- Venue: Mudeford Woods
- Swim: Peg No. 8
- Time: 19:30 to 21:00
- Weather: Chilly but still
Yesterday’s gig as a Polling Clerk was a long day as the Polling Station opened at seven in the morning and you have to be there to set up at six thirty and then you are there until close at ten in the evening and then it takes about another twenty minutes to dismantle the booths etc. The interesting thing is that the day’s net pay almost exactly equals an annual Christchurch Angling Club subscription and I have to say I’m tempted, but it would mean I’m shelling out a bit too much on fishing club memberships. It is something to mull over, but perhaps not for too long as the pandemic affect means Ringwood have hit capacity and started a waiting list. So, Christchurch could close whilst I procrastinate. The highlight of the day in the Polling Station was the lady who put our minds at rest by telling us “I know what to do for because my friend has told me who to vote for.” You have to love it when you see democracy in action up close!
However, just as I marked the end of my short spell as a Civil Servant with a post tea trip to Mudeford Woods, I decided to mark my yesterday’s ine-day gig as a Local Government worker in the same way. I took on board two learnings from last week. Firstly, although I have been deposed from my role as Chef de Patron whilst Mrs. Sidestream is between jobs I decided to crack on with knocking up Toad in the Hole so I could get out on time and once at the bank side I took my time in setting up:
- Tackle: The short carp margin rod, 4lb line to a size 14 hook to nylon
- Method: Over depth float fishing with a SB Norfolk Reed Insert Waggler
- Bait: Sweetcorn
- Ground bait: brown crumb, crushed ‘weetabix’, soaked mini pellets with sweetcorn and pearl barley all flavoured with liquid molasses
Correlational isn’t necessary cause and effect, but having taken more care over plumbing and shotting, within ten minutes I was landing one of the lake’s small tench. It might just be correlation, but I do think I gave myself more of a chance than I did last week.
Admittedly though it did go quiet after that, so I’ll digress into writing about hook baits and ground bait. For the float rod I only used sweetcorn flavoured with liquid molasses and for the summer I would know like to wean myself away relying on maggots. I’ve no doubt there will be occasions when I resort to maggots but by and large the aim is to avoid the expense of buying live bait through the warmer months. That said it is still unseasonably cool for the start of May! Ground bait wise I had intended moving on from my soaked pellet, brown crumb and ‘weetabix’ mix as whilst I thought it was fine for the winter, it seems a bit basic for summer. However, I am in two minds as the current ad hoc mix seems to be making a viable ground bait. One alternative I have my eye on is Clive Branson’s Lake http://goldmedalgroundbaits.co.uk/Lake.htm but I am finding the payment option on the website less than intuitive.
Whilst it was quiet I rigged up very basic link ledger set up:
- Tackle: The 10’ ledger rod, 4b line straight though to a size 8 hook
- Method: Ledgering with two swan shot spaced out
As the light started to go I had a second small tench and that was my cue to pack up the float rod and try my luck with the ledger rod right under the bank in a couple of swims with luncheon meat. My theory was that I think I have seen carp move in close as darkness comes and realistically you can see a tip further into darkness than a float. However, on this occasion the tactic didn’t pay off, but I think it has merit and nothing ventured nothing gained. It did mean though that I missed the start of ‘Gogglebox ‘one of the few TV shows I actually put a book down to watch.
Lessons learnt; following on from the theme of the previous two posts this session reinforced the value of getting the basics right. ‘Good habits’ indeed!
Next steps; three thoughts. Firstly I do understand that many people would think it is odd to pop out fishing for less than two hours, but whilst the lighter evenings are here it does strike me as something I could do more often without disrupting domestic bliss at Sidestream Towers. Secondly there is the question of whether or not to stump up for Christchurch membership whilst already a Ringwood member. It comes down to what would I gain? As far as the Stour is concerned Christchurch offers good stretches but little if anything stands out above above the Ringwood stretches. On the Avon, the Sopley Mill Stream is nearer to home and probably more scenic than Ringwood’s Bickerley Mill Stream. It is a fair drive away but the Christchurch book also has a stretch of the Frome at Tincleton which is narrow enough to appeal to me. As to the still waters, Wainsford is the same distance away as Everton Grange (and I need a break from blanking at Everton) and Nea Meadows is less than five minutes by car from home, although it is basically a park setting which I have mixed feelings about. I need to think carefully about this and one option may be to not renew my Ringwood membership when it is due. However, working on polling day does mean I have the funds available for both clubs this year. Thirdly, as we slip into summer I need to start ticking off some of the things on my ‘When this is over I will …’ list that I compiled in Lockdown#3.