, with the blunt end of the needle on the place mat (and not damaging the table).
- once threaded down the needle its a case of pulling it through, and then tying it off with a couple of overhand knots and trimming the ends.

I can make up about 10-15 in an hour, depending on the quality of my hemp seed, and then freeze them in a small about of the water I used to cook them.
 

Silverfisher

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After some experimenting with the hair rig thing, I don't make them using the same method as Sir Bob, I just used a needle and thread and I'm working on the kitchen table with a place mat.
- piece of hemp that is cooked, but intact rather than split.
- Needle is threaded with white cotton, and I push it into the seed, using something like a coin to push the needle so its not going to go into my finger.
- once in, I turn it over and push down on the hemp, with the blunt end of the needle on the place mat (and not damaging the table).
- once threaded down the needle its a case of pulling it through, and then tying it off with a couple of overhand knots and trimming the ends.

I can make up about 10-15 in an hour, depending on the quality of my hemp seed, and then freeze them in a small about of the water I used to cook them.
Blimey that’s almost artistic, bit technical for me! Fair play for giving it a crack 👍🏻
 

Silverfisher

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Sir Bob reckons he can get 30 fish to one grain. I was up to over 20, but was a bit heavy handed..
You’d need to if it takes an hour to do 10. According to polly 10 is achievable pinning it so would like to give that a go.
 

bluemack

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Is Tadpole still day ticket? i have,nt fished there for about 15 years,and are the big chub and pike still there? (y)
When i fished it their was an honesty box at the entrance is that still there?
 

adriang

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Is Tadpole still day ticket? i have,nt fished there for about 15 years,and are the big chub and pike still there? (y)
When i fished it their was an honesty box at the entrance is that still there?
Day tickets are only available if visiting with a member of Tadpole A.C. The member has to get the ticket in advance from the local tackle shop. I think that the annual membership for this year is now full. (States Tackle in Witney is where I got mine from).
 
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