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Meanderings of a lost angler: Fred Bonney

Into the Valley: Pioneering? - Part 3

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It's 3:45am and I'm awoken by the Song Thrush serenade. He sits on my fence next to the bedroom window every morning, and starts up his now boring, dawn chorus.
So, I decide to get up and visit my lake for another four hour session. Yesterday was 23 degrees C, so summer's here and the Rudd in my pond started spawning. I'll go and take advantage of them in the valley whilst they are busy on other things.

The Lake in the Valley
The dawn is very misty. Up here, they call it sea threat or, fret, or whatever. It got progressively thicker, as I drove down into the valley. I've decided to continue in what I consider to be the most fishy location, adjacent to the reed bed and lily patch. I'm fishing by 4:30am.
The rudd on the lake are not spawning, but I notice hoards of tiny fish in the margins, so something obviously has!
I'll step back a bit here. When I sorted my tackle out, after my last write up, I gave all the line a good going over, I wasn't happy with the breakages and thought that I may have an old brittle batch. Well, I don't know how long it has been in my tackle drawer!
It appeared OK, so thinking about the stepping up of tackle I had to do to allow for the carp, I decided to fish with a hooklength of MAP Fluorotex 0.17mm. I also took out a box of Dynamite Swim Stim 6mm soft hook pellets.

Anyway, back to the fishing. I continue to use the plastic maggots and loose feed with hempseed, dead maggots, casters and the last of my BFW pellets.
On my first two visits to the water there had been quite a chop on, but this time the water surface is flat. I decide to use a straight 4 x No. 4 waggler and to lay on with an SSG shot about three inches from the hook.
One of the benefits of fishing this calm surface is that I was able to see fish bottom feeding, with groups of 5 or 6 small bubbles rising and groups of pin head size, almost fizzes and, occasionally, eruptions, as a fish ploughed it's way through the bottom.
My first fish is a 5lb 2ozs common, landed with no problem, within the first 15 minutes.
Then the nagging doubts started again as my hook length snapped, and then again above the float; an unstoppable fish that ploughed straight through the reedbed. There are obviously some big carp in the lake, as I've managed to handle fish to just under 10lb on the same gear.
As usual on my trips down I've gone with the bare necessities of tackle, in this case, the Midi rod and the 4000R. Do I move up to 7lb line or stick it out with 4lb? Decision made, straight through with 4lb, same method.

Start again, in the meantime, the fizzing is quite active around my loose feed, maybe Tench I think. Time to switch bait, and give the Swim Stim a try.

I was soon into a crucian
I brought these with me after reading Jeff Woodhouse's review of them, and decided to try them again. I wasn't happy using them as they didn't inspire confidence in me that the bait was still actually on the hook after falling through the multitude of rudd.
Having reaffixed an SSG to the line I was fairly confident that with an underarm cast the pellet would reach the bottom safely two-rod lengths out. It did and I was very soon into a crucian, winkling out seven of the beauties in quick succession, all around the 1lb mark.
I was tested yet again with another bigger fish. Fortunately it swam in the opposite direction to the reeds, so, I was willing to give it a little more line. This common gave me a great tussle and, to my surprise, only weighed in at 8lb 12ozs!

A hard fighting common
All went quiet for a while; I think the last maniac Carp had killed the swim off.
So, I waited, and listened to another Song Thrush, singing that same old tune, or had my thrush followed me, just to wind me up?
The perpetual drone of the diesel pump continues with its freshening up of the trout fattening pond but the geese have gone very quiet. They are not on the lake but probably in the fields with their young.
I'm in again, into a crucian that is, and another four follow before I decide to call it a day.
Monthly meeting of the pub club tonight. I haven't seen George around since the last meeting. Perhaps, he'll be in tonight and I can buy him a pint and give him my initial report.
In the meantime I'll gather my thoughts for the next trip. I know there are a good head of fish so a change of approach is needed.
I think I may well step up the gear to find out what those unstoppable fish are and, perhaps, as Gary Knowles suggested to me at the Barbel Society Conference, to have a go for eels in case there are some in residence.
I'll be back!

Updated 13-04-2010 at 09:17 by Fred Bonney

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