HOPEFULLY JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD Mudeford Woods Lake, 8 June 2021 (Session 23_2021)

  • Venue: Mudeford Woods
  • Swim: Peg No. 6
  • Time: 19:30 to 21:50
  • Weather: We seem to be in a long settled warm spell. Most mornings start overcast but the cloud clears by lunchtime and it usually stays clear through to the evenings

What happened to my list of things to attempt once Lockdown#3 was over and what happened to my attempt to fish every peg at Mudeford Woods? I fear I have become somewhat set in my ways and have lowered my horizons, as this was yet another evening session at Mudeford Woods and once again I set up in Peg No 6 as follows:

  • 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: Mix#1 with sweetcorn and pearl barley added (no flavouring – as I had used up my liquid molasses last time out)

The only significant difference was that, despite my misgivings, I opted for a two rod approach and also set up a ledger rod:

  • Tackle: The barbel rod, 8lb line to a size 10 hook on a 6lb link
  • Method: Ledgering with a three way swivel with two swan shot as the weight
  • Bait: Luncheon meat (grilled with garlic)
  • Ground bait: As above

The main line was attached to one end of the three way swivel, with a short length of line with two swan shot attached to the other end and the hook link off at right angles. Historically I have probably set up a ledger rod in this fashion, but if so not for a good few years. My thinking is I can leave this rod set up like this for a few weeks and replace the shot easily by tying a feeder or a lead to the end line and can also change the hook size relatively easily.

My reservations about using two rods are primarily that I think trying to simultaneously watch a tip and a float results in me giving neither the attention they deserve. I know it is unlikely with my track record, but there is also the question of how I would play two fish at the same time. However, I have been thinking there are a couple or so of pegs at Mudeford where two rods might work for me (the others are 10 and possibly either 11 or 1) so the float was aimed straight ahead alongside the near bank bank lilies and the ledger rod was alternated between the right hand margin and the lily pad out from the bank and to the my right. When using two rods, being naturally right handed, I think I fare better when the ledger rod is to my right as is the case in this swim. I opted for different baits on the two rods with sweetcorn on the float rod and meat on the ledger. Had I been a little more organised, given brandlings worked last time out, I should have had some with me. However, sweetcorn has worked for me here before and I am aiming to use meat more and generally want to wean myself away from live baits over the summer months. It will be interesting to see how rigidly I stick to that! I’m not sure how much difference liquid flavours make but I had run out of liquid molasses, but that may have been a talismanic loss rather than a consequential loss. That said I do err to the view that sweetcorn becomes less effective as the summer progresses due to over familiarity and that flavourings, and perhaps colourings, become progressively more important as the weeks slip by. I’ve little to add to the polemic on ground bait contained in my last post except that I didn’t go all out from the off but after an initial four balls just kept the swim topped up.

In short I was relatively happy with my choice of peg and the swims I had baited and with my approach and my set up, yet the fish were less impressed. It wasn’t exactly non-stop inactivity, but the few bites I had were very tentative. The tip did twitch once and the float did dip slightly a few times plus I had a couple of line bites and some fry attacking the float tip but nothing that seemed worth striking at. I gave it until quarter to ten on the float rod, it was still light then but the float was getting hard to see and then had a further five minutes just on the tip but there was no last minute blank saving bite.

Lessons learnt; it might be that it was just one of those nights when it wasn’t going to happen for me. There had been a match on the lake on Sunday and whether that impacted I cannot really say. All I do know is that it is a small lake and for matches every permanent peg is taken plus the footpath bank, which is open to the public, is also pressed into service. Maggots or worms would have helped my cause, but during the Summer I would rather hold out at this lake for something of landing net size rather than avoid a blank with a stunted roach on a maggot and a size 18. Even I have some pride. Interestingly so far this year I have yet to connect here with a bream that is the right size of a pound.

Next steps; I’m a little boxed in for the rest of the week. My son has benefited from a last minute drop out meaning he has been offered a ticket for the first day of the Second Test at Edgbaston, meaning one of the cars is headed to Birmingham and Mrs. Sidestream is working every morning this week so that is the other car nobbled too. Friday evening is a possibility but I’m running tomorrow evening in Bournemouth, the Peloton heads east into the New Forest on Thursday evening, so being out on a fourth consecutive evening may be politically unwise. The options are either a) getting up at dawn and fitting in a session before Mrs S’ needs to head to work, b) scrounging a lift with Mrs. S’ there and back back and fishing the morning at Everton Grange whilst she is at work or c) an afternoon session at Avon Tyrrell. In reality option a) just isn’t going to happen and options b) and c) involve fishing ‘gentleman’s hours’, which would test the counsel that https://stevetheangler.com/ and https://wheatnotcasters.blog/ have provided that early and late are not as important as the books would have us believe.

9 thoughts on “HOPEFULLY JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD Mudeford Woods Lake, 8 June 2021 (Session 23_2021)

  1. Sorry to hear of the blank!

    Couple of things….

    3-way swivels: not used those for many a year – and when I did it was for sea fishing BUT I changed from even those due to warnings I saw and switched to normal 2-way ones. The problem with the 3’s is that the side projecting eye is subjected to forces that can bend it, or even pull the eye from the body esp if used as the anchor for the hook and a large fish attached. So I switched to the, advised better, format of a 2-way with the mainline AND weighting link line attached to the same eye by loops in the lines so the they could slide and the hookline to the other eye. This way, when the rod is lifted the swivel should orientate horizontally due to the mainline/weight settling top and bottom respectively on the swivel’s eye and the hooklength being held out away from the other lines… Hope you understand that! TBH though I never, and seems same for you, actually had a swivel failure with the 3-ways.

    Molasses – I bought a 5 litre bottle (https://www.viovet.co.uk/NAF-Value-Molasses/c63346/?quick_find=343219&utm_source=sag&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=surfaces_UK&gclid=Cj0KCQjwk4yGBhDQARIsACGfAeu-9nTNvzagxe8iYLtaSBXMa2mwnAkP68ZyP9iFdqZiQT89IsDC728aAjb9EALw_wcB) so unlikely to for me to run out. Not bad a £8 either compared with the 500ml tackle shop versions!


  2. Steve

    It may be that the reason I’ve never had a problem with a three way swivel is because I’ve used them so rarely they’ve not had an opportunity to fail on me yet. Still, thanks for highlighting the issue, especially as i was blissfully unaware of it!

    Crikey – five litres of molasses – I know you said you were bored with Liz away but starting a rum distillery in your shed is a bit extreme. Good price though.



    1. Molasses I bought a couple of years ago – TBH a bit of overkill!!
      Also bought a litre of cod liver oil (meant for shining horse’s coats I think) for injecting into my pike deadbaits (£9) … and sardine/pilchard oil from Decathlon (mail order only) which I think was £14 at the time but out-of-stock at mo.. and a couple of 1 litre bottles of fish sauce (basically blitzed anchovy) which I got on an offer in a Chinese supermarket at about £1.50 a bottle…

      I’m a sucker for buying in bulk thinking it’ll last me forever – and certainly will but I probably will have only used 10% by the time *I* don’t last forever! LOL


  3. I am with ‘manwithrod’ regarding three-way swivels, don’t trust the buggers! Used them for sea fishing years ago and they broke very easily. Chuck them in the bin before they let you down.
    As we get older the blanks seem to be less of an issue. As a youngster it bothered me greatly when I failed to catch but now it sometimes feels like I learn just as much from a bad day as I do on a good one.


    1. Stay tuned – I stuck with the three way swivel for one more outing but will now ditch it.

      Hopefully despite my stilted prose it is evident I don’t get to stressed over not catching. Like everyone I’d rather be good at things, but with fishing I just have to roll with punches, which are frequent. It is perhaps only when I start to put together a run of blanks it gets to me. However, on the day I felt was doing most things correctly so perhaps I feel the Angling Gods were a little unfair this time around.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same re: blanking … I’ve got used to it….
        I just enjoy ‘fishing’ for the activity itself – if I actually catch anything that’s a bonus!
        However, the Gods seem to be smiling on me at the mo!

        Liked by 1 person

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