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Meanderings of a lost angler: Fred Bonney

Into the Valley: Pioneering Part 2

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I AM NOT really a fair-weather fisherman, but a pet hate of mine is setting up whilst it's peeing down. So, my next visit to the valley was three weeks later, which turned out to be a dry sunny day, sat in the middle of our much reported drought! Roll on the warm, dry days of summer.

The Lake in the Valley
So, so far, we've had rudd and roach to 8ozs, crucian carp to about a pound and common carp to about 10lb.
Arriving at the lake at 4pm and there is a substantial change all-round. The brown stems of the reeds are now bright green and spreading, the lily patch is somewhat larger, the goose population has expanded, with yellow tinted goslings all around and, the Canada's have been joined by eight Greylag geese.
I decided to tackle up in exactly the same way as my first visit and to fish the same method. Although I was concerned that if I got amongst the carp I could be outgunned on 2.5lb Maxima.
This time also, I didn't take along maggots or caster, just hempseed and some BFW 3mm Elips pellets, left over from last seasons barbel fishing. I didn't feel feeding the hoards of rudd with maggots and casters served a great deal of purpose!
So, four hours of jiggling and adjusting, and wishing I'd bought with me some alternative baits (after all, with all this rain, the worms wouldn't have required a great deal of digging, would they?) not a bite, plenty of nibbles from the pesky rudd, but no decent bites.
Just after 8 o'clock I got my first bite, but guess what, it snapped me at the split shot after a short tussle.
Shortly after, having tackled up again, a lovely pale olive male tench of around 2lb succumbed to my plastic grub. My first of the year, and a tench from 'my' lake, great! In fact, as far as I can recall, my first since moving up to Lincolnshire in January 2003.

The reeds were now bright green and spreading
I am a big fan of tench and have not fished for them since moving away from the Milton Keynes AA waters and my PB of 6lb 13ozs. I live in hope, that some monsters lie within this lake, but who knows?
My next cast brings an instant take on the drop. I hit into something really powerful that I just cannot stop ……. It's gone, along with my float.
Make your mind up time Fred!
They've obviously come on the feed; do I continue with my lightweight approach and find myself outgunned or, do I switch tackle, at the risk of putting off everything but the carp? Assuming of course that is what has snapped me on my two visits.
Decision made, I have probably ninety minutes of good light left, so what do I have to lose? I decided to step up my gear, for I assumed that the fish may not have seen tackle for at least three years.
Out of my Double T sling, I pull my Midi Carp Reach Waggler rod, a prize from the match fishing related angling magazine, probably three years old now and rarely used. This rod has the ability, with the aid of a dolly section, to be used at 15, 17 or, 20 feet. I choose 15 feet, because from experience I know that at a longer length it becomes difficult to use my landing net. On top of that, I'm only fishing about 20ft out.
My reel is another Shimano, the Super Aero 4000R, freshly loaded this morning, with 4lb Maxima, just in case.
Suitably retackled, I start again, but it's gone dead on me. The nagging doubts start to mount, but the signs of bottom feeding fish start again, so I wait, encouraged by the signals.

A common of about 6lb
As I wait the diesel pump, for the trout fattening pool, fires into action, disturbing the tranquillity. Apart that is, from the robins, chaffinches and blackbirds singing their goodnight chorus. The things you have to put up with for the joy of fishing; it's tough. They're back, another straight under bite, a tough tussle and soon in the net, 6lbish of fin perfect common. These fish do give me a great fight for my money and, they certainly know where the reed bed is.
At 10 o'clock I can just about see my float and after six hours fishing it's enough for me. Slightly disappointed I pack up and wend my way home, dodging the dozy pheasants and the even dafter hare that runs along in front of me along the farm track.
As I sit at my keyboard writing this, I wonder if I'm going about this the right way, for a 'pioneer'.
I longed to catch a crucian again, just to see if they are true crucians, and to get your opinions. My photographs taken at the first session downloaded from the camera OK, but I lost them when the system seized on me, having automatically deleted the pictures.
So, has toughening up my tackle thrown away my ability to catch the more wary species? Let's be a bit interactive on this - what would you do?
One thing for certain, I think I am more comfortable fishing from first light, rather than last light, so my next visit will certainly be at the crack of sparrow's fart.
Come on, what do you think? What would you do?

Updated 13-04-2010 at 09:18 by Fred Bonney

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