Fishing with Matthew today, a couple of pegs at the top end of the second lake, on the far side. The weather was sunny, with a cool breeze blowing into us from between 9 and 11 o’clock (from the south) and light cloud. The breeze was playful early on, but dropped off towards the end of the session, fished from around 2 p.m. to about 6.30.
I set up Matthew with a cage feeder and showed him the basics of feeder fishing. He was up and running in no time, and caught a dozen skimmers in the session, on the red groundbait and red maggot.
I fed corn and meat into the left hand margin, and casters to the right.
Then I set up a kind of pellet waggler rig – but I think a moronic one; wrong float wrong hook.
I was on my three pound line on the new reel, fishing with my 12 ‘ shakespeare sigma float rod.
The light main line constrained my choice of hook, as most of my hooks are on heavier line, so I ended up fishing with an 18 maggot/silvers hook. I’d have been happier on 4 lb line, but that reel needs reloading.
I mixed up some green betaine expander pellets, but I didn’t follow the instructions properly, and they were too soft. So I used them as fed pellets and fished with a banded 6mm pellet banded onto the hook. I was using a waggler adapter (new kit) which worked ok.
I was surprised how shallow the lake was at the top end; only about 3 feet deep out to the middle, 2’ at the edge. I chose a loaded waggler, and I think it was the wrong choice. Also think a heavier float was needed to counter the effects of the wind on casting and in the water. Or perhaps I needed to fish with some weight on the bottom. Or with a bulk just off the bottom, and a few inches over depth. Anyway, something different.
I started by fishing at depth, with a slowly dropping bait. I don’t think I was clear in my mind as to where I was looking for fish. I didn’t commit to the bottom but quickly shallowed up, and then – as so often before, flailed around, casting poorly, spraying pellets everywhere and catching very little. I did get some skimmers after about 90 minutes, I think. But I wasn’t paying enough attention to the time, and I had little discipline.
I did get a couple of bites in the left hand margin, but it was too close to Matthew for me to be confident that it could hold many fish.
I failed to establish my rod rests properly, didn’t have my seat set up at the sides, and paid for this throughout the session. Also set the back of the seat too far back. I caught a lot of plants, and had a number of tangles on the reel – perhaps it is overloaded? Or maybe I just need to learn to be more careful with it. Also had that problem with the line looping over the end of the rod, perhaps because I didn’t have a good resting place for it?
Anyway, in the end I caught 6 on the float, just one of them from the left margin. I suspect I missed a lot of bites on the drop – I was waiting for very definite bites, but I think they were just little bobs, as I did hit one or two of those when I struck at them. Finally I switched to pellet feeder, and caught a couple of good roach in the last half hour or so of the session – though I really struggled against myself on the feeder because my setup was all wrong; nowhere to rest my rod, difficulty with the landing net – all frustrating. I used the very soft green expanders in the pellet feeder, with a hard 6mm pellet inside, and had no trouble getting bites.
Lessons from today:
1 Set up properly. Make sure I can rest my rod sensibly for the type of fishing I’m doing, and get all baits close to hand. This is very important for pellet waggler type fishing, when using catapult (which I really need to get better at), and if anything even more important on the feeder.
2 Pick an approach and stick with it for a set time. Use your watch to run the session to a schedule. If it doesn’t work within the time, switch to plan B and stick to THAT for the time you decided.
3 Whatever that loaded waggler is for, it wasn’t good for what I was doing today.
4 Make sure you know your bait strategy, and try to stick to it.
5 Don’t fish with 3lb line until you’ve got a better range of hooks on light hook lengths.
6 don’t wear the grey shirt again. And if you do wear it, don’t put anything in the pocket, and do the buttons up.
7 A frustrating and sub-par fishing session is still a real treat and a pleasure – and can provide valuable learning points.
8 think about your rigs, lines and so on ahead of time, and reload your 4lb spool.
9 once again my hook wallet emptied itself onto the grass. Find a better solution for storing hooks.